Eurovision!! Eeeeeeee!!!

It’s been hard to restart blogging after Bento’s latest post, for obvious reasons. Especially when it concerns something as frivolous as Eurovision. But it’s on now, or at least the semi-finals are. Yes you heard right, SEMI FINALS.

The authorities in their wisdom have responded to the ever-widening borders of Eurovision Europe by establishing the 1st 2-part Eurovision; there are now simply too many contestants and countries to fit into a 3-hour format. 42 of them, now including Georgia (the Russians won’t have the nerve to invade after this) and the Czech Republic. I think this is a triumph for Europe, proof of concept if you like.

Oh dear the Czechs are on, and you can tell they’re beginners: they’re fielding a classic metal-biker format, non-English language, which would be fine if the lead singer didn’t sound like an ashtray, someone who has had, or is having, his vocal chords removed. Better luck next year.

Portugal now, giant fans being waved about. Wife seems to like them.

I wonder what the voting will be like in the semis, and whether the tactical/regional blocks which have been the hallmark of recent Eurovisions will be broken up. There has been a preponderance of Balkan countries in the top 10 in recent years, giving each other “dix points”, and one feels a sense of Balkan solidarity has driven their voting rather than the quality of song or performance. Let’s see.

Ooh Malta on. They often do a bit better than their population size would imply. Must be a musical bunch. More fans being waved about. Gongs. Gay violinists with shaved chests. The hosts have installed a wind machine that blows everyone’s hair around in the loud bits.

Whoops Andorra is on. Andorra! That’s even smaller than Malta. They have a boy rock band, they must have emptied the schools. The Swiss commentator hopes they don’t win, they’ll have nowhere but the local pizzeria to host the 2008 Eurovision. I think that would be cool. Actually they are very good.

It’s a bit unfair: the top 10 from last year qualify for the finals, only 10 will make it from the semi finals, but apparently the UK, Germany,  Spain, and France automatically qualify! The Finns of course, they won last year with the fabulous Lordy. But these automatic qualifications are outrageous. Sizeist. Germany never take it seriously, the UK have been abysmal in recent years, Spain, France merely mediocre. Obviously cold hard cash is talking here, these guys have the largest TV audiences, but why not Italy?

Austria is on now. Silver lamé, pointless dancers dressed entirely in red. Song called “Get a Life”. Quite.

Who do I fancy here to get through? Latvia are VERY good. Original format too. 6 guys singing a catchy anthem in Italian. They should be OK. Turks too, they have a huge diaspora to help them. Moldova were good, yelling at us to “fight” while leaving exactly what to fight unspecified. Good idea, very motivational. Singer was hot, which helps. Andorra I hope. Israel are a cert. Wife liked Hungary, but I can’t agree with her on Portugal. Belgium was cool, kitschy disco. I think the Swiss, the unfortunately named DJ Bobo yelling something random about vampires, were catchy enough with just the right amount of weirdness. Georgia, as far as I can tell, had the best song. Let’s see. Voting ending soon.

UPDATE: it’s all going wrong!! Slovenia, Belarus and Montenegro through! A travesty. Wife right on Hungary. None of these deserve it to my mind.

YESSS Georgia through. I am a winner. Latvia too. Serbia?!? Weren’t they all lesbians? That’s probably why now I think about it. Bulgaria now. The bloc is coming through for them, you can’t keep it down. Turkey now. Last one. The Swiss commentator is beside himself. OH IT’S MOLDOVA. I think Spinoza would have voted for them, so that’s OK. Swiss guy is muttering about the Eastern bloc running it all it’s a Balkan mafia, they are cursing their neutrality, poor DJ Bobo and the vampires they are out.

On to Saturday for the final. The bloc is in place.