Saturday, December 31, 2011

As I previously said, over the new year holidays I will be away. From time to time I may get access to wifi and if I do I have a nice piece of surreal arguments to put up. If not I'll launch it on Wednesday.

Review: Switzerland


As Switzerland was the first to select their representative so they get the first review. Switzerland choose Sinplus with their song Unbreakable to represent them in Baku. This song has a lot to offer. It is a rock song and given the reaction of fans (or those interested enough in rock that their opinion was actually a real opinion) seemed to think that was a really strong song for the genre. I am a firm believer that a song that is good in the genre will never do badly. I know some fans who like a certain genre of Eurovision music actually would have liked to see a different contestant in Baku but there you have it. The public decided. We have to work with that.
At this point in time it is difficult to know exactly how this will fare in Baku given that we simply do not know enough of the songs going. If it was a heavy rock year (i.e. 4-5 rock songs) then Switzerland could be in trouble. However I think it is a very accessible song and should do well in the semi-finals and should qualify for the final.

Overall I think that this interesting and this is because of excellent and interesting vocals on the part of the lead singer. If vocally this is not up scratch on the night this could fall flat on its face. The song ends a little too quickly but this could easily be fixed by throwing a few extra notes at the end. For some strange reason whenever I listen to it, I think it is so similar to Monster by The Automatic with a little So Lucky from last year thrown in. I am assuming that they will play the current 3 minute version rather than adopting another.

Verdict: I know it is not Lys Assia but it is a good all round and accessible rock song that should go down well at the Eurovision Song Contest. Personally I am not the biggest rock fan but I find this listenable.

Grade: C

Happy New Year

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a happy, health and prosperous 2012. We hope you, like us will look to another great ESC year. We hope to be right there with you through thick and thin, good song and bad song.

We sadly have to announce we are taking a short holiday and will be back with you later next week. We hope to see you again then. However sometime this evening/tomorrow morning we will publish the first review of a song going to Eurovision (Switzerland).

End of year report

So as we draw another year to a close I am eager to set out my plan for the new year. As some of you may recall we set out our goals in September of this year and we will do the same now and we will look back on our plans for this term.

The Best Eurovision Blog year end report.
Year: June 2011-December 2011 (All targets unless otherwise stated are for 31/03/12 or when National Final season ends.

Viewer stats: Our visitor stats are low (Very low). However getting The Best Eurovision Blog on Twitter has helped our viewer stats. Also as National Final season improves we are expecting to receive more visitors.

Content: Much more reviews of songs particularly during national final season.

Goals since from last report:
  1. Continue blogging and have a 60% post/days rate (currently 50%).
  2. Continue with "And the winner of ESC 2012" and finish it before November
  3. Continue reviewing the various JESC entries and start reviewing ESC entries as they come.
  4. Launch The Best Eurovision Blog on Twitter and trial commentary for the Swiss national final
Achievements: 1. Post/Days rate has fallen and has not achieved the target (Was 60% currently 30%) New Target: 50%.
2. Achieved and finished.
3. Some entries reviewed. Though not all, No ESC song reviewed formally yet. New Target: Review all selected songs by January.
4. BEB now launched on twitter. Swiss/Albanian national finals not commented on but JESC 2011. Personally very pleased with launch on Twitter.
5. Full coverage of Melodifestivalen and good coverage of all Nordic national finals. Selection of others.
6. Examine options about moving blog to another host such as word press (Not that I desperately want to do this but if I could do more on a different host I would move.)
7. Review all official Eurovision Songs in depth and launch Baku page by 1st May.

As you may have noticed there are small changes happening on the blog on a continuous basis. This will continue through January. Pages and other info may change so please bear with us while we prepare the Blog for National Final season/Eurovision 2012.

We invite submissions on all our targets and if you have any ideas for the blog please let us know via the comments or Twitter. If you would like to keep it private, please email me.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Review: It's Cold and There Are Children Singing

“Those who can cook become chiefs; those who can’t become food critics”

In keeping with their alternative coverage of Eurovision last month ESCInsight published a book on JESC, titled: It’s Cold and There are Children Singing by Ewan Spence. This is a mould breaking book not so much for the content but the fact that a book might exist about any aspect of the Eurovision Song Contest and not be the grand history of the contest by John Kennedy O’Connor. Neither writing nor reviewing books is a particularly pleasant but it is an important task, that’s why I’m doing this. Even though the book itself is only 13000 or so words long, this still requires a review of over 800 words long. When I started writing this I wanted to write a review but at times it turned into more of a critical discussion. I think this is required given how long the book is published.

No book about Eurovision, for Eurovision fans is going to be an easy write. It is no easy task to write facts for us hard-core fans while at the same time balancing this with stories that we might not have heard in the daily podcasts or reports on other sites. This raises a fundamental question; what is this book for? When I bought it of Amazon for $2.34 (£1.67) my first though was “This better not be a summary of what already came out of Armenia in reports/podcasts.” However by attaching a price to something you’re automatically raising the bar. That’s why I wrote this review in the first place, as some would say in Ireland “You’re playing senior hurling now lads”.

Two major themes come out of the book, the first being the fairness, togetherness and community of Junior Eurovision. Spence regularly points out how fair the whole contest is, from conduct of the Children, to the general spirit of the entire contest. These arguments are made in a very sincere and honest way and at times seem to lead on a reflection of the stark differences between the Adult and Junior contents. Unfortunately, he doesn’t actually do this. Without actually saying it Spence does appear quite disappointed that Georgia won the contest, not because he didn’t like it but because despite all the fair play and honesty Georgia was the only one that didn’t always play by the spirit of the contest. However as my favourite song overall (though not on the night) I still was delighted to see it win.

The second theme is for those much more familiar with Spence’s work with the contest. The theme is the cooperation by fans (I refuse to refer to them as journalists). Spence has long argued that there is much more scope for cooperation between competing sites when it comes to writing. Clearly at the Junior Eurovision Contest this was the case. Sometimes it can be wonderful to see your vision on a small scale. It allows you to dream of bigger things……

My favourite aspect of this book is the travel writing. This book is not simply about JESC. It is about adventures in Armenia. Often when we talk about Eurovision we forget the important aspects of the host country very quickly. As a lover of travel the book gives you real insight into travelling in Armenia everything from visas to currency. Those of us who really want to see the ins and outs of these foreign lands, this book takes you there. Having only been to Eastern Europe once (to Bulgaria), there are still interesting parallels between the two cultures, both such as using the French word for thank you. Travel, culture and people are often forgotten as integral parts of our understanding of the contest but are too often ignored in coverage. This book is refreshing in the way in which it gives you a real feel of Armenia.

I think what it is missing is reaction to the winner. We are bombarded with different opinions about the contest all through the Eurovision week/fortnight. However we never hear their reactions once the contest is over and even when we do it is very short and lack detail and reflection. This book could be a good platform to do that. Because it does not it actually is a missed opportunity.

