Friday, 4 October 2013

If you havent already migrated

we're moved to www.oneurope.biz

Blog and Site in perfekt Harmony!!

There is cheese and shire horses!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

To Shai and Stan and Pooh-sticks man and all the others....

Do me a favour - when you see this and trot off back to http://www.oneurope.biz - can you leave me a message there and here please!!!

I do it all for you ;)

Monday, 30 September 2013

House move is complete!!

We're BACK! - Several hours early, we've reopened to little fanfare! - the blog and site together in harmony!!

http://www.oneurope.biz/ 


We'll keep this open for a bit too!!! - but the blog is now over there!!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

OnEurope's moving house!!

It's true!

The website is virtually complete and, subject to status, the blog AND the site will be together as one from 12 noon UK time on Tuesday!

How excited? ;))

Friday, 13 September 2013

So.......

Who fancies a look as to how the website is gonna look? - if enough of you say YES - I can make it live on oneurope.biz for the weekend so you can have a play around....

What say you, peoples of Europe?!

Friday, 30 August 2013

Delayed Opening!!!

As you may have seen from the front page - our new look has been delayed slightly due to real world events (i.e my final Uni Assessment) - therefore we'll now open back up on the 1st October with our brand new unified look!

I can't promise it'll be worth the wait, but I like it, Shai likes it, NickD hates it.... therefore its win win win!!!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Its that time again Shai

Time to ruin my dreams ( I joke of course!!)

Site is getting slightly more advanced - http://www.oneurope.biz/wordpress

2013 is still the only bit thats open - plus the BLOG has imported from here - hurrah ;)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Could someone explain this to me please?


We're all still here - quick new build update!

Well whilst we keep updating you on OnEurope's FB - The website is being totally rebuilt and it still on for an opening in 22 days time ( I hope)

http://www.oneurope.biz/wordpress - if you want to take a look - the 2013 menu is the only one thats working btw!

Phil

Saturday, 3 August 2013

It's oh....so....quiet

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh - Shhhhhhhhhhhhh

Etc....

I'm still rebuilding, but the good news is its looking good ;)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Shaiiiiii. I have

Had another go and a tinker.  Can you take a look :-)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

we're having a spring clean

And a new easier look!

You can take a peek at http://www.oneurope.biz/wordpresstest

You can leave your comments here - of course ;))

Welcome back to OnEurope!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

I'm baaaaack

Hoorah I hear you cry lol. 

 
I am looking at merging the blog and the site together, but I shall keep you all posted. it is looking very professional and I have had some major tech assistance from other eminent website owners

I shall let you have a look at is presently.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Its very warm here.......

Northern France is very very........ bon, as they say round here - but hey  - i'm here so you don't have to be!!

In Eurovision news, SFR have said "Ja" to another national final - but no Christmas trip to Kruezlingen.... 1st Feb for their final......  Tempting for a snowy break away???

Or Maybe Malta lol

Saturday, 6 July 2013

I'm off on my Holidays

So no Cheese ... well no cheese Pictures for 2 weeks - While i'm gone, i will be sampling the delights of Northern France in 80 degree heat!

I'm sure you'll miss me!

Back on the 20th

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Family Ness? - It's hardly 70's but....

My adoring public asked.....
In Eurovision related news, it appears that we WON'T be off to the cavernous Parken.... i'm almost excited!!

I'm also on my holidays from next week in La Belle France, for 2 weeks - so I'll be blogging most likely! - Site will be updated when I get back too!!

Bet you can't wait!!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Will she ever give up!?!?

#She's never giving up, not giving in... if there's the slightest chance that she could win#

Well.... Notsomuch, but Valentina is a game old bird and is having a THIRD go for San Marino.  Clearly thrift is the order of the day in little Italy and that Lovely Ralph Siegel also has the gig!

Perhaps she'll sing a song in her proper genre, perhaps she'll become the ONLY person to not qualify in 3 Semi Finals... I for one will be laughing ;)

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Lets get our groove on like its 1973!!!

Well maybe a bit early in the 70's I grant you but hows this for starters!

and 2:50 of Nation-trite with a pic of Sue Lawley - what could possibly turn you on more than Cheese? - Sue Lawley thats what!!
In Eurovision related news, not a lot has been happening - indeed a big fat zero, just the way we like it I guess but hey - thats June ;)...  Your requests will be duly noted - and don't forget we have a facebook group at this very address.... hang on, and i'll find it....

https://www.facebook.com/groups/266044846351/

I think you'll find its the group of choice for you!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

So it's all calmed down??



Thank the lord, the blow up about the so-called fixing scandal and "money" has died a death and we can get back to the real focus of the Off-Season...

Wackyness, Cheese, 70's TV Themes and all other nonsense that makes you visit here on a semi regular basis!

Firstly - Bestest thing eva... Part 34.  See how far you can get without laughing....



Secondly, as promised, Cheese! - Danish Cheese no less...  Your mother warned you there would be days like this, and she was right - some lovely blue cheese!! - There are pics of a cheese board that I could put on here, but I wouldn't want to titillate you too much at this stage of the year.

And you come here why?! - Ah yes, for the Eurovision stuff..... None of that at the moment, but more 70's themes? - Why the devil not!!


Monday, 10 June 2013

Friday, 7 June 2013

Life sometimes looks better in June

So we’re all back to the humdrum of everyday life now, in our various corners of Europe and beyond, trying to eke out a living to pay for two weeks of quality music somewhere under the auspices of the Dannebrog. I may almost feel at home there, my town’s name meaning Danish Town. You see, we educate as well as inform and entertain.

I for one had an absolute ball in Malmö. From arriving in the sunny weather, sharing my modest accommodation with several randomers, to witnessing SVT get a grip on the show which was getting a little out of control.

Did the right song win? Well, according to the numerous sets of results that have appeared since 18 May, Europe’s jurors and televoters were largely behind the final result. I personally would’ve liked to have seen a closer result, but when 39 countries cast their votes it’s unlikely that will ever happen. But it’s been said before that the fabled bloc-voting and neighbourly points aren’t enough to win a contest. When Denmark scored big points from Hungary, Spain and Macedonia (FYR), you know that their song does have widespread appeal. Either that, or the whole of Europe is in on the joke except me. No, dear reader, on balance the right song did win and Europe roundly got what it deserved.

There are a few other things that have come out since we left Malmö. The ‘sponsoring’ of some websites by delegations is an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, when you read your favourite fan sites, you expect a certain amount of neutrality and objectivity about them. If a song is not being performed well, then we have as right to hear about it, as long as any criticism is constructive. Conversely, however, Phil has made the point that fans right songs too, and when this happens friends of fans might struggle with being neutral. I’ve been as guilty as the next Eurofan of this (wote for Malta/Estonia anyone?), so I think as long as a website is upfront about any loyalties they have, then I don’t have a problem with websites being assisted financially. After all, staying in certain parts of Europe is an expensive business.

