Eurovision Semi-Final 1 Thoughts and Ranking

So the other day the last country announced who they wanted to represent their country for this year’s Eurovision. My friends and I have spent many weeks watching the National Finals and I personally have enjoyed watching non-English adverts… Apart from Malta. I can safely say I have lost my nails watching the intense voting system of each National Finals – which made UK’s National Final look very tame! Random fact: Liam Tamne who performed Astronauts played Frank-n-Furter in the Rocky Horror Picture Show me and Raiin-Monkey watched at the theatres a couple of years back. 

For today’s post I am going to share my opinions of the songs that are due to perform in the first Semi-Finals of Eurovision, and at the end, I will give you my own personal ranking of who I think should qualify. This is for a bit of fun and I am in no way suggesting that I am an expert and know what I am talking about – Because God knows I’ve gotten it wrong before! (Finland 2017 deserved better!) I personally think this year is going to be really hard to decide who goes to the finals because almost every act is great in their own way. I would also love to hear your opinions on these acts as well, so leave your comments below!

I will be discussing the acts in alphabetical order:

Albania: Eugent Bushpepa – "Mall"

One of the first acts to be announced, he has a great voice which blew my mind when I first heard it, I have also heard him sing it live so I know he has the potential to deliver on the night – all going well. I assume there is going to be a shorter Eurovision version of this song as this one is four minutes long.  

Armenia: Sevak Khanagyan – "Qami"

Wow, what a voice! He has some serious set of pipes on him!  I really like this song and I think it could do quite well in the semi-finals. Although slightly confused by the choice to wear body armour on the stage. 

Austria: Cesár Sampson – "Nobody but You"

I could listen to this song all the time, I haven’t heard this song performed live so I would need to see how he sounds live. However, all going well and he sounds just as good live I would love to see this song make it to the finals. 

Azerbaijan: Aisel "X my heart"

Another song I like that I can be happy to listen to normally. I would need to see how she handles this performance live. Although I do like this song and it’s nice to listen to, I did find myself forgetting what it actually sounded like afterwards, so I think other acts in this Semi-Final could be favoured over it. 

Belarus:  Alekseev – "Forever" 

Belarus is a weird one for me because even though his performance on Belarus’ National Finals was a little iffy, I actually quite like his song and I would love for his vocals to be sharper on the night. The song grew on me quite slowly to the point I was humming the tune to myself. As I already said I think in order for Alekseev to make it to the final he really needs to improve his vocals.  

Belgium: Sennek – "A Matter of Time"

I couldn’t help but get James Bond vibes from this song – I feel it could probably be sliced into a James Bond film and no one would question it (not a bad thing!) I actually quite like this song I think she has a very good voice, not sure if she could be “wow” enough for the final though so we would have to see how she is on the night. 

Bulgaria: EQUINOX – "Bones"

I haven’t been watching Eurovision for long so I am only going from 2016/2017 but for them, two years Bulgaria have sent some amazing acts, and for me personally, it seems they’ve done it again for the third year! This song is incredible and I am looking forward to seeing how they perform it live.  

Croatia: Franka – "Crazy"

There are some aspects of this song that reminds me of another song. It’s a lot more subtle than Germany’s Perfect Life situation, however, it’s obvious enough for me to think of Inxs and Paloma Faith’s song: “Never tear us apart” every time I hear it. Even though she has a great voice I find the song to be a little dull and it doesn’t offer anything I’ve not heard before.

Cyprus: Eleni Foureira - "Fuego"

I think this song could do quite well because it doesn’t sound like a typical pop track, and I think that could be the songs advantage. It’s a fun song to listen to and another song I will be happy enough to listen to on a normal day.   


Czech Republic: Mikolas Josef – "Lie To Me"

Okay, so this is one of my favourite songs in this Semi-Final. I just really love it! It was one of the first songs I heard properly and I found it to be such a fun song to listen to. It’s a catchy song and whenever I hear it I’m instantly in a better mood and it makes me want to dance around the room. Plus we always need a pure pop tune to bop to at Eurovision! 