I guess this was not exactly the normal review. I think it is more a piece of Eurovision literature peer reviewed by another fan. I guess I was not sure what to expect when I bought it, but I have enjoyed it. It may not take you behind the scenes of JESC but does offer a diary of a Eurovision fan at the contest and for those of us not at the contest this is a valuable read. Most importantly the two major themes discussed above give you much greater insight into the junior contest and contrast it more strongly with the adult contest in a way which those of us sitting comfortably at home never saw before. I recommend this book to all Eurovision fans, who wish they were there and to anyone who want a deeper understanding of Armenia. Well Done, Ewan, I enjoyed this.

It’s Cold and There Are Children Singing by Ewan Spence is available from Amazon (For kindle only) for £1.67/$2.34. You can download an app for your computer/iPhone/Android for kindle directly from Amazon.

Guide to grading

Over the last few week and the coming months you will notice a number of reviews of songs on the blog. It is an area we specialise in and are proud of it. However here at The Best Eurovision Blog our reviews may not seem perfectly straight forward. This post is to give you some insight about how we go about it. While the blog has only been online for about half a year I have many years experience of grading songs at every level.

All songs are Graded on a scale of 18 grades. These range from A+ to E- (passing grades) these mean I think the song is acceptable for Eurovision and they are placed somewhere on the scale [Anything over C- means I would come back to listen to it]. F and G are fail grades meaning I think the song is unacceptable for Eurovision.  NG (Non-Gradable) is only given when I cannot bring myself to listen to a song for long enough to grade it.

Grading Scales
The Normal Scale: The scale that I normally use is reasonably tough. It means a good national final should have mainly C's. A poor one will have mostly D's and E's.

The Higher Scale: This scale is used at Eurovision, it is far tougher than the earlier scale but the results should be similar as the higher scale is meant to reflect the stronger songs. While it is it meant for Eurovision it is used in some national finals.

The Melodifestivalen Scale: This scale is only used in some Melodifestivalen finals when more that 60% of songs are receiving A's on the higher scale. This is a very strict scale and grades are not calculated the normal way. It has only once been deployed outside of a Melodifestivalen Final, in Norway last year.

Before grading is confirmed it is checked against other countries under the same scale to ensure uniform grades are generally given out.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Albania decides: Rona To BAKU!!!

In the most unsurprising event of the year Albania has sent 25 year old Rona Nishliu to Baku. Here at The Best Eurovision Blog we are delighted with the result having spotted the song by chance on Monday. Full review of the song to come soon.

Congratulations Rona!

Important Day Today (At long last)

As i'm sure your all aware Albania selects their song tonight. As far as I know there will be no live commentary from The Best Eurovision Blog. Therefore we recommend the article on escXtra or follow @ESCInsight on twitter. But keep an eye on our twitter page just in case my guests leave early or I get a chance to run upstaris.
A full list of artists for tonight is available here. ESCToday also have a poll running and as the largest independent website I find their polls the best available online. Enjoy tonight.

In other news the rumour mill appears to suggest that we are going to find out who the Turkish representative is going to be today. There is serious talk on Twitter but nothing is confirmed yet. We will try to keep you updated.

We're on Twitter!!!

The Best Eurovision Blog is pleased to announce that we are now on Twitter. Here you will find an update of all published articles and maybe even a short thought. Please feel free to follow us. From now until new year anyone who follows us we will follow back. Tweet to us @besteuroblog.

We would point out however that commentary (Live) maybe still on my personal account @SpTynan or another account so best follow both.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Albanian Briefing

So as previously posted, Albania is currently selecting it's Eurovision entry for 2012. While I am keeping a close eye on the contest, it is not as close as I would normally keep. However one song has really stood out and it is a song I hope to see in ESC 2012.

Rona Nishliu - Suus
I really don't know why I like this song so much but lets just say it evokes something deep inside of me that I don't normally feel with Eurovision Music, it is emotions that I normally get from the really good Opera or similar. I ask any Albanians reading this Blog to support it, sadly though the juries will have to make up their minds themselves.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Due to the celebration of Christmas we sadly will not be able to have the time to watch Albania's selection. Over the next week I will continue to keep a close eye on what is happening out there but unfortunately there will be no coverage of the festival. (Unless some of my guests can't turn up).

We hope you are enjoying Christmas/Holidays and assure you we will be back in the new year. (A more detailed review of the season so far and our plans for the year going forward will be published soon.

We also hope to have a review of ESCInsights book up before the new year.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

From the Editors Desk.

Dear Reader,
With the advances of new technology there are many things that you could be doing while reading this piece. You could be at your desk, taking a break from the hassle of Christmas Day or maybe your in front of a warm fire reading this off a laptop. You could be in the kitchen trying to get Christmas dinner together and pausing for a moment to read this off your phone. 

In many ways this is a simple explanation of Eurovision. While many people will (hopefully) read this post everyone's circumstances are a little different. This idea of uniting behind a concept, such as Christmas, is the same idea that unites us each year for the Eurovision Song Contest. Christmas day is a special day and each moment of it is special. Today is not a day for reports or analysis. Today is a day for family. (Although the real die hard fans will be watching FiK in Albania.) As a fan of Eurovision you should have learned of the love for fellow people of the world that comes from following the contest. Let us hope the love that unites us for Eurovision can glow through out the world as a guiding light for all those who have gone astray.
I would like to thank you following the blog over the last number of months and hope you will return soon. Eurovision is not as far away as think and in the next month the National Finals will get into full swing. We hope to be their with you to offer opinion and ideas about it. 

We wish you and your loved ones health and happiness both today and for the coming year.
With love, kind regards to all and good wishes,
Nollag Shona Duit, 

Editor of The Best Eurovision Blog.

P.S. I know this video is a bit obvious but it represents so much of what Eurovision means to me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Human Rights and Azerbaijan

I have often said in the lead up to the contest that Azerbaijan should never be completely trusted on their human rights record. The EBU has seemingly failed in this. A report by the BBC shows the human cost of Eurovision and it is a cost that every fan must bear in mind. According to their report hundreds of people will be forced to leave their homes so as they can be removed ahead of the construction of the contest venue. This has lead to the president of OGAE Denmark calling for Denmark to boycott ESC 2012. There is a claim that the demolitions have nothing to do with the contest and if this is the case there is nothing the EBU can do.

Therefore I am calling for a full investigation (included onsite inspection) by the European Broadcasting Union (Reference Group) to ascertain whether the construction of the venue or infrastructure for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 is connected to the demolition of up to 65 homes located near the proposed site for the contest. If the findings of the report are true the EBU should demand alternative arrangements be put in place. The EBU should be prepared to drop Azerbaijan as the host country if these human rights violations or any other human rights issue comes to light. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Espana mandar Pastora Soler a Eurovison 2012

Esté es mi primero blog en Espanol. Espero que sera el primero de muchos. Espana ha seleccionado Pastora Soler para ir a Eurovision 2012. Pastora nací en Seville en ano 1978. Empezó cantar en 1992 con su cantíon El mundo que soñé. Bueno surte a Pastora en el Eurovision.