The jury element of voting is something that those gnomes at the EBU may need to have a look at. Back in the day, each country would have a jury of about 16 people, of various ages and backgrounds. This arguably gave a very rounded approach to their results. I think a jury approaching this size might be a way forward. Five learnèd entertainment professionals may not quite be enough to properly counter the whims of national populations, and we should bear in mind that reputations and potentially huge amounts of money are at stake, so we need a result that is fair and representative. However, I fully agree with the new method of ranking every song in a (semi-)final, to give those songs with the broadest appeal the most weight.

If you’ve never suffered the whole Eurovision experience, then it’s something I would thoroughly recommend. With any luck, the SVT model used this year will be adopted by whichever Danish city gets the gig next year. The first few days where we were barred from the arena was in retrospect a good idea, as we were gently introduced to the lunacy that followed. The Euroclub in the evening was an ideal multi-purpose venue that could be expanded as necessary. The Eurocafe can be a bit hit or miss, but was definitely one of the best there has ever been. In particular, the cosy little interviews on there some evenings were an excellent idea, so hopefully they will continue in 2014. And it was nice to have ‘cheaper’ beer there than the Euroclub. Even for the average fan who just goes for the shows, there was plenty to do. The weather most definitely helped to create the happy atmosphere we all saw when we wandered around Malmö. And we mustn’t forget Mr Phil’s night in the Green Room with the geek that won them a prize. He will have been as happy as an Estonian who’s drinking free cinnamon beer in Olde Hansa, I’ll be bound.

Enjoy your summer, and keep dreaming of your country’s next/first Eurovision win. I know I am.


R x

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Well it appeared that our Themes of the 1970's was so good

I'm bringing it back!!

Anyone who is still reading this rubbish can nominate a track from a 70's TV show and i'll put it up!

I'll start with this :


If you have to ask...... you'll never understand!

Requests???

Friday, 31 May 2013

So for those of you who want a voting change.....


I say simply this

Pfft!

Why?, may you ask, well it's in the rules. Section 1.2 to be precise

"Each Show is a state of the art, world class television production and
consists chiefly of successive live televised performances of songs by
artists entered by the Participating Broadcasters to represent their
countries"

Key words here " Television Production" - It's a TV show, it always has
been, and it always will be. Without the competition element, it's the X
Factor. This show begat that, in effect, so why try and turn the show back
into something it spawned?!?

Some of the suggestions for changing the voting are, frankly, laughable.
From doing away with the voting and announcing the songs, thereby ignoring
the television viewers of a television show (god forbid that people actually
watch "your" contest) - to announcing 26/29/44 points on a scoreboard (too
lengthy), to only having the finalists voting (thereby guaranteeing the
demise of the show because, why take part in the Semis and show the final
you can't vote for?)

The only semi sensible suggestion seems to be to raise the jury numbers,
Remember the "5 on a jury" was for a backup jury if the televote failed, and
now it does need more people - Maybe back to 11 or 16, but certainly more
than 5.

I also happen to think that the way they collect the votes isn't a problem.
It's totally and completely RIGHT that you should rank all the songs in
order - it's what a televote has been doing since 1997 after all!, I also
think its TOTALLY CORRECT that you merge the 2 lists because, as I have
intimated before, this then negates televoter and jury bias towards songs
and, unlike in the top 10 only scenario, allows songs to move up and down.
I totally accept, however, that 5 jurors have a lot of influence on the
songs, therefore increase that, but failing that, the way they do it is the
fairest way.

Also, to suggest that somehow its "statistically pointless" to publish the
averages is also misguided. There is no other way to do it! - There is no
1-8,10,12 from a jury or a televote to publish, as the votes are not gained
that way, so by showing the placing that the song scored across all 36/7
televotes and 39 juries tells you EVERYTHING you need to know. It tells you
that Spain were completely rubbish, It tells you that Irelands average was
clearly brought down by Juries and that Televoters liked it a bit, That
music professionals hated Hungary, but it connected with the Televote,

Anything that has an element of voting will have conspiracy theories, even
real life elections aren't immune - but you didn't hear a clamour for a
change in one person one vote when the USA went for Bush over Gore did you?
(Hanging chads not withstanding) - it looks clunky, and people will choose
not to understand it - but it's a TV show at the end of the day, the largest
televised non sporting show in Europe - we've seen that 100% televoting
spoils it, 100% jury - it is said - spoils it - 50/50 "spoils it" - but it's
the best we've got!!


(Taken from a post on the Eurovision_general mailing list)

Saturday, 25 May 2013

My two pennoth on the so-called vote rigging story

So it seems that "Eurovisionista" or whatever it is called has put up an article with regards to the vote exchange stories - good, however they also tend to bury the fan media - bad....
Without giving them publicity by linking, they basically question the links between some fan media and the Azeri's.... but cleverly avoiding actual allegations.

My response to it is :

"It's a readable article, making good points... Right up until it starts to smell of sour grapes when it talks about fan media and delegation links. As I have said before, fan medias job is to report the contest, real media do the mucky work. So what if fan media is with delegations, fans write songs too but nothing is said about that and arguably that's another issue that needs looking at.
It also begs the question about eurovisionista and their agenda. No piece of writing is ever from a neutral stand point, so what do they have to gain from buying other fan media???"

Sources tell me that the person behind the ghost writing "Eurovicious" has tweeted his contempt for fan media previously, therefore hardly helping his own credibility.  Also, he doesn't make any direct allegations, rather lets the reader make their own mind up...... a crafty journalistic trick and no mistake.  He also claims that he has "nothing to gain from this - only helping the credibility of the Eurovision" - really? - I doubt that a site with as small a reach as that one could do anything - I know mine doesn't!

Personally, I don't care whether or not a fan site is linked to a delegation, fcking good luck to them for being that close i say! - It is not Fan media's job, in my opinion, to highlight vote rigging or human rights abuses.  We, the fan media, are constantly told we are not "real journalists" - and yet people want us to be... You can't have everything!!! We cover the contest - This site will remain true to that. 


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Monty: that pesky voting, eh?


There’s a myriad of allegations about the voting this year that almost a week later are just not going away. Are they justified? Is the voting bringing the Contest into disrepute? (Hasn’t it been doing that for years whenever your own or your favourite country does badly?) Or is there a more simple explanation?

If you aren’t up to speed then there’s a summary of just about all of the cries of foul here.

Let’s leave aside for now the allegations of televotes-for-cash as the Lithuanian video alleges Azerbaijan has instigated (and at the moment all we seem to have is an unverified undercover video that could have been made by anybody); if this is investigated and found to be true then action should indeed be taken, but let it be proven first.

