Hopefully you enjoyed the little countdown to the Eurovision Song Contest over the last few weeks. With the ceremony coming up tomorrow (or today, depending which time zone you’re in) I thought we might take a quick look at some of the highlights from this week’s semi-finals.
As you have probably long since forgotten, Denmark won last year, so this year the contest is taking place in Copenhagen. There were two semi-finals, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, which you probably didn’t notice because there’s no reason why you should.
I haven’t bothered watching any of the finalists yet because I want to keep some kind of element of surprise for the weekend (OK, that was a lie – honestly it’s because I don’t really care very much) but I did take a quick spin through the losers to see just how bad they were.
On Tuesday, the first of the semi-finals, we lost six of the most mediocre participants: Albania, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, and Portugal. After a break of two years, Portugal must be pretty annoyed at having made the effort to turn up this year only to get knocked out in the first round.
Which of them was the worst? Well, a couple weren’t too bad actually – the round Belgian entry probably didn’t deserve to drop out quite so soon, and whoever produced the Moldavian entry actually did quite a good job. Estonia’s Barbie-lookalike effort was passable, despite some inexplicable choreography, but I think on balance the worst of the lot was this from Latvia:
Much as I like cake, this is worse than cringeworthy. Anyway, going through to the finals are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Iceland, Montenegro, Netherlands, Russia, San Marino, Sweden, and Ukraine. It’s tempting to wonder whether the former Soviet voting bloc will continue this year or not… apparently Russia got booed, although they still made the top ten, so maybe the judges aren’t quite as judgemental as everyone else…
The second semi-final took place yesterday, so I haven’t had a huge amount of time to work out what happened yet. We lost Georgia, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, and Macedonia. The Irish must be gutted – they seem to be more obsessed with the Song Contest than any other nation! Worse still, their entry was pure Eurovision.
Israel’s entry was pretty good, although I’m not sure I really want to know what she’s singing about. The Macedonian entry was relatively inoffensive (OK, you wouldn’t want to listen to it at any other time of year, but Eurovision is always a bit of a special case), and the unpronounceable artist from Lithuania was bad but not entirely appalling. But the prize for total drivel from Thursday goes to this monstrosity from Georgia. Well deserving of going out in the first round:
So Tuesday saw sixteen entrants participating, and Thursday brought us another fifteen. From each of those, for some reason ten go through to the final, making you wonder slightly what the point in the semi-finals actually is. Five countries – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK – go through automatically because they pay lots of money to the European Broadcasting Union, and Denmark qualifies automatically as host. Four of last year’s entrants – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Serbia – all decided the whole thing was too much trouble and withdrew. So that leaves 26 songs for this weekend’s stupefyingly dull television spectacular. Get out your miniature flags, invent your drinking games, and enjoy yourselves!
If you want to take a look at what we said about last year’s contest, head here.