Eurovision 2016 – Semi Final 2 Results

semi2qualifiersThe Second Semi Final of the 61st Eurovision Song Contest took place tonight in Stockholm and what a Semi it was. From start to finish, Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw but on an amazing show. Well done to the host broadcaster SVT, I’m really looking forward to Saturdays show! (I especially liked Mans here…)

The show started off with an amazing opening act on “What is Eurovision?” Do watch it, it reminded me of the interval act from 2013, the Swedish Smörgåsbord  also starring Petra.

We also got a bit of history of the Eurovision Song Contest in the form of Numbers which amazed the nerds like me…

So on to the qualifiers. The ten countries that made it to the Grand Final are:

  • Latvia
  • Georgia
  • Bulgaria
  • Australia
  • Ukraine
  • Serbia
  • Poland
  • Israel
  • Lithuania
  • Belgium

So hard luck to Ireland, Switzerland, Belarus, FYR Macedonia, Slovenia, Denmark, Norway and Albania who don’t make it through.

For those wondering I got 9/10 again on my predictions! Damn you Georgia!

We shall find out the running order for the final tomorrow ahead of the Jury Final tomorrow night. Join me again on the @UCCExpress Twitter account for some views and opinions on the final which will air at 8pm on Saturday Night on RTÉ One with Marty Whelan and on BBC One with Graham Norton.

 

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*UPDATE* Today April 22nd the European Broadcasting Union has withdrawn membership services to Romanian Broadcaster TVR following non-payment of debts totalling over €14.5m (CHF 16m).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: 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 Two Preview

Welcome to the Preview for the Second Semi-Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, if you missed Semi 1 it’s here! I will of course be making a prediction, which will most likely be wrong!

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. France, Germany and United Kingdom will also be voting in this Semi-Final.

All the betting odds are from PaddyPower.com and are correct as of April 30th.

So on with the show!

01 Serbia: Željko Joksimović with “Nije ljubav stvar” (Love is not an object)

This is Željko 2nd attempt at Eurovision, having represented Serbia and Montenegro (as it was then known) where he came 2nd in 2004 with “Lane Moje“. This is a powerful song and definitely has the chance of doing well. It will be a top ten finisher, but will it win? I dont think so. Odds: 12/1

02 F.Y.R. Macedonia: Kaliopi with “Crno i belo” (Black and white)

We stay in the Balkans for the next entry, this starts off slow, but then really gets going. Lots of musical influences at play here with Kaliopi who is well known around the Balkans and could bode well for the voting, but can’t see her picking up too many votes outside of the Balkans. Odds:125/1

03 Netherlands: Joan Franka with “You and Me”

This is a happy, feel good song of Eurovision of old. The Netherlands hasn’t havent had the best results of late at Eurovision and I don’t think this year will be different with Joan. It is a nice song, but will the televoters like it? This could be rescued by the Jurors. Odds 50/1

04 Malta: Kurt Calleja with “This Is the Night”

Malta keeps up its tradition of sending modern songs. This is a better entry then some of the previous entries, but it isn’t as good as some of the entries,but it is catchy (ye eh eh eh eh). Kurt has a chance of qualifying I think. Odds: 150/1

05 Belarus: Litesound with “We Are the Heroes”

Litesound, whos members hail from Belarus, Russia and Italy, finally managed to win the right to represent Belarus this year. They have entered a bit of a pop/rock tune. Its not that great (needs autotune!) or memorable, could struggle to get out of the Semi. Odds: 100/1

06 Portugal: Filipa Sousa with “Vida minha” (Life of mine)

Portugal again attempts to do something different and this year has entered a ballad in the Portuguese “Fado” style. While there is no doubt that Filipa is an amazing singer, but it will have to depend a lot on stage presentation to get through. Odds 150/1

07 Ukraine: Gaitana with “Be My Guest”

The Ukraine likes to send strong women to Eurovision and this year is no different with Gaitana. This is a upbeat catchy song which will definately be heard in clubs! This will go down well in the hall, if the stage presentation is as upbeat and powerful as the song. One to watch. Odds: 66/1

08 Bulgaria: Sofi Marinova with “Love Unlimited”

A number of countries tried out dance songs last year and this year Bulgaria is trying out one. Love Unlimited is certainly a song you can dance too, but is it what Eurovision audiences want? Odds: 100/1

09 Slovenia: Eva Boto with “Verjamem” (I believe)

At the half way point is Slovenia, who have entered a Ballad. Eva has a beautiful voice and it perfectly suits this haunting song. This could be one to surprise us if it gets to the final. Odds: 50/1

10 Croatia: Nina Badrić with “Nebo” (Heaven)

Croatia this year sent one of the top performers in Croatia to Baku, and it has paid off. Nina has a wonderful song which will win people over. This is a song you should listen to ahead of the show! Odds: 80/1

