Last night’s Semi Final started just like the first one, with the three young white male hosts who, in some inexplicable way, are supposed to embody this year’s slogan Celebrate Diversity. Unsurprisingly, their appearance in this week’s second broadcast turned out to be just as embarrassing as the first one, in true Eurovision tradition.
The Opening Act, a medley of Eurovision winners from previous years covered in Ukrainian folklore, turned out to be another proud moment for my Scandinavian soul. The act in itself was rather dull in my opinion, but out of the four songs picked for the medley, three were Scandinavian starting with Loreen’s Euphoria (Sweden, 2012), Alexander Rybak’s Fairytale (Norway, 2009), Elena Paparizou’s My Number One (Swedish singer for Greece, 2005) and Conchita Wurst’s Rise Like a Phoenix (Austria, 2014).
The Interval Act was another traditional element in Eurovision, the dance number, this time performed by the dance company Apache Crew with fifty-one dancers dressed in black portraying a children’s courtyard. And to compliment that we were shown part two of Verkavision, some pre-recorded sketches with the Ukrainian Eurovision icon Verka Serduchka, which for some unexplainable reason contained a scene with the famous Swedish children’s books character Karlsson-on-the-roof. Yes, I know that he’s highly popular in Russia and the former USSR area, but why he suddenly popped up on a roof in Kyiv I’m not clever enough to understand…
When the third host Timur continued his awful commercial break material in the Green Room last night I felt for the first time in my life the sudden wish that our Swedish public service broadcaster SVT we’re one of those TV stations who airs commercials – just to be able to miss out on his painfully bad manuscript and embarrassing delivery. But then, somewhere close to the end, we were suddenly payed off for our patience when we got to witness a surprising engagement proposal from the Macedonian sofa. Let’s just say Jana Burčeska probably won’t have to Dance Alone anymore.
Just as in Semi Final 1 nine of the ten acts who qualified for the Grand Final were on the bookmakers’ list of predicted qualifiers. Yesterday it was Estonia’s ticket to the final that got stolen by Croatia’s Jacques Houdek. Even though I couldn’t care less for neither Croatia or Romania I’m still very pleased all my favourites made it through this time.
So, staying on for the rest of the week are: five more ballads, one opera-pop duet, one yodel-rap duet, one lace-ornamented guitar, two gigantic non-functional cannons, one milk jug, one silver cello, the man in the moon, two violins, one futuristic Darth Vader mask and some record-breaking pyros.
These are the acts who proceeded to the Grand Final this Saturday, listed in the order they were announced during last night’s show.
Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov, Beautiful Mess
Belarus: Naviband, Story of My Life
Croatia: Jacques Houdek, My Friend
Hungary: Joci Pápai, Origo
Denmark: Anja, Where I Am
Israel: IMRI, I Feel Alive
Romania: Ilinca ft. Alex Florea, Yodel It!
Norway: JOWST, Grab The Moment
The Netherlands: OG3NE, Lights and Shadows
Austria: Nathan Trent, Running On Air