Friday, May 12, 2006

Don't look at me! Please loooook...

We're kind of following Eurovision 2006 here at Phronesisaical, what with one previous post and everything. Here's a second one citing today's press conference where we provide a window onto the psyche of Iceland's participant, Sylviaaaaa.
  • Before Silvia arrived to meet the press, her boyfriend instructed the journalists not to look Icelandic star Silvia Night in the eye or else they would be removed. “I welcome you all to enjoy my stay in Athens,” said Silvia when she did arrive. “I am an international superstar and you are all my children.”
  • “I have a lot of messages for my fans,” she said. “But the number one message is that I have arrived and you can all sleep tight tonight because Silvia Night will guard the light.”
  • “The government in Iceland has planned a one-year holiday after I win,” she added.
  • One journalist asked Silvia to explain lewd comments she had made about Netherlands group Treble, live on Lithuanian TV. “I can see you looking at me, so if you wouldn’t mind looking away,” Silvia responded. “You will be removed. You’re still looking at me. Remove her!” In chaotic scenes, Silvia’s bodyguard carried the journalist from the room.
There's more. Here's the incredibly happy Ukrainian entry:
  • “Show me your love, that’s why I came,” said Ukraine’s Tina Karol. “Those are the words of my song but they’re also my feelings. I just want to make the world so, so happy. I want to smile at everyone and see everyone smiling back at me.”
  • “I’m a singer for the Ukrainian military orchestra and I sing in military uniform,” she added.
Lithuania's humor-meisters:
“We always knew we’d perform in the contest one day,” said Lithuanian group LT United. “We’ve been watching the Eurovision Song Contest since about 1977. We’re old – we’re like 63 years old. We’re just very good looking.”
Sandra, the Estonian (but actually Swedish) entry:
  • “What have I experienced of Greece?” she asked. “We’ve been taking it easy in the sun. I really like your weather. And I love Greek salads of course. And I love this arena. But that’s really all I’ve had the chance to see so far.”
Waving the Andorran flag...
“I’m not a professional singer,” said Andorra’s Jennifer. “I was working as a waitress and this has come as a complete surprise to me. I was having lessons at a stage school in Andorra and Andorran TV came looking for backing singers. I auditioned and they decided to do the project with me. I’ve never even sung in front of an audience."
What Kate Ryan of Belgium will be doing:
“I will be doing the ‘knee swing’,” she confirmed. “For those of you who don’t know, the knee swing has become a big part of my choreography and everyone in Belgium knows it. I have a new choreographer for ‘Je t’adore’ and I begged him to put it in until he said ‘Okay, okay, you can do it.’ Everyone in Belgium will be very happy.”
Poland's bad boys Ich Troje:
“Eurovision is always one big party,” said Michał Wiśniewski, front man of Polish group Ich Troje. “For us, this year’s party began a week ago when we arrived in Greece for our promo tour. We’ve had a good time – and too much ouzo.”
UPDATE (Sunday, May 14th):
See also this more recent post for further crucial information.


Bora Zivkovic said...

Oh, but it has a huge political back-story in the Balkans.

helmut said...

Nice.... Thanks, coturnix.

MT said...

They call that behavior by Sylvia "bjorking."

roxtar said...

A: Emmenthaler, Gouda, Parmesan, Eurovision.

Q: Name four examples of European cheese.

Anonymous said...

Eurovision is wonderful. We are addicts. My friend Jon Clements spells out his scoring system and some tips on this year's Finnish entry. (He won't mind me quoting it here.)


* * *

After years of testing, rigorous double-blinds and tweaking, I think I've finally done it. Have I cracked the Eurovision code? For the last two years, my scoring system has successfully predicted the actual winner. Will this year make it a hat-trick?

For extra fun, use the points system as a drinking game...

In order to accurately predict Eurovision performance, we must rate participants on:

- Pointlessly demonstrative dancing
- Orbital cleavage (C-cup minimum, and on display)*
- Nonsensical lyrics: (e.g. ring-dinga-dong)
- Daft costumes (remember, they have to be fucking daft, not just mildly silly)
- Insanely inappropriate instruments (cushions, cowbells, each other)
- Winks (one point only)
- Gratuitous key changes (one point each)
- Weapons and Armour
- Looky-likeys (my God! Is that Simon Pegg playing an oil drum? Is that Gordon Brown on bass? One point each in tie-breakers only)
- Any other business (audience invasions, falling off the stage, yodelling, impossibly fat singers (normally Malta) gratuitous lip-licking, simulation of sex acts, use of belt-sanders, stripping, use of song's commencement as signal to kick off revolution in home country)

* Note that after protests from female jurors, the orbital cleavage category also includes cases of obscenely tight trousers on men, although they have to be so tight that you can tell their religion.

Last year's experimental category, of "Awful Attempt to Insert Foreign-language rap segment mid-song" has been retired.

The Eurovision Analyst predicts that this year block voting will continue from Eastern European countries so blatantly as to make the traditional Greece/Cyprus love-in look positively democratic. This year's prize will go to an eastern European country, probably in the Balkans or a Baltic republic, unless someone from a western European country does something positively pornographic or different. (There is also a non-competitive experimental category this year, awarding points for an outrageous performance by each country's jury).

If you see an eastern European country with weapons and armour, cleavage and insensate lyrics, it should be the favourite. Remember, the last two years have been the first time since records began that the alternative voting system actually picked the winners. Germany's Turkish population will guarantee similar augmentation of the two country's relative votes. Any western country fielding a remotely oriental act will get good points from eastern European countries that have misunderstood the voting system. If the UK sent a bhangra group or belly-dancers, we would win hands-down.

But that's good, because the last thing you need is the UK winning, because if it does, next year's contest would be in Milton Keynes and presented by Jamie Theakston. And that reduce the number of sexy accents.

Was last year an anomaly? Will we spent the next 20 years in the usual bafflement, or have we cracked the Eurovision code?

Issues for this year:

Ireland will complain about "block-voting" again if they score low. This is because of all the Eastern European countries voting for each other. "Block-voting" never bothered Ireland in the past, where they cleaned up on several occasions for singing in English and not being British.

Keep an eye out for stealth entries: singers representing a country that is not their own, thereby hoping to clean up on two score-cards. Last year's winner for Greece was subsequently claimed by the Swedes as a kinda-sorta victory for them, whereas Switzerland's entry from last year, Vanilla Ninja, actually came from Eastern Europe, and scored higher than expected as result.

Lordi. Quite by accident, this axe-wielding, bat-winged zombie rocker beat all the tango-dancers and Europap on offer to become this year's Finnish representative. His selection may have been a lark for a bunch of Finnish goths back from the pub, but that doesn't mean it won't be for everyone else as well. Europe contains a significant number of Eurovision-haters who will vote for Lordi just for a laugh, which puts him stealthily in with a chance.

If you're betting, put something on Greece for being wriggly and eastern enough to win again, and a bonus fiver on Lordi just in case the rockers of Europe jam the switchboards and rig the voting. At 34-1, he has to be worth a flutter.

The UK will pick up a few votes from schoolgirl uniform fetishists all over, but still doesn't stand a chance. As usual. That's okay. We've still got Wogan.

helmut said...

That's great, Lee. A scorecard to follow along, although I might be busy that night (which night is it?).

This, however, might keep me in:

"...(audience invasions, falling off the stage, yodelling, impossibly fat singers (normally Malta) gratuitous lip-licking, simulation of sex acts, use of belt-sanders, stripping, use of song's commencement as signal to kick off revolution in home country)...."