Eurovision Song Contest 2009

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Postby paperboy » Sun May 17, 2009 9:53 am

How on earth did the winning song garner so many votes? Granted the competition was lackluster but for that ditty to win by such a landslide was ridiculous.

By the way - and unusually so, for such a gay-oriented event - not many attractive men on the stage this year


They were probably outside, getting arrested.

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Postby ITALIANO » Sun May 17, 2009 7:56 am

France for sure, but since I am in France these days I couldnt vote for it. The song was very French, even too French - too predictably French I mean - but still good, and Patricia Kaas's performance and voice were a touch of class in an event where class isnt the norm.

There were other good songs, even among those which didnt make the final (one from Slovakia I think). The song from Armenia was quite effective. And the winner itself was pleasant. The only problem was that there was no suspance during the voting phase - that boy after five countries gave their results was already, too clearly, this year's winner.

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Postby HarryGoldfarb » Sun May 17, 2009 7:19 am

Marco, just out of curiousity, what would have been your choice?
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Postby ITALIANO » Sun May 17, 2009 6:12 am

Yes, the song may not be a masterpiece or even the best in this year's contest, but certainly better than most of the recent winners.

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Postby HarryGoldfarb » Sat May 16, 2009 8:33 pm

So, Norway won the contest with a song that reminds me the kind of up-tempo tunes from early/mid seventies, like those sung by Julio Iglesias. The kid did it good compared to a lot of recent winners. Just saw it on youtube. Iceland's song was nice too, kinda corny but nice.
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Postby ITALIANO » Fri May 15, 2009 6:00 pm

The show is certainly impressive - not always in a good way: overproduced, garish, noisy. But it's also a massive technical effort, lavish, expensive - entertainment at its most extreme, especially now that most songs are sorts of mini-shows, complete with dancers, acrobats, fireworks - anything to get that extra vote which could lead to the victory.

As for the songs themselves: while trash was never completely absent, there used to be good, even very good songs in the first, naive decades, and to be honest even today one can occasionally hear an interesting piece of pop, especially in the rare case when a country sends a song which is true to its cultural roots. It won't win, of course, and that's why most seem to choose catchy, unoriginal tunes. I don't know which was the last winning song to become a true international hit, maybe Dana International's Viva La Diva, from Israel, and that happened more or less ten years ago. Beautiful - and not always talented - singers seem to attract most of the attention (and often most of the votes); it doesnt happen often these days that a truly important, experienced singer accepts to represent his or her country - Patricia Kaas this year is really an exception.

One can take it as pure fun - and I admit that one shouldn't probably make this music contest more culturally important than it really is. And so the trash, the gay factor, the sometimes really grotesque look of some of the performers, the unavoidable surprises and mistakes during the live performances - it's all part of the game, and once a year it can be a watchable, even amusing game. But then of course such a popular, international event can't be too easily dismissed. It mirrors, especially in the final phase, when the votes from each country are revealed in a by now legendary ritual, the tensions, the moods, the alliances that exist in, and between, European societies. And how they change through the years.




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Postby Cinemanolis » Fri May 15, 2009 11:31 am

This year since there are also juries involved, there is even more drama. Scandals break out, jury members resign because they have personal relationships with the singers of the other participating countries and so on... hilarious. And the drama is surely one of the main reasons that it is appealling. The singers have only 3 minutes to give their 'best', and since it's a live show a lot of things can happen. This year for example the singer of Norway, who seem to be the heavy favorite among bookies, accidentally broke the string of the violin he was supposed to be playing live.

However I do believe that it brings european countries closer. You learn a few things about the other countries even if it's only about geography or flags.

As for the Greek entry this year, Sakis is not very young (he is 37), but he did a good job with the choreography. The song again is mediocre. I do believe he will go well in the final, but i don't think he will win. Maybe he has better luck in his film career (i doubt it). His second film, "Duress" (directed by Jordan Barker, and starring Martin Donovan) is coming out in a couple of months.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Fri May 15, 2009 10:16 am

When I was living in the Netherlands four years ago, I watched a broadcast. Everyone should see it at least once. Talk about "Let's put on a show!" Absolutely, it's tacky, it's kitchy, etc. But, speaking as a bystander who had never heard of the contest until two days before the airing, it's very entertaining and a fascinating cultural experience. I couldn't help but be drawn into it. I mean, it is a huge contest and that always has its inherent drama, and it's a battle between nations so that must mean the European Song Contest is a weighty matter, right?

