Wednesday, November 07, 2007


It seems that Ràdio Televisió d'Andorra are gonna bite the bullet and enter Eurovision for the 5th time in 2008. They probably reckon on balance that with the new two semi-final system they've got a better chance of qualifying. Fair play I say.

So, it appears they've recently been on the lookout for an act to represent Andorra in Belgrade and the name that keeps cropping up on the rumour mill is that of Gisela.

She's a young lass from Barcelona and took part in the first edition of Operación Triunfo in Spain in 2002. You know, the one that Rosa won, yeah remember that? Well Gisela actually also went to Eurovision then in Tallinn as well, albeit as one of Rosa's backing singers. It looks as though RTVA are actively courting her to be their representative in 2008.

Here's a couple of vids of her.

Turu Turu


Tu Voz Se Apagará

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ins and outs in 2008

The other day it was confirmed that AZTV (or Azerbaijani telly) won't be able to enter the 2008 Eurovision as they are too close to the Azerbaijan government. Thank fuck is all I can say to that. I mean their votes would be so predictable I can already give their top 5 without hearing any songs for 2008. Turkey (cultural), Georgia (neighbours), Armenia (Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian diaspora), Russia (history), Ukraine (history)!!!!!

So far the only other country that looks seriously likely to not take part in 2008 is Israel. The head dude of Israeli telly says that the Contest doesn't fit in with what he sees as his channel. It pretty much looks like he's gonna get his way and that Israel's about to do an 'Italy' or a 'Luxembourg'. Maybe one of the other Israeli TV channels will step into the void, but first they'd have to join the EBU so 2007 could see Israel's last participation for quite some time.

Other countries have said they're thinking of pulling out due to bloc voting:- Andorra, Denmark, Ireland, Malta. Of these Malta has now confirmed they'll definitely be in Belgrade.

I think Ireland will now look on balance and say ok we got top ten in 2006 so it's not impossible to do well... if Malta's taking part then so will we.

If Danish TV can get around their money issues then I don't really think they'll be wanting to spoil the party and will take part as well.

That leaves Andorra and I think if Monaco decide to come back in 2008 (which is pretty possible), then Andorra will enter again.

About Monaco, well they had a bit of a hissy fit last year and withdrew, but they screened the final live in 2007, which is the prerequisite to competing the next year so it seems they're keeping their options open. I really hope Monaco do come back as they've got such a great history in this contest.

It also seems that Slovakia might make a return in 2008 under pressure from Czech TV to rejoin. Slovakia last took part in 1998 and I guess the Czechs want them to rejoin the madness and swap 12 points!!
Countries that have confirmed they'll definitely be in Belgrade are:-
Serbia (obviously)
United Kingdom
Czech Republic

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Serbia at Eurovision

Serbia may have won Eurovision in 2007 on their debut as an independent country, but it wasn't the first time that Serbian singers have entered the contest. In fact the first time Serbia took part in Eurovision was as part of Yugoslavia, when a Serb sang the debut Yugoslav entry in 1961. Here's a look at Serbia's past attempts...


1) 1961 - Љиљaнa Пeтpoвић - Heкe Дaвнe Звeздe (Some Distant Stars)

Ljiljana, who comes from Novi Sad, sang the first Yugoslav entry. She was 17 years old when she entered Eurovision gaining a respectable 8th place, with this traditional ballad. Today she's a bit of a recluse and doesn't perform in public anymore.

2) 1962 - Лoлa Hoвaкoвић - He Пaли Cвeтлa У Cyмpaк (Don't Turn On The Lights At Twilight)

Lola sang the second Yugoslav entry and came joint 4th with the United Kingdom. She was born in Belgrade in 1935 and was a popular singer in Yugoslavia during the 60's.

3) 1974 - Кopни - Гeнepaциja '42 (Generation '42)

The third Serb entry at Eurovision came in 1974 (the year ABBA won), when Korni represented Yugoslavia and came 12th. Unfortunately, the orchestra in Brighton virtually killed all the low-key charm of the studio version, by blaring out a load of brass, knocking out the moog that runs through the whole song. The song itself is about being born in 1942 during the hardest part of the Second World War in Yugoslavia (particularly in Serbia, which suffered extreme hardship during the years of the puppet Croatian nationalist government).

4) 1982 - Acкa - Xaлo Xaлo (Hello Hello)

Serbia got their next attempt in 1982 at Harrogate, when the girl group Aska represented Yugoslavia and they came 14th. The song's asking about where the girls' lovers might be now and is a typical 80's schlager pop song. Again the BBC orchestra can't match the bounce of the studio version, but the three singers are so wooden and look like they really don't want to be there. Not Yugoslavia's finest hour!

5) 1991 - Бeби Дoл - Бpaзил (Brazil)

Baby Doll was unleashed upon the unsuspecting European public as Yugoslavia's 1991 entry. The Yugoslavs tried to turn Rome into Latin America for three minutes, with what can only be described as drag on acid (even though she's actually a real woman!). The song is about creating a new kind of dance, with the end result of the partakers getting naked!!! Thankfully the language rule in place at the time ensured most people didn't get this! The dancing is atrocious and Baby Doll herself is totally out of tune. The RAI orchestra didn't help matters and massacred the song completely (not the only time that night they did so) and turned the guitar solo into a joke. If anyone laments the loss of the orchestra at Eurovision, 1991 is a great year to show how bad some of the orchestras have been in the past. The camera director also thinks that half-way through the song's proceedings would be a great time to show off the Italian film set used as the stage!!! Yugoslavia came second last with 1 point! All in all, car crash telly at its best!


1) 1992 - Eкcтpa Heнa - Љyбим Te Пecмaмa (I'm Kissing You With My Songs)

As Yugoslavia was haemorrhaging its constituent parts at an alarming rate and with the Bosnian War having broke out the previous month, JRT soldiered on regardless and kept its promise to enter the 1992 contest. When the deadline to confirm entry had been set in 1991, Yugoslavia was still intact, but even by the time they had come to their national final, Slovenia and Croatia had broken away. At the time of the contest, in May, both Bosnia and Macedonia had also declared themselves independent states. Extra Nena went to Malmö representing an area effectively the same as Serbia and Montenegro, but even though she sang well and the song was well arranged, there was no way on God's earth that the juries were ever going to let this song win, which is a shame as it's possibly the best song that Serbia entered to the contest, whilst they were a part of Yugoslavia. They came 13th with 44 points. As for the following year, well JRT was expelled from the EBU after the 1992 contest in protest of the wars in the former Yugoslavia and Serbia wouldn't be able to enter the contest until after the revolution, which ousted Milošević from power.


