Saturday, 18 May 2013

Who's your toilet break?

So in the modern era we tend to just pause the TV...

BUT that's boring. There is always one country we "accidentally" miss by going to "toilet".

This year, looking at the draw, I'm probably gonna find something much more interesting to do for the 3 minutes that Armenia are on. Not that its the worst song, just it fits in nicely - around about halfway, situated between two mega houses (Germany and Netherlands) and it'll probably be quite boring!

That being said, the voting is a long procedure...I'll probably need someone else towards the end to "accidentally" miss, and so guess what? I've chosen my absolute favourite Norway. I mean I've been going on for so long about how much I love that song!

That was British humour by the way. I detest the song from Norway and so will definitely use this as my second "toilet" break.

Hope we have our plans sorted for tonight! The only flag I own is an American flag so that'll have to be waved in replace of a British flag - we did own America at one point so there is a slight connection? Hahaha. Trust a British person to remind everyone of how great we used to be. ANYWAY...

Less than 3 hours to go!!

ESC Nation in Malmö: ESC final: Where's the value?

ESC Nation in Malmö: ESC final: Where's the value?

Fantastic aritcle! Definitely worth checking out! Good Luck!

AAAAH! There are too many contenders...

I've been trying to predict the winner all day! Talking about it with people and hearing their thoughts, putting the songs in order of the final. It is soo difficult this year!

In 2011, the winner was so hard to predict, and in the hours leading up to the final, the odds were changing left right and centre. I think an hour before the final, Azerbaijan shot straight into a comfortable pole position in the odds...

Keep an eye out...

Just heard them in order and Georgia really stood out. Was I wrong about placing them so far low earlier? It is becoming very hard. Denmark probably still have it in the bag though... how boring!

The Big Day has arrived!

No, no, it's not Krista Siegfrid's Wedding! It's the final of the Eurovision Song Contest!

Can you believe we're over for yet another year? After tonight, that's it for another year! It all goes by way too quickly. I shall do my review of the season post-contest but right now it's time to excited for it all to happen!

And excited we are! Who is going to win? Well let's be completely honest, we're all still expecting Denmark to win - even though they are boring the socks off everyone now. Not expecting a runaway though. It would be great to replicate the drama of 1988 or 1993, or 2003, but with so many countries voting that would now be almost impossible! Runaways can be fun though - 2009 and 2012 weren't boring. Last year got all exciting towards the end - "will Loreen steal the record for most points?" was on everyone's lips. But we had that last year. Let's not have that this year please! Don't want to sit through a runaway again. But I do have a sneaky feeling it could just be like 2011 again. Noone really knew who was going to win that. And there have been doubts over whether Denmark'll do it!

So that's enough about first place! Let's select the wooden spoon position. This could end up being much more fun if Denmark do runaway. But for a UK viewer, feeling slightly desperate towards the end because you want just about any country to give you points so you don't finish last, is a completely natural feeling. Cheers to Norway by the way - without Tooji and Stay, I'm pretty sure we would have finished bottom of the heap. SO who will finish last this year? Well I hope I can rule the UK out of that! My contenders for last are Spain, Lithuania, and Hungary. I like the Spanish entry, but I feel it's fairly average and will get lost after the excitement of Finland and the kiss. Lithuania are in second position and we were all shocked they made the final. That doesn't add up well. And then finally there is Hungary. I think they will just get completely lost and forgotten. They sit in between Sweden and Denmark, and then Denmark is followed by an array of strong contenders. I just feel they won't stand out amongst all that and will be forgotten when the votes are counted. However, my prediction for last place is Spain (sorry!).

So what about the rest? Well this is my prediction for this evening:
(no points system, just what I think will end up)

#1 Denmark
#2 Azerbaijan
#3 Greece
#4 Moldova
#5 Norway
#6 Ukraine
#7 Iceland
#8 Germany
#9 Russia
#10 Sweden
#11 Estonia
#12 Finland
#13 Italy
#14 Ireland
#15 Georgia
#16 Malta
#17 Netherlands
#18 France
#19 Armenia
#20 Romania
#21 Belarus
#22 Lithuania
#23 United Kingdom
#24 Belgium
#25 Hungary
#26 Spain

Some slight explanation is needed. I don't think the United Kingdom will finish 23rd, I think we'll do better. But as I explained to a friend the other day, if you set your sights low with the UK in Eurovision, you can never be unhappy. I don't expect the song to set the world on fire, but I expect Bonnie to. Maybe the other way round. See I don't know. The UK could finish anywhere between 6th and 25th (they won't finish last!).

Put Russia 9th. That's interesting seeing as I have always seen the Russian entry as top 3 at least. There's gonna be one entry we weren't expecting to top 10, and even though I rate Iceland, everyone else isn't. I squeezed Estonia into 11th. They were originally 10th, but then Sweden will do a top 10 I reckon. I think Italy will be disappointed, and I believe the Netherlands won't do that greatly - but hey, most Dutch are just ecstatic to reach the final!

And finally Moldova will do an Albania. They will, they will, they will. The song is absolutely stunning, the dress is absolutely stunning, Aliona is absolutely stunning herself, and Pasha is on the piano. Moldovan Perfection.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


So revision has taken a complete backfoot this evening...but for good reasons.

Wasn't the second semi final fantastic? I thought it was so much better than the first! Sorry for being so overly critical of Petra Mede. She seemed to relax a lot more this evening and I thought she was pretty hilarious. Not as hilarious as Scott Mills getting caught in a lift though!!

What do we make of our qualifiers first of all? Were you shocked? People on twitter and facebook seem to be shocked about Armenia and Hungary making it through...really!? It's Armenia and Hungary for goodness sakes. I'll admit, I thought Hungary's performance got completely lost and it didn't stand out, but the song is really really nice and if Malta can do it, why can't the Hungarians? Admittedly Armenia don't have the same in the sense that the song isn't really as good, but come on, you can never be shocked to see Armenia in the finals of the modern era.

Latvia are the only country from the ex-Soviets not to make it through...I'll bet they're feeling pretty embarrassed right now. Lovely entry though, great enthusiasm and energy, and they sold it for me. Better opener than the song we all seemed to have forgotten about (cough Austria cough) but that's probably why they weren't able to qualify...opening spot and all.

