Friday, 13 June 2008

Eurovision - Day Five

Before I knew it I was already on my fifth day in Belgrade and what would be a very important night for me as I would find out if the new system of the two Semi Finals really worked and if my ultimate Eurovision favourites, Euroband would qualify to the final like they deserved.

Euroband didn't disappoint me and as always gave the most fantastic performance both visually and vocally. Even though they were the first act out they were the best performance of the night in my opinion. Fridrik looked so cute when he smiled into the camera after he opened the song and I couldn't help but smile myself. The performance looked amazing on the big screens in the arena and the camera work was excellent especially when Regina appears as if from nowhere and Fridrik disappears out of shot. Everyone in the arena was up dancing most of all me!! My other favourites, Charlotte and Ani were equally very good and the camera work and lazers during Charlotte's performance looked impressive on the big screens. Tereza from the Czech Republic hadn't improved and her performance looked like one big mess. I was also so disappointed that Morena hadn't raised her game either. Once everyone had performed, I again waited nervously to see if my favourites from this Semi Final, Euroband would qualify. Fortunately I didn't have to wait as long for Iceland to be called out as I did for Norway, but once Iceland was announced I screamed and jumped about so much that I missed the next four countries to qualify!! I was so pleased that all three of my favourites (Iceland, Sweden and Ukraine) had qualified to the Final on Saturday. I wasn't too happy with Europe’s decision to put through Croatia but I can’t really complain as EUROBAND made it. What a show it was – there was definitely a lot more tension before this semi final compared to the first one as people were expecting a shock result. I think the only shock for me was Lativia qualifying over the Swiss entry – obviously there are a lot of people in Europe that like pirates?? For me, the performances of the night were definitely Euroband who had so much energy on stage and flawless vocals, which must have been really difficult as they were the opening act; Charlotte Perelli, who gave a slick performance; and Ani Lorak with a fierce routine that had everything you want from a Eurovision entry.

"Shady Lady" Photoshoot

After the results I headed to the Press Centre to catch the press conference. Ani Lorak said she believed that “the winner was in the room”. I wasn’t sure if she meant one of the other acts or if she meant herself?? Fridrik from Euroband made my heart melt when he said that “If Eurovision was a little baby Reykjavik would take good care of it” - he really does seem to be the nicest guy ever. When asked how Euroband felt about winning, Regina said, “We are pleasantly surprised; we couldn’t be in a better place. It’s a dream come true”. Charlotte Perelli was asked whether she was under pressure to qualify to the final and win to which she replied, “We had no expectations at all. We shall do our best in the final”. As the finalists left the press conference, I congratulated Euroband who looked so happy.

The next thing to do was to make my appearance at the after-show party. Last years winner Marjia, performed the DANCE REMIX of her winning entry Molitva - I personally prefer the dance mix and I was glad that it was that version she performed.

At the party I consoled a defeated Morena from Malta, who was able to let her hair down as the pressure was now off her. Morena said “Malta had put in a lot of effort this year” and that they had worked with “a Swedish songwriter and Swedish backing dancers” she sighed, ”but it still wasn’t enough”. Poor Morena and poor Malta. I told her that despite “Vodka” not making the final, I was sure that it would become a fan favourite and will be played at Eurovision parties long after this contest, she replied, “I hope so”.

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