This year i was not as vigilant as I should have or could have been with updates on the Eurovision front. Right now I am sitting on a beach, sand in everywhere and more sunscreen than I'd like to admit. And after collecting some shells and enjoying the view I decided to at least give you some updates. So here we go.
Arriving in Lisbon went smoothly and it was nice to be picked up by the volunteer coordinator. However, frankly speaking I could have just arrived as I had initially planned as the mandatory training was not that big of a deal anyways. This would have saved me 200 euros that I'd have rather spend on something nice in Lisbon. In the bright side, it was nice to spend some time with the international volunteers (well, 3 German 1 Dutch and a Belgian). The all you can eat restaurant we went to was extremely meat heavy, however, they only charged me the drinks. So that was nice.
As there is a Portuguese law stating that volunteers are not allowed to work for more than 5h a day, the days were pretty easy going. Though I gotta say, I don't think I would like to be a commentator host again. It was nice to see how it works in the background and the accreditation gets you to a lot of places. Next time I think I'd like to be a delegation host again, or maybe working in the press or the production team. If there is a next time for me that is :)
On the second day we meet Peter urban. My encounter with him wasn't the mot pleasant. He and one of the volunteer coordinator were recording something while I was discussing something with another coordinator when they ask me to shut up. At first it was fair enough, however, the recording coordinator later stepped up to me and advised me that I would do good in general to keep my mouth shut as my voice in too penetrating and annoying for the commentators to work. You can imagine how I felt and naturally I couldn't bring the same enthusiasm to the job anymore as I had before.
And when we got home the next thing happened. I am staying at an Airbnb with two friends. Both took the bedrooms and I slept on the couch. That is until one of my friends (probably my most tidy, clean and accurate friend I have -maybe had, I am waiting for us to get home and him breaking off the friendship :D ) asked my to check out his bed because it was filled with bedbugs. Bedbugs of all stages and so many it was terrifying.
Our landlord was quick to sort this but with Eurovision on, she had no place else for us to stay. With that we changed sleeping arrangements. So for the rest of the stay mr. clean slept on the couch and I slept in a double bed with the other friend. Unfortunately, this double bed was not free from bedbugs either, however, it was not as infested and there was no alternative anyways. So at this stage I have quite a few bedbug bites and sleeping hasn't been as relaxing as it should have been. That in combination with the parties at the euroclub I am not surprised that I am now sick :(
Enough moaning, let me tell you about the semis. As predicted by the time we were at the live shows I loved almost all the songs-even San Marino. The first semi was earlier called the blood bath semi and for a good reason. The semi 1 was packed with bookies favorites and going in everyone know some countries would have to be eliminated that usually would easily make the cut. My personal favorite from the start (not to win, but just as a song) has been Albania. However, wth the overall reception of the song, I did not think they would qualify.
So here I was in the live show dressed in Irish flags (because I always support the Irish) enjoying the show waiting for the results. And then Albania was announced as a qualifier and I was over the moon, so much so that I actually missed the country that followed. My friend next was like, it's Ireland! multiple times before it set in. And I was so in shock that both my countries qualified that I had to look at Jon ola sand if there had been a mistake but he looked happy as usual. You can imagine how I celebrated that night. Let's say I shouldn't be too surprised that I am now sick with my voice in pieces.
Overall I am very happy with the results of the first semi.
On Thursday the second semi was not supposed to be that difficult and yet it was interesting to see the results differed from the expectation by a good bit. Nobody in the arena where thinking that Serbia would go through, but I was hopeful. My friend wanted Slovenia to qualify and low and behold both countries made it. And more than that every country that we expected made it. And with that this years final was definitely one of the best we had in the past years... At least that is what we thought.
