Tuesday, June 1, 2010

EDU is flying the flag

We have a confirmed sighting of one of the Editors who was lucky enough to snaffle last-minute tickets to the Final in Oslo on Saturday night!

Apparently crowds were down due to the fear of volcanic ash stranding people in Norway. But our Editor has no such fear - being quite fluent in Norwegian, being trapped in Oslo would be heavenly for him.

Monday, May 31, 2010

EDU Votes

Due to one of the Editors being in Oslo this year, some of us completed our usual poll before the Semis. The rest of us voted on the night of the Final.

The votes from EDU are:
Germany 12 points
Albania 10
Romania 8
Belgium 7
France 6
Turkey 5
Iceland 4
Russia 3
Azerbaijan 2
Serbia 1

We got first and third right - and Belgium and Turkey got strong support from several Editors. In a year whn we all agreed we had no idea who was going to do well, we wound up being a bit more accurate than normal... now, to fix our SuperCoach teams!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thoughts before the Final

Thought #1
Black-out Sunday is extra hard when you spend 4-5 hours online, downloading the BBC feed so you can watch Eurovision sans-Zamiro.

Thought #2
The PIGS are doing very well this year. The Editors were surprised to see Greece and Portugal get through and when Ireland made it to the Final we felt convinced there is tide of public support for the economies of Europe who are facing austerity measures. Iceland got through coz it was fab!

Thought #2 - part B
Will this PIGS-love extend to Spain's quirky circus act?? Does the European public consider Germany a saving grace or guilty for some private firms' lending practices and Merkel's sloth in approving the loan guarantees a few weeks ago?

Thought #3
We say this to each other and anyone who will listen each year - but Eurovision is a contest where the singer has to sing live on stage. It is really, really important to send people who can actually sing. UK, we're looking at you!

Semi Final #2 - Review

Semi Final #2 had an embarrassment of riches in comparison to Semi #1 (which was a real dog!). This led to the unfortunate situatiuon of several really good songs missing out on qualification - when they'd have easily qualified if they'd been in Semi #1.

EDU's predictions were pretty good - given the upsets here - with 6 of our 10 predictions making the cut (Romania, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia , Denmark and Cyprus). Lithuania and Bulgaria were unlucky to miss out (perhaps both suffered from being too left of centre - Lithuania with their beat-boxing and glittery short-shorts - and Bulgaria... well the rest of the world is not ready for Shane Warne in a white suit and nude mesh top). Croatia were flat and less than inspiring 'live' and we were not shocked they missed out.

Norge cries 'Fiasko!'
Most of the Editors liked the Swedish entry - more so when we saw Anna nail it 'live' - and we joined the Norwegian press in thinking her exclusion from the Final was a fiasco. For a while it looked like Denmark would miss out too. Sweden was a wild card entry thanks to the EBU last year, so if they failed to get enough points to qualify in their own right yet again, you can hardly blame the EBU for not offering another leg-up. But, just how did they miss out on the points? Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Ireland and the UK all voted in this semi. Surely that's enough allies to make the cut. Monday's analysis of the points will be interesting!

We were surprised to see Israel qualify after Harel Skaat managed to miss most of the notes in his song... perhaps all the folks who bet money on this average tune voted for it?!? We totally understood why Georgia got through - Sopho sounded better live than she did in the studio version of 'Shine' and was probably one of the best performers since Lisa Andreas (Cyprus, 04). Old fashioned sentimentality - or an EBU wildcard - must be the explanation for Ireland getting through. We suspect that Ireland would pull the plug on future involvement in ESC if a former winner could not make it to the Finals.

Amazed and confused do not being to describe our reaction to Ukraine getting through (seriously - are the Russians that good at hacking international phone systems?)

