From Russia in the east to Portugal in the west ... from Norway in the north to Israel in the south ... this is THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST!!!!!
Wheee ... !!!
Finally ... ! Live from the Crystal Hall, the 57th ESC final! Squee! How will they open the show??
Some native music. Dancers all in white. That light up! And fly! Shouts in the room here of Backstreet Boys! and Matrix! :-D Native dancers! But where is Eldar and Nikki? There they are. Not a very good performance. Oh well. Done now.
Same hosts as in the semis ... and we have the same commentator, Olav Viksmo Slettan, he's doing a great job. The hosts are all in white. English skills not entirely up to snuff. Let's start the show ... !! :-D
United Kingdom. Opening the show, not the best slot, but could be worse. And at least we're opening the show with something good. :-) Kudos to the UK for sending Humperdinck! I really like this entry. A skilled performer who sings really well, a classy presentation - unlike some, I like the background dancers - and a really good song. We also have our own dancers since trilltrall and N. are dancing a waltz in front of the screen. :-D The lyrics are a little dodgy, but there's always something. A quality entry, which we rarely see from the UK. Good luck to them. I may vote for them actually. :-o
Hungary. Meh. Interesting entry in this context ... it's a little different from a lot of the rest of the lineup. OK presentation but nothing special. OK song but nothing memorable. Not a winner.
Albania. This entry has no fans here. :-) Interesting view from Calyx: the songs sent to the ESC should be ones that have wide appeal and that everyone can like, but then some countries send things like this, where someone has bizarre hair and wears bizarre clothes and stands in the middle of the stage and screams. And that's what we love about the ESC. :-D Umm ... kudos for being alone on stage and for singing in Albanian. But this is quite a strange entry. I both like it and don't like it. Good luck to them, they may need it.
Lithuania. KAS isn't a fan of this. She was surprised when it got through. But she says it's getting to be OK now that we've heard like forty ESC songs ... :-D This does grow on me, I have to say that. And I really like their presentation. It's fun, I like this. May do pretty well. The way it morphs from one song into another is rather memorable. Got a huge laugh here when he did a salto and started shaking his thang ... :-D
Bosnia & Herzegovina. Meh. Kudos for the same things as Albania - slightly more comprehensible than theirs - but overall a pretty generic ballad. Not sure I can tell this apart from all the other similar sounding entries in the lineup. Not sure most of the rest of the audience can either.
Russia! Yay! I dig this. The song is crap, but the entry as a whole is soo much fun and so charming. And this time we even get to see what's in the oven. Oh, Russia ... !! You wacky Russkis, whatever will you think of next. This is too gimmicky to win, but it'll probably do really well. Good for them. :-)
Iceland. One of our collective favorites. A beautiful song, dramatic, a wonderful entry. Singers with good voices too. But why is she smiling so much?? That totally doesn't go with the song at all. Sheesh. She's so excited she just can't help herself ... ! Good presentation, I just wish they'd have gone with the Icelandic lyrics instead. That would have helped them. Oh well. Hoping for the best for Iceland. Not a winner, I don't think, but may do well. But they're not in a good slot, unfortunately.
Cyprus! I really like this entry. Catchy, fun, well presented ... has pretty much everything except that the singer can't sing for shit. She sounded better in their national finals ... not very strange considering that they allow playback. She sounds pretty horrible here, but everything else about this entry is great. And it's somewhat impressive that she can carry a tune at all being hoisted around like that. Not a winner, we think - Anne Ida says that if this entry wins then there's something completely wrong with the world - but it should do well. Good luck, Cyprus!!
France. Beautiful singer with a good voice ... and they've changed their entry since their national selections, made it more interesting, that's good. We like the half naked men. Well, most of us do. ;-) But this is more boring than I remember it. I thought they might do well with this, but now I'm starting to wonder. No, don't think this will get anywhere much.
Italy!!! My favorite! I love Italy! This is the best entry this year, hands down. Nothing wrong with it. Calyx thinks it's too soon to dress like Amy Winehouse in public. But other than the hair she's all Imelda May! Ooh, I love this. I want it to win ... ! It probably won't, but I want it to ... ! :-D
Estonia. One of the room's least favorite songs this year, apparently. It's OK, but not that special. Another generic ballad. OK singer but overall not a very memorable entry.
