Thursday, 28 April 2016

Best Winner of the Barbara Dex Award... 12 days to go!!

You don't know what the Barbara Dex Award is? Get out. GET THE FUCK OUT. It's only the single most best award during Eurovision. Who cares about winning when you can win the Barbara Dex?

So this award is handed out to the WORST DRESSED artist, named after Barbara Dex who competed for Belgium in 1993 and made her dress herself...


such a pretty frock...


These days the award has really established itself, and well Guildo Horn and Michalis Rakintsiz aside, there is only one real stand out favourite for me. And no, unfortunately it wasn't around when Celine Dion performed...



Yes my winner has one of my most "WTF" moments in Eurovision history, and yes it's a very recent contestant so there's more of a discussion about art rather than fashion faux pas...

BUT YOU DO NOT USE DREDS AS A NECKLACE. I'm sorry, but the earring, the hair around the neck, the most awful dress, it just pretty much sums up Suus...





A hearty congrats to Rona Nishliu for being the worst dressed artist at Eurovision since 1997.




Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Favourite Song from Moldova - Day 22

Ah my days, I'm now Day 22 into my 34 Days of Eurovision which means we have less than two weeks to go and things are heating up and if you're not ready to explode with excitement then fuck off.

Anyone who knows me knows I adore the Moldavian entry each year. And whether I want them to win or not, taking Eurovision to Chisinau would be EVERYTHING AND I WOULD BE THERE FOR WEEKS.

Much love Moldova <3

How to choose my favourite is literally impossible after so many greats.


Their debut in 2005 allowed for Granny beating a drum.




Violins became a thing in 2007.

(excuse the violin-less pic)



Hora Din Moldova and agonising miss for the Barbara Dex Award in 2009.




THE FUCKING EPIC SAX GUY IN 2010. I have a remix of this as one of my highest played songs in iTunes and I'm not joking.




Zdob si Zdub returned in 2011 with PERFECTION.




Aliona Moon absolutely rocked our socks with the most awesome Eurovision dress ever in 2013




Hair was literally ripped out in 2014.




And we got a taste of Moldavian porn last year.




A HUGE GOOD LUCK TO LIDIA ISAC FOR MOLDOVA THIS YEAR <3




But you all know my favourite track from Moldova, easily one of the best of all time. Really today was just about celebrating why I love Moldova. 

LONG LIVE KING PASHA




(Pasha Parfeny came 11th in 2012 with Lautar. DUH. Enjoy below)





The Best Eurovision Fan Sites

Exactly two weeks to go now bitches, and what's bitchier than the Eurovision fandom? 

Today I'm ticking off my 3 favourite Eurovision fan sites. There are literally so many it's too hard.

To start off with, I'll discuss the site which is LITERALLY UNPLACEABLE BECAUSE SHENANIGANS.

? WIWI - http://wiwibloggs.com/


Ah where would we all be without it? From voting for your next top model, tempting to comment and slate people for their ridiculous accusations and theories, to reviewing the WiWi jury rankings and completely disagreeing, and finally pondering if most people who comment actually have a brain. I have much respect for the contributors to the site, simply because they get barrages of abuse thrown at them from such uneducated dimwits taking it all a little too seriously. Sometimes the writers come out and defend themselves, but they really don't need to because at the end of the day, most comments are absolutely fucking hilarious and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Big up to everyone's favourite commentor from last year, Mario (+ something to do with diamonds and being homosexual). In the end, Mario took it just a little too far, but he made me shed tears of laughter and anger at times, and wherever you are Mario, good luck to you.

I hear people complaining about how bitchy and narcissistic the fandom is this year at Eurovision. But please, the fandom has been this bitchy and heated since I've become involved years ago, and after talking to some "older" friends of the contest, it always has been this bitchy and with this much drama since they've got caught up in the contest many moons before. Young people today think because they have the world at their feet through social media that they are the first to discover everything - NOPE NOPE NOPE. So the next time you think Wiwi or the Twitter community is nasty, all I say is welcome to Eurovision and get over it. Enjoy it for what it is and HAVE FUN with it. Stop taking it so seriously and you'll enjoy it so much more.

Now onto my top 3...





#3 ESC Stats - http://www.escstats.com/


This site does it exactly what it says on the tin. It's a site for Eurovision statistics. This puts me into heaven because it combines two of my favourite things; Eurovision and Statistics. I'm sure you've all heard and have voted but if not, get out from under your cage and get on there. 

It has statistics for each country for the entire contest. Galore.





#2 ESC Nation - http://www.escnation.com/





That little bit better is ESC Nation, which isn't flooded daily with Eurovision news, but does keep you up to date with what's what, AND more importantly, links you to the best Eurovision online poll around (via tummiweb) AND most importantly, the ESC simulator where you can spend hours of fun trying to make San Marino win. 

Literally look at the results in the second picture and tell me honestly that if it was the final result you wouldn't find it hilarious. Come on, Montenegro 5th? Hilare!




#1 Schlagerblog - http://schlagerblog.blogspot.co.uk/

JUST READ AND ENJOY PLEASE.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Worst Winner '98 to '15 - 15 days to go!