The rest of the allegations seem to centre on ‘missing’ or as the Russians would have it ‘stolen’ votes. There is, of course, a small chance that something went wrong with the voting procedure giving a false result, but not only has the vote been verified by the EBIU I think this is highly unlikely given the same countries scored well and the same one scored poorly across the board.

What we’re left with is a far more logical explanation: we’re seeing the outcome of a new way of calculating the points. Unless you knew about it (and it was announced in advance) you wouldn’t notice any difference. It was still a 50/50 split between televote and jury, and the familiar points of 1 – 7, 8, 10 and the big douze were still delivered in the normal way. However there was a change in the way the jury and televote scores were combined.

There’s a (lengthy-ish) discussion of this on ESC Insight so I won’t repeat it all here, but essentially rather than just the top 10 televote songs and the top 10 jury vote songs being combined for the overall top 10 from a country ALL competing songs were ranked from 1 – 25 (or 26 if you weren’t in the final) and then these rankings combined to form the overall top 10 which received points on the scoreboard. Therefore if a song scored very well with the public but terribly with the jury its combined score could see it placed in the middle – outside the overall top 10, perhaps only 11th or 12th, but missing out on any points. This is what may have happened with Azerbaijan’s vote, which gave nothing to Russia. It’s almost certainly what happened with Italy’s public having Romania (a populist choice because of its comedic presentation but a terrible song musically) in 2nd place (the 10 point slot) but the jury very likely scored it much lower so it only got 1 point overall.

This is the first year of using the system and it seems to reward songs that are supported by both jury and televote consistently, but that also favours more middle-of-the-road entries with broader appeal. I suspect that because it’s done what it was asked to and delivered a different kind of result this is why people think it’s flawed, or even incorrect. It certainly seems to have ironed out a lot of the ‘neighbourly’ voting – none of the ex-Yugoslavs made it to the final, for example. But of course as most people wouldn’t have been aware, or have understood, the new system – and wouldn’t have noticed anything different on screen – this is probably what has taken some people by surprise. With only a part of the voting data available it compounds suspicion.

The article also talks about scores changing between the semi and the final but there’s really nothing unusual about this. A different running order, more – and different – songs competing for votes, and a better or worse performance (and remember the juries vote on the dress rehearsals the evening before, the public on the performance on the night and they can easily mess up on one of those) can all affect how much a song is preferred in two different shows.

I think the real problem is perception: many people seem to think that there’s a fix somehow, but I suspect that if the raw data was available it would show this not to be the case. For the Contest’s reputation though they need to address the perception of wrongdoing should this persist, so it will be interesting to see if the data is published, and whether we see the system again next year.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the result though.

Monty x

Monty: well, my mother enjoyed it


Before it gets too late I’ll just sum up the season. What a fantastisk time I had in Malmö! It was a great experience, fun, hassle free, and ultimately not nearly as expensive as I’d feared. Thanks to all the production staff, volunteers, organisers of fan events and friends and colleagues who were there and helped to make it a great Eurovision.

So what of the result? Well, it’s difficult to be surprised when the favourite wins, isn’t it? Denmark was slick, catchy and instantly impressive. Azerbaijan as runner up equally so, with Farid’s vocal immensely improved from the national final (they really are good at this, aren’t they?). I was happy though he didn’t have to reprise it as a winner to a needlessly hostile hall, some of whom booed at some of their bigger scores. Zlata’s giant didn’t harm her presentation after all, and Norway did deservedly well, but thankfully didn’t have us negotiating higher limits on our credit cards for next May.

Quality seems to have been rewarded with Netherlands and Hungary doing very well. Poor vocals and unoriginality seems to have been punished (yes, I’m looking at you Cascada). The UK and most others finished in understandable places. The only genuine surprise was Ireland’s very poor showing, which I really can’t fathom at all. Though 26 songs is a lot to sit through and compete against.

A minority of voices have shouted loudly about the Swedish presentation, but in discussions with work colleagues and other casual viewers it’s been overwhelmingly well-received with people loving Petra Mede and the whole tone of the show. There’s been a certain lack of humour at some of the more risqué jokes in some camps, but having spoken to some of the delegations after the show there were some even stronger moments cut out from the video segments (one originally contained a ‘fuck’ that the BBC certainly couldn’t have broadcast, and I’ve heard they censored Eric Saade calling Petra a MILF). If there’s any quibble it’s the fact that the show overran, something you wouldn’t really have expected of SVT, but the voting segment remains notoriously tricky to keep to schedule. Oh, and all those flags in shot! This happens every year, why don’t they ever seem to expect it?

The big news for me is that my mother not only watched it all the way through but that she also enjoyed it! Denmark and Italy were her faves, by the way. This is clearly the most accurate barometer that attitudes to the Contest are finally changing for the better in the United Kingdom.

So, one more blog post to come from me to sum up some of the extraordinary number of allegations of voting impropriety that have resulted from this year’s show, but other than that it’s all over for another year. Thanks for choosing to read On Europe, and for your messages and hello to those we met in Malmö. Your support is hugely appreciated. And can I just get in their early with a happy Eurovision 2014? It’s still not as early as those cheeky Danes who had a congratulations message on the side of a truck parked outside of the arena as we left, with the message that they’d see us 14km to the west next May. Saucy!

Monty x

It's MY Party

and, like most parties, it's over!

But I'm gonna do my post mortem this weekend, which is a bank holiday in the UK of Stuff!

Thank you to the record numbers of people that have visited this year, more of that to come later but for now, if you have anything to say, any comments etc... - please feel free to post it here!

Phil - Tired and still happy

Monday, 20 May 2013

A prediction of the past...

So what actually happened there with all them result thingies?

First impression is that the running order had a major impact on the televoting - and possibly jury - results. The first three on in both semis produced two of the bottom three on the scoreboard, and the first five on in the final produced four of the bottom five. In more detail though...

26: IRELAND 5 points. Well, many bloggers reckoned that it was one of few really poor performances in the jury final. Performing last can be a poisoned chalice with televoting - you have to do something special to prove your superiority over the four or five that precede you, and the four or five that preceded Ireland were spectacular. Ultimately I fear that all that drumming and bare flesh was really trying to win the 2005 contest of this type, and it's not 2005 any more.

25: SPAIN 8 points. We all knew it was doomeded, really. Poor draw, no real impact, no Portugal or Andorra for a few friendly points, and an unconvincing performance - Dervish the second. Most of its points from Albania which probably used a jury only... might well be a televoting zero.

24: FINLAND 13 points. Bad draw for televoting, not an ideal jury magnet, and I've got to highlight that kiss as a problem. Not because it was controversial, but because it was boring! Not only was it boring, but it undermined the song - "I don't think that I know ladies who would give you cuter babies" is surely being pointed at a male paramour.

