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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Eurovision Final

May 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, , , )

Well, what a night! There were a lot of really great songs and terrific performances on show tonight (although the entertainment covering the voting section was quite the worst offering I have ever seen on Eurovision), but the Eastern Bloc vote made for a disappointing evening when it came to the scores…

  1. Romania – Bit of a damp squib for the opening number. It started well, but the female half of the duet let it down with whiny vocals. (45 points / 20th place)
  2. United Kingdom – A flawless performance, full of energy – Andy Abrams made it look easy and looked like he enjoyed himself too – he can certainly be proud of himself. (14 points / 23rd place)
  3. Albania – The youngest entrant was shaking like a leaf and lost it a bit in the first chorus, but got back on track for the rest of the song. (55 points / 16th place)
  4. Germany – Performed by a quartet containing a fright-wigged red head and a screeching blonde that really ruined this Girls Aloud-esque entry. (14 points / 23rd place)
  5. Armenia – Much better than the semi-final performance. (199 points / 4the place)
  6. Bosnia & Herzegovina – An awful, annoying song performed by two very childish singers who were done up like puppets. Honestly, it hurt the ears! (110 points / 10th place)
  7. Israel – A beautiful, simple rendition of a lovely song. (124 points / 9th place)
  8. Finland – Top-notch hot metal – an awesome, show-stopping performance. (35 points / 22ns place)
  9. Croatia – I hated every second of this one – the world’s oldest rapper shouting and scratching gramophone records. (44 points / 21st place)
  10. Poland – The singer looked like she’d been Tango’d. It was a dull song and the performance lacked sparkle. Sounded like it should have been in a Disney animated film. (14 points /23rd place)
  11. Iceland – One of the very best performances of the night – absolutely spot-on! (64 points / 14th place)
  12. Turkey – Effortlessly performed by professionals who look like they’re used to giving shows in huge stadiums. Fantastic show. (137 points / 7th place)
  13. Portugal – A sturdy performance. (69 points / 13th place)
  14. Latvia – Spirited and fun – far better than their semi-final efforts. (83 points / 12th place)
  15. Sweden – A polished performance that should have done better in the voting. (47 points / 18th place)
  16. Denmark – Strong performance. (60 points / 15th place)
  17. Georgia – Some occasional duff notes and not as good as the semi-final effort. (83 points / 11th place)
  18. Ukraine – Energetic, melodramatic and dramatic – a great entry! (230 points / 2nd place)
  19. France – Absolutely dire entry by a bunch of beardy weirdies. (47 points / 18th place)
  20. Azerbaijan – Stunning, both visually and vocally. (132 points / 8th place)
  21. Greece – One of the strongest performances of the evening. (218 points / 3rd place)
  22. Spain -Got booed after the vocalist struck a Christ-like pose during the performance. Rubbish song. (55 points /15th place)
  23. Serbia – Rather melancholy and boring. (160 points / 6th place)
  24. Russia – Atmospheric, but the vocals left much to be desired. Would be better suited to the likes of Justin Timberlake who could have done it justice! (272 points / 1st place)
  25. Norway – Nice, Duffy-esque performance. (182 points / 5th place)

However, it didn’t really matter how the performances were as political voting meant that once again the Western entries were pretty much kept out of the running. The UK finished joint last with Poland and Germany, which was something of a crime as Andy Abrahams was fantastic tonight and we definitely had the best song out of the Big Four.

In the end, it was Russia who ran away with the scores, although Greece did very well early on and looked like they might be in with a shot. But no – next year Eurovision will be held in Moscow.

One has to wonder, however, how long it will be before the Western European countries start to pull out of the competition, and once the Big Four start walking away from what has become something of an institution, it will be pretty much over. Terry Wogan was on top form, as usual, but there was something dis-spirited in his commentary and I wonder if even he will be there to commentate on next year’s competition, as he sounded heartily fed-up with the way things are going nowadays.

The only way the stop the Bloc voting will be to a) split the semi-finals as they did this year AND b) prevent those who did not make it to the final from voting in the final. It would be the only fair way to do it. If something’s not done soon, I can see this fine (albeit tacky) televisual tradition being either split into sections or abandoned all together.

