A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Semi 1: everybody loves a surprise

Everybody loves a surprise or two at the Eurovision Song Contest and just when we all thought everything was going like on rails, the biggest surprise in years just hit us right over the face as San Marino made it to the final.

That crazy little Valentina Monetta actually managed to make her way into the top ten of this semi and for the first time the tiny tiny state will take a spot in the big Saturday final.

I did tweet during the show that Valentina again proved not to be good enough for Eurovision - not bad but not good enough - and I still stand by that comment. Others, who didn't make the cut tonight - performed better than she did. They sang better and had stronger presence, but "Maybe" is also clearly the best out of the three songs Valentina and Ralph Siegel made together.

I think San Marino will be shark feed on Saturday and one of the strongest candidates for nul points but that matters very little now. You would need a heart of solid rock not to be happy for the Sammarinese delegation finally making it.

The other big surprise for me personally was that I managed to predict nine out of ten qualifiers correctly. Apart from San Marino I nailed them all - I thought about leaving Russia out or putting Belgium in but left it the way it was. Sometimes a bit of gut feeling is all you need.

I'm a bit sorry that Estonia's ambitious performance lost out and I will miss a bit of Latvian quirk in the final, but I'd be a fool not to feel very pleased after this first semi.

The show was nice and the stage looks fantastic, even if the director sometimes can't resist the urge of showing the stage rather than the performances. I'd like to cut the scripts a bit shorter here and there (and preferably leave out some heteronormative jokes about which one of the male hosts the upcoming performer fancies and stuff like that) but on the total it was a very enjoyable show.

If DR keeps it up like this, nobody will remember that 2001 fiasco come Sunday. Well done.


  1. Congratulations for Montenegro as well, who got first time to the final as well as San Marino.

  2. 2001 was a mess mainly because of the wrong winner)
    The stage was up to the early 00s standards

    1. Taste is individual and should not be discussed, but from a televisual point of view the 2001 stage was a fiasco. It only looked good in very long shots, as soon as there was a close-up on singers it looked like they were lost in some grey mist. But DR learned from their mistakes, last night looked excellent.