Tag Archives: hosts

Semi 2: #joinus, the world

Update, 9 May: 7/10 for me and Stine & Lasse, who #joinedus for semi 2, 8/10 for Mik. Biggest surprises Finland and Slovenia, while Ann had FYROM/Tijana in place of Poland. Gonna miss her and Vilja, real women with personalities not taking themselves too seriously. Making up the 10 Austria, Belarus, Greece, Malta, Norway, Romania and, obvs, Switzerland.

Back on Saturday with our predictions for the final. Hint: Eurovision’s coming home…

Below are our predictions for semi 2, with a full ranking again from Mik. This time only five go – how hard can it be? Bolded is out. Check back on Friday.

Tonight’s theme is #joinus, the world. No, me neither. We’re doing this one from the sofa, tweeting at @annonescdk.

Malta

Ann: this year’s Teardrops, calibrated for the win. The dulcimer makes a welcome return to Eurovision.

Mik: Perfect jolly opener from the Maltese Von Trapps. Sibling connection does the job with this harmless fun song. (2)

Israel

Ann: Mei may have dropped her big pants but still needs some backings walking in a line. “And now it’s time for me to clean up your mess”? Just no.

Mik: Spot on! In control. Don’t have to clean up her mess. Sexy! Only maybe: too aggressive and shouty. (6)

Norway

Ann: despite/because of getting Carl in Matchmaker this makes me want to slit my wrists. Ditch the formation violinists.

Mik: Very silent, yet intimate. You understand and believe the message, and more importantly this goes for both jury and televote. (3)

Georgia

Ann: guilty pleasure. Not sure if I’ve listened to it all the way through, mind.

Mik: Hippie heaven. Will do better than any Eurofan thinks. (12)

Poland

Ann: it’s ironic. Isn’t it?

Mik: Babushky polski! Cheeky and catchy: is it too much? Borderline, but you have to love the local flavour. (4)

Austria

Ann: Pollapönk pre-empted this on the red carpet (which is one reason why they went through).

Mik: Overrated, dated and tries far too hard. Gay vote is in da house, but too bizarre for the rest. (5)

Lithuania

Ann: love it, love Vilja. Original, creative, catchy. Best result since LT United (them again)?

Mik: Fresh, likeable and the 1 you remember, despite the shouting and repetitive chorus. Nice contemporary dance routine. Diaspora vote? (10)

Finland

Ann: this is from Finland? Gosh. Nul pointer.

Mik: Coldplay from Suomi but lacks Chris Martin’s charisma. Great stadium track. (11)

Ireland

Ann: now this really is the nul pointer. At least she’s had her nails done. 

Mik: Insecure performance with poor vocals, poor song and those riverdancers in kilts go back home. Definite nul pointer.  (15)

Belarus

Ann: don’t have a problem with this, unlike Robin Thicke

Mik: Great fun and Teo is convincing. Brings a smile to your face. (7)

FYROM

Ann: Go Tijana! Women will like. Not quite the full package, but deserves it, darlings.

Mik: Superstar-diva but too static, doesn’t take me to the sky. Kati Wolf had a better song and did not do well. (13)

Switzerland

Ann: picked this one out from the start, folk musician, Eurovision participant, lawyer…go Sebalter!

Mik: Surprise! Warm, hearty, charming and most of all genuine. You want him to do well! (8)

Greece

Ann: who needs a trapeze when you’ve got a trampoline? Great fun.

Mik: All rise to this very catchy contemporary chart friendly poppy song. (1)

Slovenia

Ann: still needs to sort out her look; pleasant but doesn’t really go anywhere

Mik: Comes across as dull, grey and boring. A shame but will get a few jury votes. (14)

Romania 

Ann: what’s Ovi for? I really don’t think he sees it. Shoulda done She’s after my piano instead.

Mik: Plastic Up with People, very manufactured. Will qualify, but won’t get anywhere, once there. (9)

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Party for the people in Odense

Updates: 17 March…in his #melfest review @misterjorgensen calls #drgrandprix a “humourless, rule-filled endurance test” while cool Danish online news mag Atlas thanks Birthe for the music, finds show manufactured and soulless. In the deeply serious daily Information Georg Metz makes a few rhetorical flourishes on the way to concluding that DR lacks self critique…22 March: DMGP songs in the Danish charts

In terms of viewing figures, DMGP garnered 1.8 million, the same as last year despite the win, while  #melfest on 3.3 million maintained its downward trajectory.