Performance of the night? For me it was undoubtedly Iceland! Eg A Lif is a song I never really got. It wasn't bad but I never rated it. Iceland have a strong qualifying record so I saw this in the final, but never really appreciated it until tonight. It was the first real hair raising moment for me and Eythor Igni (is that right? Icelandics help me!) was just fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.
Is anyone thinking back to 2007 and Molitva? I really feel this has the same energy. Molitva is in a league of its own - without a shadow of a doubt one of the greatest songs in the entire history of the contest - but Eg A Lif does remind me of it in a funny way. A beautiful hair raising key change, an absolutely phenomenal vocal, a chorus to sing to yourself later (even if you don't understand what is being sung!) and a performance that doesn't have anything silly going on. I look back at Molitva and don't understand the walking that goes on halfway through, but the whole staging is all about the vocal, and that can definitely be said for Eg A Lif. I'm really impressed by it and really want it to do well. You never know, it could now do a Molitva and be the first win for Iceland like Molitva was for Serbia (and Serbia & Montenegro).

Other brilliant performances for me where Azerbaijan, Greece, and FYR Macedonia (absolutely gutted for Esma & Lozano!)

Disappointing performances? Well apart from Hungary getting lost, the fact I hate the Norwegian entry, I have to say the most disappointing performance for me was Switzerland. It just seemed really boring and dull. It wasn't that I was excited for Romania (believe me I wasn't), it was just something of nothing in the end. It's a real shame cos they did have so many selling points. For example, the oldest man in the contest. Why did they stand in a line? Where was the fun? Nothing ever really happened. 

So can we speculate now?


The draw goes up at 03:00 CET. That's 2am for me. However, you know it won't be until at least half 3 that it goes up. I won't be wasting my time waiting for it!

Saying all of that, we could possibly speculate. One of the songs that has been chosen to perform in the first half will do well - yes at least one will. That's not because of the songs in it, it's just because it would be highly unlikely that the top 10, or even the top 5 will ALL be from the first half. You've got the likes of Germany, Russia, the Netherlands all performing in the first half. But watch out for Moldova. Aliona Moon has a very rhythmic song which will stand out because of the amazing dress. I know that I am biased for Moldova, but I wouldn't rule them out of doing fairly well.

But I think we can all agree the second half will be where the winner is. Barring Hungary and Romania (and probably Ireland although I don't like to say it) have a chance. That is 10 countries which have the possibility of doing very well; Azerbaijan, Greece, Georgia, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, the UK, and then the fan favourite Denmark. How will SVT position them? Half of them are ballads, the other half are upbeat. That should make it easier for SVT to place, but how will this decision ever be easy? And with Romania having such a different song with a staging that really stands out, can they be this year's shock and upset the party? I think two of those ten will be disappointed, and there will be one country I've forgotten who go on to cause a big upset. Lithuania in the top 10 would just be hilarious!

Where will the former Yugoslavs vote for? They have no cultural companions so perhaps the likes of Italy, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and even to an extent Greece, will pick up more points than before? Or will FYR Macedonia give their points randomly to the UK like they did in a scoreboard simulator I did earlier today (it completely threw me I won't lie!).

The draw at the end of the day doesn't mean the be all and end all. We have to go back almost 10 years to find a song that won from the first half (2004 - Ukraine - Ruslana - Wild Dances - performed 10th) but it still doesn't really matter. I mean Albania and Russia both had first half performances last year and still made top 5. They weren't even first half - they were early! I mean the only position you don't want is the death position at the end of the day. And in case there are any eurovision phobes out there, the reason 2nd is the death position is because noone has ever won from that position in the entire history of the contest. We've had people who have performed first and won - the Herreys in 1984, Brotherhood of Man in 1976 for example - but never from second position. Whoever gets it, I give you the biggest Good Luck!

And on that note I'm off. GET READY FOR SATURDAY PEOPLE!

Put your money where your mouth is!

I just put a bet on Azerbaijan to win the contest. Farid has the odds of 20-1 and I found that very tempting. Whose your money on? Even if you do think Denmark could win, the odds for Only Teardops are hurrendous. I don't usually do this, but ESCNation has a very interesting report on the best values for Eurovision. Follow this link to see their advice for tonight's semi final. Greece are 10-1 to win their semi final tonight, and that seems very tempting indeed...

Why tonight won't be the Eurovision Shock Contest.

5 hours to go!

Who was shocked or surprised by the results of the first semi final? I'm still reading about the impact of no former Yugoslav countries making it and quite frankly it's getting quite boring. You should read this post because that makes complete sense of it all.

What I learned from the first semi final though is that we shouldn't expect any shocks tonight - just read on to see why.

1 Latvia - this hasn't been a fan favourite and noone is rating it in Malmo. But wasn't everybody saying the exact same about Lithuania? And before we all even went to Malmo, I'm pretty sure everyone had written Belgium off as well. And look what happened - they both qualified! I'm not saying this is certain to qualify, but if the Latvians sneak into the final will you really be that shocked because of what happened on Tuesday?

2 San Marino - undoubtedly San Marino's best ever entry. A Eurofans favourite, a surprise to those non-hardcore fans, and it has some Ralph Siegel magic. Not a shock qualifier.

3 FYR Macedonia - okay this song I think will provide one of the bigger shocks if it qualifies. BUT, Esma and Lozano have great contrasting voices, and Esma is a gimmick herself. Not as much of a shock as first thought.

4 Azerbaijan - Fit Farid with a smooth and sensual song. Going through.

5 Finland - well Krista brings to the stage a completely different energy to Farid and that will pay off. The song is really "pop" and with some crazy costumes and gimmicks this does work. Plus the song is the catchiest of the lot so far - people will remember ding dong when the lines open. OH and let's not forget the kiss. That'll cost and reward points. Won't be a shock if it qualifies, same said for if it doesn't qualify.

6 Malta - Tomorrow follows really well after Finland and there is always a market for this kind of song.

7 Bulgaria - Really won't shock me if this qualifies. Elitsa and Stoyan bring to the table the most unique song in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. And I am including the likes of Montenegro and the Netherlands when I say that. Samo Shampioni is a bit rubbish if we're all honest. But its Elitsa and Stoyan! They took Water to 5th a couple of years ago - yes it was a better song, but just think of the energy they bring to the stage. This performance will completely stand out and so you can't be shocked if this qualifies.

8 Iceland - dreadful but it's Iceland. Always loved the Icelandic entry and think it would be really interesting to go there one day. The song is apparently coming across very well, it'll stand out very nicely after Bulgaria, but it's not that great a song so I won't be shocked if this does qualify, but then because of all the above, won't be shocked if it does qualify.

9 Greece - stand out, bonkers, fun, Greek. Say no more?

10 Israel - Lynda Woodruff will really bring it home for the Israelis. I think more a jury vote than televote, but what does it matter?

