|World of Chig|
Eurovision with attitude - part 4
And finally, part 4 went online at lunchtime today, with some stats from the final, some thoughts on Azerbaijan and the UK viewing figures, revealed yesterday. The bare bones of part 4 were written on my laptop, in my car, while I was underneath the English Channel. A curious fact that I thought worth pointing out, as it probably won't happen again.
Please do leave any comments on here if you get chance to read this, or any of my other three reports (links below). I've managed one more report for attitude than I did last year, which makes me a little more satisfied with the whole trip.
Part 1 - Eurovision controversy after technical failures
Part 2 - It's Jedward's big night!
Part 3 - Jedward, Blue and the Romanian Brit face Eurovision final
Part 4 - Eurovision goes to Azerbaijan
Labels: attitude, Azerbaijan, Blue, Eurovision 2011, Jedward, results
Eurovision with attitude - part 3
My third piece for attitude was written on Friday afternoon, after I saw the first rehearsal for the Eurovision final. It didn't actually go online until during the final itself (and the voting at that), for reasons beyond my control. It is here. Please do let me know if you read it, as the attitude website doesn't get many comments, so I'm not getting much feedback. I'd appreciate it, whether the feedback is positive or negative or in between.
Labels: attitude, Blue, Eurovision 2011, Jedward
Eurovision final - pointless predictions
Before I came out to Düsseldorf, I was jokingly saying to anyone who asked that I had narrowed down the possible winners to nine countries. It was just a figure plucked out of the air, nothing scientific. I hadn't actually counted. On a positive note, none of the songs I thought could win were amongst the eighteen who have been sent home from the two semi-finals. The rubbish has been cleared out very well this year.
So, yesterday, I did actually count the contenders amongst the 25 finalists, and it would seem I have now narrowed down the possible winners... to eleven! Oh dear.
Really, this year is very difficult to predict those countries at the top, unless the bookies have been right all along and it really is France. I won't complain if we're in Paris next year. In fact, I would love it, but we'll probably never hear the song again after tonight's reprise and it won't be a pan-European hit single.
And there's the rub. According to several people (but I haven't seen it in print - shoddy journalism, I know), the EBU's instructions to the juries say that they should be thinking about the potential to produce a hit song from the contest. I am confident that Ireland's Jedward are going to do well in televotes all over the place, but if this is what the juries have to do, I think it will swing enough jury votes in their favour as well. They also have to look out for presentation and choreography; more points in Jedward's favour. So, I think Ireland are going to win. And who would have thought that, even two months ago? Louis Walsh is here to see it, bless him, as he was on Thursday. He's been the manager of Irish Eurovision winners before, with Linda Martin and Johnny Logan, so if he does it again as Jedward's manager, there really must be something magical about the man.
So, my rough guess for the top of the leaderboard is something like this, but really, you may as well throw the country names up in the air and see how they land. I have no idea.
Unfortunately, the presentation of Blue's song, with their unsuitable suits and the green lighting, makes me think we might not be top ten, but we won't be bottom either. It's 14 years since a UK win, it's the 14th today and Blue sing in position 14. Make of that what you will.
There's one major new innovation this year, which should add some drama to the voting. The order in which countries give their votes has only been determined TODAY by the EBU. It has been published, with Moldova, Belgium and Latvia ending the voting. (The UK votes 13th. Shame it's not 14th, eh?) They have manipulated the vote announcements in order to maximise tension, which is a great idea. It's based on an algorithm worked out by an academic. (No time now for proper research on this!) It takes into account the jury votes, which the EBU already knows, as they voted on last night's rehearsal, mixed in with predictions of the televote, based on each country's televoting history. The order would seem to imply that Russia or the UK will be up there near the end, which is intriguing and obviously runs contrary to my predictions. We shall see.
I'll be watching on the screens in the media sports hall, along with lots of friends. You may think it's strange to come all this way and not go into the arena, but it's too expensive. We have touted around for tickets, and there are some going, but they're up in the gods and it's just not worth it. I saw the show in the arena yesterday in the first rehearsal, so that's good enough for me. I won't see the interval act live though, and we were cleared out of the hall yesterday so that we couldn't see some other surprise that's planned, so I don't know what it is and I look forward to it.
