Eurovision 2015 Semi-Final 1: Boggie, Ming the Merciless and Tit-Tape

imageEvery year, there are three things that I desperately look forward to. The end of the academic year (ie. the start of the summer holidays), Christmas Eve and, of course, Eurovision.

To those on the outside looking in, The Eurovision Song Contest must look like a large group of aliens have landed, taken lots of LSD and decided to create a performance out of the results. The premise is simple – countries from Europe (or Europe-ish, or Australasia in this year’s case) are represented by a song, and the other countries vote for them using a point system, interspersed with poorly crafted jokes from presenters in often ill-conceived dresses. The winning country gets to host the contest the following year. In recent times, there have been two televised semi-finals on the week of the event, with the top ten from each participating in the final on the Saturday night. They are joined by the ‘Big Five’ – United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany and Italy (we all pay to go straight to the final) and this year they will be joined by the hosts, Austria, and Australia (that well-known European country) who have been invited to participate as part of the 60th anniversary of the event.

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Every year The Bloke and I have our own private Eurovision party – we stock up on snacky treats, create a mini-buffet for ourselves and we enjoy the utter madness that unfolds before our eyes on the television. Over recent years we’ve witnessed a number of weird and wonderful performances – a man in a hamster wheel, Russian grannies, pirates, Dustin the Turkey, a beautiful bearded man in a dress, and of course, Jedward (twice) and we laugh at the blatant biased voting and political allegiances. It’s a brilliant way to spend an evening. However, it isn’t all gimmick and silliness – it’s a showcase of some of the most spectacular voices and talented singers around the continent, and every so often I will fall in love with one of the songs and listen to it repeatedly. Even now, one of my most popular songs on my all-time playlist is Marco Mengoni’s ‘L’essenziale,’ Italy’s entry from the 2013 contest. Admittedly, I haven’t a clue what he is singing about (he could be declaring his love for macaroni cheese or a ham sandwich for all I know), but it’s a truly beautiful song, delivered by an equally beautiful voice.

Last night was the first of the semi-finals and I already had an idea of some of the songs available, mainly due to the fact that one of my favourite bloggers, Steve from Talk About Pop Music hasn’t actually stopped talking about it since the 2014 contest ended, but I was looking forward to admiring the staging (which gets more spectacular every year) and the presentation of each song.

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There were some really interesting performances – I particularly liked the Russian entry ‘A Million Voices’ sung by Polina Gagarina (who looked absolutely stunning and must have been tit-taped to within an inch of her life in her very low-cut white dress, and my favourite of the evening was Serbia’s entry ‘Beauty Never Lies,’ that was sung by Bojana Stamenov and composed by the same person who had written last year’s winning song. Hungary’s entry, ‘Wars For Nothing,’ sung by Boggie also had a beautiful message (despite her unfortunate name) and I warmed to Romania’s entry, Voltaj, after I got past the fact that the lead singer reminded me of Ming The Merciless from Flash Gordon. There were Geordie impersonators from The Netherlands (wayyyaaayyaa man!), the shortest ever song from Finland, who were represented by Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, where all of the members have learning difficulties (brave move and nice to see, but I think that the Eurovision community were very much divided about it), and ‘Anti Social Media,’ a band from Denmark who had clearly spent their time listening to early McFly tracks.

Oh, and this… from Moldova. Well, that’s just showing off (although I’m sure I could do that after a pint or ten)…

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However, I also had the chance to hear Australia’s entry, and I already have my new song crush…

Roll on the second semi-final!

What about you guys? Did you watch the semi-finals? Have you got a favourite?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog. Don’t forget to check out my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and now you can also find my new Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

 

47 thoughts on “Eurovision 2015 Semi-Final 1: Boggie, Ming the Merciless and Tit-Tape

  1. Thanks for sharing Marco Mengoni’s ‘L’essenziale. I hear why it haunts you, regardless of what he’s saying!

  2. I too enjoyed the Serbian and Russian beauties belting out their wonderful numbers. I also voted for the Belgium boy who sounded a lot like a Cia/Lorde fan.

    As an Aussie fan, who has enjoyed watching a delayed telecast of this spectacular event over the many a year, I was ecstatic to call in my favorites this year. We are super excited to watch and vote for the next two shows.

    By the way, Guy Sebastian is not only a terrifically talented singer but also one of the nicest men on the planet. He was a popular choice here to represent our country in this one-off performance. I also think his song is perfect for Eurovision. So catchy that you’ll be singing and dancing along with him by the end of the song.

    Enjoy 😄

    • I thought it sounded like Lorde too! Absolutely love Guy Sebastian’s song – he was doing an interview with the UK commentators and he seems like a really nice guy! I haven’t heard the second semi final but I reckon he stands a good chance of winning!

