Eurovision 2008 semi-finals are tonight
May 20, 2008 6:25 AM   Subscribe

6 hours til Eurovision 2008 begins (well semi-final round 1 begins in 6 hours). After last year's extensive Eurovision discussion, let's see how 2008 does. There are a number of Eurovision blogs and many of the bloggers are hanging out in Belgrade. Not in Europe? You can watch online as well.

The semi-final rehearsals have been evaluated by the blogging community. Also, oddsmakers are making their opinions known.
Now let the slaughter begin!
posted by k8t (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by nthdegx at 6:34 AM on May 20, 2008


Ex-pat in ever-so-tasteful - haha! -Long Island.

(So it's wallowing-pig-in-kitsch-clover time for me!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 6:40 AM on May 20, 2008

A short primer on the Eurovision's perennial nul-point nation, Norway.

Even better, study the Eurovisional History of Infamy.

Nul points, indeed.
posted by grounded at 6:44 AM on May 20, 2008

Go Armenia.
posted by k8t at 6:49 AM on May 20, 2008

Man that "6 hours till..." totally fucked with my sense of time for a second there. I was like WHAT? IT'S SATURDAY? WHAT THE FU- oh wait.

Can't wait to watch it with Wogan commentating. He's what makes it all so great.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:02 AM on May 20, 2008

Any accordion players this year?
posted by Class Goat at 7:04 AM on May 20, 2008

Does anyone, anyone at all, in Europe actually take Eurovision seriously? It's become like a continent wide in-joke.
posted by PenDevil at 7:08 AM on May 20, 2008

Class Goat -- "Any accordion players this year?"

Well, Ireland sent a Turkey.

William Hill gives The Turkey 20-1 odds. Much, much better than The Netherlands 150-1 odd, which Mrs Mutant doesn't appreciate.
posted by Mutant at 7:10 AM on May 20, 2008

I'm so exited. I just can't hide it. I'm about to totaly ignore this and I think i like it.
posted by ghost of a past number at 7:16 AM on May 20, 2008

Can't wait to watch it with Wogan commentating.

No doubt.

posted by srboisvert at 7:18 AM on May 20, 2008

*-=+- ^_^ -+=-* A VERY SPECIAL EUROVISION POPBITCH *-=+- ^_^ -+=-*

It's been a while since I last saw popbitch, so I was expecting a nice, single page ascii file. I think I'm gonna dump Firefox 3 right now and start using lynx immediately.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:24 AM on May 20, 2008

But isn't Franco just going to buy it again?
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:34 AM on May 20, 2008

The Irish entry. Irlande Douze Pointe - Dustin the Turkey.
posted by bap98189 at 7:54 AM on May 20, 2008

Does anyone, anyone at all, in Europe actually take Eurovision seriously? It's become like a continent wide in-joke.

Actually, last summer, me and a dutch friend were commenting on how funny Eurovision is and how it has become this huge gay camp fest when our colleague from Belarus goes "Gay??? Noooo? Really? That's great! You do know that the Russians take it extremely seriously?" And he was all happy he now had some more ammunition to fire against his hated neighbors (this was the same guy that turned pale, looked around anxiously and almost ran away when we mentioned we had picked the restaurant we were eating on a gay guide).
posted by lucia__is__dada at 8:04 AM on May 20, 2008

I'm so excited -- but I think I have to help a friend move right in the middle of the first semi! Ah, so - friendship is more important than camp. But I will so miss my camp - I've been watching both semi and final ever since I first saw it (which was only 2 years ago, but Lordi was on, and so I was set as a firm fan).

I have to admit that I'm a bit disapointed with Dustin. He should have been a surefire winner (at least to me), but the song just doesn't have the musicality. I love the less serious entries, like Les Fatals Picards (one of my favorites from last year, linked in the previous thread), but they also have a great song to listen to (as well as the funny video). Similarly, Lordi had a really good (and quite melodic for death metal) song in "Hardrock Hallelujah". Dustin's song just isn't that good.
posted by jb at 8:05 AM on May 20, 2008

Ukraine had a great song last year too - pure pop cheese.
posted by jb at 8:10 AM on May 20, 2008

Ha ha. He said semi.
posted by Summer at 8:10 AM on May 20, 2008

Former USSR? People here take it EXTREMELY seriously.