As you know we did not manage to get tickets for the final live show but the jury show. This was okay as we had agreed to watch the show in the eurovillage until I was offered the chance to see the live show from the vip lounge. Yes, that is right. One of the volunteers won tickets and wanted to bring me along. But because at the time I did not want to leave my friend, who had no accreditation on his own I rejected. My friend did not mind at all to be left alone but he was also a bit of an excuse. Anyways, the guy wasn't too happy but for me it turned out for the best. Because I did get to see the final in the arena. And meet graham norton as well as pass by lordi. Interesting fact, it is amazing how you cannot hear on the telly how the audience is singing along. Best example is the UK. The arena went wild and at times you couldn't even hear surie. But I get it. The producers probably try to let the televoters built their own opinion rather than be influenced by the arena audience. Or they want the audience to hear the act rather than the screaming fans :)
It's stupid really , I just walked by Michael at the airport on his way home. I was wearing my German shirt, but still in volunteer mode I did not ask for a picture. Meaning I missed the chance to get a picture with graham Norton, lordi, and Michael Schulte...
On the bright side, as a thank you for our work in the commentators lounge, they coordinator organized a raffle and I got semi lucky. Why? I got the Russian promo bag...if anyone wants an "I won't break" polyester jumper let me know! however, in the bag was also Michael schultes promo cd as well as (I am so happy about it-you might already guess) the promo cd of mr bushpepa, Albania!!
Now I am back to reality with a cold and post-ESC-depression and my next post will be about my failed fashion again ;)
While I do want to continue vlogging, it is not as easy as one might think and as such I am writing this one rather than filming it.
That is, I have filmed 3 updates by now but uploading them seems to be a whole issue on its own.
Let me give you the most relevant ESC- related updates since the vlog:
I am a volunteer in ESC 2018! Well, that is as long as my security clearence will come through. But I see nothing in the way from that end. With that in mind, I am going to work in the commentators service section as I had hoped! It also means, I had to change my flights. And can I just ask: What are airlines thinking?!?! Why is it more expensive to just book a new flight rahter than changing the booked one? Is it not in the airline interest to have a full plane? Think about it, if I simply book a new flight and worst case I might have already checked in, the airline is now having a seat they could have sold so someone else empty.
In this case going with another airline I could have paid 80 euro for an earlier flight. however, this meant I'd either book an additional night at a hotel (on top of the night I alread need to book to be in Lisbon for the mandatory training) or be to late for said training. In the end I did get my flight changed and it only cost 150€ to do so! :(
I did not get the tickets for the final as expected in the last wave. blueticket.pt really messed up in this sale as the side had crashed for many and a few (me included) had tickets in their baskets but could not continue to the checkout before the session timed out. Which in itself was highly annoying but I am over it. Afterall, I only had 1 ticket but I am in Lisbon with a group so what good does one ticket. And NOW, that I am a volunteer I will need to wait and see whether I will actually be able to go to the shows I have already bought tickets for.
There are a few updates on the volunteering bit I am not allowed to share just yet in regards to food, organization and clothing. But what I can say, is that volunteers will have to weat a certain outfit which will stop me from wearing some on my outfits for ESC! To me that is sad, because I put quite some efford into making them but again it comes down to what I really, really want and if I have to give up a few things for being a Volunteer at Eurovision, so be it. On that note, I still do not have the confirmation on my extra day off work. But I am willing to quit this job for ESC. I would not quite any job but in this case I would take it as a sign to leave :)
Germany has selected their entry for Lisbon 2018. Trying to turn their luck around, Germany has changed their national selection format. By revamping the selection process, Germany is hoping to finally get onto the right side (meaning the left side) of the scoreboard.
A lot happened before the show on the 22nd of February. An international Jury (including 4 former ESC contestants: Iceland 1986, Norway 2013, Slovenia and Spain 2014,) searched for perfect candidates. And they came up with 6 artist. Those artist then went to “song boot camp” and the results were released on the 20th and now performed live on the 22nd.
I was in the Studio for the show. The hosts did a mediocre job, with jokes ranging from half-intelligent to really bad. The overall show wasn't really entertaining, but better than the last years. NDR, please check out how the Swedes are doing it… you might be able to learn some.
But the most important part is of course the music.
First of was Natia Todua. A Georgian singer, who failed to succeed in X-factor Georgia and Ukraine but went on to win the Voice of Germany 2017. Opening a show is always a tough job, and she did okay, but vocally I was not impressed. The song “my own way” about her struggles just did not translate well to the audience. The staging was also minimalistic and all in all quite forgettable. Most memorable was the white suit Natia decided to wear, whether that was a good thing or not, you need to decide for yourself.
Next off, Ryk performed his piece “You and I”. The singer from Hamburg sat at the piano with an acrobat dancing on the piano. The dark and partially moody song was sung well enough. However, due to the artsy style of the song it was difficult to connect and see this as an ESC song. Highlight was probably the dancer in this act, leaving the audience with little hope for the rest of the show.
Germany’s favourite was the third entry. VoxxClub is a Bavarian folk/rock band- the only band in the competition. Prior to the event a lot of people had their song “I mog di” as a favourite to win. But with a Bavarian German song and an international jury doubts about the success rose. The song had a "ballermann" vibe to it, that was a disappointing song choice and again the audience was let down by a mediocre performance (at least they danced a bit) and bad vocals. While VoxxClub definitely heated up the Studio, their vocals just did not match the hype.
Following this upbeat, fun number, was another Bavarian. Xavier Darcy, singer songwriter was born in Scotland but grew up in Bavaria. His song Jonah was the first song of the night that actually had some potential. However, the performance reminded of a Busker or Pub singer in the streets of the UK and again, one was left wondering, if this is really a good option to represent Germany. His voice, however, was really enjoyable for sure and I would not mind hearing some more of it in the charts.
Fifth entry was Ivy Quainoo, winner of the voice of Germany 2012. This entry finally provided some good quality. The staging was great (let’s not argue about the burning house – it did match the song) with some pyro to add to the dancing and the overall drama of the song. Vocally Ivy performed very well, unfortunately the song itself “House on fire” was not memorable enough to have a winning chance. Ivy, next time please choose a song, that matches your talent and does not leave us underwhelmed.
Last but not least was the performance by Michael Schulte. A German singer songwriter, who came in 3rd at the voice of Germany in 2012 (where Ivy won). Michael is a successful youtuber and performed a song about his dad who had passed away when Michael was younger. The song “you let me walk alone” has an Ed Sheeran vibe to it, but also so much emotion, that a few audience members were actually moved to tears. The staging was simple but effective with pictures of sons and dads as well as some of the lyrics. Before the start of the song I was worried that the smoke of Ivy's fire show, could potentially impact his vocals, but Michael was on point. By the audiences’ reaction, one could tell, this was now the favourite.
The voting could start. Interval act was Mike Singer, the poor German answer to Justin Bieber. Dear NDR, what were you thinking??? This was not a good choice, as Mike Singer usually has a much younger audience and was misplaced at the ESC event. I could see audience members looking at their neighbours with a plain WTF impression on their faces.
The time till the voting results was ill-filled and felt like forever.
This year the points given were split. 1/3 came from the international jury of experts, 1/3 were given by 100 selected Eurovision Fans and the last third came from the tele-voting. Each group gave 5,6,7,8,10,12 points. The tele-vote was presented by no other than our beloved Jon Ola Sand. He was briefly interviewed earlier during the show, about this opinion on the new format and even replied in German (well re read it off a promter, but still impressive) – which was one of my highlight of the show. One just has to love Mr. Sand.
The presentation of the votes ended up not beeing as interesting as the NDR would have liked. All three juries agreed, that Natias’ song was not good enough compared to the others. The Fan and Expert jury was pretty much aligned in their voting and so was the tele-vote. One (not surprising) exception was VoxxClub, who got 10 points from the tele-vote and only 5&6 points from the juries. But everyone agreed on the Winner of the evening. Michael Schulte got 12 points from everyone.
With this Germany now has a contestant for 2018 in Lisbon: Michael Schulte with a beautiful, sad ballad about his father. I like the song. In this selection it was by far the best option, but will it work at ESC? I am not sure. BUT even if we come in last again, I can still be proud of the song choice. With the songs choosen so far (we are number 14), I could see us getting some points. At this stage I would bet on 19th place.
What do you think of the song?
Most of you will not even be aware of this but Eurovision 2018 is in full motion. Already 7 songs have been chosen and presented so far (the broadcasters can still change their minds, but most of the time we get a close enough version of the song).
Listening to the national finals I am surprised at the songs that were selected. Mostly not my personal favourites. But with 7 songs we already have a good variety of styles. We can expect a diverse show if the trend continues as it does at the moment.
Personally, I am not a fan of the choices made by the automated qualifiers (Big 5) so far. From the 3 songs the best is the UK entry (I really dislike the Spanish entry and I don't like the abuse of the refugee topic by the French). Overall I am still a huge fan of the first song presented for 2018, Albanias' Mall.
It won't be long before the next songs will be announced and I am excited to see the results (especially Norway and Hungary). Naturally, I am also looking forward to the 22nd of February, when Germany will select their entry and I have tickets for the show.
I will keep you posted.
2018 has started at it seems to continue just as 2017 had ended. I wrote an entry about 3 weeks ago. This post was somewhat never saved, except for the headline.
Trying to figure out what I wanted to write about, I can only come up with the 2nd week of january.
As it contains everything involving travel, fashion and Eurovision :)
Now a month ago I flew to Manchester. But if you now ask me what I think of the city, I cannot say. I did not see anything of Manchester really. How is that possible you might wonder? I arrived rather late on a monday and planned to leave early tuesday. Why was my trip only that short? I went there to help out a friend. He has a chat how about eurovision and in the beginning he had asked me if I would be willing to be a guest on his show. Naturally I would. Firstly because I will always try andhelp friends when I can and secondly we are talking Eurovision. Unfortunatelly the trip did not go as smoothly as anticipated. It was raining cats and dogs, my friend made me feel like I was not really welcome afterall and that I basically invited myself and the recording reveals how my English has made a turnfor the worse. From my Irish accent with a bit of German, living a year in Berlin I now sound like full on German with a bit of Irish influence. I will see if I can link at least one of the audio sets at the end of this post.
The best part of the trip, however, was us having to pass by the BBC Radio city where they have Daleks and a proper Tardis on display and I got to take a picture with both - whoop whoop!
While I left for the airport at 10am, due to Ryanair delay, I did not arrive home before 6pm. The next two days I went to the Ethical Fashion Show, Premium as well as the Panorama here in Berlin. Most beneficial was the Ethical Fashion Show. I attended two presentations, one about alternatives to leather and the other about the care lable in clothing.
Did you know that we overwash our clothing? As it turns out, most of the care lables in todays garments are still on the standard of the 60s and 70s but washing machines and detergent have had huge improvments over the last few years. And most importantly: instead of putting your garments into the washing machine after every use (we are not talking underwear), hang them out into the fresh air. this is just as cleansing as a wash but more friendly not only to the environment but for the garment itself.
And did you know, you can make leather substitutes from plants as well as bacteria? Well, I think the idea of growing a garment out of bacteria is somewhat disgusting, but I have seen and touched it and it is a really nice fabric. Now, I still prefer the vegan options that use the by-product of the Olive Oil and Wine production. At this stage the alternatives are quite expensive but definetely something to consider, especially for embellishment on my garments. Let's wait 2-5 years and see how this develops. Especially waiting on the environmental impact of those alternatives.
It is really time for 2017 to be over. While I looove the christmas season (christmas markets, my christmas decorations and sweet christmas music nonstop), I am happy when we say bye to 17 and hello to 18.
In my last post I wrote about getting dresses produced in Ireland. Well, everything could already be done would it not be for stoffe.de. Now, usually I love stoffe.de because they have a great selection at an affordable price and offer organic fabrics too. So when they had a 20% deal going, I ordered all what was needed for my new collection. However, their payment provider messed up and my order had to be completed manually. This was done rather quickly. Unfortunatelly, the customer service screwed up the order details. Instead of using my Irish delivery address, they send the whole lot to my German invoice address. When I got the shipping confirmation, I saw the error and contacted the Customer Serivce again. I was advised to refuse to take the delivery and send an email confiming the correct shipping address. But a few days later I got an confirmation that my funds have been transfered back into my account as I returned the ordered items. Despite reachingout to them again I have not received a decent solution as I am not willing to place the order again without the 20%discount given. Afterall, it is not my fault that they messed up the shipping details and I did exactly as I had been told - at this stage Iam wondering, if I should have just accepted the parcels upon delivery and send them onwards myself. It would have been less hassle, thefabrics would already be in Ireland and the manufacturer could have finished my garments before their christmas break. What do you think about that?
And then there is the whole Eurovision ticket thing... yes, it is time for eurovision again... Honestly, it seems like it is Eurovision time all year around but I don't mind one bit :)
So the first wave of tickets was released on 30/11/2017. In anticipation I had created an account prior to the event and had agreed with 2 other fans that whoever got in first would buy tickets for all of us. While I was the first on the website, I was queued in by the system at 20685 as it had not let me enter the queue for about 20 seconds into the sale. yes, you read that right.... in total about 23000 queued to get a ticket. How is that fair? And what worries me the most is that the arena only has a capacity of 20000 people. With that there is a realistic chance I will not get a ticket for the live final at all. All of that because everyone is hyped about Lisbon and people that are generally not even that much into Eurovision are now trying to get tickets. It is truely annoying, especially after missing out on the fan package by just a few points) But what am I supposed to do but try till the end?
Let me ignore the obvious question of how I liked the final and the result of ESC 2017 (some can probably guess already).
Let me first tell you about the jury final night. Before we went to the arena all dressed up and ready to have a great night, we once again went to eat at kupkak. Best chocolate cake ever. I am telling you! This restaurant was the best ever chocolate cake I had in my life. And knowing me you can imagine I had a lot of cakes. This cake melted in your mouth and its taste was a chocolate explosion. I still cannot get over the fact how good that was!
But as you have not experienced it and cannot dwell with me in the memory of this chocolate sensation, I will move on to the more important part, the jury show.
Previously I had told you about the craziness of the fan zone but let me give you a real insight on how this works.
The show starts at 10pm. Because of the tight security fans have been advised to arrive 2-2.5 hours prior to the show. Now real hardcore fans however, arrive at least 3h before the show. This way they have a chance of being first in line at the first checkpoint:do you really have a ticket.
The moment the gates open you have to run. This leads you to checkpoint 2. The security check. Here it is important to queue at the correct security check to get in quickly but also consider where the entrance of the fanzine will be. Through security you need a further stop to get you ticket scanned. Then you run again. To the left door ideally as this closer to the fanzine entry. But you might already guess it, these doors are closed. Because the arena does not open before 8pm. Security officials try to get you to move away from the doors but you really do not wanna miss your spot. So you wait. And it gets really crowded. However, this also allows you to meet new likeminded people. When the doors finally open a wave of fans gushes into the arena just to be stopped at the next checkpoint: are you actually allowed in the fanzone. Here you need to wait until 9pm. And it is warm, you cannot get a drink or even really move. But the things you do for a good spot are ridiculous. At this stage you should be first row, ideally on the right hand side. This means you can already see inside and know when the supervisor will allow the stewards to let you in. Here it is important that you have the wristband given to you earlier clearly visible and your running strategy already figured out because no matter what friends you might have made this day, it is everyone for themselves.
Well, we made it and got as close to the stage as possible to see the show. Now, after we endured all of this and were pressed against the railings, for the first time I felt sick. As in full on viral infection creeping in. But there was no way in hell I miss the show. Most of the show I was actually able to suppress the sick feeling. But it was a shame I could not celebrate as much. Regardless of how I felt, we were chosen 3 times to be on camera including Australia. However, as the jury show is never broadcasted you won't ever see us cheering. When the show part was done and the fake voting is done I usually like to stay but I really felt the need to rest. Henny and dj stayed behind to watch the voting and I went home. I really want to stay healthy because I need to work on Monday and if I am fit enough to party I am also fit enough to work.
Henny and dj shortly went to the club afterwards and came home just 2h after me.
The next day we went to the hairdressers. You might have already seen the Instagram picture. We spent 20euro to get Hennys hair braided, her fingers fully manicured and my hair- well styled. We kind of felt we should have done this earlier as we had only crappie seats for the final. But you will see why this was the right choice.
Because we only had those seats in the back, we decided to meet up with dj only at 8pm. As we had to wait for dj a bit quite a few fans passed by us and we felt a bit like the welcoming committee... Unfortunately it was raining the whole day. Otherwise we would have stayed there for a little while longer.
As usual (by now) people wanted to take pictures with us but we did not expect what happened at the ticketing entrance. First a camera team asked us about the outfits and who we thought our favorite to win was. And then about 6 or 7 photographers showed up, taking pictures like we were stars at the red carpet! So please watch out on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and whatnot if you can see a picture of us. Because I really would love to see them but we really hadn't had the time to asked them for it.
Also I was approached so many times about my outfits and if they are for sale that Henny couldn't stop going on about me making money by producing my collection for everyone to buy. While I love that there are some reasons tohat will not work.
A) there is already plenty of country specific outfits, that it will be difficult to get in that market with a high quality, Eco-friendly collection.
B) my sewing is not up to the standard I want my clothes to be. If I sell them I want my outfits to not only look good but I want people to be extremely happy with the quality.
C) I cannot afford to pay someone to mass produce and a made-to-measures outfit is too time-consuming to be sold under at least 400euro a piece.
If you like to get a dress done by me, be it Eurovision or Europe (I believe there are some pro-Europe marches going on) themed outfits or even a "normal" outfit, please let me know .
In anyway that all happened before we actually got to sit on our seats. Funny enough, when we arrived Levina was doing a clip for ARD I believe from the arena and Henny managed to get a picture with her again. That was about the only upside of those seats. People just did not celebrate like they do in the fan zone and honestly it feels like sitting in a 1983 version of Eurovision. Also for those who actually looked for us on screen (thank you), that is why you could not find us.
Now my opinion on the show? To put it in Dutch words: why you????? Why did Portugal win? I don't get it nor will I ever. But, while I was a hater at the time and actually left the arena before I had to listen to the winning song again, I am genuinely happy for Portuguese fans. They deserved to win after trying for such a long time, but did it have to be with this song?
I was asked if I now won't go next year. But really this is a stupid question. Just because I don't like the song Eurovision fans all other the world crowned the winner of 2017 does not mean I don't like Eurovision. If anything it is more important that I go. To me Eurovision is not about this one song and just winning. I've already said it and I do it again. Eurovision is about coming together despite any differences and celebrating music. It just so happens that this year I don't agree with the votes. That is okay.
There are, however, two reason why I would not go to Portugal next year. Firstly and hopefully unlikely a war is breaking out in Europe. Secondly and more likely, I am too broke and cannot afford the trip. With tickets and all 10days usually cost depending on the country around 2000 euro.
I will not be the only one with money being tight. Portugal will need to see how to fund Eurovision. Hopefully they get s lot of sponsors. Also I think they really should consider a back to basics approach. As Salvatore has said on multiple occasions he is fighting against songs that work off fireworks and wants to promote songs with meaning. So why not have a stage that has no led lightning, where no fireworks are possibly. Why not even go back to the time the songs were performed with a live orchestra? I think -just for one year-this would be awesome. The delegations will really have to think how to make a song work on a simple stage. Well Portugal, think about it... You probably have a small orchestra on staff anyways.
In any case, I did get my wish and Sweden didn't win. So I shouldn't be complaining.
At this stage I would have loved an outsider to win, Romania or Moldova for example. Though Moldova only scored so high because of the epic sax guy history. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so-work with what you got.
I think Belarus finally answered the question if they are a couple or not after always avoiding the answer and saying his love is his guitar.
Funny enough for me-just like every year-by the time I watch the songs in the shows I like them all on some level. Even Croatia that I did not understand to make the cut, has a beautiful message and it is so much fun to make fun of his staging.
Biggest surprise for me was Lucie from UK not doing well. I really had expected her to do better. Maybe it was a bit too much musical drama for Eurovision. But it is definitely what I liked. Maybe one day I get to see her perform in the Westend.
Now, a big thank you has to go out to Spain for messing up his song in the live show. This saved us from last place again. (Even if Henny would have won 300 euro had we been last). Now, seeing that the jury gave us points shows that it was not the worst we ever sent and Levina did a good job. I hope she had fun at least. I just agree with so many at Eurovision have said: we have to send something crazy. As I am not expecting a good position in Eurovision for at least another year, we should send something in 2019 that we wouldn't usually send. Stop this English mainstream pop, sweet girl mix and send something German. Have the bundesvision song contest be the preselection for Eurovision.
Oh by the way guys, in case you have missed it. There was a runner during jamalas performance (I like her new song) who showed his but. Despite the Australian flag, this guy was a Ukrainian prankster.
Almost every Australian was mortified and felt so bad when they saw the incident. I am happy for them that it was an Ukrainian.
Now, who is coming to Lisbon in. May 2018?
Okay, I knew it was going to happen. Still, there was this little (pretty big) voice in my head saying we can do this. And I am so disappointed in all of you that texted me saying he was shit or had a squeaky voice or the song was bad. I think Brendan did really well and I genuinely liked this song- I did not like the balloon.
For me, it would be the greatest thing in the world if Ireland were to host Eurovision again. And my head knew that this song would not lead to that and yet I am gutted. Sometimes emotions are very irrational. On top of being a bit deprived of sleep (about 3-4h), I suppose I am not surprised that I am crying about not qualifying. I am also disappointed in my friend, who has no understanding whatsoever for my reaction. But today is another day and I will smile and say it's all good and focus on Levina. Let's face it my next let down.
But let me tell you about the day as a whole. With a late start we went to a new restaurant with Odessan cuisine. I was not impressed with the help yourself buffet and be charged by the kilo approach but the food itself seem to have been good.
We originally had tickets for the family show in the afternoon as well as the live show in the evening. (Initially we only had the afternoon ticket and then they later released tickets for the live event) Because our OGAE president Roy had his official farewell meet up at 3pm we decided to not go to the show and say goodbye to Roy. We also took the time to meet up with Dan and his mum to get some Irish flags to wave at the show. Dans' mum was a really impressive woman and it was inspiring to live life to the fullest.
When saying our farewell to Roy we naturally made it to some Ukrainian news again. I feel by now that we are kind of celebrities in our own way.
Shortly before we wanted to leave Moldova arrived for a meet and greet. And while I would have loved a picture with epic sax guy, the time we had to the show was just too limited.
The show... Overall I liked the show. I think the interval acts where better in semi 1 than 2. The sound in the arena was much better than the first night.
Personally I would have not put my money on Croatia, however, after his performance I was already saying this was something my mom would probably vote for. So I am not surprised that it did make it to the final. And also I love the Estonian song but the male singer was extremely creepy when he looked into the camera. If I were at home voting, I'd probably call for the doctor. I don't get how some people thought we looked hot..
My personal favorites were Bulgaria, BELARUS and Hungary. Though the Dutch and Romanian song were pretty cool too.
Oh right, and then there was the proposal. I mean, it was a grand gesture to pop the question at the show, and it made her a winner regardless, but I feel proposals like that are so outdated. Also, it did not really fit into the show. However, I am happy for her and I am sure she appreciated the spotlight.
We closed the night at the euroclub and if I were drinking alcohol I possibly would have gotten hammered. As it was, I only tried to dance of my frustration.
Now, you are most likely not to hear from me until after the grand final.
Y'all vote for Germany not to be last, vote for Belarus or Romania for the fun of the song or for uk and Bulgaria for the amazing sound or just let Italy win. Or vote for Belgium because Belgium deserves to win. This is not a winning song I think but Belgium is delivering brilliant songs now year after year. They really turned it around, I'd love for it to be recognized.
Don't vote for Sweden... I don't want to go to Sweden again next year... Been there done that.... Moreover, it would rob Ireland of its title (most ESC wins)f
What can I tell you about with Wednesday?
We tried to walk to the toilet museum-yes their have a toilet history museum in Kiev. Unfortunately we did not find it as we failed to have the exact location on our map, just the street and couldn't access wlan. Instead we just walked around the streets back to our place to get ready for the OGAE party hosted with wiwibloggs.
While we should have known better by now we arrived fairly early to the euroclub and the show did not start until around 11pm.
Let me sum up some low-and highlights:
Somebody please replace the host in euroclub. We must be the worst host you have ever had. He is self centered, annoying and boring. Basically you see him walking around with his selfie stick trying to get as much pictures with celebrities, more for the fact to get followers from the look of it than for the joy of having a picture with the act. A host should try to keep the crowed going but his "any minute now" and pointless, repetitious "where are you from? Ah we recognized you already" is more than annoying by now.
The dj is playing nonstop non Eurovision songs. Upon asking why (especially on the night of the fanclub-party) they weren't playing ESC songs the response was, that the dj was Ukrainian and did not know Eurovision songs. This is the euroclub on wiwi jam/OGAE night and we have more than one dj in our fan clubs that could and would have done it for sure. Honestly, even just playing a Spotify or whatnot list would have had been better.
