Monthly Archives: February 2014

Madrid calling: Spain’s Eurovision 2014 selection

It’s been three years since Spain last opted for a national final to select their artist for Eurovision, but after the lukewarm reception their big name ESDM got in Malmö, it’s back to the drawing board. So five artists have been selected this year to compete for the right to fly la Rojigualda in Copenhagen, including one familiar face to UK viewers…

SpainYes, after a few years of speculation, it was a bit of a surprise that X-Factor UK alumnus Ruth Lorenzo made good on her plans and attempted to represent her home country. Having come 5th on 2008’s fifth season of X-Factor, I wonder if that will translate to some British votes. Curiously, that year’s 3rd place contestant Eoghan Quigg could well be representing Ireland if tonight’s Eurosong goes his way. Reunion! Shame the UK couldn’t send Alexandra Burke though, quite frankly.

Anyway, a 50/50 split of Jury/Televote decided the winner, though Ruth and Brequette reached a draw. Ruth won the public vote, so she ended up winning, much to her own surprise about 2 minutes after everyone else knew (see the clip at the end of the article, amazing! “SOY YO??”) Continue reading

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Budapest calling: Hungary’s 2014 Eurovision selection (A Dal)

I need to catch up. Three nations chose their Eurovision entry last weekend, it’s Thursday and I’ve only done one. Latvia amazed me by being a pretty hot selection, but can the same be said for Hungary? You can never really predict it, or at least not on their final selections.

Hungary2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Hungary’s debut at Eurovision, though a patchy attendance record has seen only 11 songs entered. They have struggled to get good results, but have qualified for 5 out 7 semi-finals, and grazed the top 10 a few times. Last year’s “Kedvesem” wasn’t a favourite of mine, but it someone clawed its way to 10th place in Malmö, something they would like to improve on. 20 years after their debut gave them 4th place, could they ever make it back there?

Selection show “A Dal” is here to try and ensure that. Three heats of 10 songs selecting 6 semi-finalists – the jury’s top 3 and the public’s top 3. The semi-finals ran in a similar way, but only the jury’s and public’s top 2 proceeded to the final. The final 8 then got slimmed to 4, with a public vote deciding the victor. You’ve got to have a system! With all the science bit out of the way, let’s hope they’ve got something as good as the amazing Kati Wolf from 2011…

a dal 2014

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Riga calling: Latvia’s 2014 Eurovision selection (Dziesma)

Brace yourselves, it’s time to see what Latvia came up with this year. I almost dare not look, Latvia might come up with a few corkers, but they are few and far between. 2012’s magnificent “Beautiful Song” was perhaps Latvia best song for ages, but it joined the large group of Latvian entries that never made it to the final.

LatviaIt’s like someone flicked a switch in Latvia’s fortunes, who enjoyed residency in every final since their 2000 debut, until 2009. From then on, they’ve never even come 15th in a semi-final. Given most of the semi-finals are usually only about 17 entries, that’s a consistently awful record… forget San Marino & Montenegro’s attempts to finally qualify for a final, a good year for Latvia these days would just involve NEARLY qualifying!

That said, they somehow managed to WIN Eurovision back in Tallinn in 2002, is that potential still there? Goodness knows I hope so. Two semi-finals of 12 songs each contributed to a 12-strong grand final of selection show Dziesma. Then a 50/50 Jury/Televote decided the top 3 superfinalists, and a similar format decided the final winner, with the curious introduction of internet voting added to SMS voting, available to international viewers! Let’s see who the Latvians decided to send to Copenhagen…

dziesma 2014 Continue reading

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Film: “Cuban Fury” (2014)

This film was a compromise. I say compromise, my sisters wanted to see something with me, and wanted to see this. I didn’t have any better ideas, so that was that. I realised as the lights went down that the last time we had all gone to see a film together was “Titanic”. I can’t imagine this film will have quite the lasting impression of “Titanic”, but that’s probably OK because it wasn’t really trying.

cuban fury posterWith Simon Pegg off doing Star Trek, sidekick Nick Frost seems to just be doing films that would have otherwise had Simon Pegg in them. This isn’t a good thing for me, I never really warmed to Nick in the way that practically everyone else seems to have. In “Cuban Fury” he at least broke his usual mould of crude, annoying best friend, but what was left?

Having been bullied (seemingly just on one evening), he gave up his talent of salsa dancing and became a spineless victim. Whoever wrote this film evidently wasn’t writing from experience, this world was populated by easily distinguishable good & bad guys. Chris O’Dowd was wasted as the office bastard ceaselessly knocking our brave hero Bruce(!) down in his quest to have sex with their sexy new boss. Continue reading

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Under attack

I WAS going to blog about another Eurovision national final tonight, but then two things happened. Firstly, I decided to finally do the Japanese homework I’d been putting off, despite having had two weeks to do it. That took an hour and a half, and I didn’t even do it all! Why don’t I put more effort in?

smashing laptopMore persistent was the second thing that got in my way tonight – some shitty adware thing that’s polluted my browsers. I’ve literally only just finished setting up this new laptop, and something’s already gotten in, throwing pop-up adverts like there’s no tomorrow, and even producing talking adverts halfway down Youtube video pages, so they start randomly during videos I’m playing. VERY ANNOYING. So you aren’t getting my usual glittering dissection of some European nonsense. Huff.

The McAfee free trial I got with the laptop didn’t spot the adware, that’s not a great advert really. I’m hoping AVG will do better (even though that kept interfering with my browser on my last laptop. Any thoughts? I’ve done plenty of removal of add-ons and stuff like that, but it’s doing things like defaulting to a “Conduit” search engine that I removed before, web searches hint that it’s an add-on for Firefox but I have none. What a ball-ache. I’m of half a mind just to reset the damned thing and start from scratch again.

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Filed under Talking rubbish again