Eurovision 2016 – Semi-Final 2 *UPDATED*

Welcome to my Preview of Semi-Final 2 of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest which takes place on Thursday May 12th in the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. Eurovision is getting that bit closer and its time to look at the contestants!

*UPDATE* Today April 22nd the European Broadcasting Union has withdrawn membership services to Romanian Broadcaster TVR following non-payment of debts totalling over €14.5m (CHF 16m). This means that only 42 contestants will compete at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest with 18 in each Semi-Final. There is no change to running order.

Semi Final 1 takes place on Tuesday May 10th, check out my preview here.

The new voting system will also apply to the Semi-Finals, but we won’t know the full details of the results until after the Grand Final which takes place on Saturday May 14th. Sweden, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom are automatically qualified for the Final.

19 Countries are competing for the 10 places in the Grand Final available and Irish hopes rest on Nicky Byrne. Hopes will be raised as the United Kingdom will be voting and performing tonight along with Germany and Italy.

Semi-Final 2 seems to be the tougher of the two Semi’s with some excellent songs (and some not so great) from countries who normally do well. Getting out of this Semi will be quite the task for many of the entries and will be dependent on good performances for the Juries and Televoting Public!

So on with the show!

All betting odds are from PaddyPower for outright winner and taken on 20/04/16
Continue reading “Eurovision 2016 – Semi-Final 2 *UPDATED*”

Eurovision 2013 – Congratulations Denmark

Well done Emmelie De Forest representing Denmark who won the 58th Eurovision Song Contest last night. She was a very deserving winner and while the voting was close, many people will be happy to travel to Denmark for the 59th Eurovision Song Contest.

The Voting

As mentioned the voting last night was close. The top 5 were as follows:

  1. Denmark 281 points
  2. Azerbaijan 234 points
  3. Ukraine 214 points
  4. Norway 191 points
  5. Russia 174 points

The closeness of the result really shows the high standard on show last night. Interesting Azerbaijan got more 12 points then Denmark did. Azerbaijan got 12 points from 10 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro and Russia) and Denmark got 12 points from 8 countries (France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom). Meanwhile Ukraine got 12 points from 5 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia and Moldova), Norway 3 countries (Denmark, Finland and Sweden) and Russia 2 (Estonia and Latvia).

The reason why Denmark did win despite getting less 12 votes is that it received votes from 38 of the 39 entries with San Marino being the only country to not award it any points. Azerbaijan on the other hand got no points from 9 countries (Finland, Estonia, Armenia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Norway and FYR Macedonia), so it does show that you do need to win the votes from more countries to win!

Coming last

Unfortunately Ireland came last with 5 points, 1 from United Kingdom and 2 from Cyprus and Sweden. While we did come 8th in Semi-Final 1, we only got 54 points meaning the only countries that had less points then us were Lithuania (53) and Estonia (52) meaning we never really stood a chance of winning. RTÉ and Ryan Dolan can be proud of their entry as it was popular but sadly finishing the show after a 2nd half that was filled with favourites it was always going to be a hard ask for Ireland to win. RTÉ do need to continue to do what they are doing and work with new and established acts to get them interested in representing Ireland next year!

What DR can learn from SVT

Sveriges Television (SVT) proved yet again that they can put on a show and anyone who watches Melodifestivalen is very aware of this. The overall presentation of the show was brilliant, the staging, lighting, interval acts and segments were all brilliant. Also having one presenter made everything a lot better and easier! Petra Mede was amazing and her interval act performance was fantastic. Good luck matching that Danmarks Radio (DR)!

Things that didnt work well was stopping the voting to announce the winner just to change the colour of her dress. It interrupted the flow to make an obvious announcement. With votes still to come in, it just didn’t work. Also if it had been a runaway winner, most of us are more interested in the runner place/where our own country or favourite entry comes as we already can see who will win!

The green room, Eric Saade was not a great presenter. He didnt interview anyone and talked mostly about himself!! Can we get a proper presenter next year DR?

The running order – fix? This one isnt going away. A lot of fans think that giving SVT the power to set the running order was a step too far. It certainly took a lot of the excitement of the draw out it. I hope next year DR will bring back the draw.

