So here’s just a brief resumé of the activities and reactions at Lady Duncansby’s Manor last night as we sat down to watch the first Semi of 2012. Lady Duncansby had instructed Cook to prepare a fine repast of Pork steaks and salad, topped and tailed with an excellent variety of crisps and some tasty olives. We also got through a few bottles of El Vino Exquisito. Each team’s task was to identify their ten favourites to progress through to Saturday’s final.
Montenegro – Rambo Amadeus looked all the world like an embarrassing relative late in the evening at a wedding reception. Blank faces of disbelief all round. No takers.
Iceland – General approval, although I thought it was a little ragged – I expected a crisper performance. Good enough though. Got the green light from all three of us.
Greece – Slightly out of tune, but who cares when you’ve got legs like that. We’re all suckers for a bouzouki disco number. It’s a yes from everybody.
Latvia – Mrs Chrisparkle thought the first line was “I was born in Bicester 1980” which gave it an unexpected local interest. Lady D gave it a firm “no” before Annmary had had a chance to do much name-dropping. I’ve always liked this but felt it didn’t work. Nevertheless, after we had done all our tallying by the end of the evening, we all had this progressing to the final.
Albania – This song plumbs emotional depths that go sailing over the top of our heads. Mrs C noted that whoever did her facial make-up should be shot. We all guffawed at Sara Cox’s observations on Rona’s hairdo. Just too over the top for me. No one put it in their top ten.
Romania – It’s catchy, but is it art? Mrs C and Lady D were bopping away in their chairs whilst I still failed to get it. Considering the lead singer clearly had earpiece problems she kept in tune amazingly well. Our first split decision – Mandinga were in Lady D and Mrs C’s teams but not mine.
Switzerland – Loved the light show, and felt the guys did a great job. We all loved it, and all had it sailing into the final.
Belgium – After about five notes were played Lady D had got bored enough to discuss the latest Debenhams sale with Mrs C. After a shaky start Iris got into her stride but it really is an immensely tedious experience. Three rejects.
Finland – The ladies were divided on the dress, the hair, the make-up. We were however all unanimous on the boring. Sorry Pernilla, it’s a no from us.
Israel – Having liked this a lot in the pre-season, I was surprised how lifeless it appeared on stage. The lead singer came across as a bit creepy and the two backing singers posing with each other just looked stupid. Terribly cheesy. Mrs C put it through though.
San Marino – The song having been the butt of so many run-up-to-the-contest jokes, I was expecting something dreadful. What I wasn’t expecting was Valentina’s super performance. The prevalence of uh oh oh ohs on the backdrop didn’t enhance the song, but we still liked it enough to all vote for it. Beep beep.
Cyprus – My favourite song of the year. Not sure if Ivi sang it well, as I couldn’t hear her over the sound of me singing along. I must have given an impressive performance though as we all voted for it.
Denmark – Nicely dressed troupe but still dull. Didn’t register with anyone – no votes.
Russia – I wasn’t expecting six classically trained voices but really they are awful. Not only out of tune but out of time too. Not sure about the oven – even in Buranovo I bet they rely on microwaves. Yes the little one is cute but the camera dwelt far too much on her. Virtually unspeakable in every way, but only Mrs C didn’t put it forward.
Hungary – This song has been one of my firm favourites for the last few months and I was pleased that the guys absolutely nailed the performance. About a third of the way through Lady D announced that she really didn’t like it at all. Two thirds of the way through Mrs C agreed with her. That left just me raving about it.
Austria – I was surprised how this song completely lacked energy. The preview videos may have given you a sense of the obscene or depraved but it somehow it always got down and dirty in a funky sort of way. On the night I thought it was extremely boring. Lady D and Mrs C just had “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells” looks on their faces. No support.
Moldova – I’m just loving this more and more each time I hear it. It oozes fun and I’m a big fan. Lady D wokked her popo to it. Mrs C felt by about 2 minutes 30 that it was “a bit samey”. Nevertheless we all gave it the thumbs up.
Ireland – The ladies approved of Jedward’s altered hair. Lady D already had the song down as one of her big faves and we all agreed it was an excellent performance. Unanimous approval.
So Lady D and I both got 7/10 and Mrs C got 6/10 – should have gone to Buranovskiye Specsavers.