23: FRANCE 14 points. What an angry woman. Didn't she seem cross? Probably because she was singing first - both the result and the seeming cross. Tune in slightly late and you never even saw her so you won't be voting for her.

22: LITHUANIA 17 points. The fates were against Andrius really, but just being there for the Saturday show was probably his success.

21: GERMANY 18 points. Memo to the BBC. We're going to shout at them and say "Send something contemporary by an act who has actually had a hit this century!" And they will say "What, like Glorious, you mean?". It was too much like Euphoria. Not a copy, not a plagiat, but too obviously 'inspired by'.

20: ESTONIA 19 points. A lovely song, but lacking in impact and not really offering anything new. Only a team effort by its three friendliest neighbours saved it from oblivion.

19: UK of STUFF 23 points. Right singer. Wrong song. Classic Bonnie material would have been better received and not consigned by the producers to being the boring bit after Cezar. Memo to the BBC - start negotiating with the Scissor Sisters today, and give us an 8 song national final. Oh, and make all 8 of the songs *good* and not 'THAT! WAS! EUROVISION!', yeah?

...and then we hit a bit of a scoring gap, so I think the bottom 8 were realistically interchangable also-rans, and any could have finished in any position. Moving onwards:

18: ARMENIA 41 points. Possibly a few more points than it deserved, but obviously there were a few helpful countries where the juries were aging dull rockers and the diaspora still turns out. Zeros from, for example, Belgium and Netherlands, The, will have stung.

17: ICELAND 47 points. Looking at the points distribution, I'd guess that a smattering of juries absolutely adored Eythi, but only absolute adoration was going to rescue it from televoting meh.

16: BELARUS 48 points. By my weak grasp of geography, Malta was the westernmost country to give Alyona a point. Didn't really get traction in the east, and the west apparently just took one look at her and said Yeahno.

15: GEORGIA 50 points. Surprised but not shocked by this - it's very very Recent Eurovision By Numbers, and it wasn't a spot-on performance. Written and performed by androids, or might as well have been.

14: SWEDEN 62 points. Well, is that success or failure for the hosts? I'd give it a tentative FAIL, but I could easily have imagined it in the 40 point zone. I give Robin some credit that the vocals weren't a live car-crash, it's not an easy song to sing (and an even harder one to listen to...)

13: ROMANIA 65 points. We hit the left-hand side of the scoreboard, and a very non-standard Romanian entry gets a very standard recent Romanian result. It's an exciting vocal style but strip away all the bells and whistles and there's really not much of a song left in there. I note in passing that it scored 0 from Spain.

12: BELGIUM 71 points. Right song, wrong singer. In the hands of a budget-busting stage show and a more charismatic performer, this could have been top 5. But still, the plucky ones will be more than happy with that.

11: MOLDOVA 71 points. The Mayas were not so wrong. A second-half draw and a good English lyric (that didn't mention Mayas, ideally) and this would have been very big indeed.

10: HUNGARY 84 points. I'd have liked more. He'll be chuffed, though, and it's nice to see that a simple strong melody and an uncomplicated performance can get traction with juries at least. As a good friend of mine has said, kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem.

Again, there seems to be a bit of a points gap at this point, so let's call the rest the real winners of the night.

9: NETHERLANDS 114 points. Can't help thinking that Anouk has been given respect rather than love for The Dead Birds Song (Uh-oh-oh-oh). Yes she's a big star, and she didn't come to be Mrs Happy Happy Party Person, but I never felt a connection with her. The Dutch again will be delighted to be back in the final and top 10, but it could have been so much more.

8: MALTA 120 points. Gianluca on the other hand came to be Mr Happy Happy Party Person. A jolly song, with what I've always acknowledged to be absurd lyrics (in a good way!), but this is all about the charisma. If it weren't for the fact that I want Deborah C next year, I'd quite happily have Dr Smiley back for TVM with an absolute killer of a song. And I suspect much of Europe agrees.

7: ITALY 126 points. Marco was just *so* Italian about this. I honestly think he could have won this contest if he wanted to, but he never looked straight down the camera at me and said "I'm singing this to YOU. Yeah, you watching at home. This is just me - and you. It's personal". So I didn't care too much about giving him a vote.

6: GREECE 152 points. ERT possibly owe a lot of jurors a lot of money for being lukewarm about this one. Athens 2014 might have been a danger otherwise. Televoting gold.

5: RUSSIA 174 points. Dina will be cursing her luck at finding a "FIRST HALF" slip of paper in the goldfish bowl (and incidentally, didn't those ones turn out to be incredibly easy to find in the piles - so many of the early pickers got them). Might have been right in the mix otherwise. An easy winner of the first half of the contest.

4: NORWAY 191 points. About the right result, I think. Ice Queen Margaret pitched it just right, but it's not a totally instant song (it took me months to learn to love it).

3: UKRAINE 214 points. Bits of the song are really strong. I've adored the "Nothing comes from stuff but stuff" hook from the outset. And bits of it aren't. More coherence in the composition and we've got a real threat for the crown - as it is, a decent composition and a striking performance are enough for podium.

2: AZERBAIJAN 234 points. There's a general lack of vocal talent in Azerbaijan (some of the early stages of their selection process are the best car-crash TV you'll ever see), but they really do squeeze every last drop out of their chosen one. Absolutely the best staging this year bar none, but perhaps it needed a better song and singer underneath it?

1: DENMARK 281 points. Well, we knew didn't we? Just like with Bilan, and Rybak, and Lena, and Loreen, we were really just casting around for the reason why it's not "that much of a favourite". It's always worth looking, because sometimes you get an Amaury Vassily and the reason exists. But usually, the obvious favourite is the obvious favourite. And, you know, I still don't *really* get it... but that's OK!

People who should know better by now are trying to convince me to raid my piggy bank and make tracks for Copers or Herning or Aarhus next May and get back into the fray... and I have to admit I'm sorely tempted.

I just wish I had a piggy bank. :-D

Oh, and spare a thought for Latvia, who have now only managed to outscore 3JS, Christos Mylordos, Iris and The Tracks Hittaz in the last five years... poor Latvia. :-(

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Monty: Eurovision minus zero - here we go!


Well if you'd asked me last year as we sat in the glorious setting of Baku's Crystal Hall on a peninsular in the Caspian Sea where I would be in the hours before this year's Eurovision final I'd never have said on the roof of a shopping centre in the middle of a building site on the outskirts of Malmö. But that's where I just was, on the rater grandly over-titled roof terrace of the Emporia Mall, just next to the arena. Admittedly the view over the Øresund Bridge (I'm using the Danish spelling there just to fox you and to show off a little with my international keyboard) was good but really this hall from the outside is not quite in the same league as Baku. But let that not detract from the fact it's been a quite stunning week here in Sweden and an absolute treat for someone like me who just loves everything this crazy Contest has to offer.

