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Archive for May, 2012


Posted by Caroline on May 26, 2012

… can find your editor here.


Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

And here’s your running order!

Posted by Caroline on May 24, 2012

So the draw for the remainder of the running order has been made, and faster than you can say, ‘well look where Sweden ended up, guess we may as well all pack up and go home then’, here’s how it’s looking for Saturday night….

1) UK


























See you on Saturday, folks….


Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News | 25 Comments »

Your remaining semi-finalists are….

Posted by Caroline on May 24, 2012

……as follows:











No Netherlands or Slovenia officially makes us sad bloggers. On the other hand let’s have a big YAY for Malta for making the final for the first time since 2009. And a big YAY to us for predicting it….:)

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News | 3 Comments »

The Great Big Semi-Final Predictorama Part 2

Posted by Caroline on May 23, 2012

All calmed down now since the events of last night? Good. Well don’t get too calm because we’re about to do it all over again – and as such, here are our predictions for the qualifiers in Thursday’s semi-final….


For it: Oh, just the fact that Zeljko is Eurovision royalty. You know, that small trifling matter. That and a damned fine song.

Against it: Very little to be honest – in fact this is probably one of the surest things this semi-final has to offer, to the extent that it would be a SERIOUSLY major upset if Serbia didn’t make it. Although frankly we think he would have to forge his words, sing the Lithuanian entry by mistake and fall into the orchestra pit to have even a remote chance of failing, and even then he would probably STILL go through to the final.


For it: Because all we’ve heard for the past couple of months is Loreen this, Loreen that, and then some. Let’s not detract of course from the fact that this is one of the best songs in the contest and – if they stick to the Melodifestivalen format – is likely to have one of the most eye-catching routines (OK so she’s not going to stand in a giant water feature while dressed like an extra from Star Wars but surely not everybody has to go down that road?) Fact remains, Loreen is another one of the surest things in this semi-final, to the extent that we reckon all she has to do to qualify is simply turn up on the night.

Against it: Well 2010 taught us that not even Sweden, bastions of Eurovision glory, are guaranteed finalists. And just because Loreen is the favourite doesn’t necessarily mean she’ll come out on top. But we’ll be honest, we’re optimistic.


For it: Because it’s one of our favourite songs in the contest this year (with, reportedly, one of the best stage shows), and we’ll probably have a tantrum if it doesn’t get through.

Against it: Turkey’s 2011 disaster proved that not even they are infallible. And Can Bonomo’s track could prove just a bit too quirky for voters. That, of course, is where the juries come in handy….


For it: It’s this year’s Popular. Only better.

Against it: Norway were one of the favourites last year, and look how that did. Tooji should make it, but he’ll have to turn in the performance of his life to ensure he doesn’t fall at the final hurdle.


For it: Because this is UKRAINE we’re talking about! Like, duh???? Plus it’s a football anthem, and the unexpected success of Jessy Matador for France in 2010 proved that actually those can go down a storm on the Eurovision stage.

Against it: As we have learned, even the most popular of Eurovision nations are not entirely infallible when it comes to qualification,. Ukraine have yet to miss out on a final – but there’s a first time for everything, and dress rehearsal word of mouth for Gaitana was decidedly mixed. That said, the sheer catchiness of the song – and the fact it’s one of the handful of uptempo tunes in a ballad-heavy semi-final – should tip the balance in her favour.


For it: One of our dark horses of the year, we’ve been slightly in awe of this song – and the power of 16-year-old Eva Boto’s voice – since we first heard it all those months ago. However much it sounds like Molitva (possibly a little too much, even), she deserves to be in the final.

Against it: The fact that seemingly every other former Yugoslav nation (with the exception of Montenegro, which we are still baffled by) has entered a big ballad this year. And all of them seem to be in this semi-final. Surely that means one or t’other will cancel each other out (even if they do end up all voting for each other….?) As far as we are concerned she is in though.