11 Armenia - I think the Eurofans have forgotten about this completely. It's a cute little number with a really nice theme. And it's Armenian. You can't be shocked to see Armenia in the final.

12 Hungary - This one is pretty unique. And it seems lots of people like it. If Sound Of Our Hearts can bloody make it then so can Kedvesem.

13 Norway - This song is absolutely TERRIBLE. Eurofans are going weak at the knees and claiming this is the song of the contest, the performance of the contest. Are we listening to the same song? Are we watching the same rehearsals? Am I the only person that HATES this? I grew tired of Denmark, and who isn't growing tired of Denmark?, but this I've never really appreciated and have reached the point of complete detestation. Last year, I was critical of Euphoria because I thought people were getting too blind of what else was in the competition. 2012 was a very strong year, almost on the same par as 2009, but at the end of the day, it's easy to see why Euphoria is such a good song. It is NOT easy to see why I Feed You My Love is good in any way now. This will sail through, unfortunately, but if it doesn't go through, I won't be shocked (unlike every single blogger out there).

14 Albania - now this is better. Okay, it's still not good, but we're nearing the end and a bit of Albanian Rock might come across quite nicely to neighbours.

15 Georgia - ticks all the boxes. The song is really wet (no pun on 'Waterfall' I might add) but I like it and I think a lot of others do. Nobody really loves it so it won't win but with a lot of friends in this semi, I'm sure Georgia will go through. If it doesn't, well it is pretty wet.

16 Switzerland - final rock song of the night. Clear message, nicely done, fans like it, you can't be shocked to see this qualify.

17 Romania - the most memorable of the night because of the scary high notes element. Doesn't need to go last to be remembered, but will people have already chosen their favourite? I won't be shocked it this qualifies because it is something different, but then it is hurrendous so won't be shocked if it doesn't.

SO I hope I have proved my point - no matter who qualifies and who doesn't, we can't truly be shocked by anything this evening. Apart from Petra Mede's hosting, that's pretty shocking. Personally, I'm looking forward to Lynda Woodruff's latest episode on her tour of Sweden (not her performance for Israel). I can't vote because I live in the UK so I urge you to vote San Marino please. COME ON SAN MARINO!

Good luck to all contestants tonight! (even you Margaret).

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


SO wasn't last night just BRILLIANT!?

So glad to have Eurovision back on the screen! And wasn't it amazing? I don't know who commentates for your country, but you should really listen to Scott Mills and the girl from the Scissor Sisters who did the commentary for BBC (United Kingdom). They were hilarious. And of course we have Graham Norton for the final which is just excellent!!

First of all, wasn't Lynda Woodruff absolutely hilarious? Shame I can't say the same for Petra Mede - personally I found parts of her hosting just cringe-worthy nonsense. I thought Loreen was fantastic though. Those children were adorable and apart from when Loreen seemed to descend into a pit of over-excited Euro fanboys (although if I was in Malmo, I'm pretty sure I would have done exactly the same), I really enjoyed the opener to the show. The performances went without hiccough as far as I noticed, but I have to admit there were 2 absolute stand outs for me. They were (without bias) Moldova and Ireland! They worked perfectly going one after the other, but the best bit was that I wasn't expecting them to be so good. Wasn't Aliona Moon's dress just sheer brilliance!? Oh and of course, Pasha was on the piano. Splendid!

Let downs? Denmark. I knew that I would get extremely bored of the song by now, but still her performance wasn't just disappointing, it was embarrassing. No emotion at all, and her voice just came across generic without anything special. If it wasn't for the strength in the song and the tin whistle then I would even go as far as ruling Denmark out of contention. Don't get me wrong, I still reckon Emmelie will be top 5 at least, but will she win? Definitely needs to up her game.

Surprises? Belgium. Undoubtedly, Roberto Bellarosa has come a long way since being chosen to represent the Belgians this year. The re-mastering of the song never really changed much for me, but some how it really came across on the stage and the sounds and everything were just fantastic. AND HE CAN SING! After hearing that he won "The Voice" I was very sceptical of the amount of talent, but it turns out that Roberto can sing, so Congrats to him!

But let's be honest - the biggest shock was LITHUANIA QUALIFYING FOR THE FINAL. HOW!? I think Andrius Pojavis has tons of charisma, and naturally, his eyebrows can make for an interesting performance. But please, the song!? He sings about shoes for goodness sake! In all fairness, I was very critical of Donny Montell last year and he ended up doing very well for himself. There is always one shock, but I was maybe thinking Slovenia or Montenegro would provide the shock...not Lithuania and some dodgy lyrcis.

Interestingly, all the ex-Soviets made it through, but none of the ex-Yugoslavs made it through. If you've been reading all the blogs around they probably have reported how much of a shock it is blah blah blah. But is it that much of a shock!? Let's take a look at the facts. Slovenia was first up and Straight Into Love has never been popular, let's face it. Hannah and the dancers may have been great, but the song just wasn't good enough. It was the first real up beat song, but there were plenty of better upbeat songs coming later. Slovenia would have been forgotten...

Then we have Croatia. Now I found this interesting - it's not been a big favourite with fans but the vocals are very strong and the composition of the song works really well. The message comes across and I thought the juries would support that. Plus, its sung in national language. I think perhaps Croatia may have just missed out because they didn't receive enough televotes. And they were 4th after all...and they did proceed big favourite Denmark.

Coming up next is Montenegro. Igranka did provided a huge contrast to Birds before it and Something after it. But to vote for this, you have to appreciate it's absolute bonkers-ness and the song does require an acquired taste. I believe the juries didn't like this and it was the televoting that may have made this just miss out. Montenegro have never qualified independently though so they are always punching above their weight.

Finally we had Serbia. Not only do they have a strong qualifying record in Eurovision, they also performed last which usually makes you fresh for both juries and televoters. Yes there was some dodgy acting of the song, and the dresses looked like an explosion in the sweet factory but they had something going on. There was something to watch on screen, but perhaps everyone just saw this as a bit of mess following the slickness of Love Kills (let's be honest, that performance was rehearsed to the core - it was slick!). It'll be interesting to see if Serbia did finish 11th.

Every year there is diaspora voting (and it has been going for year's people!) so you'd of thought that one of the ex-Yugoslav countries would have benefitted from this. Evidently not (even if I did happen to vote for Ireland several times myself last night - but I did vote for Moldova just as many times, and I might have snuck one or two votes in for the Netherlands as well). If there was strong diaspora voting from the ex-Soviets that would explain why Lithuania made it but still, it just goes to show that we don't just vote for our neighbours anymore! And plus, there were 4 of the top favourites in last night's semi - Denmark, Russia, Ukraine and the Netherlands.

