May 2009 Archives
It's murder on the dancefloor. Well, not quite, but Boom Bang a Blog must share with its readers the grave(ish) news that the 2009 edition of the Eurovision Dance Contest has been cancelled.
With the UK staging the event's first two editions, but not doing especially well on the scoreboard in either of them, the keenest new member of the Euro family - Azerbaijan - was set to welcome everyone to Baku in September for the third edition of the competition.
There's just one problem. The Dance Contest just hasn't caught on in the way the EBU bosses hoped, so the organisers weren't able to get enough participant countries signing up to justify the show going ahead.
Word is the Azeris will still host the show, albeit next year, with a major shake-up of how the dancing edition of the Contest is executed worked on in the interim.
But don't be surprised if the idea gets executed altogether.
Norwegian broadcaster NRK (they have a British arm headed by Johnny Rotten called NRK in the UK) has announced the dates for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest.
Semi Final 1: Tuesday, May 25, 2010.
Semi Final 2: Thursday, May 27, 2010.
The Final: Saturday, May 29, 2010.
No clashes with the Champions League Final - and the first week of rehearsals will coincide with Norway's National Day.
Venue has yet to be announced. It is currently between two Oslo-based stadia, the previously mentioned Telenor Arena and venue for the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest, the Specktrum.
Well, who'd have thunk it. This year's Eurovision winner, Fairytale performed by Alexander Rybak, has made the UK Top 10. The pixie-faced fiddler was at number 10 on the official Radio One chart, announced yesterday.
The trophy scooper is wedged between Lady GaGa and Ironik fetauring Chipmunk and Elton John (how nice for him), while Jade Ewen managed number 27 with It's My Time - not bad for a song more suited to the Contest than the charts.
That's two Eurovision entries in the UK top 30. As far as Boom Bang a Blog is aware, you'd have to go back to the event's salad days of the 1970s to find songs from the Contest migrating from the scoreboard into the British charts. The peak was 1974, when the top three songs from the Contest held in Brighton (winners ABBA, Italy's runner-up Gigliola Cinquetti and Mouth & McNeal for the Netherlands) all made the UK Top 10.
We're not quite back to those days, but it's an encouraging sign for any UK songwriter who wants to have a bash next year.
Norwegian telly has already decided on its budget for 2010, the Eurovision bosses are due to fly out in the next few weeks to have a look at the most suitable venues (which are all in - or near - Oslo), but just as the Contest Express seemed set for a smooth running from Russia to Norway, an unexpected early obstacle has plopped in its path.
And it's football-shaped.
Boom Bang a Blog begins the campaign right here to have just juries voting in the Eurovision Song Contest from now on.
You'll understand why when you see the results.
Blimey, this is a real turn-up for the books.
Alexander Rybak is currently at #3 in the UK's midweek charts with Fairytale - and is looking good to stay in the Top 10 when the charts are released on Sunday.
That makes it the first non-UK Eurovision winner to reach the top 10 since Johnny Logan with Hold Me Now in 1987 (which reached #2).
This lad just can't stop breaking records.
Jade is expected to finish somewehre in the top 20 with My Time.
There's always a few bits and bobs of newsworthiness floating around in the aftermath of every Eurovision. Here's a quick rundown of what's been going on since Norway's overwhelming victory on Saturday:
- Azerbaijan - which finished third - could be punished for allegedly not showing the telephone voting number for Armenia when the snippets of all the songs were reprised in the interval.
- Did you notice the Armenian spokeswoman continually showing the back of her clipboard, which had a photo of an Easter Island-esque statue pasted to it, while she read out the scores? It's that statue which is the subject of ownership-related friction between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Armenians could also be in trouble for bringing politics into the show.
- Czech Republic had the first act to score nil points since 2004. Their 'Super Gipsy' antics came last in the first semi-final. Belgium's Elvis impersonator finished above them with just one point - from Bulgaria.
- Iceland won the first semi-final, Norway the second.
- The first televoting and jury results are also trickling through and it looks like the introduction of the juries was the biggest factor in pushing the UK into the Top 5 as Lord Andy's song didn't seem to impress the public quite as much as it did the music professionals.
- It looks like Eurovision 2010 will be held in the freshly built 23,000-seater Telenor Arena just outside Oslo. Keep saving for that round.
Jade Ewen, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the BBC have a lot to be chuffed about today. If the UK is to win Eurovision in the near future, then it'll take baby steps to show the rest of Europe that we really want to do well - which was what happened last night.
The UK was fourth until the final vote, when the Norwegian result pushed Turkey four points ahead. But it was a pleasure, after so many years of Blighty doing badly, for it to be a surprise when a country actually *didn't* vote for us.
If anyone from Auntie Beeb is reading this - please don't let 2009 be a one-off, if we can keep on pairing up a successful songwriter with a fledgling singer possessing lungs of leather, then we could win this thing within five years.
Norway, of course, scooped their third Contest title with the first Eurovision song to break the 300-point barrier (and very nearly hitting 400 points). It must be said, Alexander's fiddly ditty didn't go down too well with the Aigburth jury (Estonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Ukraine were our picks), but it was fairly obvious from national finals season which performer was taking the trophy home from Russia.
The full results from last night are:
I did a few interviews on local radio yesterday afternoon, all asking me what the telly viewers should be looking out for tonight - which I thought was much healthier than asking me (the kiss of death) what will win.
I'm enjoying some down time in our Moscow apartment this afternoon, just chilling and looking forward to the proceedings tonight. Karen has gone for a steam and scrub, Apostolos for some lunch and a mooch. So, some final thoughts and it's time for my top 10 for tonight.
I'm sure my friends and I will compile a final 'napkin of death' at dinner, but I won't be able to blog - unless I get to the press centre before the final.
For me, the songbirds at the top of the tree are:
Having seen yet another dress rehearsal yesterday - this time the first run through of the final - we have decided to save all the excitement of tonight to, well, tonight.
Apostolos and I are in the apartment, Karen has taken herself off to a museum. We're listening to Eurovision Gold on my iPod, and Apostolos says that it brings back so many good memories. Music can do that, you know.
So all eyes turn to the final and to who will win. As I have said earlier, I can be the kiss of death with Eurovision entries... although I did get 16/20 qualifiers correct - how did you do Jamie? (I got 13/20. I'm not ashamed. Jame)