Yesterday was the first semi-final of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. I got the chance to watch it live during the afternoon hours and I watched the performances again last night. I have followed the contest for 14 years and every year I feel like there are some things I never knew about. For that, here’s a brief review of the first of three shows
Overall, I’m not really surprised by the qualifiers. However, I did get 9/10 right (I had Azerbaijan instead of Croatia). I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this: EBU, how dare you make Alessandra wait to be called last? The look on her face, man. The other countries I knew would easily qualify. Also, since the rest of the world got a chance to vote, I voted at Eurovision for the first time ever. I voted for Norway, Malta, Serbia, Portugal, Switzerland, Israel, Moldova, Sweden, Czechia, and Finland (they got 2 votes from me). To describe the acts from the qualifiers: Croatia brought out a couple of rockets and some gender-bending clothing (but no actual tractor), Moldova figuratively brought the sun and the moon, and literally had a flute player with light-up pants, Switzerland had contemporary dancing with 4 people, Finland had a box and 4 latin dancers, Czechia’s pink girls swung their long braids, Israel brought the unicorn factor (that came with the dancing), Portugal’s cabaret show as all red, Sweden’s light-up box was smaller than at Melfest but the effect is just the same, Serbia fought the final boss(es), and Norway kept their staging from MGP.
The lone nonqualifier who was in my top 10 was Malta. Latvia and Ireland had great performances, but I only voted for Malta. So, again, no surprise there. Malta had three acts, Latvia sang a lullaby, Ireland’s Conor O’Donoghue rocked the gold sequin, Azerbaijan started their performance in black and white, and the Netherlands which was the worst performance in my opinion. There’s always that one country that changes the pitch of the song.
Other parts of the show
The opening with a British boy and a Ukrainian girl was touching. It was meant to show the unity between the United Kingdom and Ukraine as joint hosts. Co-host Julia Sanina from the Ukrainian band The Hardkiss performed after. Another segment was the “25 Year Rap Up” with co-host Alesha Dixon. It was, dare I say, bad. Ukraine’s 2010 singer Alyosha teamed up with Liverpool-born singer Rebecca Ferguson for a performance that speaks of Alyosha having to leave her husband behind last year. Rita Ora was also invited to perform at the contest and her new song “Praising You” — I’m getting it. There’s also a segment featuring past Eurovision hosts Mans Zelmerow (Sweden) and Filomena Cautela (Portugal) trying to guess which past entries qualified or not. Part 2 of that segment will be out tomorrow. Co-host Hannah Waddingham saw Cheryl Baker of Buck Fizz (1981 winners) and was starstruck for a bit. Everything else was just fodder.
Overall, a good show to start off the week. Tomorrow is the second semi-final and right before the show, I’ll make my predictions and maybe write a review after. See you tomorrow