Ah so this is getting really exciting now. This time next week we'll all be arguing over who was best on the first day of rehearsals. Shut the front door. What on earth will I be doing when Eurovision is all over? It has once again consumed every single part of my life, and it's difficult to have Eurovision-free moments. But why on earth would you want them?

There's been lots of issues to discuss, and we've seen the staging and scoreboards for the first time. I've just heard that Oscar Zia thinks You're The Only One is plagiarising Heroes. Mmmmhm, we can all, erm, hear that one.

Anyway I'm onto my second side of counting down My 34 Days of Eurovision. Here's a reminder of what is to come:



So today I'll be announcing my least favourite winner from the period 1998 to 2015. If you're questioning why I've chosen this period, see the following link where I also discussed my least favourite winner from 1956-98:



But if you've been keeping up with my blog, you'll know that this is an easy choice for me. Not just because it's a poor winner, but also because it beat good songs that year and I'm utterly clueless to how this won. Genuinely, really, what on earth Europe?



LOL JKS...




2002 - Latvia - Marie N "I Wanna"



Do I need to give any additional reason apart from just listen to it? I am usually a big fan of the Latvian entries and so this should serve as no disrespect to them. This winner also represents a time when Eurovision was sloping downwards, and can be seen from the quality of songs. The 2001 winner from Estonia isn't the best either, but I would still rank that higher than this. 2002 was overall not that great a year, but the UK entry, French entry, Maltese entry and definitely Spanish entry deserved to finish higher and we're all still wondering what happened aren't we? 

Well Done Marie N!

Do you agree with my choice? Stay tuned tomorrow when I'll be doing something slightly different and ranking my three favourite Eurovision fan sites. And you know that'll be controversial!

Still searching for that thunder and lightning

I feel the thunder and lightning, and yes it's getting exciting. Just look at this beautiful man.







He knows exactly what he is doing.


BUT THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE.




I think we are all familiar with Sergey's choreography for the song by now - and he has been executing it gradually better as the season has gone on. Additionally, he has been performing with a limited stage space, and we all know to expect bigger come the finals. 


___________________________________________________________________________

BUT AMIR, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!?




Some work to be done by the French delegation before Stockholm too...




Sunday, 24 April 2016

Top 3 Eurovision Songs from the 1970s - Day 19

Ooooooh I’ve got a toughy today, as part of my 34 days of Eurovision. It’s my favourite 3 from the 70s! The 70s is hard because it was so rich in Eurovision history, so much changed and so much evolved. The 70s set a terrific precedence, and because I avoided the UK when I did this for the 60s (here), I shall do the same here.

It’s hard to not be bias about the UK in pretty much every year of the 70s, and in a controversial twist, Save Your Kisses For Me back in ’76 isn’t my fave UK entry from the decade, it’s actually 1975 runner-up, The Shadows with “Let Me Be The One”.


#3 1979; Portugal – Manuela Bravo “Sobe Sobe Balao Sobe”

A criminal 9th, if this didn’t win it should have been Portugal’s highest ever finish. A good time to remind people that despite Portugal not entering this year, they have now entered 48 times and never finished higher than 6th (in 1996!).






#2 1973; Luxembourg – Anne-Marie David “Tu Te Reconnaitras”

A difficult selection for my number two, but Anne-Marie David features among those artists who have won and come 2nd, a very distinct group for certain. It’s a lovely track, and something after hearing I will catch myself singing many days later.






#1 1974; Sweden – ABBA “Waterloo”

It feels cheating to have this numero uno, but it’s a deserved placing. Yesterday I ranked this as my #3 fave Swedish winner and I stick by that – what I ranked as #1 and #2 yesterday are two of my all-time favourites from Eurovision and I have them higher than any entry from the 70s. But Waterloo for me is an easy steal of this crown. Great track, launched the career of one of the most successful bands ever, and I love them.

(seeing as I posted their Eurovision performance yesterday, I thought it best to post the video today)


Ranking the Swedish Winners - Day 18

Things are getting exciting now we’re just 17 days to go! Today I was supposed to be doing all-time battles, but we all seem to have done so many on Twitter! So instead I thought I would take on the most difficult challenge of all. So in honour of our fabulous hosts, I will be ranking all six Swedish winners of the contest. I doubt my decision will be popular, but then Eric Saade didn’t win so it was never going to be.

(*terrible Eurovision joke, many apologies!)

(but a perfect time to insert my new favourite gif again...

)



#6 2015 – Mans Zelmerlow “Heroes”

Coming bottom of a very tough list is our winner from last year. I like Heroes just as much as the next person, but it was never a favourite for me in the same way that the others are. Sorry Heroes fans…





#5 1999 – Charlotte Nilsson “Take Me To Your Heaven”

Absolutely love this track, maybe a little too dated to have won in 1999, but I can feel the ABBA themes; it’s fucking awesome and catchy and yes Charlotte Nilsson.





#4 1984 – The Herreys “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Lee”

The Herreys are amazing, GOLDEN SHOES, say no more!




