Eurovision

May. 14th, 2011 11:48 pm
smofbabe: (music-popnotes)
One of the best things about having moved to Australia is being able to watch the Eurovision Song Contest every year. (Don't ask me why they broadcast it in Australia or why Israel is one of the qualifying countries.) This year was unfortunately light on the goofball entries that make it so much fun, but there were a few here and there to leaven the boring pop ballads. Review )

Eurovision

May. 14th, 2011 11:48 pm
smofbabe: (music-popnotes)
One of the best things about having moved to Australia is being able to watch the Eurovision Song Contest every year. (Don't ask me why they broadcast it in Australia or why Israel is one of the qualifying countries.) This year was unfortunately light on the goofball entries that make it so much fun, but there were a few here and there to leaven the boring pop ballads. Review )

Eurovision

Jun. 15th, 2010 01:09 pm
smofbabe: (Default)
Finally caught up on Eurovision, the annual European song contest, which occurred while we were in the US. It was a fairly boring year, with many ballads (one of which Stephen said reminded him of Ariel's songs from The Little Mermaid) or Europop Abba wannabes. Unfortunately, there were hardly any of the wonderfully wacky entries we've come to expect, like our two favorite past entries, both, oddly, from Ukraine: last year, Svetlana Loboda performing Anti Crisis Girl complete with half-naked Centurions and pistons driving (very subtle :->), and our all-time favorite, 2007's Dancing Lasha Tumbai performed by drag queen Verka Serduchka.

Closest this year was probably the Serbian entry Ovo Je Balkan, featuring an eternally smiling guy named Milan Stanković with a blond Dutch-doll haircut. Funkiest costume reveal was from Lithuania, although it deservedly didn't make the finals. The most puzzling entry was probably from Ukraine - an angst-ridden screech from a woman wearing slashed chiffon, which amazed us by actually getting through the semifinals. Biggest surprise for a contest known for excess in presentation was probably the simple Belgian entry, Me and My Guitar, which finished sixth. Worst surprise was the popularity of the entry from Azerbeijan, which featured a trick costume and a lead singer who obviously had learned the lyrics phonetically and had no idea what she was singing but finished fifth.

The winner was from Germany, Lena's Satellite, which was already a hit on the charts in Europe. For a change, we both actually liked the winner. For example, I really liked the winner from 2007, Serbia's Marija Šerifović performing Molitva, but Stephen hated it. His favorite this year was the winner but although I liked the winner, my own favorites were probably Albania and, for the sheer energy and folk-dance feel, Greece.

Eurovision is known for its geographic bloc voting, especially from the Eastern European countries, which they've tried to ameliorate somewhat in the past couple of years with 50% popular voting and 50% jury vote. This year it wasn't quite as predictable, with Germany winning, and Slovakia, for example, giving its top three vote totals to Israel, Belgium, and Germany! Hopefully, this trend will continue.

Eurovision

May. 16th, 2009 10:19 pm
smofbabe: (music-popnotes)
One of the things that Australia has that the US doesn't is exposure to the annual Eurovision* song contest, even though Australia itself isn't eligible. We just finished watching the second of the two semifinals and as usual, both nights provided plenty of yuks. Most of the songs are interchangeably forgettable, featuring either a blonde in a blue dress singing her heart out, a sincere young guy with long hair, or a soft rock group. However, the production values and presentation are wildly dissimilar and often hilarious. (Rumor has it that the biggest voting community are gay guys so some of the choreography often plays up to that.)

I've looked up some of the videos so those of you in benighted countries can see what all the fuss is about. My favorite this year is Moldova, partially due to the incredibly great folkdancers with the singer but mostly because of her energy. I thought that Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbijan were ok, while the woman from Malta has the best voice in the competition so far.

For sheer hilarity, check out Bulgaria, Hungary, and Serbia. Our favorite for giggles this year was Ukraine, which actually made it through to the final round!

We're bummed that the final will be shown while we're on the plane to the US but Stephen plans to download it at some point during our trip.

* For those of you who haven't heard of it, Eurovision is an annual competition held among active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Each member country submits a song to be performed on live television. After all the songs have been performed, the countries then proceed to cast votes for the other countries' songs: nations are not allowed to vote for their own song. The host country and the four biggest contributors to the EBU (Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom) get an automatic pass; everyone else has to go through two semifinals.

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