Saturday, May 13, 2017

Kyiv 2017 - final!!

IT'S ON ... !!!

Fantastic intro, I love it! :-D

We're watching at KAS and trilltrall's house, they've set up the projector and the big screen and we've eaten a Ukrainian dinner. SO ready for the show now ... !

Presenting all the artists on stage now, I LOVE it when they do that. But they're not carrying their flags, they're walking against a background of their flags on the screen instead. Very cool. Ukraine has done such a great job with the show this year. They've had a lot of help, I know, but still. Three great shows. :-)

I still can't pronounce the hosts' last names ... o_O

A hearty welcome and jokes that aren't super embarrassing. The contest has begun ... !

Israel - I Feel Alive. A pretty cool but slightly seizure-inducing presentation. A relatively catchy song, while you're listening. But not super catchy. Ooh, fireworks! And here's the Israeli tweak. An excellent opening to the show, but also pretty boring, in hindsight.

Poland - Flashlight. A beautiful young woman performing, that's never wrong ... and I can put up with the white dress since most of the others have been weeded out by now. >:-) A good voice but a boring song. KAS is ecstatic after glimpsing a dolphin in the background ... ever since Iceland in Moscow she's been obsessed with dolphins in ESC and now she has to vote for Poland even though she thinks the song is crazy boring. But wait!! It's not a dolphin, it's an orca. Whew, now she can vote for Portugal with a clear conscience. :-D Kasia really put her heart into the performance but I still can't see this going anywhere.

Belarus - Story of My Life. Kudos for singing in Belarusian for once. And this is a fun entry, at least while you're listening. Visually a little overwhelming. The performers are charming. But I think this is a little too ... offbeat, let's say, to go very far. But it's pretty sweet and they're very happy with their performance. :-)

Austria - Running On Air. Another pretty but forgettable entry. I like the presentation though. An adorable sparkly moon. :-) And the singer is charming and contagiously happy. The song is also a happy upbeat entry and I understand that people like it. But I don't think it has what it takes to really make its mark.

Armenia - Fly With Me. A beautiful song, well performed, and a striking presentation. Not what you'd call catchy but a striking entry. I have no idea how this will do but I'm thinking pretty well ... ? :-)

The Netherlands - Lights and Shadows. Sparkly ... !! The sparkly outfits may be the most memorable think about this entry. It's lovely to listen to and they're pretty good singers, but ... how are we supposed to remember this? I can't see this going very far. One of a great many pretty but forgettable entries this year. I feel like I'm going to do almost nothing but repeat myself tonight ... o_O

Chatting to the fans. :-)

Moldova - Hey Mamma. Probably my least favorite entry this year. No, wait, that's Spain. Second least favorite though. I could hardly believe it when this went through from the semi. trilltrall and Calyx are dancing though. :-D We have a multicolored disco lamp ... :-D Argh, this is actually kind of growing on me. They're loving it in the arena. OMG.

Hungary - Origo. I actually really like this. May be too unusual to go very far but I really applaud Hungary for sending this. And I would love to see them win one day, but not this year. They can win in Rome next year. ;-) But this is soo good though. I love the performance and the presentation and everything. This is actually one of my favorites this year. Beautiful. I hope they do really well.

And now - Italy!!! Occidentali's Karma!! I LOVE IT!!! :-D trilltrall loves it too, he's bought a fake moustache to wear in honor of Francesco. OMG I LOVE that suit. And here's the gorilla! In a bow tie! :-D trilltrall is making KAS dance to express his joy at the brilliance of this entry. OMG it's so good. Everything is fantastic. Performance, presentation, singer, backing singers, outfits, gorilla, everything. LOVE IT. They're loving it in the arena too. Rome 2018!!!

Denmark - Where I Am. Sheesh, going on stage after Francesco has to be a downer. Anything is going to be a disappointment now. And this is another pretty but forgettable song. At least she's not wearing white. Ooh, fireworks. There are soo many bland entries this year that I have no idea what order they'll end up in, but I can't imagine this going very far. Then again, some of them have to ...

Portugal - Amar pelos dois. Yay!! This is so sweet and beautiful. I really wish Italy had had a much worse entry because if Portugal should ever win they so deserve to this year. It's so cool of them to send a song like this and now that they have it's just perfect ... the right melody played on the right instruments, the exactly right singer, the performance is just right ... it's so good. I love it. But I love Italy more. :-(

Chitchat from the hosts, sharing a tweet.

Azerbaijan - Skeletons. This is a weird entry. The song is pretty, if you don't listen to the lyrics too much, but the presentation is really weird. It's a striking entry though. But I think quite a lot of potential voters may find it too weird. It's also not really what you'd call catchy. Definitely not another potential victory for Azerbaijan.

Croatia - My Friend. I hate that intro ... !! I just want to punch him in the face whenever I hear it. KAS just said spontaneously that she hates the intro and she wants to beat him up. So it's not just me. I really like the presentation, but the "two voices" thing is just an annoying gimmick. It would have been much much better as a duet. This is is just too much. I hope they bomb. Not an unrealistic hope.

Australia - Don't Come Easy. Boo!! Haha, Quiltoholic just announced that this is her scheduled toilet break. :-D I'm really disappointed in Australia this year. The least convincing entry since Sweden claimed that It Hurts. And the presentation is beyond douchy. If I could send a minus vote, it would definitely go to Australia this year. BOO!! We all hate it. >:-(

Timur in the green room. Haha, not at a hot tub party in the future. :-D

Chitchat with Alex and Volo.

Greece - This Is Love. Another pretty but forgettable song. The singer has excellent strage presence though. That's probably the most memorable thing about this entry. Ooh, and the rain of gold ... and the half-naked men splashing around, sure. :-D Not a contender though.

Spain - Do It For Your Lover. TRASH. The worst entry this year, hands down. Embarrassing. I would be ashamed to be Spanish tonight. I hope they don't get a single point. If they weren't one of the Big Five there's NO WAY they would be on stage tonight. Barf. The chorus has a beat that is just wildly annoying. Three minutes is too long ... !!

Norway - Grab the Moment. This is actually pretty brilliant, because our entry isn't all that, but compared to Spain it's going to look like a masterpiece. :-D OK, so the disturbance in the image is actually intentional. I didn't know that on Thursday. Weird. Hm. Well, this isn't half bad. It looks really cool and the chorus is pretty catchy. This could have been SO much worse. I'm not ashamed of this. The performance is good too. Clearly nowhere near the winner, but not an embarrassment either. And that's all I ask of our entry. :-)

A little entertainment now that we're over halfway ... and hahahaha, they've got training sessions with Måns Zelmerlöw! This is hilarious ... and there's Måns in the Swedish commentators' booth. :-D

United Kingdom - Never Give Up On You. Yawn. Another pretty entry that's so totally forgettable. There are so many samey songs this year and this is one of them. A kind of striking presentation, a lot of gold ... it's well performed, but it's just so forgettable. I don't see this breaking the British curse ...

Cyprus - Gravity. This is actually not half bad. A really good beat and a striking presentation ... although slightly seizure-inducing. But the song itself is head and shoulders above most of the rest tonight. trilltrall is loving it, he's dancing around. :-)

Romania - Yodel It!. Yes! I dig this. :-D This song is so much fun and they perform it so well. They're adorable. I love it. I may have to vote for them again. :-D This is SO MUCH FUN. And the sparkly cannon ... !! :-D Go Romania!! It would be beyond hilarious if they actually won with this. They won't, but still. This is so cool :-D

Germany - Perfect Life. Another pretty and boring song. Weird presentation. They may not come last again, but that'll probably be because Spain beats them to it. >:-) There is a good thumping background beat to this, it's actually kind of growing on me ... but I don't know, it's one in the crowd.

Timur in the green room again. Hm, a few glimpses from Eurovision Choir of the Year. Which might be fun, depending on the setup.

Ukraine - Time. Well, say what you want about this entry, it stands out from the rest of the lineup this year by virtue of genre and I really appreciate that. So many samey songs this year but this isn't one of them. This looked cooler in their national final though. Much better actually. Oh well. I'm sure they don't want to win again either anyway. ;-D

Belgium - City Lights. I like this ... !! Her voice is amazing and the song is ... not catchy, but fascinating. Hypnotizing. :-) The video was weird and boring but this presentation is really interesting. The lyrics are kind of depressing but the melody is really good.

Alex and Volo are making jokes to introduce Sweden. Blech.

Sweden - I Can't Go On. But they do go on, and on and on ... ! >:-( KAS is shouting abuse at the screen. :-D He's such a douche ... the whole entry is totally douchey. Blech. I dislike this song more and more every time I hear it. But it's so catchy ... !! In terms of craftsmanship it's a quality entry, absolutely. But it just has zero personality. It has no soul. I hate it. If this beats Italy and Portugal, that will be the incontrovertibl proof that there is no god. Barf.

Bulgaria - Beautiful Mess. Another small child ... but unlike the Australian child, this one is at least singing about something that someone his age can make convincing. So I approve. I also applaud his confidence ... all alone on stage without the comfort of giant portraits of himself in the background. It's a good performance, and a pretty good song ... dramatic. I know some countries where this will go down very well. ;-) But I can't really see this as a winner, despite what the rumors are saying. But good, definitely.

