Saturday, March 14, 2015

Melodi Grand Prix 2015

Whee ... !! Our time has come .. ! We will be selecting our entry for Vienna tonight and of course I am live blogging it. Oh, the excitement ... !! :-)

First of all I have to say that it's SO annoying that they're calling it the "MGP final". There hasn't been any quarter or semi finals so how is there any final?? Try to think a little, NRK.

But that's just my little pet peeve. I'm hoping for a good show tonight as it's a big anniversary - the ESC is 60 years old this year, although of course we haven't been participating that long. But it's also the 30th anniversary of our first victory, and the 20th of the second. So apparently they're going to really celebrate. We'll see.

Ooh, and our official broadcasting orchestra is playing the music for each song, they're wonderful, so that's a very good thing. :-)

Opening with a short WWII-themed skit, how can that go wrong. Well, it's a nod to the biggest hit on Norwegian TV this year, which was a mini series set during the war. A few more little fun skits ... intended to be fun, at least .. and then, wahey, all the performers of the night in a rousing rendition of
Dschinghis Khan. Costumes and all. That really is a cool song. And it's a first - no song in German has ever been performed in our national selections before. Hope you're catching this, Austria ... ! ;-)

A few comments on this year's lineup here in Norway: it's not very good. We will definitely not be bringing the contest back to Oslo again this time around. :-) There are no really abysmal clunkers, though ... just a whole lot of songs that are completely meh. I do really hope that we won't pick the pizza song.

Entry #1: Thunderstruck by Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Erlend Bratland, performed by Erlend Bratland. My favorite this year. That doesn't mean it's all that good, but it's the best of the bunch, anyway, IMO. In this context. Good lyrics, a good melody that really packs a punch ... and, not least, a singer who can actually sing. I'm hoping getting to open the show will work in his favor. It may not though. His performance is ... OK, pretty good. A hell of a lot of pyrotechnics.

Entry #2: Louder by Andreas Stone Johansson and Ricky Hanley, performed by Raylee. She's going to "inflict" her energy on the audience. OK. She looks really different off stage and on. Not that that's relevant. Her voice is pretty good and the song is sort of ... semi-catchy. Gets a little repetitive, maybe. Energetic stage show ... but now they're doing that thing that just pisses me off where they send lots and lots more people on stage than what we'll be allowed to use internationally. That's tricking the voters, NRK! You're asking us to vote for something that we won't be able to use in Vienna. Not that this is what we'll be sending, probably, but still. It's the principle of the thing. Sheesh.

Entry #3: All Over the World by Tor Endresen and Are Selheim, performed by Tor Endresen and Elisabeth Andreassen. This is supposed to be some fantastic thingummy because these two are such Eurovision greats and it just has to be great because it's them. But it's SO not great. Ridiculously oldfashioned and just too much of everything that no longer works in this contest. And now they have NRK's children's choir on stage! All of it!! Seriously. They're trying to sell us a nonexistent product. Don't vote for this, people, it's a scam!

Entry #4: Next to You by Jenny Langlo, Robin Mortensen Lynch and Niklas Olovson, performed by Jenny Langlo. Ooh, they've stuck her mike on a lightsaber. And then there's lots and lots of spotlights sort of echoing that. This is obviously something we're supposed to remember the song by. It might work. She also has a very unusual voice which make this entry stand out a bit. The song itself, I don't know ... The chorus reminds me of the Swedish song in Malmö. But only the chorus. The rest is ... rather unmelodious, so of course not very catchy. Kind of good, but also the sort of song that needs to be heard more than once for people to really get their heads around it, I think. Definitely not a plus, I'm afraid. I'm watching with Quiltoholic and she is very underwhelmed by this. :-)

A little interval entertainment there - the top 3 craziest costumes from the past 60 years of the international finals. Ukraine wins. No prizes for guessing which year ... ;-)

Entry #5: We Don't Worry by Øyvind Blikstad, Bjarte Giske, Ali Pirzad and Julie Bergan, performed by Ira Konstantinidis. The youngest performer of the night, only 17. Not a very good singer, IMO. She sounds constantly out of breath, They're playing up the high school aspect ... something awful, really. This isn't doing anything for me whatsoever. My least favorite so far.

Chitchat between entries ... showing people in various countries who are watching the show. Yay for the internet!!

Entry #6: Heaven by Jan Lysdahl and Jacob Collin Launbjerg, performed by Contrazt. Contrazt are what in Norway and Sweden is called a "dance band". Think Vikingarna, if that means anything to you. This entry is very typical of the genre. Easy listening, literally. The singer has a good voice, a very comfortable voice to listen to. Again, typical of this kind of band. They mentioned that their concerts normally last for four hours ... and this is definitely voice you could listen to for four hours. The song is easy to listen to, and catchy - as these things usually are - but also quite forgettable. So definitely not the winner. However, there's nothing on this stage tonight that can possibly win. So IMO we should actually just as well send this, try to spread the genre and at least know that nobody will be clawing their ears bloody listening to this.

