OnEurope_Live...Rhine, Ruhr and right here!

Enjoy your stay!

Just in case you hadn't realised......
Beograd
oneurope
We've all moved over to http://oneuropelive.blogspot.com

Here's an archive, but there is live! - See what I did there?!?

Come and join us!

Right you lot - we're moving!!
Beograd
oneurope
The Blog is definitely moving to http://oneuropelive.blogspot.com - we'll keep this open for 30 days or so, but then we'll migrate over for definite!

It's just as easy to comment there as it is here - and it looks better!!

Come and join us?!

Phil!

PS - As its now 2013 - we've definitely moved!

Possible new home for the blog
Beograd
oneurope
http://oneuropelive.blogspot.com

Tell us what you think?!

eeerm - dunno what to say really
Beograd
oneurope
Preliminary reader figures are in. First week of Eurovision rehearsals - 68.9% of last years readers. Middle Week -73.5%, ESC Week - 91.3%. Stunned!!

I really dunno how to thank you all for keeping the faith in this one man band, supplimented by a team of others for 2 weeks a year, apart from not giving the site up ( which had crossed my mind) - Your support, both in coming back, and commenting (when it lets you) has been legendary and I feel really proud to serve a niche market such as you lot.

The blog will probably be migrating to Blogger or another stable platform in the next few weeks, but I will make sure that you all know about it in advance, and I will promise to TRY and keep it updated ( along with the site) now that my head and heart are back into it. I shall also try and tweet more ( oneurope_esc on Twitter).

Thank you thank you thank you!

So what did we learn then....
Beograd
oneurope
NOTHING!!

Well... almost nothing....

We learnt that the diaspora effect is getting less and less, though more prevalent this year because Europe didn't have a fecking clue where to put the votes anyway!

We learnt that if you are to be classically trained and enter Eurovision, a Classically trained POSTMAN is not what is required. ( France)

We learnt that energy and bounce still has a place

We learnt that the UK CAN do reasonably well at this thing with the right song and performance - 50% aint bad, but not good enough

We learnt that 20/25 countries can get a top mark, thereby the old days seem to be back with the scattergun.

We learnt that the voting algorithm is very fucking brilliant. mmmm More Please!!

We learnt that Baku is a 6 hr flight away from London and about 8 days from Keflavik!

We learnt that the UK remembered that they loved watching the Eurovision ( 9,5 MILLION viewers!), as do Austrians ( 65% share)

We learnt that we know fuck all about this contest - and thats why we love it!!

More please when I get home in about 7 hours time , from a hotel room in Cologne -Tara ;)

Hell no! with a side order of HELL NO.
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
Bloody McHell. I've just been browsing expedia and opodo for purely hypothetical purposes, and just GETTING to and from Baku from the UK of Stuff is hell on a plate. We're talking £500 return cheapest flight, with the most efficient way of doing it appearing to be a two leg flight for a combined 6-and-a-half hours with either a mad dash around Istanbul Airport or an overnight stay in Istanbul. It'd mean leaving the contest in late May and finally getting home in time for the Olympics.

Specifically, the Rio Olympics.

Ouch! Ow ow ow. Someone go tell RAI that they've got to take on hosting duties before their Head of Delegation stops hyperventilating from last night's narrow escape! :-)

I *knew* that would happen.
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
I've been saying for a while now that something would come out of the pack, and we'd all look back at it with 20/20 hindsight and say "Well, that was bloody obvious, wasn't it?" and wonder why the heck we didn't see it coming. And, sure enough... Azerbaijan comes out of the pack and wins it as the only one of the well-regarded entries with a decent slot in the draw.

Well, that was bloody obvious, wasn't it! So why the heck didn't I see it coming? :-)

Lots and lots of thinking to be done before 2012 comes around by lots and lots of people about lots and lots of things - not least us at OnEurope, as the gut reaction is that a fortnight in Baku might well be beyond our respective budgets. We shall see, there is much water to be passed before we need to make any firm decisions!

We leave Eurovisionia 2011 on a specially chartered fleet of Germanwings aeroplanes tomorrow evening, so we may actually have a bit of time to do some gossiping tomorrow morning before we head off. Or not, as the case may be...

It appears
Beograd
oneurope
As my collegue has said, we are off out for the evening - We'll be back in the Hovel at about 3am so don't wait up for us will you Europe............ No, I didnt think you would ;)

May the best song win, or failing that, get the result it deserves!

