(See UPDATES at end)
Tonight the first semi-final of Eurovision 2013 is being held in Malmö and I will be commenting in this article (and via Twitter) as the evening progresses.
Tonight the viewers in the 16 competing countries, plus those in Sweden, Italy and the United Kingdom will be able to vote. As viewers in Spain are not able to vote tonight, the programme is not actually being shown on Spanish television, although the programme can be followed on-line here (I'll be watching it on BBC3 from the UK). Spanish viewers will however be able to vote in the 2nd semi-final on Thursday (along with viewers in France and Germany) and this programme will be televised here (on TVE - La 2). The Final is on Saturday 18th May. All 3 programmes begin at 9pm in Spain (8pm in UK) and last for about 3 hours.
1 - Austria: Natália Kelly - Shine Eliminated
(21.13)Quite a pretty lady, long dark curly hair - good strong and true voice - singing in English - nice tuneful song and she's performing it very well; 4-person backing group (2f, 2m). Pretty good & impressive I'd say.
2 - Estonia: Birgit - Et Uus Saaks Alguse Through
(21.17) - Very attractive dark-daired lady, singing presumably in Estonian. Nice ballad and she has a good voice. It's good, but whether it will appeal to wider audience I doubt, probably too high quality for Eurovision.
3 - Slovenia: Hannah - Straight Into Love Eliminated
(21.21) An American apparently, singing in English - she has a nice voice, but not entirely true I'd say, it's a lively song, but I doubt very it's a winner. Her voice is good, but not strong or true enough. Not a great song, in my view.
4 - Croatia: Klapa s mora - Mižerja Eliminated
(21.25) All male group singing in a language that is not English (good for them) & it's a tuneful song, a ballad with boppy chorus. Voices are good and powerful. Not a winner, unless Balkan voters all go for it.
5 - Denmark: Emmelie de Forest - Only Teardrops Through
(21.29) A classy song - lead female singer - long blond hair & male group and musicians. Sung in English - nice song & should do pretty well in a fair world.
6 - Russia: Dina Garipova - What If Through
(21.36) Pretty female, long straight black hair, excellent powerful and true voice and it's a nice ballad. Sung in English. It's actually quite catchy and the words are good. Might do well I suspect.
7 - Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich - Gravity Through
(21.40) Beautiful lady in tight white long dress, singing pretty well, although the song is not perhaps my cup of tea, although it is quite catchy, sung in English. Her voice is well capable of handling this pretty difficult song, though - really not bad at all.
8 - The Netherlands: Anouk - Birds Through
(21.44) Pretty lady, long auburn hair, has an excellent voice and it's a good if slightly unusual song, but I like it quite a lot and it's sung in English. A quality song, but perhaps not quite right for Eurovision, but the kind of song that could last.
9 - Montenegro: Who See - Igranka Eliminated
(21.47) Golly - 2 men dressed in space-suits! It's a saort of rap sung in 'not English. Lead female singer is good, no idea what it's about. Not a bad song and at least it's different. A winner though?
10 - Lithuania: Andrius Pojavis - Something Through
(21.51) Good-looking man singing in English. Good if not perfect voice and is a pleasant boppy pop effort. Probably not a winner I suspect - a few "off" notes in his voice.
11 - Belarus: Alyona Lanskaya - Solayoh Through
(21.55) Beautiful blond lady singing in English. Voice is good, a lively bit of Europop, backing dancers & singers. Not bad at all & quite well performed. A winner though?
12 - Moldova: Aliona Moon - O Mie Through
(21.59) Pretty red-haired lady with long ball-gown dress. Good voice, singing not in English (good). Nice ballad, but hardly a winner, in my opinion. Quite dramatic & pleasant to listen to though.
13 - Ireland: Ryan Dolan - Only Love Survives Through
(22.03) Good-looking and clad in tight leather suit - very easy on the eye. Good voice, and nice song. Voice good, but not perfect, but he is VERY good-looking so might do well. Topless male backing, leather trousers - wow!
14 - Cyprus: Despina Olympiou - An Me Thimasai Eliminated
(22.10) Rather beautiful lady with long auburn hair, singing in Greek. She has a good voice & song is rather nice. Hardly a winner though, but at least she'll get 12 points from Greece I imagine.
15 - Belgium: Roberto Bellarosa - Love Kills Through
(22.14)Young pleasant-looking man with longish straight brown hair, quite young. Good voice, singing in English a pretty nice ballad. Might do quite well in a fair world (i.e. probably not Eurovision). I like it.
16 - Serbia: Moje 3 - Ljubav Je Svuda Eliminated
(22.19) Pretty female singers dressed very strangely, like dolls really with very short dresses. Singing in another language, a boppy song, but I'm afraid I don't like it and although voices fairly good, not perfect & the whole thing is very strange. Surely this won't get to final?
I've deliberately not watched video-clips of any of the competing entries this year so it will all be fresh for me when I see them, although I think I may have seen the UK entry when it was selected, but as regular readers of this blog will know from previous years I do not apply 'favouritism' to the UK entry, however good/bad it is, even though I could actually vote for it in the final on Saturday as I am currently in Spain (so I obviously won't be able to vote for the Spanish entry), but as usual I shall vote for what I consider to be the best song and performance on the evening, irrespective of where it comes from.
My top scores tonight (7 1/2) were for Russia and Belgium. Next best score (7 1/4) went to Denmark, Netherlands, and Ireland. Apart from Serbia, which I did not like at all, there were no bad songs.
UPDATE: Once the results come through, I will mark them either Through (10) or Eliminated (6). It has been a pretty good evening overall. All former "Soviet bloc" countries got through, although no former Yugoslavian country did (they were all pretty poor songs, though). The only one I'm surprised and a bit disappointed didn't make it is Austria.
Here are my articles covering the:
- 2nd Semi-Final (16th May 2013)
- The Final (18th May 2013)