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Ah, British Traditions and European Culture

By Vulch in Culture
Wed May 18, 2005 at 01:51:44 PM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)

Every year in mid May we British know there's going to be a Saturday night where we slump on the sofa, open a bottle of an appropriate alcoholic beverage (the best part of a bottle of port is standard in my case) and totally dis-engage our musical taste.

Yes, it's Eurovision Song Contest time! Starts early again this year with a semi-final on Thursday.

The European Broadcasting Union covers just about all the states and statelets in Europe, including such well-known European nations as Israel, Syria, Tunisia and Algeria although not all EBU members enter the Song Contest. Lebanon entered the contest for the first time this year, but has withdrawn at the last minute as "legislation made it nearly impossible to broadcast the Israeli performance" and everyone taking part has to transmit the whole show. Most of the EBU's work consists of exchanges of news footage so that national broadcasters can cover stories in other countries, but the most visible activity to the general public is the annual Song Contest.

Each year a selection of the member countries pick a dodgy song by performers you've rarely heard of, and go head to head in the main event. Many of the songs follow a Eurovision format, lots of "Lalala" and "Boom bang a bang" so as to be understandable (or not) to the widest possible audience. The rules change over the years, once upon a time each country had to perform in one of their official languages but nowadays most of them (not the French obviously) use English. The Belgians even went so far as to make up a language one year.

These days more countries want to enter than can be reasonably accomodated in an evenings viewing, for the past few years the lowest scoring countries have "rested" the following year to make space for the previous losers to try again. Luckily this doesn't apply to the British entry as we pay lots of money to the EBU to secure our place, as do Germany, France and a couple of other places. Good job really as we scored nul (zero for the non-Europeans) points in 2003, a feat traditionally ascribed to the Norwegian entry, after a really dire performance on the night. Last year for the first time some 20 odd countries participated in a semi-final to choose a number of countries that would compete in the main event, but all the countries get to vote in the main event. This format is repeated this year with 25 countries competing in the semi final for 10 places in the final.

In the main event on Saturday evening, over the course of three and a bit hours, we have 24 songs performed by various artistes live in Kiev. During a half-time performance, last year consisting of traditional Anatolian dancing (which to most people was indistinguishable from Riverdance, itself originally a Eurovision half-time performance in an Irish hosted contest) all 39 countries will hold a phone vote for their viewers to choose their favourite songs.

The voting is another of the age-old traditions. In this age of instant communication a presenter in each country gets their moment of fame live in video, and tries their best to milk every second of it, although it was a shame last year that the Icelandic broadcaster hadn't got round to booking the audio line to go with the picture so seemed to be sending it by phone the other way round the globe. Each country gives 12 points to their favourite from the phone vote, 10 to second place, 8 to third, and so on down through 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point.

The EBU official languages are English and French, so after a burst of greetings in the host country language and a response in the voting countries language we get to the points. As it's all done by phone votes now we no longer get "Can we have the votes from the Elbonian jury", but the speech is almost the same each time. The presenter in the voting country always starts ""Here are the votes from Elbonia, United Kingdom one point", host country presenter echos in French "Royaume Uni un point". NB: This of course did not apply in 2003 when the final score was Royaume Uni nul point as mentioned earlier. And except of course for the French vote because they always give their votes in French and the host presenter has to translate to English.

The voting is very political, and often ignores the actual merits of the song. The ex-Yugoslavian states always vote for each other, as do the former Soviet Baltic states. Greece and Cyprus usually give each other 12 points and try not to give anything to Turkey, the UK usually places Ireland quite high, and Ireland generally responds with a point or two (not 2003).

The BBC always sends Mr Terry Wogan, a broadcaster of note in the UK, along to provide a commentary for the main event. He didn't do the semi-final last year though and was sadly missed. Once sufficiently far down the alcohol supply and into the voting his pithy quips can induce much giggling, "Slovenia voting for Croatia? Now there's a surprise", "Cyprus give thier twelve points to Greece? I didn't see that coming". When he finally decides to retire it will have much the same effect as Murray Walker's retirement had on the coverage of Formula One racing in the UK.