Toodles ;)

OnEurope is off out.
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
We've managed to score tix to some scabby little gig on the outskirts of Dusseldorf tonight, so we'll not be here blogging for your delight and entertainment. You'll just have to delight and entertain yourselves instead, or there's bound to be something on the telly.

Best of luck to all, and don't forget comments don't show up here immediately because them interwebz just ain't doing it for us this year. And as the slogan for the year so adequately puts it, Check You've Still Got A Pulse Feel Your Heart Beat!

So, what have I learnt today
Beograd
oneurope
Well I have learnt that living in Cologne on the final day of a football season is a NIGHTMARE!!!

I have learnt tht the jury performance of Blue's song was bloody brilliant and that I couldnt spot any of the disasters that other people did, and I looked at it with fresh eyes. Haterz of the world unite, I say. It's amazing that the standard people expect of a live performance is the same as a recorded one. Here's a clue, it wont be. The Juries were directed to vote for a Professional, Original and good looking performance with a well written song. Now unless other bloggers have been looking at a totally different feed to the one leaked all over youtube in the last 9 hours, I couldnt see any of the supposed issues. Tuning sounded OK for a live performance ( bearing in mind that there is no vodec voice coder or Autotune to help them) Blue looked OK in the suits and the whole stage performance and camera shots worked wonders. I did an " is it better than......" list before writing this, and I got the song in 4th place....... Certainly not, as some people are quoting, 16th-20th and it certainly isnt a total car crash.

I have learnt that people stick with OnEurope because we're great, and so are you ( Thank you all) - and that my 23 minutes of radio on Phoenix FM Last evening should only have been 5-10 but becase *I* was great, it ended up being 23!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for cheering me up and making OnEurope continue into 2012. I can't believe the amount of goodwill that is out there from people who I thought hated us, and those that didnt. Your support has been AMAZING!!

Thanks ;)

well I think.....
Beograd
oneurope
Web Statistics
Clicky

It's Eurovision day!!!!
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
Yay! Let's all celebrate with a little song from plucky little Belgium!


I'm gonna do mine
Beograd
oneurope
In Sections of the results.

You could be Maria ( 1st-7th)
France, Austria, UK, Estonia, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark

Close but No Cigar ( 8th - 12th)
Germany, Ireland, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Russia,

Middling - Good (13th - 17th)
Greece, Serbia, Romania, Switzerland, Iceland

Middling Bad ( 18th - 23rd)
Slovenia, Finland, Italy, Moldova, Spain, Ukraine

Really no Hopers ( 24th - 25th)
Georgia, Lithuania

215 people around Europe are currently wrecking about 17 songs' chances.
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
The problem is, I don't know who the 215 people are, nor which chances they're wrecking. But I doubt that the contest can be won from lower than 8th on the jury scoreboard.

Tomorrow night, several hundred thousand people around Europe will wreck 20 or so countries' hopes of winning. With the slight asymmetry in how the final points are worked out, I reckon you'd need to be top 5 with televoters.

So what's the key question for each of them, then?

FINLAND - can it make an impact as a show opener?
BOSNIA - can bank a sizable televote all over the Balkans and central Europe, but will the juries agree?
DENMARK - is there a limit on how many men can play midtempo guitars before fatigue sets in?
LITHUANIA - is there more to her qualification than just the great draw and contrast it had on Tuesday?
HUNGARY - the first uptempo stomper of the night, but can she pull it off and is it too early for her?
IRELAND - tweenie televotes all over the continent, but will the music professionals be impressed?
SWEDEN - tweenie televotes all over the continent, but will the music professionals be impressed?
ESTONIA - a cutesy, slight change of pace, but is it an interesting composition or 3 different songs gaffer-taped together?
GREECE - fishing alone in the Balkan ethno-pond this year - but are there any fish in that pond?
RUSSIA - are we overlooking this one at our peril?
FRANCE - the song's a jury magnet, he's a televote magnet... or are they?
ITALY - surely the professionals are going to love this, but will Europe en masse get it?
SWITZERLAND - will Europe be back from the loo before she starts going "lalalalala"?
UNITED KINGDOM - is this as good as it should be?
MOLDOVA - will juries like this enough to supplement the Zdob si Zdub fanbase and the ESC bonkers vote?
GERMANY - does it actually matter that Lena's already won this thing once?
ROMANIA - is there a market for a simple old-fashioned happy-clappy singalong pop song?
AUSTRIA - amazing presentation and performance, but is the underlying song good enough?
AZERBAIJAN - does chemistry matter?
SLOVENIA - are they and Austria fighting each other to a standstill?
ICELAND - quite capable of playing to both constituencies, but is there enough in the song to carry it home?
SPAIN - is it the party song that gets everyone going, or just a piece of airy fluff in Foreign?
UKRAINE - the song's almost certainly not up to scratch, but is Europe willing to vote for some arresting artwork?
SERBIA - is retro in or out at the moment?
GEORGIA - fishing alone in the noise-rock pond, but just like Greece - has that pond got any fish in it?

