Saturday, February 11, 2012

ESC 2012 - Norway, final

We're on!

First of all, I'm rooting for Nora Foss al-Jabri tonight, like, I hope, the majority of the audience. That entry is definitely the best of this year's pretty weak lineup. I would also be happy to see The Carburetors go ... but I have serious concerns that Plumbo will end up winning. It's great that they're in the final, but they will bomb in Baku. But whatever, we're used to that ... !! :-D

Second, I am soo sorry that we won't be seeing Stella on stage tonight. She would be on fire in this show and I would love to see her claim this honor (traditionally the performer of the previous year's winning entry is the centerpiece of the final) but of course I understand completely that her focus right now is on something else entirely. My heart goes out to her and her whole family. :-(

Fun intro with Sundnes and the dancers, I love his jacket. :-) Hey, he's telling us how to vote tactically! That's a first. But it's good, definitely. Get people thinking. We don't want to bomb, do we? It just comes so naturally to us.

The artists enter the arena ... I like how they're doing it having them walk down the stairs like that. Some new things are actually good. Nobody seems to be getting a noticeably bigger cheer than anyone else ... but Plumbo and Nora are among those who do, unless my ears deceive me. Good. Oh, look at that silly boy trying to be tough. Smile, you punk, the whole country is watching. Sheesh.

We can't vote till after the initial performances are complete. Excellent. That should be a permanent rule. Again.

Entry #1: Stay. Tooji thinks that if we send him we have a really good chance of winning. Seriously? OK, he has to say that, I guess, but he can't honestly believe it? Has he watched the ESC at any point ever? I like this even less this time around. Energetic, I guess, but such a bad voice, and so much of it. This should have way more music, not just that plastic beat. I don't understand how this got through ... I'm almost embarrassed on his behalf just watching this.

Entry #2: High on Love. Ooh, someone who can actually sing. Yay. :-) And also unlike the previous entry, this song is even catchy. The singer is hot and ooh, the chorus rocks. :-D She's almost making me forget about little Nora. I like this. I may vote for it. It would be so cool to see this on stage in Baku. We probably wouldn't have a chance at first place, but everyone would love watching our entry. :-D

Entry #3: Sailors. Karlsnes couldn't believe she was the wild card, because there were lots of other great entries that she thought would have gotten through instead? What shows has she been watching? o_O Good voice, cool presentation, but again the backing dancers are distracting me. And in Baku she would benefit from a less tacky outfit. Remember Belgrade. This song is catchy but ... cold, in the sense that it's very stylish and slick but doesn't necessarily have a lot of heart. Oh well. We wouldn't have to be ashamed of this entry.

Entry #4: Ola nordmann. Oy vey. Catchy and fun, but where does the fun go when you don't understand the language? This has a serious chance of winning, but internationally, it'd bomb all the way. :-D If we send this, then I have no idea where Plumbo will be on May 26th ... all I can tell you is that they won't be on stage in the Crystal Hall. This actually reminds me a lot of the Irish entry in 2007. Ouchie. It's not a bad song, and they're probably great guys, but this is a dud ESC-wise. I'm thrilled they're on stage here for a number of reasons, but I soo hope they won't win. :-D

Entry #5: Crush. Sweet girl, pretty dress. But such a teenybopper plasticky song. The immaturity of the lyrics disgust me. Also the illegal number of dancers on stage. A catchy song, but she's still stuck in the junior version. This would get nowhere in Baku.

Entry #6: Somewhere Beautiful. This Disney ballad would be our wisest choice. A beautiful girl, but not least, an absolutely stunning voice. She would also get some extra points with the wow factor - as in, wow, she's only sixteen?? She really is an astonishing singer for her age. And the song really is good too. The entry as a whole is something that would go down very well down east. It would be liked all over Europe, but maybe eastwards especially. An emotional song, performed convincingly by a pretty young thing in a relatively decent gown. OK, Reidun Sæther, I'm sorry, but this gets my vote.

Entry #7: Don't Touch the Flame. OK, I'd be really happy to see these guys in the Hall as well. They obviously wouldn't win, but it'd be so cool to send this kind of music. That'd really cement our rumor as totally unpredictable ESC-wise. :-D It's a catchy song and the guys are pros. Nothing wrong with this entry. Just not my favorite and not the one I believe would give us the best chance. But so much fun if we sent it ... ! :-D

Entry #8: Things Change. Actually, it might be kind of fun if we sent this too. It'd bomb. But it would really leave Europe scratching their heads. :-D A good song, catchy (although it feels rather overlong) and a professional performance ... but doesn't belong in the ESC.

Entry #9: Sammen. A song that comes straight from their hearts. Aw. Another song that belongs in the junior version. An obvious immigrant and a white girl rapping in Norwegian, in Baku? Seriously, let's not. Fortunately, I can't imagine for a second that we will. Even if NRK is letting them fucking cheat with that choir!! If I could I would give this entry minus points. Bite me.