Bloc Voting

Bloc voting, neighbourly voting, political voting, call it what you want, this year it was very obvious. Belgium giving 12 points to the Netherlands, Netherlands giving 12 back could you be more obvious? While I do normally defend the voting system this year will make it harder. Western Europe is as bad as Eastern Europe for it! Bringing back the Juries hasnt made a difference, but it will be interesting to see what the difference in the jury voting was and if it made a difference.

Eurovision 2014

There is already chatter about where the 59th Eurovision Song Contest will be held. Early interest has been shown in Parken Stadion in Copenhagen which hosted the contest in 2001 which held 35,000 fans that year is in the running as is the Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning. This opened in 2010 and held the final of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2013.

9 countries have confirmed their participation next year. They are:

  • Belgium
  • Denmark (Host)
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • Norway

It will be interesting to see if any of the countries who did not take part this year will return.

After this year and the class of finalist that was competing should mean that there should be a good class of entry in 2014 (I hope!)

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Eurovision Grand Final 2013

Tonight is the night. 26 countries take to the stage in Malmö to compete to be the winning act of the 58th Eurovision Song Contest. The running order for tonight is as follows:

01. France
02. Lithuania
03. Moldova
04. Finland
05. Spain
06. Belgium
07. Estonia
08. Belarus
09. Malta
10. Russia
11. Germany
12. Armenia
13. The Netherlands
14. Romania
15. United Kingdom
16. Sweden
17. Hungary
18. Denmark
19. Iceland
20. Azerbaijan
21. Greece
22. Ukraine
23. Italy
24. Norway
25. Georgia
26. Ireland

Things you should know

The running order of the show was set by SVT, the host broadcaster. Normally countries are put in a draw to decide the running order, but SVT have controversial changed that replacing that draw with one that decided which half of the show an act would be in. This is supposed to ensure that the contest is more exciting and that similar entries won’t be too close, but I wonder will it change anything. The only country that had a position drawn was Sweden has host and they got number 16.

Also there is a change with the voting. Normally the top 10 in the Jury and Televote are compared to get the the final figures, this normally means that if you score high enough in one, you should get some points, but now the entire results will be compared meaning that acts have to score well with the jury and the voting public to ensure they get points on the night. This will be interesting  and the voting might be less political tonight.

Bloc Voting

None of the former Yugoslav entries this year made it into the final for the first time since the Semi-Finals were introduced and Albania also miss out on qualification. While Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina did not enter this year, surely that is not the reason for this. But it does mean that there is a big “bloc” vote tonight that is missing its traditional partners, so where the votes will go will be interesting. It could benefit a number of countries including Greece, Romania, Ukraine and Russia.

Also with a all of the Nordic countries after qualifying the bloc voting could be split. Whether or not this will affect Denmark as all its neighbours have qualified will be one to watch.

The Curses

There are a number of curses associated with Eurovision. The most famous being the curse of number 2. The curse is that the act drawn to be the 2nd song will not win. This is because no entry has ever won from this position. This year the curse has fallen on Lithuania. So sorry Andrius, you can blame SVT!

The other curse is lesser known, but is the Curse of last years host. This hasnt always been true, eg Ireland in the mid 90’s, but has been true for Russia 2009 and Norway in 2010, but will it be true for Azerbaijan?

The Betting Odds

Its notoriously difficult to predict the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, but looking at the betting odds it certainly seems to be Denmarks to loose, but with Norway also having a strong entry, Denmark might not run away with it. The top 10 according to PaddyPower are:

  1. Denmark 4/6
  2. Norway 11/2
  3. Ukraine 9/1
  4. Russia 12/1
  5. Azerbaijan 14/1
  6. Netherlands 25/1
  7. Italy 25/1
  8. Ireland 25/1
  9. Greece 33/1
  10. Georgia 33/1

Armenia, Estonia, Spain and France have the worst odds with 250/1.

My Favourites

I am not going to make a prediction, but here are the 5 songs that I will be supporting tonight in no particular order.

Denmark: Fantastic song and a firm favourite, been listing to it all week! Start looking up accommodation in Copenhagen as the Danes know how to put on a show!

United Kingdom: Bonnie is back and its a fantastic song. While its isnt in the bookies top 10, it is definitely up there for me!

France: Amazing song, full of soul and reminds me of Amy Winehouse. Just brilliant

Greece: One of the fun songs this year and there isn’t many! Delighted this got trough. Go on Greece!

