|World of Chig|
Who's qualifying tonight from semi-final 1?
Chig with Peter Nalitch of Russia, qualifying tonight.
Chig with a Moldovan twinklet, a Belarusian butterfly and another Moldovan dancer, all in tonight's semi-final.
The regular reader will recall that I usually get seven, sometimes eight, of the Eurovision qualifiers right. If I were dedicated enough, I would look back over this blog and tell you, but I'm very comfy on the white sofas in the Eurovision tent and I can't be arsed, to be honest. Focus, focus, focus. Tonight is the issue.
First things first. Eurovision is smaller this year, because some countries dropped out. Therefore, with only seventeen countries in each semi-final, only seven are going home from each. Logically then, a deaf child pointing at ten country names with a stick will score at least three right, because only seven can be wrong.
I may try the pointing with a stick idea later. I just need to locate a child first.
Tonight's semi-final is, by almost unanimous agreement in Eurovisionia, the worst of the two. The worst of the two in a bad year. I'm not selling this to you very well, am I? Tonight is not a night I would be encouraging non-Eurovision fans to discover the joys of our favourite contest for the first time. There are very few gems amongst the doggy doo that so many countries have inflicted upon us this year. Frankly, I'd be embarrassed. Save the party for newbies until Saturday, when at least a few of the joyless ones will have gone home. Or at least Thursday, when the UK and Ireland can vote (for the British act representing Cyprus, hint, hint).
So, what do we know already?
Greece is qualifying, because it's Greece. It's also a catchy song with a good set, different lighting, and dancers with tattoos and short hair. Sold.
Serbia is qualifying, because it's a fun party tune and it's Serbia. They failed last year, so they're not always a safe bet, but 2009's song was rubbish and this is good, whether or not you're intrigued by girlie-boy Milan and his Purdey haircut. (He's straight, okay. There are no gays in Serbia. Official.)
Belgium. It's stunningly simple. It's Tom and his (mimed) guitar. He's sexy. Through.
So that's three safe bets.
We can rule out:
Latvia. Unintelligable dross, summed up by Aisha's final three words, "God knows why".
FYR Macedonia. It must surely be a piss-take. Man of a certain age has paid three lap dancers to 'love' him. Rapper comes in and steals his biatches back. Bryan May does a screechy guitar solo. This could be the Macedoine song in the Eurovision pastiche musical, Eurobeat - Almost Eurovision. They don't need to write another one.
Portugal. Dull, lifeless. The song, not her hair. I'm sure she's lovely, but the song ain't. Goodbye.
Which leaves us with eleven more songs, fighting over seven more places.
So, I'll go for: Russia, Finland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Belarus, Iceland and Poland (my wildcard) to join Greece, Serbia and Belgium in the final. This is in no way based on quality, as some of them are shockers. It's based on history, allegiances and the odd novelty butterfly wing.
My favourite song (on the CD, and as a radio track) is Estonia, but it doesn't work on the Eurovision stage and may well finish last tonight. It's a funny old world. Joining Estonia at the airport tomorrow could therefore be Moldova (a tight squeeze though, and possibly 11th or 12th), Slovakia (the biggest shock for me, as I previously had this down as a qualifier), Malta (for having a daft bird on stage - the feathered one) and the aforementioned Latvia, Portugal and FYR Macedonia.
Whatever the result, enjoy tonight! We'll be back when time allows. I will also be appearing in another place tomorrow, finally justifying my existence (and accreditation) here by doing some proper journalism. More on that when it's done.