We have just heard Pastora Soler is to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. We wish her the best of luck and looking at her record, I'd say they can expect a fair amount of jury votes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

So we finish off the reviews with the final 9.

1. Jessica Muscat - This might be a little to disco for my taste however it is good, but I don't expect it to be performed well live. Grade: B

2. Kaya - This might not be schlager but it does raise the standard. This is the first song I have heard that lifts to the standard that we would expect at Eurovision. An early favourite? It is not my favorite but I do expect it to do well. Grade: B

3. Kilnsmann - Why start by sitting on the ground? The chorus of the song sounds a bit boybandish however it is pleasant. Pleasant never won Eurovision but anyhow. But is it meant mean to be pop/rock or a boyband? There are some performance flaws but a nice song. Grade: C

4. Kurt Calleja - Very good but he needs to be able to live on the night to get to Baku. But remember Maltese voters are arguably the madest hatters of all ESC western countries. This is a nice song but this still would need a real live performance to lift it. If Kurt can pull that off the song has a hope. However I can only grade on what I hear in the studio version. Grade: C

5. Lawerence Grey - Good voice, dullish song we lots of these in Malta. Song only gets duller. Why wear a suit? Grade: D-

6. Nadine Bartolo - Here is yet another dull song from Malta. The song needs a lot more passion that Nadine is not able to deliever. Beat and style sounds a bit disorganised. Grade: E-

7. Richard Edwards - Look at me now is a better song than the last couple that I listened to it before, however this is still not over interesting. Nevertheless I like the overall song somewhat. Grade: D

8. Romina Mamo - This is actually rather good, but doesn't go for the final punch. However the overall song needs a little bit more music. Romina has a good voice and the song will need a good vocal on the night. Romina also could ditch the jacket/jumper combo in favour of a little more leather. Grade: D+

9. Wayne Micallef - Grade: F

So here at the BEB (Best Eurovision Blog) we are looking forward to Eurosong 2012. Even though some of the songs may not be the best. Overall the scores given are a little better than those in the Swiss final so may be we will get a better winner. In the meantime we are supporting DEBORAH C FEAT. LEILA JAMES for Eurovision 2012.

Why Eurovision?

ESCInsight's latest series is on their senior writers. How they fell in love with the contest and why they still love it. Today's article by Samantha Ross of the ESCInsider blog. However one quote just stood out at me which I think pretty much sums up why we all follow Eurovision. 

'Asking me “Why Eurovision?” is akin to asking me “why pizza?”  It’s definitely not the world’s healthiest food, and at times it’s downright terrible, but it satisfies a craving that nothing else can provide, and it’s always best when shared.' (Ross: 2011). 

A link can be found here

Continuing Maltese Reviews

1. Deborah C. feat L. James - Fab Alert: This is schlager, two bouncy (and good looking) girls jumping around singing a song that you just know they'll murder live. However massive live disastor performances are best avioded by a schlager style pair of heels. We shall see. If Deborah wears a leather catsuit on the night I'll give this an A+ in the meantime. Grade: A

2. Dorothy Bezzina - Interesting, that’s all I'll say. Grade: B-

3. Eleanor Cassar - Boring, poorly constructed pop song - good voice wasted on a poor song. Grade: E+

4. Fabrizio Faniello - Those of you hoping for something the same as last year will not be disappointed. However it is difficult to know if Fabrizio is worth sending to Eurovision again. Those with a liking for beards that make you look like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also will not be disappointed. Grade: B-

5. Francesca Borg - Dire. Grade: G

6. Gianni - Poor quality rock with few redeming features other than a good end. Grade: E

7. Isabelle - No faults. Beat is good and the music is arranged well. Not outstanding. It could build more and have a stronger ending. Grade: C+

8. Janice Mangion - Grade: D+

9. Janvil - Grade: C-

Conclusion of And the winner is series tomorrow. We will have the last part of this series Wednesday.

Conclusions: And the winner of Eurovision 2012 is.....?

So after looking at the various countries who could the winner be? Well if recent Eurovision history is anything to go by then Denmark looks set to take the title next year. Sweden are just behind Denmark. Russia/Ukraine/Bosnia and Heregovia are able to win but it depends on how much they want it. Ireland/UK/Turkey/France/Armenia could sneak up but they need to pick good songs but none of those countries are incapable of doing so.

But I am going to call who are the top 10 most likely countries to win Eurovision 2012:
1.       Denmark
2.       Sweden
3.       Ireland [If Jedward enter move them up to the second slot]
4.       Bosnia & Herzegovina [An ethnic song will win in the next few years]
5.       Italy [If they keep with entries that will impress juries]
6.       Armenia
7.       Germany
8.       Russia
9.       Ukraine
10.   Turkey

Some countries do well in this list for no reason other than they have the power and might to win Eurovision. I don’t think this is the Top 10 list for next year but I think the winner will come from this list. The only country who are not on this list and I really felt could be on it was United Kingdom. However this will depend on how good the selection process by the BBC is. As Blue didn’t work this year only finishing 11th sending JLS or similar next year might not produce a win.
Also I can only write this based on roughly how the country has done up until now. If Celine Dion decides to enter again for Switzerland, well I didn’t see it coming and I take no responsibility if you decide to bet your house on one country after reading this.

And The Winner OF Eurovision 2011 Is.....?: Part: I can't remember :(

So to finish off our in depth series:
I wrote this in June so I am sorry if it is a little out of date.

Ireland (My home country) is definitely had a mini comeback in recent years. RTÉ’s new mentor system is not a bad one given the fact everyone knows everyone else in the music industry in Ireland and this was proven by getting Jedward. What determines if this is a new era for Ireland or just a blip is where Ireland goes next. Certainly we could try to get U2 or The Script but they have better things to do. At this stage looking at Irish media it looks like our 2012 entrant is Jedward [And being on the ground in Ireland it certainly seems that way]. After performing for President Obama they are on a whirlwind of fame. While Louis Walsh was looking to Japan before but I think he could be changing the gear in favour of winning Eurovision and launching them on the European stage. If they put in a year trying to win Eurovision they surely can do it, but the need a more “Poppy” song more like Popular [Eric Saade] or Lay Your Love On Me [BWO], however what they need to do is release the song before Christmas and promote it in Ireland before they have to go to the National Final, then go to Europe. Looking away from Jedward, Imelda May would also be a very good choice – she’s a different Irish act, quirky enough to appeal at Eurovision but not over the top. Last year Jedward proved Ireland has a substantial vote base, even managing to stop Denmark and Sweden exchanging points.

