passionpop: (completely)
So the Wurst song ended up being the best. Congratulations on Conchita wurst for having the best song, the best dress and such a gracious demeanor.  If you didn't love the bearded lady before Eurovision, you have to love her after.

I am still in shock however that the country crap came second. Dear Europe, please explaintop 5 )

Two of my four favourites this year were in the top five

my other favourites )
then there was the less good
other notable mentions )

The best song to not qualify for the final was easily Estonia who finished 12th in the first semi on 36 points. tenth got 40.
maybes )

back to the final though, it is interesting to note that no Former Soviet countries were amongst the 13 countries to give Austria 12 points. Georgia and Lithuania both gave 10, and Georgia's vote did nohave a Jury, it was all televote (the only country to do so).

First and second were the same with the overall juries. also first for each semi was te same with the televote and the jury. the country by country break down has yet to be released, which is always more interesting, but at least there was a consensus.

I still think the semi voting system needs to be changed so that the jury and the televote integrates better. Portugal would have got through on the televote in the first semi, they just missed out. I also dont think the big 5 and the host country should vote in the semis. if they vote everyone in europe should vote, otherwise it is none of their business and they can keep their noses out

but discussing the voting process takes away from what is a wonderful win with a wonderful song.

This is Austria's second win in something like 47 attempts. so 48 years after we last went to Vienna, we are returning next year for another instalment of Eurovision. Congrats Conchita and Congrats Austria

passionpop: (putting my foot in it)
SPOILER ALERT: if you are yet to watch the semis, this is a list of the running order of the final, so the 11 non-qualifiers are not listed. if you don't want to know who qualified, stop reading now.

Other than an update  on the odds, this is mainly a copy and paste of what I wrote earlier in the week, mainly because it is not fair to base Denmark and the big 5 on their rehearsal and the 20 acts that qualified from the semis on their polished performance complete with gimmicks and effects, but Romania was pretty awesome in the end

Final running order )
passionpop: (putting my foot in it)

The semi performances will be the same in the final for those that make it. There are 6 that have already made it though to the final, most because they pay to.

The big 5 are German, United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain and they are the the biggest financial contributors to the EBU. Denmark also Auto qualify for the Final because they allegedly sent the best act last year, they were at least determined to be the winner of last years contest.

so these are the other 6 rehearsals.

Auto-qualifiers for the final )

passionpop: (sweet and innocent)
This is all of the semi final 2 performers this year. SPOILER ALERT this has details of their performances as well as a link to their rehearsals. If you want to keep how dire the acts are a surprise, please stop reading now

There is always one Eurovision semi that is far better than the other. This is not the better semi.


full list of second semi finalists )

so in short, I doubt anything from this semi will win or even come close. either the song is dire or the performance it not good enough to get it votes.
Best performances: well... possibly slovenia
Auto non-qualifiers: either greece or poland wont qualify or both,

the highlight of this semi is clearly Jessica Mauboy

passionpop: (sweet and innocent)

so the first semi is a few days away and the rehearsals are progressing nicely. this is the running order of the first semi. SPOILER WARNING: this has links to rehearsal clips and comments on the rehearsals.

full list of Eurovision semi 1 participants )

so I think Hungary and Estonia have the best performance this semi and the Netherlands and Moldova are auto non-qualifiers

passionpop: (sweet and innocent)
Lithuania is officially the last country on the agenda for 2014 and it is a song that is sure to get your attention, it actually demands it. I personally think it sounds only marginally better than corellas screaming outside my bedroom window at 7am, but that's just my opinion.

Artist: Vilija Matačiūnaitė
Song: Attention

This song was apparently written as a reggae style song, and I would have liked to have heard that. It is like Montenegro's entry from last year, Igranka, without the rap. That song failed to qualify for the final despite doing quite well with the presentation. Attention may qualify to make the numbers.

My biggest concern with the clip is about 2 minute in when she sits on the head of her male backing dancer. Then his head appears to pop out of Vilija's arse. Possibly best not to dwell on that image.

This song is almost smack bang in the middle of the second semi, so it is perfect for a toilet break. I wont be leaving the TV though because I want to see how this is presented and what other orifices heads can pop out of.

