Thursday, May 30, 2013
In contrast to many other years I have been surprised by the amount of acceptance that there has been of the results. Many other years have seen many fans call for an end to juries in the contest and a return to televoting.
Many websites have been shocked at the EBU only releasing the split averages of scores rather than using the old system. However I ask - did the old way of giving results really give you that much insight into how Europe voted?
I think that we as fans are inclined to over-obsess on the results. It is only a natural thing that would of course come from PED. Some people may try to reverse engineer the results to understand some of the results. But really when you think about it, what good is it to go back through individual results?
The EBU and PWC work together to ensure that there is no cheating at jury or televote level. While some of the voting patterns in the contest in the past five years do concern me I do think that these people are as concerned about the contest as we are and will spot irregularities in the voting patterns as they arise.
So really what good does it do us to know split results. Over on ESCInsight they have had some interesting debate and have suggested that we do not need to know the split results if all the EBU will give us is averages. However I don't use the split result to try to go back over the contest and where Denmark or any other country won and lost their votes. I use split results to better understand what songs worked with the public and what worked for the juries. This helps me to better understand the contest in the future, but does not let me focus on the past.
Of course it goes without saying that full details of the results should be released to clearly show how the voting worked and the EBU should do this.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Anyhow there appears to be a lot of surprises going on about the voting. This, as usual, suggests that there is some level of vote rigging going on.
Personally I think there is a straight forward problem here. Countries were not ready for the change in the voting system this year and many of them have not realised the impact it would have on the voting.
Before I continue my rant I would like to clearly state that I think the results of the contest were indeed very fair and the top 10 was correct in my opinion.
Of course questions must be raised about Azerbaijan targeting smaller countries for votes by trying to affect the results of the televote and these results should be checked for anything unusual.
However I would stress to everyone not to jump to conclusions about how certain countries voted in the final and then in the semi-final. Firstly it is my opinion that some of these anomalies occur because the new voting system had little affect on the semi-final results as there were only 16/17 countries taking part. However when this was expanded to 25 or 26 songs to vote on questions do have to be asked about whether it is right that either the jury or the televote should have as much power as they clearly do to wipe out the others votes.
I call on the EBU to release a full set of results for the 2013 contest including a breakdown between each individual country, stating the percentage of televotes that each song achieved and a breakdown of how each jury member voted.
If the EBU truly want to prove that there is no vote rigging in the contest they will have to release full results with the maximum amount of detail possible.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
France this year have a nice song but has some have mentioned no one has this down in their top 10. It is a fairly dull song that could go down well with the juries and manage to get to the top of the right hand side of the scoreboard or it could slide well down it.
My Grade: 3/10
Lithuania were certainly the most surprising country to make the final this year. The song is one which I thought would get knocked out in the semi-finals and don't see it going to far tonight.
My Grade: 4.5/10
Moldova are always very strong at Eurovision and this year is no different. Aliona is a competent singer and she should do fairly well with the juries tonight. However as she has the third dull song in the opening part of the show I don't think the public are going to support this song enough.
My Grade: 4/10
I was sickened by the fact I did not put a bet on this to win the semi-final. It was 25/1 on PaddyPower and even an each way bet would have helped the kitty in my mind. I think that this is one of the best songs in this years contest and I think that it may bode well in western Europe. Hard to say how it will go down in the east. I would have said this was certainly going to go top 10 but so many of Finland's neighbours are strong this year that it is hard to say.
My Grade: 8.5/10
A dull song which is only helped by a nice instrumental at the start this is a strong contender for last place in the contest this year. Sandwiched between Finland and Belgium and with so few neighbours this year I can't see this going far.
My Grade: 4/10
Another song that I was surprised to see go through to the final this year. Roberto is certainly way above my expectations of him though they were low enough to begin with. This should do alright for Belgium but it will not be a repeat of 2010. Personally I like the studio version of the song, but not the live one that much.
My Grade: 5/10
Deserving of a place in the final, Estonia have a really lovely song this year that I completely fell for during the semi-finals. They're not going to repeat last year, particularly if the northern countries are strong, but they do deserve credit where it is due. Hopefully this will not be at the end of the scoreboard tonight.
