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Eurovision 2024 Grand Final

I was watching the Weakest Link Eurovision Special and... wow... they're not so bright. In one round, Sonia got every question wrong, Cheryl answered that the captain of the England cricket team was Prince William. ☺

Afterwards, two episodes of Doctor Who. The first episode had space babies, and the lovely Eric-baby who constantly looked like he'd rather be literally anywhere else... and the second episode which was set in the sixties around the Beatles and is best described using the phrase "What the actual füçX?!?".

 

Now it is time for an enormous song contest, stretching from 8pm (UK time) until nearly midnight (if it doesn't overrun). For me that means a four hour slog from 9pm until 1am. I'm so going to need sugar to keep my brain functioning through it all.

A sugar rush
A sugar rush...
This will be helped by six raspberry doughnuts and a pack of marshmallow teacakes from Lidl.

Normally, the Grand Final is affected by thunderstorms. There are no thunderstorms forecast today, instead we have the sun farting. A quick shout-out to my friends near Manchester, Blackpool, and Inverness. I hope you guys got the opportunity to go out back and look up.

Introduction

Straight to the EBU logo sequence with no annoying pre-narration, and then a woman walking through what looks like a palace.
Yup, it's Princess Stephanie Victoria of Sweden, didn't quite catch the title.

Haha! The BBC announcer's microphones weren't working. Then Graeme Norton kicks in loudly, so I guess he reached over and pushed the plug in all the way.

Nine thousand people in the arena. Nine thousand people packed in beside each other. It'll only take one with Covid...

Now it is somebody singing the Ally McBeal dancing baby song. Or to put it in better words, Björn Skifs with "Hooked on a feeling".

 

Flag parade

Now all the contestants coming out in play order with their flags, because tonight isn't going to be long enough. They are walking out to a medley of Swedish pop songs half of which sound vaguely Abba-ish. Sadly not "Come on Barbie Let's Go Party" because... weren't they Danish? It's pointless asking me famous Swedish groups, because that comes to mind for me is Sabaton, Therion, Amaranthe, Opeth, and Hammerfall... Can you spot a trend here? ☺
(and those in my playlist that aren't Swedish are probably Finnish)

 

The hosts are dressed almost dressed normally. And poor Malin taking it nicely when she gets a few cheers but Petra gets an instant ovation.

 

A brief recap of 67 years of Eurovision that was about ten seconds of people yelling. Swedish humour, right? Also... Are you insane? Have you lived under a rock?

 

Tonight, in yet another fiddling with the voting process, you can now vote right from the start of the broadcast.

 

1. Sweden "Unforgettable" (Markus and Martinez)

The host country opens and it is Norwegian twins representing Sweden. So that'll be douze pwah from Norway, yes?
How does this happen anyway? Did they wander over the border by accident and Sweden was like "hey, you, we can't enter Loreen a third time..."?
Why am I talking so much about random rubbish? Well, because she might be unforgettable but this song, ugh, annoying boy band vocals.

 

2. Ukraine "Teresa & Maria" (Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil)

The dark haired woman walking up the rock that can sing is Jerry. The rapper is Alyona2. Let's face it, the first minute and a half is brilliant. Then the rapping starts.
There are some pretty amazing visuals of the dark haired woman, channeling Boadicea, Mary Magdelene, and a dash of Marianne.
This one is slowly growing on me.

 

3. Germany "Always On The Run" (Isaak)

My inner pyromaniac is like "oh hell yeah!". The staging is impressive, and I can't imagine the health and safety implications of setting all that stuff on fire. Maybe the guy hopes he'll be in Rammstein when he grows up? The song itself is... yeah, okay, run away now will you.

 

4. Luxembourg "Fighter" (Tali)

After thirty one years, Luxembourg is back. Twin pigtails but not quite Dekomori. I can't help but think that a song saying "You're a fighter" might need more powerful vocals. Anybody who thinks you just can't own a microphone when singing in French, just wait...

 

5. Netherlands "Europapa" (Joost Klein)

It would appear that Joost was involved in an incident involving a female member of the production team, who has filed a complaint with the police. As a result of this, the Dutch entry has been disqualified.

