Quick update for those of you aren't cray like me and didn't get to watch the live stream of Eurovision 2013's first semi-final yesterday. Of the two semi's, the first was the must-watch for me, seeing as I had so many favorites competing for the ten "tickets" to the final (to be held this Saturday).
Based on my initial perusal, I put my votes for Austria (Natália Kelly "Shine"), Slovenia (Hannah "Straight Into Love"), Denmark (Emmelie de Forest "Only Teardrops"), Ukraine (Zlata Ognevich "Gravity"), Montenegro (Who See "Igranka"), Belarus (Alyona Lanskaya "Solayoh"), Ireland (Ryan Dolan "Only Love Survives") and Serbia (Moje 3 "Ljubav Je Svuda" ("Love Is Everywhere").
Some of my faves -- including my overwhelming initial favorite in Slovenia -- really disappointed at the live Semi. While I stand by the song choice, Hannah sounded quite flat and the performance lacked originality and excitement, given the song was so hyper. Moje 3 pulled out some outfits from Katy Perry's Teenage Dream tour closet and even offered up some awkward lesbianism (?) but the judges were not impressed. And my faves in Montenegro (seriously, "Igranka" has been on constant repeat for yours truly) really brought out the big guns, rapping in space suits with singer Nina Žižić looking like a cast member of that Terminator television reboot. It appears this wasn't enough, however -- as all three didn't make the cut.
The countries that ended up getting tickets to the final were my picks in Denmark, Ukraine, Ireland and Belarus, along with Russia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Moldova, Lithuania and Estonia. There was a large amount of rather snoozy ballads (in my personal opinion) and I will forever assert that Montenegro was supremely robbed. Robbed, I say!
My far away favorite performance by my picks was Zlata Ognevich's (Ukraine) live performance of "Gravity." It truly embodied that Broadway-esque fairytale feel that was so overwhelming to me from the very first listen. Zlata was even carried on stage by a very large giant dressed like a Viking. I'm not joking.
Denmark's Emmelie de Forest was an overwhelming fan favorite and admittedly was very captivating. Alyona Lanskaya (Belarus) emerged from a giant disco ball and shook her thing in a blue-silver flapper dress that was so sparkly it almost blinded (is that my dream or what?), taking a cue from Holly Valance of yore.
I never pegged much for Moldova's Aliona Moon and her song "O Mie" ("A Thousand", sung in Romanian), but her live performance really won me over. She appeared very Hunger Games/The Capitol in an ever-growing dress that had fire images projected upon it. Gorgeous.
Fingers crossed for Team Norway in tomorrow's Semi!