Estonia: Elina Nechayeva – "La Forza"

This is another of my current favourite songs from this semi-final, I just love this song, it is sung so beautifully and it sends shivers down my spine every time I listen to it. I personally think it’s a sure winner (again I thought Finland was a sure winner – so I am no expert!) However, I think the song could put a few people off because it is sung in an opera style and I know some people really don’t like that.

Finland: Saara Aalto "Monsters" 

I do like this song quite a lot, I think she has a good voice and I find the song highly entertaining to listen to. Although I think stage wise there would have to be something that makes her stand out from the rest of the acts, as I think this song could run the risk of being forgotten amongst the other more upbeat songs.   

FYR Macedonia: Eye Cue - "Lost And Found"

I do enjoy listening to this song as it doesn’t sound like any of the other upbeat songs I’ve heard from this Semi-Final, it mixes reggae and techno together so they could do quite well because the song is unique and fun.  

Greece:  Yianna Terzi – "Oniro Mou"

It isn’t one of my favourite acts in this Semi-Final but I think it could do well because it does sound very beautiful and she has a great voice. Personally, it’s another song that I usually forget how it sounds not long after hearing it. However, I haven’t seen this song performed live so my opinions may change.

Iceland: Ari Ólafsson – "Our Choice"

He has a good voice and the song does have a great message… but for me, the song has real strong UK holiday camp entertainment vibes. I also think this song runs the risk of being the one that’s forgotten because it’s not got the oomph to stand out on its own. In this very tough competition with a lot of great acts and only ten slots in each semi-final, you need to leave a mark and I don’t think this song has that ability. Portugal’s song last year although a lot more subtle it was such a delicate song that people remembered it.    

Ireland: Ryan O'Shaughnessy – "Together"

Do you believe in love at first listen? Because after hearing this I do! I adore this song, I really do! This song is so effing adorable, sweet and tragic! The song is about a man singing to a lover who’s become distant – Ahh the tears!  Another thing about this song is how adorable the music video is. I would actually love to see this it get through and I think it would honestly be a crime if it doesn’t make it to the final! 

Israel: Netta -"Toy"

I don’t hate this song it’s somewhat enjoyable to listen to however, I wouldn’t be too sad if we lost this song in the Semi Final. The song is a little weird and annoying in some places for me because she makes chicken sounds which I don’t understand at all. The message of the song is quite good as it basically tells women to sack off the loser guy. It could potentially do well in the semi-final because it sounds different to the rest of the songs but I am not sure if it would hold well in the final – I think it could potentially end up like Armenia’s 2017 entry which didn’t do as well in the final after being hyped up (7th in Semi-Final, 18th in Final). 

Lithuania: Ieva Zasimauskaitė – "When we’re Old"

This is definitely a beautiful ballad no doubt about that, and it’s lovely to listen to… but I think it sounds more like background music. Something you could put on in the background and it not be too distracting, so I think it may struggle to get attention in the Semi-Finals and it may not do too well in the finals.  

Switzerland: Zibbz – "Stones"

I like this song but the only concern I have is – Can she deliver on the night? I watched the National Final for Switzerland and saw her perform this song live and to be honest vocally she wasn’t that good. However, the song is catchy and lyrically amazing so I would love to see this song performed on top form.    

Semi-Final Ranking:

Czech Republic
FYR Macedonia 

World Kidney Day – Living with CKD

Not many of you would know but today is World Kidney Day, where awareness and education of all forms of kidney diseases are spread around. Some of you may know that I am currently one of the 5,189 people waiting for a kidney transplant. I have lived with Chronic Renal Failure *CKD* since I was two years old, most people who are affected with this condition are usually around retirement age, so the fact I was diagnosed with the disease at two was very unusual.

Living with this condition has affected my life and although I’ve always tried to “beat it” by living a normal life, I still feel it’s taken its toll and robbed me of some life. So for today’s post, I thought I would share with you all a fraction of what living with CKD is like.

Growing up with this condition was annoying I was very thin and rather weak looking. Which meant I couldn’t get too involved during playtime cause I’d get exhausted after a few minutes of running around. This annoyance would spread to high school where I couldn’t be too involved with sports because I was very weak and fatigue.