Now, I don't know about you, but I think they ought to open the slot to the 11th entry from the relevant semi-final. This could have offered a shot to Czechia or Armenia or whoever.

 

I'm already out of doughnuts.

 

6. Israel "Hurricane" (Eden Golan)

Warm up the anti-boo filters. Sure, maybe you're annoyed that Israel is in the contest, but note two things - Eden isn't responsible for her country's disastrous treatment of Palestine; and it's especially worth noting that the viewer vote put her into the Grand Final.
Less wobbly vocals this time. I think I caught some booing at the start, but it seems that the auditorium audio was faded down about a third of the way into the song. Good, because not only must it be hard to perform to booing, but it's actually a kind of a good song, all set beside the mini-stargate.

Norton said the song is tipped to do well. Well, wouldn't it be ironic if Israel won it?

 

7. Lithuania "Luktelk" (Silvester Belt)

Okay, here is the red-only / blue-only (red oni, blue oni?) song. The staging is interesting, but sorry, this just doesn't do anything for me. At least I can say the bass sounds a lot better with the music coming out of large speakers.
Oh, okay, I guess I ought to make reference to his nose shield. <shrug>

 

While lesser broadcasters try to flog junk, the hosts talk about the first time Sweden hosted, Karin Falck ad-libbing through all sorts of technical glitches, and then they cut to an interview with the 92 year old Karin.

 

8. Spain "Zorra" (Nebulossa)

Oh, yes, it's Joanna Lumley and the keytar and the guys dressed... in a way that you'd only get away with on a Eurovision stage. This song is kinda naff but seems to be quite popular in the crowd. And now the guys have undergone a costume change and we're getting plenty of close-ups. I guess it makes a change for the sex shot to be of guys... who are wearing the same things as the girls. Speaking of which, I can imagine more conservative viewers fielding some interesting questions from their children... ☺

 

9. Estonia "(Nedest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi" (5miinust and Puuluup)

Oh, I remember Ranjdad (which I probably didn't spell that correctly). Talking of spelling, it's the rapping granddads. How the hell did this pass the semi final?
I wonder how many international viewers are thinking of switching off after deciding Europeans are nuts? Well, just you wait until Ireland. This part of the contest is the perfect trifecta of esclation to demonstrate that Europe is, indeed, batshit.

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Oh, such deep and meaningful lyric writing.

My god, that was bloody awful.

 

10. Ireland "Doomsday Blue" (Bambie Thug)

You think of Ireland, you think Johnny Logan. You think Riverdance. You think Niamh Kavanagh, somebody from Anùna, and maybe a bit of Jedward that we'd all rather forget.

You wouldn't think of a witch dancing with some sort of demon and switching effortlessly between ballad and straight up industrial screaming. It's a jarring contrast but somehow it just works.
This is extremely well performed, with the same sort of manic energy that Lordi brought all those years ago, and it's about as far from anything you'd think as being Irish. Cool.

 

11. Latvia "Hollow" (Dons)

It's the guy with the blue superhero suit singing the ballad from inside a giant hula hoop. Is having a hoop on stage a thing this year? Well performed, just like in the semi, but it is perhaps a little too serious to do well? I mean, when you put this next to Spain it's like comparing apples and llamas.

 

12. Greece "Zari" (Marina Satti)

I don't recall... oh, I can see her now in the postcard, this is the Ariana-Tiktok song isn't it? Yup, we even begin with portrait footage (ugh). This song is annoying. And with the big speakers I can hear all the "duh! duh! duh!" vocals, which makes it doubly annoying. And her outfit? Triply annoying. Is this what young people listen to these days? Makes me proud to have been a child in the eighties.

 

13. The United Kingdom "Dizzy" (Olly Alexander)

Norton suggests that this might be the best staging that the UK has ever done.
<crash cut>
Some athletic guys making out in a public shower that defies gravity. Yes, clever staging, but it's extremely clear that they're aiming hard for the gay vote. Maybe that's considered easier than writing a halfway decent song? This is no Sam Ryder. Will the UK regain it's habitual position at the wrong end of the scoreboard? Let's put it like this, if you guys manage to do worse than Estonia...

