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Welcome to The 2011 Eurovision live blog

Posted by DINRIL on May 14, 2011

Hello everybody. There’s only ten minutes to go until the start of this year’s Eurovision final and as always we will be liveblogging it as only we know how…..

1951 Nine minutes to go and we are watching The National Lottery. So what’s on in your country right before the contest? (we haven’t won a penny btw. Boo)

2000 We are officially UNDERWAY. Graham Norton has just informed us there are 25,000 people inside the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf. On that basis the UK will clearly have to have it at the O2 following our inevitable victory this year. Or we are possibly just jumping the gun a tad.

2001 We fondly remember Stefan Raab, he of the light-up jacket in 2000. He isn’t going to sing is he? We can but hope such a thing does not happen.

2003 Anke and Stefan are singing Satellite. The words ‘somebody make it stop’ are honing perilously into view.

2005 Actually we quite like this rockabilly version of Satellite. It reminds us a bit of Roger Cicero’s ill-fated Women Ruled The World. Let’s not even go there….

2006 We are beginning to get a growing sense that they have forgotten about the contest and are just going to turn this into one big jamming session. No, wait up….there’s Lena! Shouldn’t she be practising for later?

2007 Hmmmmmm Germany are really enjoying this aren’t they? They’d better. It could be another 28 years before they get to host it again….

2009 And now they are showing us how they turned the Esprit Arena from a football pitch to a stadium. No offence but could they just get ON with it already? This is in serious danger even at such an early hour of turning into Munich 1983. And none of us want that….

2014 Finally, we are underway! Paradise Oskar has the enviable task of starting things off this evening (this means he won’t win of course). Is he this year’s Tom Dice? Of course he is. Bless.

2018 How much do we love Dino Merlin? We can’t even begin to tell you. if he wasn’t saddled with the kiss of death number two spot we would almost have him down as a winner. As it is he’s even better than he was on Thursday. Presumably he’s off to put his feet up now…..

2022 Denmark is officially the best yet. To be honest they don’t have a lot of competition so far but HOW good is this? Seriously…..

2027 Evelina Sasenko from Lithuania is singing C’Est Ma Vie with all the conviction of someone who knows she doesn’t have a cat’s chance in hell of actually winning this thing. File under ‘actually I’m just happy to be in the final and I’m as damn well surprised about it as you are’.

2031 We’ve said it once and we will say it again – Hungary’s song IS Taylor Dayne redux (if you are too young to remember her look it up). And we all know who is coming next don’t we?

2035 Wait a minute…..is that Jedward giving a ‘polished’ performance??????? It just might be.

2036 WINNER. Maybe….

2040 Against our better judgment, we are loving Sweden’s Eric Saade although dismayed to note he has yet to locate his other glove. Mind you that was a belter of a performance, considerably better than we were expecting. Has he taken the shine off of Jedward?

2042 OK. We love Getter Jaani but someone needs to tell us what the London Eye is doing in a song about New York.  We are guessing nobody will however…..

2044 Don’t forget you can join us Tweeting at TVonVM……

2047 We didn’t like Greece, we liked it again, now we’re not so sure again. Help us.

2048 Sorry but Stereo Mike is still the silliest name we have ever heard for a DJ. But it’s OK because the rather lovely Alex from Russia is coming up which means that your editorial team may have to go and lick the TV…..

2051 ‘Do you feel my heart beat Europe?’ Er, no….

2052 Stefan Raab had a fabulous light up jacket in 2000. Alex Sparrow’s just looks like he has glued a piece of paper to the back of his jacket. Not good….

2057 Amaury Vassili is the first of the Big Five to take to the stage. He can certainly sing but he looks as nervous as hell. And he needs un hairbrush. Let’s move on…..

2100 Italy. We don’t acgtually want to say anything else about that.

2104 We’re in the green room with Dino Merlin. Just get on with it already….

2106 Another nice performance from Anna Rossinelli who once again should be just happy to be in the final. But we all know who is next……

2107 It’s TIME!!!!!!!

2109 We’re not sure we’re liking those suits if we’re being honest. But in all other respects………crikey.

2110 Well that was one of the best things we’ve seen all night. Could we possibly even begin to believe that we might actually win it??????

2112 And from the sublime to, er….all right we admit we don’t understand the Moldovan performance. Still if it’s your only opportunity to see a unicycling fairy all year then we suggest you take it…..

