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ADSL issues

I don't want to say that the Orange advisor made things worse, because it could be environmental (it's breezy today), however things are much worse. The Livebox locks on at 2Mbit (or 2.1) and holds it "briefly" before going down for longer than it was connected.
Doing anything internet-related is a matter of catching the moments when it is operating. But, honestly, it is functionally useless right now.

I spent three hours last night downloading the first semi-final using NewPipe. It involved keeping the phone's display on to restart the download when it errored out. The download (at 480p) was something like 980MB. Well, the download progress bar shot past that, and got to about 1.05GB before throwing an error. It removed the download from the list, but left the file behind. Broken. SMPlayer saw it as a three minute file it couldn't play.
Annoyed, I stood out at the end of the driveway (the patch with all the daisies and buttercups) in the rain and pulled it via 4G+. Took about six minutes.
I've just pulled the second semi final in the same way. It's not currently raining.

 

It's actually sunny (but a chilly breeze) and I have stuff to do in the garden. So spending a day doing Eurovision stuff... just isn't going to happen. I'll come in later, and whip through the semi-finals paying attention to the songs but not the rest of the performance. And the final? That depends on how/when/if I'm able to coax some life out of my satellite dish. But, bloody hell, I watch YouTube's live stream to get away from the commentary...

As I write this at 1pm (no, I did not get up early, it's been a long week), I have BBC One HD but the setup hasn't been used since around Christmas time or so. The heat of operating might cause condensation to form which pretty much nukes reception until it has gone away again.

Using a tiny screen to check my dish alignment!
Using a tiny screen to check my dish alignment!

I used this display panel, and now that I know I can still get a signal, I can hook up this thing (second half of the page) to get the video on my VGA monitor. HDMI to VGA would be better, but I only have one of those and it's attached to the Pi.
Oh, hang on...

Found it. A backup HDMI to VGA adaptor. It will run my monitor in 576p mode (though it looks worse than the composite adaptor) and 720p mode (looks better). My monitor won't sync to 1080p or 1080i, but that's probably not a surprise as it's only 1440×960 or something.
Oddly, I have to switch the receiver to output NTSC timings in order to fill the width of the screen.

 

The turned ground has been raked flat, and several areas of tall grass cut. As I was coming to the end, a snake charged the mower. I mean, it shot out of nowhere and was literally hovering above the grass as it moved scary-fast. If I'd had any sort of reaction time, I'd have let go of the throttle to give the thing a chance. But, alas, a snake versus a metal blade hooked to a four stroke... went about as well as you'd expect.

Attacking a mower, not a winning idea.
Attacking a mower, not a winning idea.

 

Okay then. Oh, holy crap. Even skipping stuff like the postcards, this is going to be a marathon isn't it?

Headphones on. San Pellegrino Limonata, and a small slab of white chocolate... (I meant to get a bag of Maltesers but forgot). Let's do this!

 

Eurovision 2023 Semi Final 1

A ten second advert for Moroccanoil before the infamous EBU logo. We follow a boy getting excited about the song contest coming to Liverpool. Yup, the city of Brookside, Cilla Black, and The Beatles is the host of this year's contest.

Loads of references to the colours of the Ukrainian flag and... haha, they even managed to get the King and <cough>Queen</cough> involved.

The boy is now on a stage, dark, dry ice, ethereal vocals... he walks to a fake mirror frame and performs a routine with the girl (who was briefly introduced earlier as a Ukrainian child) mirroring each other. Her walking through the mirror was met with much applause.

This slides right into some rock in Ukranian, just to make sure we're all awake.

Th three presenters are introduced. Alesha Dixon, who I think was a judge on one of those annoying talent shows; Julia Sanina, the Ukrainian and the person who was just singing; and Hannah Waddingham, no idea who she is.

The on-screen graphics are not subtle. Everything is very intense, it's almost as if somebody decided to do the graphics using the teletext colour palette.
On the other hand, there's a lot of swooping and sliding of the cameras. Crane shots, wire shots, all smooth and well timed. The BBC is showing off!

Hannah, after giving the rules in French added "You see Europe, some of us Brits do bother to learn another language", and after the rules were said in English added "Now if you spoke French, you'll know I've already said that. Just saying...". ☺

1. Norway "Queen of Kings" Alessandra

Well, she looked cute in the postcard but for the performance is done up, I guess, like a Queen in the Game Of Thrones fashion. Penny Mordaunt would fit in here.

It's a quirky upbeat performance, and she seemed quite pleased to be the first act. I think this will go through.