The production was slick again - Haddy's dress a highlight again! - and Norwegain Josh Thomas donned the glittery shorts of Lithuania for great comic effect. We loved Nadia's interview with the Australian couple - instant honourary EDU Editors those two! - and we were so proud of the bloke's pronouncement that he spoke on behalf of all Australia when he said the Netherlands were very special!! Hell yeah - that was insane! We wanted that in the Finals too... "dancers' pretending to be wooden clock figures, oompah music, an unflattering costume and early 60s la-la-la vibe... it was everything Eurovision should be, but has gooten so good at weeding out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Semi #1 - Review

Eurovision returns for 2010! After the long wait (boy we've gotten used to mid-May Euros) we finally get to see the Norwegian show. Three great hosts - not sure if we needed them all - but Norwegian Josh Thomas was great (esp. in the Stankovic wig), Norwegian Fuzzy was stunning in a blue gown and the old gal who won in 1956 held it together. The set was great - although there were a few too many shots down through the chandelier for our money... we want to see the unfortunates!

The best acts of the night were Albania (how did her odds get to three figures?!) and Belgium (the intimacy of a bloke with his guitar was really profound). We nearly took the roof off when they were belatedly announced as progressing. Some of the weaker songs of the night made it through - which was a tribute to neighbourhood voting. Greece!! Seriously... that will remain a mystery for the ages. How awful was Greece? And it's gotten through. If Eurovision ever made sense it would cease to exist.

The EDU tips were pretty good - 7 of our 10 tips got through. We got Albania, Russia, Serbia, Iceland, Moldova, Belgium and Bosnia - and that really reflects very different opinions among the Editors - no one of us had all of those in our Top 10.

We were disappointed (but not surprised) that clever, indey Estonia did not get through. We were surprised (but rationalised it as a Balkan backlash against plagarism) that Slovakia missed out. And finally, most of us felt vindicated that the crazy Editor picked Finland - though to be fair they deserved a slot more than some of the night's performers.

On the SBS coverage-front: Sam Peng continues to be informative, funny and observant. He also avoids trying to sound like a wanker or being self-obsessed. Care to wonder what we think of his co-host?

What EDU learnt from Julia Zamiro at Semi #1. It's pronounced 'Ouswoo' and the possessive for Moldova is apparently Moldavian. Also... the booth next door was Bosnia's and the guy flapping wings behind the Maltese singer wore make-up. Riveting stuff. We also liked how she totally missed the self-reference in Belgium's song, even after Sam pointed it out.

BTW - SBS pointed viewers to their website on about six occassions - where you can vote for your favourite. That website's front page included reviews of both Semi Finals (with qualifying nations mentioned) prior to the show being broadcast. Way to direct viewers to spoilers, guys!!

So the news black-out continues for another two days... What a week! We had to avoid finding our the result for Survivor from the US, the conclusion of 'Lost' and the Semi Finals' results. Sunday evening will be such a relief. Thank Gawd the World Cup is live.

Monday, April 19, 2010

EDU predictions (Semi Finals)

The editors have made their lists, checked them twice and then argued for 2 hours over a bottle of verdicchio.

Here are our tips for the qualifiers from the two Semi Finals (in order of anticipated public votes)!

Albania Juliana Pasha - "It's All About You"
Slovakia Kristina - "Horehronie"
Russia Peter Nalitch Band - "Lost and Forgotten"
Serbia Milan Stanković - "Ovo je Balkan"
Finland Kuunkuiskaajat - "Työlki ellää"
Iceland Hera Björk - "Je ne sais quoi"
Estonia Malcolm Lincoln - "Siren"
Moldova SunStroke Project and Olia Tira - "Run Away"
Belgium Tom Dice - "Me and My Guitar"

Bosnia Vukašin Brajić - "Thunder and Lightning" (Wildcard)

Lithuania InCulto - "East European Funk"
Romania Paula Seling and Ovi - "Playing with Fire"
Azerbaijan Safura Alizadeh - "Drip Drop"
Bulgaria Miro - "Angel si ti"
Turkey maNga - "We Could Be The Same"
Armenia Eva Rivas - "Apricot Stone"
Denmark Chanée and N'evergreen - "In a Moment Like This"
Croatia Feminnem - "Lako je sve"
Cyprus Jon Lilygreen and The Islanders - "Life Looks Better in Spring"