Dublin 2013? Given Jedward’s popularity and the fact they could put a year’s work into Eurovision we can certainly say Ireland would be in with the strongest shout in years, particularly after . But if Jedward put in a middle of the road, last minute song it would be a very bad choice. Excluding Jedward if RTÉ were willing to get an act that is reasonably famous we would also have a good chance.

I can't remember if this was posted already:

After a landslide win in 2009 Norway seemed part of a new wave of western wins. However while their last two entries did well in predictions once picked they slide a lot when they hit the ESC stage. Norway can hardly be pleased with their last two results, but they should not lose hope. MGP is the second strongest national final system, in my opinion. However, while excellent songs are entered they still don’t take risks with more modern sounding entries, like Vardlokk or Not That Easy. They have the ability to get points across the board but are still supported by a strong Scandinavian Anglo-Irish block. However, after this year, if bland songs are going to do well in the contest then Tone Damli Aabarge may be a good choice.

Oslo 2013? Unless Norway steps out of its comfort zone they may find the Top 10 out of reach, let alone a win.

After seeming to peak in 2005/6 they made a comeback in 2010 and kind of lost it again. Romania has an unremarkable selection process and really I think they have as much chance as any country you care to mention. Their block is the outer Balkans who tend to not work as strongly as a normal block.

Bucharest 2013? Maybe

Conclusions this week.

First Malta Reviews

So after much waiting here are the first of the reviews of the Maltese songs. All songs have been assigned a grade from an A+ to E- are passing grades (i.e. I would listen to it again) and failing grades would be either F, G or NG. F and G are songs I would not listen to agian because I feel they are just below standard for their genre. NG means non gradable and only applies where a song is so bad I couldn't listen to it for long enough to grade it or where I feel the song may be personally offensive. While all songs have received a grade they have not all been commented on. This is due to the number of songs in Eurosong and the fact that they sometimes seem a bit bland. Songs without a comment are usually neither great nor very poor. Anyway enough with the rules lets get cracking.

1. Amber - Very unusual song, her voice is strong. However the song, though interesting, is a bit repetitive and the climax and final verse are by not strong enough given what they seem to be building towards in the first verses. Maybe this is intentional but I suspect not. - Grade: E-

2. Anna Azzopradi - Anna's light jazzy voice is pleasant and does grow in strenght in the chorus. Song is boring and the backing vocals which really should complement her voice actually seem the wrong. Grade: G

3. Annalise Ellul - It is a nice song that we see a lot of in the Meditreainain national finals however it is difficult to see them doing all that dancing in the final when vocals have to be live. Dance reminds me of Turkey 2003. Grade: D-

4. Claudia Fanniello - A strong ballad . Returning artist Claudia gives a great number with the song Prue. This has all the hallmarks of a good song but Claudia lifts it well, however there has been problems with her vocal performance in the past at the final. So let us hope she can pull this one off. Grade : B+

5. Corazon - Grade: D

6. Dancia Muscat - Grade: C-

More tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another One Bites The Dust!

Do-do-do Another one bites dust!

Poland's not coming to ESC 2012. This is not very surprising given that they are hosting Euro 2012, but as someone who would rather stab their eyes out than watch soccer I don't understand why they would leave. There are somethings I will never understand.

Malta reviews start this weekend!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So many songs......So much time

Malta is one of the non-nordic countries whose national final I actually do follow. Today they released all the songs in the semi final for you to listen to so over the coming days I will put a few reviews. As with many countries national finals some of the songs are just a little......ah (bored grunt) so while I will put up a grade for each there may not always be a review to go with it sorry!

ESCInsight have an ebook launched written by website editor Ewan Spence, about the Junior Eurovision Song contest 2011. Which is a fair achievement in two weeks. I will have a review of it posted to the blog over the coming weeks (hopefully before New Year)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Just a quick posting to convey my sympathies to the family and friends of Măllina Olinescu, who tragically commited suicide. 

She represented Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest1998 in Birmingham, UK.

While I don't know if this is required I'll put it up anyhow. 

Samaritans :

In the UK dial 08457 90 90 90.

In the Republic of Ireland dial 1850 60 90 90

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Swisss final tonight!!!

"And what time is it now, Ted?"
"One O'Clock"
And the Eurovision?"
"Is in May Dougal."

As you are all aware the Swiss national final takes place tonight. The final features a relatively bland group of songs, none of which will win ESC 2012. However a national final is a national final. Sometime around 9pm GMT or 10pm CET  we will know the first song of this years ESC. Which is a little strange given it is the 10th December (see aboe quote). Sadly, due to other engagements I shall not be on twitter this evening or even watching the final with you. I might be on Twitter by 8:00pm GMT so keep a look out for @SpTynan. Otherwise I recommend either @Ewan or @ESCInsight (I'm not sure which they are blogging through). So based on the studio versions the following grades have been given to the songs:

Lys Assia B
Raphael Jeger B-
Patric Scott feat. Fabienne Louves C+
Katherine St. Laurent C-
Sinplus C-
Ze Flying Zézettes Orchestra  D+
I Quattro D+
Sosofluo D
Ivo D
Macy D-
Atomic Angels E+
Chiara Dubey E
Guillermo Sorya F+
Emel F-

Lys Assia is the favorite to win tonight and here at The Best Eurovision Blog we would like to wish her the very best of luck.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Congradutions Georgia!!

I would like to start by saying congratulations to Georgia. They were one of the best songs in there however I was not convinced by them on the night.

So as we saw Georgia win JESC 2011 we now can draw a close to the Eurovision year. From next Saturday we move into Eurovision 2012. Even writing it seems a little odd but we will get there. So...

Happy New (Eurovision) Year Everyone!!! 

Once again I am sorry I could not find the time to write of late. In university, I am always writing a lot and you can get tried of this. The lack of material to write about also did not help. Going forward you can follow me on twitter (@SpTynan) and I will have some blog posts in due course.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I know things are not at their normal levels yet but we will be back soon (before JESC)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 15

Of all the countries in this piece Denmark looks the most likely to win next year. They hold one of the strongest national finals in terms of the music quality and have been in the top 5 twice in the last 2 years – the only country to do so. They choose a song that usually would not sound out of place in their charts or European charts and can be quite popular in general. [New Tomorrow was not only a favourite of my brother and my mother, but my grandmother also]. But their poor performance in the televote this year was a surprise, but they had a poor draw. Their National Final DMGP is improving each year and this year was just about as good as it gets in terms of a National Final, nearly all of them could be good enough to go Top 10 at Eurovision. They have a great voting base and don’t rely heavily on Scandinavian block votes [but they help]. Recent trends also show direct support from Ireland and UK for the Scandinavian block They have done well in recent years with support from across Europe. They are clearly a country to be taken seriously.
Copenhagen 2013? Seems the most likely to win next year, but it would be down to the song. However each year their national final has improved as has their Eurovision entry. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 14

Well, they came back with a bang. After one of the best comebacks in ESC history Italy are able to get points. This year The Madness of Love managed to take second place, even though it was written off by fans as soon as they heard it. However, it was very good jazz. At the moment it is not possible to make a graph from a dot, but Italy showed it could do well at Eurovision, even if they are the laziest of all ESC countries.