France - Requiem. Wow, that's some dress. I like this song actually. It's not depressing, despite the title ... it's actually pretty catchy, it has a really good beat. The presentation is a little strange ... KAS says she liked the video a lot better, I think I agree. This is weird. But I really like the song. trilltrall is dancing around with his champagne glass. :-)

An explanation of the voting and ... Verka opens the voting! Ahahaha, excellent.

First runthrough.

Now for the voting. I've sent 10 votes for Italy, 5 for Portugal, 4 for Romania and accidentally 1 for Hungary. I was going to type in 9 but my finger slipped and I hit 8 instead. No problem, I like them. :-)

Some interval entertainment. I already know what this is, it's Ruslana. She'll put on a show. Yep. In a chainmail minidress. :-D

Volo in the green room.

Second runthrough.

Some local color ... super modern with traditional instruments. Interesting. Weird, but cool. I like it. Yay for Ukraine. :-)

Timur meeting a fan from Australia ... who thinks the UK is going to win. Haha, he must have brain freeze ... he definitely looked like he did. :-)

Now introducing the Junior ESC winner. Aw, she's so cute.

Third runthrough.

And now another performance ... from Jamala this time. Interesting. Not brilliant

An Australian "fan" mooned the audience right next to Jamala ... ! Seriously ... !! I hope that guy gets banned from the ESC for life. And I hope the security guys beat the shit out of him. Fucker. >:-(

More explanation of voting. But we already did! Countdown to the end of voting ... which is now.

OK, Sand confirms that the jury votes from Friday are in and everything is in order. The special journey is ready to begin ... !!

Of course we got nothing from Sweden. Boo. But 12 to Portugal. I have a really good feeling about Portugal now. And maybe not such a good feeling about Italy? But Portugal ... ! This may be their first victory, it really may. So exciting ... !

OK, I can't keep up with all of these. o_O We're getting points both here and there actually. And Sweden just got their first point. Imagine if we actually beat Sweden ... ! :-D

Bulgaria's doing really well. But Portugal ... ! <3 p="">
Best joke of the night from the Danish presenter. Greetings from Denmark, where I am ... ! :-D And they gave Sweden their 12, what a shock. Dumbasses.

0 points to Spain so far. Ahahaha.
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Marcus and Martinus presenting Norway's votes. They're so tiny ... ! trilltrall likes their suits. But they're too big for them. :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">12 points to Sweden from Finland. OMG, seriously ...
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Portugal is doing SO WELL ... ! Wow. But this can totally change when the popular vote comes in. These votes we're getting now are the votes from the professional music industry types who are looking for craftsmanship, and who recognize craftsmanship. But afterwards, we'll be getting the popular vote, from people like my friends and me, who are lolling half drunk on their sofas at home making fun of people's clothes. So that can and probably will change things around a lot. It's so exciting, I can hardly stand it ... ! :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">A Verka-out to diffuse the tension ... ! :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Back to the vote count.
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Iceland gave Portugal their 12 and Salvador is looking like a deer caught in headlights. :-)
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Portugal is pounding Italy's ass ... ! :-o
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Australia gave the UK their 12 ... !! That got the biggest laugh of the night here. :-D When will they free themselves from their colonial master ... ? :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Germany gave us their 12 ... !! Well, the Germans like us a lot. We've had very tangible evidence of that over the years. :-o
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Wild cheers here for every 12 Portugal gets. But Salvador seems overwhelmed. I don't blame him ... !
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Sweden is ahead of Italy ... !! WTF. What is the world coming to. But the popular vote can overturn everything. And give Sweden the victory! Nooo ... !! Portugal must win!!
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Spain still has 0 points. YES!! :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">OK, Portugal way ahead. But it's almost time for the popular vote. What will happen?? Metaphorically biting my fingernails ... !
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Timur is in the box with Mr Sand :-D getting confirmation that the popular vote is in and correct. OMG my nerves ... Sand already knows the winner, I know it. OMG ... ! My nerves!
<3 p="">
<3 p="">We are ahead of Italy ... !! WTF??
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Spain got points! Oh noes!! But they'll still be last. That's something at least. >:-)
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Australia got pretty much nothing from the popular vote. :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">I'm really starting to believe in Romania now. And Sweden got BURNED!!! Ahahaha!!!
<3 p="">
<3 p="">Italy won't win!! OMG Portugal! Go Portugal! OMG my nerves ... !
<3 p="">
<3 p="">IT'S PORTUGAL ... !!! :-D
<3 p="">
<3 p="">OMG. My computer actually crashed with literally 3 countries left to get their points. But Portugal won. SO HAPPY ... !! Salvador's thank you speech is so profound, he's adorable. And now he has to sing again. Portugal ... !! 49 attempts and they finally made it. Such a fantastically worthy winner. Kudos and congratulations. :-) <3 3="">
<3 p="">
<3 p="">A duet with Luisa ... !! OMG they are so adorable. They look so much like each other. A wonderful team. And an extremely well-deserved victory. Hearteyes!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Kyiv 2017 - second semi-final

Wheee ... !! :-D

Live from Kyiv ... ! :-D

This is the semi where Norway is competing so I will be able to vote tonight. Sorry that I missed the chance to vote for Portugal on Tuesday, but luckily I will have the chance to do that on Saturday. ;-) Tonight I really don't know who to vote for ... there isn't really one single song that I really like tonight. But I have to send off a few votes ... a token effort. Maybe Estonia ... ?

Nice suits on the guys tonight. And now they're playing us some Eurovision classics, Ukrainian folk music style. Awesome.

I really like the show so far, they've done a great job. Of course they've had an awful lot of help, but still. :-)

Ahahaha this is soo cool ... !! :-D

Info on how to vote. I think I probably have that figured out.

The show is on ... !!!

Serbia - In Too Deep. Another pretty young woman in a white dress. And singing a song that is pretty to listen to but not at all memorable. Like the three from Tuesday night, in other words. It's impossible for me to guess who will get through tonight because literally nothing stands out ... but this is not an impressive effort from the Serbians. Alas. Her voice isn't sounding very good tonight either.

Austria - Running on Air. Ooh ... he has his own sparkly crescent moon. The night's best prop. :-) But like Tijana, not a very good singer. A good presentation though. But a boring song that there's no reason to remember.

Macedonia - Dance Alone. Now this is a catchier entry than the other two. And Jana certainly isn't wearing a long white dress. ;-) The presentation is ... kind of cool, but a little seizure-inducing. I don't know. It's catchy, but a bit repetitive. Still the best so far.

Malta - Breathlessly. Another Faniello sibling! Oh look, she's wearing a long white dress. Is no one watching the other countries rehearse?? This song is quite pretty really, but it takes such a long time to get started ... and when it does it doesn't really go anywhere. Too bland. But pretty.

But now, Romania! Who will Yodel It! :-D Say what you want, but this is a really original entry in this lineup. I take back what I said earlier, there is one song that does actually stand out. :-D I've read some really negative reviews of this entry but I think it's very cool that the Romanians are trying something new like this. Far too few contestants are doing that this year. Way to go, Romania!! Not sure how it will be received but I think people will like it. It's fun ... ! and there's far too little of that this year, in the lineup at least. They've really got the arena going, and that tends to "come through the screen". Go Romania!! :-D

The Netherlands - Lights and Shadows. Ooh, sparkly ... !! Fortunately not three white dresses. ;-) I quite like this song, although I couldn't hum it if my life depended on it ... its back story is quite touching and I think they perform it well. It's a pretty song. But it's not catchy and it's not memorable. But pretty.

A stopover in the green room.

Hungary - Origo. Some gypsy music, and a fiddle. We'll see. This song has an interesting rhythm, and the singer has a good voice ... better than most of the others so far. And I love that the song has Hungarian lyrics. The melody is kind of flat, a little repetitive, but it's interesting. I like it. We'll see.

Denmark - Where I Am. A red dress!! :-D A red dress on a pretty good singer, with a good stage presence, and a song that yet again is pretty to listen to, has a pretty good beat, but isn't memorable.

Ireland - Dying to Try. Wow. The Irish singer is a boy, but he sounds like a girl. Kind of spooky. And there's the hot air balloon. Color-wise it's pretty cool, with the red and white balloon and the black and white background. It's visually appeaing. And at least there aren't any Celtic knots ... ! :-D A very bland song, IMO.

San Marino - Spirit of the Night. Yay, Valentina ... ! I'm almost starting to feel like it isn't really Eurovision without her. :-D But she's had better entries in the past ... Crisalide especially, I love that song. This song ... I don't know, it's upbeat and fast and that makes it stand out a little bit from most of the other songs tonight. But it's not very original and it gets a little enervating. Like they're trying too hard. And the presentation feels kind of oldfashioned. But good luck to them.

Croatia - My Friend. I wish they'd skip that quote at the beginning. But I guess not. It's interesting that someone who is supposedly so homophobic comes off as so ... well, gay, for lack of a better word. Not that there's anything wrong with that. This two voices thing is a weird gimmick, I don't know that it will appeal to people. I like the presentation, but the song ... the song I actually like less every time I hear it. Kind of hoping I won't have to watch this again on Saturday.

