March 2010 Archives
There are some requests that are too good to turn down. One such offer came Boom Bang a Blog's way last week when a representative for Andy Abraham said the British entrant from 2008, who finished last in Serbia, wanted to share his opinions about this year's UK selection process, his experiences as a Eurovision entrant and anything else which crops up in the course of our chat. At nine o'clock this morning, before the rigours of two newspaper deadlines started chasing my tail, I gave Mr Abraham a call:
Boom Bang a Blog: Good morning, Andy. I'm calling you from Liverpool - but more importantly, where are you sat for our chat?
Andy Abraham: I'm in Hertfordshire in the studio, running through some songs. They're all songs that I've written and I'm trying out some things which are a little bit different but I'm not straying too far from the sound which I'm known for. I'll be touring with these songs, either at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. It's still a big part of my career.
I sang at Theo Walcott's 21st birthday party recently, which was brilliant for me because I'm a huge Arsenal fan, I've always loved football. It's a big night for us tonight against Barcelona and Man United are taking on Bayern Munich at the same time, although I know you won't be wanting Man United to do well up there! I have to say, though, Liverpool FC is my favourite team up north (Boom Bang a Blog is liking Andy even more now...).
Good evening! Apologies for the slight delay in bringing you the result, there were so many close calls in some of the quarter finals I had to bring a bit of in-depth analysis in to play before the final 10 could be selected. It just goes to show how close the 2010 Contest is proving to be as there was no absolute runaway leader in any of the first four phases.
Before we unveil the 10 semi-finalists, a spot of number crunching:
# A total of 335 votes were received. Thank you so much, I wasn't even expecting half that figure.
# Of those 335 votes, not a single one was cast for Slovenia, FYR Macedonia or Bosnia & Herzegovina.
# A whopping 137 votes were cast for quarter final one, compared to 47 for quarter final four.
# That means there were a fair few countries in the first quarter final which didn't progress to the semi-final which more votes than those which topped the final quarter final poll - but rules be rules - we had to go by the percentage of the total vote.
But enough yakking. Your semi finalists are just a click of 'Continue Reading' away...
Isn't this a thing of beauty? It's popular (at least, I'm led to believe she is) Irish enterntainer Sheila Fits-Patrick with her own take on her homeland's entry for this year, It's For You.
Grab yourself some hankies. You'll be in tears by the key change.
Just a quick reminder that voting in the quarter final phase of the Big Poll 2010 - to determine Boom Bang a Blog readers' favourite song in this year's Eurovision Song Contest - closes this evening at 8pm GMT (9pm CET).
After that, the 39 songs taking part this year will be reduced to 10 for the semi final phase - so this is your final opportunity to make sure your favourite song gets a vote.
You can vote in any or all of the quarter finals. The links to the vote forms are below.
Click here for Quarter Final One.
Click here for Quarter Final Two.
Click here for Quarter Final Three.
Click here for Quarter Final Four.
Thanks for voting! The songs qualifying to the semi-final will be revealed as soon after 8pm as possible (but it'll probably be after Glee).
I've always struggled to like the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest. It's certainly not as lackadaisaical as the Italian effort 10 years previously, indeed, you have to admire the ambition of Danish TV that they were able to have a roof built over its national sports stadium, Parken, in the 12 months between winning in Sweden and hosting at home, so that the arena met the all-weather criteria of a Contest venue and 38,000 spectators could be accommodated to make the biggest live audience for the show ever. But the reason I don't like is that it tries too hard to be different.
The set is too big, so any song benefiting from a more intimate setting is scuppered straight away, there is absolutely zero atmosphere until the final song of the evening and even those who forked out cash for a ticket would have bene better off watching the whole thing from home on the telly instead of trying to work out if one of the dots on stage several hundred metres away is the lead singer or a backing dancer.
And then there was the decision to have the presenters speak in rhyming couplets. All night.
Right gang, here we go. Now that Alyosha has decided to warble about Sweet People, we now know all 39 songs and performers in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. And so here is the fourth and final quarter final of the Big Poll, with all the participating countries from Serbia to the United Kingdom. All you have to do is select the song you like best out of the nine listed in the 'Continue Reading' bit and the top two choices from all you Boom Bang a Bloggers will go on to next week's semi-final.
Here's the important bit. You can still vote in the first three quarter finals if you haven't done so already and the closing date and time for voting in this part of the Big Poll is 8pm GMT (9pm CET) on Monday, March 29.
After that, I'll let you know who's got through to the semi-final.
Goodness me, I hope you can get through this tension and click onto the bit of the page with the poll on it...
The Way Old Friends Do. Do it ABBA, ah go on, do it...
We always thought it would never happen, but in an interview with The Times this morning, the male half of ABBA - Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus - have suggested that there could be something which entices the four conquerors of Eurovision 1974 back before a worldwide audience.
Although they have turned down the equivalent of $1bn in the past to do a 100-date tour, the suggestion of performing a show in an intimate venue, perhaps even backed by an orchestra, which could then be beamed worldwide, was not dismissed completely out of hand by the pair.
You'll notice in the article that Benny references the final track of the Super Trouper album, the song written specifically for their 1979 World Tour which was only ever performed live and never recorded as a studio version (as far as we know) The Way Old Friends Do.
Benny said it could now be performed as The Way Old Folks Do. Mr Andersson, it's a fantastic idea - and I really hope you spend your lunchtime surfing the net for suitable intimate concert venues. It's not exactly tiny, but the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool has lovely acoustics. And I'm sure nobody would mind if you wanted to finally take your place on stage in The Cavern, either...
And here's the final song for Eurovision 2010. Sweet People by Alyosha for Ukraine
Right, fingers crossed, this really is the last song in the line-up for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest to be announced. Alyosha remains the artist representing her homeland in Oslo - but the song she will be singing has now been confirmed as the non-plagiaristic, completely conforming to the rules ditty Sweet People.
Boom Bang a Blog hasn't heard this latest offering yet, but it's expected to go public at some point today (around 3pm GMT, I *think*). As soon as a postable version is available, it'll be up on here - and then we can begin the final quarter final of this year's Big Poll. The first three QFs can all be found by scrolling down this page and you can still vote in any or all of them if you haven't done so already. Marvellous stuff.
Thanks so much for all your votes so far! You can still vote in the first and second quarter finals as well (have a wee scroll down the page for those) - and here are the songs from Latvia to Russia. Two of these will go on to the Semi Final. It's ever so nail biting.
And I'd love to tell you when the fourth and final quarter final will be, but that, my chums, is in the hands of the Ukraine.