That brings me to my favourite part of last night - the Netherlands qualified for the final! Birds was such a contrast to Gravity and Igranka that Anouk really stood out. The song was very deep and emotional, and so unique that I think it may have put televoters off. But rest assure, I believe the juries rate this. I don't care how the Dutch do in the final, I'm just thrilled they shook off that horrible curse of not making it through!

And the draw for the final? WELL, this year we don't have one. You draw whether you perform in the first or the second half of the final. Maybe not as exciting in the press conference, but there were many countries who drew the first half. Denmark managed to sneak a second half performance though, so it'll be interesting to see where SVT places them. Ireland got second half - yes! Moldova sadly drew first half though :(
NO! I won't speculate...Russia and Albania proved top 5 can still happen from poor positions (although what would have happened if you had swapped Sweden and Azerbaijan in 2011? I'm still convinced Eric Saade would have snatched that victory and Sweden would have done the double).

Now I promise I won't speculate until I've seen the full draw, but I've just found out that Bonnie Tyler will perform for the UK in the second half of the final. Yes Yes Yes! This news does delight me. If Bonnie performs in the last 3 or 4, I reckon we stand a good chance of contending for the grand prize. She has that lift after all! (it's not a giant - but Bonnie Tyler brought on stage by a Giant? Only Ukraine could pull that off - which incidentally they very much did!).

SO then I look forward to tomorrow's semi final! Will FYR Macedonia be the only ex-Yugoslav country? Will Latvia join their friends in the final? Will we have ALL Scandinavian countries in the final? Will San Marino finally qualify?

My bets on the BIG shock (cos you know there will be one)...Malta (hopefully).

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Who will win the 58th Eurovision Song Contest?

So it all starts tonight then!

In this blog post, I outline my predictions as to who will qualify, who will win and blah blah blah.

This year, I took information from various online polls, credible guesses at winners, the odds (as of an hour ago), my own favourite songs, the draw, rehearsals, and just extra points for anything special an artist might have!

The results are fairly interesting.

Qualifiers from Semi-Final 1

Estonia, Belarus, Netherlands, Ukraine, Moldova, Denmark, Austria, Serbia, Russia, Ireland

Qualifiers from Semi-Final 2

Iceland, Greece, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Switzerland, Israel, Norway, Georgia, San Marino, Finland

Final Results: (score out of 54)

1st Denmark   47.5  
2nd Germany   44.0  
3rd Ukraine   43.5  
4th Sweden   42.0  
5th Norway   41.5  
6th Netherlands   38.5  
7th Russia   38.5  
8th Italy   37.5  
9th San Marino   36.5  
10th Azerbaijan   36.5  
11th Greece   33.5  
12th Ireland   33.5  
13th United Kingdom   33.0  
14th Finland   33.0  
15th Georgia   31.0  
16th Moldova   29.0  
17th Austria   27.0  
18th Hungary   26.5  
19th Switzlerand   26.5  
20th Belarus   26.5  
21st Estonia   26.0  
22nd Serbia   24.0  
23rd Israel   23.5  
24th Iceland   23.0  
25th France   23.0  
26th Spain   21.5  

SO! Will DENMARK and Emmelie's forest (or teardrops or something) win on Saturday? Interestingly I have her on top, but she is closely followed by Germany, who are closely followed by Ukraine and so on and so on. What I notice about this is that they are all female singers!? Now I have my doubts over an all female top 3. Give me a minute though feminists. Just look at the top 3 in recent times. Going all the way back to the year 2005 when one gender dominated the top 3, but even then Romania who finished 3rd had male drummers as apart of her act. It doesn't seem likely therefore that Denmark, Germany and Ukraine will finish as 1, 2, and 3. This is where the door opens for Sweden, Italy and Azerbaijan - and so I think one of these will end up being top contender when the points start coming in.

I've heard many commentators, bloggers, fans, trolls, whoever, mention that Only Teardrops has nothing on Eurphoria. Yes we can all agree the song has credentials and it has a unique aspect in the use of a tin whistle (yes I finally found out what that instrument was). BUT this does not translate to winning. I mean, come on, if Verka Serduchka can't pull a win out the bag with something as unique as Dancing Lasha Tumbai then I feel Emmelie wont be able to pull it off either. Sorry Denmark. I think we all partied a bit too earlier on your entrant. Norway have always been in and around the mix...and Margaret Berger (even if I am now at the point of detesting I Feed You My Love garbage) is causing a bit of a storm in Malmo, and she does bring a very strong performance to the stage. Could Norway snatch victory from their neighbours hands?

How silly of me. Ralph Siegel is back and ready to strike again. But could San Marino actually win the biggest singing competition in the world? I hope you've done your geography. I asked many of my housemates if they knew where San Marino was. Some didn't even know it was a country.

And then there is Bonnie. Oh Bonnie Bonnie Bonnie. Believe In Me is...well you'll see how much I like this later, but she is ridiculously FAMOUS. I Need A...Bonnie!! It's been 16 years now. That's a long time for the UK. A long, long, long time. I don't care if Andrew Lloyd Weber and his puppet bored us into 5th back in 2009 (that's very harsh, I do actually very much enjoy It's My Time), I want douze points!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll love you's only a day away...

Nope Nope, that's not the lyrics from Maltese entry, Gianluca Bezzina's 'Tomorrow' (which I recommend definitely checking out - the song is just as adorable as Robin Stjernberg's 'You' but I'm afraid Gianluca comes off a bit older than Robin and so the cute factor doesn't appear to be there, even in that amazing Christmas jumper I need to get my hands on!)... it's the lyrics from the musical Annie.

The first Semi Final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest is tomorrow at 20:00 CET.

Who's excited?


Why does Eurovision have to be in May? July would be a much better month. After all the exams. I have an exam in a week's time and revision might as well have been literally chucked out the window. Screw you Eurovision!

Anyway, does anyone else remember my strange addiction to Pasha Parfeny? He represented Moldova last year with the song "Lautar". And my god, he has gotten so much fitter.

He is something to do with Aliona Moon's entry this year. He either wrote the song or composed it. You do get to see him play the piano in the Moldovan national final. And he is in Malmo as far as I'm aware.

And then when this photo popped up, you can imagine my delight. Thankyou to - so very kind people for sharing.

Check out their blog - and this page in particular. 

