Sunday, May 19, 2013

Eurovision 2013 : Semi Final 2

We're rejoining the Euro-stravaganza at the Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden for Semi Final 2 of Eurovision 2013. Semi Final 1 was regarded as fairly lacklustre across the board (despite featuring a few of the favourites for the title), so now it's time to see if the second half of qualifying picks up the slack. Spoilers: it sure does. Even though the ESC has been a bit 'meh' up to this point, we can't fault Sweden's showmanship with their production of the event. Let's have a look at the opening scene from night 2 (though you can stop watching after about 4 and a half minutes).

Brilliant. Nicely done Sweden. Join me below the cut to check out some of the highlights for Semi Final 2. I had a hard time cutting the field down, so there's a few to get through.

1. Latvia

So THIS is how you start a Eurovision final. Not with a flaccid ballad, but with a pair of ADD Latvians trying to give Jedward a run for their money in the 'so enthusiastic it's borderline annoying' stakes. These guys were pretty terrible, but after the first final their spangly outfits, awful dancing and keytar-toting backup musicians were just what the doctor ordered. Ahhhh.

4. Azerbaijan

What? What's that? A backup dancer that actually contributes to the narrative of the song and doesn't just flail around in the background in a distracting fashion? NO! Get out of Eurovision. Your kind isn't welcome here. No, but really, this was fantastic. Extremely athletic performance from the 'alter ego' character in the box.

5. Finland

I had most of my writeup done in my head by about the 3/4 mark of this song, but then there was a twist at the end that made all of it redundant. I am totally happy to have been made redundant, and it's been a hell of a lot of fun reading the YouTube comments on this one. People get FIRED UP!

9. Greece

This would be bordering on being my favourite of the night (in a tight race with Azerbaijan and Georgia. And maybe Romania. I loved a lot of them). A song infusing ska with traditional Greek sounds, you can't deny that it has a hell of a lot of personality. It's called 'Alcohol is Free' which I guess is a good thing given that at the moment Greece is probably having to make it's own moonshine. Wouldn't be surprised if these guys were busking outside afterwards for a couple of Euros for the bus ride home. Poor Greece.

14. Albania

Albania bought the ROCK to Eurovision this year, and frankly it's a miracle they didn't leave the stage with third degree burns, what with all the pyrotechnic business going on. And speaking of pyrotechnics...they would seem to be the difference between a guitar solo and a GUITAR SOLO. This song definitely contains a GUITAR SOLO. I think I grew chest hair after watching this, which is just so awkward.

15. Georgia

In 2011 we had Eldar & Nikki from Azerbaijan, in 2012 we had Jonsi & Greta from Iceland, and in 2013 the massive boy/girl duet comes to us from our Georgian entries, Nodi and Sophie. I loved this, just as I loved the other two duets, but then I found out it was written by the same guy who wrote Euphoria for Loreen. I was getting excited over Euphoria without even knowing it! Man, how good was Euphoria... But anyway, I hope Georgia do well.

17. Romania

Now, when I say I admire this guy, I don't mean that in a condescending way at all. Like, I'm sure that's his normal singing voice, and he's used to singing in that pitch, but holy CRAP. Thank goodness he didn't have a second key change in that song, he would have shattered all the windows in the arena. An absolutely brilliant pop-opera vampire/magician with a dubstep breakdown in the middle of his song was the perfect way to finish up Semi Final 2.

So here we are at the end of the second Semi Final. The quality overall was so much better than the first and even more importantly, it was so much more FUN. I could have quite easily put all 17 acts in this wrapup, but I cut a few who we'll be seeing in tomorrow's Final post, like Armenia, Iceland and Malta. Joining those three in the final will be Azerbaijan, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Georgia & Romania.

The final was on last night in Europe, but isn't on TV til tonight here and as a result I've been avoiding spoilers like the plague. Well, I did see one spoiler regarding the final ranking of Greece, but that's no big deal. If I had to make a prediction, I guess I'd say Denmark might win it, because whoever was tipping the favourites last year got it very right. I'd put Russia top 5 for sure, with Georgia, Moldova, Norway & Azerbaijan somewhere in the Top 10.

Join me tomorrow for the final exciting* instalment of Eurovision 2013 when we'll find out where our favourites ranked, and which country is going home with the coveted title.

*excitement not guaranteed

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED GREECE. there's some doods you'd want to be drinking with. though I guess you'd be buying.