For it: It’s big and it’s ballady. And Estonia always seem to do well when they field that kind of thing (they also seem to do well when they enter bafflingly ordinary disco anthems too but let’s not dwell on that)

Against it: It’s a ballad-laden contest and they can’t all make it. And Ott Lepland’s position in the running order between quirky Turkey and upbeat Norway means he will either stand out from the pack or sink without trace.


For it: Quite simply because we love it. We also love the fact that Joan was a contestant on The Voice in the Netherlands. Why can’t we have people like that on The Voice over here? (it might even drive the viewing figures up). Yes, we know the song is dated and cheesy as hell and evokes memories of Eurovision past – but we still love it to bits. And there are a lot of people out there just willing the Netherlands to actually qualify for the first time since 2004. Honestly? We think this is the best chance they have had since then.

Against it: On very early in the semi-final which could count against them, and will people actually listen to the song or just see a strange woman dressed like Hiawatha? Fingers crossed that they do.


For it: Let’s be honest, the song is awful. But the performance is reportedly kitsch and sparkly and everything Eurovision fans love. And on that basis – and the fact it’s Georgia, and they’re not in the habit of missing finals – we think they’ll make it. But they wouldn’t have done if they had been on last night.

Against it: It’s rubbish. Is that good enough a reason?

And finally….MALTA

For it: We laboured long and hard over this decision (to the extent that we almost put Bosnia and Herzegovina in instead), but can’t help feeling that with a strong performance Kurt could get the sentimental ‘Malta haven’t been in the final for years’ vote along with the Netherlands. He’ll have to perform his little Maltese socks off though.

Against it: The song simply isn’t that good (not that it’s bad, just a tad average), and potentially could go the way of other Maltese efforts that were similarly average. But given the effort the Maltese put in, we’d rather that didn’t happen this year.


Bosnia and Herzegovina – this came perilously close to making the ten – and we wouldn’t be surprised if it qualified – but Maya Sar is in danger of being drowned out by other, better, lady ballads on offer. The penultimate place in the running order, coupled with ample chances for neighbourly voting, however, could see her through.

Lithuania – could be a surprise entrant into the ten, particularly due to the fact that Donny Montell is rounding the show off – and bearing in mind they pulled off a surprise coup last year. Not sure well the Zorro look will go down with voters, mind.


Belarus – well maybe the Poundstretcher One Direction do have a slim chance. They have after all pulled off surprise qualifications in the past. We’re just not buying it on this occasion. And we much preferred I Love Belarus in 2011.

Croatia – Nina Badric is a possible qualifier but once again we think she may be drowned under  a sea of superior Balkan ballads.

FYR Macedonia – there was a time when FYROM could simply play the Skopje phone book through a nose flute on stage and still make it through, but those days are now long gone. Kaliopi’s song is a bit of a screeching racket, and thanks to Albania qualifying we already have one of those in the final. So we suspect this one will miss out. Although if it does make it we will be the first to admit we were wrong.

Portugal – Filipa Sousa’s track is one of the ones we have barely listened to this year – probably because it’s rather dull. Will it make it through? We would say extremely unlikely. Never mind Portugal, same time next year eh?

Slovakia – this is possibly their best entry ever –  but Max Jason Mai’s metal mayhem may be a guitar solo too far for the more conventional voters. Still, we’re looking forward to watching him – and maintain that if any of the also-rans are going to cause an upset, it’ll be this one.

Bulgaria – er, no. And the less said about that the better really.

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News | 7 Comments »

Let’s talk about the running order….

Posted by Caroline on May 22, 2012

….because now all tonight’s qualifiers have drawn their places for the final, Saturday’s line-up looks something like this:

1) UK


























Good news for: Moldova, for starters – there was a lot of love in the room for this song tonight, and singing last is almost as good as it gets (singing second last is better of course even though Eurovision Blog disputes this is only of real benefit to you if you happen to be a favourite to start with – therefore if Sweden draw 25th on Thursday then it’s game over). Expect to see this dark horse in the top ten come Saturday.

