Someone give them a microphone…

I can get how Azerbaijan placed 5th in 2010. ITV invested a lot into Safura’s performance and promotion, the country’s best friend Turkey was there to vote, and overall the act had a decent song and singer. (Also this was only the first year of collaborating with Swedish composers, so no one was complaining about that yet).

Though it was the highest placing ballad of the year, I still think there was something missing from the song, or at least the story the song portrays. Safura’s character accuses her SO for leaving for 3 weeks, zero communication, and possibly having an affair (or at least that’s what we’re supposed to assume). But for the entire act, it’s 3 minutes of one-sided angry rant, and the only person who could respond (the dancer) doesn’t have a voice.

After a few listens wondering if there was a version involving the second character to speak, the answer came up 3 time zones away in Serbia: Željko Joksimović’s promotion/Balkan ballad remix. The SO finally had a voice (despite just going uhhhhhh the entire time they were given the chance to speak)

Unfortunately it took the couple 5 years to actually decide to work things out, after they found out that living in uncertainty forever wasn’t a good idea. But thanks to Czech Republic, I think it’s likely to be a happy ending.

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I will be popular. I will be Sweden.

Mr. Creepy Swedish Guy Eric Saade has pulled a Carola in Melodifestivalen, placing 3rd, 1st, and 5th in the contest. He’s also managed to annoy the crap out of me while trying to represent Sweden- not only as himself, but as the country as a whole. I’m not sure whether to blame Eric Saade for singing the songs or his songs’ composer, Fredrik Kempe, for writing the lyrics.

The year he made his first attempt, Sweden’s scores were declining for the past 5 years (after Martin Stenmarck gambled all of SVT’s future points in Las Vegas). 6th place. 18th place. 18th place. 21st place. Did not qualify. Sweden turned into that guy who no one wanted to care about, and someone needed to stand up again. Eric Saade started out as just a 19-year-old from Skåne, but after qualifying direkt til Stockholm he became the “manboy” that his song presented: Yes there was potential, but SVT would wait another year. He (and the country) would still not be taken seriously, since he was still that kid.

Sweden waited one year for Team Saade/Kempe to send someone who directly expressed the country’s desire to get points and win without blatantly obvious (*CoughLithuaniaCough*): a person singing a self-fulfilling prophecy about earning a spot on the popular table. Despite getting flak for stupid lyrics like rhyming “impossible” with “possible,” he made SVT’s message clear. While Eric wanted to be popular and be liked/known by everyone, Sweden wanted to win the competition and have everyone visit them as a proud host. While he wanted the girl at the popular table, Sweden wanted sets of douze pointe. And both Eric and Sweden would succeed by dancing for his/their life.

Although he didn’t win, he brought Sweden back to the left side of the table with a 3rd place and 185 points. He did predict the country’s victory the year after, when Loreen danced against the wind machine to win with a record 18 sets of douze pointe.

Fast forward 3 years to Melodifestivalen 2015’s final. Team Saade/Kempe was back but only placed 5th while Måns Zelmerlöw won with his stickman MP. Eric couldn’t represent himself at Eurovision? Not a problem. He (as Sweden) didn’t have to say anything until the contest was over anyways. The country won with 365 points after a 3-horse race against Russia and Italy in the final. After controversy about plagiarism and jury voting trumping televoting, Sweden was allowed to keep the title as the winner of Eurovision 2015.

Of course, the fans weren’t very happy. How could the juries vote for generic top-40 pop music instead of 3 magical operatic-pop voices? They shouldn’t have that much leverage in the contest. And Eric-as-Sweden just popped back and told them: We won a fair fight. The end. It’s gonna sting so bad, it’ll drive you [Il Volo fans] mad. See you in Stockholm!

Season’s finally kicked off!

After 8 years of non-qualifications, the Netherlands finally tasted the feeling of qualifying for and scoring top 10 in the final. They’re still going with the country’s (close-to) winning formula: Internally select an artist, ask them to present a song, and hope the song is good enough to get to the final. It’s probably going to be American-style country, and there’s a very large chance that the song won’t be selected by looking in someone’s laptop archives.

Congratulations to Douwe Bob for being the first artist selected for Eurovision 2016!

