2018 Review: Austria

So Austria’s had a bit of fun moving up and down the scoreboard in the past few years. 2014: win. 2015: nil pointe. 2016-2017: hanging around the right side. So what does a delegation do after realizing that there’s a local artist who sang backings for a country that placed 8x better than their own?

Simple: Ask that local artist to sing for their own country. And that’s what ORF did with Cesár Sampson: after singing backings for Bulgaria in the past two years to help obtain two top 5 placings, he was internally selected to sing for Austria this year with the song “Nobody but You”.

I’m having a lot of fun listening to the song and attempting to sing along with (minus the belting part, especially when I try to walk up a hill to school). At initial listen it sounds a bit like an uptempo revamp/remix of Australia’s entry last year, replaced with a more experienced artist and with less space to improv. Lyrically speaking, he’s a lot more involved in the described relationship as well. Instead of Isaiah’s “sorry it looks like we’re not moving forward; I’m still dealing with a lot of prior emotional baggage that makes it difficult for me unless I know I can trust you 200%,”, Cesár’s monologue sounds a bit more like “Look, I’ve been trying to not think about you, but that’s like trying to tell me to ignore the rice that’s taking up 50% of my plate, so I’m wondering if you’re thinking the same thing, (and please tell me yes because we’ve been together for X amount of time).”

Derp. And given all of this I can see for the nth time, why I’d rather send my partner YouTube links to a song instead of telling them straight.

Anyways, lyrics aside, what’s up with the last two years of Austrian ESC music videos being filmed in snowy forested areas? I’m pretty sure they could come here and film one too:

 

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On my way to the doctors office…

 

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2016 Review: Austria

After realizing that beards alone do not score points (and neither do beards paired with flaming pianos), Austria decided to forgo the beards entirely and select a female artist this year, picking Zoë and her song “Loin d’ici.” Yes, it’s in French. Yes, Austrians typically don’t send songs in French. Yes, Austrians typically don’t speak French as their first language. Yes, a French song doesn’t seem that representative of Austrian culture.  But how many Austrians speak English as their first language? And how many times since 1999 has Austria sent English-language songs? English songs don’t exactly represent Austrian culture either. And the one song that does have stereotypical dirndls is sung in part Spanish. (Sorry Julie Frost, but as a fellow American, your ranting on how badly written the lyrics were, was not cool. Would you like to dissect your winning Eurovision lyrics from 2010 like you did to the Austrian entries? No? Then cut the lyricists some slack since we all know none of these lyrics will end up on the AP English Literature test.)

“I bought new underwear, they’re blue. And I wore them just the other day” – text by Julie Frost

Rant aside, here’s the song:

Given that I just quit trying to play Legend of Zelda OOT on my phone after (FYI the emulator sucks, get a real console or you won’t get out of the Deku tree) and spent a lot of time listening to the soundtrack, the first thing the song reminds me of is some kind of video game background music either in the Mario or Zelda world. It’s kind of atmospheric and retro-ish (to the point that it feels somewhat schlager-y but not enough to call the song schlager), and the “dreaming of a paradise far from here” lyrics work with the background.  I’d be suspicious to whether the poisonous-looking mushrooms are actually edible or not though…

Also spoiler alert: She’s actually walking on a treadmill hidden under the fog.

Ace Awareness Week continued

Okay, so it’s still asexual awareness week so I’m not putting my ace flag down yet. (Actually I just taped a flag to my laptop so it’s always out, and I realized that my grey marker has completely dried out. Aesj.)

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So now you’ve met my laptop…

Anyways, part of the asexual umbrella includes the aromantic community (not aromatic, but aromantic, as in no romantic attraction).

These herbs are aromatic, as in they smell good. Note the lack of an “N” in the word.

Lack of romantic attraction is probably harder to imagine than lack of sexual attraction, but the easiest way to describe it would be that there are different types of love, and romantic love is just one type. The issue is that romantic love is the one type that gets shown on TV, and that’s the first kind of love that people think of when they say 3 words. It’s also the one type that aromantic (aro for short) people don’t feel.

“Vaidas you might want to put the mike down if you’re going to sneeze…”

Outside of romantic love, there’s friendship love…

familial love…

and love for your home/country

But aro ace, non-aro ace, or non-ace, can we please agree that something’s wrong with his pizza?