I remember how basic the songs were but how huge they tried to make them - in their orchestratin, in their stage presentation, those costumes, oy! Other things I recall include; the BBC announcer giving the play-by-play with equal amounts of professionalism and contempt; the inflated scores that judges from former Soviet republics gave to other former Soviet republics; and - I have to admit it - to this day I can remember the winning song three years after I heard it. Greece won that year, and the thing is going on in my head right now and that's because it was rhythmically very striking. A good thing because it wasn't much of a tune.

Had we settled down in Europe as originally planned, I don't think I'd have committed myself to watching it every year. But I'm sure I'd check it out every three or four years.

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Postby Uri » Fri May 15, 2009 7:20 am

(Speaking over Cinemanolis and Marco's heads to our American friends): This is really an unwatchable spectacle. It's way beyond whatever you might think is the worse epitome of tackiness. As a kid I was an avid follower, so each year I'm trying to watch it, but after a couple of songs I quit devastated.

Saying that, I must admit that yesterday opening act, having all those past favorites played by a band of Balalaikas, was so surreal it was great fun.

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Postby ITALIANO » Fri May 15, 2009 6:58 am

Uri wrote:Boaz Mauda, that twink you raved about last year,

Well, who wouldn't? Young, dark, handsome... I'm not blind!

By the way - and unusually so, for such a gay-oriented event - not many attractive men on the stage this year, except maybe Cinemanolis' compatriot, and even he maybe a bit too old for the "choreography" he had to do.

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Postby Uri » Fri May 15, 2009 6:06 am

ITALIANO wrote:[Also honestly I don't think I ever mistook her for Ofrah Haza - it may have been a slip of the tongue, but of course the two are completely different.

Both of them are/were of Yemenite origin, I'll give you this. And since the three times Israel won it was by Yemenite singers, we keep sending them, hoping for more glory. Boaz Mauda, that twink you raved about last year, was another one.

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Postby ITALIANO » Fri May 15, 2009 4:02 am

Uri wrote:And she'd made such an impression on you that when Ofrah Haza died, you thought it was her. Achinoam Nini (or Noa as she's known abroad, for obvious reasons) is not an untalented singer, but she's such an annoying politically correct leftist cliché (the way her song perfectly suggests) – which makes perfect sense since she was raised in New Jersey - there's no wonder she became the darling of Europeans with good intentions, including the Pope (just the company you like to keep, Marco).

:D I knew. Well, your cousin likes Noa too, and she's not a "European with good intentions" I think.

Also honestly I don't think I ever mistook her for Ofrah Haza - it may have been a slip of the tongue, but of course the two are completely different.

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Postby Uri » Fri May 15, 2009 1:30 am

ITALIANO wrote:and the sentimental in me (Uri won't speak to me for a while after this) found Israel's song - with its text in Hebrew, Arabic and English sung by two women, one a famous Israeli whom I once met and interviewed, and the other, I guess, Palestinian - rather effective.

And she'd made such an impression on you that when Ofrah Haza died, you thought it was her. Achinoam Nini (or Noa as she's known abroad, for obvious reasons) is not an untalented singer, but she's such an annoying politically correct leftist cliché (the way her song perfectly suggests) – which makes perfect sense since she was raised in New Jersey - there's no wonder she became the darling of Europeans with good intentions, including the Pope (just the company you like to keep, Marco).

Her co singer, Mira Awad (?), is indeed a Palestinian, or actually half one, since her mother is Bulgarian, hence her rather, ahm, lighter coloring and her, shell we say, less ethnically distinctive features. This is the way we like our Arabs here. Her first big break came when she was cast in My Fair Lady (get it? – an Arab Eliza being presented into proper society, whose members are played by Jews). Anyway, at least she comes of more sincere in all those joint interviews she was giving with Nini recently.




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Postby ITALIANO » Thu May 14, 2009 5:56 pm

I'd say that Norway has strong chances of winning or of getting very close to winning.

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Postby Cinemanolis » Thu May 14, 2009 7:43 am

Okri wrote:I know where those three countries are. Don't know much about the contest itself, though.

Well, you asked for it.

Here you can see the videoclips of all the entries of 2009 and learn a few things about the contest
http://www.eurovision.tv/page/home

and here some songs from previous contest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuCIWgJ_qy0

P.S. If you are alergic to 'kitch', stay away. However in past years artists such as Abba, Celine Dion, Julio Iglesias, Cliff Richards, Olivia Newton John, Nana Mouskouri have participated in the contest.




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