The more I see Denmark's A Friend In London perform 'New Tomorrow', the more I think that it could be one of the biggest surprises of the contest and emulate last year's high placing. I guess most people's objection to this is that it sounds too similar to "Shine" and "Sing For Me" but that could work in their favour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lJQHX6W7SU
It's all attention-seeking dramarama for Sweden at the moment: the mock-feud with Russia, and the defective glass box. Maybe Eric Saade should change the name of his song to "I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass". In fact maybe he should just call Autoglass. One thing hasn't changed for me: "Popular" remains a total gimmicky mess, and Eric will have to deliver the most charismatic performance of his life to live up to the song's title. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lqNvN0WmvU
What's with Turkey's recent obsession with stupid, unnecessary gimmicks? There were no distractions when Mor ve Ötesi took to the stage in 2008, but as if the stupid drilling going on behind maNga last year wasn't enough, Yüksek Sadakat have now been lumbered with a contortionist trapped inside a ball. As you do. Pity, as otherwise this was a pretty confident performance and should be enough to qualify.
And what of Sverigebaijan - sorry I mean Azerbaijan? You could be forgiven for changing the country name as yet again for the 3rd year running there's Swedish input in the writing of the song, and two of Shirley's Angels (the ones who aren't Shirley) are in the all-Swedish backing chorus. "Running Scared" is a pleasant and modern song, and it's much more appealing than the hideous "Drip Drop" and all the diva-antics of that performance. Eldar and Nigar (or Ell/Nikki as they're billed) still look a bit mismatched and he looks just a wee bit too young for her :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32vkwyaKIBQ
The big question I suppose is: can they? Well on the evidence of the two rehearsals I watched, I'm not feeling so confident about Blue's chances. At least they'd ditched those ridiculous suits by the second rehearsal, but I still don't like the screens behind them, and the song is still relying too much on Lee hitting those top notes. Fingers crossed that 'he can' on Saturday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnpRknei7lw
One act which totally needs to rely on their vocals is the Belgian acapella combo Witloof Bay. Firstly I hate acapella. Secondly, "With Love Baby" will be right up there in the list of the 'worst ever' Eurovision songs. Most people will probably miss it though, as they'll have chosen it for their toilet break. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE-z0jO9-tI
When I first saw the clip of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Dino Merlin perform "Love In Rewind" I made the observation that such a combination of tartan and foot-stomping hadn't been seen since the days of the Bay City Rollers. :) Anyway if you put aside the silly dad-dancing, the fact remains that this is going to do very, very, very well. Top 5 at least. It's got the same charm and feelgood factor as "Fairytale" although is maybe a little bit too old-fashioned for a modern day Eurovision. Watch this one go massive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ora5dCT5HX4
Tomorrow night is of course semi-final 1 so I'll be back later tomorrow with my thoughts on that, with more rehearsal ramblings on Wednesday.
In the meantime.....good luck to all the performers for the first semi-final, hope it's a great show!