by Catriona Mills

Live-blogging Eurovision: Semi-Final 2, 2011

Posted 14 May 2011 in by Catriona

Reminder: the Doctor Who live-blog for “Curse of the Black Spot” will be posted immediately after I finish live-blogging this semi-final, not after Doctor Who finishes airing.

This live-blogging brought to you by my abject failure to meet today’s marking quota.

Also brandy and lemonade.

Once again, Nick will be moderating the comments while I sit over here and bitch about the performers.

I like Julia’s dress! It’s tres funky.

I hope someone punches that male co-host properly this time.

I love the way they recognise the patriotism and the voting blocs. Just vote now! You don’t need to wait for the end or even until your country has performed! Vote! Vote like the wind!

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: “Love in Rewind”, Merlin
Now, why are we mocking this man’s age when we could be mocking his yodelling?
Nick’s loving the guitar, but I’m actually a bit attracted this this song. It’s boppy and Euro-flavoured without being cloying. Just the way I like my Eurovision.
Also, I’d like to see more of the backdrop, because what I can see is intriguing.
I actually don’t hate this.
I know: I’m as surprised as you are.
We liked that. We’re voting for that, only not really.

AUSTRIA: “The Secret is Love”, Nadine Beiler
I’m automatically biased against anyone who just has themselves on stage.
Purely on the grounds that they’re less likely to have women rise out of grand pianos, or maybe ice skaters.
Disney lite, this.
But excellent legs, as always.
And “Disney lite” is a pretty damning inditement, given how light Disney itself always is.
NICK: I’m a bit worried about her eye shadow. From that angle, she looks like a Silent. So if we look away, we won’t remember what she’s singing.
ME: Let’s look away!
Key change!
Oooh, did she hit that?

Oh, whoa.
That hair should have a public health warning attached to it.
NICK: It’s times like this I’m pleased I’m bald.
I’m having terrible flashbacks to early high school. I swear I heard this exact song in 1989.
But I did my maths homework! The dog ate it!
I’m simultaneously bored and traumatised.

BELGIUM: “With Love Baby”, Witloof Bay
Wow, I’m bopping along to a song for the second time tonight!
NICK: He’s doing a bass line too! Crazy bastard!
The worst thing I can say about this is that the suits are truly, truly terrible. So is the hair, actually.
But the beatboxing is brilliant.
Two beatboxers! Okay, I’m loving these guys. I won’t remember the song in five minutes, but I’m loving them right now.
NICK: Bravo! I think the problem is that the presentation is hideous.

SLOVAKIA: “I’m Still Alive”, Twiins
So, they’re twins, right?
Hideous dresses, excellent legs.
Legs are to this year’s Eurovision what hair was to last year’s Eurovision.
NICK: They’ve got capes. Capes and boobs.
This seems a bit nasal to me, but then I know nothing about music.
Also? I really hate the modern fashion for Madonna partings and slicked-down hair.
NICK: I said capes and cleavage! Not capes and boobs! You’ll have to correct that!
We’re totally underwhelmed by this song. Even the fireworks aren’t winning us over.

You know what’s great? Brandy. Brandy and lemonade. I need more brandy!

Also? I’m been marking since 9 am. Hooray!

I want to go to tilt-shift Germany!

UKRAINE: “Angel”, Mika Newton
Ooh, sand painting!
I’ll be honest: I’m more interested in the sand painting her than in the song. The song is dull. The sand painting is incredible.
Nick’s digging the Cruella de Ville look on the sand painter.
I hope they get through so that I can watch the sand painting properly without having to type at the same time.
Seriously, how does she bring those subtleties of light and shade with just sand?
I paid no attention to the song at all.

MOLDOVA: “So Lucky”, Zdob si Zdub
I have no attention if I got that name right.
Wow, what’s with the wizard hats?
Is this actually happening, or is it a brandy hallucination?
There’s a unicycle.
This is definitely a brandy hallucination.
NICK: That girl on the unicycle looks a bit like Lucy Lawless. So I approve.
I would like this go through. We need psychotic gnomes in Eurovision.
That was insane.

