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Source: (consider it) Thread: Eurovision 2017
Gill H

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# 68

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Who's ready for the first of this week's three visits to Kiev?

As usual, we can expect lots of earnest ballads sung by women in big dresses, but some wacky delights await too. Men with long ponytails, dancing gorillas - it's all here. Pass the Ukranian vodka!

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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Side issues such as talent seem to have been ignored with unusual thoroughness.

Portugal's entry is the only exception I have detected so far, though his habit did seem to be an impediment.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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Australia's entry is young singer-songwriter Isaiah Firebrace (Yes that is his real name). He won the X factor over here...keep an eye out for him.

He's from a little outback town in Victoria - so being propelled onto the global stage is the biggest thing he may ever do in his life. I actually feel rather sorry when this happens to budding artists, so I hope the powers that be behind the scenes are looking after him. He has a genuinely lovely voice.

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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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And despite stuffing up a high note, and a rather awkward stage walking performance, he is through to the grand final

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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simontoad
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# 18096

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Do you know whether he is related to the political activist Sharon Firebrace? It's an unusual surname, but my perfunctory internet searches reveal nothing. Don't they usually rabbit on about family and struggles on these shows? All they seem to say is that he's from Moama. Is that struggle enough?

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Banner Lady
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No idea - I have not heard of Sharon Firebrace. I vaguely remember the profile of Isaiah on X factor saying that he was one of 10 kids and often helped support his family through his music. This was in his local rag a week ago, and the Daily Mail had a quote from him saying the song It Don't Come Easy stemmed from his often being the only one bringing money into his household.

Fun fact: Moama means "Place of the dead" in the local aboriginal language. Doubt he will win Eurovision, but hopefully it won't kill his career. Probably the younger you are, the better, when it comes to putting Eurovision on your CV.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 6971 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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Bye bye ponytail man, and Iceland, who I always have a soft spot for despite the talent or lack thereof.

Portugal for me. Love his expressions and movements.

Italy had me toe tapping.

[ 11. May 2017, 07:47: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

Posts: 7072 | From: Albury, Australia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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My favourites from semifinal 1 were Moldova, Portugal and Azerbaijan.

Montenegro clearly overestimated the voting power of the "kitsch gay men with absolutely no musical taste whatsoever" demographic, despite that traditionally being a strong component of Eurovision fandom.

Cannot understand from the snippet why Italy is a favourite.

[ 11. May 2017, 14:32: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Gill H

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# 68

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My review of semi-final 1:


So here we are at the annual festival of Euro-madness once again, trusting in the talents of Mel Giedroyc and Scott Mills to guide us. First, let’s take a moment to admire the set, which this year features a necklace of traditional Ukranian beads. All very nice, but I suspect Pandora jewellery’s copyright lawyers are on the phone right now.

Anyhow, we are welcomed to Kyiv (as it’s apparently spelled these days) with a quick video showing traditional clothing in the Ukraine. Seriously. I mean, I know we’re on BBC4 now, and we’ve just had a programme about wood carvers in Uzbekistan, but let’s not pretend we’re here for a history lesson.

Mel and Scott remind us that the last Ukranian winner was the athletic Ruslana with her song ‘Wild Dances’ – a lively number featuring leather, whips and as little clothing as health and safety laws allowed. Alas, tonight’s opening is a lot less fun – a chap called Monatik who is apparently a big noise in R&B locally. His song ‘Spinning’ notably features the line ‘My endorphins are here’. So that’s all right then.

Then we meet the three men who are hosting the festivities. Yes, three men. Evidently the ‘celebrate diversity’ tag has got a bit confused somewhere. Unless one of them is going to do the best costume change ever later on. They introduce themselves with the usual unfunny joking around, and comment that “Boy, have we got some semis for you.” Indeed. They go on to explain that ‘diversity’ means lots of different countries being brought together for music and friendship. Let’s not mention that Russia isn’t here, having managed to break the rules so they couldn’t attend. Deliberate? I couldn’t possibly comment.

The UK can vote in tonight’s contest, which adds an extra level of frisson to the proceedings. And so it’s time to pass the vodka and start the music. As usual, I’ll mainly comment here on the countries which didn’t get through - sorry for the spoilers…

Sweden: they got through, unsurprisingly.

