Eurovision 2015 semi 2: #buildingbridges

Update: 9/10, a Swedish style result from Mik, dropping only #POL in favour of the shoe chucking #CZE. A mid-table 7/10 from Ann, dropping #LAT, #MON and #POL in favour of #ICE, #IRE and dared to be different #SMR.

Pointless stats include a BPM for the qualifiers in this semi of 99, as opposed to 92 for semi 1. A disappointing lack of capes on show. We say a fond farewell to Mel G, who must surely return as a solo artist in 2016.

So, semi 2. Seven to take an early bath in the underwhelming Donaukanal. Bolded is out, Mik’s full ranking at the bottom. We’re not so much in agreement this time! Check back on Friday for results – plus cape, globe and tree counts.

This semi has five male and seven female solists, plus five duets. Factoring in semi 1 and the seven Golden Ticket holders gives us a grand total of 9 male and 18 female soloists, 5 groups (including one trio) and 8 duets. (According to ESC Insight’s Sam I’ve gone wrong somewhere in the female solists and groups, but heck.)

In terms of tempo, five in this semi are more or less happy, 11 are snoozefests and one is hard to call. Lumping all 40 together gives us 13 moments of joy, 22 depressives and 5 who are still making their mind up. Who said Eurovision doesn’t reflect life?


Ann: Happy happy! Get a room. Warning: three minutes only.

Mik: Please keep it simple and don’t change anything. Such a contagious chemistry between them: great fun on stage. Kissy, kissy!


Ann: Pleasant enough ballad, and ballads go through. Should benefit from everyone feeling happy, but still needs the luck of the Irish.

Mik: A shame, but it does belong to another contest and era. Too introvert, boring & depressing.

San Marino

Ann: 40 songs in one, good effort. Full credit to the entire population of the Republic. Let’s make Valentina smile again!

Mik: Not even good enough for Junior Eurovision or Eurovision 1972. Stay tuned for the female rapping! We expect better from Mr. Eurovision. We want Blue Johnny Blue back.


Ann: Mr Joksimović, this is so cheap you are even ripping yourself off. Namechecking herbs? Please. Sergej and his skater brought something new to the genre, including the first Visit Montenegro vid. Be off, the lot of you. 

Mik: Zjelko-time: he does know what works, but we do have moved on and no Balkan neighbouring votes in this SF. Strong hook though.


Ann: Keep Eurovision Warrior free. One’s more than enough, and this one isn’t scary enough. 

Mik: Safe and boring, just not pleasant and memorable enough. Uninspiring.


Ann: Epic. Musical storytelling at its best, intriguing and interesting. Nordic noir done right. Plus best video: food fight! Shout-out for Mørland’s Magnus Carlsson style baggy crotch.

Mik: Wow: my favourite this year. A precious jewel that will get lots of votes.


Ann: Thanks for coming. Pleasant enough, until the key change. Yikes. 

Mik: Is this contemporary Portugese music? It just doesn’t go anywhere. 2nd Last. Just give US what we want: fado!

Czech Republic

Ann: Extended toilet break. See above. And remember: Beauty never lies

Mik: They know what they are doing. Very convincing and professional, but will it suffer from the duet year? Hit for me.


Ann: Who writes this stuff?

Mik: It just can’t get cheaper and Nadav will never be the next Justin Timberlake. The happy sound could do well among the ballads this year. A guilty pleasure.


Ann: Not for me. Not as good as it thinks it is. 

Mik: Could work well, straight after Israel: there could not be a bigger contrast. Challenging and a bit too difficult but the jury vote will make it possible.


Ann: Aka Sweden, part 1. Another one for clunky key change corner, and some shocking lyrics. Are their entries computer generated?

Mik: I like it: yes it ticks all the Eurovision boxes, but the strong melody does the trick.


Ann: Frozen in a fancy frock. Yuk.

Mik: Contemporary, but really not memorable. Formula with little Girl, great voice and bare feet: not this year.


Ann: Sigh. If Eurovision is meant to be World Idol, so be it, but where’s Simon Cowell? Pleasing twang at the start, but gets dull, fast. More bonkers lyrics.