Rome 2013? It’s near impossible to discuss them as we only have one entry in many years but they have the ability to win.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Netherlands to host JESC 2012!!!!

It has been annonuced that Netherlands will host JESC 2012 next year in Amsterdam. This is a big step for Netherlands and shows their commitment to Eurovision both Junior and Senior. I am delighted for them and have big expectations for them. So we will see how that progresses.

Sticking with JESC the running order was done today and the running order is here: Interestingly Georgia has got the best slot. 12th and today they launched a new video clip today with revamped music and that is the video of the day, I think this version is a bit stronger and could stand a great chance at JESC this year.

 Also just to mention the new Eurovision website ESC Buzz I believe this could be one of the greatest innovations for Eurovision fans in a few years. It is run by the highly innovative team at ESC Insight. Well Done.

Slovakia changes their mind again

Sorry I meant to post this yesterday:

So Slovakia have decided they have not actually withindraw but at this stage who knows?

Iceland won the OGAE Second Chance 2011 - No surprises there. Hardcore fans tend to dominate the OGAE anyway.

Thats the main news but one story have not mentioned is the one about Lys Assia entering the Swiss selection this year with a French song penned by Raphal Sigel

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Continuing on with our series these parts are dedicated to Turkey and Ukraine:

After coming second in 2010 not qualifying this year was the shock of the night for Turkey and very much helped Azerbaijan to win. However I think Turkey may split votes with Azerbaijan and thus cancel each other out if each makes it to the final. Should one fail then the other ought to do very well. Turkey’s internal selection has done well for them until this year and it still could produce a good song. They have a strong diaspora vote and are in the Outer Balkan Block, which does give them a lot of points but may not be there for them in the Semi Final when the votes are split up.

Istanbul 2013? Interestingly many fans seem to think that Turkey could win next year but I still think they have a slightly lower chance than Russia.

In 2009 they sent one of the most male geared songs ever seen and only coming 11th and then this year they come 4th with an average ballad [one of the great injustices of ESC]. For me even Ukraine qualifying this year was a long shot, and then when they were in the lead I near fainted. Since 2010 they have had the “Rigged” national final format, and got two top 10 places for their troubles. They are very capable of winning but when they leave potential winners at home (Jamala), they could hardly expect to win. Each year Ukraine throws something to Eurovision and each time it is something new.

Kiev 2013? Depends on what they choose from their National Final and the EBU may step in if they continue to rig their National Final. They may do well in the coming years but a win is out of the question.

There will be some news tomorrow.

After Show Thoughts X Factor Show 1

As part of my new venture to do some coverage of the X Factor UK 2011.

My first thoughts after live show 1 are available on The Best X Factor Blog.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In a somewhat surprising turn of events San Marino have pulled out of Jesc 2011 claiming they could not find a singer - I'll let you make your own mind up on that one.

A new eurovision website has lauched. the difference between that and the old escdaily.

Also I now am going back to do some reviews of songs in this years JESC 2011 in Yerevan. Where better to start than Armenia. This year Dalitia will represent the host nation.

The song in my opinion is pretty average and I would be slow to put it on the MP3 player. Dalitia's pronouncation is poor and the voice in the background is awful. I just think this is the average song that causes JESC to fall in peoples eyes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 13

Continuing our series this part is dedicated to Greece and Iceland:

Greece is difficult to beat. Even when they put in as poor a song as Watch My Dance they still get 120 points and 7th place for their troubles. However they clearly lack the drive and resources to win the contest. Even if they did win serious questions about would need to be asked about their finances and the contest maybe moved to another country. If they realise that the IMF don’t pay for Eurovision when you’re not quite doing as they say, then Greece will surely lose their drive to win. As they did this year.
Athens 2013? Very unlikely. If they do it may do be in Greece

Iceland is one of the best countries at semi-finals but then does poorly at the final. Even though their national final can be poor, they have not many international stars and hosting a contest would be very difficult given their finances you have to admire plucky Iceland. They don’t really stand a chance of winning any time soon but they do deserve credit for how well they do each year. Their songs also lack that killer blow and instinct but given this year’s winner anything it is possible.

There has been an upsurge in the visitors to my blog and I would like to thank you for visiting.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Melodifestivalen kicks off

The big news today is that Melodifestivalen has kicked off with the web joker competition. I was never a big fan of the web jokker so I'm not expecting anything massive. However sooner or later a web joker is going to win a place in the final so it may be worth a look at.

In Finland 540 entries have been entered with the national final in Feb.

I'm also delighted to say ESC 2011 has won an award for Best Entertainment from the Deutscher Fernsephpreis. Well done Eurovision

Also the video of the day is Edsilla Romebly's new song. Note to the schlagerboys: TAKE A LOOK AT THIS:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

All Kinds Of Everything

I'm for real this time, so lets dive straight into the news

Dana, winner of the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest is running again for president of Ireland. This is the second time she has ran for the highest office in the land. In 1997 she polled third with about 13% of the vote. As always we will keep you up to date on the latest developments of how the campaign is going. It is not expected that she will come anywhere close to winning.

In other Eurovision news we have the start (of the sort) of the National finals with Slovenia. They have some sort of X factor type competition that has kicked off.

Speaking of X factor Janet Devlin got through to the live finals so we all look forward to her.

Janet was simiply amazing in Bootcamp, and Judges houses, so if anyone from Ireland or UK is reading please consider supporting her.

Monday, September 12, 2011

As I previously wrote I am having trouble finding the time to blog at the moment. This is largely due to pressures on my time as well as a lack of news to comment on. I also have been stuck for a computer. Anyway I should be fully back blogging by Monday.

In the meantime just for your information we have been online for nearly 12 weeks. Over the next 12 weeks (or between now and the year end) I hope to:

  1. Continue blogging and have a 60% post/days rate (currently 50%).
  2. Continue with "And the winner of ESC 2012" and finish it before November
  3. Continue reviewing the various JESC entries and start reviewing ESC entries as they come.
  4. Launch The Best Eurovision Blog on Twitter and trial commentary for the Swiss national final
Also our friends over on ESCDaily are launching a new look website on Friday and we look forward to that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Once Again I Am Off (Sorry)

Once again I find myself heading off on Holidays. I am off to mainland Europe.

At this time of year it is unusual to be going holidays. September normally represents a time of year that for me represents change. It is also a change for Eurovision. In my opinion the definite point where we move from one ESC to another is September. It now the time when songs may be released and you start to notice the news pages picking up again.

I hope that ESC 2012 brings you many great moments and memories. I also hope you have enjoyed ESC 2011 and understand that while you may not have overly liked the results the winner of the public vote was ultimately the process was democratic.

