June 2010 Archives
The dates for next year's competition have been finalised - and are earlier than first scheduled. owing to football commitments, the German broadcaster will stage the Contest in the week beginning Sunday, May 8. That means semi-final one is on Tuesday, May 10, the second qualifier is on Thursday, May 12 and the grand final on Saturday, May 14.
One entrant already confirmed for the Saturday night is the reigning Eurovision winning vocalist, Lena Meyer-Landrut. She has made it clear in interviews that she wanted to do what all the best sportspeople do and have the chance to defend her title on home soil in 2011. Today it was announced that she has been given that opportunity.
Some are saying this is a bad move, that Eurovision is not like a sport. Anyone coming back for seconds will appear rather greedy and have to fight twice as hard for the viewer votes. But then again, with just over 10 months to go until the big night, it is already known who is singing for the home team, she has a proven track record at the competition and, as usually happens in a country's Contest-hosting year, some very able songwriters will be taking a chance on retaining the trophy for their homeland, some of whom will have a fantastic pedigree and won't have considered entering Eurovision before.
Add to that the opportunity of penning a brilliant little song for the girl who is just about Germany's favourite pop star of the century so far and you might just have a formula for success.
The only thing is, if Lena does win two years on the trot, how will she hand the trophy to herself?
Belarus began its Eurovision history in 2004, the same year the semi-final system was introduced, meaning its fortunes have always been in the hands of those tuning in a few days before the bona fide Contest itself. In its seven attempts thus far, only two of its songs have joined the saturday night line-up (2006 and 2010) but hopes were high in 2005 that the second Belarussian track cast into Eurovision's whirlpool of chance would actually come up with the big potatoes on the scoreboard in the ultimate final shake-up.
But as that song is being mentioned in Semi-Despatched, then you'll know it didn't come up to scratch.
Exciting news for people who like Song Contests and who live in the Asia-Pacific area, November sees the debut of the Asia-Pacific Song Contest. Going by the name of 'Our Sound', which suggests the folk in this part of the world are determined to sound very different to everyone else, the event sort-of follows the Eurovision template with 14 countries assembling in Mumbai, India to battle it out for the trophy. It's a show which will be beamed to 44 countries and an estimated three billion viewers - a third of which are in China alone.
Eurovision fans know that Andorra has been entering the Contest since 2004. Andorrans know that their country has been entering the Eurovision Song Contest since 2004. Sadly, many people outside of the tiny principality in the Pyrenees are unaware that Andorra enters the competition as they have yet to progress from the semi-final phase. That's despite the fact they have sent some stuff through for the televoters' consideration which belies the fact the country ranks 194th in the list of the world's most populous nations and its 84,000-ish inhabitants (around a fifth of the number of people who live in Liverpool) means, in all honesty, its music industry is never going to set the Grammys alight.
But just like equally tiny Luxembourg did all those years ago, the Andorrans aren't just at the Contest for the free buffet. They haven't had anywhere near the success of the Grand Duchy - but 2007 marked the year when Europe nearly, oh, so nearly... saw Andorra make the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. With a little help from a lad from Guildford.
Something strange is happening over in South Africa. Something unusual is looming over the horizon as the quadrennial celebration of the international language of football roars once more. Something previously improbable is taking form - could the winning nation in this year's Eurovision Song Contest finally do the double that has eluded so many for so long and take the World Cup home just months after earning a European trophy for singing?
It's a dream surely every schoolboy has had in their formative years, when that formative year had been a year that both the World Cup and a Eurovision Song Contest has taken place. I know I did, except mine was more about winning Eurovision than some sport I always got picked last at games for.
But forget about all that. Are these two events destined to remain poles apart? Never ever go to the same nation in the same year? Boom Bang a Blog has taken an extra dose of statistic pills, had a bit more interest in football than it usually does and tried desperately to find a link between Eurovision and World Cup success.
And as you'll see for yourself soon enough; so far that link is lacking.
If you are a fan of Lena Meyer-Landrut, the German winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest who enjoyed a massive number 30 (yes, that's right, number 30!) hit with her trophy-grabbing Satellite after claiming gold in Oslo, you won't want to miss This Morning in the morning.
Deutschland's finest daughter will be on the sofa with smiley Phil and the extremely self-important Holly Willoughby at any point after 10.30am on ITV1. Sadly, This Morning isn't available on the ITV version of the iPlayer, so Lean's bit really will only be available to see for people who don't work or are at university. Please fell free to do your duty and come back here tomorrow with a report on what went on. We need to know. Ta.
Apologies for the poor quality video clip, it seems the good folk at YouTube don't enjoy hosting Silvia either. We're staying with 2006 for this third instalment of Semi-Despatched - and a song which was the first at the Contest to be performed by a fictitious character. It had a lot going for it, the last slot on stage in the draw, a funky stage presentation and lots of pre-Contest controversy. Unfortunately, it was the latter which may have cost Silv her Saturday slot.
Innit marvellous? Liverpool will finally host its very first Gay Pride event on August 7, when the city centre's gay quarter (close to Moorfields station) will be even more awash with rainbow flags and sparkly things than usual.
And I am very pleased to report that the Eurovision Song Contest has smiled kindly on its ever-loyal gay fanbase by helping out cashwise, albeit unknowingly. Whereas some of us (hem, hem...) got to see all the fun live and arena-ish in Oslo last month, FACT cinema in the city centre showed the Contest on one of its screens as an early fundraiser for the Pride party.
More than ÃÂ£250 was raised - which may only buy the requisite bottles of gin and vodka on a star turn diva's rider, but it's a great place to start. You can get more info on Pride right here. You can also fall all the latest info about acts and the planned shennanigans for August 7 on its Twitter feed and Facebook page.
Boom Bang a Blog would like to wish the organisers of this rather marvellous city's first Pride the very best of luck. We'll wish you even more luck if you get our own ESC heroes, Sonia and Jemini, to do a sing-off. Can't think who'd win that...