After about 6 weeks and 37 songs it is time to go back to where this all started with Moldova. Here is an outfit almost as confusing as the black tutu in the clip for Attention. I wouldn't be able to sing in this outfit either.

passionpop: (southpark)
Denmark are the carry-over champions in this years Eurovision song contest after winning in Sweden last year. It was the second time Denmark won in Sweden and Denmark's third win over all. The bookmakers have Denmark back in the mix this year. It is understandable

Artist: Basim
Song: Cliché Love Song

This is boyband song sung by a solo artist. The solo artist is also a previous X-Factor contestant. The only interesting and unusual thing about him is that he is of Moroccan decent. Basim is so young though that his parents would have been children when Morocco was in their only Eurovision contest in 1980.

It is another song with whistling in it. OK it is a whistle before each chorus, but is whistling the in thing in Europe this summer? Maybe you will need a little whistle in your song this year to win Eurovision.

In the End the song is light and happy and mostly harmless. I think it is only as high as it is with the bookmakers at the moment because Denmark auto-qualify for the final. In the wash up after the semis are decided, this will probably drop to 6th or 7th or maybe out of the ten entirely.

Over Europe over the years there have been a few Idol/The Voice/X-Factor clones, and I am not talking about the competitors like Basim being clones, but the shows being clones of the same format. In the Baltic states there is a cross border show called Fizz Superstar which is an Idol-esque show that has Entrants from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and in 2004, two Lithuanian's who individually competed in the 2002 version of Fizz Superstar showed up on the Eurovision stage as a duo. I hate Idolists.

passionpop: (die bitch)
The Netherlands is sitting in the bottom half of the draw with the book makers with this years Eurovision entry. It is country crap. I am sure that there are people that like it but it puts me to sleep.

Artist: The Common Linnets
Song: Calm After the Storm

In the early Naughties, Though I was never prepared to pay for cable TV, I knew a few people with Foxtel. You could change the name of your channels to whatever you wanted so you knew what was on the channel. CMC (Country Music Channel) was changed to Country Crap by almost everyone I knew that had Foxtel. Country is not universally liked and this year there is too many acts with country vocals in Eurovision.

I will admit that I loved Texas Lightning when they were on Eurovision in 2006, but The Common Linnets are just too country and too boring and really only succeed in being a toilet break.

The three American writers involved with this song wont help it win. It needs something to make it interesting, like a streaker or something. If this qualifies for the final, it will just be there to make the numbers.

So last year The Netherlands sent a song called “Birds” to Eurovision and this year they send a group named after birds. It is all about flying and wings and stuff, like Denmark in 2000

passionpop: (my ass)
Norway is currently in the top 5 with most of the bookmakers this year. His results hinge on his live performance which needs to be better than the Melodi Grand Prix. Can he do it? I hope so.

Artist: Carl Espen
Song: Silent Storm

From what I can find, this guy is a nobody who just happened to have a cousin who could write a brilliant song. It is so simple and understated. Yeah sure, Carl is not the best singer, but if this song is presented right, it will be right up there.

You just read this guys biography and it makes you want him to win. Raised by a single mum, he won a singing contest when he was 16 and joined the military and served in Kosovo. He has worked all sorts of crap jobs and done volunteer work for cancer research. Guy deserves a break really.

Norway is a country that tries in Eurovision and this could be the second consecutive year that Norway has finished in the top 5 after Margaret Berger. Norway has had eleven last places, 4 of those after scoring no points at all doesn't really say they have been trying but they have still entered every year since 1971 (except in 2002 when they were relegated) and that has got to count for something

I have been wanting to post “Een Speeldoos” from 1963. I know in Dutch it translates to “A Musical” but every time I see the title I think of speedos, something I don't want to see Carl Espen in, he is possible too hirsute for budgie smugglers.

passionpop: (dead)
Georgia have thrown everything at Eurovision and though they almost always qualify for the final, they have yet to win. This year the bookmakers think this is the second worst song over all. I wouldn't quite be so hard on this song

Artist: The Shin & Mariko
Song: Three Minutes to Earth.

