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Archive for May, 2010

Separated At Birth….

Posted by DINRIL on May 31, 2010

…..the UK’s very own Josh Dubovie:

and, er, Moldova’s much beloved Pavel Turcu:

We’re not sure but it might possibly be the shiny, Officer’s Club-esque suit that does it for us. Maybe Josh could consider a post-Eurovision career in Moldova……?

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Posted in Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News, Moldova, United Kingdom | 1 Comment »

Absolutely The Last Final Word. Possibly…..

Posted by DINRIL on May 30, 2010

So once again, entirely as most people predicted, the UK slumped to a resounding defeat on the Eurovision stage (granted we didn’t finish quite bottom of the heap, having seen the number of points scored by both Slovenia and Switzerland in the semi-final – which when combined still wasn’t more than the paltry 10 scored by Josh on the night – but anyway….). And once again we can hear the sound of cynical vitriolic pens being sharpened, all too ready to trot out the usual reasons why the country no longer does well at Eurovision.

Of course in any other year those reasons might have stood up – Europe doesn’t like us, it’s all dominated by the East, it’s become a vote for your neighbour contest, the West never gets a look in anyway, nobody likes the Big Four countries because they qualify automatically, and so on and so on ad infinitum. Except something happened last night which renders all of the above null and void. That something was Germany – a Big Four automatic qualifier, a Western European country, and one of the longest standing participants in the contest – taking top honours for only the second time in Eurovision history.

And the mere fact that happened does in fact prove just how much the above have been used as scapegoats to justify the UK’s constant ‘poor little us’ bleating over their lack of success in the last decade. Because (and let’s leave the issue of jury voting aside for a minute) Germany proved that with the right song, with something fresh and modern and contemporary that appeals to a wide audience, it is perfectly possible to win Eurovision regardless of who you are. Not only that, but it’s even possible to win the contest even if you have been lucky enough to get that golden ticket into the final, that nobody is actually going to resent you for it if your song is good enough.

But leaving aside the German triumph for a moment, let us consider the case of the other Big Four countries, France and Spain. The latter, while not exactly helped by the stage invasion of Jimmy Jump, still had a sweet lilting song which appealed to many while France was one of the biggest surprises of the night for us – yes, the song was complete Eurotrash but it was performed with such energy and drive as to become a real crowd-pleaser. No surprise to us, then, that both countries – while not exactly setting the scoreboard on fire – achieved perfectly respectable scores, certainly far from the 10 points awarded to our Josh.

So ultimately (and as Graham Norton said last night) there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this for the UK, namely that the fact we came last has nothing to do with the Big Four countries being unpopular and everything to do with the fact that our song was complete and utter nonsense, and that frankly we can’t carry on hiding behind the ‘nobody gives points to Western Europe’ excuse any more. The mere fact that we did so well in 2009 should prove just how different things can be when we make a little effort and take the whole thing seriously – but just why, exactly, did we feel the 2009 effort was sufficient enough for us to go back to our bad old ways in 2010 and just submit some random old trash, thus only further fuelling the public perception of the UK as singularly useless on the Eurovision stage?

Listen folks, if a Eurovision nation as long in the tooth as Germany can win this whole thing, there’s no reason why we can’t too, but we HAVE TO START TAKING IT SERIOUSLY EVERY YEAR, not just do it once and assume that’ll be enough to set things straight.

Here’s a good idea for starters. How about next year, instead of trying to come up with what we consider to be a typical Eurovision song, we put our heads together and come up with – well, a song? After all, how many of the winners of the last few years have sounded like the kind of camp, cheesy, boom bang a bang-esque Eurovision winners of the past? Er, none of them actually. Lena’s winner certainly didn’t. And come to think of it, with the possible exception of Denmark, nor did any of the other songs in the top five. It’s just a thought, but it would be a start at least. And then we might find that in fact the rest of Europe does quite like us after all.

Posted in Eurovision 2010, United Kingdom | 6 Comments »

Because We Know You Love It….

Posted by DINRIL on May 30, 2010

…..let us recall the moment when the man known as Jimmy Jump made his mark on Spain’s performance:

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Spain | Leave a Comment »

Welcome To The Eurovision 2010 Liveblog!