Entry #7: Ta meg tilbake by Marie Klåpbakken, Linn Hege Sagen and Olav Tronsmoen, performed by Marie Klåpbakken. One of the only two Norwegian entries this year that is actually in Norwegian. So for my part I was inclined to like it before I ever heard it. And she's all alone on stage, that's very good too. I'm not thrilled with the presentation though - very modern, and the song seems a little oldfashioned. Oh, a couple more people on stage now. Violinists. And the singer is playing the violin too ... while being blasted with a wind machine. Oh, Eurovision ... !! This is a pretty good entry, but like all the other songs, too forgettable. Too bland.

Another top 3 - this time crazy choreographies. OMG how to choose ... ! Montenegro wins, with Euro Neuro.

Entry #8: En godt stekt pizza by Stian Thorbjørnsen, Petter Kristiansen, Lars-Erik Blokkhus, Jesper Borgen and Magnus Clausen, performed by Staysman & Lazz. The night's big favorite, because Norwegians are idiots. Also with Norwegian lyrics. Which is a very good thing if we should choose to send this, because no one will understand what they're saying. A "party song". I suppose it's catchy ... but it's mostly just annoying. And the presentation shouldn't be allowed, they have like 25 people on stage! I hope anyone who's considering voting for this realizes that in Vienna, it would look NOTHING like this. They probably aren't though. Sad. We might actually end up sending this.

Entry #9: A Monster Like Me by Kjetil Mørland, performed by Mørland and Debrah Scarlett. Now this is actally a good entry. Has some, whatchacallit, depth. The problem with it is that it may be ... too good, or whatever. It may need more than one listen to really get to the audience. Which is exactly what it doesn't get ... that's the format of the contest. That's a shame sometimes. His voice is pretty good, hers is wonderful. This is probably the best entry this year, but it may be a little too ... profound, or whatever, for its own good.

Yet another top 3 - this time the "most la la la" songs. WTF? The UK wins, with Boom Bang-A-Bang - Spain comes third ... ! Seriously??

Entry #10: Cinderella by Erik Smaaland, Kristoffer Tømmerbakke and Thea Oskarsen, performed by Alexandra Joner. A pink-haired Cinderella ... in fact, pink everything! Wow. This is tacky even for Eurovision. But it has potential. It could be made classy. I think. The song is a little unusual in its theme, which is good ... and Joner is a good singer. The catchiest song of the evening. This is the only song tonight that people will remember the tune of for longer than ten minutes. Maybe we should actually send this. o_O

Entry #11: Human Beings by Karin Park and Guy Chambers, performed by Karin Park. Her pre-song interview sent shivers down our spines. Karin, please: just speak Swedish!!! This song ... this is one of those entries that are pretty while you listen to it, but that you immediately forget once it's over. Her outfit is ridiculous, who picked that?? This won't get anywhere. Too bland, although her voice has character.

That's all! Now a quick runthrough of all the entries. While we all get the chance to vote ... although the voting has been open since the start of the show. I'm voting, let's see ... twice for Thunderstruck and once each for Cinderella and A Monster Like Me. Although I'm afraid it's pointless ... I can't tell you how I know this, but I have connections. :-) We're going to send the pizza song. It's almost completely certain. Damn you, stupid Norwegians ... !!

Alas.

More chit-chat, and a look back at our Eurovision history ... and then our winner from last year. Now that was a good song! I love that song, I really do. Ooh, the songwriter's singing too! They've made it a duet! AWESOMESAUCE. A last glimpse of happiness before the pizza song takes over ...

The first round of voting is over and now the eleven finalists will be reduced to four. Dare I make a guess? One of them will most definitely be the pizza song ...

Tor & Bettan. Sheesh, people! This is my parents' generation who have done this. I hardly know which would be worse between this and the pizza song.

They're performing their song again and it's still IMPOSSIBLE TO PERFORM internationally. So wtf, NRK??

Top 3 something or other - crazy falsetto singing?? I didn't catch it, I was in the kitchen getting some pineapple soda. Albania wins.

Next through is ... the pizza song! Boo-hoo. They think that their song will appeal to lots and lots of people all over Europe. They think they can win the whole thing. Are they mentally ill?? Or can they really be that dumb?

The sad thing is that on stage right now it's looking really good, lots of energy, happy people, a real party. But it won't look ANYTHING like this in Vienna. Sheesh, humans.

Top 3 creative performances ... Azerbaijan 2013, Russia 2008 and Ukraine 2014, in that order. That hamster wheel actually kind of grew on me.

Third "gold finalist" - A Monster Like Me. Well deserved.

Top 3 "weird". Bosnia wins with Pokusaj.

Fourth and last ... Thunderstruck. Some small amount of faith in my countrymen restored.

All four have performed for a second time. It all went well and now we have five minutes to vote. I'll vote twice each for Thunderstruck and twice for A Monster Like Me. Let no one accuse me of failing in my civic duty.