 

I had the postcard playing as I was writing the end of the above, and I glanced over to see the caption said "LONDON BUS" and underneath, "LONDON".
Ya think?

 

2. Malta "Dance (Our Own Party)" The Busker

Okay, what can I say? This song is awful, and no, that bloke is not an epic sax guy. It's interesting staging let down by a really lame song. Is he really singing "I feel better in my sweater"?
Oh, failed (and slightly painful looking) failed floor slide.

Okay, I'll give them eight points for the staging... but feel obliged to subtract about fifty billion for the song.

 

3. Serbia "Sami mi se spava" Luke Black

Okay, this is what happens when a goth kid watches too much Neon Genesis Evangelion.
My inner goth just told me to stop writing this and enjoy the song. So I guess I'm putting this in my liked list. It's certainly one of the weirder ones I've seen recently. And all the better for being unashamedly different.
I think this was the first song not in English.

 

4. Latvia "Aija" Sudden Lights

This song seems is very scattered like it's not sure what it wanted to actually sound like, so ended up as a bunch of things thrown together. Um...

Okay, next...

 

A bit of time wasting (for lesser channels to go to adverts) and... wow, Buck's Fizz got old.
<looks in mirror> Happens to all of us. :(

I skipped most of this, don't have the time.

 

It looks like the postcards show something (a church, a library, whatever) in Ukraine, in the UK, and in the host country. It's a pretty nifty way to give a nod to each of the countries. I hope this format continues, rather than just being the host country showing itself off.

 

5. Portugal "Ai coração" Mimicat

As is expected, in Portuguese. After a sultry start, we dive straight into a dance number. I dunno, rhumba, paso doble... I'm not up on my ballroom dances. But it's a very obvious common time beat so the sort of thing that can be formally danced to. As she is demonstrating.

 

6. Ireland "We Are One" Wild Youth

Interesting choice of costume, a gold pyjama suit. The song is about inclusiveness, which I would imagine would be aimed at Eurovision itself, though I'm not sure rhyming "unique" with "freak" is exactly going to be a points winner. People rarely consider themselves freaks, it's other people being nasty that say such things.

 

7. Croatia "Mama ŠČ!" Let 3

Who the hell is doing these captions? I'm looking at "PORT OF RIJEKA" and underneath it says "RIJEKA"...

This is terrible, but a case of so bad it'll go down a bomb and qualify. To get an idea, imagine Verkla turned up to eleven. And in the background some bloke dressed in black carrying missiles and the song kicks up a gear.
Tell me this isn't political and isn't aimed directly at Russia, right?

Yeah, hehe, there's no way in hell this won't qualify.

 

8. Switzerland "Watergun" Remo Forrer

Okay, so this in an emoional ballad about being powerless in the face of what's going on in the world.
"I don't wanna have to play with real blood" and "just bodybags that we've become".
As much as the EBU might want to keep politics out of the contest (haha, nope, not happening!), it's pretty clear that what's going on is infusing the European psyche.

 

9. Israel "Unicorn" Noa Kirel

Well, that was a dramatic three bar intro into a pop song about the woman having the power of a unicorn, ending with what can only be described as an epic dance routine. I didn't think a lot of it, but this will go through.

 

10. Moldova "Soarele si luna" Pasha Parfeni

Interesting staging, in particular the hairstyles. Isn't this guy the singer from the Sunstroke Project? So he's the Moldovan guy who has represented the country, um, how many times now?

I'm going to guess that there's more than a few nods to Moldovan ethnic mythology in this song.

 

Another bit of time wasting I skipped over.

 

11. Sweden "Tattoo" Loreen

Wait, was that Loreen? It's always a danger when former contest winners return, as there's a lot to live up to and, it doesn't work. Unless you're Johnny Logan.

You know, this opens sounding a bit like the sort of lyrics that Abba might have sung, before going into full Loreen mode, along with the expected interpretive dance (sort of, it's like she's squished between two large boxes).

Ooh, an orchestral break in the middle, nice. Yeah, this will qualify.

 

12. Azerbaijan "Tell Me More" TuralTuranX

Okay, the odd name is because they are brothers. That makes sense.
Well, that's a weird opening for a... rather down tempo song that... is including rap? Uh-hu.
What a peculiar song. They're singing "tell me you love me baby" while looking directly at each other. They are brothers, right? Because I'm just getting a sense of squick from how this song is progressing.

 

13. Czech Republic "My Sister's Crown" Vesna

Either her sister is a Queen (or a princess at least), or they're getting obsessive over somebody's hair care regime.
It's six women dressed in pink singing in... it actually sounds like there are multiple languages (ignoring the English). Choose love over power with the pink, I'm going to guess this is something to do with gender inequality?

