*In a non-sexual way (so far) This year as I am sure you all know I am spending a year living in Europe! So in conjunction with my work for escXtra, I am attending several of the national finals! And at jw's request, I will be chronicling my opinions of stuff as I see it! EVENT 1: Estonia semi-final 1 taping So the first event was the taping of Estonia's first semi final. We arrived into the stage and it was really small, like tiny. I guess they're saving money on the semi anyway. We got to see each song twice, so here are my thoughts on each of the songs! Song 1: Janne Saar - Fight for Love. Not too bad, she can't do the high notes very well though. I thought it was awful initially but after the next few songs... Song 2: Erasmus Rotterdamist - Kuu Pääle Awful, the song is just terrible and his voice is not great at all, he looks like he's from Final Fantasy 9. Song 3: Mia - Bon Voyage There is so much going on here, except with Mia herself. Her dress is nice but the whole thing is gimmicky as hell, ending in possibly the stupidest gimmick I've seen in a long time: Right at the end of her song, the male backing dancer pulls a dove (which looks terrified) out of the back of her dress.(Highlight the text to see spoilers) I pretty much lost my shit after both repetitions. Song 4: Milky Whip - My Love Or "Milky Wipe" as the host called her. Wow. Traaaaaainwreck. I really have no words to explain this one. To put it in the words of one of my flatmates "I didn't find any of the songs that offensive, except maybe Milky Whip". Song 5: POP Maniacs - I Don't Know Prior to this show I thought Rolf and his rag tag group of adventurers might struggle to qualify from this. However they really have the luck of the draw. Any people still watching after the first four songs will be hit with a well sung, well rehearsed and fun performance and the only performance that has any pyrotechnics. It looks good and it sounds good. Song 6: Ott Lepland - Kuula This song is the favourite to win and honestly, I'm on the bandwagon particularly after seeing it live. It's the only ballad in this semi final and it builds well and Ott has a fantastic voice. It also has some nice simple staging that works well. Song 7: August Hunt - Tantsulõvi I was worried for the chances of these guys until I saw it live. Not the strongest vocals, but they looked like they were having the most amount of fun of anyone there! Jumping around/off each other, dancing crazy and generally having a blast. It looked great in the studio, Hope it works on TV too! Song 8: Soundclear - A Little Soldier Conversely to the last song, These guys look a combination of bored and terrified, the lead singer is a tiny little guy and he just doesn't have a very strong voice. Sorry guys. Song 9: Birgit Õigemeel feat. Violina - You're Not Alone Liis Lemsalu is song 9 in the semi-final but for some reason they swapped spots in the rehearsal schedule so we were treated to Birgit's song instead (much to the disappointment of my friends who love Liis). Great vocals, simple performance with some minimal but slick choreography and extremely pink dresses. Good song. Song 10: Loss Paranoias - Valedetektor I had the pleasure of seeing these guys live in Tartu shortly after I interviewed them and I actually think they're a bit better when the guitars are live too. Nevertheless it surprised a lot of my friends who didn't rate it at all and now quite like it. Who do I think will qualify? Ott Lepland August Hunt POP Maniacs Loss Paranoias Liis Lemsalu (Even though she wasn't here, she's a shoo in) That's all for now, however on Sunday I'm going on an adventure to Belarus to see them pick their song! Catcha soon kids!