I often opted to put little effort into PE because it was better than getting myself worked up and tired.  It was at the age of 15 when more issues started to emerge with my kidneys, I was hospitalised with an aggressive kidney infection, and later my periods stopped and was losing hair due to a lack of zinc. 

At college and university, I couldn’t relate to the people the same age as me, whilst they enjoyed their new found freedom for legal drinking I was barely able to keep my eyes open on the bus home. I often do feel like I missed out on the whole “fresher’s week” culture as well as the independence most university students have.

At twenty years old I asked the doctors about the idea of having children, to my bitter disappointment I was told I couldn’t. Being pregnant with my kidneys in their current state meant a great deal of risk to both me and the unborn child, a risk which wasn’t worth taking. This was a major blow for me as I wanted to eventually have a family. Doctors explained it could be possible to have a child a year after transplant… but I fear I will be too old by the time I have the transplant. This is something which bothers me all the time. 

During the last year of working I became a lot more tired, I spent most of the days in work struggling with concentration. This constant struggle caused me a great deal of stress which made me feel iller. Living with CKD can feel like an isolating condition because of how crappy it can make you feel. As I am fatigue most of the time I spend a lot of time inside isolated from people, and often trying to avoid falling asleep.

As you may know, already I joined a support group where I see people updating on the day about how crap they feel, and often enough I will hear updates that someone has lost their battle to kidney disease. This is quite scary to see. There are thousands of people with kidney issues across the UK that on the waiting list. According to Kidney Care UK, there are 30,000 people on dialysis which isn’t a permanent solution.

LittlePinkDuck – xox

When did 25 become cut off point to find love?

Hey everyone! hope you are all well today. The other day whilst browsing Twitter I read a tweet which got me thinking quite a lot. The tweet basically said "how come everyone tries to be successful by 25? When did 25 become the cut off age? And why if you don’t do anything great by 25 is it considered too late?" This made me realise that this was the same for other things; especially dating. When I turned 25 I found myself becoming really stressed thinking: “RIGHT I really need to find a fella now!” 

Since I turned 25 I have noticed people who are the same age and single like me have started to claim they're “going to die alone” and I started to wonder when exactly did people became obsessed with being settled down by 25? As a result of this obsession, I find myself feeling really anxious about still being single and sometimes even convince myself I am going to roam the Earth alone.

However, despite these feelings, I have always been a strong believer in not rushing into a relationship for the sake of it, and although I’ve had offers I won't date someone just to say I am not single. Although it sounds a bit obvious you would be amazed how many people actually do date, people they’re not that bothered about because they hate to be alone. 

So when did 25 become the age you have to be settled down by? It’s certainly is weird and I think it throws a lot of unneeded stress towards people who’ve not found someone they’re happy with. If you’re the type of person that prefers to be single you’re probably not bothered by still being single, but for people who do like being in a relationship but not rushing into one, it can cause a lot of stress being made to feel like times ruining out! 

I found myself feeling quite horrible about the fact I haven’t found anyone yet, I constantly see couples doing things together and all I can think about is “I need to find someone I am getting too old.” Of course, I slap that idea out my head rather quick I’m only 25! I’m not old at all, yet I still feel as though time is ticking and I still haven't found "the one". 

I wonder if this weird obsession comes from when people did use to be married and with children before 25, back when 25 would have been considered “past it.” However, nowadays this isn’t the case at all. People are becoming successful past the age of 25 and people are finding their companions in their thirties or even later.  

I need to realise that being single at 25 isn’t bad. Now I am at the age where I have complete independence, being single as an early teen - to 17 it was rather limited to what I could do. But now at 25, I can go on friend’s holidays, travel to the other side of the UK to visit relatives, and I can even save up for a home and decorate it however I wanted. Being single at 25 doesn’t need to be seen as the end of the world and soon as we stop getting ourselves so stressed with trying to find "the one" by a certain cut-off age the sooner we'll all be happier.  Are you 25 and single? What are your opinions on still being single at 25?

LittlePinkDuck - xox

My Day in Pictures: A Snowy Day in England

Hey everyone, how has everyone been with this snow? For today’s post, I thought I would share with you all a bit of a photo diary of what I did yesterday. I thought that seeing as I was awake earlier than usual that it would be great to show you all what I get up to… which apparently wasn’t a whole lot haha! 

