Eurovision 2017 – Go Lucie!

Normally I begin my Eurovision preparations several weeks before the contest. Aside from Christmas Day and the final day of the academic year before the summer starts, Eurovision is one of my annual highlights, but this year it has almost sneaked up on me. I was away during the first semi-final so was unable to watch it live, so The Bloke and I watched the two semi-finals on Thursday and Friday night. I must admit, I was a little disappointed – there isn’t one song from the other countries that really stands out for me and there are lots of similarities in staging and outfits (half of the women seem to be white wedding dress style clothing). Continue reading

Eurovision 2016 Predictions and Points

Yes, it’s that time of year again, and The Bloke and I have got the snacky treats ready. It’s the Eurovision final, and I’m teaming up with Hugh (Hugh’s Views and News) and Helen (Journey to Ambeth) for a Twitter-fest during the show. Normally, we would be joined by Steve (Steve Says), but he’s decided that our company isn’t good enough this year and has gone to the live show in Stockholm (of course, I’m not jealous in the slightest).

Last year, the UK entry was so awful I was under no illusions that we would do badly. However, this year, Joe and Jake’s song has grown on me and I’m genuinely hoping that they do well. It’s a catchy song, the lads have worked hard and seem like lovely people, and deserve some success from it. I can’t vote for them, but I’m wishing them lots of luck! There are a number of surprisingly good songs being performed in the final, so it’s a close race. Continue reading

Eurovision 2015: A Deserving Winner and an Embarrassment for the UK

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Måns Zelmerlöw from Sweden

The Eurovision results are in and Sweden, the favourite, was declared the winner. It was a catchy song, with simple but effective staging and deserved the crown. I had a good evening – The Bloke and I got the snacky treats in, we gorged ourselves during the contest and I was amused by the thousands of Twitter comments that dominated my timeline for the majority of the evening. Admittedly, it was a little more relaxed (and dare I say, dull) this year – the competition was littered by powerful ballads, with a distinct lack of gimmicks that I have come to associate Eurovision with over the years. Clearly, many have started to take it much more seriously.

To make things a bit more interesting, I had teamed up with Steve from Steve Says and Talk About Pop Music  and Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News prior to the final to offer our predictions for the outcome. Here were our predictions:

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And here is the final list:

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I got seven of the top 10, as did Steve, and Hugh got six, so I think we did quite well. However, all three of us were quite deflated at the fact that the UK yet again was more of the comedy item for the year and we finished in a much deserved 24th place. Steve did a fantastic post about this, that I totally agree with. As one of the ‘Big Five,’ who contribute the most money and automatically gain a place in the final, you’d think that whoever is in charge would take it a little more seriously and stop submitting the rubbish that they come up with every year. It was embarrassing to see our entry – a Mick Jagger tribute and an unknown reality contestant – prancing around on the stage wearing, as Steve put it ‘cheap wrap-around glow sticks purchased at Poundland,’ to some awful charleston inspired nonsense and attempting to resurrect Louis Armstrong. No, BBC, just no.

To make matters worse, we can’t even blame the tactical political voting that has been such a prominent part of the system for so many years – there was far less of this in the competition, with countries giving 12 points to countries that they wouldn’t normally vote for.

I was, however, delighted for Guy Sebastian and his brilliant performance for Australia. So much so, in fact, I bought the song from iTunes and have been listening to it constantly since the competition ended.

What did you think of the contest? Did the right person win?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and my new Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

 

Eurovision 2015: Grand Final Predictions

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It’s that time of year again, and after watching both semi-finals I’m excited about the Eurovision Song Contest final tonight!

In celebration, I’ve teamed up with Steve from Talk About Pop Music and Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News to offer my predictions for tonight. We’ve done our lists seperately and have awarded points in the manner used in the competition and after the results have been revealed we’ll get together and see who has got the most right. I’ve been torn between listing my favourites and the ones I think are actually going to do well, so I’ve created a mixture of both…

From the team of Suzie and The Bloke, here are our predictions and our votes for tonight…

1 point goes to… Monika Linkyte and Vaidas Baumila: This Time (Lithuania)

2 points go to… Il Volo: Grande Amore (Italy)

3 points go to… Aminata: Love Injected (Latvia) (i don’t actually like this song but tactical voting will mean it will do quite well I think)

4 points go to… Voltaj: All Over Again (Romania)

5 points go to… John Karayiannis: One Thing I Should Have Done (Cyprus)

6 points go to… Polina Gagarina: A Million Voices (Russia) (Note: this will depend on whether Europe still hates Russia or not)

7 points go… Nadav Guedj: Golden Boy (Israel)

8 points go to… Bojana Stamenov: Beauty Never Lies (Serbia)

10 points go to… Mans Zelmerlow: Heroes (Sweden)

And finally… DOUZE POINTS go to… Guy Sebastian: Tonight Again (Australia)

Eurovision 2015 Semi-Final 1: Boggie, Ming the Merciless and Tit-Tape

imageEvery year, there are three things that I desperately look forward to. The end of the academic year (ie. the start of the summer holidays), Christmas Eve and, of course, Eurovision.