Great, so I’ve got around 6 months to make sure everyone knows how to pronounce my name, otherwise they’ll just call me Duvet Bob forever…

Now let’s wait for the rest of the artists and songs. Eurovision season has finally started rolling.

This is my life, my friend

Gotta love whatever issue I’ve got inside my head for the past few months/years. On good days, all I have to deal with is the Ohrwurm Network and songs stuck in my head. On bad days, I won’t want to wake up, and every little mistake is a cause to fight my family. I’ll drive to uni with my favourite Mello entries on full blast with the windows open but still mutter, “I hate my life,” every 3 minutes. I’ll be glad that I’m complaining that I didn’t pack enough snacks because I finally have something to care about, because sometimes it’s too hard to care about anything besides the Twitter feed on my phone which hasn’t updated in the past 5 minutes. What I probably need is someone to talk to about how everything’s out of control. What I don’t need is my family treating me like Eurovision fans treat Anna Bergendahl.

The first thing people always seem to say when they bring up her name is, “Oh, she’s the only Swedish entry to not qualify for the final.” Maybe someone adds that Sweden usually has really high standards over a 6-week selection process. All they say is that Sweden’s a country with such a good reputation of qualifying, and the powerhouse of radio-friendly top 40 music sent her? Disappointing.

And it’s really infuriating that she’s only remembered for that. What about the song and how she’s fighting to keep her identity? How she doesn’t want to run or fight; she just wants to be herself without anyone telling her off. And she has to just be that because she can’t be anyone else.

I don’t want my family constantly telling me off for loving the contest or barefooting or any other interests. I don’t want them saying that my uni isn’t a real uni and all the professors just give out A’s like they’re nothing. I just want to be happy. And if that’s not possible, I just want to wake up, look forward to class, and come home knowing that I don’t have to fight with my family. Because it’s my life, my friends…

 

Stupid writer’s block…

Is it right or is it wrong? I can’t go on. You can’t go on. If you say yes (or even no) you don’t know how or where to go. Is it right?

I’m turning into the one person trying to write something in Elaiza’s entry, typing 300 words or the same paragraph (with slightly varied phrasing) 6 times in a row and ending up deleting the entire file because it sucks. It’s either that or I don’t know where else to go on. Stupid writer’s block.

Otherwise it’s probably time for another round of how [insert singer here] is great at storytelling (read: how I ended up connecting the dots so their words fit my story), or how much I hate my family telling me off. Let’s see what happens…

No borders…political or personal

I really liked Poland’s 2003 entry “Keine Grenzen/Żadnych Granic”- an un-ironic peace song (*cough* Russia *cough*) sung in German, Polish, and Russian about not being able to see political borders from space. If the audience didn’t really understand the performance, at least they remembered some guy with red hair singing in a raspy voice.

Fast forward 3 years and Ich Troje gets another chance to represent Poland again in 2006, this time in fancy masquerade outfits. I don’t think Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged was around back then, but Michał (the guy with red hair) decided it was a great time to screw the rules since he changed his hair color.

The staging also got awkward during their performance. It’s not that bad that he was working with his ex-wife (which a lot of artists probably do), but did he have to show her along with 180 million people around the world that his not-yet-wife-at-the-time was already 5 months pregnant in front of the camera? Yes, it’s possible to announce that in a less-awkward way. And I’m going to apologize to every single English teacher right now, but this is an example of inappropriate use of “show, don’t tell.”

At least they got points from both east and west (in the semi) this time. Russia didn’t bother back in 2003.

It’s already September?

It’s September already.

The new students at Hogwarts have already been in class for a week after being sorted into their houses.

Green Day is already asking the general public to wake them up after the 30th.

It’s already 8 days into the new Eurovision season. And hardly anything major has happened so far. That is, unless you count the 25 countries which have confirmed participation. We already know that ESC 2016 will be in Stockholm in the Ericsson Globe, Ukraine and Turkey will return, and that Christer Björkman will be the show producer again. That probably means the random draw is extremely unlikely to return next year…

Otherwise, classes at uni started again, so it’s time to switch dialects from “Eurovision fan” to “chemistry textbook”.

Unless SMTV suddenly announces that Valentina Monetta is returning (which she already said no to), I’ll assume there won’t be anything new until someone wins a national final.