Eurovision 2013: Ryan Dolan and the First Semi-Final

In less than month’s time we’ll be sitting down in front of the telly for another night of pure European magic. If there’s one telly event that brings a continent (and beyond) together, it’s Eurovision, and love it or loathe it, you can’t deny, it’s so bad it quite often turns out to be good.

We’re big Eurovision fans here at entertainment towers, so we’re counting down the days until the first semi-final in Malmo, Sweden. May 14th is the night when our own Ryan Dolan will take to the stage to try and win a place in the Grand Final, but if he’s going to make it, he’s going to have to beat a few of this lost first:

Austria: 18 year old Natalia Kelly (no, she’s not Irish) has been singing for 10 years apparently, and her entry isn’t half bad. There’s even a key change in there, but it’s a bit like something we’ve heard before. We can’t quite put the finger on it, but it’s definitely something along the lines of Kelly Clarkson meets Christina Aguilera. And it’s no Shine ala Take That

Estonia: She’s not singing in English, which can be a disadvantage, and she reminds us a bit of wee Dana, but Birgit from Estonia certainly has a set of pipes on her. And would you believe, she’s doing a Kelly Mongan on it and singing for two? That’s right, she’s preggers with her first babba. We’d love to see how the usually annoying Eurovision hosts would handle an unexpected labour…

Slovenia: Well hello sunglasses wearing manbots. We do hope we’ll be seeing you on stage. This one takes us back to the teenage discos, you know, the ones you’d flock to with your rising hemlines or avoid like the plague. And there’s a lad in a bath… ala Jedward‘s fountain. The wan doing the singing is Hannah, an American who married a lad from Slovenia, and has appeared on the likes of The Tonight Show

Croatia: So the Croatians have opted to send Lex Luthor and his swaying chorus with an uplifting little ballad called Misery. Klapa singing is a traditional Croatian form of vocal music originating from Dalmatia, so the lads will be playing the Riverdance card on the big night. The Russian grannies they are not, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a few hearts melting across Europe… Someone call Louis Walsh, stat. These lads need some stools to give them an epic key change. It’s really the only thing the song is missing.

Denmark: Ah heyor Denmark, we know you’re the hot favorite and all, but you’re playing on the Irish thing with the tin whistle there lads. Is it just us, or does Emmelie De Forest have a bit of a Daenerys Targaryen vibe going on? The wall of flame thing behind her adds to the whole Khaleesi vibe, no? And she’s clearly taking tips from last year’s winner Loreen, what with the bare feet and all… Still, WHERE IS THE EPIC KEY CHANGE?

Russia: Right, Dina. You’re not a bad singer, and it’s not a bad song, but the only thing that keeps playing in our head when we hear your song is Kate Winslet’s What If I… But sure Russia’s bound to qualify anyway, because they owned half of Europe at some point. Originally from the Republic of Tartarstan, and a Voice of Russia winner, Dina’s one of the favorites to take the crown don’cha know. Major props for the massive key change. We’re deducting points for the cheese though love. It’s all a bit Rachel Berry from Glee..

Ukraine: Until they zoomed in on her at the start of the video, we kinda thought we were looking at Dana International… But moving swiftly onward, Ukraine is sending this rather pretty songstress Zlata with a bit of a bland tune. Sure she manages to hit the high notes, and no, the song isn’t awful, but we can’t see her winning, unless she brings those unicorns to Sweden with her. She does a pretty epic Eurovision key change though, but we’re not quite sure it’s worthy of Linda Martin ‘Why Me?’ style praise…

The Netherlands:Anouk‘s little ditty is rather sweet, but rather odd. We’re really not quite sure what to say about it. She kind of reminds us of Phoebe Buffet, but don’t write the err, smelly cat, off just yet. She’s one of the most successful singers in The Netherlands, with an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Dutch Act, and she’s up there in the betting lads.

Montenegro: Seems they’re big fans of The Avengers and Breaking Bad in Montenegro, because if we didn’t know better, we’d say the video for their entry features a bit of both. Douze points for the rapping Heisenberg! There may be no key change, but lads, they have ninjas…

Lithuania: Millhouse… put those eyebrows down! And the other one. Seriously, Andrius, we have to tell you something pal: You seem a bit out of it. We’re not so sure how this fella will fare in the semi finals, but we’re pretty sure he could sell a fair few pairs of tweezers. Wonder if the eyebrow waggling kids from that Cadbury’s ad will grow up to be just like him?

Belarus: There’s something a bit Holly Valance about this here entry. If you’re old/young enough to remember ‘Kiss Kiss’ you’ll know what we’re on about. Still, there’s also something rather catchy about it, and we wouldn’t be too surprised if this one made it through to the Grand Final. There’s a nice big key change to boot, and you know how fond we are of those. PLUS, she’s even got a former Eurovision champ in the video. See if you can spot him…

Moldova: She’s not exactly an awful singer, but all we can say is, wha? And what is her dress doing?

Cyrpus: We’re not sure what she’s saying, but this Cypriot entry sure does sound sad. We’re not convinced herself and her flying scarf dress will make it all the way, and we’re still trying to figure out why she reminds us of Kirsty ‘hair extensions’ Branning off EastEnders.

Belgium: Nobody told us Charlie from Busted was doing the Eurovision this year! Yeah, it’s all about the eyebrows with Roberto. We’re not too sure what he’s up to with those ladies though… Sorry love, but we don’t rate it, even if you did win The Voice of Belgium…

Serbia: Why hello Serbia, is that a garter we see? Have you come straight from a wedding? Or an Ann Summers party perchance? The song may not be in English, but that hasn’t stopped the Serbians taking the title before. And with the girlos closing out the semi-final, we wouldn’t exactly be shocked to hear they’d made it through. It’s pure Europop sure, and they’ve got the Charlie’s Angels vibe going on too.

So there you have it. Our Ryan has to sing against this lot in the first Semi Final on Tuesday May 14th, and for those of you wondering, he’s the 13th act on the night. We’re quietly confident that he has a good chance of progressing to the finals, because the UK are voting in this semi, and sure isn’t he from Tyrone, wha? Gotta love that cross border telephone dash…

Catch the Eurovision Song Contest Semi Finals on RTE from May 14th.

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