Norway - Grab the Moment. Don't just seize the moment! Seizing is for wimps! GRAB it! :-D OK, so this is my country. I'm not super proud to be represented by this, but everything else we had to choose from was worse. Quite a lot of it was much worse, actually. We're at least making this look pretty cool, if nothing else. And the mask is working, at least. Or maybe not? No, that was the other guy. Also seems like there are some problems with the picture ... but hopefully that's just on our national broadcaster's part. This song is fine to listen to, but bland and not particularly memorable. But nothing much else is tonight either, so I don't know.

Switzerland - Apollo. A yellow dress! Yay! One point to Switzerland for wearing yellow. :-D I like the song too but it's like soo many other songs tonight, pretty to listen to but nothing to remember. People may remember that dress though. :-)

Another visit to the green room.

Belarus - Story of My Life. Another white dress!! But this time accompanied by ... a lot of other white things that kind of distract from it. They're in a boat! He's got a guitar with lace on it. And they're singing in Belarusian, I like that. This song has a good vibe, it's charming. But may end up being too much of a good thing. But at least they're daring to be a little different. Dancing on the boat ... :-)

Bulgaria - Beautiful Mess. One of this year's favorites. I don't really see that, to be honest. I think it's a relatively interesting entry - the presentation is quite striking - but I don't think the song in itself is memorable at all. I'll be extremely confused if this ends up winning ... ! :-D But not at all bad, just not particularly good either, IMO.

Lithuania - Rain of Revolution. Not sure what to say about this. I think they're thinking that it's quite different and out there, but it isn't really. It's a little bit catchy in certain sections, and the presentation's flashy, but IMHO there isn't a lot to it. I'll be surprised if this goes anywhere.

Estonia - Verona. Now here's a song that there is something to. A slow start, but once it gets going ... ! OK, she's wearing a white dress, but I forgive her. This song has a striking melodic line that raises it head and shoulders above the other entries tonight. Estonia gets my vote.

Israel - I Feel Alive. Speaking of a seizure-inducing presentation ... o_O Ouch, his voice does not sound good at all. Worst singer of the night, closing the show? Well, the song has a pretty good beat, but I'll have forgotten it in five minutes from now. A very good looking singer though. ;-)

Now it's time to vote ... ! I am less enthusiastic than I would normally be.

First runthrough ...

I voted five times for Estonia and twice for Romania. I can't in good conscience vote for anything else in this lineup.

Verka is back to entertain us ... !! :-D

Aww, chatting with fans in the arena. :-)

Second runthrough ... but my civic duty is done ...

Voting's almost over ... !

"A brilliant and diverse array of performances" ahahahahaha ... !!!

And the interval entertaintment is ... contemporary dance. OK, absolutely not my thing, but what the hey, I'll watch it. :-) Apache Crew, what a bizarre name for a Ukrainian dance troupe ... !

A last pit stop in the green room ...

OMG Jana's boyfriend is proposing to her ... !!! A Eurovision baby AND a Eurovision wedding!! :-D Now I almost regret not voting for Macedonia ... ! :-D If they got through to the final that would really be the icing on the cake. Wow. :-D

Do I dare any guesses ... ? Hardly. As long as Estonia and Romania get through I honestly don't care about any of this other crap.

Oh, talking to France ... and Germany and Ukraine. No instant classics anywhere there either.

OK, so Estonia will definitely get through.
Romania I'm hopeful for more than optimistic maybe?
Also really hoping for Macedonia now. ;-)
Bulgaria
Hungary
Maybe Norway?

Hell, I don't know, everything except Estonia is no good. I would have a hard time picking ten finalists from this lineup.

The results are in and approved ... !

The last ten finalists are ...

Bulgaria. Yep.
Belarus.
Croatia. Damnit.
Hungary. Yep yep.
Denmark. Huh. Well, why not, they weren't any worse than anyone else.
Israel.
Romania!! YES!! :-D
Norway. OK, not surprising, we definitely weren't any worse than anyone else. ;-)

But come on, Estonia ... !!!

The Netherlands.
Austria! WHAT!

Estonia didn't make it! WTF!! I haz confuse ... !

Crap.

Oh well, at least Romania made it. But I haz disappoint. Boo, Europe!! >:-(

Happy people on stage, but no happy Estonians :-(

Still, all in all a good show. I have high hopes for the show on Saturday. :-)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Kyiv 2017 - first semi-final

EEEEP ... !!! :-D :-D :-D

OMG, it's happening. We've been waiting for a year and now it's happening. YAY!! :-D

I'm really psyched to see what they've put together for us after all the problems they've been having this year. I'm sure it's going to be good. :-)

A few glimpses of Ukrainian traditions and then some very modern music, a good combo.

The hosts, whose names I can't pronounce! At least the last names. That's great, it's a Eurovision tradition. They look like a boy band. Some things are universal. ;-)

Rules and explanations. SO happy that we can't vote during the songs this year. It's the only way to go.

I can't vote tonight as we're not in this semi ... but that doesn't matter, because I only want to vote for Italy. Rome 2018 ... !! But there's a big danger to Francesco and his gorilla friend and it's coming up now ...

Namely Sweden, opening the show with I Can't Go On. It's pretty much the best song this year and I hate it. It's so super slick and overproduced, it has zero personality. The performance is also just ... embarrassing. Fortunately his voice isn't sounding too good tonight. But the song is very catchy, and most of the other entries this year are emphatically not. So I think this is the most serious contender this year. But I hate it and I would give a lot to keep it from winning. Especially since the Swedes will be beyond insufferable if they win again and tie with Ireland for most ever wins ...

I'll have to hope this very early slot will be their downfall, but at the same time they are opening the show, so I don't think it'll have that effect anyway. No way they won't get through.

Georgia - Keep the Faith. Very red! A dramatic and quite beautiful ballad, but like most of the other songs tonight, not very memorable. Although Tamara's performance is excellent and she's really putting her heart into it ... this is actually better than I thought it would be.

Australia - Don't Come Easy. I love having Australia in the contest but I certainly don't love this song. This kid is 17 but looks 13, and is wildly unconvincing performing this song. No matter how many times he tries, he can't outrun his past ... ?? Seriously? He hasn't even finished school! Gah. This is just too dumb. It can still do well since a hell of a lot of the audience can't understand English well enough to follow a 3 minute song. But it's also really boring compared to Australia's previous two entries and it's kind of freaky that most of their presentation consists of giant pictures of Isaiah flashing on the screen behind Isaiah. Here's hoping they'll get metaphorically punched in the nose this year.

Albania - World. Well, my hopes for Albania are rarely high, but at least Lindita can sing. Even though she's dressed kind of like a really tacky bride. o_O This is one of those songs that are really pretty and pleasant to listen to while they're playing, but that you forget as soon as they're over. There are SO MANY of those songs this year. Good luck, they'll need it.

Belgium - City Lights. Ooh, what will this look like ... ! She has such a cool voice. And their presentation looks so cool too. Wow! This sounds even better live than I thought it would. This is one of the few more original entries this year. And Blanche's performance will appeal to quite a lot of the audience, she's putting a lot of emotion into it. Good job, Belgium!!

Montenegro - Space. I've been really looking forward to seeing the presentation for this song. OMG what is he wearing. The audience in the arena love him! :-D Haha, I knew the skirt would come off. Ahahahaha!! This is why I love Eurovision! This is the kind of thing you ONLY see in Eurovision ... !! :-D Hahaha, omg, seriously. This will maybe do super well or it may totally bomb. I don't even dare to guess ... ! :-D

Info about the Eurovision app. I has it.

Backstage with Timur and the performers. Timur is kind of the girl this year. Hmm ... not a lot of cheers in the arena for Sweden ...

Finland - Blackbird. I love Finland, and I quite like their entry this year. It's rather typically Finnish. ;-) Ie slow and rather depressing. :-D But it's beautiful, I like it. And Leena's voice is perfect for this type of song. I'm sure a lot of people are really loving this song right now ... and most of them will forget it as soon as it's over. But there are many songs this year that are even less memorable and not this good, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

Azerbaijan - Skeletons. What a weird presentation! Francesco won't be the only one with a dancer dressed unconvincingly as an animal. The song is pretty and enjoyable to listen to but also rather forgettable. The singer stands out a bit, maybe. But this is just one in the crowd for me.

Portugal - Amar pelos dois. One of my absolute favorites this year. I love that they almost always sing in their own language. With a song like this, an emotional ballad, it's such a huge plus because the singer can completely put his heart into it when it's his own language. He has a charming voice and the song is adorable, and really stands out from the rest of the lineup this year. The arena audience loves it. They have got to get through ... !!

Greece - This Is Love. Another pretty girl with a relatively good voice and a song that's pretty to listen to, but also forgettable. Not sure what more to say about this. Pretty, but forgettable.

