If you aren’t into Eurovision, you’d be forgiven for thinking this blog has sucked for the last month or so. I might take some satisfaction there in the implication that it doesn’t always suck, but that’s just me.
Yes, National Final season is very nearly over – the last of them is tomorrow (Sunday), and by Wednesday I should have written them all up. OK sure it’s not that long until my next onslaught – i.e. writing up each of the entries – but they don’t take so long to write, and I hope to have content to write alongside it, so you aren’t totally starved.
Thanks for your patience if you are a non-Eurovision lover. If you are a Eurovision lover, then please read the damn stuff – I’ve tried to make it easy enough to read, and littered them with YouTube links too. Would be nice to see it being read at least! Continue reading
Only a quick one today, as I’m going on holiday. In fact when you read this, I may already be on the plane. Or dead. Or at the hotel. Who knows what the future holds? Not I.
Not really sure why I chose Estonia as a holiday destination. I’ve always been slightly fascinated by the place, and sadly I suspect this might be down to that darn Eurovision. I taped it one year, the 1996 contest in Oslo it looks like, and I remember loving the Estonian song “Kaelakee hääl” that ended up finishing 5th, and I suppose it just alerted me to its existence. I mean I was only 13 at the time, I don’t suppose you know about loads of countries by that age. Continue reading
Eurovision fans like a bit of drama, especially if it involves nations whose relation to the huge song contest is rocky. Turkey didn’t appear in May’s 2013 edition of the show in Malmö, Sweden. Turkish broadcaster TRT complained about the rules that give 50% of the power to the viewing public’s televotes, and 50% to national juries.
It was easy to speculate on the motives here, Turkey’s diaspora have often made themselves heard in Eurovision, securing many points for Turkish entries from places like The Netherlands and Germany. Some say this effect was the main reason that Turkey enjoyed such a great rate of qualification for the final. So diluting this effect on the final scores with national juries didn’t appear to be in their interests.
I doubt that’s the only reason, personally. After all, these rules had been in force since 2009 and it hadn’t stopped them getting 3 top 10 finishes (including 2nd place in Oslo) before their withdrawal. Whatever it is, it seems the EBU will have their work cut out to lure them back, as TRT recently announced they wouldn’t participate in 2014 or even beyond that point.
Against that backdrop, the Eurovision community got wind of an announcement by TRT about “Turkvision”, a song contest for Turkic-language nations and semi-autonomous regions in Asia and Eastern Europe. It wouldn’t have anything to do with Eurovision (I’d have chosen a different name, personally), with the 2013 edition taking place in Eskişehir, in North-western Turkey. It’s an interesting prospect, and I’m sure some curious Eurovision fans will be interested to follow it in December, where semi-finals on 19 & 21 December decide the dozen finalists for 23 December. Continue reading
Yeah Yeah I know, Jedward right? In their defence I thought they did great at Eurovision, moreso their 2011 entry “Lipstick” than 2012’s “Waterline”. After a few years of bothering the British Isles with various irritating covers and reality TV appearances, they finally found their niche.
Ireland were happy with their top 10 finish in 2011 and thought “That went better than expected, let’s just try that again”. Jedward were happy too, thinking “That went better than expected, now let’s show Europe we aren’t just a gimmicky act”. Stripped of their usual novelty – and often their clothes, seriously, a press-up won’t kill you – the result was enjoyable but lacked that spark we’d grudgingly grown to appreciate from them.
Their reception in Baku was lukewarm, but they’d seen the potential that Eurovision exposure offers and had carved out a decent little career in Europe, particularly Sweden. But without the hair, the backflips, the novelty, where are they? They aren’t great singers, so the obvious direction to take was dance-pop. If it goes well, they could have a decent thing going as Swedish celebrities, like A1 did in Norway. They’ve already performed at Melodifestivalen, a pretty huge gig for them. Could this happen? Continue reading