I also thank you for following this blog and hope you will come back again

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To Baku And Beyond

As I am sure you know has reported that the reference group are to travel to Baku this week to take care of various aspects of business including receiving official assurances about the contest. Following all this they will give the green light to Azerbaijan for next years contest. I will be looking very carefully at the results of this meeting. I have made my views on Azerbaijan hosting known on many occasions and I won't be repeating myself. However I am calling on the EBU to be very careful in allowing Azerbaijan host ESC 2012

Latvia have announced their National Final will have an internet round and the Final show will be on 18th February. A jury will then decide who exactly will go into the National Final, interesting....or not....I never really follow Latvian selection

Monday, August 29, 2011

Malta's In! (But no word from Albania)

Malta has declared that it intends to go to ESC 2012 and is to have their national final on the 28th January. I am looking forward to it. Malta as extended the rule for repeat appearances from three years to five. Which I think is very harsh. I've always have a soft spot for Malta though.

Albania is to hold Fesival I Kenges but so far have not stated if they are going to Eurovision. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 12

Having come 9th in the last two contests Georgia is certainly able to score votes even though they have not sent the most outstanding of songs. They have as good a chance of getting votes from the same pool as Azerbaijan, a win is possible. However Georgia does not appear to be actively trying to win the contest at the moment, which is their biggest disadvantage. They also may not stand out if Azerbaijan and Armenia have good songs. It also should be noted that Georgia won the USSR Block (Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuanua, Georgia, Belarus and Ukraine) for the last 2 years in spite of only coming 9th/10th.
Tbilisi 2013? Given that Armenia may not be in the next ESC due to the location and Azerbaijan may not have a winning song on show it is conceivable but they must up their game.

Friday, August 26, 2011

How Many More Venues?

One cannot help but notice that the number of venues for Azerbaijan is starting to outnumber the number of months left to build it. There is only really a seven month building window left. (Assuming the stage will need to be started around April 15th). Really you can only afford to pick a venue, see if it needs an upgrade and then proceed to make preparations for the arrivals. Hosting Eurovision is not the Olympics. You not have seven years  notice after a comprehensive bid. It is just a large TV show which you have a year to prepare for. So far there is no attempt to construct a venue or even reveal what the plan B is. My guess is sometime in February word will come through that we are moving venues. Then it will be off to Copenhagen or Stockholm. (More than likely the latter). 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 11

Due to the lack of news I continue with the in depth series trying to see who might win ESC 2012.    

Bosnia and Herzegovina
It is difficult to say with Bosnia +Herezegovina whether they got votes as their song is good or if they just got a lot of neighbourly votes. However each year they choose a song through internal selection and really have only let us down in 2010. They are a very difficult country to predict as they could send anything to the contest. However their attitude of sending a song they like rather than a song for Eurovision is a refreshing attitude.

Sarajevo 2013? Very hard to call but I would be surprised if B+H win. In recent years the trendhas moved away from ethnic songs and to more main stream. But the drop in ethnic songs could lead to a very ethnic and do quite well. They also rely on no neighbour putting in a good song, which would be an odd year. But it is possible.

Monday, August 22, 2011

And One More Thing

In continuing to recap on the news around Eurovision I shall endure to continue:

The Cypriot song this year will be sung in English. This is not surprising as the singer will most likely bring a very contempory sound from Cyprus, but still they have entered 2 songs in their own language in the last 4 years.

DMGP has won an award for their excellent programme that attracts many viewers each year, and had a 70% share of viewers this year. The album of the songs in DMGP charted well in Denmark. It is one of the best National Finals on the go, both in terms of quality of the music and general staging. Unfortunately due to the high intensity of the National finals I overlooked DMGP in favour of Melodifestivalen. When I came back to it I realised just how good it was and I am delighted to see it receive an award. I'm also delighted to hear DMGP is to occur in late January when there is a less intense national final season.

The big story that I forgot to report on over the last week was that is reporting that the Spice Girls are considering to try to go to Baku. Normally I would dismiss this as speculation, however is quite a reliable source. While I have nothing against the Spice Girls I would warn the BBC and UK against allowing them directly through to Eurovision without any form of National Final. I believe this was key in Blues somewhat failure to break the Top 5 at Eurovision. At least the national final puts artists under an amount of pressure.

Ukraine has announced their plans for 2012, which involves a talent show style National Final. However you never really know with Ukraine. Ani Lorak and Filipp Kirkorov are thought to be involved.

So that brings the news articles to an end. Tomorrow I will continue with the And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 is........ series. 

In other news, Saturday night saw the return of X Factor on TV. (Being in Ireland I can see it.) I was very impressed with an Irish girl - Janet Devlin. You can see her performance here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Some more titbits of news

To continue with the news from my last post:

I am delighted to hear that A Friend In London is to bring out their new album on Monday. They were my favorite act in this years contest so I am really looking forward to it. Verka Seduchka also has release a new album. In other album news t.a.T.u. have split and one of them have released a solo album. I am far from their biggest fan and don't really.

In Switzerland the Italian broadcaster has lauched a plan to find two acts to put into the national final and have asked the Swiss public for songs.

Finally, Gün.Az reports that 42 countries are ready to confirm for Azerbaijan 2012. This is largly speculation but we shall see if they are proved right. The list claims Czech Republic is to return, which is no surprise.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to Blogger

So I'm finally back from my holidays. They have been great fun. Anyway so much as happened in the land of Eurovision. Azerbaijan now looks like it has EBU approval but we cannot say anything for sure yet. They have produced a plan B anyway. The saga goes on......

To recap other news, the main headlines while I was away:
David Hasselhoff was rumoured to be entering the Dutch national final. This was since rejected as just rumour. He claimed it would be unfair on young budding contestants. That is over blowing your trumpet.

Hari Mata Hari are rumoured to be making a return to Eurovision. I personally hope they return I loved their 2006 entry.

Denmark set their national final date for 21st January. This earlier than normal and  I really like the music in the Danish MGP so I hope I will be able to blog from it live (I hope to have a twitter account set up by then). Perviously it has always been clashing with Melodifestivalen or MGP in Norway.

More news tomorrow but please note that I am in a very stressful and busy period at the moment. So I will do my best to blog.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm Back! (For A Day)

So not very much has happened in the last week. Cyprus annonuced it will be sending Ivi Adamou to ESC 2012. She looks like a reasonably good choice.

Netherlands has asked John de Mol to produce the National Final next year. This is a big name to be bringing in and shows the dutch commitment to the contest.

Also we come to a time of mourning for Schlager as Alcazar played there final gig at Stockholm Pride recently.