Georgia: a girl in a red dress whose décolletage only just meets the minimum requirements, singing in front of a disturbing red blob. The song is from the ‘Skyfall’ school of Bond themes, and features not one but two unnecessary key changes.

Australia: (keep up at the back, they gatecrashed a couple of years back saying they were only here to do the interval act, and managed to wangle themselves a permanent spot). Again, they qualified for the final.

Albania: she’s wearing a white dress with silver sequins, a floral ruff and a veil. The first of several excursions into the bridal wear department this evening. The song is another belty ballad featuring some very strained high notes. Maybe we should rename it the Emovision Song Contest this year.

Belgium: they qualified, heaven knows why.

Montenegro: such a shame that the wider audience won’t get to see the wonder that is Slavko. Think of a cross between Peter Andre and Rylan, in a sheer mesh top and sparkly trousers, initially hidden by a blue sarong. But his real selling point is his metre-long hair braid. This guy really can whip his hair back and forth, spinning it wildly in an attempt to distract us from lyrics which sound like they’ve been put through Google Translate at least twice. Seriously, look him up on YouTube. But maybe turn the sound off first.

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Gill H

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# 68

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Oh hello, the boys are back, it must be a local ad break. We’re treated to a rather dull comedy sketch featuring a Eurovision support group. Then it’s back to…

Finland: I’m genuinely disappointed this didn’t get through. In a sea of overwrought, anguished ballads, ‘Blackbird’ stands out as a straightforward folk-tinged song with shades of Annie Lennox. The moody backing doesn’t overwhelm the heartfelt vocals. Rather lovely, even if their piano appears to be going up in smoke.

Azerbaijan: they qualified. Sheer lunacy on stage.

Portugal: also qualified. A definite favourite of mine.

Greece: they qualified (thanks, Cyprus).

Poland: they qualified (thanks, West London…)

Moldova: they qualified (thanks, sax players)

Iceland: another woman who should have said no to the dress. The flesh coloured camisole makes her look like she’s having an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. The song ‘Paper’ features dodgy lyrics and even dodgier metaphors.

More filler from the hosts. Their shouts of ‘Are you enjoying the show?’ is met with a half-hearted ‘Mehhhh’ from the crowd. Then we have a quick glimpse of Mel and Scott chatting with the UK’s entry, Lucie Jones, and the writer of the song, former winner Emelie de Forest. Then we’re back with…

Czech Republic: back to the 70s with a song so gentle it’s practically soporific. She’s wearing a shiny jumpsuit and her backing video features lots of people in beige underwear. A lot less fun than it sounds.

Cyprus: they qualified (thanks, Greece)

Armenia: they qualified (thanks, ethnic armography lovers)

Slovenia: a hint of Robbie Williams about this guy. The song sounds like the end credit song from just about any film you care to mention. Eventually we figure out the song it reminds us of – Kate Winslet’s ‘What If’ from the animated version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and start singing it enthusiastically. It fits perfectly and manages to block out the song we’re currently hearing.

Latvia: a demented Katy Perry lookalike with an outfit covered in strips of Sellotape. They sing about drawing the line, backed by a montage of weird animated drawings and a creepy hedge monster. The drummer stands up half way through but isn’t allowed to leave the stage.

And that brings tonight’s songs to an end. There’s a quick reminder of the entries with the voting numbers, while the acts wave enthusiastically from the green room. Someone please tell Georgia that the peace sign has the fingers the other way round…

While we vote, we are treated to another performance of last year’s winning entry, Jamala with her song ‘1944’. It’s about fleeing wartime persecution and is all very heartfelt, but I can’t help thinking people voted for the sentiment rather than the actual song.

After another rundown, the tone is lightened somewhat by a sketch featuring Ukraine’s favourite drag queen, Verka Seduchka. You may remember Verka’s demented little number from years back, when she performed in a silver suit with a big star on top. She still has the suit, and it features heavily in the montage that follows. Basically it takes us through Verka’s history of watching Eurovision winners, culminating in a determined walk up a hill with her more traditionally dressed sidekick – the Madge to her Dame Edna, if you will. I suspect we will see more of Verka and that’s not a bad thing.