BREAKING NEWS ... !! Like I said, I have connections. And now I can report that we most likely will NOT be sending the pizza song! OMG!! A Monster Like Me is pulling ahead! Be still my heart ... !! Can it be true?? I have to send a couple more votes their way ... !!

Meanwhile, the interval entertainment! And it is ... Bobbysocks! First the hosts with a ballad version of the first verse of La det swinge, and then actually Bobbysocks with the rest of the song. And what a song it is. This is fantastic. And the actual best song will probably win. FANTASTIC. Fingers crossed that it will actually pan out ... !!

And now - the results ... ! The country has been divided into five parts and they're calling the votes from each part. Starting with the north. Gasp! The pizza song came second! In the north! Now I believe ... ahem, my source. That's where I thought that kind of thing would really be a hit..

Middle Norway, or whatever I should translate it with ... and they've got the pizza song last! I believe! A Monster Like Me came second both here and in the north. And Thunderstruck first. Well, I'll be thrilled with either! Wahey!! :-D

The south country next ... and they have A Monster Like Me first!! YES!

The west country ... Pizza last and Tor & Bettan second. A Monster Like Me second and Thunderstruck first. By a lot! Wow! Maybe my actual favorite will actually win?? Coolness!!

The east country. Fear! The pizza song will win here! But ... but ... ! OMG! Not by that much. They came third and not last. A Monster Like Me has won!! YAY!!! YAY YAY YAY!!

OK, I apologize. I take it all back. Faith in my countrymen fully restored! YAY!

My conclusions from this are as follows: First, that if it wasn't for the extended voting, the pizza song would never have gotten to the second round. With only a brief window for voting, it wouldn't have stood a chance. Second, that their results in the second round was due primarily to Østfold.

Congratulations to the winner!! The best song won. No idea how this will do in Vienna, but we can hold our heads up high. :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's alive ... !!!

Yes, I'm still alive! Believe it or not. :-) You wouldn't think so with how I've been neglecting this blog recently ... and that's being diplomatic. "Recent" is actually not the right word to use at all. I feel bad. :-(

I really don't have much to say for myself other than that I'm a lazy procrastinator who lets the time get away from me again and again. This will not be the last time. I'm going to try to not be quite so lazy about the blog in the future, but, well, we'll see. I make no promises. But I'll try. :-)

I'm not sure anyone is really reading this anymore, although it looks like I keep getting a few dozen page hits daily, but, well, for what it's worth. :-)

What have I been up to since, basically, the summer of 2013? Sheesh. Apart from watching last year's ESC, of course. Well, I've been traveling ... I've been to, let's see ... Visby, Helsinki, Ålesund, various places in the north of India, New York City, York, Kolmården, Gothenburg ... and of course the usual places like Rondane and Värmland and the Nordic Ark. At the Ark we saw Sparta's babies, they were beyond adorable. Had some fun times. My next trip will be to Botswana in Africa for a two week luxury safari in and around the Okavango delta. Two months from now and we'll be there. Yes, I'm really excited about it. :-)

I've become addicted to Pinterest - you can see my various boards here. You can also find me on Youtube where I'm uploading an incredible amount of randomness ... over the past few days I've been starting my annual review of this year's ESC entries. Come check them out if you like, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the songs too. Unless it's to say that your country's song is the best because it's from your country ... that's not how it works.

I've been working - I got a new job in September 2012, and I love it, it's a zillion times better than my old job. This past fall we moved to a new location that makes the trip to work kind of a hassle for me, but what are you gonna do.

I've become a huge Zachary Quinto fan, I've read a shitload of books, I've recently become quite a bit more active again with both BookCrossing and Postcrossing ... I've even attended the first, and AFAIK so far only, Norwegian Postcrossing meetup. I'm still doing the podcast. I still have my three little turtles.

But basically I'm just really lazy and procrastinate ALL. THE. TIME. So. All I can say is I'll try to do better. If you miss seeing me around, you can always find me on Pinterest. :-)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Copenhagen 2014 - final!

IT'S HAPPENING ... !!

Great intro! Simple and fun. DR has really done a fantastic job with this. We're loving it.

Ooh, a new thing ... ! They're introducing all the performers in order with their country's flags in lights. Coolness. This should be a thing every year from now on. :-)

KAS has a good point though: They should have had a little bit of text on the bottom of the screen making sure that everybody catches which country it is ... it's a little bit hard to hear what's being said over all the cheering and maybe not everyone recognizes the flags by sight, I don't know. :-)

The hosts! The guys in suits, the way too skinny female host in an at least acceptable dress. But it's too big though, she's too skinny for that dress. Oh well. She'll probably be changing into something else soon.

It is SO FUNNY to hear Danes speaking English ... ! :-D

OK, there's no reason to wait ... !! It's on! Eeek!!

Ukraine. I'm not a big fan of this song, so I wasn't thrilled to see them get through, but then again I totally dig the giant hamster wheel. I LOVE it. So I've actually been looking forward to seeing this again. Hah. The song kind of packs a punch, so it's actually a good way to open the show. It's growing on me.