Poland - Flashlight. Another pretty girl in white. I don't like her voice that much, for reasons I can't really put my finger on. The song is very dramatic but IMO also rather forgettable. The melody doesn't stick in your mind the way ballads can do sometimes. I have low expectations for Poland this year.

Moldova - Hey Mamma. One of my least favorite songs this year. Pretty much just dumb. And repetitive, which makes it annoying. But they're very happy and smiley and people will like that. Plus they have their saxophone player who is quite popular, but also annoying. Hopefully we won't have to sit through this on Saturday.

Iceland - Paper. What's with all the blonde women in white dresses this year ... ?? Not too smart, no one will remember which is which. The Georgians were smart to go with red. This song is also pretty but forgettable. Almost the entire lineup is like that this year. Makes it hard to guess how the various songs will do. This one can go either way, but it's really bland, it doesn't stand out in any way.

Czech Republic - My Turn. Are the Czechs cursed or can they actually not completely bomb in Eurovision?? Well, they've sent some real clunkers. They've done much better this year. But the song is still not very memorable. And her outfit is hideous. I wouldn't mind hearing the song again on Saturday but I'd rather not see that outfit ...

Cyprus - Gravity. Finally a non-ballad. And a man in black. :-D Slightly weird presentation, but cool effects. It's sounding better live than I expected. Kind of catchy. Not at all bad. This might do pretty well for Cyprus actually.

Armenia - Fly with Me. Another entry that I've been looking forward to seeing presented. Ooh, ethnic. And I like her outfit. I like the beat in this song ... it's a sort of unmelodious melody, if that makes sense. Her voice is pretty good, it's a pretty good performance, but I don't know ... The presentation isn't very creative. I don't know. Impossible to say this year, there's almost nothing that's really good this year.

Slovenia - On My Way. Omar's back in Kyiv! :-D I actually quite like his song from last time. But I like this even more. :-) It's a big dramatic ballad but also rather cheerful somehow. Ooh, I like this ... !! Hope he gets through to the final this time. ;-)

Latvia - Line. OMG, the last song already! Time flies when you're having fun. Agnese is dressed super weird, I honestly don't think that's a good idea. It distracts the audience from the song. A rather overpowering presentation like this does the same. But the song is rather original, for this year's lineup. Original in genre, but also repetitive in melody.

It's done!

Now info about voting which doesn't apply to Norway tonight. Alas. I wish I could vote for Portugal!! But I feel pretty confident I'll be able to do that on Saturday. ;-)

First runthrough.

Interval entertainment will be ... Jamala! Should be interesting. Flashback to Stockholm. Then an excellent performance of 1944, which goes down very well with the audience in the arena. An interview with Jamala.

Another pit stop in the green room.

Second runthrough.

The voting is winding down, 90 seconds left ...

Voting's over! Now for another round of interval entertainment while the votes are being counted. Verka! :-D And another performance from Jamala. Wow, what an outfit.

And now a little bit from half of the big five. Well, ca half. :-) Spain. I won't say anything about Spain. United Kingdom. A pretty song, but not very special. Italy!! YAY Italy!! I love this song. The presentation looks like it'll be fun. They're getting my vote, no question. :-D

The votes are in and have been counted! Jon Ola Sand confirms. Eep! Who will get through??

My guesses:
Sweden, definitely
Portugal
Belgium?
Montenegro?
Slovenia, I hope
Australia?

OMG I don't know ... !!

Now let's find out ... !

Moldova! WTF??
Azerbaijan. Sure, why not.
Greece
Sweden. Yes, of course
Portugal! Yes!! :-D
Poland
Armenia
Australia. Sheesh.
Cyprus
Belgium! Yes!

OK, so sending a blonde girl in a white dress was not a good idea ... ! :-D

Runthrough of the top ten.

I still can't believe I have to watch the Moldovans one more time.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

ESC 2017 - Norway

It's our time ... !!

(I actually like that song quite a bit. The British are actually capable of sending something that isn't utter garbage, if they put in any kind of an effort.)

A Star Wars-style opening. Is it clever? Kind of, I guess ... and it is pretty original in this context ... but overall it's embarrassing that we aren't able to come up with any ideas of our own and just mooch of others instead. And the Americans, to boot.

What is good is that we're playing up the European side, because there are a lot of people outside of Norway who watch our national selection too. So that's nice. But it's not what you'd call classy. I'm starting to dread the interval entertainment ...

All the performers flashing by ... good luck to all of them, but I'm not convinced that this year's international winner is in this lineup. It'll be interesting to see how it works out with the new voting system though. I don't really support it ... we're supposed to select a song to represent Norway, and then it'll just have to do however well it does. I'm not sure it's right to have the song partially selected by a bunch of people that have nothing to do with us. But it's part for the course now, NRK comes up with something new every year to try to make the show more ... I guess popular, it can't be relevant. :-D We'll just have to see. I don't really care how we do internationally, I just want a song we don't have to be ashamed of.

Song #1 - Places by Tony Alexander Skjevik and Ulrikke Brandstorp, performed by Ulrikke Brandstorp. Boring opening, not good. Not a great singer, but that's less important. Not particularly catchy, and that's very important. Repetitive ... basically overall boring. Not a good performance either. Yawn. Just waiting for it to be over mostly.

Song #2 - I Go Where You Go by Jenny Augusta Enge og Inga Þyri Þórðardóttir, performed by Jenny Augusta Enge. Opens with a violin, seems familiar. :-) A much more interesting voice than what we just heard, if nothing else. An eye-catching outfit. This will definitely appeal to a certain segment of the audience. It's a little too ... I don't know, even? There's no real hook to it. But it's very pretty and quite charming and definitely a lot more memorable than the first song. My favorite so far.

Song #3 - Run Run Away by Peter Danielson, Åsa Karlström and Mats Larsson, performed by Rune Rudberg Band. Svenskjävlar ... !! Just because this is written by Swedes I want it to bomb, I didn't even have to hear it first. I wouldn't vote for this even if it was a masterpiece, but luckily there was never a chance of that. >:-) What to say? It's about what you'd expect from a "country pop" song performed by Rune Rudberg. It's nice enough for its type but wouldn't stand a chance in Kyiv. Makes me wonder what they're actually thinking when they pick out the entries to compete in this show. I guess they just have to have some big names in there too.

Song #4 - Grab the Moment by Jonas McDonnell and Joakim With Steen, performed by JOWST. The ambition here seems to have been to make something rather ... modern. There have been some songs like this in the contest recently - internationally, that is - and they have done well, so it's not a bad idea. But this doesn't take it anywhere near far enough. OK to listen to, but pretty boring.

Song #5 - You & I by Kristian Valen, performed by Kristian Valen. The other big name this year. I've never seen anything else Kristian Valen has ever done, I know him exclusively through various media headlines about all the crazy stunts he pulls, which is maybe why I think he looks ridiculous. He seems to be trying to look a lot younger than he is, to the extent that it's embarrassing. But can he sing?? Not that well, it seems. The song is a ballad, which can make an entry stand out, but is also risky. Ballads rarely win ... and this one definitely wouldn't. And he just looks SO ridiculous. This song could maybe have worked with some singer who could actually sing. But as it is ... nope.

Song #6 - Nothing Ever Knocked Us Over by Gustav Eurén, Danne Attlerud, Niklas Arn, Karl Eurén and Cissi Kallin, performed by In Fusion. Flera svenskjävlar ... ! But three pretty girls performing the song, that can only be a plus. And finally, a happy, upbeat song. With a lot of dancers on stage ... too many, and I really resent this, because it's cheating to present a song in a way that can't be used internationally. It gives the audience the wrong idea. But ooh, multicolored smoke ... ! Fun. Not half bad, in terms of this lineup.

Song #7 - Mesterverk by Amina Sewali, performed by Amina Sewali. I like it when the artists perform their own songs ... which I strictly speaking should have given Kristian Valen kudos for too. Oh well. Kudos to Amina, anyway. And it's interesting that it takes an immigrant to sing in Norwegian ... !! A very beautiful girl, with good stage presence and confidence on stage. A theater student, which shows in her performance. An unusual and striking presentation. Her voice isn't the greatest though, and the song isn't an immediate earworm, not by a long shot. I'm not sure what to say about this ... overall a very good entry (in context ;-) but with some weaknesses that unfortunately are rather central ones.

I wonder if Jan Fredrik Karlsen has some kind of diagnosis. And I'm sure I'm far from the first to have wondered about that.

Song #8 - Wrecking Crew by Erik Mårtensson and Åge Sten Nilsen, performed by Ammunition. Now there are Swedes on stage too ... ! Whatever next. This is this year's rock'n'roll alibi. Certainly more memorable than the token ballad. Kind of catchy. Also a pretty good presentation, BUT it can't be performed in Kyiv because there are too many people involved ... ! A fun entry that would stick in people's minds more than most of the other entries we've seen so far tonight. And we could play up the Wig Wam connection in our PR. :-)

Song #9 - First Step In Faith/Oadjebasvuhtii by Elin Kåven and Robin Lynch, performed by Elin & the Woods. My immediate reaction - too weird. The Sami connection is a fun thing that can be made use of, but the antlers are taking it a step too far. The melody isn't particularly catchy and I think that this would just weird people out to the extent that they would completely lose track of it anyway.