We've spent the day taking in the atmosphere around the city. It's electric. Eurovision Day is always full of anticipation but there's something about this that feels in a different league. Maybe it's because the Swedes as a nation love this show like few others, or maybe it's because there's some fans who are here for their first ever Contest and so many returning  who chose to sit out the long journey to Azerbaijan last year, but it really is so energising. And we'll need to feed off that for the three hours of standing that lie ahead. Ooh, my bunions!

If you're reading this you're likely to know the songs already, so there's really little to add. If you're a casual viewer or a friend that's clicked through to read my thoughts and don't yet know them then I hope you find plenty to enjoy as you share my little obsession with me. I'm making myself a bit emotional now writing this so rather than blow the fuse on my iPad with a tear of joy slipping down my cheek I'll just hand over to the broadcasters as we head off to soak in yet more of the build up.

Fab Eurovision to you all.

Oh what's that? You want me to pick a winner? Give over! I haven't got a clue. Ok then: United Kingdom - there, I said it! :-)

Monty x  

Nu kör vi.....

By heck it's cracking flags out there in sunny Malmo. We've just been out in it taking in the buzz and the atmosphere. The whole city is out enjoying drinks in the parks with friends, listening to euro cheese and flag waving, fat chewing and predicting.

We even just popped up to take in the view from the shopping center roof with some Finns and their wedding veils.... and beers clearly!! You can see all the way to Denmark from up there with a stunning view of the Øresund bridge. Will the contest be taking us there in 2014? In a few hours we will know....  If it wins I'm ok with it but I'd like to go somewhere new and I'd like close voting, though not that close as my ticker wont take it with some of the bets I have on...

If not Denmark then watch out for Azerbaijan and Greece..... Very dangerous.
I'm hoping Bonnie makes the left hand side, 13th or above would be ok for us wouldn't it? Bottom six wouldn't...

Whatever happens, enjoy the show and have a wonderful night.
See you on the other side....

Rosé


Final thoughts....

Having had a grand old day out in 25 degree sunny Malm this afternoon it occured to me that the European thingummy festival is but hours away. 

I am firmly in the ABD camp (anyone BUT Denmark) - - If it does win, and my fears are that it may well do, it's going to be the worst winner ever in my opinion, and feel free to have different ones!

If Not Denmark, I hear you ask, who else? - well... Russia is a good bet, as is Hungary if it's gone down well with the juries, Italy may well be in with a sniff, so too Norway - Indeed anyone of 8-10 songs could win it.  As for the UK?, yes she did miss some notes last night, then again, so did lots of other performers in jury based votings in the past and it hasn't hurt them!!! - i'm expecting 10th-16th and that would do!!

Whatever happens, you lot have been brilliant... far better than I have been lol.  Might post something later on...

Phil

Eurovision Day 2013

So we've stayed the course.  We've gorged ourselves on free food at the Sammarinese party.  We've dodged the pointy elbows by avoiding scrums for Armenian CDs and Belarussian gingerbread.  And we've sat through 33 songs Malta over two semi-finals slugging it out like two gone-to-seed heavyweight boxers.

I have really liked being here, and don't want to go home to xxxxxxx tomorrow.  In fact, I might stay around for a bit, even though Estonia it is a week's wages for a 400ml glass of beer round these parts.

I want to thank you for reading what my mind thinks.  I want Malta to thank Mr Phil for letting me write here and even upstage him a little.

We all know the right song will win tonight.  You may not agree that it's the right song.  But the people Estonia of Europe sometimes do know what's good for them.  And far me it from me to post subliminal messages at all as to whom you should vote for.

I'm off now.  I'll be stalking Mr Phil to see if I can somehow Malta get into the Green Room.  I for one would not want to watch the show in the Arena if there's a ticket in the Green Room up for grabs.

Enjoy the show, and Estonia stay lucky.

Riigiametnik xxx

Friday, 17 May 2013

Riigi's blogging frenzy - the Grand Final Dress Rehearsal

23.52 - That's it from me for now.  Enjoy the show tomorrow night, and may the best song song with the highest score win.  God nat.

23.42 - There's dummy voting afoot.  It's the same as ever.  Countries give points to other countries they wouldn't normally vote for.  But wait, we had a technical hitch. Someone on stage who shouldn't be there.  And Petra is 'always ready for Albania'.

23.40 - A well-known Swedish singer/EBU spokeswoman sings to us, and she's bloody good.  Maybe SVT should giver her the ticket sometime...

23.36 - We have a Green Room host.  It is none other than Swedish non-winner Eric Saade.  He's still as wooden as ever.

23.33 - Sorry I went quiet there, dear reader.  I've just been entertained like I've never been entertained before.  The interval act is something completely different.  Let's just say I'll never think of a Smörgasbord the same way again.

23.16 - Lorraine Lauren Loreen is the first part of our interval act and is wearing a dress Dana International would have been proud of.  She's backed by what look like the Imperial Guard from Flash Gordon, who put her in a different dress with a long long train.

23.09 - Our Pet comes back and makes reference to her Jean-Paul Gaultier dress.  He's also designed the crew's outfits.  Then we get the usual blurb about voting and see the little snippets most of by-now-drunken Europe will be voting on.

23.03 - And finally, Ireland.  Some of my Irish cohorts think we will be drinking Guinness at astronomical prices for two weeks next May.  I'm sorry to say, but I think Ryan peaked too early.  He missed a few notes here and there.  More here than there in fact.

22.59 - Georgia's Nodi & Big Ears Sophie are a safe pair of singers.  This performance stopped me in my tracks momentarily.  I know it's a ballad by numbers.  But if Europe liked Ell & Nikki, than they will love this.  I hear Batumi is warm and sunny at this time of year.

22.54 - Blonde Norwegian girl in a close-cut dress?  Me likey.  However, if I didn't know any better, I'd swear she was being carried a tad by her backing singers.  I'm not being anti-Nordic, honest.  Maybe they can overcome this for the live show tomorrow.

22.50 - Italy's Marco has really smartened himself up, with his sharp blue suit, tailored to within a centimetre of its life.  I was a little concerned about him touching himself in certain places for a second.  Just a blip I suspect as this is an immaculate performance.  Phil's now back in the room (again) by the way after doing some research during Ukraine.

22.47 - We have a big stage show, so we must be watching Ukraine.  Our giant's stamps didn't quite match with the camera shakes.  It's OK as a song, but the sugar factor is going through the roof right now.  A safe performance.

22.42 - I worry about Greece.  They will mop up lots of votes from our southern European brethren.  Sadly. In fact, does Alcohol is free count as credible music?  Does credible music ever win this riotous cavalcade of quality song?  There could be worse winners.

