Eurovision 2011 Semi-Final 1 Awkward im Duesseldorf

So what if it happened to have already aired in Euroland, 2 days ago. In SBS Australia, Eurovision 2011‘s first qualifier airs on Friday the 13th, and the 2nd on the 14th. No ifs ands or buts.

Julia (still Franco-Aussie) and Sam (still awkward) spruik Serbia (yay!) and Russia.

Then we get the now standard galaxies of light and then we get the trio of hosts again. (Stefan Raab is so much more sedate.) They are…German. I’m sorry, but it’s bad humour (“looks don’t matter[ in Germany!]) and Sam Peng awkwardness times 100. Ok, English is an offshoot of German, why is it so hard for Germans & Anglophones to speak each other’s respective language?

Julia & Sam proceed to diss the Rhine Trio, which honestly, is not that hard as we get into postcards that show how multicultural Germany is.

POLAND
I rather like “Jestem” but it sounds a lot like “Lipstick.” La Tul & Co. do their calisthenics while reciting a dance pop self-esteem booklet in Polish. She’s not a slack performer, and it’s a decent opener that just isn’t that remarkable.

NORWAY
Oh, lord. Norway will not stop this nonstop “We.Aren’t.All.White.Blondes.” thing, will they?
Anyway, it’s France’s 1990 entry except that it’s shit and in English and Swahili. Its really shit and while Stella is pretty she has no voice and the Haba-Habettes pretty much carry the whole song. It’s all a bit trop Cocodanse pour moi. Julia & Sam are very polite in their crtique.

ALBANIA
Julia pretty much calls Aurelia “Kim” out of Kath & Kim. It’s her favourite and Aurelia is pretty much the first singer to attack the stage with her voice and fiery faux-hawk. Lady you can sing sang song. Yet Albania pretty much sends someone screeching and hitting glory notes every year. Still, the best Albanian entry so far. I agree with Julia & Sam, it’s a powerhouse performance.

ARMENIA
Maybe one year, the diaspora will realise that they are being served crap and asked to vote for it. Emmy does Kalomira in a boxing theme. Yep, it’s a rehash of an old Greek entry…for Armenia. Emmy can’t sing, she certainly can’t sang either. And that boxing glove is annoying as is the rehashed Greek choreography. Julia & Sam politely say it’s crap but the diaspora will vote for it, so whatever.

TURKEY
Turkey is still on their rock kick, and really they all are pale imitators of “Deli” (despite Manga scoring very well). Anyway, slightly pervy and sedated singer tells us to live it up. He harasses a female dancer and there are pyroteccies. It’s very dull.

Julia & Sam send us to commercial.

Appropriately there’s an advert with Heidi Klum.

Ok, I like new look Virgin Australia.

Back from adverts, and apparently the Portuguese entry is 1974 Portuguese Socialist Kitsch.

I just came.

SERBIA
Nina is Em Rusciano. Seriously! Julia likes it, I’m already a confirmed fan. Nina does her 60s Jazz thing flawlessly, but it seriously needs more onstage than Nina & her Nenas. The choreography is the only weak point, but hopefully Eurosongland likes happy upbeat Serb Jazz Pop.

RUSSIA
Julia pretty much perves on Alex Sparrow (whatev). Anyway, it’s the standard Russian male entry (basically Dima Bilan): incomprehensible mumble masquerading as English, Western pop producer, and good looking and in Alex’s case stoned male.

SWITZERLAND
Sam dissects the inanity of the Swiss lyrics. So the Swiss are trying to do the stoner version of “Satellite” complete with trippy backdrops and bohemian backing musicians. Anna is pretty much aping Lena…blatantly. It’s just too sedate to be quirky.

GEORGIA
It’s a Georgian Kitchen Sink performance by Eldrile. Kitchen Sink RAWK that is. Ok, Germany tried thrash rock and bombed. Russia tried it and did modestly. Georgia does it with extra American accented rap and will still place in the final.

Awkward non-blonde Rhine Trio is really awkward and not funny.

FINLAND
Environmental message or not, I get the feeling that I’m going to hate this song. I hear the strumming of the guitar and Oskar’s shit-eating grin and it makes me vomit. Listen, a lot of people buy this boy-mit-guitar scheisse but not me. Tom Bice, what hath thou wrought?

Sam disses Paradise Oskar. I like you, Sam.

MALTA
At some point every Maltese must apparently represent Malta at Eurovision. And this year, Malta will be milquetoast-ing Adam Lambert and every other gritty gay dance music performer. It’s every cliche and as a serious Jason Walker fan, I really think Jason should snatch Glenn’s metaphorical wig.

SAN MARINO
I want to like Senait. Seriously, I do. She looks so relaxed, but then I hear her shaky voice and I wonder if she’s just stoned au Sparrow. In fact everyone onstage is just blah. Seriously, San Marino, I think Italy is here to stay, so I think you’d better step up your game.