Also good news for: Engelbert, surprisingly enough. Yes, we know he’s singing first and that’s a recipe for disaster etc etc BUT we have always maintained a lot will depend on who is singing in the so-called position of death at number two. We decided ages ago that something decent but unlikely to win like Switzerland would be a good second placed song. But in the absence of the Swiss Hungary must surely be the next best thing – as delighted as we are to see it make the cut, it is very much a ‘should be happy just to be in the final’ song and therefore its presence after us is unlikely to affect the Hump one iota. And aside from anything else, we are heaving a sigh of relief we didn’t get Russia.

And it’s even better news for:Ireland, who could do a lot better than we might expect thanks to their fantastic spot in the running order. Although we are still trying to figure out why Jedward are dressed in C3PO’s cast-offs. Rumours that their suitcase for Baku consisted of nowt but those suits and 1700 kilo of talcum powder remain unfounded.

But it’s quite simply outstanding news for: Pretty much every qualifier on Thursday. Because apart from two remaining spots in the top ten, some of the plum slots in the running order are all still available, including virtually all of the last ten in the line-up. This could be potentially fantastic for the strongly fancied likes of Sweden, Serbia etc – unless of course they draw fourth or fifth.

And it’s bad news for: Well Russia could have done better to be honest – the song will stand out anyway, but they’ll have a tough job now, particularly coming before the strongly fancied Iceland who succeeded in making your editor a bit misty-eyed tonight. That said, it does depend what is on before them – if the fourth and fifth slots fall to ballads, we are potentially looking at the most midtempo start to a Eurovision final ever – which, if they end up being the first uptempo act on, could benefit the Russians big time….

It’s also ridiculously bad news for: Hungary – OK so we might be happy with them singing second but they might not be quite so pleased. Still, someone’s got to….

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News | 3 Comments »

And your first ten finalists are….

Posted by Caroline on May 22, 2012

….as follows!











Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, Lithuania, Luxembourg | 1 Comment »

The Great Big Semi-Final Predictorama – Part 1

Posted by Caroline on May 21, 2012

First of all, an apology is in order, since we have been somewhat tardy in doing updates this year. It’s not that we don’t care, it really isn’t. Just this year a little thing called work has gotten in the way even more than usual. So much so we may not even be liveblogging here on the big night itself – but the good news is your editor will be covering the whole thing as it happens for Metro Online. And rest assured we will be posting a link to that blog on here – so if all is quiet on Eurovision Blog come Saturday, you will know where to find us.

That aside, we couldn’t possibly let the semi-finals pass without offering our usual predictions on whowe think will be making the line-up come Saturday night – only this year it all seems a bit difficult. Could this be because we estimate there are too many potential qualifiers in the first semi-final and not enough in the second? It’s a real shame that the spread isn’t a bit more even, as we sense there may be a handful of songs in the first semi which would have sailed through to the final had they been in Thursday’s show – and the simple fact remains that something deserving probably won’t make it. But hey, let’s wipe off that sad face and carry on, stranger things have happened. Sure thing Sweden not qualifying in 2010 for one. And here’s who we predict will be leaping around the green room in joy come Tuesday night:


For it: Do we really need to tell you? Cute grannies in headscarves who have captured the hearts of Europe with their catchy tune, onstage baking and all-round chumminess? You do the math. In fact only reports that their singing isn’t exactly A1 – not really what a jury wants to hear – that is probably stopping them from winning the entire shebang right now. If this were still the days of 100 per cent televoting we guarantee they would ‘do a Lordi’ and absolutely trounce the competition.

Against it: Oh don’t be silly, there isn’t anything. In a year of unpredictability this is probably the surest thing you’re likely to get.


For it: Well, Aphrodisiac hasn’t exactly been one of the tracks that has set our world on fire this year – it sounds remarkably similar to every Greek entry from the past few years only about half as good – but that probably isn’t going to stop its passage to the final. This is Greece singing an ethno-pop song after all.