Oh, Jamala’s back again, this time in a Native American outfit singing her new single, which features howling wolves and animated monsters. It’s a bit lost on us.

Yada yada, more filler, then a quick preview of three of the Big Five who automatically qualify for the final. This time we get Spain, Italy (the bookies’ favourite) and the UK.

After ‘Mr Eurovision’ Jon Ola Sand confirms that everything is in order, the qualifiers are announced as:

Moldova
Azerbaijan
Greece
Sweden
Portugal
Poland
Armenia
Australia
Cyprus
Belgium

And with that we call it a night. See you Thursday!

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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Are we posting live on Saturday?

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Alex Cockell

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# 7487

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2nd semis on now
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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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My evening is being divided approximately equally between Eurovision and the organ concert on Radio 3, so it's even more surreal than the Eurovision experience on its own would dictate.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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My favourites musically from semifinal 2 were Bulgaria and Austria, which both got through.

As did Israel, which was passable musically but, ahem, sexy as hell visually.

I'm rather disappointed though for Serbia, and to some extent Malta, as I thought both of us were good enough for the final but were beaten out by IMHO lesser performances. For Serbia it was particularly tough as performing 1st is never a good spot.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Also, the hosting is NOWHERE near last year's standard. But then last year's was the best I've ever seen. We're back to the standard lame jokes poorly delivered.

[ 12. May 2017, 01:49: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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I need to try and catch-up with the SFs...last year I woke up in time for them, this time I've been [Snore] ...

quote:
Originally posted by Gill H:
After ‘Mr Eurovision’ Jon Ola Sand confirms that everything is in order

Is he still looking like a stunned mullet everytime he gets asked? As someone said last year, he's been doing it for years -- you'd think he had the script down pat!

quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Also, the hosting is NOWHERE near last year's standard. But then last year's was the best I've ever seen. We're back to the standard lame jokes poorly delivered.

That's disappointing. But. yes, Sweden are bloody good at hosting it. And last year Petra and Måns were amazing -- I still play that 2016 interval song Love Love Peace Peace on YouTube sometimes to cheer me up; and Lynda Woodruff, Official EBU Spokesperson, continues to make me laugh.

[ 12. May 2017, 08:09: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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I don't bother with the semis. I wait until they've whittled out the merely appalling and we're left with the real dross to laugh at on the big night.

Not heard a song on Eurovision I'd give airtime to since Lordi.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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rolyn
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# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

Not heard a song on Eurovision I'd give airtime to since Lordi.

Waterloo for me

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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I got Bulgaria in the work sweepstake, so I'm in with a chance.

In other news we are dining on pizza on the night, followed by other European cheeses and biscuits. Yet again our food will be as cheesy as the music.

Let the cheesiness begin.

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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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I have just worked out why the set disturbs me so much....it looks like a car sales showroom with the revolving turntables and that archway of yellow flouro donuts that flash on and off.

Is Bridgestone sponsoring this whole thing? Are we supposed to look at the finalists as different makes of cars in a Grand Prix?
Does this make the Oz entry into the rustic Holden out on the wrong track? And what does it say about the other finalists?

Francesco would be the Ferrari, I guess!

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 6971 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by Banner Lady:
Francesco would be the Ferrari, I guess!

Hopefully not the Fiat.

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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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And so we have TWO Australians in the GF. Anja from Denmark grew up outside Sydney and has joint Oz/Danish citizenship. She too was a national talent show finalist over here.

I rather liked Romania's oddball yodelling fusion, and Norway's masked offering. How Hungary got through I will never know - even the gypsy dancer fell on the floor and appeared horrified by the lyrics coming from the singer's mouth during that performance.