And that would be a great shame.

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Reasons to be cheerful…

May 23, 2008 at 7:48 pm (Life gets in the way..., Music, Film and Television) (, , , , )

I’m in a mighty-good mood today, so I thought I’d just give a wee list of some of my reasons to be cheerful:

  1. I’m now off work till a week on Tuesday
  2. Tomorrow I’m meeting two of my buddies for a cuppa and a chat
  3. The Eurovision Final is on telly on Saturday night – we look forward to it every year
  4. I have another scan on Tuesday – another opportunity to “visit” with Tadpole
  5. It’s my baby sister’s birthday on Wednesday and we’re going out for lunch together
  6. My sister and I are going on a little road trip later next week to visit family in Northumberland
  7. I have a wonderful, adorable husband who bought two bibs for Tadpole today because they have the Chelsea logo on them
  8. I have a parcel waiting to be collected from the post office depot and I have no idea what it is – a surprise!
  9. I have a hot, scented, bubble bath waiting for me to sink into it
  10. Ian Dury and the Blockheads

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Eurovision Semi-Final 2

May 22, 2008 at 9:35 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, , , , )

“This year, the 2nd Eurovision Semi-finalists will mostly be wearing black and silver…”

Mostly monochrome on display tonight, with a hint of red in several shades. Overall I was a little disappointed – despite this leg of the semi-final having the better selection of songs, the performances just weren’t as good as those on Tuesday night, which was very surprising. Dale  and I did quite well in our predictions – I managed to pick 6 winners, but Dale topped that and accurately predicted 8 of them! So, which ones went through tonight?

  • Iceland – gave a good, solid performance
  • Sweden – not as good a performance as we expected, but still our favourite song to win the whole thing if she does well on the night
  • Turkey – well-chuffed to see this excellent rock track go through – the lads gave a crowd-pleasing performance
  • Ukraine – arguably the best performance of the evening.  If they perform this well on Saturday they might just walk away with the top spot!
  • Albania – a surprise to me – the youngest performer in the show at 17 years old
  • Latvia – the pirates were a sure-fire hit despite a lacklustre rendition of their jolly-rogering song
  • Croatia – I suspect this was the “wild card” as it featured an old man shouting a lot!
  • Denmark – I could  almost hear Mika singing “Why don’t you like me? Why don’t you like me?” all the way through this one
  • Georgia – Featured an inexplicably quick-change as part of this excellent performance
  • Portugal – neither one of us predicted this bland song would make the cut

So, what happened to my other favourites?

  • Czech Republic – the vocals were flat most of the time, although it wasn’t quite an embarrassment on the scale of the UK’s Gemini entry a few years back!
  • Belarus – again, flat vocals were the undoing of this entry
  • Bulgaria – more off-key moments, which is a shame because this woman has an amazing voice
  • Malta – I can’t understand why this one didn’t go through instead of Portugal! It was a fantastic performance with plenty of energy!

Still, Saturday should still hold plenty of excitement for Eurovision fans. This year there is a slightly more even spread of representation in the final, with Norway, Finland, Iceland and Sweden all getting through for the North; and Poland, Greece, Denmark and Portugal all joining the “Big Four” of the UK, France, Germany and Spain to represent the non-Eastern areas – the line-up is not quite so East-heavy as it was last year! It’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out.

I’m still touting Sweden for the top spot, but the Ukraine could be hot on their tail, and I think that first-timers, Azerbaijan, will do quite well. And I still reckon the UK could manage a top-10 showing in the end.

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Eurovision Semi-Final 1

May 20, 2008 at 9:36 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, , , , )

In the end I only missed the first five acts of the first semi-final, and fortunately my lovely hubby is as much of a saddo, sorry, fan, as I am of Eurovision, so he was watching before I got home from my class.

This year sees the first time that the semi-final (still relatively new anyway) has been split in two. This was done to make things a bit more fair by eliminating the block voting that was already becoming de rigeur (last year it was all the Eastern European countries that made it into the final as they all voted for one another). This year you can only vote in the semi-final in which your country is participating, which meant that Ireland and the UK couldn’t vote for each other – and neither could all the usual neighbourly / political voters.

