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19 May 2013 @ 11:25 pm
Eurovision 2013 final!  
The finals are here! Twelve hours or so after they were there! The blessed ABC has not spoiled me, my social media blackout for most of the day and not checking any news sites has seen me reach this evening with NO IDEA WHO WINS! I am even ignoring Twitter. It's lovely.

Opening sequence is delightful, with a little caterpillar creeping through Europe (did the Minuscule team help there?) And now he spins a little cocoon and pupates into a beautiful Eurocaterpillar! Flying across the Orison Bridge and into the bright lights of Malmo in time for the anthem of the contest, which is surprisingly good – perhaps not that surprising given it was mostly written by half of ABBA. The choir is rich and sweet, just a lovely sound!

And now the contestants march in behind their national flags in a sort of EuroOlympics moment. Krista from Finland shows her knickers in her spin, bless. Birgit is still wearing her shower curtain. Oh Estonia, never change your brilliant oddness. And Armenia partying down the walkway, still in double denim. The Hungarians are apparently already drunk, the hottie from Iceland popped on a formal jacket for the occasion, because they know how to show respect for a big occasion in Iceland. And the tiny little man whose name I forget is making love hearts with his hands. He really is the sweetest.

And Petra Mede is in a giant fuchsia formal coat dress with thigh split and matching ankle boots. I do not pretend to understand her fashion choices, but I have been endlessly entertained by them! And another shout-out for Australia! Hi Petra! Great Australia joke! We love you guys!

And here we go!

France to kick off the evening, Amandine Bourgeois with 'L'enfer et moi'. Good bluesy opening, hard rock chick look! She's a little Marianne Faithful, a little Amy Winhouse, a little Chrissie Amphlett, and Courtney Love's hair. Song's rather catchy, but her frock is a leather-fringed disaster and the less said about it the better. I like the backup singer's afro! Big arms from Amandine, and some good mic stand work. She's been studying Aerosmith there unless I am very much mistaken. Ooh, it's come over all passionate towards the end! And a bit shouty, but still on key, so good work. Good start!

Now Lithuania: Andrius Pojavis with 'Something'. I thought this song confusing in the semis, I think it confusing in the finals. But he is very handsome. His leather jacket a little too 90s, but on him it works. Is that a Livestrong rubber bracelet on his arm? Ooh, someone should have a little word with him. Oh, no, it's a bandana, in what looks like the South African flag colours. Good-oh. Song is still rubbish, alas. I have no urge to name my shoes, no matter how often he promotes the idea.

Number three is Moldova's Aliona Moon with 'O Mie'. She is still wearing her vinyl frock that they project pictures onto, and I still think this song is all shades of meh. I wonder where treacle_tartlet is? She is meant to be online so we can mock it at each other. Probably being a good parent. Possibly asleep. This singer really does look like a  Dolly Varden cake by the end, but points to her for selling the song so well while towering ten feet above the stage!

Interviews! Bonnie! YAY! And Finland's Krista, who is so delightful that I am prepared to look past her shoes. Oh Bonnie, you're still my fave, though. Krista reveals a cheerily bisexual streak. I hear you, darling. You're a gem! Bonnie tells us that she has a bit of chiffon to blow in the wind. And other clothes, too.

And it's time for Finland now! Krista with 'Marry Me'. It remains a bright Aqua-esque poptastic track and I feel we covered all the salient points in the semi recap, so I am off for a cuppa.  I do quite like the 'Oh, oh, oh-oh a-ding dong' refrain, though. Sam Pang is re-using his jokes from the semis. No shame.

Spain! ESDM with 'Contigo Hasta El Final'. I have a strange love for a bagpipe opening, and now the singer is appearing, walking barefoot through the smoke machine mist, wailing … about the fact she is a canary-yellow frock with gold chain shoulders. She should be grateful that Israel is keeping her safe from worst frock of the comp, but that is a cruel thing to do to a beautiful young woman. It's all downhill from that opening. Standard Europop with a big chorus. Good voice, good band, very big hair on the smiley bow-tied boy guitarist, but as you will note from the fact I am talking about the fashion rather than the song, it's just OK. Nothing we haven't heard before, however well done. Shame, they deserved better!

Belgium! Emo boy! Roberto Bellarosa, with 'Love Kills' and epic eyebrows that just won't quit. Bieber could learn a lot from this boy. I bet Roberto would never abandon his monkey. He'd never be so cruel as to buy one in the first place. Just look at that earnest little face. My fave athletic backing dancers with their awful routine are back. They are actually quite good, the choreography just works to hide the fact, instead going for a Robert Palmer 1980s feel. Dear Roberto, so young, so fringey, so serious. You're really quite the talent, but I hate your song so much that I can't do it justice.

