Venue: Crystal Hall, Baku
Hosts: Nargiz, Eldar, Leyla
Date: Tuesday 22 May 2012
The first semi-final is now over. Here are my opinions on each of the 18 songs. Watching the live performances last night changed my views a bit from watching the preview videos online last weekend. Unfortunately I didn't have access to the internet yesterday evening so have had to delay posting this until now. Please read the following as though I had posted it between the voting lines closing and announcement of the ten qualifiers.
N.B. Any use of "tonight" in this post means Tuesday 22 May 2012.
Song 1: MONTENEGRO - Rambo Amadeus "Euro Neuro"What a terrible song to start the first semi-final! The backing group spinning on their bums on the floor is a reminder of the spinning planets move in the Boogie Beebies dance Space Walking, indeed is that where they got the move from? A little later there was some break dancing. What was the significance of either the spinning on the floor move or the break dancing? Finally, why was one man wrapped in the banner at the end? What a load of garbage, please stay out of the final.
Song 2: ICELAND - Greta Salóme & Jónsi "Never Forget"A much better song than Montenegro had, although I'm not that keen on their style of singing. The verses are a bit dull and the chorus is half catchy. In my opinion, the voices aren't strong enough. I wouldn't mind seeing this Saturday night though.
Song 3: GREECE - Eleftheria Eleftheriou "Aphrodisiac"The best song so far, a catchy memorable song with a good beat. An excellent dance routine too, which would be great to copy. Deserves to qualify.
Song 4: LATVIA - Anmary "Beautiful Song"Another excellent song. No dancing, but it is a song contest, you don't really need dancing. However it does have good flowing arm movements from the backing singers. Deserves to qualify.
Song 5: ALBANIA - Rona Nishliu "Suus"The song itself is not up to much. However she has a good strong voice, although the long high pitched bit towards the end spoilt it. Perhaps this should be best valued for her outfit. I'd rather this didn't qualify.
Song 6: ROMANIA - Mandinga "Zaleilah"Overall the song is not that brilliant, but the chorus is quite catchy, and the dance routine is good. An entry to be valued more for the dance routine than the song.
Song 7: SWITZERLAND - Sinplus "Unbreakable"Another below par song. Did it really need strobe lighting? I would rather this didn't qualify.
Song 8: BELGIUM - Iris "Would You?"A beautiful, gentle ballad, it deserves to go through. Her voice could do with being a bit stronger though.
Song 9: FINLAND - Pernilla "När Jag Blundar"An excellent ballad, very well sung, and a smart outfit. This definitely deserves to go through.
Song 10: ISRAEL - Izabo "Time"Tonight's live performance is considerably better than the preview video. It's not too bad a song now; quite lively with punchy verses, though the chorus a is bit over the top. Does it really need strobe lighting though? This ought to go through.
Song 11: SAN MARINO - Valentina Monetta "The Social Network Song (Oh Oh - Uh - Oh Oh)"Another entry that sounds much better tonight than the preview video. A catchy song, with good arm movements, I'd now be happy to see this in the final.
Song 12: CYPRUS - Ivi Adamou "La La Love"A below par song, I'm not that keen on it. It has a catchy chorus, but the best bit is the dance routine. I wouldn't miss this if it fails to qualify.
Song 13: DENMARK - Soluna Samay "Should've Known Better"This song is below par, I don't like this style of singing, the lead singer's voice is not strong enough. What an odd mix of outfits amongst the group. Perhaps it's best if this stays out.
Song 14: RUSSIA - Buranovskiye Babushki "Party For Everybody"Well the song itself is terrible, they should stay out, but will probably go through just for the gimmick of their outfits.
Song 15: HUNGARY - Compact Disco "Sound Of Our Hearts"Another load of nauseating trash, I'd rather this didn't qualify.
Song 16: AUSTRIA - Trackshittaz "Woki Mit Deim Popo"A really terrible song, did they really need strobe lighting? The only good bit is the dance routine from backing group, including bits of pole dancing. Stay out.
Song 17: MOLDOVA - Pasha Parfeny "Lăutar"Better than the last three songs, but still below par. Sounds decidedly like the Serbian song of two years ago (2010). Its best bit is the floor dancing, but it's not a dance contest. I'd prefer this didn't qualify.
Song 18: IRELAND - Jedward "Waterline"The last song already, it's amazing how time flies. One of the best songs of tonight, a catchy chorus and a lively dance routine. I'm not sure this song is as good as last year though. This definitely deserves to qualify, see you Saturday!
Here are my preferences based solely on all of tonight's performances:
Definitely want to qualify: Greece, Latvia, Belgium, Finland, Israel, San Marino, Ireland.
Wouldn't mind qualifying: Iceland, Romania, Cyprus.
Prefer not to qualify: Denmark, Hungary, Moldova.
Definitely don't want to qualify: Montenegro, Albania, Switzerland, Russia, Austria.
So these are the ones I want to see Saturday night: Greece, Latvia, Belgium, Finland, Israel, San Marino, Ireland, Iceland, Romania, Cyprus.
Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Semi-Final 1 ResultsSo here are the results. Again please read the following as though this had been posted shortly after the end of the first semi-final. Any use of "tonight" still means Tuesday 22 May 2012.
My desired qualifiers: Greece, Latvia, Belgium, Finland, Israel, San Marino, Ireland, Iceland, Romania, Cyprus.
Actual qualifiers (in order of announcement): Romania, Moldova, Iceland, Hungary, Denmark, Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Russia, Ireland.
Bold entries represent the actual qualifiers that match my preferences.
OUT: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Israel, Latvia, Montenegro, San Marino, Switzerland
I am gutted that Latvia and Finland failed to qualify, they were excellent ballads which, out of tonight's 18 semi-finalists deserved to qualify. On the other hand, I'm disgusted that Albania and Russia are through to Saturday's final. Rona Nishliu had a strong voice and smart outfit, but the song wasn't up to much. As for the Russian grannies, I bet they made it through thanks to their costumes, the song itself "Party For Everybody" was terrible. Latvia and Finland deserved the places Albania and Russia took. Also although I disliked the preview videos for Israel and San Marino, I found both much better sung live tonight, and would much rather have seen them Saturday night in place of Moldova and Hungary. Thank goodness Greece and Ireland made to the final, they were two of the best songs of the night. I'm so overjoyed that Montenegro and Austria failed to qualify, as both were really terrible, and I'm also glad Switzerland are out as their song wasn't up to much either. So that means Greece and Cyprus are both in Saturday's final. You know what that inevitably means, they'll give each other 12 points.