So, both semi-finals scheduled to have 19 countries competing – but only 10 going through from each to the final!

Tonight was definitely the weaker selection, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was mostly the better songs / performances that went through. And I’d just like to take this opportunity to shout IRELANDE NIL POINTES! That turkey of a performance by – yes, you’ve guessed it – a turkey was a disgrace and I’m very glad to say it did NOT go through! So who did make the cut?

  • Israel – an excellent performance without a single duff note.
  • Azerbaijan – quite possibly the most amazing vocal range I’ve ever heard from anyone, male or female, and an awesome, show-stopping performance.
  • Norway – nicely performed – natural and un-forced – sounded a little like Duffy.
  • Poland – bit of a naff performance and a non-descript song.
  • Bosnia and Herzogovina – absolutely dire and an undeserved spot in the final.
  • Armenia – good song, but not the best performance – rather disappointing.
  • Finland – and the metal-heads go through! Hurrah!
  • Romania – a bit Renee and Renata, but good vocal performances.
  • Russia – over-rated performer and song which is hotly tipped for the top-spot in the final.
  • Greece – very strong performance – the Greek Britney Spears.

Seeing as how all the really good songs got put into the 2nd semi-final (which will be held on Thursday night), it looks like this year’s final could be very, very interesting viewing!

Kell’s hot tips for the 2nd semi-final:

  • Iceland
  • Sweden (actually my hot tip to win the whole thing!)
  • Turkey (totally rockin’ track)
  • Ukraine
  • Latvia (because they’re a lot of fun)
  • Bulgaria
  • Georgia (it’s a message song sung by a blind woman)
  • Malta
  • Belarus
  • Czech Republic

I also predict the UK finishing in the top 10 in the final (it’s definitely the strongest entry from the automatic contenders).

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Rather miffed…

May 19, 2008 at 5:01 pm (Life gets in the way..., Music, Film and Television) (, , )

Call me a bit sad, but I was rather miffed when I realised today that I will miss the first leg of the Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals tomorrow night, due to having to go to my horrid evening class.

Not fair!

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The Karate Kid Kicks!

April 17, 2008 at 5:56 am (Baby, Music, Film and Television) (, , , , )

Last night saw another first – Tadpole kicked hard enough for it to be felt on the outside!

I was lounging on the sofa, last thing at night before bed, watching an old episode of Jonathan Creek (I have a bit of a thing for Alan Davies, I’ll admit to that!), with my hand resting low down on my tummy, when I felt a pulse against my palm. I was a little shocked as it was so unexpected – I though maybe in the next couple of weeks I’d start feeling that, but not right now!

So, I called Dale over quickly to make sure I hadn’t imagined it. I gently pressed his hand to the same spot and within seconds he was treated to a double-kick!

So, our little Karate Kid is already practicing the Stork Stance (all together now, “Wax on; wax off!”). Or perhaps we have a mini Mike Portnoy in there practicing for that first drumkit…

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Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone!

March 11, 2008 at 6:03 pm (Music, Film and Television, News) (, , , , , )

kids.jpg

According to THIS news report, teachers are voting on scrapping homework for school children “because it puts them under too much pressure and makes them unhappy”.

Now, I may not yet be a parent, but I have to put in my tuppence-worth here. I want my kid to have homework. I want to see first-hand what my child is learning in school and see how he/sh is getting on with the work. I also want to  see that my child takes some pride in doing well at school and if that means doing a little extra work at home, so  be it. To be perfectly honest, if they do  scrap homework, then I’ll be setting homework of my own for my little’un because I think it’s important.

What kind of message does it give our youth if we turn around and say, “Oh well, if it makes you unhappy, we’ll just not do that, even though it’s good for you,”? Does it instill any kind of work ethic in the youngsters? No, it does not. All it does is say, “It’s OK not to work hard and do well on your own steam.”

What are these children going to be like when they actually have to get a job?

Previously homework-free kid: Sorry, boss, I don’t like doing the finances – it stresses me out and makes me feel unhappy.
Boss: Oh, that’s OK, we’ll get someone else to do it for you instead. Don’t you worry about it.  Would you like a raise and a company car with that?