There is a great article on Azerbaijan over on ESCInsight. Well worth a read. Back properly on Tuesday

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ukraine JESC song review

This year Ukraine has picked a strong song to send to Armenia. They are sending Kristal with the song Evropa. I think this is the strongest song picked so far as it has a good beat to it, compared to the other songs, however it is not my favorite. I also think that she needs a better costume as the one she is wearing just looks poor. They also need to change the gap between chorus and verse.

In other news, it is claimed that Cyprus will send Ivi Adamou to ESC 2012.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stop The Press!!

According to the Irish Eurovision website Cyprus will announce their singer for 2012. This will be the first  singer/songwriter to be announced for 2012. No other information is available at this time but hopefully there will be some news tomorrow. 

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 10

In my opinion, August is by far and away the quietest month for ESC. Largely caused by everyone being on holidays. The biggest news is that Ukraine has picked their song for JESC 2011 but unfortunately I can't make up my mind about it. So I will have a review for you tomorrow. Until then Germany is up on the And the winner is series.

You cannot deny that Germany is one of the most successful countries in ESC in the last two years. However, after two years of Lena Meyer-Landrut, the big question is who or what will represent them next year? Assuming they use the same X-Factor-ish format as 2010, there is little question of its ability to find a winner. [Even without Stefan Raab I expect the format to remain largely the same]. However in a country as big as Germany there is the talent, it’s more about whether they can find it.

Dusseldorf 2013? Most unlikely, while Germany may win the contest again in the next 5/6 years the trend is the previous host does not usually do as well as expected.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ok, here we go again. I don't have a lot of time because my train leaves shortly and I am writing this with my laptop on my lap. Bruno Beberes (French HOD and sits on the reference group) gave an interesting interview recently where he suggested that Morocco my try to return to the competition next year. Bruno expects that they will return. Kosovo has tried to enter twice before and Beberes also compared them with Bosnia and Herzegovia when they decided to enter in 1993.

Other interesting points that arose was that Amaury Vassili was orginally to sing Maria at the Eurovision song contest however as he had performed it at a show in July 2010. Personally I think it is a far better and more interesting song then Sognu. But that may just be me. Beberes did not mention the plan  that France is to have a National Final.

María - Amaury Vassili

In other news Mans Zelmerlow is planning to return to Melodifestivalen 2012. He is currently searching for a song. After being a fan favorite for 2007 and 2009 I'm looking forward to his return.

Back again on Tuesday all going to plan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

And JESC Rolls Around Once Again

So as the year moves on, we now know exactly how many countries are going to be there for JESC 2011. We now know that 12 countries will risk not being let into Azerbaijan next year and go to Yerevan. Italy has not decided to debut but San Marino will be there instead. As expected Serbia, Malta and Latvia have decided to stay home for this year. I would hope to see a good number of them return next year. 

One notable change to the rules for this year is that due to the low number of voting countries all points from 1 to 12 will be announced. This is something I very much welcome as JESC regularly comes down to a close call.

Will talk again tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

So I briefly return to my desk following some spectacular holidays in Kerry. However I am only here for the day and I will be back on either Wednesday or Thursday.


Moving on to some more serious business, Georgia picked their song for JESC 2011 a few days ago. Now, I have only just been shown this and OH MY GOD! This is Louis Walsh's Dream. This is so camp. The outfits are dire however  the song is by no means poor however it has a bit of shock factor. This will either sink or swim, there will be no mid table placings with this song. The bass beat the back must be as strong as possible however or else we will have a Getter Jaani on our hands. However I am not really that good at judging how a song will do at JESC. However I  would guess that Georgia have a strong song on their hands and with a good draw the could be in with a good chance, as we all know Georgia will not be short of friendly neighbours and vocally this is very strong the juries should lap this one up. 

So until later in the week when I will have a piece another on JESC, I wish you all good luck.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where to now for Ireland?

Holidays in Ireland are strange things when your Irish, and when the rain leaves you stuck a mile away in your house from the local town your attention turns back to writing up a few blog posts in advance. I wrote this up in advance with the aim of posting it when I find some free Wifi.

Ireland had a poor decade in ESC from 2000-2010. Following years of wins and top 5 placings 2000 brought us to 6th place however Ireland continued by either not qualifying or coming in the last 3 in the final. Other than a 10th and 11th place things have not been great. After the success of Jedward this year bringing us our best placing since 2000 who should we send next?

Two groups have put their names forward. First and foremost Jedward were the first group to say they would like to participate again in 2012. They should do quite well for Ireland again this year. I felt as great as they were Lipstick was a poor-ish song, rather repetitive. I believe they would get a better placing than this year.

The second group are Crystal Swing, now I spoke about these before, they would have very little chance. So who else, well my personal favorite to go to Eurovision is Imelda May, she is a good artist and would represent us well at Eurovision.

RTÉ have a history of trying to get past winners to come back, this is a poor idea as we won all our titles when juries were in full swing. Past artists have limited success on return. Mary Byrne, our X Factor contestant has a good chance but I think her appeal could be somewhat limited, but she still is a remarkable singer.

After she came second in this years national Final Nikki Kavanagh could be a strong potential choice. Her song, Falling could have done rather well for Ireland, but we had to send Jedward.

Ireland does have long musical history but at ESC we often turn to Sweden for a song writer. Maybe next year they will just supply the whole package and send Timoteij.

Still not entirely sure when I will blog again but until then bye for now.

P.S. Sorry I could not post a video with the singers

Friday, July 8, 2011

Surprise! (I'm still here)

Due to a slight change in my plans I was staying at home one extra day. This means I have time to do one extra blog. Today I guess I should talk about the venue of the ESC 2012. 

Before I begin it is worth noting that while Azerbaijan did win ESC 2011 they have not technically been given the   right to host the contest yet. They will recieve this in August when the EBU approve their venue. In contrast to recent years Azerbaijan does not have an obvious venue for the contest. In the vast majority of cases an obvious venue should be clear, such as if the contest ever did come to Ireland it would be in the O2. Azerbaijan does not have such a clear cut venue. Some venues have been mentioned from a 2000 seater concert venue to a glass palace in the Caspian Sea.

On Wednesday the rumor mill seemed to say that the Azeri government had given around €9 million for the development and refurbishment of the Tofig Bahramov Stadium which would hold around 20,000 people, and would be a more normal choice. However ESCDaily reported yesterday that President of Azerbaijan has said an arena would be built in the National Flag Square. Personally if I was in the EBU I would be giving RAI and      SVT a call at this stage. Building a brand new venue could be very risky, but you never know. 

In August the EBU will inspect the proposed venue at the Reference Group meeting in Azerbaijan (Or inspect the plans for the proposed buildings). At that stage they will rule if Azerbaijan can or cannot host the contest. To be honest I think venues are the least of the worries, and I expect that the EBU will decide to use the Tofig Bahramov Stadium. However matters arising from items such as Visas, Security, Freedom of Press and personal expression are the more difficult and are more difficult for the EBU to police. Until then I will be here  writing away. Do enjoy your holidays in the meantime. See you soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 9

As I said yesterday I'm going on holidays today so I won't be updating the blog until next week at the earliest. So until then I leave with a few short pieces from And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is...? The Georgian National Final for JESC 2011 is on this weekend and I will have a review of the song up as soon I find internet to put it up on the blog.

