owlfish: (Fishy Circumstances)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 01:12pm on 10/05/2016 under
This year features lots of long curly-haired singers and very little scruffle, so that's good. Lots of outdoors cinemetography, and even more people inspired by last year's winner to do something with VR interactions, to variable success. There's a sad lack of dancing in the videos overall this year; hopefully the stage shows will do better.

The best overall song: Australia Dami Im "Sound of Silence"
The happiest: France Amir "J'ai cherché"
The cutest: Austria Zoë "Loin d'ici" Far from here
The one with the excessive video budget: Russia Sergey Lazarev "You Are the Only One"
Best dancing: Belgium Laura Tesoro "What's the Pressure"
Best ghosts: Iceland Greta Salóme "Hear Them Calling"
Most sweetly amusing for the right reasons: Sweden Frans "If I Were Sorry"

The first semi-final is tonight! The UK gets to vote in the second semi-final on Thursday.

2016's Eurovision entry videos... )
owlfish: (Fishy Circumstances)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 02:03pm on 22/05/2015 under
There were fewer pieces I felt strongly about in the second semi-final, even if one more country was competing for the same number of places as on Tuesday.

Second semi-final comments... )

Voting: You'll be glad to know the BBC saved money by re-using the existing recordings of Graham Norton saying the names of all the countries. Even though he's not hosting this year. (Or at least hasn't been co-hosting the semis.)
owlfish: (Fishy Circumstances)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 02:38pm on 21/05/2015 under
Notes on Eurovision Semi-Final #1 (Spoilers, for any of you who want to watch it still and don't know who's gone through to the final)

Hurray, four female-presenting hosts! Surely that's a first for Eurovision?

The following is in alphabetical order, not performance order.

Semi-final entries.... )
owlfish: (Fishy Circumstances)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 03:20pm on 19/05/2015 under
[I have run out of time to finish this post before going to collect Grouting, so in case I don't get a chance to get back to this later today, I'll post it as-is now.]

Most years, I write up my first impressions of the Eurovision entries, based on their videos. Often, the videos are highly distracting, and better or worse than the songs themselves.

This year, I've already watched most of the videos over the course of the previous week with my daughter. Grouting's favorite entry is the Australian one. Yes, that well-known part of Europe, Australia. The country has lots of Eurovision fans, and this is a one-off (in theory) as part of Eurovision's 60th anniversary celebrations.

I will finish updating this later... )
owlfish: (Fishy Circumstances)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 02:34am on 18/05/2013 under
It's Eurovision week! It's taken me until late Friday to finish watching the videos, but I'm done!

This year's trends: Casually apocalyptic lyrics. Songs in country-native languages. (I doubt it's the rise of national pride; I think it's because lots of countries don't want the expense of hosting the contest.) They're a tame bunch of videos overall, compared to most years.

The song that keeps earworming me: Malta - Gianluca - Tomorrow
A song I really like: Belgium - Roberto Bellarosa - Love Kills
Best "let's improve humanity" song: Russia - Dina Garipova - What If
Best Les Miserables derivative: Denmark - Emmelie de Forest - Only Teardrops
Best cinematography: Iceland - Eythor Ingi- Ég Á Líf
Most amusing video: Greece - Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis - Alcohol Is Free
Best video to watch without sound: Ukraine - Zlata Ognevich - Gravity

This year's Eurovision videos... )
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 11:02pm on 24/05/2012 under
Of course Sweden got through. (And a good thing too.) Very happy that FYR Macedonia did too. Malta's "This is the Night" feet dancing was so much fun!

The disappointments of those who won through to the finals: Ukraine's hotel advertisement song (although it did have some nifty virtual dancers) and Turkey's lackluster stage piece (even if it did effectively have a "hey nonny nonny" bit to it). Also Lithunia's number, which randomly had the silhouettes of lots of pole dancers posing behind the singer - if they'd dropped those and added in more of his dance moves, I'd feel a lot better about the song being through.