What I was planning to do, as I did very enjoyably in Kyiv and Beograd, was to watch the final outside, or in a bar in the city centre. There are many options available in the Altstadt and City Zentrum, but it's too far away. In 2005, we could easily run back from Independence Square in Kyiv, and I made it to Helena Paparizou's winner's conference before she did, but here, with the distance involved to the city centre and the parking jobsworths here at the arena, who would make me park a zillion miles away on my return, it's physically impossible, which is a real shame. In addition, the closing party seems so limited in size that no one has even mentioned us getting tickets, never mind being given one. So, as we were excluded from the opening party as well, my tenth Eurovision will be the first where I've missed the opening and closing parties. I'll be celebrating with a soft drink in the car as I drive back to the campsite at 2am. Don't feel sorry for me; it really is great to be here and I realise how privileged we are. It's been a lot of fun, but very tiring and very stressful at times.
Enjoy the show, and I wish Jedward and Blue the very best of luck.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, predictions
I'm in a podcast!
The lovely people at ESC Insight have foolishly allowed me onto their panel to discuss the songs in tonight's Eurovision final. So, if you want to hear moi, Keith Mills from All Kinds Of Everything and John Kennedy O'Connor, who wrote 'that Eurovision history book', click here. You can either listen to the podcast online or download it as an mp3 and listen to it at your leisure.
It's 54 minutes long, so you'll probably have more fun listening to it tomorrow, when you can laugh your socks off at how ridiculously wrong our predictions were.
Labels: ESC Insight, Eurovision 2011, podcast
Eurovision with attitude - part 2
My second report on the attitude website went up two days ago (Thursday) as a preview of semi-final two and Jedward. It's here.
Please feel free to leave comments, either here or on the attitude website.
Labels: attitude, Eurovision 2011, Jedward
Blue turned up the UK and Irish fans' party last night, which was very good of them. I trouped in immediately after them, as the fifth member, and pretended the cheering was for me. Lee drank a pint of Guinness in about 15 seconds (above), while Duncan said what I was thinking and wondered how that might affect Lee's voice for Saturday. (We so depend on Lee's high notes in 'I Can', it's frightening.)
On the way in, Duncan very graciously apologised to me for the drunken conversation we'd had the night before. He said he'd been very drunk indeed.
Which was very nice of him, especially as we hadn't met the night before. We hadn't even been in the same venue. (I did tell him.)
Still, you can never have too much apologising from celebrities, I feel. And at least if proves that Mr James is a very polite young man, with a conscience. We like.
Labels: Blue, Eurovision 2011, UK
Eurovision with attitude
What we didn't know, while we were happily watching the first Eurovision semi-final on Tuesday, was that there was 'pandemonium' in the commentators' area, because the feed from the arena back to the national broadcasters failed in many places. A sound desk failed in some way. This affected many countries, including Germany themselves, Ireland and Finland. These countries had no commentary for several songs. Many countries' commentators resorted to using their mobiles to phone in their commentary. My friend Juha said that watching German TV was like going back to the 1950s, with the phoned-in commentary. Scott Mills was less affected, because he was doing the BBC three commentary from London, which turned out to be a good move after all. Israel never have a commentator, so no one will have noticed anything untoward there.
I've heard that some commentators have gone back to their own countries for tonight's semi-final, to commentate from studios at home. They don't trust that it won't happen again.
Vorsprung Durch Technik.
As they've probably stopped saying now in Germany.
I covered it in my first article for attitude yesterday, which is available here.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, semi-finals
Our semi-final table - Nina, Ken & Ronny
Labels: Eurovision 2011, semi-finals, Sweden
Serbia - good.
Lithuania - shocked faces in here, but I did say she was good!
Greece - of course, as predicted.
Azerbaijan - predictable.
Georgia - yes! Shocked faces in here again.
Switzerland - credit where it's due, excellent!
Hungary - The Gays voted
Finland - of course
So now I'm thinking it's Russia and Turkey
So Iceland must have missed out, as the last one must be Turkey or Armenia...
10. Iceland! I screamed!
So, we've lost Turkey, Armenia and Albania, who all usually qualify! Wow! It looks like the 50% jury votes are really working, and it's not just the usual suspects getting through, but the good songs. Well done to Switzerland and Lithuania.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, results, semi-finals
In German, we call it...."drumline". In English, we call it... a bit boring. Put the kettle on.
Hier bin ich.
That's me, right now. Note healthy apple. We keep being given them by people whose sole job is to give out apples.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, semi-finals
What IS this song? I keep hearing it on the radio in the car.
Labels: Eurovision 2011
Time for a photo of Blue
Here they are, the UK's hopefuls. What the one in the red is hopeful about is anyone's guess...
Labels: Blue, Chig, Eurovision 2011, United Kingdom
Phew! All nineteen songs successfully blogged, as they happened . Feel free to add your own abusive comments in the appropriate places below. I might have changed my mind about a couple of my qualifiers now. Hmmm. Thinking hat on...