Sito. Sito. Sito. Thinkthinkthink. It's time to employ the QUICKSORT algorithm...

Pass 1, pivot on Finland:

BOSNIA-H, IRELAND, ESTONIA, RUSSIA, FRANCE, UNITED KINGDOM, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AZERBAIJAN, SLOVENIA, ICELAND, SERBIA, FINLAND, DENMARK, LITHUANIA, HUNGARY, SWEDEN, GREECE, ITALY, SWITZERLAND, MOLDOVA, ROMANIA, SPAIN, UKRAINE, GEORGIA.

Pass 2, pivot on BOSNIA-H and DENMARK

FRANCE, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AZERBAIJAN, ICELAND, BOSNIA-H, IRELAND, ESTONIA, RUSSIA, UNITED KINGDOM, SLOVENIA, SERBIA, FINLAND, HUNGARY, SWEDEN, GREECE, ITALY, SWITZERLAND, MOLDOVA, ROMANIA, DENMARK, LITHUANIA, SPAIN, UKRAINE, GEORGIA.

Pass 3, pivot on FRANCE, IRELAND, HUNGARY, LITHUANIA

GERMANY, AUSTRIA, ICELAND, FRANCE, AZERBAIJAN, BOSNIA-H, ESTONIA, RUSSIA, UNITED KINGDOM, SLOVENIA, IRELAND, SERBIA, FINLAND, GREECE, ITALY, MOLDOVA, ROMANIA, HUNGARY, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, DENMARK, SPAIN, UKRAINE, GEORGIA, LITHUANIA

Pass 4, pivot on GERMANY, (AZERBAIJAN), ESTONIA, (SERBIA), GREECE, SWEDEN, SPAIN.

GERMANY, AUSTRIA, ICELAND, FRANCE, AZERBAIJAN, BOSNIA-H, RUSSIA, UNITED KINGDOM, ESTONIA, SLOVENIA, IRELAND, SERBIA, FINLAND, ITALY, ROMANIA, GREECE, MOLDOVA, HUNGARY, SWITZERLAND, SWEDEN, DENMARK, GEORGIA, SPAIN, UKRAINE, LITHUANIA

Pass 5, pivot on AUSTRIA, RUSSIA, (SLOVENIA), ITALY, (MOLDOVA), (SWITZERLAND), (GEORGIA), (UKRAINE)

GERMANY, AUSTRIA, ICELAND, FRANCE, AZERBAIJAN, BOSNIA-H, RUSSIA, UNITED KINGDOM, ESTONIA, SLOVENIA, IRELAND, SERBIA, FINLAND, ROMANIA, ITALY, GREECE, MOLDOVA, HUNGARY, SWITZERLAND, SWEDEN, DENMARK, GEORGIA, SPAIN, UKRAINE, LITHUANIA

Sort complete, total time 7 minutes and 47 seconds. Final sort:

01 GERMANY
02 AUSTRIA
03 ICELAND
04 FRANCE
05 AZERBAIJAN
06 BOSNIA-H
07 RUSSIA
08 UNITED KINGDOM
09 ESTONIA
10 SLOVENIA
11 IRELAND
12 SERBIA
13 FINLAND
14 ROMANIA
15 ITALY
16 GREECE
17 MOLDOVA
18 HUNGARY
19 SWITZERLAND
20 SWEDEN
21 DENMARK
22 GEORGIA
23 SPAIN
24 UKRAINE
25 LITHUANIA

Mmm, that's clearly complete nonsense. Oh well, I'll just need to work out a better sorting algorithm before Hamburg 2012...