Mik: Måns and Klabautermann do sell the song, but Avicci won’t be happy with this rip off. Top 3.


Ann: Why isn’t this called Warrior? You are testing my patience now. 

Mik: Boring, uninspiring and straight from a Swiss High School musical. Last.


Ann: Hurra! Sort of hipster Norge, although this wuss tells us what he didn’t do. Beautiful control.

Mik: Lisa had exactly the same song in 2004, but it works for me. He makes the song.


Ann: Second to last, folkens! Classic and classy.  And why has no one ever had an imaginary violin before? Ljubljana is lovely at this time of year.

Mik: Radio friendly and contemporary, though a bit worried about Maria’s stage presence. Mr. Cameraman focus on hubby & fake fiddle player and it will manage top 3.


Ann: There is no place in time and space where this was a good idea. 

Mik: All very sweet, nice and innocent, but the song is just not good enough. There are plenty of ballads to choose from this year and this isn’t the lucky one.

Mik’s fantasy league:

1. Sweden
2. Slovenia
3. Az
4. Norway
5. Cyprus
6. Lithuania
7. Latvia
8. Czech
9. Montenegro
10. Israel

11. Iceland
12. Ireland
13. Poland
14. San Marino
15. Malta
16. Portugal
17. CH

Featured image: Reichsbrücke von oben licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


Eurovision 2015 semi 1: #WeLoveVienna

Update: 8/10, inc #BEL! Huge relief. Of the INs, a full house of wailing women brings the average BPM (beats per minute) rate of qualifiers down to 92, says Statto Sam. Of the OUTs, mildly surprised #MDA didn’t make it.

All very monochrome. Plus points for the orchestra and Mel G in the cake shop (rather than the cape shop) on BBC3.

Grüß Gott! We’re back for Eurovision 2015, giving it the full Vienna.

Ahead of the pack, we dropped in on the Stadthalle in Jänner, catching a surprisingly interesting Holiday on Ice exhibition, mirroring the conditions outside. 2015 being Vienna’s year of the foot, there’s even a Song Contest Walk laid on. Well impressed!

Below are our predictions for semi 1, where for once we are in complete agreement! Six to make a quick return to Vienna’s striking red and black airport. Bolded is out, while you can find Mik’s full ranking at the bottom of the post. Check back on Weds to see how wrong we were.

For the record, we make it three male and hele eight female solists in this semi, plus three groups and two duets. Five vaguely up tempo numbers, eight ballads/downbeat tunes, plus three hard to classify.


Ann: Good opener. More sleaze than Liberty X, but the shock effect should see a Ukrainian make the final. Is the UK voting in this semi?

Mik: Liberty X couldn’t have done it better and very catchy cheeky dance routine. Will make it to the final and do nothing, because it is all a bit too much.


Ann: Not even the diaspora can save this woeful dirge. Apricot stone (2010) a better tribute.

Mik: Messy, unbelievable, bad draw. Diaspora vote won’t work this time. 


Ann: Interpretative dance from the Belgians, again. Should benefit from the running order, but could it be any more pretentious and WTF is he on about?

Mik: Contemporary jury favourite, but a lot can go wrong; after all it’s Belgique.


Ann: Third time unlucky for the Orange People, surely. Starts OK, but what’s with the dress? Addendum: covering up has made the whole thing completely forgettable.

Mik: Starts well and she sings her heart out, but what a repetitive chorus: it just gets on your nerves very quickly. 


Ann: Miss. Needs masks (in a good way).

Mik: Too bizarre, there is a limit to the sympathy vote.


Ann: Tepid moussaka with a twist of James Bond. Saved by the diaspora.

Mik: A classic Disney song and I like it. Though she does have trouble breathing while singing and only barely makes the final high note.


Ann: Slick empty package from two of the most charmless performers, plus one of the most annoying voices, ever to grace the Eurovision stage. Three chords, three words. Underwhelming, and will ultimately under-perform.

Mik: Absolute favourite, but poor chemistry between them could be a major problem on stage, or is it all part of the act?


Ann: Unseasonal but nice, what with all those drums. Is Daniel a looker?  (No.) Addendum: massive staging whoopsie.