14 songs and just over a week still to go in national final season. Last night both Sweden and Denmark eschewed New Folk, going for a seventh time lucky schlager ballad sung by a Viking and a catchy 1980s Eurovision ditty from an X Factor reject respectively.

SVT’s slick show had a good flow, kicking off with the ultimate Wonderful Copenhagen from Charlotte Perelli on a rock, now being talked up as host for 2015. Nordic noir reference? Check. The votes from the Danish jury (what?) were read out by Saga from The Bridge

DR gave some of its shiny new ideas a run out on the locals, but you would have to be a real fan to be energised by the prospect of seeing Danni Elmo’s Instagram pics. They also pushed a branded hashtag for the night – having tried #arvingerneDR for the latest Sunday night drama to little avail.

According to Danish Twitter counter Overskrift #drgrandprix has garnered a stonking 12K + tweets in the last 24 hours, and not all of them by Grand Prix DR aka @escdk14 (oh stop it) either – the Danish Twitterati were out in force. Last year’s final garnered just over 14K tweets. Amidst the veritable tsunami of coverage – 144 new photos on Facebook, anyone – was a whoops fingers! #selfie:

The show itself left me with a few questions:

  • why did our winner Basim (4th in X Factor DK 2008) perform in front of a Dannebrog (Danish flag), obscuring the giant #joinus diamond which otherwise dominated proceedings? Bryan Rice would also like to know…update, 17 March: this ran and ran, reaching the satire stage of the news cycle by Tuesday; see Eurovisionary for the full story – at the mo it seems no Dannebrog for Basim
  • nice to see Marcel (2nd in X Factor DK 2009 as part of Alien Beat Club) again – whatever happened the other ABCers?
  • X Factor DK had a Eurovision evening on Friday, how about that! judge Remee, who discovered Basim back in 2008, doesn’t have a great Eurovision record (No Angels, Soluna), could that be an omen?
  • Jakob Riising, why? educational interludes made for a choppy change of tone

Amid rumours of backstage armtwisting, in the end no one rained on Emmelie’s parade. Let’s finish by looking at the two national finals through the medium of the interval act.

Stockholm basked in the joy which is an Abba medley – although maybe not so much in the extended version of Chiquitita. Nice touch with our hosts Anders and Nour, who we’ve taken to our hearts for having personalities, redoing Robin. Shame Robin didn’t redo Robin. Meanwhile over in Odense we had a buckets of folkelig cheer – and more community singing – with Queen Birthe Kjær et al all piling on stage to celebrate the joy of second (and third) place. Olsen Bros doublebooked, or saving themselves for May? It all went down swimmingly with the home crowd. We give you, Sweden a sleek global mastodon:

Denmark strictly a homegrown affair:

They’ll need to step things up a gear in May.

Three Danes to do work of one Swede

OK this may feel like old news, but hitting the publish button was delayed due to the pleasure of watching #metroxpressgate unfold. What’s that about then? Coming up next.

At 11:05ish yesterday the hosts of Eurovision 2014 were revealed under a golden shower, just like at the end of Teardrops – if you’ve got an idea, why not flog it to death?

Before that JLL and Pernille of the lovely hair (see our guide to the #escdk players) made a stab at rhyming couplets på dansk, a language not known for its poetry, but soon gave up and handed back to a safer pair of hands. Maybe they should have tried a form of English.

DR (sic) has gone for the troika formation, as seen most recently in Oslo, Düsseldorf and Baku, ie in three of the last four contests, but (crucially) not in Sweden. There is some novelty in that this time it’s two guys and one woman, but isn’t it still overegging the pudding a tad when not everyone can scrape together the kroner to #joinus?