But the winner for me was clearly the light sabre mic stand.
Schmic mic is obviously the next big thing.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Gill H

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# 68

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Eurovision Semi-Final 2 review:

So here we are again, with Mel and Scott giving us a quick recap of Tuesday in case we’ve managed to blot some of it out. And our three male hosts are back too – but what’s this? Two of the three are dressed in improbable suits with flowers growing all over them. The chap in the green suit looks like he’s in the process of turning into a triffid. By contrast the third guy evidently didn’t get the memo and is wearing sensible black. He’s banished off to the green room while the Floral Brothers regale us with some Eurovision classics on the accordion and penny-whistle, accompanied by traditional dancing. It’s actually a lot better than it sounds, and a great improvement on Tuesday’s dull rapper. And before long we’re kicking off the proceedings with …

Serbia: a woman in seethrough skirts and topless dancing man who rolls around the floor. The song is, as usual, a belty ballad, and instantly forgettable.

Austria: they qualified, so I’ll save my comments for Saturday

FYR Macedonia: She’s in black thigh boots, sparkly shorts and a top with sequinned fringes, belting out ‘I Dance Alone’. Not dressed like that you won’t, love. Anyway, it’s technically incorrect as apparently she’s expecting. Shame all her TVs are malfunctioning.

Malta: a classy lady in a long white dress, doing what Malta does best – simple, straightforward ballads with a touch of Celine Dion.

Romania: they qualified and believe me, you need to see this.

Netherlands: they also qualified, which we’re rather pleased about.

Time for some filler from the two lads, who have ditched the floral suits for 1970s blue ones. And soon Mel and Scott treat us to part one of tonight’s spoof Scandi-noir drama “The Force”. This was great fun last year, when it had a reason for existing as we were actually, um, in Sweden. This year they’ve decided to stick with the format, probably because Ukrainian crime dramas aren’t really an international phenomenon. So we have some nonsense about the Eurovision trophy being stolen, with a confused-looking Jon Ola Sand being roped in to play a part. It’s actually quite funny for a change. Then it’s back to …

Hungary: got through thanks to ethnic folk lovers.

Denmark: got through despite being Australian.

Ireland: he’s a boy band graduate whose eyebrows are even bigger than Australia’s entry. For some reason he’s performing in a balloon. Unfortunately his reedy, wavery voice and horrible top notes ensure Ireland go home for an early bath.

San Marino: Back to the 70s with a jolly little disco number which wanders through more keys than you’d think physically possible.

Croatia: got through, thankfully, as the wider viewing public needs to see this.

Norway: got through thanks to hat lovers.

Switzerland: she’s in a bright yellow dress with feathers and a ridiculously long train. So long, in fact, that she needs to stand on a podium to sing. Give her a cage and she’d look like Tweety Pie. The song is another anonymous mid tempo number which is outshone by the dress.

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Gill H

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# 68

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The boys in blue are back – fittingly, leading into “The Force” part 2. Then back with …

Belarus: they qualified due to the folky vote.

Bulgaria: qualified despite being up past his bedtime.

Lithuania: she’s dressed in red with a crazy topknot hairstyle. She looks like a cross between Lisa Stansfield and Mrs Meers from ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’. The song sounds like someone wanted to play ‘Superstition’ but put the sheet music upside down.

Estonia: a glamorous duo sing about being lost in Verona. Should have brought a map. She’s in white feathers and he’s in yet another shiny black suit. No idea what they are singing.

Israel: they qualified, much to our surprise.

Overall, a bit less fun than Tuesday’s offerings, though we do like the Netherlands and Croatia. Since we can’t vote tonight, we settle back and watch another sketch featuring drag queen Verka Serduchka and her mum as they chart her path to Eurovision fame . Somehow I’m guessing we’ll have a live performance from Verka on Saturday. And indeed, after a dull sketch where Mel and Scott dress as bellhops to natter with some of the Eurovision acts, we’re treated to “The Force” part 3, where the culprit is revealed as – surprise! Verka Serduchka’s mum, who is carried off unceremoniously. Dame Edna never had to deal with this kind of thing.

Then we’re treated to a messy and confusing dance number from a group called the ‘Apache Crew’ who are attempting to bring a bit of class to the proceedings. Too late, my dears, too late.

Next there’s some awkward green room chatter and a quick preview of the songs from France, Germany and finally Ukraine, who will be performing with a scary giant head for some reason.

At last the legendary Jon Ola Sand confirms that everything has gone smoothly and we’re ready for the results. Qualifying for the final are:

Bulgaria
Belarus
Croatia
Hungary
Denmark
Israel
Romania
Norway
Netherlands
Austria

And with that we collapse gratefully into bed to gather strength for Saturday’s final. See you then!