Ireland: At the end of the day I am a patriot and I will always support the Irish entry! But with Ryan closing the show, he will certainly be in the mix!

Now remember to enjoy the night! I will be tweeting during the final if anyone is interested!

 

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Eurovision 2013: Semi Final One Preview

Its that time of year again, and it nearly slipped by without me posting about it which would have been a first! The 58th Eurovision Song Contest gets underway in Malmö, Sweden. Of course the reason Sweden are hosting is thanks to the wonderful win by Loreen with that amazing song “Euphoria”, which has been the most successful commercial Eurovision entry ever! This year 39 countries are competing to win the greatest show on earth. Armenia returns to the contest after skipping Azerbaijan (for political reasons) and Bosnia & Herzegovina, Portugal, Slovakia and Turkey all take a break from the contest.

As usual the Contest is split over 3 nights. Semi-Final One takes place on Tuesday May 14th, Semi-Final Two takes place on Thursday May 16th and the Final takes place on Saturday May 18th. All the shows will be broadcast by RTÉ and the BBC, as well as the various broadcasters in Europe and further afield who broadcast the show.

There are 26 places in the final. 10 contestants from each semi-final will join the “big five” (Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom) and the host (Sweden) in the final. Ireland has been drawn to perform in the first Semi-Final.

Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom have been drawn to vote in Semi-Final 1. Lets see what we are up against. (All odds as of 06/05/2013 from PaddyPower.com)

1. AustriaNatália Kelly with “Shine” Odds: 100/1

Austria open up the show with this entry. It is the first ballad of the night, but very much on the pop side of things. It is a massive improvement on last year’s entry from Trackshittaz… With her surname Kelly, Natália may pick up a few votes from Ireland (Her Grandfather is Irish), but with there being plenty of ballads in this semi-final it may be difficult for this entry to shine out and get into the final.

Prediction: Will do as most Austrian entry’s do and fail to get out of the Semi-Final, but they wont come last like they did last year.

2. Estonia: Birgit with”Et Uus Saaks Alguse” Odds: 125/1

The curse of number 2. Statically at Eurovision this is the worst position to perform at. Which is a pity. Estonia have decided to follow what worked for them and enter a ballad in Estonian. Their entry last year “Kuula” by Ott Lepland came in 6th. This song is good, but as it following a ballad and followed by an up-tempo entry it may find it hard to be remembered.

Prediction: While it won’t win the contest, it will probably qualify and as long as it avoids the “curse of number 2” at the final it should finish in the top 10.

3. Slovenia: Hannah with “Straight into Love” Odds: 100/1

Slovenia bring us the first uptempo entry of the night with this song. Definitely a song that you would not be surprised to hear on the radio and in the charts these days. I must admit I do like it, buts it isnt very memorable in comparison to what we normally hear, so it may not pick up votes.

Prediction: I think this one has a 50/50 chance of qualifying. If this gets through and Estonia does not, it will be a clear case of “curse of number 2” on Estonia!

4. Croatia: Klapa s mora with “Mižerja” Odds: 100/1

Croatia brings us back to the ballads. This is a lovely entry and the vocals are magnificent. One you can definitely close your eyes and listen to. Reminds me a little of Il Divo!

Prediction: This entry may find it hard to get out of the Semi. But I would not be surprised if it did!

5. DenmarkEmmelie de Forest with “Only Teardrops” Odds: 7/5

I know I always love the Danish entry, but this year they deserve my love, and the fans and bookies also love them as they are the pre-contest favourite. This is fantastic entry. An excellent singer, powerful song and an excellent presentation. The tin whistle and drums just really make it for me.

Prediction: This could go all the way. Definitely a contender for the top spot.

6. Russia: Dina Garipova with “What If” Odds:14/1

Russia after sending the grannies last year (who did come 2nd!) have decided this year to send a more conventional act. Dina has fantastic voice and this song (another ballad) really shows it off. While it is a ballad in a semi chock a block with them, it is one of the more memorable ones.

Prediction: Its Russia, of course they will qualify. It will probably finish in the top 10.

7. Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich with “Gravity” Odds: 4/1

Following on from last years disappointing 15th place finish, the Ukraine have decided to tone it down this year. This is a nice pop ballad. Certainly not the uptempo style we are used to from the Ukraine in recent years, but this definitely works and should see it through to the final.

