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Reports of the demise of this contest are GREATLY exagerated.
Beograd
oneurope wrote in oneurope_live
Morning - ish ;)

Well, last night was a bit of a turn up, I can hear you saying?? but was it??

Lets do this backwards and see what we ended up with.

Bulgaria -Strong opener
Belarus - Strong song all round so reports say.
Georgia - Strong
Moldova - hmmmmm? Powerful
Serbia - Generally accepted favourite.
FYR Macedonia - Strong song, but perhaps helped by neighbourly voting.
Hungary - Strong Blues.
Slovenia - Old Fashioned stomper with Popra
Turkey - Uptempo faux latino
Latvia - 6 lads singing an italian aria.

So what we have here are 10 songs that are generally strong, have cross border appeal, and all of which have been noticed in the betting... and yet... people are saying that because they happen to be east of the alps, that is all of a sudden a "bad" thing. Why?

Is it not entirely possible that Western Europe voted for these songs in droves and they too saw them as the best? This possibility has not even been floted on major blogs except this one. This could be because people's knee-jerk reaction is to see what they want to see, and not what could well have happened.

Lets face it - Denmark was never in the running. It appealed to one specific set of audience, which either did not vote or thought it had already got through. DQ looked ridiculous on screen and it just fell flat in the same way that DJ Bobo looked too much like lordi, tried to do the "this has won already" routine, and europe simply went " NO!".
Guri Shanker was the same. She was far too old for that kind of song and it did look like your mum was performing it after she got drunk at uncle fred's party. That song had embarrasement written all the way through it. Edsillia had a dog of a song, written with a formula in mind that had expired long ago, but the Dutch think Europe like that sort of thing. Sadly, they don't and haven't since 1999.

The booing was definitely for a lack of Andorra as opposed to a Moldova. But from what I hear they were flat on the TV.

It is, unfortunatly for the UK media and the conspiracy theorists, a simple fact.

So Called Western Europe is still trying to win a contest that has moved on and they have yet to catch up. Eastern Europe gets it. Pan European appeal works. It's 2007, not 1985 anymore and western broadcasters should do well to remember that when they need to garner televotes and not the ones of the standby jury. Broadcasters have their annual excuse to moan, however they should look in their own back yard, before critising any percieved problem with the contest.


Thank you!!!!!!!

(Anonymous)
I woke up an hour ago to see the entire Eurovision world had gone crazy, I couldn't agree more with you, none of the Western entries deserved to get through, the best songs are in the final ... and Verka to the wonning!!

Will someone please print this off and slide it under the door of Terry Wogan’s hotel room in Helsinki.

Turkey was mostly the diaspora vote.

But undoubtedly a lot of what you say makes sense. Please could you do some shameless self promotion on the list because I think they need to read this too.

Spot on!!! I seem to remember a similar wave of anti-eastern hysteria in 2004 but then it was all forgotten come 2005.

IN the run upto the contest everyone was saying how weak the Dutch song was, how over the top Denmark was, that Norway was just too daft for european tastes. Suddenly after the result everyone is behaving as if these songs were the creme de la creme....


Totally agree with you Phil... and I didn't really think Andorra really came across that well.

BenUKFR

Turkey didn't deserve to go through (bad song AND bad performance), and I don't think Bulgaria did either (BAD performance, but no problem with the song).

I agree that western Europe had worse songs, but ALL of them got punished for ANY flaw, while two or three from the east skated through (glad to see Denmark and Malta and Switzerland fail, though :) ).

The EBU clearly has a perceptions problem. Many countries from the west feel that the playing field has become non-level.

Can't wait until Saturday. Will countries from western Europe manage to get even one song in the top ten?

are you gonna have time for another audioblog ?

I don't want to be accused of overreacting and a certain amount of what you say is very true Phil but I think also their is also a point to be made in that its much easier for an Eastern European country to qualify even if it does send a poor song. It will be interesting to see the country breakdown on the votes when they are realeased.

Turkey and FYR Macedonia are complete examples of that. If they had been any other country doing those songs I really don't think they would have qualified. Turkey was a very weak song with an average performance and while FYR Macedonia was a good performance it was a song that is around 20 years out of day (which is what you are accussing Western Europe of doing).

I would disagree with your assessment of Bulgaria which I thought was terribly hit and miss. She was quite shrill the whole way through. It probably did benefit from being first. Moldova also was a bit of a surprise for me.