Somehow, I just don’t think it’ll go down that way…

Anyway, on a schoolkids theme, here’s the fantastic Pink Floyd to amuse you all:

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Cirque de Celebrité II – Grande Finalé

December 10, 2007 at 6:30 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, )

The finalists

The finalists – Luke Bailey, Stacey Cadman and Kyal Marsh

Well, the judges said they wanted perfection for the finale performances – and that’s exactly what they got! What a show! With the eliminated contestants also returning to give performances, it was a show truly worthy of the circus! Here’s my run-down of everything that happened from start to finish (the returning eliminated contestants are shown in blue):

Luke opened the show with a stunning performance on the Aerial Straps, culminating in a Bolivian one-armed bungee roll which dropped him from 30 feet above the ring! His performance was exciting and technically superb, leaving the judges (and audience!) almost breathless with his fantastic finish.
Score: 27

Ritchie and Tamara returned to give a beautiful paired routine on the silks – the transitions were smooth and the pair was incredibly sexy with great interaction. If they’d performed like that throughout the competition, neither one of them would have been eliminated!

Hannah, Dean, Shane and Antonia then stepped into the ring to give a dazzling display with the Fire Poi, while Isabella performed above them on the Aerial Hoop. There wasn’t really any interaction between any of these performers, though, with each going all-out to impress the audience with their own skills.

Stacey then did what she does best – took to the air on the Aerial Straps partnered by Valari (a professional Russian circus performer). Their routine was sensual with very passionate interaction. They were, in fact, so good, that they received a standing ovation from the judges and Gabby Roslin was actually caught with a tear or two in her eyes!
Score: 30 (perfect score!)

Kyal graced the ring with a wonderful (topless!) performance on the Silks, showing immense power and fluidity; climbing the silks with ease and grace, and performing so smoothly you’d think he’d been doing it all his life. His death-defying spinning drop at the last moment was jaw-dropping!
Score: 27

Dwayne and Emily were the next returning contestants with a lovely routine on the Aerial Straps – and Dwayne showed off his muscles going topless and getting the audience hot under the collar. They had some nice interaction going on and received a great round of applause.

Last of the returnees were the two last-minute substitute hopefuls who stepped into the breach when Shane left due to injuries – Rebecca and Liam, also on the Aerial Straps. Unfortunately due to an ad break, only the last part of their routine was shown, which is a shame, as it looked like they did really well working together.

Luke returned to the ring to give his final performance on The Wheel of Death. Starting inside the wheel, and travelling at 20 mph, he held several positions as well as walking within the wheel during the revolutions. Then, he climbed onto the outside of the wheel and walked his way to the top, showing great control and concentration. His interaction with the audience (to the Mission Impossible theme tune) was fantastic and he got an uproarious cheer.
Score: 26

Petite Stacey was next to brave the Wheel of Death. Being so small, she had been worried that her diminutive stature might have her at a disadvantage, but her performance was fantastic from start to finish. Inside the wheel, she did a forwards roll and held several poses, all in time to the Bond Theme music. Then, climbing onto the outside of the wheel, she walked her way to the top and did the splits at the pinnacle of her ascent.
Score: 27

Everyone was expecting great things from Kyal on the Wheel of Death and he didn’t disappoint. Mounting the inside of the ring to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme tune, he made it look easy as he strolled around inside the wheel, holding poses and turning somersaults. Then, on the outside of the ring, one he reached the top, he did a handstand. Not to leave it at that, he then hand-walked on the wheel as it descended and glided gracefully to the ground! A standing ovation from the judges – Louis was actually speechless!
Score: 30 (perfect score!)

Total Scores:
Kyal: 57
Stacey: 57
Luke: 53

The Winner:
Kyal
!

From early on in the competition, Kyal was way out front in terms of skills in almost every discipline. It was commented by Philip Gandey that he’d never seen such a well-rounded performer and also that he would love to have both Stacey and Kyal perform in any of his circuses. I sincerely hope they take him up on that offer, because they were excellent (not that Luke wasn’t great too – he was – but Kyal and Stacey were absolutely awesome!).