Interesting. There's an easily missed message in the various hand gestures playing on the backdrop. At one point, framed in pink and towards the end, is a very deliberate hand with the palm facing and the fingers up straight with the thumb tucked across, then the fingers close down over the thumb. It's a quick and fluid hand signal that means "help me", intended to allow women to signal such things as domestic abuse without actually saying so

 

14. Netherlands "Burning Daylight" Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper

A quieter song here, but... it doesn't seem as if she can hit the high notes. He can.
It's not a bad song, but it's a bit repetitive and lacklustre compared to what's come before.

 

Caption: WHEEL OF LIVERPOOL.
Guess what it says underneath.

 

15. Finland "Cha Cha Cha" Käärijä

So this was a contest to see how many ä they could get in one word, right?

What the actual f...? It's sort of rap set to an industrial rock with a visual style that's completely off the wall.

 

My picks

Okay, these are my picks in order of preference. Okay, I didn't really like the Croatian song, but I'm pretty certain it'll go through.

  • Switzerland - don't play with blood
  • Serbia - insert 10¢ to continue
  • Norway - the Queen's gambit
  • Czech Republic - pretty in pink
  • Sweden - the winner returns
  • Portugal - he ballroom dance
  • Israel - no unicorn tears here
  • Ireland - inclusiveness is gold
  • Moldova - the oligatory bit of ethnic flute
  • Croatia - the obligatory WTF entry

Interval acts

Didn't have time, so skipped them. And glossed over the history of things presented by what sounds like Graham Norton and his usual acerbic commentary.

 

France

What's she wearing on her head? Her song sounds like the usual over-the-top France "grande chanson".

Germany

The lead singer of Lord of the Lost? This is what happens if you put Rammstein and Geralt of Rivia into a blender.

So it's a bloke in an industrial metal band that... collects Disney mugs!

Okay, his growls aren't quite there. I mean, Theatre of Tragedy (who practically invented the vocal style known as "beauty and the beast", the very overused angelic female vocals with a growled male part) is on my playlist, as is Tristania, Within Temptation, Delain, Epica, etc etc. So I know what a metal growl should sound like.
That... wasn't it.

Italy

This ought to be good, as Italy pretty much only ever gives Eurovision it's San Remo winners.

 

Qualifiers

Okay, here's through.

  • Croatia - yup, knew this would
  • Moldova - the ethnic flute
  • Switzerland - don't be a soldier
  • Finland - say what? Okay, the crowd liked it. Did I miss something?
  • Czechia - the power of two X chromosomes
  • Israel - yeah, I could see the unicorn qualifying
  • Portugal - the dance number qualified
  • Sweden - well, no surprise there
  • Serbia - game over? not for him
  • Norway - the queen passes

 

Right, time just for pee and tea and then plough straight on into the second semi final.
I mean, fifteen songs of three minutes each. That's three quarters of an hour, right? Well, so far it's been a little over two hours.
Oh my god, this is going to be a long haul.

Right, I have an enormous Tetley to keep me going, and two packs of tea biscuits. Because I haven't had breakfast, or lunch, and no idea when I'll be having dinner...

Doing these reviews
Doing these reviews.

Yes, I'm watching on my phone as that's what the files were downloaded to. Using the tablet would mean copying stuff to a µSD card and... a load of faff.

 

Eurovision 2023 semi final 2

Skip over the intro and straight to the first song. "LVIV OPERA HOUSE" and underneath... LVIV.
Really?
I never would have expected that.

1. Denmark "Breaking My Heart" Reiley

Okay, first question, is the performer male or female? And did s/he just say "I'm not scared to f*** you but I'm scared of breaking my heart"?

I think it's a guy. And it's a decent enough performance of a "europop" number.

 

Oh, there's now a "rest of the world" vote for places that aren't Europe or Australia. I wonder if/how this will change things.

 

2. Armenia "Future Lover" Brunette

Well, it started as a minimalistic song and then crashed into a big ballad and, well, I prefered the first half. But she was really on a tilted glowing thing, and as as expected from Armenia it's effortlessly arty.
I'm not sure how I feel about this, other than to say that it'll surely qualify.

 

3. Romania "D.G.T. (Off and On)" Theodor Andrei

Um... Props to stand on a lonely international stage and belt out a song with a guitar while wearing a pink suit, and then sing with himself. That takes balls.
Just a shame it's a naff song.
Okay, now he's being groped by some random woman. Well, okay, I see where I've been going wrong in my life. If I want to pick up chicks I... you know what, let's just "nope" this and move swiftly on.

