This blog is essentially a collection of posts I used to write on Facebook combined with my travel blog and expanded to make a very public forum of my thoughts regarding Pop Culture, The Interweb, Cartoons, Comics, Ultimate Frisbee, Absurdity, Life, Travel and whatever else captures my attention long enough to write about it...

Enter at your own peril!

31 May 2010

And the winner was...

Well we all know that now...

I didn't pick it though, i didn't think she'd have the ooomf to get through. And as always the 5 rounds into the voting winner system came true. But it's nice to see Germany win for the second time given how much money they pump into it. Just as nice as it is to see england lose with that terrrible terrible entry. I felt a little sorry for Moldova, they got 10 points in the first round and only scored 27 overall. The sorrow there may be related to the fact that moldova was one of my favourite entries. Talking favourites Turkey did WAY better than I hoped with their robot. Second place is a pretty good effort.

So I watched the final at Eirik's place with a bunch of his friends. It was pretty cool and lots of fun. I've never watched the eurovision with people who get into entries that much (to the point of jumping and yelling everytime Norway got some votes).

For those of you who care... so well just me really here are the final score placings for everyone. First Semi, Second Semi and the Final. Interesting to note is Romania coming 3rd in the final but only making 4th in the semi... And the other funny hah hah is Switzerland only getting 2 points in total...

So where to next?
Well I've booked a flight to Frankfurt tomorrow, and I'll spend a day or two faffing around there before I meet Lex, Vou and Robbo at Rock am Ring. Such an over the top line up I can't wait.
After that I'm going to go to Munich (maybe) and Berlin (definitely... I've heard great things about Berlin and I was to do these tours). That then leads me towards Mecca *ahem* I mean Legoland in Billund, Denmark with Cam.
From there I'm going to follow Cam south to France, where he's in Nantes. Then I'll do the obligatory trip to Paris to see the tower etc. Then (fingers crossed) Rosie and I are going to try and go to Greece together. Athens (of course) and then hopefully staying with my friend Karen in Xanthi. Then I want to go to Istanbul.
From there things get a little vague. I would really like to go to Jerusalem (just to see what the fuss is about) and then maybe float through Eastern Europe to Prague for the WUCCs. Then Anson and I are looking at going to Croatia (Dubrovnik and Split) on our/my way to the U23s in Florence. I might try and do a day or two in Rome too.

So that's how the trip is playing out... should be pretty cool.

Løve hugs and kisses
Ånt

ps I had to write this somewhere. I had a dream the other night/morning about playing a really competitive game of soccer... I hate playing soccer. But when I got up and told Eirik he said ''well I was dreaming that you were making me eat spiders. You had them in your bag and pulled one out and said it's gone off... then broke off a leg and made me eat it anyway''

I thought that was pretty funny

30 May 2010

This is Oslo calling... Dear god the Eastern Europeans are serious about this...

This is your on the ground eurovision correspondent... and indeed probably the only eurovision correspondent you know...

So I haven't been writing as much the last few days so I'm a little bit behind on my eurovision updates. I've got two Eurovision events to write about now. The Second Semi Final and the Dress Rehearsal I went to... The ''Big Event'' is tonight and I'm watching it with Eirik and a few of his Norwegian friends. Then we will go out in the city afterwards.

Anyway The SECOND SEMI...

First of all I went in a bit later this time so I was on a crowded bus and when I got to the arena it was more crowded generally... Mainly due to the time I think, rather than it being more packed out. I had my bag xrayed, so they upped the security too.
The Swedes and the Irish were out in force... with Lithuania and Azerbaijan having reasonable numbers in the crowd too. It was quite funny seeing groups of drunken Irish and Swedish guys singing songs and chants like it was some football event.

My seat was on the otherside of the arena this time... a slightly worse angle but in the front row so I had heaps more leg space =)
I think the Swedes were cheating however giving everyone in the audience glowsticks to wave (I typed this ''glowstix'' the first time... oh how cool am I). That got a lot of the crowd on side... We love free stuff.
I think this semi was the semi final for those who could afford to pay extra for fireworks and stuff. And the pre warm up screen typer was even worse this time... if that was possible. Maybe like me they blew all their good stuff in the first semi?
Other observations... All the good stuff you've heard about Swedish girls is true, and western/northern Europe see this as kinda a tacky and gay event... But the Eastern Europeans are fucking serious as death about this... They don't just want to win, it's a matter of National Pride that they win.
I think it's actually a great thing Australia DOESN'T enter the eurovision... This way we don't get stuck having to support the Australian entry which lets face it would suck balls 99% of the time... MASSIVELY suck balls... like Australian idol only way way way worse.
I was sitting amongst a bunch of Latvians and Cypriots and the Cypriot girls are going bonkers for everything and know all the words to the songs. There was also a coupe of freaking weird Armenian guys dancing and going berserk just down the row from me... Lucky the security guard keep telling them to sit down...
But watching the crowd the Swedes were the kings and queens of the dress up at this semi and there was a fair number of people taking photos of complete strangers. Generally the crowd was a little more nuts at this event, you even had the Lithuanians marching around in circles.

It was the exact same warm up lady and dance group doing the exact same warm up routine. I guess when you've gone to all the trouble to learn those eurovision and abba songs you'd want to do them more than once. Only some slight variations in warm up were used, such as the suss lines ''will you send all your love onto this little man'' and we will be ''showering with love''.... ewww sounds like a one way trip to STD land to me. The other line that was a bit of an oops was the warm up lady (who was a bit kerrie anne kennerly I think) saying ''See this big camera here? This motherfucker is very dangerous''... I loved it.

And now onwards onto the countries entries.
Lithuania... This entry was clearly my favourite here. The group around me went nuts. They had pretend instruments and a pant rip off... Everything you could need in a eurovision entry.

Armenia... This was really really lame. The chick is the bustiest performer in the eurovision and the little Armenian man down the row completely lost his shit over it. This entry also started the trend at this semi for fire shooting on stage and I could feel the heat even in my seat (40m away)

Israel... A ballad in Hewbrew... hmmm not the most beautiful language. Also he was very breathey... see my euro semi one post to see my views on that. This was also the first entry I noticed an early break to some of the swedish glowsticks... A little early much? As Maddog would say... FAIL. Additionally this guy has really weird ears...

Denmark... Always an entry I don't like... nice to see some trends remain. Fancy split boards and fireworks won't stop this entry still being painfully lame.

Switzerland... I had low expectations here even if they won the first eurovision. Once again look at his weird ears... And do you pay extra to enter with fire? You could smell the smoke/gas in the crowd... Oh and the swiss backing guitar man never seemed to make it to camera... poor guy

Sweden... The glowsticks worked better than I thought they would. A ballad but the crowd was onside because of the glowsticks, I wonder what would happen if they won the final, would they have to give everyone two sets of sticks? It was funny how after she stopped playing the guitar you could still hear it being played... I also saw the whole green room clapping for the entries as they go back stage... that's nice

Azerbaijan... Another power ballad... Drip drop... hmm. I felt sorry for the guy, al he did was help her dance and she was tearing into him.

Ukraine... God they dropped the ball this year... The highlight is her starting with a jedi hood on... Clearly this is a wind powered ballad. I think she must've won Ukrainian idol. The camera run by the man is pretty cool though.

The Netherlands... This entry was surprisingly popular and I saw a fucking blow up kangaroo in the front of the pit . An interesting start and the little clock people kept up their moves the whole time. The chick singer was dancing to herself before the entry even started though... I'm not sure how I feel about that.
It also appears the Lithuanians in the green room spent the whole time shaking their sparkly asses.