OH MY GOD THIS IS SO HARD




#3 1974 – ABBA “Waterloo”

The reason I want to rank this so highly is because it’s freaking ABBA. They gave Eurovision everything, they introduced a new sound to the world, they are simply incredible. But Waterloo is actually not that highly ranked among my fave ABBA tracks, and to deny the other two a chance at the top because it’s ABBA would be unfair in a ranking of my fave Swedish winners.




#2 2012 – Loreen “Euphoria”

Whilst Euphoria is again, everything, and has cemented Eurovision back among the quality standards we saw pre-00s, I didn’t want Euphoria to win for big chunks of the pre-2012 season. That’s simply because I wanted there to be more of a contest (of which I explained further here). Loreen is incredible, you’d be a fool not to love Euphoria but it misses #1 for reasons explained below.





#1 1991 – Carola “Fangad av en Stormvind”

It was a difficult decision but I've given #1 to Carola. I know people that rank this as their least favourite Swedish winner. But I really don’t care.

When I properly fell in love with Eurovision and researched its rich history and became engrossed in the contest, Carola’s winner from 1991 was one of the few winners I downloaded and I still listen to. Because I love it. I do not speak Swedish but did decide to learn all of the words, which is more than can be said for the Herreys, and would have no shame in calling Carola among one of my favourite Eurovision entrants of all time (for Framling '83 and Invincible '06). Carola also took the mick out of herself in Malmo, and I have huge appreciation for anyone willing to humiliate themselves.

Fangad av en Stormvind also tied with France in 1991, to much delight of the Italian crowd who were utterly perplexed for a while as to what was happening. It is a hell of a catchy track, Carola is a fantastically hilarious celeb, and I have no regrets in having this track as my favourite Swedish winner. Also my Twitter name is Fangad av en Chris and I love that. 


My 3 favourite hosts... 18 days to go!

Woo! So we are now just 18 days to go till semi-final one, and just 10 days to go till they start rehearsing! Today I’ll be doing my three favourite hosts; an integral part of Eurovision for the necessity of producing good television. The hosts often seem not unforgotten, but pre-contest they fail to take any real spotlight. I say that in relative to their impact; a good host can make a show, a poor host can have a more negative influence than apparent.

Take last year as a classic example. Why Austria felt the need for three wooden hosts is utterly surreal, and the decision to then have a fourth host in Conchita interviewing in the green room was just an overload. Compare to the Danish hosts, or even Petra Mede on a solo in 2013 and there’s no comparison. So there’s no better start to my top 3 than with Queen Petra…

#3 Malm̦ 2013 РPetra Mede (with help from Lynda Woodruff, and Eric Saade in the Green Room)

Petra did this alone, bulked by hilarious Lynda Woodruff cutaways and sexy motherfucker Eric Saade interviewing artists in the green room. But Petra held an incredibly difficult show by herself, including a fantastic interval which will stay in the mind of more than the fandom for many years to come. And she’s hosting again this year too, so excited!






#2 Millstreet 1993 – Fionnuala Sweeney

When Ireland decided to host one of Europe’s biggest TV shows in a “cowshed”, they took many risks – but they pulled it off. They pulled off a magnificent show, and much thanks has to go to some brilliant hosting by Fionnuala Sweeney. And what a magnificent host she was. Incredibly natural and incredibly funny, she has gone on to have a fantastic career in the US as a news reporter.
Take a look at this voting segment from 1993 below. It features a famous call to war torn Sarajevo, in which somehow they managed a phone line connection to tiny rural Millstreet; it features the well-known moment of Fionnuala getting “carried” away with the Dutch vote; but most of all, it features Fionnuala carrying the show during the voting in its last year as a telephone line. These days countries use their video line to produce more fireworks than a Chinese firework shop (cough Baku), club nights (Malta), or the same well-known landmarks every single year (cough Paris). Back in 1993, the host had to do much of that work to keep voting entertaining, and a big hats off to Fionnuala.





It seems silly not to mention some other absolute hosting greats. Lill Lindfors did a terrific job for Sweden back in 1985; Zelijko Joksimovic for Serbia in 2008 of course; every girl gay fell in love with Mikko Lempilampi for Finland in 2007; I enjoyed Meltem Cumbal for Turkey in 2004; Toto Cutugno is just hilarious, and was a great host for Italy in 1991; of course there is the legendary Katie Boyle who hosted no less than four times for the UK in 1960, 1963, 1968, and 1974; and while we are on Britain, Angela Rippon was a wonderful host for the UK in 1977; and who could forget Terry Wogan’s sheer brilliance for the UK as host AND commentator in 1998. Rest in peace Sir Eurovision! And now for my favourite all time hosts…






#1 Dusseldorf 2011 – Anke Engelke, Stefan Raab, and Judith Rakers

Take note hosts: this is how it’s done. I thought these three did an amazing job and I’m not alone. I need not say anything, we all know the fabulous job they did. Stefan Raab is hilarious alone, and well Anke Engelke was just flawless. The Dusseldorf show went on to win awards for being just a wonderfully produced and directed live television show, and a huge amount of that has to go to these hosts for their stereotypically brilliant Deutsch efficiency in hosting.