Its nice when the unaccredited journo in me....
Beograd
oneurope
...Still gets a slot on Radio - PhoenixFM in Basildon and Billericay, thank you so much for making " a general goss" about the contest turn into the best 23 minutes of Radio I have ever done. I knew of David, the presenter, before hand but finally someone that knew as much as *us* about the contest. None of your usual stupid questions, just honest questions and honest answers from Me ( Including Dana International was a set-up to win the Kdam and she was still flat). However, I bottled it when it came to the winner. I said that my heart says Blue, my head says Songu but its going to be close!

Final dress rehearsal Part III
riigimetnik

We're getting there, folks.

Romania - A resistance favourite.  He's a cheeky little Geordie is David Bryan - the No1 karaoke singer in Romania.  Someone mentioned that Hotel FM reminded him of Top Gear.  James May on piano anyone?

Austria - Nadine briefly showed up at the after show party last night, to much much applause.  A more popular finalist is harder to find.  She was faultless again, and got the bggest cheer of the afternoon.  Vienna 2012 is a distinct possibility.

Azerbaijan - Ictimai are desperate to win the thing.  Can they this year?  I think Austria's song is a far superior ballad, sung by a far more competent singer.  It ain't a winner.

Slovenia - Maja knocked Dana out of the water last night, and I suspect she now has Nikki in her sights.  She's bound to win.

We now go back to the Groon Reem - actually some football terraces behind the stage.  You know the drill, wote wote wote, and buy the CD, DVD and Blu-Ray disc.

Iceland - Back to sheer unadulterated pleasantness, but the nicest guys in town.  It would be a fairytale if they won and it isn't beyond the realms.

Spain - Our final Big 5 member (or in French, le Big Five) comes on after a little pregnant pause.  Make that a long pregnant pause.  The poor girl has been waiting since 1066 it seems to get up on stage and sing in a nice sparkly pink dress (Daria Kinzer take note).  It's all very summer but I still don't get it.

Ukraine - I used to love Take Hart, and this brings back so many memories.  It's only this time I've realised what Mika's wearing.  On balance this did probably deserve to make the final.  She's a great singer.  And I never forget to share my heart.

Serbia - The resistance likes Nina.  Still looking very good.  Not sure about the sound as some sort of alarm is going off.  Apparently some little scamp had been smoking in the toilets.

Georgia - Finally, some little children in the postcard introduce Eldrine.  Another resistance favourite, not least because of the prospect of a seaside contest in Batumi.  A different way to end the contest.

Good luck to everyone tomorrow night.

Thanks for reading.  The resistance is off to infiltrate a boat tonight, maybe with a tale or two to tell tomorrow.

Enjoy your evening.

R x



Final dress rehearsal Part II
riigimetnik
Moving on to...

Estonia - 1, 2, 7, 3 (or 1, 10, 111, 11 to our fans of binary out there) still makes me chuckle.  I'm not sure about her outfit -  a little TOO cerise.  But she does a little trick with a handkerchief which is bound to be worth a whole bunch of points.

Greece - Many people are knocking this.  But I just don't get why.  It's different.  Loucas is a darn good singer.  The rap may be a tad questionable, but I think it emphasises how good the ethnic bit is.  It's a very effective stage show.

Russia - There's a fine line between arrogance and self confidence, and the artist formerly known as Alex Sparrow is on the cusp.  He does put this across well and it  will do well.  But I can't help thinking that Russia are just trying TOO hard, and the rest of Europe may rumble them.

France - Our first direct qualifier for the final is the highly-fancied Amaury Vassili.  For someone of his age, he has a great voice.  The backdrop of clouds works.  The resistance has money on it.  But there's something missing.  Maybe the money is lost.  :-(

Italy - Direct qualifier number two thinks jazz is the key.  I'm just not sure.  Some may think it's an interval act come early.  But if there's a collection of jazz fans out there, they may like it.

We now have our first break, live from the Groon Reem.  They interview Dino Merlin.  And Our Friend in London.  Then onto...

Switzerland - This is really pleasant but is cursed by the preceding ad break.  I think we're all just really glad they made it.

UK - Hmmm.  It's just a little bit, and I mean just a little bit, off.  There are bits on the screens behind them that the TV cameras miss.  We know they can (did you see what i did there), but whether they will is another matter.

Moldova - After the UK, there's a chance each may cancel the other out.  We always love a good unicycle on stage.  And large pointy hats.  All we need is a dulcimer and this would be the complete Eurovision song.

