What we noticed during the first semi final 2021

Bax, Tix! Mənə toxunmaq istəyən bütün bu əllərim var! Pic by Andres Putting / EBU

Ship Ahoy, holy moly, whatta night we all had yesterday! We haven’t been this excited since, yeah, you guessed it, two years ago in TLV. A bottle of chardonnay helped us come to terms with NOT being in the arena in Rotterdam and numbed our senses just enough to endure a few questionable vocal performances. But more on that later! Here’s a recap of what we noticed during last night’s semi-final.

It was truly an emotional moment for us when the hosts belted out their Good Evening Europe from the stage. Seeing the crowd cheering in the arena filled us with equal amounts of anxiety and euphoria, which is pretty much how we would normally feel after spending seven+ nights in a row in Euroclub. An overwhelming sense of and longing for normality almost made us sob a little.

You know that feeling when you are ready to hug the GEE ladies and they are nowhere to be found? Not sure Lithuania’s Vaidotas Valiukevičius does either, but a girl can dream. Pic by Andres Putting/EBU

Lithuania opened the show with a bang(er) and gave us instructions on what to do. Pretty sure there were quite a few of us across Europe who got up and danced alone. After the Slovenian woman had finished belting out her Hallelujahs it was time to welcome THE Russian Woman on stage. Manizha seemed to have a little trouble in the beginning, which is totally understandable, we would have been nervous too if we were about to perform a song which had been thoroughly investigated by our own authorities. Luckily, she quickly picked up the pace and completely nailed it in the end. What a brave and utterly fabulous woman! Guri is currently writing a piece about her for the biggest newspaper in Norway so we’re doing our best to secure 12 points from Norway to Russia come Saturday evening.

Tusse from Sweden was spectacularly out of tune and of course our very professional music reviewers in our biggest newspapers rewarded him with top score. We’re starting to think the Swedish epidemiologist is in charge of their winning strategy this year. Montaigne picked up where Tusse left and we had to check our TV’s audio and file a complaint to the EBU for poor sound quality and for torturing our cats and husbands. We soon realized that the Australian artist could start looking for flights back home on Wednesday morning, or hang on a minute… Well, at least the Australian broadcaster saved some money this year, we suggest they spend it on sending extra many kangaroos next year.

Note to self: When a man turns into a disco ball, hold on very tight to your integrity as a Eurovision critic. Pic by Andres Putting/EBU

Vasil from North Macedonia was not left a snowball’s chance in hell to survive the evening, but he sure gave it his best shot with the best vocal of the night and we think we fainted a little when he flashed his discoball. Now we’re sad it didn’t make it through to the final. The less that’s said about Ireland the better we reckon. Lesley Roy sounded worse than we do on our flights back home after the annual week on our no-sleep, slamming down vodka shots, freezing our butts off in skimpy outfits, squealing our lungs out front stage in Euroclub run. The Cyprus woman was supposed to be pretty decent vocally, but yesterday it was unfortunately pretty shaky. A friendly word of advice would be perhaps to not try singing while doing advanced Kama Sutra positions on stage, but what do we know.

– What do you mean I have to come down? I haven’t told a single sob story yet. Pic by Andres Putting/EBU

Our very own Tix made sure to provide Europe with exactly what the average Eurovision viewer expect to get when spending a drunken night in front of the telly and he was obviously rewarded with enough votes to proceed to the final. At the press conference after the semi final Tix acted even weirder than Alexander Rybak and the highlight being when a Wiwi-blogger politely declined to ask him a question. We hope NRK has put aside enough funds to cover the expenses for intensive psychotherapy. At least we’ll be filing a claim after this week.

Croatia gave us a slick performance with flawless vocals and saucy dancers. No thanks, we’d rather go with the out of tune Swedish guy, Europe responded. Belgium’s one night stand gone bad was more to Europe’s liking it seems and perhaps they just caught the zeitgeist more accurately after a year with gloom and doom. Israel’s Eden Alene rocked the stage and begged us to set her free. A message we bet quite a few Palestinians can totally relate to. Apparently, she sang the highest note ever to be sung in the history of Eurovision, but we are probably too old to actually be able to hear it.

Romania’s Roxen refused to leave the stage of her life and had to be carefully recycled. Pic by Andres Putting/EBU

Romania had their very own take on the “look what the cat dragged in” this year and apparently, it’s Roxen as they kept dragging her across the stage while she did her best trying to sing. We are currently working on submitting an EEA grant application where the project goal is to shut the Romanian broadcaster TVE down by next year and establish our own broadcasting company, appointing ourselves as new Head of Delegation to make sure Romania makes it back to the final where they belong. Bring back Ovi and Paula Seling!

Going straight after Romania would have benefited anyone, but Azerbaijan didn’t need anyone’s help as Efendi tore the roof off Ahoy Arena all by herself. Stellar singing, stellar dancing and she drew second half in the final. Oh joy! The press conference revealed that Efendi does not speak a word of English, btw, which left us quite bewildered over the whole Efentix flirt the PR people has created. Perhaps Tix is fluent in Azerbaijani? We know we are after being bribed with too may vodka shots.

And now a little rhytm and dance class for the mentally not so abled. Pic by Andres Putting/EBU

And when we thought it couldn’t get any wilder, Ukraine came on and took the contest to a whole other level. This is so outrageously wild and inspired we are starting to believe we will end up in Kyiv next year and the odds on Ukraine are shortening as we speak. Good thing we still have the contact details to our Airbnb host, know where the best Georgian restaurants are located, where to fastest catch an Uber ride and have saved our Ukrainian flower wreaths from last time. Now we only have to find out where they sell green feather boas that look like radioactive vomit and we’re all set for next year.

Malta came last and did well, Destiny sang everyone’s tinfoil boots off as expected. We would’t mind spending a week on that tiny Mediterranean rock either and we luckily have the right contacts there as well, as we are very particular on doing proper and strategic research. We just have to quickly delete all the bad reviews we have given the Maltese entries through the years first.

Now that’s the first semi final done and dusted. Looking forward to the next one!

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