Interesting that from my three choices, none hosted from a capital city. Well it’s not that interesting…stay tuned for tomorrow when I’ve changed my plans for Day 18 and will be tackling a much harder challenge! With love.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

The 34 Days of Eurovision - Days 15 & 16

Hello, so yesterday I completely forgot to enter My 34 Days of Eurovision post - I was busy, I've only let myself down.

With 20 days to go, I was going to blog about the best debut entry ever. Well I should have wrote that as my favourite debut entry. Best debuts come in the form of Poland's glittering 2nd at the 1994 contest, and I would even quote Hungary's debut as 1994, meaning we can include their 4th that year as pretty magical too. Frederika Bayer's "Kinek mondjam el vetkeimet?" is actually one of my all time faves and I believe it should have finished higher than Poland that year.

But when it comes to debuts, do you get as good as this?






Apparently you do, and this won't be the last time you see the next track in my 34 days of eurovision, that's for sure...




Well Done Serbia on a solid win on your debut as an entirely independent nation!





SO with 19 days to go until semi-final number one, I will today be counting the songs which brought ultimate cheese to the contest.

And there are SOO many to choose from!


#3 2006 - Lithuania; LT United "We Are The Winners"

Kicking things off we have this extremely original, not at all catchy, god amazing entry from Lithuania.





#2 2004 - Switzerland; Piero & the Music Stars "Celebrate"

The worst song ever at Eurovision?







#1 2007 - United Kingdom; Scooch "Flying the Flag"

Who else?





THERE ARE SO MANY NOTABLE MENTIONS in the Eurovision songs bringing the ultimate cheese. The choice is so subjective and I think everyone's top 3 would be different. However these songs bring a smile to your face...even if that is a grimace! Enjoy!


Do the polls lie?

As I Brit, I'm naturally expected to ask this question after our GE of 2015 when all preview polls told porkies and everyone was a little surprised by the polarisation in the result. A year on and we're all like "of course the polls were wrong...duh!" but it begs the question of ESC; do the polls lie?

I consider myself a mega fan since 2009. In 2009, I sought all songs pre-contest and ranked them and loved them and ah it was amazing. Then the UK came 5th and that definitely helped my love for the contest. 2011 is arguably the best contest ever, 2012 saw me blog as a result of that, we had Euphoria, and well, the rest you know...

So when it comes to considering the polls, I'll start by taking a look back to the '09 contest to try and reflect what was really happening pre-contest. The ESC World had a big bang on social media in 2011, and wasn't anywhere near as big back in 2009. But I can feel people disagreeing with me already, but come on, ESC wasn't anywhere near as big on social media in 2009 as it is now. Fact(!)


2009 proved to be Norway's Fairytale

As we entered the 2009 contest, there were two bookie favourites; Norway and Greece. The Greeks were represented by Sakis Rouvas who had already come 3rd in 2004 with popular dance song "Shake It". He had then hosted the 2006 contest, and he was a household name. Still is a household name. However his 2009 entrant "This Is Our Night"was being dwarfed in polls by "Fairytale" for Norway, even though it was a good 2nd in many online polls. After the rehearsals, "Fairytale" was a shoe in for victory, and well, we all know the rest. It's has the record for the biggest points win ever. It seems the polls were right.

Other highly placed finishers in 2009 also finished well in polls, and you'd be hard pushed to find a poll that has Iceland, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and even the UK and Estonia outside the top 10/15.


Did Satellite enjoy an expected victory?

Moving on to 2010, and "Satellite" really didn't steam to victory. Germany pulled off a relatively unchallenged win nonetheless, with Turkey, Romania, Denmark, Azerbaijan and Belgium rounding up a fairly 'safe' top six.

Romania and Belgium were a little surprising to finish as high as they did based on pre-contest polls, but the big casualty was Harel Skaat's "Milim" finishing as low as 14th. However, he was by no means a runaway favourite and in fact the polls were very close that year. You'd be hard pressed to find one of the big polls ranking Germany outside the top 5, and a lot had Germany to win. It seems the polls had it around-about pretty spot on, in otherwise a pretty unspectacular year.


2011 had Kati Wolf left thinking; "What about my dreams the POLLS!?"

2011 comes round and I'm biased to talk about it really because I became heavily invested and delighted by the fantastic show. I think the 2011 contest was the best ever, but you already know that. I mentioned in "the biggest fan flops of all time" that undoubtedly Hungary's dramatically low finish is up there with the best flops, but the polls all around were pretty out of it. Kati Wolf may have won a lot of polls, but Estonia were doing well (especially with the bookies), France were the bookies hot fave and were a poll top tenner quite consistently, and even the UK were expected to do so much better. In the end, we all know Azerbaijan stole the show, but for songs this was an incredibly strong year and the polls were very close at points.

What is paramount though, is that Azerbaijan were consistently featured in many top 10s and there was universal acclaim for ESC fans alike that it was a good song and deserved to do well. They didn't start the ESC season well, but by the time we got to Eurovision  Week it was a popular song. People lament them winning, but they frequently appeared high in polls, they just weren't expected to win.

But I think we can say that the polls lied in 2011.


Euphoria

2012 comes around and Euphoria won everything pre-contest, it won everything at the contest, and we really need not say anything about 2012. Perhaps the biggest flop was Pastora Soler for Spain, but 2012 was remembered for being slightly ballad heavy, and that's the biggest case we have for Spain not doing better.


