Well, I have a good excuse: I had never heard tell of Lorde before, and still haven't heard any of her songs!
What I normally do every year is print out the entry lists. For each Semi, I put a dash next to the ones I like. Then, during the video clips at the start of the voting, I pick a top 4 for that night. For the final, I do the marking thing for the pre-qualified countries, and then pick a Top 6 from all the finalists.
So far, my choices for this year are very different to what they normally are. Normally, my Top 4 would consist almost exclusively of beautiful young Eastern European women. This year, I have 3 blokes and then a set of (beautiful young) Russian twins.
Here are my choices for 2014 Semi Final 1:
My Pos. # Country Liked Performer(s) Song title q 01 Armenia - Aram MP3 Not Alone 02 Latvia Aarzemnieki Cake To Bake 03 Estonia Tanja Amazing q 04 Sweden - Sanna Nielsen Undo q 05 Iceland Pollapönk No Prejudice 06 Albania - Hersi One Night's Anger q 4. 07 Russia - Tolmachevy Sisters Shine q 08 Azerbaijan - Dilara Kazimova Start A Fire q 09 Ukraine - Mariya Yaremchuk Tick - Tock 1. 10 Belgium - Axel Hirsoux Mother 11 Moldova - Cristina Scarlat Wild Soul q 12 San Marino - Valentina Monetta Maybe (Forse) 13 Portugal Suzy Quero Ser Tua q 14 The Netherlands - The Common Linnets Calm After The Storm q 2. 15 Montenegro - Sergej Ćetković Moj Svijet q 3. 16 Hungary - András Kállay-Saunders Running
EDIT: The videos in the table are the promo videos for each song. For the actual performances, see this official YouTube playlist (which, unfortunately, is not done in performance order. Grrrr!!!!): LIVE 2014 Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final
Yippee!!! Valentina finally got through to the final!!! Third time lucky!!! Although, to be honest, I preferred her song from last year. But, at least it was another proper song rather than that joke song she had in 2012.
Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, my favourite from one of the Semi-Finals has not qualified for the Final. Boo. Hiss.
On the other hand, only one of the acts I didn’t like qualified (Iceland). Well, “didn’t like” is maybe a bit strong. I did actually like the song. It’s just that the group singing it weren’t the best singers in the world…
But, I think it is one of those entries where, the more I hear it, the more it will grow on me. So maybe I will like it more by the end of Saturday night.
A thing I was disappointed in was that there were so many songs being sung in English. Personally, I prefer it when the singers are performing songs in their own language. But, only Portugal and Montenegro did that last night. And, going by the song titles for tomorrow’s Semi, it looks like there will be only one that is not in English (Poland)
Montenegro was one of my favourites, and I was so relieved when they qualified. But, Portugal didn’t get through. Although they had a good song, I was very disappointed in Suzy’s singing. Nice dress, though…
So, all in all, I really enjoyed last night’s Semi. I just hope that the quality of Thursday’s is as good. Because if it is not, I will be even more annoyed that Belgium and the others I liked from last night didn’t get through.
I just hope Paula and Ovi have as good a song as they did the last time…
Looking forward to Thursday