Entry #10: Make It Better. Yay, an entry that I actually like. Cool performance, catchy song, OK singer. Ie, his voice. :-) Overall a quality entry that would most likely get middling results in Baku. I'd be happy if we sent this, I'd consider voting for it, but I'm afraid Nora has to get all my votes tonight. Fredvang has my moral support. :-)

That's everyone. I'm really confused about how this will turn out ... there's no obvious winner this year, really. But I don't think it matters that much what we vote tonight, because it's entirely clear that the international winner is not in this lineup. Not that that's a bad thing. The ESC is a money- and resource-devouring mastodon of the first order, and we don't want to win more than once a decade at most. So far so good. ;-) The contest was here in 2010 - as all my readers are no doubt very well aware ;-) - and 2013 is way too soon to have it come back again. It's fantastically cool and all but we don't really have room for that thing.

Ahahaha ... ! Aftenposten online has an article at the top of their front page right now about how we should 'vote for a winner' ... ie, not Plumbo. Supposing of course that we want to win, which, clearly, not everyone agrees on. The article's open for comment and someone writes, get this: I couldn't agree more! If Plumbo wins, I can guarantee that Norway won't even be in the ESC final! Actually, s/he writes 'MGP', so unknown commentator, your ignorance is showing. Apart from that, s/he is entirely right. But then s/he goes on to conclude, Vote TOJI! Ahahahaha!!

Ooh, the interval entertainment! This was supposed to be Stella Mwangi's moment to shine, but because of her father's rather brutal death she is understandably absent. So curious to see what they've come up with instead. Let's see.

Almost forgot, I loved seeing the glimpses of the past final ... way past. Hard to believe that the results were once sent in by mail ... !! LOL!! We've come a long way technologically speaking. o_O

Oh, it's something very cool!! This will be our 50th ESC entry, and the very first was performed by the seemingly immortal Nora Brockstedt. She is in the audience and the interval entertainment is her winning entry, Voi voi, performed by all of this year's finalists together, each doing his or her or their piece in the style of their entry tonight. What a fantastic idea! :-D I love it. I want to watch it again. Good thing I'm recording this. ;-)

Now some other show while they count the votes. BRB.

The absolutely last round. Sundnes talks to the artists ... literally right backstage, apparently. They are all extremely psyched. But they can still speak Norwegian, come on, people. Alternatively learn to pronounce nachspiel.

Yet another runthrough of all the entries. Fingers crossed for little Nora. Who will get through? Plumbo, Nora ... maybe Tooji, sheesh. Lise Karlsnes? Hoping for Reidun Sæther instead though ...

The results, in no particular order: Plumbo. No surprise there. Nora! Yes! Again not a surprise, but happy happy. :-) Øien and Bare. Sheesh. Come on, people, we can't send an American just because he's charming. Seriously. Tooji. F**k.

OK, we've seen all the entries again. They're still the same. Now for some more interval entertainment while we wait. Rybak! Yay!!

Voting's over. I voted five times for Somewhere Beautiful, or maybe six. I lost count. Fingers crossed for Nora ... !! But it'll be Plumbo in the end. Sheesh, Norwegians. :-)

Counting the votes, and a little bit of chat to pass the time. Per Sundnes!! Azerbaijan is not a 'very young nation'! Seriously! They are a young state, but they are an old nation. Learn the difference, seriously. Don't start offending our hosts already.

The result is in ... ! I'm less nervous than I normally am. Let's see - three city juries and five televote regions. Each of the host cities has one of the juries and the regions are of course the usual ones. Votes from Ørland - Plumbo in the bottom. Is there hope?? Nora is their winner! Yay! Larvik - Nora first again. Ooh, now I'm getting some nerves. If only this was decided by a professional jury, I wouldn't have to worry. They'll give Nora the lead and then the common Joe will have voted ten million times for Plumbo and we're screwed. Sheesh. Florø has Somewhere Beautiful as their #1 too. Eek!

The North is the first region. Gasp! They have Ola nordmann in the bottom! Is there hope?? They have Stay as #1. But there wasn't that much of a lead. Not like in 2009. :-D Western Norway: Plumbo in the bottom! OMG! The easterners will be the ones screwing this up, I'm afraid. But the westerners have Stay on top too! What is wrong with people?? :-o The field is relatively even, nothing is decided yet. South: Somewhere Beautiful in the bottom, sob. But Ola nordmann second. Stay in the lead though. Sheesh. Now I'm starting to hope for Plumbo almost. Central Norway ... they're last, Nora second last. Bobby Bare will do well there. :-D Yup. But Tooji wins here too. I has a confusion ... !

I really don't get this. Sure, we don't want to win, but we don't want to bomb either ... do we? o_O Final set of votes. Stay is way ahead. And Ola nordmann is last! OMG!! Somewhere Beautiful is in second place, so Stay is the winner. F**K!

Who are these people who voted for this? Did they even think about how we'll do in May? Let's just pick the worst song available and send an Iranian who can't sing, why don't we. If I was a conspiracy theorist I'd be thinking that this was some kind of fifth column attack by Sweden. Well, at least we'll only have to see it one more time, since it won't be part of the lineup on the 26th. >:-)

Hans-Tore Bjerkaas is probably very happy right now.

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