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