Ten more qualifiers, and the final’s finalised!

The (always) stronger semi final is over for me now, and wasn’t it a cracker! Even the performers I’d been worried about put on great shows, didn’t they, Jedward/TWiiNS/Eric Saade? Even though we all know that the backing singers were doing 90% of the work, don’t we, Jedward/TWiiNS/Eric Saade? Anyway…tonight’s final should be out of this world amazing! And I have a sneaking suspicion we haven’t seen the winner perform yet.

If you read my wrap-up of semi 1, you’ll know what to expect from this one! So here come the highlights:

–         Bosnia & Herzegovina’s gorgeous opener. I had to ignore all the senior citizen jokes coming every second from Aussie commentators Julia and Sam in order to bask in Dino’s ambience. He is just lovely, that’s the only way I can describe him. And despite my fears that the song would be a strange opener/wouldn’t translate to an arena, it worked. Big love. And big love for that checkered coat. Where can I get one?

–          The jaw-dropping vocals from Austria and Slovenia. I’m not loving either of these songs, but when Nadine and Maja were on that stage in their mini-dresses and designer stilts, I could not tear my eyes away from them. Or should that be my ears? Whatever. When I grow up, I want to sing like that (let’s just forget the fact that both Nadine and Maja are about my age).

–         Cyprus throwing everything including the kitchen sink (albeit aptly decorated) at their act. No, it didn’t qualify, but it was haunting and exciting and dangerous and how on earth do they do that leaning thing? I meant to write a letter to Sakis Rouvas when he did it atop that giant stapler in Moscow, to ask how, but now I can pick Christos’ brain!

–          Those über-awesome break dancers from the interval. They may not become a worldwide phenomenon á la Riverdance, but how epic were they! I also must mention Cold Steel, SF1’s interval act, who were also top notch.

My lowlights:

–          Ukraine. Not Kseniya Simonvoa, the sand artist who it turns out I’d gaped at on Youtube about a year ago (she’s got skillz). Not even Mika, who looked stunning as always and sang perfectly. But Angels itself. Sure, I’m pleased they qualified, but I was hoping the new version of the song would smash it live, unlike on the CD where it sounds so…meh. But it didn’t. I still believe the song was perfection in its original, preselection form, and whoever transformed it into what it is now should be jailed. I fear a last place in the final is upon Ukraine for 2011.

–         Estonia turning out a much more mediocre performance than I’d expected. Getter’s vocals were a little off, and as for the outfits – they went from modern magnificence to Minnie Mouse on meds. I’d thought Estonia still had a chance of winning before tonight. Not any more. Sorry!

–         Latvia staying in the semis. Sob.

So who managed to escape the semis? That’d be Estonia, Romania, Moldova, Ireland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Denmark, Austria, Ukraine, Slovenia, and Sweden, lucky last as I think we all knew they would be. And this means, that, you know, I got 90% of them correct-a-mundo! I reckon that’s the closest I’ll ever get, so it’s a personal cause for celebration. Now, I know Germans like to be prompt, but they certainly raced through the magic envelopes tonight! At this rate, the final voting should be done and dusted in ten minutes. Phew.

Now to check up on the Australian scoreboard over at SBS Eurovision: Bosnia & Herzegovina topped the poll, followed by Ireland, Belgium, Austria and Sweden. We also liked Macedonia, Slovakia, Netherlands, Israel and Cyprus. We didn’t love Belarus, who only got 21 votes – still, the website did crash from an overload of traffic. We’ll blame that, ok Anastasia? Visit http://www.sbs.com.au/eurovision/ to check it all out yourself.

I’ll finish up with, as you’re all making the last arrangements for your parties, a quick preview of the grand final!

–          Paradise Oskar from Finland has the honour of kicking things off, which proved beneficial for Azerbaijan last year. I have officially been won over by this guy and his cutesy message song. I even love his grandpa dress shirt.

–          Singing in the damned 2nd position is Bosnia &Herzegovina. Let’s hope Dino can break tradition and finish on the right side of the scoreboard (by which I mean the left side).

–          France is the first Big Fiver to take the stage tonight in 11th place. Lena won last year singing 22nd…is this a double-digit sign from the Eurovision gods?

–          On a similar note (pun!) the UK will take the 14th slot, taken by Manga in 2010, who as we all know, ended up with the silver medal. I firmly believe the Blue boys can do the same, or better, if they can (another pun!) pull off a powerful, polished show.

–          For the penultimate and last songs, we’ll have two very different sounds. Serbia and Georgia will end the running order.

When it comes down to it, the trophy is up for grabs by a bunch of countries. Who will be the winner? And more importantly, which outfit will be deemed awful enough to win the Barbara Dex Award? Time will only tell…make the most of it!

A Very Excited Jaz x

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