Sweden Anna Bergendahl - "This Is My Life" (Wildcard)

Monday, April 5, 2010

There's a 50/50 chance of these odds being accurate, though there's only a 10 percent chance of that

Betting is to be approached tenatively in all matters - the house always wins. But this is doubly true in Eurovision, where national fervour clouds punting and produces daft odds year after year. 2010 seems to be no exception, with UK bookies William Hill's cuurent list of odds showing Germany marginally ahead of Azerbaijan and Israel:

11/4 Germany
7/2 Azerbaijan
8/1 Israel
12/1 Denmark
14/1 Norway, Armenia and Croatia
25/1 Greece
28/1 Sweden
33/1 Belgium, Ireland and Turkey
40/1 Slovakia
66/1 Albania, Belarus, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Ukraine and Romania
80/1 Iceland
100/1 Bosnia & Herzogovina,Moldova, Russia, Malta, Serbia, Lithuania, Cyprus and Georgia
150/1 Finland, Latvia and Estonia
200/1 Portugal, Switzerland, Bulgaria and the Netherlands
250/1 FYR Macedonia, Poland and Slovenia

Most of EDU's favourites are 33/1 or wider. Which means we are either about to become incredibly rich, or we'll lose AUD on the Euro yet again!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Ukraine has been fined by the EBU for their mucking around since the deadline for entries passed. The EBU fined NTU over the entry submission delay and also imposed an additional fine for every next day after the deadline with no entry submission.

As the old saying goes, bureaucratic fines are the mother of invention.

NTU has revealed the official entry to ESC 2010 for Ukraine will be: "Sweet People" to be sung by Aloysha.

Stay tuned in case someone figures out it was released two years ago and/or is plagarised.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You've Got Homework...

Following a hasty (actually, just 'read' hasty for anything relating to Ukraine, OK?) investigation into Aloysha's winning song 'To Be Free' the Ukrainian broadcaster has realised it was done before.

Rather than disqualify the cheat, and give second place a go (love you Masha, right) OR even re-instate poor ole Vasyl Lazarovych, the Ukrainians have asked to write a new song for Alyosha.

The EBU has granted Ukraine an extension to COB on Friday (26 March) to submit the song.

Now that's a recipe for great music.
What could possibly go wrong now?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Same ole f%&#in Story

Hey, you know how your Eurovision entry has to be brand new? Like, it cannot have been performed by someone else or infringe their copyright?? Yeah, you do?

Interesting... coz it doesn't look like the new board controlling Ukrainian television knows about that (quite important) rule.
As we saw yesterday, having fired the pro-Ukrainian TV board, the new pro-Russian board declared Vasyl Lazarovych to be an invalid selection and forced him to enter a new National Final with 19 other unfortunates. As luck would have it, the singer who went on last - Alyosha (real name Olena Kucher) - won the Final with her song 'To Be Free.'
The lyrics were written in 1977 and the music supposedly written by Alyosha herself - except that it sounds pretty much exactly like 'Knock Me Out' by Linda Perry and Grace Slick.

Yep - past the date for all entries to be final, the Ukrainian delegation cancels Vasyl's entry, holds a new Final and select a song that must be disqualified. Are the ESC going to allow Ukraine a third shot at this? Or will second place Masha Subko with 'Ya tebya lyublyu' be sent?

Tune in for the next thrilling installment - same bat-sh*t crazy time, same bat-sh*t crazy country.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Butterflies and Elvis

Belarus has gone back to its playbook from 2005 and done the old swapping-the-song-at-the-last-minute trick.
After five semi-finals, the public selected the group 3+2 to perform 'Far Away' at Oslo. But the day before the Meeting of the Delegates, Belarus announced that 3+2 had a new song - written by an influential Russian music producer - called 'Butterflies.'