 

This is the halfway point, so I have stopped and restarted the video. This will help break the recording into sections. It also means the timer at the top of the screen won't tell me how long the programme has been running for.

A quick cringey segment with Lynda Woodruff, the "EBU Spokesperson". It's actually a Swede called Sarah who is able to put on a bloody good Estuary English accent. Part of the gag is her misprouncing things, and being completely unable to say "Azerbaijan".

 

14. Norway "Ulveham" (Gâte)

Okay, here's my favourite. Oh, nice bass here. Hang on, let me go turn this up. It's not like I have neighbours.
Oh, yes. The girl on the rotating platform (with a rock) belting it while the guitarists overact in a way that wouldn't be possible if they were actually playing those instruments.
Epic build, epic guitar toss... even if it sounds like she's yelling "Baku!" over and over. Brilliant!

 

15. Italy "La noia" (Angelina Mango)

This just doesn't seem Italian to me, you know? The song is meh and the staging is like it's trying to be Spain and failing embarrassingly. Oh, good grief, the dancing dancers are lining up behind her to do the hands thing. That's almost as discredited as the wind machine.

 

16. Serbia "Ramonda" (Teya Dora)

Here's the third rock from the sun of the night, and it's the cute not-quite-gothy girl singing about the end of the first world war. So, yeah, your typical Eurovision pop ballad, right?
I like this. As a person with extremely limited emotional range, I experience most of my emotions through listening to music, and this is dark and deep and satisfying.

 

17. Finland "No Rules!" (Windows95man)

No rules? No comment!
Weird Al gets his kit out... well, there's a flesh covered patch just in case. This comically includes members of the production team to pretend to cover up. This is just incredibly dumb and incredibly "let's not take Eurovision even remotely seriously". Quite a jarring contrast compared to the previous song. That was so dumb. Speaking of which, d'you think these are two students that submitted the dumbest concept possible like to troll the national selection and... somehow ended up as the national selection?

 

18. Portugal "Grito" (Iolanda)

It's the black and white song with the strange staging.
Wait - those cubes above the stage, they have OLED screens that you can see through (when they aren't lit)?
I wonder what this song is actually about, like why does it start and end with a square picture?

 

19. Armenia "Jako" (Ladaniva)

Oh, this catchy nonsense. This is amusing, and of course obligatory ethnic instruments. A great call and response, and I'm guessing I probably don't need to learn much Armenian to be able to sing this. She's very bouncy, isn't she?

 

20. Cyprus "Liar" (Silia Kapsis)

Thirty nine times they've entered without winning. Even less luck than the UK, unless we're talking football. I said last time that the vocal fry and dance routine reminded me of an early Britney Spears. Just a shame that they forgot to turn the lights on for a lot of the performance.

 

21. Switzerland "The Code" (Nemo)

Oh, it's our nemo with the guy riding a satellite dish singing a nerdy song. This is so over the top it crosses the line so many times you lose track. So just give a thumb up for what might be one of the most energetic performances of the night. As for breaking the code, oh dear, Oflaoflaoflaofla!

 

To waste some time... Malin talking to her mother in law doing Eurovision choreography. Is Malin nervous talking to her mother in law? She's mucking up reading the autocue, followed by "you know this is live TV, right?".

Petra is trying to promote the 576p official Eurovision DVD. Why? Why when one can download 1080p from Youtube?

 

22. Slovenia "Veronika" (Raiven)

I liked the Slovenian song Sebi (2019). This? Let's start with the performers getting dressed, eh? Sometimes it's sexier leaving something to the imagination. Even worse, I think I remember the semi-final announcer saying this was about female empowerment. Because nothing screams feminism more than blatantly appealing to the male gaze while screeching like a dinosaur in severe agony.

 

23. Croatia "Rim Tim Tagi Dim" (Baby Lasagna)

Baby lasagna... eating pizza. Adam Ant's clone really goes all in with this. Apparently it's a potential winner. Um.
There's no going back, my anxiety attacks? Unfortunately while I am dumping the entire transport stream to hardisc, I'm not able to record and have subtitles on screen, so for some of these songs I have no idea what the hell they're on about. Still a great banger, this one.