It starts off and you think it is something from the Lion King, then it changes to something completely different. It takes almost 1 minute before the sing starts. Then it chops and changes a few more times then suddenly stops, the song ends abruptly. This song is different at least.

I am not sure about the dancing in the background of this clip. It the dancing is there on the night it will just make this song more interesting. It is also good to see that Colin Grigson (Rik Mayall) got a new band after Bad News.

I really want to like this song but I can't, there is nothing in it that endears it to me. It is 4th in the semi so that's too early for even a toilet break. It might qualify for the final just to make the numbers.

I don't get what Georgia’s song is meant to be about, but I do know that Earth can be translated to Jord in Nordic languages and and “For vår jord” was the 1988 entry for Norway

passionpop: (die bitch)
Israel have won three Eurovision song contests, the most recent of which was 1998. Since then they haven't really looked like winning. Nothing much has changed this year

Artist: Mei Finegold
Song: Same Heart

“Don’t need to be criticised” but you will be darl'. What is with the Beyonce body suits, anyways. Seriously! Also “They are as long as the infinity”. The lyrics of this song hurt.

This is one of those lazy song where one verse is done in English and one in the artists native language, in this case Hebrew. The last song that did this and won was Wild Dancers in 2004 and that won more because of the performance than the song (the song that came second actually beat the Ukraine in the semi).

The song and presentation are less than the singer deserves, but I think that's her own fault for being too malleable as an artist. It is something you see of a lot of artist who come up through Idol-esque competitions, they will do anything, any song to have a single. She is a rock singer with a pop song and try as she might she cannot make it rock enough.

Bad songs that use both English and the artists native language.. That's a little Like Georgia in 2012

passionpop: (die bitch)
Azerbaijan want to “Start a Fire”, which is a power ballad. The title is not to be confused with the tag line from when Azerbaijan hosted Eurovision in 2012 which was “Light your fire”. Azerbaijan is known as the “Land of Fire”, which is better than being in the ring of fire is guess. This song is not exactly on fire though

Artist: Dilara Kazimova
Song: Start a Fire

I have no idea what this song is meant to be about, but the lyrics are pretty and the music and vocals are nice. It is a pity that the singer can't use her pretty voice to sing the lyrics in anything but engrish. I needed the lyrics sheet to understand two of the stanzas in this song.

This song will probably go top ten. Azerbaijan always sits in the top ten . Since they started entering Eurovision in 2008, their lowest final position has been 8th, which is about where this is sitting with the bookies.

I generally dislike previous contestants from reality shows appearing in Eurovision, but Dilara is a current contestant in the Ukrainian version of The Voice (Voice of the Country). She is not even on the team of former Eurovision entrant Ani Lorak. If someone can translate Ukrainian, I would love to know how Dilara Kazimova (or as they say it in Ukrainian Діляра Кязімова) is going.

Dilara Kazimova attempted to represent Azerbaijan in Eurovision in 2010 as part of a duo called Milk and Kisses. They came second in the National final. Milk has been a winner though at Eurovision back in 1979 when Israel sent Gali Atari & Milk & Honey to sing “Hallelujah”

passionpop: (completely)
Malta is not known for sending anything different to Eurovision. It is usually pop or ballads... or pop ballads. This year completely lacks originality. It almost sounds like Mumford & Sons and even the title was stolen from an Icelandic Eurovision act from a few years ago. Maybe it should be called 'going home' rather than 'coming home'.

Artist: Firelight
Song: Coming Home.

I wish they would bring back Chiara. I never that huge on her, but I prefer her singing a ballad to this folk-pop that is suddenly popular. It is strange that when an act comes in to fill a void, how many other acts come in to block that void so no one can escape. It is like an S-bend full of crap.

This song is mostly harmless. The style can be heard in any Irish themed pub at after 10pm if you are sober enough to listen, and this being Eurovision, I don't plan to be sober enough to listen. Unfortunately seeing this is the first song in the second semi final though, I may have to be sober. Damn.

This should qualify for the final, but then any shit can qualify. It might do well only because drunk people vote. I think if this finishes in the top half in the final though, they can consider that a good showing.

