- Songs 1-7: Bulgaria / Israel / Cyprus / Belarus / Iceland / Georgia / Montenegro
- Songs 8-14: Switzerland / Moldova / Netherlands / Albania / Denmark / Croatia / Poland
- Songs 15-20: Serbia / Czech Rep. / Portugal / FYR Macedonia / Norway / Malta / Andorra
- Songs 21-28: Hungary / Estonia / Belgium / Slovenia / Turkey / Austria / Latvia
- Get ready for voting / My picks
- Preview of songs in the final
- Results of the televote
- The actual televote results
You may see MP3 markers, such as that shown to the left. This means that, upon the second viewing of the competition (on videotape), I sampled the song into the computer and MP3'd it. Essentially this means I liked the song... MP3s of the songs are not available from this site.
We quickly begin with a dance routine to accordion which takes us from winter to summer.
We now meet our hosts for the evening, Jaana Pelkonen (left) and Mikko Leppilampi (right).
Without any further procrastination, the songs...
I received an email regarding this review:
Look, you have made an awfully stupid comment that only points at your ignorance and bad education about the world. This is not Aboriginal music, it is Bulgarian folk. It is not a "warbly vocal effect", but the the well-known Kehlkopfgesang.
You're right. I figured it may have been a folky sort of music, however I have indeed never heard of "Kehlkopfgesang". I have a suspicion that quite a number of readers who do not have in-depth knowledge of the Balkans, perhaps Bulgaria in particular, would not have known that either. Why do I say this? Well, I just typed "Kehlkopfgesang" into Microsoft Encarta 2000 World Encyclopaedia (the best information source I have here, I don't have Internet at home) - I'm sure you can guess the response...
It did have a sample of traditional Bulgarian folk ("More, Zazheni Se Gyuro" by Trio Bulgarka), which sounded a lot like this entry, including an "eeh!" bit at the end; only without the 'warbling'.
The email goes on to say "[...] if the music is Aboriginal, which to your racist mind should be considered equal to bad,[...]". Please note that I am not being racist. I did not like this song much, and the closest I could think of to describe it was to say it sounded like Aboriginal music. That isn't to say Aboriginal music is bad, it's the closest approximation to something I have heard, and possibly may be more widely known in the world than Bulgarian traditional music.
And anyway, how dare you call me "racist" because you misread what I wrote and figured I think Aboriginal music is "equal to bad". So what if I had thought that? I don't like rap, does that mean I'm racist? I don't like most jazz, and that plinky-plonky smoochy music drives me nuts.
Let's look at it another way around... Aboriginals, rappers, jazzers, and smoochy-bar players would probably say "ugh!" to a lot of the stuff that I listen to and enjoy. Would that make them racist? Of course not! It's just different people with different tastes. And for what it is worth, I happen to think Aboriginal music, done correctly, can be very powerful and evocative.
Anyway, today's lesson kiddies, is that the Bulgarian entry was a type of traditional folk music given a techno remix, and the name you'll want to drop into Google or Wiki is "Kehlkopfgesang".
As usual, in between the songs we have the traditional "postcards" of the host country. Here is how to snowboard with a reindeer. Wow!
The postcard now is Hayley Westenra and a Sami (okay, not quite...).
After the song finished, it sounded like Sarah Cawood said "Sorry, but that was a f##king horror show." Did I hear that correctly, at 20h51 UK time???
LATER: I have been contacted by a number of people who have said things akin to "no, she really said "that was a frocky horra show" but you misheard because of her accent". I'd like to believe that, if it wasn't so very close sounding to that which I thought I heard in the beginning! Whatever - you can make your own mind up from the following recording:
Just download the passworded Zip file, extract the MP3 of the commentary snippet, and listen for yourself.
The password is "i want to hear this" (all lower case). I apologise in advance for this peculiar measure, but given what it appears she is saying, I don't want any emails saying "my kids stumbled upon this by accident", so I am making it that you have to interactively want to listen...
She gets cute points though, and as she's a good performer she would have had a better song without the male rapper.
The Czech song contains the obligatory shades-worn-indoors, weird shaped electric guitars, and features a lead singer that only seemed capable of shouting his entire song. It sounded horrible. This is the first song from the Czech Republic.
A quick pause for sucky-channel-advert-break, so we BBC viewers chat to DJ Bobo.
YES YES YES! Sarah Cawood said they set up a band in the style of their idols, Blink182 and Sum41. Woo-hoo, I called that exactly correctly. Actually, that's kinda sad, isn't it? ☺
This song is the official anthem for AIDs awareness in Austria. That would explain the red-knot-ribbon.
[thanks Moray, for pointing that out]
I liked Moldova too, but there are only ten places...
1 The Netherlands On top of the world 2 Malta Another power ballad 3 Serbia Androgynous power ballad 4 Portugal Lovely simple stylish song 5 Slovenia Gothic opera 6 Switzerland Vampires are alive 7 Georgia Sherilyn Fenn 8 Hungary Unpretentious blues 10 Cyprus Rock comme ca 12 Latvia Il Divo stand asideHaving watched the entire contest again, mainly to get the names of who sings each songs, I would alter the above list to drop Cyprus down to maybe 5th place, and put Serbia in 2nd place. The list would remain unaltered asides from that.
