Eurovision Final Picks

Right. In order of placement. This is my story and I’m sticking to it. I am NOT putting Ukraine on this list. I won’t give it the satisfaction.

1. Serbia – I think it’s a heated battle between Serbia and Hungary for the win. Both women are great singers and can bring it home. I give the edge to Serbia because of the neighborly voting. She generated tons of buzz from the semi-final.

2. Hungary – Great song. She’s in it to win, and I’d love to see this upset. I’m just not sure she’ll be able to derail Serbia.

3. Spain – I actually think this is the strongest of the non-semi finals. Besides they’re dreamy.

4. Belarus – Another one for the dreamy vote.

5. Sweden – Hey, it’s Sweden.

6. Germany – This is wishful thinking that it’ll be this high, but I’m a fan of the song.

7. Latvia – It ain’t my cup of tea, but Il Divo sells a lot of records, so clearly this is up the alley of a lot of other people. And, man, they did have a good reception at the semifinal.

8. Russia – I can’t articulate why I’m putting this here, just a hunch. The song is cute, the girls are hot.

9. Turkey – SHAKE IT!

10. Georgia – Again, I just generally like this song, I like the vocalist. I like swords.

Chris’ Finals Picks

My semi-final predictions were not so good: I only got five out of the 10 correct. I had three failings:

1. As I said before, I underestimated opera;
2. I also overestimated rock music that didn’t feature make-up and bat wings;
3. I picked Belgium.

In regards to that whole Eastern bloc voting conspiracy thing that seems to be rumbling around Europe right now, I agree with the analysis offered by Mike Atkinson of troubled diva:

“…since the bulk of the Eastern nations joined Eurovision well after the Congratu-Boom-A-Bangy-Diggi-Diggi-Ley years, they are less inclined to see the contest as a camp joke, as we do in the West. Therefore, instead of relying on fading stars or second-rate chancers, they field their biggest stars, take the competition seriously – and hence produce much of the best material.”

Anyway, back to tomorrow’s big event. Here’s my prediction for the top 10. Let’s see if I can redeem myself.

10. Slovenia – Alenka Gotar: “Cvet Z Juga”
9. Russia – Serebro: “Song #1”
8. Georgia – Sopho: “Visionary Dream”
7. Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maria Šestić: “Rijeka Bez Imena”
6. Bulgaria – Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov: “Water”
5. Turkey – Kenan Doğulu – “Shake It Up Shekerim”
4. Germany – Roger Cicero: “Frauen Regier’n Die Welt”
3. Belarus – Koldun: “Work Your Magic”
2. Hungary – Magdi Rúzsa: “Unsubstantial Blues”
1. Serbia – Marija Šerifović: “Molitva”

I am also predicting the U.K. get the nil vote.

I am not confident in these picks, to be honest. I wonder if political issues surrounding Serbia will hurt Marija’s chances. Also, the opera singers make me very nervous.

The Semifinal Results

While the votes were being tabulated, there was some modernized Finnish traditional dance and music. It was pretty bad, yet still better than Poland.

There were quite a few empty seats in Helsinki Arena, by the way. But this is just the semi-finals, and a school night to boot.

UPDATED: I take it back. Some of the clips during the recaps were taken from rehearsal. I figured this out when I saw Magda wearing a different tank-top during her clip.

UPDATED AGAIN: I was right the first time, according to the BBC (who include a picture of Sopho in its article).

Anyway, I had to go to class before the results were announced. I’m home now and getting caught up. Here is the running order for Saturday’s final. Tonight’s semifinal winners are highlighted; the rest are the countries with the bye to the final.

1. Bosnia & Herzegovina – Maria Šestić: “Rijeka Bez Imena”
2. Spain – D’Nash: “I Love You Mi Vida”
3. Belarus – Koldun: “Work Your Magic” (An inevitability, really. I’ve got this stuck in my head right now. It hurts us.)
4. Ireland – Dervish: “They Can’t Stop The Spring”
5. Finland – Hanna Pakarinen: “Leave Me Alone”
6. Macedonia – Karolina: “Mojot Svet” (That’s a surprise, although I don’t mind this one going through at all.)
7. Slovenia – Alenka Gotar: “Cvet Z Juga” (I was right to be nervous.)
8. Hungary – Magdi Rúzsa: “Unsubstantial Blues” (I am so happy about this. Magda could win this, I tell you.)
9. Lithuania – 4Fun: “Love Or Leave”
10. Greece – Sarbel: “Yassou Maria”
11. Georgia – Sopho: “Visionary Dream” (YAAAAAAAY!!!)
12. Sweden – The Ark: “The Worrying Kind”
13. France – Les Fatals Picards: “L’amour À La Française”
14. Latvia – Bonaparti.lv: “Questa Notte” (You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.)
15. Russia – Serebro: “Song #1”
16. Germany – Roger Cicero: “Frauen Regier’n Die Welt”
17. Serbia – Marija Šerifović: “Molitva” (She really was a lock to make the final.)
18. Ukraine – Verka Serduchka: “Dancing Lasha Tumbai”
19. United Kingdom – Scooch: “Flying The Flag (For You)”
20. Romania – Todomondo: “Liubi, Liubi, I Love You”
21. Bulgaria – Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov: “Water” (I’m surprised. I thought going first was going to do them in.)
22. Turkey – Kenan Doğulu – “Shake It Up Shekerim” (Good for him. Kenan had better bring it better on Saturday than he did tonight.)
23. Armenia – Hayko: “Anytime You Need”
24. Moldova – Natalia Barbu: “Fight” (This made it and Switzerland didn’t? Unfair.)