Richard Edwards from Firelight plays an Appalachian mountain dulcimer, which is a fairly unusual instrument. There has been a few unusual instruments on the Eurovision stage. Switzerland played, amongst other things, rubbish bags in 1979. More traditional, unusual instruments from 2012 included Romania who sent a Romanian bagpipe Azerbaijan with a Duduk for When the Music Dies

passionpop: (southpark)
Estonia will appear in Eurovision for the 20th time in 2014. This year they are sending a Russian born starlet who has tried to her hand at competitions and festivals in Russia, the Ukraine, Latvia and Estonia. I think Estonia are targeting the former soviet vote...

Artist: Tanja
Song: Amazing

Wow, this is retro. It sounds like it could have come out in the mid 1990's, late 1990's at best. I am yet to decide if that is a good thing. It is performed well but, wow, so retro.

The bookies are not really rating this song and I can understand that seeing it is aimed at the wrong side of Europe. After watching the live performance, I wonder if she was miming because if she was able to really sing while doing those dance movements then that is Amazing. If that will be something like her performance on the night, she will do better than the bookies think.

This is better than Estonia's 2003 attempt at retro but I don't think retro will win Eurovision. It should qualify for the final.

So from something sounding like it was from the 90's to something that was actually from the 90's. This Maltese song is only Amazing in that it past a national selection. It was evident in 1999 that the ability to sing was not a prerequisite for entering Eurovision.

passionpop: (completely)
Hungary has never won a Eurovision but they keep trying. They have sent some interesting songs like “Unsubstantial Blues” and “Kedvesem” and again this year they have sent an interesting entry.

Artist: András Kállay-Saunders
Song: Running

This song is in and out the top 5 with the bookmakers, but currently within the top ten, so it is certainly in the mix. He can carry the song live, but the presentation will matter. After last year though, I think Hungary understand good staging so this could go either way at the moment.

The cynic in me thinks that this song would seem more genuine if the money raised from it went to domestic violence charities and support. I guess in part that would be up to the EBU though.

András appears to be descended from royalty. His mothers side (Kállay) is a famous noble house and his father (Fernando Saunders) is a legendary American musician. Very regal there. So important are those names that he often drops his christian name and is well known as Kállay Saunders.

Estonia were not content with just the kid of someone who was entrenched in American music, they got Dave Benton who had himself performed with some American music legends. It paid dividends in 2001 winning them the contest.

passionpop: (subliminal)
Spain, it is alleged, bought their first Eurovision win in 1968. In 1969 they were involved in the first tie. Since then their entries have generally been involved in less controversy. This year has completely avoided controversy so far.

Artist: Ruth Lorenzo
Song: Dancing in the Rain

I am always concerned with songs like this live. Some performances of it she is not that bad, but dancing and singing is not good for her, but points for trying. To me though it is sad that she has to stand still while singing a song about dancing.

The most annoying pat of this song is “The rain, the rain, the rain!”, which is a really crap refrain for what is otherwise an ok song. The second most annoying part is Ruth has some lungs on her. Who'd have thought someone who came 5th in UK X-Factor could actually sing. There are possibly a few small flaws, but she can hold it together fairly well. This makes this years final look interesting.

After Greece in 2008 I developed a dislike for the little princesses who grow up in the US and then move back to their native country to be a famous singer, but this years entry from Spain has potential. I wish her well, though she wont win.

There are too many former X-Factor contestants in Eurovision, including Kati Wolf who represented Hungary in 2011 in a very short dress.

passionpop: (die bitch)
Armenia are the hot favourite this year with an epic movie theme style ballad. Even as the odds lengthened recently after some inappropriate comments intended as humour, Armenia remained favourite. What's all the fuss, eh?

Artist: Aram MP3
Song: Not alone

The favourite doesn't always win, but usually does. The first hurdle is qualifying for the final. Angelica Agurbash who represented Belarus in 2005 didn't. Her song showed that you have to get the performance right. If you can't his a note from point blank range, you wont win.

France fluffed their chance in 2011 when they were favourite. Amauri Vassili had 'popping' issues in rehearsals from memory and that plausibly affected his live performance. Live could also kill Aram MP3. This is a really good song, and I think there is 10 artists in this years event who could carry it off better than he does. If any of them sung it I think it would win before the night has begun, With Aram singing, it might win... might.

