Eurovision 2015 – Part 3

Here are my initial reactions to the seven entrants who get an automatic pass to the Finals. They are the “Big Five” (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK) who are the largest contributors to the European Broadcasting Union, the host country (Austria, this year), and Special Guest Entrant Australia.

At first glance (and probably second and third, too), there are way too many “power ballads” this year. Very few of the songs stand out. One would think that with forty songs, there’d be much more variety.

Especially when you consider what we’ve seen in the past two years (“Cake to Bake“, “No Prejudice“, “Calm After the Storm“, “My Słowianie“, and “Cheesecake” from 2014; and “Kedvesem“, “Tomorrow“, “Alcohol is Free“, “It’s My Life“, and “Marry Me” from 2013).

Anyway, here’s the rest of 2015:

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Eurovision 2015 – Part 2

Before getting to my initial thoughts on the entrants in the Second Semi-Final, I’ve got a bit of a gripe.

A lot of Eurovision fans are writing blog posts or presenting lists titled “My Top 40”. In previous years, it’s been “My Top 37” or something similar. As it happens, this year there are 40 entrants in the contest. So picking a “Top 40” is telling us absolutely nothing. Picking a “Top X” out of a list with X items in it is pointless. You are basically saying that you like all of the songs. Instead, call your list what it is: “My Eurovision Rankings”. And why not go a step further? Be like the judges, and pick your ten favorites from each semi-final, and then do a ranking of those 20 songs plus the ones with an automatic spot in the final round.

Anyway… here’s the YouTube playlist for the second semi-final, then my notes.

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Eurovision 2015 – Part 1

It’s time once again for the world’s biggest song contest. This year, because Eurovision fans Down Under physically relocated Australia to the North Sea during last year’s show, that nation will be considered a “special one-time-only guest member of the European Broadcasting Union” and will be allowed to participate.

That brings the total number of participating countries to 40.

The “official” music videos have all been released, and are on YouTube for you to watch and make fun of.

I’m no music critic, nor do I really follow current trends in European pop music. So I cannot really comment on the songs.

But I can give my thoughts on the videos…

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Thoughts on Eurovision 2014

Well, I went and did it. I watched every single one of the official videos for the entrants, watched the first Semi-Final online a little while after it was broadcast, watched the second Semi-Final live online (at work – don’t tell anyone!), and the Grand Final live online at home.

It didn’t *quite* live up to my exepctations – because from what I’ve read, there was a lot more kitschiness to be expected.

Nonetheless, I was still entertained.

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European Idol

Right now, we’re in the thirteenth season of American Idol. A few weeks from now, the 58th annual Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Copenhagen.

For those of you unfamiliar with it, the Contest started out as a way to promote television across Europe. Member nations of the European Broadcasting Union send one musical act each to the competition, and the winner is chosen by a combination of a panel of judges and viewer votes. It’s different from American Idol in that it’s open to groups as well as individual artists, and the artists are already professionals. It’s something like an international “Battle of the Bands”. Also, it’s the song that’s being judged, not the artist.

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