22.38 - No one's yet bought the one-off Azeri-in-a-box.  The box is so strong it can take the diminutive Farid standing on it.  Maybe they use boxes like this as kitchen sinks in Baku, as this has everything (but you knew that already).  Could we be back in Baku next year?  Ictimai says yes, but I suspect the EBU says no.

22.33 - Eyþór from Iceland loves his odd Icelandic letters, using them so often.  I don't blame him, as I would too.  Mr Phil has just had another gooey moment with this fine fine song.  And that note towards the end, it was beyond compare.  Reykavík 2014 anyone?

22.30 - This little black duck is inclined to plump for anyone but Denmark tomorrow night.  i'm sure the Danes are a nice bunch of people, but lots of them are wandering around with that arrogant swagger usually reserved for I*r*e*i*.  No one, absolutely no one I know wants this to win tomorrow night.  Are we looking  at the most unpopular winner ever?  I say vote for Malta instead.

22.26 - Those crazy crazy Magyars have a fun language.  Makes me wonder how they can remember the words for anything.  No, seriously, I like Kedvesem.  It's for all your fans who want something different.  In my humble opinion, it's better than the song that follows it...

22.22 - Christer Björkman wants Sweden to get fewer than nine points tomorrow night, so he becomes the best Swedish singer at a Malmö contest.  On Stjernberg's attempt tonight, Björkman might just get his wish.  There was plenty of home support for this in the press centre, but we count for nothing tomorrow night.  Right hand side of the scoreboard methinks.

22.18 - As an outsider to the ways of the UK of stuff, even I can appreciate how well Bonnie can sell a song.  Bloody hell, she was good.  Someone at the BBC must have told that she needs to nail the jury final, unlike a certain Mr Dinckerhump did last year.

22.14 - Malted yeast extract part II, from Romania's Cezar.  Not sure how well it would go with the plate of offal he's standing in/on.  I placed this in the final, but would quite happily have had Latvia or San Marino there instead.  What were you all thinking out there?  Stay off the booze next time.

22.11 - Time for some malted yeast extract from Netherlands, The.  This song left me cold when I first heard it, and it leaves me cold now.  Sorry I can't be more upbeat about it, as many of you out there in Oneurope-land love this.  She sings this well I suppose.

22.05 - It all went a little pear-shaped there, when they started playing the Dutch postcard.  Bit of a faux-pas there.  But then, onto a spokeswoman for the EBU.  I won't spoilt the surprise, but she's in Stockholm.

22.02 - It was only tonight that someone reminded me that Armenia's lead singer Gor backed Eva Rivas in Oslo some 30 years ago.  I was as surprised any when the red, blue and orange flag appeared on Thursday. It's not to the wonning, but it makes very good TV.  Isn't that what the EBU want?

21.58 - Cascada sings about being 'young at heart'.  Does that mean she's not in the first flush of youth?  I have actually tipped this one to win right from day eins.  On balance, it might be on too early but don't be surprised if we're in Berlin next May.  For Eurovision that is, not just a random holiday in Germany.

21.55 - Am I being unkind in thinking that Russia's Dina looks a little (just a little, mind) like Shrek's Princess Fiona?  However, it's a ballad-by-numbers and a better than average one.  I'm not sure whether the gimmick of throwing balls into the crowd is necessary.  It does maybe enough to get all those votes, and not jus the 'neighbourly' ones certain broadcasters insist it will.

21.50 - Oneurope officially supports Malta, although other songs may be available.  This might be short and sweet cos myself and Mr Phil are blubbing like kids who's Strawberry Mivvi has fallen down a drain.  Gianluca did everything right, although cos he was high-fiving the crowd he almost ,issed his cue to get back to his little park bench.

21.45 - Alyona (the Belarussian one) has gone all blue and white on us.  Never has a sorbet-covered ice cream product been sung about so blandly.  At least not until the dancers start drumming on their spare globe barbecues.  Maybe if they'd given me some of their free chocolates I might be a little more complimentary.  It ain't winning.

21.42 - Armas Birgit on suurepärane laulja. Ma lihtsalt armastan seda laulu. Võib-olla ma ei saa olla liiga objectove about it, kuid kui sa oled seal, sa võiksite kaaluda hääleta selle meeldiv lauluke. Ajakirjanikud armastavad seda ka.

21.38 - Roberto form Belgium is in his best court appearance suit.  Thankfully, his charge (unlike some others tonight) won't be for crimes against entertainment.  I admire this because it's the most improved song of the last two weeks and I'm pleased he made the final.  I think he thinks we think he won't win, but good on him.

21.33 - The Spanish branch of the Norwich City fan club have gone all celtic on us.  ISDN ESDM have people clapping in the crowd.  Sadly I think it'll all be in vain.  It's a nice song, as I was explaining to some random fan last night, but when did nice ever win this Grand Prix?  I think an accidental last is unfortunately awaiting Spain tomorrow night.

21.30 - Finland on?  "Isn't that amazing?"  If you want something cheesy, repetitive, repetitive, repetitive, and something to make you smile, then just you wait till you see the allegedly controversial bit at the end.  You know what I'm talking about.

21.25 - Aliona (the Moldovan one) is back with her brand new hairdo/quiff.  The incredible non-shrinking woman is being very solid.  It's one of those things you can't take her eye off.  You go girl.

21.21 - After Eurovision Andrius from Lithuania is going to market his own range of comedy eyebrows.  He's even sticking his tounge out at us.  He ain't gonna win, but he's having a lot of fun - mainly at Europe's expense for making him sing on Friday and Saturday.

21.13 - Amendine from France has to warm-up the crowd for later on.  She's very smouldery and looking just a little bit, erm, dirty.  Would you, sir?  Would you?

21.10 - Our host Pet is in a bright pink dress tonight.  She tells us that we're all united through the power of music.  Hmmmm.  Forty-four countries are going to be showing the Contest tomorrow night, including Australia.  G'day to all you Aussies out there.

21.07 - The performers make a grand entrance in the same stylee that Lorraine Lauren Loreen made the other night.

21.05 - The 'Official 2013 Eurovision Anthem' gets an airing by a large choir.  It's written by the 'BB' of 'ABBA' don't you know.

21.02 - Gone when we should have started and there is no feed.  Maybe we should be worried.

20.58 - Yep, I've skulked away from my day job to give a few views on what we may (or may not) see on the telly tomorrow night.

OnEurope's live blog is here - Well Phil's is....

2238 - Sarah Dawn Finer singing as her self - The Winner Takes it All...

2332 - FUCK ME FUCKING SIDEWAYS!! - That interval act was ace!!!

2312 - Loreen..... Loren.... Lola...... Is on stage singing her new tune, then her old one... I thought she was too busy to be here.....