About the only thing I can say is that I underestimated how beloved opera still is in Europe. Other than that, and Moldova going through, I don’t have a huge problem with these results.

Incidentally, I just remembered that they don’t do the elaborate voting procedure during the semis that they use in the finals. They just announce who is moving on. I will pretend Poland got a nil vote, anyway.

UPDATED: As it turns out, Poland ended up with 75 points, which disturbs me. The Czech Republic only got 1 point, from Estonia. That’s still one more than Jemini got.

Reactions From the Highlights

OH, THERE’S A SUMMARY.

Missed the first one…

Israel – looked pretty darn amusing to me.
Cyprus – sounded pretty good.
Belarus – cheesy. Who cares, he is doing magic.
Iceland – There are big eyes in the background. He not only sounds like Meatloaf, he looks like Meatloaf.
Georgia – cool. Go girl! Is it me or does she looks a little too happy?
Montenegro – eh?
Switzerland – I love the guy with the mohawk.
Moldova – well, she’s in tune.
Netherlands – sounds just like Anastacia.
Albania – wow, he’s old.
Denmark – pitchy. But that’s some headdress.
Croatia – pitchy. Painful.
Poland – I don’t have time to start.
Serbia – she looks like Lea Delaria. Sounded ok from what I could tell.
Czech Republic – yes, they rock. Lower case rock.
Portugal – she’s pretty. weak singer. Much quieter than all the others.
FYR Macedonia – heh heh she said douche.
Norway – she’s old.
Malta – there’s a gong in the background.
Andorra – ARROWS!!!! Wow, they’re totally out of tune.
Hungary – tight, she sounded good. I love the tank top and jeans, totally stripped down look which is a nice contrast to the glammed up other acts.
Estonia – sorry, I missed it. Dave came in and needed cash.

The rest I already did.

The Voting Window

And there are our 28 semi-finalists. There is a 15-minute voting window. The hosts get the entire crowd to countdown 3, 2, 1 in Finnish to start the voting.

I’m standing by my predictions, by the way.

To kill some time, there’s a recap of tonight’s performances, followed by some footage of the “Euro Club” in Helsinki, followed by the recap of tonight’s performances again. It’s better filler than your average American Idol results show, actually.

Latvia

YES!!! I’m stepping in just in time to see all the awesome ones. This one is a laugh riot. People in the office have no idea why I’m roaring.

These guys are wearing tophats, tails, and blue jeans. It’s a strange look to say the least. Like they’re have Italian tenors, but the other half had to pick their outfit out of a dumpster. Incredibly un-hot singers. Most of which are horribly pitchy. It’s all I had hoped it would be from the recording.

The background lights look like a big cross when looked at from an establishing shot. Damn Christian propaganda.

Latvia

And we end with Bonaparti.lv, our second opera performers of the evening. They’re wearing top hats, tuxedo jackets, vests of different colors with matching medals, and blue jeans. Well, the first three singers are. The next three have eschewed the vests, but kept the medals. The last one is wearing a long white scarf.

I am cataloging their outfits instead of evaluating their performance because it got so bad I took off the headphones I’m listening to the show through to avoid further brain damage.

Seriously, I miss the metal puppet.

Austria

Seems to have taken his costuming inspiration from Kylie Minogue’s latest tour. I hadn’t expected him to be so gay. There’s definitely a drag queen thing going on this year between Denmark, Ukraine’s entry and this one.

OHH!! I get it, an AIDS ribbon.

GET ALIVE. I see we have another act in the vampire theme.

Still Austria is making an active effort to engage the Helsinki crowd. That’s good. Also, he’s in tune.

Austria

I’ve activated the Blogger word verification again.

Eric Papilaya is wearing a silvery sweatshirt. He starts off by standing inside a giant red ribbon, with the back-up dancers dressed in feathery red costumes lying on top. “Get a Life – Get Alive” has its background as an AIDS benefit song, you see. The staging comes up kinda cheesy, though. He’s a really strong singer, and I wonder if he can ride a primo performance slot into an appearance in the finals. I’m liking this live much better than on the studio version.

Turkey

SHAKE IT! SHAKE IT!

Oh, awesome, I’m here in time to catch Turkey’s performance!
Why is he dressed like a ringmaster? Oh, I’ve got a good feeling about this one, totally dancable. A good time. Besides, he ended with fire.