Labels: Eurovision 2011
19 Greece - Watch My Dance - Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike
In many eyes (and ears), Greece's worst entry for years. (Didn't I say that about Russia and Turkey as well?) Loukas is probably the best looking man in tonight's contest as well. The mix of rap and epic Greek wailing is peculiar, but I quite like the weirdness.
Qualifying? Yes, it's Greece, but it won't be as high as they usually are.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Greece
18 Azerbaijan - Running Scared - Ell & Nikki
From the box marked 'Strongly Fancied', here's Sweden's entry, labelled as Azeri. A Swedish song, with Swedish choreography and Swedish backing singers. It's nice, but when did nice ever win?
Qualifying? A dead cert.
Labels: Azerbaijan, Eurovision 2011
17 Lithuania - C'est Ma Vie - Evelina Sašenko
I've just been spooked by google ads. They're offering me properties in Portugal already, just because I wrote the word 'Portugal' below.
Now, Lithuania. Every year, there's a song that passes me by. I don't play it and I miss both rehearsals. This is that song, this year.
Actually, it's quite beautiful, in an old-fashioned, epic kinda way. I just announced to the table that this is actually quite good. "It's like worms crawling inside my skin," says Nina. Oh well.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Lithuania
16 Portugal - A luta é alegria - Homens da Luta
I don't really know where to start. They're great fun in conferences, but how is a comedy song in Portuguese going to attract votes?
Qualifying? No, but it IS catchy, so...
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Portugal
15 Hungary - What About My Dreams? - Kati Wolf
Big with the gays. Sadly, it doesn't look like it sounds in a club. May scrape through with the pink vote, but it really isn't presented very well.
Qualifying? Yes, just about.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Hungary
Green Room break
Don't those pink rooms look amazing? Much whooping on our table as a doll that the guy opposite me made for Stella Mwangi has just appeared on the telly!
14 Iceland - Coming Home - Sjonni's Friends
I thought this was another potential winner of the whole shebang, in an Olsen Brothers way, but now I'm not sure it's lively enough. If the story of this song is being relayed by commentators across Europe though, it'll do well. I was almost in tears when I heard this the other day. (The guy who was supposed to perform it died earlier this year, just before the Icelandic final. He was about 36 and died of a heart attack. His widow rewrote the lyric and his friends are performing it. She's here in Düsseldorf. It must be very hard for her.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Iceland
13 Croatia - Celebrate - Daria
She is, as Wogan would have said, a handsome woman. Why Gerry Sadowitz is DJ-ing for her is anybody's guess. I can vouch that she has a belter of a voice, as I've seen her do two shows in the last few days. The magic act just distracts from a half decent party song though. Shame they changed the title from 'Break A Leg'. It would have confused a lot of people.
Qualifying? Depends on The Gays. But probably not.
Labels: Croatia, Eurovision 2011
12 San Marino - Stand By - Senit
Welcome back, San Marino. Couldn't really keep away once Italy returned, could you? Senit has, by all accounts from her party two nights ago, a brilliant voice. This song is dull and only jury points could possibly save it. A shame.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, San Marino
11 Malta - One Life - Glen Vella
We're halfway through already and Malta are three minutes from their exit. How this won in Malta is anybody's guess. Clunky, clunky, clunky. On the plus side, he's been having a great time at the parties.
Qualifying? Ha, ha. Don't make me laugh. Possibly last place.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Malta
10 Finland - Da Da Dam - Paradise Oskar
Cute and brilliant. My winner of the whole damn thing if it can't be Eric Saade. I really think this could do it. The stage looks absolutely amazing and I love Axel's shirt. (He's not really called Oskar.) He's lovely too, and very funny. His album was my birthday present at the party on Friday. I couldn't have been happier.
Qualifying? Yes, possibly winning tonight.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Finland
09 Georgia - One More Day - Eldrine
And now for something completely different. I didn't love this before coming out here. I do now. It's kick-ass different and I love the Gothic backdrop. She has a proper rock voice, but there's some evidence of shakiness. I don't have this in my ten. Maybe I should.
Qualifying? Well, I said no, but now I'm thinking yes. Let's have another borderline.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Georgia
08 Switzerland - In Love For A While - Anna Rossinelli
This is so sweet, and she can sing, and the boys are cute. But it's Switzerland. Will anyone remember they're in it by the end? Vote now! Lines are open. Needless to say, there is an absence of Swiss fans storming the media centre. The Russians have sat down.
Qualifying? Borderline, but no. Ooh, it does seem big in the hall though. Seeds of doubt now...
