Here we go then, with the final trio of countries taking part in the first of this year’s Eurovision semi-finals. Today’s preview starts with Austria, who made a credible return to the contest last year after several years of self-imposed exile. That entry was a pleasing ballad – the one being sent this year couldn’t be much more of a contrast. The duo, resembling Angus Young from AC/DC and Stewart Lee, but called Trackshittaz (no, really), appear to be Austria’s answer to LMFAO, although the reaction produced by this performance is more likely to be WTF or FFS. The song, performed in an Austrian dialect called Mühlviertlerisch, is called Woki mit deim Popo. Which translates, as you might possibly guess from this clip, as “Shake Your Bottom”.
Nice to see that feminism is alive and well in Austria. On now to Moldova, who more often than not have qualified for the final, but have only achieved a couple of Top 10 finishes to date. Their effort this year, called Lăutar, is performed by Pasha Parfeny, who has a vague look of Edward Norton about him. With braces.
A jolly, folky number, which might well get through, although it’ll either prosper or suffer from being sandwiched between hyperactive male duos. Which brings us on, finally, for today and for the first semi-final, to Ireland, and Jedward. Such was their success last year that Ireland have chosen them to represent them in Baku with Waterline. Having first found fame as the comedy irritants in The X-Factor in 2009, the brothers Grimes do seem to have been smoothed down considerably, even since their Eurovision stint last year, and really it’s only the trademark hair, and the sparkly Power Rangers outfits, that distinguish what is otherwise an efficient but run-of-the-mill pop song.
The fact that they’re last in the running order – always advantageous, of course – might give them enough of a boost to make it into the final, but I’m sceptical as to whether Jedward will have another Top 10 finish. And one can’t help feeling they’ve been comprehensively out-Jedwarded by the Austrians.
So that’s it for the first semi-final. Ten of the eighteen acts who’ve been featured in these first six previews will make it rhrough to the final on Saturday 26 May. Next time we’ll be moving into the second semi-final, and waiting to show us their wares will be Serbia, Macedonia and the Netherlands. I’ll see you then…