Of the "Western" songs Andorra did sadly come across a bit flat in places and just didn't sparkle, Switzerland was poor as we knew it would be, Denmark was really all about the gimmick and Malta was just not strong enough. The only one I am surprised about was Cyprus as I though Evridiki was faily decent on the night but I think the draw probably killed her. Netherlands was a stunning performance but the song was poor.

However I stand by my point that if any of those above songs had been sung by Turkey or FYR Macedonia we'd be seeing them on Saturday.

There is now a perception in a lot of the western public (rightly or wrongly) that there is a problem with the voting process. And sometimes perception is more important than reality. I think a lot will depend on the way the competition is split in 2009 and how voting works for those semi-finals. The ESC isn't dead by any means but it does need a health check.

Sorry for such a long post.

Jim W

GREAT POST!

(Anonymous)
I absolutely agree with everything you said. Two or three countries from the east went through despite problems with either the song or the performance. I do want to add though, that performing first after a break also hurt Netherlands.

COULD NOT AGREE MORE

(Anonymous)
At last, a voice of reason. The western entires were pap, and the one exception - Andorra - was very flat on TV.

I wouldn't have said it better! Spot on!

What surprises me the most is that all those bloggers and long time fans from Helsinki who now are screaming "The ESC is over", "I'm selling my ticket" and "Where is the Western countries", they actually had ALL those countries as possible qualifiers on their semi prediction lists!

Be that as it may....

(Anonymous)
...... but the perception in the West is that there is something wrong.

Perception is all important. You only actually have to look at the recent elections in the UK. The country has never been in a better state and yet the perception is that we are going under. The facts simply have nothing to do with how people feel.

I, from the UK, voted for Serbia and Moldova. That's because I try to vote for the song, but it is a complete nonsense to suggest that all countries and voters have similar mentalities. There are countries that simply vote for neighbours and to suggest that this doesn't happen is myopia in the extreme. In short, with the Western countries play the game nicely, which may include votes for the East and the Eastern countries are not doing the same... that nicely equates to qualifications from the East.

I do, however, await a look at the full scoreboard. Phil is right, the contest has 'moved on'. That does not necessarily mean 'improved.'

g

I love a voice of reason.

I think it's a shame about Andorra and a bit of a disgrace about Turkey because, charming though he is, he didn't hit a note.

The point however is surely the following. Since the introduction of the semis and the widening of the contest and despite eastern and western friends all voting for each other, come Saturday night, the right song has won. If we are absolutely honest about last night, and analyse the songs in a cold, totally objective, non-partisan or hysterical way, there really is only one that could possibly, possibly be to the wonning on Saturday and that's Latvia. In my humble, the reason that the semi was so open and so difficult to call was because essentially all the songs, from whichever half of our lovely continent they came from, were bloody ghastly. This is my 30 year of watching and in musical terms i've ever enjoyed any collection of songs less than last night. And i don't think it's because i'm an old fart.

So let's look forward to Saturday, when there will be some genuinely good and entertaining songs and performances. I agree that if you send rubbish you stand a better chance of getting through if you're from beyond the oder-neisse line, but in the end, it won't matter because (he says with blilnd faith) rätt låt kommer att vinna.

thanks for all your hard work, keeping the punters informed and sorry for banging on

Don't be so naive

(Anonymous)
I think it is utterly naive what is written here. Had either song of Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Andorra, Norway been sung by Serbia, Macedonia or other balkan or exsowiet country, the songs would have passed.

We should indeed not close our eyes and face the fact that there is no stopping this bullshit system. On top of that, I heard that it was leaked that the number 11 to 15 from yesterday are Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Poland and Czech. Hahahaha. That would be a blast.
If Edsilia would have sung Molitva (with those lesbian nazi look girls behind her) she would not have passed through the final. She is dark and that is something that is not accepted in Eastern Europe. Most people here come from UK I think, and you have no clue how homogeneous population is over there.

Predictions for Saturday? Netherlands, Belgium and Germany will give 12 points to Turkey. And I can tell you that the aboriginals of these countries do not like this song at all. Need I say more about this hijacking that happened since the televoting got introduced?

Re: Don't be so naive

In Response to this :

1- the fact that a "leaked" 11 to 15 is the basis of your post is hardly reliable.
2 - If Edsillia had sung Molditva it would have walked through because the song is strong enough in its own right.
3 - No, people from all of Europe are here.