Mik: First drumlyric of the evening. It’s ok, but not memorable enough.


Ann: On message! Nice to see Serbia doing (largely) non-ethnic, but a bit tiring, and possibly too bonkers to have broad appeal.

Mik: Shouty fan favourite, but could it be more bombastic? It gets scary, especially part 2 of the song.


Ann: Toilet break. Please donate via the app. Addendum: a breath of style after the madness of Serbia.

Mik: Could do very well, especially after Serbia. Her integrity sells this simple & innocent song.


Ann: Eastern European version of the Netherlands, saved (not) by the running order.

Mik: Doesn’t work, but will get some points from Mother Russia, and nil from all the others.


Ann: What Hungary was trying to do. Makes use of every one of Macedonia’s drums, throwing in a Shiiine! for good measure.

Mik: She has got the whole package, very convincing: first SF winner, but hey sending the same song 3 times in a row?


Ann: More MOR blandness from Denmark. Disinterested HalfBrit from Middelfart should nail it for them. Feels fake, and very long. Spookily reminiscent of Soluna Samay (DK 2012).

Mik: Safe, plain and bleak. Singer seems uncomfortable and it looks like he’s struggling…But in this ballad year its quirkiness sticks out.


Ann: Better than Greece.  What’s with the flappy sleeves?

Mik: Doesn’t work and just gets boring. A shame, though.


Ann: Bonus points for language. Could be this year’s dark horse (2nd to last often used this way) – just run the vid on the back wall. It’s a million times yes from me. Addendum: interesting outfit. Now improved!

Mik: A song with a message and a strong hook, even in Romanian.


Ann: Frankly, who cares? Get over yourself. One for the dads.

Mik: Catchy and contemporary, a good draw helps this song a lot.

Mik’s semifinal score:

1. Russia
2. Estonia
3. Serbia
4. Georgia
5. Romania
6. Greece
7. Hungary
8. DK
9. Belgium

10. Moldova

11. NL
12. Finland
13. Armenia
14. Belarus
15. Fyrom
16. Albania

Postscript: our little world

As you may have heard Austria won Eurovision. A bit like Basim winning DMGP this was kinda inevitable from the start, with the audience miked up in the final to give Conchita 11K backing singers and emphasise the change in the lyrics which had already mobilised ‘the community’ to vote vote vote. We have clearly not yet reached peak beard.

Conchita gave a flawless performance in an X Factor final style TV moment. The other side of this mass euphoria (akin to the furore around Diana’s death) is the booing of a song because you don’t like the politics of its leaders. The arena was a colosseum with a gladiatorial atmosphere, bread and circuses. Rather more tolerance was shown by the televoters of the east, although their juries, with their votes on public display, were more cautious.

To win Eurovision you need a many faceted product and to go out for the win – Austria did this in 2014 just as much as Denmark did in 2013. And in some ways the package was just as unthreatening – compare and contrast with, say, Israel’s entry, which crashed out second last in its semi.

The old fashioned torch song style did zilch for me – it’s not compulsory to like it, even to show how liberal you are – I prefer something a bit more edgy or at least original, in terms of music, but perhaps expecting a quiet moment to capture hearts in the same way was a bit hopeful.

But who – and how many – vote? Will they buy the song, or even remember it a week later? Six songs got over 100 points, with a large cluster behind, and there were huge disparities between the jury votes, who rank 1-26, and the audience, who vote for a favourite/s. There is much analysis to be done, and I have posts to write on the specifically Danish side of the experience – the show, the branding, the use of #some, the legacy…

Once you get out of the bubble though you do start to wonder how big a deal this really is. A little classic from Austria, winner of most claps in the Eurovision Book of Records, to ponder:

The Big Final: #join the competition

This could go down to the wire. Here’s a slideshow of fans and favourites:

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Predictions! Some like to rank the whole thing but I can’t possibly rank 37 songs. Here they are in the running order, with Mik’s ranking in brackets. He’s done a good job : P

1 Ukraine

Ann: an opener for the dads? A poor effort for me. Cheap.