Prediction: Will qualify easily and may even end up in the top 5.

8. The NetherlandsAnouk with “Birds” Odds: 20/1

The Netherlands always try to get into the final, and nearly always fails (along with Belgium), but it nevers gives up. Bless. This year may see a change in  fortunes for The Netherlands. This is one of the ballads that actually stand out (and the mother likes it). Being at the half point won’t hurt it chances either.

Prediction: It will qualify but prob end up mid-table in the final.

9. Montenegro: Who See with “Igranka” Odds: 200/1

Montenegro continue to educate on the type of music that is in the Balkans. But I think like last year this won’t get very far. It is not a novelty act but it is certainly the point where I will be going to put the kettle on….

Prediction: If this qualifies there is something strange going on!

10. Lithuania: Andrius Pojavis with “Something” Odds: 100/1

Be careful with this one. Andrius can hypnotise you with his eyebrows! Seriously watch the video… But back to the song, its a fairly lacklustre effort that really does not go anywhere.

Prediction: Won’t qualify unless most of Europe is hypnotised by those eyebrows!

11. Belarus: Alyona Lanskaya with “Solayoh” Odds: 50/1

Now this sounds like a number of Eurovision Winners mashed together! This seems to have a Mediterranean feel to it, despite Belarus being no where near it! It certainly is different from its recent entries. Belarus failed to qualify last year, and it normally does, so I think that may be a blip in its record and this will bring it back to form.

Prediction: With Russia in this Semi Belarus is assured of qualification and if in the final will has a respectable finish.

12. Moldova: Aliona Moon with “O Mie” Odds: 80/1

And we are back to the Ballads. Moldova has this entry in English and Romanian. And while there is no denying Aliona is a good singer, I dont see this one going far.

Prediction: It will Qualify. Just. Finish near the end of the table

13. Ireland: Ryan Dolan with “Only Love Survives” Odds: 25/1

After inflicting Jedward on Europe for the past two years, we decided to give them a pass and this and decided to send Ryan Dolan (Son of Joe). This is one of the catchier entries we have sent and is stronger then the two songs we sent Jedward off with. I like it and as it is one of the more uptempo tunes, sandwiched between two ballads it will do well.

Prediction: Ryan will qualify and will possible finish in the top 10.

14. Cyprus: Despina Olympiou with “An Me Thimasai” Odds: 150/1

Yet another Ballad! There is a point when you can’t listen to them anymore (no matter how much you love Eurovision!). This is a nice entry from the Cypriots but they have done better in the past (like last year!)

Prediction: No Greece, so no Qualification.

15. Belgium: Roberto Bellarosa with “Love Kills” Odds: 200/1

Belgium really does try, it does. But like its neighbour The Netherlands it never really gets there. This is another good entry from the Belgians, but its middle of the road Pop, which could have been sung by Take That back in the day.

Prediction: With the Netherlands having a stronger entry, this won’t qualify.

16. Serbia: Moje 3 with “Ljubav Je Svuda” Odds: 66/1

Serbia ends Semi-Final One with this uptempo entry. Serbia always manage to find a song that will qualify and this year is no different. It will definitely retain its title as one of the most successful new entries to Eurovision.

Prediction: Serbia will Qualify, come on, do you even watch Eurovision? But this will finish mid-table.

So that is Estonia, Slovenia, Croatia Denmark, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Belarus, Ireland and Serbia to qualify.

Semi-Final one gets under way Tuesday 14th May at 8pm on RTÉ 2 and BBC 3.

 

The 2013 Eurovision Handbook

Adrian Kavanagh and Johnny Fallon have published the “The 2013 Eurovision Handbook” for Kindle available on Amazon.

We all have opinions as to what we like and don’t like from a Eurovision song, but it becomes absolutely fascinating to watch and predict voting patterns and the cultural shifts and preferences across different regions. It always adds to any Eurovision party if you can throw some history and light on an entry, it shows it to be much more than just a song looking for votes. Doing well at the contest is no mean feat.
This book aims to arm you with all you need to know about the 2013 contestants, what’s hot, what’s not, what’s mad and just why statistics play such a vital supporting role for any nations prospects. Adrian Kavanagh is one of the greatest minds there is for calculating statistics and assessing vote patterns, this material is drawn from his vast array of research. So please, with our help, feel free to amaze your friends with your Eurovision knowledge. I will always love the Eurovision Song Contest, it places politics, geography, society and voting against a background of all types of music. It is fun, but as you will see in the following pages it has lessons to offer if you know where to look.