2114 Alert! Alert! It is time for the host nation…..

2117 And very good she is too. But let’s be honest it does sound like Love Cats by The Cure.

2121 Romanian Dave is enjoying himself enormously. Shame the rest of us aren’t.

2124 Now this performance from Austria is seriously classy. Why did we not see this song coming? Could this be the one to take top honours? We wouldn’t rule it out…..

2129 We’re getting used to seeing professional turns from Azerbaijan now and this is no exception. Clearly they want this badly. We remain concerned however that the special effects people could have an eye out with that fake rain….

2130 We never thought we would ever find ourselves saying this in the history of the world but the forthcoming Slovenian song is also a contender. I mean we are talking SLOVENIA here. Seriously…..

2137 Ah, Iceland. We don’t want to be horrible about them at all given the backstory. But it is nice to see that Robson and Jerome have found gainful employment since the hits dried up…..

2142 The surprise packages just keep on coming? Who’d have thought Spain would turn in such a great performance? With that fabulous draw as well we could be looking at another top ten finish…..

2146 Ukraine is much as it was on Thursday night. But the sand artist is just showing off now. yawn (reaches for remote control to put on Britain’s Got More Talent, comes to senses just in time……)

2149 We’ve said it once, we will say it again – Nina from Serbia is adorable. But we still maintain she bought her tights in Primark.

2154 How can it be the last song of the night already? It has only been on for two minutes, surely. Once again the whole thing has been a blur and we have forgotten it. But based on what we have seen tonight we have NO IDEA who is going to win. No, seriously. UK were great, Ireland bonkers, France strangely disappointing. Georgia’s singer is still wearing a lampshade. Confusion is setting in.

2214 It is time for the interval act and we NEED to eat. Back for the voting……

2218 Germany have hired a wedding band for the interval entertainment. Well it’s original…..

2224 ‘I hope they don’t say Blue – None’ says Graham Norton. Why oh WHY did we not think of that one??????? Drat!

2225 They are just showing off now……

2228 Yikes and then some It is Dima Bilan. And four points for the UK already!

2229 The first 12 of the night goes to Azerbaijan……

2230 12 for the UK! SHRIEK!!!!!!!!!!!!

2231 12 to Denmark now. It is going to be a close one isn’t it?

2232 and 10 points to the UK from Italy! Hurrah! We are IN THE LEAD. Official…..

2234 We are not first anymore. Damn you Cyprus and your neighbourly voting……

2235 12 points to Georgia from Ukraine?????? The world has gone mad……

2236 Norway don’t look a bit cross at being booted out in the semi final. And they have only given us one point. Gits.

2237 Are we surprised they gave the 12 to Finland? Not a bit of it……

2239 Ukraine winning now. This is going to go down to the wire……

2240 And now Sweden in the lead. Told you they would be popular……

2241 First points of the night for Switzerland, from Slovakia. No nul points this year then…..

2242 It is the UK voting. Wonder who is getting the 12?????? Austria, Bosnia, someone explain that?

2246 Lithuania’s 12 from Poland got the most muted reaction of the night. Sweden still in the lead. We can believe that……

2252 Oh do stop singing, man from Slovenia. Another 12 for Bosnia and Herzegovina though, yay!

2257 Could Bosnia and Herzegovina become the first number two act to actually win?? Could happen. We don’t know what will happen any more. We want a lie down…..

2306 Are we going to Baku next year? Or, er, Italy perhaps?

2311 This is seriously exciting voting. The UK and Ireland certainly haven’t disgraced themselves but we sense Azerbaijan may have it in the bag. Cue lots of disgruntled complaints about how it is biased towards the East. Bollocks it is. They had a good song. End of.

2315 Italy are now the only country who could topple Azerbaijan. We always said we liked that track. Seriously. Ha ha.

2318 And it’s official. Azerbaijan have WON. We saw that coming. Yes, really, we did…..

2324 So what would happen if, just once, someone dropped that trophy????? And how will Eurovision handle the inevitable time difference? Will the contest be in the middle of the night? Or will we have to watch it in the afternoon? Will they have it in Baku or, er, Baku? No doubt these questions will be answered in the months to come. As for us, we are off to analyse the scoreboard. And have a bit of a lie down for the next six months……

Posted in Eurovision 2011 | 12 Comments »

Clash Of The Titans….