Things may well get a bit crowded out there, but with the previous threesomes someone’s largely been relegated to green room duty (remember: this year the green room’s taken your seat). Plus maybe someone’s being lined up for le coin de la comédie, running round the bits of Refshaleøen the budget didn’t reach in a noir like fashion.

the three #escdk hosts
Who was the Odd Fellow out at Odd Fellow Palæet?

Time will tell. Meanwhile spare a thought for CSMO’C, displaced by three people whose names put together only just exceed hers in length.

As it happens we’re pretty happy with DR’s pack of three replacing Queen Petra. Nikolaj lends a touch of class to proceedings, Lise is a safe pair of hands and well, did you really think we’d get through #escdk without pandering to #scandimania? Plus it means our Borgen tag gets the ultimate run out. 

Following the new rule of three, here’s a selection from the many items of host reveal coverage: ESC Reporter (the classic), EuroVisionary (the empathetic) and Schlagerblog (the unexpected).

Armenia 2015

Eurosong.be is publishing a series of 30 posts looking at how prepared the #escdk participants are to host Eurovision 2015 in the event of a victory in Copenhagen. Posts published Mondays and Thursdays – we’re still  one country behind! Below is a translation of Armenië 2015.

the Karen Demirchyan concert hall, Yerevan
the Karen Demirchyan concert hall, Yerevan

Armenia has already organised one contest, Junior Eurovision in 2011. So the national broadcaster has experience of putting on a live TV show, plus there are hotels and a venue. The country is ready, although we still have a few reservations.

The 56th General Assembly of the EBU on 8 July 2005 in Dubrovnik was a milestone in Armenian media history. From that moment the national broadcaster was a full (and active) member of the union, and one year later the country made its debut at Eurovision.

A good record

Since then Armenia has participated every year except 2012, when the contest was held in neighbouring nemesis Azerbaijan. Each time they have thrown Olympism overboard and gone all out for victory. And the country has not done badly – six of their seven entries have advanced to the final and five have ended up in the top 10. The Armenians came closest to victory in 2008 when Sirusho finished fourth with Qele, Qele.

Proven expertise

National broadcaster APT organised Junior Eurovision in 2011. As we know, the junior version of the contest is not necessarily organised in the winning country of the previous year, but selected by the EBU from the broadcasters who put themselves forward as candidates – the fact that Armenia had won Junior Eurovision in 2010 was just a coincidence. But it must be said that the Armenians pulled off an entertaining and professional show – watch the full broadcast.

Some doubts

There are some parallels with Albania. As EBU member, APT has the rights to broadcast Eurovision, the most watched programme in the country, but commercial broadcaster Armenia TV has a much larger budget. This is reflected in their programming, which includes the Armenian versions of popular international formats.

Last summer the EBU urged APT to modernise their production facilities, for which they received money from the Armenian government. The move to HD and 16/9 only took place in 2013 – for Junior in 2011 APT had to rely on an external audiovisual services company (HD Resources from Sweden), while problems with power left half of Yerevan without electricity during the broadcast.

No competition for Yerevan

After an Armenian Eurovision victory the choice of host city would probably be quick – the capital Yerevan. The mayors of Gyumri (population: 146,000) and Vanadzor (pop: 105,000) might consider putting in bids, but these would be rejected due to lack of hotel capacity.

One of the oldest cities in the world with 1,120,000 inhabitants and home to a third of all Armenians, Yerevan would be a worthy host city. Plus its nickname is ‘the pink city’ – not for the reason a large proportion of the Eurovision audience might hope, but due to the colour of stones used in many of its buildings.

There are plenty of hotels in Yerevan, if often at somewhat excessive prices, so the EBU might have to insist rooms across a full price range are on offer.

Further downsizing

Junior Eurovision 2011 was held in the Karen Demirchyan Complex., probably also the venue of any adult contest held on Armenian soil.

Although the largest indoor concert venue in the country, the choice of this hall would continue the downsizing which the EBU stated was desirable after the 2011 contest. While the  hall can accommodate an audience of about 10,000, once cameras, commentator booths etc are in place this would probably be reduced to about 8,000.