Half-time performance: LOVED seeing/hearing the last five years' winners singing along to each others' songs. Lena particularly made her song seem fresh and really go into "Waterloo".
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 11:06pm on 22/05/2012 under
Very glad to see Cyprus and Iceland making the final. Cyprus' song was easier to focus on without the distraction of the Snow White video. Ireland was, of course, much more expected, and their stage show was fantastic! With a large on-stage water fountain!

Really surprised Albania made it through. Their singer has a spectacular voice, but the staging was deeply underwhelming, and the song still doesn't do a whole lot for me. Russia and Greece were givens.

Among those that didn't make it through: Just as glad that Austria's entry is out. Israel's clown video boded ill but the stage show was rather charming and brought out the personification elements more. Belgium was sweet, the second-best, lyrically, of the broken relationships song, but I'm not surprised it didn't get voted through. Latvia's is the entry I would most like to have seen in the final which didn't make it; really charming meta-song.

Nina Zilli, Italy's singer, is a really, really good interviewee.
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 09:26pm on 21/05/2012 under
It's time for my annual pre-Eurovision video watching!

This year's themes: black-and-white videos and costumes, songs about broken or ended relationships, and fantastically-staged cellists.

If the winner were a mystic: Sweden - Euphoria (Loreen)
If the winner were the best of the ended relationships songs: United Kingdom - Love will set you free (Engelbert Humperdinck)
Best Use of Folkloric Motifs: Iceland - Never Forget (Greta Salóme & Jónsi)
Highest-quality novelty song: Latvia - Beautiful Song (Anmary)
Most likely to be played in normal rotation on the radio: Italy - L'Amore È Femmina (Nina Zilli)
Best celebration of multiculturalism: Romania - Zaleilah (Mandinga)
Gratuitous Snow White video: Cyprus - La La Love (Ivi Adamou)

A downside of judging songs by their videos is that almost everyone else will be judging them by their stage performances. (As, indeed, I will for voting purposes!) And songs can vary drastically between video and stage.

Eurovision 2012 songs... )
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 12:12pm on 19/03/2012 under ,
After the closest thing to a good brunch I've ever had in London, at Nopi, with visiting friends known from Toronto, we walked down toward the Royal Academy to see the David Hockney show. From a distance, Piccadilly looked crowded with a protest, so we took the back streets; but when we made it down to the street, it wasn't that at all. It was a St. Patrick's Day parade.

We caught the tail end of it, and it was as wonderful as it could possibly be. Those last few floats included a shiny troupe of Bolivian(-Irish) dancers and a throng of lively Hare Krishnas, wishing us a happy St. Patrick's Day. There was even a Hare Krishna leprechaun. It was a wonderfully London moment.

A Hare Krishna Leprechaun... )

In other improbable news, the UK actually has a decent song it's entering for Eurovision this year.

[livejournal.com profile] geesepalace headed off early this morning, while the garden was still covered in frost. A little more grading, and it'll be properly spring break for me.
owlfish: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] owlfish at 11:46pm on 14/05/2011 under
Hurray! For the second year running, my favorite song from the videos managed to win the competition!* Azerbaijan it is. I word it that way since actually, the performance was weaker than in the semi-final or video. I voted for it in the semi-final, but not the final as a result, however much I like the song itself and the pretty use of pyrotechnics on stage.

But not as weak as Blue for the UK. They had a decent song and they swamped it with a backdrop which overwhelmed the singers, and then had sound problems. On the other end of the spectrum, Switzerland and Estonia really should have done better than they did. At least it was a solidly mixed field this year, which made it interesting in the voting. Am astonished that Italy came second: a good welcome-back after 14 years away from the contest. The Ukraine song did remarkably well given all I can remember about it is the amazing sand artist. Germany made such intelligent use of the backdrop screens; nicely done.

Top gymanistic feats while singing: The lead singer for Russia did a backflip *while singing*!!! Russia was technically very impressive, but had a weak song. The lead singer for Denmark did a whole lap, to the mini-stage and back, also while singing.

We did a lot of recasting while watching this year, pairing the decent song with better singers where they were needed. Still so, so relieved that Graham Norton did not talk over the songs, as he did his first year hosting the contest. I really loved the postcards, which made real places look like toy miniatures.

* So this must mean I have very middlebrow, very European taste?

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