 

YES! "BLACKPOOL TOWER" and below it says "LANCASHIRE" and not, you know what it didn't say. ☺

 

4. Estonia "Bridges" Alika

A cute girl singing to a piano, and a slow build. That's a powerful voice. Okay, since I've seen all of these songs together, I can say this is my favourite so far.
Oh, nice build at the end there. Damn.

 

5. Belgium "Because of You" Gustaph

Oh look, a guy wearing pink. Gee, what could that possibly signify?

Okay, this song is annoying. I don't like it, but it's very earwormy isn't it?
Haha, the breakdancing woman making out with the stage has a tail!

 

You may have heard a roomah.
Yup, that's one version of British English, which is a non-rhotic version of English. Which is a nerdy way of saying that we've lost half of our 'r's.
Me too, though I think my accent is a mixture of lazy RP with a bit of Home Counties (which sounds similar). It's not RP as in Patrick Stewart or various Prime Ministers. That's the posh-git version.

 

6. Cyprus "Break a Broken Heart" Andrew Lambrou

Well, that's a powerful one isn't it? So a bad relationship and coming back stronger?
I dunno. Not a position I've ever been in. I'm more included to think "come back more cynical"...

 

7. Iceland "Power" Diljá

Well, she's giving this everything, including quirky emotional interpretive dance and, oh look a vague sort of costume change (she took the jacket top off).
But... it wasn't Ja Ja Ding Dong.

 

8. Greece "What They Say" Victor Vernicos

What? Another song where the person begins sitting on the floor.
Is he out of tune or something? I can't quite put my finger on it but there's something out of place with this performance.

Uh, no, sorry Greece, I'm skipping the rest.

 

9. Poland "Solo" Blanka

If they're going to begin with fake video glitching, shouldn't the picture be in 4:3 aspect?
Lucky her dress is multilayered, given the low angle fish eye lens and the wind machine nearly gave us all an eyeful.
Ah, that's why, she was hiding a different outfit under there.

It's a fairly generic slow europop song, but I think it'll do alright because of an enthusiastic performance. I noted the real-time smoke effects. The BBC are doing some interesting little things in the performances.

 

10. Slovenia "Carpe Diem" Joker Out

Well, that's some impressive bass. I wonder what that sounds like on a decent sound system (and not headphones of a YouTube download).
It seems like an okay song.... did he just lick the camera? .... but being in Slovene, I have no idea what it's about. Saying "Joker out" on the backdrop doesn't help, that's just the group name... or did I screw up and that's the song name?
But kudos to the impressive scenery chewing drummer.

 

11. Georgia "Echo" Iru

One woman in a white dress yelling into a microphone, along with various vowel sounds. This is apparently in English.

Sadly, I think this song is ruined by the frenetic drumming in the chorus parts that overwhelm her voice, which isn't very strong to overcome that racket. Less drums, more orchestration, but...

 

12. San Marino "Like An Animal" Piqued Jacks

This is some sort of indie funk vibe isn't it? But their behaviour on the stage is like they're trying to be Maneskin but instead ending up with a bit of narmy overacting. You see, Maneskin didn't have to try to be cool, they just were.

 

13. Austria "Who the Hell Is Edgar?" Teya and Salena

Alice? Who the f*** is Alice?

Sorry, wrong song. But, are they singing about Edgar Allen Poe? Oh, I think they're extracting urine about how the people who write stuff get paid sod all, while everybody else gets the fame and accolades.

 

14. Albania "Duje" Albina and Familja Kelmendi

No idea what this is about, it's in Albanian, but it's unashamedly ethnic. Which frequently translates into a qualifying song.

 

"TRAKAI ISLAND CASTLE". Go on, guess the word below...

 

15. Lithuania "Stay" Monika Linkyte

You better hope and pray that you wake one day in your own world...

Sorry, wrong Stay.

This song has vibes of "When We're Old" by Ieva Zasimauskaite. Maybe it's a Lithuanian thing.
Okay, this is my second favourite of the contest.

 

16. Australia "Promise" Voyager

And, Australia. For this time they went to an odd looking bridge in Perth.

Okay, I wasn't expecting prog metal. Okay, cool. Nice non-sappy way to end the contest. Haha, a keytar makes an appearance.

 

My picks

  • Estonia - building bridges
  • Lithuania - da da doo dah
  • Armenia - the brunette was
  • Austria - who the hell is...
  • Australia - simply become metal rocks
  • Iceland - how many kilowatts?
  • Cyprus - so much breakage
  • Belgium - this will qualify
  • Poland - so will this
  • Albania - I reckon this will go through

 

Interval act

I skipped most of this, except for two women in white singing to each other. Might not seem like much except one of them was suspended on a star platform that came down from the ceiling.