My Grade: 5.5/10
I didn't really take to the new song that Belarus choose after the Rhythm of Love but I really didn't like the performance of the song on Tuesday night. There's far to much going on during the song and it just is not working for me. However I expect that the neighbour of Belarus will ensure this will not do to badly.
My Grade: 3.5/10
I don't think there is anyone who really does not like this song. It is wonderful and bouncy and Gianluca is just so happy when he performs it that it deserves to do well. While their running order position will not help them the introduction of drag back voting this year should help them a lot. I really like the song too and wish them the best of luck.
My Grade: 7/10
Clinical as ever I was really impressed by Russia's semi-final performance and even my good mother thought that this was the best song in semi-final 1. Certainly it is a dark horse on paper, but the poor running order position (followed by Cascada) means that this will at best make 5th place. Which Russia would probably still be happy with.
My Grade: 6.5/10
What can we say? One word - Cascada. This has all the right ingredients for another German win but I'm not entirely sure how it will fair on the night. It's not the best song that Cascada could have brought to the contest but it is a definite contender for a win.
My Grade: 8/10
Armenia did a great performance on the semi-final of this song, certainly it was enough to send Albania home on Thursday and being the only rock song in the final will also play well. Still it is not a great song overall and I could see this quietly move into the top 10. But it could flop too.
My Grade: 3.5/10
Doing amazingly well to be in the final Netherlands do need to do well tonight to convince the Dutch public they still can do well in the contest. Singing before Romania and just after an ad break will do them no favours but I still think they can manage. I like this song and hope Anouk can do well tonight.
My Grade: 7/10
This one is really causing me a headache at the moment. There is no reason why this should be allowed to do well yet, if the juries strictly follow their criteria then this is a strong contender. But I still think the shock factor of this song will put some off from voting for it.
My Grade: 2/10
The internal selection, the fact that they are one of the Big 5 and Engelbert's performance last year really makes it very hard to say how this song will go down. However it is Bonny Tyler and I don't think she will go down without a fight. I think she has a great song and is sure to pick up a few points here and there to lift them out of the bottom of the table.
My Grade: 7.5/10
In my humble opinion Sweden have by far and away the most underrated song in this years contest. Though people in Sweden seem to think that this is a weak effort and will not go down well I think it is a strong song that may do well.
My Grade: 7/10
Another surprise to make the final and another song which is a strong contender for last place. I think it is ok but ok just doesn't cut it for the final.
My Grade: 4/10
It's favourite, it's my favourite and at this point it looks like in 12 hours time the Eurovision Song Contest will cross the bridge to Copenhagan. The longer this drags out the less sure I am that Denmark are going to win this by a country mile. However someone stopped the Balkans from trading neighbourly points and if it was Denmark they are going to go big.
My Grade: 10/10
This is another really strong entry from Iceland this year and one which I expect will not do well on the night. If Greta and Jonsi could not do better than 19th then this is one which sadly will be at the end of the scoreboard tonight.
My Grade: 7/10
Another contender for the win, their song is weak but the performance of Hold Me is very interesting and does wonderfully distract from the song. This might convincably win but I really hope that it doesn't. I don't think that the Eurovision brand was helped by bringing the contest to Baku last year.
My Grade: 4.5/10
Greece is certainly in a much stronger position for the win this year given that there are no Balkans in the final. However Greece has entered with stronger songs that this one and though I would like to see it outside of the top 10, there will be no stopping this song's success now.
My Grade: 5/10
If anyone can beat Denmark tonight it is Zlata from Ukraine. The performance of this song just blew me away in the first semi-final and the giant, which I though was a terrible idea, actually worked well in the song. Ukraine is another country which may benefit from the absence of the Balkan countries and if this is true, looking at the order of voting I think Ukraine is a possible winner.
My Grade: 9.5/10
One of the talked about entries this year, Italy has a very strong San Remo entry this year that may soak up some votes from the juries. However I disagree with the people who argue this is a winner. Unlike 2011 there are many songs that the juries could vote for. This song is not as strong as Italy's 2011 and 2012 entries and is perhaps a bit too San Remo for Eurovision. Therefore I don't see this as a huge challenger.
My Grade: 5.5/10
I'm going to be really controversial right now and say that I do not believe Norway is going to come within an asses roar of the top 10. This is a song that struggled to beat Bombo in the national final and I think that it is the over hyped song of the year.