1) 2004 - Жeљкo Joкcимoвић & Ad Hoc Orchestra - Лaнe Moje (My Dear)

Serbia returned to the Eurovision in 2004 with the introduction of the semi-final as a part of the new country of Serbia & Montenegro. Željko sang his heart out in Istanbul and won the semi-final, but was defeated in the final by some Ukrainian Miss Whiplash! They came 2nd gaining points from every other participating country. To me this is a better song than Molitva, which won for Serbia in 2007, but it obviously wasn't to be. Željko himself is a big star in his homeland and is famous across the former Yugoslavia. Serbia & Montenegro found themselves automatically in the 2005 final where they were represented by Montenegrin boyband No Name, who came 7th. Automatically qualified to the 2006 final, Serbia & Montenegro couldn't pick a winner of their national selection with the Serbs blaming the Montenegrins of vote fixing and demanding a re-run of the national contest. Despite appeals to the EBU, the deadline for 2006 came and went without an agreement on who should represent Serbia & Montenegro. They were disqualified from the 2006 contest, although still retained their voting rights. The day after the Athens contest, Montenegro held a referendum on independence, which agreed to the peaceful division of Serbia & Montenegro into two seperate countries.


1) 2007 - Mapиja Шepифoвић - Moлитвa (Prayer)

Serbia returned to the 2007 Eurovision semi-final as an independent country and proceded to win the entire thing. It's not my favourite song in the 2007 contest and not my favourite Serbian entry, but I can see it's appeal, even though Marija sounds a bit histrionic live. It's not the best winner ever, by a long shot, but at least it kept Ukraine's drag queen from winning, which is a good thing by me!!! It also goes to prove that a ballad can win Eurovision and that you can also win the contest by singing in your own language and not in English. Let's see what Belgrade has in store for us in 2008.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Eurovision 2007 DVD

The DVD of the 2007 contest arrived on my doormat the other day courtesy of (a snip at £9,99!). Not watched it all yet as I'm not sure I can cope with seeing that Serbian dyke win again or watch Andorra fail to qualify to the final, but no doubt in time I'll overcome my fear... it was still a great week after all!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Helena Paparizou

After a year without much of the ol' Paparizou, I thought I'd upload her discography... so here goes...

2003 - Aναπάντητις Kλήσεις (Unanswered Calls)

2004 - Tρελή Kάρδια (Crazy Heart)

2004 - Aντιθέσεις (Antithesis)

2004 - Kάτσε Kαλά (Just Sit Down)

2004 - Στην Kαρδιά Mου Mόνο Θλίψη (Sorrow In My Heart)

2005 - My Number One

2005 - Light In Our Soul

2005 - Mambo (Greenglish Version)

2006 - Υπάρχει Λόγος (There's A Reason)

2006 - Mambo (English Version)

2006 - Gigolo

2006 - Φως (Shine)

2006 - Aν Eίχες Έρθει Πιο Nωρίς (If You'd Come Earlier)

2007 - Mαζί Σου (With You)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Eurovision voting changes

Here's my two ideas to change the voting in Eurovision.

1) Points given to each competing country from each competing country

OK, so pretty self explanatory really, but each country gives points to every other country taking part in order of how well each country scored in the televote. This would mean votes given out in the final of between 1 and 24 points from each country. The points 22, 23 and 24 could still be announced as 8, 10 and 12 are now, whilst the lower points flash up automatically on the screen as points 1 through 7 do now.

The benefit of this system is that it gives a fairer representation of the success of each competing country. It ensures that a country needs to do better across the board than get a few high points from a few countries to still do well.

2) In the semi-final, the qualifiers should be the countries with the votes from the largest amount of other countries, irrespective of their actual score

In this way, a country with votes between 8 and 12 points from eight other countries, wouldn't qualify over a country receiving votes between 1 and 10 points from sixteen other countries. Tie-breaks could be split by using the current points system (or the points system above). In the 2007 semi-final under this system, the qualifiers would have been:-

Serbia - 38
Hungary - 35
Belarus - 29
Latvia - 29
Turkey - 27
Bulgaria - 27
Slovenia - 26
Georgia - 19
Andorra - 19
Poland - 19
Portugal - 15
Norway - 15
Moldova - 14
FYR Macedonia - 13
Albania - 11
Iceland - 10
Cyprus - 10
Denmark - 10
Switzerland - 10
Croatia - 9
Netherlands - 9
Estonia - 6
Montenegro - 6
Israel - 6
Malta - 3
Belgium - 2
Austria - 2
Czech Republic - 1

It doesn't make a difference at the extremes of the table, but does stop some countries having an unfair advantage of qualifying every year.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

MUU & Being interviewed on Finnish TV

Kiitos Heli ja Tomi!!!

Also, for those who are unaware, I was also interviewed on Finnish TV twice in Helsinki, so I'm now something of a Finnish icon having sung Shanghain Valot at the top of my voice in a Finnish Karaoke bar. It was possibly not the finest hour of my life and sadly evidence of this exists on the internet, but you'll be hard pressed to get the website address from me.

Suffice to say it was broadcast on YLE extra. Oh dear!

They then invited me and Markku to the studio to film a segment of a chat show, in which I was asked about 6 questions to do with Athens and 2 about Helsinki! Go figure! This included the painful question "so which is nicer... Athens or Helsinki?" If ever an interviewer was gonna pick a dumb question this was the one to pick!! I think I just about held it together - well they weren't burning effigies of me in the street so we must've done ok... funniest moment having me singing Salvem El Món and trying in vain to get Markku to play the bongos on live TV.... only in Finland!!!

Quick plug for the muu café below!

Pics of Helsinki


To view all the pictures I took in Helsinki click on the link below....

Glad that's over then....

...came back from hospital earlier today after my Tympanoplasty op.

It went well... I feel much better now than I did 24 hours after my last two Mastoidectomies... a bit dizzy and spaced out, but that's to be expected after a good few hours of surgery on me head!!

