For what it’s worth…the first semi-final, part 2
Posted by Caroline on May 8, 2013
SEMI-FINAL 1 – Part 2
9 MONTENEGRO: Who See – Igranka
There are some countries who, you get the impression, are destined never to win Eurovision no matter how hard they try. Montenegro, for all their best efforts, have generally fallen squarely into that category, probably due to their habit of sending songs which veer between forgettable and downright weird. However this year’s effort is a big improvement on Rambo Amadeus (well let’s face it it couldn’t be worse), which attempts dubstep on to the Eurovision stage courtesy of rap duo Who See – and the results are, shall we say, different. A bit of grime here, a bit of jaunty rapping there, some sexy ladies shaking their comely booties – you get the drift. Coming straight after a trio of ballads it’s guaranteed to stand out from the pack – all they have to do now is produce the kind of stage show which brings the house down and we could be looking at a surprise addition to the final line-up.
10 LITHUANIA: Andrius Pojavis – Something
This year’s attempt to sound almost exactly like The Killers (as pioneered by the sorely overlooked Swiss act Sinplus in 2012) comes courtesy of Lithuania – and we must admit as soundalikes go this is pretty impressive. Unfortunately that’s as far as it goes for us in terms of being impressed, for this is a weird mess of a song, which isn’t really helped by Andrius’s creepy weird vocals. It’s quirky, it’s odd and there’s part of us which would love to see how this goes down in the final. Back in the real world however, we would point out that someone has to come last – and barring any last-minute equipment failures or goldfish impersonations from Denmark this is looking like a likely contender for the wooden spoon.
11 BELARUS: Alyona Lanskaya – Solayoh
So Alyona finally gets the chance to represent Belarus at Eurovision, having been unceremoniously booted from the competition last year amid allegations of vote-fixing. Not that her path to the contest this year was a smooth one, having changed her song from her original disco-tastic contender Rhythm Of Love (hang on, the song was changed last year as well. And the year before when Born in Belorussia was swapped for I Love Belarus. Do you see a pattern emerging here?) Still, it wasn’t a bad decision on her part since Solayoh is classic Eurovision – or at least would be if it were being sung by Greece or Cyprus. It’s catchy and fun, certainly, and offsets its Mediterranean style hooks with a bit of Wild Dances-esque drumming, but you can’t help feeling it’s a bit odd coming from Belarus. Still reckon it’ll make the final, mind.
12 MOLDOVA: Aliona Moon – O Mie
We loved Moldova to bits last year so it’s nice to see Pasha Parfeny back this year, albeit as songwriter this time, for his former backing vocalist Aliona Moon (she being one of the odd backing singers in the scary tights from 2012). The national final saw her looking similarly quirky, in a giant dress which had patterns and colours reflected on to its skirt for the duration of the song, not to mention hair which stuck out to the side in a kind of ‘if the wind changes you’ll stay like that’ sort of way. But what of the song itself? Well as far as we’re concerned this is one of the underrated gems of the contest, a complex ballad (which works just as well in Romanian as it does in English) with plenty of dramatic flourishes that’s far better than many of its female ballad peers. With a good performance and a decent draw in the final this could well surpass expectatuons. Although knowing our predilection for prediction it’ll probably get about four points, all of them from Romania.
13 IRELAND: Ryan Dolan – Only Love Survives
We were never in favour of them in the first place but now they’re gone we have to admit we are missing Jedward. This year instead we have the cute, eager to please Ryan Dolan, singing a song which is, for want of a better word, unremarkable, despite its effort to cross Euphoria-like beats with a bit of ethno-drumming in a bid to sound different. We’re on the fence about this one since out of all the songs on offer, this is the one which is confounding us the most over its ability to make the final. A lot will depend on how it looks on stage and how he performs it of course. So maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps. Told you we were on the fence.
14 CYPRUS: Despina Olympiou – An Me Thimase
Is there anybody anywhere who is rating this song at all? It’s so far off our radar that we actually forgot who was singing after Ireland and had to look it up. The point is it’s not actually that bad, not exactly ground-breaking but decent enough. Unfortunately for the lovely Despina though, it is also on the dull side, especially compared to some of the showier ballads on offer – and for that reason, and without even Greece to save it in this semi-final, we fear it is destined to sink without trace. Cyprus, Eurovision Blog is very disappointed in you. Next please.
15 BELGIUM: Roberto Bellarossa – Love Kills
Here’s another surprise in the line-up – we have to admit when we first heard this effort way back in December we thought it was a bit limp to be honest, another Belgian effort destined for the non-qualification dumper. The studio revamp, however, has completely changed our minds – in fact it’s a thoroughly likeable, if slightly dated, bit of electronic pop whose chorus has a nagging tendency to worm its way into your brain and stay there. All Roberto has to do now is look a bit less intense and not sing ‘LORRRRRRRRRVE KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELZ’ as he appeared to do in the national final and we could be looking at a Belgian return to the final. Not that we expect it to do much once it’s there, mind.
16 SERBIA: Moje 3 – Lubav Je Svuda
The first semi-final crawls to an end with something a little different from Serbia, who are clearly on a mission to prove to us that not all their entries are about bouzoukis or looking mournful (although let’s face it they seem to do better when they are). Thus we have girl group Moje 3 – a sort of pound shop version of The Saturdays, less two members – singing an upbeat little number about the angel, the devil and the girl they are fighting over. Possibly the only song in Eurovision history ever to reference fish food (and if you can think of another we would love to hear about it), this is one of those guilty pleasure type tunes which really will live or die by its performance. And on that basis we can’t tell you if we think it will get to the final. Much as we would like to.