Romania... Crowd popular entry here and fireworks just like I assumed... I kinda wanted the piano to be set on fire too though. The also had little fire guns... YAY. But is it safe for her to be wearing that plastic that close to fire?

Slovenia... Did cock rock only just hit Slovenia? This is really crap. Hilarious, but definitely not good. Goodbye

Ireland- The Irish crowd went nuts and for some reason had a soccer ''ole'' chant happening. This chick has won eurovison before in Irelands three victories straight. A dull but popular ballad.

Bulgaria... WTF is with all the wings and stuff? The bodypaint and sparkles and wings had me in the mind of the old 80s cartoon silverhawks... anyone remember that? Thinking about it, didn't the silverhawks play space guitar to beat the badguys? And the lead singer shares a haircut with one of the characters I'm sure... I think these are the fittest dancers in the Eurovision... but they still look kinda creepy.

Cyprus... Will give the 12 points to GREECE! Sorry I pre empted myself there
Crap, but the girls in the crowd you see going nuts were just behind me... Oh so lame an entry... the twilight of eurovision if you listen to the lyrics.

Croatia... Feminem... I exhausted my jokes about this group name last time they competed. Oh so very very meh... And breathey =( But they do have very very long legs and a lame love heart end.

Georgia... These guys were flyering out the front asking for votes... Clearly they're not confident. And the artists appear not to have shoes or shirts... I liked the specialist floor dancing chick who was barely on camera. I swear she didn't stand up under her own power the whole time.

Turkey... Another favorite of mine... Every 2 years or so the Turkish entry is hilarious and this is one of those years. They had awesome 90s shaped guitars with some great posing from the guitarist.
But that's neglecting the most awesome part of this entry (besides general hilarious emoness) which is the FUCKING ROBOT! A robot that SHOOTS FIRE! and dances and then strips down to a scantily clad woman... But it's a ROBOT THAT SHOOTS FIRE! I repeat A ROBOT THAT SHOOTS FIRE.

Finishing the entries off meant I could stretch my legs... that was AWESOME! and then they had a last place tribute... that was brilliant, but terrible, but mainly brilliant.
The post vote closing video was fucking weird again... and then they talked to some Australians... different ones to the ones I'd seen so there is at LEAST 7 of us there

Then moving onto the Dress Rehearsal I went to. This was the Friday night and the exact same as the final, but without a winner and just for some camera shots in advance. More people attended than I thought would, but obviously less than at the final. It was a lot more chilled out and had a lot of Norwegians and families and stuff. Much less flag waving except for some dick waving an Australian flag... clearly we just don't get it.
They xrayed my bag again and the lady recognised me from before... the repeat offender terrorist I am. Once again it was the same host and jokes for the warm up and clearly the ''big motherfucker'' of a camera joke went down a treat as it was repeated. There was more Norwegian and French in it though but I could almost do that job now. Some of the jokes were getting better laughs though, I guess practice makes perfect.

Although to spoil an aspect of the show for you the audience does some dancing... and yes I remember the moves and can teach you them. It was ambitious but worked better than I thought. Also everyone has to stand because apparently the princess is coming.

The show is cranked up for the final though... Opening with last years winner was VERY popular with the crowd... it is still catchy though. Look at the backup dancers dancing like human pretzels.

So the order of entries is below... but I've commented on most so I'll only write about the 5 new ones and anything else I've noticed
  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Spain... LOOK AT HIS HAIR... oh and the weirdo dancing. Lucky for them they auto qualify, because this is the visual and musical equivalent of eating 3 bags of fairy floss. Look for the bonehead in the black suit too.
  3. Norway... No violins like I assumed... This entry is so boring I couldn't even generate a strong enough opinion negatively...
  4. Moldova... I love it... One of my favourites. I love her costume and the air hump during sax solo. And the violinist seems to think he's metal.
  5. Cyprus
  6. Bosnia
  7. Belguim- This could be a dark horse and do well. But to make a point it's not just him and his guitar, there are 2 other dudes on stage at the back.
  8. Serbia
  9. Belarus
  10. Ireland
  11. Greece
  12. UK... They start in boxes and then it goes downhill. He is crap and reminds me of Ian Thorpe. I bet he'd enjoy a pearl necklace like thorpie.... OOoooohhhh! Zing! And to those of you who think I'm gross, no I'm just Rock and Roll (and if you get THAT reference I will love you long time).
  13. Georgia
  14. Turkey =)
  15. Albania
  16. Iceland
  17. Ukraine
  18. France... Clearly they got all their Frenchness out last year. This entry is pretty good, if the voting blocks work for them they could be a winner too. Eastern Europe can stop it though. Lots of energy and the crowd loves it, but the performance itself seems almost chaotic like they're making it up on the spot.
  19. Romania
  20. Russia
  21. Armenia
  22. Germany... Well she's cute (even if it's illegal for me to say so given her age) and looks like she's having more fun on stage than any other entry (she almost looks like she's having fun on singstar)... She won't win though. Catchier and poppier than last year and I like her tattoo.
  23. Portugal
  24. Israel
  25. Denmark
They then did the crowd dancing stuff which will work ok I think... as I said I know the moves and will bust them out for you. They then tried to pretend the voting, and I wasn't going to sit through an hour of PRETEND voting so I left to go out in the city.

In summary I think France COULD win... Serbia will be the eastern european/balkan favourite (booo) and Belgium is a dark horse to do well. But my favourites (whom I will be voting for, for the first and last time ever) are Moldova and Turkey

So now it's time to bring on the main event...

Løve, hugs ænd kisses
ÅNt

27 May 2010

Touristy stuff in Oslo

So after a late night out in Oslo after the first semi final I had an exceptionally lazy day yesterday (Wednesday) I did very little during the day but sleep in, write eurovision blog, nap and read (life is tough on holidays). Then I went out with Jørgen and a few of his mates. First stop was a new little place in Oslo called the Whiskey lounge, it was really a very cool little bar with snugs and the like. Very quaint... Obviously most of the drinks were whisky/whiskey based but I wasn't drinking them... mainly due to the insane prices. But I did find an amusing scottish brewery that make a beer called the ''trashy blonde'' (you know you shouldn't). I also found another Scottish beer called the ''Fail Ale''... so yes I had to buy one instantly. We then wandered around in the city trying to find a couple of people and eventually called it a night around 3.

I also found out yesterday that Greenspeak (The company I worked for prior to leaving for this trip) has decided to close its doors. Meaning that when I get home I have no job... So I'll probably shift into full time student mode when I get back and do the three subjects I need to get my masters (rather than draw it out over another 18 months). Then the search for employment will begin... (engage sarcasm mode) oh how I can't wait... This may also slow down any plans for moving out...

Today I decided to do the touristy thing before the Eurovision Semi tonight so I went to the Nobel Peace Prize museum... That was a pretty cool place. There was a small(ish) exhibit on Obama, he being the most recent winner... and I can see the justification better now for that. And the majority is on South Africa and Nelson Mandella and Desmond Tutu... That was really interesting, both of those guys are really cool guys. I didn't know most of Mandella's history until today and I didn't quite get the Archbishop either. But yeah... wow... It's hard to comprehend for me what everyone there was going through. And whenever I visit somewhere like that, or the Bloody Sunday museum in Derry I always wonder how I would've reacted in those situations... Would I have the guts to be one of those people in the crowd facing down the cops who are going to shoot at you... That's some serious balls...