For the third edit, it'd be the same ten songs, but rearranged again - Cyprus back up, Slovenia up, Hungary down a few. Serbia would remain in 2nd place.
So as you can see, while I generally like the same ten songs, the ordering depends a lot upon my caprices. Perhaps at three in the morning as I'm trying to get the document ready for the following day's upload, a bit of blues sounds perfect. Now, it is earlier, so some rock and "popera" (though Alenka transcends "pop opera") are more to my liking. In any case, same ten songs, don't take most of the ordering as fixed as I'll change my mind again tomorrow... ☺
Top three most disliked.
• Denmark Dame Edna was last decade • Austria yuck yuck yuck! • Czech Republic constant shouting
As the vote comes to an end, the hosts quickly plug the CD and DVD...
We then talk to Scooch, the Brit entry. They will be wearing blue, the bright pink (how camp is that!) is for some of their local performances.
Bosnia Maybe Spain Funky, but nah Ireland Yay, this sounds okay - I want an MP3 of it! Finland Not bad, from the preview Lithuania Nope Greece Nope Sweden Uh, no... France I like this one but I'm afraid it may be lost on many Russia Tatu reborn, with another member? Germany Don't think so Ukraine No, and it's freakier than Elton John UK Of course not! We might have stood a chance with Cyndi Romania Nope! Armenia No
So here are the results of the European vote. The number in the caption is the position where the song will appear in the grand final.
In other words...
Belarus The sticky girls Slovenia Gothic opera, I expected this to get through Georgia Sherilyn Fenn - well done Georgia! Serbia The androgynous girl - good choice Turkey Shaken, not stirred... F.Y.R. Macedonia The bouncing ballerina Hungary The blues - I expected this to get through Latvia If this hadn't gone though, I'd have given up watching! Bulgaria What the...? Are you taking the ####?!?! Moldova Leather and violins
|298 ... 1 ... Serbia|
224 ... 2 ... Hungary
197 ... 3 ... Turkey
176 ... 4 ... Belarus
168 ... 5 ... Latvia
146 ... 6 ... Bulgaria
140 ... 7 ... Slovenia
123 ... 8 ... Georgia
97 ... 9 ... F.Y.R. Macedonia
91 ... 10 ... Moldova
88 ... 11 ... Portugal
80 ... 12 ... Andorra
77 ... 13 ... Iceland
75 ... 14 ... Poland
65 ... 15 ... Cyprus
54 ... 16 ... Croatia
49 ... 17 ... Albania
48 ... 18 ... Norway
45 ... 19 ... Denmark
40 ... 20 ... Switzerland
38 ... 21 ... The Netherlands
33 ... 22 ... Montenegro
33 ... = ... Estonia
17 ... 24 ... Israel
15 ... 25 ... Malta
14 ... 26 ... Belgium
4 ... 27 ... Austria
1 ... 28 ... Czech Republic
On the whole I think Europe choose well. While I can imagine Switzerland's vampires being left for the creatures of the night (oh dear, it was a favourite to win!), I think it is disappointing that Cyprus did not figure, and it is a total injustice that Portugal was not in the running - especially given that Bulgaria made the grade.
Terry Wogan (in the commentary of the final) was not backward about coming forward about the "political voting", which seems to be his own pet conspiracy theory.
Perhaps, rather than political, Bulgaria made it through to the final because the large Eastern European contingent would have appreciated this song more?
Wogan also commented that of the number of Western European countries in the semi-final, not one made it to the final - due to it being what one teletext correspondant called the EastEurovision Song Contest.
I am pleased to see that my three most-hated didn't get through, and it was pretty much a given that the rap elements would kill Poland's song stone dead.
I had actually expected Israel to go through, sometimes the voting is weird like that and a bad song (in this case, bad theme) will progress to be royally humiliated. Or perhaps voted for by people who really should get a clue. I refer anybody to LT United in 2006 for an example of the latter. However nobody pushed Israel's buttons. Hasta la vista, ciao-ciao-bye-bye and never heard of again. Like, whatever.
I guess it comes time to see how I call it. From the semi final and the preview, with no further knowledge (no downloaded MP3s, no trawling ESCtoday, etc), I can narrow the list down to:
Essentially, although the five songs I list above are all good in their own ways, I think it will come down to a battle between Latvia and Slovenia; and it is hard to call this, however if I have to, I'd go on the side of Latvia.
However, let's keep an eye on Ireland. It sounded a lovely song from the tiny preview, but a preview isn't a three-minute performance. Things may change on the night.
I think it is safe to say that the United Kingdom won't win. I always say... oh, come on, you know how I rate the UK. ☺ I think if Scooch do pull off a winning song, I'd go get myself in a state of absolute sozzlage... which may be easier said than done, given that I appear to be 'sensitive' (I hesitate to use the word 'allergic' as the medical meaning is different to what many people think it means) to alcohol, and as mom doesn't drink there isn't exactly much to get sozzled with.
Not that I need to stock up on foul-tasting overpriced concoctions such as whiskey or whisky, 'cos the UK won't win. Latvia will...
Other people's thoughts on interactive media
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