A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tobson's thoughts after semi 1

Just a few thoughts after the first semi final is over. It was a lavish and entertaining show from Stockholm where Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw did their best to take us viewers from point A to point Z without inferring too much.

On a first listening I was surprised to see many of the artists I really thought would possess stage skills underperforming badly. Finland and Estonia both really deserved to get kicked out tonight with their low energy and lack of determination.

Seeing the performances for the first time tonight possibly allowed me to see some things the people on location have missed. For instance Croatia - bullied for their choice of outfit - suddenly felt so deserving of a spot in the final for me. Cool, artistic, with a temper of its own. I was genuinely happy to see it pass.

In my prediction, I found myself getting 9 songs out of 10 right. I'm just as surprised as the rest of you. The only one I had wrong was Azerbaijan - and she sang better than media reports had suggested - as I had predicted Estonia instead. I'm not unhappy with the way it went.

This is not schadenfreude at all, but I am happy that Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina got pushed out. It is better for the contest that there are as few countries as possible that always qualify no matter what kind of song they enter. Now they both can come back with better songs next year.

And I am full of joy that both Austria and Czech republic made it through. At the end of the day, those two songs were the only ones I really cared for. (Those two and Freddie from Hungary. I can not believe how lovely that man is.)


  1. Spot on! I also thought Greece was horrible... Today you need a very good show on a huge stage or an outstanding melody performed with charisma, everything else is mediocre. Well predicted, you are truly an expert.

  2. Good God no! That Austrian song is DREADFUL! Well, it's not dreadful if you're an 8 year old French girl into princesses and fairytales. The staging is so saccharine it's terrible. The song is from another era, and not in a good way. The lyrics are childish and the performer winsome, yet forgettable.

    You were WILDLY wrong about Estonia. It's like the guy's voice was too deep for his body. The song was pitched far too low for him, and it just wasn't a strong entrant.

    As for Sandhja, sure, she was quite sharp (one UK commentator wrote "Imagine how happy she"ll be if she accidentally sings in tune at some point" but her performance and song were not the worst of the night and deserved to go through. They didn't rely on flashy graphics to make themselves seem more relevant *cough* Russia & Austria *cough*. The main problem was being hobbled by SVT, and being chosen to perform first. It's the worst possible scenario. Why SVT didn't put a complete no-hoper in 1st position like San Marino or Cyprus I have no clue. Instead they took a credible song and performer and basically guaranteed she wouldn't go through.

    Iceland had a much better staging than expected which really lifted the song and I was surprised to see it go through. And don't I remember you being scathing about Malta, and she went through?