*Note: Even though I’m asexual, I’m not aromantic. The people at AVEN probably know how to explain things better than I do, so check them out for more information.

Gender PSA

It’s already a bad idea trying to read YouTube comment wars, especially when the wars are obviously started by some troll who wanted to see drama. It’s also really annoying going through the comments on Dana International or Conchita Wurst, and finding that over half the comments are about their genders and not about the music. So let’s go back to the basics:

Lithuania was represented this year by Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila. As far as the media’s concerned, there aren’t any issues with how the two should be referred. The person on the left is female and can be referred to as she/her/hers, while the person on the right is male and can be referred to as he/him/his. Now let’s move on to the next photo.

Dana International, the person on the left, represented Israel in 1998. She identifies as female and is referred to as she/her/hers. It doesn’t matter that she is transgender (despite this taking up 80% of the media); she is female.

Conchita Wurst, the person on the right, is the drag character of Tom Neuwirth. When the person is in character (e.g. in the photo above) as Conchita, people refer to the character as she/her/hers. When the person is out of character, people use he/him/his to refer to Tom.

Just as a PSA to everyone, if you don’t know how to refer to people, just ask. Because they know themselves better than other people or the media ever will.

 

And the winner is…Sweden!

I was going to post this yesterday, but congratulations to Sweden and Måns Zelmerlöw for winning the 60th Eurovision Song Contest with 365 points!

It’s also Sweden’s 6th win since ABBA in 1974.

Ranking:

1. Sweden- 365 points
2. Russia- 303 points
3. Italy- 292 points
4. Belgium- 217 points
5. Australia- 196 points
6. Latvia- 186 points
7. Estonia- 106 points
8. Norway- 102 points
9. Israel- 97 points
10. Serbia- 53 points
11. Georgia- 51 points
12. Azerbaijan- 49 points
13. Montenegro- 44 points
14. Slovenia- 39 points
15. Romania- 35 points
16. Armenia- 34 points (Tie Break)
17. Albania- 34 points
18. Lithuania- 30 points
19. Greece- 23 points (only 8 of which came from Cyprus)
20. Hungary- 19 points
21. Spain- 15 points
22. Cyprus- 11 points (And Greece only gave Cyprus 10 points. Death and taxes are still guaranteed, but Greece and Cyprus exchanging 12 points isn’t anymore.)

23. Poland- 10 points
24. United Kingdom- 5 points
25. France- 4 points
26. Germany- 0 points (There were points somewhere in the split voting but they disappeared)
27. Austria- 0 points

 

 

2015 Review: Austria

After returning to the contest in 2011 and getting not-so-decent scores for three years (as in: one 18th place and two DNQ’s), Austrian broadcaster ORF chose an internal selection and won. Now that Austria’s going directly to the final as a host, they decided to hold a national final again.

“We’re actually having a national final this year?”

I didn’t watch the national final “Wer Singt für Österreich”, but it looks like the same story as Sweden 2013, when the public selected Robin Stjernberg after Loreen’s 372-point victory. Nothing in the national final seemed half as awesome as the previous winner. I would have picked a more “risky” entry, “Absolutio” by Johann Sebastian Bass (reminiscent of Finland’s Opera Skaala), but the televoters and jury went for the MakeMakes and their song “I am Yours.”

This is the kind of song that my dentist would play in his office while waiting to stick a tiny pneumatic drill in my tooth. It’s to calm people down in case the anaesthetic doesn’t work 100%. Otherwise, the song would feel just right in a small coffee shop/pub stage.If the MakeMakes are intending to give that feeling with a stripped-down, music-only based performance, they’re succeeding. However, I don’t know if the song is able to fill a 15,000-person arena. They might be able to pull it off with smaller camera shots and if their relaxed feelings can pass through TV screens. At the same time, since it is so calm, the only thing keeping my attention on the screen is that their piano is on fire. Unlike Ralf Gyllenhammer’s controlled flames in Melodifestivalen a few years ago, the MakeMakes’ piano gradually catches fire to the point that the lead singer would have to stop, drop, and roll if he kept playing.

Does anyone have the local piano store’s number? I kinda need to get my piano fixed, after it went up into flames…