My Grade: 4.5/10
Georgia has a great entry this year that I really love. Eurovision by numbers but still I just want to be drawn into it and sing. I don't think that this is a strong enough number to win out right, particularly when Azerbaijan is strong this year too, but it could still take points from very promising songs.
My Grade: 9/10
Once again despite being mentioned as a winner Ireland should, on cue fall flat on it's face as what tends to happen at Eurovision finals. I can't really comment on this one without being biased one way or the other. So I'll just make a prediction.
So after all that my top 10 songs in this years Eurovision final are:
Friday, May 17, 2013
In no other year has the running order been so controversial in the contest. Many years before this I can remember running upstairs after any semi-final to see the press conference to see what slots are drawn. However according to the EBU there was no need for me to do this as "the running order has no statistical impact on the outcome of the contest". TM EBU.
This years running order will of course be controversial but here it is:
It is of coursesurprising that SVT, who drew up this running order to be approved by the EBU, didn't place Denmark last. Though it is clear that Sweden do not really want to host the contest again, I think they would be very happy to deliver a win for Denmark. At this point I think it is fairly clear that Denmark is the favourite and I do expect the Danes to win the contest for the third time. The only question left in my opinion is will they be able to break 360 points and become the best Eurovision winner of all time.
Ireland should also be really pleased with being able to close the contest.
More analysis of the draw to follow in the morning.
- Balkan's decide Eurovision: For the first time since 1985 there's no Balkan in the final meaning a lot of votes are going to be swishing around there that would otherwise be used on good old fashioned neighbourly voting. However despite how many people have suggested that the Balkan's will decide the contest this year I would actually suggest that their votes will no longer be bloc but instead go all around Europe.
- San Marino didn't qualify despite the expectations that it could. Personally I thought the performance came across very poorly on television so I was not overly surprised by that.
- Israel didn't get through either, I was surprised by this as I thought that the juries would pull her over the line. However it was a dull song that didn't even win the public televote in Kdam so it understandable why it failed to qualify.
- Hungary qualified: I don't really know how to react to this.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
So what's on offer?
Despite energetic performances, a good song and the mere fact that they are opening semi-final 2, Latvia should have a great entry on their hands. However despite this their entry lacks the luster that I was hoping for and this will have great difficulty qualifying. I guess PeR can take some heart from the fact that Zlata Ognevich was dancing to this today in the press centre during rehearsals.
My Grade: 3/10
Though San Marino have sent Valentina last year this song could not have been more different. This is a mature, high brow song that should deliver for them. I really like this song, though I wish that it was one minute of ballad and two minutes of disco, but still this should just about qualify. The absence of Italy from voting in this semi-final is a problem for San Marino though.
My Grade: 8/10
What can I say about this? I really like Lorenzo and his song. I don't like Esma popping in during it. Overall this is a non-qualifier and a complete mess. It also lacks a lot of neighbours in semi-final 2 and by extension it may find it hard to get points from non-Balkan countries.
My Grade: 3.5/10
I never really have liked Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest, except for their entry last year. However this year I think they have a great textbook entry though I am concerned that nerves may get to Farid on the night, it will have a great vocal and will sail into the final.
My Grade: 4.5/10
This is truly a fun song. I've loved this from when I heard it before the Finnish national final in February. Krista is able to deliver a competent and entertaining performance and I think this should make the final comfortably.
My Grade: 9/10
Tonight Gianluca will bring a lot of fun to the stage. However despite what some have said I don't see this as a potential winner. I do see it getting out of this semi-final though, to an average final position.
I really enjoy this song but by no means do I love it.
My Grade: 7/10
Montenegro didn't do it. There's very few Bulgarian friends in this semi-final to pull this into the final. No matter what people say it is really hard to believe that this will come anywhere above last.
My Grade: 2.5/10
I sadly have to say that I don't think Iceland will be able to make the final this year with this song. It is still a great song and could be a great qualifier. However it is highly unlikely that the majority of the qualifiers will come from the first half of the draw so I don't think it will qualify.
My Grade: 8/10
I really don't over like this song. Its fun but for me it is a bit shallow for what I would want to win the Eurovision. This style of song will always do well at the contest particularly when there is a distinct lack of jokish entries. Certainly a qualifier but hard to say where they will come after this.