SWEDEN: “Popular”, Eric Saade
We need that Viking to sing.
I would never have guessed he used to be in a boy band.
NICK: He’s got one glove! Oh my god: Dr Claw!
Well, it’s energetic.
NICK: This is well-aged Euro-cheese.
As Nick points out, it is good choreography, but the white sneakers are distracting.
Is that one dancer wearing braces but no shirt?
Now that would have been the perfect place for a key change.
NICK: I’m holding out for a key change!
Wait, was that a key change? Or even two key changes?

CYPRUS: “No chance I was going to catch that”, Christos Mylordos
Nick’s still singing the Swedish entry.
We’re pre-disposed in this entry’s favour, because they’re Cypriot Goths.
I ca’t even repeat what Nick just said about the set dressing.
Are they on wires? Or are they on foot wires?
NICK: It must be those foot braces. Like Michael Jackson used to use.
ME: No, he did not!
Wow. Ball-and-chain swinging.
This is a bit lacking in energy, but I really want them to go through anyway.

BULGARIA: “Na Inat”, Poli Genova
ME: Heidelberg!
NICK: Yeah.
ME: That’s where Hamlet was studying! That’s how old that university is!
I mean, I love my campus, but Hamlet never studied there.
Why don’t I remember Poland? Have they performed?
What? Bulgaria? Well, it’s not Great Uncle Bulgaria, that’s for sure.
NICK: Watching this making me realise how good Pink is at what she does. And I don’t even necessarily mean that sarcastically.
Nope, flames can’t save this. It’ll probably get through, though.

FYR MACEDONIA: “Russinka”, I’m sorry: I missed that
Ack! Underwater elephant!
NICK: Who’s he trying to gun down with that Telecaster?
ME: Capital T for Telecaster?
NICK: T-e-l-e-c-a-s-t-e-r.
ME: I know how to spell it. I just don’t know if it’s a proper noun.
This is not winning me over.
NICK: This is better than the last seven James Bond themes. Which it’s channeling.
Bored out of my skull.
Nope. Even an accordion can’t win me over.
NICK: Accordion and megaphone! Two most annoying things in the universe! In one song!

ISRAEL: “Ding Dong”, Dana International
Ding Dong?
Ding Dong?
That dress is incredible. I mean, it’s ugly. But incredible.
Her biceps are fantastic. Aren’t they?
Key change!
NICK: It’s a musical education. Before Eurovision, I wouldn’t have been so confident identifying a key change.

SLOVENIA: “No One”, Maja Keuc
Another power ballad? Oh no!
How can she even move in that dress?
Of course, she’s not moving much.
I read somewhere today that women over 35 shouldn’t wear knee-high boots. Screw that. But thigh-high boots are another issue.
This song is so boring I think it gave me cancer.

ROMANIA: “Change”, Hotel FM
NICK: You’re as cooold as ice!
NICK: Back-up singers are crying out for a costume change.
I think I once heard this in a hotel elevator. In 1986.
Then we decided we didn’t hate it.
NICK: I like the Han Solo vest.
ME: It’s tartan!
NICK: Really?
ME: On the back!
NICK: Well, Han Solo never had that.
I am bopping to this. But I am tipsy.
Aw, it’s just so cute. I can’t hate this.
Am I out of booze already?

ME: I know I come across as a drunken slapper in these.
NICK: No, you don’t.
ME: I try my best.

I will really cranky when SBS went commercial. Now I’m just deeply grateful for the toilet breaks.

I always figured that Jedward was what Bella Swan would name her child if she’d had a son.

Wow, lips on her chest. Subtle. Subtle.

ESTONIA: “Rockefeller Street, Getter Jaani
I may have mis-spelt the singer’s name there.
Again with the same hair! The centre part and the slicked-down hair! What is with this?
Did she just sing 1-2-7-3? She did!
I’m assuming that’s an address? Or a bus number?
Why am I over-interpreting this?
NICK: I once played a game of Sim City that was a bit like this. But I think I was on cold medication.
I can’t type without snorting on my keyboard.
Still, good to see she’s keeping Europe’s hair-extension makers in business.

BELARUS: “I Love Belarus”, Anastasia Vinnikova
Well, it starts well.
NICK: They start like they mean to go on. In fire.
Once again, truly exceptional legs.
I like the way the bak-up singers’ mic stands act as modesty panels.
NICK: Belarus. Only slightly hellish.
This does nothing for me, but, then, I’ve never been to Belarus.
ME: I don’t even know where Belarus is.
NICK: All I can think of is Donald Belasarius, creator of Magnum PI.