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Switzerland
07 Russia - Get You - Alexey Vorobyov
So he's not Alex Sparrow, as billed here all week. Back to his 'real' name. Lots of Russians are 'Russian around' the media hall here. No other country bothered to do that. The start of this song is a waste of thirty seconds. It has nothing to do with the rest of it. Is this not Russia's dullest entry in years?
Qualifying? Yes, but doesn't really deserve to.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Russia
06 Serbia - Čaroban - Nina
Loving the way the stage looks for this. Such wonderful colours. It's such a jolly, loose, catchy song. I hope people vote for this.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Serbia
In which we saw Stefan Raab at the opening party, getting the acts to sing a song which you may hear later. What did you see in the UK? Coxy?
05 Turkey - Live It Up - Yüksek Sadakat
Turkey's weakest song in years and yet still better than many of the others. The hook is repeated often enough though to see this through.
Qualifying? Yes, it's Turkey (even without the UK's usual 10 or 12 points).
Labels: Eurovision 2011, Turkey
04 Armenia - Boom Boom - Emmy
Father Christmas in a boxing glove? The world's gone mad. These dancers (3/4 of them) are the guys who did Opa for Greece, which was very good, and now they've been reduced to this. It's rubbish, but it's catchy rubbish. Crucially though, if they're boxers, why aren't they shirtless? Who ever heard of boxers in t-shirts? Zero marks for concept.
Qualifying? Yes, it's Armenia, and it's catchy. Boom, boom, chaka, chaka.
Labels: Armenia, Eurovision 2011
03 Albania - Feel The Passion - Aurela Gaçe
Maybe I should have put this in my ten instead? It certainly looks dramatic and she can belt 'em out. That's not sweat on her neck - it's glitter. "It's just shouting," says Nina, next to me.
Labels: Albania, Eurovision 2011
02 Norway - Haba Haba - Stella Mwangi
I didn't think she could sing when she won the Norwegian final. Now she sounds really ropey again. Too husky and flat. Regretting putting this in my ten predictions instead.
A month ago, we had a preview party in Manchester. These were my predictions then, and nine of them are the same now. So, take out Portugal (sadly) and add in Norway (against my better judgment and those are my ten predictions.
Labels: Eurovision 2011, predictions
01 Poland - Jestem - Magdalena Tul
Sound problems? She's sounding ropey from the off and there seemed to be a dip in volume. This is a terrible opening to a not brilliant semi-final anyway. Millions will be turning off now. Come back on Thursday; it's better!
Remember, UK viewers, we vote tonight. We can't vote for Jedward or the English bloke who's singing for Romania. That's Thursday.
Eurovision Düsseldorf - semi-final 1 - the live blog!
Okay, it's one minute to nine here in Düsseldorf. I've decided to blog this live, once the songs start. Here goes.
21.03 The hall LOOKS fuller than it is. They've done well seating people where they're needed. The whole top layer is empty though.
21.04 I've laughed at the hosts already. This is a first. Something genuinely funny happened.
21.06 Start voting! But how can we? We need songs! Here they are!
I'm loving the Villa colours in the arena. Nice lighting.
Brusseldorf - The Road Trip - update
Guten Tag! It's day seven of the road trip and all is well here in the dorf of Düssel. I can't believe I've been away from home for six days already on my drive to take in my friend's stag weekend in Brussels and Eurovision here in Düsseldorf.
I started off last Thursday, with a great night out in central London. After a fantastic meal at Mildred's restaurant in Soho, my friend Deb and I went to the Douze Points night at the Retro bar off The Strand. Despite not being able to hear any of the night's tracks, due to the pitiful sound system in the pub, we somehow managed to vote on all the songs in the second Eurovision semi-final and declare the Brit guy singing for Romania as the winner, just one point (I think) of Sweden's Eric Saade in second. There were another eight songs voted through to the Retro bar's version of the Eurovision final, but we were having too much of a laugh (and a few beers) for me to remember who they were. There was a real buzz in the air on Thursday night, with warm weather, people drinking outside the pubs and some people walking around with their Union flags and other regalia, in advance of the royal wedding the next morning. We saw the screens in Trafalgar Square from a distance, but my suggestion that we go down The Mall and poke sleeping tourists with sticks wasn't taken up by my friends.
