So that’s the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 up and running!
Not a bad night for me on the predictions/”napkin of death” front – I got eight out of the ten songs, so not bad. Mind you I think that the semi-final last night was actually easy to call. The one on Thursday night will be more challenging, with a more eclectic mix of songs than last night. I was pleasantly surprised that Hungary got through, but Albania bemused me! That’s what I love about this Contest – the subjectivity of the pan-European music taste will always deliver a few surprises.
Watching the Contest at home for the first time in five years made a nice change – and I was not wishing I was there in Baku, so I‘ve made the right decision to sit this one out.
I thought that the staging was great and it was well directed. The presenters need some work – no chemistry and rather stilted delivery. The BBC presenters (Scott and Sara) were dreadful – talking drivel throughout. The audience seemed strangely subdued – although let’s not forget that it starts at midnight local time. I think that the EBU need to mobilise the flag police (like they had in Moscow in 2009) to stop overzealous fans blocking the cameras with their flags (this wasn’t a problem the last couple of years at the stage was raised higher, and the camera run was set about the flags).
I think the nicest touch of the event so far was how the lighting on the outside of the crystal arena changed to the colours of each nations flag as they were about to perform – very effective.
Did you see my good friend Paul Jordan – aka “Dr Eurovision” – being interviewed on BBC 3 during the voting and at the end of the show? He’ll be doing the same thing on Thursday night, and you can continue to get his lowdown on his blog I have previously listed on my blog. Here’s his last post:
One last thought for now – how the betting odds have changed overnight. Here’s the top 20 as of Wednesday morning…
Sweden have been the favourite since February (but that’s no guarantee!) and we’ll see them perform tomorrow night. The UK were fourth favourite last weekend, but have now plunged to 10th. Oh dear! Mind you, the Hump’s rehearsals have been rather sketchy so I can see why people aren’t betting on it. I’ve said for months that it wouldn’t surprise me to see Romania finish in the top three, and after making it to the final last night their odds have narrowed and they are now at a new high in the betting – 5th favourite. I thought Iceland was great last night (although male singer Jonsi did look slightly possessed – like some Hammer House of Horror vampire!), so I’m surprised that they have drifted from 5th favourite to 14th. It’ll be interesting to see the impact of the second semi-final dress rehearsals today on the odds.
If you joined me last night hope you enjoyed it – and share your thoughts on the blog. More from me later, as our Eurovision marathon continues…