The last country that was not at the high end of the economic scale that won Eurovision was Serbia in 2007. The rule in recent years is if you don't have oil you don't have Eurovision (Germany is probably the only exception but then they are the only country that can afford to buy the oil so they will have oil eventually). The three countries directly behind Armenia with the bookmakers are all connected to North Sea oil deposits. The question is, is Armenia slick enough to win without the oil.

In Spanish, 'Not Alone' is 'No estás solo', which also happens to be the name of the entry from Spain in 1987

passionpop: (die bitch)
Ireland are the most successful country in Eurovision history and the only country to have scored three wins in three consecutive years. This will not be a song to join that Irish Eurovision legend though.

Artist: Can-Linn featuring Kasey Smith
Song: Heartbeat

I don't think I have used the term Ethno-pop enough this year, but this qualifies in that category. Many countries rip of the Celtic sound so you would think Ireland would be successful using it, but in recent years they have not been as successful as the imitations.

I notice that Kasey Smith is a former girl-band member with Wonderland (yeah I had not heard of them until today either) who is concentrating on her solo career. She is performing with Can-linn which apparently comes from the Irish for 'to sing together', but she doesn't want to sing together which is why there is no longer a Wonderland...

Kasey has been working in Tennessee, USA, on her solo career. From there she seems to have developed a country twang which makes her sound a little like an Australian named Kasey, though she is more of a cross between Shania Twain and Anastacia. None of this means this will not qualify, but I am sure it wont win

Ethno-pop can win Eurovision and even when it doesn't win, it generally does fairly well. Armenia reached 4th in 2008 with some classic Ethno-pop.

passionpop: (putting my foot in it)
San Marino have never qualified for a final in Eurovision but you have to question whether they intend to. Are they only there to give Italy votes? If that's the case they are failing because they average around 8 points per Eurovision for Italy with only 4 points granted to Italy last year. That's cause for trade embargoes or something isn't it.

Artist: Valentina Monetta
Song: Maybe (Forse)

Poor little San Marino. Not only is it land locked by Italy on all sides, but this nation of 61km² appears to only have one singer. She has appeared in more than half of San Marino's entries into Eurovision, and here she is again for the third time in a row, Valentina Monetta

The first time she went to Eurovision in 2012, the song was dire. In 2013 she returned and the song was good and is showed how professional she was to have sung that steaming pile of crap in 2012. Her 2013 entry deserved to qualify for the final, but sadly did not. This years song is not as good as 2013 but it is better than 2012 at least.

Valentina has confirmed that she will not be returning in 2015, which is a mixed blessing. What will San Marino do? Who will they send? Maybe they will withdraw. Poor little San Marino

Who lets gingers into Eurovision anyway. Bottle or not, no one likes a ginger... except Ireland. Who sent this one twice. The first time was in 1984

passionpop: (die bitch)
Italy gave us he most covered song in Eurovision history which is also regarded as the second most loved Eurovision song of all time, but Volare (Nel Blu dipinto di blu) never won Eurovision (it came third, THIRD!) and Italy has not won Eurovision as many times as it should have. Twice just highlights how jealous the EBU was of San Remo in the early days of Eurovision. Everyone still loves Italian music though and I am not sure why

Artist: Emma
Song: La Mia Città

I think Emma thinks of her self of being Madonna if Madonna was born 30 years later. Her clip performance looks somewhere between Madonna, Lady Gaga and Pink. The live clip looks a little Avril Lavigne crossed with Courtney Love. The song isn't as bad as those comparisons make it sound though.

I think what I like best about the clip is that that appears that she is wearing tummy tucking dacks. The pink bit, and by that I mean the pick chiffon outfit, does definitely show a high waist as does one of the black and white outfits.

This is one of the better songs this year and plausibly deserves to be better than the bookies rate it, however it feels like it should be a TV show or move theme or even a car commercial. A Toyota Corolla or a Mitsubishi Mirage would work driving around a city to this song. Top ten even if the bookies don't think so

And then there is the other Italy, San Marino. Lets face it, it cannot be a coincidence that San Marino returned to Eurovision the same year that Italy did in 2011


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