Those who didn't rate Denmark were left with only teardrops

2013 happens and Emmelie de Forest is storming everything for Denmark. The polls start to become a bit more skewed at this point though, with fans swarming for San Valentina - but there was never any real doubt about the winner. The staging was beautiful and looking back through the results, it all seems to make sense.


Fantastrophes in 2014? No, just Conchita...

As a UK fan going into 2014, I was delighted to see Molly not just doing well, but winning a lot of polls. I thought there might be a chance. The bookies had Armenia to win, a lot of people thought Hungary might steal it, everyone predicted a strong finish for Sweden, and the biggest fantastrophe was Israel not qualifying (which is not that great a surprise honestly). But we all fell for the Common Linnets, I had them in my top 10 but was not surprised to see them so low in so many polls, and confess that I didn't see them having much of a chance. And then the performance was just absolute magic, turning a track into pure gold, and on hindsight we're all like "duh!".

And then the Conchita effect. With hindsight, I can't believe I wasn't predicting a win for Austria. It is so obvious post-contest. The performance definitely helped, as the performance is absolutely stunning, but it was Conchita. Of course she was going to win, she was everything at the contest, it was just Conchita... and this was despite not doing that great in polls.

In the end the polls failed to predict success for Austria and the Netherlands. But the polls failed to consider what Conchita Wurst was actually achieving that year, and there was scepticism whether countries like Russia would vote for her. They did, the whole of Eastern Europe did and all fans have learned their lesson.


"Goodbye to victory, there would only be Heroes"

Finally we move into 2015, and Heroes was doing well all over the shot. It was winning most polls, and where it wasn't, the place was often filled by Italy or Estonia. Estonia were unlucky in the end, I think Russia and Italy's draw definitely helped, and Estonia just performed a bit too early for such a heavy 27-song show. However, Russia were predicted to do extremely well, even if the fans didn't rate the song as highly as others. And when it comes to the performance, Estonia is just a bit flat live. Especially when you compare it to the performances of Sweden, Russia, Italy, Belgium and even Australia. It was hard to predict Sweden or Italy not winning, and at the end of the day, if we didn't have juries, Italy would have won the contest. So it seems once more, the polls can hardly be accused of lying.


Dr Chris: Fixing the 2016 Problems?

So how can we apply that to the 2016 season? Well have a look at the polls floating around. Over the next 3 weeks, the Eurovision world on social media will play host to thousands of returning semi-fans, and thousands of brand new fans. The polls are still relatively under-spoken, and the full magnitude of the Eurovision fan world is, I think, just beginning to kick off. It'll be bigger and better than any year previous, and due to that, I think let's hold off reading too much into the polls for another week, and give the bookies a look in about two weeks to start to get a real reflection of what's happening.

That being said, I'll have a crack. Anyone who has seen my page or follows me on Twitter at all knows that I have France and Russia as a lofty one-two. But you can hardly deny that France-Russia are the top two in just about every poll, they are the bookies favourites, and they really are starting to pull away from the rest. The likes of Croatia, Australia, Bulgaria, Iceland and Spain are filling up many top fives, and the overall standard of songs this year is pretty average. The real decisive factor appears to be Ukraine, who are a bit Marmite; you either love it or you hate it.

There is no Conchita effect going on; the standard isn't the greatest so there is little chance of a 2011 repeat; so we can presume based on recent history, that the polls won't be too far out. This leads me to state that both Russia and France will secure top five finishes at minimum.

Neither of the songs are Euphoria, and France-Russia have too much popularity in a ratio comparable to the rest, so we wont see a Milim style flop. The biggest risk for them is to suffer a flop similar to Estonia last year. I think we can all agree that won't happen to Russia, which will for the most part, have undeniably flawless production. France will be a wholly unknown quantity for the broadcasters to predict whether they can win, but the draw won't effect whether this can win or not. We already know this has got crowds at preview shows in full song and dance so will be performed to a very warm reception to TV viewers on the night.


The Innocence of Passion

I appreciate my next comment does have bias because I want France to win; but anyone calling the song "overrated" is, I believe, being naive and to some extent, immature. In 2012, I thought Euphoria was good but was upset because at the time I believe that 2012 was such a strong year and Euphoria didn't deserve to "runaway" with it. Ultimately, I wanted more of a contest. However I wasn't that big a fool to not rate the song, and had it firmly in my top ten. Fast forward to 2013, and Denmark were stealing the pre-contest race, albeit not as strongly as Sweden the year before. Again, I was perhaps a little devastated simply because I didn't think the song deserved to have such a lead because the songs were better once again. For that reason, I actually de-valued the quality of Only Teardrops, calling it the biggest overrated song in the contest.