Friday, royal wedding day, and I experienced the whole thing via the brilliance of Radio 5 Live, as I drove from Walthamstow to Calais. It was slightly surreal. And even my staunch Republican heart was moved to almost man tears a few times during the build-up, just because of the feeling that there was a big, national event going on. I arrived at Eurotunnel Folkestone with a couple of hours to spare before my booked crossing. At this point (and here begins a sorry tale which had unfortunate repercussions later on), I tried to buy a car cradle and car charger for my new Motorola Defy phone, which I had only picked up on the way down to London on Thursday and had only been able to charge up for the first time on Friday morning, just before I left for the coast. (I had dropped my previous phone and cracked the screen a few days before, hence the urgent need for a new mobile before coming away, partly to use the phone's satnav in getting to Brussels and Düsseldorf. I had made sure that I picked a phone which said 'car cradle included' on the T-Mobile website, but the useless tossers at T-Mobile didn't send one. The Eurotunnel terminal didn't have one for Motorola phones, despite there being several likely shops there, "because Dixons has closed", as one assistant explained, pointing to the closed unit opposite. Here's a business tip that might catch on: start stocking things that people want to buy. Just a thought.)
Anyhow, after watching people standing around the Eurotunnel terminal, watching the royal couple on the TV screens, as Wills and Kate were in the royal landau, it was time to drive into the big sardine tin and be shipped under the English Channel.
And that will have to do for now, as Denmark's bunch of hunks are about to rehearse, so I'm going to take the long walk into the arena. I will catch up soon. Bis bald!
Labels: Eurovision 2011, road trip
Heute beginnt die Reise.
(The road trip starts today.)
Chig's drive to Düsseldorf starts today, via the Retro bar in London tonight for Douze Points (semi-final 2) and a sleep in Walthamstow, then Eurotunnel tomorrow and a drive from Calais across a tiddly bit of France and halfway into Belgium for a stag weekend in Brussels. On Monday, another couple of hours' drive to the campsite on the Unterbachersee in Düsseldorf which will be my home for the following fourteen nights, if I can put up my new, bigger tent.
Camp Chig! Camp Eurovision! Call it what you will. It's going to be a very different Eurovision, and hopefully a lot of fun.
Eurovision rehearsals start this Sunday (1st May). I'll be reporting back from Tuesday 3rd onwards. Bis bald, meine Freunde!
Labels: Eurovision, London, road trip, stag weekend
Wir gehen nach Deutschland!
One month tonight, it will all be over in Düsseldorf, as the Eurovision final takes place. So it comes as some relief, at this late stage, to be given accreditation today for this year's contest. I'll be doing the same job as last year, for attitude magazine's website. Hurrah! I'll be there from Tuesday 3 May (and will therefore be in Germany for my birthday too, as well as election/referendum night). Watch this space.
Labels: attitude, Eurovision 2011
It's not Paddy's day
With an uncanny sense of timing for St. Paddy's day, the very lovely Paddy O'Connell has revealed on twitter today that he has been relieved of his Eurovision duties and will not be commentating on the semi-finals this year;
Just heard I'm being refreshed from EUROVISION, so if you're a broadcaster needing commentary in English, French, or my new German plz tweet
'Refreshed' is such a lovely, gentle word for being sacked, isn't it?
Paddy's glamourous assistant, Sarah Cawood, has also twitterised the same news;
Sad news: @paddy_o_c & I are being stood down from Eurovision duties this year:( On the upside: I can now have a Eurovision party! Whoop!
This is sad news for me and also for Paddy, who is quite the enthusiast, and has become more so since he started this job, partly because various London friends of mine have
As it won't be happening again, here is a final picture of Ms Cawood on last year's BBC Eurovision day trip, where a coachload of us journos toured the sights of Oslo with Josh Dubovie and the BBC PR team, as some people interviewed Josh and some of us photographed him. (It had the desired effect, as a larger version of this very pic ended up accompanying one of my pieces for the attitude website, plus another one on another day.) Oh, and your licence fee paid for me to have an ice cream. Tell the Daily Mail. I don't care.
Seconds after this picture was taken, Josh, Sarah, myself and a handful of other people squeezed into a little cube on a spring, in which we were shown a film to experience the thrills (and no spills) of downhill skiing, while being tossed around in the cube, but without having to bother actually getting on Oslo's Olympic ski slope, which was directly above us (and which is highly visible on the city's skyline). Very good fun it was too.
So, farewell Paddy and Sarah. Who will ever forget, "You can't have a ley without a rimi rimi?" and other Paddy commentary classics? But the question is, who will replace them? Who could? My mind is a blank. Any suggestions?
Labels: BBC, Eurovision, Josh Dubovie, Paddy O'Connell, Sarah Cawood
It's Paddy's day
Originally uploaded by Chig66.
