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