Belarus. This was so hideous in their national final and actually looks kind of stylish now, although the lyrics are still so dumb ... but it doesn't totally kill me to see this now. He's not a hit here in Drammen though. KAS wants to give him minus points. trilltrall says we should call it penalty points. :-D Hm. The song gets kind of enervating in the last minute or so. Nope, don't want to hear this again.

Azerbaijan. Beautiful singer, beautiful dress, beautiful voice, beautiful song. The trapeze artist is a little hard to relate to though. I don't quite see how it relates to the lyrics. She's very good though. But it's a beautiful entry. I would have liked to see them win with this - although they're not likely to - rather than Running Scared. They'll probably do quite well this year though.

Iceland. Blech. Maybe my least favorite entry in the final. So annoying. Almost everybody else here likes the song though. What's wrong with people. It's the fricking teletubbies. Sheesh. But as it's being said further along the couch here, there's only 300 000 of them, there's a limit to how much talent there can be on that island. People are dancing in the arena though. But I hope they'll bomb. >:-)

Norway. Come on, Carl Espen ... !! Now's the time to go all out depressed! Give us all the feelings! Quiltoholic wants to see a grown man cry. Oh, his beautiful voice ... !! But he did a better job on Thursday. Still good though. And getting better. Ooh. This is gorgeous. Nenad says it reminds him of whales singing. :-D It's a beautiful song though. I love it. Kudos to us. The arena looks beautiful too with all the cell phone screens lit up. Yay us.

Romania. I like this song but the performance annoys me a bit ... the round piano's so gimmicky. The song's got a good beat, and it's totally different from our song, which is good, keeps the audience on our toes. :-) I really hope Romania will win the contest one day, but I don't think tonight's the night for them. I could be wrong though, I think they will do well.

Armenia. Nenad's shocked by how much makeup Aram's wearing. He's right, he looks almost dusty. LOL! Nenad's on a roll with these animal analogies. Iceland ducks, Norway a whale, Romania chickens and Armenia a frog. :-D This song starts out as a tender ballad and then suddenly totally takes off ... and he's alone on stage and totally owns it. I really like this tonight. Yerevan 2015? I'm tempted to say they deserve it.

Montenegro's a swan. :-) I really really like this song, it's beautiful ... and I love that they're singing in Montenegrino. The rollerblader's a little klutzy tonight though. But overall a good presentation, just a little distracting. But beautiful, a beautiful entry. Hope they'll do really well.

Poland. KAS wants to give them a minus vote too. LOL! Minus ten! She's making a note of it on her bingo sheet. I actually think it's fun though. And the guys are loving the "cultural exchange" as trilltrall's calling it. :-D We're having a lot of fun with this now. This could be one of those gimmicky entries that ends up doing scarily well.

Greece. LOL! The intro ... we're obviously back on the Balkans, and Nenad says that "this is how it sounds when you die". LOL. Hmm ... funereal opening and then we're told to "rise up". Hmm. ;-) This is a fun entry that gets a little annoying. But it's Greece, they'll do great.

AUSTRIA ... !!!! Sshh ... ! Seriously. This is THE BEST ENTRY EVER. I'm serious. This entry IS Eurovision. Some of the crowd here has been standoffish about this but now everybody agrees. We all applauded when it ended. It has everything. The song itself, the singer, the dress, the presentation, the performance. EVERYTHING. It must win ... !!!

Germany, making their flag out of candy! Sweet. Just like the song, sweet. But also somewhat forgettable. Would be better if we'd heard this more than once, so to speak. It's not good to be one of the big five, it really isn't. They have weird outfits. I really don't know about this. I'm hoping they'll do pretty well, but they had really needed to be heard twice. Oh well.

A short break with a word from our host and a new record, highest high note ever. And the record goes to Croatia. Ouch! The other two hosts pop up ... she's still in the same dress, what a waste.

Sweden. Oh, I love this entry. But the broken English is a little painful. Beautiful singer though, and she's looking so great tonight ... and the song is just so fantastic. Great presentation too. Overall I really love the stage and what they're doing with it. They're really making it work for Sweden. This is fantastic. I wouldn't be surprised if they won tonight. But I don't want them to ... ! Sorry Sweden, you guys rock tonight. But Austria ... !

France, making their flag out of smoke in a way that kids probably shouldn't try at home. Silly song that we mostly don't like, though Nenad thinks it's fun ... and we're kind of laughing, but no. It's so samey too. Nope. France bombs again.

Russia. Pretty young girls is never wrong. Pretty young Jedi knights is absolutely never wrong. Very appropriately we are all eating Fazer's vodka liqueur fills right now. Na zdorovje! I really like this song. It's very pretty. There's a lot of distracting elements though. But they're going to do very well.