Oh well, something a little bit deeper to think about before I go to the shallow tackiness of the Eurovision

EDIT

So I've not had as much chance to blog on as the last few days. So I've decided to just add on the other touristy stuff I did here and I'll write another Eurovision post for the second semi final and the dress rehersal this afternoon.

Anyway yesterday I went to the Folk Museum, which is just a big museum that is celebrating Norway. I got the ferry over, which was nice, and the bus back. On the ferry on the way over I did overhear (yes eavesdropping is a bad habit... I'm a bad man) two Americans talking to some Eastern European guys say ''So you're hear for this Euro thing... What is it?'' Only Americans could accidently go to Oslo during one of the biggest touristy visitor weeks of the year and NOT realise.

Anyway the folk museum was kinda nice and interesting, I took a lot of pics that I obviously haven't been able to upload yet. I was particularly impressed by the little farm houses with grass growing on the roof (It's YOUR turn to go mow the roof), the Sami exhibition and the Stave Church. The Stave church looks REALLY cool.

After that I hopped a few trams around to go to the shops that had caught my eye while here (because I DOMINATE Oslo public transport now). First up was Rockmerch because they sign said ''this shop rocks''. It was ok, but nothing I hadn't seen before. Then came Pentagon which was a weird urban/army disposal store. I liked all the old army badges and stuff for sale but the massive display of knives for sale, weird guns and old school rifles and armour etc was a bit to much... and the staff were a little creepy. Last of all came a shop called Dragon Hule... This place was super cool, kinda a little weird gothy shop full of emily the strange type clothes at the back but in the front it was pretty awesome. They has special ''Police Line- Do Not Cross'' and ''biohazard'' toilet paper (tee hee), some pretty cool Roman Dirge type sculpturey toy things (I particularly liked ''betrayal'') a new card game for me to look into (Dancing Dragons) and A REMOTE CONTROL ZOMBIE! That was hilarious...

And after that I met up with some German friends of Eirik, then we hung out for a while until I went to the Eurovision Dress rehersal, which I will write about (and the second semi) soon.

RE Edit
Today (Saturday) I slept in a bit and then did more sightseeing with Eirik and his German friends. We saw som e stuff in the city and bussed out to the big new ski jump they've nearly finished building. It is very big but I have trouble believing people don't ride bikes down it in summer. Anyway I got some great shots of the fjord (I hope) and then we came back in the early arvo giving me time to eat and blog (yay) and now it is eurovision party time.

Løve, hugs ænd kisses
ÅNt

26 May 2010

And so it begins... or ''God I wish the Serbians in front of me would settle down''

Disclaimer- The following post contains sweeping racial generalisations, bias, some probably quite offensive comments and musical opinions by someone who couldn't even master the recorder... If you are offended by any of the following content I don't care, go read a different blog. That is all.


Tuesday, Stardate uhhh Norway.Oslo.whatever I don't watch Star Trek...


I'll start very briefly with the NON Eurovision stuff... Ahhh I went wandering around Oslo in the Morning... That's it. I still look the wrong way at intersections however. But I do like the fact my days in Norway have generally started late with a sleep in till 10ish minimum and then sitting up till midnight ish (aka an hour or two after the sun goes down). Very well meshed with my internal body clock.
But my day really started just before 6pm when I hopped a bus (all by myself like a big boy) to Telenor Arena for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest Semi Final Number 1. I should mention that the first people I saw on my way in were 2 Australian men and an English chick waving Australian flags, and then I met two other Australians on the bus home... So it's not just me, Julia Zemiro and that guy whose name I can't remember as the only ''Straylins'' here.


I guess I should warn you in advance that I've been keeping not so much a diary/journal as just a notebook of what I've been doing and thinking while here, and I've been using that as the basis for my blog posts. Most have been a page of notes at best, these notes took up 16 PAGES... so strap yourself in, this is going to be a LONG one... I fear I've unleashed a beast with this whole blogging thing...


Anyway... after hemorrhaging a distressing amount of kroner I'm now proudly in possesion of a Eurovision tshirt (I will need to change the size of), some button badges (yay) and a program guide for the whole song contest. I'm not at one with the crowd however as I don't have a flag with me. Even the Aussie guys I met on the way in had flags, although they were a bit yobbish so I didn't really want to hang with them. Now if you know me you'd know I'm not the biggest flag waver at any stage... so I was never going to be waving a flag at the Eurovision. But that being said a giant blow up Kangaroo or Australian Geographic Penguin would've gone down a TREAT last night =P


At first there weren't a lot of over the top flag wavers around, but very early on I did see two (I'm assuming old and gay) Finnish guys in white Finnland suits. I posed for a photo with them, but I can't upload it yet so you'll just have to imagine it. The Finns were/are clearly the lords of the dress up at this semi... You will be able to see the massive block of Finnish fans during the broadcast. However the Formeryugoslavrepublicofmacedonia (the country with the biggest pain in the ass name in the eurovision) fans are clearly the masters of the flag wearing... at least at the Eurovision. I'm not sure they are in the same league as the Shire folk at Big Day Out with their Australian flag capes and bodypaint and racism, but they definitely do like the flag-as-cape technique in the FYR Macedonia... Hopefully with less ''kiss the flag'' ''love it or leave it'' bullshit. On that note I also had a shave Monday (so no seedy travel beard from me this time) but goddamn there were some terrible moustaches on display.
I also saw a group of like a billion (or maybe 30, it's hard to tell) Latvian kids walking through the crowd chanting ''Hey Ho Latvia'' and ''Aisha! Aisha! Aisha!'' blowing bubbles and generally wearing red and white. Part of me thought ''god I hope I'm not sitting next to them'' but another part of me thought it would be pretty funny. FYI I didn't sit near them, they were way up the back.


I think the average eurovision spectator is a fair bit fatter than the Norwegian average. Just based on observations last night. It was the first time this trip I've noticed fat people floating around at least... Damn the Norwegians and their general sexifiedness... Although there have been isolated pockets of fans really increasing the average size... In a turn of phrase that I think only Ryan will understand I saw a lady on the bus who must've been from ''Slovakia''...


Another amusing observation I've made is everyone at the Eurovision seems to think everyone else at the eurovision is insane and crazy to be there. But not themselves of course... all except for the Australians... We know that everyone there (including ourselves) is insane.


Flicking through the program before the event I came made a few observations.
  1. As always Lithuania looks like their entry (East European Funk) is insane and hilarious. I look forward to it greatly.
  2. Again as always there are too many ballads
  3. The Ukraine and Latvia seem to have hired the same Eurovision creative consultant and sent the same entry. A lone blonde female singer called Aisha for Latvia and a lone blonde female singer called Alyosha for the Ukraine. Making my disappointment with the Ukraine for not sending their normal insane entry all the stronger.
  4. Azerbaijan have decided to move into more traditional eurovision directions (ie splishy splashy bimbly flimby song titles) with Drip Drop.
  5. Russian are apparently ''making up'' a new music style with their entry... Oh dear
  6. Cyprus's entry John Lilygreen and the Islanders appears to have no ''islanders'' in that Pacific Islands sense I first think about... Which made me chuckle, imagine a Eurovision entry full of Samoans and Tongans... that would be BRILLIANT.
Grabbing a drink is not the speediest (or cheapest 65K for a schooner) process but compared to festival security at home smuggling in drinks would've been pretty freakin' easy... I could think of 3-4 hidey holes you'd get checked at home they didn't check last night. Inside of the sock, back of the hood and they even skipped one whole pocket in my bag...
A thought I had in the drinks line though. I don't like it when parents dress their kids the same, I really don't like it when they dress them in opposites but when I see girls in their 20s dressed the same (and it's just casual clothing and not a uniform or planned costume) I feel really skeevy.