 

The results

Okay, here goes.

The finalists are:

  • Albania - yup, thought a bit of ethnic would progress
  • Cyprus - breakages mended?

Did somebody in the audience just yell "Serbia!"? Because that was the other semi-final (and yes, they are).

  • Estonia - yes!
  • Belgium - pink suit, big hat...
  • Austria - who the hell...
  • Lithuania - yes-squared!
  • Poland - yup, could see that
  • Australia - <fx: power chord>
  • Armenia - the brunette
  • Slovenia - who? Oh, the camera licker.

 

Okay then. The live broadcast is... in fifty minutes. So that's just about enough time to rustle up dinner for myself and furball and get the SD card ready for the PVR.

 

The Grand Final

Here we are. The Live Grand Final on BBC One HD.
I've already spent four hours on Eurovision so far today, and this broadcast... will probably be about as long. So, to hell with what time it is. More. Tea. Now.

I couldn't find my audio extension lead, so I'm listening with headphones instead of crappy computer speakers.

 

Introduction

Start the video recording for the Dr Who promo and run into the kitchen to yank dinner out of the oven and come back to see a bloke in a now iconic pink knitted hat and loads of cameos.

 

The intro continues in the arena with loads of drummers and everything in red.

 

Flag parade

Because tonight isn't long enough.

What? We're interrupting the flag waving with bits of previous songs because clearly tonight really isn't long enough.

Now we have Jamala. Sorry, but the version by Elina Ivaschenko blows the original out of the water. Look it up on YouTube.

 

Oh look, Verkla. I never would have expected that to happen. ☺
That iconic act is from, what, 2007? How long ago was that?

 

Graham Norton isn't very big, is he?

 

Twenty minutes later we finally get to the first song.

1. Austria "Who the Hell Is Edgar?" Teya and Salena

Here's the song about how it sucks to be a lyricist. A nice enough way to open the contest, but with twenty five songs to come, will it be remembered? To it's credit, it's catchy.

 

2. Portugal "Ai coração" Mimicat

This song won't win. Why? Because it's in second place. Graham described it as burlesque cabaret. Well, that's probably better than my description of a sultry ballroom dance. So much red. Is this an in-joke for the next song?

 

Damn... Okay, my headphones sounded naff. So I prodded the "noise cancelling" button. And, damn, everything sounds so much better now.

Uh, Graham warned of flashing lights and strobe effects. Uh, where were you for Austria's song?

3. Switzerland "Watergun" Remo Forrer

Damn, it sounds like his vocals have improved since the semi final. It's taken this song to the next level.

You know what? This ought to top five it.

 

4. Poland "Solo" Blanka

Norton mistaked this for the Spanish entry. Well, yeah, I can see why. Oh, okay, that was an interesting visual effect, dancing in the backdrop. I wonder if that was prerecorded or something live?
And now here is the costume change. Catchy, but...

 

5. Serbia "Samo mi se spava" Luke Black

Hehe, Norton is so out of touch with nerd culture that he has no idea about he staging.
But apparently the guy is a huge fan of horror films, sci-fi, and animé. Yes, it shows. ☺

Yes, Norton, I enjoyed that.

 

6. France "Évidemment" La Zarra

Voilà, voilà, voilà...

Wait, WTF? I've seen acts on elevated dresses before, but she's practically on top of a frigging mountain.
Well, now it glows like a lighthouse.

Okay, I'm not paying much attention to the song itself, it's the overwrought ballad that the French do so often, I've just been watching the staging.

 

7. Cyprus "Break a Broken Heart" Andrew Lambrou

Here we go with a serious song channeling emotions. And no shoes. Funny how 720p on a 21" screen lets you see more detail than 480p on a 6" (ish) screen.
Yeah, I know that was a dumb sentence, but it's worth observing the sheer difference in visual quality. And, you know what? The broadcast is even higher quality (1080i) but my monitor won't sync to that. Still, 720p is pretty damn good compared to composite video.

The song? Okay, but... it bothers me how somebody breaks something that is broken. By definition it is already broken.

 

8. Spain "Eaea" Blanca Paloma

My signal is starting to break up. Clouds? Or just atmospheric water now the sun has set? You know, even though Spain has had a bit of a difficult relationship with Arabs (think the Moors), this song really highlights the influences of Arab culture on Spain.

So, um, I can't see that one ranking anywhere.

 

Wasting some time

A look at the Junior Eurovision Contest to waste some time while lesser channels go to adverts.

