I'm suffering a little bit with an opening party hangover. Of course I am!! Well we had some very strong pre party drinks with Doctor and Lady Eurovision and then I switched to red wine with my free dinner at the opening party before switching back to beer for the dancing. Now I know that's never a good idea but it happened and I'm dealing dear reader, I'm dealing... Israeli party tonight then so I mustn't mix my drinks tonight, not with all that hummus, I may vomit. La Monty is filling you in on the details of last night, I hope, but you know the score, throwing ourselves shamelessly at the artistes like piss artistes.... Oh dear...
So SEMI FINAL ONE FIRST DRESS REHEARSAL as seen in the arena.
Loreen opens our show with a choir of children similar to the MF performance and she's in a very bright red frock. The opening sequence is nice with her walking down a bridge flanked by the kids, the bridge representing the fact that Malmo is at the end of the Øresund bridge, the bridge to Europe. She disappears into a trap door and Petra Mede appears from another trapdoor in a very glamorous silver fishtail frock.
The postcards are sweet enough showing the artists in their natural habitat, swigging coffee out of mugs, fiddling with their instruments and/or bandmates and/or pets.
Austra competently opens the show, her voice is stunning but the song is still fairly weak. Possible last place again for Austria.
Estonia looks great and sounds great. I think it's qualifying. Simple and elegant.
Slovenia is sounding better and the verses a better than the choruses. She's confident as she told us last night she is straight in the final, not sure if she was doing a play on the title of her song or being a bit cocky. I'd love this in the final but I fear she may miss out.
Croatia is sailing into the final with neighbourly votes and jury votes. Vocally superb but visually it's still looking a bit cabaret at a holiday camp.
Denmark next, great contrast to Croatia and the first potential winner. Looking good, sounding great. I've said it before, this gets to the point straight away and will probably win this semi. The break after helps. The cameras are not picking up the glitter much but that's a small point only.
Petra reappears with a flip chart to show off some of the amusing potential logos they considered before opting for We Are One, Thankyou For The Music and Don't Complain, It's Even More Expensive In Norway. A friendly jibe at their neighbours. Nice.
Russia may suffer after the break being a slow ballad but boy it builds and the last minute should gain attention. Throwing the balls into the crowd is dumb though but it's Russia so they must be qualifying mustn't they?
Ukraine had the only wobble when she had to start again when her knicker elastic broke or something! This is still not working for me. Vocally good and she was holding back but the backdrop is impressive. If this was sung by most other countries, it would be in danger but I guess there is space for this and Russia in the final. The draw helps neither though.
Netherlands is presented very nicely and Anouk is avoiding any contact with the cameras. Surely jury votes but I still have this in the danger zone as still leaving me cold and I'm wondering how many televoters will pick up the phone.
Montenegro is such a mess and Europe won't recover from the spaceman shock to appreciate any merits in the style of music. Definite non qualifier.
Lithuania next and he really gains by following Montenegro. I've a sneaky feeling Lithuania could be the shock qualifier. It's not great they've managed to control his movements a bit and he is now actually quite charming.
Belarus could be saved by the gay votes or they could equally do a Kate Ryan you know. I've a feeling the latter. She's sure as hell been tangoed to within an inch of her life. In trouble.
Moldava could give Denamrk a run for their money to win this semi you know. Looking and sounding sublime with a song I'd not rated much before coming here. Moldova's best result ever coming up me thinks.
And Ireland's best result for a while coming up too. Great contrast to Moldova (I'm getting this whole fixed draw thing now unless Bonnie gets second on Saturday). Ryan sings the pants off this again and I've money on top ten for Ireland on Saturday. He knows exactly where the camera is, his timing is great and he looks gorgeous.
Break next which helps him too.
A lovely piece about Australia's love for the contest next which goes down well with the laminates and fannage present.
Cyprus will struggle to bring people's attention back to this semi. She sings it beautifully but I can't see her making it along with all the other female ballads, something has to give. Sorry Cyprus.
Belgium sounded ropey in the first verse but recovered and I think, as a package, this really works. Belgium have their work cut out but I predict they will make it. I may live to rue that but I'm going with my gut here.
The Serbian sluts next and this a great song given a tricky ride by them trying to tell a story and looking like they've been sponsored by Haribo. Thirty or so points in the bag for them so I'd say they're in but they sure could have made it easier on themselves.
That's your sixteen. Six have to go.....
Petra returns a vision in plum to inform us the contest is the same age as Mel Gibson, 57, before giving us a comical history lesson of the Eurovision early years. Through camera trickery she appears in some retro performances, nice touch SVT, we knew you'd do the contest proud. They will bring us more up to date on Thursday and Saturday, great.
She screeches at us that voting is closed (Petra you really promised you'd not screech) and the interval act is a northern lights piece that depicts a night in a northen Swedish forest before dawn breaks and golf balls are showered down on the dance troupe (depicting snow at a guess), mmm all a bit strange, dark and dull to be honest. The lite trancey dancey music is nice though.
After the intervalen, Lynda Woodruff is back to take us on a snowy tour of Norland and the fannage will be pleased with that. All in all a competent first dress rehearsal and it is going to be a nice two hours tomorrow night. Hope you enjoy BBC Three and vote wisely UK, we vote tomorrow.
Ok hummus and beer to be had, anyone got a spare liver?