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Our discussions on Semi Final 2 plus the Big 5!

From Dusseldorf

This weekend, we have taken some time out from the lovely Easter weather to review semi 2 and the Big 5!

1. Bosnia-H
We’ve loved this song from the 1st time we heard it. The rather eccentric quirky performance just adds to its charm. It’s a happy song that gets your feet tapping and rather interestingly has the word ‘sito’ (meaning sieve in English ???) randomly flung in a few times!! We really like this and it deserves to go through without doubt and we can see it doing well in the final and wouldn’t mind at all if this won the whole thing!!

2. Austria
This girl really can sing and she has one of the best voices in the contest. This is a powerful ballad and we like the gospel feel as it builds up. Nadine deserves to go through but if juries and voters are not in a ballady mood, and the fact she is singing from number 2, her qualification is not at all guaranteed.

3. The Netherlands
We like this soft rock song but just can’t get totally enthusiastic about it. We wouldn’t be disappointed if it went through (quite glad actually) but it just lacks the oomph factor and it could get forgotten when people come to vote.

4. Belgium
This is a real marmite of a song, i.e. you love or hate it with nothing in between. We are both in the ‘totally can’t take to it at all’ category. It’s an accapella number and whilst recognising they are talented and good at what they do, we really can’t see it doing well. We especially dislike the bit when they make funny instrumental sounds with their voices. Aaaaarrggh, a big no!

5. Slovakia
Sung by female twins, this reminds us of a Disney Channel, Hannah Montana type effort. It’s pleasant but it doesn’t really go anywhere and we can see it struggling to qualify.

6. Ukraine
Having been very disappointed that the totally unhinged but fabulous Jamala didn’t get through for Ukraine we were always going to need a bit of persuading that what they chose was better than the fabulous ‘Smile’ (Jamala’s song). Unfortunately, Mika singing a song called ‘Angels’ hasn’t managed to persuade me. Though Drew quite likes it and especially the nice looking and fit acrobat in the video! It’s a decent enough ballad but it shouldn’t be a qualifier, even though we suspect it may sneak through because it is Ukraine.

7. Moldova
Tam simply cannot take to this at all, even though they’ll be very energetic and lively on stage! For Tam the song is awful. A big no from him with nothing further to add. However, I really like this perky little number and it reminds me of my punk era and watch out for me pogo’ing around the arena to this!

8. Sweden
Being Sanna devotees and occasional stalkers – watch her MF performance of Empty Room to see Drew within touching distance of Sanna - we were disappointed she didn’t win MF. However, on reflection, Sweden chose wisely. Eric is a handsome young man and whilst no Pavarotti in terms of vocal ability he is a great performer and showman. Despite relying on various stunts and gimmicks (i.e. breaking glass cages etc.) this will do well and we don’t think it’ll be far from the top of the scoreboard on the 14th of May.

9. Cyprus
Tam is left feeling rather underwhelmed with this song although Drew likes this! It’s very Cypriot which is no bad thing but that woman screaming in the middle grates somewhat. For Tam, a non qualifier. Drew would like for this to go through but thinks it will stay in the semi unfortunately, especially with no Greece to vote for it.

10. Bulgaria
The Bulgarian answer to Pink. This is a rock song in a fairly similar genre to Georgia and we think she is a good performer and the song is reasonable even though we don’t understand any Bulgarian. Not a bad effort and could go through but we don’t think it’s a contender to win.

Why do all FYROM singers sound as if they’ve just smoked 40 Capstan non filter cigarettes before going on stage? This is about the love of a Macedonian boy for a Russian girl. Tam is not enamoured of this love song but I like the quintessential ethno pop of the song and think Vlatko performs it well and the tune is fairly catchy in the chorus. Tam thinks it’s a bit of a mess and not his cup of tea but I like it. We don’t think it’ll go through though. Sorry.

12. Israel
Well, Dana is back and still looking good for a lady of her somewhat advancing years. When we first heard this we were very disappointed, but like a few of the other songs it has a disturbingly catchy feel to it the more one listens to it. Dana’s voice is not exactly from the Celine Dion stable but she’ll no doubt perform well and this could go through but it is by no means a cert.

13. Slovenia
This seems quite popular on fan sites but despite listening to it often we just can’t see what others see in it. Maybe we’re missing something with this big ballad and our view will change when we see her perform in Dusseldorf, but at present it’s not doing much for us.

14. Romania
We have loved this from Day 1 and despite it not being that popular on fan sites, we just love it. David, the Geordie (north east of England) lead singer of Hotel FM is a cutie, and if certain media outlets are to be believed a rather naughty young man, who can sing and deliver!. Again, we have slightly cheesy lyrics about changing, as opposed to saving, the world but this is a happy, catchy song. For us it would be a travesty if this doesn’t go through to the final and for Tam personally this has never been out of his Top 5.