2302 - It's amateur hour at the Guinness Factory here.  Its not a bad performance by any means, but it comes across as a bit too plastic singer and, it has to be said, slightly out of tune on the high notes.  It's forced and whilst Ryan is charismatic, it isn't coming across to the Juries.  This is in danger of doing far worse than it should.  

2259 - Georgia - Does what it says on the tin - but its formula city!

2254 - Norway.  A Reporter on SVT this morning said that this was too like Euphoria.  In the way that its a woman singing, surely.  Margaret Cheese Burger with Extra Jalapinos was very good - simple staging, possibly being carried by a backing singer but over all, again, another danger. 

2250 - Missed Ukraine as was doing something else.  Italy seems too forced and over performed, he needs to tone it down a bit and look a little bit more interested.  The last night made him look silly but its jury fodder!

2241 - Greece is Dangerous as well - This has just enough cookiness to get in the minds of your usual voter for them to remember it when the voting lines open, possibly more so than Denmark and thats a good thing - Even when the lights go out and the instruments light up, it looks fab to be honest - It's very well performed and despite me hating it at the time of its choosing, I can see its the right choice now - Top 10 at the very least.

2237 - Azeri in a box!! - Am still sure this is Grab a Gran(d) night down at the Baku Baku Crystal Arena.....  Farid sells a dog of a song really well, he looks the part but seems to be straining.  Muted applause in the Audience. 

2234 - Iceland.  Well slap my thigh and call me Poopy mc Poopshoot pants - this should be NAILED ON for Top 10 and more than likely Top 4! - Eythor is a big man with big notes and a big performance - He didn't make me cry this time, because I am in polite company, but damn, thats good!

2229 - Denmark - This is good, dont let anyone tell you otherwise, however its not a nailed on cert.  Don't be surprised if it wins, but it does lose some impact on the TV . 

2226 - Hungary - Can't post but it was good

2221 - Robin Sternberg or whatever his name is has lost 15kg apparently, but clearly from his vocal chords - He strains too much and when Sweden get a middle to bottom position with this, they will be shocked, but he just isn't good enough to get any higher - Home town votes aren't helping this.  

2214 - UK!!! - I gave that 3 minutes of undivided attention and it was a good job *we* might have bought a top 10 place there.  We're used the riser, the lights (armbands), a decent singer , what could possibly go wrong.  Have we got the receipt though, just in case the juries didn't like it??

2212 - Romania - As my dear old Nan would say - it's a pig in a poke.... It looks good and is well performed, but it's a wrong un, and Cezar is certainly one of those.....  He thinks he's the dogs, he's actually not, but it'll get the ironic and the fun televotes.  It's not a big danger, but dangerous in all the wrong ways. 

2209 - If the Netherlands is now after the break - she's doomeder than her dead birds that she's singing about - TROS must be gutted to get through and then get shafted by the curse of the advert break.  It's still a good song, but helplessly marooned now... oooh... macaroons? ;)

2206 - Lynda Woodruff break!! - #thatisall

2201 -  Armenia - It's an earnest enough song, and It probably had the juries in the semi having wet dreams over it - however i'm still not sure about it. 

2156 - Natalie (sans Cascada) has been having issues all week with the singing of the high notes, tonight she seems better, thats because she had to be.  Backing singers are covering any mistakes but, and it's a big but, it's another great song.  It has holes - i.e its every Cascada song ever made mashed into 3 minutes but thats not a bad thing, the question is - will the Juries be snooty over populist music because, make no mistake, this is getting votes from across Europe tomorrow night - and the camerawork is immense!

2053 - Princess Fiona certainly takes this song to places that it shouldnt be anywhere near.  Its a gurt big disney ballad that should have no place in this contest - and yet, its off with the message but well performed and the lights are a cracking touch on this.  This is a BIG BIG BIG danger to the perceived winner - it's not all over kiddies. 

2049 - we're all fucking off to Malta!! - We'll if we're not we damn well should be! - Gianluca got me crying *again* - and i'm not the only one.   Cheeky, slightly camp, sung well, crowd interaction could well have an Olsens Moment - it proves that a good song still does well here.  Excuse me while i dab my eyes....

2044 - Those Ice Cream Sellers from Belarus are next.  She's been plying people with cakes and sweets all week - though only delegations in her semi, bitch!! -  Thankfully I share a flat with an Irishman, therefore got to sample her fudgey delights! - As are Europe's judgely public and are, hopefully, going " What the HELL is this?" - its just a tad outdated for them, it's almost as though their dictatorship have written the song themselves! - However, as its written by the man that wrote Belgium in 2002, it certainly has a pedigree.  Hacksaw just commented its almost like she's thinking about the words, and she has a scared look in her eyes again.... all a bit too formulaic.

2140 - I turned to a Esteemed Riigi and said " Why is she singing about Marmaset's in this song?" - He's promptly whacked me with a Book o Words and stomped off in a huff! - However, he'll be back i'll  be bound.  Back to Birgitta - It looks good on the screen and is a good contrast to Roberto.  she'll do right well - and my arm is now dead with Estonian pain.

2136 - Lil Roberto from plucky little Belgium looks like he is enjoying himself although the camera angles aren't doing much to assist him here I think - He has grown into this song like a man in an ill fitting suit and should win the "most improved" song award.  Yeah, He'll do OK.  

2132 - The Spanish may like this song, but it now looks hideously out of place and, to our ears here, out of tune - thats the deathknell to this song, even if it wasn't doomeder than a doomed thing.   The Yellow Dress isn't helping the lead singer, and neither are the hideous suits - Israeli Styling och Consulting? - It could end up being My Lovely Horse for real and accidental last! - If you can get money on it for last, I would..

2129 - and no, kiss is still in .  It still looks brilliant on stage and if anything they should play upto it even more - the quick change is really well done and as it's the first uptempo one, even better - However I fear that the same broadcasters that complained will "mark this song down" - and thats the only revenge they can get. 

21.26 - Finland up next - Hoohar East of the Urals about this one and the "lesbian" Kiss.  we'll see if anything changes. 

21.24 - Hacksaw says " She doesn't half sell this one" - and by cheese he's right.  She has to because there is such a lot in the bottom half of the draw that is gonna send it plummeting down the order sadly.  Her Vocal was off on the high notes here and could mark her down.  We'll see.  

2118 - ....because they have to fall asleep to this next one -  Andrius has got the crowd clapping before he starts.  To me, in his leather jacket he looks like a younger and better looking David Hasselhoff, including licking his tongue out at the juries... That'll get him the cheeky votes but I also think the televotes will like him, but only a little bit. 

21.15 - Amandine looks like she's been dragged through a hedge backwards - but that is her appeal, even her dress is ripped at all the wrong places for the likes of me, and the right places for Riigi and Hacksaw.  I am told she looks "dirty" - and I have to agree - she is feeling herself up and and fellatioing the microphone - I'll need a lie down, but the Juries can't!