Mik: Good opener, a bit too calculated. (13)

2 Belarus

Ann: don’t have a problem with this, unlike Robin Thicke, but lacks impact

Mik: Cheeky, but boyband doesn’t work. Bad draw. (23)

3 Azerbaijan

Ann: Dilara doesn’t do fur – what’s not to like? Answer: the trapeze in a church gimmick. A show rather than a song.

Mik: Great voice, very nice and impressive staging. (9)

4 Iceland 

Ann: my favourite’s the one in the green. Happy enough to see it make the final. 

Mik: Witty, colourful. Better than you might think. (14)

5 Norway

Ann: despite/because of getting Carl in Matchmaker this makes me want to slit my wrists. Ditch the formation violinists.

Mik: A male Adele. Works for me: very convincing. Lyrics are beautiful. (8)

6 Romania 

Ann: this year’s Elitsa and Stoyan at least made the final. Shoulda done She’s after my piano instead.

Mik: Too much desperate action on stage, which makes it very dated. Would do well in High School Musical. (19)

7 Armenia

Ann: one for the production team – lots of lighting, pyros but not likeable and not enough of a story arc

Mik: Efficient dubstep that makes the song. But too angry in the end. (11)

8 Montenegro

Ann: and exhale…the real deal. Makes full use of the stage, musically interesting. But the dream of Cetinje is over with this draw.

Mik: Sweet, but not memorable enough. Gives a mediocre impression. But Sergeii is good. (16)

9 Poland

Ann: it’s ironic. Isn’t it? Funniest entry of the night. Donatan?

Mik: Clever song and very good gimmick, but tastes differ. Polish version is better than English one. (10)

10 Greece

Ann: who needs a trapeze when you’ve got a trampoline? Great fun.

Mik: Fun, cheeky, memorable hook and jolly trampoline act lifts you up. Could be a massive Summer hit. (2)

11 Austria

Ann: not for me – can’t get past the very dated song

Mik: A song with a message, which appeals to many, but might scare others. (5)

12 Germany

Ann: die Mädels are lovely but Unheilig is missed; seems to run on an endless loop. On as late as possible, but if I were NDR I’d be a bit cross.

Mik: Anonymous, amateurish and just gets boring in the end. A shame: 0 points. (26)

13 Sweden

Ann: does Sanna have a Sanna wig? She sings, the lighting works. Doesn’t rock my world.

Mik: All very safe. Get the  stylist sacked. Very impressive light show, which makes and explains the song. (4)

14 France

Ann: having a larf, oh yeah, but moustaches aren’t enough this year

Mik: Greece Lite, but not as good. Tries too hard. (17)

15 Russia

Ann: more twins, mystifying props; effective if unexciting

Mik: Dull and too clinical. And that paper sun? Why? (18)

16 Italy

Ann: the last of the real women with personalities not taking themselves too seriously, but a mega let-down after the fun vid

Mik: Poor vocals, messy performance. Very disappointing. (22)

17 Slovenia

Ann: surprise qualifier (1); pleasant enough but just goes round in circles

Mik: Very effective and pretty backdrop. But too dizzy. Flute works. But we want Maya Keuc back, next year. (15)

18 Finland

Ann: surprise qualifier (2); Coldplay is bad enough, but Finnish Coldplay? banal

Mik: Fresh boyband, with a stadium rock anthem. Doesn’t come across on telly. (20)

19 Spain

Ann: rousing but shouty; good use of two languages means a better effort from Spain though

Mik: Too much and too shouty. Impressive backdrop. Messy hair: remember an umbrella next time you go out in the rain.  (25)

20 Switzerland

Ann: our favourite Swiss folk musician cum lawyer gives the best show of the night

Mik: Best Swiss entry for years. Douze points for charm. (12)

21 Hungary

Ann:  Just say no. Too in your face however hard it tries to pretend it isn’t really. No to interpretative dance.