 

24. Georgia "Firefighter" (Nutsa Buzaladze)

She has a graphic of a burning hoop on the backdrop, couldn't afford to bring a real stargate?
Did she just say "I'm going through his ashes like a firefighter"? If so, eww.
Good vocals though much shouting, and interesting staging, just a bit of a naff song. It's a bit of a mess, isn't it?

 

25. France "Mon amour" (Slimane)

Slimane, wearing a teabag, is a huge pop star in France. Even I've heard of him and I hardly listen to French music because it doesn't turn up in the stations I listen to. There's no shortage of symphonic metal in German. French? Nothing comes to mind.

While I listen to this, I'll copy-paste what I wrote for the semi-final:
There's a certain sort of French song that takes the idea of ballad up to eleven. He's basically channelling his inner Céline Dion here.
And just to ram the point home, he walks like three metres back from the microphone and absolutely belts it. (edit: And this one? Damn!)
That's... actually quite an impressive entry for France. Yes, it's very predictably like almost every other French song (Barbara Pravi, anyone?), but when you get it performed as well as this... I can see the juries rating this highly.

 

26. Austria "We Will Rave" (Kaleen)

Finally we reach the last song of the night. Thank god. And it's "we will rave" which means... pee break.
(no, not a fan of this)

 

Time to stop and restart the recording so part three will be the interval acts. I wonder how many gigabytes this has already burned through. Who would have thought you'd be able to pump that much data from a satellite? Back when I was young we had telesoftware that came as gibberish via teletext that took ages to download a tiny program.

 

Here's a recap, and one of the Ukraine team was wearing a shirt that said "FREE ZVODSKA DEFENDERS" (or something like that). Oops. Politics...

Here are my top ten, with my favourite first.

  • Serbia - ramonda.
  • Ireland - the witch.
  • Norway - dark and moody rock.
  • France - Oh l'amour! [what's a boy not supposed to do?]
  • Israel - and the stargate.
  • Armenia - lay la lay la laylala lay la.
  • Croatia - rim tim diggy diggy hole.
  • Switzerland - clearly not just us Scots that can wear skirts.
  • Ukraine - rapping Boadicea.
  • Latvia - blue superhero guy.

Who would I like to win? Well, honestly, any of my top five would be fine. They are all so different that it isn't really possible to say one over another.
Who is likely to win? Croatia or Finland.
Switzerland is liable to be a dark horse entry.

Who do I think will be last? If it isn't Estonia then there's no logic left in the world. I just fear it'll be one of the nicer songs that just didn't click like, say, Serbia. I hope not, that was a nice song.

 

Interval act 1

Who the hell are Alcazar? Isn't that a prison on an island in San Francisco? And why are they singing disco? All for a massive gag in order to attempt to get Abba properly together for the first time since forever. What we actually have are the "Abbatars", some AI generated Abba performers. And, yeah, they're quite hard into uncanny valley aren't they.

Well, come on, how could Sweden host Eurovision without rather a blatant reference to the group that started it. Carola, the woman with too much plastic surgery, and Conchita Wurst being better dressed than both the woman, are belting out Waterloo.
Yeah, guys, why d'you think the UK jury gave it zero points? Hint - remember what Waterloo was.

 

A recap, and I love how the snippet of Ireland's entry is just Bambie screaming a single note, like something right out of Aphix Twin.

A quick recap of Junior Eurovision, that France hosted and won again. I guess I ought to watch it... now that the winner has been spoiled. ☺

 

Over to the green room to waste more time. Did Norton just say Joanna Lumley was announcing for the UK? And then we cut to Petra sitting next to Spain's Joanna Lumley.

Petra has her own postcards. And, of course, stuff goes wrong.

 

Interval act 2

Loreen performing. You knew this was coming, right. Just a shame we had to go through all the Abbaesque nonsense to get there.
Interesting staging. Must have taken quite a while to set up.
I like how she can sit on a chair and make a minute-long musical intro seem captivating.
Is she channelling her inner Björk here?