Today at lunch I tried to hint that in Western Europe people don't take it seriously (citing last year's winners as a prime example.) People could not understand this.

This is also widespread belief that oligarchs are paying for wins.
posted by k8t at 8:37 AM on May 20, 2008

Norway = 0 pointes
posted by Nick Verstayne at 9:09 AM on May 20, 2008

k8t - Oligarchs paying for wins happens tomorrow when Abramovitch's Chel$ki play Manchester United.

In Moscow.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 9:12 AM on May 20, 2008

Okay - to stream you need some crazy plugin.
posted by jb at 9:13 AM on May 20, 2008

I'll be watching for Wogan's reaction to the Irish puppet as the song mentions his own Irish*

Oh and he's usual harrumph reaction to the hilarious bloke voting that's now a constant feature since they let all those ex Eastern Block countries in.

Nil points pour Royaume-Uni!

*Irish Jig = Wig
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:25 AM on May 20, 2008

Any accordion players this year?

Eurovision 2008 Ukraine

Actually, this year's entry from Ukraine is hottie Ani Lorak. Looks like she's borrowing the less-clothes-is-more approach of 2004 winner Ruslana, rather than the addictive accordion euro-beats of last year's runner-up, Ukie tranny-granny Vera Serducka.
posted by Kabanos at 10:53 AM on May 20, 2008

Brazil: 12 points.
posted by sour cream at 11:53 AM on May 20, 2008

I'd like to apologize in advance for the emotional damage inflicted by Belgium's excuse for an entry, the horrible Ishtar.

Go Dustin!

Alas, Terry Wogan doesn't seem to be the commentator for the semifinals.
posted by lodev at 12:14 PM on May 20, 2008

lodev, you weren't kidding about the Belgian entry. Just ... puzzling.
posted by needled at 12:29 PM on May 20, 2008

Dustin the Turkey ripped off Bronski Beat.
posted by iviken at 3:07 PM on May 20, 2008

Ireland have failed to make the final.

As a consolation prize, I give you the singing pirates of Latvia.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:48 PM on May 20, 2008

So does anyone know why UK isn't allowed to vote in this semi-final? I would hold this responsible for Dustin not getting though - because for all I'm not that fond of the song (it's a terrible earworm), puppet turkeys should just automatically go to the final. But maybe Dustin lost by more than that - I don't know yet (watching BBC repeat online now - ah, the snark makes the whole experience).
posted by jb at 7:44 PM on May 20, 2008

So does anyone know why UK isn't allowed to vote in this semi-final?

Presumably because we are never in the semi-final. No matter badly we do (Jemini) we get a bye through to the final by being one of the 'big four' countries who are the biggest contributors to the EBU (European Broadcasting Union). Yay for democracy!

I'm gutted Dustin didn't get through.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:44 AM on May 21, 2008

Presumably because we are never in the semi-final

no, they are letting the UK vote on Thursday's semi. My husband was wondering whether it was to break up block voting - the UK hosts mentioned that too, saying how last year no western, Scandinavian or southern European countries could get out of the semis (which basically leaves Eastern and South-Eastern, I guess). Last year Isreal had a seriously good song, and it didn't get anywhere. (I've become a fan of the band, Teapacks aka Tipex, since); neither did Belgium's disco LovePower (though half of the fun of that song is the video).

He did note that the UK and Ireland have at times formed their own block, and I suspect that Ireland would have gotten 12 points (if points had been announced) from the UK. But that probably would still not have been enough - though Dustin's song was growing on me, my husband pointed out that Dustin really can't sing and most of the humour was in recognising a bunch of really fast references (like Terry Wogan's wig) which I think even non-Irish or British Anglos would struggle with, let alone non-Anglophones. Ukraine had a not dissimilar song last year which did very well (second only to the excellent song from Serbia), but that was a) better music (even if still cheesy pop) and b) simpler and more accessible humour.

But part of me did love the turkey (and the costumes!) and I would have sent Dustin through if I were on the panel (which chose one song). Had there been a bunch of actually good songs, maybe not, but so far this year has been pretty dire. I was finding the screaming hard rock (from Finland) to be one of the more musical acts (and I'm no hard rock fan). As for that thing with the angel and the blood - that was just crazy bad, like "Vampires are Alive" from last year, only without much of a tune.
posted by jb at 12:12 PM on May 21, 2008

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