The cut's really small and just goes around the top part of my ear, not all the way round like the last couple of times... and big bonus.... my facial nerve's still intact so no facial paralysis, which is excellent.

Just gotta get better now and hope that it's a bit longer than 2 years before the tumour comes back again... fingers crossed!

For now though, things are good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back from Helsinki

We arrived back from Helsinki on Sunday afternoon... it's now Tuesday and I've had a couple of days to digest what happened over there.

OK, so what did I learn? Well most importantly I learnt a lot about friendship and what it takes to be a good friend (and also what traits I value in friendship). Secondly, I learnt that Finnish food isn't as bad as M. Chirac believes it is!!! We tried reindeer and I can tell you it's bloody good! Thirdly, I learnt that the Finns are a friendly, organised people, who are generally reserved (until Saturday night that is when I saw more drunks and more blatant drunkeness than I've ever seen in my life). Fourthly, I learnt that for right or wrong the Eastern European countries have become a major powerhouse in this Eurovision Contest.

The semi-final came and with great expectation we went to the Hartwall Areena wrapped in Andorran flags, convinced this was the year Andorra was certain to get out of the semis and make it to Saturday's event. I have to say that the semi-final was slickly presented and I can't find fault with the way the Finns presented the Contest. My only gripe was the empty seats given free to VIP's who failed to turn up.... this was bad, but at least it allowed us to move down and get a great view of the semi.

Watching all 28 semi-finalists perform, it was hard to pick the ten that would go through. It was possibly the strongest semi-final fielded so far... there wasn't one duff note and everyone really gave their all... We cheered hard for Andorra and given the reaction in the hall I was absolutely convinced they'd walk it.

Then came the announcements of the 10 qualifiers... Belarus (OK it was slick), FYR Macedonia (for the 4th year running and I really don't get this), Slovenia (yep she had a huge voice), Hungary (again yes, this was possibly the most credible song on offer), Georgia (well not my thing really, but a memorable show), Latvia (this was just bad opera to me), Serbia (not my thing, but she has an amazing voice), Bulgaria (this did sound massive in the arena), Turkey (again a great show and performance of a great RnB effort) and finally Moldova (yeh again she nailed this). So nothing from the west of Europe and no Andorra.

To say I was gutted would be an understatement. I was obviously in agreement to the rest of the audience due to the booing, which even drowned out the presenters. We chatted to the UK and Austrian commentators afterwards and both agreed with us that never has bloc voting been this extreme. On reflection, I can understand why 7 of the 10 qualified and I do believe that they were decent qualifiers, but FYR Macedonia, Georgia and Latvia? I just don't get it. How could they qualify over Andorra, Netherlands and Denmark? It's just odd and they way it came across was that the West is helpless against this blatant Eastern bloc voting.

This was backed up in the final, when the remaining Western countries competing:- Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Finland found themselves in the last third of the scoreboard come the end of the night. Surely they weren't ALL so bad? Ireland and the UK I can agree with (the performances were shockingly bad), but Germany? Sweden? Finland? they rocked and were light years ahead of Romania's, Bosnia's and Latvia's attempts. I dunno, the EBU seriously needs to sort this out before the West just thinks enough is enough and pack their bags.

However, it takes more than Eastern bloc votes to give a good placing and the Western countries are also voting for the Eastern countries. The reason? On balance they send better songs. They have better, more original performances. They know how to put on a show. It means much more to an artist from Belarus or Armenia to compete in Eurovision than it does an artist from the UK or Norway. And this is also part of the problem. How do we in the west convince a generation of people who still consider the Eurovision to be a contest of schlager music that it no longer is this? Schlager has had it's day and that was proven so dramatically in the semi-final.

On balance the top ten in the final all deserved their place there. There isn't one duff song (save the Ukrainian effort, but even that is cleverly camp, unlike the UK's naff camp). There isn't one duff performance in that top ten:- Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Belarus, Greece, Armenia, Hungary and Moldova all nailed their performances and all deserve their top ten placings. There's no denying that bloc voting helps, but where was Bosnia, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, Latvia, Georgia or Lithuania in this list? They were further down the table - proof that you need more than just having a lot of neighbours to do well at Eurovision. If all it took was having lots of neighbours, well Russia would win every year. Russia's never won. If Finland - a country never having got higher than 6th - can win in 2006, then surely all it takes for the West is to come up with a great song, a great act and a great performer. Sadly, the East just did this better than the West last Saturday night. The West still thinks of Eurovision as stuck in the past... the East see it as very much in the present and therefore they are always going to do better until the West realises this.

I'm still gutted for Andorra... they had a great song, a great performance and quite frankly, they were robbed. But, they got 12th place in the semi-final and were only 12 points behind qualifying. Similarly, Portugal shockingly came 11th in the semi - just 3 points behind qualifying - Portugal's best result for years. My advice to RTVA and also RTP.... don't give up. You were close this year and proof that with a little effort the West can do well. With a crap song you will always do bad - Montenegro (part of the former Yugoslavia) bombed big time in the semi-final.

All this talk of broadcasters withdrawing is bad sportsmanship in my opinion. Yes I agree that the EBU needs to look closely at the bloc voting (which is blatant) - especially in the semi-final where it is far more decisive I feel. But to simply have the Western broadcasters give up is bad taste. They just need to make more effort.

So... 2008... Belgrade here we come!