It takes a certain something to do a performance like that while strapped to a chair. And note that there's no leg or back support. She's able to do that and sing, and turn the drama up to eleven... while never leaving her chair.
That's a pretty unique performance, and a touch of Ghost In The Shell vibes there too.

 

Another recap, this time they're running the recap backwards. Oh, here comes Ireland. Ready? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgh! ☺☺☺

 

Now they're counting down for the televote ending. Sorry Vince, I didn't vote for anybody. Let me guess, you liked Ireland, right? I'm not watching the French broadcast, I don't even know if I'm able to do so, so I don't know what the phone numbers are. But, you know, I'm stuck on whether I'd have voted for Serbia or Ireland. Come to think of it, probably Serbia, it was a more meaningful song.

 

The national jury votes

Wait, what? Are they booing Martin? Guys, if you have a problem with the EBU and how the contest is being held, WHY THE HELL ARE YOU THERE?

Ukraine, Jamala, 10 to Ireland and 12 to Switzerland. Oh, nice start.
UK (Joanna holding a glass of wine, how AbFab) gave 10 to Switzerland, and 12 to Portugal. Oh!
Luxembourg with 10 to France and 12 to Switzerland.
Azerbaijan with 10 to Ireland and another 12 to Switzerland? Yes, another 12.
San Marino with their 10 to Italy and their 12 to Switzerland.
Malta gave their 10 to Croatia, and 12 to Switzerland. Damn, nemo has five of the last six 12s.
Croatia now, with 10 to Slovenia, and 12 to Portugal. Another 12 to Portugal.
Albania offers 10 to Italy, which is in third place (huh?), with yet another 12 to Switzerland. nemo is cleaning up.
Czechia gives 10 to Switzerland, and their 12 to Ukraine. The first 12 to Ukraine.
Much booing for Israel, who offer 10 to Germany and 12 to Luxembourg.
Australia with 10 for Switzerland, and the first 4 for the UK; and their 12 to Ireland - her first 12.
Denmark has 10 for France, and their 12 goes to... Switzerland, pulling further ahead.
Spain what a weird outfit, 10 for Ireland and yet another douze for Switzerland. This guy is cleaning up with the juries.
Norway has 10 for France, and will the 12 be for Ireland or Switzerland? It was obvious, yet another 12 for nemo.
Germany, 10 to France and 12 to Sweden. I'm seeing Estonia is still on zero.
Armenia's turn now, with a 10 to Portugal, and 12 to France.
Slovenia have 10 for Switzerland, 1 for Ireland, so who will get the 12? It's for France.
Georgia, 10 for France, and yet another on a big stack of 12s for Switzerland.
Switzerland can't give themselves points, so 10 to Ireland and their 12 go to Greece...? What? Okay...
Moldova with a 10 for Italy and their 12 to Ukraine. Just a touch of politics, eh?

Halfway through. Switzerland with 184, France on 113, and Italy at 102. Just below, Ireland is in 4th at 96.
The UK has nine points. Estonia, a big fat zero.
A quick talk to Nemo, and he's amassed ten douze. Then a quick chat with France.
Wasting time, probably for an advert break.

Back to the results. Greece has 10 for Cyprus (surprised it's not a 12!), and their 12 is yet another for Switzerland. The Greek girl ran over to give him a hug? ☺
Estonia, still with nothing, offer 10 to Ukraine and yet another 12 to Switzerland.
MUCH BOOING as Netherlands offer 12 to Switzerland. They chose not to appear in the jury vote so Martin presented it and, oh well. No idea where the 10 went.
Austria with 10 to Italy and the first 2 to Estonia. 12 to.. guess who. It's Switzerland.
France now, Natasha St. Pierre. Isn't she a canuck? 10 to Ukraine and 12 to Portugal.
Italy with 10 to Ireland and... come on, you know where the 12 went. I note Norway only got 8. Come on! Also getting screwed by the juries is Serbia.
Finland with 10 for Croatia and another 12 to try to get Switzerland to approach double the second place France.
Portugal with 10 to Ireland, and guess who got 12? Go on, guess...
Belgium with only 10 for Switzerland, I am guessing France? Yes, France.
Iceland give 10 to Croatia, and another 12 to France.
Latvia offer 10 to France and their 12 goes to... the guy on the dish to push him up to 301.
Ireland offer 10 to Sweden, and yet another 12 to push Switzerland even further ahead.
Poland have 10 for Ukraine, and... drum roll... come on, you know who's cleaning up the points.
Cyprus will have how many for Greece, nope, only 7? 10 to France and 12 to... Croatia!
Lithuania give 10 to Croatia, and 12... go on, guess.
Serbia now. Kontrakta isn't it? 10 to Switzerland, and 12 to Croatia. Just a tiny bit political no?
The final votes of the night. Sweden. Offering 10 to Croatia, it's the final 12 for Switzerland, taking his lead up to 365 points. Second place is France with 218. Then Croatia with 210. Then Italy with 164 Ireland is 6th with 142.