Germany - This is just so odd.  I don't know how Lena will do.  Some buff tells me that if she finishes 3rd bottom or higher, she'll have achieved the best ever finish by a defending champion.

More soon...

Final dress rehearsal
riigimetnik
True to form, it's all started late again.  Anke is in red, and Judith is in a dress made from silver Post-it notes.  Stefan is in a dark men-in-black style suit.  You can tell that they're reading from a tele-prompter.  Raab then gives us a rocky version of Lena's Satellite, complete with a big band of saxophones.  Even Lena makes a little appearance.  All good stuff.

Before the songs start, we get views of the stadium being transformed, through time-lapse photograpy, from a home of Fortuna Düsseldorf to a Eurovision arena.

After a fashion, we FINALLY get underway.  Song one is...

Finland - A really plesant way to open the contest.  He's going to get the fortysomething mum-of-two wote.  The globe behind him is still very effective, and it's got one of those hooks that gets you tapping along.

Bosnia AND Herzegovina - The tapping along theme continues with Dino Merlin.  If only I could play the piano like his 'pianist' and still get the right sound out of it.  It gets a ripple of applause in the press centre.

Denmark - Still singing about Crécy World are our early favourites.  It's a very competent performance, but maybe just a little too early in the draw to make a lasting impression.

Lithuania - Surprise (to the resistance at least) qualifiers are back and it contrasts well with the Danes.  I may have said this last time, but she's one of the best singers in this final, and she sells it very well.  but I think a low placing will happen.

Hungary - After all I've said about Kati Wolf not coming up with the goods, this is a suitably impressive performance.  A few of her backing singers were a tad off key, but that doesn't really matter in this rehearsal.

Ireland - Hmmm, Jedward.  They're being carried by their backing singers, as I suspect they may have been last night.  It's still entertaining, but it's not exactly a classic either.

Sweden - Another country back on stage less than 24 hours after singing their way to the final.  It's dramatic and very active, but will probably cancel out/be cancelled out by Jedward.

More to come...

First Final rehearsal Live blog
Beograd
oneurope
well it will be if they started on time!! grrr ;)

Well they started 32 minutes late at 15.02 local time.. As soon as the songs are heard I shall give opinions!

Finland - Decent start but Parasite Oskar seemed a little off key from the audio feed. Will probably look better than it sounds, but a good solid opener.

Bosnia - this provides a complete contrast to the Finns in a "hmmm" way - think this will knock the shine off the opener and Europe will go "wel this is a good opener" - Bad news for Finns, good news for Bosnia

Denmank - Another contrast song, but this one should send Europe back to sleep. The draw has killed any lingering chance that this song had of doing anything to be honest. Sung well, mind.

Lithuania - Again another total contrast to the one that has gone before it - but a certain candidate for "accidental" last place. She can sing the song, but its too early in the draw and not strong enough to do anything

Hungary - Shergar strikes again!! - She finally sounds as though she has remembered how to sing her own song, and is not falling off the notes like she did in the first semi final rehearsals. This should do OK if she sings this well another 2 times - Plate of chips for Table Ireland?

Ireland - they sound too low in the mix ike they did last night with the backing shouters doing lots of their work. Top 10 probably but Hungary and the next one piss on its chips.

Sweden - About to unload another stream onto the Irish chips? - Despite the failings of this song, it certainly shows the twins for what they are - amateurs. Saade is certainly professional and should do a number on the Irish. However, will the glass do a number on him?!

Estonia - Sounds lots better than it did last night - they have clearly either been told to STOP SCREAMING or the mics have been turned down. Back into a contender again me thinks.

Greece - are probably shooting into the Top 10 now with this one - not getting a Sakis result, but they are going to be respectible, principally because of what didn't go through last night.

Russia - Clearly a good shot at the Top 10 and maybe the Top 5 with this song. His tuning is lots better than on Tuesday, but that is probably down to the sound crew getting it right. The song is still weak in places for it to be a decent song with a decent shout, but hell, it'll do alright on its merits.

France - It is what it is - a jury sponge. It's slight concern is that Russia is uptempo and this clearly isnt. The change of pace between the two songs is marked in the extreme in this draw position and he hasnt hit all the notes in his runthrough ( especially the high ones, though he is clearly holding back). It ends badly with just a falling off and doesnt have a hook. I dont think this is a one horse race any more.

