Happy Halloween!

Here’s the only Halloween-related (by a few degrees of separation) ESC entry off the top of my head.

So what are you dressing up as this year? I wanted to be Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians in order to not wear shoes, but then I got lazy and am going as one of the Herreys. (I can be either Richard or Louis depending on if I wear a green or blue polo.) But I still don’t feel like putting on shoes.

#EurovisionProblems

There’s #FirstWorldProblems, and then there’s #EurovisionProblems

  1. You’ve been asked for the nth time why Israel takes part in Eurovision/where is [insert country here]/can the USA participate in Eurovision, and you’re tired of answering.
  2. All your issues with when ESC and/or other national finals live:
    • You live in a different time zone, so you might have to watch the contest at 3AM
    • There are multiple national finals occurring at the same time, so you have to pick which one to watch. (Hmmm…do I watch the Eesti Laul, which has better songs but I can’t understand anything, or do I watch Unser Song für XXX, which I can understand but doesn’t have as good songs?)
    • You want to watch Malta’s national final but it’s just Way. Too. Long.
    • The event occurs at Sunday night. You have a Monday exam. Or even worse, it’s on a school night
    • Google Translate decides to fail and you can’t find the “live-stream” button on broadcasters’ websites.
    • Your favourite entry didn’t qualify/get top X/win
    • For high school students in the USA, Eurovision Season occurs in the middle of AP/IB Testing Season.
  3. When you’re performing an ESC cover at Open Mike Night, you get 75 blank stares because no one knows what the song is or where the country you mentioned even is.
  4. Your history/geography teacher gets annoyed when you show them that the map in the back in the textbook is out of date and complain that it’s been x years since 2006, and Serbia and Montenegro shouldn’t appear on the map anymore.
  5. You’ve been hiding under the ESC rock for so long that you’ve forgotten what the local pop culture sounds/looks like.
  6. The only reason you remember in organic chemistry to use sulfuric acid in reactions is because Alcazar taught you that the bisulfate ion is “not an acid nor a base,” and then your prof that looks like Christer Björkman has to tell you to stop singing in the middle of an exam.

Barefoot performers at Eurovision pt.2

Who says you need shoes at Eurovision?  Not after we’ve had 4 winners who ditched their shoes before appearing on stage…

Remedios Amaya (Spain 1983)

I ran out of barefoot winners to talk about, so I’d have to talk about non-winners and non-qualifiers sometime. And of course, there are the 0 pointers. I don’t really get the performance or the lyrics yet, so I don’t think I can really talk about it.

Kuunkuiskaajat (Finland 2010)

I’m going to have to apologize to someone I know at uni who really likes the artists. Like the other songs in their album, their ESC entry is really dance-able, and I tried to use it to practice dancing kolo. (It didn’t really work, but if I hear somewhere down the line that I shouldn’t be using Finnish music for Serbian folk dances, someone probably read this).

Sopho Nizharadze (Georgia 2010)

I was debating whether or not to put this song in the article, since although she and the dancers are barefoot the performance has absolutely nothing to do with it; the performance could have occurred with or without. The only difference that would have happened is that her feet wouldn’t have showed when one of the dancers spun her. And that it would have hurt a lot less if the dancers stepped on each other.

Backing Dancers for Robin Stjernberg (Sweden 2013)

I read an article a while ago that the dancers were risking injury to dance barefoot on stage, but after considering other acts where artists performed barefoot on stage, it wasn’t the most dangerous. (I’m currently thinking about Estonia’s 2014 entry, where a) Argo could have dropped Tanja, b) Tanja could have kicked Argo in the face, and c) the “we were weightless” scene could have gone terribly wrong. Or it could have been Sweden’s 2012 entry, where Loreen could have choked on a snowflake during her performance.) Okay, something could have happened during the backflips and half-backflips, but I don’t think it has anything to do with not wearing shoes.

Inga & Anush (Armenia 2009)

This looks more dangerous than the choreography in “You” because of the long skirts and the long sleeves that reach the floor. I wouldn’t want to trip and fall on stage. In the music video, the dancers start the “nor par” in a dance studio wearing regular (trip free) clothes, so there wouldn’t be any major injuries. Moving away from the choreography, I really like the song and it’s really catchy, especially the rhythm.

