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Eurovision notes

It's notable how much difference the on-the-night performance makes to a song. I liked Norway better in video than I did this evening, much as it was still in my top 5 of 6. My two favorites of the evening, Finland and Iceland, held opposite ends of the chart. We were so convinced that Finland would shine, not needing my vote, that for that reason, I voted for Iceland. Finland came last, in what seemed like an inspired performance to me.

I liked Iceland more in competition than in video for one major reason: such cool background effects! Clouds drifting by. The moon moving across the sky. A ghost ship floating through. The LCD screens were, in general phenomenal, if not always well used.

C.'s pick, Germany, did badly in voting, but is now stuck in my head.

Romania's entry was a visually fabulous fairyland of falling petals and a stone or wood throne; it's too bad the song had nothing to do with those things.

Albania had a decent song - and totally ruined it with a baffling, distracting, and unfortunate visual performance.

The "yay, Moldova" song was SO much better in video. On stage, it was a lowlight.

For once, the hosts were not annoying! Indeed, the male presenter won my fondness for verbally preferring sandglasses to digital timers and arguing that a DVD will last a thousand years if well-treated. Speaking of hosts: I am so grateful for Norton after the last few years when Wogan talked over the songs.

The moment when cosmonauts, live from the International Space Station, opened the voting was genius.

Notably, all countries received at least 20 points; this egalitarian development may very well be a by-product of moving back to partial jury voting this year, with half of each country's votes coming from juries instead of popular votes.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
arcana_mundi
May. 16th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
I could have cheerfully tasered the host, who simply would NOT shut up, and just shat out a relentless spew of unkind remarks about everyone else's performance. I was really surprised by the tenor of it. I guess it's the fashion in television hosting in England, Russel Brand style asshattery.
owlfish
May. 16th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Welcome to the UK, land of sarcastic insults or gushing indulgence: it's one of the two extremes for t.v. hosts as far as I can tell and, since this country DID have Terry Wogan as commenter (who was not only insultingly sarcastic but TALKED OVER THE SONGS), I actually thought Norton was a bit of an improvement. It's all about the alternatives.
arcana_mundi
May. 16th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
If the new guy had talked over the songs as well I would have definitely turned the channel and watched clips on youtube later. Why they couldn't have on someone neutral or gracious, I just don't know.

England IS weird. The sense of humor here isn't at all what I'd have expected. They're much nastier than I'd have thought.
hobbitblue
May. 17th, 2009 11:49 am (UTC)
I was quite impressed with Graham Norton, he was restrained and polite for once and didn't go to extremes and was about as sarcastic as Wogan, only a couple of comments really irked me. Don't forget the Eurovision has been a laughing stock here for years (and enjoyed just as much for that fact, perhaps more so!), a serious commentary would be just too strange. Its a cultural wotsit, I'm afraid.

We're very good at sarcasm here, not necessarily nasty, though a lot of younger TV "personalities" seem to not have the wit or the brains for sarcasm so just go for mean, I do agree.

Edited at 2009-05-17 11:49 am (UTC)
arcana_mundi
May. 17th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
Wow - if that was polite and restrained, I've *really* got England wrong!
hobbitblue
May. 17th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Have you seen Graham Norton in anything else? Maybe find a few youtube clips of his solo shows, Graham Norton Uncut or So Graham Norton.. he's very camp, and doesn't pull his punches and often goes way too far for a laugh.

arcana_mundi
May. 17th, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
I'd say that I'd go have a look at it, but to do so would be kind of salting the cut after rubbing lemon on it - I'll take your word for it!
hobbitblue
May. 17th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
Well, you know who to avoid now, at least? :)
hungry_pixel
May. 18th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC)
That's quite amusing; we thought Mr Norton was rather restrained and are seriously hoping that he grows into some Terry-style sarcasm as that's part and parcel of the whole contest for us!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )