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.