15. Estonia
This is one of the Bookies favourites and has been scoring consistently well in fan polls. We like this. It’s a quirky little number and has a catchy chorus with a good hook that everyone can sing along to on first listening. This deserves to go through and in our opinion will be a contender on the night and would be a better winner than Estonia’s 2001 effort.

16. Belarus
This song was changed ever so slightly from ‘Born in Belarus’ to ‘I Love Belarus’ because the first one had apparently been released or heard previously. It’s a big upbeat number which reminds us of some of Boney M’s stuff. It’s quite fun actually but I can’t see it being a contender although Drew does like this one a lot. Prepare yourselves to see Drew in his kilt in the arena twirling around to this! Not sure if this will qualify but if it does, we agree it will be a fun entry! Maybe Anna Vinnikova will ask Drew and his Kilt to be a supporting dancer!!

17. Latvia
This is sung by two young lads, one of whom has a rather thick neck for one so young. It’s actually quite catchy with fab serial killer lines such as “kill me with killer kiss”. This has been tested on work colleagues who rated this quite highly, but then again we do work in the mental health field it was pointed out! We like this one and we’d have no problem with it going through, but think it’s an unlikely winner.

18. Denmark
Called ‘New Tomorrow’ and sung by the group ‘A friend in London’... we weren’t bowled over by this one on first hearing. However, it has now entered our ‘could do well’ radar and with it’s simple message and slightly anthemic feel this is a cert to qualify and could actually do well.

19. Ireland
Well, where to start? Having taken a visceral dislike to the tuneless twins during their UK X Factor experience a couple of years ago, we couldn’t understand why the Irish were considering choosing them but the Irish public clearly have taken to them and they won the Irish NF with the tele vote. However, we have to admit that this is quite a good effort from Ireland. The song called ‘Lipstick’ is a lively, modern song and it’s the type of song that doesn’t really require the twins to do an immaculate vocal performance (just as well). The one thing the twins will do is put on an energetic show and, we suspect, a memorable performance and think this should qualify.

Qualifiers - No Order

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Big 5

This is the bookies favourite for some reason and very popular on fan polls. It’s a big dramatic operatic style bolero number sung in Corsican by a young French tenor. It certainly catches you at the start but for us it doesn’t really finish the job it started so promisingly well. Various people have said it sounds a bit like a national anthem and it does have that feel to it. We have no doubt this will do well and it could certainly win but wouldn’t be our first choice. It is hard to see this mesmerising the televoters and if the fabulous Patricia Kaas only came 8th, why would this do better?

Sung by the lovely Lucia from Galicia and called ‘Que me quiten lo baillao’ this is a very catchy, typically Spanish fiesta song. We love it but it’s one of the least rated of the big 5, unfairly in our opinion. Every time we hear it we want to get up and dance, and having got the wild card again the Spanish chose wisely and will be singing from 22. With this good draw and a good performance, which the Spanish sometimes fail to deliver, Lucia could finally take the bull by the horns and return to a top 10 placing.

Tam really struggled with this on first hearing and thought it was very difficult to get into. It’s sultry and certainly very different but is it too different to be a contender? I, on the other hand, have always loved this song though and feel it suits Lena’s vocals perfectly. It is a modern and contemporary song rather in the style of Duffy so could do very well. This could well be a top 10 placing for Germany.

Having returned after a long absence we were surprised when Italy chose this jazzy little number. It’s a nice enough song but think Rafael may get lost on the stage and we can’t see enough of Europe going for this to make it a serious contender. Maybe mid table at best.

Well, obviously we could be regarded as being a bit biased here but Tam isn’t one to automatically say our song is good when it isn’t, and he can name many appalling UK efforts in the last decade. Tam is the balance to my fanaticism! However, this year we both absolutely love the UK song. Sung by Blue and called ‘I can’, we think this could do very well and could go all the way and win. The boys look great, sound great and certainly know how to perform live. They are established performers who know how to use the stage well. They have grown from boys into men and look even more buff than they did a few years ago! This deserves to do very well. It is Drew’s first live attendance at a Eurovision and it would be fantastic if our own country won! Good Luck to Blue and the UK. We predict a top 5 placing if not a win.

TOP 5 Ranking

1. UK
2. Spain
3. France
4. Germany
5. Italy

1. UK
2. Germany
3. Spain
4. Italy
5. France

We hope you have enjoyed our review of semi final 2 and the Big 5.
Our next blog will be live from Düsseldorf, reporting to you all the action from the excitement of the rehearsals, the press conferences and the various parties.
After the semi’s, we will revisit our predictions here to see how close we were!

Have fun 