Like Lazarovich with a Double By-Pass

EDU is calling shenanigans on Ukraine's Eurovision process for 2010.
Last December the Ukrainian selectors announced that Vasyl Lazarovich would compete for Ukraine and then sought songs for him - nothing too controversial there, same thing is happening in Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Belgium & Turkey. In a broadcast final on March 6th, 'I Love You' was selected from five songs as Vasyl's entry.

But a funny thing happened on the way to those finals... Ukraine had national elections, the pro-Russian candidate won and the entire board of the TV network were replaced. And so, Vasyl was informed that his selection had been retrospectively deemed to be illegitimate.

On March 10, a new National Final was announced and 19 candidates quickly collected.
Vasyl announced he would compete in the new Finals on March 20th: "I am not afraid of a national selection; I know that I have support in Ukraine in the face of fans of my talent. Yes, I am not happy with the re-selection, as I was elected by a legitimate vote. But, in order to dispel such doubts, I accept the rules of the new leadership of the channel.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rush to Judgement - Part Five

Artist: Malcolm Lincoln
Song: "Siren"

Malcolm Lincoln got 54% of the popular vote, beating former Vanilla Ninja (Switzerland, 2005) Lenna Kuurmaa who sang "Rapunzel."

Artist: Lena Meyer-Landrut
Song: "Satellite"

Breaking a long tradition, Germany is sending a cute girl. Lena won the Nationals in a sing-off with Jennifer Braun: each of them singing "Satellite" as well as "Bee." Jennifer also sang "I Care For You" and Lena sang "Love Me."

A knock-out final followed, where Jenniferreprised "I Care For You" and Lena Meyer-Landrut won with her version of "Satellite."

Artist: Josh Dubovie
Song: "That Sounds Good to Me"

"That Sounds Good to Me" is written by Mike Stock and Pete Waterman (of Stock Aitken Waterman infamy). Get ready to be Rick-Rolled!

Artist: Anna Bergendahl
Song: "This Is My Life

Anna was on Super Troopers a music program in 2004, and came 5th in their Idol in 2008. The Swedes pick on the Norwegians a lot - expect the love!

Artist: Milan Stankovic
Song: "Ovo je Balkan" (This is the Balkan)

Milan is also an also-ran from the world of Idol - he came 4th in Zvezde Granda.

Haven't we Been Here Before?

Two artists return to the scene of the crime... well, one artist and Feminnem.

Feminnem divided the Editors in 2005 when they performed 'Call Me' for Bosnia & Herzegovina - some of us got the joke and others treated them as serious performers (and justifiably panned them). We are united in 2010 in thinking this is historical - Feminnem are back, singing "Lako je sve" (Everything is Easy) for Croatia ! We are pretty sure no other act has represented two nations at the Finals before. Plenty have entered Nationals in multiple countries...

The other repeat offender is Niamh Kavanagh who won the thing in 1993 for Ireland. She returns (rather boringly for Ireland again) singing "It's for You."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rush to Judgement - Part Four

Too many entries... not enough Editors!

Are sending Safura [Safura Alizadeh] but they're not sure of the song just yet. It will be "Drip Drop", "Under My Skin" or "Soulless" or... "Don't let the Morning Come"

Having opted for singer Miro and having advertised for someone to write him a tune... they're doing a Tose tribute with "Angel si ti" (You are an Angel)

InCulto will perform "East European Funk"

Punctually challenged maNga have selected their song - "We Could be the Same"

SunStroke Project and Olia Tira will channel Lady GaGa with "Run Away"

Peter Nalitch sings "Lost and Forgotten"

Filipa Azevedo is so new to performing all her website photos were taken by herself in a toilet. She will be singing "Há dias assim" (It's One of those Days).

Paula Seling & Ovi sing "Playing With Fire"

Easily the oldest contestant this year (heck, he's our age!) will be Giorgos Alkaios & Friends - they're singing "Opa"

Monday, March 1, 2010

Shock! French Surrender... want to play football instead

FRANCE faced a hell of a challenge trying to follow up the success of Patricia Kaas in Moscow.