Song #10 - Mama's Boy by Ida Maria and PK Ottestad, performed by Ella. The title rubs me the wrong way ... it's not the kind of thing I want us to send to Kyiv. But I don't want us to send any of these songs. :-( The singer's kind of hot I guess. The song is trying to be catchy but doesn't really succeed. A nice showy presentation though.

That's it!! Sheesh. I don't really want to send any of these anywhere. Is it too late to drop out of the contest? :-( The first recap and I have to vote ... double sheesh, what to do?? I'll send one vote each for entry 2 and 8, and two votes for entry 7. I'm embarrassed that it takes a Ugandan for us to get a Norwegian language entry ... !! But overall it was the best entry so I'll be crossing my fingers for it. But we don't stand a snowball's chance in hell no matter what we do.

And now, the results from the international juries! Ireland is the first to name their #1, and it is claimed that they know what they're doing. Not recently, I'll have to say. And not tonight either. o_O But Armenia also have Places as their choice! Sheesh. The Finns are more sensible though, they want a Wrecking Crew. :-) Hm, and a Swede claiming to have watched our show instead of their own final?? They pick Grab the Moment. Nah, let's not. Israel too!! Whut. The German also want Places. Sheesh. But the Austrians go with Ammunition. Eep! Two more votes for Grab the Moment. And the British go for Mama's Boy. I am seriously out of touch with Europe.

Johnny Logan is going to sing to us ... !! Oh, his beautiful song with the super weird lyrics that it's best to just not think too much about. But what?? Is he in Oslo!? Haha, awesome interval entertainment. Johnny Logan's always worth watching when he pops up at these events. He must have a good sense of humor. :-D

The voting seems to be over ... ? Now we're going to see the results of the rest of the European votes and our votes. I'm not even going to try to guess which four songs got through. None of them deserve it, IMO.

The four "golden finalists" are ...

Grab the Moment, unsurprisingly. One of the best of a bad bunch.
We can do something with this in Kyiv, I suppose. Probably the best choice. But who will remember this two minutes after they've heard it?

Places. Sheesh. This will go exactly nowhere if we send this to Kyiv. The singer's friend claims it's super catchy. What has she been smoking? And her other friend says it's new and exciting. lolwut??

The joik! What! Bizarroworld. We're going to have to grab the moment, definitely.

Wrecking Crew. Phew. That one's not totally hopeless. So one of the three I voted for got through. Better than nothing. :-)

So two useless entries in the last round, and two that we won't have to be entirely ashamed of. It's probably smartest to send Grab the Moment. But I couldn't hum it to save my life even though I've listened to it twice in the last two hours.

OK, I've voted once for Ammunition and twice for JOWST. I've done all I in good conscience can do with this crap. I wash my hands of it.

And now the interval entertainment ... Agnete!! Singing Icebreaker as a ballad. LOVE IT. I love that song. Can we send it again this year instead of whatever it is we've picked? Dancers ... and Agnete in her beautiful outfit. Let's send this!!

A look at some of our competition ... which would have to be serious bullcrap for that word to mean anything ...

The voting is over and the results are clear. Third runner up is ... Places! Yes! Whew. Second runner up ... the joik. Whew again! The Norwegian people are not complete idiots! First runner up ... or rather the winner ... and now we can't get a complete and utter piece of shit, so I guess I'm happy. The winner is ... Grab the Moment. OK, the best of a bad lot. The best choice. But still, sheesh.

The hosts are claiming that the contest got more than ONE THOUSAND submissions ... ! And this was the best of the lot? Jebus, what's wrong with the world ...

They're going to make us proud in Kyiv. OK, good luck with that, and good night.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Stockholm 2016 - final!

The biggest night of the year ... !! :-o

A little late starting up as we had some initial problems with the tv set and had to watch the first few minutes on my laptop. Fortunately we figured it out. :-)

OK, so in the opening they are not carrying their flags, but the flag colors spread out behind them instead. I like both, but this is cool. Those random models in geometric outfits are rather distracting though. KAS is not happy. But Calyx thinks that nothing can ever be worse than Düsseldorf, so she think it's fine.

There's Dami! Go Australia!!

Our hosts. Petra with a new dress, but again in a rather similar color scheme. Can no one think outside the box?? Greetings to Europe and the various other countries watching. Thank you to the fans. Describing the new system for listing the votes, but we talked over it. KAS is so negative, she doesn't agree with my assessment of Australia. And she thinks all the other songs suck monkey balls too. Oh well, I know better. >:-)

Belgium - What's the Pressure. Calyx: This looks like it's from the 90s. KAS: The lyrics don't match the melody, I'm confused. But trilltrall is humming along. :-) A colorful and energetic entry to open the show, but not the winner. This is one of the entries that have not been growing on me. Tanumine suggests it as a potential nil-pointer. :-)

Czech Republic - I Stand. Not among my favorites but I'm thrilled for them that they got to the final for the first time. The song is beautiful but forgettable. trilltrall says that it's a mature and sober performance. In other words there is no way he can root for this, he's not middle aged! But he is, actually. :-D A nice presentation, overall nice entry, but forgettable.

The Netherlands - Slow Down. This is among my favorites actually. I love their presentation, and the beat of the song ... it's just so nice to listen to. Calming. And this actually is quite catchy. Easy to sing along to. Calyx says no way will this win, but KAS says that at least it's possible to listen to it without dying. High praise. I like his tattoo. This is quite lovely really. I will be listening to this quite a bit, I think. But yeah, probably a little too slow and quirky to be a winner. :-)

Azerbaijan - Miracle. Now this is a song that has been growing on me. I love the chorus. trilltrall is impressed with all the gold everything. And did you notice than when she sang the word fire, holographic fires burst out behind her. Subtle! :-D Oh, here come the dancers. Tanumine can't stop laughing. Pyrotechnics! A fiery stage from the land of fire.

Hungary - Pioneer. Not among my favorites. Tuck in your shirt, you slob!! KAS says that it's supposed to be cool, I just don't understand it because I'm too old. She's only two months younger! And I may be old-fashioned, but that sloppiness is why young people can't get hired. Growl. Nobody understands about the drum, or the backing singers' outfits. KAS thinks Freddie's hair looks like her hamster's fur. I say this is the lowest point so far. Everyone agrees. Very disappointing, I usually really like Hungary.

Italy - No Degree of Separation. One of the big five - I'm the only one who's heard this entry before. But I haven't seen the presentation. Ooh, colorful. Calyx thinks that this looks like something from the 90s too. Her vocals sound low, is that just me? No, the others agree. This is a beautiful song, but rather forgettable once it's over. The presentation is absolutely stunning. Looks like barne-tv, says trilltrall. :-) But everybody would have liked to hear the lyrics ...

Israel - Made of Stars. N's reaction to the postcard: Boy George did it better. :-) I quite like this entry. Both the song and the presentation. N wants to do the spinning in a giant hula hoop thing with trilltrall. But they don't have the hula hoop. Maybe next year. Aw, this is so pretty. Loveliness!

Bulgaria - If Love Was A Crime. Ooh, I voted for this! trilltrall thinks Poli's outfit looks like she's a visitor from the future. A rather epilepsy-inducing entry, but the song has a very catchy beat. This may be getting some votes from Nannestad tonight.

Sweden - If I Were Sorry. Yawn! This entry is so dull ... ! The others haven't heard it before. N claims that it's like death metal, it's building up to something ... but no, it's not. It's just this for three minutes. KAS wants to know if the song has started yet. trilltrall thinks he must have had too much to drink already, he doesn't understand anything whatsoever. Tanumine is busy eating chips so can't comment, but is shaking her head. OK, that's the whole thing. I have to quite trilltrall's closing comment in Norwegian: Fy faen, det var ræva!! Ahahaha. The arena is going nuts. Must be full of Swedes. At least they don't have to worry about winning again. Hope they get 0 points tonight.

Some chitchat from the hosts. Bite me, stupid Swedes!

Germany - Ghost. trilltrall already doesn't like this, he doesn't like the German songs. KAS disagrees, her two all-time favorite entries are German. No, he won't be persuaded. The song is pretty good, and the presentation too, but her outfit just messes the whole thing up. Several of us have already forgotten what country this is because of her distracting outfit. "You're hurting my eyes" apparently. Oh well. Exactly what I said. I like this song a little less this time around.

France - J'ai cherché. Pretty catchy, but it reminds me of some other song that I can't remember. N thinks that he would perceive this totally differently if he was a woman. Possibly. I'm not really feeling it. This is kind of fun to listen to, but it's not, as KAS says, "hummable". I agree. Ooh, he landed on the moon.

Poland - Color of Your Life. trilltrall is a little upset that Michal isn't wearing socks, but KAS says that he's wrong, it's cool, all the kids are doing that now. She's read it in the paper. I think I would like the entry a little better if it was on the radio. The melody is very beautiful. The extremely dramatic performance is a little distracting. But overall we like it. I respect Michal, he goes all out. We like this. trilltrall will be voting for this. He is now convinced that socks are out. He will immediately stop wearing socks.