So here is a set of pictures on flickr which I took on Sunday at Birmingham's St. Patrick's day parade. Surprisingly, this was the first time I've ever attended the event, despite;
Labels: Birmingham, Digbeth, Ireland, parade, St. Patrick
Ikväll är det natt
With any luck, Sweden will be picking this tonight to represent them in Düsseldorf. Eric Saade's 'Popular' has been in my head every day for the last two weeks. You can't beat a Boney M. intro and the routine will keep German glaziers in business for a fortnight. Do it, Sverige!
Failing that, Linda Bengtzing, please! It's her turn.
Or The Moniker. Because this song's also pretty damn good.
Labels: Eric Saade, Eurovision 2011, Linda Bengtzing, Melodifestivalen, Sweden, The Moniker
Tonight's the night
...for Blue on The Graham Norton Show.
Time for the new, 'official' Eurovision photo, with the boys' new, official Eurovision image.
Labels: BBC, Blue, Eurovision 2011, Graham Norton, UK
Blue vs. Jedward
So here it is, the UK's Eurovision entry, I Can, by Blue. It has been revealed to the world today, as they recorded an appearance on the Graham Norton show tonight, for screening tomorrow. What do you think of the song?
Here also is Jedward's rather cheap video for their Irish Eurovision entry, Lipstick. It's already been a #2 hit in Ireland, held off the top spot by Lady Gaga's Born This Way.
Now, I like Blue and I like Jedward, but which is best? There's only one way to find out... FIGHT!
Photo (c) Dan Wootton on twitter.
Labels: Blue, Eurovision 2011, Ireland, Jedward, UK
Batting for the other side
Steven Davies, who is apparently England's wicketkeeper in some sport called 'cricket', and not a snooker player, has come out to that bastion of liberalism, The Telegraph. Good for him, as the first professional cricketer to come out. It has produced a historic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use the above headline as a timely joke. Thanks for that, Mr Davies.
Chig cannot help wondering if Steven Davies was pushed over the edge and out of the closet by his teammate Jimmy Anderson, who made it onto the cover of attitude first, despite not batting for the other side himself. Only a matter of time though before Steven's appearance, I suspect.
Labels: attitude, coming out, cricket, Jimmy Anderson, Steven Davies
"Am I heading for a car crash?"
Here they come, here they come, dum-du-dum, du-dum, du-dum!
Check my collar, collar! Hey! Hey, hey! (It's bloody catchy, innit?)
Labels: EuroSong, Eurovision 2011, Ireland, Jedward
We have our winner!
Is it too soon to say this?
We need Iceland to pick this first, admittedly, but if they do, could Yohanna go one place better than her 2009 success, being Eurovision runner-up to the runaway Rybak?
This is rather marvellous. I've no idea what it's about, except that the title must mean 'Night'. What matters is that, five minutes after playing it once, the song is on loop in my head. This is what you need to win Eurovision. It all bodes very well. And, to be honest, I really, really want Iceland to notch up their first win at some point in my lifetime, even if Reykjavik is completely unaffordable.
Labels: Eurovision 2010, Iceland, Yohanna
The grim reaper is going through my vinyl collection, from the beginning
Consider the evidence:
The first ever 'artist album' that I owned was Remember You're A Womble, by... do I really need to say? On Christmas Day, it was announced that Elisabeth Beresford, creator of the Wombles, had died on Christmas Eve.
Then, after watching Boney M. on Christmas TV and having conversations about Bobby Farrell and his tight trousers, he died last week, on the anniversary of Rasputin's death, in Russia. You couldn't have scripted a better ending. I'd like to think his final words were, "Oh, those Russians!". 'Nightflight to Venus' and 'Oceans of Fantasy' (gatefold sleeve versions) were both early purchases in my albums collection.
Today, in a shocking double whammy, the grim reaper has moved on to my singles collection, starting with the first single I ever bought. That's 'Night Owl' by Gerry Rafferty, who has died today. That's it in the middle of my picture (below). It has the number 6 on it because I used to label each single I bought and the first five singles I owned were all presents. Gerry Rafferty was the first recipient of my own money. It's no coincidence that it charted at the time of my thirteenth birthday.
The other singles above are all by Japan (Ghosts, Nightporter, Life In Tokyo and Cantonese Boy). Bassist Mick Karn has died today, after a fight with cancer. I couldn't help wondering if his cancer treatment made him lose his eyebrows, given that he was known in the '80s for shaving them off and drawing on new ones with eyeliner pencil.
RIP to all four of the above, who all brought me a lot of pleasure in my childhood and teens.
Labels: albums, Bobby Farrell, Boney M., Elisabeth Beresford, Gerry Rafferty, Japan, Mick Karn, singles
Down with this kind of thing!
