Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Russian Eurovision win? Not impaa-see-baal.

So Dima did it.

I'm OK with that, maybe it's because that I'm in the advance stages of a bottle of red wine, or maybe it's just because Eurovision these days is a pre-ordained foregone conclusion. When the contest reached the stage that Greece and Armenia became serious contenders, there was no alternative than for this blog to throw it's weight behind Russia.

Yes folks, another Eurovision is over, with yet another predictable result. A Russian win was inevitable - with impressively-placed entries in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2007, no-one doubted that they would win it one of these days. And so they did. So congratulations anyway to Dima, however we would have liked his song even more if he'd just gone out there to sing, rather than be surrounded by the distraction of a manic violinist and a figure skater.

The United Kingdom inevitably ended up at the bottom of the scoreboard. Now I'm no patriotic Brit by any means, but Andy Abraham did his very best and did not deserve last place. What does this country have to do to get off bottom place on the Eurovision scoreboard?

All in all it was a reasonable enough production by Serbian TV, although the opening act (last year's winner Marija Serifovic) was interminable - I still don't like "Molitva" and her vocals on this and the other song didn't impress me.

Hosts Zeljko and Jovana were ok I guess, although interchangeable from any male-female presenter pairing of recent years.

Here is my review of the songs based on notes jotted down throughout the evening at EuropeCrazy HQ, where as ever me and my mum (both of us hardened Eurovision veterans) took in the evening's entertainment.....

Romania: boring, old fashioned, two people yelling at each other.

United Kingdom: colourful stage set and faultless funky soulful vocals by Andy Abraham.

Albania: another Balkan ballad which I thought would get enough votes to go mid-table, but where was the tune?

Germany: on record this is ok, but messy vocals/harmonies live meant that "it won't get better"....

Armenia: This year's Helena Paparizou/Shakira tribute act. Has no-one told her it's not 2005 anymore?

By this point I was pining for some light relief - even "Leto Svet" would have done nicely :))))

Bosnia: at least this brought a smile to our faces. Highly entertaining, and we liked this more than previously.

Israel: didn't really know what to make of this, it was ok but I expected something more as it was written by Dana International.

Finland: bit of rock which went down well here. Hoo! Ha! We liked this again because it was different.

Croatia: suddenly it all became clear. This is why we watch Eurovision year after year. A geriatric rapper and a tango dancer playing the glasses...that's what it's all about.

Poland: we spent more time discussing her frock, suntan, 'front' and teeth rather than the screechy wailing song, which summed it up.

Iceland: exceptional, didn't put a foot wrong, done themselves proud.

Turkey: decided this was a cross between Calogero, the Stereophonics and Barbados' "Varlden Utanfor" which was good. He was a good singer too.

Portugal: highly regarded after its qualification from the semi-final although its fado feel would never impress the whole of Europe.

Latvia: now I'm just back from that country and so I won't be too unkind to the 'pirates' who were 'robbing you blind' . Good fun.

Sweden: and so after all the build-up, Charlotte still (for me) failed to deliver the knockout performance of "Hero" which we expected.

Denmark: foot-tapper (if eventually irritating) song with a memorable catchy chorus. This is the kind of song that used to do so well.

Georgia: I feared the worst but this wasn't too bad actually.

Ukraine: no complaints regarding the highly professional staging/performance of "Shady Lady" which I viewed as a possible winner.

France: Great stuff. Not really one for Eurovision I know, but I liked everything about this, right down to the backing singers' shades and beards.

Azerbaijan: laugh if you must, but after a couple of listens/viewings "Day After Day" became quite popular at EuropeCrazy HQ. Proof that Terry Wogan's time is up: he couldn't even deliver classic quips about this one.

Greece: Britney Spears meets Helena Paparizou. We decided tonight that we didn't like this at all, and that it was possibly our least favourite of the night.

Spain: By this point I'd consumed so much red wine that I even appreciated this one and even worse, was able to rap with the lyrics. My mum liked this.

Serbia: now if "Beli Jablan" had done it, Serbia would have been in my top 5 on the night. As it is, it was just a Serbian woman wailing in a big frock. Mum wants to hear "Baila El Chiki Chiki" again.

Russia: Dima Bilan's name's been dropped here at EC HQ on many an occasion, so it was inevitable that this would attract our attention. Mum thought he was quite hot too. "You never told me he was good-looking!"

Norway: we were both impressed by Maria's performance of "Hold On Be Strong" and given the draw, thought that it would do rather well.

Interval Act: some Balkan folk thing, dare I say it was interminable again?
Voting: after 6 countries, Russia were in the lead.
10.29 pm: UK received 6 points from San Marino. Best-friends-forever status now guaranteed. Likewise to Ireland, who gave us out only other votes: 8 points.
After 9 countries, Greece in the lead. Speculating on horror of further Greek win.
And the 12 points from Serbia goes to ....Bosnia-Hercegovina!
Stian Barsnes Simonsen was Norwegian voting spokesman, sparking uncontrollable scenes of delight at EuropeCrazy HQ.
Ditto Mikko for Finland :)
"12 points goes to Sweden": possibly the funniest moment of the night as Bjorn Gustafsson delivered the votes for Sweden. Oh, it was 12 for Norway. Quelle surprise.
And so the voting went on and on and on. Here's how it ended:

1. Russia
2. Ukraine
3. Greece
4. Armenia
5. Norway
6. Serbia
7. Turkey
8. Azerbaijan
9. Israel
10. Bosnia & Hercegovina
11. Georgia
12. Latvia
13. Portugal
14. Iceland
15. Denmark
16. Spain
17. Albania
18. Sweden
19. France
20. Romania
21. Croatia
22. Finland
23. Germany
24. Poland
25. United Kingdom


Keira said...

What a fab review.

Iceland were fantastic and had me and Rach up and dancing. Agree that Sweden was disappointing. I quite liked Azerbaijan too, even if its just for trying something different. Didnt expect them to do so well though. Bjorn made me laugh, and was happy to see Miko again too :)

Oh, and my mum loved Paolo so was in a bit of a strop for the final. Think she just fell for his smile.

EuropeCrazy said...

Yes I missed Paolo and I think my mum would have loved him too, however I watched his semi-final performance and thought he was just a bit off-key.

Glad you thought Bjorn was funny too, I became a fan of his after this year's MF. Probably a lot of people didn't get him though :)

Tinsie said...

I would have liked to see Switzerland in the final. I loved the song :-)