All the proceeds from the sales go to the Irish Cancer Society. So do go buy it!

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Eurovision 2012: Semi-Final One Preview

Its that time of year again! Eurovision Time! Like every year I do a preview of the Semi’s and attempt to predict who will get into the final.

This year the 57th Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Baku, Azerbaijan. 42 countries will be taking part. Montenegro returns this year to the competition while Poland and Armenia wont be taking part.

10 countries from each of the Semi-finals will proceed to the Final and join the five automatic qualifiers, the Big Four (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) and last years winners and this year’s host Azerbaijan.

The voting will be again be by a combination of Televoting and Professional Jury.

The First Semi Final will take place on the 22nd of May, followed by the Second Semi Final on the 24th of May and the final taking place on May 26th. All shows start at 8:00pm GMT (9:00pm CET)

Ireland has been drawn in the First Semi-Final and along with the 18 countries in this final Azerbaijan, Italy and Spain will be voting in this Semi.

All odds are from Paddy Power and correct on April 15th. Odds are for winning the overall contest.

01 Montenegro: Rambo Amadeus with “Euro Neuro

If you tune in late during the first semi and you can’t figure out whats going on, its probably cause Rambo Amadeus is on stage doing what is described as “crazy jazz-funk music”. Im not sure if you would class it as music. Cant see this getting out of the Semi. Odds: 125/1

02 Iceland: Gréta Salóme & Jónsi with “Never Forget

Iceland is one those countries I normally like and this year they have a duet. This is a bit of rock duet and is a good one. Jónsi previously represented Iceland in Istanbul in 2004 with “Heaven” and came 19th. While Gréta Salóme is a multi talented singer/songwriter who also plays the violin. They combine well on this song and should do well in Baku. Odds: 22/1

03 Greece: Eleftheria Eleftheriou with “Aphrodisiac

I won’t even attempt to pronounce this ladies name, who is a good singer. She came to fame through X-Factor 2 in 2010, even though she didn’t win. This song is like many past Greek entries. Upbeat pop and catchy! I can definately see myself singing along to this! This should definitely qualify. Odds 22/1

04 Latvia: Anmary with “Beautiful Song”

“She was born in a distant 1980, in the year that Johnny Logan won” that is the first line if this entry from Anmary. She got her start when she came 2nd in The Talent Factory. This song is about fame and name drops a number of famous people. Its an interesting song, and one I do enjoy. Will it stand out at Eurovision is the question. Odds 100/1

05 Albania Rona Nishliu with “Suus” (Personal)

And the first Ballad is from Albania. Some years Ballads are few and far between and that can help make them stand out. Rona certainly has a voice that suits this song. She does a wonderful job with and hopefully can do it on the night. Odds: 100/1

06 Romania: Mandinga with “Zaleilah

Bagpipes, an accordian, a catchy summer tune, whats not to love? Mandinga bring a bit of the the summer party to Eurovision with this song and I for one enjoy it. Mandinga play latino music, latin jazz, balkan salsa or even club music and this song certainly sounds like the perfect mix of them! Odds: 33/1

07 Switzerland: Sinplus with “Unbreakable

And now a rock song! Sinplus are brothers Ivan and Gabriel Broggini who grew up listening to Queen, Bob Marley and U2. This is a good song, but not one you would listen to a lot. Odds: 100/1

08 Belgium: Iris with “Would You?

Belgium send a young 17 year old to the contest, hoping to do what Sandra Kim did in 1986. Here Iris is singing a ballad, which to me is a bet meh and the odds are reflecting this. It will be hard for this to get out of the semi. Odds: 125/1

09 Finland: Pernilla Karlsson with “När jag blundar” (When I close my eyes)

And at the halway point, Finland sends a Swedish Ballad to Baku this year. It is another ballad, but its a nicer one then Belgium, but coming straight after them could harm it. It could sneak out of the Semi. Odds: 80/1

10 Israel: Izabo with “Time

Israel are taking a different direction this year and are sending Izabo, a band that combines Psychadelic Rock, Disco and Punk flavoured with Arabic spices. This is certainly different and should be some fun on stage in Baku. This may well qualify. Odds 100/1

11 San Marino: Valentina Monetta with “The Social Network Song

This is a bit of a strange song about love online and using social networks for love. Its one those songs that is trying to be current. Im not sure if it works. Odds: 150/1

12 Cyprus: Ivi Adamou with “La La Love

This is another summer song that will be in my head for awhile. A more upbeat song then normal from Cyprus but a good move, but coming after the pop song from San Marino might make it harder for them.

