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: