We have a winner!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And, lo, the most popular Irish Eurovision Song is: Linda Martin with Terminal 3.

Hurrah to her.

Oh, and Dima Bilan for Russia won Eurovision. My observations:

  • Marija and her Frankenstein brides would have completed LaGaylia Frazier's Dr Frankenstein from this year's Romanian preselection so well.
  • Vlad from Romania is still doing that odd left-leg lift he does. Watch it - once you see it, you can't ignore it.
  • Why was Sirusho wearing black, white and grey? Wear something colourful!
  • Bosnia's knitting brides were the aces.
  • The plucky Icelandic duo worked the cameras so well.
  • I still think Ani Lorak + her men in illuminated boxes were robbed.
  • I was very impressed that Sebastian Tellier had a globe on stage. Pity he didn't do much with it.
  • Spain's falling down dancer was the comedy highlight of the evening for me.

More to come soon on Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia - on my trip, I only spotted one Eurovision star: Boaz from Israel. His arms are very impressive, but he's teeny tiny! Bless little Boaz.

Eurovision 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Welcome to Eurovision Week! Bloggers and news site are agog with the idea that the 2008 top 3 may well be the same as the 2007 top 3: namely, Serbia, Ukraine and Russia. So, let's look at last year, and see what we can learn for this year...

  • The name Maria - or variants of - is a success symbol with Marija Serivofic winning, and Greece's Yassou Maria in the Top 10.

So, for 2008, step forward this year's only Maria from Norway!

  • Turkey came in 4th with a song all about having candy.

Step up Greece's Kalomira who's come as a Quality Street.

  • Both Russia and Serbia swathed their stages in red last year - will red be the colour to watch this year?
  • Bulgaria came fifth with some dated dance music - good news for this year's lovely Icelandic entry.
  • Marija Serifovic - bless her, she's not the most conventional of lookers... step up Vania?

  • And lastly, 2007 was the year of baco-foil clad drag queen Verka Serduchka. Who will take on that mantle this year? Step forward one Charlotte Perrelli!

Enjoy Eurovision!

Vote for your favourite Irish Eurovision song!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's the final, and here are our finalists. We've whittled down the 40-odd entries to these five. Earlier, I held a semi-final which pitted the ten round winners against each other. It was dramatic: Liam Reilly -v- Dawn Martin, Sheeba -v- Maria Christian, Chris Doran -v- Linda Martin (T3), Sean Dunphy -v- Muriel Day & Butch Moore -v- Eimear Quinn.

And thus, here are the finalists - so what do you think? Which is your favourite? Vote!

First up, Dawn Martin with Is Always Over Now? from 1998.

Next, from 1969, it's bopping Muriel Day singing about The Wages of Love.

And now, Ireland's only winner in the final - Eimear Quinn from 1996 with The Voice.

And the penultimate entry: from 1984 - Linda Martin with Terminal 3.

And finally, the immensely amazing Sheeba from 1981 with Horoscopes.

So, vote vote vote for the winner!

Belgrade Calling (and Ljubljana, and Zagreb)

Like Azerbaijan and San Marino, this year I'm going to Eurovision for the first time. I leave tomorrow for Belgrade, going on a slightly circuitous route by stopping off in Ljubljana and Zagreb first. I'm all kinds of excited: I'm attending both semi-finals, so watch out for me waving my flag.

I intend being a complete euro-celeb-star-spotter - Charlotte Perrelli is my main target right now.

But before I go, we still have the vote for the most popular Irish eurovision song, and next week, I'll do a little Eurovision round-up.

Vote! Your favourite Eurovision song from Ireland - Round 10

Monday, May 12, 2008

Phew! Finally we reach the last round of Irish Eurovision songs - and this time, we've got some likely lads. Thanks to all who have voted thus far - and please leave your votes in the comments.

By Thursday, I will whittle all the votes down to a 5 song final - which will stay open until Eurovision Day on 24 May. And then we'll know the most popular Irish Eurovision song.

First up, a video of Ireland's 1995 entry - Dreamin' by Eddie Friel. Ireland had won for the 3 years previous to this entry - thankfully this wasn't as successful.

Let's jump back 30 years now to 1965, and Ireland's very first entry, Walking the Streets in the Rain by the greatly-named Butch Moore. (No direct video, I'm afraid - but you get to enjoy Poupée de Cire, Poupée du Son so everyone wins)

Next, from the following year, the ever-better-named Dickie Rock with Come Back to Stay.

And, finally, the last Irish Eurovision entry for our selection: 1976's When by Red Hurley.

Vote! Your favourite Eurovision song from Ireland - Round 9!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Nearly there! Everytime Ireland hosts the Eurovision, we're always told that the Irish are a nation of singers. These songs are all about singing and song.

First up, another Irish winner - this time from 1994 - Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan with Rock 'n' Roll Kids.

Now, from 1978, here's legendary Irish singer Colm CT Wilkinson with his entry Born to Sing. This is fantastically pompous.

From one Irish troubadour to another, here is 2006's entry: Every Song is a Cry for Love by Brian Kennedy. Days before this Contest there was a debate on Irish national radio about whether Brian should kneel or not. Brilliant.

And, finally, Ireland's frankly ridiculous 4th win in 5 years - here is the very talented Eimear Quinn with The Voice.

So: which is your favourite? Vote in the comments!

Vote! Your favourite Eurovision song from Ireland - Round 8!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Ireland: we're a generous, loving nation. We love the world and all its peoples - or so you'd think from this lot of Irish Eurovision songs which have the theme of love or the world. Which is your favourite? Vote below by leaving a comment!

First up, from 1990, is Liam Reilly with Somewhere in Europe. Fans of geography pop will love this place-name-dropping number.

Next, from 1971, when Ireland hosted the Eurovision for the first time, is Angela Farrell with One Day Love. What a lovely pink frock she had!

Next up, from 1972, is Ireland's only song in Irish. Here's Sandie Jones singing Ceol an Ghrá, which means Song of Love. I love this - the only pop song in Irish that I know.

And , last but not least, from 2003, the first winner of You're A Star, Mickey Joe Harte with We've Got the World Tonight.

So: Vote for your favourite!

Vote! Your favourite Eurovision song from Ireland - Round 7

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Right, this vote needs to get a move on tout suite. So, over the next 4 days, we'll have a rapid vote round. Then I'll whittle the songs down to a 5 song final, and we'll choose our Favourite Irish Eurovision Song.

This round is all about Questions.

First up, 2005's tykes Donna & Joe with their ridiculously question-marked Love? I loved Donna & Joe - finally a decent pop song from Ireland. Hurrah and huzzah for them.

On to 1973, and it's Maxi again who we last saw back in Round 1. Here she in - resplendent in a flouncy 70s smock-frock with Do I Dream?

Yet another of Ireland's winners: this time, from 1992, Linda Martin with Why Me? It's not a patch on Terminal 3, but a classy song none the less.

The year before, 1991, Ireland send Kim Jackson who asked the question Could it be that I'm in love? She really ought to know, I would say. Could it be your winner?

And, finally, from 1998, Dawn Martin with Is Always Over Now? I bet you're thinking the same thing about this vote.

So, tell me what you think. And if you want to vote in any other round, click or scroll down.

Erlendas' map of Lithuania, and a map of Europe

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I asked my friend Erlendas, from Lithuania, to draw Lithuania. Here is his map.


Having now collected just under a third of Europe's country, the eventual map of Europe is shaping up.

Vote! Favourite Irish Eurovision song - Round 6

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sound the dayglo pop klaxons! The vote for your favourite Irish eurovision song has reached the 80s mega-round. Here are the Irish entries from 1980, 1985, 1986 and 1988. It's huge hair a-go-go!

First up, from 1985, Maria Christian with Wait until the weekend comes. 80s factor: points for the hair, and powder blue mermaid-tail skirt, but no dayglo.

1986 next, and Luv Bug with You Can Count on Me. Definite 80s factor in this, with that fabulously massive oversized count. It's not dayglo, but another powder colour: pink. Maybe Ireland was too timid to go full on dayglo.

Let's jump back to the early 80s - Johnny Logan wins with What's Another Year, but no dayglo.

And lastly, from 1988, Jump the Gun with Take Him Home. No dayglo.

So, please vote in the comments. The klaxons remain unhorned; as examples of 80s pop, these are not top!