I've been duffed. I cannot give to much details, but there was a pretty bad teenage romcom (I am a sucker for those) about a duff and this pretty much happened to me last night. Too bad Henny has no interest whatsoever... Very uncomfortable and awkward.
The Latvian act was said to perform but did not show up.
Now for the highlights.
The line up was great. Lindita made me cry when we she sang her song after not qualifying and we wanted to give her a real round of applause to appreciate her song. She was obviously emotional about not getting through and still getting this support. She then gave a beautiful I will always love you -Whitney Houston rendition on stage. Just wonderful.
Poland really rocked the house with her brother, who "was paid to play the violin and not to talk" according to him. They both enjoyed being on stage.
Greeces' dancers were great and I tried to get a picture of those two for a friend but failed miserably as you can see below.
Montenegro rocked the house. As I said I understand why he did not qualify but man this guy knows how to rock a stage. It was brilliant. So much so that we did not care that Sweden was up on stage next.
Later we were surprised by self proclaimed ESC whore Krista Siegfrids with her song marry me.
Also Alma actually came after performing in the jury semi to perform fear song on stage.
Biggest surprise of the evening however, hands down has to be the closing act.
Mans zelmerlöw was actually there to perform and the crowed went wild. And can I just say: totally get why he won. And his charisma and stage presence is a million times beeper than robins.
When the first playback started he looked surprised. I believe he expected that he would sing hero but instead the song cara Mia was played, but mans just changed gears and performed. Afterwards he did sing heroes.
A little let down: wiwibloggs interviewed him and they talked about love love peace peace-the greatest interval act in a long time.he was asked if he could sing it for us and mans agreed if they had the track. So wiwibloggs suggested to regroup in a few minutes when they found the song but in the end they didn't. This way there was no real final good buy and I think mans could possibly have sung the song acapella with the audience.
Next up... Go Ireland! Please remember to vote. Germany you are allowed to vote on the second semi so please help Brendan.
It's the day of the first semi and I am getting excited. It is also rememberance day and considered to the most dangerous day during Eurovision time in Kiev. Because this day was all about liberation from the nazis, we decided not to walk about too German. Though the golden spandex leggings I went for instead definitely caused attention and laughter. You know what: I think it is great that I can make people smile and have a bit of fun in a time when they have war on their mind.
Today we took the red hop on hop off sightseeing tour. Positive: the English commentator sounded almost Scottish and the final stop was right outside our apartment. Negative: it was raining, stops were not properly announced and the information given was very repetitive.
Because of the tight security we needed to be at the exhibition center 2.5h before the show. Half way there I noticed that I had left our tickets at home. Yes, call me eegit. Those 20min were probably the reason though why we were not the first in lines but still early enough to be first row at the small stage where Portugal performed. (We checked and yes, we are in some shots, so watch out for us!)
However, before we got to the stage we still had to do a lot of waiting. The security was not as tight as I had imagined. And while we got an email stating bags were not allowed, we saw a lot of backpacks.
About the show itself: In the arena we had real problems actually hearing the vocal performance of the acts. At first I thought it was because the audience was singing along too loudly but when the presenters where talking we did not understand a word most of the times either.
What I can say about the audience is that this time they were great in regards to fairness. Everyone cheered for all acts and made them feel welcome on stage. Obviously there were some acts that got more applause than others but I don't think anybody felt mistreated.
Because we couldn't really hear the singers, we re-watched the shows of those we did not understand. We knew Montenegro was not going through according to the odds but we loved his performance, however seeing the tv-transmission we totally get how Montenegro did not make the cut. On the other hand, listening to the show again at home I am surprised (though delighted) that Belgium made it to the final. Overall I am okay with the results of the show though I probably would have preferred Latvia over Cyprus and Finland over Australia. Can't wait for Thursday now.
A few side notes: Greece's act reminds me of a Disney character.. Look at her face and tell me she could not be right out of a Disney movie.
I still don't like Portugals song but I loved Portugals' faces during recaps.
And lastly I am going to bet on UK top five-I mean, listen to that high note she is hitting every time.
pennyless fashion designer working towards London