Tomorrow, I shall definitely be sharing the performances that you should not be missing this year. They'll probably be some exciting build up to the first semi final as well. But after months of preparation, we are only a day away! Thankyou to all my readers this year and I hope that you continue reading this week for my COMPLETELY NON-BAISED reporting of the competition.

Right then, revision.


Now let's be honest, everyone every year has those songs that you recommend missing. Whether it's from fear of falling asleep (aaaah it's Iris from 2012) or damn right fear of the performance (yes, I'm referring to the trojan horse - at least I think it was. Sadly Barack Obama didn't jump out and join in with the rapping. I think it was rapping. Who even remembers this!?!?!?).

This year I have selected 3 songs for which all have something in common...yes there are bland ballads, but I believe there are 3 performances which are much worse than having to be rudely awoken because someone has finished singing (as I am sure will happen with Despina's 'An Me Thymassi' from Cyprus - let's rest assure Cyprus won't go bankrupt for hosting the 2014 contest).

1. Montenegro

Sorry Montenegro. I have nothing against Montenegro, I reassure you. I wasn't expecting anything special after the disaster that was Euro Neuro, but I wasn't expecting it to get worse! How do you get worse from worse!?!?!?!?! I would start talking about composition and lyrics but I'm afraid there are none. This is a worse mix of things going on than the Social Network Song. Ok that is probably very harsh. Montenegro are represented by Igranka and the song "Who See". I think that is the right way round. The song could be called Igranka for all I'm aware. I haven't really looked too much into this in fear that I'll lose the definition of music. Don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty big fan of house music. And I like my dubstep. But this is just a complete failure of an attempt at getting some skanking going on. Someone tell what is going on?

See for yourself. If this qualifies, I'll eat my shoes.

2. Belgium

The Belgians are this year represented by Roberto Bellarosa and the song Love Kills. Well something is being killed, I'm unsure if it's love but I'm fairly confident a cat might be. Okay Roberto doesn't sound like a cat being strangled, but has he ever had singing lessons? Even a little vocal coaching would surely help? Admittedly he has been getting better but his singing is just atrocious. How on earth can he represent his country in the biggest singing competition in the world!? And where are Belgium finding these kids? Some pressing questions I would like answered by a Belgian please! Yes, choosing a kid has worked. Tom Dice had that stunning song in 2010 "Me and My Guitar", but after the nightmare that was Iris and her empty house from last year, you'd of thought the Belgians would have tried harder in selecting a representative. This is on the international stage after all. Like with Montenegro though, I feel it fitting to mention that I definitely have nothing against Belgium, just some poor selection choices.

3. Romania

Probably the scariest thing I've ever seen in Eurovision. Well the scariest thing I've ever heard in Eurovision. Romania have a 100% qualifying record in the ESC. You can kiss that goodbye - I recommend ear plugs if you want to listen to this. I joked about cats being strangled when talking about Roberto, I joke no more. Those poor cats. What did Romania do to them? This is Cezar and "It's My Life".

WELL GOOD LUCK to my toilet breaks from this year's contest. I'm sure you'll do "just fine".

Sideburns Alert! Watch out for Italy!

Rounding off then are this year's definite dark horses... Italy!

Who wants to go to Rome? Or Milan? Or anywhere else in this beautifully hot country?

I do, I do, I do.

Without sounding like Krista, I'll tell you about Italy's entrant for this year. It's Farid's closest competition (for hottest singer anyway - there are some truly excellent backing dancers to rival that. OH and Pasha. Yeah he's back in a very different way!). Italy are represented by Marco Mengoni and L'essenziale.

RIGHT let's get something sorted - personally Marco doesn't really do it for myself, but I see why he's gaining so much attention. And I also have to confess that I'm not the biggest fan of the song. To be fair, I was getting way too excited about other songs when this came out. I hadn't even properly listened to the song until at least half way through April. BUT it's okay. And the performance? So laid back it's beautiful. No crazy gimmicks and no sillyness, just an open performance that I have to admit, Marco really pulls it off.

It's a ballad by an attractive man. Not a power ballad by a super hot man, but nonetheless, the ingredients are all there to see this do well. Azerbaijan have a very strong track record, but since Italy's return, they are also doing pretty well. Madness In Love just missed out to Running Scared in 2011, and then Nina Zilli overcame some early hype and a poor draw to secure another top 10 position for the Italians. Marco certainly has nothing to fear about.

I want to go to Italy, but I don't want this song to win. There are better songs. However, if Italy did win, let's just say I won't be too miffed. And let's be honest, this is definitely a dark horse.

Have no fear: We have a Eurovision hunk!

There are two more countries I think are one's to watch. Yes that does mean I've picked 10 countries as one's to watch but the contest is open this year and let's be honest, there are one's *not* to watch.

I finish with two countries who are dark horses. First up is Azerbaijan.

Farid Mammadov - Hold Me.

Seen this photo floating around the net?

That's right, Farid is fit and you know what that means... he's a vote stealer! Do the eurogays vote for power diva anthem or fitty? Well let's see, who remembers Eric Saade and Popular and who remembers Kati Wolf and What About My Dreams? Point proven.

It's not just the fact he is appealing to the eyes though - Farid has a good song. Yes, there are better songs in this year's competition, but he has something pretty unique. He has one of the very few MALE POWER BALLADS this year. There are a fair few ballads, there are a fair few power ballads, but they are mostly sung by females. There are male ballads, but this is a power ballad and that's why this will stand out. Azerbaijan were gifted in semi final selection, and a performance towards the end will definitely see this replicate Ell and Nikki's win from 2011. I have high hopes for Farid and Hold Me. Plus, just check out the Azeri Eurovision record:

2008 - 8th
2009 - 3rd
2010 - 5th
2011 - 1st
2012 - 4th

Any bets on second place anyone?
You'd be mad to say this won't do top 10.

Who will your Nan vote for? Sweden of course.

Sweden are this years hosts, and they are represented by Robin Stjernberg and the song "You".

This is a brilliant song! Robin has a song that is just "adorable", and he has a personality to match! A definite sweetie of this year's competition and someone I'm sure all the Nan's will vote for. But he took a very interesting route to get to the final. He wasn't a favourite during the Swedish selection process...Melodifestivalen (I hope I spelled that correct!). He went into the "second chance" round for the event - the people that qualify for this to reach the Swedish national final are usually just filling up the numbers. But this guy not only won the second chance round, he went on to win the actual competition to represent his country on home soil. It came down to the juries - the televoters didn't choose this as their favourite. Will this be the same on the night? Will Robin steal the votes from the juries only? Surely not. As explained, your Nan will vote for this one.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how he got there, he's in Malmo. After seeing the first rehearsal, there is definite room for improvement - but then that is the case for most of the artists. Maybe not a winner, but he'll definitely be up there. And the host country usually do well (forget Norway 2010, Ukraine 2005...).