Posted by DINRIL on May 29, 2010

Hello people! Once again your friend Eurovision Blog will be liveblogging events from the final as they happen. So come along and join us. It’ll be fun. And we promise not to be too bitter…..:)

1935 There is nothing happening. Apart from the preparation of snack food and Pimms and the editor’s small daughter (aka Junior Eurovision) asking when Spain are coming on. ……

1954 Bucks Fizz are on the Eurovision-themed National Lottery draw. Except one of them appears to be missing….

2000 We have song contest!

2002 How to explain Eurovision to a four-year-old? Oh yes that’s right, point out last year’s winner has the same name as a character in Peppa Pig…..

2004 Alexander Rybak has taken to the stage. Hang on, didn’t this song win already?

2009 Er, how come we can start voting now? Nobody’s sung anything!

2010 Enter Azerbaijan to kick things off.

2011 Don’t know about you lot but we kind of miss the manic dancers Safura had behind her in the Ukrainian national final. Otherwise, a big improvement on Thursday night. But can she win from pole position?

2014 Those screens of people watching at home are worrying us. We keep thinking they will flash to us sat here in our nightie any second.

2015 Oh my, there is a stage invader during Spain. We have just exploded with mirth.

2020 Kudos to Daniel for carrying on regardless. And now Norway’s Didrik is on. He’s certainly very pretty but this just seems a tad dull after the Spanish shenanigans…..

2021 Finally, it is time to dance courtesy of Moldova! Wonder if Romania will give them 12 points…….?

2024 Loved Moldova, as did Junior Eurovision.

2027 Cyprus of course represents the UK’s best chance of success and the Welsh lads have done us proud.

2032 Once again Bosnia and Herzegovina left us a little bit ‘meh’. But here comes our predicted winner, lovely Tom from Belgium….

2034 Is it just us or does he look a bit like Matthew Horne?

2035 Winner. Possibly.

2039 Ovo Je Balkan is fast becoming one of our favourite Eurovision entries ever. Although we have to admit, he does look a bit like the lovechild of Heather Mills.

2042 The Belarussian butterfly effect never gets any better the more you see it. Let’s just say James Cameron won’t be losing any sleep.

2044 BREAKING NEWS! Spain to perform again after Denmark due to pitch invasion!

2045 And it’s time for Eurovision royalty. Niamh Kavanagh is such a Eurovision legend we are prepared to forgive her anything. Even her lumpy purple dress.

2050 We are beginning to think Greece might do quite well. Although it is still a good indication of why all white is so not good a look on middle-aged men

2054 And…..it’s time for the United Kingdom!

2056 Errrrrrrrrr…….well he’s done his best given the song. Let’s just leave it there.

2101 Georgia is a welcome relief after the UK but please, put some shoes on woman!

2102 We are sharpening our guitar plinths in preparation for the Turks.

2104 Is that The Stig from Top Gear?

2105 Albania’s Juliana is sporting some very nice hair that wouldn’t have been out of place in an episode of Charlie’s Angels.

2108 Iceland’s Hera is brilliant tonight. Would it be jumping the gun a bit to say she might have a brush with the top five?

2111 Ukraine’s Alyosha is up, once again looking like something out of The Blair Witch Project. We were impressed by her performance on Thursday but now we’re finding it just a touch tedious. Next!

2115 France is an unknown quantity and we weren’t expecting great things – but my goodness, we love it! It’s trashy, yes, but so energetic and fun. Even if it is, basically, a football chant. Tres bien!

2121 Time for one of our favourites now, Romania – and we still love it to bits, and yes it is still one of our ‘dark horses’. We’re guessing that Paula had to use a LOT of baby powder to get into that catsuit, mind.

2125 Sorry but we just do not like the Russian song, however much we try. Still, perhaps we need songs like this in the final so there are people other than the UK to come last?

2126 Is that Steve Buscemi on guitar?

2130 Armenia’s Eva Rivas is taking to the stage – and yes, once again the performance begins on a close up of her ample breasts. Put it AWAY Mr Pervy Norwegian cameraman!

2135 We are hyperventilating at the thought of Germany….

2137 LOVE IT. End of.

2139 Lovely to have Portugal back in the running but we really do think now might be the time to go and get the cheesecake out of the fridge.

2144 Israel’s Harel is vastly improved on Thursday night. Still not sure this is the winner everybody has said it is though. And he still appears to be about four foot tall…..

