From Russia With Love - Part 7

Thursday 14 May 2009


Well, yesterday we had our guided tour of the Kremlin which was fab.  It's really beautiful and green inside the walls, with lots of big ornate buildings (which you obviously can't go into - as that's their equivalent of Whitehall).  But we saw churches and bulidings where the Tzars lived and were married etc, and we were able to go inside those.  We saw the biggest bell in the world, which weighs 200 tonnes, and the biggest cannon.  We were sung to by 5 fab monks in one of the churches (no filming was allowed). 

Our guide was very informative and gave us lots of interesting facts - did you know, for example, that the "Red" in Red Aquare is nothing to do with Communism? The word Red actually means "beautiful".

So, after that we went to the first run though for Semi 2.  The camera work is still really bad (for example, you see Alaxanders dancers only twice during the whole performance).  The two prerenters are still as stilted, shouty and totally un-engaging as ever, and they were having BIG problems getting indivdual props on and off stage in time.

I think predicting the qualifiers tonight is more difficult;  there are some complete stinkers in there, and all of the Baltic states are competing, along with Russia voting from the Big 5, so that may give them all an unfair advantage.

However, based on yesterday's run through, I see the following as definites; Croatia, Norway, Denmark, Azerbaijan, Greece, Moldova and Ukraine.  Based on the fun factor, I think the remaining 3 are likely to include Serbia and The Netherlands, who both have great performances.  I think Estonia will be the 10th one through - making this their first time in the final since they hosted in Riga 6 years ago.

I really want to see Hungary qualify, as Zoli's performance is great - but his singing voice lets him down badly.  It was painfully poor yesterday.  I feel the same about Albania - although her perfomance is ok.  It just gets lost in the mellee.

Latvia may scrape through based on diaspora and neighbours - but it's truly horrible.   

Poor Slovenia looks doomed - as ever!  Again, I like it, but very few others rate it at all.

OK, that's all from me now.  Off to do some shopping.

Enjoy the show tonight, and I'll be back with reaction tomorrow.


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