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Return of Ralph.

Yes, you read that right, San Marino.

Fair enough, the Netherlands have had a rough ride. But it's still the Dutch. San Marino provide the greater shock. Despite being an old country, they have a population of a mere 32,000 (according to sources) and have only been competing in Eurovision since 2008. Admittedly this is the same amount of time as Azerbaijan (winners, and last year's hosts), but they are a bigger, richer country. This is San Marino! The country which gave us the Social Network Song. Yes, remember that? Well the girl woman that sung the Social Network Song, Valentina Monetta, is back with a bigger, better song. And guess what? It's not good, it's brillaint.

The Social Network Song was wrong for all the right reasons. 'Crisalide (vola)' is right for all the right reasons. And guess who wrote Crisalide? Ralph Siegel. For those of you who don't know who Ralph Siegel is, just type his name into google. He is one of the biggest stars of Eurovision, composing songs since the 70's (that is 5 decades now!) but only has 1 win under his name - 1982 winner Nicole and 'Ein Bisschen Frieden', notably one of the greatest songs & winners in Eurovision history. Yes he did happen to pen the Social Network Song last year - and yes that did follow in a line of poor attempts - but he is back to strike again with Crisalide. Valentina is now acting her age, Siegel has screwed his head back on, and San Marino are ready to finally come to Eurovision with a decent song - and that has meant a decent chance.

It's hard to predict if they could win. If you listen to the song, you'll see why people like it and fans are voting for it in online polls. Without knowing the meaning in the lyrics, they are moving and emotive, and the composition really pulls this through. From a slow ballad to a modern beat/melody, a song like this has potential to branch into acapella/acoustic and become a club smash hit. The key word there is 'potential'. Crisalide is a song to be remembered - even if it underperforms, fans will remember it as an upset. But that's not why this will be remembered. It's Valentina Monetta transforming from a Social Network disaster to a Crisalide masterpiece. It's Ralph Siegel restoring his old Eurovision power. It's San Marino putting themselves on the map.

By the way, San Marino is situated in the North of Italy.

Will they finally qualify? Yes, it's the Netherlands!

I never thought I'd say it. Watch out for the Dutch. They could be about to take Eurovision by a storm.

The song? 'Birds'.
The artist? 'Anouk'.

Wow. Just wow. This is simply beautiful.

The Netherlands are one of the most successful acts ever in Eurovision. Ireland have won most times with 7 wins, followed by France, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Sweden with 5 wins. Then comes the Netherlands. They have 4 wins; 1957, 1959, 1969, and 1975. They haven't even been in the top 3 since then. Following their win in 1975, they had varied success - they never came last, but then as just mentioned, they never challenged the top spots. And then came the 21st century. Like many other western countries, the demise of success came after the 90's with the influx of eastern European countries. However, it has hit hardest in the Netherlands - a proud Eurovision nation with a history of some beautiful songs. Teddy Scholten's 'Eet Beetje' (the winner in 1959) is a classic! Since the introduction of the semi finals in 2004, they have qualified once. Just once - and that was in 2004. That's how long we have been absent of the Dutch representative. They haven't had bad songs and it's an unfair record in my opinion. Nevertheless, that is all about to change. Anouk will fly high with 'Birds' and she will qualify - and contend.

Birds is the type of song which doesn't disappear from your mind. Birds is the type of song which makes you think. And you want to know the lyrics. And you want to know what they mean. Even if it takes you several listens, over and over again, you don't mind - you enjoy it. You have this song on repeat. It's deep and metaphorical. It has been composed beautifully. The lyrics are beautiful. It's simple a beautiful song. Beatifully sad that is. People can connect to this song and it's emotive language - and it's a contender. If it doesn't even qualify then I want to know what the beef is with the Netherlands.

Good Luck to Holland!

Glorious AND... German!?

16 days to go now everyone!

However, someone who you won't see until the actual final is Germany. As one of the "big 5" countries, Germany have automatic qualification. This year they are represented by Cascada and the song 'Glorious'.

Cascada is one of the biggest artists in the competition this year. And naturally, Glorious has turned out to be one of the biggest songs in the competition. The song is uber catchy and really modern. The lead singer of Cacada, Natalie, has a big voice - and so really everything about this is BIG. It will be played in all the clubs around Europe, and has already started to chart. By the end of Eurovision, it will be charting very well. This is just the type of song and performance that will be remembered at the end of the contest, even if it is performed first. UK fans will vote Cascada on name recognition alone and I feel that even though continental success hasn't truly happened in the rest of Europe, people will still know who they are (or at least who Natalie is). Germany are doing well in recent years - following the disaster of 'Miss Kiss Kiss Bang', they went on to win with 'Satellite'. Lena then took to the stage again with 'Taken By A Stranger' which finished within the top 10, a fate repeated by Roman Lob and 'Standing Still' last year. Glorious has success written all over it and fans should feel confident in saying this is a high finisher - and possible contender. The song is doing extremely well in the fans online polls and the rumours of plagiarism? Well lets be honest, they are ridiculous. Good Luck Germany! Will we being going there again!? It would be amusing. After competing in the contest since the dawn of time, they've won twice - 1982 and 2010. In a period of "bloc, diaspora voting" where "everyone votes for neighbouring countries" and it is all "soo political", Germany shouldn't have even won in 2010. Eurovision is changing - the critics need to accept it and move on. Well I say critics, I mean the miserable b******* in the UK who are insistent it's a waste of time (even though they are just fed up we've stopped being so successful).

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Key Change Heaven!

I'm gonna stick in Europe's North East for the next song to watch - it's Ukraine. It seems like a long time ago now that they announced it, but they will be represented by Zlata Ognevich and the song "Gravity".

Is it generic? Is it same-y? Have we had it before? That seems to be some of the main criticism facing Zlata and 'Gravity'. Maybe the critiques have a point, I certainly won't argue that this is anything unique in the sense that Only Teardrops is. But that does not make it any less great. Because that what this song is at the end of the day. It's a great entry. Starting on a serious melody, the song goes on to develop into a soothing tune about dreams. And then the beat kicks in. With more power in her voice, Zlata keeps up the meaning in the words and the lyrical composition definitely has a metaphorical tone. Accompany this with a couple of key changes and a few belting notes and you have a very well written and composed song. If Zlata really goes for this on the night, Ukraine could pull it out of the bag and grab their second win in less than 10 years. Especially if this comes somewhere in the night after Denmark. Good Luck to Ukraine!Key

To the rhythm of a CHA CHA!!