The whole season has been excellent viewing and I honestly can’t see how they’ll be able to top it if they go for a third season. However, I would love to see them try!

 

~***~

WEEKLY BREAKDOWN OF HOW THE SHOW PROGRESSED:

Viewing Times:
Sunday @ 7:30pm on Sky One (LIVE!)
Saturday @ 4:30pm on Sky One (repeat)

The Host:
Jenni Falconer

The Judges:

Louie Spence
Phillip Gandey
Gabby Roslin

The Contestants:
Dwain Chambers
Hannah Waterman
Princess Tamara
Emily Scott
Ritchie Neville
Shane Lynch
Dean Holdsworth
Luke Bailey
Antonia Okonma
Stacey Cadman
Kyal Marsh
Lady Isabella Hervey
Liam McGough
Rebecca Loos

Week 1 – Fire Poi, Corde Lisse and Static Trapese
Bottom two
: Dean Holdsworth and Princess Taqmara
Eliminated
: Dean Holdsworth was eliminated, but there was a problem with the phone voting, so he was brought back – nobody had to leave the first week.

Week 2 – Bunjee, Double Trapese and Roller Roller
Bottom two: Dwain Chambers and Lady Isabella Hervey
Eliminated: Dwain Chambers was eliminated.

Week 3 – Bunjee, Unicycle, Aerial Hoop and Floor Cube
Bottom two: Luke Bailey and Hannah Waterman
Eliminated:Hannah Waterman
Injuries: Ritchie Neville was unable to perform this week and was therefore exempt from voting and safe from elimination

Week 4 – Foot Juggling, Cloud Swing and Floor / Aerial Perch
Bottom three: Lady Isabella, Princess Tamara and Emily Scott
Eliminated: Princess Tamara and Emily Scott
Surprises: A double elimination was announced, much to the shock of the contenders!

Week 5 – Swinging Trapeze and Silks
Bottom two: Antonia Okonma and Ritchie Neville
Eliminated: Ritchie Neville
Injuries: Shane Lynch was unable to perform this week and was therefore exempt from voting and safe from elimination

Week 6 – Russian Swing and Aerial Cube
Bottom two: Dean Holdsworth and and Kyal Marsh
Eliminated: Dean Holdsworth
Injuries: Shane Lynch also left the show due to injury (2 consecutive weeks off due to injury means automatic disqualification)
Surprises: Liam McGough, an ex-Big Brother housemate, and Rebecca Loos joined the show (performing on the Corde Lisse) due to Shane Lynch quitting . The public will vote to see if they want Liam or Rebecca back in week 7. This was the first week that the judges scored the performances.
Scores given by judges:
Luke – 27
Isabella – 26
Antonia – 21
Stacey – 19
Kyal – 18
Dean – 16

Week 7 – Advanced Corde Lisse and Aerial Straps
Bottom two: Liam McGough and Lady Isabella
Eliminated:Liam
Injuries:Luke injured his hand and leg, but performed anyway.
Surprises: Liam beat Rebecca in the public vote to join the circus.
Scores given by judges:
Kyal – 30
Stacey – 25
Antonia – 23
Isabella – 20
Luke – 19
Liam – 16

QUARTER FINAL
Week 8 – High Wire, Russian Bar, Fire Poi and Aerial Hoop
Bottom two:Luke Bailey and Lady Isabella Hervey
Eliminated:Isabella
Surprises: Each contestant had to perform two disciplines – one new (High Wire or Russian Bar) and one an advanced routine on a formerly shown discipline (Fire Poi and Aerial Hoop), although not necessarily one they’d already performed.
Scores given by judges:
Kyal – 29 + 28 = 57
Stacey – 17 + 28 = 45
Antonia – 21 + 22 = 43
Luke – 18 + 24 = 42
Isabella – 16 + 12 = 28