Italy, making their flag out of food, of course. And Emma's wearing an outfit from ancient Rome. LOL! Coolness. This is sounding a lot better than the studio version. They're totally rocking it. But the song itself is too forgettable, I think. And that crawling around is a little off-putting, at least for part of the audience. Ahem. Good luck to Italy, but, meh, I don't know.

Slovenia. With her fancy blue gown. And her piccolo and her really very good voice. I like this entry a lot. The dress is sort of too ... bulky, though. It's not quite becoming. But the song is beautiful, I really like it. I've been listening to it quite a lot. Good luck to Slovenia!

Finland. KAS has been complaning since Thursday that the singer has such horribly poor diction, she can't understand a word they're saying. I think I can understand one word in about four. But aside from that it's a pretty good entry. It's forgettable though. Calyx is making a prediction: This will get lots of points from northern Europe, and basically nothing whatsoever from anyone else. :-D We'll see ... !

Spain, yarnbombing their flag ... ! Awesomeness. Ahahaha, her hair is wet because she's dancing in the rain!! Ahahaha, brilliant. I love this entry. The best from the big five, hands down. Great presentation and wonderful song. Love it! Go Spain! They can come third, after Austria and us. ;-)

Switzerland. Oh yay! I'm so happy to see them in the final. :-) They're totally getting the arena going. But I've heard from several people now that the first time they heard it they didn't really like it, but it's really grown on them. I feel the same way. So that's not good since a bunch of the audience will be hearing it for the first time now. Fingers crossed though. I'd love to see them do well.

Hungary. This has become very arty. Harder to understand. The original presentation may have been too explicit ... but this is harder to get the story from. Hm. The song is good but the entry as a whole is quite depressing. Really not sure that this is what people are looking for tonight.

Malta. I really don't understand how this got through. Most boring entry of the night. This is like a flashback to ten years ago. I guess that could be the appeal. But I really don't get it. Mysterious.

Denmark, making their flag out of ... what was it, pallets? We were talking and I didn't pay attention. Sheesh. Oh well. This is catchy and fun while you're listening to it, but kind of forgettable. It's a summer hit kind of song. Not a classic, but fun. I hope they'll do OK, since they're the host and all. I'm not entirely convinced, but good luck.

The Netherlands, making their flag out of tulips, of course! I missed that in the semi. :-) And the hostess introducing them, seriously ... ! Go eat something, woman!! But the song is wonderful. Beautiful melody and great performance. I really like the presentation too. But it's not really a Eurovision song. It's fantastic, but is this what the audience is looking for? I'm not entirely convinced. But I wish them the best of luck, I really do. Quality-wise, it's quite possibly the year's best song.

San Marino. So cool to see them in the final! I like this song. It's one of the ones I've been listening to the most this year. The presentation's a little weird, but the song's so pretty. And Valentina's so happy ... !! Hope they'll do well. They could, it's a beautiful melody.

United Kingdom, making their flag out of red cars and buses and ... garbage bags? This is another example of how it's no good to be in the big five. This needs to be listened to more than once. It's a good song, but it's weird. And her outfit doesn't make it less weird, to put it diplomatically. I like this, and it gets the arena going, but ... I really think this would have benefited from having gone through the semis. It's one of the better UK entries of recent years, but still ... it's the UK.

It's over!! :-( Or one might say, it's about to begin. ;-) A few words from the hosts, thanking the commentators, that's new. And then, time to vote ... !!!

Runthrough of all the songs.

OK, twenty votes sent for Austria ... ! I've done all I can. :-) There are others I kind of want to vote for but I don't think I dare, I don't want to contribute in any way to anything that risks damaging their chances. That's going to have to be my strategy.

Really weird interval entertainment. The hosts sing their own song about the contest - that's so meta. This is a strange video. Jebus, is that you?

To the green room ... ! Our crazy skinny hostess chatting to a Junior Eurovision winner.

Another runthrough. The fun one with the performers leaving the stage. This needs to be a thing every year from now on.

OK, the voting's over. Panic attack ... !!!!

And now for the real interval entertainment. Which is super fun, of course!! Of course the Danes are making it cheap, simple and seriously funny. We're loving it. :-) Go Denmark!

Starving hostess in the green room. She needs to change out of that dress! Sheesh. Chatting with the performers. A full English for the Maltese singer, a cake for Molly Smitten-Downes, a restaurant meal for the French band. Fun. I love hearing Danish people speak English ... !

And now, finally, last year's winner ... ! They have broken with tradition by saving it for the interval, rather than opening the show with it. I have no beef with that. DR can do no wrong tonight IMO. Only Teardrops over, and now, The Rainmaker. Both of them presented in a really weird way. Well, she already won, so it can't be too weird now. :-)

All the performers on stage ... ! Carrying their flags and everything. Aw! This is what Eurovision is all about. This show is soo good ... !!

She is seriously not going to change that dress ... !! But at least she's found Jon Ola Sand. The votes are almost counted ... ! OMG I HAS A NERVOUS ... !!!

First 12 to Austria already from the second jury!! Wow! I am cheered.

