Thursday, May 22, 2008

Eurovision 2008 2nd Semi-Final prep

Same deal as Tuesday. One hour to watch all the eurovision 2nd Semi-Final Songs on youtube (2nd dress rehearsal fan videos) and comment. If it sucks we skip it to save time. Them's the breaks!

Let's go!

01 Iceland
This Is My Life

It may be the greatest song of the bunch, but still if it doesn't have any razzle dazzle, or any touching performance, or any fantastic presence on stage, or even some inspired costumes to stand out... Well, Iceland doesn't have any of that (Boy and girl, clad in black singing to each other? that took a lot of brain-storming), but it's not even a mildly good song, so why are we still talking about it. Dear God SKIP to the next!

02 Sweden
Charlotte Perrelli

Hero? Pe(t)relli? LOL. Subtle... I'd already forgotten the song by the end of the clip. She'll likely pass to the finals due to the sexy-legs/sparkle combo (although if that was their angle, why include the gay boys in the final five formation? All-pretty-girl Squad would have made them a certain pass.

03 Turkey
Mor ve Ötesi

It's great to sing in your own language, but you gotta give the audience something to enjoy music-wise or stage-wise if we're gonna stand there for 3 muinutes and gawk at a garage rock band sing in Turkish. SKIP.

04 Ukraine
Ani Lorak
Shady Lady

Wow. A sure win tonight. A drunk-off-her-ass Ukrainian SWF staggers on stage keeps bumping with her back onto a callboy shopping window display. When she realises they're all probably gay anyway, she climbs on the top and jumps off. Or at least that's what I got from it... Sexy lady, legs, shoulders n boobs shake, lots of sparkly stage tricks... I'm digging the one-sided mirror/light closet showcase. Have the Ukrainians been going through the same laundry-list of Eurovision musts as the Greeks?

05 Lithuania
Jeronimas Milius
Nomads In The Night

This isn't Broadway and Lloyd Weber isn't directing... Can we get one of those 'yank of the stage' curved sticks to pull him off? It's a David Copperfield performance without any of the magic. As for the wardrobe... well, are bulges the new cleavage this year?

06 Albania
Olta Boka
Zemrën E Lamë Peng

Just copy-paste the Turkish critique here from #3. Nice outfit though, shame you do need to show flesh to make it through in this competition. SKIP

07 Switzerland
Paolo Meneguzzi
Era Stupendo

All over the place. The crazy hair harpies may have worked well if they could manage to coordinate. The song is once more bland and repetitive. What's wrong this year? Is everyone cooking from recipes?

08 Czech Republic
Tereza Kerndlová
Have Some Fun

Another sure-fire mass-appeal win tonight. Myself, I got bored of it by the third verse. Classic Girl-band set-up (3 λαλούν κ 2 χορεύουν), stage-farting Britney-style, and generic black DJ dude in silver. Yawn. Still: legs legs legs is the road to success.

09 Belarus
Ruslan Alehno
Hasta La Vista

Wow, even sparkle needs moderation, this routine should come with an epileptic shock warning. As for the song... ''Hasta La Vista, baby"? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!? SKIP

10 Latvia
Pirates Of The Sea
Wolves Of The Sea

It's the gay pirates. UGH. I'm sure they will make it to the final, but I'd rather walk the plank than listen to it ever again. Piracy kills music. SKIP

11 Croatia
Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents

75-cents? Is that 50-cent's rich great-uncle? Although I didn't get a word of it, I could still feel the weight and texture of a love story being told (I hope i'm right and it's not a drinking song or something). Grampa was endearing, the music was a pleasant departure from the rest of the entries so far and the girl in her red-wine dress set the mood. A mesmerizing performance, and
definitely a favourite.

12 Bulgaria
Deep Zone & Balthazar
DJ, Take Me Away

WTF. Marie Antoinette vs Run DMC. The loser is the audience. The two disparate music threads do eventually merge well together, but too little too late. I won't even comment on the Moulin Rouge knock-off, had enough with the Aguilerra impersonator on Tuesday. EDIT: You know what, I take everything back. The yreally pulled it off on the night, and it clicked like a raving devil DJ on burning decks. oh hey:

13 Denmark
Simon Mathew
All Night Long

That boy totally owns the stage, confident and boastful like a peacock. Weird, as I don't see what he's got to be proud of, with a shit song and forgettable lyrics. He definitely sells his crap for gold though. Passable

14 Georgia
Diana Gurtskaya
Peace Will Come

One of the most memorable songs of the night. The lead singer is blind (something I didn't catch in the youtube previews and made an ass of myself) but has a beautiful, loud and strong voice to balance out her stage performance. The change from black to white with the passing of the sheet is the most striking and impressive stage trick of the night, and definitely shoots this entry straight TO THE TOP

15 Hungary

A power-ballad in the vein of Eurovision darling Celine Dion. The mood, the setting, the voices and of course the (surprise) candlelit scenery all work in Hungary's favour. Admirable, but I really hope something different wins. I couldn't survive a balla-ddominated Eurovision 2009.

16 Malta

A 3-minute Absolut ad. They've really gone all-out to ensure the Russian vote, haven't they? It's got a lot of verve and nerve, a powerful beat, I could easily see it in the finals, but that's it. Passable.

17 Cyprus
Evdokia Kadi
Femme Fatale

Applause! It's the Greek in me talking, surely, but I thoroughly enjoyed this performance. A shout-out to an older classic generation of Greek/Cypriot song-writing and performing, full of theatricality, sensuality and-well- table top dancing and Greek kefi. All filtered through a Eurovision lens, with costume changes, unfolding trick-tables and this year's must-motif of ladies using their partners as step ladders... Hopefully the Greek lyrics won't prove too much of an obstacle for the best-choreographed performance of the night to make it to the finals.

18 F.Y.R. Macedonia
Tamara, Vrčak & Adrijan
Let Me Love You

R&B dancers in yodelling short pants, suspenders and knee-high socks... Just when I thought black&white was a disaster-free colour scheme choice for Eurovision, you have to go prove me wrong Fyrom... The song is pop and mildly catchy, but ultimately annoying as an ensemble.

19 Portugal
Vânia Fernandes
Senhora Do Mar (Negras Águas)

The leaked videos don't show the actual dress rehearsal, but I doubt there's enough miles of fabric in the world to sex up the short stubby Vania. Still, it's that rare exception where the looks and choreographies don't matter when you've got a beautiful song, and a booming melodic voice that send shrills up your spine. Close your eyes (really, you won't miss nothing on the stage) and imagine the waves hitting on the shores. I'd love to see this song win the contest this year, although unlikely through this sea of sex lolitas.

As for the final tally:

1. Portugal
2. Cyprus
3. Croatia
4. Georgia
5. Ukraine

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