Download the winning song Molitva by Marija Šerifović below:-

English version (Destiny) -
English dance mix (Destiny)-
Finnish version (Rukoilen) -
Watch the winning performance below:-

Monday, May 14, 2007

Best of 2007 national finals:- part four

01 - Monrose - Even Heaven Cries
2nd in the German national final

02 - Jennifer Chevallier - Mon Étoile (My Star)
Unplaced in the French national final

03 - Sonya Aldén - För Att Du Finns (Because You Are)
6th in the Swedish national final

04 - Tάμτα - With Love
2nd in the Greek national final

05 - Luka Nižetić - Pusti Me U San (Let Me Into A Dream)
11th in the Croatian national final

06 - Mariza Ikonomi - Ku Është Dashuria? (Where's The Love?)
3rd in the Albanian national final

07 - Trilogy - Starlight
2nd in the Maltese national final

08 - Johanna Kurkela - Olet Uneni Kaunein (You're My Most Beautiful Dream)
6th in the Finnish national final

09 - Hele Kõre & Kristjan Kasearu - Romeo Ja Julia (Romeo And Juliet)
2nd in the Estonian national final

10 - Cyndi - I'll Leave My Heart
2nd in the British national final

11 - Marie Lindberg - Trying To Recall
5th in the Swedish national final

12 - Дзiянa Гypцкaя - How Long?
2nd in the Belarussian national final

13 - Vanessa & Henrique Feist - Além Do Sonho (Beyond The Dream)
3rd in the Portuguese national final

14 - Гpyпaтa - Back In Your Heart
5th in the Bulgarian national final

15 - Re:public - Home
6th in the Latvian national final

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Best of 2007 national finals:- part two

01 - Andra & Simplu - Dracula, My Love
Disqualified from the Romanian national final

02 - Кpyм - Дoкoгa (How Long)
Unplaced in the Bulgarian semi-final

03 - Medhi-T - On And On
2nd in the French national final

04 - Big Brovaz - Big Bro Thang
Unplaced in the British national final

05 - Coфи Mapинoвa И Уcтaтa - Я Tвoя (I'm Your's)
3rd in the Bulgarian national final

06 - BZR feat. Cheb Hamid - Galbi
Unplaced in the French national final

07 - D'NASH - Tu Voz Se Apagará (Your Voice Will Fade Away)
3rd in the Spanish national final

08 - Arne Lauri & Deva Deva Dance - Supreme Nature
9th in the Estonian national final

09 - Eлeнa Пeтpecкa - Пeaм (I'm Singing)
5th in the FYR Macedonian national final

10 - S-Lavina - Higher (Balkan Heart)
10th in the Bulgarian national final

11 - Claudia Faniello - L-Imћabba Ghamja (Love Is Blind)
7th in the Maltese semi-final

12 - Helena Vondráčková - Samba
Disqualified from the Czech national final

13 - Unknown artist - Báilame (Dance For Me)
Unplaced in the Spanish selection process

14 - Sebastian - Naj Svet Zakriči (Let The World Cry Out)
9th in the Slovenian national final

15 - Maja Гpoздaнoвcкa Пaнчeвa - Кaвиjap И Cвилa (Caviar And Silk)
15th in the FYR Macedonian national final

16 - Feminnem - Navika (Habit)
9th in the Croatian national final

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Best of 2007 national finals:- part one

Download my favourite songs of the 2007 national finals season. I've only included studio quality versions, which explains the lack of anything from Armenia, and I've tried to be as democratic as possible and find something from every country. However I was unable to find anything worthwhile from Montenegro as all 10 songs in their final were, in my opinion, rubbish!

01 - Elli U - Trans-European Express
10th in the first Latvian semi-final

02 - Andreas Lundstedt - Move
6th in the first Swedish semi-final

03 - Indiggo - Lovestruck
Withdrawn from the Romanian national final

04 - Infinity - Hooked On You
Unplaced in the Norwegian national final

05 - Пeтя Пaвлoвa - Runaway
Unplaced in the Bulgarian semi-final

06 - Cвaякi - Caлoдкi Mëдзiк (Tasty Honey)
5th in the Belarussian semi-final

07 - Hafsteinn Þórólfsson - Þú Tryllir Mig (You Make Me Mad)
3rd in the Icelandic national final

08 - Måns Zelmerlöw - Cara Mia (My Beloved)
3rd in the Swedish national final

09 - Charizma - Emily
Unplaced in the Polish national final

10 - Laura Voutilainen - Take A Chance
4th in the Finnish national final

11 - Ragnheiður Eiríksdóttir - Ég Og Heilinn Minn (Me And My Mind)
Unplaced in the Icelandic national final

12 - Sopho Khalvashi - Fantasy Land
4th in the Georgian national final

13 - Vanilla Ninja - Birds Of Peace
4th in the Estonian national final

14 - Elin Lanto - Money
Lost to Kom by Jessica Andersson in the Swedish wild-card round

15 - Aвiaтop - Aнгeли (Angels)
5th in the Ukrainian national final

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Portugal:- Studio version

The last studio version from the songs for 2007 is here. At long last!

A few good men

Today the US military announced that they would no longer allow army soldiers / marines to have large visible tattoos other than those they already possess.

What a shame I say as it'll lead to less of this:-

In order to ensure that the finest American military guys don't go getting any more tattoos, the army is photographing each soldier. Oh to be that photographer!

I can but dream!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Joleen, Joleen, Joleen, Joleen!

On Saturday night David, Nicola and myself went to see Dolly at Sheffield Arena. It was all very poppy and not as good as the last time I saw her when she played with only a bluegrass band. However, her voice was, as usual, note perfect and she played a couple of the songs I like including Shine, Two Doors Down and Joleen. Sadly though she never did some of my favourites, especially her version of Stairway To Heaven, which is amazing. For me she could have done more bluegrass as I always think that's where she really excels and not in songs like Those Were The Days, but there ya go!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ukraine:- Studio version

If you're seriously head-fucked then you can find the Ukrainian entry below in studio quality.

It's mental and hideously infectious... I'm having a bad feeling.... very bad.

The title change is to avoid the confusion that they had sung "I want to hear you say... Russia goodbye" in the national final version. Apparently they never did such a thing!

Oh they wouldn't have done that to secure a big vote from the anti-Russian lobby in Ukraine. Would they? Hahaha...

They've said "lasha tumbai" is Mongolian, but according to the Mongolian embassy in Kyiv it ain't!!! Who knows!


Вєрка Сердючка - Dancing Lasha Tumbai

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Flying the UK flag (but not for me)

The British national final (and last one of this year) was held last night in Maidstone. Five of the six entries were well sung and whilst not all of the five would have been great ESC entries, I could have supported them.
Sadly the worst act won. For those that still don't know that was Scooch with their song Flying The Flag (For You).

They can't sing, they can't dance, they have zero song-writing ability. They have used every camp, gay innuendo in the book. They represent nothing of the current UK music scene. They are plastic pieces of nothing.

To say I'm embarrassed is an understatement.

I feel sorry for Cyndi (who sang her heart out) and what Wogan did to her at the end. He said that she'd won, when in fact she had come second... however we never saw the result of the televote and it all seems a bit suspicious to me.