Mik: Works on stage. Very good storytelling song, with a memorable ending. (3)

22 Malta

Ann: very Teardrops in a pushing the buttons way, feels fake and churchy

Mik: Likable, yet forgettable. Just too Christian. (24)

23 Denmark

Ann: third time lucky on the banner, but still whiny on high notes and too hectic dancing (“hi-stepping dog do”)

Mik: Are they in Glee?  Home crowd pleaser. Fun, catchy and good live performance.  Maybe it was just too good for Junior Eurovision? (6)

24 The Netherlands

Ann: time for something different; comes over very well on TV, should spring a surprise amid all the noise and could even be a breakout hit

Mik: Classy professional act, with chemistry. It  will go down well in both East & West and get both jury and telelevote. (1)

25 San Marino

Ann: the pearl of the republic – felicitazioni to Valentina and Uncle Ralph, the San Marinese Andrew Lloyd Webber. You can stay home next year – but come back soon! 

Mik: Aguri, San Marino! She has finally made it to the final. Sweet and confident performance. Just not a strong song. (21)

26 United Kingdom

Ann: too many words, too Eurovision, too difficult…Eurovision won’t be coming home.

Mik: Love raspy voice and great track to end the show. Gets loads of help from DR.  Very cheesy Eurotrash lyrics, similar to Love shine a Light, but Power to the People is what makes the song. (7)

Transport, the fan mile revisited and issues of signage

I last walked the fan mile a month ago, checking out the locations for Eurovision related activities. How’s it all looking now?

On the afternoon of the first semi we started at the central station. There’s a discreet sign on the boards near the clock:

at central station - and that's it

And that’s it. No guidance as to which side of the road to take the bus from once you find the stop, nothing on fares and tickets, alternative forms of transport, the tourist office…there is transport information on the Web, but it’s organiser oriented, confusing and ever-changing, plus there’s very little on the street, and what there is may only be på dansk.

Compare and contrast with Malmö 2013:

At the station, as well as information boards there was a desk manned by volunteers offering Eurovision maps and a pocket sized leaflet with details of buses, trains, ticket prices etc. The butterfly branding acted as a consistent identifier for Eurovision locations and transport – and for fun. Oh, those Swedes.

CPH has tasteful #joinus signs in a font I still have problems with fighting a losing battle with posters for the upcoming European elections, no tasteful minimalism there, creating my old favourite, a jarring disconnect:

I may not be able to vote in Scotland’s referendum but at least I can play my part in deciding whether Denmark joins the European Patent Court.

CPH also has this:


Also comes in pink. Easy to miss, unless you are looking at your feet and avoiding all eye contact.

Moving on to the fan mile proper, the banners hang but there’s no music playing and some of them are the ‘wrong’ way round.

2014-05-06 17.07.49

At Eurovision Village the concert area on Nytorv felt very Danish, although to be fair there was no concert on at the time, while there were fewer food trucks on Gammeltorv than on Sunday:

No lion dancers or Hamburgers on Højbro Plads yet, and Malmö’s effort defo a bit token:

2014-05-06 17.46.16

Like the events I’ve been to it all felt rather flat and underwhelming, despite the oodles of hype WoCo pushes out.

Before we hop on the boat, just a thought re the harbour bus service. With the changes, I was wondering if it would still be possible to hop on and off. Here’s the stop at Det sorte Diamant/Royal Library:

2014-05-06 15.21.13

På dansk only. Basically, the harbour bus has been turned into a Eurovision shuttle, tough luck if you wanted to use it to go somewhere else.

Anyway, our boat trip to Eurovision Island went swimmingly both ways. We walked on to canal boats and tried out both sides of Nyhavn, oh yes, a free experience, if a little chilly. (Are the regular harbour buses free? How about the 9A?)

Others weren’t so lucky.  On Monday David from Wiwi Bloggs was still calling transportation an absolute disaster (if anyone is still lost, see our post Transport us to Eurovision Island).  He directed particular ire at signage. At Nyhavn “there are multiple locations along the canal where the harbor bus is supposed to dock, but nothing to tell you which location is where it will be”.

Summing up the Danish approach to signage:

As we said before:

After we arrived back at Nyhavn we sighted host Pilou getting into a taxi at Kongens Nytorv – he stopped to congratulate some Icelandic fans, who commented that he looked familiar.

The metro and train home were rammed with Justin Timberlake fans coming back from the concert at 2001 Eurovision venue Parken. Just one more jarring disconnect.