I am outraged about last night's Eastenders. I didn't watch it, but as a few thousand people have complained about the cot death swap today, I thought I would join in. When I first heard that Samantha Janus had done something unspeakable on BBC TV and horrified the nation, I thought they'd shown a rerun of her performance in 1991's Eurovision Song Contest:
But no, she has done something almost as bad. She has taken part in a fictionalised drama about cot death. How dare the BBC take a situation that happens to thousands of people in real life and make a drama about it?! I can't imagine any other TV drama doing this. And fancy only giving people about six weeks since revealing the storyline. How is that enough time for people to remember to turn off their TVs if they might be upset? Down with this type of thing! Eastenders should apologise and then be discontinued.
By contrast, I watched an excellent drama last night and tonight, also on BBC One. You know, the Silent Witness story about the violent murder and necrophilic rape of a young girl. It was much more fun than that nasty Eastenders (which I didn't watch). You don't see people complaining about Silent Witness, do you?
Indignant of Middle England
Labels: double standards, Eastenders, Silent Witness, TV
10th, 12th, 14th May
Semi-Final 1 – Tue 20 May
01 Montenegro - Zauvijek volim te – Stefan Filipović
02 Israel – The Fire In Your Eyes (Ke’ilo Kan) – Bo'az Ma'uda
03 Estonia – Leto Svet – Kreisiraadio
04 Moldova – A Century Of Love – Geta Burlacu
05 San Marino - Complice - Miodio
06 Belgium - O Julissi - Ishtar
07 Azerbaijan – Day After Day – Elnur Hüseynov & Samir Javadzadeh
08 Slovenia – Vrag Naj Vzame – Rebeka Dremelj
09 Norway – Hold On, Be Strong – Maria Haukaas Storeng
10 Poland – For Life – Isis Gee
11 Ireland – Irelande, Douze Pointe – Dustin The Turkey
12 Andorra – Casanova – Gisela
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina – Pokušaj – Laka
14 Armenia – Qele Qele – Sirusho
15 Netherlands – Your Heart Belongs To Me – Hind
16 Finland - Missä miehet ratsastaa – Teräsbetoni
17 Romania – Pe-o Margine de Lume – Nico & Vlad Mirita
18 Russia - Dima Bilan - Believe
19 Greece – Secret Combination – Kalomira
Semi-Final 2 – Thu 22 May
01 Iceland – This Is My Life – Eurobandið
02 Sweden - Hero - Charlotte Perrelli
03 Turkey – Deli – Mor ve Ötesi
04 Ukraine – Shady Lady – Ani Lorak
05 Lithuania – Nomads In The Night – Jeronimas Milius
06 Albania – Zemrën e lamë peng – Olta Boka
07 Switzerland – Era Stupendo – Paolo Meneguzzi
08 Czech Republic – Have Some Fun – Tereza Kerndlová
09 Belarus – Hasta La Vista – Ruslan Alekhno
10 Latvia – Wolves Of The Sea – Pirates Of The Sea
11 Croatia – Romanca – Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents
12 Bulgaria – DJ, Take Me Away – Deep Zone & Balthazar
13 Denmark – All Night Long – Simon Mathew
14 Georgia – Peace Will Come – Diana Gurtskaya
15 Hungary – Candlelight – Csézy
16 Malta – Vodka - Morena
17 Cyprus – Femme Fatale – Evdokia Kadi
18 FYR Macedonia – Let Me Love You – Tamara, Vrčak & Adrian
19 Portugal - Senhora do Mar (Negras Águas) - Vânia Fernandes
Final – Sat 24 May
02 United Kingdom – Even If – Andy Abraham
04 Germany – Disappear – No Angels
19 France – Divine – Sébastien Tellier
22 Spain - Baila el Chiki Chiki - Rodolfo Chikilicuatre
23 Serbia - Oro - Jelena Tomašević ft. Bora Dugić
Chig's Gigs & stuff 2007-2008
11/12 Steel City Tour: ABC, Heaven 17, The Human League - Wolves Civic
21/01 Sing Live! - B'ham Symphony Hall
05/02 Mika - Berkeley Square, London
13/02 Shayne Ward - Nott'm Arena
21/02 X Factor - Nott'm Arena
04/05 Scooch-Nightingale, B'ham
12/05 Hosting Eurovision night @ The Nightingale
17/05 Jason Donovan-Nott'm Royal Concert Hall