I feel sorry for Big Brovaz (who were fucking excellent and took defeat graciously) whose career is now ruined by the idiotic British public.
I don't feel sorry for Justin Hawkins, who proved what an arrogant bastard he is by storming off the stage in a strop.

I feel sorry for the rest of Europe who will have to endure this nonsense on 12 May.

I feel sorry for the country that comes 11th in the semi when we have squandered our automatic place in the final with this.

Wogan should be sacked, how he decries "johnny foreigner" and makes people not take their opinion seriously is beyond me. The opinion of the 41 foreign countries was that Big Brovaz should be first with Cyndi second. Terry made people think that the opinions of the other 41 countries don't matter when ultimately that is ALL that matters. The BBC should pull out of ESC and give it to Channel 4 or take a year's break and evaluate the way they select the British entry.

We deserve nothing more than 0 points with this in my opinion.

And to all those Brits who will decry another abysmal UK result in Helsinki, they should take a look back at the MYMU on 17 March and think... well we only have ourselves to blame.
Scooch - Flying The Flag (For You)

Ear we go again!

On Friday I got some bad news.

I was at the hospital for a check-up on my ears when they told me that I've got a new tumour in my left ear. Again. This is the 3rd time now and only 18 months after the last one.

To say I'm gutted is an understatement. It's benign, but is attached to my inner ear so is quite dodgy, which means they need to operate quite soon. So... 3 days after we get back from Helsinki, I'll be in hospital having me head drilled apart... hahaha... soon there'll be fuck all left in there!

I'm so worried that this time I'm gonna lose my facial nerve... I mean how many times can they get in there without doing damage to it... not even to say if the cholesteatoma has damaged the nerve anyway. Because it's in a nasty place the risk of me losing 100% of my hearing in my left ear is about 90% apparantly, but to be honest that doesn't bother me as much as the possible paralasis to my face.

Luckily I saw the consultant who had a proper look inside, which is good as it might have been missed by a more junior doctor who would have said come back in 6 months!

I sound a bit doom and gloom and that's not what I want to sound like... I just want people to know that cholesteatoma is evil and it's not just an ear infection. There's little widespread knowledge of it and if me talking about it helps anyone then that's good.

All I have to say is that the risks are nasty and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy... I don't know 100%, but I always wonder if I was misdiagnosed with my ear problems as a kid and if I had been correctly treated would I find myself in this situation now.

If you know any kids who have been diagnosed with glue ear, it's worth getting a second opinion from an ENT consultant or specialist. If they detect it as cholesteatoma in its early stages, then it can be removed and the child will likely have a good chance of it never recurring and of regaining 99% of their hearing. Leave cholesteatoma and the tumour will grow as the child grows:- it could then cause total hearing loss, facial paralasis, body paralasis, loss of taste, meningitis, abcesses in the brain and ultimately death.

So... my op is on 16 May and we'll see what happens from there.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Oh dear

What the fuck have we done?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Netherlands:- English version

Here's the English version of the Dutch entry.

It's called On Top Of The World. Edsilia may end up being on top of the world as this sounds so much better in English and knowing she a can belt out a tune, she should be in with a fighting chance of qualifying.

Edsilia Rombley - On Top Of The World

Ireland:- Studio version

Below you will find the studio version of this year's Irish entry They Can't Stop The Spring.

They couldn't stop the squealing pig woman on vocals either, despite many valiant efforts at trying!

Dervish - They Can't Stop The Spring

Albania:- English version

So here's the 3 minute English version of Albania's Eurovision entry.

It's called Hear My Plea...

It's still shit.

It's quite a desperate plea n all and will no doubt fall on deaf ears as everyone'll've decided to take a toilet / coffee / beer / fag / magazine / pizza (delete as applicable) break within the first 2 bars.

Frederik Ndoci feat. Aida - Hear My Plea

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Russia goes for song number one

After an internal selection, Russian TV has announced who paid the most money to represent the world's biggest country at Eurovision.
The winner of this dubious honour is a girl group called Serebro. They have little live singing experience, but that don't matter because they've got big financial backers.
To be fair to Channel 1 Russia, they do seem to be picking some decent commercial eurosongs of late and this one's no exception. It's a bit of a dance-pop crossover and reminds me a little of Ooh La La by Morandi.
Yeah this is pretty good and one of very few real pop songs in this year's contest, which'll help it to stand out... now let's just wait and hear how the girls are live.

Cepeбpo - Song Number 1

Monday, March 12, 2007

Eurovision draw:- the final

The draw for the final on 12 May is as follows:-

01 Bosnia-Herzegovina - worst possible draw for Bosnia's ballad
02 Spain - sadly have the dreaded #2 slot, but ok after Bosnia
03 - semi-finalist
04 Ireland - very bad draw for Ireland
05 Finland - ok after Ireland's ballad
06 - semi-finalist
07 - semi-finalist
08 - semi-finalist
09 Lithuania - could've been better
10 Greece - a good draw for Greece
11 - semi-finalist
12 Sweden - good draw before the break
13 France - bad draw after the break
14 - semi-finalist
15 Russia - not too bad a draw
16 Germany - possibly the best draw in the final
17 - semi-finalist
18 Ukraine - will stand out anyway
19 United Kingdom - a great draw between 2 comedy songs
20 Romania - could be a disaster for Romania
21 - semi-finalist
22 - semi-finalist
23 Armenia - could surprise with a great draw
24 - semi-finalist

Eurovision draw:- Semi-Final

The draw for the semi-final on 10 May is as follows:-

01 Bulgaria - not a great draw
02 Israel - they'll struggle from here
03 Cyprus - touch and go
04 Belarus - another bad draw for Belarus
05 Iceland - unlucky after Belarus
06 Georgia - not bad between 2 rock songs
07 Montenegro - rubbish song anyway
08 Switzerland - will stand out after Montenegro
09 Moldova - ok
10 Netherlands - likely after a break so bad news
11 Albania - who cares
12 Denmark - good draw
13 Croatia - bad draw
14 Poland - could be a lot worse for Poland
15 Serbia - great draw
16 Czech Republic - not too bad
17 Portugal - so so
18 FYR Macedonia - again so so
19 Norway - will struggle in clutch of similar entries
20 Malta - could stand out before Andorra
21 Andorra - will definitely stand out
22 Hungary - as will Hungary
23 Estonia - great draw for Estonia this year
24 Belgium - pretty good draw
25 Slovenia - very good draw
26 Turkey - excellent draw
27 Austria - possibly the best draw in the semi-final
28 Latvia - not as good a draw as you might expect

Iceland:- English version

The Icelandic song to be performed by Eirkíkur Hauksson will be performed in English in Helsinki and will go under the title of Valentine Lost.