Walking into the arena (that's right, we're not even inside the building yet in this report) I made another observation. The two biggest fan crews last night were Finnland and FYR Macedonia, and both of these groups were split pretty well 50-50 between men and women (although given how gay the Finnish guys seemed they'd probably have preferred to have more guys there). The third biggest group was Irish fans... but they were only Irish guys... I don't think I saw a single female Irish fan. Eurovision must be a boys club in Ireland. Unsurprisingly I think the Irish fans would've out drunk any other fan group too.


The display screens also had little messages on display for everyone whilst we were finding our seats etc starting with ''the following things are mandatory'' (oh how I chuckled... ''You will all have fun NOW''). Mandatory things included ''Smiles'', ''Open Hearts'' (awwww <3)
The screen typey person then tried the standard ''Poland make some noise'' to help the organisers find where the fans where to zoom the cameras in during the broadcast. ''Russia where are you!'' just resulted in tumbleweed and crickets however... it was such a super fail I started to laugh. There's a Vlad joke in there I'm sure... but I won't bother making it.


The crowd warm up then started with a presenter urging us to fill the room with energy, love and vibrations... And I'm sure you all see the ''love vibration energy'' joke I promised myself I wouldn't make. There was a dance group doing old eurovision winning songs and then an Abba medly... Then the hosts gave us the sit down during the songs and don't wave the flags or block the cameras talk... Like 5 times... in 3 different languages.
I did also notice that it looked like the outer stands didn't even come close to selling out... the floor packed out though and that's like 10,000 people.


And finally then the show started... and the opening mic break began at the end of my row... so I missed being on camera by like 1 person. They had the Spainards next to me on I'm sure, but I bet I was out of shot. If you watch it and see to the right side of the screen a Spanish chick and a guy with glasses... I was next to him.


Also this year they're using televoting AND juries... obviously they're trying to get some of the power away from the eastern european voting blocks. I wonder if it will make any difference to the results? I seriously doubt it...


A big bonus this year was the minimal nonsense from the hosts, they really cut back on the banter (except right at the end) and that made things a lot less cheesely painful... So no host touching up the other host action =( but also no ''so awkward you feel seedy'' either.


I won't give away any of the results because I don't think it's getting shown at home till Friday or so, but I will write up some comments on the entries with my opinions.


Moldova... Cheesey pop and I loved it. The costumes are also ridiculously hilarious, the band name weird as hell and the chick gorgeous... Add in a cool plastic violin with a light and the epic sax man and you had one of my favourite entries... They picked up their act from the video on the website.


Russia... The ''new'' form of music... They look like they're stuck in the 70s and nothing seems that new. I was a bit bored... This entry will not win and was not popular with the crowd.


Estonia... Another Ho Hum entry. A weird looking man that dances like a nut. Try and watch the piano guy going headbanger beserk and the guy in the choir collapse at the end.


Slovakia... GREAT costumes and a reasonable entry. My second fav... A little bit Ruslana wild dancers but more hippy... Great bonehead from the lady in white and the dancers have sticks and rubber bands.


Finland... A crowd fav and kinda Abba like with a bit of Polka. The on stage backing guys seem to do nothing for ages and then go completely silly... There was a Finnish fan just over from me, attractive with the black tshirt and wrist bands etc that would look at home in a metal pit, and she went NUTS for this pop number...


Latvia... Well there was a lot of cloth on stage... Does that count as good? The lyrics, the song, the backing singers and everything else with this entry is pretty lame though and she looks like she either forgot her pants or is wearing a fancy dressing gown. Very breathey singing too.
Now I'm musically attrotious, but even I've learnt a lesson from the great Tay Zonday and know that you can MOVE AWAY FROM THE MICROPHONE TO BREATHE IN! I want to hear you sing, not breathe! I can breathe! I can't sing however... so do the stuff I can't do... anyway.
When she finished the latvian kiddies did go nuts.


Serbia... Well the row in front of me went insane... I don't see why. The guy is a ugly ugly man singing a crappy crappy song. And is he rapping? I don't know... The twisty ballerinas were the only good bit. I may or may not have popped on camera here... but I doubt it.


Bosnia and Herzegovina... The man in Red gave a little devil horns sign before he went on which won me over a little. Then the guitar solo in it made me think that possibly THEY think they're metal... they're not. But they still beat a ballad. Lots of smoke and red etc... Couldn't work out the point of the backers though.


So with 8 of the 17 acts over we're nearly halfway... My how time flies! (it actually did seem pretty quick by then)


Poland... Ummm yeah... An off camera screamer, bizzare costumes, ball gags or something stuck in the the dancer's mouths, weird headlock strip dancing and a ''hello boys'' splits at the end make this a weird weird entry.


Belgium... Only one guy on stage and another crowd fav... Ok I guess, he played the crowd better than he sang though. He warmed up by the end.


Malta... Crap as always. Yet again Malta send a female ballad... I'm so over their entries. Her dress looks like it inflates but later turns into a man trying to fly away she's so lame.
This entry got me thinking... to give you and idea how far I was from stage I could've hit her with an easy backhand throw or possibly a slightly tricky hammer. So I was pretty close I guess.


Albania... Well they won't win any beauty awards... and the entry is a bit ''raining men'' but it could've been worse. They can sing. The crowd control people did also grab all the scattered albanians and put them in a big group for the crowd shot.


Greece... Why is this so popular? It SUCKS and they're sending everyone bankrupt. The Serbians in front of me went nuts again too so I couldn't see... at least it sucked. The Spainish guy next to me asked the Serbs to sit down and they flat out ignored him. And since when did the Serbs love the Greeks? The band name sounds like a greek kids tv show, but I do love strobe lights... Clearly my tastes aren't crowd normal.


Portugal... She must've won Portugese Idol or something listening to her voice and watching her head twitch... She needs lessons from Tay Zonday too... see Latvia


by now I'm firmly behind Moldova and Slovakia


Formeryugoslavrepublicofmacedonia... Fucking stupid country name and SURPRISE the serbs in front of me went nuts... AGAIN. This entry wins the ''skimpy backup singers and dancers costume'' award. And who the hell is the silver suit man and why is he rapping? Even I had taken my sunglasses off by now. The guitar solo and point at the end are the only good parts of this entry.


Belarus... Apparently this is a hard country to get a visa for. Very soft and breathey... kinda lame and I couldn't work out who the twins were. Clearly this year transforming dresses are last years violin. The dresses sent the Balkan fans nuts though.
I always though the cross stage camera run was on a boom... but it's actually a little man running with a camera in all the entries... very funny.


Iceland... No the entry wasn't called ''so sorry for all the ash''. It was a big crowd fav though. And her name is Bjork too. The entry wasn't as ''boom'' as I hoped, but still kinda catchy. The Spainards next to me and the pretty finnish chick went NUTS.


In the end I liked Moldova, Slovakia the most, the Finns were ok and Albania and Iceland came out looking alright too.


There was also a camera goof, cutting to a video that didn't play... not sure that will make it to telly. I went to both the palace and nudity park in that video. The shocking part is people in the crowd actually laughing at the hosts lame jokes.


The post close of voting video is really freaking weird. What is the point? And then the interview with the South African guy... at least he didn't say what I would've. ''Why do you like Eurovision?'' ''It's so bad it is good'' isn't quite live tv stuff.


