Monday, May 31, 2010

Opa! Eurovision etc

Did you all watch Eurovision over the weekend? I know, I know... silly question, because the answer is obviously "YES!" It's only one of the three greatest days of year and I had the pleasure this year to be surrounded by equally jubilant Eurovision loving people. Cheering and booing with each performance (or, in the case of Portugal, nobody even cared enough to shout abuse!) and gnashing our teeth as the results poured in. If you follow me on Twitter then you would have gotten my entire stream-of-conscious thoughts about the show ranging from the prevalence of wind machines, costume reveals, money notes, key changes AND pyrotechnics (occasionally all in the span of a few seconds) to my disappointment that Ruslana's "Wild Dances" can't represent Ukraine each and ever year.

I can't say I was a big fan of the winning entry from Germany, Lena's "Satellite", due to her propensity for weird vocal inflections (say hello to Paloma Faith and Gabriella Cilmi then), but she was miles better than second placing Turkey ("We Could be the Same" by maNga") or Belgium's John Mayer-lite (which says a lot) singer Tom Dice and his stupid "Me and My Guitar", which was getting so many big scores until they they, thankfully, only managed a sixth placing.

Watching these hosts was like watching an oddball combination of Juliette Binoche, Doogie Houser and Fuzzy Agolley that had somehow staggered their way to Oslo, Norway!

My absolute favourite of the evening was Romania's entrant, "Playing with Fire" by Paula Seling & Ovi, which managed to rally late in the game and place third. I was really hoping this track that was performed by some random dude and a Shania Twain lookalike in a catsuit on a duel perspex piano could win (there's even some popera in there for good measure), but Germany just stormed away with it. I even gave Romania a standing ovation after their performance, it was that incredible. You don't see adjoined perspex pianos very often and this one had magical qualities, too!

The other three that I was really cheering for were "Opa!" by Greece's entrant Giorgos Alkaios and Friends, "Je Ne Sais Quoi" from Iceland's resident dancefloor diva Hera Björk and The SunStroke Project's "Run Away" from Moldova. Greece did quite well early in the evening, but their support collapsed at the end they only managed eighth, meanwhile Iceland and Moldova had middling results polling 19th and 22nd respectively, which was sad. Even sadder when you consider countries like Belgium, Denmark and Armenia with their ode to apricots (no joke) all polled really well in contrast to their awfulness.

I liked her much more than her song. She was hilarious!

As always there were pleasant disasters and, as always, one was the UK. Their entry with "That Sounds Good to Me" by Josh Dubovie was spectacularly, hilariously dreadful and came an equally hilarious last place. It was a race to last place between the UK and Belarus (and their amazing butterfly costume reveal) with the latter pulling off 24th place to the former's 25th. The UK barely scraped through to double points, which in itself was surprising because several of us were thinking they were going to get nil pois for their "effort".

Watch the entries from Romania, Greece, Iceland and Moldova below. Moldova is particularly fun to watch since they have a fiddle taken directly out of Tron and thrusting saxophones! If you are American and don't get a chance to see Eurovision then I implore you to visit Eurovision's official YouTube page right now and watch them all. You won't regret it (well, maybe some of it).

And, yes, just because... Ruslana's "Wild Dances". It is still one of the most incredible things I have ever bared witness too.

Until next year from, er, sunny Germany...


Anonymous said...

you're so lucky to have someone to watch Euro with. NONE of my friends know of or like it!

par3182 said...

my top 3 (moldova, cyprus & ireland) all ended up in the bottom 5 - i guess i'm out of my league when it comes to europop

where was all the support for germany back when 'no no never' was in the running? too little too late, europe

but i'm impressed by every country in europe finding a super annoying guy who thinks he's hilarious to host this thing year after year

Runs Like A Gay said...

I was out on Saturday night, but I so want to caytch up with this now. Thanks for filling up my Bank Holiday Monday.

Glenn Dunks said...

Par, I hated the Cyprus entry so I was glad to see it low, but I was in the middle with Ireland. Agreed about "No No Never" though! I still have that on my iPod!

Anon, how unfortunate!

Jorge Rodrigues said...

Hmm I've already said it, I'm sorry if I spoiled you some of the results (I was too enthusiasmatic to remember that you in Australia watch it with delay) :P

Well, Portugal was a bummer this year. It was a lovely yet sad, boring ballad that in the middle of SO many ballads got lost. But our singer had one of the best vocals in the entire Eurovision.

I was glad because my favourite songs got good results and if it weren't for Denmark and Greece (I hated it at first; after listening to it a few times, I'm more pleased with it), the top-10 was perfect.

Interestingly enough, I liked A LOT Germany, Turkey, Israel, Azerbaijan and Belgium. Just the ones you didn't like.

UK's was awful and it serves them well. They have to rethink what they bring to Eurovision. And the irony! 18 out of 25 songs were sung in English but the English one was the last placed.

Jorge Rodrigues said...

And you should listen to the English version of the Portuguese song. It's MUCH better.

I leave you the link if you want to check it out -

Mickche said...

Ah, Eurovision. A family tradition to me. My mother liked "Me and My Guiter" but when i asked her about the lyrics, she agreed that it wasn't anything special. Greece didn't work for me, and Denmark's cheesyness was unbearable. Germany's entry grew on me, her singing voice i think is a mixture of Lisa Mitchell & Sarah Basko. I initially likede Spain's entry and that incident was pure gold, even with the little shocks in the commentary at that point. However, after i heard the song the second time, then segments replayed twice during the voting, i had a headache.
Meanwhile, my dad loves eurovision, except,... he watched sunrise in the morning, who spoilt it.
I think it was an above average year. I'd say it was the year of the ballad. However, thr UK was shit. I was reading that Wogan resigned years ago from commentating Eurovision because of bloc-voting. Well, the UK finished last year in the top 5 with a semi-decent song, while this year, dreadful and a deserving last. But can you believe that Belarus got that 12 points at the end... where did that come from?

P.S. Whilst watching Serbia & milan stankovic's song, i was thinking of Lost in Translation with the Japanese co-host. My mum, said "oh, he must be gay, he's wearing pink boots". I correctly pointed out that the women has pink clevage and the men had a single pink glove. I wonder what that was referring to?

Glenn Dunks said...

Jorge, you didn't spoil anything. I effectively managed to avoid all spoilers!

Mickche, I didn't care for Denmark. That Serbian guy kinda looked like Sia had mated with Pete Burns.

Solo said...

Sia and Pete Burns is a horrific image I will take with me to my grave- thanks!

I have to laugh at the fact the UK's entry was called something like' Sounds Good To Me'. I haven't heard it myself, but clearly it didn't. You know Morrisey actually offered to represent us this year, but he pulled out when he found out the BBC were expecting him to compete on a public vote show called 'Making Your Mind Up'. (Yes the British public actually voted for that. We only have ourselves to blame. If only we cared.)

I haven't seen it since Wogan left, but now I can just come here for the 'high'lights. Result.