So, in true Norwegian style we did not show up in Amsterdam. We were really sad to not experience all the fabulousness that went on in Melkweg, but lucky to have good friends like Schlagerboys and ESCKAZ that shared so perfectly we almost felt like we were there anyway. A big thank you to them and here are our high- and not-so-highlights of the evening:
Most underrated performance by others:
Montenegro. We are seriously impressed that Highway even bothered showing up, knowing the hardcore fans do not exactly favour their music style and can be less than welcoming. But they just have to live with that for a while longer, because with voices like theirs, they are bound to please quite a few voters. And us, which is most important, of course. Also, you have to love a band with two vocalists.
Most surprising performance:
Greta from Iceland, starting off with a beautiful violin solo and following up with a great crowdpleaser of a schlager. Good thing Iceland has a few millions reserved for hosting an international final in a bank account in Panama.
So there are a few interesting facts about this year’s contest. One being that it is chuck full of rockers, another being that there are lots of recycled participants from the alumni club, but the most important is that there is HAIR. LOTS of it, in fact. Had we not known this was a contest somehow related to music, we would have mistaken it for the annual assembly of Europe’s hair models.
And who has shown the best use of hair so far? It seems most of the women had the same blow dry from a random hair dresser on a street in Manhattan, so we’re going to skip a lot of them. We do not see the need for looking like real housewives of New Jersey just because you are singing a song in Stockholm. Let’s focus on the others.
As close as we GEE girls might seem to be in our common goal of Eurovisionizing the world by digging up the gold, trashing the trash in carefully selected recycle bins and putting all the glamour we can find on the finest display available, we do hit a few bumps along the road. Like Poland this year:
When we first heard it, we were both in total shock, desperately trying to comfort each other while screaming THIS IS SO BAD, WTF IS GOING ON IN POLAND THESE DAYS? WHERE IS MARCIN MROZÍNSKI WHEN YOU NEED HIM? Then we listened to it for a while longer and it grew on us and we were like WOW, THIS SO COOL, HOW THE F DID WARZAW BECOME THE NEW HIPSTER TOWN? CAN SOMEONE CALL WILLIAMSBURG?
Tonight is a big one coming up for us as Norway is on, and no less than FIVE of the guys on our hotlist. We recommend a bottle of Chardonnay, Valium and an oxygen mask within reach. If all goes well and we don’t pass out with overexcitement before the Czech Republic sings, we hope we will be able to celebrate the following ten countries going through to the Grand Final (click on the links to read our review):
Monika Kuszyńska, the Polish entrant in Vienna has a strong and personal message to present with the song In The Name Of Love. Too bad she squanders the opportunity away with wrapping it in a toothless, bleak melody in the adult contemporary category.
We are painfully aware of the fact that quite a few people like the lush, soothing and highly polished qualities of this genre. There’s a reason why Celine Dion has sold some 220 million albums worldwide. But selling truckloads of records doesn’t necessarily bode for real quality, as most people tend to have rather bad taste. Most people want inoffensive, easily digestible, conventionally pretty things. A cute face, a nice melody, Facebook poems written on pictures of unicorns and sunsets. And it’s so much easier to deal with the harsh reality when it’s being simplified and reduced into clichés drowned in weightless fluff.
There were rehearsals. Actual, real rehearsals! With artist in clothes! Well, sort of anyway. Here are our first impressions from the second semi final:
1. Malta is definitely coming home with us
Malta’s performance was once again steady as a rock and we’re starting to get that winning feeling. And attention! If you look closely, you will see a selfie of us and Marco Mengoni as a part of their stage backdrop. We are very happy to be up there with the loves of our life during such an important moment in history. Oh, and yeah, we are also glad that 130 million viewers get to see our friendly faces, of course. Vote for us, Marco and Malta. It’s number one, peeps.
2. Mei Feingold is still very angry
Half way through the song we just want to scream “WE GOT YOUR POINT THE FIRST TIME” back at her. Also, her stage backdrop looks like something from an adaption of a not so pleasant Cormac McCarthy novel. But thumbs up for effort and all.
So. First semi final is no more than a week away and rehearsals are well on their way. Here are some of the most important facts we have picked up on this far:
Georgia is way funnier than first anticipated.How unbelievably cool is it to bring a parachute onstage? If you are to dance around high as a kite onstage, why not bring your kite, we say. And there is a slight possibility Israel’s lady might blow us all up, so security equipment is welcomed.
Speaking of Israel, we have an announcement to make: Three pair of pants have been found lurking around the airport looking for their owners. Mei and choir chicks can report to the information desk in order to get fully dressed for next week.
Poland is one of the countries that have struggled to figure out what pleases the televoters around Europe. Or perhaps it’s just the rest of us who simply don’t understand the first thing about what the Poles are up to, we dunno. After years of mediocre results it seems like they’re fed up with being underachievers and have decided to step it up with an entry tailor made for Eurovision. Is this a smart move? We’re not too sure about that.