11 Sweden: Loreen with “Euphoria”

Sweden, who were pipped at the post last year, are back with a vengeance! It is this year’s pre-contest favourite, which can be the kiss of death! But I think Loreen could pull it off. It is a song that ticks all the boxes and is definitely a possible winner! (Yes im typing while bopping around to it!) Odds: 9/4

12 Georgia: Anri Jokhadze with “I’m a Joker”

This is, erm, different. But it is a bit of fun at the end of the day. It wouldn’t be Eurovision without it! Interestingly Anri is the first male performer to represent Georgia! Im looking forward to see what he will do on stage with this! Odds: 125/1

13 Turkey: Can Bonomo with “Love Me Back”

There is no doubt of the Mediterranean influence on this song! Turkey have remember why they have done well in the past and sent Can Bonomo, a DJ, Producer and musician. This is a song that will be remembered and will certainly qualify! Odds 20/1

14 Estonia: Ott Lepland with “Kuula” (Listen)

Ott who won Estonian Idol in 2009; the lead role in High School Musical in 2010; the show Laulupealinn (Singing Capital) in 2011 and of course Eesti Laul, the Estonian national selection. He is hoping to add the Eurovision Song Contest to this list with this very powerful ballad. It stands out as being the only male ballad so far. He also wrote this song himself. He will do well! Odds: 50/1

15 Slovakia: Max Jason Mai with “Don’t Close Your Eyes”

Max is a bit of hotty, in the rocky kinda way! Max who is also a guitarist brings proper rock music to Eurovision this year. He reminds me a bit of Jon Bon Jovi! Its a good song and better then some of the other rock offerings we have had this year. Odds 100/1

16 Norway: Tooji with “Stay”

Tooji is Norway’s answer to Eric Saade, but with Iranian roots! (Read total ride) This is a good song, which Norway has managed to do over the past few years. But this is one of their best entries in a number of years. Odds: 25/1

17 Bosnia & Herzegovina: Maya Sar with “Korake ti znam” (I know your steps)

And Bosnia sends another ballad. It is a lovely song and it is better then some of the other ballads this year. Maya is a fantastic singer, and will most likely own the stage in Baku. Odds 80/1

18 Lithuania: Donny Montell with “Love Is Blind”

I wonder will he wear the blind fold in Baku, it does work and he is very cute! But the song is only so-so. But it may still get through!  Odds 100/1

So that is all the entries for the Second Semi-Final.

Prediction

So who will get through to the final? Some of it easy to guess, some of it not! So in no particular order,

  1. Sweden
  2. Norway
  3. Ukraine
  4. Turkey
  5. Serbia
  6. Slovenia
  7. Estonia
  8. Croatia
  9. Lithuania
  10. The Netherlands.

What do you think?

Kosovo declares itself independent as an EU Colony

Today the Kosovar Assembly voted unamimously for Independence from Serbia. What does this actually mean for the province is something else entirely. Independence here is entirely symbolic as the EU will be running the Administration, the Courts and the Police Service, with NATO being the Army. Not exactly an “Free, independent and sovereign state”?

Pristina will be able to pass laws and sign treaties but will depend on EU Officals to implement them. The EU mission, when it is up and running, will have sweeping executive powers. It will have the right to veto the elected government if it deviates from the Brussels-approved reform path. It will have the power to intervene directly in Kosovo’s internal affairs.

The EU of course are playing these powers down. Saying they will be seldom used, or are for emergencies only. Kosovo can be expected to be ruled like Germany and Japan after World War II for at about five to eight years.

Kosovo will be the EU’s first time being an exporter of democratic principles. The EU has of course helped countries in tranisition from Dictatorships (Greece, Portugal, Spain) and from Communism (Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Poland). Kosovo is different as it is it defiance of international law. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 which in the preambulatory clauses states “Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act and annex 2”

This leaves Russia in a strong poistion in the UN. It can veto any application by Kosovo to join the UN, it can also block changes to Reslution 1244. Conversely France, the UK and the US can block Russian moves to have the UNSC declare the move illegal. So its stale mate at the UN.

Serbia, immediately disregard the´declaration saying it will not recognise a ‘false state’ which would be a “satellite state known as Kosovo”. Serbia of course has ruled out the use of force, but will use ddiplomatic means to try and bring Kosovo back in.

Serbia remains the main trading partner of Kosovo so if Serbia brings in sanctions then Kosovo could be worse off.

Only time will tell if Kosovo will end up a “Free, independent and sovereign state” or just a failed state.

Ireland to recognise an Independent Kosovo


This is the news story of today. Kosovo is expected to declare indepence from Serbia this afternoon. I had to google it but I finally found a website that lists the countrues that will recognise an Independent Kosovo. They are (EU member states in bold):

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia, FYR
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritania
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pakistan
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tonga
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Tuvalu
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

3 EU member states are missing from the list. Cyprus, Spain and Romania, have not signalled a willingness to recognise a Independent Kosovo.