Estonia! YAY! Birgit with 'Et Uus Saaks Alguse'. Something I forgot to mention the other night is that it starts in black and white, which is a lovely retro touch. She is still wearing her shower curtain, but she is very lovely, and her eyebrows are a welcome relief. It's all very nice. Someone in Nashville should buy the rights and release an English language version as it sounds like something from the top of the country charts. I'm going to finish my cuppa. I still love you, though, Estonia! And that is the best hero note of the night!

Now for Belarus, with Alyona Lanskaya singing 'Solayoh' and emerging from her disco ball in a flurry of glittery fringe. Is it just me, or is this song something Barry Manilow would have been proud of 30 years ago? They're all tremendously pretty, though, and she has a thoroughly decent voice. Fab backflip from one of the dancing boys! She does look ever so slightly terrified: I know her government are well dodgy, have there been threats if she doesn't make the top five? And now for the pyro. Of course. Incomprehensible all round.

More interviews backstage, and Julia Zemiro's Italian is worse than mine. HURRAH! Her French is immensely better, though. The Italian singer is a sweetie. The Swedish one is, too: first he throws Sam in a wrestling move, then he kisses him. I like you, Robin.

Malta now! Gianluca with 'Tomorrow'. Ah you cheery little hipsters who would all be perfectly at home in Hawai'i. I've just realised how enjoyable the percussion is in this song. And the ukulele is triff. It's a simple little song, but it's the sort of thing that could do very well in the voting. I think the audience is using the projected words to sing along. It's good he's here, because I worry about some of the performers coming off their heels: he has the training!

Russia's Dina Garipova with  'What If'. What if I took this opportunity to have a loo break? Perfectly lovely singer, just yet another meaningful song, basically. Meh.

Germany! Cascada singing 'Glorious', which has been widely decried as a rip-off of last year's winning song. Why is she standing at the top of a flight of stairs? Random stadium stairs stuck in the middle of the stage at that. It has a tiny bit of the Euphorias, but not a lot. Her dress is to dresses as a mullett is to hair and just as wrong. Ooh. Not sure what note she was going for there, but I don't think it was the one she hit. Still, extra points for being able to get around in those heels!

And now it's time for Armenia, the Dorians with Lonely Planet. I refuse to listen to this song again on the grounds that it makes no sense, and there is more denim than I should be expected to face. So Dorians, you look like lovely men and can all sing well. You deserve better than this song and those clothes.

Petra is back in her big pink frock, revving up the audience. 'Standing around me are the hard-core fans. And to you I have just one thing to say: You just haven't met the right girl yet." I love her.

Anouk from the Netherlands with 'Birds'. It's about love, about birds, about minor keys, about being Very Meaningful. I can't help feeling it would be improved by a ukulele. Some lovely harmonies in there, though. God, it seems longer than it did the other night … Maybe I should have watched Doctor Who live so I could fast forward through these bits …

ROMANIA! CESAR! If  Freddie Mercury were alive, this would be his favourite thing of the year. 'It's My Life' is the song and it contains Dracula coats, a bare chest, a giant crucifix on said chest, a soaring counter tenor and mostly naked dancers. These people genuinely understand Eurovision!  It's just occurred to me that the pink girl dancer disappears when the gold girl dancer comes out, which means she spends the last part of the song napping under the fabric. Genius.

BONNIE TIME! The UK, with Bonnie Tyler singing 'Believe in Me'. I am not convinced this is in the optimal key for her. Let's talk about her outfit instead: I rather like the chiffon-edged tunic, which is mostly flattering for the older lady, and she still has amazing legs. It's coming together more in the second verse, but I confess, it's no Total Eclipse. But she still brings it to the stage in terms of big voice, big hair and big arm gestures. And don't the crowd just love her!

Sweden's Robin Sternbjorg with 'You'. He is a wee darling, and a fiendish wrestler judging by his earlier performance. And basically this is Russia's song a bit butched up and with good backing dancers. Oh, no, I take it back. Big dance anthem chorus and driving beat following. I am distracted by the dancer with the big man bun. How can he do a headspin with that thing? I feel certain this song will appear as the interval track in a spin class near me any week now. I can feel my heartbeat maxing just thinking about it. Very nice, though.

Hungary's ByeAlex is back with 'Kedvesem'. And I can't face the Zombie Fairies again. Basically, hipsters without the engaging enthusiasm of most actual hipsters. Time to put some soup on for dinner!