And in the end, you're outside a nice quantity of alcohol, you're possibly a bit richer, (I may be tone-hard-of-hearing musically but I've picked the winning entry something like 5 times out of the past 6 years so I put a tenner on Ukraine last year) and you've not only posted a dozen comments in someone's diary but also posted a story yourself.



Voxel dot net
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Related Links
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o Also by Vulch

Display: Sort:
Ah, British Traditions and European Culture | 80 comments (63 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1, gay (1.00 / 16) (#1)
by dalai lama is a traitor on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:12:56 PM EST

Gay? (none / 1) (#68)
by DodgyGeezer on Fri May 20, 2005 at 01:54:26 PM EST

What makes it gay, or are you being a bigot?

[ Parent ]
Syria and Israel are at war (none / 0) (#2)
by topynate on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:31:52 PM EST

Additionally, surely broadcasts such as those of Dana International are unIslamic.

How do the Syrians manage? I don't remember ever seeing them on Eurovision - maybe you're wrong?

"...identifying authors with their works is a feckless game. Simply to go by their books, Agatha Christie is a mass murderess, while William Buckley is a practicing Christian." --Gore Vidal

Not everybody does both (none / 0) (#10)
by Vulch on Wed May 18, 2005 at 06:08:05 AM EST

Syria is a member of the EBU, but doesn't enter Eurovision.

[ Parent ]

Syria (none / 0) (#56)
by spiralx on Thu May 19, 2005 at 09:39:01 AM EST

Is a secular state run by the Baath party, who intensely dislike Islamic extremism. So I don't see them having a problem with this, even if some of the people living there might.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

i never understood british pub culture (1.66 / 3) (#3)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 17, 2005 at 07:36:36 PM EST

and this piece does not clear the air

now the lure of british pub culture mystifies me even more

i just don't farking get the appeal

however, after reading this piece, i think i understand simon cowell, the host of american idol

he always struck me as some british barstool warmer commenting on the american's performances as if he were watching it in a pub, with completely uneditted thought processes (if not actual word choice)

which must be pretty nice for him: why alter your life drastically for your pointless hobby when you can have a whole culture drastically warp itself to accomodate your pointless hobby?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Well, no, you wouldn't (1.38 / 13) (#5)
by fenix down on Tue May 17, 2005 at 08:46:02 PM EST

You live in a real country.  The people who come up with this shit live on a dank, frigid, rat-infested island that's 90% swamp.  They burned down all their useful natural resources back in the 1300s, so now they're all critically malnourished, so it's not surprising that like 3/4 of them are flaming retards.  Shit like this just emerges naturally from a thousand points of flailing idiocy bouncing off eachother in enclosed spaces.  That's why it works best in "pubs", between the rats and the people, it's fuck easier for interference patterns in the stupid-waves to build up.

[ Parent ]
i didn't know the french posted on k5 (nt) (3.00 / 3) (#32)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 18, 2005 at 12:21:10 PM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
you, little man, obviously (none / 1) (#67)
by vivelame on Fri May 20, 2005 at 12:35:00 PM EST

don't know much.

Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
vive la merde! how could i forget my old friend! (none / 0) (#69)
by circletimessquare on Fri May 20, 2005 at 05:56:17 PM EST

i should have smelled you coming!

you fart in my general direction!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

exactly, (none / 1) (#70)
by vivelame on Fri May 20, 2005 at 08:55:10 PM EST

i fart in your general direction.

Jonathan Simon: "When the autopsy of our democracy is performed, it is my belief that media silence will be given as the primary cause of death."
[ Parent ]
Brilliant (NT) (none / 0) (#55)
by jforan on Thu May 19, 2005 at 09:09:08 AM EST

I hops to be barley workin'.
[ Parent ]
It looks like you're trying to swear! (2.50 / 4) (#7)
by Reynolds Number on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:49:44 PM EST

Did you mean to write "fucking"?

[ Parent ]
Curses! (none / 1) (#57)
by virg on Thu May 19, 2005 at 12:17:33 PM EST

There are those among us who think Fark is worse than that.