My Grade: 4.5/10
This is arguably one of the best ballads in this year's contest and with a strong performance from Moran this should comfortably qualify.
My Grade: 7.5/10
I really do not like this song. It's dull it's boring and I always skip it when I see it on my player. Having said that I could image that the juries may push this through based on the quality of the voices of the song.
My Grade: 1/10
I always have had a soft spot for this song but I don't think that it will qualify based on the reports I have read from the rehearsals. ByeAlex simply is not making a strong enough effort to do well. I can't imagine this making it above 15th place.
My Grade: 5/10
Is there any reason why this song will not make it to the final? Margaret has delivered some very strong performances in the national final and in the rehearsals. This is a strong song and singer. I'm not a huge fan of this song and do not understand why it's so hyped up but it still will do well.
My Grade: 6/10
From Suus Albania completely changed the style of song they send to Eurovision this year. I was very surprised by this winning FiK and I think that this could do either fairly well or bomb at this year's contest. If it does qualify expect it to receive quite a lot of ex-Yugoslav countries. This is the only real rock song at this year's contest so that cannot be discounted.
My Grade: 4/10
Clearly this is the most cheesy song I could image at Eurovision - and I love this. Song uses every little trick in the book and I just want to be drawn into it and sing it out loud. This is clearly in the final and a possible winner.
My Grade: 9.5/10
Switzerland lacks a lot of luster which I though that it would have when it came to Eurovision. It probably won't qualify unless the Salvation Army really gets involved.
My Grade: 5/10
No, just no. I don't like this song. This will do well but I can imagine it not qualifying. It should qualify but I think it could not too.
My Grade: 1.5/10
So my top 10 are:
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Unlike yesterday where three of the top four on PaddyPower were rehearsing, so today did not bring quite so many shocks. In reality there is no real outstanding song within these eight though I have a soft spot for Serbia.
Serbia, Cyprus, Moldova and Montenegro all had very competent rehearsals today, the strength of Montenegro was probably the only real surprise, it looks like it will seriously challenge for qualification. Seriously though - do they really need the space helmets.
Serbia did try out a couple of different dresses but coming in the last slot in the first semi-final it is a certain qualifier. Personally I love their song and think they could do better than expected overall in the contest.
Moldova and Cyprus both have similar style ballads though Moldova's performance on stage is certainly more elaborate than Cyprus's. Either way they may still struggle to qualify as they are both fairly dull ballads.
Bad is a rather strong word in the context of today's rehearsals. However Belarus, Lithuania and Belgium were all songs that may not be sure of a place in the final and today did them no favours. Belarus just does not have the stage presence, Belgium still had trouble with the vocals and Lithuania probably would be fine if it were not for the attempt to use sunglasses for the performance - like, seriously?
However none of the performances today screamed that there was a serious underlying issue to do with the song or singer. There's nothing that could not be improved on for the second round of rehearsals and I will be keeping a close eye on these and watching with anticipation.
Finally we come to Ireland. Reaction to the Irish rehearsal today has been very mixed and has ranged from "fine but nothing special" to "dire" and having seen some of the videos online for the performance in my opinion it is a walking, singing disaster. Nothing is right about the performance, absolutely nothing. The background is uninspired throwing a pile of Celtic symbols in the background of what is meant to be a club song. Vocally there are many problems and the choice of dress for the occasion is brutal. Whoever advised them on dress for Eurovision clearly was having a laugh.
Suffice to say I don't think we've a hope of qualifying on this performance and Ireland really need to up their game if they want to stand a chance on Tuesday next.
More tomorrow as the Semi-final 2 rehearsals kick off.
Monday, May 6, 2013
The Stage Looks Amazing
I'm really pleased with the overall stage. I was afraid it would be a bit too much like the 2010 stage when SVT were making some many budget cutbacks.
Semi-Final 1 has a dull start
Despite the EBU's shouting about the importance of not using a random order for the draw SF1 still will have a fairly dull opening of Austria, Estonia, Slovenia and Croatia will only have Slovenia to liven the mood.
There was no major surprises today
This nearly was the biggest surprise of all. It is early days yet, though some surprises may come nothing about any of the songs. Austria and Croatia remain borderline qualifiers though I think that Croatia are still an amazing song. Slovenia was the only country with any real vocal problems though given that this is only the first rehearsal there's a lot of time to iron out problems.
