Owing to the lateness of the arrival of Mrs Chrisparkle slaying dragons in London business meetings late into teatime, our Semi Final Two started at approximately 9.15pm, but fortunately the chase play thingy worked ok so we didn’t miss out. I had even timed it so that I remembered at about 9.30 to stop watching for a bit and phone in my votes for my bets, I mean favourites.
After a splendid gluten-free Waitrose Bolognese Pasta treat, and munching deeply on Lady Duncansby’s roulade, it was time to assess those Semi Final Two performances. As on Tuesday, the goal was to find out own personal ten favourites who we would put through to Saturday’s final.
Serbia – A performance full of class that we all appreciated. Lady D announced her approval of it within seconds of the violin striking up. “Those sleeves are distracting” said Mrs C. There’s no pleasing some people. All three said yes.
FYR Macedonia – Its slow and slightly weird first verse alienated Lady D who said “no” a number of times. Mrs C stayed silent. I thought it was an incredibly good performance. Lady D succumbed a little to its rockier charm in the second verse. Mrs C still silent. I was very impressed. All agreed to send it to the final.
Netherlands – Within seconds of it starting Lady D was loving it. I’ve never been a fan of this song and I didn’t think Joan sang very well. Her notes were all over the place at times. By the second verse Lady D and Mrs C were swaying from side to side but I was resolutely not joining in. By the end they had fashioned a tomahawk out of a piece of cheese and were erecting a wigwam in the dining room. It just doesn’t do it for me. However, when I added up my scores in the end I found it was still just in my top ten so we all put it through.
Malta – The living room erupted into a glittering ballroom of enjoyment. Kurt did a really good performance, the stage and light show were terrific and we’ve all promised to practise our pointy shoe shuffle for Saturday night. My top score of the night. Unanimous approval.
Belarus – How many times have they changed this arrangement? It’s got slightly rockier again and I thought their live performance was better than the one on the CD. Mrs C does a similar trick with the microphone stands when she’s attempting pilates. Another song that we all gave a tick to.
Portugal – It did precisely what it said on the tin. A very good performance, even if Mrs C and Lady D made defamatory comments about Filipa’s legs. Good quality entry but just not my plate of bacalhau. Despite saying she’s not into Fado, Mrs C was the only one to approve.
Ukraine – another Sara Cox guffaw moment when she likened Gaetana to a Dolmio puppet. I felt it was much better as a studio recording than a live performance – there were too many holes in the wall of sound. Lady D thought the backing dancers were fresh out of I Claudius. We did enjoy the albeit pixilated effect of the people dancing behind her – one way to get out of the 6 person only rule. Still uplifting though, so we all put it through.
Bulgaria – Oh no, said Lady D, not at all. And we all kind of agreed. It was ok but she got a bit screechy at times. I thought Portugal was a better example of its genre than this song was of its (club style thing) and as I voted Portugal quite low I had to vote this lower. Mrs C surprised us by choosing to promote it to Saturday material.
Slovenia – Quite nice, but just not quite nice enough was the general consent. I made a rather sexist remark associating the lead backing singer and with the generously proportioned underwear outlet Bravissimo. This was the first song that none of us selected.
Croatia – And this was the second. Lady D was aghast at Nina’s knees. It also had very silly dancers. Embarrassingly so. I wrote down the phrase “deliberately awful”.
Sweden – Of all the songs in the contest this is the one that, despite my better judgment, has been VERY slowly growing on me. I still think it fails in many ways but it does have a je ne sais quoi, something I just can’t explain. Her appearance is something akin to a flesh-eating zombie Kate Bush. Lady D noted that it was nice to see Mr T again doing the dancing. Direkt til Baku.
Georgia – Awful song and ragged performance; although I did think it was a bit unfair for Anri to have to perform in the remains of Loreen’s dandruff. The worst attempt at bongo drumming I’ve ever seen. Zilch.
Turkey – I find this song intensely irritating and I thought it was another poorish performance. Still, it’s Turkey, so what can you say. It snuck in as my number 10 and Lady D also begrudgingly gave it a thumbs up.
Estonia – He really has changed the performance of this song hasn’t he? I didn’t like it much before and I probably haven’t changed my mind – it sounds really overperformed now. Mrs C actually suggested pressing the fast forward button. There was, however, some mild appreciation of Mr Lepland’s rather famous charisma implant, noticeable from most angles. Not enough for any of us to vote for him though.
Slovakia – Lady D confessed she didn’t mind the song, and to be honest I quite like it too. I thought Max was out of tune for most of the performance – pitched far too high, unlike his waistband. Nul points.
Norway – Thought it had a bit of a ropey start, and a bit of a ropey end, but somehow he got through it ok. Catchy enough to survive. Three votes for yes.
Bosnia Herzegovina – Dull, dull, dull. Performed quite well. Dull, dull, dull. No votes.
Lithuania – A great performance of a slushy song. Not much more to say really. The PC part of me finds the whole blindfold thing a bit tasteless. Lady D and I put this through.
So the scores for last night were that Lady D and I both got 8/10 and Mrs C just 6/10. Just the big night on Saturday to look forward to now!