Day 3 - Gypsies, tramps and thieves
We began rehearsals for the first half of Semi 2 yesterday and it was a case of Gypsies, tramps and thieves...
Joci Papai is the Gypsy in question, and whilst many of you will be aware that I have never been a fan of the song (in fact, I despise it with a venom previously only ever unleashed on last year's winner) Juicy Joci is an absolute delight and a joy! The man NEVER stops smiling and seems genuinely chuffed to be representing his Romany heritage on the big stage. Celebrate Diversity indeed! It was lovely meeting him, shaking his hand and getting a couple of quick photos with him.
The tramp in question is unfortunately our very lovely Jana from FYR Macedonia, who I had great fun with back at the London Party last month. Her almost burlesque dance routine was not well received amongst the (mainly gay male, it has to be said) press. Squatting with your legs wide open in a pair of skimpy hot pants is certainly not the stuff of family entertainment... Maybe we're all just a bunch of fuddy-duddies!
Claudia explains the finer points of a slut-drop to Jana
The thief was none other than the utterly fab-U-Lous pocket rocket, Nathan Trent, from Austria who stole the show with the performance of the day yesterday. As he did in London, little cutie Nate delivered a confident and completely charismatic performance and I would suggest he's sailing into the final, and possibly even chasing Top 10 on the Saturday. Brilliant!
So, who else did we enjoy yesterday then?
Tijana from Serbia delivered a competent performance, but was obviously overshadowed by Nathan who followed her.
Claudia from Malta is clearly overjoyed to finally be here at long last after 9 tries in the Maltese final. Still don't rate the song though...
For me, the other big revelation of yesterday (after how lovely Juciy Joci is) was how well the Dutch girls came over. Looking stunning in their matching stage outfits, the three sisters delivered pitch-perfect vocals and were certianly channeling Wilson Phillips early-90's realness! I adored their performance and see this as another cert for the final. (Also, best clay-vage moment so far...)
Anja from Denmark had obviously had a bit of a scrap with Svala from Iceland and ended up stealing her jacket from ther previous day...
She sung very well though. I'm not sure it's a qualifier, but the girl certainly has a big set of lungs!
One of the campiest and most fun performances so far came from yodelling Ilinca from Romania and her rapping buddy Alex. If you're going to mix yodelling and rap on stage then of course you're going to do it accompanied by two giant mirror encrusted cannons! At one point Alex fell off his cannon as it hurtled towards Ilinca at startling speed...Drama!!!
Finally, it was Ireland's first turn on stage. With a hot air balloon. Poor Brendan has been ensconced in the Linda Martin stage school of air-grabs for weeks now and still manages to look like a startled rabbit trapped in the headlights of the giant juggernaut that is about to obliterate the hopes and dreams of a once-proud nation (Jeez, I'm on a roll today, eh?). Basically, it was desperate.
By the time we had eaten (for the second time in a brilliant Turkish restaurant on the main thoroughfare) it was after eleven and I neaded my beauty sleep - so I've still not made it to Euroclub yet. Maybe tonight.
Anyway, Valentina Monetta and her new young beau are currently strutting their stuff on the big stage...
"42 and no bra... not bad, eh?"