Monty’s Semi Summary Part 1

IEC Kiev

It’s the same every year. I always regret not already being in the host city for the first week. Last year it was all I could do, having to return home for work commitments during the main Eurovision week, but this year I’m not arriving in Kyiv until Thursday. Like most of you I’m relying on the blogosphere to keep me informed, and becoming all too aware you can’t really tell anything from 30 seconds of sanctioned footage and a hall full of fanboys (and occasional fangirl) cooing over a technical run through.

But I’m still going to try to. Here’s my thoughts on semi 1 (helped by 5 fuller clips leaking online…)

At the top

Robin arriving in KievSweden, Finland, and – we can safely assume – Portugal, all deliver solid versions of the national final performances. I see all three of these through with ease.

Going up

I felt Armenia gave a solid performance, though it looks like her dancers are doing the Yerevan Vogue with all that flapping posturing. Greece (even if that Phil has upset them with his comments) also seemed vocally solid, and my interest is piqued to see how that underwater effect works on screen.

Sunstroke ProjectThe Moldovan performance looks like it lifts the song to the levels of fun it needs (though if the ‘Brides of Frankenstein’ comments I’ve read prove accurate might over egg their wedding cake), and though I need a closer look Australia, whilst a little on the dull side, feels sufficiently competent to qualify.

My lovely horse
Courtesy of EBU – Andreas Putting

The full performance of Azerbaijan shows it to be an unlikely concept, yet does make you pay attention. I think this probably has a good enough blend of contemporary cool and WTF to make it to Saturday night. But what is all that horsing around about?

Going down

Poor little terrified Blanche! I really hoped she’d find enough to distract from her on the big stage, and the pre-Kyiv Belgian TV performance seemed fine, with the dancers. I hope they’re to come in the next rehearsal, otherwise I feel this is going to struggle. I’ve also not seen enough of Iceland to really judge it, but what I have wasn’t exactly inspiring.

Battle of the ballads

There’s some heavy competition between 4 female ballads, and not enough places for them all. In decreasing order of likelihood, Poland, Georgia, Albania, and Czech Republic all face an uphill battle (the Czech singer not helped by an astonishingly ill-advised choice of outfit).

The rest

Cyprus, Slovenia and Latvia remain in a group that could go either way. All seemed fairly solid, if unremarkable, in round one, but there’s not many spaces left in this half.

Slavko rehearses for Eurovision 2017Oh, and Montenegro! I can’t wait to see Slavko in his full three minutes of glory. Anyone who calls this either way with certainty is a fool!

I wish I was off to the EuroClub now to bring you hot reportage from the opening party night, swilling Ukrainian vodka and dancing with the inevitable resident hookers, but I’m going to have some hummus and an early night in north London. Hurry up Thursday! You really can’t come quick enough.

Monty x