Italy - Bring on the Chickens!! - thats all!

Switzerland - OH HELL YES - I so love this song, nearly as much as Austria and Slovenia so I am pre-disposed to smile. It just has a vibe about it that makes me sway and possibly get the televoters picking up the phone again. Shot at a Top 10 mehtinks.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Her Realms, Terriroties and Dependancies - Thats all the notes hit in the first part of the song then. Worry number one over with then. Lee is holding back as well ( wise move sir) - but its sounding really good, balances seem to be better than earlier on in the week and it looks like ( god willing) it's coming together at the right time. This has top 5 written all over it.

Moldova - It is what it is .

Germany - I fear that this is going to be lost due to crowd noise, unless ARD block it out like they did for the 2 semi finals. I do think, however, that her voice is too weird for this song and she seems very very sharp, mind you in this song, does it really matter. Not a chance of getting the title though, Top 10 definitely.

Romania - another performance that doesnt sound vocally spot on but then again, you only need to do 2 good performances.

Austria - Bloody Brilliant! - how to silence 18000 Germans, open your mouth, just like she did last night - and on Saturday it'll be 30000!

Azerbaijan - She now has caught the bad note disease going around the contest as she is falling off a cliff with her notes in this one!! - There is talk of this winning - you are having a laugh!

Slovenia - Technical problems at our end - but still brilliant. 4/1 for a top 10 finish - I'd have a nibble.

Iceland - Same old Same old to be honest - is it me or does the contest get longer and longer every year!

Spain - Another lovely change of pace but it sounds like Portugal 1998 in places for me. Nothing wrong with it - but another contender for accidental last!

Ukraine - Vocally good - but this is a song that is not about vocals, its about magic sand!!

Serbia - Right song at the right time. Despite the delegation telling them not to win, I think a top 10 i s not out of the question. Looks good and sounds great today! - Untill the Fire alarm

Georgia - again, it is what it is!

The final
riigimetnik

So we're now less than 36 hours before we know who'll win.  It was an interesting show last night.  We had no real surprises, Dana flounced home in a big huff, and we know Ireland will not win Eurovision.

Nick posted his views on the draw (below), so I'll try and add some little words of wisdom too.  I maintain Ireland will not win because Jedward are drawn next to Sweden so they'll cancel each other out.  Hungary might benefit from this.  Switzerland has a very good draw before the contrasting song from the UK.  The pretty girls from Austria and Slovenia may well dilute any effect Azerbaijan may have.

Iceland has a plum draw and cannot be ruled out.  And then there's Georgia who finish the contest with a flourish rather than a whimper.

The fact that viewers can wote from the start of proceedings may affect things.  Also, the demographic who watches on Saturday is likely to be more than the die-hard Eurovision geeks that make up the bulk of the audience on the first two shows.

In short, we just don't know who's going to win.  I'm going to stick my neck out and say that this isn't the poorest Eurovision for years.  It's just very different, that's all.  We don't have a really strong contender (like Norway 2009) which should make things far more interesting.  The EBU want to make it as exciting as possible so there's rumour (I stress the word rumour so i could be wrong) that they may adjust which order the wotes are called in, just to add to the suspense.

I'm about to watch the first dress rehearsal for the final, so I may post some more musings during the show.



The full draw and a whinge.
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
 1 Finland        13 Switzerland
 2 Bosnia-H       14 United Kingdom
 3 Denmark        15 Moldova
 4 Lithuania      16 Germany
 5 Hungary        17 Romania
 6 Ireland        18 Austria
 7 Sweden         19 Azerbaijan
 8 Estonia        20 Slovenia
 9 Greece         21 Iceland
10 Russia         22 Spain        
11 France         23 Ukraine
12 Italy          24 Serbia
                  25 Georgia

Not too upset about 8/10 on predictions, nor even with Phil blatantly INDEPENDENTLY copying my list. ;-) Genuinely disappointed to see Cyprus miss out, I really think they did the utmost that they could and ended up with a performance to treasure. I'm also not terribly happy that Sweden and Estonia both qualified, as I really don't think they merited it on performance. On song perhaps, but on performances: nope.

Have to say, looking at this draw, it looks like as good an opening trio as we've had for years, it seems absolutely set up for France to finish the job, but there are a heck of a lot of curve balls in that final 10 and when you listen in sequence from Germany onwards, you can't quite rule out any of them.