Denmark! It's the Shakira impersonator, Emmilie de Forest with 'Only Teardrops', which is apparently the favourite. I do like the pipe at the start and the drumming throughout. And her eye make-up is quite perfect. In truth, I really do like her. She is super-pretty and has a very fine voice that brings a lot of colour to the song. The song itself is self-consciously anthemic, but well made for all that. It'll probably win, or be beaten out by someone ridiculous.

ICELAND! Oh you are so beautiful, Eythor Ingi, if only 'Eg a lif' were a more interesting song. I think this is a very clever performance on Iceland's part, because it shows that they produce beautiful Viking men with fine voices, and good pianists, and stalwart backup singers, without any threat of destroying the economy again by winning the ECS. Well showcased, gentlemen.

Farid is back, representing Azerbaijan, with 'Hold me' and it is just as spectacularly odd as it was in the semis. To recap: he starts singing on top of a giant perspex box, then the camera pans back to show a man in the box, who flips himself upside down to mirror Farid's moves throughout the song (the axis moves from vertical to horizontal once Farid jumps down off the box). This makes no sense, and then a girl in a red frock with a forty-foot train appears. The  frock has an exoskeleton spine. Then rose petals blow up inside the box. The girl and the box man start to make eyes at each other. Then she stares at Farid. Then it all ends. Who knows? Fools will give you reasons, wise men never try.

Interviews again. Nick one of the drummers from Ireland, with his shirt on. Hard to recognise. His tatts *were* tribal rather than Celtic, Mouse wins her argument with her partner. Nick is also a cheeky bugger, bless him. Julia interviews the French girl, in French, but I am not paying attention, so I got 'you are beautiful and it's a great song.' There was more.

Greece! Koza Nostra with 'Alcohol is Free' and they are a little less perfect than in the semi: I suspect someone in the government called them in a panic saying 'For the love of Zeus, don't win!' Still super-charming, though. Greek ska is enormously better than Greek alcohol. The moustache action at the end remains the perfect final note.

Ukraine and their giant American, carrying on Zlata Ognevich so she can sing 'Gravity'. And now he's gone again. I think he should have stayed around for a whole beauty and the beast theme. Or Gargamel versus the Smurfs … Zlata is standing on a rock in what is apparently meant to be a forest, with four other singers also out for the evening. This song reminds me of something by Heart, or at least from that era. So does her hair. And there's a touch of 'Love of the Common People' lurking in there, too, which is no bad thing. Ends with smoke and pyro. And why not.

Italy, 'L'Essenziale' by Marco Mengani, who is wearing a suit!  Ooh, very classy! Ah, it's the serious romantic Italian song, where he declares that he is worthy of her love. And now I am lost. I am rubbish at languages. Love isn't sensible, something something … Oh fuck it. He's a hottie, he's singing well in Italian. That's all you need to know. Not convinced by his earring, though.

Norway! Margaret Berger with 'I Feed You My Love'. Do it for pingrid! Apparently the drummer has a PhD in artificial intelligence. Over-achiever. A spot of Electrovision. All very nicely done, exactly as in the semi. Her dress is still spectacular at the same time as looking rather restrictive. But she looks strong enough to rip it off and run out in her scanties in the event of an emergency. And then probably run back in to rescue Richard Branson's mother. I hope they do well!

Georgia have Song 25, Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani with 'Waterfall'. They are both excellent, but I hate this song. Time to check on that soup!

Loreen has just had a tweet appear in the twitterstream: they really are keen on us down here!

Ireland's Ryan Dolan with 'Only Love Survives'! Topless drummers! Interlacing! What appears to be a kevlar jacket! Topless dancers! Ah, it has everything. He's another who is good enough to nearly win, without incurring the financial penalty of actually winning. A lot of that this year. And so much more dignified than Jedward or that bloody turkey.

And that's it! Voting time! Or, for me, soup time!

Now they're interviewing Graham Norton. That's just cruel. If someone could post me a DVD of the British telecast, I'd be ever so grateful.

Petra's dress tonight is by Jean Paul Gaultier again, and he has worked out all of the issues from last night: it's madly fab. Recap time. Oh, will it never end?

And now to the home show. It's Loreen, barefoot with feathers this time and her jumpsuited backing dancers, rocking out three songs. Oh, now the backing dancers are in burqas. It's getting odder, there is aerial work and … oh, we're back to Euphoria. Safe ground there. Her kaftan has grown in the last year!

STOP VOTING! Petra is back in yet another frock. And another bit about Swedish culture, which is darkly hilarious. Soldiers under fire having a group discussion about whether or not to attack, the PM being told to put his washing away, 'So where do the Swedes go to let out their frustrations? Abroad, to your countries.' Love it.