The preview of the straight to the final entries also got me thinking.
  • Spain looks like it could be hilariously batshit insane
  • Norway have clearly thought 1 violin equaled win so 5 violins must equal ULTRA win!
  • The UK is crap... I'm calling it now
  • France looks ok, it could be a winner if the translation to stage goes well
  • Germany have dropped the ball from the Dita Von Teese entry last year... which is disappointing but they did get no votes
Oh and when they talk to the commissioner or whoever he is, look at his badly dyed toupee ish hair... very very funny


I won't ruin the results by saying them here... so that is where my first Eurovision experience will be wrapped up


I went out for post drinks with Eirik and some friends though and got to hear ''No speak Americano'' at an Indie bar in Norway... thought that was pretty cool... Yay Triple J unearthed! I then had the worlds WORST strongbow cider on tap... it was soooooo terrible I can't even work out how it got so bad. But I finished the night on a massive high by getting a high score on Shao-Lin's Road (if anyone can get me a copy of this I will love you long time) on some retro arcade machine... lots of fun... and I got home at 4am after the sun was up... Sunglasses back on for the walk home.


Løve Hugs ænd Kisses
ÅNt

25 May 2010

One Sleep till Eurovision Mania

So one sleep till it all begins...

But the less ''wet your pants'' exciting stories first... Number one I broke out the shorts today... despite it not being that warm, or even noticiably warmer than yesterday. And I think Eirik is about to cry over my disdane for grammar and proper language usage in all languages I'm exposed to (English being the number one... who cares about past participals... really). No I haven't looked at my tefl stuff while away yet, I probably should Eirik would be a great help (the irony being an Australian asking a Norwegian for grammar help in English).

I'm also slowly working out that my Norwegian is terrible, I can almost say Yes (Ja), No (Nei), Thanks (Takk) and One Beer (Un Ull)... But my spelling and writing is probably even worse than I think it is. I'm still trying to think and type phonetically... and I think I'm failing at it in such epic levels that the ''Maddog Poon'' expletives would be mindblowing. I'm still terrible with names, at best I'm just translating the name into the closest english equivalent to remember it... which doesn't work to well when it comes to saying the name. Although Jurgen isn't hard to remember or spell at all thanks to year 8 German class... One name down a half dozen to go.

I've got the address I'm staying at and the buslines to get here scrawled on a piece of paper in the hopes I won't get too lost. Maybe I should pin it to my shirt with ''if lost please return to...'' written above it? I feel like a bit like a child not trusted to stay still and not run away... Which whilst harsh to my 27 year old ego is probably the best way of describing me... I got so turned around today it was amazing... I have no idea if I'm coming or going, I am even having trouble orientating myself and finding North-South-East-West etc... Shocking...

So today I went and had a poke around the uni of Oslo and then took a trip to the nudity plaza and nudity bridge... It's not really what you think it is, but a plaza and a bridge surrounded with sculptures of naked people of all ages doing a heap of really random things... I look forward to bookface uploading then photos and tagging Anson, Suj and a host of others as people in these compromising pictures.
This was followed by some walking around in the Oslo equivalent of the North Shore, very big pretty houses and stuff with people very impressed with the area they're living in (apparently). A bbq dinner with a small group followed complete with a couple of games of Kubb (cube?) which I will forever more refer to as ''the Norwegian stick game. I'd like to think I was ok at it and was getting the hang of it by the end. For frisballers imagine a bigger more involved game of stubbyguts without the drinking and sticks instead of frisbees. It started to get darker and threaten rain then so we retired inside for me to get worked over in a few games of Flux and then absolutely BONNETED in a few games of cheat (despite teaching everyone both games and pulling off some balltearingly good cheat moves... Placing down 8 jacks in two turns and not getting called was great)

And in the big news... EUROVISION SEMI FINAL 1 TOMORROW... EXCITING

But I won't be able to blog about it (or at least the results) for a while because I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise for those of you sitting at ''home'' (reading this in the future... yet getting the eurovision in the past... fucking timezones and delayed telecasts).

So no results from me... but if anything you HAVE to see comes along I'll be sure (to be sure to be sure) to write about it.

Løve, Hugs ænd Kisses

ÅNt
(I love that I have to explain my tattoo to people over here too... Cmon ''ant'' it's obvious

Oh and for the first semi final I'm sitting in section 10... the set of sections back from where they have the little stage dongle poking into the crowd and one bay from the right... should have a good view of the stage and dongle...

24 May 2010

Yes, I am visiting for the Eurovision... Yes I am serious... No, I'm not gay...

So resuming from where I left off last time...

Had a bbq in Moss with a bunch of extremely distant relatives I'm imposing myself on whilst in Norway (equalling out the generations we share great great grandparents). Was quite nice and I managed to terrorise most of them with stories about how terrible all our bitey-stingy-deadly animals in Australia... Norway has ONE snake that isn't deadly, it just hurts (called the sting worm or something like that) and very rare wolves, bears and moose.

I'm still having issues accepting the fact that the sun doesn't seem to go down here... it's like 10pm at time of writing and barely twilight...

The day after the bbq I tripped around the Moss area a bit and saw a boat that is being hand made-repaired by friends of Tordis. Then that evening (is it really evening if the sun is still up? either way it was like 8pm) i hopped a train with Eirik and his mate off to Oslo. I stayed the night with him in his student accom flat (very cool, it's a circle!) and went out with some friends of his.
After a very late night, and a very long sleep in I spent my first day in Oslo tripping around with Eirik and Istvan looking at the city with it's seedy underbelly (We walked past a hooker negotiating with a customer at like 3pm and I got the giggles) and the nicer areas too. I saw their new Opera house (apparently I needed to see it because being from Sydney, Opera houses are things I'm into), the castle, the palace and the Oslo version of Darling Harbour... Complete with 80s-90s renovations and Imax...
Then I went for dinner with Eirik at Silje's and Jurgen's place where I'm going to be staying for a few days. Jurgen then insisted that we go and throw a frisbee around in the garden for a while.

Anyway, signing off for now

love hugs and kisses
Ånt

22 May 2010

3 planes, 2 busses, 2 car trips, a train, a ferry and a load of walking...

So I'm in Norway now... and losing battles with keyboards left, right and centre...

Anyway I'm 3 days into my trip now (i think) and i've been noting down what i've been doing in my little journal thing so i'll put down the relevant info here.

1) Tim Minchin is pretty cool, I watched one of his live shows and the doco on him on the qantas flight i was on... but thanks to some system stuff ups missed the end of both (if you were already on the list qantas you'd be on the list).
2) i finally got to see airline turbulence... not massive, but enough to postpone them serving the meals... that made the flight interesting.
3) Ev and Linus's kick to the head podcast is worth the money... all $0 of it... and i'll forward my comments direct to them... suffice to say boys, I own a razor scooter and a mambo hawaian shirt (both dating back to the 90s) and yes avril lavinge sucks but she's very very pretty.
4) The men who stare at goats, hurt locker and district 9 are all good movies (can we see the district 10 sequal coming yet?)