A few years on from that, and I can't believe that those were my opinions, (1) because Euphoria makes literally everyone euphoric, (2) Only Teardrops is just lovely, and (3) 2012, and 2013 moreso, are with hindsight not that strong. The reason I say it's therefore naive to think France is overrated and isn't going to win, is simply because 2016 just isn't that good a year. People have the same songs over and over again in their top 10. I'm not talking about #1 favourites, I'm talking about top tens, which is something we all love to do because each country at Eurovision awards their top ten their points. For this reason, there are a good handful of countries who could finish top 3, and therefore appear a threat at winning. There are too many songs this year, like 2013, that don't have that "pulling, favouritism" power, especially in comparable quantity to France/Russia. For example, ESC Stats holds the top 10 polled this year with 49.3% of 'favourites', compared to last year's top 10 holding 65.2%. There were too many songs last year that were favourites, reflecting the strength in year and demonstrating why the polls this year are going to be favourably accurate in forseeing a French or Russian win. This is because their strength in popularity plays far greater magnitude in a comparable ratio to other songs.

The polls are a distinct reflection of epistemologically, portraying with authenticity, a positivist choice of quality. They demand an interpretation due to lacking any real ability to assume other's autonomy, and simply, Eurovision has taught me the interpretation can only be assumed as passion. The controversy, the debates, the intensity amongst fans pre-contest has never been so consuming, which can only be depicted as passion. For this reason, I celebrate a naive "overrated" comment. If France or Russia don't win the contest, I'll be damned. But for those saying it is overrated are simply evoking the passion of the contest; you want there to be more of a contest as you don't rate it as highly. And for those saying you "can't see France or Russia winning" you are simply being naive. They are winning the pre-contest polls pretty much everywhere, France are starting to really assail a lead over Russia, and so to say you cant see either of them winning is just optimistically wishing neither would. I'm sorry, but it's true.


What happens when Serhat steals victory and you Chris, look like a complete idiot?

I welcome it. For the very reasons I have laid out, my support for France and Russia will look entirely passionate. If I'm going to be very wrong after the final then so be it! I think there's a good chance they won't both finish top two, simply because there are arguments against both. France's just might not come across as great live, and Russia's lyrics might disenchant the ordinary voter. But I'm not going to start building a defence if my arguments for them winning humiliate me. I'll say it again, humiliation is part and parcel of being a Eurovision fan, because a true fan follows with passion and integrity, and those are two character traits you should never be afraid or ashamed of.


With love.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

21 days to go... ranking the UK entries from 2000-09

Before the year 2000, the UK had finished outside the Eurovision top 10 on just 3 occasions: 1978, 1987, and 1999. I think you can forgive us lamenting so much during the 00s. We really crashed and burned out of the ESC elite.

Without any further ado...

10th - 2001 - Lindsay "No Dream Impossible" (15th/28 points)






9th - 2000 - Nicki French "Don't Play That Song Again" (16th/28 points)





8th - 2003 - Jemini "Cry Baby" (26th/NIL POINTE BABY)





7th - 2005 - Javine "Touch My Fire" (22nd/18 points)





6th - 2002 - Jessica Garlick "Come Back" (3rd/111 points)





5th - 2004 - James Fox "Hold On To Our Love" (16th/29 points)





4th - 2006 - Daz Sampson "Teenage Life" (19th/25 points)





3rd - 2008 - Andy Abraham "Even If" (25th/14 points)


(I'm sorry if you think this is bias, but there is absolutely no way this deserved to finish last!)




2nd - 2009 - Jade Ewen "It's My Time" (5th/173 points)






NOW THE IRONIC THING ABOUT MY WINNER... IT JUST KIND OF REPRESENTS THE UK IN EUROVISION BETWEEN 2000-09. THINK WHAT YOU WILL, BUT ME AND MY FRIENDS ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS SONG WHEN WE WERE 14.

1st - 2007 - Scooch "Flying The Flag" (22nd/19 points)





I highly doubt you'll agree with my choice, simply because of who I chose for number one. But as I said above, it is a good representative of what the UK offered in the 00s decade. And plus, I did fall in love with this at the age of 14, and I was so heartbroken it didn't do better. As a 14 year old, I didn't understand why other countries were sending rubbish songs and doing better, and I certainly didn't understand why "lesbian Harry Potter" could possibly win with that weird ballad in a weird language. And that's why Terry Wogan had to leave Eurovision my friends...he could influence a child so strongly with his highly respected commentary. It meant he could influence a nation. UK humour is about mocking others, we do it all the time so it's only natural for the UK to mock other Eurovision entrants. But GN does it so much more naturally than Wogan and even though Joe & Jake have entered the most VANILLA song ever, it's a step in the right direction (*I hope*). We all know it's a political song about friendship, but we have the power to become ESC greats again. Watch this space...

and PS MOLITVA IS AMAZING, NEVER MOCK IT OR SHAME ON YOU FOREVER

Monday, 18 April 2016

22 days to go... Top 2 favourites from the 1960s

SO change of plan. I was going to be ranking the UK entries from 2000-09 with 22 days to go, but have instead decided to do tomorrow's 'Top 2 from the 60s".

This continues from my choice of best one from the 50s, available here. There are so many to mention, but I've tried not to lean towards the UK entries as we were the Eurovision powerhouse back then...so many top finishings ;)

So I won't mention Sandie Shaw 1967, Cliff Richard 1968, LuLu 1969... ...but notable mentions would also have to include France's winner from 1960 'Tom Pillibi'; that Swiss entry from 1963 that I keep banging on about; Belgium's 4th place from 1966 'Un Peu De Poivre, Un Peu De Sel'; 'Vivo Cantando' from Spain, and 'De Troubadour' from the Netherlands, both winners in 1969; and fine I will mention the UK, but the Allisons should have won in 1961, let's be real...