Now Petra has a song and dance number with Muppet and Bergman references. IT IS UTTERLY GENIUS! Abba, IKEA, recycling, public transport, Pippi, Vikings, buxom blondes, paternity leave, you name it, they riff on it. THERE IS EVEN A REVEAL! And gay marriage! Oh Sweden, I do love you so. Petra is the BEST PRESENTER EVER!

Word in from treacle, technological problems at her end have been responsible for her silence. We look forward to the NBN!

Bonnie Tyler is begging for votes. The Italian chap is sorry we can't vote for him. The Irish chap is charming. The Swedish chap is adorable. The French lass is Courtney Love's classier twin! The Moldovan man has BEAUTIFUL MANNERS and is a delight!

Petra is back! We are going back through the history of Eurovision again! And laying into 'Bloodu Johnny Logan', bless her! Jon Ola Sand is in with the results, which he needs a couple of minutes to verify, so he is stalling, as an intro for a fabulous rendition of ABBA's The WInner Takes It All!  This woman has the best hair since Adele. And a great voice.

And finally, the votes. Each country gives 1-7 immediately, then reads out its 8, 10 and 12. I'll just recap those, because there is a limit to my typing speed.

Votes from San Marino! 8 go to France, 10 to Malta, and 12 to Greece! YAY! Good call!

Sweden (very anime man!): 8 to the Netherlands, 10 to Denmark, and 12 to Norway. No shock.

Albanian chatty hipster: 8 points to Hungary, 10 to Greece and 12 to Italy! HURRAH!

Who gave a point to the UK?!

The Netherlands: 8 to Malta, 10 to Denmark and 12 to Belgium. He is very excited.

Austria: 8 to the Netherlands, 10 to Italy, 12 to Azerbaijan.

UK: 8 to Greece, 10 to Russia (REALLY?!), and 12 to Denmark. 1 to Ireland, which is either harsh or economically sympathetic.

Israel: 8 to Denmark, 10 to the Ukraine and 12 to Azerbaijan.

O to Estonia, alas.

Serbia: 8 to Russia, 10 to the Ukraine and 12 to Denmark, who are starting to stretch a lead.

Ukraine, whose chap has amazing hair and eyebrows: 8 to Moldova, 10 to Azerbaijan and 12 to Belarus!

Hungary: 8 to Malta, bless!, 10 to Denmark and 12 to Azerbaijan.

Denmark currently 73 to Azerbaijan's 62

Romania: 8 to Norway, 10 to Azerbaijan and 12 to Moldova. It's closing! They gave 3 votes to Bonnie, madness!

Moldova:  8 to Azerbaijan, 10 to Romania, 12 to Ukraine!

Estonia STILL 0. Madness!

Azerbaijan: 8 to Malta, 10 to Georgia and 12 to Ukraine.

Norway: 8 to the Netherlands, 10 to Malta, and 12 to Sweden, no surprises there.

OH! The skirt on Petra's frock!

Armenia's chap sings his hello. I wish he hadn't: 8 to Greece, 10 to Georgia and 12 to Ukraine,

Italy: 8 to Norway, 10 to Malta, and 12 to Denmark.

Estonia still 0. Harsh. Finland will help that.

Finland: 6 to Estonia! YAY! 8 to the Netherlands, 10 to Hungary, and 12 to Norway!

Spain now: 8 to Denmark, 10 to Ukraine and 12 to Italy. Also, 4 to the UK.

Belarus: 8 to Russia, 10 to Azerbaijan, 12 to Ukraine! Who are closing in on Denmark.

Latvia: 8 to Norway, 10 to Estonia! YAY! GO THE BALTIC BLOC! and 12 to Russia.

19 countries left to vote. When will this end?

Bulgaria: 8 to Armenia, 10 to Ukraine and 12 to Azerbaijan!

Finland are second-last on 7. That's unfair. Though those shoes were awful.

Belgium: 8 points to the Ukraine, 10 to Denmark and 12 to The Netherlands! I boggle.

Russia: 8 to Belgium, 10 to Greece! YAY! and 12 to Azerbaijan.

Malta: 5 to the UK, bless you, 8 to Italy, 10 to Ukraine and 12 to Azerbaijan.

16 votes between first and third.

Estonian hottie: 8 points to Denmark, 10 to Ukraine and 12 to Russia.

Germany, it's Lena!: 8 to Iceland! YAY! 10 to Denmark, misannounced as Norway! And 12 to Hungary! Lena is sacked.

Iceland: 8 to the Netherlands, 10 to Norway, 12 to Denmark, which is expanding its lead again. Might be unassailable by now.