Coming in next in this mini series of one's to watch and it's Belarus. After a song change, they've settled on 'Solayoh' by Alyona Lanskaya.

Many Eurovision fans will probably question the motives behind putting this into my "one's to watch". Well if you listen to the song you'll really notice it's appeal - it's a very likable song in the sense that it's a light-hearted number with a catchy chorus that you'll remember when the contest is over - " the rhythm of a CHA CHA!". The melody would appear more to an Eastern/Southern market and so Belarus are likely to pick up some key diaspora voting. However! I have no doubt that with the right staging and draw this song will feature and Belarus could grab their second ever top 10. That makes it sound like they've been entering absolute dribble for years and years on end. Well they have been entering dribble (apart from 2007) but only for 9 years. Solayoh definitely changes that and I really wish Belarus the best of luck with this. In a year where simple catchy songs are less common, they really do stand a chance. Especially with the right draw, you could even see Belarus feature in the race for the grande prize - Denmark might be the favourites but this competition isn't over by a long way.

Please do not feed me your love.

Up next is another song which is doing well, and yet again, it's from Scandinavia. This time it's Norway.

Well again, this is something which has a unique appeal. Norway are represented by Margaret Berger and the song 'I Feed You My Love'. The lyrics are something a little different, and like Denmark they are fairly metaphorical and they do make you think. This song absolutely dominated Norway's National Selection - almost beating it's opponents in the final by double the score. In online polls and with the bookies, this has fallen up short to Denmark on numerous occasions. The song has an edgy opener, fitting in with current musical themes sweeping across Europe, yet despite this, I feel the song lacks any depth. Yes the lyrics are interesting enough, and it definitely has a more modern melody, but I personally feel that you are always waiting for that big "umph" - and it just never comes! There is so much build up... to nothing! In my opinion, I find the song fairly boring, but people like it. Fans all across Europe keep voting for it in polls and the song was written by 'MachoPsycho' who have a pretty impressive collaborating history, and so you know that the entry will be accessible and popular. A definite final placement, but where it features in the running order will determine how well this song does. Nevertheless, if Norway place near the end, I still don't believe that this is a winner despite the raving reviews. Don't get me wrong, this is good, just not 'great'.


Last year, I did an in-depth look at all songs. This year is a much more laid back approach.
This series is all about the songs to watch!

There's no better way to start than with this year's big favourite: Denmark!

Denmark are represented this year by Emmelie de Forest. After winning the Danish National Selection, she became an immediate favourite with 'Only Teardrops'. And it's easy to see why. The song is very, very catchy! I believe it is some sort of whistle or a thife which is the repeated instrument through the song - but it doesn't matter what it is. The inclusion of the instrument adds a certain unique appeal to the song. The lyrics also are appealing - they are metaphorical lyrics which make you think. For example, the opening line is, "the sky is red tonight". On Saturday night, it would be wrong to say that this won't feature. However, maybe this is the wrong year for Only Teardrops. There are a fair few songs with similar lyrics and melodies, and so I believe that it won't be a tear away winner - and that's if this even does go on to win. Nevertheless, a cracking song by a young artist with a bright future. It's no 'Euphoria', but it's definitely something worth remembering.
Denmark lead many online fan polls - check out 'escnation' and 'escstats' for example.
They also are the bookies favourites. For this, it's probably worth just going on oddschecker or a similar odds comparison website.

Friday, 29 March 2013

From the top...

So it's about to happen all over again! The Eurovision Song Contest 2013 will take place in the week commencing the 13th May in Malmo, Sweden. That's a month and a half away! Crikey.

What's been happening then?
Well as you can see, it's all change on the blog. I am still messing around with colours and fonts and so on, but settled for green for the 2013 season. I'm not satisfied, but it'll do! Since last June, I've been (lazily) updating the blog with my favourite ever Eurosongs. Now the songs for this year have been released, I'm changing my opinion on the songs already. And I keep finding gems from previous years that I either forgot or have never heard. I have a sneaky feeling my top 101 songs will change. In re-designing the blog though, I moved it to a separate page. Look at me go. I am starting to understand how the site works.

As well as that, I hit the big 20 earlier this year. That means I am no longer a teenager. Does it change any perceptions on Eurovision? Nope. But growing up has made me realise that I need to go to the final of the contest before I get tied down and won't have the opportunity to. So somewhere hot for 2014 please? Although maybe not Cyprus - what on earth would they do if they won? I can't even believe they are represented in the first place!

I went to university last September. Complete change in my life. Has Eurovision been affected? Nope. And I'm inflicting the songs on my housemates as well. They love put up with it.

What's been happening with Eurovision?
Sorry, went off on a tangent about myself. Well Eurovision has changed since 2012. The big change was in the running order...rules have been "adjusted" so that the big important people at EBU now decide the running order. There is a draw to allocate countries in the first or second half of the semi-final (and later the final) and then the bosses decide the order of songs. They want to mix up genres, genders, countries to make the show more exciting. Well you can see why - who else fell asleep with the Belgium/Finland combo in last year's semis?

The only country that knew exactly where they were performing was Sweden. They managed to draw themselves 16th position. Not bad when they could have had any of the 26. I don't know why the big 5 didn't at least get allocated a first or second half performance. Never mind I am sure it will all work out fairly.

Moving on, countries returned and withdrew. Armenia returned as I think most predicted. Turkey withdrew though. Turkey!? They've competed for a long time now. They were very successful in the last 10 years. Diaspora voting helped but they did send good songs. I have read many reasons as to why Turkey withdrew - who knew you could interpret what someone says in so many ways? As well as this, when translating things from Turkish to English, I believe some things weren't translated fully. Whatever the situation, it seems that a move from complete televoting to televoting/juries, coupled with a problem with the big 5 meant they were too unhappy to continue competing. I am very much looking forward to seeing who Azerbaijan now gives their 12 to. Will they even receive a 12 this year without Turkey? 

It's not all about Turkey though - Bosnia & Herzegovina have also withdrew!? Another strong country. Personally, I haven't enjoyed their songs as much as the results from previous years reflected but they have been strong. AND then there is Portugal. WILL WE EVER GO TO LISBON? Portugal have NEVER won Eurovision. Their best finish was 6th. This isn't right. Come on Portugal! Make that comeback in 2014 and show us what we missed. 