      • That would be so great if it happened but I’m not sure Europe wants an Australian winner, which is totally fine by us. We are just happy to be there. Also there are some truly great entries this year making it hard to pick a winner.

  3. Oh, I love Eurovision, and I think you’ve summed up the semi final perfectly 🙂 I too loved the Russian and the Serbian acts, plus I thought the Belgian was a fantastic singer. Had a meeting tonight so I’ve missed the second semi final (I think) – looking forward to watching the final Saturday night. Having lived in Australia for many years I’m familiar with Guy Sebastian – he’s a great singer – haven’t heard his entry yet but I hear it’s pretty catchy.

    • It’s great – it’s one of those songs that accompany a BBQ on a hot summer evening perfectly… How long did you live in Australia? My sister has visited on several occasions and loves it, but I’ve never been.

      • I lived there for 17 years (married an Australian) – we were in Melbourne, Sydney, then the coast just outside Melbourne. It is a wonderful place, that’s for sure and well worth a visit if you can – just such a hell of a long plane journey to get there!
        I remember Guy winning the first Australian Idol – really really really looking forward to seeing his entry tonight – and all the other delights of Eurovision too 🙂

      • Well, deep down I’d always wanted to be back here (I left as a child when my family emigrated to Canada) and so when hubby’s work and circumstance came together, I jumped at the chance! And so far so good – we are all loving it and I think I couldn’t have written the books I have if we hadn’t come back (does that sound a bit weird?)

      • Yes, interesting is a good word 🙂 There are pros and cons to this sort of life, time missed with family far away, yet the opportunity to live in and visit so many wonderful places. It’s actually something I’ve struggled with, but in the end I am grateful for all that I’ve seen and done 🙂

  4. Great observations Suzie and I totally agree. Go Boggie! I got 6ish out of 10 with my predictions and my second set of predictions is up now on my music blog

  5. I’m so bloody excited for Eurovision (inspired outfit post next week!) – we really embrace it here in Oz and now with our own contender (so weird!) it’ll be even more fun!!

  6. Some of we over this side of the pond have been commenting today about watching the finals on Saturday night, Suzie, and your post now got me more excited! Thank you. Sounds like fun. I feel left out from the party.

  7. I can’t watch the semi-finals! I like to wait for the final and hear all of the songs for the first time.
    My man and I also have ourselves a little eurovision party with snacks and booze. We also have post-it’s at the ready to make a note of our favourite songs to download them from iTunes afterwards.

    It’s the highlight of our year.

    I think we need to get out more.

    • Haha! No you don’t – it’s clearly the best way to spend an evening! I’m going to tweet some pics of us tonight during the contest…. Now, where are my post-its?

  8. As soon as I saw those men (and women) dressed in rubber cop uniforms, I was hooked!

    Yes, I watched it, Suzie. I wouldn’t miss it for anything. My partner has just told me that Sweden are this year’s favourites to win the contest. He got that off Scott Mills. I have a feeling that the Romanian song is going to do very well, along with the Spanish song as well. Oh and not forgetting that I wish Electro Velvet the very best of luck.

    I’m ready and waiting for tonights fun.

    • Sweden I think are pretty good (and the lead singer is quite easy on the eye too!) I think he got himself into some hot water by making homophobic comments a while ago, so I’m not sure whether that will have an impact on the voting?

      • Oh dear, I’ve not heard about that and if it is true then I think it will have an impact on some of the votes. After watching all the songs I now have a soft spot for the song from Poland. I hear Steve is making his prediction later today and I may just do the same.

      • I think he’s apologised repeatedly but I always feel that when people say things like that it is part of how they really feel. An apology doesn’t necessarily make it better in those circumstances. I might just join you both on the predictions!

      • I agree and I wonder if he only apologised when he knew he was going to be singing in the contest? Comments like this are not said because you don’t have strong feelings about what you saying.

        Maybe Steve, you, and I should link up our posts and have a competition to see who gets the closest to predicting the top five? (just to make it a little harder and so as to hopefully not all choose the same songs in the same order).

      • Totally agree – if you aren’t bothered about something you don’t talk about it!

        That sounds like such a good idea! I know Steve already has his post ready to go so I’ll link up to his and yours when I’ve done mine!

      • Brilliant, I’ll get on with writing mine now. I’ll contact Steve (via Twitter) to find out what time he is going to publish his post. This will make the voting this evening all the more exciting.

  9. We don’t have Eurovision here. I’d love to watch it because of all I’ve read about it on your s and Steve’s blogs. I hereby formally announce that I am campaigning for the creation of a Worldvision show. How great would that be? The who world watching and voting! It could bring the people of the world together in a positive way and promote education about other cultures.

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