As for the 36 hours I spent travelling... well initially i was to be flying sydney, bangkok, amsterdam, oslo and then training or bussing to Moss. But KLA cancelled my bangkok to amsterdam flight... sooo they changed me to a Singapore to Amsterdam flight and put me on a qantas one to singapore meaning i had to transfer mid flight... the poor girl at singapore airport trying to deal with my transfer at midnight local time was very very confused.
Additionally due to the changed middle leg of my flight i landed at Amsterdam to late to get my original Oslo flight... so I was put on one to Torp, not Oslo. Torp is a smaller airport 100km+ SE of Oslo... Moss (my first stop) is 100km+ SW of Oslo on the other side of the FJORD... So after my plane I needed to get a train, a bus and a ferry to get to Moss. Suffice to say i got off the plane and was instantly lost... but managed to get to Moss without needing to back track once or taking a wrong turn. The ''clueless australian tourist'' schtick works well for getting directional advice.
On that note... Norwegian PT... WOW... Way to clean and trusting...
The only real hiccup was trying to get the number of the people I'm staying with so I could get to their house. It took a while with a lot of wandering around in Moss trying to find somewhere I could access the internet. But eventually I managed to charm a pretty little norwegian girl at a travel agents to look it up for me in the Norwegian ''yellow pages'' on the web... she was very nice to a sweaty stinky clearly cluelessly useless australian backpacker who was never going to be a customer...

I have some other things i wanted to post, but can't upload the pictures yet so i won't mention them yet... but there are street signs that say 'fart'... tee hee

So that was the first ''two'' days of my travel and after a lovely night sleeping off my jetlag I spent today faffing about in Larkollen with the people I'm staying with and reading my book. Off to Oslo tomorrow arvo maybe... or maybe the day after... I'll decide later.

So no issues so far, except the driving on the 'other' (not wrong... OTHER) side of the road causes me a little confusion... i keep looking the wrong way. I'd say I'm at risk of being hit, except Norwegian drivers seem to stop the moment you even look like you might consider crossing the road...
oh and the sun doesn't go down till like 11pm... weird...

Love, hugs ænd kisses
ÅNt

17 May 2010

The Eurovision 2010 Spectackylar

So I leave in two days and it's time to get started on the hype and speculation. Now I'll leave the WUCCs/Frisball hyping and speculation to their dedicated portals and pundits (insert shameless plug for FORCE SIDELINE and the likes here) and get on with what I know about... So channeling the catch phrase of this years Eurovision "Share the Moment" I thought I'd get talking about this year's Eurovision...

So rule one of Eurovision with Anthony... the Eurovision has NOTHING to do with Music... it's a complete social and geopolitical bonanza with a musical backing... So first off you need to cleanse your mind of all musical taste and desires... Go in with a blank pallet but an abundance of geopolitical awareness...

Rule two... you will never pick the winner first up... it's always a surprise. But by round 3-4 of the voting you can generally pick it thanks to the voting blocks... Basically regardless of the entry people always vote in SIMILAR patterns (ie the balkans all get together beforehand and decide which one of them gets the votes this year. The baltic block does the same. Cyprus ALWAYS votes for Greece. Norway/Sweden/Finland all vote for each other and noone votes for the UK except Ireland). But on top of that you have the current political tensions playing out... The Ukraine and Russia are always interesting, isn't it funny how the year Russia shuts off everyone's gas they win?

As such I was discussing the ramifications of the Greek/European financial crisis with the young yet learned Maximilian Von Halden and another dude whose name I forgot/never caught over the weekend. End result is Greece is normally a very consistent performer at Eurovision, possibly due to their sending of Sakis every second year ( and not forgetting it's minimum 10 points from Cyprus). But this year Greece has managed to get on the bad side of a large swathe of the EU and this will surely see a drop in their votes... at least from Western Europe (normally quite sympathetic to Greece). I don't think we shall see much of a change from the Balkan block however.
Anyway this year Greece are sending Giorgos Alkaios and his buddies to sing "Opa". I'm not wowed by this at all... Georgey baby looks like he's a bit older than he thinks/wants anyone to realise and the best way to cover it up is surround yourself by dancers jumping around. Regardless of the Economic situation I wouldn't back this for a win (even with the formidable voting blocks behind it) so seeing how it will do given the circumstances could be interesting. One bonus for that is we won't be subjected to the bankrupt Greek economy trying to host the Eurovision next year.

I also thought I'd look for a few past favs... just to get a heads up on what the cool kids are doing this year (in this case cool meaning "batshit insane"). First up... No Austria (again!) Needless to say I'm a little disappointed =(...
Now I haven't looked at ALL the entries (no need to ruin all my surprises) I just took a peak at a few of my personal favorite countries... you know those entries that you have a bit of anticipation for... So a true looney (such as Lordi) or the like could slip through here but these few always give me a bit of a tingle in my happy place when I hear them announced.
First up... Moldova... Now I can still remember their debut entry of "Grandmamma in a rocking chair with a drum" and they've never let me down before... So I was almost shocked with how sickeningly "eurovision conventional" Olia Tira and the Sunstroke Project seemed at first glance. Thankfully the slightly odd name got me thinking (Sunstroke Project? Really?) I guess sunlight and heat might be still in short supply in the backwater sections of the former USSR so sunstroke may not actually be something they've experienced and coupled with the song name of Run Away maybe they're hinting at a desire to nick off and get some sun... Now Oslo might not be the best choice, but I'm sure they could get to Amsterdam and then a connecting flight to almost anywhere they could want... But regardless of that I don't have high hopes for bizzaro schenanigans during this entry... Although Olia does appear to be quite attractive with the trademark "Eastern European eyes of death" (as so aptly described by a close friend of mine).

So to another solid performer in the "batshit" stakes... The Ukraine. Now if I was a little disappointed with Moldova I'm utterly shattered by the Ukraine. They entered a lone female singing a ballad! A Ballad for fuck's sake... What the fuck are the Ukraine doing entering this sort of shit... This is what we reserve for Cyprus or Bosnia or some other shitpot country... Not the mighty Ukraine of the hilarious WTF entry... Gone are the Cyber Trojans, gone is the tribal techno whip cracking glory of Ruslana and in with Alyosha and her "Sweet People". Now at least Olena Kucher (oh how I wish she was related to the much laughed at Ashton) had the pop stariness to give herself a stage name... But she didn't even insert a $ or some odd capitalisation... How can she be taken seriously now? Oh well... obviously she's pretty (and I probably didn't even need to say that).

So with a heavy heart I thought I might bump around a few other entries searching for hope... Romania are normally tastelessly sexed up so I gave them a look... No dice... But then I looked a little deeper. A dual piano act with some form of conjoined piano monstrosity (tick) and "playing with fire". Paula Seling and Ovi might be onto something... They had a few flashy fire tricks at the Romanian finals if this can't (and isn't) ramped up for the semi/final I will be disappointed... so some potential there.

Nipping over to a large fan site (not the official one) I found myself a leader board... Now obviously these things are untrustworthy on the net... but it showed me another few entries to look at Turkey appear to be the most popular... (back to their whack job best I see... no belly dancing this year though =( Armenia looked popular too... but having had a peak I'm not even going to bother posting the link... She's pretty and probably won Armenian Idol... you can imagine what it's like already. On that note Latvia looks hot too (in a purely gratuitously objectifying way... the song sucks)

So it appears female ballads are here to stay =( Violins/small string things you play with a bow may or may have remained "the new black" =| and "was that really their entry?" entries may not be in abundance... Does this mean HORROR OF HORRORS people are taking the Eurovision SERIOUSLY?
If so I'm going to cry...

Anyway... i may or may not write more before I leave

But that's a start... and so far I'm going for Turkey

Love, Hugs and Kisses
ANt

12 May 2010

CeleBRATies... Did you see what I did there?