Posted by DINRIL on May 14, 2011

This time last year, with the Eurovision final just hours away, we were resigning ourselves to the fact that the UK was probably going to come last again, sighing about the fact nobody in this country was taking it seriously but vowing to support poor old Josh Dubovie anyway because, damn it, our national pride was at stake. Fast forward to this year and things could not be more different. For once there is actually a real sense of interest and excitement in the UK about Eurovision – despite all the bleating naysayers going on about it all being political and biased towards the East (of course, that’s why it’s in Germany this year, hmmmmm?)

Except of course it’s not just because the UK has finally decided to take it seriously and field a well-known act. It’s because for the first time in as long as we can remember there are two acts on tonight who will be very familiar to UK viewers – quite remarkable given that we’re usually lucky to even have heard of one. And in recent days the focus has switched from ‘can Blue bring Eurovision back to the UK?’ to ‘the titanic battle that is Blue vs Jedward’. Both have a fighting chance of bringing home the gold tonight, and even though the latter might be representing Ireland there’s still a huge groundswell of support for them here. The whole notion of ‘are you Team Blue or Team Jedward’ has sprung up without warning, and everybody you ask seems to have an opinion on it (we have yet to meet anybody who has said ‘Team Kati Wolf, actually’. But anyway….)

So let’s just look at this from both sides of the coin for a minute. Team Blue supporters vehemently argue that Jedward are a silly novelty act and that Duncan, Lee and co have entered a proper song and it’ll bring glory back to the UK if it wins and maybe enable us to start taking the contest seriously once again. Team Jedward fans will inevitably tell you that Blue are old and past it and have a dull song and that the wacky Irish twins are, well, more Eurovision somehow (although the people who say this last bit are clearly the people who still have a preconceived idea of what a Eurovision song should sound like and henceforth are the reason we ever sent Scooch in the first place).

It’s true that Blue probably have more at stake here than Jedward do. A lot is resting on how they fare tonight given that it is, after all, their big comeback. And given the UK press’s perception of our Eurovision prowess (having conveniently forgotten the period between 1967 and 1997, it seems) nothing short of a victory will be any good whatsoever. Remember how they denounced Andrew Lloyd Webber as a Eurovision failure when Jade Ewen finished FIFTH in 2009? Er we’d say that was far from a failure (do these same people also call their children a failure if they finish fifth in a spelling test at school? Er, I think not). We can hear the sound of venemous pens being sharpened as we speak and can picture tomorrow’s headlines – ‘WE CAN’T’, ‘BLUE’S EUROVISION FLOP CONTEST’ etc etc which would no doubt be applied even if the UK finished in second place with 400 points.

On the other hand Jedward probably don’t have quite so much to lose since their bizarre career seems to be on the up anyway and not winning Eurovision probably wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to their many advertising deals, personal appearances and general habit of hanging around and being annoying. Granted, the song is probably what those aforementioned people would call ‘more Eurovision’ but that’s not necessarily the key to victory these days as we well know, while the Blue fans hoping for a victory will happily denounce it as throwaway rubbish. The question you have to ask yourself at this juncture though is – is it the song they are not keen on or the fact it is by Jedward? If Lipstick were by any other artist in the whole of Ireland would people be so hesitant about admitting they liked it? Somehow we think not.

We are the first people to admit we were very sceptical about the whole Jedward business when we first heard about it. But we also hold up our hands and admit that they have a very catchy, memorable tune on their hands – and being less of a worthy, serious song than Blue’s effort doesn’t make it any less of a worthy candidate for the title. And we can’t help but be impressed by the way they have won the rest of Europe over with their mad personalities and frankly bizarre performance – which actually looked as though they were making it up as they went along. More importantly it is a song which suits them perfectly – there would be no point them trying to do something a bit more staid any more than there would be a point to Blue trying to do a song like theirs. Everybody would get in a muddle and end up with the dreaded ‘nul points’ and then there would we be?

The point is whoever you are supporting tonight, both Blue and Jedward deserve to be up on that stage for the simple reason that they’ve brought Eurovision fever back to the United Kingdom after years of ennui. And if either one of them triumphs, you can guarantee Eurovision Blog will be celebrating on their behalf.

