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Thursday, 27 May 2010 18:52

Oslo 2010 - Second Semi-Final - Review

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Good Evening Europe and welcome to the live commentary from the second semi-final which is set to be one of the greatest shows that we have seen in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest with many entries classified by fans as potential qualifiers. I am sure that some will be missing out on a place whilst some surprises may also take place in order to bring about a plain level field.

The review on ESCflashmalta.com will be carried out by myself, Marc Calleja Bayliss and our second guest reviewer will be featuring a man who started to perform on the Talent Show in Ireland entitled You're A Star which went on to select the entrant and song for that years' Eurovision Song Contest. Following his appearance on the show, we studied speech and drama scoring some charting hits with the song Church Mice. Following this, he signed a contract with Universal Music in Ireland which saw him release two successfully charting singles in the form of A Better Plan (#1) and Come Back to My Heart (#3) released from the album entitled The Heart which was certified Double Platinium and number 3 in the charts. This material was followed by a second album bearing the name Not Like Me which got certified Gold and included hit songs such as Here Comes My Baby, I Still Believe in You and Hope for Me Yet. He is currently working on his own for his third album because he wishes to take up such a challenge. We are proud to have such a star guest commentating with us, Ladies and Gentlemen put your hands together for Simon Casey.

The Show (Part 1)

The hosts are now on stage and I must say that they are the best presenters since 1998 when Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson took the main roles their in Birmingham, United Kingdom. They are not shouting and look amazing in violet and red dresses respectively as well as a black suit for the male. It is the first time since 1999 that three hosts take to the stage. The presenters are currently saying that they are here thanks to the victory by Alexander Rybak alas here we go with the postcards and the songs.

Lithuania

Marc: The guys were not brilliant last night during the judges dress rehearsal but are right on form this evening. The vocals are good and the lyrics of the song are extremely funny. The choreography reaches a climax in the strip towards the end. This was really nice but do not know if it will qualify or not. 7 points from me.

Simon: And we’re off, lively start from Lithuania. Beat box is back, unfortunately not my kind of song. Not so sure about the foam instruments but very catchy. 5/10

Armenia

Marc: The backdrop is quite interesting in this one as it goes from Blue to Green to Orange and therefore looks extremely effective on the screens. With her long height, and hair, Eva takes to the stage in extremely competent vocals. In the longer notes she shortens them just a tad in order to reach them extremely well. The choreography is just brilliant and I must say that Yerevan is certainly a possibility after that performance. I would like to give this 7 points as well.

Simon: Good performance and vocal from Eva. Not sure about the lyrics though. Stage production took song title literally. Was that Jackie Chan high kicking in the background?! 6/10

Israel

Marc: Well mainly people has actually said that he is the sexiest performer this year and I leave that for the female fans to decide eh ? He is singing extremely beautifully and I must say that Hebrew is an exceptionally beautiful language. The stage is set in a very dark setting with the lighting being absolutely stunning showing several strides of blue. The long shots are amazing and Jerusalem needs a Eurovision Song Contest right about now. He is third with the bookies. 9 points from me.

Simon: I found this song and performance a little boring but Harel has a very good vocal although a little pitchy and lost it in the end. It was an emotional heart felt performance 5/10

Denmark

Marc: Starting off with a glass screen which separates the artists, they are singing a romantic ballad although this is not transmitting as such on the monitors with their emotions described more as brotherly. The vocals are really good this evening and this could be the surprise as many people though that this will fail following a string of atrocious rehearsals. They are dressed quite formally but it all looks well on stage. 7 points from me yet again.

Simon: Excellent performance and the best so far tonight. Reminds me of Simply the Best (Tina Turner) and Every Breath You Take (Police). Typical ESC type tune but a really nice duet. Nice key change. 8/10 for this one.

Switzerland

Marc: Michael has quite a distinctive feature which makes him noticeable. The backdrop is mainly orange but changes to blue/white at times. The vocals are simply amazing and it is nice to see a song in French as well. The pyrotechnics work really well and the broadcaster SR has really thrown everything into this performance including the kitchen sink. He is aided by very strong backing vocalists and it looks really well. Can he qualify in such a strong semi-final ? We will see.