So some new content is clearly needed so I decided to crap on about something that has been pissing me off for a while (which isn't related to religion, politics or the imminent stock exchange destroying revolution... because most people don't like it when I start yelling and screaming about things that matter). So we're going to shit on about CeleBRATies (you see it's funny because I'm saying "celebrities" but also "brats" at the same time... inferring these celebs are actually brats... it's a pun... and funny)

Anyway this is sparked by the fact that half the "news" featured on my mobile seems to revolve around Lara Bingle, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian (thank you 3 network... lord knows you wouldn't want REAL news given to people).

So first of all... Who the fuck is Justin Bieber? Like seriously... What does he do? I've gathered he's 16 and the girls seem to riot over him... But I can't seem to work out what he does. I'm making a guess he's a singer of some form but that seems to mean nothing these day. Apparently Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan are singers too... Now I may be dating myself (because no-one else will! SELF ZING!) but "back in my day" singers and musicians actually SUNG and played music... Myspace is a quite successful forum for new musicians because you can go to their thing and listen to them, but this little pint size (I'm assuming he's short, I've not seen anything but a headshot) teenage fuckhead seems to do most of his promotion by twitter... Isn't twitter more of a text thing? Now my twitter experience consists solely of getting frisbee results so I'm not the most up to date there... but twitter doesn't make any noise! Singers are paid to MAKE noise...

And yes the "offensive" appeal of Mr M Manson and Blink 182 etc probably did mask the fact that their music kinda sucked. But they never had fucking riots on the streets... Either way, pop music sucks and so do manufactured celebs.

Anyway apparently he (the bieb-fuck) tweeted (or maybe twated) that he was dating someone and she got death threats (possibly to her twitter?). There's so much wrong with that I don't even know where to start... so we shall move on
Anyway the death threat chick was Kim Kardashian... WHO IS OLDER THAN ME! This kid is fucking 16... all kinds of wrong there... "1/2 your age + 7" rule to start with... And let us not forget it was a similar sort of age difference that caused Anakin Skywalker to fall to the dark side (he was like 10 years younger than Padme MINIMUM... cradle snatching republic ruining hussy).

Now I actually had to look up who Kim Kardashian is... At least the bieber-fuckhead made it on the news... apparently Kim is famous for being famous... much like Paris Hilton without the inherited fortune. When the fuck did people start being famous for being famous? Like seriously? At least pin up celebs used to be in movies and stuff... Who the fuck are all these people? Where do they come from? Is their some pond out the back of the Disney film lot that they just congeal in?
The other thing that Kim seems to be famous for is her ass... How? It's not even that nice and ass... I could rattle off a bunch of names of celebs and friends of mine with nicer asses... Everyone has an ass... I'd be more inclined to hear about the day to day life of someone WITHOUT an ass...
Would they just be unable to bend? Or maybe just unable to poo... either way that would make life rough... or maybe they'd just stop at the waist... See what I mean... way more interesting than someone hinged between the legs and torso.
Now I'm not bagging asses... I'm quite partial to them... In fact the hot twins at the gym doing squats in the tiny shorts was the best thing that happened all Monday... To quote the great Geoffrey "Scary Geoff" Murdoch
Do you know what arses are, Patrick? Arses are the human race's favourite thing. We like them on each other, we like them on magazine covers, we even like them on babies! When it itches, we like to scratch them, when its cold, we like to warm them, and who among us, in a lonely moment hasn't reached back for a discreet fondle? When God gave us our arses he had to stick them round the back just so we wouldn't sit and stare at them all day. Cause when God made the arse he didn't say "Hey it's just your basic hinge, let's knock off early." He said "Behold ye angels, I have created the arse. Throughout the ages to come, men and women shall grab hold of these and shout my name!"
But to make a career out of having an ass and being a bit of a slut seems kinda bullshit to me.

Love hugs and Kisses

ANt

My first new post



Wooooo scary... So here's the first new post for my shiny new blog (as opposed to something stolen/adapted etc from all the shite I've written on bookface). Given that I started this to put some coverage out there about what I'm doing and when I guess the best thing to start with would be to just start with my current travel plans... So here they are
  1. 19th of May- Leave Sydney and fly to Oslo via Singapore and Amsterdam (I think)
  2. 20th of May- Land Oslo and *hopefully* hop a train to Moss to meet/stay with some very very estranged relatives (possibly a Great or Great-Great Grandfathers Great Grandchild? Maybe... possibly with an adoption in there too)
  3. 23rd of May- Back to Oslo
  4. 25th of May- EUROVISION Semi final 1!
  5. 27th of May- EUROVISION Semi Final 2!
  6. 28th of May- Eurovision Dress Rehersal
  7. 29th of May- EUROVISION Final!
  8. 31st of May- Munich maybe
  9. 2nd of June- Frankfurt maybe
  10. 3rd of June- ROCK AM RING! I will be seeing Kiss, Ramstein, Muse, RATM, Bad Religion, Rise Against and Gogol Bordello amongst other bands
  11. 8th of June- Berlin- I've been told not to miss this...
  12. 11th of June- Denmark and Legoland? With Cam Maybe? Must try not to buy to much...
  13. 13th of June- France? Crashing with Cam? Maybe tripping off to Paris
  14. 17th of June- Greece? Crashing with Karen perhaps?
  15. 21st of June- Istanbul? Not Constantinople... I do like the Byzantine thing too
  16. 24th of June- Jerusalem? I would LOVE to go here to see what all the fuss is about.
  17. 27th of June- Romania? To see Dracula or castle Bran or something
  18. 30th of June- Arrive in Prague, 2 days faffing about before WUCCs where I am a vollie
  19. 12th of July- Croatia with Anson?
  20. 18th of July- Italy- Florence for the U23s with maybe a trip to Rome at the start
  21. 26th of July- Fly out of Florence to Sydney via Amsterdam and Bangkok (I think)
  22. 28th of July- Land in Sydney
So I have a lot of things I'd LIKE to see... but not a huge amount set in stone. Working on my packing list I have clothes, earplugs, torch, food eating things, tent, sleeping bag, boots, lonely planet, cleats, camera, ipod (if it hasn't fucked itself), adapter, toiletries, tix, flux maybe a phone and My Gormenghast trilogy... so only one book =( Have I forgotten anything?


Love, hugs and kisses
ANt

10 May 2010

The Eurovision 2009

Eurovision 2009- The Death of the Comedy Entry





So I thought about writing a series of posts talking about the semis and finals with highlights and crap like that and possibly some links… similar to what I did last year, but in the end I felt it would be more amusing for me if I just start crapping on and ranting as I’ve taken to recently… It may be a bit harder to read, but hell I’m writing this for me not you lot (I’m not sure anyone even reads these, or finds out I’ve been writing them thanks to yet another “new” facebook).
Plus I’m (obviously) not writing this quickly after the event like last year… so this is just going to be random bollocks on what I thought during the monster of an event.