Bruno Berberes, the Head of Delegation for France made no bones about it - "We can't give less than Patricia Kaas" he stated. Rumours were flying of the big name who would appear...
suggestions ranged from retro (Natasha St-Pier) to the obvious: Christophe (The Turtle) Willem - winner of the 2006 Pop Idol. To top it off, a public suvey showed a majority wanted UK's Mika to represent France. Choices! Choices!

So it was something of a surprise when Europe 1 radio announced that France was sending relatively unknown rapper Jessy Matador, a musician and dancer from the Democratic Republic of Congo with the song "Allez! Ola! Olé!" (Come on! Ola! Olé!) which is a song promoting the 2010 FIFA World Cup!

Gaëlle Placek, journalist for French weekly Télé Loisirs retorted: "France Télévisions is not willing to win the contest but aims to promote a song in relation to the Football World Cup and to have a smash hit for next Summer... France's got very few chances to win Eurovision with this singer."

Scandal - Finally!

The first juicy scandal of Eurovision 2010 is warming up in Armenia.

Eva Rivas (real name: Valeria Tsaturyan) won Armenia's national finals with the song "Apricot Stone." She placed second with the jury and won the popular vote, while rap duo Mihran & Emmy won the Jury vote with "Hey (Let Me Hear You Say)" but came third in the popular vote. Mihran & Emmy find the results harder to swallow than... well an Apricot Stone.

Fans of Emmy & Mihran immediately claimed that their SMS votes had failed to go through - whilst E&M's PR manager has claimed that 5,000 SMS votes had already been registered for Rivas just 30 seconds after voting was opened. Apparently overloaded by the huge number of instant votes for Rivas the servers mysteriously went down. Armenian television acknowledged that over 30,000 SMS votes had not been counted.

Emmy & Mirhan plan on mounting a challenge in court.

Did we mention that Rivas' main sponsor is Samuel Karapetyan, an influential businessman who is the brother of Karen Karapetyan, the chief of staff of the Armenian president?

Rush to Judgement - Part Three

Spain has selected an actor who has recently turned to musicals. Daniel Diges will sing (Something Tiny) or "Algo pequeñito."

Diges rose to fame in a teen drama series "Nada es para siempre" and has appeared in kid's TV and five other productions. His recent work has been in large scale commercial musical theatre - appearing in the Spanish productions of "We Will Rock You", "High School Musical" and "Mamma Mia!"

Rush to Judgement - Part Two

Belarus is sending the song 'Far Away' by 3+2 to Oslo. 3+2 are Artyom Mihalenko, Elgiazar Farashyan and Yulia Shisko, along with backing vocalists Alyona Karpovich and Ninel Karpovich. That would be three lead singers, plus two backing singers - so Three Plus Two. Ya get it? Amazing creativity on display there. zOMG.

Winner of Latvia's Nationals is Aisha (full name: Aija Andrejeva) who will be singing "What For? (Only Mr God Knows Why)."

The Czechs are gone, but Slovakia is ready for another tilt - this time they are sending Kristina (name: Kristína Peláková) who will be singing "Horehronie"(that is a Slovak province, so there may be a tourism angle at play... I hear their mountains are the new Alps.)

By the way - SBS has confirmed that they are televising Eurovision 2010. The dates are:
First semi: 28 May 2010 (Fri, 19:30)
Second semi: 29 May 2010 (Sat, 19:30)
Final: 30 May 2010 (Sun, 19:30)

Rush to Judgement - Part One

Poland has selected Marcin Mrozinski whp will sing "Legenda" (The Legend). Marcin is an actor/singer (we hope he may be a singer/actor!) and he was the last of six wildcards added to the original four entries selected by TVP. He won a third of the popular vote in the Nationals.

Gjoko Taneski will represent FYROM with the song "Jas ja imam silata" (I have the Strength). Gjoko won by the skin of his teeth thanks to the Jury giving him 12 votes (public had him in second place). The popular vote went to Vlatko Ilievski with "Sreka" (who came second in the Jury).

