Alora! Finally semi 1 was upon us yesterday. Yet despite a rehearsal week full of rumours and drama, we were not ready. It turned out not to be the best of nights for p*ssy, p*nani or Pia Maria. Or even Pausini, some say. But was it really that dramatic? James, bring me the microscope! #esc2022 #eurovision
Before we get into the lighter side of things however, just a tiny personal note. Don’t know if it’s appropriate, but it had an impact on the evening and consequently this blog post so I feel the need to talk about it. Where anything Eurovision related is usually enough reason to get beyond excited, yesterday was an unfortunate exception to the rule. I’ve been watching Eurovision for over a decade with only my two besties – all three of us are single, live alone and have a single fur baby (aka cat) keeping us company. It might be difficult to comprehend for someone in a different living situation, but those little furballs are everything to us. The bestie who hosted us yesterday unfortunately had to have his fur baby put down that same morning, and we all genuinely feel like we’ve lost a family member. The sadness and grief was (and still is) tangible, so as a disclaimer: this post might not be the wittiest of all. But to be honest, I’ll be happy to be able to publish anything at this point. So before we take a dive into the Torino pool, I felt the need to say one last ‘good boy’ to Igor through a silly joke his cat dad once made. Purr in peace, baby.
So ironically enough it did turn out to be a dramatic evening, but not in the hyped up overblown way we’re used to in ESC circles. It didn’t turn out to be one of the greatest of nights in general, regardless of any circumstance, as this semi was simply all over the place. This was supposed to be the better semi of the two, but thanks to some odd staging choices and dubious vocals it soon turned out to be quite confusing.
I’ll save my thoughts on the stage, presenters and postcards for my final review but let me already say this: I love how Italian it all feels. Take that as you will. Also: the opening act was ACE, especially the strutalicious part – choreo, outfits and singing included. Can somebody point me the way to the mix on Spotify so I can strut my stuff to it in the streets? Grazie mile.
straight non-binary down to business, shall we? How well did we do on predicting the qualifiers, and were there any personal disappointments among the NQ’s? I’ll say this: trying to come up with a prediction by the time the first snabbrepris arrived was sheer impossible, and even by the time the second one came around I wasn’t even remotely ready to lock in ten of them. But eventually managed to squeeze out these results:
- Personal top 10: Seven made it through, with my entire top 4 making it. Huzzah!
- Predicted top 10: In a weird turn of events, after going back and forth countless times, I eventually got nine of them correct. Say what?! Oddly enough, I totally lost confidence in one of my personal faves and thought Lithuania wouldn’t make enough impact to make it through to Saturday. I’m ever so happy to be proven wrong.
I’ll keep my thoughts on the qualifiers for my final review, here’s what I had to say on the NQ’s from semi 1 (in starting order):
- ALBANIA: Ronela called herself an earthquake and she wasn’t kidding around. A tsunami might be more apt, as this was A LOT to take in. I’m all for ‘more is more’ and I don’t mind a raunchy vibe, but going in dry like that? Gives a new dimension to the overblown ‘p*nani gate’ we’ve been hit over the head with during rehearsals. No build-up, no story, just a smack in the face. Girlfriend should have known better. It was Madonna on steroids and that’s a scary thought if ever there was one. I was the only one of our Power Of Three to correctly predict this as the obvious NQ it turned out to be.
- LATVIA: Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys. As funky as the vibe may have been, and as pleasant it was to see Kermit having the time of his life: thanks, but no thanks. Despite my personal eyerolls, I had this down as a qualifier because I thought Europe would take the (vegetarian) bait. I was ever so happy to be proven wrong. This was so middle school talent show the second hand embarrassment was tangible. Being green is clearly very hot and cool. Drop that mic.
- SLOVENIA: Joining the middle school talent show are the nerds from the IT department with their simultaneously charming and boring funky tune. The giant disco ball remained criminally underused until the last 30 seconds, which made the entire ‘concept’ feel random and unplanned. The fact the wheels underneath were so clearly visible only matched that vibe.
- BULGARIA: In a multiverse of madness, we got transported to one where Jack Sparrow sobered up and took part in Melodifestivalen circa 2005. In the category ‘fan fiction we don’t need or want’, this is at the bottom of the pile. Even if it wasn’t even at the bottom of my list. Was never gonna make it, but wasn’t nearly as inadequate as many of us thought before the Te Deum kicked things off.
- CROATIA: The big issue with cute little radio friendly melodies like this is: how do you stage it? Obviously nobody knows, not even the team staging this. They obviously thought telling the story through dance was the way to go, and that a switch to Croatian for the last 30 seconds wouldn’t interrupt the flow. There were some cool camera shots and I want that dress for my alter ego, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough. Disaster 387 for Croatia, that clearly hasn’t got a clue how to handle Eurovision these days.
- DENMARK: This was always dead in the water, wasn’t it? When you’re channeling Kikki Danielson or Bonnie Tyler in a parody of an early Avril Lavigne tune, you can’t expect to get very far. Even if your styling is the most on point of the night. Except for you obviously, Mika.
- AUSTRIA: So first off, I’ve got those exact same red boots. A+ for taste, Pia. That’s about the most interesting I can say here unfortunately, as this was the exact disaster we were all dreading/predicting. The vocals were all over the place (even with those backings in the chorus) and the literal halo made for a weird atmosphere. Choices.
That’s about as much as I can muster on this sad morning. But I’m already curious to see how much chaos and confusion semi 2 will cause.
How about you? How did you do with your predictions?