LATVIA: “Angel in Disguise”, Musiqq
He does look like Elvis Costello!
NICK: He’s playing guitar like Oliver’s Army is chasing him.
The music to this is quite interesting, but the lyrics are killing me slowly.
Now he’s rapping? Rapping Elvis Costello? That is not right.
I actually have no opinion on this. Someone could ask, “Should we kill the Latvian entry to Eurovision?” and I’d be all, “Who?”

DENMARK: “New Tomorrow”, A Friend in London
Okay, I went to a boarding school. Semi-boarding. You know which band came out of that boarding school? Human Nature. Let that be a lesson to you.
NICK: Some Dragon Ball Z haircuts in this.
What is with these hand gestures?
You remember I mentioned a song that was so boring it gave me cancer?
(I’m glad you remember. I don’t remember which song it was now.)
This is even more boring.
The hair is truly awful in this.
NICK: I’m not hating this. Maybe I should be, but I’m not.

IRELAND: “Lipstick”, Jedward
NICK: I think I might need to start following them on Twitter.
I am making no comments about sexual orientation, whatever the Internet says.
When did Ireland decide to stop trying to lose?
Seriously, though, there is no justification for that hair.
NICK: They’re wearing Judge Dredd shoulder pads!
Secretly, they’re kind of awesome, aren’t they?
Also, those legs are way too gorgeous to be on stage with teenage boys.
Oooh, acrobatics!
Okay, I declare myself pro-Jedward.

Oooh, break!

Back soon, I promise, for the results.

Remember: only fifteen minutes remain for woting.

Seriously, what is with these green rooms? Who makes them? What building on Earth has room for them?

I think I might regret all this brandy and lemonade we drank tonight, come tomorrow.

ACK! Underwater elephant again!

I still love Bosnia & Herzegovina. And I’m a lot less sober than I was the first time we watched them perform.

NICK: The Ukrainian singer is also pleasingly diaphanous.
ME: You’re a pervert!
NICK: Yes.

I hate this male co-host with the fiery fury of a billion suns.

NICK: The fiery fury of a billion suns? Shout out!

MALE CO-HOST: Two things that do not go together? England and penalty shoot-outs.

Oh, I hate him even more now.

But seriously? Classical music and break-dancing? Oh, you wacky Germans!

The acts in the breaks are way, way better than the actual Eurovision acts this year.

Okay, I’m a bit over the classical break-dancing now.

United Kingdom, please don’t get nil points. Everyone laughs at me at the Eurovision party, and it’s kinda hard to pretend I’m not embarrassed.

Oooh, results!

1. ESTONIA. Oh, really? Wow. I mean … wow.
2. ROMANIA. We liked him! Hooray!
3. MOLDOVA. Ooh, the gnomes!
4. IRELAND. No surprise there.
6. DENMARK. Oh, we had no opinion about them.
7. AUSTRIA. No, really?
8. UKRAINE. Sand painting!
9. SLOVENIA. Did we like them? I can’t remember. Oh, yes! Hooray!
10. SWEDEN. No surprises there.

Oh, I’ll be able to watch the sand-painting tomorrow night, without having to type. I am glad about that.

And that’s it for the live-blogging for Eurovision 2011. No live-blogging for the final. But I’m sure we’ll all be hoping that the male host gets repeatedly kicked in the shins tomorrow night.

See you here next year for Eurovision 2012!

Share your thoughts [78]


John wrote at May 14, 09:33 am

Hi all. Let’s do this thing. Looking forward to Belgium.


Belegdel wrote at May 14, 09:34 am

We’re here again … just to clarify it is Vicky posting using Belegdel as a cover screen :)


Nick wrote at May 14, 09:34 am

Mmmm.. the healing power of brandy.


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 09:36 am

For a moment there I was terribly concerned I’d gotten the time wrong, then I realised I was on SBS2.

ps I also failed to meet today’s marking quota.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 09:36 am

oh…I see the hilarious male host is back again


John wrote at May 14, 09:39 am

I love German humour…


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 09:40 am

At the bottom of which barrel do they scrape these male Eurovision hosts from?


