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Archive for March, 2008

All Hail Those Wacky Belgians…

Posted by DINRIL on March 17, 2008

Belgium haven’t had much success in the Eurovision arena ever since they finished second in 2003 with a mad song in a made-up language – but we think this year could be the year to change all that, as they head to Serbia with, well, a mad song in a made-up language. When we first heard Ishtar’s O Julissi Na Julini our reactions ranged from “what the BLINKIN’ FLIP is this?” through to “well, it’s different, I’ll give them that…..” but the more we’ve heard it the more we’ve begun to appreciate its quirky yet sweetly melodic charms. In fact, given its capacity to divide audiences more than any other entry this year we have dubbed it the ‘Marmite’ song of the contest, in that you either love it or hate it – and if we tell you that we enjoy Marmite on toast for breakfast on a regular basis then you can probably guess which side of the fence we’re on. Expect this one to either score no points whatsoever or win the whole damn contest….

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The Order Of The Running. Or something…

Posted by DINRIL on March 17, 2008

With the final song for this year’s contest chosen, the running order has now been drawn for the semi-final. And the other semi-final. And for the finalists who are already in the final and who will be joined by the other semi-finalists. We are now off for a lie-down. ….

1st SEMI-FINAL – MAY 20

MONTENEGRO

ISRAEL

ESTONIA

MOLDOVA

SAN MARINO

BELGIUM

AZERBAIJAN

SLOVENIA

NORWAY

POLAND

IRELAND

ANDORRA

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

ARMENIA

NETHERLANDS

FINLAND

ROMANIA

RUSSIA

GREECE

SECOND SEMI-FINAL – May 22nd

ICELAND

SWEDEN

TURKEY

UKRAINE

LITHUANIA

ALBANIA

SWITZERLAND

CZECH REPUBLIC

BELARUS

LATVIA

CROATIA

BULGARIA

DENMARK

GEORGIA

HUNGARY

MALTA

CYPRUS

FYR MACEDONIA

PORTUGAL

THE FINAL – May 24th

Some country or other

UK. Having had a dream just days ago in which the UK were drawn second, the editor has now taken to her bed in shock……

Another random country

Germany

Nos 5 -18 Those pesky semi-final qualifiers

That bearded French keyboard twiddler (his name is Sebastien Tellier and you’re FIRED – Ed)

Two more semi-finalists made good

That wacky Spanish bloke who looks like the lead singer of We Are Scientists

Our lovely hosts Serbia

And two more qualifiers.

Some draw analysis will follow shortly…..

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Big Up For Bulgaria…

Posted by DINRIL on March 8, 2008

After a less than auspicious start to their Eurovision career (the seriously dodgy jazz rock of Lorrain followed by the wailing nonsense that was Let Me Cry), Bulgaria have made a complete about turn and are fast becoming one of our favourite new Eurovision nations. They took a lot of people by surprise (us included) last year with the cracking tune Voda and were rewarded for their efforts with fifth place in Helsinki – but given their previous track record we thought perhaps it was a one off.

However this year’s effort, DJ Take Me Away by Deep Zone and Balthazar, is just fabulous, standing out like a very large standing object in a sea of old school ballads and standard issue disco stompers. OK, so its twiddly record scratching and dancey beats might be a bit 1987, and the slow reggae bit in the middle sounds a bit weird, but who cares when a song is this much fun?

Along with those oh so wacky Bosnians, this is one of our favourite songs in the contest so far, to the extent that we want to dance around like lunatics whenever we hear it (word of warning however: breakdance moves should not be attempted by anyone over the age of 36 without proper adult supervision and a trained first aider standing by). There’s still a long way to go and there are still songs to be chosen, but even at this early stage, we’re prepared to stick our necks out and predict that the Bulgarians will find themselves in the top five again this year. Take a look for yourselves….

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In Praise Of Andy…

Posted by DINRIL on March 5, 2008

And so, as Andy Abraham prepares to represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision, the dissenters come out of the woodwork and start knocking the poor lad before he has even sung a note on the Belgrade stage. It’s a terrible choice of song, they say. The UK won’t get any points again. Michelle Gayle should have won. The UK should give up. And on and on, and so forth, ad infinitum. Yawn.

Well we’re saying chaps – for we know you are as entitled to your own opinion as the next man – in this instance we can’t bring ourselves to agree with you. Granted, in recent years, the UK hasn’t exactly been wise in its song choices, and we still maintain that sending Scooch last year was a huge mistake, possibly one of the biggest of the UK’s Eurovision career.

But this year, we can’t help thinking that we’ve actually gotten things right for a change. OK, so Andy’s song isn’t the most interesting tune in the world and it’s certainly not the best song in the contest. But that aside, is there really anything wrong with it? So it’s not exactly memorable but it’s perfectly pleasant, and perhaps more importantly, it’s gimmick-free. (and it’s considerably better than a lot of this year’s offerings – are you listening to this, Moldova?????)

But the most important thing of all is the fact that Andy can really sing. And not just sing, perform. He was near faultless on Eurovision Your Decision – in fact the whole band were really together – and we have no reason to believe he won’t turn in a similarly sparkling performance in Belgrade.

All of this may prove to be a wasted effort if, as in recent years, the UK finds itself shunned by Eastern Europe and other territories and ends up floundering near the bottom of the scoreboard. And yes, it may well happen once again. But at least this year we haven’t sent some stupid, gimmicky, embarrassing song more reliant on double entendres and silly costumes than anything else (and before anyone says anything, Andy’s teal satin shirt does not qualify as a silly costume).

 In short, we’ve actually done what we should have done several years ago, which is to send a solid, inoffensive song by someone who actually possesses the talent to make it sound good on the night. So we may not finish in the top ten? So what? At least this year we have a performer who won’t disgrace either himself or the UK, and will be able to leave Belgrade with his head held high. And given our recent track record, that can only be a good thing.

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Hold A Chicken In The Air….

Posted by DINRIL on March 5, 2008

….and sing a song for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Continuing this year’s inexplicable obsession with poultry (Dustin, Estonia’s bizarre chicken leg on a placard) is this little gem from one of Eurovision’s East European stalwarts. Words failed us at first, but having listened to Laka’s song a few times (and taken in the splendour of the performance right down to the mad dance routines of the Helena Bonham Carter lookalike), we’ve decided it’s actually quite marvellous – if nothing else because it taps into our indie music-loving sensibilities (that’s the ‘proper’ music that we listen to for the 11 months of the year that we’re not obsessing over Eurovision….) The whole thing looks remarkably like Eurovision might if it were directed by Tim Burton, and given the fact that it sounds like nothing else in this year’s contest we might even venture to suggest it’s in with a chance of giving Bosnia their first Eurovision victory. Would Sarajevo 2009 really be out of the question?????

And just one other thing we want to know: how on earth did they get that rooster to stay still for the duration of the song…..?

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Yes, we know we’ve been quiet….

Posted by DINRIL on March 4, 2008

…and what with all the excitement of Eurovision Your Decision over the weekend, you’d doubtless have thought by now we would have something to say about the show and Andy Abraham’s victory. Well we do, but sadly we’ve been very busy over the past few days with what’s known as our ‘day jobs’. What, you think we get paid for doing this? No, of course not. But if you’d like to pay us for doing this then please get in touch with the editor at the following address (right, that’s it, you are officially fired – Ed)

Back later with our thoughts on the UK entry…

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