Personally I'm not surprised this munter lost his valentine... I'm aghast he even had one to begin with, but there ya go, proof that there's someone out there for all of us!

Follow the link if you dare....

Eiríkur Hauksson - Valentine Lost

Swedes are the worrying kind

Sweden's six week long national final came to end on Saturday night in Stockholm. Ten songs competed in what is known in Eurovision circles as THE selection show.

The winner was The Ark with their glam-rock-disco disaster The Worrying Kind. I guess it's fair to say that I loathe this kind of '70's retro stuff, but I bet there's tons of people, all over Europe, who will love this.

I just have to hope now that the UK don't select Justin Hawkins as I don't think I'd be able to cope.

The Ark - The Worrying Kind

The mp3 is here:-

Czech out those little women

The Czech national final took place in Praha on Saturday night as those Bohemians (and Moravians) selected their début eurosong.
Nine entries took part. The best one had earlier been disqualified, but I don't know why. All nine songs had previously been hits on the Czech charts so at least they have some measure of popular support.
The winner was the most well known act:- hard rock group, Kabát. They've been going over a decade and I guess it's fair to say they have some stage experience. The lead singer's voice reminds me of a lot of OI bands... especially Screwdriver.
It'll come as no surprise then that the song's a rock song. It's ok. I don't mind it for the 3 minutes it lasts.
Kabát - Malá Dáma (Little Woman)

Portugal dance their way to Helsinki

Portugal's national final was held in Lisboa on Saturday night. Ten songs took part and the public voted for the winner. As ever in Portugal, it wasn't a very inspiring batch of songs.

The winner is by a young girl called Sabrina and she has a pleasant enough way about her, with a bit of a see-through skirt going on to entice the straights!

The song's basically a call for people to dance with her, and if she keeps opening her skirt like that she could well be inundated with menfolk... it's a typically Portuguese Eurovision entry, which means a) it's sung in Portuguese, b) it's about 100 rpm's too slow for what it needs to be, c) there's some heavy brass going on, d) it's all very sugary, e) it's really a bit naff.

However, if that's your idea of a wet dream then you're gonna love it!

Sabrina - Dança Comigo (Vem Ser Feliz) (Dance With Me (Come On Be Happy))

A live mp3 is here:-

Beating the Hungarian blues

After holding an internal selection, here's the Hungarian entry.
Having taken a one year break from the mêlée last year, Hungary have returned with a load of old shite! It seems that they'll not be bettering NOX's 12th place in 2005.
I really don't get why they've gone for this gravel voiced woman singing something very worthwhile I'm sure, but instantly forgettable. The main criteria for a good eurosong, of whatever genre, is it MUST, MUST, MUST have a hook, otherwise how the fekk is anyone gonna remember it to vote for you?
Nah this ain't doing it for me. Not one iota.
Magdi Rúzsa - Unsubstantial Blues (which kinda says it all really!!!)

Shake up a Turkey

On Friday Turkish TV revealed their entry for Eurovision, which they'd chosen internally.

You'll remember that the singer Kenan Doğulu had already been picked some months back when I posted his most recent song of the time.

His Eurosong sounds nowt like that!!


I'm torn on this one... it's modern yes and has a nice (subtle) Turkish element to it. Kenan's also doing his best to be Justin Timberlake, but I dunno... is it me or is the chorus like really really really really repetitive?

Listen and judge for yourself.

Kenan Doğulu - Shake It Up Şekerim (Shake It Up Sweetheart)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Women rule in Germany

Last Thursday evening in Hamburg, the Germans chose their song for Europe and David Hasselhof was nowhere to be found!!

Three songs were in the running, but this swing-lite number swung its way into the public's heart and will be representing Europe's most unnationalistic country come May in Helsinki.

The singer's clearly very good at what he does, with a nice smooth voice that suits this kind of music really well. He carries it off well n all, making it all seem very effortless and he looks the part with his trademark hat. Yeah I quite like him.

The song's nothing original, but the style is very original for Eurovision and I reckon we could see Germany back in the top 10 this year. I think the style is too narrow in the audience it targets to make it the winner, although you never know. I predict a solid result, without setting the scoreboard too much alight.

Roger Cicero - Frauen Regier'n Die Welt (Women Rule The World)

Serbia's prayers are answered

Serbia held their Eurovision selection on Thursday night in Бeoгpaд. This is the first time Serbia will participate as an independent country after the last vestige of the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro, parted company with the Serbs last May.

Ten songs were in competition to be the favourite of both the public and a jury. The winner was this rather ugly duckling going by the name of Marija Šerifović. She's got a better voice than face thank God. The song's about a prayer and isn't quite as dull as it sounds. It's a bit of a big ethno power ballad and is likely to get all the ex-Yugoslavs wetting themselves to call in and vote for Serbia. As regards a Yugoslav peace anthem, I prefer Macedonia's effort... just the lyrics in that are a lot cleverer than in this, but I can sit through it happily enough.

You can watch the video below and work out why they decided to dress Marija as a Laura Ashley sofa.

You can then piss yourself wondering why they decided to decorate the act with all manner of nonsensical acts going on behind the poor woman. The camera operators are obviously having a laugh though as they try, but fail, to decapitate the dancers at various crucial points during the song's proceedings!

Mapиja Шepифoвић - Moлитвa (A Prayer)

An mp3 is here:-

Danzing in Ukraine

Last Friday, Ukraine held their Eurovision final in Киiв. Seven acts battled it out to be the televoters' favourite.
It's not often I'm rendered speechless, but I afraid with this I am rendered so.
Bєpкa Ceдючкa - Danzing

If you possibly bear to download a live mp3 it is here:-

Armenia:- Studio version

Here's the studio version of the Armenian entry... not too different to the live version to be honest, but less people cheering!

