Eurovision: can’t resist

Liveblogging the first half hour, before I’m too drunk to continue.

Romania okay, will get votes but not a winner. Britain so-so, not that bad but not real Eurovision. Albania cute female lead singer in a cloak with bare midriff and a wind machine… okay.

Germany godawful! Geez — bad outfits, horrible singing, annoying song. Armenia very Armenian, strong female singer singing in Armenian (which sounds more impressive than it is; I know enough Armenian to know she’s singing the same two trite phrases over and over). Guys climbing all over each other — looks like an old Soviet circus troupe there.

Bosnia… what the hell. Bride outfits, fright wigs, laundry? Surreal, in a very Yugoslav sort of way, but not a contender. Israel, Boaz “the Yemeni nightingale” singing in mixed Hebrew and English — very handsome guy if you like ‘em like that, and somehow very Eurovision-y. Shortlist.

The wife has made nachos. We have beer. Continue reading

Eurovision 2nite ZOMG

I’m tempted to liveblog, but I plan to drink, so maybe not.

Quick: in the few hours that remain, who’s your favorite? The bookmakers’ favorites are Russia, Ukraine and Greece. Me? I like those Latvian pirates, and hell, Romania’s always pretty good. Okay, a kind word for Armenia too. Bring it.

Who’ve you got?

Eurovision: The Quickening.

78 days until Eurovision.

This is the season for choosing national entrants. The deadline is March 13; every candidate will have picked an entrant by March 10. Only a few countries have already made their choice. So, over the next three weeks, millions of people in over 30 countries will be choosing their national representatives.

It’s awe-inspiring, really.

First thoughts on this year’s contest below the fold.
Continue reading

The Euro-vision and the Vote

The referendum battle continues its course. Le Monde notes the importance of the fact that whilst the ‘no’ vote seems to be consolidating its lead in France (see this FT graph), with only one week to go one fifth of the votes still declare themselves to be ‘undecided’.

Meantime the normally sobre EU Observer, lets it hair down for once to suggest that the Dutch No Looks Irrerversible, especially after a row surrounding the Eurovision song contest.
Continue reading

Singing is diplomacy by other means

Yes, I know sometimes it seems as though my job here at AFoE is to lower the high-minded tone with discussion of inanities, but there’s another interesting story about the Eurovision Song Contest today, namely that Lebanon – who were intending to make their first entry into the competition this year – have now withdrawn from it after being told by the EBU that they would not be allowed to avoid showing the Israeli entry. This report on the esctoday site gives more details, including some background of other problems with Arab countries around Israel’s entries over the years. For now, you can also see the gap between Latvia and Lithuania on the list of particpants on the official Eurovision site.

Obviously, there are far more important things going on in Lebanon right now, but it’s another interesting story to add to the file of the intersections between politics and culture at the Eurovision.