Keeping up with the presenter

The search for host would probably not last very long either. TV personality, fashion designer, actress and model Kim Kardashian may have been born in California, but her father is Armenian and his daughter is very proud of her Armenian roots – the family actively campaigned for President Obama to recognise the 1915 Armenian genocide. Kardashian was the highest paid TV personality in 2010 with an income of $6 million, but would doubtless offer  the Armenian broadcaster a reduced rate.

Exit Turkey and Azerbaijan

After Greece and Cyprus (the divided island had a score to settle with Turkey) Belgium was one of the first countries to recognise the Armenians genocide. Hence a warm welcome would probably await the Belgian delegation in Yerevan, but it would be a contest without Turkey and Azerbaijan.

It’s also unlikely these countries would broadcast a contest with Armenia as host country, which could lead to a two year suspension – although the requirement that a participating broadcaster must have broadcast the previous year’s contest was abolished in 2013, to make – ironically – a Turkish return in Copenhagen possible (which didn’t happen).

In conclusion, the Armenians would be delighted to win the contest and would find it a great honour to organise it. As things stand, APT would still need to rely on an external service company for production – the experience of Junior in 2011 would undoubtedly help, but the adult contest has three times as many participants and three live broadcasts rather than just one.

So Yerevan is ready – and if they can upgrade the power grid maybe everyone can watch this time!

It’s strictly no contest for our favourite entry from Armenia at Eurovision. A Karen Kavaleryan lyrics fest with a Kardashian inspired opening from the tall lady, interpretive dance by a Sonny (without Cher) lookalike and Gor out of Dorians on backings: 

Sequins and specs: Christiane Schaumburg MO’C for host

DR Grand Prix is valiantly churning out Q&As with the team, equally valiantly translated into a form of English by the Eurovision blogosphere – we’ve links to the lot on our #escdk players page. Maybe they’re saving the good stuff for the big documentary (translation). There’s an art to writing a compelling news story, which is why we stick to listing and snark.

Anyway, what about the host, eh? Our early thought was Birgitte Nyborg, who doubtless speaks lycée level French, to match her near flawless English, but we’ve decided she’s a bit too Petra Mede-esque.

Borgen's Birgitte Nyborg

Someone else who had an early thought was Christiane Schaumburg-Müller O’Connor:

Who she? In short, a TV hostess, actress, model and dancer, with a BA in Communications and French from Copenhagen Business School. Married to a half Irish rapper by the name of L.O.C., taking her up to the requisite four names. Tess Daly in the danski Strictly Come Dancing until last year, she’s just published a book of beauty tips. Here’s her website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Speaks French. Dances. Can you see where we’re going with this? L.O.C. also has TV cred (ish – judge on The Voice), so maybe he could be the Dr Death to her Tooth Fairy?

In the spirit of DR’s series here’s fem skarpe to Christiane from her Q&A in Politiken’s Mit forbrug column on Saturday, entitled “I’ve a whole room for clothes”.

  1. Is there anything you won’t eat? – I don’t like shellfish. Lobster, shrimp, oysters, things like that. 
  2. How do you treat yourself in the evening? – I’m a dark chocolate addict, I treat myself to it every night. It’s terrible – I probably eat half a bar a day. And good tea – black or red Rooiboos, I buy it at Tante T or Palais des Thés in Paris. My family has a flat in Paris and I go there a lot.
  3. What about second hand? – Shoes have to be new, but  I like saving money on clothes and bags, ha ha. I buy a lot abroad – vintage is ridiculously expensive in Denmark, and the whole idea is to get a bargain. I bought a Chanel jacket in England for DK 4000 – it would have cost DK 20,000 or more here.
  4. Are you a handyman? – My friend’s father Jack gave me a course in how to use a drill, and I’ve hung my TV on a load bearing wall. The best thing I got last year was an electric screwdriver, and I love my pink toolkit. There’s something really cool about doing things yourself – who cares if it goes a bit wrong?
  5. What means of transport do you own? – A Mercedes and a Batavus bike. I love cycling, unless I’m wearing a really tight skirt or I’m on the way to a photo shoot, when you can’t have messy hair. I don’t mind if it rains on the way home. If you get soaked you can have a nice hot bath and crawl into cosy jogging bottoms and a big jumper.

Bonus quote:

I do SEQUINS and I do specs.

