Poles Aloud Show – 8th & 10th May 2016 (Eurovision semi-final 2)

SEMI-FINAL 2 PARTICIPANTS (videos watched before the semi-finals on the Stockholm stage took place)

Latvia – Heartbeat

As mentioned in the show the Leather Jacket has made its way from Sweden to Norway and then across the Baltic sea to Latvia. I wonder where it’ll travel next year?

Poland – Colo[u]r of Your Life

A controversial song because the bookies had Poland and Margaret as one of the favourites to win Eurovision until Colo[u]r of Your Life and Michał Szpak was selected. Now unless Michał can win there will always think “What If Margaret had been selected”.

Switzerland – The Last of Our Kind

The resemblance of Swiss representative to the singer Rita Ora will definitely catch your attention. She’s also completely dressed in white (a popular choice of colour for this year) including her hair. The song is alright but all I can see is the Kosovo born singer instead.

Israel – Made of Stars

It seems to me that the second semi-final is full of ballads and power songs sounding like ballads. Israel’s entry is no exception, with strong support from an orchestra, the piece gets a classical touch making it sound eternal. Will that get them to the finals? It’s all written in the stars..ha ha…

Belarus – Help You Fly

This is the country that wanted to go boldly where no Eurovision participants have gone before (although many are close to, every year) and let a completely naked man sing (run around?) on the stage with a real wolf by his side. Instead they had to settle for the “we’ve seen it last year” visual effects.

Serbia – Goodbye(Shelter)

I didn’t realise that counselor Deanna Troi from the USS Enterprise-D has given up her career and moved into singing instead. Some people say the Serbian singer reminds them of Amy Winehouse (it’s the hair), but I say she’s a twin sister of the actress Marina Sirtis. I’m not sure about the song as I can’t get pass the resemblance distraction.

Ireland – Sunlight

Hey it’s the Brit pop, oh sorry the Ire-pop or whatever its official name could be. The song has text appearing alongside the singer singing in case you couldn’t understand him. But you can, so not sure what the visual value of that is. And there’s a bright light shining into your eyes, it hurts!

F.Y.R. Macedonia – Dona

Sang in Macedonian this is another entry of only a handful of songs performed in their native language. It sounds like an opera piece (to my very inexperienced ear) so not sure about its chances of getting through to the final. In other news, the singer has a really long fringe and when she sings and opens her mouth she looks like one of the demons from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Luthuania – I’ve Been Waiting For This Night

Australia – Sound Of Silence

My favourite song this year, I hope it’s going to do well (win!). Aside from that, what is Australia still doing in the Eurovision? Yes, last year there was a semi valid reason of celebrating 60th anniversary of the song competition, but this year? Oh well, as long as there’s a power ballad and the wind machine, I’m not going to question it any further.

Slovenia – Blue And Red

Bulgaria – If Love Was A Crime

Denmark – Soldiers of Love

Ukraine – 1944

Norway – Icebreaker

Georgia – Midnight Gold

Albania – Fairytale

Belgium – What’s The Pressure

Poles Aloud Show – 8th & 10th May 2016 (Eurovision semi-final 1)

What’s big, loud and happens every May? Well #Eurovision of course! Join us for some pre semi-final overview of themes and acts taking place in Stockholm this year (scroll down, it’s a long page, but keep going!).


SEMI-FINAL 1 PARTICIPANTS (videos watched before the semi-finals on the Stockholm stage took place)

Finland – Sing it away

It’s definitely a catchy tune, but I’m not sure about the singer and dancers’ outfits, not to mention the mysterious figure on the horse. Yes, I realise it comes from the child’s drawings, but still – leaves me feeling puzzled. Fashion tip: those feathers like sleeves might be this season’s top thing as similarly modelled by Iceland’s representative.

Greece – Utopian land

Bit folky, I do like that. I prefer songs that bring some of their own culture to the Eurovision vibe. What I don’t like is the hip hop thrown into the mix, it doesn’t complement it well in my opinion. Maybe that’s why this poor half naked guy keeps on running away. I would too.

Moldova – Falling stars

It starts as a typical Eurovision pop song with a female singer and a wind machine (never enough of those :) ), but after a minute changes into a dance track. I could happily dance away to in the car. Someone throws some glittery stars on the girl trying to sing while having a photo shoot at the same time. At one point she even sings in front of a galaxy projected onto a screen. Hmm…I know, she’s applying to be Brian Cox’ assistant!

Hungary – Pioneer

It can’t be a bad song if it’s got light sabers, right? Well, half sized light sabers and a dancing monk playing a giant drum, and some seriously blinding light effects. Could definitely benefit from a light saber fight though, the singer versus the backing singers. Bring it on!

Croatia – Lighthouse

A futuristic video showing an alien (must be some twin planet as the alien resembles humans) making her way in a tiny spaceship towards Earth. She’s received a beacon from a human (a flashy red hole in the human’s palm, must be painful!) and is trying to save her. But fails, the human (aka the singer, who is the alien at the same time, very deep stuff) gets arrested and taken away. No traffic in the air, yet she was completely late.

