This post is a Eurovision spoiler-free zone.
Night two began with Malta’s folksy ‘Coming Home’ by Firelight. It aimed right for the audience’s feels with images of immigrants on the giant Cube screen, however I couldn’t get past the singer who never seemed to blink. Like at all. I guess he had to concentrate pretty hard on playing his lute, ‘cause those eyes just stared, soullessly, like a shark cruising for prey/glory. Israel was second with ‘Same Heart’ which elicited a lot of Palestine jibes on Twitter. (Touché.) Mei Finegold was shit hot though in a cool dominatrix-lite outfit with an emphasis on ‘thighs’. Norway’s ‘Silent Story’ started off slow, with singer Carl Espen honking like a forlorn goose in unimaginable misery. Inevitably the song built up and ended on a typically dramatic note but I couldn’t shake that goose vibe.
Georgia brought the wacky with a traditional song done up in Woodstockesque costumes in ‘Three Minutes to Earth’ by The Shin & Mariko. Those three minutes were undertaken by a skydiver who, throughout the entire song, leered creepily at the camera like a sexually deviant aromatherapist. Poland was next. Busty, busty Poland. Breasts. This song was about having breasts.
And then it was Austria. Arguably the most well known entry this year, bearded lady and generally fabulous person Conchita Wurst knocked out her Bond-like theme ‘Rise like a Phoenix’, at times almost drowned out by the crowd’s sheer adoration. It felt like the biggest and the best performance so far, and she’s easily the favourite of semi-final two, if not the final. It was a hard act to follow, and sort of awkward for Lithuania, whose song just yelled out ‘Attention!’ over and over because everyone was still thinking about how great Conchita was.
Eighth act for the night Finland was a Killers-like group of young guys who all looked like one or both members of Jedward but not as interesting. Ireland brought the men in kilts with their song ‘Heartbeat’, and Belarus featured another boy band who apparently liken sexual attraction to cheesecake. My notes for Belarus are literally ‘cheesecake, virgins?, suits, dancing, bland’. Macedonia took us ‘To the Sky’ with lovely Cruella de Vil/Pink-inspired Tijana Dapčević, and shit got initially cute but then unsettling with Switzerland’s Sebalter. Under all the tambourine and whistling, their song ‘Hunter of Stars’ actually has the lyrics ‘I’m the hunter, and you the poor prey / Tonight I’m gonna eat you up’ and ‘Want me to go, because you think I’m lying / no open the door’. Yeah, no.
With only three acts left, Greece bought out a couple of guys called Freaky Fortune who did a pretty terrible club track called ‘Rise Up’. Unfortunately they didn’t rise up to the challenge of writing decent lyrics. Slovenia promised a lot with Tinkara Kovac playing a flute in the intro to ‘Round and Round’, but the flute got lost in a pop song and was only seen once again. Romania was the final entry with ‘Miracle’ by Paula Seling and OVI. These two were super cute together, and things got pretty miraculous when OVI played a magic circle keyboard thing whilst looking like Australian comedian Dan Ilic.
The interval performance had been drummed up in Australia and we were not disappointed with peak cringeworthy antics in the intro act for Jessica Mauboy. There were AFL players, the Big Pineapple, native wildlife – the whole embarrassing shebang. This made way for Mauboy, who did a nice song with lovely Indigenous references, culminating to the final moment when an astronaut descended onstage with an Australia flag that morphed triumphantly into the Aboriginal flag. It was a pretty proud moment for everyone (but Europe still isn’t going to let us into Eurovision).
The winners of semi-final two were: Switzerland, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, Norway, Greece, Malta, Belarus, Finland and (dramatic pause) Austria.
Image from Wikipedia.