And on that note, we shall offer our usual vote of thanks to our lovely readers and every person who has helped us with content during this Eurovision season, and rest assured even after the season is over we’ll be back here offering salient comment whenever there is something of interest to report before the whole thing kicks off again around Christmas 🙂 And don’t forget to join us back here later on for the liveblog or Tweeting for Virgin Media at TVonVM

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News, Ireland, United Kingdom | 1 Comment »

Just Talk To Us Already: Germany!!

Posted by DINRIL on May 14, 2011

Mind your manners everybody, we are indeed in the presence of Eurovision royalty. Ahead of tonight’s final, your very own Eurovision Blog has managed to grab a brief few moments with Germany’s very own reigning champion Lena, and is utterly chuffed to bits that at least one former winner has been kind and gracious enough to talk to us (are you paying attention, Dana International…..?)

Nice to have you back again after last year’s victory! But tell us, what prompted you to return to defend your Eurovision title? I really wanted to be the German contestant again, since it was so much fun last year. And I also wanted to defend my title in my home country. 🙂

Which of this year’s other entries do you rate / like? My favourites are the ones from Blue (UK), Nina (Serbia), Paradise Oskar (Finland), and of course the Irish twins Jedward! 🙂

Which is your favourite Eurovision entry of all time and which is your favourite from your home country? I’m sorry, I really don’t know…

Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke (something we are aiming to change this year with our entry). Do you think your victory last year has helped to change people’s perceptions of it in Germany?
Yes, there has been a big party here in Germany after last year’s victory already. And now, since we are this year’s host country, even more people are interested in the contest and they’ll watch and enjoy it.

Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it? Is it a bit better than our recent entries or are we going to come last again? Be honest……:) ) I have always been a fan of Blue – I mean, I grew up with them / their music. They are great! And I’m sure you won’t come last this year. 🙂

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News, Germany, Interviews | 1 Comment »

Tweet tweet!

Posted by DINRIL on May 13, 2011

Twitter fans looking for somewhere to share their salient Eurovision comments on Saturday night – why not pay a visit to the team from Virgin Media’s TV website, who’ll be holding a Tweetathon during the contest? (and, er, yes, we might have something to do with it). The fun will kick off just before 8pm tomorrow night at TVonVM. You know the rest. Oh, and suffice to say there will be liveblogging here also, leaving you utterly spoiled for choice…..:)

PermaTan12

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Just Talk To Us Already: Greece

Posted by DINRIL on May 13, 2011

Hoping you will watch his dance, so to speak, it’s the very charming Loucas Yiorkas from Greece…

Introduce yourselves and tell us how you ended up representing Greece in Eurovision this year! Hello! I am Loucas Yiorkas and this is Stereo Mike and we are representing Greece at the ESC 2011 with the song “Watch my dance”. EMI, my record company proposed that I entered the pre-selection round which was a big surprise for me and also quite shocking. Mr. Kokkinos, the music producer of the company, had the idea for this collaboration with Stereo Mike. The original idea came from Mr. Liras to create a song combining a Greek folk rhythm (zeimpekiko) and a well know music genre (hip hop) which would make a very interesting sound.  So I took the zeimpekiko part and Stereo Mike took the hip hop part.

Are you looking forward to going to Dusseldorf ? What can we expect from your stage show? We are looking forward to going to Dusseldorf indeed. With regards to the stage show please allow me to keep this as a surprise.

Which of this year’s other entries do you rate? Each country has 3 minutes on stage and anything can happen. There are most definitely some very good songs in this year’s contest.

Which is your favourite Eurovision entry of all time and which is your favourite from your home country? That would probably be “Lane Moja” by Zeljko Joksimovic (Serbia 2004) and from Greece “Die for you” by Antique.

Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke (something we are aiming to change this year with our entry). How is it regarded in Greece ? For us here in Greece the fact that it is a European contest is regarded as something of high standard.

Why do you think so many people still love it so much even after all this time? I strongly believe that music is an art which brings people together and this is why many people still love it.

What will be the first thing you do if you win?
I think that I ‘ll try to be calm but very very happy in my heart.. I’d rather be spontaneous in my life so I’m trying not to think about this moment but just live it if it comes.

Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it? Is it a bit better than our recent entries or are we going to come last again? Be honest……:)
It is actually a very clever choice of performers with a very good song. I believe that Blue CAN win this year’s competition! 🙂

Did you enjoy your recent trip to London to promote the song? I very much enjoyed my trip to London . People seemed to like our song. We have good memories of this trip.

It’s become a bit of a standing joke in Eurovision circles that Greece and Cyprus always give each other 12 points. If you both make it to the final do you think Greece will keep up the tradition? What do you think of the Cypriot entry this year?
Greece and Cyprus are essentially the same nation and pretty much have the same culture. I think that the tradition will probably continue this year as well! 🙂 The Cypriot entry is also an interesting song as it combines Greek and Oriental elements.

And finally, tell me why Greece should have the chance to host Eurovision in 2012 and which city would you choose to host it?
Our song is a music proposition which is a novelty for the Greek and European music. In my opinion, the fusion and perfect marriage of the various music genres is how music advances.
There are many beautiful places in Greece which could host the ESC. It would be a tough choice.

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News, Greece, Interviews | Leave a Comment »

And your second semi-final finalists are….

Posted by DINRIL on May 12, 2011

……actually we probably don’t need to tell you since we got ten out of ten on that front. That’s TEN OUT OF TEN. We rule. Etc. But we’ll tall you anyway…..

ESTONIA

ROMANIA

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

MOLDOVA

IRELAND

DENMARK

AUSTRIA

SLOVENIA

UKRAINE

SWEDEN

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News | 5 Comments »

And so to round two….

Posted by DINRIL on May 11, 2011

…..OK, so all things considered we didn’t do that badly on the first round of semi-final predictions, actually getting seven correct out of ten. Granted, we were off the mark on Albania, Norway and Turkey – but really, who wasn’t? Is there really anybody out there who seriously thought Turkey wouldn’t make the final? (if you are there, show yourselves!). Or who actually thought Lithuania would nab themselves a place in the top ten? Exactly. So while we didn’t get a full house, we didn’t exactly disgrace ourselves either.

And on that note, it’s time to offer up our predictions for who’ll make it out of Thursday’s semi-final….

DENMARK

Why? As dependable as a brace of bargain kitchen equipment from Tiger, this is one that the casual viewers will lap up. Unfortunately we can’t think of anything else to say about it. But barring a shock of Turkey-esque proportions, we’ll be seeing this one in the final.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Why? B&H have never lucked out in a semi-final yet, and with the venerable Dino Merlin on board they’re not going to start now. But then given that this is one of our favourite songs this year we’d frankly be horrified if it didn’t make it.

UKRAINE

Why? OK, so the failure of Turkey and Armenia means it’s no longer a given that certain countries always make the cut. But since this is actually a fairly decent, well-performed ballad and has the added novelty of renowned Ukrainian sand artist Kseniya Simonova performing alongside Mika Newton, we don’t somehow think they’re going to suffer the same fate. (Meanwhile rumours that Blue are employing the services of that bloke on Britain’s Got Talent who made pictures out of toast and Marmite have been entirely unfounded….)

SWEDEN

Why? Well basically one of two things will happen here. Either Eric Saade’s performance will go off without a hitch and everybody will remember why it is that they loved this song in the first place (even though it is little more than a nursery rhyme with a slightly catchy beat) and will vote it through to the final. Or the glass on the box will fail to break, incarcerating Eric to the extent that he will have to stand in the box looking a bit lost and puzzled for the remainder of the song, upon which time everybody will be so amused/feel so sorry for him that they’ll vote to keep him in anyway. Either way he is in a win-win situation. Next!

IRELAND

Why? Well according to the latest word from the bookies Jedward are now in fact second favourites to win the entire contest (only France stand in their way, and frankly if they end up beating Amaury then we will probably finish laughing some time around next year’s first semi-final). The fact it’s a VERY CATCHY song and this may well be THE PERFORMANCE OF THE NIGHT will help of course, but we can’t help thinking it would be a major shocker if the boys didn’t make it through. And frankly Saturday’s final would be a boring place without them.

ESTONIA

Why? We find ourselves in a similar situation to Hungary’s entry here, in that the song is very well liked but apparently doesn’t look quite so good when put on a stage. Nevertheless the Hungarians have made it to the final and in spite of all reservations we expect Getter will probably do the same. But whether that weird dream we had last week in which Estonia and the UK were battling it out on the scoreboard for first place actually transpires is another matter entirely.