25/05 Pet Shop Boys - Wolves Civic
26/05 Liberty X - Nightingale, B'ham
27/05 Scooch & Björn Again - B'ham Pride
16/06 Muse, The Streets, Dirty Pretty Things, Rodrigo y Gabriela & Zane Lowe - Wembley Stadium
28/06 Brotherhood of Man & Buck's Fizz - Nott'm Royal Concert Hall
14/07 Sing Live! - Summer in the '60s & '70s - Royal Leamington Spa Centre
14/09 Rise - Leek Wootton Village Hall
16/09 Erasure & Onetwo - Wolves Civic
17/09 The Twang & The Priory - B'ham Carling Academy 2 (private gig - Janice Long's Radio2 show)
20/09 Turisas & Abgott - B'ham Carling Academy 2
27/09 McFly - Wolves Civic
10/11 Buck's Fizz & Futureproof (The X Factor), Nightingale, B'ham
17/11 Vengaboys & Andy Williams (The X Factor) - Nightingale, B'ham
01/12 The Human League plays Dare! - Hammersmith Apollo
10/03 Gary Numan Replicas Tour & Daggers - Wolves Wulfrun
18/03 Russell Howard, Alexandra, Brum
20+22+24/05 Eurovision Song Contest, Beograd, Srbija
10/06 Eurobeat-Almost Eurovision, B'ham Hippodrome
12/06 Yazoo - Wolves Civic
14/06-16/06 Bingham Cup, DCU, Dublin
24/06 Westlife & Hope - Nottingham Arena
07/07 Duran Duran & The Duke Spirit - NIA, B'ham
01/08 kd lang - Symphony Hall, B'ham
Who is Chig?
Contact me: chig at cmdh dot freeserve dot co dot uk
My Wish List
Chig is Nicki French's official stalker...but she doesn't seem to mind.
Chig's life can sometimes be a right pain in the balls...
Dogtown, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Robin Hood, The X Factor, Spooks, Extras, Mock The Week, Popworld, Ideal, Deal Or No Deal, Eggheads, Hollyoaks, Never Mind The Full Stops, Doctor Who series 2 repeats on BBC3, The Bill, Match Of The Day, Ant'n'Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.
Chig has failed at two attempts to watch the whole series of Invasion, so if you have it on DVD...
Chig still fancies Jesse Metcalfe...
...and Brandon Flowers, Roman Sebrle, Jonas Armstrong, Matthew Fox, Stefan Booth, Stuart Manning, Gary Lucy...
49= 49= 48 46= 46= 45 44 43 40= 40= 40= 39 38 37 36 35 33= 33= 31= 31= 30 29 28 27 26 25 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Where I live:
Birmingham: It's Not Shit
The Official Charts Co.
Launch (UK charts)
British Hit Singles
Aston Villa FC
Eurovision 2005 in Kyiv
Mr Gay UK
Official EBU Eurovision
Helsinki 2007 Official
ESC Today (News)
Norway: Melodi Grand Prix
Eurovision 2007 acts:
Albania: Aida & Frederik Ndoci
Austria: Eric Papilaya
Belarus: Dima Koldun
Belgium: The KMGs
Bulgaria: Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov
Croatia: Dragonfly ft. Dado Topić
Czech Republic: Kabát
Estonia: Gerli Padar
Georgia: Sopho Khalvashi
Hungary: Magdi Rúzsa
Iceland: Eiríkur Hauksson
FYR Macedonia: Karolina Gočeva
Malta: Olivia Lewis
Moldova: Natalia Barbu
Montenegro: Stevan Faddy
Netherlands: Edsilia Rombley
Norway: Guri Schanke
Poland: The Jet Set
Serbia: Marija Šerifović
Slovenia: Alenka Gotar
Switzerland: DJ Bobo
Turkey: Kenan Doğulu
Bosnia-Herzegovina: Marija Šestić
Finland: Hanna Pakarinen
France: Les Fatals Picards
Germany: Roger Cicero
Sweden: The Ark
Ukraine: Verka Serduchka
UK MYMU entrants
Hawkins & Brown
Prata Vetra (Brainstorm)
Pet Shop Boys
Chig is directly descended from the following families. If you have one of these surnames, we're possibly related, so feel free to get in touch: Crowe, Harborne/Harbourne, Higgins, Hutchins, O'Sullivan/Sullivan, Talliss/Tallis.
Above: My Gran with her Gran. Snitterfield, Warwickshire, c.1930.
Chig's January 1999 Gay Times article, behind the scenes filming 'Queer As Folk'
People we know:
After The Boyf
Daren & Justin
I'm Hip To You
Over Your Head
Simon & The City
Thoughts From Fish Island
Other people we like:
Come Into My World
My Ace Life