Simon: Really didn’t enjoy this song at all, very reminiscent of some of the 80’s songs. Didn’t make much of an impact. I found the song got much stronger with the introduction of the backing vocalists. 4/10

Sweden

Marc: What an amazing atmosphere, everyone is holding red lights to create the same atmosphere which she had during Melodifestivalen. She takes to the stage in a peach/white dress and is joined on stage by a total of five backing vocalists, not that she really needs them as she is just amazing on her own. The performance is really simple but just brilliant. I am sure that Sweden is through to the final and can actually win this year and takes us to the amazing Stockholm. 9 points from me.

Simon: Nice to see a girl and her guitar sing a simple song. Easy listening and enjoyable and looked more comfortable when she got rid of the guitar. One of the strongest so far. Great performance and really catchy. 8/10

Azerbaijan

Marc: The biggest betting favourite of 2010 is now on stage singing her power ballad Drip Drop. The vocals are quite strong this evening although one must add that she was appalling yesterday and therefore hurt her chances with the juries. The choreography is quite elaborate, nothing too big but nothing too simple either. Walking on the catwalk, she looks visually stunning in that turquoise dress. This is the one to beat but still something does not quite add up for me. 8 points from me.

Simon: Really confident performance, very catchy and it’s gonna be a popular entry, has the potential for chart success. 7/10

Ukraine

Marc: We are off to the most melancholic song of the evening in the form of Sweet People. The vocals are just stunning this evening and despite being written off earlier on in the betting odds and the charts, this will surely be the dark horse of the evening. The lighting is exuberant and the camera shots are stunning. Good luck Alyosha ! Would like to give this 7/10.

Simon: Nice guitar intro but very downbeat, was expecting it to go somewhere but it didn’t. This song is full of angst. ESC is all about feel good and this isn’t. Similar to Evanesance 3/10

The Netherlands

Marc: Two real life dolls are on stage along with a dutch organ before Sieneke comes onto the stage clad in white attire. The way that her hair has been made makes her look quite young actually, very much different than her usual style. She is also joined on stage by three backing vocalists to sing this schlager type of song. I do not know what will be getting Europe to vote for this although her vocals are spot on this evening whilst the music sounds nice and childish at the same time. Can only give this 5/10.

Simon: Have to admit it’s a very catchy song. Happy go Lucky. Can imagine folks dancing around the TV tonight. Lets Dance!! Part of it sounds like they ripped off S Club 7 Reach for the Stars. 8/10

Romania

Marc: This was my hot favourite during this years' Romanian national final and the reason for that was because of a catchy song, a catchy performance and just brilliant vocals. The performance with pyrotechnics, backing vocalists and amazing camera shots make this a serious contender for qualification. A very modern, electro-pop sort of feel to it. The high notes at the end were just amazing and I must say that this can also take us to Bucharest.

Simon: Good interaction between the two and a very decent ESC entry. Hope they didn’t burn their fingers. Even though both singers stayed at the pianos for most of the song, they still managed to exude great stage presence…although parts of the song sounded like Lady GaGa 6/10

Slovenia

Marc: Hmm, a mix between pop and rock which does not sound that bad but not that great either. The backdrop is white and black at times. It sounds like the Austrian entry from 2005 but it was much better produced then and still failed to qualify. The vocals are good but I will surely start losing my hope in the contest should this make it through.

Simon: When the Rock and Traditional styles were combined it worked very well, however, when they switched from Rock to Traditional it sounded disjointed. Male vocalist has a strong rock voice. Very different and that is what ESC is all about!! 5/10

Ireland

Marc: One of the nicest people in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. Ireland have returned to their former glory this year thanks to the former winner Niamh Kavanagh who is clad in a beautiful purple dress with a nice long slit. She is joined on stage by four backing vocalists who accompany her beautifully. The vocals are the best there is this year and I urge the Maltese to vote for her next Saturday as she deserves to win and we will get the Eurovision Song Contest back where it should be in the quality line. The high notes were stunning and DUBLIN here we come !!!! 10/10

Simon: Wow, what a fantastic performance from Niamh and the team. Best performance of the night. Powerful vocals and beautiful ballad We’ve gotta qualify. Nice gúna. I have to give 10/10