I woke up at seven this morning and waited roughly an hour before I got myself some breakfast and a cup of tea in my favourite mug. I don’t usually have breakfast in the morning but I have been trying to be good with my eating and eat at least three times a day. I have to wait about an hour before eating because I feel sick if I eat as soon as I wake up. It is quite easy for me to go all day without eating – which isn’t good – so I was quite pleased with myself for remembering to actually eat breakfast.  

I usually gather all my tablets and take them, I have tablets which need to be taken after food, and I forgot to take a picture of them. The two tablets in the picture need to be taken twice a day. I also have to take six loads of the thick long shaped tablets, I take two every four hours, which can get annoying cause sometimes I forget. 

Something which I do regularly do is lie on my bed and watch YouTube, specifically vloggers, at the time of this picture I was watching the latest MoreZoella video. I sometimes find myself watching Vloggers for hours so I had to be strict with myself and watched about four videos.

I had a shower and thought it would be rather fitting to use my Snow Fairy shower gel, the only problem with having a shower is the struggle of having to convince myself to get out of it again! I usually have a playlist on in the background so I can guess how long I have been in the shower – If more than four songs have played I have been in the shower too long.

After my shower, I finished a post I started writing up the day before, after spending a while editing the post I was happy enough to schedule the post to go live at around 6pm.  This allowed me time to relax knowing that I have posted something today. I have had a bit of a writer's block and written many posts that I weren't happy with and deleted before I posted them. So I was happy that I finally managed to post something I was pleased with. 

I ate some dinner which was Super Noodles beef flavour which is my all-time favourite. I had to get my monthly blood tests and some extra blood tests done for my upcoming hospital appointment, so I got dressed and prepared to get jabbed by the dreaded needles *eek* 

After I had that done I usually feel a little tired so I have a nap… However, I wanted to have a quick walk in the snow before I eventually became too tired. Whenever it snows it usually melts away before I've had time to explore so I didn't want to risk it. I didn't spend too long outside because it was really cold. Brrr 

Once I been on the walk I was too tired to do anything else, so I decided to have a nap. I think because of the extra tubes they needed from me I ended up being asleep for three hours oops! However, when I woke up my tea was ready which was chicken curry – Yum! 

I thought that seeing as I ended up having a nap that going to sleep would be difficult so I was worried I would be awake all night, however it was fortunate that I was actually a little sleepy, so before heading off to bed I took my last tablets, made myself a drink, cleaned my face and fell asleep roughly around midnight. 

LittlePinkDuck - xox

Celebrity Haunted Mansion: Why I wasn’t impressed

Happy Tuesday guys! I woke up to see that it snowed quite heavily during the night, which is a little annoying because I had to get some blood tests done and it was awkward travelling to the hospital - in fact, there was a little car accident near the hospital! However, despite that, I’ve felt great today and was able to pamper myself for the first time in forever. Today’s post is going to be a little review rant on a show I was looking forward to and ended up being hugely disappointed by. 

So a couple of weeks ago I saw an exciting advert for Celebrity Haunted Mansion which promised five nights of live spooky ghost hunting with celebrities. I was excited and awaited eagerly with a cup of tea, giggling slightly at the idea of seeing celebrities being scared on live TV with nowhere to hide. What I got was two hours of bitter disappointment.

I didn’t expect celebrities on a high calibre of Reece Witherspoon or Emma Watson, I have come to accept that when they say celebrities they will most likely mean people from TOWIE, Geordie Shore and Made in Chelsea. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because I have watched shows featuring “cast members” from one of these three shows and been highly entertained. In fact last month I watched Celebrity Ghost Hunt, with TOWIE star Bobbie Norris, Geordie Shore’s Marnie Simpson and Love Islands’ Marcel Somerville and thoroughly enjoyed it.   

I am quite into my paranormal shows and I’ve watched a lot of shows about it, but after watching this show I was angry, annoyed and slightly confused. It’s finished? But they only just started? Reading the comments on Twitter I found that I wasn’t the only one disappointed by the show. 