Denmark, Ukraine and Russia all remain some of the strongest songs in the competition and all could conceivably win the contest overall, though I remain unconvinced that Russia will be able to do this, given the votes in that block that will go to Ukraine which has a far more original song.
Of course tomorrow I will be very much looking forward to the Irish rehearsal and will be giving some reaction to it tomorrow.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Sadly for me this year I will not have the time I had last year to sit in front of my computer and enjoy all the updates that come from Malmo as unfortunately UCD decided to schedule their summer exams during the two weeks of the contest.
For me this is quite a dull year. I think last year was the absolute climax for me and this year the combination of lack of time and the fact that none of the entries are really motivating me this year. Yes I want to see Denmark on stage when the credits role on Saturday the 18th May, however unlike many other years the songs that are also potential winners are very good in their own right and probably would do a lot for the image of the contest.
In fact, I am in unusual place where I believe the song I want to win is not the one that I think would be best for this contest in the long run. This has never arisen for me before and probably is what leaves me rather unmotivated for 2013.
Nevertheless over the next two weeks I will be following with interest reading all that I can trying to understand what is happening on the ground in Malmo and trying to answer the question we all want to know. Who will be the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Semi Final 1
Semi-Final 1 interestingly contains some songs that are very well positioned for a win or certainly a top 10 finish however it is also characterised by some of the poorest songs in this years contest.
Most interestingly in this market, though Paddy Power have Denmark as the favourite to win the contest outright they think it has a lower probability of winning semi 1. This is certainly an anomaly, though in recent years it is by no means sure that the winner of a semi-final will win the contest outright. For people who are looking for a fairly sure bet this is probably one of the better offers you will find this year.
For people who are super-prudent each way gamblers, it is interesting to note that the top four countries on Paddy Power all are drawn in the first half of semi-final one. Probability would suggest that surely one of the second half will make the top 3. Belarus is 10/1 which would make a fine each way bet as indeed is Serbia (14/1).
For those who like to qualify betting whether to drown their sorrows even if a song does qualify or whether the song is just worth that punt. Croatia seems like the most likely of the lesser songs to qualify for the final so at 8/11 it's a good bet. As a fan I do notice that the odds of any song qualifying are very, very short this year which shows how close a semi-final will be.
Semi Final 2
As keen fans of the contest will know the winner of this years' contest will more than likely come from semi-final 1, however there are still some interesting bets available for fans.
If your a Margaret Berger fan Norway are just 7/4 on Paddy Power, which, given that they are in the last slot in the second semi-final, makes them well worth a bet. Azerbaijan, at 5/1 may also suit the risk taker, particularly given that they are in the graveyard that is the fourth slot in the semi-final.
Semi-final 2 is much harder to call than semi-final 1, so it could go any way. If your not a risk taker, I would not recommend betting on semi 2.
As regards qualification I would say Finland at 1/3 is well worth a short and is fairly undervalued at this price. Switzerland also could just squeeze over the line so at 10/11 it may well be worth a shot.
My thoughts on the final tomorrow.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Ulrik Munther will open tonight's show with his fairly formulaic Melodifestivalen song Tell The World I'm Here, not a bad effort but he does appear to have fallen out of favour with Christer Bjorkman. It's not the best song of the night and given the presence of so many male soloists and so many acts targeting the teen girl age group I find it difficult to see him getting a massive televote. However he may score well with the international juries.
David Lindgren follows Ukrik with a similar genre of song. The two of them drew for third place last year with David picking up more televotes than Ulrik. Though his song is good it is far from outstanding tonight and will certainly struggle given the running order position. David is followed by the lukewarm State of Drama and their good *yawn* song Falling. Another group who will be cannibalised in the televote, probably because of Yohio, they could pick up votes from the international juries.
In fourth we have Anton Ewald, the pick of some of the Swedish newspapers and leading the plays on Spotify. Personally I think this song is good but this would be a bad choice for Eurovision as it would be very difficult to organise the backing vocals without pre-recorded ones. Fifth in the running order is the only female act, Louise Hoffsten and her song Only The Dead Fish Follow The Stream, I like this but I cannot imagine myself picking up the phone and voting for it nor can I see it getting massive points from International Juries.
