Thursday, May 22, 2008

Eurovision 2008 - The Second Semi-Final

Some observations on the Eurovision Second Semi-Finals.

Iceland’s Euroband seemed to be, production-wise, a sort of disco version of Travolta and Newton-John from the end of Grease. I guess that’s one way to say I didn’t like it. The song yes, the performance no.

Sweden’s “Hero” by Charlotte Perrelli is a great song, but the production on stage was too blue, so blue, way too much blue, and when the lights came up, too much silver and too much make-up.

Turkey’s Mor ve Otesi gave a very rousing, electric, charismatic performance. One of my favorites.

Ukraine’s “Shady Lady” by Ani Lorak is another one of my faves, the dress was a bit too Vegas for me though, and speaking of Vegas - they seemed to take a cue from Belarus last year with a magic vibe throughout. Some very hot choreography in this one.

Lithuania’s Jeronimas Milius sang a pretty ballad a la Michael Bolton crossed with Andrew Lloyd Weber, although the hair is definitely Bolton’s. Sadly this was zzzzzzz.

Albania’s entry had some interesting fade in and out camera tricks for the television audience, but just an average if a bit whiny in places power ballad.

Czech Republic’s Tereza Kerndlova had sort of a Madonna vibe when she was in her house phase, the performance, just full of stage fire, making me fear for the outfits of the singer and dancers, makes up for the mediocre dance song.

Belarus, much like Iceland had far too much blue, star-studded balls and some fairly hot women for this tune reminisicent of eighties pop metal (think Europe), but in sound only.

Latvia’s Pirates of the Sea doing “Wolves of the Sea” was a bizarre mix of Pirates of the Caribbean, last year’s UK entry Scooch and a whole lotta camp, this is nowhere near as much fun as it sounds. The stage performance is actually more like a Wiggles outtake than anything else.

Croatia was an interesting production for an old-fashioned song, very entertaining if not my usual flavor. Gotta love the old man, humorously named 75 Cents, especially when he’s scratching on the Victrola.

Bulgaria began with a bang, techno music and breakdancing, before hitting a slower reggae stride. Loved her outfit and the burning turntables. The more I hear this one the more I like it.

Denmark struck me as an over-produced, over-choreographed, over-rehersed “American Idol” segment, but maybe that’s just me. Either way it had me pining for David Archeletta, and that’s not a compliment.

Georgia takes a while to grow on you, inspirational tune with lots of smoke. Nowhere near the power of last year’s entry.

Malta makes me wonder if it really is a song about vodka. Catchy bouncy and the energetic Morena is flanked by equally bouncy male dancers. Again, too blue, is that the color of preference this year? Seriously this is a favorite.

Cyprus – Overdramatic and dressed in a Bjork throwaway at first, Evdokia Kadi is very charismatic. This seeming traditional song soon launches into a catchy dance tune that retains its ethnic spark. I like it more each time I hear it.

Portugal, with Vania Fernandes, felt like they were trying to recreate Serbia’s winning song last year in mood and sound, without much success in my opinion.

And unfortunately Hungary, Switzerland and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia left me unimpressed on either the positive or negative side – which I suppose is a big negative actually.


And the results… going through from this semi-final round to the Finals on Saturday are Ukraine, Croatia, Albania, Iceland, Georgia, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Turkey and Portugal.

If you would like to re-watch either of the Semi-Finals, you can catch them here. The same website goes for the Finals on Saturday, May 24th at 3:00 PM American Eastern Standard Time.

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