13 Denmark: Soluna Samay with “Should’ve Known Better

Denmark is another country I always like and this year is no exception. An excellent song which is a pop song along the lines of Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift which are popular at the moment. This should qualify no problem. Odds:14/1

14 Russia Buranovskiye Babushki with “Party for Everybody

Buranovskiye Babushki or the Russian Grannies as they seem to be known as hail from Udmurtia, a republic between the Kama and Vyatka rivers in Russia. They are certainly very different to anything that has come to Eurovision in the past! They beat a past Eurovision winner to get to Baku so I think they are very much in contention for the top spot! Odds: 5/1

15 Hungary: Compact Disco with “Sound of Our Hearts

After the Russian Grannies we have Compact Disco a dance act from Hungary. It certainly stands out after the last song, but if thats the only reason it won’t go further in the final. It certainly a song that will chart around Europe so will be in the final. Odds: 80/1

16 Austria: Trackshittaz with “Woki mit deim Popo” (Shake your ass)

This duo have their own unique genre “tractor gangster party rap” which may go down well in Ireland! For me it is a bit shouty, but one that will be played in clubs around Europe! I will be in the mix to qualify, but will the name but people off? Odds: 80/1

17 Moldova: Pasha Parfeny with “Lăutar

This is a fun song from Pasha who is well used to winning international music festivals and is hoping to add a Eurovision win to his collection. This is a song that I certainly enjoy, but the bookies don’t think Pasha can take the top prize. Odds 100/1

18 Ireland: Jedward with “Waterline

And to finish out the show, its Jedward!! Jedward, (John and Edward for anyone who has been living under a rock) Irish twins from Lucan, Dublin, try a second time to win Eurovision. Last year they came 8th in Dusseldorf with “Lipstick“. This is fast, uptempo pop song and should see them into the final. At the moment they are 3rd favourite at the bookies with odds of 10/1. Come on Jedward!

Prediction

This is always the hard part, who I want to get in, and actually will. These are the ten acts I think will qualify in no particular order.

  1. Ireland
  2. Russia
  3. Greece
  4. Iceland
  5. Denmark
  6. Romania
  7. Austria
  8. Israel
  9. Finland
  10. Moldova

Who do you think will qualify?

Who has picked so far? [Eurovision 2010]

Eurovision-heart
Image via Wikipedia

As I am in a sort of Eurovision mood I felt like looking at the countries who have so far selected there entries for the Eurovision. Seven countries have picked their representative. Ireland will pick its entry on March 5th.

While Bosnia Herzegovina have announced that Vukasin Brajic will represent the country in Oslo with the song ‘Munja i grom’ (Thunder and Lightning), the song will not be performed before March 7th. So we will have to wait a bit longer for it.

Finland has picked its entry and it has chosen Kuunkuiskaajat to represent them with the song “Työlki ellää”. Its very different from there song last year! Its more folk, then modern. It could do well, depending on what everyone else picks.

Albania has also picked its entry. They are going with Nuk Mundem Pa Ty by Juliana Pasha. It is a pop song and very like a lot of modern music. It has a catchy rhythm.

Iceland has also decided its entry. It is going with “Je ne sais quoi” by Hera Björk. This song brings me back a few years and reminds me of Eurovisions gone by. Quick tempo and up beat. I could dance to this quite easily.

Denmark, a country who’s entry I always like, has gone for Chanée and N’evergreen who will sing “In a Moment Like This”. Yet again Denmark doesn’t disappoint me. This is a beautiful duet by two fantastic singers. I really like it!

Switzerland have picked Michael von der Heide to sing “Il Pleut De L’Or” in Oslo. It is a pop song. Its not a song that grabs me and reminds me more of elevator music.

