Eurovision liveblogging

As has happened before, I got banished to the computer to watch the live webcast. Thank heavens for technology, eh? Great fun working out the country from the intro dance piece – even the Albanian one surprisingly tasteful.

If by some strange chance you are readng this as I write it, I also refer you to



   here, and Doug Muir here, and also intermittent entries from

    – oh, and go and vote in

  ‘ poll.

Romania: Quite sweet, really – seems to belong to another age, in a way, but the chemistry between the two singers is not bad. Shame about her voice.

UK: I admit that I haven’t been following the selection process, but how on earth did this get chosen? His singing is good, and the backing musicians seems competent. But the combination totally fails to excite. (Wogan says, “our best entry for years”; sadly, this may be true.)

Albania: She has a sexy voice but unfortunately a bit wobbly on the high notes. Shame cos it’s not a bad song.

Germany: Is this some kind of sick joke? They can’t sing, they can’t dance, and the lyrics make no sense. Corsets can only get you so far. (

    say “Incomprehensible but class”, and he’s right.)

Armenia: It’s a terrible thing to say, but this is actually the best so far – she can sing, it’s visually interesting and even the “three gyrating eejits” are rather good.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Started very well – visually fascinating, and the lyrics are interesting – but the bloke cannot actually sing, and sadly the same is true of the backing chorus.

Israel: Not a bad Mediterranean crooning song.

Finland: Hoping for a repeat of their success a couple of years back. They can actually sing, but it’s not a very interesting song.

Croatia: Actually rather sweet in its own way. Middle-aged crooner and irrelevantly gyrating dancer. We’ve seen worse this evening.

Poland: Good and heartfelt, she can actually sing and looks impressive. Also singing in English will probably help with the floating voters.

Iceland: Cor, cute young blond guy, good beat, good music. Ah, here’s the girl though… but she is not only cute, she can sing too! What an amazing idea, to put two people who can actually sing forward as your contestants in an international song contest! Those sneaky Icelanders!

    accuses them of being “the most intentionally camp” which clearly indicates the subtlety of the Icelandic strategy,.

Turkey: Not a bad song, but as so often the singer’s voice is a bit unconvincing on the higher notes. And the lower ones too. In fact, on all of them.

Portugal: More Mediterranean crooning (of course Portugal is not strictly Mediterranean, but you know what I mean). Not awful but could have developed into something more interesting than it did.

Latvia: Wow, this is different! And the camera angles do not convey how good their dancing is. It’s taken me most of the way the way through the song to notice that, yet again, they don’t hit the high notes particularly well. But they look good, they move well, and the song is a bit cheeky even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Sweden: Put a blonde singer in a short skirt on stage, and who can vote against you? Well, I think it’s a risky strategy frankly. Meat Loaf could have sung this song well, but while it’s not bad it’s not interesting enough.

Denmark: It’s risky to choose as your song’s title a phrase that is well known as the title of a different song, just in case yours turns out to be much less memorable. As indeed has happened in this case.

Georgia: Gosh, heartfelt, visually interesting, these South Caucasus countries seem to get it.

Ukraine: She’s got the same dress as the Swedish singer, but looks much better in it. The Serbian camera lingers on her hips and why not? for some strange reason. I can’t understand a word of the song (which is in reasonably accented English), but she looks good and the backing singers are well organised and acrobatic. 

France: What is this about? There are these peculiar mixed messages – the toy car driven by bloke with long hair and beard; the French song in English; the backing singers who can’t, er, sing, but are all wearing false beards (even the girls)… well, it’s a statement all right, but I think the statement is “We are not going to win the contest”.

Azerbaijan: Good Lord! This is obviously going to win. Astonishing costumes and visual effects. As 

   so wisely puts it, this is “camper than a row of pink tents at Butlins”. 

Greece: Cor, they got a rather erotic intro, didn’t they? And, good heavens, the song actually makes sense and the lead and her backing singers can actually sing. But alas, I think they are blown out of the water by Azerbaijan. Though her wee hip-shaking dance was very sweet and would have done her proud against less wacky opposition.

Spain: This is a valiant effort, which is to say it is pretty awful. In some ways attempting to be postmodern, in other ways just relying on skimpily clad backing dancers to distract from the essential crapness of the song. (I mean, he is barely even singing!)

Serbia: The home team, of course. Starts off with some nice crooning. Hmm, and cute redhead playing the violin. But, alas, it’s a bit average. I mean, it’s much better than the average entry tonight, but it is still not as memorable as some of the others.

Russia: Starting well. Cute young singer belting out a ballad which he can actually sing. Without too much distraction – one violinist, once dancer; looks like they are not trying too hard. And gosh, a hint of a musically interesting key change (not actually fulfilled) towards the end. This will do well.

Norway: A nice song, a nice singer, nice backing group. Generally OK, but I am voting for Iceland, and expecting Azerbaijan to win.

And a special treat for those of us lasting through to the end – Goran Bregović live! And performing Kalašnikov!

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