2148 And finally…it’s Denmark. Which the casual viewer has pointed out sounds a bit like Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship. Er…….

2152 Spain are back! Only fair to give them another chance really, although actually we thought the stage invasion livened it up!

2155 And we’re done! And taking a brief break while we check out what’s happening in Britain’s Got Talent. We’re nothing if not multi-taskers…..

2156 Can we just get these presenters to host EVERY YEAR?

2220 Flashmob was ACE. Have to say we love those little green room ‘pods’ as well. Thinking of getting Eurovision HQ re-done in that style….

2222 It’s time for the voting! Josh might want to duck out the back at this point….

2224 Was that Barry from EastEnders pretending to be Svante Stockselius?

2225 Romania first. Expect an early lead for Moldova….

2226 12 from Romania to Denmark! Is this going to be as predictable as we first thought?

2226 Yay, points for the UK! We are on the left hand side of the scoreboard! Will this actually be a Danish whitewash?

2228 Oh yes, go Belgium! Er, and Germany….

2229 Good old predictable Serbia giving their 12 to Bosnia and Herzegovina

2230 The most serious man in Albania has just appeared on our telly. And they have given a point to the UK!!!!!!!!! GASP!!!!!!

2231 Nice to see the lady from Turkey dressed up for the occasion.

2231 Finally, Azerbaijan get the 12. WHAT is going on with Ireland exactly….?

2234 Loving the eclectic voting. Much more fun than last year…..

2235 Nice to see Bosnia and Herzegovina returning the favour to Serbia.

2238 ‘Russia will give the 12 to….Armenia’, we said about two seconds before it happened. Well they are nothing if not predictable.

2239 Portugal have given one point to Germany!

2240 Wahey! Two points from Azerbaijan!

2244 Has anybody else noticed how well France are doing??

2245 We are liking this top five so far. All songs among our favourites and we can declare ourselves official smarty pants for predicting Germany and La Belgique….

2251 Israel picking up quite a few points now but is it too little too late?

2252 Should we be packing our bags for Berlin or Istanbul? Gosh we are confused…..

2254 Berlin, we are thinking….

2255 Even Malta didn’t give the UK any points! We are saying NOTHING. Anyway, who cares since our favourite song is winning……

2258 We are patting ourselves on the back for predicting virtually the entire top five…..

2302 The UK are up! Thought we would give more points to Germany….

2306 No expense spared for the Moldovan jury, it seems. Is that painted on cardboard?

2307 Belarus now just one point behind us. Still time for us to come last, yay!

2308 Good Lord. The UK are now in double figures. Thank you very much Georgia!

2308 Indeed, thank you Georgia. We are now last. Hurrah!

2310 Am thinking possibly the UK can’t win now?

2311 So Germany have won, UK have come last. Entirely as many people, including ourselves, have predicted. Everybody wins. Possibly. Perhaps we will go back to taking it seriously in 2011?

2312 But what the heck? YAY for the best song. We are thinking that this is the first time that a Big Four country has defied the critics and won. So indeed it can be done. And at least the Germans now have a more credible Eurovision winner on their hands than A Little Peace…..

2316 Actually we knew she’d win, since the editor’s daughter’s middle name (one of her middle names) is Lena. It was a sign, we tell you!

2317 It’s all over bar the reprise. And with that we prepare to return to the real world…..let’s just hope the Germans do a better job of 2011 than they did last time they hosted……

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News | 8 Comments »

Vote Josh! (Well you don’t have to, but just being nice to him would be a start……..)

Posted by DINRIL on May 29, 2010

There’s been a lot of talk in the press over the past few days about the fact that this year’s UK entry is, to put it bluntly, not very good. The tabloids have had a field day, jumping on the fact that poor old Josh Dubovie has the lowest odds ever for a UK Eurovision song, that the odds on him getting no points at all are quite high (for what it’s worth we still think he’ll get more points than whatever Slovenia got in the semi-final so THERE…..), that it’s all a bit useless, etc etc ad infinitum. Even Pete Waterman has said it’s “highly unlikely” his own composition will win.