Carry on.

"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Eurovision is nothing todo with pub culture (3.00 / 9) (#15)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed May 18, 2005 at 06:52:02 AM EST

It may get shown in a few pubs, but those watching it will probably sit and criticise it horribly.

The whole point of eurovision as far as the british are concerned is to send our worst, unheard of, act and then laugh as they lose terribly.
Well, that's what I think the point is.

Also, Simon Cowell wouldn't last five minutes in a proper english pub, he'd be shunned for being a mouthy twat and possibly given a good kicking outside later.

Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
Everyone who watches Eurovision (3.00 / 2) (#18)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed May 18, 2005 at 07:04:33 AM EST

criticises it horribly. That's what it's for. It's an international celebration of all things garish, camp and intolerable. Every song is awful. The best things Britain ever got out of it were Bucks Fizz and Gina G's Ooh Aah Just a Little Bit, which tells you everything you need to know. It is a slap in the face for "serious" music and the ultimate in all-singing, all-dancing colourful cheese. It is appalling beyond measure.

I love it. I can't wait.

I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Pub culture (3.00 / 5) (#16)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed May 18, 2005 at 06:52:55 AM EST

is difficult to explain. Rather, it should be experienced.

I don't care about football usually, but during World Cup games, I love going down to my local, having some drinks with friends, and cheering and shouting. I love finding a quiet corner in a pub with a friend, and sharing thoughts for an evening over a glass of wine or half-pint. I love going out with a crowd of mates for a couple of hours of getting gently tanked, playing pool, losing money on a gambling machine and washing it down with beer and peanuts. I love pub quizzes, even though my team never wins. I love wearing a green dress on St Patrick's Day and drinking enough Guinness to get the big free Guinness hat. I love the friendly warmth and traditional decor of most British pubs, although I confess I hate the smoke.

I also love the way Shaun of the Dead took the piss out of pub culture by making the local a place to go to do everything - woo your girlfriend, meet your mates and even the first place to flee to in the case of a zombie attack.

I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Well, where else should one go? (3.00 / 2) (#29)
by LilDebbie on Wed May 18, 2005 at 10:36:59 AM EST

I mean, Jesus, the world is being devoured by zombies. My first instict would be to throw down as many pints as possible before whipping out my canesword and seeing how big of a pile of zombie parts I can make before the overtake me.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
It's more part of gay culture on the continent (1.50 / 4) (#28)
by shinnin on Wed May 18, 2005 at 10:36:34 AM EST

and I write that without bias.

[ Parent ]
Clusewitz was wrong (3.00 / 5) (#9)
by rpjs on Wed May 18, 2005 at 04:39:00 AM EST

It's not so much a case that "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means," as that Eurovision is a continuation of war by other means. Forget anything you've heard about the EU or NATO or the nuclear deterrent keeping the peace in Europe these last sixty years; it's war substitutes like Eurovision and Jeux Sans Frontieres that have really broken the cycle of us bombing the crap out of each other every generation or so.

Thank you (3.00 / 9) (#11)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Wed May 18, 2005 at 06:13:08 AM EST

for exposing the darkest, most shameful and best-held secret secret Europe has had since WWII. With this story we can start repenting the atrocities committed at the Eurovision Song Contest  and hopefully will finally start the healing process so our children won't have to suffer through the same annual abomination.

We are sorry, world!

"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"

Factual error (none / 0) (#12)
by Highlander on Wed May 18, 2005 at 06:22:28 AM EST

States do not vote people vote.

A big portion of the votes is not handed out by a panel but through telephone votes. This means votes will often reflect the strength of foreigners in a country, and it is only natural that familiar countries will vote for the other.

Moderation in moderation is a good thing.

Vote (none / 1) (#22)
by Hyler on Wed May 18, 2005 at 07:57:32 AM EST

Why didn't you have a vote/poll to go along with the story? That would really have been meta-postmodern (I thought I just made this word up but apparently not), a vote about voting when it's still in the voting queue. Whoa, brainfreeze, mah brain's gonna 'splode.