I still think it's the weakest contest for a good few years, but it could turn out to be the most exciting. More tomorrow when I've slept!

Winners and losers
riigimetnik
So there you have it.  Twenty-five lucky finalists for the 56th Eurovision Grand Prix.  To be honest, I didn't think there were any surprises tonight.  The resistance got eight out of 10, missing Ukraine and Sweden in place of Cyprus and Belarus.  A few countries tonight were a little off key. 

But it's shaping up to be a very interesting Saturday night.  As I write this, my beloved Eesti has got drawn 8th - not a bad draw but at least we aren't second.  Romania is drawn 17th.

I'll sleep on this and probably have some more thoughts for you tomorrow - why certain countries didn't qualify and why some did.

Spot ya!

'metnik

My ten are
Beograd
oneurope

Bosnia. Austria. Ireland. Denmark. Slovenia. Romania. Cyprus. Ukraine Moldova Bulgaria

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Tags:

34 becomes 25
riigimetnik
in just a few hours, another nine countries will be looking at an early bath.  The vibe here in the quietly simmering press centre is any of the 19 could qualify.  Yes, anyone.  Even plucky little Belgium.  Even l'ex République Yougoslave de Macedoinne.  Even Israel.  Even Belarus, who we all love.  I've already made my predictions, based on the first rehearsal yesterday.  I'm sticking by what I said there, and eagerly await being proven wrong on at least four counts.

If you are one of our readers from the Bluenited Kingdom or Ireland, you may know that the fan club had a little soirée last night at an Irish pub in the old town.  Much beer was available at competitive prices, there was complimentary nachos, chicken wings and garlic bread, and we had a visitation.  The sainted Blue appeared briefly to tell us they're so impressed with the support they've had, and will try their best on Saturday night.  You can't help thinking there's a positivity about stuff this year.  Maybe a little flutter on the nose is not out of the question.

Many of us trooped off to the Euroclub for the Russian party, and it was a very crowded affair.  If you managed to survive the scrum to get in there was free vodka, in a can.  Maybe it's the future.  The artist formerly known as Alex Sparrow monopolised the stage for the best part of three hours.  Showing off a wide range of talents including beatboxing, dancing and generally showing off.  he had special guests including Alexander Rybak.  You know the guy - won some pan-European talent competition a couple of years ago, speaks several languages, got refused entry into a party or two in Düsseldorf.  He still looks like he needs a good slap, but there you go.

The resistance won't be covering the rehearsal this afternoon.  It's gearing up for the blood on the carpet later on.  And it might even meet up with Oneurope - in disguise of course.

Love ya always

R x

My 10.
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
In abbrev. form. Going out then coming in then going out again. No tm to do prply. Thx fans. :-) )-:

B-H. Dno obv pplr.
Aut. vvg sngr, gd enuf sng.
Ukr. Urp lks snd.
Mdv. HATS!
Cpr. I am in ur shus makng u fll ova.
Blg. Scry lady gts kit off. \o/
Svn. Scry lady duzznt get kit off. \o/
Rmn. Bcos ppl laiks chng.
Dmk. Bcos ppl laiks noo 2moro.
Irl. Bcos ppl iz jst hppy that sho is ova. \o/

kthxbye.

*I* saw this and though of Nick and he said
Beograd
oneurope
"Someone, not me, needs to post that on to the blog because that is very very good indeed"

Not one to disapoint the Deller, This could also be classed as your cheese porn for the day



OnEurope smells a rat!
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
So there's a huge gamble going on about Ireland and Jedward at the moment, and it would appear to our untrained eye that it's NOT a gamble being led by people who intend to win money.

What what what? But that's just crazy talk! What would possibly make us think that?

Well, you see, as I write (22:50 CET) William Hill (not our bookmaker of first resort, but a fine and upstanding one nevertheless) appears to be offering odds of 5.0 (4/1 if you're British) to win the semi-final, and 4.5 (7/2 if you're British) to win the final.

No, hang on, let me read that again. That can't be right.

*reads that again*

OK, that does seem to be the case - the betting public of the world has convinced Mr W. Hill Esq. that Ireland are MORE LIKELY to win the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night - the one which they haven't qualified for yet, with draw slots 2 and 3 still available and a Blue and an Amaury Vassilli in it - than they are to win the Eurovision Song Contest Second Semi-Final on Thursday night - that's the one where they're performing last and their competition includes frankly nothing very exciting.

