Results Round-Up: Lithuania Heat 2 and Norway Semi-Final 1

As the weekends become busier and busier, I’ve decided to focus all the results on a single Sunday post, where I’ll comment on who qualified and didn’t. For anyone waiting for my ranking of these shows, I’ve decided only to rank the songs in the final.

Pabandom iš Naujo, Heat 2
The six qualifiers (in order) were:

Ieva Zasimauskaitė — “I’ll Be There”
Justė Kraujelytė — “How to Get My Life Back”
Titas ir Benas — “Getting Through This”
Queens of Roses — “Washing Machine”
Moosu X — “Love that Hurts”
Emilija Katauskaitė — “Illuminate”

A few things I’d like to mention:

* Ieva Zasimauskaitė’s strength with both the jury (1st) and the televote (3rd) shows that’s she’s a contender and even though its early, I’d say there’s a decent chance she’ll be returning to Eurovision, depending on how the voting structure work in the semis and the final.

* I’m glad to see both the jury (3rd) and televote (2nd) saw the strength Justė Kraujelytė’s song. I’m sad that only the televote saw any value in Viktorija Kajokaitė, and that only the jury saw any value in Cosmic Bride. I don’t think either of these songs deserved 0 points, in so far as any song does or doesn’t deserve to be last. However, I’ll admit their stage performances didn’t do their entries justice one way or another. Kajokaitė was too stagnant, and while Cosmic Bride’s staging was pretty good, the chaotic elements of her song didn’t translate very well.

* “Love That Hurts” by Moosu X may not have been one of my favourites going in, but he undoubtedly gave one of the better performances of the show — the four ‘cellos on stage worked particularly well to add some extra movement.

* I still don’t really get the fuss around Emilijana (the jury agreed with me on that point), but clearly she has a strong following, and her stage performance was creating and entertaining, so I imagine we’ll be seeing her in the final at least.

Melodi Grand Prix, Semi-Final 1
In the first duel, Eline Noelia’s shoulder pads ousted whatever it was Mira Craig and her dancers were wearing as costumes. Pink wigs? I’m not sure, and I’m glad I don’t have to dwell on it any longer. The choreography was surprisingly good and I liked the song more in its live format — but the costumes were so bad they distracted from everything else and ruined the performance. Meanwhile, the foghorn was used a reset button in Noelia’s staging to good effect, and while I would have preferred more colour and movement, she nailed those high notes and that more than made up for the so-so staging.

In the other duel, Frode Vassel undoubtedly had the classiest staging of the night, starting the song with the singer inside a cage before emerging at the chorus. The cage then was a useful backdrop for the light show which followed. Much as I enjoyed Trollfest’s staging, it was utterly chaotic and distracted too much from the song in the same way that Mira Craig’s costume did. I can understand why Frode Vassel won that duel.

When it came to the last, or gold duel for a ticket to the final, Frode Vassel triumped over Eline Noelia. As you can imagine, this was a disappointment to me, even if Noelia might still make it to the final via the second chance show in a few weeks time. I stand by my comments that “Black Flowers” is a song lacking in substance, but it’s also simple enough that you can get the hand of it the first time you hear it. While I know Eurovision is particularly popular in Nordic countries, I’m guessing that a large number of the viewers on the night weren’t overly familiar with the songs on offer — this would have worked in Frode Vassel’s favour.