Of course the biggest opponets to Kosovo’s independence are Russia and Serbia. The Serbs have promised no military backlash against moves for independence but will punish the country with economic sanctions and use its political influence against it.

I assume Russia will block any future Kosovo attempts to join the UN.

It will be an interesting few days.

Morning Briefing, 26th February

Well I’m back in Cork after USI LGBT Standing Conference, where I was re-elected to Working Group on the 3rd count! Also congrats to Ms. Sonya Donneally who was elected unanimously as the new LGBTRO! woo! (P.S. If anyone wants to know what motions where passed email me!)

In the news today!

The International Court of Justice, is due to deliver its verdict today on whether ot not Serbia is responsible for Genocide ‘through the killing, torture, rape and expulsion of Bosnian Muslims’ (CNN, RTÉ, Breakingnews) If passed, it will be the first time that a state, rather than an individual or group, has been held responsible for genocide.

Nurses begin there industrial action today with a protest outside CUH (Breakingnews, RTÉ) The INO and PNA are seeking a 10% pay increase for their members and a reduction in their working week to 35 hours.

Israel is after performing a raid on the West Bank, it has now entered its second day (RTÉ, Breakingnews)

Jean-Marie Le Pen has laucned his latest bid for the french presidency (France 24, CNN) He has put forward an anti-immigration, ultranationalist stance, pledging to cut off social benefits for foreigners and deporting those who are unable to fend for themselves. He is having difficulty getting 500 mayors to back him.

Talks begin today in London on Iran’s Nuclear program. (CNN, France 24). The P5 and Germany are meeting to discuss the next course of action. Israel is denying that its has plans to attack Iran’s Nuclear facilities (France 24) and the USA have plans to bomb Iran according to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh (CNN)

Thats its for now!

Morning Briefing, 16th February

Dia Duit

An nuacht ar an maidin seo.

The row over the cost of the Mahon Tribunal continues today (Breakingnews) with Judge Mahon saying the tribunal will only cost €300m, maybe less. Also Labour are getting in on the act (RTÉ) saying that the government are trying to delay the tribunal. Well d’uh

Russian President Vladimir Putin has appointed a former rebel as President of Chechnya (France 24) Pity he wasn’t elected.

Serbia has rejected the UN plan for Kosovo (CNN). Surprise surprise. I can’t see any Serbian parliament accepting independence, virtual or not, for Kosovo.

North Koreans are celebrating Kim Jong-Il 65th birthday (France 24). Though state media in north korea seam to warning about a military threat from the US. I don’t see how they can invade as the armed forces are stretched to the limit Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US House of Representatives is due to vote on a resolution against the troop surge in Iraq today. (CNN)Also House speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated that “Bush lacks authority to invade Iran”

The European Parliament has adopted a report which implicates 13 member states in cooperating with CIA rendition flights (France 24) The national governments specifically criticised for their unwillingness to cooperate with Parliament’s investigations were those of Austria, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK. The report also gives detailed evidence of investigations of illegal rendition or CIA flight cases involving Germany, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Denmark, Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bosnia and Romania (EU Parliament Website)

Thats it for now!

Slán!

Morning Briefing, 22nd January

Dia Duit!

Tá sé ag cur sneachta!!!!

An nuacht ar an maidin seo!

Well the north’s PSNI is ser to be racked by accusations today with a new repoprt due to be launched by the Police Ombudsman Nuala O’Loan (Breakingnews) This could undo alot of hard work that the PSNI has undertaken under the Patten report!

Well Hilary is ‘in this to win’ (Breakingnews). I hope to put up a post shortly about presidential hopefuls!

A radical nationalist party seams to have won elections in Serbia, that France 24 has termed a ‘hollow’ victory as it is unlikely that they will find a coalition partner.

Sin é ar an maidin seo!

Slán!

Eurovision 2007 Finland

Hello Europe, this is Cork Calling!

Well its getting closer! The year 2007 that is and im already getting my fill of updates from esctoday.com and eurovision.tv but i hadnt realisied that this year a record 42 countries will be taking part in the competition. God the voting will be even longer.

This year Hungary and Austria (dropped out for 2006) return to the competition and teh Czech Republic and Georgia join the ESC Family. Also this year with the seperation of Montenegro from Serbia, they are competing as seperate countries.

The contest could have been bigger but Monaco has decided not to take part this year

The line up for the 52nd Edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in the Hartwall Areena, Helsinki, so far is

Semi-Final: Thursday 10th of May, 2007
Participating countries (28): Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, FYR Macedonia, Georgia , Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Latvia , Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey

Final: Saturday 12th of May, 2007
Participating countries: Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Participants so far confirmed:
*Moldova: Natalia Barbu, Fight
*The Netherlands: Edsilia Rombley
*Switzerland: Dj Bobo
*Ireland: Dervish

Albania will be the next country to choose their act when Festival i kenges is broadcast on the 23rd of December.

For more information on upcoming selections check out ESCtoday’s Calender