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Old May 15 2011, 02:14 PM   #73
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Location: The Electric Age
Re: Eurovision Song Contest 2011 (Düsseldorf, Germany)

So, my thoughts on the final, that we get 12 hours after everybody else. Next year I might have to make the effort to watch it live.

The opening. Okay the swing/big band version wasn’t at all bad, and made up for the host’s general prattiness and was a great way to start, all colour, movement and swinging music!

I like the postcards – making them look like model trains etc is clever. And they stressed how very cosmopolitan Germany is, and that’s a good thing, a brilliant tourism campaign. Hey, crazy old man parachutes off a windmill! Hasn’t he seen ‘Terminal Velocity’?!

Finland: Mmmm, just a bit twee for me. Message songs are a tad annoying at times. As our commentators said, tha guy should have been in Junior Eurovision.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: a charming song, catchy in its own way, visually appealing too.

Denmark: I like a good rock song. This wasn’t it.

Lithuania: singing in several languages, including sign language. Uhhh. Right. Good voice, not sure about the song.

Hungary: Now that’s Eurovision! Big song by a blonde in a pretty dress, busy backing dancers, Then slow the tempo for the verse before back to the Eurodisco chorus. One of the better examples of that style, it has to be said.

Ireland: the infamous boys with the sticky-up hair. How much sugar have these guys had? It’s catchy but its [searches for suitably wanky critic’s term… ah, here: ] relentless kineticism is offputting. And sorry, I have to make an observation – one of the backing singers has a great pair of legs shown off to great effect in a black mini… another Eurovision tradition. [Searches net…. hmm, Leanne Moore, a career in her own right. Good for her.]

Sweden: hyperkinetic dancers. Probably due to ADHD. I blame MTV. Or something. ‘Popular’? Not so much, prefer the Darren Hayes song of the same name. That was just so… boom, stayed at the same level, didn’t go anywhere.

Estonia: wow, this song has a really annoying click track. And she’s a bit saccharine. The song’s a bit all over the place, especially against the one size fits all of the previous song.

Greece: I can see what they’re trying to do, but it doesn’t quite work for me. Pretty powerful, good performance.

Russia: what can this boy not do?! Stuntman, singer, dancer, musician, actor, the list goes on! Though I get the impression he’s kinda thinking, “How great am I? Don’t you just love me?” More MTV Attention Span Dancers, blink and you’ll miss some other shape they throw.

France: big song, bringing class back to EV. It’s good, but does France ever want to win this competition? Their choices, while good, are often spectacularly wrong for this format. As someone elsewhere said, this song somehow escaped from Les Mis.

Italy: good to see them back. An unusual choice for an entry, very retro, but it has a casual swing that’s tolerable. And it was very well performed, all top class musos for sure! Audience really liked them.

Observation – EV is so much more professional these days. While the muso in me thinks this is good, part of me misses some of the car accidents of previous years that have had me in stitches.

Switzerland: a cute song, but no winner.

UK: a boyband entry is so 1990s. Bit egotistical performing in fronr of huge pictures oif your self. Given my general loathing of boybands, this wasn’t to bad, and a creditable entry (considering past efforts like Jemini and Scootch).

Moldova: Ska! With traditional trumpets! Meets Devo! And I don’t get the monocle. In some ways a traditional bat’s arse EV entry.

Germany: the backing dancers are straight out of a James Bond title sequence. Mmm, this seems to be her “I’m a serious artist now” song, in some ways, veering into late Avril Lavigne territory. Not a winner, by a long shot.

Romania: hmm, one of those piano type songs. Just a shade too cheesy and upbeat for me to really enjoy it, which is a shame. In the hands of a different singer perhaps. Catchy but not a winner.

Austria: as the commentator said, powerful song, powerful singer, powerful fringe. Bit too much of the Mariah-Whitneys for me (not holding a note, just jumping all around it), which is a shame because when she does she’s very good.

Azerbaijan: I’m not seeing the appeal (the local news spoilered it). It’s a solid enough song, but I’ve seen a dozen of them since I started watching EV in ‘99.

Slovenia: see, I thinks this is much better than the previous entry. A song with light and shade and a really good singer who just stands there in her thigh high boots and lets it rip!

Iceland: a bittersweet song with a bittersweet story behind it. Trouble is, it’s a bit ‘Save Your Kisses For Me’, a bit 70s. Nice. Not a winner.

Spain: a bright and breezy song with a bright and breezy singer. More fine work from the MTV Attention Span Dancers.

Ukraine: the sand work is very good… but not really part of the song, just gives it a kind of video clip feel, and distracts from the performance. It’s good, but as with others, done many times before.

Serbia: wow, who said the 60s were dead? J It’s fun and frothy, and despite its retro feel, a bit of a change.

Georgia: I was getting an Amy Winehouse vibe from the singer, if AW had more talent and self-control. Very energetic. Not bad but not a winner, in the Lordi style of rock.

Struck all over again how vintage some of the songs feel, harking back to earlier decades. How odd, that an entire country would vote these songs to represent them.

The show was sponsored by Schwarzkopf. They had just one ad, a really annoying one, for ‘push up hair’, which also featured an incredibly plastic model in a push up bra. She’s not even speaking English, it’s badly dubbed. If I never see that ad again, life will be good.

Part of the interval act is a singer in a plaid suit I’ve never heard of. Actually you’d think he was an entry from Austria or a slightly hip East European backwater, a frantic piece of ska-pop followed by a pop-rocker that wasn’t too bad at all. Still, I miss class work like the 2000 interval act, which still knocks me out (and if you haven’t seen it, YT is your friend, run, don’t walk).

The voting seems all over the place, which is not a bad thing. The usual block votes, but everyone else seems to be putting some thought into it. The result still seems damned odd, though. Thought Switzerland would have done a little better.

Why Azerbaijan? Why? As Shaytan said, boring. One wonders about the juries, how they came to vote for this.

Oh well, it'll be interesting to see if that country can clean up its act a bit for next year, what with all the tourists and journalist and the whatnot.

In short, a good show, just a bit of a shame there wasn't the zany as in previous years.
1984? We're way beyond that!
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