Quick! (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed May 18, 2005 at 08:38:20 AM EST

Write a Eurovision song quick before you recover!

I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

I prefer Molvania's entry (3.00 / 4) (#34)
by DanK on Wed May 18, 2005 at 01:30:46 PM EST

Too bad they were disqualified. Video

Elbonia??? (none / 0) (#35)
by ljazbec on Wed May 18, 2005 at 03:15:13 PM EST

What on earth is Elbonia? Did you perhaps misspell Albania, or is it a fictional country just used as an example? Quite silly, also, that no one inquired about this yet.

Elbonia == Dilbert (3.00 / 2) (#36)
by sjaskow on Wed May 18, 2005 at 03:29:29 PM EST

It's a reference to the mythical country where Dilbert's company does it's manufacturing. Read here for more.

[ Parent ]
NO! Get it right: Elbonia ==> Dilbert. (none / 0) (#71)
by OzJuggler on Sat May 21, 2005 at 03:08:18 AM EST

I really must protest that abuse of mathematical terminology. It is false to say that Dilbert and Elbonia are equivalent - and that's probably not what you meant to say at all, so you're abusing the language.

Elbonia implies Dilbert, because Elbonia is a part of only the Dilbert mythology.

Now all this pseudocode grammar is fine on Slashdot where the nerds can't be expected to know or care about proper communication, but over here on kuro5hin we have higher standards.

And it says something about the readership of kuro5hin if Elbonia can be mentioned seriously as though it were a real country. Elbonia needs explanation and the fictional country name in the article should have been longer and more obviously fictional. Moldoverzagovinopolos perhaps.

"And I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together
at Osama's homo abortion pot and commie jizzporium." - Jon Stewart's gift to Bill O'Reilly, 7 Dec 2005.
[ Parent ]

If you don't know... (none / 0) (#38)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Wed May 18, 2005 at 04:00:20 PM EST

Google is your friend.

[ Parent ]
Apologies (none / 0) (#77)
by ljazbec on Sun May 22, 2005 at 04:47:59 PM EST

Very sorry, didn't know (also, it sounded too similar to Albania to do any check-up on it), thanks for the explanation.

[ Parent ]
I want some Pimm's! (1.00 / 3) (#37)
by tweetsygalore on Wed May 18, 2005 at 03:44:55 PM EST


After each perceived security crisis ended, the United States has remorsefully realised that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. But it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis comes along. --- Justice William Brennan
Don't forget Finland (3.00 / 4) (#39)
by CptPicard on Wed May 18, 2005 at 04:04:53 PM EST

Last spot traditionally reserved for Norway?

Come on... over here in Finland we'd kill for having had Norway's track record. They have actually tasted victory, while Finland has managed to gather zero points more than any other country, I suspect.

The most ludicrous feature of this all is that every year our entry tends to be portrayed in very positive terms before the big evening, but then we get very swiftly returned back into our place as the country nobody ever votes for. Except maybe the Swedes sometimes... out of pity. :)

It does not help that for some reason our chosen contender is always weird, a few years behind the trends, or just otherwise stupid and unimaginative, while we could easily have sent something along the lines of Nightwish in many years gone by. But oh no, it has to be Jari Sillanpää with his "disco tango".

I have not even bothered to listen to our attempt this time around.

And these days we suck at hockey too... oh the pain...

both right by different measures (none / 1) (#45)
by Delirium on Thu May 19, 2005 at 03:13:40 AM EST

By most zero points, Norway "wins": They've gotten the nul three times, in 1978 ("Mil etter mil" by Jahn Teigen), 1981 ("Aldri I Livet" by Finn Kalvik), and 1997 ("San Francisco" by Tor Endresen). Finland got zero points a mere one time, in 1982 ("Nuku pommiin" by Kojo).

By fewest wins, Finland "wins": they haven't won at all, while Norway has won twice, in 1985 ("La det swinge" by Bobbysocks) and 1995 ("Nocturne" by Secret Garden).

(All courtesy of Wikipedia, of course.)

