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Eurovision 2016 Semi Final 2

  • Updated 2016/05/13 with pictures from the Neuros OSD recording, typo corrections, and some rewording of idiotic phrases such as using the word "performance" three times in one sentence - duh.

So I have my American Burger pizza folded in half Calzone style and a cup of tea. That can only mean one thing. It's time for the second Eurovision semi final.

Apparently we have a naked man and a wolf. Well, it wouldn't be Eurovision if it was normal. This is the semi final that the UK can vote on. Let's hope there are worthy performances.
Scott suggests that this is apparently the toughest semi final ever. There are some strong performances from the first semi final to worry about as well.

Petra and Mans come out on stage right away. Well, he couldn't exactly sing his winning song again, given he'll probably need to sing it on Saturday.

Now a musical number to explain to the new viewers (especially Australia who are competing, the United States and China who are watching live) exactly what Eurovision is - of course one thing we can count on Petra for is to mock the whole thing relentlessly - for what is in danger of being the best song of the night. Brilliant opening.

 

1 Latvia "Heartbeat"

Camp techno emo ballad? I'm not keen on this song, but you can't deny he is giving it his all. Oh look, yet more leather. It must be this year's fashion statement.

2 Poland "Colour Of Your Life"

I'm sorry. Please go find a video of this on YouTube. This leaves me speechless, both the off key singing belted out by a long haired guy dressed like Michael Jackson. The English that I can understand (which is not so much) is extremely bizarre. I foresee this coming last.

3 Switzerland "The Last Of Our Kind"

The bizarre ideas keep on coming. This blue haired (!) girl has a smoking dress. It sounds like an interesting song, but her voice isn't powerful enough to do the song justice. Just try to imagine this song by somebody like Floor Jansen.

4 Israel "Made Of Stars"

A solid performance for Israel's entry, a man whose fashion sense would seem to be inspired by The Cure (or any other favourite creepy eighties band (though they're actually still going!)). This failing to qualify would be an injustice.

5 Belarus "Help You Fly"

The video wall used to effect to bring other people on stage, sort of. I guess the six people rule must have been relaxed, especially given that it begins with the lead singer butt naked singing to a wolf. On the video screen thankfully. The visuals are extremely good, the song somewhat less so. That long held note towards the end was a bit painful. Maybe he should have asked the wolf to sing instead?

Advert break on lesser channels

Now a cut out for Mel to talk to the Dutch performer and fail to maintain a 10 second silence.

6 Serbia "Goodbye (Shelter)"

Serbia, who can often be relied to sing in Serbian....is singing in English. The young Morticia Addams dressed in - you guessed it - black and black leather and more tassels than you could ever count - belts out a Bond theme song. A pretty solid presentation.

7 Ireland "Sunlight"

Black leather and tan leather. Seriously? The former member of Westlife (remember them?) does a reasonable performance of a rather meh song. Or, you can take the boy out of the boyband, but you can't take the boyband out of the boy.

8 FYR Macedonia "Dona"

The first song of the night in a native language, and you can tell right off that she's going to handle the vocals, and there she goes straight into a somewhat scary Molitva-inspired song to make us forget the previous performance. The screech at the end was a bit strange, but then I remember Maja Blagdan's "Sveta Llubav" (Croatia, '96). Maybe it's a(n ex-)Yugoslav thing?

9 Lithuania "I've Been Waiting For This Night"

An energetic pop number with an acrobatic clothing change. Okay.

10 Australia "Sound of Silence"

Yup, the performer from the other side of the planet puts in an unexpectedly strong performance. And credit to her for wearing something that is neither black nor leather, it looks like a wedding dress with oh so many sequins.
The chorus is a bit repetitive, but I'd struggle to see this not placing in the top ten. I'm just sad that I missed the very beginning of the song (heavy rain right now). Still, it was only about fifteen seconds and I will be able to get it from YouTube.
Why Australia? They were invited to take part in the 60th song contest as there are many fans in the country (the contest begins in 5am in Canberra, or 3am in Perth), and it was so popular they're back again. Well, Israel isn't Europe either, remember... Stop complaining, it's one of the best songs of the night.

11 Slovenia "Blue And Red"

A perky song performed by Slovenia's answer to Taylor Swift. The only thing dodgier than the lyrics is her dress, or the guy swinging on the rotating pole. Too much yodelling, I think.

12 Bulgaria "If Love Was A Crime"

Black, leather (sort of), black lipstick. Right. An energetic performance of a song that failed to make an impact.

13 Denmark "Soldiers of Love"

A boy band performance that doesn't set the emotions going, but these guys have way more charisma than...uh...remind me, who's singing for the UK? Jake and... the other guy. Mel called this "Eye Scandi".