Against it: Everybody thought Turkey was a guaranteed finalist last year and look what happened then. And Sweden the year before that. If there is to be a shock non-qualifier we’d be tempted to say that the combination of unremarkable song and early place in the running order could make them this year’s surprise casualty. But we won’t. This is Greece singing an ethno-pop song after all.


For it: Because it’s Cyprus’ best effort in years, that’s what. And a favourable draw in the final (imagine if Ivi finds herself sandwiched between two ballads! Just imagine….!) coupled with a lively energetic performance could actually score them their best result in years too.

Against it: This has a vague whiff of ‘shock non-qualifier’ about it in much the same way that Belgium’s ‘sure thing’ Je T’Adore did in 2006. We don’t think it’ll happen but Ivi is going to have to sing REALLY well to make sure it doesn’t.


For it: Nice bright sunny pop song. Nice bright sunny singer. An entire fleet of Scandinavian love just waiting to be poured over it. It’s a goer, we’re saying.

Against it: Sweden entered a similarly cute blonde singer in 2010 and look what happened to them. Once again Soluna Samay needs to nail it to make an impact, otherwise she is likely to be forgotten in the cavalcade of Russian granny-ness which follows.


For it: Because it’s Jedward! And they’re doing stuff!

Against it: Has the Jedward bubble burst already? Well if it has then they’ll be on the plane back to Dublin on Wednesday morning – but we think there’s still enough love in the room for them to be able to pull off another final appearance this year. Although we wouldn’t recommend they try it again.


For it: That’s Iceland, you note. Not Ireland. And we’ve had this one’s card marked for long time in terms of its sheer dramatic brilliance. We wouldn’t even be surprised if Greta and Jonsi went on to win the whole damn thing. ‘Bout time we had a contest in Reykjavik don’t you think? The fact they are on right after Montenegro (who have about as much chance of qualifying as the Federated States Of Micronesia) will only further boost their chances.

Against it: Er, Jonsi didn’t do very well last time he was in Eurovision in 2004? True, but that wasn’t a very good song. This, on the other hand, is. The only real negative here, to be honest, is their ridiculously early draw in the running order which could potentially mean they’re forgotten. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.


For it: Another one whose card we’ve had marked for months. And now the entire press contingency in Baku has jumped on its bandwagon. We saw it first!!!!! Seriously though this is another contender for the win on Saturday if it is even half as joyful to watch as it is to listen to.

Against it: We won’t have a word said against it, thank you very much.


For it: Because it is, for all intents and purposes, the same song as Romania. Only sung by a bloke who wants to inform us that the ladies love his trumpet. (It is worth noting at this stage that Pasha and Turkey’s Can Bonomo, with his heartfelt lyrics about guiding his ship into your harbour, are seemingly working very hard to ensure that this year’s contest is the Eurovision equivalent of a Carry On movie. Graham Norton is going to have a field day with this pair). Anyway, it’s gleefully bonkers, he’ll go through and all that. End of.

Against it: That will depend entirely on how much the ladies really do love his trumpet.

And here’s where things get a little fuzzy. Because we have four songs left that we really want to fill the last two spots, and can only choose two of them. We’re not at all sure about the ones we’ve chosen but here goes:


For it: Because we’ve loved Izabo for many years and therefore are biased. But also because this is one of the most distinctive songs in the contest. Love it or hate it there is nothing else like it.

Against it: It is a definite borderline effort and to be honest we won’t be a bit surprised if it doesn’t make it. But we’d like to think it will do.


For it: Because we want them to be on really early in the contest thereby forcing someone on the BBC to say Trackshittaz before the watershed. Snort. Oh why not, it’s fun isn’t it? And given our reaction when we first saw it was ‘This is SO making the final’ we feel we have to stand by that statement.

Against it: Well there is a lot of competition and something’s got to give. Again this is borderline and the oddness of it may be lost on some viewers. But we just have a hunch it’ll be there on Saturday night.


