Posted by: John | May 10, 2011

Eurovision 2011 semi-final one

On at 8pm BBC Three on 10th May – this is where 19 songs are dwindled down to 10 to go forward to the final.

Already there have been technical rehearsals and three dress rehearsals. For a list of other eurovision blogs click here

For more information from bloggers that are there click here and there are even podcasts .

For what it’s worth here is my analysis and predictions:

1. Poland – `Jestem` by Magdalena Tul. A good opener and one of the best Polish entries for some time. It’s a mid-tempo dance ballad that has earnt respect from the fans. Her campaign is gathering momentum from a shaky start. Qualification rating: 5

2. Norway – `Haba Haba` by Stella Mwangi. Another strong entry that has won plaudits from those at the hall watching the rehearsals. It’s a kind of nursery rhyme children’s pop song with an African feel that utilises Stella’s Swahili roots. Qualification rating: 6

3. Albania – `Feel the passion` by Aurela Gace. Although she has her acolytes I find this song over-done and over here and well, a bit screechy. The performance is said to be strong yet I can’t help wonder that the competition is too strong. Qualification rating: 4

4. Armenia – `Boom Boom` by Emmy. Her campaign is a bit of a disaster to be frank as is the song which is doris day on heat (`perhaps, perhaps, perhaps` in a faster key mixed with a catchy poor man’s shakira like chorus with the gimmicky throw away chorus of  `boom boom shaka laka`). Most find it hideous except the Armenian diaspora who might put it over the top. Qualification rating: 5

5. Turkey – `Live it up` by Yukset Sadakat – a good slice of Turkish dad-rock that rolls along at a steady pace. Turkey always qualify and there’s nothing to suggest that this bit of quality entertainment from a very experienced band won’t do similar. Qualification rating: 10

6. Serbia – `Caroban` by Nina. This is 60s retro pastiche and Nina does it expertly. Not my cup of tea but I lift my Subara to her. Qualification rating: 9

7. Russia – `Get you` by Alexej Vorobjov – over-rated in my opinion although if you’re looking for porn star good looks totty Alexej is your man! It’ll get through though because it’s Russia though it’s not as competitive as the others. Qualification rating: 10

8. Switzerland – `In love for a while` by Anna Rossinelli. Anna stands and sings her song advertising toothpaste/mobile phones/tampons (delete as applicable) a song as catchy as the flu. I guarantee this will worm itself into your brain. ITV advertising dept are probably there with their contract for the song. Anyway, it’s a creditable ballad – what’s wrong with that? Qualification rating: 8

9. Georgia – `One more day` by Eldrine. Now we come to the college indie band to a song that could be performed at one of those `buy one drink get one free` nights on a Wednesday night. Georgia have had a great campaign and perform this very well. Qualification rating: 6

10. Finland – `Da da dum` by Paradise Oskar. Paradise (not his real name) is a very serious young man strumming his guitar like a sixth form student doing his environment degree. It’s really quite infectious and all reports suggest it is very well staged. The lyrics are rather twee and naive though. Qualification rating: 8

11. Malta – `one life` by Glen Vella. Very standard average pop fayre from this `disco dolly` (say no more) and in my opinion outshone by many others. He’s a real party animal though and is having a good time. Qualification rating :4

12. San Marino – `Stand by` by Senit. This is a quality mid-tempo ballad from a well-known Italian singer. It’s said to be doing well in the hall and has a lot of respect. Will it have enough respect from the televoters? Qualification rating: 5

13. Croatia – `Celebrate` by Daria. Rooted in the old 80s mid-tempo hi-nrg of Modern Romance` this is perfectly pleasant though apparently over-busy on stage. Not good write-up and I fear it will be over-shadowed by better songs. Qualification rating: 4

14. Iceland `Coming home` by Sjonni’s Friends. Some Icelandic oom-pah music (the lead singer has an uncanny resemblance to Nick Griffin – anything to tell us Nick?) this should do well and they are performing it well. It’s toe-tapping stuff and will pick up votes. Qualification rating: 6

15. Hungary `What about my dreams?` by Kati Wolf. This is the Gay disco diva entry for this year. A fabulous tune that gives a backward nod to Celine (dion) while progressing the genre without falling off a cliff. It uses a Hungarian production sound and will definitely qualify. Qualification rating: 10

16. Portugal `Homens da luta` by Luta de Alegria. A traditional group that deal in left-wing protest songs. They’re lively on stage and bring a sense of fun to the proceedings. Unfortunately it’s doubtful whether they’ll be partying on Saturday at the grand final as well. Qualification rating: 4

17. Lithuania `C’est ma vie` by Evelina Sašenko. Most people don’t like this song and you’ll see why. It’s like a throw-back to the 70s without the charm. It’s like listening to the aural equivalent of a sunken sickly sweet blancmange. She’s not having a good time of it in Dusseldorf either. Qualification rating: 0/10.

18. Azerbaijan `Running scared` by Ell/Nikki. This couldn’t be  more different. Up to the second contemporary pop – think coldplay, cocteau twins with a dash of smashing pumpkins. Dead cool – Azerbaijan really want to win and they could with this. Qualification rating: 10/10

19. Greece `Watch my dance!` by Loukas Giorkas and Stereo Mike. A fusion of rap/bouzouki and Indie with a nod to the middle east. In my view one of the most under-rated songs of the contest and their campaign is just getting stronger. All the people on the ground think this is going through. Qualification rating:  10.

So there you have it. Have a lovely semi (ooh, matron!)


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