 

9. Sweden "Tattoo" Loreen

Apparently this is the bookies favourite. But I didn't get to watch it as the signal dropped out. Well, okay, I watched it about three hours ago. But, yes, Loreen gives it all. This ought to be a top three.

 

10. Albania "Duje" Albina and Familja Kelmendi

I rejoin in the middle of this song. We cut to an audience member who does not look impressed.

 

What? A pop-up said that a version with live BSL signing is available on iPlayer or red button or something.
Wouldn't it have been useful to have said that about an hour ago?

 

11. Italy "Due vite" Marco Mengoni

Unusual jumper. This song has a nice build to it, and you know, stuff just sounds better in Italian. He could be singing about all the stuff he couldn't find in the supermarket for all I know. But it just sounds nice. So thanks to Italy for rigidly sticking to their own language.

I'm pointedly not mentioning the guys in the background with the trampolines.

 

12. Estonia "Bridges" Alika

Oh, the cutie with the powerful voice and the piano. It's a piano that plays itself. And, damn, nice performance.

 

13. Finland "Cha Cha Cha" Käärijä

Second time watching this today, and it's just as nuts as it was the first time.

 

14. Czechia "My Sister's Crown" Vesna

It's Czechia these days, not Czech Republic. Like it's Kviv not Kiev... Somebody ought to tell Wikipedia, I copied the list of song titles from the Eurovision wiki page (prior to the semi finals!).

I wonder if having hair to the floor was a requirement of the audition process? Nice performance. The ponytails are much more epic in 720p.

 

15. Australia "Promise" Voyager

Did Norton just described them as an epic electro synth pop metal band? Well, that covers quite a lot doesn't it?
Okay, I'll have to sit through the first half of this song until the metal part. That's the good bit. Metal FTW!

 

16. Belgium "Because of You" Gustaph

What goes around comes around. This sounds different and not like the other songs, yet it also sounds like something late disco.

Damn, that dancer works out. My knees couldn't handle doing that.

 

More time wasting

I can't believe they're still promoting "the official Eurovision DVD" given that you can download better than DVD quality off YouTube.
And an official vinyl?!?

 

Okay, nice cameo of Mel milking it, and especially better that she did all of that and didn't crack up.

 

17. Armenia "Future Lover" Brunette

I've just noticed that brunette is more noirette. Hmm...

"This song I wrote for you, future lover"? Probably doesn't do to think that one through.

 

18. Moldova "Soarele si luna" Pasha Parfeni

The ethnic song that is a bit nuts. And yes, it's a traditional moldovan flute.
Do you think the women have to spend the entire evening with their hair like that? When they get together, that's the Eye of Sauron right there.

 

19. Ukraine "Heart of Steel" Tvorchi

"Tvorchi" means creative, and all of this was created and designed in the midst of a war.

Sometimes you just gotta know when to stick your middle finger up in the air. Amen to that.

An empowering song this. Will the public vote toss the baton to Ukraine for a second time in a row?

 

20. Norway "Queen of Kings" Alessandra

She's so cute in the postcard. Earwormy this one, isn't it? The problem with watching the entirety of Eurovision in one day is what can I say about this song that I didn't say about four hours ago?
Still like this.

 

21. Germany "Blood & Glitter" Lord of the Lost

Geralt of Rivia with an antenna stuck to his back singing "we're so happy we could die".

This is less Rammstein and more Mono Inc with really dodgy dress sense.

 

22. Lithuania "Stay" Monika Linkyte

I like this one, so if you don't mind I'm just going to enjoy it.

"Finally my heart is beating". Good, that means you're not dead, sweetheart. You wouldn't want to be a zombie. Just ask Liv Moore.

She was really feeling that, wasn't she?

I notice in the Twitter feed that VinceH also made the comparison to Shakespear's Sister (as I did a few hours ago, scroll up loads). Wasn't the demented-looking one Marcella Detroit? She did a brilliant job in the video for that song, chewing all scenery in sight.

 

23. Israel "Unicorn" Noa Kirel

Who would have thought a pop song would have mentioned yew-nee-corn a billion times? Oh, yeah, this is the one with the epic dance ending.

 

24. Slovenia "Carpe Diem" Joker Out

The bass line and the overacting. Kudos, yet again, to the drummer going really over the top with it.
You know, for technical reasons, the instruments aren't live, only the vocals. That's why the guitars are really obviously not wired up to anything.

 

25. Croatia "Mama ŠČ!" Let 3

Oh, right. Okay. It's this one. How do you pronounce "ŠČ" anyway?