2014-05-07 00.05.35

Semi 2: #joinus, the world

Update, 9 May: 7/10 for me and Stine & Lasse, who #joinedus for semi 2, 8/10 for Mik. Biggest surprises Finland and Slovenia, while Ann had FYROM/Tijana in place of Poland. Gonna miss her and Vilja, real women with personalities not taking themselves too seriously. Making up the 10 Austria, Belarus, Greece, Malta, Norway, Romania and, obvs, Switzerland.

Back on Saturday with our predictions for the final. Hint: Eurovision’s coming home…

Below are our predictions for semi 2, with a full ranking again from Mik. This time only five go – how hard can it be? Bolded is out. Check back on Friday.

Tonight’s theme is #joinus, the world. No, me neither. We’re doing this one from the sofa, tweeting at @annonescdk.


Ann: this year’s Teardrops, calibrated for the win. The dulcimer makes a welcome return to Eurovision.

Mik: Perfect jolly opener from the Maltese Von Trapps. Sibling connection does the job with this harmless fun song. (2)


Ann: Mei may have dropped her big pants but still needs some backings walking in a line. “And now it’s time for me to clean up your mess”? Just no.

Mik: Spot on! In control. Don’t have to clean up her mess. Sexy! Only maybe: too aggressive and shouty. (6)


Ann: despite/because of getting Carl in Matchmaker this makes me want to slit my wrists. Ditch the formation violinists.

Mik: Very silent, yet intimate. You understand and believe the message, and more importantly this goes for both jury and televote. (3)


Ann: guilty pleasure. Not sure if I’ve listened to it all the way through, mind.

Mik: Hippie heaven. Will do better than any Eurofan thinks. (12)


Ann: it’s ironic. Isn’t it?

Mik: Babushky polski! Cheeky and catchy: is it too much? Borderline, but you have to love the local flavour. (4)


Ann: Pollapönk pre-empted this on the red carpet (which is one reason why they went through).

Mik: Overrated, dated and tries far too hard. Gay vote is in da house, but too bizarre for the rest. (5)


Ann: love it, love Vilja. Original, creative, catchy. Best result since LT United (them again)?

Mik: Fresh, likeable and the 1 you remember, despite the shouting and repetitive chorus. Nice contemporary dance routine. Diaspora vote? (10)


Ann: this is from Finland? Gosh. Nul pointer.

Mik: Coldplay from Suomi but lacks Chris Martin’s charisma. Great stadium track. (11)


Ann: now this really is the nul pointer. At least she’s had her nails done. 

Mik: Insecure performance with poor vocals, poor song and those riverdancers in kilts go back home. Definite nul pointer.  (15)


Ann: don’t have a problem with this, unlike Robin Thicke

Mik: Great fun and Teo is convincing. Brings a smile to your face. (7)


Ann: Go Tijana! Women will like. Not quite the full package, but deserves it, darlings.

Mik: Superstar-diva but too static, doesn’t take me to the sky. Kati Wolf had a better song and did not do well. (13)


Ann: picked this one out from the start, folk musician, Eurovision participant, lawyer…go Sebalter!

Mik: Surprise! Warm, hearty, charming and most of all genuine. You want him to do well! (8)


Ann: who needs a trapeze when you’ve got a trampoline? Great fun.

Mik: All rise to this very catchy contemporary chart friendly poppy song. (1)


Ann: still needs to sort out her look; pleasant but doesn’t really go anywhere

Mik: Comes across as dull, grey and boring. A shame but will get a few jury votes. (14)


Ann: what’s Ovi for? I really don’t think he sees it. Shoulda done She’s after my piano instead.

Mik: Plastic Up with People, very manufactured. Will qualify, but won’t get anywhere, once there. (9)

Semi 1: #joinus in Denmark

Update, 7 May: 7/10 for both of us. Neither of us predicted San Marino or Iceland, although we’re more than happy to see both #joiningus. Mik dropped Montenegro, while Ann dropped Ukraine. Making up the 10: Hungary, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Sweden and yay! The Netherlands.

The semi was not sold out so we were able to move forward and had a bird’s eye view of the green room for some sweet Montenegro moments. You can also see us arriving on @drgrandprix’s timelapse, at around 24 secs:

Back on Thursday with more predictions.