But, hang on, while Nemo has stormed through the jury votes, there's still the televote that can mess with everything.

 

The televote

Now with "the rest of the world vote" from over 100 countries. Talk about a global event.

Starting with the lowest scoring country...

Estonia gets 33 points.
Finland gets 31 points. Whoa, that's unexpected.
Norway, slaughtered, a mere 4 points. Sadly they will be last. Bugger.
Slovenia, 12 points.
Georgia, 19 points.
Austria, 5 points.
Spain, 11.
Serbia, 32 points - harsh.
Lithuania, 58 points.
Cyprus, 44 points.
Latvia, 28 points.
Greece, 85 points.
United Kingdom, ZERO! Oh wow. Even Estonia got points. I can imagine the Daily Mail headline already.
Israel, 323 points. Temporarily putting them into the lead.
Luxembourg, 20 points.
Germany, 18 points.
Armenia, 82 points.
Sweden, 49 points.
Portugal, 13 points.
Ireland, 136 points. Big but not a winner.
Ukraine, 307 points. A huge jump. Still some global love for Ukraine.
Italy, 104 points.
Croatia, 337 points. Leapfrogging Ukraine.
France, 227 points. Not a winner but good.
Finally Switzerland. Will they or won't they? He needs 183, he got... two hundred and I have no idea what she said after with all the cheering. Doesn't matter, Switzerland won, Nemo won. And a big soppy kiss from Bambie Thug.

 

The UK televote gave 10 to Ireland, and 12 to Israel. And the final result is Switzerland with something like 591. Didn't quite hit six hundred, but all those 12s from the juries and he blew everything and everyone away.

 

It's depressing that Norway did so badly. It's comic that the UK got zero (the only zero of the night). Israel, France, and Ireland all did well. And Switzerland? A worthy winner.

 

Switzerland wins!

After the emotional yoyo, he's supposed to sing his song... this time without the dish. Looks like he's leading the audience in a singalong. Cool.
Who's the audience member dressed like an alien? Haha.

Did he just... yup... he broke the trophy! Oh, oops! Well, that's what they invented superglue for!

 

The contest ran only four minutes over time. Not bad for a live broadcast. And this is it, the end for another year.

It's off to bed for me, and same time same place a year from now.

 

 

Your comments:

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David Pilling, 12th May 2024, 02:59
I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights, probly my best chance now, but too much man made light here. I would have had to go out into the countryside. 
 
Nemo is non-binary, chance to use 'they'. 
 
Always thought null point was the nadir, but now know they can be given a red card. 
 
Israel did a lot better than the armchair experts expected - people not voting on political lines. 
 
Rick, 12th May 2024, 10:03
I feel as if we need a new pronoun for people who reject the usual two genders. 
It just seems peculiar to use a plural word to refer to a singular person. 
 
As for Israel's success, armchair "experts" or a load of people who were willing to revert back to the old trope of antisemitism? It's easy to hate, just look at what once was called Twitter...
A tree-dwelling mammal, 12th May 2024, 10:34
And fortunately normal service will be resumed next week. 
 
Not only was Casualty not shown last night (even though Charlie retired a month or so ago) but the alternative choice of Sounds Of The 80s on Radio 2 with Gary Davies (woo Gary Davies on your radio!) was also cut. 
 