Thea Garrett has won Malta's eagerly contested Nationals with the song "My Dream." She saw off a large number of contenders including some very familiar faces in Malta such as Lawrence Gray (7th place) and Claudia Faniello (8th).


Ansambel Roka Žlindre and Kalamari will represent Slovenia with the track "Narodnozabavni rock" (Folk Rock). Roka and his back-up band won by a huge margin - second placed Nina Pušlar scored less than a quarter of the votes of first place! EMA also saw the return of EDU favourite Nuša 'Energy!' Derenda who came 9th place with "Sanjajva." Most intriguing song title of the show was Lea Sirk's "Vampir je moj poet."

Dima Bilan touring Sydney & Melbourne

Winner of Eurovision 2008, Dima Bilan, is heading Down Under for a short promotion tour this month. He will play the Dallas Brooks Centre in Melbourne on Thursday 11th March and the UNSW Science Theatre in Sydney on Friday 12th.

Dima's press release promose a concert "sure to enthrall spectators, showcasing a group of Russian ballet dancers, as well as a live music ensemble." On Dima's first ever visit to Australia he is looking forward to experiencing "Australian culture, warm weather and see some beautiful attractions including the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the famous Bondi Beach and maybe I'll even get to meet some koalas.”

Dima Bilan was recently in Vancouver, where he devoted a song to Eugeniy Plushenko (the skater who did not remove any of his toes on stage in Belgrade). He sang "Impossible is Possible" in Eugeniy's honour and said "There is no one in Russia who would be indifferent to Eugeniy, everyone believes in his success."

Eugeniy Plushenko got silver.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Did you hear the one about the Dane, the Thai, the Welshman and the Islanders?

You can always rely on Eurosong to create some strange combos - and this year has two already.

In the red and white corner from Denmark comes 40-something Tomas N'evergreen and Gen-Y Dane/Thai babe Chanée (real name: Christina Wongskul) with 'In a Moment Like This.'

But not to be out done, in the divided corner, hailing from Wales, but representing Cyprus comes Jon Lilygreen accompanied by Cypriot act The Islanders, singing 'Life Looks Better In Spring.'

Bridesmaid, finally Bride!

Björk finally gets to sing for Iceland! No, not that one. Helga Björk - who has performed back up two years in a row for Iceland (behind Euroband in '08 and Yohanna in '09) - has won the Icelandic Nationals and will now get her moment in the spotlight. She will be singing in French and English (perhaps an appeal for bail out funds as much as it is for votes). The song is 'Je ne sais quoi' (I Don't Know What).

Georgia is sending the lovely Sopho Nizharadze - but no song has been selected as yet.

Defending champions Norway have elected to disregard EDU's advice of sending Röyksopp (or Anneli Drecker) and are sending some uber-cute Kooks reject named Didrik Solli-Tangen! Didrik will sing 'My Heart Is Yours' (clearly disregarding the fact that our heart is Anneli's).

Wake Me Up When January Ends

As the finals start to come thick and fast, the following nations have announced their singers, but not their songs:

Tom Dice



Vasyl Lazarovich

Now, as always, Albania had their national finals before anyone cared and have selected the zaftik Juliana Pasha who is singing 'Nuk mundem pa ty' (I Can’t Be Without You).
Bosnia and Herzegovina is sending Vukašin Brajić with 'Munja i grom' (Thunder and Lightning).

Girl folk-duo Kuunkuiskaajat will represent Finland - performing 'Työlki ellää' (One can work for a living, too)

The Dutch announced their song 'Ik ben verliefd, Shalalie' (I'm in love, Shalalie) and then sought their singer. Sieneke was announced as Netherlands' representative on Feb 6th.

In what looks like the first gag song of the year (we so hope this isn't serious, mum!) Switzerland is sending the unique looking Michael von der Heide who is performing 'Il pleut de l'or' (basically = Golden shower!!)