KAS and trilltrall are married, FYI. :-)

Chitchat with Petra now! What! No, it's time for Australia!! And now she's transferring us to the party arena next door to hear from Måns! No! Ooh, Carola and Loreen. And what are their all-time favorite songs? Duh, of course Carola would say Hallelujah, that fundamentalist bitch.

Australia - Sound of Silence. Oooh!! And everybody likes it! But of course. No, KAS doesn't like it. But of course. Oh, Dami can really sing. The presentation is a little weird, but who cares. If there is any justice in the world then this is the winner. Her glove jewelery thing! Her sparkly dress! The choreography!! My heart awakes! N says that this is truly Eurovision. The Australians are teaching us what the contest is all about. Yes! They have been watching the contest for 30 years and learning, learning ... Now it's their time to sweep us all off our feet and win!!

Cyprus - Alter Ego. Meh. N says he's ready for rock'n'roll. Well, I guess this is the ESC version. Rock'n'disco? KAS doesn't hate it. A tremendous compliment! I am indifferent. It's fine when I'm listening to it, but I also forget it quite quickly. But I'm glad I didn't get epilepsy.

Serbia - Goodbye (Shelter). N is annoyed that NRK's commentator is mispronouncing Sanja's name. He is Serbian so I think he's on to something. Apparently it's difficult to get it wrong. I quite like this, anyway. She's a good singer. I think they really don't need those backing dancers though. They're not necessary, the entry is strong enough on its own. Whoops! N tried to do some complicated dance move and totally failed. But now Calyx is helping out, in her way. LOL!

N and Calyx are married too. :-)

Lithuania - I've Been Waiting For This Night. N is dancing to this too. Hah. I don't really know what to say about this. It's just annoying. I actually listen to Love Is Blind quite a lot, but I will not be listening to this. Boring and repetitive. What were they thinking.

Croatia - Lighthouse. Haha, excellent joke from our commentator. Everybody's fired up about her dress. But obviously it will be torn away at a strategic point! Hah! N is shouting Cranberries, Cranberries ... This is another very pretty song that is very quickly forgotten once I'm done listening. But a good performance.

Russia - You Are the Only One. A visually stunning entry. Of course nobody is catching anything of the song, we're all enthralled by the presentation. The song is pretty good too. trilltrall demands an explanation! N says that this will definitely win, because now everyone wants to see this again. He's on to something ... !!

Spain - Say Yay!. Not happy that they aren't singing in Spanish. Hideous outfit! Oh, this is so much worse than I thought it would be. trilltrall wants them to leave the stage immediately. And here comes their special dance. We're shouting No, no ... but N wants to dance the dance with trilltrall. But omg, she fell! :-o That can't have been part of it, the screen went black. Now I feel sorry for her. But she's back on her feet! But the entry sucks anyway!!

Chitchat with Petra about souvenirs.

Latvia - Heartbeat. If anyone wants to take a nap, this might be the time. I don't understand the presentation ... and I don't like his performance. I've forgotten the song already. Bah.

Ukraine - 1944. An extremely dramatic performance but a song that I just can't get a handle on. The presentation is quite striking but the song just ... I can't get grip on it. Incomprehensible to me that this is one of the favorites. Must be because everybody hates Russia.

Malta - Walk on Water. Also not among my favorites. The guys are impressed with the opening of the presentation. trilltrall is impressed that Malta has sent Mariah Carey. I don't get this entry either ... why did we not get through, while this did?? Mysterious.

Georgia - Midnight Gold. And this bullcrap??! Haha, N liked it for three seconds, and then when they started with the split screen thing he started shouting No no no ... :-D I guess I'm happy with a different genre in the contest, but I just am so annoyed with this. Also I don't want epilepsy. Seriously, what is this?? The longest three minutes in Eurovision history.

There is something messed up with the production though. Not just on Italy. It's hard to hear the vocals.

Finally it's over ... !!

Austria - Loin d'ici. The sweetest entry tonight. As sweet as sugar! N thinks she must be a devil worshipper, no one can be this adorable for real. She probably drinks goat's blood. I love this! Obviously not more than Australia. But I totally love it. French is the perfect language to sing this in. The presentation is wonderful. I love it! And everyone agrees that it's super cute. We all agree! Wonders never cease.

United Kingdom - You're Not Alone. This is actually not complete garbage. So kudos to the British for that. But it sounded better in the video. This is actually nowhere near as good as I remembered it. And I don't think they will do anywhere near as well as I originally thought.

Armenia - LoveWave. KAS claims that Iveta is wearing a bathing suit. N says it sounds like Sonic Youth. But that was when the song had just barely begun. Now they are all weirded out like I told them they would be. trilltrall is whispering in his corner of the couch, Oh my god, this is so bad. This is so weird. Calyx is cracking up.

That's it! Ending on a bizarre note. Måns and Petra are back - Petra in green. So there are other colors available! Haha, a Vicious comment! :-D Now explaining about the voting. And the lines are open ... now!

Calyx and Tanumine are going to vote for Australia. It's their only option, they say. N wants to vote for Armenia. :-D No, now he wants to vote for Boy George.

First runthrough.

OK, two votes for Austria, and around ten for Australia. Calyx was talking to  me, I lost count. :-) KAS voted for Austria and trilltrall for Australia and Poland.

Måns in the green room, with all the performers and Justin Timberlake for some reason. WTF is he doing here. Yankee go home!! Seriously, I don't get it. Also am not a fan. But whoever it had been I wouldn't have wanted to see an American on stage tonight. >:-(

An homage to Swedish pop music through the years. Yes, their entry tonight is sleep-inducingly boring, but no one can deny that they are a powerhouse in northern Europe when it comes to pop music. This was fun. :-)

And now Justin Timberlake. Disney's biggest star through the ages. I hope this isn't the entire interval entertainment, but I'm afraid it will be. Oh well, still better than the tribute to their hopelessly dysfunctional multiculturalism that I was afraid SVT was going to be forcefeeding us. But Jebus this is boring. Now he's going to perform a brand new song - the perfect time for a toilet break, in other words. I need to get rid of that pink champagne.

Whew, glad that's over. A big hand for all the performers. The second runthrough.

Måns on stage with the junior winner. Will she sing?? No, just wave. Huh.

Petra in a new dress - black this time. Now to teach us how to win the ESC. Hah, this should be good. Haha, yes it's hilarious. Ooh, Alexander Rybak! Ahahahaha, this is brilliant!! Who needs Justin Timberlake! trilltrall wants to vote for this. :-D

Lynda Woodruff live. Hopefully not for very long. No, just long enough for Måns and Petra to catch their breaths and change their clothes.

More of that revisionist documentary. But this part is actually pretty funny. Although that bit about the violent youth gangs in Stockholm would have been funnier if there hadn't been actual violent youth gangs in Stockholm. But of course since they are immigrants we can't mention them. Oh well.

The voting is over ... ! Well, I've done my duty. Fingers crossed for Australia!! But first, Måns gets to sing. Not Heroes, fortunately.

No, dammit, there's Heroes anyway. Sheesh.

Petra in pink, explaining how the votes will be presented this year. Should be interesting.

And we're on ... !! Austria gives Sweden a lot of points. But the 12 goes to Australia! Yes! OK, I can't list all of the points. I have to pay attention. :-)

When so many of the points are just added automatically, it's a little tricky to keep up. But I don't care because Australia is crushing the competition!! Yes!! Of course this is only the jury votes. Maybe the popular vote will be totally different. Fingers crossed ... ! Incomprehensible that Ukraine is doing so well. But haha, look at Germany. trilltrall is sad that Poland is doing so badly.

Måns in the green room. Talking to the Australian contingent. Dami is so excited that she doesn't even remember what her country is called. :-)

EBU is right, this is definitely more exciting. It looks like we can tell what's going on, but actually we have no clue yet. Australia is crushing everyone. But that can totally change. Eep! trilltrall says that he think they will win anyway - half the audience has voted for them because they like the song, and the other half has voted for them because they want to see what will happen if they win. :-)

OK, Australia has won the juries over, very conclusively. This is so exciting!! What have the European audiences voted?? I am atremble ... !!

Jon Ola Sand is also excited. Super excited! :-D The popular vote is confirmed as correct. Eep!! I can hardly wait!

Come on, Australia!!!!

OMG Australia got the 4th highest score! Will it be Ukraine?? OMG! Panic!

It's not Australia!! OMFG come on Russia!!!!

Noooo!!! It's Ukraine!! FUCK!! That song ... !?

I am proud to say I did not vote for this year's winner.

N says that he can actually understand it - as an eastern European he feels that there is a sensibility to the song that resonates with him. Calyx says that singing about death and massacres is a surefire way to success in eastern Europe.

OK, I now conclude two things from this result.

1: This new way of announcing the votes makes it super exciting and should be kept as standard.
2: Everyone hates Russia.

Sob!!! :-(

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stockholm 2016 - second semi-final

Our turn ... !! :-) And Australia's ... ! :-D

Nice intro, glimpses of different countries and flags.

Måns welcomes us, while Petra wears a dress that looks an awful lot like Tuesday's. Which I don't recall her changing. Sheesh! I will expect much better on Saturday.