Number One- Why does every other host country throw the country name around EVERYWHERE (especially Serbia and the three fucking rivers… did you know there are three rivers that meet in Serbia apparently… and not much else). Anyway… Russia barely said the “R” word and spent all their time talking about Moscow? Did anyone else notice that? And most countries seem to barrage everyone with scenic shots of the city to encourage visitors… but not Moscow/Russia, you barely saw anything… The USSR does not require your “visitors”?
And while I’m harping on about Russia and how weird some of the shit they did was… WTF was up with the Hosts? And the Floating Pools? The pools were just freakin’ weird and asking for trouble… see through trampoline pools lowered slowly onto the crowd? And then girls belly flopping onto them in some weird form of faux mud wrestle? Weird… It doesn’t scream Russia/Moscow/Eurovision to me… it made for interesting TV though (but some of that was just hoping the whole thing ruptured and they dropped a huge amount of hopefully cold water onto the audience). But the hosts… WOW The semi final hosts were below par even for the Eurovision, the chick wasn’t a font of amazing but that guy was terrible… like REALLY bad… and the way he kept grabbing her on the first night was cringe worthy but hilarious at the same time. The second night was about as bad, except she didn’t flinch and run as much and struggled with the auto prompt a little more… Are you thinking what I’m thinking? They got her drunk so she wouldn’t run away. Anyway the Final hosts were better (Pictured). Not only could they present (and speak French) there was no “Is that your gun in my pocket? Or are you just happy to see me” moments…


Secondly… What happened to the comedy entry? And Austria for that matter? I always look forward to the Austrian entry and this year I was sorely disappointed by their absence =( As for comedy entries I think the absolute balls up of Spain’s entry last year (not that they did much better this year) pretty well discouraged everyone from putting in anything with a backbone of “comedy”. Although I could be convinced that the Serbian (not the actual entry but possibly their selection vid) entry was possibly intended as a comedic entry (it was definitely a bit WTF!). Possibly Finnland’s (rehearsal video) badly pirated version of Eminem (complete with ill fitting douchebag hat) was intended to be funny too… Although it was about homelessness apparently (surely that would be a bit chilly in Finland) which isn’t the most ideal topic for comedy. And that entry was shit btw… the only positive was the 9ft tall Blonde Haired Finnish chick… Wow… intimidating... But a good intimidating. Serbia was a little wow too…but in a very different way, I wasn’t massively impressed (I never am with Serbia) but that’s the best they’ve ever done. I also though Portugal’s entry was a nice endorsement for drugs too… I kept excepting the guy on the ukulele to start screaming “MY HANDS ARE HUGE” in Portuguese.

General observations lead me to believe that Violins are the new black, everyone was playing the things… That and the whole “lifting the cello” act… Isn’t that on a stand for a reason? It was also a very big year for the wink… Some entries were managing 3+ winks in their song. I find that a little annoying, I love a spontaneous flirtatious wink… But 1 a minute at the exact same point in the chorus isn’t a wink, that’s a dance move for your eyelids… Turkey’s wink+point+tongue move was an interesting variant though… Quite an easy entry to watch that one… Except for that bonehead… Did anyone else think of Chas from the Chaser when they first saw the guy in dirty cargos and sneakers at the back of the Turkish entry just clapping away? He barely seemed to be part of it… 2nd biggest bonehead that year. The biggest being the poor girl in the Romanian (yet another rehearsal vid sorry) entry right at the back of stage in the grey dress… Imagine that, being in the Eurovision in an entry that is basically a perve fest (C’mon like anyone watched Romania’s entry for the song… “Balkan Girls” bah!). I didn’t mind that entry in the slightest either (pictured)

Last year France entered and English singing entrant for the first time EVER… It didn’t win and pissed lots of people off. This year their entry was more French than croissants and surrendering. Unlike the British, Spanish or German entries… which didn’t look representative of their country at all… A fair skinned blonde Spaniard? And I just didn’t like the UK entry and it shouldn’t have done that well… I think it just got sympathy votes because it was Lord Lloyd Webber and people are convinced they’re supposed to like it because he’s “good”… Well he’s not, and it was shitty. But Germany… HOLY FUCK… I loved it… and DITA VON TEESE! WOW (pictured)… That was the best entry I’ve seen in ages… Definitely my favorite for this year (and the best German entry EVER), and will stay stuck in my mind…


Dita Von Teese is awesome… like seriously awesome… I don’t care if she married Marilyn Manson she’s one very sexy 36 year old… On the opposite end of the awesomeness scale was Albania and their “Why so serious” midget back up dancing twins… that whole fucking entry was weird, From the man in a sequined gimp suit to the jailbait girl in a tutu the entire entry oozed creepy and adding two breakdancing midgets with joker facepaint and I was officially creeped up the fucking wall (as the picture shows).
I’m all for insane entries, Albania was just creepy though… and the most insane entry prize goes to the Ukraine anyway… A poledancer dancing on a ladder who was then towed across stage playing the drums by a trio of stripped down cyber trogans? How the fuck do they think that up? It was very mardi gras (pictured)…



I was planning on typing a nice “Balkanisation" joke in this post… something like

Balkanization is a geopolitical term originally used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other except in Eurovision terms where it simply means block voting for shitty entries because you don’t realise the entire competition is a joke”…
It would’ve been glorious except for the fact the block voting was only rolling at around the 7-10 point mark and as such didn’t have a MASSIVE effect on the outcome… And only the truly dedicated cynical vote observer would’ve noticed it occurring and all of those beautiful little snubs and political moves… Oh well =(

I also had a joke about the Netherlands too… but typing the set up would dignify and entry that fundamentally had no dignity… Suffice to say the punch line was “I’ve got two turntables and a whale on stage” (see pic)


I guess the last thing I have to say is about the “unshaven” look with a lot of the guys… now I’m not a guy that shaves daily, I probably should shave more often than I do but daily just isn’t necessary. Now I can theoretically understand that a bit of growth is seen as sexy but my question is how do they time it? Assuming you’re aiming for a specifics day length of growth (one, two or whatever) do you aim to peak it in the semi? Or in the Final? Or is this micro manicured one days growth with a pair of clippers and a number one? Myseteries I don’t think I’ll ever discover the answer too

Love hugs and Kisses

ANt

Ok I lie… one last thing… the Estonian entrant was BEAUTIFUL

The Eurovision 2008... The Final

Hooray for Block Voting


So the Eurovision has come and gone for another year, Terry Wogan was back (YAY), the sbs site is up and running and I've had a nights sleep to reflect on its glory. So what observations do I have from the 2008 Eurovision "Spectackylar" live (albeit delayed) from Belgrade, Serbia... Where the most important thing is it's at the junction of two rivers... apparently...
Anyway, Russia won, clearly Vlad decided that he wanted to win it and put the word out (with the choice vote for us or hold this Plutonium please) and the Eastern voting block voted accordingly.
So how did I do?
Well as normal my favorite entry (Finland) didn't win... it didn't even do well, as it came equal 23rd with the shite act from Germany and only beating Poland and the last placed UK. That's normal though (although Ruslana and Lordi did both win...)
My pick for the winner before voting was the Ukraine which ended up coming second with a phenonmenally strong finish. And my traditional 3rd round of voting pick was Greece which looked very strong early on but didn't get the points from the Balkan countries i thought it would, with Russia getting stronger Eastern votes than I thought. So it ended up getting pipped for 2nd by Ukraine just at the end (Russia AND the Ukraine 1 and 2 with a Balkan country 3rd? Voting blocks much?).
Other observations... I don't like how they change the voting display, I can see why they don't read out votes 1 to 7... with 43 countries voting that would take forever. But they should stick to changing the colour or marking the countries that have already voted so I can keep a tally of my progressively changing picks based on which countries have voted.
Otherwise Azerbajian has started its Eurovision career rather promisingly with the insane entry and Spain's entry is definately worth looking at given how hilariously bad it was (a comedy entry trying to be so bad it's good, but going to far and ending up bad, which in turn then made it good). And I think Terry Wogan is correct (as always) when he signed off "good night western europe)... unless there is some big changes Eastern Europe will win every year and the poor ole UK will come dead last each time too...

Love, Hugs and Kisses
ANt