[ Parent ]

Thanks for the gruesome details (none / 1) (#54)
by CptPicard on Thu May 19, 2005 at 08:51:45 AM EST

I have a feeling that even if Norway beats us in most zero points, we would still come on top if you looked at most last spots. An interesting measure would also be a total of votes gathered throughout history and an average vote per contest. We'd suck by those counts.

I have a feeling that in Eurovision, a country needs to first "get on the map" in order to be even considered for a vote. Finland has never managed to crack this... if we made it into top three at least once, I am quite certain this would show as more points in the future.

Take Estonia for example... they had a genuinely nice song the very first time they participated, got quite a lot of points (a part of this most certainly because of novelty value of having Estonia) and they have been up near the top ever since. They actually managed to win with a totally useless piece.

Not to even mention that it seems to me that France, Sweden and Ireland can send pretty much whatever to the contest and still score pretty high.

Finland on the other hand has tried everything, and nothing seems to work.

[ Parent ]

Scary (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by Apuleius on Wed May 18, 2005 at 05:57:01 PM EST

The one thing that chills me to the bone is knowing many Israelis once watched the Eurovision stone cold sober.

There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
That explains so much... (none / 0) (#53)
by wiredog on Thu May 19, 2005 at 08:14:07 AM EST

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Missing the best! (3.00 / 6) (#41)
by gidds on Wed May 18, 2005 at 06:10:19 PM EST

I can't believe no-one's mentioned the two best Eurovision songs of all time:

Pif Paf Pof


My Lovely Horse

Well, okay, admittedly both are a tad, er, fictional, but they still deserve a mention!


You know the feeling... (none / 0) (#50)
by Vulch on Thu May 19, 2005 at 05:49:30 AM EST

Just as you hit the "Move to vote" button you think "hmmm, is there something I've forgotten?". Guess what it was for me!

[ Parent ]

One point about votes... (3.00 / 3) (#42)
by kingTubby on Wed May 18, 2005 at 06:54:11 PM EST

Having suffered Eurovision for far too long (tankfully I've got no TV around this year), I've observed something about the voting process.
  • The voting might be political, but last year being a telephone vote, it proves that they're other things besides politics there.
  • Who is going to pick up the phone to vote for eurovision?, teenagers with no musical taste (and null political inclinations), drunken people having some a good crack(fun), maybe some housewives like my mam who actually takes the contest seriously... The jury doesn't seem too political minded to me...
  • One other reason besides possible political inclination is also the cultural context. You say England normally votes Ireland quite highly, this is manly because both countries watch the same tv, read the same magazines and adore the same pop idols, to start with.
  • The same applies to the ex-yugoslavian states, until very recently they were part of the same state, despite of the ethnical differences on this states, they do share tv stations, the follow the same pop idols, and are influenced by Italian (via tv and language) and American (via MTV and language) cultures. A teenager from Macedonia will feel more inclined to vote for Serbia because he's heared it on radio and even if not, is similar to what he likes (or what marketing or radio want).
  • I've worked in Dublin and also in Skopje(Macedonia), the kids have very different taste... The market has very different taste... Maybe they are people out there trying to make a political statement voting in the eurovision contest, it just seems quite sad if this is the reason people phones up.

Tankfully indeed. (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by Ranieri on Thu May 19, 2005 at 06:15:58 AM EST

While I'm usually not one to pick on people's misspellings, i found this one rather apt. Indeed to survive the Eurovision Song festival you need a tank full of something.
In the best case, a tank full of some alcoholic beverage that you can drink with your mates as you crack silly jokes at the screen. In the worst case, a tank in the M1A Abrahams sense of the word filled with angry people and live rounds, so this song festval madness can be put to rest once and for all.

ObDisclaimer: This post should not be interpreted as advocating any kind of military intervention, not even against the gross violation of human rights that is the the Eurovision Song Festival.
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]

We westerners may find it silly.. (none / 0) (#52)
by tonyenkiducx on Thu May 19, 2005 at 07:31:42 AM EST

..but a lot of the smaller countries with big chips on their shoulders find it very important. I was living in Turkey when they were lucky(?) enough to win 2 years ago, and they had parties in the street! You'd think they'd won the world cup or something.

