Kevin’s First Eurovision Live Blog

11:13 PM Okeydokey, this completes my live blogging for this evening. It was an interesting event, but nothing that knocked me off my feet (nothing like Lordi two years ago). Nevertheless, what would Lenin and Stalin think if they were alive and discovered that a Russian singer would win a European contest while singing in English - and receiving the majority of his votes from the Eastern Block. Times truly have changed so much in the past 20 years. Good night!

11:10 PM Looks like I did a decent job ranking the performances. I listed

1. Finland
2. Poland
3. Serbia
4. Greece
5. Norway
6. Ukraine

as my Top Six and four of them finished in the Top Six. However, my first two crashed and burned…

Terry Wogan: “You have to say, this is no longer a music contest“. I disagree - it still is a contest, but the voting system is strongly biased (as mentioned earlier) and the votes are focused in Eastern Europe now. A Scandinavian country or Greece might still be able to win it, but otherwise only Eastern European countries will have a chance. However, looking at my ranking, it seems as if I agree with that anyway…

11:03 PM It’s over. Only 4 countries to go, and Russia is leading with 54, with only 48 points available.

10:41 PM Quote of the evening: “Someone is going to win tonight!” - how true! ;-)

10:11 PM Okay, I mentioned the block voting a few times. So here’s my take on it:

I do not think that people are conspiring in their living rooms. Many of the newer participants used to be part of a large countrz and have fairly recently split into smaller parts (see Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia). They continue to share similar tastes - and thus like the music of their neighboring countries.

Furthermore, the Eastern European countries usually send their top acts, while a lot of the countries that complain each year often send acts who cannot even sell records at home. I do not see the UK sending Robbie Williams or any other Western European country sending comparable talent.

Last but not least, many Eastern Europeans and Scandinavians are internationally mobile these days and have migrated across Europe to places where they can find better jobs. Thus they can vote for their country, while countries with lower migration levels do not have this advantage.

The real problem - if there really is a problem - is that each countries’ votes are equally weighted, whether 70 thousand people live there (Andorra) or more than 80 million (Germany). Thus minority choices have a far greater chanced of succeeding than in a free economy.

10:01 PM After seeing them all again, here are my final rankings. I think any of the first six can win:

1. Finland
2. Poland
3. Serbia
4. Greece
5. Norway
6. Ukraine
7. France
8. Azerbaijan
9. Iceland
10. Russia
11. Turkey
12. Croatia
13. UK - update: Originally had them ranked lower, but just heard it again and liked it a lot more.
14. Israel
15. Georgia
16. Portugal
17. Armenia
18. Spain
19. Sweden
20. Bosnia - update: Originally had them ranked lower, but just heard it again and liked it a lot more.
21. Germany
22. Latvia
23. Denmark
24. Albania
25. Romania

9:48 PM Norway - the final song of the contest. Nice to look at, easy to listen to. Would be a chart hit if it were sung by someone famous. My No.4 together with Ukraine and Greece.

9:44 PM Russia: I’ve heard this was produced by Timbaland. Let’s see what he did with it… Doesn’t work for me. It’s an okay song, but nothing special. Even with Jewgeny Plushenko dancing around.

9:40 PM Serbia:The host entry… I like it, could do with some pan flute. It’s something different. I’m ranking this No.1 together with Finland and Poland.

9:37 PM Spain:This just might be the worst song of the evening. But that does make it funny…

9:33 PM Greece: Tony and I agree: Punjabi MC. At least the beginning. This girl is also a babe - and then some. Song is not bad. Am ranking it 3rd together with Ukraine

9:29 PM Azerbaijan’s first Eurovision entry. I like it. Tony doesn’t. The show is a little over the top, but the song is not bad. My new No.5

9:26 PM France has entered “The Big Lebowski” into the contest. He certainly looks like “The Dude”. His background singers certainly have interesting facial hair as well. Song is not bad. My new No.4

9:21 PM Ukraine: One thing’s certain, she’s a babe and a half. Song has power, she’s got a little Paris Hilton in her (which is actually good for this show). My new No.3.

Updated Ranking:

1. Finland
1. Poland
3. Ukraine
4. Iceland
5. Turkey
6. Croatia
7. Israel
8. Georgia
9. Portugal
10. Armenia
11. UK
12. Sweden
13. Germany
14. Latvia
15. Denmark
16. Albania
17. Romania
18. Bosnia

9:17 PM Georgia: Did she escape from “The Matrix”? Don’t like the dancers. Song is okay, though…

9:12 PM Denmark: Can’t get excited about this. Too one-dimensional.

9:09 PM Sweden: poor person’s version of Bonnie Tyler. Nothing special. Tony thinks she’s had a face lift. I think she’s a transsexual. Don’t get me wrong, totally have no problem with transsexuals. Just think she might have had that kind of an operation…

9:04 PM Latvia is also going 90s. Reminds me of “Captain Jack” (not Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean but a MC from the mid-90s). Never liked Captain Jack, don’t like this either. Boring.

9:01 PM Portugal sounds a bit like “Hijo de la Loona” - but the refrain is not as good. However, I like the voices. there’s loads of passion, but little power and no melody. Tony: “Next one, please”. New No.7

8:56 PM Turkey - Tony: “Boring Rock Song”. I agree. Nevertheless, I like Rock, so this is my new No.4. It’s not been a stunning contest so far.

8:53 PM Terry Wogan just commented on Iceland being sure to get votes from Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries. He’s probably right. Will comment on block voting during the results stage.