8th country voting and it's so even. Which I claim to think is the best way for it to go, why do I keep saying that ... ! Augh. We are seriously weirded out by how well Hungary is doing.

Russia voting and being totally booed by the arena. And their jury leader is totally hearing it. WORD.

Thank you to the Netherlands, 12 points to Austria!

My guesses tonight have been pretty off ... ! This is an extremely difficult lineup to call. We are loving the fact that France has 0 points and they are the only ones who still have that score. Hah. 

10 points from France to Austria, and they're in the lead! I'm sorry France ... ! Thank you!

UK keeps Austria in the lead! AWESOMENESS!

12 points from Armenia to Montenegro ... ! Love it!

The Netherlands are doing so well, that's so cool ... !! But Austria's still in the lead. I SO HAPPY ... !

Sweden only gave us 3 points, that's so to typical ... !! But 12 to Austria! Thank you Sweden! Bet you we'll give your our 10 ... ;-) And 1 point to France, noo ... ! That means they will have 1 point. Sheesh, Sweden.

Now Germany. They will give their 12 to Austria for sure ... ! What? The Netherlands? No points to Austria ... ??! WTF, Germany??? >:-(

What?? A silly record now??! Most lalalas?? Spain has the record, but seriously, now??

This is seriously a thriller ... !

Hostess, still in her unbecoming dress, in the green room. Talking to Conchita of course. Who is so happy she's about to pass out. Awesomeness.

Israel ... ! Now they'll give their 12 to Austria for sure. Germany, I hope you're listening ... !

Us ... ! 10 to Sweden, 12 to Austria? No! 8 to Sweden, 10 to Austria! That has to mean ... 12 points to the Dutch song? Yep. Oh, OK.

Another 12 points to the Dutch.

Moldova voting, and good point from Calyx: The more folksy the jury leader's dressed, the more dictatorial the regime of that country. Keep your eyes peeled, she's right. :-D

Ireland's 8 points to the UK, what a shock. 12 points to Austria!

Finland gives another point to France! Is there something in the water?? 12 points to Austria!! :-D

We are cheering SO WILDLY for Austria here ... !!

Austria voting, so no points there, but the jury leader has THE BEST OUTFIT EVER. OMG I am crying with laughter.

Spain - 12 points to Austria.

This is so incredibly cool. I have no words.

Belgium gives 12 points to Austria. Thank you, Belgium!!

12 points from Italy to Austria. The entire Austrian delegation is practically in tears. This is a beautiful night.

OK. Wow. There are three countries still to vote, but no one can beat Austria now. They've won. OMG.

Conchita's so happy that I'm almost wondering if she'll be able to sing one more time. :-) Especially now that she even got the last 12 ... !!!

THIS IS PERFECT.

Thomas Neuwirth for president ... !!

Seriously. This is just exactly perfectly right. The best entry, a performer who really has a message, and a very important message too. And Europe embraced it. Seriously. Best Eurovision ever.

I love this entry. And I love the thought of all the Russian heads exploding right now. >:-)

The lyrics to this song are now incredibly profound.

Thank you, Denmark, for an absolutely fantastic show. And thank you, Europe, for making such a fantastic statement. Vienna 2015!!!

Vote Austria!!!

OK, so I just have to post something before the show starts, I'm super nervous and just can't wait for it to just happen already ... !!! so we'll all know how it'll go. :-) I am SOO hoping for Austria to win tonight. I think the field is wide open and pretty much anything can happen tonight ... there's no obviously brilliant song that's guaranteed to leave everyone else in the dust, like Fairytale or Euphoria. But Austria's entry is my total favorite, and although the song isn't perhaps the best this year qua song, the entry as a whole is hands down the best in this year's lineup. And the performance ... !! They've made quite a few changes from their national final and absolutely everything's just made it better. A fantastic presentation and a wonderful performance. Conchita's no Maria Callas, but who cares! She's the perfect performer for this song and the whole thing is just clearly the best. So vote for Austria, people!!

VIENNA 2015 ... !!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Eurovision bingo for Copenhagen 2014

So, I made a bingo game for the big night tomorrow. My first effort at this, which means it will probably be better next year. ;-)

Just posting it in case anyone else might feel like printing it out and using it. Feel free to do so. :-)


(It's in Norwegian, because everyone at our party either is Norwegian or speaks Norwegian.)

Copenhagen 2014 - Random thoughts III

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Copenhagen 2014 - second semi-final

THIS IS IT ... !!!

Yay yay yay ... ! We're back!! And now, yeah, this really is it. Do or die for Silent Storm. I have faith in our entry this year, I seriously do ... I'm happy to say that we really have a quality song this year. That doesn't happen every year, so yay us. :-)

A rather arty opening with lots of music and weird dance. Modern. Why the hell not, go nuts! I'm already so convinced that this will be good that they'll have to really screw up to make me change my mind.

Ooh, a virtual tree. That's so pretty. And with apples falling ... ooh. Pretty.