Norway. Very dramatic opening to this entry. Ie, the presentation. The song itself ... it's growing on me. I like it a little more every time I hear it. And his voice is better than it was in our national selections. But still not good. And the performance is tacky, I really don't see how this can appeal to anyone over the age of 16. I'm hoping we'll bomb, but the fact that we even got through has made me really confused. Can we actually get anywhere with this? I want to think we can't, but ... oh, my head ... o_O No, this has to bomb!! The world will not make sense to me if this doesn't bomb.
Azerbaijan. Our charming hosts. Who of course have had a difficult task selecting this entry - they need a song that can do well enough to not disgrace themselves, but at the same time isn't good enough to actually win. Ireland famously have no idea how to do this. Azerbaijan may have managed it. One among this year's seemingly endless lineup of big Balkan ballads, but one of the better ones. Good singer, lovely dress, classy presentation. Should do well. I like this song, although I can't for the life of me remember the tune five minutes after I've listened to it. But what else is new. .-)
Romania. A very catchy song, and really different from the previous entry. Beautiful singer. Energetic performance. Moonwalking with a bagpipe isn't really my thing, but I'm sure somebody likes it. Romanians, obviously. Romania is one of my favorite countries in the ESC generally, this isn't among their best IMO, but still a pretty strong entry. Mostly because it's fun. :-) Good luck to Romania - this isn't a winner, I don't think, but could do well.
Denmark. A song that I like a little less every time I hear it. And her outfit is just so distracting. The song starts out catchy, but then gets repetitive ... it's all the same, throughout the three minutes there's no real drama in the melody. It's good, but kind of boring. May do well but won't win ... and doesn't deserve to win either. >:-)
Greece. Now here is someone who actually may really win. This is a serious contender. Very catchy, a pretty singer who does a good job on stage, a fun presentation to watch, ethnic elements that are very clearly Greek ... their winning entry in 2006 also had all these elements. Plus they may get some pity points I suppose. They are so poor that they haven't been able to afford a whole dress for their singer. :-( This entry will do very well and may end up winning the whole thing.
Sweden. Or actually, Greece won't win, because Sweden will!! Go Sweden!! This entry is soo wonderful, it deserves to win. I love it. Extremely dramatic of course, as we've already seen ... but the performance is actually much better than it was in the semi, so now it's even better than it already was. Swoon! A brilliant entry. The one problem it has is that the presentation is so artsy. That may be off-putting to some people. Can't be helped. Good luck to Sweden!! They'll get my vote, and it'll be well deserved. Fingers crossed for Sweden! Stockholm 2013?!!
Turkey. Another entry that will do well, and deservedly so. The song isn't that special, but it is catchy, and the presentations is absolutely wonderful. Best of the night. Those capes are so weird, and you wonder what the hell is up with that, and then suddenly you see what they're for and then it's SO COOL ... !! :-D The singer is charming and the whole entry is just so much fun. I love it. 12 points to Turkey for creativity. :-)
Spain. Now this is one of the best ballads of the night. And the singer is absolutely wonderful. Fantastic. She's probably the best singer tonight. Classy performance. This is one of the best entries from Spain for years. I hope they will do really well so they'll keep sending quality stuff like this. But of course if they win it'd be a tragedy, they'd be ruined ... ! :-D They should do pretty well with this though, but I can't see this as the winner. But good for them, this is a really good entry.
Germany. Another song I really like. Basically all of the Big Five have sent good entries this year. But it's not a song that really suits this context. It's very good, but may end up doing badly. It's too good. :-) By which I mean that's it's not immediately accessible, it's a bit more demanding, and of course an ESC winner has to make a major impact the first time you hear it. Especially from one of the Big Five. So kudos to Germany, they've sent a wonderful song, but they may not get much of a return on their investment. Same as last year. The presentation is also very standard and pretty boring in this context.