For the rest see the online version, retitled to give a tip to her hairdresser, and a Google translation, which has the Danglish off pat.

Here she is in action, showing once again in Denmark it’s all about the host:

“Where words fail…”: spring in Odense

Update, 8pm: another dansk only output from DR on the event. Here’s the gist: it’s gonna be great.

With October come the first signs of the dreaded Danish winter – think grey skies, grey clothes, grey people – but here’s a welcome reminder of spring in the shape of the Danish national final, aka Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, to be held in Odense on 8 March. Hosting duties were officially handed over today, an occasion attended by some old friends:

Yay! See too the video of the boys in action and answering some tricky questions. Despite our encouragement on Twitter, apparently they are “too busy” to enter #dmgp this time around, but we’re sure there will still be sightings in May.

Anyway, back to Odense. All this has never really been news – they kinda booked their spot by not bidding for the big one, and it’s been an open secret since July, but hey! now it’s official. Basically muggins turn, says DR’s Rasmus Ladefoged (great name that), part of a Eurovision spring in Denmark, totally coincidentally taking place on the same day as International Women’s Day and something called Melodifestivalen.

Odense, on the drive through island of Fyn (Funen if you must), is your classic fairy tale Danish town. There’s more to do there than in Herning (there’s more to do anywhere than in Herning), although most of it revolves round Hans Christian Andersen – even the pedestrian crossings get in on the act:

walk
Odense’s Andersen Ampelmann (credit: Kate goes some places)

Anker Boye, the local Boris Johnson and a big cheese in Danish local politics, says Odense is no ploughed field and it won’t all be about Hans Christian – do we believe him? With Eurovision itself going urban it’s hard to imagine being able to avoid marzipan and ducklings.

As both Hans Christian and Abba said let’s let the music speak…1993, the last time #dmgp was held in Odense, marked Tommy Seebach‘s last hurrah. This mashup with son Rasmus doesn’t quite work but is still rather touching:

22nd out of 25, and for singing in the round too.

Join us on Eurovision Island

Knew it! While we had hoped for a Malmö rerun so we could get some decent food in this never seemed likely what with the Night of the Lorry. Given the options west of the Øresund, Reshaleøen is the best of a bunch of pretty poor options.

The CPH Post’s Eurovision jumps on industrial bandwagon piece calls the decision a “calculated gamble” – after all the venue has already hosted Copenhell and Distortion, just how different can Eurovision be?

In the article Fabian, a music, events and media boffin from Roskilde Uni, points out that empty post-industrial spaces “help create an experiential universe…that gives the audience a more holistic experience” than, say, Boxen – but that this is not as easy to achieve as the producers may think, plus new ground for a TV audience of millions.

Fantasy island 

Refshaleøen is to be transformed into the rather more non-dansk friendly Eurovision Island for the duration, connected to the fleshpots of Copenhagen via a Eurovision Fan Mile and a bit running from the central station to Nyhavn. It all feels like an inevitable fusion of the experience economy driven vibe which currently dominates in Copenhagen with the flood of waterfront developments reimagining a once proud shipbuilding and harbour past, both pimped by WoCo and aimed at giving CPH – and Eurovision? – a so called ‘edge’. 

Poor old Jutland, it’s a shame but what can you do with a Lilliputian country dominated by a fairytale capital, not even handily placed in the geographic middle? We predict things will be alright on the night, but that some delegations won’t be too happy and transport will be a major pain. How about a pontoon or hop-on hop-off solution, it’s not that far across the water from the Little Mermaid?

a hop-on hop-off ferry

Refshaleøen’s Eurovision transformation will be eagerly tracked across the blogsphere in the coming months. For now, watch this video from Copenhagen Suborbitals, one of the island’s current tenants, whose aim is to launch a human being into space. This stuff just writes itself.

Join us!

One last thing, if you must have a slogan try to find something with a bit more oomph that doesn’t invite accusations of monomania – think party planner rather than hostess with the mostest.

Back story and back chat: København bliver vært… (announcement) | DR vil modernisere Grand Prix  – as previously reported, portraits not postcards, getting closer etc, yaaawn; Eurovision Ireland has this covered.