Anyway, I think you'll like my top two. Yes they are both winners, but they are both fantastic songs and would still win these days. Ha ha ha, well I doubt that, but come on, we all enjoy them. The second song you can see is definitely one of my favourite winners and favourite all-time tracks.




1965 - France Gall 'Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son'





1964 - Gigliola Cinquetti 'Non Ho L'eta'


23 days to go... Switzerland's Top 5

Where would I be without counting down my five favourite Eurovision entrants from Switzerland, the first host and first winners of the most famous contest!

Unfortunately Lys Assia's 'Refrain' does not make the list, but a worthy song to win in 1956 nonetheless...




#5 1981 - Peter, Sue and Marc 'Io Senza Te'

Switzerland were a very fortunate nation to compete in Eurovision, as they're four "official" languages meant they were entitled to sing in French, German, Italian or Romansh. Because of the break the language rule had in the 70s, allowing choice of any language, Peter, Sue and Marc were a Swiss band which were able to set quite a Eurovision record.

Peter, Sue and Marc entered for Switzerland in 1971 with a French song, finishing 12th. They pounced on the ability to sing in English at the 1976 contest, and came 4th. Then they entered with a German song, with another band, in 1979 and finished 10th. It therefore seemed fitting to include Peter, Sue and Marc in my countdown of the Swiss top 5, and I choose my favourite entry of there's from 1981, when they sung in Italian. Four entries in ten years, four languages. Amazing.

So anyway, my choice in at number 5 is Peter, Sue and Marc from 1981, singing "Io Senza Te" which scored a good 121 points and enough for 4th place.




#4 1963 - Esther Ofarim 'T'en Va Pas'

I'm a massive fan of this, it's in my all time list for sure, and T'en Va Pas should have won in 1963. I do love Dansevise, but I love this track more. If you happened to see yesterday's blog, I told you I'm team Switzerland, see it here as I talk about the most controversial voting moments in Eurovision.

Switzerland came 2nd in 1963 with 40 points.





#3 2011 - Anna Rossinelli "In Love For A While"

The only way to describe this is QUAINT. Everything about this song is cute and lovely and I adore it and all it's quaintness. You go Anna Rossinelli! The United Kingdom gave Switzerland a resounding 10 points but it didn't help them enough. Switzerland went on to finish in last place at the best Eurovision ever and with all those strong songs it's hard to argue how'd you squeeze this track higher.

Adding in my own bias, and I definitely have this top 10 from 2011 and it was my fave pre-contest as well. I even voted for this on the night. Her vocal is perfect, she is so lovely and grateful and a big hats off to her!

In Love For A While finished 25th, with 19 points.





#2 1993 - Annie Cotton 'Moi, Tout Simplement'

I simply LOVE this song and cannot get enough of it's awesomeness. 1993 was a tough year, stole by Ireland from the grasp of the UK. When I line up GB, IR and CH from this year, it's always a really hard pick. Luckily I don't have to rank them today. This is one of Switzerland's very best, and that's an easy thing to say objectively.

Switzerland came 3rd in 1993, with 148 points. Enjoy...





NOTABLE MENTIONS...

2014, 2008, 2005, 1986, 1982, 1976, 1975... the list could go on! Switzerland have always come up with some great songs. I wish Rykka the best this year with "The Last of Our Kind". And now my winner is... DUH, its so obvious!



#1 1988 - Celine Dion 'Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi'

One of the best Eurovision songs of all time. Thank you, thank you, thank you Switzerland. Steam-rolling victory today is none other Celine Dion! I really don't need to say anything about this.

Apart from enjoy the postcard - when was the last time you saw Dion chilling in a digger?


24 days to go... Top 3 most controversial voting moments!

The voting at Eurovision can "occasionally" be controversial, e.g. the whole Armenian/Azeri thing '09.

Just glazing over the Armenian and Azeri disputes over Nagorno-Karabakh region like that is not okay, but today I'm just sticking Eurovision!

So without further ado, I'll note the top 3 most controversial voting moments in Eurovision. As you all know, there are controversial acts and occurrences in the contest, but this is specifically about voting.



#3 1956 - Luxembourg letting Switzerland vote on their behalf

In the very first contest back in 1956, two jurors from each country could cast a vote each, in secret, for any country of choice. Including your own. The jurors from Luxembourg were unable to travel to Lugano, Switzerland and so delegates from Switzerland were allowed to vote on their behalf. Only the winner was announced, and with the secrecy in voting, it is perhaps a little controversial that Switzerland won with Lys Assia's 'Refrain'.

But I think we can let EBU off with this one. At the end of the day, Lys Assia has taken her throne to Eurovision with true ascension, is more than delighted to be wheeled out by the host country each year, and let's be honest, who doesn't love her?