Click here for Part 1 of “barefoot performers at Eurovision”

Piecing together a love story

If I randomly picked a ESC entry to play out of all of the songs through history, it would most likely be a love song (unless it was about an old carousel, world peace, social networking, the Eurozone crisis, or whatever the hell this is) And I’m guessing that at least a few songs would be able to fit on the same storyline. Sure, it’s going to be cheesy, but what else could be cheesier than a fondue pot if Eurovision isn’t?

I’m not going to say that these songs are are actually related in any way, since they’re from separate contests, artists, countries, and genders. But just as a coincidence, it works.

1. Person falls in love with someone, doesn’t know what to do, and asks their mom for advice. Armenia, JESC 2010: “Mama”- Vladimir Arzumanyan

2. Person builds up courage and asks the person out. Lithuania, ESC 2013: “Something”- Andrius Pojavis

3. Person decides that this love isn’t right, and then complains to their mom that her advice sucked. Russia, ESC 2009: “Mamo”- Anastasia Prikhodko

4. And then the person leaves with no regrets to anything, including what they wore on stage. Macedonia (FYR), ESC 2005: “Make My Day”- Martin Vučić

 

11 Years of Ukraine’s Participation, pt.2

2009: Svetlana Loboda- Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl) – 12th

  • Is it a bad thing that the first thing I think of is “stripper on a hamster wheel/hell machine/whatever it is”? Because after that comes the more civil stuff: the song that followed Norway’s entry that year, the song which finally won after the whole incident involving Anastasia Prikhodko, etc.
  • Judging by the music video and the performance alone, I don’t get why the Wikipedia article states that the song is about fighting domestic violence. Maybe it’s supposed to be interpreted with a bit of sarcasm/irony?

2010: Alyosha- Sweet People- 10th

 

  • I remember the music video more than the live performance, especially one scene when a TV is getting smashed. Every once in a while a part of the verse shows up (typically “Oh, sweet people, what about our children? In theatres and video games…”)
  • And then she dominated the stage alone.

2011: Mika Newton- Angel- 4th

  • Is it a bad thing that a) I barely ever listened to the English version besides short sound bites of it in “Top XX of 2011” lists and that b) all I really remember is the sand lady Kseniya Simonova?

2012: Gaitana- Be My Guest- 15th

  • Hmmm… it’s a football chant. I guess this tactic was applied by France in 2010 for World Cup Season?
  • Also, I guess it’s a great way to breach the “6 people on stage” rule.

2013: Zlata Ognevich- Gravity- 3rd

  • It took me a while to get used to the final version, that is WAY AFTER the final ended (probably about 4-5 months later in the fall), since I really liked the line, “You’ll never break free from gravity.” (Yes, even though the final version is cleaner, has an actual music video, and was actually performed on the ESC stage with the tallest person living in the USA who’s actually from Ukraine. And I think my thoughts are rambling a bit…)

2014: Mariya Yaremchuk- Tick Tock- 6th

  • Current thoughts about the song: Why does the song somehow remind me of Wake Me Up sometimes? It’s probably the beat…

I have to tell you something…to fix myself

I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed from everything right now. I keep waking up hours later than I used to wake up, and I constantly feel cranky and/or tired. Instead of paying attention to assignments that are due the next day, I spent the day sitting in front of my computer watching the South Park movie multiple times while nursing a bottle of Mountain Dew, eating dry ramen 2.0, and complaining that I don’t have enough tea packs to make paper cranes with (even though I could have simply stood up, left my room, and found some tea packs as well as gone to class). And then I keep thinking, “Aw, it’s only 6:30; my classes don’t start until 3 hours later. Why do I have to get up?” or “But the class moves so slowly and/or feels so pointless and/or I’ve done something similar to this in the past, so why do I have to go to class?”

So why am I posting this? I’m doing this because if I just say it in my head I’ll probably end up going to stay in my room watching the South Park movie for the nth time this week instead. If it’s written and posted I can’t take it back. So here goes: From this day forward, I will not skip class nor will I miss any assignments. I’ve had the issue with assignments for too long and it’s got to stop.

I just wish I had a bit of support like how Manuel Ortega describes in his 2003 entry. Maybe it’s super cheesy (then again, I should be going to bed soon), but it’s something I need right now: enthusiastic, supportive, and repetitive enough to get the job done.