Re: Don't be so naive (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Don't be so naive (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Don't be so naive (Anonymous) Expand

Well done, OnEurope...

(Anonymous)
.. for speaking sense, unlike the Primadonnas on a certain other blog from a neighbouring country...

I think the problem with Andorra was that the Nu-Punk genre, whilst popular west of the Alps, probably leaves Eastern Europe cold. They may have appealed to Western Europe but that's not enough as we know.

I changed my prediction for Moldova to qualifying once I had seen her costume! My wife didn't approve but I did. With Natalia going on last, expect another Top 10 finish tomorrow.

I can't believe people are saying that Cyprus deserved to go through! She looked old, she looked scary, she sounded shouty, and the draw counted against her. I also recall the song totally failing to impress the first time I heard it, and other dance songs in the contest competed for the vote.

In my prediction, I got 7 right. I had Hungary at 11th, I wasn't sure blues would be a genre that would be appreciated, but now I know. I had Slovenia at 13th, I thought Latvia would squeeze them out. My worst prediction was Georgia, I had previously placed them in the Top 10, but lowered my expectations after reading the blogs. I got Andorra, Israel and Switzerland wrong.

Re: Well done, OnEurope...

(Anonymous)
Forgot to sign my message again

Darren, Berkshire, UK

Rule number 1 in Eurovisionia, the country of contrasts where weird shit happens, is that - well - Weird shit happens!!

The songs that got through are strong, and were heavily favoured in the betting - but yet people are aghast when they get through.

I simply say " What the F**k do you want from this contest??"

Another thing

(Anonymous)
I think we also need to remember that among the 28 semifinalists, the Western European countries were in the minority anyway (only 10: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland). So if 10 entries had been selected at random, the would only have been three West European countries. Plus the fact that many of these were misguided choices to begin with, last night's result doesn't seem that surprising after all.

Once we get further info on the semifinal voting, it would be nice to look only at the West European votes and see what the top 10 was. My guess is that the list is pretty similar to what we have now.

Re: Another thing

(Anonymous)
My guess is Andorra would be in Old Western Europe's Top 10, but fairly low (8th-10th) and Macedonia wouldn't. Otherwise I'm guessing the same other 9 would have qualified.

Darren

I have to disagree. It's true that some Eastern countries had terribly good songs ... Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia (though not quite my taste but I understand the appeal) and Belarus.

But it is also a fact that three pieces of crap ... Latvia, Turkey and FYR Macedonia ... made it!

It is also a fact that Bulgaria and Moldova destroyed a good song with their awful performance, and they made it through.

On the other hand, Iceland was ignored once again, despite sending a very beautiful and well-performed song. Andorra was ignored too despite being fresh and different. Malta gave a spectacular slick performance but was ignored too. Though I never liked the Dutch entry before, I have to say that seeing it live made me like it too, and I must say Edsilia is one hell of a good performer with one hell of a strong voice.

It is not fair to accuse Western Europeans to be racist with the East, when what actually is happening is the other way round! At this point, if I were a Western European country I would not bother participating anymore. Really, why bother?

I have to disagree with this post

Iceland was ignored because it was pretentious twaddle. Andorra was ignored because I belive it was flat on the TV. Malta was EXACTLY Like Marian Van der Wall's performance in 05 - too busy, the dutch SINGER is not the problem, the song was!

Disagree (Anonymous) Expand
Re: Disagree (Anonymous) Expand
agree (Anonymous) Expand

Yes, but......

(Anonymous)
I agree with a lot of what you've said. I still think that Eastern Europe tends (not unnaturally) to vote for its own and that, as the competition has expanded, this is playing an increasingly crucial part in the outcome. I fully expect the winner tomorrow to come from the East and Sweden can forget any celebration plans.

Oh, and Andorra on my British telly were a major disappointment vocally. Much of the singing was either out of tune or breathless. A real shame because the boys had obviously delivered in rehearsals but couldn't nail it on the night.

Re: Yes, but......

(Anonymous)
of course the winner will come from the east, but that's regardless of yesterday's result and neighbourly voting.

Am i watching something else or isn't it just plain obvious that this year has always been a three horse race between the Ukraine, Russia and Latvia?

none of the other songs, much as i like many of them, have sufficient oomph to get everyone across the continent behind them. it's that simple, i think.