John wrote at May 14, 09:42 am

That is the most convincing fake piano playing I’ve ever seen! (Bosnia & Herzegovina)


Wendy wrote at May 14, 09:42 am

I don’t think that woman is actually playing the keyboard…that’s some sprightly choreography though


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 09:42 am

Bosnia & Herzegovina have been mistakenly encouraged by Switzerland and Iceland’s success last night.


Nick wrote at May 14, 09:46 am

Wendy! We thought you were watching Doctor Who (not that there’s anything wrong with that).


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 09:47 am

I’ll tell you how Ms Austria manages to do all that Julia, SHE STILL LIVES WITH HER PARENTS. ‘Washing? What’s that?’

Another one for the Dion fans, me thinks.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 09:48 am

I“m recording Doctor Who to watch after this…. :-)


Wendy wrote at May 14, 09:49 am

AUstria…weird melody or off key..I’m not sure
I wonder why the singer from the Netherlands didn’t wash his hair?


John wrote at May 14, 09:49 am

Brian Ferry!


Wendy wrote at May 14, 09:51 am

I feel the same way about white suits as I do about white grand pianos….there should be a universal law banning them


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 09:51 am

That pretty Dutch guitarist has abandoned all pretense that he’s actually there to play an instrument hasn’t he?


Wendy wrote at May 14, 09:54 am

I love Belgium…and I’m not even being sarcastic…excellent actual singing


John wrote at May 14, 09:56 am

Wow. Just, wow, Belgium. You the bomb. That gets my money.


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 09:56 am

This whole heart beat business is very distressing. It’s pretty much a horror trope isn’t it?


Wendy wrote at May 14, 09:59 am

boring Slovakia…just boring…plus I feel the drums are too loud…sorry…fireworks can’t help you now


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 09:59 am

Didn’t one of these women sing last night? Are there three of them? Is there such a thing as identical triplets? (Slovakia).


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:02 am

I’d be more impressed if we were going to see Sweden’s very own lady-boy. Man-boy, shman-boy. yawn


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:08 am

yes to the sand painting. no to the song.


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:09 am

Julia, I don’t think the Ukrainian woman knows that the angels she’s singing about are metaphorical. She’s singing about Sam, who is an angel.

Gorgeous artwork in the background.


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:11 am

Moldova meets Devo!


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:12 am

gales of laughter….GO MOLDOVA!


John wrote at May 14, 10:13 am

What’s with the garden gnomes and the unicycle?


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:17 am

Is that Roxette’s jacket the Swedish man-boy is wearing? I think he might be a lady-boy after all.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:17 am

Sweden has the strangest segue from verse to chorus…musically wrong. he’s quite pretty though…disappointed it’s not a cover of the Wicked song though


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:19 am

Okay, that glass-smashing incident has convinced me of the lady-man-boy’s masculinity.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:21 am

harmonies a bit dodgy Cyprus men…but I do like the artistic leaning and the hammer throwing woman


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:22 am

Oh Cyprus, the beginning of your song was so gorgeous with all that lyrical swaying. Then Xena entered with her off-key warrior scream.


John wrote at May 14, 10:22 am

Chortling. That tilting is the silliest thing I’ve seen since the conveyor belt Greece had two years ago. And what was with the chick with the glowing morning-star?


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:25 am

I like Bulgaria.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:26 am

Just remembering that when I was about ten I had a lovely hair accessory in yellow feathers much like the thing Ms Bulgaria is wearing in her ear…that’s interesting isn’t it…more so than this song for mine


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:29 am

I think he looks more like Harry Connick Jnr than Jon Bon Jovi (Macedonia)…everyone needs their own dance troupe don’t they?


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:30 am

Mr FYR Macedonia reminds me of a cross between Peter Andre and Harry Connick Jr. But why is he holding his breath?


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:32 am

I hope you’ve all seen the episode of Beautiful People with Dana International….it’s superb!


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:36 am

Dana International should fire her dressmaker. They didn’t finish weaving it. Must’ve run out of sea grass.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:36 am

ripping off Fiddler on the Roof Sunrise Sunset with that opening piano riff…bad form…and now ripping off something else that I can’t identify


Nick wrote at May 14, 10:38 am

Catriona wants to know how you’d fire John-Paul Gaultier though?