Why I hated Celebrity Haunted Mansion… 

It wasn’t long before we saw that the celebrities weren’t taking it seriously, they took the celebrities for “ghost hunting training” and the teacher wore a cape? Which seemed like a weird thing to do, but I thought nothing more about it. Jay from Tattoo Fixers looked as though he couldn’t be bothered with any of it (why would you even go on this show?) and Katie Price whooped over and over like she was in a nightclub sipping shots with the girls. It became quite obvious that Jason Hawes wasn’t impressed with how these celebrities were behaving.  

The pacing ruined the whole mood of the show to the point it was completely ridiculous. One of the most complained things about the first episode of the show was how we were made to watch an hour of nothing and when they finally did begin ghost hunting it lasted just 10 minutes. And for some reason, there was a voting off section and we lost two celebrities that went to do the ghost hunting… This I wasn’t sure about, how could we decide who to vote out when we saw them at work for only ten minutes? The bigger question here is did anyone actually care enough to vote? 

When people are watching something which promises live ghost hunting, that’s what you are expecting to watch. We barely got any ghost hunting and the presenters interrupted the celebrities as they were doing the ten minutes of ghost hunting and constant breaks. 

Maybe it improved as the show went on but the first episode alone put me off. Lydia took over the entire investigating despite being crap at it, which annoyed me so much. I want to see ghost interaction, not an amateur speaking very slowly every time she tried to make contact… Obviously, wasn’t the only one annoyed by her because she was the first to go. 

Overall I wasn’t impressed with the show and didn’t tune in to see any more of the show. I have seen a mixed review, some saying it was good and others saying it was a waste of time. The main issues the show had was promising a spooky night and instead delivering a show which had celebrities that didn’t really put the effort in, and had very little ghost hunting to say it was a show about ghost hunting. Did anyone else watch this show? Did it get better throughout or did it remain crappy? Let me know in the comments. 

LittlePinkDuck - xox

My opinions on that Eurovision 2017 speech

Hey, everyone, I hope you are all okay today. I have had a rather relaxed Sunday, our new TV arrived this evening so we have been playing around with it. For today's post, I thought that as my friends and I are preparing for Eurovision, that I would do a post on my personal opinions about the little drama which surrounded the winner of Eurovision 2017. 

If you have never watched Eurovision, last year Salvador Sobral won the music competition for Portugal, with his song Amar pelos dois, a song his sister wrote. Following his win, he made a speech which caused a bit of controversy and left some people feeling a little annoyed. 

“We live in a world of disposable music, fast food music. Music is not fireworks, music is feeling, so let's try to do this and bring music back, which is what matters.”

Was what he said necessarily wrong? The short answer is no. Was the timing of the speech wrong? Definitely!

I will tackle the timing of the speech first, on May 13th, 26 countries performed in front of millions of people. Maybe some of the acts could be seen as flashy but at the same time, these performers still put a lot of effort into their performances. Eurovision is one of the most exciting music concerts of the year, and Salvador basically insulted half of the acts after accepting his trophy… so you can understand why there was a backlash.

The speech left a bad taste in my mouth, the comments felt like such a dick move. Maybe it wasn’t intended to come across as him sticking his middle finger up to the rest of the acts, but it certainly did come across like he was. Following the speech, Sweden’s entry Robin Bengtsson expressed his opinion by saying: 

“Congrats on your victory, I really like your song and the way you sing it, but I think your speech after winning the ESC was below the level of a true winner. ‘Fast food’ pop music can be the best thing in the world at the right place and time, so can a song beautiful as yours. There is room for everyone.” 
Many people responded to the comments by saying that he was a pretentious “music snob,” and I can see how they would think that. Salvador’s staging in comparison to others was subtle in lighting and was basically him singing in the middle of the audience. His performance demanded your attention as you had nothing else to focus on but his music, which was what he set out to do when he performed. And although the song was gentle and lovely - his speech just oozed of music snobbery and pretty much tarnished his win. 

YES, music is meant to be enjoyed and be about feelings, who wants to listen to music and feel nothing? My issue is that it’s quite hard to sit down and say music is supposed to be about feelings and then declare that certain music is just “disposable fast food,” when YOU don’t know whether the songs you are labelling as crap is someone else’s go-to when they are feeling down. 