To those on the outside looking in, The Eurovision Song Contest must look like a large group of aliens have landed, taken lots of LSD and decided to create a performance out of the results. The premise is simple – countries from Europe (or Europe-ish, or Australasia in this year’s case) are represented by a song, and the other countries vote for them using a point system, interspersed with poorly crafted jokes from presenters in often ill-conceived dresses. The winning country gets to host the contest the following year. In recent times, there have been two televised semi-finals on the week of the event, with the top ten from each participating in the final on the Saturday night. They are joined by the ‘Big Five’ – United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany and Italy (we all pay to go straight to the final) and this year they will be joined by the hosts, Austria, and Australia (that well-known European country) who have been invited to participate as part of the 60th anniversary of the event.

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Every year The Bloke and I have our own private Eurovision party – we stock up on snacky treats, create a mini-buffet for ourselves and we enjoy the utter madness that unfolds before our eyes on the television. Over recent years we’ve witnessed a number of weird and wonderful performances – a man in a hamster wheel, Russian grannies, pirates, Dustin the Turkey, a beautiful bearded man in a dress, and of course, Jedward (twice) and we laugh at the blatant biased voting and political allegiances. It’s a brilliant way to spend an evening. However, it isn’t all gimmick and silliness – it’s a showcase of some of the most spectacular voices and talented singers around the continent, and every so often I will fall in love with one of the songs and listen to it repeatedly. Even now, one of my most popular songs on my all-time playlist is Marco Mengoni’s ‘L’essenziale,’ Italy’s entry from the 2013 contest. Admittedly, I haven’t a clue what he is singing about (he could be declaring his love for macaroni cheese or a ham sandwich for all I know), but it’s a truly beautiful song, delivered by an equally beautiful voice.

Last night was the first of the semi-finals and I already had an idea of some of the songs available, mainly due to the fact that one of my favourite bloggers, Steve from Talk About Pop Music hasn’t actually stopped talking about it since the 2014 contest ended, but I was looking forward to admiring the staging (which gets more spectacular every year) and the presentation of each song.

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There were some really interesting performances – I particularly liked the Russian entry ‘A Million Voices’ sung by Polina Gagarina (who looked absolutely stunning and must have been tit-taped to within an inch of her life in her very low-cut white dress, and my favourite of the evening was Serbia’s entry ‘Beauty Never Lies,’ that was sung by Bojana Stamenov and composed by the same person who had written last year’s winning song. Hungary’s entry, ‘Wars For Nothing,’ sung by Boggie also had a beautiful message (despite her unfortunate name) and I warmed to Romania’s entry, Voltaj, after I got past the fact that the lead singer reminded me of Ming The Merciless from Flash Gordon. There were Geordie impersonators from The Netherlands (wayyyaaayyaa man!), the shortest ever song from Finland, who were represented by Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, where all of the members have learning difficulties (brave move and nice to see, but I think that the Eurovision community were very much divided about it), and ‘Anti Social Media,’ a band from Denmark who had clearly spent their time listening to early McFly tracks.

Oh, and this… from Moldova. Well, that’s just showing off (although I’m sure I could do that after a pint or ten)…

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However, I also had the chance to hear Australia’s entry, and I already have my new song crush…

Roll on the second semi-final!

What about you guys? Did you watch the semi-finals? Have you got a favourite?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog. Don’t forget to check out my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and now you can also find my new Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

 

Blog of The Day: Meet Steve!

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Meet Steve! He’s a blogger extraordinaire, proud Scotsman and creator of two fun and interesting blogs: Steve Says and Now This is What I Would Call Music. He covers lots of different topics, including giving us an insight into his own life, but Steve’s biggest passion in life is music. His posts have included every UK Number 1 since records began, Eurovision favourites, television and movies and Top 10’s, and I don’t know how he finds the time to create such great content! He has now even branched out further into the world of vlogging, and has started posting regular videos that gives us insights into his playlists for the week.

Steve and I met through the Daily Post’s Community Pool over a year ago. I was instantly hooked on his blog because we share the same passion about music (and in particular, Eurovision), and over time we have become good bloggy friends, working together on several projects that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve also been honoured to guest post on his blog before.

Steve’s ‘About’ page gives you a very small insight into his life:

Whether you got here by a quick click or via a long scan – welcome to my personal blog. I just want to share my ideas, findings and general reflections with anyone that has time to listen – music, photos, rants – there’s no real theme here…

I currently work in the IT industry as:

IT Productivity Coach (they say)
Service Delivery (they say)
Desktop Support (they say)
IT Ninja (I say)
I love Music and iTunes so it’s quite handy that I also have my own music blog. I also like Cats, Bang & Olufsen, Doctor Who

I live with my partner Greg which is fun sometimes. He doesn’t love music, iTunes or Bang & Olufsen but he does like cats which is quite lucky as we have two. We live in a village called Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland which is home of Emeli Sande & birthplace of the Aberdeen Angus cow.

I enjoy Steve’s musings because they never follow a pattern – I like the eclectic mix of thoughts and ideas that he produces each day, I love the wit and honesty with which he delivers them and I have laughed so much in the random conversations I have with him. He’s a fountain of musical knowledge, and I have learnt so much from his posts…

Follow him! Share his posts! Send him a message on Twitter!

Steve is also my glamorous co-host for this week’s #SundayBlogShare, during which he will be reading and retweeting, so it is a brilliant opportunity for you to follow him on his Twitter handle, @stevesays2014, and tweet him your posts!

Here are Steve’s social media accounts…

Twitter: @stevesays2014

Facebook

Enjoy – I’m sure you’ll enjoy his posts as much as I do!