The semi-final – Team Eurovision’s Verdict

Posted: 18/5/2006 in:

And here’s what we thought of the show:

ARMENIA – is it just us or did Andre sound ever so slightly out of tune tonight? We so wanted Armenia to do well on their very first try but coupled with dodgy sounding vocals and some just plain weird dancing, we’re not so sure. What a shame.

BULGARIA – having gotten over all the initial jokes about Mariana Popova being a character on Rentaghost, she took us by surprise by being not half bad. The song is still far too screechy and whiney for our liking though, especially when the transvestite backing vocals kick in.

SLOVENIA – we’ve been rooting for this one from the very beginning, and Anzej certainly didn’t disappoint. Best performance so far, one which only served to highlight the weakness of the previous two.

ANDORRA – another letdown. We really liked Jenny’s song when we first heard it, but her voice just didn’t seem up to the task on the night. And we can only assume that the underwear-clad backing dancers have had their dresses impounded by Greek customs.

BELARUS – Polina certainly gave it her all with a spirited performance, but it wasn’t enough to cover up the fact that the song just isn’t very good. And we still have no idea what language she’s singing in.

ALBANIA – again, a weak song, but nonetheless a nice, if unspectacular performance from Luiz. We don’t reckon he has much of a chance of qualifying though.

BELGIUM – anticipation has naturally been running high for the first of the evening’s favourites, and despite mixed word of mouth from Athens Kate Ryan did pretty well (and fab dress too). On the basis of this, we’d be very surprised if she didn’t qualify.

IRELAND – is it just us, or was this slowed down considerably on stage? Nonetheless, a classy performance from Brian Kennedy, and one which certainly surpassed the expectations of many.

CYPRUS – we’re still not keen on the song, but we have to admit Annette sold it pretty well. Could still qualify on the strength of that performance.

MONACO – lots of colour and vibrancy as we expected, but spoiled by Severine’s wildly unpredictable vocals. One member of Team Eurovision pointed out the resemblance to Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini early on. We’ve been wondering what it sounded like!

FYR MACEDONIA – one of the best of the night so far. Elena looked great, sold the song superbly and the dancers complemented her performance rather than dominating it. Puts some of the other weaker performances to shame.

POLAND – very rarely are Team Eurovision rendered speechless, but Poland’s performance, complete with its extravagant costumes and fireworks , just about did it for us. So mad that it could just work in the Poles’ favour.

RUSSIA – his dancing’s still a bit peculiar, but otherwise Dima lived up to our expectations and did very well indeed. Can’t see this one missing out on a place in the final.

TURKEY – like the song itself, there was something missing from this performance for us. Maybe it was that the vocals sounded a bit flat, or perhaps it was Sibel’s rather tacky outfit and scary tattoos. We just don’t know.

UKRAINE – the contrast between Sibel and Tina wasn’t hard to spot. Quite simply, Tina was fab and turned her fortunes in the contest round with this performance.

FINLAND – the one we’ve all been waiting for, and they so didn’t disappoint. Lordi combined fireworks, pyrotechnics and bat wings to deliver the performance of the night.

NETHERLANDS – Finland was always going to be a hard act to follow, and although the Netherlands tried their best there was something curiously flat about this performance. Which brings us on to…

LITHUANIA – who in turn made Poland look quite sane. They’re not going to qualify, surely??

PORTUGAL – not quite as bad as we first feared, but it’s still not great by any stretch. Can’t see this one making it out of the semis.

SWEDEN – couldn’t quite make out Carola’s Bacofoil outfit but performance was nonetheless as slick as we had expected. Is it just us though or is the whole thing a tad clinical?

ESTONIA – this was always going to fare poorly next to Sweden and the average but unremarkable performance just highlighted the fact the song isn’t really that good.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – very classy performance from Hari Mata Hari that didn’t let us down (even if he seems to have borrowed Serbia and Montenegro’s band from 2004). A very real contender to win the semi-final, we think.

ICELAND – arriving in Eurovision territory amid a wave of hype, we didn’t know what to expect from Silvia Night. But for all the sparkliness of the performance we can’t help thinking the joke has worn off.

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