May 2010 Archives
Seven years. That's how long it took me to make a comeback at the Eurovision Song Contest. Not on the stage you understand. I like to think I'm more aware of my vocal shortcomings than some of the people who have strutted their stuff on that voluminous set over the years, the type who have given their personality and outfit more attention than their harmonic range. I'm talking about being a member of the not-so-silent majority, that flag waving mass which you see carefully arranged in front of the scenery each year and whom the director cuts to if you're waving the national colours of the country which has just finished performing.
I had been part of that select group just once before, at the Skonto Hall in Riga in 2003. It was an amazing night - which saw Turkey score its first ever win and the UK its maiden wooden spoon, both accomplishments secured in style of some description. I knew I'd go back to Eurovision one day - I just didn't know when.
2003: I went to the Eurovision Song Contest. The UK comes last.
2010: I went to the Eurovision Song Contest. The UK comes last.
If anyone sees me heading for the arena in Germany next year, you have my permission to restrain me. With ropes if necessary.
PS: Full reports and pics on our adventures will follow on either Sunday or Monday.
We had a smashing time! And our flight changes in Munich tomorrow - we can geg in on the party.
How the final 10 through to tonight's big show feel about it. Bless 'em.
Good morning to you all from a still-dry, suprisingly sunny Oslo.
After seeing loads of this fine city yesterday (and to the person who said before we left, 'Oh, it's just like Birmingham' - you need your bumps feeling!) I can recommend it for a weekend break if you don't drink like a fish and enjoying a bit of culture-spotting. We went to the Folk Museum (a bit like the set for where the poor people live in Lark Rise to Candleford), got a ferry across the fjord, took a trip to the Sculpture Park (where I had a quik chat with a reporter from the Daily Express - Boom Bang a Blog might get a mention in there this morning) and had some general larks and antics along the way.
It's looking to be an interesting night Contest-wise. Sweden's non-qualification on Thursday made the front pages of the local tabloids yesterday and a teary Anna Bergendahl featured heavily in news reports flashed about on any TV we spotted throughout the day. Armenia seems to be the one to watch now it's being performed 21st - and Belgium could still suprise everyone and win the thing 24 years after Sandra Kim J'aime la Vie'd her way to victory. All Tom Dice needs to do now is start lying about his age...
Europe, you let these lads down last night. Tsk.
Good morning all!
Sadly, I can't link my camera to this 'puter, so apologies for a pic-free post. Our gang of four watched the second semi-final here in the hotel bar of the Scandic SjÃÅŸlyst yesterday evening. We weren't very impressed with favourites Azerbaijan, thought Ireland was rather dull and were miffed that Lithuania didn't get any further.
Now that the 25 finalists for Eurovision 2010 are known, however, here is how they will line up at the Telenor Arena tomorrow evening. And just look who has a bit of a struggle on their hands to take the trophy now that all the numbers have been plucked from the pot...
Here's my 10 predictions. A tough call and I had to decide who to leave out. For semi-final one I had to decide who to include to make it up to 10. Lithuania just edged out Georgia in the end - but Bulgaria could still make it tonight as well. Boom Bang a Blog is so fickle...
Right, there may not be any more updates tonight as (fingers crossed) by the time you read this I'll be safely ensconced in Oslo with a sweet sherry and a prawn vol-au-vent awaiting tonight's festivities before going out to celebrate my chum's birthday afterwards.
Hopefully back with you at some point in the morning! Enjoy tonight!
Crikey! No sooner has the dry ice faded and all hope has been lost for the seven countries sent packing on Tuesday night, it's time for the next batch of Eurocelebs to take to the stage for the first rehearsal of the second semi-final (you still with me?!).
The rehearsal was just for 'us press people', but was still packed-out at the front of the arena. I took a few (dodgy) snaps and then gave up! I do, however, have some thoughts on all the songs that are on telly tonight...
Click on the video above to see what ideas you came up with to design an onstage outfit for Uk entrant Josh Dubovie at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.
I don't know about you, but they look good to me. Ooh, get me... did you see what I did there?
OK, so here is how Saturday's running order looks now that tonight's qualifers have all picked their draw number.
Let's get the bad news out of the way first, the incredibly crowd-pleasing Greece picking spot number 11 - right before the UK - is not going to help Blighty make any sort of impact. But let's not forget that, this evening, the Portuguese song - considered a complete no-hoper - was performed straight after Opa! and still qualified, so over-analysis isn't going to help any patriotic souls right now.
Great for Portugal to get slot 23 as well, Jade sang from here for the UK last year and wound up Top 5. Is it now Portugal's turn to finally break into previously unknown Contesty heights? The only other late draw from this qualifier is Russia with spot 20. I can see this going Top 10 now. Because it's Russia.
UPDATE 10.10PM: Well, I got seven out of 10 correct.
Here are the 10 songs which have qualified, starting with those I did predict:
Russia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Albania, Greece and Iceland.
Joining them - but not ones that I thought would be:
Moldova, Portugal and Belarus.
Portugal were not tipped by many although that girl does have one helluva voice on her and is not unlike Rachel from Glee. The sudden - and not quite synchronised - popping up of butterfly wings on the Belarussian ladies got the laugh of the night in my living room and it's good for Belarus to qualify for the final for only the second time in their seven attempts at entering Eurovision.
One observation, Not too sure about the presenters. They came across as either scripted-to-death ot incredibly condescending. The bit where two of them were sat chatting away to the Finnish sisters sounded like a first meeting with some social workers in a care home. But it was all good fun. Except Sarah Cawood. What is the point of her, except to shout at the camera (and any people roped in to chat with her) very loudly whilst looking like an overly made-up newcomer at the Derby & Joan Club? I think she's secretly in her fifties.
And there's more of this to come on Thursday. Marvellous. Hopefully I'll be in my hotel on time to catch it...
Here are the 10 countries Boom Bang a Blog is predicting to go through to Saturday night's final from tonight's 17-strong semi-final line-up.
We'll be back after the show to dissect how well (or badly) I guessed. I did better last year than in 2008. Could be time for a dip in fortune...
Uk viewers can see tonight's semi-final (but not vote - that's in Thursday's second semi-final) at 8pm on BBC Three. Makes a change from yet another repeat of Two Pints of Lager.