The Øresund train continues to entertain. On last night’s return journey, it was the Phantom of the Toilet that provided yesterday’s chortles – or horrifying embarrassment for those starring in the peep show.
I was peacefully seated in the corridor when a woman made her way towards me and proceeded to enter the toilet. It was all perfectly normal and not the kind of event one traditionally pays attention to. Evidently this coach had a malevolent phantom at work, as sometime after the lady had sealed herself within the privacy of the tiny booth and relaxed to do her business, the door, seemingly with a mind of its own, swung open. Seeing a middle-aged woman half naked on a toilet was never on my list of things to see in Denmark! Nor, I’m sure, was it on her list to expose herself to fellow passengers during such an intimate moment.
The show continued, though with a member of the opposite sex this time. Enough said I think.
Latvia provides the explosive start to the show SVT were hoping for. Disappointing in London, however, the PeR boys will light the semi-final 2 fuse at Malmö Arena.!
The only change we witness is lead singer, Ralfs Eilands performing an amazing crowd surf. It’s a shame these lads are buried in the running order, as they’d be safe qualifiers later on.
San Marino’s Crysalide appears too dark and arty-farty; perhaps even pretentious after PeR’s harmless fun. As previously mentioned, the Sammarinese delegation has missed an open goal when designing the staging concept.
It’s as you were for Macedonia, apart from Esma’s get up and the 100% Macedonian lyrics. She now resembles a high priestess or even something that’s just risen from the depths of hell in her new bright red outfit. Daniel suggested Jabba the Hut!
Azerbaijan were slick today and the confusion surrounding the staging seemed to dissipate. That maybe due to the amount of times we’ve seen it. There were various tweets about Baku 2014 flying around afterwards, though with Azerbaijan favourites for a poor draw, I wouldn’t get too carried away just yet.
Despite the Azerbaijani hyperbole, Finland once again explodes into life! Krista sports a new dress and delivers even more energy to the show with her backing singers and dancers.
The camera angles are perfect and it comes across as the best visual package of the contest – even better than Moldova and Azerbaijan.
Malta were stuck in a low gear during their second rehearsal. Gianluca struggled with his timing again, which is a concern looking ahead to Wednesday’s jury rehearsal.
I’m still confident this will qualify, but it will be tight. As mentioned on the podcast, if we were to look at Eurovision form, Tomorrow is more Paradise Oskar than Tom Dice.
Elitsa and Stoyan were in sparkling form for Bulgaria and sold their lively Samo Shampioni well. The camera angles are working better to capture the percussion-centric choreography. Elitsa does oversell the song in the final run-through by free-styling on some of the notes.
Samo Shampioni may not chime with western ears, yet Bulgaria’s regional support should see it through to the final.
Iceland’s Eythor, or Krista avec beard, is dripping with rock-inspired jewellery, which adds depth to his softie-like character. The staging and camera angles are helping Iceland stake a claim to one of those ten qualification places.
Eythor later performed an acapella version of Ég á líf in the press centre. Out of all the press centre performances to date, this was the highlight! There will be an upset in this semi-final.
Greece’s Koza Mostra & Agathon Iakovidis didn’ pack the punch I was hoping for. Alcohol is free is still an entertaining three minutes, and with their regional support, I envisage a high finish in the semi-final.
Moran Mazor is another balladeer smothered in jewellery. It’s as if the Icelandic and Israeli delegations raided Sweden’s answer to Accessorize during transit.
Mazor is vocally fine, yet there’s a sense that Iceland’s visual package is stealing their march.
Armenia’s Gor Sujyan is selling Lonely Planet extremely well. His vocal is crisp with some neat flips that should grab the attention of juries. Ukraine’s Alyosha springs to mind: dreary song, great vocal! The song now ends with a barrage of Gyllenhammar fire cannons.
ByeAlex continues with his bland performance style for Hungary. His glasses appear to have gotten bigger, yet he doesn’t seem to find the camera any easier with them. Keeping it brief, there’s no way this is qualifying.
Norway’s Margaret Berger brought her A-game to second rehearsals. The camera angles visible through the TV feed were fantastic and on a par with the Norwegian national final.
Margaret has made some adjustments to her dress by adding some blingy diamante epaulets.
Once Norway had finished their rehearsal, odds bizarrely started to lengthen a tad and we were initially confused. In my opinion, the Market doesn’t know what to make of Norway’s entry. Is it strong enough to push for the win in both the semi-final and final, or is it hampered by its strong regional allies? Only time will answer tell.
It’s apparent that Albania need the pyrotechnics to have any hope of qualification. Luckily, their stage is like a New Year’s Eve firework display with all the world’s capitals rolled into one. In the press centre, we were pouring over videos of Turkey’s 2011 failure, which was buried in a difficult semi-final to qualify from. I still suspect we’ll see Albania in the final after their expensive firework display.
Was it possible for Georgia to improve? With a few camera angle changes, Sophie & Nodi’s Waterfall is looking very impressive indeed and is pushing all the right buttons. For the pyro rehearsal, Daniel and I watched the performance from one of the televisions and we noticed a few timing and tuning issues that weren’t apparent before. We’ll now be watching the jury rehearsal from that position, as it shows us Eurovision through the eyes and ears of the average TV viewer.
The Switzerland team are missing a stylist, as the Sali Army crew look more like the IT Crowd than Eurovision hopefuls. Even though they involve 95 year old Emil, the spark is clearly missing from their performance. Proceeding Romania, it’s highly likely Takasa will miss out on qualification.
Cezar was looking more determined than ever for Romania. The red sheet now resembles a giant pulsating placenta or haemorrhoid when the dancers start to emerge, and there’s a sense that the dancers beneath look trapped, rather than it resembling rehearsed choreography. The dance routine has progressed into a distracting sideshow, rather like we witnessed at last year’s contest from France’s Anggun. From what I’ve seen today, I can’t for the life of me see Romania qualifying from semi-final two. It’s a freaky mess!