8:51 PM Iceland sent a pink version of Scooter. Oh, and a blond chick. Not bad at all. Very 90s, but I like the 90s. I’m actually enjoying this a bit. New No.3

8:48 PM Some real sun studio eye-candy from Poland. But those teeth are so white they would probably blind me… There’s some passion in her song. My joint No.1 with Finland. Will make up my mind later.

8:44 PM Croatia: Looking forward to seeing them at the Euro 2008 next month - thanks for kicking out England! This guy reminds me of Udo Lindenberg. This is fun - my new No.2.

My new ranking:

1. Finland
2. Croatia
3. Israel
4. Armenia
5. UK
6. Germany
7. Albania
8. Romania
9. Bosnia

8:40 PM Finland just stormed my chart - No.1 - Excellent! Remind me of Hereos del Silencio or Iron Maiden, as Tony reminds me.. Finland must be a great country. I’ve already blogged about their education system, they sent Lordi two years ago, and now this…

8:34 PM Israel is next. They’re usually pretty good. This year’s entry written by Dana International, who won about 10 years ago. Tony and I agree - there’s real passion in this song. My new No.2

8:31 PM Bosnia: Sounds like a German Song from the 80s: Markus’ “Ich will Spass”. Tony says it could have been cool with English lyrics and a “serious” performance. But we’re ranking it last…

8:27 PM Armenia: Tony and I agree: she’s definitely a babe. Song’s okay, nothing special, but she has power in her voice. My new No.1 so far. It reminded me of Vanessa Amorosi’s “Absolutely Everybody” at the very beginning…

My ranking so far:
1. Armenia
2. UK
3. Germany
4. Albania
5. Romania

8:23 PM Now Germany’s act: No Angels. Gee, they have aged - they need a lot of make-up to hide it. Again a lack of passion… UK was more fun, but better than the other two…

My ranking so far:
1. UK
2. Germany
3. Albania
4. Romania

8:20 PM Once again I fail to feel her passion. I even switched over to my Dolby Digital System to see if it’s the TV. It feels artificial. Tony calls it “nasal”. Still better than Romania.

My ranking so far:
1. UK
2. Albania
3. Romania

8:16 PM Albania’s up next…

8:14 PM UK’s turn now. I’ve been living in this country for more than 15 months now, but I’ve never heard or seen this guy before. Either I am totally out of touch with pop culture, or I probably will not hear about him again after this contest. Tony says it feels “forced” and I totally agree - you can’t feel any passion. Nevertheless an improvement on Romania…

8:11 PM This isn’t working for me. Neither for Tony - his comment: “this cannot continue, otherwise I’ll fall asleep”.

8:08 PM Romania starts this year’s competition…

8:06 PM I hope she enjoyed it. It’s highly likely that this was the last peak in her international career. Eurovision winners usually remain one-hit-wonders - at least outside their country/region…

8:03 PM last year’s winner now on the stage. It reminds me of some song, but I just can’t get which one…

7:58 PM It will be interesting to see what is said about the Eastern European Block Voting - I’ll have a few words on that later as well…

7:54 PM I have to say, I am really looking forward to Terry Wogan’s commentary - he was amazingly cynical last year and highly entertaining…

7:49 PM Okay folks, I’ll be commencing my all-evening Eurovision Live Blog in just a few minutes…

10 Responses to “Kevin’s First Eurovision Live Blog”

  1. Ginger Says:

    I haven’t got as far as ranking them all, but I reckon the Ukrainian entry stands one of the best chances so far

  2. theaardvark Says:

    You know, this was the only place on the net that I could find with anything like a running commentry that included scoring.

    Helped me immensly as I’m DJing and wanted to announce the results to the crowd.

    Cheers!

  3. Kevin Says:

    Hope you did not announced my rankings as results. The only result listed in my live blog is Russia winning it.

  4. Ginger Says:

    I like your take on the voting ‘bias’. I don’t honestly think that everyone is out to get at the UK, but we do suffer from a lack of geographical/political friends. I think regional tastes do come into it, but on the other hand we’ve tried a variety of genres, and varying degrees of seriousness over the last few years and they’ve all fallen flat.

    Well done on your predicitions - far better than mine. Of the top five countries, I only picked one (although I did think Armenia stood a chance). Hope you enjoyed it all!

  5. Kevin Says:

    France and Germany have pretty much tried the same approaches over the past ten years, the results rarely differed.

    Unfortunately, I do not know much about the Eastern European music scene, but from what I have been told and what I have read, many of the acts who have performed at Eurovision in the past ten years are superstars in their own countries and even in their entire regions.

    I would like to see what would happen if the UK was able to send someone like Robbie Williams or Germany even sending an act like Rammstein (will never happen). Lordi won in 2006 due to their international fan base - they might not have been very mainstream, but had a strong presence across Europe. As far as I am aware, none of the acts from the UK, Germany or France had anything like that going for them in the past ten years.

    Germany’s act this year, the “No Angels” were actually quite a big name in Germany (but not anywhere else) - they were casted in Germany’s first season of Popstars in 2000 and had several hits. However, they had split up five years ago and only reunited recently. They have not had a No.1 hit since 2002. So I guess you could call em “has beens” who were looking for a comeback.

    It was interesting to see 12 of Germany’s points coming from Bulgaria, one of the girls is originally from Bulgaria. I wonder whether that is a coincidence?

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