Even though they have not done well in the last number of years bar 2009, Estonia has a strong internalised national final format, much more concerned about what sounds good to Estonians than what would work at Eurovision. This should pay off. Despite gaining 44 points with one of the most modern songs in the contest, they only came 2nd last. They will need to be more active in order to secure victory.
Tallinn 2013? While they may improve on last year’s result they may need some more time.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
It is difficult to say with Bosnia +Herezegovina whether they got votes as their song is good or if they just got a lot of neighbourly votes. However each year they choose a song through internal selection and really have only let us down in 2010. They are a very difficult country to predict as they could send anything to the contest. However their attitude of sending a song they like rather than a song for Eurovision is a refreshing attitude.
Sarajevo 2013? Very hard to call but I would be surprised if B+H win. In recent years the trendhas moved away from ethnic songs and to more main stream. But the drop in ethnic songs could lead to a very ethnic and do quite well. They also rely on no neighbour putting in a good song, which would be an odd year. But it is possible.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

News Flash....or something like that

Today we have some news and most importantly of all is Netherlands were due to announce their plans for ESC 2012 today and they did. This year they will have an open national final. There will be only one final with  6/7 songs, depending on quality. I am delighted with this news as Netherlands could be a very strong Eurovision country. An open national final would allow this.

Serbia have announced that they are to withdraw from this years JESC, claiming, not content with it only being an annual event they need to have a year to "think". Really they did very well last year and were not to far outside the shake up coming 3rd. They really impressed me last year so I was hoping they would have something nice for this year. Shame.

As you may have noticed I am going on holidays a lot lately and sadly this means that I have trouble finding a place to do a blog (largely due to the fact I cannot find internet where I go) - you can thank rural Ireland for that. Though I hope to find a WiFi spot somewhere in Kerry. The trick is with me is it must be free. Tomorrow I will try to get up a few And The Winner Is? pieces and from there I cannot say when or where I will blog next. My aim is to blog once or twice over the next week but I won't really be in full swing until after August. In the meantime I really hope you enjoy your summer, do check this blog from time to time. For those with Eurovision depression there is the weekly podcast over on ESCInsight.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 8

Finally we come to the UK. After finishing behind Jedward in this year’s contest, The UK was less than happy with 11th place. The UK has by far the most developed and best resourced music industry in Europe. Together with the BBC looking for much more high profile stars the question really should be why they would not win Eurovision. But there are obstacles to be overcome such as the British Tabloids hating Eurovision and the BBC, even with Blue, were not prepared to go all out to support them like their counterparts did in RTÉ for Jedward. The question with the UK is who to send. I think the boy band line BBC seems to follow may give them some success but may not get a win. I think going down the Katherine Jenkins route with real popera such as her version of the song Bring Me Back To Life would go down well at Eurovision. Rebecca Ferguson may not be the obvious choice [X factor contestants have had varying success at Eurovision] but her rather distinctive voice, and ability to sing a pop song well, may go down well in Europe. The UK has so much to choose from they should follow the French and go for something not so seen on Eurovision regularly.
Cardiff 2013? Or whatever city the BBC chooses. Really this is down to who they pick. There is the potential to win the contest in the UK it is a matter of taking the risk rather than settling for a mid-table position.

As with Sweden, I will have a piece on who should represent the UK in August. More news tomorrow.

More News

Well I am back, for a short while. Today there is a few bits of news flying about. First up it's Cheryl Baker has made it to the final of Popstar to Operastar. She is there with X factor winner Joe McEldery. I'm not watching the show so I don't have a real opinion on how good they are but my guess is Joe will win. He is also the bookies favorite. He should be the same fresh faced, sweet heart of the British Public he was in 2009. As opposed to the aging sticking set that is Cheryl.

Italy are in talks about joining JESC according to the Oikotimes, a decision is expected that Italy will be there in 2012, but this is only talk really. However this is great news for JESC, has a member of the big 5 is needed to give the contest some creditably. Serbia is also expected to announce their plans during the week. Georgian final on July 9th.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The End Of A Schlager Era

Today we heard that Alcazar have decided to "take a break" - in the sense ABBA took a break. Even though Alcazar were better before Mangus Carlsson left they still are the best Schlager group on the go at the moment. They participated in Melodifestivalen no less than four times. They were one of the most popular groups to fans not to make it to Eurovision. They won OGAE second chance contest twice in 2003 and 2005. They came second in 2009 to Hera Bjork with "Stay The Night". But you never really know maybe Christer Bjorkman may convince them to get back together for Melodifestivalen certainly I expect to see at least one of them individually in MF (I hope it's Tess). However it is the end of a schlager era. At this point it seems right to leave you with this video.

Norway have called for songs for MGP 2012. So if your thinking about entering they welcome compositions for Non-Norweigens.

Even though I strongly disagree with a lot of the stances taken by the Oikotimes. Today they published an excellent piece on Azerbaijan hostinng ESC 2012. You can look at it here. What they are saying is that Azerbaijan has not yet come up with a proper venue, but we have heard about some airy-fairy stadium in the Caspian Sea. They have not come up with a real budget other than the headline €100million but this seems like it may not happen. The Azeri have yet to give commitments to do with Visas and allowing people and delegations into the country safely. Also they will have to allow people who have a Armenian stamp on their passport to enter the country has some of the Eurovision team will also be at the JESC 2011 in Armenia.
The Oikotimes ends with a note that some blogs (not this one) are reporting that RAI are on standby in case....... Personally if an emergency Eurovision was required Sweden would be the best to turn to. They could put on a emergency ESC by putting their Melodifestivalen plans into action once again.

I'm going away for the weekend (again!) in the morning but I may have internet where I going but I may not I'm not sure. If not I'll be back on Sunday. Please consider this your Friday post

Thursday, June 30, 2011

And The Winner Of Eurovision 2012 Is.....?: Part 7

At the moment very little is happening so we continue with the series And The Winner Is Eurovision 2012 is...? and this part is for France

Oh La France! After not winning in 2011 despite being a hot favourite, France should be disappointed. I more blame the song than the singer, but anyway. France has come with some of the most original and impressive songs in recent years, but 8th place was as high as they have went. Interestingly France 3 has announced it will change to a National Final format in 2012. This may change the style of song from alternative to more mainstream. However if they were to do a national final solely consisting of alternative entries, it would definitely be a step towards a win. 
Paris 2013? France will rarely do well with a generic ballad or pop song however if they keep sending good or unusual songs to the contest they certainly could be in contention next year. However I expect a poor song to come from them next year largely due to a poor national final. But they could be in contention in the next few years.