Sixth we have one of the favourites, Ralf Gyllenhammar, with his song Bed On Fire. In my opinion this is the most likely winner tonight. This is such a strong song and is so well performed from a technical perspective that this is certainly going to go top three tonight. If this is leading when the international juries have voted then this could well take the televote too.
After Ralf is my second favourite act, Ravaillacz, I think that this would be an ideal song to represent Sweden but for some reason I cannot help but wonder will this get any points from juries? Then it is followed by a more serious joke act, Sean Banan. Once again I can't see this getting to many jury votes, but I expect to see this in the top 5.
Robin Stjernberg follows with his song You, personally I think this would be a very strong choice but given that it came from Andra Chansen it probably will not win. Finally we have Yohio. OR The Ark less a number of years. This is an unusual favourite. Though SVT are pushing it for the win I find it difficult to believe this has mass appeal across Europe, however I do think they have a good song.
Whatever happens tonight it is going to be very, very close and there will be no landslide winner. I expect jury votes to left right and center and the public winner will not get 20% of the vote.
My votes are:
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Well that's how I feel about this Eurovision weekend. Left, Right and Centre - what did Europe do this weekend? There have been some very suspect song selections by any accounts.
Serbia just about got it right but they had five very strong songs in their final; so they don't really deserve a clap for that. They sent Moje 3 to Eurovision with the song Ljubav Je Svuda - I really like the performance. You can watch the video here.
Estonia made the very strange choice of sending Birgit Oigemeel to Eurovision with the song Et Uus Saaks Alguse. I though there were some much better entries in this year's Eesti Laul, so there certainly has been some missed opportunities there. You can watch the winning song here.
Bulgaria have really lost the plot. After having the brains to send Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulou back to Eurovision they made a very unsmart song selection of Kismet. It is like Water only not nearly as good. It really is not a strong song selection by any one's judgement and should continue to keep Bulgaria in the semi-finals. Listen to the song here.
Armenia had already chosen their singer so Gor Sujyan was already going to Eurovision. Now we know he will go with the song Lonely Planet, which in my opinion is a fairly poor song from Armenia, they are capable of much better. Listen to the song here.
Hungary choose ByeAlex and the song Kedvesem to represent them at Eurovision a surprising (but awful) choice and, well ByeAlex just says it all. Watch the performance here.
Other Song Choices
I haven't had the chance to really dig into some of the other songs that have been presented lately and am trying to catch up on them, however I really am impressed by Georgia's song Waterfall - well done Thomas G:sson.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Unlike general practice on this blog I've decided not to put up reviews. In all honesty each song has it's merits and these should be acknowledged, together with their faults.
Inchequin probably are the weakest contenders and I'd say have the least chance of going to Eurovision. Even if the public were to vote for this song I'd think the juries will not rank it very highly. I do note though that it did win the poll over on Wiwiblogs. Though not quite the favourite I'd say Amiee Fitzpatrick has the best chance of going to ESC, largely because she only has the only ballad in the contest. Then we come to the three club songs. I sincerely hope that one of these will be sent. They offer Ireland the best chance at Eurovision, largely because they are very different. I hope that the best vocalist will come through and we will judge them based on that.
May the best song win. I'll talk to you on Twitter.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
- Latvia will send PeR (I hope my capitalisation is correct) with their song Here We Go - Its not bad at all (By Latvian standards). You can watch it here.
- Italy have decided to send Marco Mengoni to Eurovision. There's no point trying to predict the song he will take to ESC. Not a bad choice though. There is an awful lot to say for the quality of San Remo as a selection process, even if it goes on all night.
- In Estonia five qualifiers made it to the final including one of my favourite songs in this national final season, Paastke Noored Hinged by Grete Paia. You can watch her performance here.
- In Sweden, another surprise result was delivered when State of Drama and Ravaillacz qualified to the final and Caroline Af Ugglas and Martin Rolenski went to Andra Chansen. This was by all accounts a surprise especially when Amanda Fonndell and Janet Leon were both knocked out. If you combine this with last weeks result its another big surprise. Really you'd wonder what is going on in Sweden....
