We’re at the halfway point in this year’s Eurovision preview blogs, and we’re now on to the countries who will be battling it out in the second semi-final, which will be held a fortnight today on 24 May. As with the first semi-final, there will be eighteen countries competing for ten places, and the line-up for this second semi includes the current bookies’ favourite – however, more on them in a few days’ time. Today’s preview starts with Serbia. Since winning in 2007, the Serbs have had results that have been modest rather than spectacular. This year they’re sending Željko Joksimović singing a song called Nije ljubav stvar, which translates as “Love is Not an Object”. This is clearly the winner’s reprise from the national selection, replete with the ticker-tape and mass finger-clicking.
Feels very much like they’re channelling that vibe of a few years ago, with the large ethnic flute and all. Might do quite well, but probably not as well as it would have done in about 2006.
Next up and just a short hop away are Macedonia. They’ve sent Nancy Dell’Olio-a-like Kaliopi, who performs Crno i Belo, or “Black and White”. There’s a caged bird and a spiral staircase in the video, which practises a level of subtlety not seen since the glory days of Heart. There’s even a screechy bit reminiscent of THAT bit towards the end of Alone.
Rawk. Incidentally, Kaliopi represented Macedonia in 1996 when they had their first tilt at Eurovision, but failed to get through the (unscreened) qualifying competition. Which doesn’t bode well as they attempt to make it to the final for the first time in five years. Mind you, the wait to return to the final of Eurovision has been even longer for the Netherlands, who haven’t managed to qualify for the big night since 2004. In a bid to try and break the dry spell, they’ve decided to send Joan Franka, wearing Native American headdress whilst singing You and Me. Watching this, you may be left wondering if you had an accident, and when you woke up it was 1973. Are you mad, in a coma, or back in time?
Not sure that raiding the Cowboys and Indians section of the fancy dress shop will do them any favours, particularly as the song isn’t terribly strong. I suspect it could be another year in the wilderness for the Dutch. Next time, we’ve got Malta, Belarus and Portugal, three countries who’ve never won Eurovision. Will any of them come close to scoring their first-ever win? Find out soon…