And now, our gracious hosts. The guys in boring suits, the gal in another unbecoming dress. But this is slightly better than Tuesday's. Seriously curious about what she'll be wearing on Saturday. Again, so happy that we can only vote after the performances are over ... and that there's a cap on the number of votes from each phone number. Still not ideal, but much better.

Malta starts the show, making their flag with fireworks. Nice. But the song's just way to meh. Not the best song to open with. But of course that's what you get with the luck of the draw. Actually this is sounding better than the studio version ... much more engaging. I actually kind of like this now. But still, probably too generic to get anywhere. And samey.

Israel, making their flag with a ... what now? Huh. This is one of those songs that are kind of freaky but that just hook you anyway. Her performance is much milder than I'd expected though. Maybe she's been asked to tone it down a bit. :-) She is so super aggressive in the video ... but it fits the song. She's too smiley now, the lyrics are so serious, she shouldn't be smiling. The song sounds really catchy but her performance, while energetic, is wrong for it now. IMO. But she definitely has the arena going. This is what really opened the show. ;-)

Norway! Our performer, who is a glazer, of course makes our flag from a window. Aww. But can he sing?? The arena's full of fans, sounds like. He better not smile at them ... !! Seriously though, this is such a beautiful song. We really don't need all these effects ... the smoke, the lights, the four (!!) violinists ... it's overdoing it, IMO. It was better in Oslo, where it was just Carl Espen and a pianist, nothing fancy at all. But he's doing a great job, he's emotional and genuine and really showing off his beautiful voice. Yep, this is good. We're in. :-)

Georgia next, with a flag made from glasses of wine. And a bizarro entry made of garbage. They sound weird, they look weird, and the song literally takes one minute to even start. The last two minutes aren't worth waiting for. Seriously, what were they thinking. They should have saves their money. This is just total weirdness and not even charming. Blech.

Poland ... !! OK, they have been slammed for being trashy, and I thought they totally were too when I first saw them, and heard their entry, but this has seriously grown on me. I like this a lot now, I listen to it all the time. I hope they'll get through. Kind of a shame that they've been talked into singing mostly in Polish, and of course it doesn't have the same effect with so few people on stage ... and hearing it now I have to say this doesn't pack the punch the studio version does. It's less catchy in real life. :-) But still one of the entries that I have ended up really liking despite myself. And I like how they're just going all out with the Polish thing (interesting, because I would totally hate it if, say, Ireland did that ;-). And it's good that they're singing mostly in Polish. So yay, go Poland. :-)

Another silly record. Clapping. Austria has the record. I should have guessed ... !! because Austria is up next. GO AUSTRIA ... !!!

Hosts, still in the same outfits, thanking the fans. And introducing Austria. Yay!!

Conchita makes their flag out of evening gowns, of course. Ooh, I'm shivering in expectation. Gotta turn up the volume on my TV set. :-) OK, I've heard her sing better. But she's looking gorgeous, the dress is beautiful ... and the presentation is fantastic, OMG, I love it!! Austria!! I love you guys!! I SO want to see this on Saturday ... !! THIS SONG IS SO FANTASTIC I LOVE IT SO MUCH PLEASE VOTE FOR IT ... !! Wow. I has a happy. This was perfect. THIS IS EUROVISION YOU GUYS ... !!1

Lithuania. One of my least favorites. OMG her outfit ... ! Dumb outfit, annoying song with ridiculous lyrics. Epilepsy-inducing presentation. The best thing I can say about this is that it's making Austria look AMAZING in comparison.

Finland, making their flag out of blocks of ice. Nice. This is another song that has really grown on me. It's not a great entry, and the presentation's not doing it any favors, but it's very enjoyable to listen to. Compared to Attention it's a masterpiece. The poor singer sounds out of breath after the first two minutes. :-) But the song's pretty catchy, nothing wrong with it. Probably too bland though to get very far.

Ireland. Flag made from balloons. Clever. I really like their song this year, it's very catchy and has a really good beat, but they'll probably mess it up by bashing us over the head with Celtic knots and what have you. And ... yep. OMG they even have Irish dancers. IDIOTS. The song itself is Irish enough, we don't need all this other crap. And she's not singing very well .... and what's with the dress, seriously. And she's looking very stern. Alas! I had certain hopes for Ireland this year, but I fear they're fading very fast now ... Still a very catchy song, but rather badly performed and presented. :-(

Oh no, Belarus ... !! Shudder. Maybe the worst entry this year. A flag made out of hockey pucks can't save it. This song is just so totally, dare I say it ... cheesy. BUT I will give them this, that they're sounding, and looking, a hell of a lot better than they did in their national final. Then again that wouldn't take much. >:-)

Macedonia. With a flag made from ... sound waves. Wow. Oh, I love what they're doing with the flag colors transferring to the #JoinUs diamond. I like this entry, kind of ... the song itself is really nice, pretty, a nice melody ... but the presentation is weird, I'm not sure I get this guy in white running around. And her singing isn't the best we've heard tonight, to put it diplomatically. Optimism fading for Macedonia too ...

