Ok, so it looks like I guessed seven out of ten for Semifinal One, swapping Croatia, Serbia, and Austria in for actual qualifiers Belgium, Estonia, and Lithuania. Will my predictions fare any better for Semifinal Two?
We’re only a few hours away from tonight’s First Semifinal, where sixteen songs will vie for only ten spots in Saturday’s Final. After over a week’s worth of staring, examining, and likely over-analyzing each entry and presentation, most people here in the Press Centre have come up with their list of likely qualifiers, as well as their personal favorites.
…and who am I to argue with tradition? Read the rest of this entry
Days Three and Four in the Press Centre (or, at the very least, at the Euroclub, which served as our makeshift work space) brought us our first glimpses of the Second Semifinal. Ballads, ethnic touches, hints of rock, whiffs of theatricality…we’ve got it all! Here are my general thoughts on what May 16 will bring to the table:
The days are long here in the temporary Press Centre at Slagthuset, and news flies fast and furious as we catch our first glimpses of rehearsals. Monday and Tuesday brought the first run-throughs from the first Semifinal (we’ll see Semi 2 on Wednesday and Thursday), and there were many impressions to be made! Let’s take a quick glimpse at what the past few days held…
Well, here we are. From here in Malmö, the first rehearsals are about to start. After months of speculation over how Song X will look on stage when all of the lighting, costuming, camera angles, and final arrangements are presented, we’ll finally get our first impressions. Before those images settle into our collective psyches, however, I’d like to present my own personal list of “unranked rankings”. Regardless of how I think a song will place, or if it will qualify, I simply judge these songs on how they hit my eardrum!
And with that, away we go!
Last weekend, in preparation for my impending trip to Malmö (and to temporarily back myself out of the echo-chamber of Eurovision fandom), I scrubbed my apartment clean, set out the extra chairs, whipped up some meatballs and invited some of my closest friends over to my place for my now-Annual ESC Preview Party. While we’re all living in Minnesota now, we were actually a pretty global group, with some of us having lived or studied in Germany, Greece, Austria, Bosnia, China, Japan, and Chile.
The majority of my guests had not heard any of the songs before the event, and so all scores were based purely upon first impressions. Some had attended my little shindig last year, but others were complete and utter Euro-virgins. As we munched on spanakopita and sipped Belgian beer and Portuguese wine, we let our snarky sides run wild and free, rating each song on its own merits on a scale from one to ten. There was almost no talk of running order, cultural voting blocs, or previous Eurovision history (except for a wink and a nod to Valentina Monetta’s other contribution to the ESC). Here’s how the dozen or so of us voted: Read the rest of this entry
Ok, so we’ve got just about one month before the Eurovision 2013 Finals come to a head in lovely Malmö, Sweden. We’ve got the songs, we’ve got the artists, we’ve got the running order, and we’ve got our theme…
…so, now what? It’s just a bit over two weeks before rehearsals officially start, and the customary press conferences and interviews soon afterwards. Instead of just sitting and twiddling our thumbs, let’s take a quick peek at Eurovision 2013′s entries, by the numbers! Read the rest of this entry
The last National Final of the year was held in Moldova, where “O Melodie Pentru Europa” saw a total of 14 songs vying for the chance to head to Malmö (including one by my personal favorite constant also-ran, Doiniţa Gherman). Following a close 50/50 jury/televote split, the victory went to Aliona Moon’s ballad “A Million”: Read the rest of this entry
Back in late January, Sanmarinese broadcaster SMRTV finally put to rest all of the rumors floating around their supposed participant (including a heavily-circulated rumor regarding 1956 champion/recent Swiss National Final also-ran Lys Assia), and confirmed that 2012′s performer Valentina Monetta would be representing the tiny republic once again, this time with an Italian-language entry entitled “Crisalide (Vola)”. Like 2012′s “The Social Network Song”, the entry was written by veteran composer Ralph Siegel (bringing Siegel’s Eurovision tally up to a staggering 22, starting back in 1974). Unlike last year, “Crisalide” seems much more tailor-made for a performer of Valentina’s genre and experience. Read the rest of this entry
…and the fans say, “sure!”
Azerbaijan, the host of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, finally wrapped up its veritable marathon of a National Final process, the Milli Seçim Turu. Starting all the way back in December, eight week-long heats of either eight or nine singers eventually gave way to a ten-singer Final round. Taking the victory in Baku on Thursday night was 21-year-old Farid Mammadov (or, to be more precise, Fərid Məmmədov) and his powerful ballad “Hold Me“. Read the rest of this entry