SEMI FINAL
Week 9 – Spring Board, Blinfolded Highwire, Cloud Swing and Static Trapese
Bottom two: Luke Bailey and Antonia Okonma
Eliminated: Antonia
Injuries: Antonia injured her knee and Stacey injured her ankle. Both performed despite their injuries, although Antonia had to change her discipline because of hers.
Scores given by judges:
Kyal – 25 + 30 = 55
Stacey – 22 + 24 = 46
Luke – 20 + 26 = 46
Antonia – 11 + 25 = 36

GRAND FINAL
Week 10 – Wheel of Death and Aerial Straps or Silks
Scores given by judges:
Kyal – 27 + 30 = 57
Stacey – 30 + 27 = 57
Luke – 27 + 26 = 53
Winner: Kyal Marsh

 

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Cirque de Celebrité II – Semi Final

December 2, 2007 at 10:44 pm (Music, Film and Television) (, )

Cirque de Celebrité II

The live performance this evening was the penultimate show – the Semi Final – and what a show it was! Once more, the contestants were each tackling two disciplines, performing either the Spring Board or the High Wire (blindfolded!), and the Cloud Swing or Static Trapeze. The latter two are disciplines previously performed, but were advanced routines.

The new disciplines:
Stacey opened the show on the High Wire – her first time on this discipline. Her first crossing was a straight walk, which was confident and steady. For her return journey she was blindfolded and made it halfway across the wire before relying on the safety lunge to keep her upright. All in all, a very strong performance.
Score = 22

Kyal was next, performing on the Spring Board, a Russian discipline where the performer is catapulted into the air on a giant seesaw contraption by two performers jumping onto the other end. Kyal gave an excellent single back somersault (with an almost perfect landing), followed by a double back pike and finishing with a single back somersault into a chair perched on top of a pole. His daring routine was warmly received by the audience!
Score = 25

Antonia had originally been working on a routine for the Spring Board, but suffered a knee injury in rehearsals and had two days to try and tackle the High Wire which had almost defeated her last week. Unfortunately, her nerves and injury got the better of her and she didn’t make it across the wire even once – she fell and was saved by the safety lunge.
Score = 11

Luke followed on the High Wire – his first time on this discipline – making a very confident progress across the wire, even pausing briefly to give a one-leg balance. Blindfolded for his return journey, he made it half-way across before losing his balance and falling, being saved by the safety lunge.
Score = 20

The old disciplines:
Kyal was the first contestant to return to the ring, this time on the Static Trapeze. His routine was packed with stunts – a front and reverse stag, an inverted crucifix, a forward roll into a heel hang, an ankle drop, a meat hook, a front support and a final, daring, half turn into an ankle drop! His perfect timing and wonderful execution had the audience and judges awestruck!
Score = 30 (his second perfect score!)

Stacey followed on the Cloud Swing, giving a complex routine that involved a back balance and a scary-looking forward roll into a 2-knee catch, finishing with a terrifying reverse death drop!
Score = 24

Antonia was determined to claw her way back into the competition her performance on the Static Trapeze, showing beautiful lines through a high bird’s nest, an ankle drop, a knee hock (double and single), a backward roll to get back onto the trapeze, a flag, a gazelle and a half-twist arabesque, finishing with a stunning half-twist into an ankle drop. The final drop was a little clunky, but it was still a visually stunning routine.
Score = 25

Luke gave his second performance, this time on the Cloud Swing, giving a crucifix and a wince-inducing sideways straddle balance, a single knee catch and a death drop. His moves were smooth and very well executed to give a great overall performance.
Score = 25

Total scores:
Kyal = 55
Stacey = 46
Luke = 46
Antonia = 36

The bottom two and elimination:
The voting was incredibly tight, with only 300 votes between the top- and bottom-rated contestant. Ultimately, though, it was Luke and Antonia who had to face the judges for the final showdown and Luke was saved. Antonia was eliminated and will not be in next week’s final.

Predictions:
Stacey, being very petite, may struggle as the three contestants face their final challenge next week – The Wheel of Death, but then again, her agility may help her give a top notch performance. however, I get the feeling it’s going to be a battle between the boys – Luke and Kyal – to see who wins out, and I think Kyal may well come out on top. We shall have to wait till next week’s final to see!