I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called
[ Parent ]
Eurovision, better than a George Lucas love scene! (2.00 / 3) (#43)
by mjfgates on Wed May 18, 2005 at 09:39:08 PM EST

Is there a way to watch it on American television? The beer-drinking citizens of the United States need this show.

*laughs* (none / 0) (#44)
by jethro on Wed May 18, 2005 at 11:56:12 PM EST

I have to say, the /best/ part about moving from [semi-]Europe to the US is no more Eurovision. Blah!

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is kinky.
There is a gem (none / 1) (#46)
by brain in a jar on Thu May 19, 2005 at 03:45:44 AM EST

of an article about Eurovision in today's (thur 19th may) Guardian. Here is a tiny exerpt regarding the band who will be representing the host country Ukraine:

"They have been together since 1997, specialising in Ukrainian comedy reggae - a genre of somewhat limited appeal."

The whole article can be found here.

Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.

As the Irish found out (none / 0) (#49)
by Vulch on Thu May 19, 2005 at 05:47:04 AM EST

If you are a small country, or the national broadcaster is of limited means, you really, really don't want to win two or three years in a row.

[ Parent ]

Norwegians and Eurovision Grand Prix (none / 1) (#48)
by Eivind on Thu May 19, 2005 at 05:27:38 AM EST

Good job really as we scored nul (zero for the non-Europeans) points in 2003, a feat traditionally ascribed to the Norwegian entry, after a really dire performance on the night.

Actually, the most typical thing about the norwegian performances is that it always ends up in one end of the scale. Either we blow it completely, or we do pretty well. Twice in the period I can remember (last 20 years) we've even won.

But yeah, we've got quite a few zeroes too. Including what I am convinced must be a record: Jahn Teigen, participated three times in the Eurovision Grand Prix -- and scored zero all of them.

Granted, he is not exactly good looking and his music is uhm, a matter of taste, but I still think it's quite a feat to three times win the Norwegian national GradnPrix and all of them score -ZERO- in the European.

Offcourse, Teigen participates this year too, which tells you something about the Norwegian odds.

Dearie me (none / 0) (#58)
by Vulch on Thu May 19, 2005 at 04:39:17 PM EST

Well I've seen the Norwegian entry in the semi-final, and it deserves to get to the final if only to rack up another nul points! I do love it when acts don't take it seriously!

[ Parent ]

dearie me indeed (none / 0) (#78)
by hbf on Mon May 23, 2005 at 01:23:49 AM EST

I wish countries could vote for themselves, just so I could have refrained from doing so.

BTW, Teigen has represented Norway 3 times and Norway has scored zero 3 times, but not the same 3 times.

[ Parent ]

Don't forget the holiday tactics... (none / 1) (#59)
by marph on Thu May 19, 2005 at 04:45:03 PM EST

That is, Brits and Germans spending their holidays in Mallorca trying to manipulate the Spanish vote by dialing like crazy (you can't vote for your own country from home).

Except they can't (none / 0) (#79)
by TerminalFrost on Wed May 25, 2005 at 01:13:10 PM EST

...because they need a phone number with a certain combo of digits to be allowed to vote. At least, that's the way it is in Denmark.

[ Parent ]
An idea for the Finnish entry... (none / 0) (#60)
by CptPicard on Thu May 19, 2005 at 05:07:01 PM EST

I think I've nailed it how we can succeed in the Eurovision...

Countries are supposed to send in something that represents their country, right?

Well... Jari Sillanpää's tango obviously didn't do it. So I suggest we give the guys in the rest of Europe an ultimatum... we either start getting points or we shall be represented by...

Matti Nykänen and his beautiful wife Mervi.

I have a hard time figuring out anybody who would be more representative than our former greatest-ski-jumper-in-history turned alcoholic turned stripper and "singer" turned jailbird (for attempted manslaughter).