Bulgaria

Marc: Bright white backdrop for this one in order to emulate the angel within the title. Miro is one of the best singers in his country but he might be in the wrong year with such a strong semi-final. He is joined on stage by four backing dancers, two males and two females who are under 18 years of age. The vocals are very good but I do not think that this will be going through to the next round although I am really worried about someone being left out. 7/10

Simon: Good disco number and I imagine it being and a big club hit. Good vocal but I think a little over produced. Chorus lyrics lacking in imagination “oh oh oh ooh oh ooh oh ooh oh oooh oh” 6/10

Cyprus

Marc: The Welsh singer kicks off with beautiful vocals joined on stage by a number of performers including backing vocalists, a pianist as well as two guitarists. A nice and warm ballad which is quite typical in Ireland or Wales actually. The performance is simple, classy and just pure elegant. The backdrop is blue and works quite well. This should be the first Cypriot entry through to the final since 2004 if all goes well and they do have the support this evening so we will see. 9/10

Simon: Really enjoyed this song from the lads from Wales. One of my favourite performances tonight. Very catchy chorus.This may be one way that Great Britain will win again 8/10

Croatia

Marc: Apparently, they stole a park bench before the performance, kidding! They start the song sitting down on the park bench dressed in long floor length peach/cream gowns which look brilliant on camera. The vocals in the beginning of the song are really strong and they continue to do so towards the end hitting the higher notes in amazing fashion. The choreography is simple but staged quite well actually and this is a potential top five entry in the final this year. Croatia, where have you been and why have you kept these sexy ladies away from us from these last five years ? ;) Welcome back to the elite. 8/10

Simon: Nice melody but can’t comment on the lyrics as I don’t speak Croatian. Started very sharp but quickly recovered. Overall a good performance from the three glamorous girls and they look the part. Very Celine Dion like. 6/10

Georgia

Marc: I guess some countries do not know when TOO MUCH is TOO MUCH. The choreography is clearly not helping win her any extra votes in my opinion as it distracts from the overall song. The vocals are just stunning and the backdrop combines quite well with the colours just brilliantly in my opinion. These writer is the same behind the Norwegian one yet I prefer this to that and I think that I am in a minority there. This is surely the best Georgian entry ever sent yet she might still be left out this evening although she does deserve to pass.

Simon: Nice beginning to the song, great tonality. Powerful voice and I think a real contender tonight. Choreography very good, fitted in well with the song. Great performance! Looks very like Cheryl Cole 8/10

Turkey

Marc: Well the final song of the evening is quite rockish actually with the main tune being a mix between rock and pop. The stage is bathed in black with the main lighting being white. The vocals are amazing and I must say that they really worked well with the camera shots to bring about this breathtaking performance. It is like watching a concert of the MTV European Award Winners from 2009. This will go through easily and will finish in the top 10 on Saturday.

Simon: Nice to see a rock band albeit light rock, good musicians and decent song. Very reminiscent to ‘Linkin Park’ with the big power chords and the DJ combination. I have one question, what’s going on with the She Robot?! 5/10

The Show (Part 2)

The hosts are now back on stage clad in the same attire they wore earlier on. The recap is now on in order for the viewers to vote in this evenings' show. The Maltese cannot vote these evening but people please vote for Ireland represented by Niamh Kavanagh who sang in position number 12. We are now going to see the songs that came last in the Eurovision Song Contest with Norway holding the record 10 times. The two main hosts speak about all of the participants actually including Ireland, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Romanian and more.

The Results

Qualifier 1: Georgia - drew position number 13

Qualifier 2: Ukraine - drew position number 17

Qualifier 3: Turkey - drew position number 14

Qualifier 4: Israel - drew position number 24

Qualifier 5: IRELAND - drew position number 10

Qualifier 6: Cyprus - drew position number 5

Qualifier 7: Azerbaijan - drew position number 1

Qualifier 8: Romania - drew position number 19

Qualifier 9: Armenia - drew position number 21

Qualifier 10: Denmark - drew position number 25

Final Comment:

Simon Casey: I'm delighted for Niamh and the Irish team, I am disappointed that some of the acts didn't qualify as I felt they were more deserved of the qualifying spots than others. In particular I'm disappointed that Sweden or the Netherlands didn't qualify.

Last modified on Saturday, 24 March 2012 12:44