Hayko - Anytime You Need

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Spain:- Studio version

Here's the studio version of the Spanish song.

NASH - I Love You Mi Vida

Get a life Austria

Austria announced their Eurovision entry yesterday after Austrian TV held an internal selection of both artist and song.

The singer's a guy called Eric Papilaya (very Austrian surname!) and he took part in the last season of Austria's Pop Idol competition. Therefore, logic says, he should be able to hold a tune.

The song's called Get A life - Get Alive and is being promoted as the song of the Vienna Life Ball 2007. For those who don't know, the Life Ball is an AIDS charity that holds a masquerade ball every year in Vienna (usually on the same date as the song contest). It raises money for various AIDS charities including Elton John's foundation. It is, therefore, supporting a worthy cause.

It's a pretty uptempo and rocky affair, and pretty enjoyable. It kind of reminds me of stuff by Bon Jovi and he's very popular across Europe... especially in Spain so this could get a fair share of the Iberian votes. The song was originally written for an Anastacia single, but it got dropped when she got cancer and nothing ever happened with it... it would've been interesting to hear Anastacia's take on it.

This is ok, Austrian TV have certainly made a bit more of an effort this year after they took a break last year.

A decent mp3 of the song is here:-

Luv een ze Frensh way

France chose their song for Europe on Tuesday just gone and it's an absolute work of genius. There were 10 songs to pick from and the public televoted for their favourite. It was a pretty eclectic mix of R'n'B, rap, ballads, French-Arabic and the one that won.
The winning group is called Les Fatals Picards and the song is called L'Amour À La Française (Love In the French Way). Where it strikes a stroke of genius is that it's partly sung in a mixture of English and French...
The lyrics tell a story where part of a sentence is in English and the rest in French... and it rhymes! Except this isn't the only genius part of the song.
The English is actually in Frenglish and the French is in Franglais... confused? Maybe, but it's fantastic and if you understand both English and French this is a very clever song along the lines of some of the stuff Manu Chao has come up with (check out Le Rendez-Vous by Manu Chao to see what I mean).
Great choice France...
Les Fatals Picards - L'Amour À La Française (Love In The French Way)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Making Your Mind Up

The BBC has announced, and about bloody time 'n all, that the 4th edition of Making Your Mind Up... ie the-annual-shameful-music-show-on-telly-where-a-bunch-of-wannabes-and-ex-famous-people-compete-to-win-a-place-at-the-Eurovision-for-the-UK... will be held on 17 March in Maidstone of all places.

Now Auntie's courting a bit of controversy here, as the official deadline for each country selecting its entry is the 12th. The BBC reckons they knew they'd never be able to make that deadline when they were in Athens and the EBU gave them clearance to use the 17th March as the selection date. Hmmmm... call me dubious but....

Anyway the BBC reckons that it's because they knew they'd have difficulty competing with Dancing On Ice over on ITV. The 17th looked like a better date. But... it may all have gone a bit horribly wrong as a few days ago ITV announced that they were suspending all interactive programming whilst some auditors looked into alleged fixing of phone votes or summat. Obviously Dancing On Ice is affected by this and may end up being pushed back a week... coming back into direct competition with Making Your Mind Up. It seems you can't outwit the outwitted!

Well to be fair to the Beeb, they've not done that bad a job this year, with a couple of songs that would be great entries at Eurovision. Let's just see whether the public can be relied upon to actually pick the best of the lot. I can but live in hope.

Here they are anyway. Have a listen and see what you think. This is probably the order I'd put em in:-

Big Brovaz - Big Bro Thang

Justin Hawkes & Beverlei Brown - They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Brian Harvey - I Can

Liz McClarnon - (Don't It Make You) Happy!

Cyndi - I'll Leave My Heart

Scooch - Flying The Flag For You

Bosnia's river of words

Bosnia-Herzegovina revealed their Eurovision entry on Sunday after Bosnian TV held an internal selection of both artist and song.

The artist's called Marija Šestić and hails from the Serbian Republic in Bosnia. Her Dad's a bit of an esteemed bloke as he wrote the Bosnian national anthem.

Anyway the song's a ballad and it's about rivers! Inexplicably! It's all very deep and meaningful I'm sure, but this ain't anywhere near a patch on Lejla (last year's Bosnian song which came 3rd). To be frank it's more like Za Našu Ljubav from 1996. If anyone's as sad as me to remember that then they'll recall that it came like 22nd out of 23 or summat.

The fate of young Marija is going to be determined by how many of the other ex-Yugoslavs make it through the semi-final this year. If none of 'em do (let's face it... an unlikely prospect) then Marija'll probably do quite respectably and will get high votes from the other countries of the Western Balkans. If however, say 3 of the other ex-Yugoslavs qualify she may find her voting base slips somewhat drastically.

Simply put, where's the hook in this? It's all very charming, but charming ain't gonna do well in Eurovision.

Mapиja Шecтић - Rijeka Bez Imena (River Without A Name)

The mp3 can be found by following the link:-

Monday, March 05, 2007

You gotta love Lithuania for leaving everything a mess

Lithuania's national final took place in Vilnius on Saturday night after one of the most complicated Eurovision selections (bar Spain this year) of all time. It seemed that Lithuanian telly had no idea what the rules were at any given moment and in one final act of incompetence succeeded in one more controversy at the very last moment. More of that in a bit.

The song that actually (or allegedly - depending who you ask) won was this rather subtle and jazz/folk inspired ballad. In the chaos of the Eurovision with artists stripping a go-go, camp dance routines, uptempo pop, screaming singers and general debauchery, this is an oasis of calm and rationality.

It could - with the right starting position - see Lithuania do very well indeed. I like it. I like it a lot.

4Fun - Love Or Leave

The mp3 is here:-

However, things ain't that simple.

After the three top songs were selected in the final there was another vote to decide the actual winner. Unnecessary? Yes. Complicated? A little. Confusing? For sure.

Take a look at the following article and see what you think...

I'm losing belief in Croatia

Croatia's national selections for Eurovision took place in Opatija on Saturday night and the winner was this rather bland suedo rock song.

Gone, it seems, are the days of rocking Croatian Eurovision entries. I can't even think of anything to say about this.

