Sunday, May 19, 2019

Review of Eurovision 2019 Grand Final

It's finally Eurovision 2019 Final Night here in Australia. And yes, I could have stayed up after election returns to watch it at 5am, but I was cold and my people needed cuddles, so we stuck with the plan of watching the Prime Time re-broadcast.

But the excitement has built to its crescendo and I am tightly wound spring of bounces ready to explode around the living room. I am hopeful that the 6 entrants I have not seen before will bring some happy songs & performances tonight. The Semi-Finals were fun, but a bit angry and lackluster in the performances. I'd like a bit more fun and excitement. If you can't bounce and be silly at Eurovision, where can you? And, come on, truthfully the world needs some fun bounces and silliness now. You all know I'm right about that!

Things I liked about this year's telecast: I really liked the idea of the video postcards from Eurovision (filmed in Israel) rather than postcards to Eurovision (filmed in the contestants' home countries). And it may have been because I watched the Prime-Time re-broadcasts rather than the live coverage, but I liked there wasn't too much down time or filler in the Semi-Finals. I hope that continues tonight with the Final. I don't really need to see too much of of either the on-stage hosts or the local commentary team. The backstage interviews are great for refilling the snack bowl and answering calls of nature, but the on-stage/commentary booth banter I can do without. Titles on screen and/or voiceovers reading out the program take care of what viewers want and need to know, the hosts are a bit superfluous. (Aside, isn't superfluous a rather bouncy wound to say? It just naturally bounces. Well, it does to me anyway.)

Tonight's review will follow the format of the reviews of the Semi-Finals, where I'll score the performance out of 5 flags and then at the end I'll list my Top Ten. So far this year, I'm batting .500 for picks in my Top Ten moving on. I don't expect that to change too much with the Final. I have a fairly bad track record in having my favorite song be the ultimate winner. I still say Denmark got robbed last year! Higher Ground still gives me goosebumps when we watch the YouTube video. It was much, much, much better than Toy. I'm bouncing off on a tangent. On to tonight's Grand Final:

Malta
Michela
Chameleon
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น (4/5)
I like the bounces. It's not a winning entry; but thanks for the pops of color and happy song, Malta.

Albania
Jonida Maliqi
Ktheju tokรซs
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ (3/5)
This staging of this song has an angry feel, even if the song is not strictly angry. It's not one of my favorites, but it was a good performance.

Czech Republic
Lake Malawi
Friend of a Friend
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ (4/5)
There is nothing wrong with the song, it's catchy and poppy, but the inability of the performers to successfully mime playing the instruments is distracting to me. Good effort, but it's not going to be a winner.

Germany
S!sters
Sister
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช (3/5)
First new entry tonight. They look like very nice people, but the performance is not grabbing me. This one is probably not going to win.

Russia
Sergey Lazarev
Scream
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ (3/5)
His voice is good, but neither the song nor the performance are stand-out to me.

Denmark
Leonora
Love Is Forever
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ (5/5)
I like the fun, bouncy feel of this song and the happy performance. Unless something changes with the new-to-the-final entrants, it's my Number 1 for the night. I do not expect this to be the overall winner. My favorites have never won.

San Marino
Serhat
Say Na Na Na
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ (4/5)
The bouncy upbeat feel is nice, but it's not going to be a winner

North Macedonia
Tamara Todevska
Proud
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ (3/5)
I like the message but not the song. Tamara does a great job in the performance, it's just not a favorite of mine.

Sweden
John Lundvik
Too Late For Love
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช (5/5)
The roller skating in the postcard is fun. I want to give him 5 flags for just that! But this is my second favorite so far. It might move down later in the night, but it's a solid favorite.

Slovenia
Zala Kralj & Gaลกper ล antl
Sebi
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ (5/5)
I like this one. It's not my top pick, but a definite Top Ten. And the performers look happy and nervous. It feels real, not practiced to be down pat.

Cyprus
Tamta
Replay
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ (3/5)
The performance and feel is upbeat, even so this is not a favorite.

The Netherlands
Duncan Laurence
Arcade
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ (5/5)
The announcers say this is the favorite. It's a Top Ten for me, but not a favorite.

Greece
Katherine Duska
Better Love
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท (4/5)
The staging is light and bright, and she's doing a great job. A solid performance, but not a winner for me.

Israel
Kobi Marimi
Home
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ (4/5)
New for tonight. It's a nice soft, simple, solid song.

Norway
KEiiNO
Spirit in the Sky
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด (5/5)
I can't explain it. I really like this one. Definitely Top Five.

United Kingdom
Michael Rice
Bigger Than Us
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง (3/5)
Another new-for-tonight song. It's a safe, middle of the pack song for the UK, nothing special, but nothing that would make me turn the channel if it came on the radio.