Switzerland. Sebalter making their flag from dominoes. Or domino-shaped things. Yet another song that has really grown on me. I'm crossing my fingers for this entry ... the Swiss keep getting a bum deal in the ESC, they've sent several really good songs that haven't even gotten through to the final. Hoping that won't happen this year. This is catchy, charming, a kind of "loud" presentation, but fun too ... I like this entry more and more every time I hear it. Good luck to Switzerland!

Our hostess reminding us to vote. And a silly record, for ... people licking their lips? Ireland has the record. Johnny Logan ... ! LOL!

Greece! Flag made from towel and shells. :-) This was a song that I felt sure I wouldn't like when I heard what kind of music it was, but then when I heard it found myself really liking it immediately. The intro's so cool. Great singers they're not, though. And while the song is catchy and has a really interestng beat, it does get kind of repetitive. It's a ... ooh, there's the trampoline ... song that you don't want to listen to too many times, it can get on your nerves. But hopefully most people aren't like me and haven't heard all the songs dozens of times already. ;-)

Slovenia, flag made out of books. What's not to like about that. :-) Another good intro. And a striking presentation. I like that the song is partly in Slovenian and partly in English. And it's catchy too, not exactly memorable, but really catchy when you're listening to it. I like this. Getting a little dizzy from the swirling blue lights, though. :-)

Romania. Ovi and Paula are making their flag out of ... let's see .... reflections from fireworks on water. Paula's got a bunch of fans in the arena. :-) I like this entry, but it's not as good as Playing With Fire. It's catchy and has a good beat but it doesn't just instantly grab you like that song did. Oh jebus a circular piano ... ! Seriously ... I do like the song, but really, a truly quality entry doesn't need bizarre gimmicks like that. I would LOVE to see Romania win one day, but with this song ... not so much. A fun entry though, and a great way to end the performances. We'll definitely be seeing this again on Saturday. :-)

Ooh, the voting is about to begin ... !!

A runthrough of all 15 songs. Doesn't matter to me, I don't need it, I already know who's getting my votes. Go Austria ... !!! :-D

A word from the hostess - a shoutout to Australia ... ! Aw, sweet. They deserve it. :-) But so annoying that they're making the joke "you can't be in the contest, you're not in Europe" ... that just confuses people who really do think that that is the rule. What's Israel doing here, then? The answer is of course that the contest is for EBU members, not European countries. Still, really cool that they're making a point of the Australian fans. Fun interval entertainment. :-)

OK, ten votes to Austria. My civic duty is done. :-) Oh, OK, two for Switzerland as well. :-)

Another runthrough.

OK, some guesses. Let's see. This is a hard one to call. I'll say I'm certain about these:
Norway ;-)
Romania
Greece

Pretty sure about Poland too. Slovenia? Other than that, sheesh ... !! I want to say I'm sure about Switzerland, but ... if that song had been sent by anyone else, I'd say it was a shoe-in, but since it's Swiss there's just no telling. But fingers crossed.

There will definitely be some not stellar entries getting through tonight though ... since ten of these songs will be in the final, this is unavoidable. ;-) But some are too crappy even so. Hoping we won't see these again:
Georgia
Lithuania
Belarus

Of course there's one entry I'm dying to see get through though ... ! Austria! If there is justice in the world then Austria will have gotten through ... ! But of course there isn't enough of just that ... and far too much prejudice against people who don't fit the standard mold, especially in ... certain areas. :-(

Loving this medley of dancers from all over Europe and of all ages, what a brilliant idea. And so cheap, I'd imagine. Way to go, DR! :-)

A saunter through the green room ...

Silly record, though this one actually isn't entirely silly - longest note held, and the record goes to Malta, for 13 seconds.

Wow, Conchita has a whole arena full of fans there ... !! A good sign! But our singer in 2011 had lots of fans in the arena too and we all know how that went, so I'm still in dread of what may happen, or rather not happen, in the next fifteen minutes. I has a nervous ... !!

Brief presentation of the big five and our host. Same as Tuesday. Yay Spain. :-)

Checking in with Jon Ola ... who's not ready with the votes, what a shock! Technical difficulties? Oh well, another runthrough, why not. Augh, I'm so nervous ... !!

Eek! The results are ready! NERVOUSNESS ... !!!

And the finalists are ...
Switzerland! Oh yay!! HAPPY!
Slovenia. Yep.
Poland. Unsurprisingly.
Romania, of course.
Norway, of course. ;-)
Greece. Yes.
Malta! Really?
Belarus! What the fuck??
Finland. Good for them.
AUSTRIA!!! YES!!!

OMG they made it! Does this mean that there is a god?? ;-) YAY AND HURRAY!!!

OK, so, seven out of ten tonight. And one that I seriously thought we'd gotten rid of. But we got through, and most importantly, Austria made it!! I has a SUPER happy!! :-D

Vienna 2015 ... !!!