Hungary – utterly love this song, and would love to see it in the final. But sandwiched between Russia and Austria – which are sure to be two of the  more interesting performances of the semi-final – Compact Disco may have a real fight on their hands to make an impact, and the fact that their performance is reportedly fairly no-frills will either make it stand out or sink without trace. Besides, surely not ALL of the last seven songs in the contest can make it through?

Switzerland – again, we love the Eurovision equivalent of the Killers’ Mr Brightside, and a strong performance could tip the balance in favour of the Swiss, possibly at the expense of one of the last two we have openly admitted we’re not 100 per cent sure about. Not that we would be complaining if it did.

As for the others, here’s why we don’t think they will qualify….

Latvia – Anmary could, again, have an outside chance of making it but we sense she will just miss out.And will pull a sadface in her honour.

Albania – another one we dithered over but eventually decided to rule out of the running. Granted, Rona could pull off a coup similar to Lithuania last year if she gets jury love, but the song is just too weird for our liking.

Belgium – Iris is getting good word of mouth from Baku, and the song is pleasant enough, but there are an awful lot of ballads this year and there just aren’t room for all of them in the final.

Finland – see above. The difference being that Pernilla’s song isn’t nearly as likeable as Belgium’s.

San Marino – er, no.

Montenegro – you are having a laugh, right? Right…..?

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News | 4 Comments »

What have you got to say for yourselves…Denmark?

Posted by Caroline on May 16, 2012

It’s the turn of Denmark to grace Eurovision Blog now so…take it away, Soluna Samay! (You see what we did there?)

Introduce yourself and tell us how you ended up representing Denmark in Eurovision this year!
My name is Soluna Samay and I will be representing Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest. I was discovered on Facebook by Chief 1 and Remee, two danish songwriters/producers, who were looking for an artist to sing their song at the Danish national final. And I just happened to win! 🙂

Are you looking forward to going to Baku? What can we expect from your stage show?
Yes, very much! It will be a great experience, no matter the outcome! Our stage show will be quite intimate. I have the same band on stage with me as at our national final.

Which of this year’s other entries do you rate?
I think that our neighbour Sweden will definitely be one of the toughest competitors!

Denmark have done pretty well of late, how do you plan to keep up the good work? And does the fact you’re coming to the contest off the back of two top five results leave you with added pressure to do well?
It does add a little pressure. But I will just do my very best. As long as I am myself and concentrate on singing the song (and not the millions of viewers) I think it will go fine. 🙂

Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke, an attitude which a lot of us are trying to change. How can we get people over here to take it as seriously as the Danes do?
Hard question. I think it’s up to the organizers of the UK national show to present a line-up of serious musicians to the viewers. That way people might get the feeling that it’s more about music than just the “show” and take it more seriously.

Why do you think so many people still love the contest so much even after all this time?
I think it’s just a tradition that people have grown up with. Here in Denmark it’s a family event. It’s probably out of nostalgic reasons that it’s still so popular.

Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it, and our somewhat older representative?
I think it’s a lovely song, sung by a true legend! I really hope I get to meet him.

Posted in Denmark, Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, Interviews | 1 Comment »

What have you got to say for yourself…Serbia?

Posted by Caroline on May 13, 2012

Mind your manners everybody, we are in the presence of Eurovision royalty – Serbia’s Zeljko Joksimovic to be precise. Yes, the man who came second in 2004 with the splendid Lane Moje and wrote Bosnia and Herzegovina’s giant-killing Lejla in 2006 returns to the Eurovision stage this year with the similarly fabby Nije Ljubav Stvar – but before he does that he faces the even more fearsome challenge of the Eurovision Blog interview:

So what prompted you to return to the Eurovision stage this year? Eurovision is always challenging for me. It inspires me in some very strange way. And of course, would like to have the best result.