Iceland
Hatari
Hatriรฒ mun sigra
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ (2/5)
I do not like this one. I didn't really like it in the Semi-Final and it has not grown on me since. I hate to give performances lower than 3 flags, but I am going to in this case.

Estonia
Victor Crone
Storm
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช (5/5)
I like this song. It's a Top Ten for sure. I like it even more because he looks like he's having such a good time just being there.

Belarus
SENA
Like It
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ (3/5)
I didn't really like it in the Semi-Final and it hasn't grabbed me any more tonight.

Azerbaijan
Chingiz
Truth
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ (4/5)
The robots are still cool, but the song is nothing really special to me. There's nothing wrong with it, just nothing stand-out about it either.

France
Bilal Hassani
Roi
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท (5/5)
New tonight. It does not surprise me in the least that France is singing in French. And I love the plus-size ballerina. The message the performance sends is great.

Italy
Mahmood
Soldi
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น (4/5)
Two new-to-tonight songs in a row. It's kind of catchy. I like it.

Serbia
Nevena Boลพoviฤ‡
Kruna
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ (3/5)
I know she's giving a great performance, but it's not one of my favorites.

Switzerland
Luca Hรคnni
She Got Me
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ (4/5)
I remember this from the Semi-Final. I didn't like the red lighting then and I don't like it any more now, but the song is kind of catchy and bouncy fun.

Australia
Kate Miller-Heidke
Zero Gravity
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ (4/5)
I still like it more at Eurovision than I did in the Australia Decides, but it's suffering from overplay and I'm kind of over it. And the bendy sticks are still making me nervous, humans do not have bottoms made out of rubber and tops made out of springs.

Spain
Miki
La Venda
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ (4/5)
Last song, and last new song for the night. I'm glad they are ending on a peppy, happy, catchy, bright song.

My Top Ten:
1. Denmark
2. Sweden
3. Norway
4. Estonia
5. Slovenia
6. The Netherlands
7. France 
8. Italy
9. Australia
10. Israel

Thanks for joining me for my reviews of the Eurovision 2019 Song Contest.
If my favorite can't win, I hope yours did.
Tigger

Friday, May 17, 2019

Review of 2019 Eurovision Semi-Final No. 2

It's 2019 Eurovision Semi-Final No. 2 tonight. We have been able to avoid all spoilers so we do not know anything about tonight's competitors. I prefer it that way.

(I noticed yesterday when viewing the post on a phone that my flags don't come through on the phone, so tonight I'll mention how many flags I have awarded to each as well as using the flag emojis.)

Ahh, Madonna is going to be at the Final. That's interesting.

Armenia
Srbuk
Walking Out
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ (3/5)
I don't like the red lighting. Not a favorite.

Ireland
Sarah McTernan
22
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช (4/5)
It's fun and bouncy. I'll keep it in reserve. I wonder if the milkshakes are real or just props. They look pretty yummy.

Moldova
Anna Odobescu
Stay
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ (4/5)
The sand art is really nice, can I vote for the sand artist? It was not bad, but I don't think it's going to win.

Switzerland
Luca Hรคnni
She Got Me
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ (3/5)
I would like it better without the red lighting.

Latvia
Carousel
That Night
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป (5/5)
I really like this one; first favorite of the night.

Romania
Ester Peony
On a Sunday
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด (4/5)
I was hoping for a peppier song based on the title.

Denmark
Leonora
Love Is Forever
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ (5/5)
It's fun, peppy and bouncy. I like it.

Sweden
John Lundvik
Too Late For Love
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช (5/5)
I like this one.

Austria
Pร†NDA
Limits
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น (3/5)
It's not bad, but it's not really a favorite.

Croatia
Roko
The Dream
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท (3/5)
Nothing special.

Malta
Michela
Chameleon
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น (5/5)
It's a bouncy and happy sounding song, with fun bright staging. On the favorite list.

Lithuania
Jurij Veklenko
Run With The Lions
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น (5/5)
I'm surprised but I really like this one.

Russia
Sergey Lazarev
Scream
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ (3/5)
I don't really like it.

Albania
Jonida Maliqi
Ktheju tokรซs
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ (4/5)
Points for the non-English language, but I don't see this as a winner.

Norway
KEiiNO
Spirit in the Sky
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด (5/5)
More fun than I thought it was going to be.

The Netherlands
Duncan Laurence
Arcade
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ (4/5)
It's definitely a pop radio song.

North Macedonia
Tamara Todevska
Proud
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ (3/5)
It's a nice message, but not a favorite song.

Azerbaijan
Chingiz
Truth
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ (4/5)
The robotic arms are cool. Not bad, but not a favorite either.

