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...).