Now addressing new viewers - the Americans and Chinese. How to describe the ESC? THE BIGGEST SHOW ON EARTH!! :-D

This musical history of the show is cute though. Ahaha, they're even trying self-irony. Remember in 2010 when they were so super offended we only gave them our 10. :-D This is actually pretty excellent. Although I'm not sure it's making things clearer for the non-Europeans ... :-)

But just keep watching, foreign friends! It will all make sense in just a few decades.

Info on the voting, which tonight is relevant to my interests, because tonight we can vote ... !! :-D Australia here I come, metaphorically speaking.

The first song ... ! Latvia opens the show with Heartbeat. Except that now Petra and Måns have kind of spoiled us all a bit with their performance. Oh well. This entry ... it's OK, far from the worst Latvia's sent. But it's nothing very special. The singer is extremely committed to his performance. :-) The presentation is interesting, rather eye-catching, but not garish. I would almost call it stylish. But it doesn't really have much of a catch to it. Forgettable.

Poland - Color of Your Life. Ooh, nice coat. And a very dramatic performance. Scenery-chewing, if that's the word I want. But at least he can sing. And the melody is quite beautiful. I'm not sure how long people will remember it though. They have a really bad slot. This is an extremely sincere effort though, good luck to them.

Switzerland - The Last of Our Kind. Another Canadian from Switzerland. A literally smoking one. Also quite pretty, but with unbecoming hair, and a rather peculiar dress. And very peculiar choreography. What is that?? Ooh, swirly blue stage ... pretty. The song is quite sweet, a pretty melody, but again, forgettable, and somewhat repetitive.  I don't think the Swiss will have much luck with this ...

Israel - Made of Stars. Ooh, this is one of my favorites. A beautiful song. And a good singer, with a voice that really suits the song. Oh, he's all sparkly tonight. And the stage is sparkling too. And the acrobats spinning around behind him are also sparkling. Everything's sparkling!! This is really all very very pretty and I will be shocked!! and appalled!! if they don't make it to the final tonight.

Belarus - Help You Fly. One of my fellow podcast panelists will be watching tonight to see if there are any naked men or wolves. I told her there wouldn't be, but she said she had to see for herself. :-) Hologram wolves, and also hologram naked Ivan. He's actually wearing quite a lot of clothes. And face paint. Would you look at that. But what about the song? Well, it's OK to listen to, but it's rather repetitive. I am underwhelmed.

Chitchat with Petra, and a ride in the Eurovision taxi. This is really sweet actually. Mr Lordi, is it really you?? :-o Hard to tell, obviously ...

Serbia - Goodbye (Shelter). Please don't overdo it with the face and the grimaces ... ! This song is actually pretty good. But in their national final she just really overdid it. Fingers crossed. No, this is much better. A striking presentation too. A quite dramatic melody, I can think of a number of countries where this will go down well. Hope to see this on Saturday.

Ireland - Sunlight. I am apparently supposed to know who Nicky Byrne is. I have never been a fan of any boy band so I honestly did not recognize him when I first heard this. Oh well. This may have a chance, not only because it's him, but also because we can't tell from listening to it that it's Ireland. I am SO SICK of them banging us over the head with their Irishness, no matter how irrelevant to the song. Must ... have ... Irish ... dancers ... !!1! This time they have come to their senses. And the lyrics are not projected in giant letters all over the arena. Yay. This is actually pretty catchy too. Ireland, you aren't totally useless after all, who knew.

Macedonia - Dona. Their singer this year got them to the final in 2012, with a fantastic song, I love that song. IMO this year's entry isn't quite as good. But ooh, gorgeous presentation. And the song is quite beautiful too. Rather dramatic, some people will like that. :-) I like her voice, it really has character ... it's not for everyone, but I like it. And kudos for lyrics in Macedonian. One of their best.

Lithuania - I've Been Waiting For This Night. Another familiar face. There's a lot of them this year. Lithuania's hopeful tries for the second time with another song about how he screwed it all up and please give him another chance. How about learning from your mistakes? This entry is a bit more memorable than many others in the lineup this year, but it's not as catchy as his 2012 entry. I don't know. The presentation's very showy. I don't know what to think about this. really.

Australia - Sound of Silence. My favorite this year, hands down. I love the intro. Love the chorus. Love the whole thing!! :-) A beautiful melody, a wonderful singer ... a peculiar outfit, but you can't win 'em all. A striking presentation too. That chorus ... !! Australia FTW!! This is so good ... !! And imagine how deliriously happy they would be if they won ... !! :-D

Slovenia - Blue and Red. Another striking presentation. Also another pretty girl ... and a very happy and smiley one. -) A good stage presence. And the song is catchier than most of the other entries so far. Not at all bad. I quite like this tonight. Ooh, an acrobat. And pyrotechnics. Worth remembering.

Bulgaria - If Love Was A Crime. One more returning hero. I really like their entry from 2011, that this same singer performed. She has a pretty good voice and she's very confident on stage ... but her dress sense is perhaps a bit more suspicious. But the song is pretty catchy and she definitely has the arena going. I definitely hope to see this again on Saturday, they deserve it.

Denmark - Soldiers of Love. Speaking of boy bands ... o_O Are these guys not a bit too old to get away with this convincingly though? The song is pretty catchy though ... at least while you're listening, but I think it's also rather forgettable. The chorus is catchy but it doesn't really have that kind of hook that a song needs to really be an earworm.

Chitchat with Måns, and a show of support to the LGBT community. Our broadcaster managed to translate "Bulgaria" to "Ungarn", that's pretty impressive. Petra in the green room, and she has changed her outfit! Maybe she did that on Tuesday too and I just didn't notice?? :-o Everything's such similar colors, I can't tell ...

Ukraine - 1944. History or politics? Certainly very serious, whatever it is. Strangers are coming to your house to kill everybody ... !! But I shouldn't joke about it, it really happened ... and it can happen again, not least. But what about the song?? Well, it has quite a lovely melody, the singer pours her soul into the performance, she has a great outfit and the presentation is striking. Ooh, I love that tree ... !!

Norway - Icebreaker. Ooh, a northern postcard. A little overdone but with some beautiful views of our wild northern nature. I'm really happy with our song this year, even though it is so weird ... it's like two songs in one. She just switches back and forth between two different songs. :-) But the two melodies are very striking and memorable. She's a very good singer, very beautiful, wears a beautiful outfit ... and the presentation is lovely too, and quite a propos. It's not good for us that she hasn't been doing any press. But her performance is great! We can definitely hold our heads high this year.

Georgia - Midnight Gold. Sheesh. Not only is the song no good, they want to give us all epilepsy too with their presentation. The more I hear this song, the less I like it. I do like that there is a variety of genres in the contest, so I do appreciate it in that sense, but this has got to be pretty much the most forgettable song this year. I forgot it before it was even over.

Albania - Fairytale. A pretty good singer this year, and a dramatic performance ... and lots of gold. Lots. A pretty melody, but forgettable, like so many other entries this year. I enjoy listening to it, but I forget it as soon as it's over.

Belgium - What's the Pressure. From a golden dress to silver shorts. An upbeat dance tune to end the show, that's not too bad. But this entry just seems very old-fashioned to me. Like this could have been sent in the 90s. Maybe that's the point. But it's a bit strange. A rather strange melody too. Catchy, I guess, but ... strange, somehow. I can't put my finger on it. An enthusiastic performance though. But I still can't really see this going very far.

That's the last song! :-( The voting is open! Eep!!

The first runthrough.

OK, five votes to Australia, and one each to Israel, Macedonia and Bulgaria. My civic duty is done.

Chitchat from our hosts, and more historical revisionism from SVT.

Second runthrough.

Petra and Måns exhort us to vote while we still can ... ! But now the lines will close ... now! Well, I've done my bit.

And now for the interval entertainment - people dancing with robots. OMG, what a metaphor for Sweden. Unintentional, I'm sure. In other news, during Oslo's culture night last year I saw a man dancing ballet with an excavator. It was actually really beautiful. Much better than this. And what's with the music they're dancing to ... ??!

Back to Petra and Måns in the green room, now introducing the rest of the Big Five. Haha, our broadcaster added more info on Rybak's record victory in the subtitles than what Petra actually said. Let's brag about ourselves to ourselves! :-D Some numbers from ESC history. Now the German, Italian and British entries.

Over to Jon Ola Sand who's got the confirmed results. But wtf? Måns says that he's our biggest export since salmon, and the subtitles say he's our biggest export since salmon and A-ha. WTF?? Translate what they're saying!

OMG, I forgot to guess! But all I care about is Australia!!

Latvia.
Georgia. WTF??
Bulgaria! Yes!
Australiaaaa!!! YES!!
Ukraine.
Serbia! Yes!
Poland.
Israel! Yes!
Lithuania.
Belgium.