Dragonfly feat. Dado Topić - Vjerujem U Ljubav (Believe In Love)

An mp3 can be found here:-

A big pink Georgian story

The Georgian euro selections took place in Tbilisi last Saturday with a bird called Sopho Khalvashi singing 5 songs. The public voted and 51% thought My Story was the best.

It probably was.

It's still not great.

However, Sopho's attempted to sell it by being ill advised to wear a pink blomange that's in serious danger of becoming possessed and eating her! It's no surprise then she looks so concerned!!

სოფო ხალვაში - My Story

An mp3 is here:-

Sweden:- Wild-cards

Last Saturday night in Nyköping, the Swedes selected two wild-cards from the 3rd and 4th placed songs of each semi-final to take part in the national final in Stockholm next weekend. In a master-stroke of complication, each song was paired with another and went head to head in a knock-out competition to come up with two winners. You can find 'em below.

Sonja Aldén - För Att Du Finns

Sonja's a great singer and really sells this ballad, which despite being formulaic, is certainly worthy enough of being in the Swedish national final.

Sanna Nielsen - Våger Du, Våger Jag

It's uptempo and lively and if Sanna wasn't as flat as a pancake I'm sure this would be an enjoyable enough 3 minutes... sadly her voice is grating on me.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Andorra save Eurovision

Andorra revealed their Eurovision entry on Wednesday after an internal selection by Andorran TV. The song's a cracker. I absolutely love it.
The group are a teen punk band called Anonymous. They're big in Andorra and are starting to make an impact on the Spanish music scene as well. They've written this song themselves and whilst I'm not too keen on the theme (yet another song about saving the planet) this has got a bit of edge about it.
It's catchy, instant, modern and the boys can certainly perform. This could well - and should if we're being honest - see Andorra qualify to the Eurovision final for the first time. It may even take them very close indeed.
Anonymous - Salvem El Món (Let's Save The World)

The mp3 can be found here:-

Friday, March 02, 2007

Greece shake it up once again

The Greeks held their annual boom-bang-a-bang-athon in Aθήναι on Wednesday evening to pick their euro entry. Three songs battled it out in a 3 hour marathon show - can you imagine the BBC devoting THAT much time to Eurovision?
Ever lovers of high drama the Greek public went with the least known performer of the three... a guy called Sarbél who is Greek, but hails from London. So he'll be fighting his corner for a share of the British votes then...
The song's pretty much what you'd expect from a Greek Eurovision entry:- up tempo - check; bouzoukis - check; cute guy - check; a mini drama on stage - checkity-check. It certainly ticks all the right boxes to get the Greeks a respectable place again.
However, I'm not entirely sure about Sarbél's skills as a dancer... it's kind of like watching Lurch from the Addams Family having been reluctantly dragged up on stage by a bunch of over-excitable holiday reps.
And if I'm not sure about his dancing I'm decidedly unsure about his vocal skills, which to be frank are chronically lacking.
Your boy's got some work to do if he wants to prevent a Greek tragedy in Finland.
Σαρμπέλ - (Γειά Σου) Maria

Pushing Israel's buttons

On Tuesday of this week in the sleepy Israeli town of S'derot something quite shocking happened during the selection of their Eurovision song.

The audience actually went with something that has a political message.

And I don't mean something about how we're all so much better off being in the EU or about peace or other such nicities... they picked a song about people blowing themselves up on Isaeli streets.

The group's called Teapacks and it's oh so good... ok I'm not too sure about the rap part in Hebrew half-way through, but this is one rocking song and I think Israel have got it absolutely effin right.

Apparantly there's some talk of a possible disqualification as songs in the contest are not supposed to be political... I say bollox to that... if this gets disqualified then they could retrospectively disqualify nearly every third song that ever took part. And not even to mention the song contest of 1990, which'd be left looking very barren indeed.

It seems to be ok to sing about being European and political unity and peace, but it's not ok to sing about war... I'm sorry but that's insane.

Whilst I personally don't agree with many Israeli policies, I can understand the general feeling of fear in the country and if this is what they want to represent that communal feeling at a European Song Contest then so be fukkin it and screw the lot of em at the EBU in Geneva!!!!

Go Israel!

טיפקס - Push The Button

The mp3 is here:-

A Faddy for Montenegro

Last Sunday saw the Montenegrins hold their first ever Eurovision national final as a real proper independent country after the debacle that was the Serbo-Montenegrin national final last year. Ten songs competed against each other in Podgorica to represent the world's newest country.

They'll be represented by a guy very famous in his homeland called Stevan Faddy, but oh dear... it's like the last 20 years never happened!!!

Couldn't we just have had the guy banging the drum? ;-)

Stevan Faddy - Hajde Kroči

Here's an mp3 if you're arsed:-

Anytime you need Matt Monro back from the dead

Armenia's national final took place last Sunday night in Erevan... seven songs had made it through from two semi-finals and a jury (ever the advocates of democracy the Armenians) proclaimed this the winner.

The guy's called Hayko and he's apparantly won some Armenian national music award or summat... I guess it must've been the award for youngest old time crooner because despite his ugly mug, this chap could almost be Matt Monro, but without as good a voice.

The song's a ballad.... moving swiftly on.... ha ha, well it's not without its charm and it'll no doubt provide people with a good excuse for a toilet break during the contest, which is always a good thing during a 3 hour long show.

I think Hayko must've employed the Armenian Olympic Gymnastic squad rejects to perform the dance of the seven veils behind him so the jury'd be hypnotised into letting him win... I see no other explanation for this pile of bland dullness.

Հայկո - Anytime You Need

You can find a live mp3 here:-

My world is in the country with the longest name in the world...

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia held their national final last Saturday with 15 songs in the running to inexplicably qualify through the Eurovision Semi-Final, but then come nowhere in the main event.

The winner was Karolina Gocheva who you'll no doubt recall got FYR Macedonia an outstanding 19th place in the Eurovision of 2002 in Tallinn. That song (Od Nas Zavisi) was completely different in musical style to this!!! If you believe that then you'll believe that FYR Macedonia ain't gonna get any votes from any of the other ex-Yugoslav countries!!!!

Well it's not terrible, but it's nothing new... let's just see if Karolina throws another hissy fit when Macedonian TV have their annual argument to say that the song can't be performed in English.

Next please....

Кapoлинa Гoчeвa - Mojoт Cвeт (My World)

Download the mp3 here:-