The Netherlands – Slow down

It’s chill out time with the Netherlands; sit back (or grab a guitar), have a sip of beer and watch the world go by. It’s got some country vibe to it. I’m so relaxed now I might not make it to the next post. It might be Armenia’s turn, but who cares – I’m just chilling.

Armenia – LoveWave

Missed biology lessons in school? No worries, thanks to Armenia’s entry you’ll find out what the heart looks like, the insides at least. Or is a stomach or maybe bit of lungs, they don’t really do the boring explanations teachers usually do, so you can’t be sure.

San Marino – I didn’t know

This track stands out for a few reasons; it has a mature singer (should be more of those), who sort of speaks-sings in a really deep voice. This reminds me of Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady who was allowed to “Speak Sing” his parts. And then there’s that Saturday Night Fever era vibe to it. If you fancy bit of boogie, this is your song. You need to use your elbows though to squeeze through the crowd around the singer later on.

Russia – You are the only one

A very striking use of visual effects, can’t miss them. It’s like they saw Swedish entry last year winning with the interactive effects, so now they’re totally going the same direction. There is a story to the song; a pair of lovers is separated by an abyss, trying unsuccessfully to reach one another. The tune is catchy and this song could easily take the trophy home. But wait for the Ukrainian entry, a definite statement – we haven’t forgotten Russia what you did few summers ago!

Czech Republic – I stand

I don’t think the singer liked her diary (though it was pretty), as she threw it into the lake. Then she rolls over different surfaces (including plastic grass, come on it looks fake!) and is covered in glitter and flowers. She sings about “standing” (I stand) yet she’s definitely in a lying position most of the time. It’s a typical Eurovision power ballad. I hope this glitter washes off.

Cyprus – Alter ego

A rock band playing in the fields, this song has a rocky and heavier vibe to it (not too heavy though), people wearing long coats with hoods and occasionally driving a mustang. Pretending to be some bad ass. And there’s a wolf too (“howling for moonlight”). The wolf stands in the field, looks at the camera, walks away, what a charmer. Wait, wait a second. What sort of a wolf would not leg it straight away when left on its own in a field?! The kind of a domesticated one aka a dog, got you Cyprus! I do like the song, really.

Austria – Loin d’ici (Far from here)

An Austrian entry sang in French this year, now that is surprising as we know how well French entries normally do (not well at all). Austrians are not keen on hosting the event next year then. I’m being mean :) The singer walks on a treadmill (I guess) to give the impression of walking amongst the flowers and fields appearing on screen behind her. It’s bright, very colourful, fairy tale like. I hope it’s synchronised properly as I would hate to see her flying off that treadmill…. someone press the button :)

Estonia – Play

A minimalistic set with a young male singer singing in a really deep voice (could have just had a voice mutation). Traditional use of lights, backing singers and not much more. Still, it reminds me of a James Bond theme song for some reason, must be his smart suit. It’s a good song, but unfortunately Eurovision isn’t “a less is more” competition.

Azerbaijan – Miracle

A female singer singing to the mic in a basement like venue, with no one around – could this be prophetic? Noticeable use of lights, strong voice and nobody to take her back home. I’m concerned, can someone get her a taxi please?

Montenegro – The real thing

Warning: flashy backgrounds, not good to watch if you’ve got epilepsy. It’s a heavy beat with a DJ mixing some electronic tunes. An unusual choice for an Eurovision entry, but let’s not forget that in 2006 a Finnish heavy metal band won the competition. Hit harder Montenegro, you might have a chance.

Iceland – Hear them calling

This country is desperate to win. They mixed together at least 3 winning themes from last few years; firstly Loreen’s moves (Euphoria in 2012) at the start of the song, secondly Emmelie’s winning melody (Only teardrops in 2013) and finally Mans’ interactive visual effect (Heroes in 2015, but most acts copied it this year). Will this winning mixture bring them the long awaited trophy? Oh and don’t forget the fashionable sleeves (just like the ones Finnish representative has).

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Ljubav Je (Love is..)

Set up in a church or some other old looking building, sang in their native tongue, this song really caught my attention. Until the half way through it they brought in a hip hop artist for this modern spin on the good old classic performance. Why?! It’s not early 90s where this (rapping, hip hop lyrics) was almost obligatory. And he had the cheek to sit in the cellist’s chair, the poor woman had to stand for the rest of the song.

Malta – Walk on water

This song grew on me, I found myself listening to it more often than I’d expect. A female singer accompanied by a male dancer at the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, changing her outfits numerous times within the three minutes long track (will she be able to do it on stage?). She never manages to do the “Jesus thing” of walking on water; I’d recommend to change the song title.

DISCLAIMER: Loved all the songs, any light-hearted criticism wasn’t there to hurt anyone. More songs and comments to follow shortly.