France: 8 point to Azerbaijan, 10 points to Italy! YAY! And douze points to Denmark.

39 point lead, 10 countries to go.

Greece: 8 to Ukraine, 10 to Romania and 12 to Azerbaijan.

Ireland: 7 to the UK, so much kinder than we were. 8 to the Ukraine, 10 to Russia and 12 to Denmark.

Denmark: 8 to Sweden, I am not shocked. 10 to The Netherlands. Surprise! and 12 to Norway, which I typed before she said it. Scandi bloc is strong in this one!

Montenegro: 8 to Greece, 10 to Denmark and 12 to Azerbaijan.

Slovenia: 8 to Italy, 10 to Russia and 12 to Denmark. I think that's probably sealed it.

Georgia: 8 to Ukraine, 10 to Armenia and 12 to Azerbaijan, but it's too late.

FYR Macedonia: 8 to Norway, 10 to Italy and 12 to Denmark. And that's it: it's numerically impossible for them not to win!

OMG! They are calling it at this point! We are going to hear the remainder of the votes for the places.

Cyprus: 8 to Azerbaijan, 10 to Ukraine and 12 to Greece. Rightly so.

Croatia: 8 to Italy, 10 to Denmark and 12 to Ukraine.

Switzerland: 2 to the UK, 5 to Iceland, 8 to Greece, 10 to Hungary and 12 to Italy! Very lovely, Switzerland!

And finally, Lithuania, who loves Bonnie Tyler: 3 to Estonia! 8 to Georgia, 10 to Ukraine and 12 to Azerbaijan, who come second! Hurrah!

Denmark is making their way to the stage and she is updating her Facebook status as she comes down the corridor. Hugs from Loreen! Trophy! Flowers! Mic pack! Earpiece! Petra's Giant Frock! Reprise!

Well, that was all very enjoyable. I am fairly sure I will need a year to get over it.
 
 
 
ashindkashindk on May 19th, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
It was the gayest eurovision in years, and that's really saying something. Sweden and Finland and their kisses, and the fantastic Romanian drag-cula. I was very well entertained.
And Eythor Ingi can serenade me any time. Or just, you know, stand there and look pretty, I don't really care about the singing.
If I could have changed one thing, I wiah we could have voted for Petra and her Swedish smörgåsbord song. That was genious!
And since it's in Denmark next year, I'm thinking about getting tickets for my oldest daughter and myself. I think it'd be a great if kitchy experience to see the live show.

Edited at 2013-05-20 03:24 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
ecosopherecosopher on May 19th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC)
Have to say I'm somewhat disappointed with the songs this year. So bland... Where was the spectacle? Romania was the only one I felt truly represented the Eurovision tradition.

Loved the little film and song about Sweden, though :)
Kristina Anderssonkriscat on May 20th, 2013 07:10 am (UTC)
"This woman has the best hair since Adele. And a great voice." Yet again, did you recognize her? It was Sarah Dawn Finer aka Lynda Woodruff, EBU spokeswoman. ;)
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on May 20th, 2013 10:16 am (UTC)
I feel utterly bereft for having missed our Eurovision date. First time in four years, damnit all! *broken sobbing*
Janey Procrastinatorjaney_p on May 20th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
Gotta admit that Norway was my personal favorite. The dubstep was a great contrast to all those ballads. :)

In Denmark's song I liked the verses better than the choruses (same as last year's Euphoria, actually ^^). Would have liked her to get second place after Norway, because apart from my preferences she WAS one of the best performers that evening.

I missed the German performance, due to my mother calling me right that moment, but hey, apparently no great loss there. ;)
The German commentator was quite heartbroken about the voting though. Wonder if he was a fan. :D

Romania had me quite wide-eyed. Had he not started with a few lower notes and had I kept my eyes closed for the whole performance, I would have thought there was a woman singing that song. I mean, I've known of the existence of countertenors, but hadn't heard one before. Took me by surprise...
I thought he was trying a little too hard, though. He kind of sacrificed his articulation to the high notes. XD

Wish I could have seen the interviews you've seen. We got different ones over here.

The voting itself... There are so many countries participating who vote for each other every time that the votes are hardly unbiased. It's been a pet peeve of mine for years, but oh well...
And do I remember correctly that over the last few years the country going in as the favorite has always won? Makes me wonder if naming a favorite beforehand isn't influencing the voting later on. (God, I'm such a conspiracy theorist :D)
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on May 21st, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
I don't like Emmilie de Forest - she claimed she is illegitimately descended from Edward VII. Shocking.

The mad song about Sweden was sheer heaven.