Pronoun for people who reject two genders? I can think of a few. "Attention whore". Or "special snowflake". 
 
Sorry, but things have just gone crazy. Especially when you have "people with penises" (and yes, someone actually used that phrase to me in a conversation) identifying as female so they can gain access to female 'safe spaces' (in other words claim to be female so they can use the women's bathroom to satisfy prurient interests). 
 
[/rant]
Rick, 12th May 2024, 11:16
You know, whenever people whinge about the *three* days that there are a few smallish adjustments (equalling about 8-9 hours in total) to the schedule, I like to remind them of how much scheduling time is mucked around for football, and then replays of the football, and then commentary on the replays of the football. 
Or, coming Real Soon Now, the complete schedule slaughter for an international sporting event that is, arguably these days, smaller than Eurovision. ;) 
Rick, 12th May 2024, 11:20
I heard "people with uteruses" to refer to what was once known as "a woman". I think this was JK Rowling's point, and it's nice to see some degree of common sense coming back into the play these days. 
I think the only viable solution is to have "Male" toilets (for XY chromosotes), "Female" toilets (for the X-only crowd), and then an "Other" toilet for those who look down, see a penis, and ask "Am I a girl?". 
The solution, as you point out, should NEVER be to permit a biological male into what is supposed to be a female safe space. 
Or, as the SNP had to deal with, trying to work out whether it was acceptable to put a former *rapist* who had transitioned to female in a female-only prison "because rights". What?!? There's taking the piss and then there's that... 
 
However, having said that, it's not particularly relevant to a Eurovision review, so maybe comments on gender are best dropped in an article more appropriate. Perhaps 2017/09/09, 2022/03/28...
Rick, 12th May 2024, 11:25
I just renamed the recording files and tallied them up. 
Part 1 - Intro and first half of songs - 1h12m, 3199MB 
Part 2 - Second half of songs - 1h03m, 2672.1MB 
Page 3 - Interval and voting - 1h40m, 4154.9MB 
Total: 4h16m, 10026MB. 
 
Thanks to people wanting to redefine what "gigabyte" meant several decades too late, it isn't ever entirely clear what "MB" actually means these days... so I'll say "about ten gigabytes" and leave it at that. 
A tree-dwelling mammal, 12th May 2024, 13:17
Oh, I make a lot more noise about sporting events. I recall one day back in the 90s (before Channel 5 launched) that we had men's tennis on BBC1, women's tennis on BBC2, football on ITV and horse racing on Channel 4. I think I may have grabbed a VHS video of something and put that on instead. 
 
I do wonder why I still pay for a TV licence. At one point, the only broadcast TV I watched was Casualty and Top Gear (and since the Top Gear hot food incident in 2015 that's just Casualty now). 
 
JK Rowling got 'cancelled' by the wokerati for questioning whether 'people who menstruate' should be called 'women'. (Menopause notwithstanding, of course.) 
 
Rick - I still remember a comment you once made back in the days of Fidonet (Fight-o-net?) about 'us humanoids with the pokey-outey at waist level'. Can't recall the context, but it's one of the greatest descriptions I've ever heard to refer to the male of the species. 
 
Anyway, here's a challenge for you to keep things vaguely on-topic. Write something that grabs video frames (from a Eurovision recording, for example) then renders them to ASCII art. 
 
No, better still, renders them to a Teletext character set, at 25fps. Then streams them out over Econet to a BBC Micro. (I'd let you use a BBC Master for this as it's slightly quicker.)
A tree-dwelling mammal, 12th May 2024, 13:28
Apologies for the double-posting - Rick, feel free to remove this if it's too controversial (or convert to a link if it isn't), but it follows on from your earlier comment: 
 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-65549530 
 
Di sclaimer - I'm less than impartial as I know the victim in this case. Not going to say anything more in case I accidentally say something that gives a clue that may lead to her identity becoming known by anyone who's trawling obscure blog posts and comments sections.
Rick, 12th May 2024, 17:19
Regarding the challenge... I'll pass. I can think of how do do it - sample down to the desired resolution (say 80x24), work out the 'intensity' of the block and what character it would require to have a similar sort of intensity. There's an app on Android that does exactly this sort of thing in realtime from the camera. I included a capture from it on 2018/03/10. 
 
