Eurovision Song Contest 2009

May 16, 2009 at 11:39 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, )

Dale and I make a point of watching Eurovision every year and I always keep a blog about it, but this year I didn’t bother blogging the semi-finals (as most of the comments get repeated in the final blog entry). So here are my thoughts on the entries as they happened.

This is also the first time in, like, thirty years that Terry Wogan won’t be doing the commentary for the UK though. He left in a huff after last year’s farce – Russia should NOT have won it! This year we had Graham Norton, so was interesting to see how he did with it. It’s a shame Tel left – his doing the Eurovision commentary was pretty much the highlight of the evening and became a national institution.

Pre-competition entertainment:
Opening with Cirque de Soleil – fantastic
Last year’s winner running through walls inconveniently placed on a travellator – bizarre
Loving the big screens set-up on stage – very high-tech!

Entrants:
Lithuania – Very good performance with an unusual song. Good start to the comp.
Israel – Semi-decent performance, but nothing special. Only worth noting because sung by an Israeli Arab and an Israeli Jew
France – Very Edith Piaf
Sweden – Hideous opera nonsense
Croatia – Sang about feminine hygiene products (Beautiful Tena Laughing )
Portugal – Not impressed
Iceland – Very strong performance
Greece – My hot tip to win the whole shebang (I actually put money on it!) and he’s damned sexy to boot! And he’s using the fabulous travellator to great effect!
Armenia – Part Armenian and part English. Tight performance from beautiful sisters in gorgeous costumes with lovely Rapunzel hair. I have money on this one finishing top four.

Russia – Terrible on every level. A truly awful song and a dire performance by billionaire’s daughter wearing a shower curtain. Clever aging effect on the screens though. Russia obviously can’t afford to win twice in a row judging by this entry!
Azerbaijan – Decent song but below-average performance. She did OK, but he was well below par in a bizarre reversal of how they did in the semi final.
Bosnia & Herzegovina – Depressing rendition of a dire dirge. Makes me want to slash my wrists listening to this one! Surprised this one got into the final to be honest.

Moldova – What’s with the Mariachi band backing track? And the bizarre River Dance stuff? Catchy tune and energetic performance though. Diggin’ the purple suede boots – where can I get some?

Malta – Nice voice, simple rendition, but the song isn’t all that impressive – very middle-of-the-road and unadventurous. And the ending was a direct steal from the Bonanza theme tune!

Estonia – Good performance, but not much to it. Tuneful and a lovely voice, but the song didn’t really go anywhere and had a weak finish.

Denmark – Penned by Ronan Keating and might as well have been sung by him. Standard Boyzone fare. Uninspiring.
Germany – A little bit swing and with the seductive Dita Von Tease slowly losing clothes throughout the performance. Great stuff!
Turkey – This is the other one I put money on finishing top four, but the performance on the night was just a spot off. Wish I’d put the money on Ukraine or Albania instead.
Albania – Wearing a short meringue and dancing with a green gimp and two dwarves wearing Joker make-up. Wind machine ahoy! Catchy tune and well performed.
Norway – He’s cute as a pixie (needs some tweezers taken to his eyebrows though) and the tune is infectious. Possibly aiming for the Russian/Balkan vote, judging by the style.
Romania – Pretty costumes, pretty girls, pretty awful. Actually, they gave a decent enough performance, I just found the song really same-y and nothing-y.
UK – I have to say straight off that I hate this song. Andrew Lloyd Webber should stick to musicals. I also can’t stand that Jade lassie – her voice warbles all over the place. Last year we had a great entry with a fantastic performance – we’ve taken a huge step backwards with this dross. Insipid song and terrible performance.
Finland – Spirited performance but didn’t people learn about entering a song with rapping from the UK’s entry a few years back? (Daz with Teenage Life – one of the UK’s lowest Eurovision moments!). Finland should have gone with Surrender by Passionworks (which was one of the contenders) – it was a far better song and would have stood them a far better chance of winning.
Spain – I love her haircut! Very strong performance with a good song.

Interval entertainment:
More excellent Cirque de Soleil wonderment. These guys really are the pinacle of circuse permance art – they’re always spectacular! Really bizarre swimming-pool antics tha were stunning to watch.

What we bet on:
Dale and I both put money on Greece to win and between us bet on Turkey, Armenia, Ukraine and Albania as possibilities to finish in the top four, so I’m hoping they’ll all come in!

The results:

  1. Norway (with 387 points – more than any other winner in the history of Eurovivison, smashing Finland’s record from 2006 when Lordi won it with 292 points singing Hard Rock Hallelujah!)
  2. Iceland (218 points)
  3. Azerbaijan (207 points)
  4. Turkey (177 points) – DING-DING-DING! I win a tiny amount of cash!
  5. United Kingdom (173 points)

Greece finished 7th with 120 points
Armenia finished 10th with 92 points
Ukraine finished 12th with 76 points
Albania finished 17th with 48 points

It’s rather disappointing that Greece didn’t do better – we really thought they’d be right up there with their fantastic entry this year; and the UK did far better than we expected, finishing in the top five. I only won a tiny amount from one of my bets – the each-way I’d placed on Turkey.

And didn’t Graham Norton do well with his commentary? A worthy successor to Mr Wogan who made the evening sparkle with his witticisms. I had my reservations as I’m no fan of his, but he did a sterling job.

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