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Eurovision Analysis - Semi 1

Posted on 2011.05.17 at 11:04
Current Music: Nightwish - Feel For You | Powered by Last.fm
A bit late, but we knew it was coming:

1. Magdalena Tul - "Jestem" (Poland)
This was a remarkably average performance of a remarkably average song. I felt that Magdalena's vocals were a bit muffled, and she never really seemed too keen to be there. Krista also pointed out that she'd apparently forgotten a skirt or pants. Never in the hunt, and not surprising that it wasn't.
Magdalena finished 19th with 18 points.

2. Stella Mwangi - "Haba Haba" (Norway)
It appears that there were some technical issues with broadcasting this in some parts of Europe, which seems to happen to one song every year and always causes people to suggest it'll be re-presented. It never is. The song itself is still rather thin on the ground, but Stella did the best she could with it, even though she isn't really a singer per se. Despite constantly wanting to sing "Hakuna Matata" whenever I thought about it, I was surprised not to see this one qualify.
Stella finished 17th with 30 points.

3. Aurela Gace - "Feel The Passion" (Albania)
This was a real surprise package. The Albanian songs usually sound better on CD than the stage, but Aurela nailed it to the wall and really delivered a stunning performance. She's got a terrific voice and the presentation was incredible. If anything, it may have been a bit over the top, which may explain her failure to qualify. This was one of my "What the?" moments when I realised she wasn't through to the final.
Aurela finished 14th with 47 points.

4. Emmy - "Boom-Boom" (Armenia)
The commentators claimed that she was better in the rehearsal than the semi-final, but I really felt she gave this all she was worth, especially considering that it was the kind of song which had to be sold well as the lyrics were mindless. The boxing theme was an interesting idea, particularly the "boxing ring" the dancers set up near the end. As with Albania, this was something I was expecting to see again after the semi performance.
Emmy finished 12th with 54 points.

5. Yüksek Sadakat - "Live It Up" (Turkey)
The performance here was very assured, although I still don't understand the contortionist-who-becomes-a-phoenix bit, which is probably to be expected from one of Turkey's bigger bands. Overall, though, the effect was more of a song you could play on your car radio when you're driving around, rather than a song which was going to win Eurovision. Had some of the bigger names faltered, this would've been a more impressive showing than it was. As it was, Turkey ended up with a rather uncharacteristically bad finish.
Yüksek Sadakat finished 13th with 47 points.

6. Nina - "Caroban" (Serbia)
This was really one of the best offerings of the night, and Nina sold it perfectly. The 70s-inspired song and presentation was perfect, and her backing vocalists nailed the dance moves as well. It was impossible not to smile at this, and the qualification was hardly a surprise. What might have been a surprise, though, was how low it finished.
Nina finished 8th with 67 points.

7. Alex Sparrow - "Get You" (Russia)
Quite why New Kids On The Block had re-formed and represented Russia was beyond me for a while, as this was precisely what I thought was going on. Admittedly, had this song been representing anyone else, I might've liked it a bit more, as it was quite catchy and superbly well-performed. The two profound negatives for me were the "dance-bow" at the end and the constant shrieks of "come on" throughout. Still, the best dance act of the night without a doubt.
Alex finished 9th with 64 points.

8. Anna Rossinelli - "In Love For A While" (Switzerland)
This was a real grower for me, with Anna's performance turning out to be a true highlight. The song was simple enough to work well, but not so simple as to be boring, and the presentation was pretty much spot on being all sunshine and lollipops. I was still surprised to see it qualify ahead of some of the other songs, but I won't begrudge it.
Anna finished 10th with 55 points.

9. Eldrine - "One More Day" (Georgia)
If Russia had NKOTB, Georgia had surely dusted off Evanescence. As with a couple of performances this year, this made a lot more sense performed live than it did on the CD, as the rapped part sounded a lot better that way. It was still rather an average song, but the band sold it well, and it stood out in its semi-final quite well as everything else was quite dancey.
Eldrine finished 6th with 74 points.

10. Paradise Oskar - "Da Da Dam" (Finland)
The "over-achieving Finnish elf" as I called him after he qualified really hit this song for all he was worth. He's no Tom Dice from last year, but the presentation was definitely inspired by the Belgian surprise packet. What I was most impressed with, though, was that the audience was seemingly singing along in places, because the lyric wasn't as simple as many others. Definitely a well-deserved qualification.
Paradise Oskar finished 3td with 103 points.

11. Glen Vella - "One Life" (Malta)
I was disappointed by this song. Partly I was disappointed that it didn't qualify for the final, but I was also disappointed that it didn't have the resonance it sounded as though it should have on the CD. Glen gave it everything he had, but it was a bit of a let-down.
Glen finished 11th with 54 points.

12. Senit - "Stand By" (San Marino)
During the performance, I made the point to Krista that entries by the smaller states of Europe (I was thinking particularly of Andorra's punks a few years ago) often provoke the question of where the Contest will be staged if they win. In the case of this boring ballad, the question didn't need to be asked as it was never in contention.
Senit finished 16th with 34 points.

13. Daria Kinzer - "Celebrate" (Croatia)
It wasn't particularly likely to qualify, but this really was a Eurovision song writ large from Croatia, and a good return to form. Daria belted the song out well, and the creepy Johnny-Depp-lookalike as the magician did a very good job of things. How that last costume change (during a firework?) was organised is still beyond me. Croatia may be back in the good books sooner rather than later.
Daria finished 15th with 41 points.

14. Sjonni's Friends - "Coming Home" (Iceland)
The sentimental favourites as we kept being reminded (performing the song that the great Sjonni Brink would've done had he not died), these guys really did a stunning rendition of a great song. A bit Dixieland and a bit country, and very very sweet.
Sjonni's Friends finished 4th with 100 points.

15. Kati Wolf - "What About My Dreams?" (Hungary)
I was disappointed by this one a bit, as a Hi-NRG song deserves a bigger production than having a couple of Michael Jackson impersonators dancing around rather limply in the background. Still, Kati's stage presence resulted in a really impressive song, and the final berth was deserved.
Kati finished 7th with 72 points.

16. Homens da Luta - "A Luta E Alegria" (Portugal)
This was unspeakably brilliant, even though it was never going to qualify. The song itself was quite catchy and well-performed, and the 1970s-era costumes (and signs!) of the band just added to it. A song that probably went over a lot of heads, sadly.
Homens da Luta finished 18th with 22 points.

17. Evelina Sasenko - "C'est Ma Vie" (Lithuania)
This was a refugee from "Phantom of the Opera", surely. Evelina has a good voice, but the song never really hit me.
Evelina finished 5th with 81 points.

18. Eldar and Nigar - "Running Scared" (Azerbaijan)
This one sounded better on CD than the stage. It's not a bad song, but it just never really seemed to work in the harmony department at that point.
Eldar and Nigar finished 2nd with 122 points.

19. Loucas Yiorkis and Stereo Mike - "Watch My Dance" (Greece)
Remove the rap, and you had a really impressive (and very uncharacteristic) Greek ballad in Greek. Quite how it got the points it did with the dismal rap, though, is beyond me.
Loucas and Mike finished 1st with 133 points.


bascarsija at 2011-05-18 17:25 (UTC) (Link)
yeah, i quite missed your comments on the eurovision this year...
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