Advert break on lesser channels

Petra is in the green room. Guess what, it is black. Ha ha.

14 Ukraine "1944"

Apparently they spent €20,000 on the lighting.
Okay, wow. A darker than black opening sung by a possessed zombie. I think we can breathe a sigh of relief when she switches to a native language so we don't get to hear the depressing lyrics. And back to English for thinking of God as everyone dies, or some happy uplifting nonsense like that. It's a pretty hardcore performance, but I'm not sure I'd want to inflict this on myself twice. Seriously - rope or gas?
The date should be a give-away, it's when there was a mass deportation of the Tatars by Stalin. It obviously sucks to be a Ukrainian at the hands of Russians, so I can't but think this is a subtle screw you to Russia and their current...situation in Crimea.

15 Norway "Icebreaker"

This is quite a nice song. I like the tempo change for the chorus. It's like two songs for the price of one, though the result was a bit of a mess. And let's leave it to a Scandinavian country to teach us the frozen water is ice. See? Eurovision can be educational.

16 Georgia "Midnight Gold"

Noisy and headache inducing visuals. I know the BBC have to give flashing imagery warnings, but they sure weren't kidding with this godawful mess that actually hurt to watch. It's like a dodgy clone of a White Stripes video set to an Aphix Twin song. Wow. Just... Wow. I suspect this'll be fighting to snatch last place all for itself.

17 Albania "Fairytale"

Credit for not being in black, but it's a somewhat waily power ballad. Next.

18 Belgium "What's The Pressure"

White and Silver for something that resembles an early Minogue song, probably helped by the singer having a resemblance as well. Perky, poppy, upbeat. A nice way to end to performances.

 

Okay, as I said, that was the end of singing. Which means that we'll probably go to something cringe-inducing for the BBC broadcast only.

My picks

  • 1 Norway - ice is frozen water, whodathunkit?
  • 2 Ireland - the boy band becomes one
  • 3 FYR Mac - dona dona dona dona dona dona
  • 4 Slovenia - the yodelling song
  • 5 Lithuania - a better boy effort than the ex boy band boy
  • 6 Switzerland - the blue hair and smoking dress
  • 7 Israel - The Cure in Eurovision?
  • 8 Serbia - ass kicking power ballad.
  • 10 Belgium - pure unashamed pop
  • 12 Australia - my favourite of the night

Interval act (for everybody else)

Mel and Scott are performing a comedy Scandinavian detective drama. It co-stars Jon Ola Sand, the EBU votes guy, who has lost his headphones. Well, it was better than the tour guide nonsense from Tuesday.
A quick chat with the Spanish performer who doesn't think that it is fair that one of The Big Five gets to auto-qualify instead of competing with the others (stir! stir!).

Preview

Now we can see the entrants from Germany, Italy, and the UK.
  • Wow, Germany is entering a real life Santoro Gorjuss girl.
  • Italy sounds like she's trying to be Austria, but give her credit for singing in Italian, mostly.
  • The UK duo seem to have more charisma on-stage then during their interview on Tuesday.

The qualifiers

Well, here we go. The winners, in random order as always:
  • Latvia - wow
  • Georgia - what the hell?
  • Australia - of course
  • Ukraine - oh no, well, I know when I can go put the kettle on...
  • Serbia - the Bond theme
  • Poland - wow, what? really?
  • Israel - not a surprise
  • Lithuania - the single boyband boy
  • Belgium - not a surprise

Okay, unlike Tuesday, this round of voting was more surprising. Some of the obviously good songs (Australia, Belgium, Serbia, Israel) got through. They were met with equal amounts of "what the hell Europe?" voting. Latvia, Poland, Georgia - it's like the EBU got confused and mixed up the winners with the nul pwah results.

Everybody is going to be talking about Ireland not qualifying. I think people have a sort of stereotypical idea of Irish music (look at their previous wins), and Nicky Byrne just wasn't that.

Let's now talk about the black. What is this? Black suits. Black dresses. Black leather. Even black lipstick. Good grief. We should award one extra point to every performer wearing something that isn't black; and two points if it is actually a recognisable colour.

Finally, as good as Australia was, there's a rather unsettling possibility that the best song of the night was the first one. You know, the musical number performed by the hosts. Guys - you're in Sweden - the country that everybody thinks of when they think of Eurovision, the country whose Eurovision act went on to conquer the world and define an era of europop. EXPECT to by upstaged by the hosts. Actually, EXPECT to be utterly trounced by the hosts.

That's all. See you on Saturday for the big whoopee.

 

 

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