On my setup, either Windows XP on a clunky old box with VisualBasic 5, or RISC OS on a Pi... it'll be a huge pain in the arse to get as far as having any useable video data. So, nah, it's a hard pass. 
jgh, 12th May 2024, 19:19
Watching Dr Who it turned into a "what on *earth* am I watching?" 
 
I've been thinking for some time that there's a "problem" with the modern format of Dr Who. 45 minutes isn't enough time for a proper rounded story. You've spent 10/15 minutes setting things up, and 10 minutes concluding everything, you then don't have any time to actually get to any meat. 
 
In the old day, 4 x 25 minutes or 6 x 25 minutes gave the time for a proper introduction, conflict, exploration, solution, resolution. Stargate and Star Trek manage it in 45 minutes, why can't Dr Who? 
Rick, 12th May 2024, 19:37
Star Trek: 
 
Something shows up on scanners. 
The away party investigates. 
It is more complicated than it appears. 
All hell breaks loose. 
The only way out of this deadly situation is to jettison the dilithium core. 
Once done, panic over, job well done. 
 
Just don't mention the *hundreds* of dumped dilithium cores floating around in space (or ask where the replacements come from). 
Rick, 12th May 2024, 19:41
Earlier Star Trek, before they had technobabble to rival their British time lord rival, instead just tended to opt for a nice friendly reset button. And the episodes would have been a lot shorter if the damn transporter gizmo didn't malfunction quite as often.
Rob, 12th May 2024, 21:15
I'm sure real-time-video-to-teletext transcoding has been done. I think they used a raspberry pi to generate the stream for display on a bog standard telly.  
 
Only caught the end of dr who while waiting for the final, with sound off, and it was "WTF?" 
 
Had to watch it all in SD.. BBC 1 HD kept giving me No Signal, despite being fine in the semis. I rarely watch broadcast telly.  
 
 
Gender.. As daughter has a couple of enby friends, I see it more as trying to step away from gender stereotyping. I struggle a bit more with understanding somebody deciding they are trans, but realise that's probably my upbringing. In any case, accommodating a person by using the pronouns they've requested when referring to them is a minor thing, not to mention being good manners.
VinceH, 12th May 2024, 21:19
I properly LOLed at this - with emphasis on the second L: 
 
"Sorry Vince, I didn't vote for anybody. Let me guess, you liked Ireland, right?" 
 
I did indeed - so you rightly guessed my favourite, and you obviously rightly guessed that I issued an instruction on Twitter that everyone should vote for them. :) 
 
(But, um, I don't vote either.) 
 
A few other comparable observations on some of the acts as well, by the looks of it.
Rick, 12th May 2024, 23:47
Here's what really happened during the Israeli entry, not the fake crowd noises they patched in. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k1CxC3VpMo
David Pilling, 13th May 2024, 01:11
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/32987103/image-to-ascii-art-conversion 
 
https://www.asciiart.eu/image-to-ascii 
 
https://manytools.org/hacker-tools/convert-images-to-ascii-art/ 
 
Rob, 13th May 2024, 09:51
https://nitter.privacydev.net/bbcmicrobot/status/1304667551268401152?s=20
David Pilling, 13th May 2024, 12:37
Hey Rob - 'Invalid tweet ID'
jgh, 13th May 2024, 14:06
David: remove the erroneous space in the URL.
Rick, 13th May 2024, 15:18
The space insertion is from way back when, when it was necessary to break up long lines to stop the formatting from getting messed up (as often happens over at ROOL with code posted). 
 
I'll have to check to see if it still happens, and if not I can comment out that bit of code...
David Pilling, 13th May 2024, 16:28
"remove the erroneous space in the URL" - I looked and looked and looked. Guess Rick fixed it because the URL now works. 
 
Wow, someone actually did it, MODE 7 graphics. Rick ASCII <smirk. <smirk>. 
 
We didn't have it back then. MODE 7 has graphics built in. Used to see pictures back then. 
 

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