We’re off to semi 1 this evening, sitting in Olsen as a tribute to the snubbed Jørgen and Noller. From Twitter and the bloggage it’s pretty easy to work out how the show will pan out, but we’ll cover that elsewhere.

The public areas have been done in the nick of time, and maybe don’t quite live up to the pre-show hype:

A big round of applause herfra for the creative use of shipping containers, which we’ve been anticipating for months, not so much for the less than subtle branding for Host City partners REDA. Danes on Facebook noted a lack of twin touchstones hygge and Danish design, plus someone commented that it looked like it had been thrown together in a couple of hours…

What about the music? Below are our predictions for semi 1, with a full ranking from ordensmenneske Mik. It’s tricky, because after you’ve heard the songs more than three times you have a love/hate relationship with them all and can’t decide if you like them or not, but we need to lose six of these lovelies. Bolded is out. Check back on Weds to see how wrong we were.


Ann: a class act but not likeable and not enough of a story arc for the big win

Mik: Intriguing 3 minutes. If he catches the camera right and doesn’t look too stressed or serious this goes straight to the final. (1)


Ann: charming tipping over into annoying, maybe rein Jöran in a tad to go through

Mik: Recipe for hyggelig amateurism, convincing though. And a very good draw, makes a nice contrast to Aram Superstar and his serious business. (7)


Ann: the most complete show of the night, entertaining without resorting to gimmicks

Mik: Contemporary catchy dance and singing class. (4)


Ann: manufactured and clinical; those ornamental flourishes grate but soars to a climax

Mik: Professional plastic sing-a-long, straight from IKEA. It will give you goosebumps. (2)


Ann: trying too hard. LT United without the xtra factor (who was your favourite?)

Mik: LT United light, but we can’t all be Winners. And it has been 8 years. (14)


Ann: trying too hard (2), but lovely voice

Mik: Little girl with great voice, but uninspired & whining song with poor Albanese English lyrics. (15)


Ann: best use of twins, best use of mystifying props; effective if unexciting

Mik: Cutesy twin girls will do the trick, with their charming, though very calculated act on stage. (8)


Ann: Dilara doesn’t do fur – what’s not to like? Answer: the trapeze in a church gimmick.

Mik: Impressive stage show helps this classic jury jewel. Very convincing. (3)


Ann: ticked off – a poor effort, first ever NQ for Ukraine?

Mik: Gets on your nerves, but Crimea crisis will give this contemporary trash some sympathy vote. (10)


Ruslana shows her appreciation at the Belgian national final

Ann: should be safe enough, as long as pple remember it’s a song contest, with added interpretive dance UPDATE: Out; might have made it with a Ruslana hologram

Mik: Belgique’s got talent goes Eurovision, but the sentimental old fashioned style won’t make you pick up your iphone. (12)


Ann: a slight led down from my fave country – borderline, needs more Pasha, plus Aliona’s smile

Mik: Fascinating and Barbu-esque. Maybe too shouty for some, but it sticks to you. And we all love her accent. (9)

San Marino

Ann: a pearl in a shell, a diamond in the rough…too many metaphors. Ave atque vale – and arrivederci! 

Mik: There is no pearl in the shell: Old fashioned boring Siegel trademark. (16)


Ann: it’s Beautiful Song without Anmary, no #suzyshake here

Mik: Suzy-shake flying the flag for Portugal, but without charm, sparkle or cheekyness. All that’s left are her very poor vocals, but Martha does a good job! (13)

The Netherlands

Ann: unexciting but does enough for now

Mik: This years dark horse: real musicians, real emotions, real chemistry between them and it looks very good on TV. The jury will love this! (5)


Ann: no Zjelko ripoff – this is the real deal musically. Despite Skating Dolly goosebumps city – see you in Cetinje!

Mik: Now we understand why Montenegro once joined the Serbian Republic. Zjelko has inspired many in a good way, but he wouldn’t approve of the roller skating. Might just miss out. (11)


Ann:  I have nothing to say. MTV fodder.

Mik: Contemporary catchy believable song with a message and a hunky Hungarian. (6)