Now we don’t wish to defend That Sounds Good To Me for a moment (because if we’re being honest, it’s a bit pants), but we are beginning to wonder where this ridiculously defeatist attitude came from? Like it or not, this is the song we have sent to Eurovision this year and Josh is the singer that we, as a nation, voted for back in March – and if we’re going to be that disparaging about it then surely the whole notion of us coming last, getting no points, slinking back to le Royaume-Uni with our tail between our legs etc, becomes a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Can you imagine if we ventured into the World Cup with that attitude, decided we were going to lose anyway and sent the England squad out in their away kit, wearing plimsolls, because there was no point in us making an effort? We wouldn’t do that of course, so why do we feel it’s OK to approach Eurovision in such a fashion?

And another thing. All of this can’t be very nice for Josh – who let us remember is only 19 – to actually have to read. The poor lad has gone out to Oslo with all the best intentions only to face lorryloads of tabloid fodder about how the whole thing is a disaster because there is no way he can win. Frankly I wouldn’t bother if I were him. I’d just hop on the next plane home and send a singing poodle (sure you could find one at the Britain’s Got Talent auditions if you looked hard enough) to take my place because there would be no point in my even trying to outdo the bookies and the press. The fact he is going to go out there on Saturday night with his head held high and do his best, even though he is virtually guaranteed a poor result, is to his credit.

All of which leads us to wonder if this attitude could have something to do with the UK’s poor results recently. We’re all too quick to find scapegoats – the Iraq war for example (people of Britain, it happened nearly a decade ago. Nobody hates us for it any more, particularly not the Eurovision community. Now just stop trotting out that archaic old excuse and get over yourselves, OK?) . Or we cry foul over neighbourly voting, or Eastern Bloc domination, or the fact the Wispa bar doesn’t taste as good as it did in the 80s (OK then maybe not. But you get our drift).

Yet we never bother to look at the root cause of why UK has fallen from Eurovision favour – the simple fact that other countries take it seriously while we still regard it as some kind of uber-camp, uber-kitsch singing carnival full of naff songs and dodgy hairdos. People, Eurovision has worked very hard to shake off that image in recent years. The likes of Russia – whose 2008 winner Believe was produced by Timbaland – or Azerbaijan, who have roped in Beyonce’s choreographer to pep up Drip Drop this year – don’t like it when you start suggesting they’re naff and dodgy, and let’s face it, why should they vote for us if that is our attitude towards them and the contest as a whole?

Eurovision has moved with the times. The trouble is that the UK’s perception of Eurovision has, by and large, not moved with it. We thought we’d made a breakthrough in 2009 when Andrew Lloyd Webber got involved and we had the fabulous Jade Ewen singing for us – and indeed, look at the difference it made, look how much better we fared when we did take it seriously. What a shame we didn’t manage to pull it off again this year.

So we hereby appeal to you, when you’re watching this evening, to actually rally round Josh and give him a bit of support. Yes, we know the song sucks. Yes, we know it was written by the Poundstretcher Simon Cowell. And yes we know the only time we’ll probably feature in the left hand side of the scoreboard is at the start before any votes have been cast. But don’t take it out on the teenager who is doing his best to try and represent our country in the best way he can. Because at the end of the day, he’s actually taking the whole thing seriously.  And that counts for a lot in this era of Eurovision.

And on that note we’re off to drag our Union Jacks out of their mothballs……

Posted in Eurovision 2010, United Kingdom | 6 Comments »

Our Final Two Cents Worth….

Posted by DINRIL on May 29, 2010

So here we are folks. Just a few more hours to go before the 2010 final takes to the stage (and henceforth another six hours or so to go before it’s all over for another year and we have to return to the real world for a while before some ridiculously early bird like Albania chooses their song for 2011 and the whole process begins again. But anyway….) Eurovision season seems to have gone on for longer than ever this year, possibly because we got more into the national finals than we ever have done in the past, possibly because – well it has.

We remember a dim and distant past when Terry Wogan would introduce a preview of the songs one Sunday afternoon, you’d hear them again at the final the following Saturday and that would be it. In other words you’d hear them twice and then probably never again with the possible exception of the UK song if you were foolhardy enough to have bought the single.