ROMANIA

Why? We’ve had our eye on this song for a while, ever since it was chosen in that five-hour epic on New Year’s Eve (you remember, the one we stayed in and watched while everybody else was out having lives). Mark our words, the viewing public will be charmed by its inherent jauntiness. And of course since Dave is indeed British we wouldn’t dream of leaving him out of the line-up.

AUSTRIA

Why? Because they’ll sulk and flounce again if they don’t go through? Possibly, but the fact this is one of the strongest ballads in the contest and Nadine has a sensational voice will probably help also. And we reckon jury love will see it comfortably through.

SLOVENIA

Why? Speaking of ballads, this is another tremendously powerful effort which has reportedly been note perfect in rehearsals. There is of course the possibility that Maja and Nadine may cancel each other out – but to be honest we’re so utterly thrilled at the prospect of the Slovenes actually doing well for a change (given that they’re one of the few countries who have proven even more hopeless than the UK in recent years) that we’re putting them in the qualification zone regardless.

AND FINALLY….MOLDOVA

Why? Well we thought long and hard about this one but then decided that if there is one thing this year’s contest needs, it is unicyling fairies surrounded by men wearing giant pointy hats.  And bearing in mind this will take to the stage after a string of nonsense (Slovakia, Belgium et al), it can’t possibly fail to stand out from the crowd.

OR IT COULD BE…

Israel – we so very very nearly put Israel into the top ten and we still think they could easily make it but very negative word of mouth on Dana International’s performance – plus the failure rate of previous champions returning to the fray in recent years – leaves us thinking that this one could just miss out. Or possibly Dana’s reputation as Eurovision royalty could win her a place in the final anyway. It’s all too confusing.

Latvia – could be one of the surprise packages of the night a la Switzerland on Tuesday. Or could flop hopelessly. We just can’t tell…

Cyprus – a lot of people seem to fancy this one’s chances but there may well be too many dramatic ballads in the mix for it to get a look in. And where are Greece with the douze points when you need them?

Belarus – not really, this is just wishful thinking on our part –  but who wouldn’t want to see this in the final…..?

And that, as they say, is that. Tune in again on Friday when we shall be predicting that the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy will all win places in the final (er, hang on a minute…..)

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News | 1 Comment »

Who Saw That One Coming?

Posted by DINRIL on May 10, 2011

OK so it appears that Turkey can’t just qualify for the final at the drop of a hat. Because following Tuesday’s semi-final your first ten final qualifiers are:

SERBIA

LITHUANIA

GREECE

AZERBAIJAN

SWITZERLAND

GEORGIA

HUNGARY

FINLAND

RUSSIA

ICELAND

Which means we wave goodbye to: Poland, Norway, Albania, Armenia, Malta, San Marino, Croatia, Portugal and, amazingly, Turkey…….

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News | 1 Comment »

We’ve deliberated, cogitated and – oh well. You get the drift

Posted by DINRIL on May 9, 2011

….and here, after much thought, debate, fighting, weeping, tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth, are our predictions for which ten countries will qualify from the semi-final on Tuesday night:

TURKEY

Why? Because they’re Turkey, do we need to say more than that? Now we have the blindingly obvious one out of the way first, let’s continue….

AZERBAIJAN

Why? Well our main complaint about this song is that ‘it doesn’t sound very Azerbaijani, does it?’ Still, the fact it could have been recorded in an Asda car park in Basingstoke is really the only thing we have against it, and we’re guessing that it’ll make the final with ease. Possibly even win the first semi. All right, let’s not go nuts.

RUSSIA

Why? Because since FYR Macedonia aren’t going anywhere we need something nice to look at in the final on Saturday don’t we? But all things considered it’s not a bad song really. Certainly an improvement on last year’s. We’re still having therapy to get over that one.

GREECE

Why? Normally we would say Greece were a shoo-in but we had to think long and hard about including them this year. In the end we did because word of mouth from Dusseldorf on the performance is strong even if the song is a bit disappointing and well – ’cause it’s the Greeks, innit?

FINLAND

Why? Because it’s this year’s Me and My Guitar, that’s why. Need we say more?