#2 1968 - Cliff Richard dramatically loses to "LA LA LA"

I mentioned in yesterday's vlog that Cliff Richard's loss in 1968 is a fan flop - but it's also considered one of the biggest voting controversies in the history of Eurovision. And for good reason.

Everyone thought Cliff was guaranteed to win. In my opinion, Congratulations is better than La La La by Spain's Massiel, but even if you disagree, Cliff was and still is a much, much bigger name than Massiel. It's okay to at least question the integrity of the songs and voting procedures...

...and with revelations that General Franco bribed and threatened TV execs to ensure a Spanish victory, it's enough to include it at #2. Let's be honest for a second, with regimes in Eurovision today being "accused of threatening voters for a lack of patriotism", "refusing to show a certain country's entry", and "denying the safety of other country's entrants", it's fair to say Cliff closing doesn't compare to some voting controversies of today. But I argue it sets a precedent. Or it might just be British pride, I'm not sure...



NOTABLE OTHERS...

According to Russia, they would have won in 2003 if Ireland hadn't falsely used their jury because of televoting issues. It was proved to be a vacuous claim, with Turkey still having won even if the televote was used. So piss off Russia.

For a fact, we know that the true controversy of 03 was the UK's score... muahahahaha ;)

Conchita Wurst and Dana International are often contrived as top controversial moments in Eurovision. Their voting patterns garnered support from nations which have political and social structures reflecting anti-LGBT laws; but this isn't controversial. This is just stupid and evil politicians being dicks...

We could talk about Serbia & Montenegro's entire national final voting procedure. Thank goodness those countries got a degree of separation (no pun intended).

AND FINALLY...where would I be without mentioning the hilarity of the 1969 contest? As we all know, at the end of voting four countries were tied in 1st place and all were guaranteed winners. With the flexibility of television schedules and the fact no televote would need take place, I don't understand why all countries' jurors didn't just vote again to determine a winner out of the four. Oh well! Strange decisions, but the 1969 four-way-tie is considered one of the most controversial voting moments. I don't think so, simply because it's not controversial, it's just a lack of forward-thinking. Thank goodness the tie-break rule was introduced, Sweden 91 >>> France 91.



#1 1963 - Denmark snatching victory from the claws of Switzerland

All fans of the contest have a favourite from '63: Denmark or Switzerland. It was so long ago that it fails to be decisive, but if it was say 10 years ago, it would be so much more heated. Personally, I'm camp Switzerland, and Esther Ofarim should have won as it is one of the best entries of the 60s no doubt.

BUT the voting was so controversial! The voting in 1963 was the accumulation of votes from five jury members. From this accumulation, the highest placing country received 5 points, then 4, 3, 2 and 1. Similar to our votes from now, just 1 to 5 instead of 1 to 12.

When the votes were being announced by the Norwegian jury, Katie Boyle (presenting) had to tell Norway to go away and come back again as they were not announcing them correctly. The same thing happened to Monaco, but that's because they tried to give six countries points and not five. The Norwegians were just sneaky. Before they were given two fingers by Boyle, Norway had clearly and audibly given Denmark just one point, while awarding Switzerland three. When Norway phoned back in at the end of the show, Switzerland instead took just one, and Norway this time awarded Denmark four! That gave Denmark the win by three points! Suspicious?

Eurovision officially states that the Norwegian jury weren't ready to give their results and that the correct results were given at the second time of asking. Still smells a bit fishy if you ask me...






SO THERE WE HAVE IT. 3 controversial voting moments from the history of Eurovision. Join me for day 12 tomorrow when I'll be counting my 5 favourite Swiss entries.

Friday, 15 April 2016

25 days to go... Eurovision's Biggest Flops

HELLO! We are only 25 days to go now and as part of 'My 34 Days of Eurovision', I'm vlogging the biggest Eurovision fan flops. Check out the video, tell me if you agree with my choice!







(very nervous to be posting a vlog, so I'm proud of myself no matter how terrible!)

Favourite Nul Point Entry... 26 days to go!

Evening readers. Trying to determine my favourite nul pointe entry at Eurovision is quite hard. Who remembers the nul pointe?

I have done some digging and a lot of watching, and I have decided to break this down into three lots.

Firstly, the best nul point entry before the 1975 rule voting change; where receiving nul point was a lot easier. I will admit I didn't put that much effort into this choice, but I'm happy.

It's Italy from 1966 - "Dio, Come Ti Amo" by Domenico Modugno



Secondly I have chosen my favourite nul point entry from 1975-1998 when the voting changed to the current system, but was jury voting only. This also feels quite nicely as the "second stage" of Eurovision.


After much deliberation, it's the Austrian entry from 1991. Thomas Forstner came last with 'Venedig im Regen' which was totally undeserved. I like a lot of entries from 1991, a few were a bit hit and miss, but Austria shouldn't have got nul pointe!


Austria from 1991 - "Venedig im Regen" by Thomas Forstner




So now I move on to my favourite from 1998-2015, with no points a result mostly of televoting. There have only been 4 nul points since 1998, including the UK's very own in 2003. Ah I have such pride! But this is a relatively easy choice. Austria take my favourite again because there is no way they should have got nul point last year. Take it away the Makemakes!


Austria from 2015 - "I Am Yours" by the Makemakes