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:38 am

It seems I was alone in my like of Bulgaria. I get so confused with all this Euro-pop. It rots my brain.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:39 am

I“m growing to dislike the description “midtempo”…


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:41 am

echoes of Waterloo…channelling Abba at the piano with the hooky riff…still that means I can’t hate it


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:41 am

Mr Romania is making me laugh and not in a good way.


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:44 am

‘Hello, is that John-Paul? Yes. Good. I’m glad I caught you: you’re fired!’


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:49 am

Oh Julia you are spot on! That is perfect eisteddfod material….music theatre solo… highly commended


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:51 am

clearly the rockefeller skank hasn’t made it to Estonia as yet….


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:52 am

Ever since I saw some Estonian animation at the Brisbane Film Festival, I can’t take that country seriously. They’re not helping themselves with this song.

Oh, pretty cityscape in the background. Could be Brisbane with that London-Eye ferris-wheel thing.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:55 am

Belarus “fired” too early I think…still they do have someone playing a cymbeline type thingy and those unusual microphone stands…the word that springs to mind is…militant?


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:56 am

Well, I may have like Bulgaria, but I LOVE BELARUS! No, wait, I’m just singing along.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 10:59 am

I love Elvis Costello…just not so sure about LAtvian Elvis Costello impersonators wearing red bow ties and very white shoes…what’s with all the white white shoes?


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 10:59 am

Did that Brian guy, the one who goes/went out with Delta Goodrem, move to Latvia? I heard they broke up…


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:03 am

Denmark…inoffensive…maybe I’m just hypnotised by the vertical hair of the lead singer


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:04 am

For a long time now, I’ve been convinced I was Danish in a former life. That has nothing to do with Denmark’s performance tonight. Especially not that backless shirt the lead singer/hussy is wearing.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:05 am

CAtriona are you telling me you KNOW HUMAN NATURE….respect!


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:06 am

Jedward are superbly daffy….Must win!


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:07 am

Did I say that Moldova had met Devo earlier? I think Devo has moved onto Ireland. Or at least their costumes have.

Also, this is not the fey spirit of Ireland I’ve become accustomed to.


Nick wrote at May 14, 11:08 am

Wendy, Treena tells me she was in the same year as Michael Tierney. The others were older.


John wrote at May 14, 11:09 am

I am speechless, and I’ve see them before…


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:12 am

All the twins this year have raised the bar for future entrants in Eurovision—no single zygotes need apply.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:15 am

Tonight I choo choo choose Bosnia and Herzogovina, Belgium, Moldova, Romania, Denmark, Ireland and a special mention for the sand artist.


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:15 am

Julia, did you just say ‘chorry’? Please, try to remember you’re not on SYTYCD.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:19 am

still…human nature…no-one famous went to my school…maybe a few athletes…no-one ‘close harmony singing musical group’ famous!


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:22 am

I think my heart has stopped beating. What’re you gonna do about it, huh, Eurovision?


Catriona wrote at May 14, 11:23 am

Mark Latham also went to my school. Sometimes, it’s better not to have famous alumni.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:27 am

hmmm…yes good point…re Mark Latham. I think some guy who was briefly on The Secret Life of Us went to Bundaberg High…impressive!


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:32 am

My heart doesn’t need to beat: I am an angel. Thank you, strange woman from the Ukraine.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:32 am

Stefan is really doing himself no favours at all with this so called patter


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:37 am

no no no no no not toccata in d minor all funked up. NO.


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:40 am

I understand why Germany as the host country has gone through, but what’s so special about the others? They look as cheesy/mediocre/power-ballady as the acts we’ve seen in the semi-finals.


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:44 am

All you need to know about Estonia: ‘fear is a rabbit with pointy ears’.


John wrote at May 14, 11:47 am


No Belgium! Europe, I am disappoint.


Nick wrote at May 14, 11:48 am

Kirsty: the UK, Spain, France, etc bankroll the competition so they go through automatically. What a rort!


Catriona wrote at May 14, 11:49 am

OMG, I just realised that Belgium didn’t get through. That’s a surprise.


Wendy wrote at May 14, 11:50 am

Sad for Belgium….on the Ireland bandwagon now.
Thanks for the fun times!


Kirsty wrote at May 14, 11:51 am

Israel didn’t get through? What will happen to the spare JPG dress?

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