- Something happened in Hungary - Read about it here.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I will be very interested in what happens in Germany tomorrow...can Die Priester win?
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Pipe down Eurovision fans! I know Margaret Berger won in Norway and this was a good choice on the part of the Norwegian public however let's remember that this song did not exact win by a landslide.
The song as a lot of risks to it. Margaret may not be able to move this to Eurovision. The song will need very strong backing vocalists to sing with Margaret. There is no sure way of saying this will work.
Furthermore, let's remember that Margaret only won MGP with 90000 public televotes. Tooji managed to score 130000 and look where he finished. Stella scored in excess of 240000. She also was the first contender not to win all of the regions of Norway. Scoring only 900 televotes in the North.
This is a lot of good about this entry, but still it has none of the signs of a potential winner. So pipe down - you'd think Green was coming back to Eurovision.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
In advance of the Norwegian national final today, I've been looking at what is on offer, and despite some of the my protests ahead of some of the semi finals I think at this point that Norway are left with a fairly strong national final. OK, it's not Melodifestivalen, but it's not as poor as UMK in Finland. Most importantly songs that were of little unique value were eliminated. But now, let's look at what is left:
Annasofi - I'm With You
It's a pleasant song from Annasofi, but a far cry from Fairytale. Annasofi is able to perform this song with the grace it needs. A really nice song, with great instruments, but an unlikely superfinalist. Grade:B
Gromth feat. Emil Solli Tangen - Alone
I'm not a fan of this by any strech. It's a poor mix of rock and opera. Though it won the semi final it would an unlikely winner as it will struggle in the Superfinal against Margaret Berger, who's song is similar and appeals to the same audience. Grade: D-
Vidar Busk - Paid My Way
Does anyone actually care? This is a fairly average song that came third in the semi-final and arguably the weakest semi-final at that. Hasn't a hope of winning, really average song that we've all seen before. Not a superfinalist either. Grade: D
Like Vidar Busk, this has little hope of winning. Honestly I don't understand why there is a jury wildcard in Norway. If the public already put nine songs into a final why another in with it? Grade: C-
Fjellfolk - Ultetuva
Fjellfolk have certainly got the most Scandinavian sounding song in this year's contest. A strange combination of folk, ballad and rhythm, it's got a lot to it and surprised me when it came second in semi-final 2. This is an unlikely winner but I would not be surprised to see it in the Superfinal. Personally I really like this song and hope it does well. Grade: B+
Datarock - The Underground
Out-of-date, cheesy and meaningless lyrics, surely this has Eurovision written all over it. This bounce pop song is certainly one of my favourites but its failure to win the semi-final mean I Am doubtful it can win tonight a possible superfinalist, that is all. Grade: A-
Gaute Ormasen - Awake
Most unremarkable song in this year's contest. Grade: D+
Sirkus Eliaseen - I Love You Te Quiero
Joke entry alert! This stupid but catchy rap song could conceivably do well. However if it went to Eurovision it would go the same direction as the Trackshittaz. Grade: B-
Margaret Berger - I Feed You My Love
Arguably the most controversial entry in this year's MGP. It is the bookies favourite and very, very divisive. It is a strange combination of ballad and rock. If it wins expect to see similar divisions to Suus. I like this but its not my favourite. Certainly the most likely winner. Grade: A-
Aledén - Bombo
The biggest surprise of MGP this year was when this won the third semi-final. Second favourite with the bookies, the Mediterranean pop song is a delight and helped by the fanatic looking Aledén. Its my favourite in Norway and I'd love to see it at Eurovision. Grade: A
I'm away for the weekend so I don't have the time to be on Twitter. May the best song win.
Thursday, February 7, 2013
As regards individual entries I will post more formal reviews but in the meantime, I think that this is a straight fight between Ryan Dolan and Aimee Fitzpatrick. Ryan probably will benefit from Kasey and Zoe are probably too similar and will cancel each other's vote. As the male Ryan stands a strong chance. Aimee also has a great chance having the only ballad in the competition and that cannot be discounted.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The five acts are: Zoe Alexis Bohorquez; Ryan Dolan; Aimee Fitzpatrick; Incheqin and Kasey.