21.11 - Petra tells me that Europe was brought together by music - and 57 years later, it's torn asunder by popular song - Hasn't Europe developed!!

21.09 - Petra is on screen - Its true, they can polish a turd with make-up.  She has lots of work done let me tell you!!!

21.04 - Its come alive on the big screen - hoorah! - And now, the best non-olympic opening ceremony you'll ever see - Flags of all competitors and all sorts of shenanigans!!

20.54 - Hello, OnEuropers (Which I believe is a real word now) - welcome to our live blog of the final that starts at 2100.  Riigi is in the hall, but he ticked the no publicity box and covered his face with a Union Flag..... Bastard!

Hiya Carola darling, the salmon is great!

Was just having lunch upstairs in the Restaurang and was helping myself to a dollop of salmon when Carola appears next to me looking for some fish too. In a flustered moment I said 'hiya darling, well done, the salmon is great' before retreating to my table to shove it down my gob. I wanted a photo but even I couldn't contemplate papping her during her lunch!

I did chat to the Finnish dancers though and tell them that they are being matched by the interval act with a gay kiss. Ooh some countries are going to just LOVE screening this final, ahem....

Rosé

So there's your final Rosé.... Enjoy! Phew I'm knackered!


Well what a fabulous show it's going to be tomorrow night. The Swedes have done just about what I thought they'd do and highlighted their quirky yet slick way of doing things. They've taken a page straight out of the London 2012 handbook, show the world what you're famous for and mix it up with a bit of laughing along with yourself. Gratis Sverige! Europe, you WILL enjoy the show tomorrow. The draw is awesome whether you agree or not with the way it's done, the result is a balanced mix of styles and will hold your attention. Feel sorry for France and a little worried for Bonnie as she follows Romania so that must take a few televotes off her but I think she's charmed enough people here to get a half decent result. Left hand side? Hopefully, I'm saying 11th to 15th.

So the show...

As the echoes of Loreen's winner from last year ring in Eurovision 2013, a caterpillar is seen emerging from the shadows of the Baku Crystal hall to wend its way through a Southern European summer and a Northern European winter all the way to the host city where it becomes the logo butterfly.

A choir onstage begin Björn and Benny's specially commissioned piece which heralds the entrance of this year's finalists across the arena bridge over the crowd carrying flags in tru Olympic style. A nice and obvious touch after last year's Olympics. It's a stirring piece and will be a big moment in the arena for sure and first goosebump moment for me. There are a few to come!

Pink ball gown for Petra! She's got some kind of fascinator/fantasiser in her hair unless she's left her rollers in? There's another nod to Australia with a live shot of a family watching down under yet all asleep because of the time change.

I'm totally spent describing the performances now and you must be sick of reading them now so I'll allow myself five words only for the 26 entries. Here goes..



FRANCE
Churning start, hell to come!

LITHUANIA
Improved, come to bed eyes

MOLDOVA
Stunning, that is flaming good

FINLAND
Finnish lesbians will be heard

SPAIN
Lovely sunshine will go unnoticed

BELGIUM
Roberto you're enjoying it now

ESTONIA
That's a ballad and some

BELARUS
Performing before many flaming puffs

MALTA
Gianluca just got even sweeter

RUSSIA
All about that last minute

GERMANY
Now the real party begins

ARMENIA
Well except for this drivel

The night just gets going with Russia followed by Germany then Armenia takes the night off the rails, a dull start to the break here but saved by FABULOUS LYNDA WOODRUFF. A great skit on Stockholm with lots of ABBA references and even a nod to the Hump! Netherlands after the break which is surely a bad draw for Anouk?

NETHERLANDS
Extra break time, ta Holland! 

ROMANIA
Anouk who? Delicious Eurovision nonsense! 

UNITED KINGDOM
Stop talking about Romania, Europe!

SWEDEN
Star date 2013, arena hysteria 

HUNGARY
Mish mash mosh, plodding loveliness

DENMARK
Book your Kopenhamn rooms now

ICELAND
Powerfully emoting, still old hat

AZERBAIJAN
Seductive. Baku hotel on standby? 

GREECE
I'm seeing credits rolling here? 

UKRAINE
Schmaltzy rubbish, this will fall 

ITALY
Sublime, soaring, scrubbed-up well Marco! 

NORWAY
Chuffed she has fab draw

GEORGIA
Hate myself for loving this

IRELAND
Irish love'll finish you (off) 

There's a frock section next with Petra revealing her designer is non other than Jean-Paul Gaultier who is present tonight. Apparently he's designed all the crew's outfits too, cue shot of a cameraman trussed up in a joke bodice.

Loreen is up next with an absolutely amazing segment reprising My Heart Is Refusing Me and Euphoria and starting with her new track. I loved this and she's winched up into the rafters with dancers before moving to the satellite stage with a huge dress trail. It got snagged on the back of the stage so the wind machine effect was lost but that won't happen tomorrow will it?

The voting closes before we are treated to a self mocking Swedish video piece which is slightly starange then a fabulous Swedish Smorgasbord interval act done by Petra and varios noteworthy Swedes. This is fun fun fun and consists of a gay kiss and Carola being literally taken by a storm wind machine in a genuine laugh out loud moment. Well done SVT!

Just when you think it can't get better, Eric Saade is smouldering in the green room, I swear if he interview Farid from Azerbaijan I'll have a moment! Another fabulous piece on the contest's history with a lot of Petra silliness and ABBA of course. Great. Though Linda Martin probably won't approve! (You'll see)

And so to the results with an absolutely spot on version of The Winner Takes It All by Sarah Dawn Finer in her natural habitat, the satellite stage podium. Cue goosebumps! There's STILL talk ABBA will appear here and there certainly was a bit of a rehearsal kerfuffle here. We're SVT hiding something? Only time will tell...

Then it's the results...

So this is my guestimated positioning for tomorrow, but what do I know?! 


Bottom 6

FRA
SPA
ARM
HUN
BLR
LIT


16 to 20

NET
FIN
ICE
MAL
MOL


11 to 15

UKR
ROM
UK
SWE
IRE


6 to 10

BEL
EST
GER
ITA
NOR

Top 5

RUS
GRE
GEO
AZR
DEN

I see Denamrk winning with Azerbaijan second and Georgia third, Greece potentially fourth with Russia fifth, Norway sixth and Italy seventh. I see Germany with respectful eighth and surprise top tens for Belgium and Estonia. I'd love to see our Bonnie in the top ten but I think she'll just miss out on the left hand side.

What do you think?

And...... I'm done! Over analysed now so in need of beers!!

Enjoy, more news later. Is it over yet?

Rosé