Today in Parliament – The Eurovision edition – Day 2

Good evening! As a result of time zone shenanigans and/or me not getting it written in time, yesterday’s Today In Parliament ended up being today’s Yesterday In Parliament but I’m pleased to say that yes – TODAY’S Today In Parliament is indeed today’s. Yes.

I’m not even IN Parliament. I wanted it to be called Today At Wimbledon, which to be fair I’m also not in.

Iceland

In the old days, when the world was still young and I was merely old, I would have asked myself the question “Do I REALLY want to get up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday to watch Iceland?”. In some ways I welcome our new “You’re not allowed to see anything” overlords.

Nevertheless, there’s a little bit to see here. Hera’s festooned in gold lametta like an Argos Christmas tree, trying to stage a pretty generic Embers-alike better than James Newman did. I think she succeeds in that endeavour, which is sort of like me trying to be funnier than I was yesterday.

It’s all a bit mass-produced, but this is Eurovision for heaven’s sake, it’s what we signed up for.

@eurovision

All that glitters is indeed gold when it comes to Eurovision royalty @Hera Björk 🇮🇸 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

Slovenia

This is another one that hasn’t really caught fire for me during the mid-season, the only distinguishing feature being the THRRRRRPPPPP noise that I recognise so well from when I trip over my shoelaces on the treadmill.

To my eye the staging hints point towards some Loreen influences, albeit this year it’s an open sandwich instead of a panini press. Lots of floor aerobics and a little bit of going up up up up up up. It’ll please the people that it’s aiming to please, and that might be enough to achieve what it’s aiming to achieve.

@eurovision

@raiven is soaring on the rehearsal stage in Malmö Arena 🇸🇮 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

Finland

Don’t be distracted, Europe. The amount of goofy business going on here is designed to distract you from two key things.

  1. The song’s wafer-thin.
  2. All the evidence I’ve seen so far is that their ability to sing it is even thinner.

Which is not to say that I don’t appreciate the business. It’s all very carefully choreographed to maintain the fundamental joke that we’re constantly a second away from seeing something that many of us would sooner not, and the absurdist touch of blurring out the obsolete Windows 95 logo WHILE STILL BEING CALLED Windows95Man is worthy of artistic luminaries like Magritte and Harry Hill.

The juries are going to hate this like an empty envelope, but the televoters will certainly catapult it into the Saturday show to sink or sink.

@eurovision

Malmö Arena transforms into a denim dreamscape as @Windows95Man enters the chat 🇫🇮 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

Moldova

It’s all very carefully choreographed to maintain the fundamental joke that we’re constantly a second away from seeing something… no, behave!

I’ve learned to trust the Moldovan process in recent years. They have this habit of turning up in Eurovisionia with an apparently empty hat which turns out to contain a rabbit. Every single time.

This time I’m not so sure. I really appreciated the six-of-a-kind staging at the national final, and what we have here is a bit of a glow-down. There’s not much more to it than a – by all means attractive and complementary – video wall playing LED’s greatest hits. Wings like a phoenix. “Our state-of-the-art technology can give your artist a backdrop of anything from a single tree to the whole planet spinning in space-” “We’ll take the tree!”

This might be the first year in a while that they don’t defy the odds.

@eurovision

@Natalia Barbu official sings, plays strings and finds her wings, all at Moldova’s first rehearsal 🇲🇩 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

Azerbaijan

I’m old enough to remember a time when Azerbaijan always tried a little bit too hard to win and it was a bit awkward.

I kind of miss those days. I don’t know what they’re trying to achieve any more. This seems to be squarely targeted towards a demographic of themselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m British, we’re not immune to precision targeting our own demographic. But being British, I know it generally doesn’t work at putting points on the board.

I’m in no doubt that Fahree and Ilkin are masters of their art, and every so often it’s ok to just showcase your own culture with no expectations.

@eurovision

Glittering graphics and powerhouse vocals, @Fahree feat. @İlkinDövlətov have got rehearsals in hand 🇦🇿 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

Australia

Petra Mede will be delighted with this. At least four items from the Love Love Peace Peace checklist have been ticked, perhaps more.

As one of the “gods” that they’re trying to entertain (other gods are obviously available), I have to admit that yes, I am very much entertained. I’m surprised to see it languishing in polls and odds markets, with a strong anthemic joyousness to it it’s my best of the day and I don’t see very much that’s better in this semi.

It’s not NOT qualifying, surely?

@eurovision

@Electric Fields are lighting up rehearsals for Australia in Malmö 🇦🇺 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

Portugal

It’s time for another round of the traditional Portuguese game Adore Or Ignore?.

I never know. Never. I NEVER know whether a slice of Portuguese loveliness is going to catch fire or fall by the wayside. It’s like being David Mitchell trying to work out whether Bob Mortimer’s telling a truth or a lie.

I don’t think it’s a strong entry but I didn’t think it was in 2021 and it was and I thought it was in 1985 and it wasn’t and because it’s Portugal it could be or it could equally well not be and shall we just leave it at that for now?

@eurovision

Shout all about it! @iolanda is sending sparks flying in rehearsals 🇵🇹 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

Luxembourg

Luxembourg returns to Eurovision for the first time since 1993, and they’re welcome to it. (It’s the first time I’ve had a chance to use that line since 2015, did you think I’d pass it up?)

Their track record at contests in Sweden has been wrong in all the right ways, Tali follows in the footsteps of Geraldine, Diane Solomon, Malcolm Roberts, Margot, Franck Olivier, Ireen Sheer, Chris Roberts, Marian Welter and Kontinent.

To my mind she and they are getting off slightly on the right wrong foot here. In both sound and vision, if someone told me that there was in fact a secret undiscovered contest in autumn 2005 and this was Monaco’s entry in it, I’d completely believe them.

This is the start of a process for Luxembourg. Based on the standard already on show in the Luxembourg Song Contest, I think they’ll have better to come in the next few years when they’re fully up to speed.

@eurovision

Come for the song, stay for the pyro. @Tali is proving she’ll never let us down 🇱🇺 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

Ah, that wasn’t too bad. A whole semifinal done already and it’s not even breakfast time yet. Tomorrow in Parliament will be, if not the same, certainly similar… and in places quite suspiciously similar? See you there!

 

 

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