The people of OnEurope say NON!!!!

So, Tell me Europe
Beograd
oneurope
After reading all that shite, what do YOU think is going to qualify? - I'll form a definitive list overnight for tomorrows musings but, prey, tell me what you think!

Audo feed from semi 2 Jury Final - updated live-ish
Beograd
oneurope
Through means we can hear the songs from the 2nd semi final

We missed the first 2 and got to Witloof Bay - NOT QUALIFYING

Slovakia - They can sing, the backing singers cant - I cant imagine that the juries are going to vote for this in numbers tonight - NOT QUALIFYING

Ukraine - Vocally good, but I feel that the sand is still distracting enough to get any televotes, but it could pick the jury scores, but not enough i feel. NOT SURE

Moldova - This has everything just by listening to it - Visually from what I have seen, not so much but helll, it's gonna be bonkers enough to get through. Though it feels a tad too long! QUALIFYING

Sweden - It still sounds all over the shop, Eric could be holding back, but its the wrong night to have done that - I think tat this might have done him in the juries minds and will need to be caught up in the Televote, but its a long way back NOT SURE

Cyprus - Still works on an aural level. Complete contrast to the sillyness of Sweden, properly ethinc and decent. This should get through as of right - the Juries will love it and so will a portion of the voters. QUALIFYING

To Wrap up - Both Austria and Bosnia are QUALIFYING by the way!

Bulgaria - she has nailed it so it appears - sounds so good on the audio feed. People have their worries about this, but on that evidence she has nailed the juries and will get enough Televotes for sure QUALIFYING

FYR Macedonia - Still not qualifying. NOT QUALIFYING

Israel - she may pwn the stage alledgedly, but she is still not doing anything that the juries will like, it may get the televotes but its still flat as a pancake. It does have its constituency though so..... NOT SURE

Slovenia - this should walk into the final. Its still a contrast to those that have come before. ( Its better in Slovene though) QUAILFYING

Romania - Confirms everything that we know - Its competent and going through with a bullet - though the clapping bit is annoying! QUALIFYING

Estonia - I have £20 on this not qualifying. It's certainly a lot better than it was this afternoon, but I still think it has a Suntribe vibe about it failing spectacularly on its arse, especiallly in the last minute where it all went terribly wrong with the backing singers. This is heading down the pan NOT QUALIFYING

Belarus - I'd love it to - but no. NOT QUALIFYING

Latvia - Still an album track - but compared with the 2 that have gone before, it might have got some jury votes. NOT SURE

Denmark - Competant song by competant band. Plodder and note perfect - QUALIFYING

Ireland - QUALIFYING just because!!

The Semi 2 Siegels...
Thunderbird 5
nick_at_esc
...sorry, Siegers - das ist nicht einfach mit Deutsch...

I think we've all got to go off and do our homework here, really. Based on what I just heard, however, I think we're trying to fit about a pint of good into a two-gallon glass. Maybe not even as much as that.

I'm prepared to rule IN, immediately, the following:

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA - because Dino Merlin is pretty much Balkan music royalty, and it's a good song, and there's just a happy vibe coming off it.
AUSTRIA - because it's just too good.
MOLDOVA - because Zdob Si Zdub are Balkan music royalty too, and it's such a great contrast after a run of slow stuff.
CYPRUS - because it really has sounded and looked outstanding from out here in the sticks.
SLOVENIA - because she's ace, apparently.
ROMANIA - because it's a perfect slab of simple pop music.
IRELAND - because it's catching a vibe and has a great draw.

I'm teetering on the verge of adding Denmark to the above list, but I'm now a little concerned about the fate of worthy but dull plod rock. We quite unexpectedly lost some of that yesterday evening.

Sweden, Estonia, Israel, come to the front of the class please, as I have something to say to the three of you - if you sing tonight the way you did this afternoon, the juries are going to kill you stone dead and you're on the first flight home Friday morning. No pressure, mind!

Ukraine, Bulgaria, Latvia... there may be some unexpected vacancies in the final. Get yourselves suited up and be on stand-by to take them up if you're needed.

FYR Macedonia, Belarus, Belgium, Netherlands, Slovakia... back of the class, please. AGAIN.

We're going to find out some stuff this evening, methinks...

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