Sanitary Sanna

May 2, 2014 by

Sanitary Sanna

If this is all coming across as resident grumpy old man, that’s fine, but really this needs to be said: the public transportation to the venue here is farcical. There is only one public bus, bus 40, and leap years have been known to arrive more often than this bus does.

It was recently discovered the 40 will cease running altogether on Sunday. No doubt to be replaced by a clown car. Yes Copenhagen, we get it. A healthy outdoor lifestyle is a good thing and it is an environmentally sound notion to encourage people to ride bicycles instead of drive cars, but when hosting a major event like the ESC it really is not a remotely realistic message to convey to the media present that they should all form a peleton in making their way to the peninsula in an unofficial stage of the first ever Tour De Eurovision.

After a much appreciated rest day, it is a return to semi 1 and second rehearsals today. Swirling galaxies would be the staging motif for Armenia, with Aram beneath extra-terrestrial spotlights and it is a visual treat. Aram holds the microphone rather than having the headset. He has this straining face while he is emoting the words and like Romania’s Paula it’s not a flattering look.

Following Aram, Latvia could not be a greater juxtaposition. It comes across as very ramshackle following Armenia’s high definition stage show.

Estonia’s Tanja is in much more flattering tight lycra shorts and vest combo today, with a floaty white top over her vest. This definitely should be what she wears next Tuesday as visually it is much more attractive than her 1st rehearsal leotard.

The song is called ‘Amazing’ and there is an amazing lack of camel toe. But she does have some issues with her box – her battery pack, that is. She is a nimble minx and has to join Mei Feingold at the top of the ESC 2014 chart in her ability to maintain excellent vocal control throughout all the intricate dance moves, though she does have backing vocal support, unlike Mei.

Sanna holds the mic away from her mouth at one point yet the sound coming through is remarkably strong. This would be due to the 5 backing singers aiding her. Sanna is wearing a very nice black cocktail dress and if this is her semi-final garb, the wardrobe expert here reckons it’s a winner. But the lighting and stage show for this is not a winner. It still looks very underwhelming with her trapped in a wigwam of lights. It’s all too cold, antiseptic, sanitised. Sanitary Sanna you could say.

Iceland is certainly ‘fun’. And this is a good burst of energy following Sweden. These guys should not be written off from qualifying as Iceland also has plenty of voting friends in this semi. Albania”s Hersi still doesn’t give good camera. The staging for this all feels lacklustre from the strolling guitarist to Hersi’s backing singers dressed like something out of Abigail’s Party.

The Russian Twins have been given a huge box of staging tricks here but from their peculiar cookie dough hair styling and Tin Man hats to the see-saw and balancing sticks it all looks laughably bad and disjointed. None of the gimmicks conceal the weakness of the song. The bright orange lighting effects that accompany the rising sun are the best thing about this.

Following Russia, Azerbaijan is a classy package. Dilara in a beautiful red dress and the trapeze lady is also in a red dress and there is some nice symmetry between them in front of the cathedral backdrop. ‘But no one cares for dreams that don’t fit into our world’. A lovely lyric that. My dream, once up a time, was a career as a professional footballer. Sadly, aged 45, my chance of an England call up for this summer’s World Cup, it pains me to admit, has receded to nil. ‘Maybe teardrops stain our eyes’. They certainly do, Dilara… They certainly do…

Ukraine has improved further in classic Ukrainian style. Lovely start to this as the camera beams down on the wheel. Hamster man is outstanding throughout this, his frenetic running motion matching the rhythm of the song. It has just been noticed here what a good performer Mariya is. The Tolmachevy Twins could learn a lot from watching her.

We know all about Belgium. Nothing new to report here. Axel is kind of the polar opposite of Suzy from Portugal in this semi in being ‘one for the mums’. Russia certainly has 3 memorable performances following it in this semi.

Bad colour scheme for Cristina’s dancers’ outfits – a tan brown that does not match with anything else up there. Christina is in more of a Xena: Warrior Princess get up with some chain mail attached to her blue dress. She pulls her wig off at one point. Not leaving her bald by the way. That, come to think of it, would certainly give this more impact. They missed a trick there.

Valentina in a long white dress. This looks and sounds very pure and heavenly coming after Moldova. We see Valentina’s backing singers joining in. Is San Marino this year going to do an Estonia 2013 and sneak that 10th qualifying spot? Just putting it out there. Birgit also wore a floaty white dress in a similarly simplistic presentation… just putting it out there. Estonia, by the way, took that 10th place ahead of a nation considered a lock for qualification in semi 1 last year with big voting strength in the shape of Serbia. Just putting it out there…

We know what we will get from Portugal’s Suzy. Love the lighting for this; a colour scheme playing upon the Portuguese national flag.

Waylon in black outfit; Ilse in white in a stylish monochrome presentation. These 2 give terrific camera and the staging is perfectly aligned to the song. Pitch perfect.

Sergej has 2 female backing singers, one male helping him as the skater does her thing around him sculpting her patterns on the ice. Sergej lacks charisma compared to others observed this week.

Andras’s dancers are, as expected, wearing masks. Not sure if this is a good thing or a somewhat alienating touch for viewers. Nothing wrong with the way Andras delivers this.

It’s a bit like Copenhagen buses here for ESC 2014 betting recommendations: you wait for ages and nothing arrives and then suddenly 5 come at once. Actually, not strictly true on today’s bus experience with no bus arriving but it was the turn of phrase being cried out for.

Semi 1 – Netherlands – 50-1 e/w a fifth the odds first 3 with Coral and William Hill – 1.5pt e/w

Final – Netherlands – 125-1 e/w a quarter the odds first 4 with Coral  – 0.5pt e/w

Semi 1 – Netherlands to qualify – 2-5 with BetVictor, Ladbrokes – 30pt win

Head to head – Denmark to beat Sweden 7-4 with SportingBet – 4pt win

Estonia to qualify from semi 1 at 1.55 with bwin and Betsson – 20pt win


  1. Rob

    Denmark to beat Sweden is available at 15-8 with Paddy Power

  2. Henry VIII

    I’m disappointed in the staging of Armenia and Sweden. Aram is an ugly git who shouldn’t have been left alone. I don’t like Sanna’s jail bars. They free her but then come back! I still think they’re the strongest two countries, but by less.

    I think we might the odd price movement like Italy “Madness of Love” 2011. Priced at 100s even in the vote reveal iirc before crashing to second fave and second place.

    • Rob

      You are certainly not the only one feeling that way, henry, regarding Armenia and Sweden.

      I think Sweden is really underwhelming. Was surprised when told it was the same staging at Melodifestivalen where I thought the staging was fine. But ESC is a different stage.

      Yes, I agree, think there will be some big moves among some of the outsiders. Might see some moves tomorrow after Big 5 perform 1st rehearsals.

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