Archive for category News
I have begun the three-day long journey to Oslo, Norway. I meet Daniela this afternoon, then tomorrow afternoon, barring complication from Eyjafjallajokull or BASSA/Unite strikes, we go to Oslo via London. If you’ll, drop us a comment.
I regret that I haven’t posted comments on the songs yet, but hopefully Daniela and I can get something up before we leave.
I also hope to update while in Norway, but that’s dependent upon Internet access there.
There was once a time when America was almost involved in a Eurovision-like contest of international melodic proportions. I say almost, though, because once the US lost it, it somehow never managed to return to television.
The contest, for those of you who remember, was called “World Idol” and featured representatives from 11 countries who had won their own country’s version of “American Idol”, which (in the spirit of full disclosure) officially began in the UK. Kelly Clarkson represented the US, sang as almost all her contemporaries, of course, in English, and after being accused by the Canadian judge of yelling rather than belting, lost out to “dark horse” Kurt Nilsen of Norway. The US got tired of losing to Norway in the international arena, and the World Idol competition was not to be seen nor heard of again. In fact, depending on the results of 2014’s final medal count, it remains to be seen whether the next Winter Olympics may in fact be our last. Uff da!
But enough about Kurt Nilsen. What does any of this have to do with Eurovision? Well, besides the mirrored voting systems, World Idol does help me, as a grudge-holding American, to discuss the particularities of the Norwegian brand of singing-contest success: they are either very good at it or very, very bad.
A quick update for all the readers…
Daniela and I were lucky enough to get tickets to all three major events in Oslo, and we’ll be going there. With any luck, we can provide you updates from the show. Daniela has given me the great suggestion of doing some video updates from Oslo. This, of course, depends upon us having Internet access, so I can’t say for sure if I’ll be able to do this, but I hope to be able to give you some video from Oslo come May.
Expect more from me when I’m not bogged down in thousands of pages of reading for law school. (Like commentary on the songs selected.) I have no idea when that will happen.
Unrelated Notice: Our host has switched file servers for this site, and I’ve been informed that this may break some things. Hopefully it won’t, but if you notice something broken, drop me a line.
As many devoted Eurovision fans no doubt recall, figure skater Yevgeny Plushchenko joined Dima Bilan on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest Belgrade 2008. Perhaps it was, as my co-author Daniela thinks, an important factor in Dima’s win. (I think Dima’s prior song, Never Let You Go, was far better, and it was all over the radio when I spent six weeks in Russia in 2006.) If you don’t recall either of these songs, videos from YouTube are below.
Well, the Olympic gold medalist moved away from Eurovision and back to real figure skating on a normal sized rink and won the World Grand Prix series in Moscow. While Eurovision has left Moscow and is on its way to Oslo, its stars certainly have not.
I’m sorry that I’ve neglected this for so long, but I’ve been a little busy with school. Daniela and I promise that we’ll write more in the future.
Last night I had the privilege of attending a Eurovision party at the House of Sweden hosted by the Swedish Embassy, surrounded by such stars in the Eurovision world as Christer Björkman, producer for Sveriges Television and head of delegation for Sweden, Fred Bronson, reporter and Eurovision expert, and Anna Sahlene, who’s competed in Eurovision. (Fred has also expressed a willingness to contribute to Eurovision America. Whether that’s reporting or his experiences, it is quite an honor to have a reporter of his caliber writing for our little blog.)
Once I finally catch up with my RSS feed, I’ll provide some commentary on recent Eurovision news.
There were a number of big announcements in the Eurovision world this week that are worth discussing. I’m going to limit myself to the two that I’d actually like to comment on.
First, Telenor Arena it is! Yeah, yeah, the EBU is calling it Fornebu Arena, which is its old name. It’s called Telenor, but because Telenor is not a corporate sponsor of Eurovision Song Contest, the venue can’t bear the Telenor name. It should be a fun venue, as it’s supposed to seat 23,000. That’s about as big as a place I’ve ever seen a concert in (biggest is the now-demolished Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, NC, which held 23,780 for a concert). Obviously, it’s way too early to start hearing a word about tickets. Hopefully the Norwegians will handle it a little better than the Russians. I can’t imagine what it was like to try to get a ticket if you didn’t speak Russian. My main concern with Telenor Arena is that it’s not easily accessible from the city center, being in the suburb of Bærum. The Russians figured something out for running the metro after hours, though, so I have complete confidence that the Norwegians will make it work for the thousands of foreigners who will come for the concert.
Second, the most recent UK contestant, Jade Ewen, winner of Eurovision: Your Country Needs You and fifth-place finisher in this year’s final, has released a new single, which has me saying, “What?” She was supposed to be a West End musical star, and she’s released what sounds to me like the stereotypical American pop song. Take a listen from the BBC via YouTube:
It’s certainly not what I expected from Jade. It sounds nothing like “It’s My Time,” possibly because Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote “It’s My Time” and this one was written by Ina Wroldsen. While I probably won’t be listening to much of Jade’s new material, I do wish her all the best.
EDIT: Fixed YouTube link.