JESUS CHRIST, that was an amazing show, and – aside from the huge crane cameras getting in the way most of the time, I had a great seat. Malmö Arena seemed to be just the right size, grand but intimate. Those bracelets too, a great idea (even if they seemed a bit buggy), and a lovely way to involve the audience in the action.
While you’re here, my Malmö 2013 hub has reviews and videos of all the entries, as well as other news and review of the national selections. Or you can click “Malmö 2013″ at the top of the screen.
I loved the butterfly motifs, the postcards, I think the visual identity of this year’s contest is on par with Oslo back in 2010, love it! But you want to know about the results don’t you? Well there could be only ten finalists from the sixteen performers. I’m pleased to say that my predictions were pretty much spot on, incredibly! So what were the results?
1. Natália Kelly – Shine (Austria)
2. Birgit – Et uus saaks alguse (Estonia)
3. Hannah – Straight Into Love (Slovenia)
4. Klapa s Mora – Mižerja (Croatia)
5. Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops (Denmark)
6. Dina Garipova – What If (Russia)
7. Zlata Ognevich – Gravity (Ukraine)
8. Anouk – Birds (Netherlands)
9. Who See – Igranka (Montenegro)
10. Andrius Pojavis – Something (Lithuania)
11. Alyona Lanskaya – Solayoh (Belarus)
12. Aliona Moon – O mie (Moldova)
13. Ryan Dolan – Only Love Survives (Ireland)
14. Despina Olympiou – An me thimasai (Cyprus)
15. Roberto Bellarosa – Love Kills (Belgium)
16. Moje 3 – Ljubav je svuda (Serbia)
Denmark totally brought the house down, and the crowd just went insane every time it was mentioned. While the performances up until then did well, it really felt like the show STARTED with Denmark. The reaction might be a little skewed as Malmö is practically in Denmark, so there were huge numbers of Danes in the audience.
Russia & Ukraine didn’t quite have the impact that I thought they might – oddly Russia got the bigger cheers though. Maybe putting them as challengers for the victory might be a bit more of a shaky prospect than first thought. But I haven’t seen what they looked like on TV!
Ireland I hadn’t put down as a dead-cert in my predictions, much as I suspected it, but hearing it live totally worked, and I’m hoping Ireland do really well on Saturday, so they finally realise they don’t need to rely on semi-novelty acts to get attention (as good as Jedward were). Oh and we ALL know you were looking for those amazingly hot Irish dancers, I can see the search stats! I’m totally going to capitalise on that though…
Thank God for that
Dear Belgium made it through against the odds, I was stunned and overjoyed (and drunk) to hear Roberto being put through to the finals. From what I saw, he looked like he was finally comfortable in his role, and his late performing slot and lovely hair contributed to his success.
Belarus! Goodness me, they don’t hold back do they? Emerging from a giant disco ball with a hot dance routine, the pyro effects, all amazing. There wasn’t much pyro this year was there? Anyway, I love this one, and I’m glad they finally managed to slip through the net this time (in a good way).
Moldova I really love, and with the big ballads out of the way, the floor was open for Aliona to have an amazing moment. That towering inferno dress with bolts of lightning thrown in for good measure looked fantastic, and brought to life an already-incredible middle-eight. Bravo!
Last but by no means least, the tension was incredible in the arena, I don’t know if you heard the crowd chanting “NE-THER-LANDS, NE-THER-LANDS” before Anouk was the last name to be revealed (random order my FOOT). What a high to end on, I feared it might be a total dud and people wouldn’t get it. I’m so pleased for them though, it’s been a LONG time since we’ve seen a Dutch finalist, 9 years to be exact!
Lithuania incredibly managed to get through another year, after seemingly zero confidence from the fans. I think it’s a simple and catchy song, and I love an underdog. Never thought it would qualify, and even now I suspect it might be our 9th or 10th place song, but well done.
Estonia really nailed it tonight, with a great glory note. I am very fond of the song but it did feel a bit of a middle-ground entry. However her performance really raised it above my expectations, a real class act.
Thanks for playing
Sadly that leaves six non-qualifiers, and for me there were few surprises. With Belgium and Lithuania getting through, that leaves Croatia out in the cold with their Balkan Il Divo. Impressive voices, but it did feel like a bit of a non-event. Serbia on the other hand were the shock that meant a terrible night for the Balkans, as Slovenia didn’t make the cut either.
Serbia really should have kept the angel & devil costumes from the national final, it just looked a bit of a mess. A shame though I loved that song. Interesting that Serbia had the ‘pimp slot’ performing last, while Estonia got the famed ‘slot of death’ performing second… looks like Serbia bucked the wrong trend, as the curse of the girlband lives on.
Slovenia really won me over too, and that girl can SING. But sadly Hannah Minogue adds dubstep to the pile of unfortunate Slovenian entries. Boo… Cyprus, Austria and Montenegro rounded off the non-qualifers. Good performances all around, but it just didn’t work. Austria was outsung by later entries with better choruses, Cyprus was pretty but safe (Bosnia would’ve sung it to the final though) and Montenegro was a gamble that didn’t pay off, but kudos to them for doing their own thing!
Grand Final Draw (sort of)
Well this year, SVT are putting together the performance order for the shows, but as a compromise they are having draws for which half of the show they will perform in. Though semi-final 1 is likely to be the stronger of the two, most of the qualifiers have drawn the first half. Here’s what happened.
FIRST HALF (in alphabetical order) – Belarus, Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia
SECOND HALF – Denmark, Ireland, Ukraine
That’s certainly not going to do Denmark any harm, particularly if SVT give Emmelie one of the closing slots. I think that’s Lithuania and Belgium under the bus though, I’m not sure people will remember them all the way through. Who knows, what happens happens!
So that’s that… tomorrow I’m going to get my elbows at the ready, I’m going to the jury rehearsal of semi-final 2, right down in the standing area. I’m damn well going to get that front row seat if it kills me!!
I’ll try to write about my time in Malmö too, if you’re into that sort of thing. Have fun! Tell your friends etc! xx