For the second leg we decamped (geddit?) to the Stately Home of the Thane and Lady Duncansby, armed with BBC scorecards, Sauvignon Blanc and Kettle Chips. From the historical comfort of the Grand Drawing Room we witnessed 19 more songs of varying quality. Here are our reactions:
Bosnia & Herzegovina – a nice start from an old codger who is in fact younger than both the Thane and my good self. A crisp performance. Only the Thane didn’t put it in their top ten so we scored it 3/4.
Austria – That’s a wig, noted Lady D. We all thought Nadine was a great singer but that there were more entertaining songs. Only the Thane put it through. (1/4)
The Netherlands – a bit dull, and regrettably the lead singer with his hair and teeth slightly resembled a greasy rabbit. It was ok. (2/4)
Belgium – After about two minutes Mrs Chrisparkle exploded with “surely they’ve had their three minutes by now!” I guessed that the older generation would approve of this more. The beatbox sounded like he was in a padded cell – no bad thing. (2/4)
Slovakia – Excellent legs. Singing a bit off. Great legs. (2/4)
Ukraine – The sand artist show with minor musical background. Lots of “can you guess what it is yet?” in an Australian accent. Mika’s winged shoulder pads were mere pupae in comparison to last year’s Belarussian butterflies. (0/4)
Moldova – A performance that was already too weird for words before the unicyclist came in. The Thane read a pamphlet about camping sites. (0/4)
Sweden – An upbeat and slick presentation. “He’s straight??” commented at least one amazed onlooker. The glass smashing isn’t a patch on how it was in Melodifestivalen. (4/4)
Cyprus – We loved the swaying. We loved the sperm. We loved how the sperm swayed with the swayers. No chorus. (0/4)
Bulgaria – Good performance. Other stuff was better though. Not much to say. (1/4)
FYR Macedonia – I still think this song is fun, but I preferred the video. Great backdrop. The others more or less hated it. (1/4)
Israel – I only use the “f” word occasionally but it really was a fabulous three minutes. Ms International had an extraordinary dress constructed of unravelling raffia work. We knew DI had had a sex change but there was some confusion as to which direction it had gone. Great use of catwalk. Sang better than I expected. (4/4)
Slovenia – A cunning combination of dramatic and dull. Much admiration for the thigh boots. Nice top too. Maja must have gone to “Star by Julien Macdonald” at Debenhams. Mental note made for Mrs C’s Christmas present. (2/4)
Romania – Very good performance of a very good song. Everyone singing along. Stripey trousers. (4/4)
Estonia – Getter Jaani looking like a wide-eyed doe, dressed like a delicious liquorice allsort. Thought her singing was a bit off sometimes. “Woeful” said the Thane. Though originally she gave this song the nod, Lady D rejiggled her scores again after seeing Getter in interview and awarded her AV vote to the Netherlands instead. (1/4)
Belarus – Fun. Attractive performance. We tried some excellent alternatives, these work well: “I love Skelmersdale”; “I love Milton Keynes”; “I love Birmingham”. Northampton and Aylesbury just don’t scan as well unfortunately. (4/4)
Latvia – Showed my age by likening the rapping chap to the late Freddie Garrity. I love the song but felt it was all a bit static. “They’re not pulling it off are they” said the Thane. Probably just as well. (3/4)
Denmark – Within ten seconds of it starting: “I like it” said Lady D. “A winner” said the Thane. And we enjoyed the run around the stage. Satisfaction encapsulated in three minutes. (4/4)
Ireland – Our two households couldn’t be counted as Jedward fans. We all think the song is catchy. The descant of the backing singers drowned out the lads. The presentation wearied us and we didn’t really rate it I’m afraid. (0/4)
Not as successful a prediction of the ten finalists as we achieved on Tuesday. Only 4/10 for the Thane, 5/10 for the ladies and I got a massive 6/10. Big shock for me was Moldova getting through – admittedly they would have got douze points from Romania but who else would vote for that? Ukraine was also a surprise, I can only assume the voters went for Mystic Meg on the sand board and ignored Mika Newton. In the other direction, I really thought Dana International had done enough to qualify, she oozed star quality and class. I thought Ireland was unpredictable and I still can’t call how they will do on Saturday.
Thought Scott was much better last night, some very good lines and a much more confident delivery. Sara was also better but the interviews with foreign singers were pointless as they can’t understand her accent. I barely can myself.