The beautiful blue Danube

Thursday 22 May 2008

So, first things first, and Tuesday's Semi went pretty much according to plan, with 9 out of my 10 predictions moving on to Saturday's big final.  The ones that shocked most by qualifying were the heavy metal rockers from Finland (described by a colleague as Lordi with nipples!).  Sorry to see Slovenia and Andorra go, as they were both much better than in the previous day's rehearsals, but not surprised really.  Old style Eurovision does not tend to do well nowadays, unless it really is standout (which, thankfully, Sweden is this year, but more of that later).

Our good news on Tuesday was that we were able to extend our stay in the fabulous In Hotel, meaning that we didn't have to pay the extra 300 quid to move to the Hyatt.  Hooray!

I'm hoping some of the more unusual bets I've placed will pay off on Saturday.  I have money on Germany coming last, UK coming 23rd or higher, Norway finishing Top 10, UK beating France etc..

Yesterday we had a fab afternoon off from rehearsals and went on a cruise along the Danube.  Andy Abraham and his band were on board, as was Isis Gee from Poland (having qualified only the night before).  It was a lovely sunny day, and we were all basking on the top deck, drinking free booze for the duration of the 2 hour trip.  It has to be said that Belgrade is not the most glamrous of cities, but we did manage some lovely pics of a local nuclear power station as we sailed past.  At one point my friend Al saw something floating down the river - we though it might have been a glove puppet dressed as a turkey...

Now onto the very difficult business of predicting who might go through from tonight's all-important second semi final. 

We sat through the rehearsal last night and for me there were 3 complete standout performances; Sweden, Ukraine and Portugal, so we'll have all three of them "direkt till Globen" please.  The next two I'll put through based on last night will be Bulgaria and, much as I dislike the song, Georgia (there is an OH MY GOD moment near the end of the song which completely blew me away, and she'll go through on this alone).  Turkey is likely to through based on diaspora, and I'm going for Malta, because the performance is frenetic and very polished.  Switzerland should go through, as it is a quality song and his perfrmance is very good.  I'm going to stick my neck out and suggest that Denmark might just squeeze a place in the final, as it's a happy, sing along song, and very simple compared to much of the other shenanigans.  That leaves on place.  My head says Macedonia, but I'm going with my heart and predicating the very fabulous Euroband from Iceland to make the frame.

Now if I'm right, that means that we have EVERY single Scandi/Nordic nation in on Saturday - which would be fab.

I'm far less certain about this semi tonight, though, as there are a lot of great songs in there.  Latvia remains one of my absolute faves of this year, and I shall certainly be waving my Skull & Crossbones flag with gusto tonight, but I don't think their vocals are strong enough to take them into the final.

Right, apparently the barking Bosnian siblings are doing a wee concert at Euro Cafe this afternoon at 2, so we're off for some fun and frolics!

Oh, and ta to all who texted to say they saw me waving like a loon when the envelopes were coming down the stairs at the end on Tuesday's show!  Such fame...

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