The host country, Norway, has also decided upon its entry. Norway went for “My Heart Is Yours” by Didrik Solli-Tangen. This is a lovely ballad. I thought the days of beautifully sing male ballads were gone with Johnny Logan but Norway is bucking the trend! Fair play!

A number of countries have picked the singer or song, but haven’t them up yet. They include Turkey (maNga), Georgia (Sopho Nizharadze), Bulgaria (Miro), Ukraine (Vasyl Lazarovich) and The Netherlands (“Ik ben verliefd, Shalalie”).

The running order draw takes place on March 22nd, so all entries will be known before that.

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Copenhagen – Some thoughts

God Morgen ud Kobenhavn! Good Morning form Copenhagen!!!

So today is the day I leave Copenhagen from the Think about it #2 launch event. It has been a great few days where I have learned an awful lot and made new friends. There are 92 bloggers form 40 countries re[resenting every continent in the world at the event and I am really looking forward to the blogging.

Yesterday was really interesting. We visited the Dyssekilde eco-village outside Copenhagen and got to interview the some of the residents. I filmed my interview so expect that to be up soon, when I sort out the editing.

On Monday, we had a range of talks from a number of people involved. From those organising the COP15 talks in December to the EU Commission and NGO’s.

There is a live blog of the Confernce on the Monday here so I am not going to repeat it and Alda of the Iceland Weather Report Blog has a great post about the event also!

My first post for the blog is up if you want to check it out! Its on China and Hu Jintao’s speech yesterday

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Lisbon Treaty: State of Play, April 30th

An update on its progress through Europe. The treaty has completed its passage in Austria, Denmark and Portugal. The List below has been update to reflect this. We are appraching the halfway mark as 11 of the 27 Member states have ratified the treaty.

AustriaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 24/04/2008

BelgiumParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Has passed the Senate (6th March) and the Chamber of Representatives (10th April). The treaty still has to pass the Brussels Regional Parliament, Flemish Parliament, Walloon Parliament, French Community Parliament and the German-speaking Community Parliament all due Mid-July

BulgariaParliamentary Vote. Approved 21/3/2008

CyprusParliamentary Vote.

Czech RepublicParliamentary Vote. In Progress.

DenmarkParliamentary Vote. Approved : 24/04/2008

EstoniaParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due in May.

FinlandParliamentary Vote. Vote due in the Autumn.

FranceParliamentary Vote. Approved : 08/02/2008

GermanyParliamentary Vote. In Progress. The Bundestag is due to vote on the 25th of April and the Bundesrat is due to vote on the 23rd of May.

GreeceParliamentary Vote. Vote due in Spring.

HungaryParliamentary Vote. Approved : 17/12/2007

Republic of IrelandReferendum. Referendum due on 12th June.

ItalyParliamentary Vote. In Progress. The vote will take place some time after the 29th of April.

LatviaParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due in April

LithuaniaParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due before May 9th.

LuxembourgParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Vote due in June.

MaltaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 29/01/2008

NetherlandsParliamentary Vote. Vote due in the First chamber in the Autumn.

PolandParliamentary Vote. Approved : 02/04/2008

PortugalParliamentary Vote. Approved : 23/04/2008

RomaniaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 04/02/2008

SlovakiaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 10/04/2008

SloveniaParliamentary Vote. Approved : 29/01/2008

Spain Parliamentary Vote.

SwedenParliamentary Vote. Vote due in November.

United KingdomParliamentary Vote. In Progress. Passed the House of Commons (11th March). House of Lords to vote in April. Date TBD for Gibraltar Parliament.

——
Sources:
Europa
Wikipedia

EU Split on Turkey, Surpised? I’m not

Via BreakingNews.ie

Well, I thought the EU was always spilt on this. I think we should suspend all negioations with Turkey until it recognises all 25 member states of the Union and fully complies with its obligations under the pacts and treaties it has signed with the EU. No other couintry would be shown so much leinancy on negioations but turkey, so why is it recieving special treatment. Thats what the EU Governments need to be explaining to us the Citizens of Europe.

On the same I disagree with the idea of France holding a referendum on Turkish membership, I know their precedent with them holding a referendum on the UK, Ireland and Denmarks entry to the EU, but I dont think its fair population should be given a veto over it.