CROATIA
Julia & Sam warn us about the warbling and the pesky DJ. Well, if Glenn was every gay male dance singer cliche, Daria is every gay dance diva cliche. Why they changed it out of Croatian, I don’t know. It’s so effing dull in English. For the Australians: It’s Brynne Edelstein with more coordination.

ICELAND
Julia & Sam give us the sob story behind the entry. Dead singer. Happy-clappy lyrics and Dixie Jazz. Were this the 20th Century or even last decade, this would trouble the scoreboard big time. However, we’re a jaded people now. Take your position in the final and low placing and deal with it.

ADVERTS: Heidi Klum, Bogans living like boat people because it’s SBS and there’s always a message, and Harvey Norman adverts still…cheap as. Won’t you buy something from the SBS Shop.

Back from adverts and Julia harasses Alex. Alex really can’t speak English. Sam still looks awkward trying to pick up Nina. Paradise Oskar: tossed.

HUNGARY
Kati Wolf doesn’t look like Michael Bolton to me. J&S warn us that it’s a disco stomper and indeed it is. Kati Wolf looks like Carrie Bickmore, and I must say she’s a bit warbly but Croatia was dire and this is pretty much the best dance song so far. Still looks like Carrie Bickmore.

PORTUGAL
Now that I know that it’s 1974 Socialist agitprop comedy, I like it. Now, my political and cultural leanings and background put me so in their camp, I might as well be onstage. I doubt most people would share my opinion, so diaspora and hard Left votes might be the only saving grace.

LITHUANIA
Evelina is apparently singing popera, and that always goes down a treat (unless your last year’s Latvian entrant with peculiar English). It’s very Andrew Lloyd-Webber that I half expect Evelina to say “it’s my time!” She’s good, but the simplicity might be its downfall. She could’ve really sold that ending better.

AZERBAIJAN
J&S tell us this is not a mother & son act. Well, he looks 12, and she looks like Snooki. I think Azerbaijan has yet contracted a Swede or a Slovene to compose their entry. The song sounds like a failure at either EMA or Melodifestivalen. It also sounds like a Cadbury’s advert.

GREECE
Greece always get through, and we have traditional Greek pop meets Greek rap. It kinda works, Stereo Mike struts his rap. Lukas scowls and wails his dirge. It is very over the top, and yes, Greece has yet again totally earned their not-yet-guaranteed place in the final.

The Rhine Trio do the recap: Poland decent, Norway is abysmal, Albania attacked the effing stage, Armenia weak as hell, Turkey is sedate, Serbia kicked arse, Russia was Dima mk. III, Switzerland was Lena lite, Georgia was Linkin Park lite, Finland can rack off, Malta tried to snatch some wigs and got some strands, Azerbaijan has yet to reach puberty, Croatia woeful, Iceland has a sad story, Hungary Bickmore, Portuguese Socialist Agitprop circa 1974…Hikaru loses it, Greek gods of music go full on. Ten of this lot will make it. In other words, the odds are just barely in favour of your favourites (except if you like Portugal, like me, and realise that the rest of the world isn’t that quirky).

ADVERTS: Jason at RACV is a twat…When SBS isn’t about making you feel guilty it’s about making you feel gluttonous…

Stefan and short haired non blonde give us the interval act, a classic Black American drumline. I’m shocked to see one. Well, not totally shocked, there’s a lot of US bases in Germany. Still it’s nice…and awkward in a general sense. Now for a serious drumline go look up Grambling v. Southern football games any year. These guys are restrained. The Eurocrowd is agog.

Blonde Fraulein tries to create mystery and fails. Rest of the Rhine Trio intro the Big 5 (con italia!)

Blonde Fraulein indirectly disses many contestants, but only is polite to Nina.

Now onto Eurovision’s torture festival: how long can we stretch out qualifier results.

Serbia is through. Yay!
Lithuania is through. Julia & Sam are shocked.
Greece is through. Greeks stampede.
Julia & Sam jinx us by mentioning how fast it is.
Azerbaijan is through. The boy has facial hair?
Georgia is through. Eh.
Switzerland is through? Lena Lite was effective.
Hungary is through. Carrie and the 7pm crew are happy.
Finland is through. FTS, I’m telling you.
Russia is through. Julie gives us insight into the mind of Alex Sparrow.
Iceland is through. Now bugger off and take your sob story.

Well, I’m shocked about Iceland getting through and Albania and Turkey being SHUT OUT.

So I guess tomorrow is the Billy-No-Mates Qualifier of death with BiH, FYROM, Israel, Ireland, the rest of the Baltics, and the BeNe no-lux-but-Aus.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: A Little Break for Art « hikarublue

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