Wow, I'm glad I didn't guess, I would have totally messed up. :-D

Runthrough of the finalists. Go Australia!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Stockholm 2016 - first semi-final

OMG IT IS HAPPENING ... !! My hands are trembling ... ! :-D

I am crazy excited as usual but not quite as psyched as I was last year ... SVT is so overwhelmingly politically correct that I fear all three shows will be a giant three-part homage to the wonders of multiculturalism. Which is like literally the opposite of what the ESC is about. But I'm trying to keep an open mind.

Opening with last year's winner, not surprisingly ... not a highlight for me since I'm not a big fan of this song. I like Måns but I really believe they should have been disqualified with this entry. We should have been tuning in to St Petersburg tonight. :-) Maybe next year?? ;-)

Anyway, my #1 gripe with Heroes is the dumbass lyrics. Hummingbirds don't sing, dingbats!!

And now, our hosts! Petra and Måns. The stage looks pretty fantastic. And Petra's dress is very pretty. Presumably the first of many. :-)

Some chitchat, welcoming all of us to the show ... and a Europe joke. How cool would it be if they turned up! :-D Instructions on how to vote ... not so useful to me as we can't vote tonight, we're in the next semi. Too bad, I want to vote for Russia!! But I have no doubt I will get the chance to do that on Saturday. :-)

Finland opening the show with Sing It Away. Something totally different from last year, which can hardly do worse. I actually kind of like this song ... it has a pretty good beat and the singer is enthusiastic. But not actually that good at singing, unfortunately. And this outfit is also quite unfortunate. It's a good way to start the show, but I am underwhelmed.

Greece - Utopian Land. A pretty weak effort from Greece, IMO. Using "typically Greek" elements as usual, but I'm not impressed with this. They have done it so much better in previous years. The chorus is pretty catchy but the performance tonight seems ... I don't know, kind of stilted. The Greeks can a lot better than this. But it looks pretty with the yellow sun symbols. :-)

Moldova - Falling Stars. I really like this song. The chorus is so cool, I love the way the melody flows there. Her voice isn't the greatest but good enough for this. :-) But what is she wearing? And what's with the astronaut in the aluminum foil space suit? That's a little bit distracting. But the chorus ... !! Not at all shabby from Moldova.

Hungary - Pioneer. OMG TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT!! I do see that the floor is lava but you can still try to not look like a bum. This song is ... meh. Just really intensely meh. I think the lineup is so weak this year. Lots of mediocre songs, some pretty good ones, but no real standouts. This is one of the mediocre ones. I'm not sure what I have to say about this. It's just totally meh. Nothing memorable about this entry at all. Except that the singer looks like a bum.

Croatia - Lighthouse. Wow, her dress is the size of a lighthouse! :-D Possibly the most striking thing about this entry as it isn't very memorable otherwise ... but it is very pretty to listen to, and I really like her voice. Oops, there goes the dress. :-) She's so pretty though! This song is relatively unremarkable but so far it's actually almost the best song. o_O

A break for some chitchat and jokes. Actually quite charming with the fans in the back seat and Petra and Måns driving. :-)

The Netherlands - Slow Down. Oh, I like this entry! It's so charming. I'm not sure this oldfashioned thing will be a hit with the general audience though, but it's adorable. The song itself, the singer, the band ... and oh, the guitar solo! I love how you can sing along with the chorus before you've even heard the song through once. :-) I am charmed. Wish I could vote for them too. :-)

Armenia - LoveWave. I'm always intrigued to see what the Armenians send, they usually send something good. This year I'm a little stumped. The song has a good melody and the ethnic elements will probably go down well ... but it's not what you'd call catchy. It grows on you, but that's problematic in the format of this contest. Still one of the stronger entries tonight, and an interesting presentation, but not what you'd call an earworm.

San Marino - I Didn't Know. I wish I didn't! The first time I heard this I couldn't for the life of me figure out who on earth they're figuring this will appeal to. No one has been able to explain it to me either. It's a mystery. I think that even after tonight, we will not know. I'll be shocked if this gets anywhere.

Russia - You Are the Only One. Ooh, Russia! I really want them to do well this year, I feel that they were cheated out of their rightful victory last year. Fortunately their song is good enough that I can justify rooting for them. :-) What a presentation though! Wings! Shattering mosaics! And now, whoah! Optical illusions! :-o Very cool. Only problem is that it may distract people from the actual song. Oh well. No way will we not be seeing this again on Saturday. :-)

The Czech Republic - I Stand. A beautiful blonde is very rarely wrong ... and she's an OK singer too. The song is ... pretty to listen to, but forgettable. Nothing wrong with it though, but nothing really to remember it by either.

Cyprus - Alter Ego. This is actually not half bad. Unlike most of the rest of the songs tonight it's actually really catchy. And it's a rarity in the lineup this year ... an actual rock band. Hopefully they will stand out enough to get through. A good melody and a good beat. Good luck, Cyprus!

Austria - Loin d'ici. Finally a song that isn't in English ... ! And this song is so pretty. It could have been in a Disney movie about princesses and elves and shit. And her voice is so right for the song. I've heard people badmouthing this song, I don't see why. I think it's sweet. And actually really catchy. I realize it's hardly art, but this is about music! Let's just enjoy the pretty music. :-)

Estonia - Play. Oh, I really like this song too. I love this guy's style. He really takes it all the way. And the song is good too. It's not the type of song that's ever really catchy, but it has a really good tune. I love the presentation. Estonia really deserve a spot in the final!!

Chitchat from the green room and environs. Petra Mede is praising the Sammarinese entry. Spare me! Kissing the Russian ... :-)

Azerbaijan - Miracle. They ave a very beautiful singer if nothing else. And what an outfit ... ! :-D She's a pretty good singer and the song is pretty good ... not very memorable but still among the better ones tonight. She's very confident on stage, but maybe a little too smiley for this rather serious song. And those dancers ... ! o_O The song is very pretty to listen to. We'll probably be listening to it again. :-)

Montenegro - The Real Thing. Another weird entry from Montenegro. But that's good, they keep us guessing! :-) This entry is ... maybe not good, but it is good that it's so unusal. They'll be remembered that way ... and it's good for the contest to have this kind of diversity. This is probably too weird to make it very far, but kudos to them for sending it.

Iceland - Hear Them Calling. They definitely have a good singer this year. And such a unique presentation! I see they're going with the same thing they did in Reykjavik. It's v. cool. But the song is still pretty upbeat and doesn't really match the very grim and gloomy presentation. Still good though. Creative. Good luck to Iceland, I'd love to watch this again in Saturday.

Bosnia & Herzegovina - Ljubav je. FINALLY someone with confidence enough to sing in their own language! And this had such a ... striking video. What will they do on stage?? Ooh, barbed wire. And what a dress! Great melody, great beat, bizarre-looking instruments, a rap in Bosnian - what's not to like?? Go Bosnia!! :-D

Malta - Walk on Water. The last song already! :-( A striking presentation, but I'm not sure what to say about the song. It's pretty to listen to, but forgotten as soon as it's over. Like so many other songs this year. I really wish Malta would win one year, because they would be SO HAPPY and the show in Valletta would be fantastic. But they have to send a better song than this.

The first runthrough. I wish I could vote!! :-(

Second runthrough.

Chitchat from the green room again. They're all winners! Yes, they are in a way - they have all won their national contests. But we haven't heard their competition ... >:-)

Some entertainment. Oh yeah, here we go, badmouthing themselves like nobody's business. I've never known a nation to be so collectively down on itself. And the results are plain to see, tragically. This also appears to be a complete fabrication of history - when ABBA won in 1974, the Swedish establishment completely despised the contest and practically fell over themselves to denounce it as bourgeois garbage. ABBA won entirely on their own merit. it's ridiculous to suggest that they were backed up by the movers and shakers. Yes, I do understand that this is meant to be funny, but historical revisionism isn't that amusing to me coming from an institution that has done so much for so long to pull the wool over the collective eyes of the nation it's supposed to serve.

Third runthrough.

OK, some guesses. Who will get through?? Let me think ...

Russia, definitely.
Bosnia.
Azerbaijan.
Iceland?
The Netherlands.
Estonia, hopefully.

I'm really hoping for Austria, and also for Moldova, but I don't know if that's realistic.

Some who won't get through;
San Marino.
Malta?
Hungary?

The voting's closed! Eep!

The interval entertainment - depressing, apparently, to honor the depressing world situation. Trying not to get political here ... but I am not interested in hearing anything about that situation at all from Swedish mainstream media. Beware. You cannot trust a single word they say, or print.

More chitchat from the green room ... going over who we will be seeing on Saturday, and introducing the French and Spanish singers. And the Swedish kid. That song is soo boring ... ! I don't understand how it can be a favorite. But sure, good luck.

The votes are in! Jon Ola Sand confirms the results. The Dumbledore of Eurovision. :-) Eep! The list!!

Azerbaijan. Yep.
Russia, of course.
The Netherlands! Yes!
Hungary. Huh.
Croatia.
Austria! Yes!
Armenia.
The Czech Republic! Wow! :-)
Cyprus.
Malta! OMG!

OK, my guesses tonight were way off base. :-D Better luck on Thursday! :-D

One last runthrough, of course with just the finalists this time. Yay for Austria!!

But my real favorite won't be taking the stage for a couple more days ... ;-)