 

~***~

HOW THE SHOW HAS GONE SO FAR

Viewing Times:
Sunday @ 7:30pm on Sky One (LIVE!)
Saturday @ 4:30pm on Sky One (repeat)

The Host:
Jenni Falconer

The Judges:

Louie Spence
Phillip Gandey
Gabby Roslin

The Contestants:
Dwain Chambers
Hannah Waterman
Princess Tamara
Emily Scott
Ritchie Neville
Shane Lynch
Dean Holdsworth
Luke Bailey
Antonia Okonma
Stacey Cadman
Kyal Marsh
Lady Isabella Hervey
Liam McGough
Rebecca Loos

Week 1 – Fire Poi, Corde Lisse and Static Trapese

Bottom two: Dean Holdsworth and Princess Taqmara
Eliminated: Dean Holdsworth was eliminated, but there was a problem with the phone voting, so he was brought back – nobody had to leave the first week.

Week 2 – Bunjee, Double Trapese and Roller Roller
Bottom two: Dwain Chambers and Lady Isabella Hervey
Eliminated: Dwain Chambers was eliminated.

Week 3 – Bunjee, Unicycle, Aerial Hoop and Floor Cube
Bottom two: Luke Bailey and Hannah Waterman
Eliminated:Hannah Waterman
Injuries: Ritchie Neville was unable to perform this week and was therefore exempt from voting and safe from elimination

Week 4 – Foot Juggling, Cloud Swing and Floor / Aerial Perch
Bottom three: Lady Isabella, Princess Tamara and Emily Scott
Eliminated: Princess Tamara and Emily Scott
Surprises: A double elimination was announced, much to the shock of the contenders!

Week 5 – Swinging Trapeze and Silks
Bottom two: Antonia Okonma and Ritchie Neville
Eliminated: Ritchie Neville
Injuries: Shane Lynch was unable to perform this week and was therefore exempt from voting and safe from elimination

Week 6 – Russian Swing and Aerial Cube
Bottom two: Dean Holdsworth and and Kyal Marsh
Eliminated: Dean Holdsworth
Injuries: Shane Lynch also left the show due to injury (2 consecutive weeks off due to injury means automatic disqualification)
Surprises: Liam McGough, an ex-Big Brother housemate, and Rebecca Loos joined the show (performing on the Corde Lisse) due to Shane Lynch quitting . The public will vote to see if they want Liam or Rebecca back in week 7. This was the first week that the judges scored the performances.
Scores given by judges:
Luke – 27
Isabella – 26
Antonia – 21
Stacey – 19
Kyal – 18
Dean – 16

Week 7 – Advanced Corde Lisse and Aerial Straps
Bottom two: Liam McGough and Lady Isabella
Eliminated:Liam
Injuries:Luke injured his hand and leg, but performed anyway.
Surprises: Liam beat Rebecca in the public vote to join the circus.
Scores given by judges:
Kyal – 30
Stacey – 25
Antonia – 23
Isabella – 20
Luke – 19
Liam – 16

QUARTER FINAL
Week 8 – High Wire, Russian Bar, Fire Poi and Aerial Hoop
Bottom two:Luke Bailey and Lady Isabella Hervey
Eliminated:Isabella
Surprises: Each contestant had to perform two disciplines – one new (High Wire or Russian Bar) and one an advanced routine on a formerly shown discipline (Fire Poi and Aerial Hoop), although not necessarily one they’d already performed.
Scores given by judges:
Kyal – 29 + 28 = 57
Stacey – 17 + 28 = 45
Antonia – 21 + 22 = 43
Luke – 18 + 24 = 42
Isabella – 16 + 12 = 28

SEMI FINAL
Week 9 – Spring Board, Blinfolded Highwire, Cloud Swing and Static Trapese
Bottom two: Luke Bailey and Antonia Okonma
Eliminated: Antonia
Injuries: Antonia injured her knee and Stacey injured her ankle. Both performed despite their injuries, although Antonia had to change her discipline because of hers.
Scores given by judges:
Kyal – 25 + 30 = 55
Stacey – 22 + 24 = 46
Luke – 20 + 26 = 46
Antonia – 11 + 25 = 36

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