Keeping that guy and his "life is life" style insightful lyrics out of Eurovision should be worth multiple wins... ;)

Bloody hell (none / 0) (#65)
by blackpaw on Fri May 20, 2005 at 01:02:43 AM EST

That was scary

[ Parent ]
You're wasting your greatest asset! (none / 1) (#72)
by JanneM on Sat May 21, 2005 at 04:27:18 AM EST

I can't for the life of me understand why you don't simply send MA Numminen every year? WIth every single other country belching out some forgettable three-minute singalong ditty, a twenty minute falsetto rendering of a county economics report would surely put Finland on the Eurovosion map!
Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.
[ Parent ]
Austria has been spared (none / 0) (#61)
by otmar on Thu May 19, 2005 at 05:55:59 PM EST

.. of having this year's stupid band to go down in the main event.

Thank god.

During the last years Austria's public TV had serious commentary on the TV channel, but the one of the radio programs they offered an over-the-top comedy style commentary by Stermann and Grissemann. That one was really popular for parties.

Money where mouth is time (none / 0) (#62)
by Vulch on Thu May 19, 2005 at 06:10:10 PM EST

Right, with the semi-final over I suspect...

  1. Moldova (With Granny in the band)
  2. Bosnia-Herzegovina (Eurovision Nostalgia)
  3. Switzerland (Nice Song)
  4. Turkey (Distinctive sound)

Norway will either do well or collect another nul points, Greece are current favourites but I don't think their entry is anything special.

My bets (none / 1) (#66)
by Razitshakra on Fri May 20, 2005 at 08:52:48 AM EST

  • Hungary - ethnic and nice.
  • Romania - eurotechno lives!
  • Switzerland - cheesy band name and song title, but it sounds a bit like Evanescence, which is good.
  • Macedonia - sounded OK in the semi final and the odds are at 100 times the money.

Lets ride / You and I / In the midnight ambulance
- The Northern Territories
[ Parent ]
You got... (none / 0) (#75)
by Vulch on Sat May 21, 2005 at 06:38:11 PM EST

12th, 3rd, 8th and 17th. Wider spread than mine, but at least you'd have won something for a place with Romania!

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#74)
by Vulch on Sat May 21, 2005 at 06:35:33 PM EST

"Bugger" I think covers that result nicely. Moldova sixth, B&H not even in the top half (14th), Switzerland 8th and Turkey 13th.

The UK got 22nd, or 3rd from last in the final. Sympathy votes from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus and a random point from Turkey. In fact the bottom 4 countries are the four (it's not five like I said earlier, Italy was the fifth country that had automatic entry due to paying lots) countries that get automatic entry next year.

[ Parent ]

What. The. Fuck (none / 0) (#76)
by gazbo on Sat May 21, 2005 at 08:41:53 PM EST

I never expected Javine to win, but where she finished?  Ridiculous.  I was hoping for 5-10, expecting 10-15 at the worst.

If I weren't so drunk, I'd probably threaten all sorts of unatainable violence - above and beyond posting to K5.

Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

Streaming the event (none / 0) (#63)
by Vulch on Thu May 19, 2005 at 06:14:45 PM EST

For those who asked about streaming, there's now a link from the website for a streaming feed, but it costs. $7.99 for the semi, the final and last years final, or $4.99 for one event.

First Experience (3.00 / 2) (#64)
by muggins on Thu May 19, 2005 at 07:52:57 PM EST

I am kind of looking forward to this. This one will be my first ever time seeing the European Song Contest. I'm going to get together with my friends (quite an international group, two Germans, a couple Swedes, an Italian, a Spaniard, and possibly an Estonian, a Romanian, two Belorussians, and a French guy), and there is definitely going to be a good supply of alcohol going.

It actually sounds like quite a bit of fun.

Countries that don't compete (none / 0) (#73)
by Morseman on Sat May 21, 2005 at 07:58:10 AM EST

Italy do not compete either. It was reported that they got fed up of never winning and decided not to support the event.

I was wondering why... (none / 0) (#80)
by TerminalFrost on Wed May 25, 2005 at 01:16:48 PM EST

...Italy wasn't one of the permanent qualifiers.

[ Parent ]
Ah, British Traditions and European Culture | 80 comments (63 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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