Slovakia have withdrawn as well. I don't think anyone apart from Malta will notice. That is harsh, I enjoyed Max Jason Mai's "Close Your Eyes", and Twiins' "I'm Still Alive", even if Europe didn't, but they have never sent anything to trouble anyone. Poland have had a little more success though (even if their best result was 2nd back on their debut in 1994) and they still haven't returned either. And then there is the Czech Republic - they aren't coming back.

Oh, there is the minor nations. But I think until the global financial crisis is truly over, we won't see countries like Andorra, Luxembourg, Monaco, Liechtenstein and so on. Sorry, I shouldn't call them the minor nations. Monaco and Luxembourg are both former winners. In fact Luxembourg share the runner-up prize in the countries with the most wins (that's 5 times by the way - they even did the double in 1972 and 1973!).

So where are we headed in 2014?
Well early fans favourites are Denmark. Early bookies' favourites are Denmark. They are represented by Emmelie de Forest with the song "Only Teardrops". The last time Denmark won was 2000 when the Olsen Brothers sang "Fly On The Wings Of Love" - and this just so happened to be in Sweden following Charlotte Perelli's victory in 1999 ("Take Me To Your Heaven"). Is it an omen? Does that mean Emmelie de Forest could take victory this year? OR what about the Netherlands? For the first time in what seems like forever, they have a strong song and the fans and the bookies both put the Netherlands high on their list. They are represented by Anouk with the song Birds. Coincidentally, the last time the Netherlands won was in Sweden, way back in 1975 (and that's further back than France's last win, 1977). Whatever the situation, this year is all about Sweden so in my first blog post for the 2013 Eurovision season, I thought I'd take a look at previous Swedish winners of Europe's illustrious crown.


Eurovision's most famous act (don't give me Celine Dion, ABBA sold more). ABBA's career only really took off when they won Eurovision in 1974. The song? Waterloo. And guess where they won? Because Luxembourg did a double victory in 1972 and '73, they couldn't afford to host the competition for another year and so the UK stepped in to provide a host. And the host city? Brighton. That's right. Brighton was where ABBA found fame. Interesting fact about 1974 - ABBA won with a really low percentage of votes. Apart from the tie in 1969, the 15% possible votes that could win was the lowest there has ever been for a Eurovision winner. Interesting considering that Waterloo went on to become a huge hit and ABBA went on to achieve international fame. They even beat Gigliola Cinquetti, the women who had won 10 years previous for Italy with "Non ho l'eta" - one of the most stunning songs ever to feature in Eurovision (that's right, it features highly on my top 101 if you couldn't guess).

Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley
10 years on from the first win, and Sweden claimed their second in 1984. "Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley" was the record, sung by the Herreys. I'll be honest - this is the Swedish win which I know the least about. 1984 isn't a big year. Bookies favourite's Ireland were beaten into second place though by the Swedes - who were that years dark horse. Representation for Ireland? Linda Martin with the song "Terminal 3", written by none other than Johnny Logan. And who won the 1992 contest? Linda Martin with "Why Me?", written by the king of Eurovision. And the 1992 contest was held in Sweden. All a weird coincidence, or maybe not. Maybe this is just a sign of how not much happened in 1984. The song is good though. Sung by a true 80s boyband, the Herreys were brothers and went on to have varied success in Europe for the rest of the 80s. Interesting fact? They performed first - and that was the last time someone has performed first and won the contest. Closest since then was 1994 when Ireland performed 3rd and won.

Fangad av en Stormvind
Sweden only had to wait 7 years for their next win though. Carola took Fangad av en Stormvind to victory in Italy in 1991. You might remember Carola from 2006? She came 5th then. She also had come 3rd though, back in 1983. It's not quite Johnny Logan's record, but Carola is a real queen of Eurovision - a 1st, 3rd and 5th in 3 different decades. That's an impressive fate. Could she be back within this decade? Probably not but she'll be remembered nonetheless. Fangad av en Stormvind is a very good song. Yes for 1991 it was "too 80's", but there was good choreography and Carola is a good singer. It all makes sense that she is a Eurovision winner. But she came very close to not picking up the title. After the tie in 1969, a rule had to be put in place to decide what would happen if two countries were on the same number of points once all the votes had come in. It wasn't until 1991 that it was needed though (although it did come close - 1988 was a particularly intense year). After 22 countries had voted, Sweden and France both sat with 146 points (search on youtube for the voting from 1991 - such confuson! Italy gave no points to Sweden but 12 to France. Neither country had a clue what to do - nor did the presenters. The audience didn't know either. They are all looking around. Somewhere in Italian, Carola is mentioned as the winner as you start seeing her jump around excited. All very entertaining). They both had received 4 sets of 12 points too. However, Carola had received more sets of 10 points and so she took the crown. Interestingly though, with todays revised rules, France would have won as they received points from more countries. The 1990s were truly some of the most interesting years for Eurovision in my opinion. And this year is just a huge part of that.

Take Me To Your Heaven
Charlotte Nilsson won the 1999 contest with a very cheesy, but still very good, "Take Me To Your Heaven". Eurovision had changed though. Between the years of 1991 and 1999, Eurovision underwent some major surgery. An influx of countries wanting to compete meant qualifications for entry had to be changed. Following the break-up of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, many, many countries debuted for the first time, and a relegation phase of Eurovision had to take place. This meant that if you finished in the bottom 5 of the contest, you were relegated so other countries could take your place. You would return the following year. Germany were one country to be relegated - but as a big financial contributor, they weren't happy. A big 4 system (UK, Spain, France and Germany) were given automatic qualification for the final. This changed to the big 5 when Italy decided to stop throwing a fuss and came back to the contest for 2011 (quite successfully, they beat Sweden into 2nd place). However, one big change was the language rule. For the first time, you could sing in any language. Would "Take Me To Your Heaven" have won if it was in Swedish? Oh I almost forgot - the orchestra was no longer a part and it was removed for the contest as live music was now considered a choice for Eurovision. Johnny Logan threw a hissy fit and called Eurovision 'karoke'. But was the orchestra really needed? I think it would just have been a waste of space when the 00s came in and to be honest, it was being needed less and less for Eurovision. Imagine Euphoria being introduced by the conductor and then played on the piano while Loreen danced around with those quirky arm movements and bare feet? Yes, it doesn't quite seem to fit does it.

Sheer brilliance. Deserved the high score. Cherry on top for a brilliant year in Eurovision. What else shall I say? Bring on 2013. Bring on Malmo. We truly, truly deserve to be in Sweden (even if Pasha Parfeny should really have brought it home for Moldova. I think Chisinau would be brilliant for Eurovision).