Congratulations to all the competitors at this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Good Luck to everyone who has moved on to the Final.

My Top Ten:
1. Denmark
2. Latvia
3. Norway
4. Lithuania
5. Sweden
6. Malta
7. The Netherlands
8. Ireland
9. Romania
10. Moldova

Thanks for joining me tonight.
See you on Sunday for the Final.
Tigger

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Review of Eurovision 2019 Semi-Final No. 1

It's Eurovision time again, and Tigger is excited to review the Semi-Finals and Final. Due to the time difference, we get the broadcast later than Europe, so everyone who's interested will already know the results by the time they read this, but Tigger has fun reviewing it anyway. We hope all the readers have as much fun reliving the performances.

Oliver

Hello Everyone!

Eurovision 2019 is here and I am a bundle of bounces that cannot be contained! The local Australian station is airing the Semi-Finals on Thursday and Friday nights, followed by the Final on Sunday night. (The 2019 Australian Federal Election is on Saturday, so there will be a break from Eurovision that night.)

Because there is an Australian competitor this year, try as we might, we were unable to avoid spoilers from Semi-Final No. 1. I am sorry I know the result of the Australian entrant, but I am going to review the Semi-Final as though I do not know.

As in past years, I am going to rate each entrant by awarding 1 to 5 flags, then listing my top 10 at the end. Results are available at other sites, including Eurovision 2019, so I will not be listing the final results on my reviews.

Come and join me as we watch Eurovision 2019 Semi-Final No. 1:

Toy wasn't my choice last year, but I do have to say this new staging for the performance seems to fit the song better than the performance when it won last year.

The video postcards are fun but I still miss the ones when the performers made the county flags out of things. I do like that the postcards are all in places in Israel, rather than the performers' home countries. That's a fun twist on them.

Cyprus
Tamta
Replay
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ
This one is not doing anything for me.

Montenegro
D mol
Heaven
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช
Not terrible; I like the instrumental parts of the song best.

Finland
Darude featuring Sebastian Rejman
Look Away
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Nothing special.

Poland
Tulia
Fire of Love (Pali siศฉ)
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ
Singing in the native language always gets extra points from me. It was fun.

Slovenia
Zala Kralj & Gaลกper ล antl
Sebi
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Another one in their native language, I'm always happy for those. Not bad.

Czech Republic
Lake Malawi
Friend of a Friend
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
I like that it's poppy and bouncy.

Hungary
Joci Pรกpai
Az รฉn apรกm
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ
I really like this one, absolutely a favorite from tonight.

Belarus
SENA
Like It
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ
I don't dislike it.

Serbia
Nevena Boลพoviฤ‡
Kruna
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ
I wish it weren't quite so angry.

Belgium
Eliot
Wake Up
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช
Not bad, in fact, I really like it.

Georgia
Oto Nemsadze
Keep on Going
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช
It's interesting, but I don't think the angry tone fits the words.

Australia
Kate Miller-Heidke
Zero Gravity
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ
I like it more now than in the Australia Decides competition, but those flexible stnads make me very nervous.

Iceland
Hatari
Hatiรฒ mun sigra
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Another angry song; it's a bit scary in sound and performance.

Estonia
Victor Crone
Storm
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช
Ohh, this one is definitely a favorite!

Portugal
Conan Osiris
Telemรณveis
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น
This is weird. The Australian commentators said it was weird, and they were right.

Greece
Katherine Duska
Better Love
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท
I am surprised how much I like this one.

San Marino
Serhat
Say Na Na Na
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
It's fun and bouncy, but not my pick for winner.

It's been an interesting combination of musical styles and genres through this Semi-Final. I hope it continues in Semi-Final No. 2.

My top ten:
1. Estonia
2. Hungary
3. Australia
4. Greece
5. Belgium
6. Czech Republic
7. Poland
8. Montenegro
9. Slovenia
10. Portugal


Thanks for joining me.

See you tomorrow for Semi-Final No. 2
Tigger

Friday, May 3, 2019

One Bear's Opinion on: Wakestone Hall

Wakestone Hall
by Judith Rossell

Wakestone Hall is the final Stella Montgomery Intrigue. Stella has been sent off to a boarding school by her aunts and finds an exciting time. As with the other Stella Montgomery books, there is a great adventure as the main part of the story. It's a fun, thrilling kind of adventure, and the story came to a very satisfying ending, but this was not as strong a book as the first one in the series.

I preferred the mystery of this book to the mystery of the first and second ones in the series, but this book did not have the same feel as the first one. On the whole, this book was better than the second adventure, but not as exciting or fun as the first one. I'm having a hard time saying more than this without spoiling the book for future readers, and I do not want to do that.