Another problem with the statement “music is about feelings” is that people find different things enjoyable… Therefore the intended feelings may fall flat on the people that don’t like the song. For example, I thoroughly enjoy listening to musicals, whereas my family can't stand them. I could be listening to a song that makes me tear up because I find it so beautiful, but at the same time, the song is most likely irritating the life out of my family.

I also wonder if he has a particular genre that he defines as "fast food" because for me personally, I listen to a lot of genres, so I can always find music that matches my feelings; If I am feeling the need to relax I will play il Divo, when I am feeling hyper and in a bouncy mood I will play Aqua, and if I am feeling angry and annoyed I will play Slipknot.  

That being said I am not going to ignore the fact that there are some songs out there that are just pure crap. Songs that are only worthy of being played when you’re quite drunk and just need something to dance to.  However, that is my opinion, what I find to be crap hurting-my-ears music, will most likely be someone else’s favourite song. To reiterate because we all have different personal tastes in music it would be wrong for me to declare the songs I hate as “disposable."

To summarise this post, yes I agree that music is about feelings, but there is no denying that the time and place of the speech was way out of order. Stating that music is about feelings and how too many songs are just "disposable fast food" is discrediting the performers who worked their butts off to put on a show for millions of people. The hate against pop music is so silly because there are songs out there in the pop genre that bring joy and happiness to many people, and in my opinion that is just as important. Also, the fact some artists put on a "show" for their fans shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing.    
LittlePinkDuck - xox

Favourite Valentine’s Day films

Hey everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day what are people doing with their partners today? Let me know in the comments! Yesterday I went shopping and ordered some adorable shoes which arrived this morning, you can see what they look like on my Instagram

A couple of days ago I did a post about films I will be avoiding this Valentine’s Day (you can read about it here) where I basically ranted about films I don’t like. So I thought for today’s post I would share a more positive post and do a list of films that I love watching at Valentine’s Day. This mostly includes films that make me blubber like a baby. 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Now I know what you may be thinking… but Jess Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is about a couple that has broken up and the main character is erasing her from his memories. Yes, true! However, the film is still about love and in my opinion, shows a realistic relationship. This is one of my favourite films and I just adore the snippets we are shown of Joel and Clementine’s relationship. I think it’s a great film to watch during Valentine’s Day because it’s a quite realistic representation of couples and it makes me sob a lot.  

Just Like Heaven

This is quite a cheesy film and I think it’s a definite chick-flick but I just adore it! I think Mark Ruffalo and Reece Witherspoon are great in this film, and I sob a lot whilst watching it. The film is sweet, funny and brilliantly delivered, and it introduced me to The Cure so that’s a win! I love watching this film a lot during Valentine’s Day because it always makes me feel good. 

Moulin Rouge 

For a while this was my favourite film, I love my musicals so when I am watching this film I always feel so happy. This musical has a lot of fabulous performances, my favourite song being performed on top of an elephant-shaped house which has a combination of “I will always love you” and “heroes” there are a few more songs but I can’t remember their names from the top of my head! I also love the performance to “Like a Virgin.”  I love the romance between Christian and Satine and I always feel so sad at the end of the film. Ewan McGregor’s performance towards the end of the film always makes me cry. The film is quite fun and silly and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is probably why I love it so much.

Bridget Jones’ Diary 

This film is great I adore watching this film and I’ve seen this film about three times during the Christmas period. I think the fight scene is the funniest thing I’ve seen! Especially when Bridget Jones’ friend runs into the restaurant and announces there’s a fight happening outside, and all the waiters run out! It’s easy to relate to her as a character because she is so awkward – Like me! 

This has been my list of films I will be watching this Valentine’s Day, I hope you have all had a lovely day with your partners. I enjoy watching these types of films because they’re so adorable and I am a sucker for a cutesy type of film! I always think it’s best to enjoy these films with some popcorn and hot chocolate! What are your favourite romance films? Are you avoiding everything Valentine’s Day related? Let me know in the comments! 

LittlePinkDuck - xox