HUNGARY

Why? We love this song. A lot of people love this song. And in spite of hearing some very negative word of mouth from the Dusseldorf rehearsals we still think scary Kati will make the final simply because so many fans love the track. And besides, those same people who are predicting this will fail also told us last year that Denmark was a mess and wouldn’t qualify either. And look what happened there….

SERBIA

Why? Of all the songs that could potentially make the final, this is probably the one we most want to see in there, simply because it’s so sweet and adorable and colourful and fun, damn it. In a crowded first half full of potential qualifiers something has to fall by the wayside.  But we don’t think it’ll be this one.

NORWAY

Why? Well again we were on the fence about this for a while but finally decided that yes, Stella probably will make the final – but not quite as easily as we might have predicted a few months back. If one of the favourites is doomed to failure then we still think this one could have the potential to ‘do an Anna Bergendahl’ – but for now we’re saying she’s in.

ALBANIA

Why? Because she’s barking mad, that’s why. And goodness knows barking mad people always make an impact on the Eurovision stage. We’re expecting a strong performance from Aurela and if she lives up to expectations she’ll be sailing through to Saturday night.

AND FINALLY…..ICELAND

Why? It was a very close run thing between Iceland and Poland for that final spot, and we still think the Poles might clinch it. But Iceland has the sentimental factor and that is going to count in their favour, so we think that last spot could well be theirs.

OR IT COULD BE…

Poland – kicking off the contest won’t work in Magdalena’s favour but this is still a good song and if one of the others doesn’t come up to scratch she will be in with a fighting chance. Do not rule this one out, and frankly we’d be delighted to see it in the final.

Switzerland – it’s a cute song but might be a bit too forgettable – if not it could easily sneak in.

Armenia – we almost almost put this in the top ten but then realised we were only doing so because Armenia is one of those countries who always qualifies. Honestly folks? It is a weak song and there is a first time for everything. And Sweden’s failure to make the final last year made us realise that nobody is safe. Except possibly for Turkey….:)

Malta – as one of our favourite countries in the Eurovision family we always love it when Malta does well. This song is a bit meh for our liking if we’re being honest, but Glen’s charm could nonetheless win over the voters.

And that, as they say, is that. See you back here afterwards so you can all point and laugh at our woeful inaccuracies….

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He will be Popular. Or possibly not.

Posted by DINRIL on May 4, 2011

OK, so we’re not in Dusseldorf. Obviously we wish we were, but obviously since the UK is clearly going to win this year we’re just saving up for next year’s little Eurovision jaunt (and you’ll be eating those carefully chosen words when the Estonians win – Ed) However this doesn’t mean we haven’t had a lot of dispatches from the frontline of rehearsals there – and while word of mouth is strong on a lot of countries, particularly the likes of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Russia and Moldova (who this year have apparently gone for nice understated performance featuring, er, a lady riding a unicycle and the entire band in giant pointy hats), things don’t seem to have gone quite so well for Sweden.

According to a write up from the very fine Eurovisionary website Eric Saade’s first rehearsal was beset by technical difficulties after a glass box he is meant to break his way out of in time to the music (the same stunt that featured in the performance at Melodifestivalen) failed to smash on cue, resulting in sore shoulders all round for the poor lad. And just to add to his woes, the run-through fizzled out in fine style when a pyrotechnic effect that was supposed to take place on stage failed to go off and just emitted a bit of smoke – leaving everybody looking a bit lost and puzzled.

Now of course we know it’ll be all right on the night, and we’re the first to admit that this song is a bit of a guilty pleasure for us, but let’s be honest – just how memorable a moment would it be if that actually happened on the night? Frankly we’d vote for him to win if it did, purely out of sympathy. Still, we should concur that this is possibly just one side of the story, as later on we received a press release from the Swedish delegation which said the following:

‘At a later part of the song, Eric is surrounded by a glass cage which is said to explode at the climax of the song. It wasn’t tried out today, but people have been rumouring about it.’

Uh-huh. Yup, that’s what we heard had happened also. (and with this remark we can see our chances of ever interviewing another Swedish entrant vanishing over some distant horizon, never to be seen again.)  Fingers crossed they can sort it all out before the big night because otherwise the live performance might just look a little bit like this. And we wouldn’t want that now would we…..?


At a later part of the song, Eric is surrounded by a glass cage which is said to explode at the climax of the song. It wasn’t tried out today, but people have been rumouring about it.

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Sweden | 1 Comment »