The Holy Week is flying by waaaaay quicker than I’d like, but isn’t that always the case with wonderful things? Yesterday evening was Semi 2 time, and after the great show that was Semi 1 I had high hopes. With quite a few reservations though, as the second semi consisted of a much weaker field when it came to the songs. Which of course made it more exciting when it came to estimate/predict/guess the qualifiers.
SVT kicked off the second semi in the way they’ve been kicking off every single Melodifestivalen semi & final in the past couple of years. I’m not complaining, just observing. I’m even wondering why they didn’t keep that rather genius opening routine for the final – they’d better have something amazing up their sleeves for Saturday! Måns & Petra really are wonderful hosts, and I’m loving the bits of banter between them. The interval act was pretty nifty, even though it didn’t touch me like the semi 1 act. All in all, great work by SVT again.
Doesn’t take away from the fact that I felt that yesterday’s semi was one of the weakest we’ve had to endure in a very long time. I only really loved one song, thought three others were rather decent, and the rest of them just floated by or outright irritated me. Still, again I predicted 8 out of 10 qualifiers correctly! After a lot of going back and fourth, I admit. Before we move to what I did like, here’s what I thought of the non-qualifiers (in order of performance):
- Switzerland: That girl does not belong on a stage. If I’d been in the Swiss delegation, I’d surely would’ve mentioned that. Everything was off: the bending of the knees, the smoking of the armpits, the curling of the hair and most importantly the strangling of the cat. Possibly even more awful than Finland in semi 1, and surely an even more certain last place.
- Belarus: They did everything they could to distract from the (lack of a decent) song – and I do mean everything. What the frack was that all about? It’s like the fairytale of a narcissistic Legolas. (Sorry for insulting you, Legolas) Totally off the mark, pretty much like Ivan’s vocals. A clear non-qualifier.
- Ireland: Sounding even more Danish than the Danish entry (and very much like the Danish one in 2009), faut le faire. Never was a big fan of this entry to begin with, but somehow it didn’t live up to my dark expectations. I thought this was quite…acceptable actually. Bar that hideous jacket of course. Vocally, Nicky kept himself upright (with a little *cough* help from his backings) and it didn’t fade into the background as I’d feared beforehand. Still too anonymous to really shake things up. I estimated that it would be between this and the actual Danish entry when it came to possibly qualifying. Obviously, I was wrong.
- FYR Macedonia: I thought this was really painful to watch, actually. Knowing how genious Kaliopi can be, this was simply all shades of embarrassing. She started off too low, overcompensated in the chorus, only to go completely overboard at the end. Add to that the dress and the song that belonged in 1992 and voilà: not that difficult to predict this as the non-qualifier it would turn out to be.
- Slovenia: This used to be cute. Yesterday it was just clumsy and slightly moronic. I’d suggested in my preview post to go for a new act, but did it have to be that random? What’s the thing with the pole? And the caged boobs? And the praying gesture? Due to many people texting me this was in their top three, I put this down as a qualifier (against better judgement). I should’ve known better.
- Denmark: Downright irritating. I hated everything about this, absolutely everything. Genuinely chuffed that this didn’t qualify.
- Norway: This didn’t convince me beforehand, and even though I’m still not a fan of the song I thought it came across rather okay after a bunch of songs I could only shrug my shoulders over. Thought Agnete held herself upright vocally, and the atmosphere fitted the song well. One of my borderliners (no pun intended), think this might have ended up 11th…
- Albania: This was simply produced to death and didn’t come across well at all. The dated dress and rather lackluster performance sure didn’t help lift this to an acceptable level. Dead goldfish in the water.
When it comes to the qualifiers, I only had one that I was rooting for (and for which I voted). So I was extremely happy when Latvia got called out first. Can’t wait to see that again on Saturday, was really impressed. Happy with Serbia and Australia making it, even though both of them somewhat disappointed me with their performances. Even more chuffed with Georgia, which was my number 4, getting through to the final. It’ll definitely be the odd one out. And of course happy that our own little Laura Tesoro made it, with her Glee-ful performance! The others are just fillers for me – still don’t get the obsession over Ukraine to be honest. I see it, but I don’t feel it. It’s a step too far for me to follow.
Again, the snippets we got for the three remaining automatic finalists didn’t exactly build up a lot of trust. I love the German and Italian entry, and both came across rather bleak. Perhaps we need the entire performance to really feel them, but I can hear the drums, Fernando… The UK on the other hand, which I discarded at first, really popped. Things are taking a bit of a weird turn for me, this week. Yikes.
Curious to see what the final will bring. The running order has been announced now, and I’ll do a preview to the final in a separate post. To be continued! #excited