Back in blogland again after a few weeks' break. I thought it was about time that I finally published my Trogir diaries so these will appear on here over the next week or so. Tonight I'm going to publish the first two days of what was a fantastic week in this little Croatian town.
As usual I am very busy, and very tired, and don't always have the time or energy to blog. I haven't even followed Swedish Idol this year - what's wrong with me?? - but one thing which is always a regular feature on this blog is my year-end chart which I've already started preparatory work on. Bit of a challenge as I haven't really made much effort to seek out new music for most of this year, but I have about 35 songs so far so I'm on my way.
I guess I've probably had PED (post-Eurovision depression) this year in addition to all the other crap stuff going on in my life. But happily, Eurovision season 2015 is under way already, with the good news that despite Albania's lack of success at ESC over the past couple of years, they aren't quitting the contest after all so it looks as if Festivali i Këngës no. 53 in December will be choosing the country's representative once more. Serbia and Bosnia are back - the latter rumoured to be represented by Hari Mata Hari again - and crikey, even Luxembourg's considering a comeback some time! Turkey and Eurovision are never never getting back together: they stomped off in a strop and created Türkvizyon which many Eurofans hated but I really enjoyed and hope to watch it this year if time (and internet stream) allows.
Of special interest to those who follow the United Kingdom's entries, is the news that the BBC has put an open selection out there and is accepting song submissions up to 7th November. Given the increasing xenophobia and Euro-scepticism by certain politicians in this country, not to mention their increasingly xenophobic and Euro-sceptic followers, can you really ever see the UK winning ESC, ever again? The EBU obviously had this in mind so to keep Royaume-Uni on side, we have been awarded the 60th anniversary special, to be held at the Royal Albert Hall and presented by Graham Norton and Petra Mede. (How many times do I have to say it - you should have chosen Glasgow! The Hydro/SECC/Clyde Auditorium complex is a Eurovision venue just waiting to happen).
Ireland's also going for an open selection but sadly not using "The Hit" format which I thought would have been a great idea.
It won't be long until we find out the songs and performers competing in Melodifestivalen 2015. The biggest news there so far is the return of Måns Zelmerlöw to the competition. 2014's Melfest winner (and faithful travelling companion's new fave) Sanna Nielsen will be back next year but this time as co-presenter with comedian and TV host Robin Paulsson. Let's face it, they can't be any worse than this year's twosome who were probably the worst Melfest presenters I can remember in all my years of watching the contest!
Over the bridge to Denmark now where the DMGP has a new logo (pictured above). As usual in Denmark there's none of your heats and semi-final faffing about (watch and learn, several other ESC countries!!), it's just straight to the final, quality over quantity, and always a fabulous show regardless of whether or not you like the songs. The DMGP final falls on 7th February, the same night as the 1st Melfest heat but I'm choosing Denmark this time round, particularly as I missed the DMGP final this year due to a spectacularly incompetent judgement call :(
I haven't heard any of the songs in the Swiss free-for-all so far, but another Sebalter-style surprise would be very nice. Lots of rumours flying around about the Netherlands' representative next year. They will have a lot to live up to after the success of Anouk and the Common Linnets over the past couple of years; another quality artist and song will boost their chances again and we could be looking at a possible Dutch ESC winner in the next couple of years.
Norway is also on a high, thanks to Carl Espen's success, and NRK has received a very high number of entries. No dates or format info for MGP as yet, but I'd imagine they'd run with the same one as this year. Jenny and Erik are great hosts so I'd love to see them back at MGP. Talking of Norway, their most recent winner Alexander Rybak will be auditioning and writing for artists at the Belarus final which will be another national selection.
Finally, we learned last month that the slogan for the 2015 contest will be "Building Bridges". Hopefully this will not be too literally interpreted, as I have visions of construction work going on behind the artists as they sing....!