Well, come on. What's Eurovision without a dose of the batshit? Here it is in all it's WTactualF glory.

 

26. United Kingdom "I Wrote a Song" Mae Muller

In last position, the UK. One could say the UK is used to being last.

What's with the long fingernails?

Okay, better than usual, but no Sam Ryder. All she really told us is that something happened, so... she wrote a song. Uh-hu.

 

Well, to massive cheering (for the UK entry or for the end of the contest?) we reach the end. Two hours and twenty minutes later.

 

My picks

Here goes.
  • 12. Estonia - blue and powerful
  • 10. Austria - Poe Poe Poe P-Poe Poe... (sorry Vince)
  • 8. Lithuania - I just like this, okay?
  • 7. Switzerland - seriously, don't play with blood
  • 6. Norway - the queen of green
  • 5. Czechia - girl power
  • 4. Serbia - the goth robot guys
  • 3. Sweden - Loreen wants a double shot
  • 2. Italy - because Italian
  • 1. Australia - because it was kind of fun

Who do I think has a realistic chance of winning? Sweden or Ukraine.

 

Interval act 1

Just to ram home the difference between Mae and Sam, he is on stage now powering through his new song, to a performance with many disabled people, and damn right.
As he sings, let me tell you a story about a girl called Lisa. She was missing an arm, she had a prosthetic. I was asked to work with her, and okay, I know she only has one arm but let's see how it goes.
I'll tell you how it went. She was more capable with one arm than most people I've worked with who had both of their arms.
Yes, disabled people might need some help along the way, but don't dismiss them as incapable. They will surprise you.

 

Another song recap.

 

Interval act 2

Mamood (Italy) singing Imagine, followed by Netta (Israel) singing you Spin Me, with a costume that puts Germany to shame, and does a good job of it.
Dadi Freyr now sings Whole Again. Oh, loads of people. Love the staging of that.
Cornelia Jacobs (Sweden) singing I turn to you. Okay, she's gyrating in a big puddle. Barefoot on a seat, stage lights, it's a health and safety nightmare.
Sonia singing The Devil You Know thirty years later. It probably ought to upset me that I remember watching this when it was first performed. That was... Millstreet, back in the days when Ireland used to win all the time. I think Ireland's financial woes a while back were down to how many times in a row they hosted!
Duncan Lawrence (Netherlands) singing You'll Never Walk Alone. A powerful message to Ukraine there.

 

It's just passed midnight here. An hour (or so) to go. Okay. I think time to break out the yoghurt. Two Yoplait cherry yogurts and two Mamie Nova Manderine and Lime yoghurts. I need a sugar hit.

 

The voting has ended.

 

National Jury Votes

Right then.

Ukraine offer their 12 to Sweden. And how is her dress being held up?
Italy offer 12 to Israel.
Latvia offer 12 to Estonia.
Netherlands, and 12 for Sweden.
Malta, 12 to Sweden.
Moldova, 12 to Sweden again.
Ireland, and a cheer for Naimh from 1993. 12 to Sweden.
San Marino only gave 4 to Sweden, so their 12 is for Italy.
Hannah slaps down the booing.
Azerbaijan offer 10 to Sweden, so 12 to Israel.
Austria with 10 to Sweden, so 12 for Italy.

Currently Israel 45, Italy 55, and Sweden 105 I think it said.

And... the signal has just dropped out. So this could be the countries that all offer 12s to the UK. Nah, who am I kidding.

This is strange. The signal hasn't so much dropped out as simply frozen with Hannah and Graham at the podium.

Okay, I come back with Germany who offer their 12 to Sweden. Looking at the leader board, nothing has changed, it's still Sweden and Israel and Italy.
Portugal offer their 12 to Australia. Well, that was out of left field.
Croatia with 10 to Sweden, so 12 to Italy.
Estonia give yet another 12 to Sweden.

Germany is the only country with 0 points. Oops. But, what was their song again? Oh, and the UK second to last.

Armenia with astonishing hair offer 12 to Israel.
Poland only offer 7 to Sweden, so their 12 go to Israel.
Romania with 10 to Sweden and 4 to Israel, so... 12 for Italy.

Top 3 now: Israel 108, Italy 109, Sweden 194.
My liked, Estonia, is fourth. And the nonsense from Finland is fifth.

Iceland and... what? Removing two masks and undoing a zip just to say Australia. Brilliant.
Serbia, with only 5 to Sweden. Their 12 go to Slovenia. Wait, what? Uh, okay.
Cyprus with 12 to Sweden.
Norway with 10 to Sweden and their 12 to Finland. Not a great surprise.
Switzerland with 6 for Sweden, and their 12 to Czechia.
Australia with 12 for Belgium.
Denmark now, 12 to Sweden.