It’s all different these days of course. The Internet, streaming coverage of national finals, the chance to hear the songs over and over and over and over and over again before the big night, actually gives the whole thing a sense of longevity and, we think, makes it a bit more of an event. That said….we have absolutely NO idea who will win this year. Unlike last year when we knew that pixie would just run away with victory from the very first twang of his violin bow, this is one of the most wide open contests in years. We were predicting Germany and Denmark for glory. We then added Azerbaijan and Israel to the list. Then we thought it might be Armenia.  Then we decided it was between Belgium and Ireland. Then Sweden (hmmmmmm, maybe that wasn’t such a good prediction…..). Then we woke up this morning and decided categorically it would be a fight to the finish between Romania and Cyprus. Or possibly Denmark and Germany were back in contention. The truth is, we just don’t know! It’s far easier to tell you who it won’t be this year than who will take the title. And in theory – unless an achingly predictable winner does emerge early on – that could make for a far more exciting contest than the 2009 one.

We shall be keeping everything crossed. And we shall see you back here later for the live blog…..

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News | 2 Comments »

While We’re At It….

Posted by DINRIL on May 29, 2010

……trying on our costume for the final, are we Niamh??????

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Ireland | 2 Comments »

Pixiewatch Returns……!!

Posted by DINRIL on May 29, 2010

Remember last year when everywhere we looked, Alexander Rybak seemed to be having his photo taken with yet another person? Well old habits die hard, it seems 🙂 Welcome back Alexander, we’ve missed you!

Although it has to be said that Daniel Diges is possibly challenging our favourite Norwegian pixie for how many people he can appear in shot with this year…..quite what’s going on here however we’re not entirely sure!

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Spain | 1 Comment »

We Have A Running Order!

Posted by DINRIL on May 27, 2010

Ladies and gentlemen…..the running order for Saturday’s final has been decided and is as follows:

AZERBAIJAN
SPAIN
NORWAY
MOLDOVA
CYPRUS
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
BELGIUM
SERBIA
BELARUS
IRELAND
GREECE
UK
GEORGIA
TURKEY
ALBANIA
ICELAND
UKRAINE
FRANCE
ROMANIA
RUSSIA
ARMENIA
GERMANY
PORTUGAL
ISRAEL
DENMARK

So who stands to lose from this and who stands to gain? Let’s take a look….

GREAT DRAWS

Armenia – sandwiched between Russia and Germany (even though the latter is strongly fancied) is fantastic news for Eva, who could well be a potential winner now (as long as her rather, how shall we put this, detailed performance doesn’t put people off)

Denmark – the last song tends to be one that people remember (let’s just gloss over Spain last year shall we?)

Ireland – not a bad draw for them at all. OK so it comes after a ballad from Belarus but the Irish song is better (while the Greek song after it is a marked contrast)

Georgia – a ballad sandwiched between two uptempo numbers means this song will stand out

Israel and Portugal – both great draws here, particularly Israel who have landed that all-important second to last slot. Whether or not the pair of them will cancel each other out is another matter entirely.

Serbia – upbeat and quirky Serbia between Belgium and Belarus can only be a good thing for them.

DROOPY DRAWS

Azerbaijan – well someone had to go first but Azerbaijan are probably wishing it wasn’t them. It’s not impossible to win from first place – the Brotherhood Of Man did it and so did the Herreys – but it’s rare. Fingers crossed they benefit from the new voting system otherwise it could be all over for Safura…..

Cyprus – quite early on and quite similar to Belgium in tone, which might not help their chances.

Albania and Iceland – two disco-tastic numbers back to back, could cancel each other out in the same way that Israel and Portugal could. We shall see on Saturday…..

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News | 15 Comments »

And Your Second Semi-Final finalists are….

Posted by DINRIL on May 27, 2010

as follows:

GEORGIA

UKRAINE

TURKEY

ISRAEL

IRELAND

CYPRUS

AZERBAIJAN

ROMANIA

ARMENIA

DENMARK

All of which means that a) we got eight out of ten which isn’t bad at all (and since we admitted Georgia and Ukraine could pull off a surprise we are prepared to count that as full marks or at least we would if anybody would let us), b) we kind of figured Denmark would still sneak in even though, to be honest, they could have been better (not sure how well they’ll do, mind) and c) what the FRICK happened to Sweden and Croatia? The latter isn’t so much of a shock but losing Sweden, who have never missed out on a semi-final qualification yet (heck, haven’t missed out on a contest since 1976) is a real shocker – even more so because word of mouth from Oslo had Anna down as a potential winner. Oh well. If it had been Denmark who missed the cut no doubt everybody would be gasping at that and hey, we did say there would be some surprises in this semi-final. We just didn’t expect that to be it…….

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News | 1 Comment »