Stella is an intriguing character, and one I would like to call a friend, but the ups and downs of the adventure make it hard to figure out how to make friends with Stella. It was much easier to make friends with the supporting characters in this book, and unfortunately readers do not have nearly enough time with them.

Ultimately, the Stella Montgomery Intrigue was a fun and satisfying read, but this reader still has some remaining unanswered questions, and really wishes the books were more even and consistent. The series is definitely worth a read, but not as much fun or as engaging as other, similar series I have read.

One Bear's Opinion: Four Cups of Tea, with the leaves kept for reading

Happy Reading Everyone, 
Oliver

Monday, April 29, 2019

One Bear's Opinion on: The Market Basing Mystery

The Market Basing Mystery
by Agatha Christie

It's time for another visit with Hercule Poirot. I read The Market Basing Mystery as a palate cleanser between finishing Hotspur and beginning Wakestone Hall. 

It was a fun mystery, quickly solved by Poirot and then related to the reader. As with all short stories featuring favorite characters, I felt it was too short a visit. But that was not the fault of the short story, more of this reader's desire to prolong visits with old friends.

The Market Basing Mystery is a locked-room mystery, which are always fun for the reader to try and figure out. I had a guess, but I did not need Poirot to explain it to me. But getting to the end was fun, if too quick.

One Bear's Opinion: Four Cups of tisane with a plate of fancy chocolates

Happy Reading Everyone, 
Oliver

One Bear's Opinion on: Hotspur

Hotspur
by Rita Mae Brown

Hotspur is the second mystery in the "Sister" Jane Arnold Foxhunting Mysteries. Before there are objections: yes it is foxhunting, but it's American foxhunting which chases the fox to ground, not to death. And, as with other Rita Mae Brown mysteries, the animals, including the foxes are characters in the mystery and have insight the Humans do not.

The mystery of Hotspur is an historical one, in that the initial murder(s) took place well before the action of the book. It was an interesting mystery, but in the end, neither the historic mystery nor the current one were really enough to make me want to read the book. They were, frankly, lackluster. 

My reading this book through to the end was all down to the animal characters. The animal characters are the main reason I read Rita Mae Brown's mysteries. Her weaving them and the animal insight into the story, making them important rather than just background description is magical. I'm always eager to get into the latest, next-in-series to have a great visit with the animals. Those are definitely the best parts. And I am glad this series features as many animal characters as her (and Sneaky Pie Brown's) Mrs. Murphy series.

While I haven't read further into the series and I can't really see how this mystery fits in the series to carry an overarching plot forward, I don't think it is strictly necessary to read. The foxhunting information and glossary are interesting, but the book is not worth it just for that. I will continue to read the series, for the visits with the animals if nothing else.

One Bear's Opinion: Three Cups of warming tea after a cubbing run with a hearty plate at the post-hunt breakfast

Happy Reading Everyone, 
Oliver

Friday, April 19, 2019

One Bear's Opinion on: Wormwood Mire

Wormwood Mire
by Judith Rossell

Wormwood Mire is the second part of the Stella Montgomery Intrigue. In this one Stella is sent by her aunts to an old family house to study and live with her cousins. I'm not certain why she was sent to live with them for such a short period of time, but apparently it was necessary in the world of the book for some unexplained reason, presumably beyond just the aunts' desire to rid themselves of their troublesome orphaned niece Stella.

The book is interesting and continues Stella's search for information about herself, but there is no resolution to Stella's search in this installment of the story. The lack of resolution is both interesting and frustration. It absolutely means that the reader has to read all three books in the series. Many other series I read are written such that each installment has a self-contained element, so that if you read only that book, there is a sense of resolution of the plot, and any cliffhangers are secondary to the main plot of the story of that book. With the Stella Montgomery Intrigues, the orverarching plot is the main plot and the individual installment plots are the sub-plots to the books. This is somewhat unsatisfying and frustrating for the reader. I'm lucky enough to have all three books in the series, but many other readers may not be in that position and the struggle to find the other books may put them off reading this series, or in fact other series by this author.

Overall, Wormwood Mire was an interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying intrigue. The colored print in the copy I have was nice, but on the whole this installment in the Intrigues was not as much fun as the previous one. Anya was a great character and as a reader I would have preferred to get to know her more, she reminded me a great deal of Lyra Belacqua's dรฆmon Pantalamion, who was my favorite character in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. The other characters were interesting, but extremely secondary to Stella. There is no question this series is Stella's story and other characters are only there to assist Stella in her search, which leaves them to be a bit one-dimmensional.

One Bear's Opinion: Three cups of hot chocolate with some toast and jam

Happy Reading Everyone, 
Oliver