I think if Sweden isn't in the list of lower points prizes, one can pretty much just write that the 12 is for Sweden. It's wrong less often than not.

Spain and 12 to Sweden. See?
Israel and 12 to Sweden.
Sweden and their 12 points... can't go to Sweden so they go to Finland.

Sweden by the jury vote has a huge lead.

Georgia with only 4 for Sweden, so 12... not to Italy or Israel. Instead, 12 to Belgium.
Czechia and 12 to Ukraine.
Slovenia and 12 not to Sweden, it's to Italy.
Greece have only 6 to Sweden, so 12 goes to Belgium.
Albania, with 12 to Sweden. I'm also noting how often Estonia gets points.
Lithuania with 12 to Sweden. How many 12s have Sweden had?
Finally, the UK brings in Donna Noble to offer one final 12 to Sweden.

Sweden powered ahead with 340 points. In second place, Israel with 177. Italy with 176. Then Finland with 150. Estonia in fifth place with 146.

Now for the public vote. This part can be... a bit brutal. So let's see how it goes.

 

The public vote

Germany, who only had three points. Germany received 15 extra points.
Croatia are offered 112 points.
Poland get 81 points.
Serbia are given a mere 16 points.
The UK get a mere 9 points.
Albania have 59 points.
Moldova get 76 points.
Slovenia get 45 points.
Portugal get a piddly 16 points.
Norway get 216 points. A huge amount, but there's a lot to come still.
France receive 50 points.
Ukraine get 189 points.
Switzerland get a mere 31 points.
Cyprus get 58 points.
Armenia get 53 points.
Lithuania get only 46 points.
Czechia next, with a tiny 35 points.
Spain get a mere 5 points. Like I said, this can be brutal.
Austria get merely 16 points. What the hell?
Belgium have 55 points.
Australia get 21 points. They seem to be amused by it.
Estonia get 22. WTF?
Finland's craziness gets 376 points. Bloody hell!
Italy next. On 176, they need to pass 526. With 174, that's a no.
Israel next. On 177. They get... 185 points. Another no.
All that remains is to see if Loreena gets more than, what is it, 180-something? Ah, 187.
Sweden's score is 243 points. It's Loreena. The first second time winner. 2012 with Euphoria, and eleven years later in 2023 with Tattoo.

 

Winner - Sweden

So the contest is going back to the spiritual home of Eurovision. So I'm just going to guess that Mans will be hosting once again; and next year (2024) will be the 50th anniversary of Abba's Waterloo.

I can't believe how well Finland did.

 

As the winning song is performed one final time, I think it's only fair to draw attention to the technical quality of the production. Well done, BBC.

 

It ran 13 minutes over, and I've been doing Eurovision from 4pm to 1.15am. So I'm just going to throw this to the server and head to bed.

 

This again in a year. Seeya.

 

 

Your comments:

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VinceH, 14th May 2023, 01:48
No I'm pretty sure that was Siobhan. But it was a long time ago - I'll check tomorrow. :)
Rick, 14th May 2023, 02:10
Not the first second time winner, that was Johnny Logan (who came back and did it for the third time). I ment to write the first *female* second time winner, and as far as I can remember only the second time somebody has won twice. 
Too tired to go fix the content (and correct the typos) so this comment will have to suffice.
VinceH, 15th May 2023, 00:05
And the answer is... Yes. It was Siobhan. 
 
The easiest way to check is to pause the video when she's on screen then separately search for Siobhan Fahay and for Marcella Detroit. It's easy to see which is which. 
 
 
David Pilling, 15th May 2023, 12:02
Google has told me what I wanted to know, without asking, Hannah Waddingham is 5'11" 
 
I'm not going to judge the music this year, I'd be better at predicting random numbers. 
 
Rick, 15th May 2023, 14:59
You can judge the songs, the ones you like and the ones you don't. It's all rather subjective anyway. 
 
Apparently the Estonian girl Alika is disliked in Ukraine because she performed in occupied Crimea. Is this part of why she scored badly? 
Rick, 15th May 2023, 15:03
Okay, yup. The creepy one was Siobhan. I had them back to front (for the past 30 years), thought Marcella was the creepy one...
David Pilling, 15th May 2023, 15:26
Occupied Crimea, place to go for your holidays, not this year though. 
 
I have discovered that when BBC iPlayer goes wrong it is in my case due to mains/electrical interference from a domestic appliance - put it another way BT Internet throws up an error screen. Not suggesting this helps, but who would have guessed. 

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