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Hugal
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# 2734

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Yes The Netherlands entry was great. I have had a soft spot for 'Yodel It' since I watched the video on the Eurovision website. They are not at good live though.

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Alex Cockell

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ESC2017 now on air
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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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And the lunacy of the final begins.

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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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Israel's entry will be played repeatedly in gay clubs across Europe and beyond, accompanied by an anatomically correct doll of the singer.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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Is this a failed Bond theme I hear from Poland?

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Posts: 8535 | From: Proxima b | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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The Austrian can sing, but that may not be enough. Not much to remember apart from his soaring high notes.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

Posts: 1932 | From: Norwich | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged
balaam

Making an ass of myself
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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
The Austrian can sing, but that may not be enough. Not much to remember apart from his soaring high notes.

I liked it, a pleasant enough song.

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Posts: 8535 | From: Proxima b | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Alex Cockell

Ship’s penguin
# 7487

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Dutch one was basically Wilson Pickett...
Posts: 2105 | From: Reading, Berkshire UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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Moldova are cheery.
Posts: 17212 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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Hungary otoh sounds as if he was abandoned on a steppe.
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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
Moldova are cheery.

And can play saxophone without moving his fingers. There's not many can do that.

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Fearfully and wonderfully mad

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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#HUN. The violinist has good stage preaence. Shame the singer has had a charimectomy.

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tessaB
Shipmate
# 8533

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I like the ones not in English. Unfortunately when you can understand the words, somehow the whole song suffers [Snore]

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
Holiday cottage near Rye

Posts: 1066 | From: U.K. | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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That was a sad song from the Portuguese version of a 1960s Disney movie.

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Fearfully and wonderfully mad

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Posts: 8535 | From: Proxima b | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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Portugal has just opened with shots of the trams going up the perpendicular streets of the Alfama. I'm sold.
Posts: 17212 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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Azerbaijan have a horse-headed man on a stepladder and Dracula's girlfriend. I can't remember the song.

[ 13. May 2017, 20:03: Message edited by: Firenze ]

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tessaB
Shipmate
# 8533

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Croatia!!! Is he mad or brilliant? A rather good operatic voice on the one hand, unfortunately the other hand is a very camp, very cheesy American.

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
Holiday cottage near Rye

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Clint Boggis
Shipmate
# 633

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Like the love-child of Pavarotti & Liberaci?

[ 13. May 2017, 20:07: Message edited by: Clint Boggis ]

Posts: 1496 | From: south coast | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
tessaB
Shipmate
# 8533

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Whatever, it is pure Eurovision!

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
Holiday cottage near Rye

Posts: 1066 | From: U.K. | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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I was in Croatia last week. All the billboards featured tours by The Prodigy and a guy used to be in Spandau Ballet. No mensc of this national treasure.
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ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
I was in Croatia last week. All the billboards featured tours by The Prodigy and a guy used to be in Spandau Ballet. No mensc of this national treasure.

He'd been kept deep in the bowels of somewhere remote, polishing his lunacy before being beamed eastwards...

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

Posts: 1932 | From: Norwich | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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quote:
Originally posted by ThunderBunk:
quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
I was in Croatia last week. All the billboards featured tours by The Prodigy and a guy used to be in Spandau Ballet. No mensc of this national treasure.

He'd been kept deep in the bowels of somewhere remote, polishing his lunacy before being beamed eastwards...
True. Limestone karst. Caves you could lose a cathedral in.
Posts: 17212 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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It's good to see Norway being open about mental health issues.
Posts: 17212 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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Here goes nothing.

In a gold wedding dress. Just to ring the changes.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

Posts: 1932 | From: Norwich | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged
tessaB
Shipmate
# 8533

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Ooh, the UK's on!

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
Holiday cottage near Rye

Posts: 1066 | From: U.K. | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
tessaB
Shipmate
# 8533

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Hmmm, lovely voice, great staging, but is it a bit samey?

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tessaB
eating chocolate to the glory of God
Holiday cottage near Rye

Posts: 1066 | From: U.K. | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged



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