Nope! I haven't heard of any of the either. All I can say is that Zoe and Aimee are the favourites in early betting. While it is nice to see that it will not be Jedward this year I think I shall hold back my most grating comments until after the Mooney Show, where the songs will be presented tomorrow. Though I have classes during these times, I will be updating the blog and Twitter page later in the evening.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Malta have selected Gianluca Bezzina, to represent them in Malmo, with his song "Tomorrow". It's a delightfully bouncy song and might do well at Eurovision. On reflection though it was not my favourite entry in Malta, it probably was the best selection. Hear Gianluca's song here.
What could have been one of the most embrassing stories to come from eurovision.tv they put a story up on eurovision.tv saying that Amber had won the Maltese selection about one hour before results were due to be announced
In one of the Iceland's most surprising moves they selected
Melodifestivalen is my favourite national final and despite its critics last year it is able to produce some really great songs. In last nights semi-final Daivd Lindgren and YOHIO progressed to the final directly with Eric Gadd and Cookies 'N' Beans going to Andra Chansen.
Unusually and surprisingly SVT do not appear to have censored the songs progressing in the contest from the internet, perhaps they understand that at this stage they would have some job to do that. They also have left the semi-final up on their site and you can watch it here.
I was also very impressed with Danny and Gina as presenters the interval act was very impressive. Well done!
Three more songs have made it to the final in Norway. Gaute Ormasen, Sirkus Eliassen and Aledén all qualified. The most surprising of these was Aledén who came in first place. As far as I can see this had nothing to do with her legs.
I don't pay much attention to Hungary so I shall let escXtra fill you in.
So we can all look forward to next weekend when Norway and Finland will select their entries.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
David Lindgren - Skyline
A strong song to open the competition. David returns from a very successful debut in Melodifestivalen last year. This is broadly what we expected from David this year. This is the favourite to go to the final from this semi-final, and is second favourite to win overall. It also is notable that he won the vote in the dress rehearsal. Personally I was never the greatest fan of this type of song, it feels very hollow. Nevertheless it's still good. Certainly a qualifier and possibly more. Grade: A-
Cookies 'N' Beans - Burning Flags
Seasoned Melodifestivalen competitors Cookies 'N' Beans return to Melodifestivalen with a song by Frederick Kempe. The song itself is fairly old-fashioned Melodifestivalen, however it is endearing in a strange sort of way. Personally I like this but don't think it has a hope. Grade: B
Jay-Jay Johnson - Paris
Debut Melodifestivalen performer Jay-Jay comes with an unusual song with some French influences (at least that's what I think they are). It is a very odd song to listen to the first time round but still, it has its charms. I find it difficult to believe that enough people will be able to listen to this the first time round and get it. So it will be in the running for last place in the semi-final in my view, still a very creative and different song. Grade: C+
Mary N'diaye - Gosa
Once again we have another new Melodifestivalen performer. Mary brings an upbeat pop song with African influences. It's pleasant to listen to but I think we've seen this before with Stella Mawagi - it may sound a little different but it still is not up to the required standard. Grade: C
Eric Gadd - Vi Kommer Aldrig Att Forlora
A rather dull song from Eric with far to much drumming for the overall song. This is just not what I like. That said the song has a nice tune that would be nice without the drumming but if it was entered without the drums then it would be a fairly dull song and would not advance in the competition. Do drums really make a difference? No. Grade: C-
YOHIO - Heartbreak Hotel
Another one of the highly tipped to do well in this semi final. This is a strong rock song but still it is lacking in something and though it could do well I'm not sure this is the right song for the popular band. This might be more of an Andra Chansen then a Finalist. Personally, as many of you may guess rock is not a genre I was ever a fan of. Grade: D
Anna Jarvinen - Porslin
A very surprising song is in seventh position. Anna's song reminds me of some of the Eurovision entries that might be found in the 1970's particularly the early part of that decade. This song is sweet but is it a finalist?, probably not. The one minute clip of the song is last part of the song which not really that dramatic. Still I like this. Grade: B
Michael Feiner & Caisa - We're Still Kids
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you return of Epic Sax man Mark II. This is a fun pop song from the duet. I just love this song, though then again I was a Bjorn Ranelid fan. Though some might not put this direct to the final I think that the Swedish public probably will go for this, particularly as it is in the last running spot in the final. Grade: A
So I hope you enjoy the evening and let's all hope for a fair result.