Malta. I don't really see what they're doing in this final. But of course I'm happy for them. The song is generic and the singer not much more than OK. But the performance is better than it was in the semi. I really don't have much to say about this. It's OK. Meh.
Macedonia. A song I really really like, wonderful melody, but I really can't get on board with her voice. I don't know what it is exactly. Tanumine says she thinks it sounds strained, and that's exactly right, that's how I'm hearing it. This performance is also better than in the semi. Very catchy. If only they'd had a different singer I'd be digging this.
Ireland. LOL! A huge groan went up from the room here when they were announced. Soo annoying ... ! Blech. Anne Ida wants them to win though. She says that if it's true that RTÉ plans to send them every year till they win, then she wants them to win this year and just get it over with. :-D Me, not so much. I want them to bomb. This entry is slightly catchy but mostly annoying. Sheesh, Ireland!
Serbia. Another of my favorite entries. The opening is absolutely beautiful, we all love it. The presentation is a bit overly dramatic - why do the violinists have to bend like that? - but classy. Wonderful performance from maybe the second best singer of the night. Love this. Should do very well. Go Serbia! :-)
Ukraine. Sorry, but this is trash. I thought this was marginally OK at first but I loathe it more and more every time I hear it. Incomprehensible that it's in the final. Gaitana's not even here to compete, she just wants to get her song out there before the championship Sheesh. This is just annoying. There's not even any verse, it's all just an endless chorus, she just repeats two lines over and over for three minutes. Sheesh. Trash. Barf. I hope they'll come 26th.
Moldova. This is a relatively catchy song, and it's kind of fun too, but the presentation is just so weird. What's with the dancers? Their costumes? The choreography? We can't understand it. Bizarre. Good luck to Moldova, they'll need it.
The voting is on ... !!
Let's see. Sweden - three votes, or was it four? Italy - six votes. One each for Serbia, Spain, Turkey, Iceland, Cyprus and the UK. And one more for Italy! :-)
Voting's over. Now for the interval entertainment ... which of course we've heard a lot about. Starting out with something rather authentic-looking ... and -sounding ... local instruments ... pretty ladies playing violins ... Then lots of dancers on stage, they don't look very authentic. Where's the president's son-in-law? Oh, he is of course being dropped down from the ceiling ... while chewing gum. Sure, why not. Umm. OK, this is just a standard pop song, nothing wrong with it, but wouldn't be on stage tonight if it had competed in the semi. >:-)
Overall this is kind of dull but still miles better than what Germany came up with last year.
Watching the voting - of course watching with great excitement! :-) - and also texting with an Irishman in Istanbul, so now we're already up to the Moldovan results. Sweden in the lead! Yay!! It would be soo fantastic if Sweden won. We have zero points. My faith in humanity is restored. But I feel really bad for the UK. And Iceland! :-( Also very sorry to see Italy doing so relatively badly. I mean since I was hoping they'd win. Didn't think they would, deep down, but I was hoping. And I'm not only saying that because it'd mean we'd have Italian food at our Eurovision party next year. ;-)
Iceland just voted, Sweden in the lead! and Serbia second. Russia doing very well. Host country in a respectable 4th place. What is going on with Albania though, who's been voting for them so much?? We are shocked. But as long as they don't win, I'm sure the Albanians are thrilled. :-D
Finland's got Mr Lordi presenting their votes!! Fantastic!!
Sweden is so going to win this. Yay!! Yay yay yay!! Stockholm 2013! Fantastic!!
N. is upset because now we'll be having meatballs for dinner next year. :-D But KAS says no, we'll have herring! LOL! She is the cook so she'll decide. As long as we don't get a sandwich cake I'll be happy.
Sweden is the winner!! :-D Me so happy!! And Russia came second, Serbia third. Except of course for my broken hopes of Italy, I am very pleased with this result. The best entry won.
And her victory performance is fantastic too. We have learned tonight that Azerbaijan is a nation rich in streamers and confetti. Great show and no more propaganda than is generally to be expected. Kudos to Azerbaijan and congratulations to Sweden!!!
52 minutes ago