Eurovision semi aftermath…

Ireland2013Last night’s Eurovision semi-final (part one) was actually very entertaining. Sweden put on a good show and, even though the presenter was pretty far on the wrong side of “odd”, we didn’t see much of her. The attention was firmly on the acts.

Which were a decidedly mixed bunch.

Some of my faves performed last night, including Ireland, Estonia and Austria. Of these, only Ireland and Estonia got through to Saturday’s final. And I’m not convinced that Ireland’s Wolverine-esque drummer wasn’t the cause of most of their votes last night…no harm. It’s all entertainment!

Sadly, Cyprus didn’t get through – I could virtually hear the sigh of relief from the Department of Finance in Nicosia. A massive international song contest is not exactly on their wish list right now.

Some surprises, including Belgium and Lithuania. I didn’t see that coming. A positive surprise was the result for the Netherlands – Anouk survived, the first Dutch act to get through to the final since 1997. Well done her. It goes to show that a good song, delivered with style, can succeed without gimmicks.

Politics is never far from the Eurovision.

Sadly, out of the ten acts that got through, two were from dictatorships. I find it ironic that Russia has institutionalised homophobia and yet clamours to win what has to be the gayest television event in the world.

As for Belarus…words fail me.

It also seems like the EBU’s tactic of splitting countries across the semi-finals is paying off – not a single state from the former Yugoslavia got through. I’d like to think this was also in part to a modicum of good taste. Serbia’s entry in particular was dire.

So what’s next?

Thursday evening brings the send semi-final which features corkers like Greece, Finland and Israel, with a couple of nice tunes from Malta (they may well win…at last!) Norway and Iceland.

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