Are you looking forward to going to Baku and what can we expect from your stage show? Yes, I am definitely looking forward to go in Azerbaijan and to see how they will organize the event as I believe that it will be something very very good. From my side, everything will be different then you saw till now , in a way that I am waiting to show you the performance.

Last time you took part in Eurovision you finished second, how do you plan to go one better this year? The song Lane Moje was a big hit, and I do believe that Nije Ljubav Stvar will be even better. Always believe that a good song is the best recipe for success.

What do you plan to do differently this time around, if anything? Many things and we are doing it. First, the song is different, performance will be and promotion of the song of course etc. But you will see very soon.

Which of this year’s other entries do you rate? I think that there are several very interesting songs this year and it will be a strong competition.

Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke, an attitude which a lot of us are trying to change. How is it regarded in Serbia?
Well, in Serbia people mostly love to watch it, and there are many fans especially after the event in 2008. It is considering as big family TV event and it is.

Why do you think so many people still love it so much even after all this time?
It is always new every year and in the same moment it has a sort of tradition.

Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it, and our somewhat older representative? Any chance of some points? (please…..:))
Who knows! But UK representative is known world wide and I wish him all the best at Eurovision stage in Baku.

And finally, tell me why Serbia should have the chance to host Eurovision in 2013 and which city would you choose to host it?
First, the song Nije ljubav stvar is very good song. Second we do want and we are ready to host it and I believe that here in Serbia ESC still means a lot.

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, Interviews, Serbia | 2 Comments »

What have you got to say for yourself…Norway?

Posted by Caroline on May 7, 2012

Interview season continues apace, and this time it’s Tooji who wants you to stay (did you see what we did there) and read his thoughts on all things Eurovision…

Introduce yourself and tell us how you ended up representing Norway in Eurovision this year!
My name is Tooji Keshtkar, I’m 24 years old, living and working in Oslo, Norway. I’ve been working with music and songwriting for several years now, and it was actually my manager who suggested that I enter the Norwegian Eurovision Contest 2012. I wrote the song “Stay” in collaboration with the swedish producers Peter Bostrøm and Figge Bostrøm, and was voted the winner of the Norwegian Eurovision contest.

Are you looking forward to going to Baku and what can we expect from your stage show?
I’m very excited about going to Baku! Two words to describe my stage performance: “Explosive Joy” 😉

Norway made a shock early exit from the contest last year in the semi-final, how do you plan to change that this year?
My only plan is to give it my all with love and joy, and hope for the very best.

Which of this year’s other entries do you rate?
My main rival is also the one I love the most, Loreen.

Which is your favourite entry from your home country?
Silya. I loved her song Euphoria and her performance and her personality.

There’s a lot of ballads this year; do you think from that point of view Stay will stand out from the pack?
I think definitely that Stay does stand out with its explosiveness and rockin’ beat.

Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke, an attitude which a lot of us are trying to change. How is it regarded in Norway?
I think that for many years the views and opinions of Eurovision in Norway was very split between “a joke” and “entertainment”. Generally the Norwegians really do make a big deal of Eurovision. Hopefully with the fresh, new and catchy entries we had this year we managed to raise the bar. The voting in Norway was through the roof which is a great achievement and just reflects how many viewers we had.

Why do you think so many people still love it so much even after all this time? I think the concept of “unknowns” is appealing to the majority of our voters. Someone like me, who has little or no experience, but a lot of talent is able to expose themselves and experience something so big. Also the process of the competition, where voters are brought along the entire journey helps them relate to the performers.

Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it, and our somewhat older representative? Any chance of some points? (please…..:))
The UK entry “Love will set you free” is a beautiful song, and I have nothing but respect for Mr Engelbert Humperdinck who has a mature and beautiful voice. My ratings I’d prefer to keep to myself for now 😉

And finally, tell me why Norway should have the chance to host Eurovision in 2013 and which city would you choose to host it? Norway is a beautiful country with a lot of amazing culture. I would love to host Eurovision 2013 in Oslo.


Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, Interviews, Norway | 4 Comments »