Tag Archives: #joinus

WoCo’s dirty laundry

Updated for 2016: Repayments demanded in Eurovision scandal. You want more?

  • June 2015: auditors’ report! The whole farrago cost DK 310 million,  167% over budget. DR absolved of any blame – although watching this year’s safe pair of hands at work many things came back to haunt me, not least Lise Rønne in the ‘green room’.
  • May 2015: in a piece called Building tourist bridges ESC Insight’s Jenny Wren gets those dirty sheets back out of the linen basket – those Malmö comparisons gotta hurt…
  • Jan 2015: in Berlingske cultural critics DOXA note the absence of any form of self criticism from DR, while WoCo CEO Lars Bernhard Jørgensen resigns, a move spun as a “generational shift”. Let us never talk of such things again.

Three months on, some of the issues flagged up here and in the Danish press are reaching a sort of resoution, although the #escdk repurcussions will drag on for months – if not years – yet.

The international bandwagon has rolled on to Vienna, which, one trusts, will be characterised by attention to detail rather than a det skal nok gå /”it’s not my problem” project management style.

We’ve reached peak Eurovision here, although once national final season kicks off and there’s nowt on Danish TV we may well be back.

See also Metroxpress’ overview page.

Eurovision leadership employed own family

The Big Final: #join the competition

This could go down to the wire. Here’s a slideshow of fans and favourites:

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Predictions! Some like to rank the whole thing but I can’t possibly rank 37 songs. Here they are in the running order, with Mik’s ranking in brackets. He’s done a good job : P

1 Ukraine

Ann: an opener for the dads? A poor effort for me. Cheap.

Mik: Good opener, a bit too calculated. (13)

2 Belarus

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

Mik: Cheeky, but boyband doesn’t work. Bad draw. (23)

3 Azerbaijan

Ann: Dilara doesn’t do fur – what’s not to like? Answer: the trapeze in a church gimmick. A show rather than a song.

Mik: Great voice, very nice and impressive staging. (9)

4 Iceland 

Ann: my favourite’s the one in the green. Happy enough to see it make the final. 

Mik: Witty, colourful. Better than you might think. (14)

5 Norway

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

Mik: A male Adele. Works for me: very convincing. Lyrics are beautiful. (8)

6 Romania 

Ann: this year’s Elitsa and Stoyan at least made the final. Shoulda done She’s after my piano instead.

Mik: Too much desperate action on stage, which makes it very dated. Would do well in High School Musical. (19)

7 Armenia

Ann: one for the production team – lots of lighting, pyros but not likeable and not enough of a story arc

Mik: Efficient dubstep that makes the song. But too angry in the end. (11)

8 Montenegro

Ann: and exhale…the real deal. Makes full use of the stage, musically interesting. But the dream of Cetinje is over with this draw.

Mik: Sweet, but not memorable enough. Gives a mediocre impression. But Sergeii is good. (16)

9 Poland

Ann: it’s ironic. Isn’t it? Funniest entry of the night. Donatan?

Mik: Clever song and very good gimmick, but tastes differ. Polish version is better than English one. (10)

10 Greece

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

Mik: Fun, cheeky, memorable hook and jolly trampoline act lifts you up. Could be a massive Summer hit. (2)

11 Austria

Ann: not for me – can’t get past the very dated song

Mik: A song with a message, which appeals to many, but might scare others. (5)

12 Germany

Ann: die Mädels are lovely but Unheilig is missed; seems to run on an endless loop. On as late as possible, but if I were NDR I’d be a bit cross.

Mik: Anonymous, amateurish and just gets boring in the end. A shame: 0 points. (26)

13 Sweden

Ann: does Sanna have a Sanna wig? She sings, the lighting works. Doesn’t rock my world.

Mik: All very safe. Get the  stylist sacked. Very impressive light show, which makes and explains the song. (4)

14 France

Ann: having a larf, oh yeah, but moustaches aren’t enough this year

Mik: Greece Lite, but not as good. Tries too hard. (17)

15 Russia

Ann: more twins, mystifying props; effective if unexciting

Mik: Dull and too clinical. And that paper sun? Why? (18)

16 Italy

Ann: the last of the real women with personalities not taking themselves too seriously, but a mega let-down after the fun vid

Mik: Poor vocals, messy performance. Very disappointing. (22)

17 Slovenia

Ann: surprise qualifier (1); pleasant enough but just goes round in circles

Mik: Very effective and pretty backdrop. But too dizzy. Flute works. But we want Maya Keuc back, next year. (15)

18 Finland

Ann: surprise qualifier (2); Coldplay is bad enough, but Finnish Coldplay? banal

Mik: Fresh boyband, with a stadium rock anthem. Doesn’t come across on telly. (20)

19 Spain

Ann: rousing but shouty; good use of two languages means a better effort from Spain though

Mik: Too much and too shouty. Impressive backdrop. Messy hair: remember an umbrella next time you go out in the rain.  (25)

20 Switzerland

Ann: our favourite Swiss folk musician cum lawyer gives the best show of the night

Mik: Best Swiss entry for years. Douze points for charm. (12)

21 Hungary

Ann:  Just say no. Too in your face however hard it tries to pretend it isn’t really. No to interpretative dance.

Mik: Works on stage. Very good storytelling song, with a memorable ending. (3)

22 Malta

Ann: very Teardrops in a pushing the buttons way, feels fake and churchy

Mik: Likable, yet forgettable. Just too Christian. (24)

23 Denmark

Ann: third time lucky on the banner, but still whiny on high notes and too hectic dancing (“hi-stepping dog do”)

Mik: Are they in Glee?  Home crowd pleaser. Fun, catchy and good live performance.  Maybe it was just too good for Junior Eurovision? (6)

24 The Netherlands

Ann: time for something different; comes over very well on TV, should spring a surprise amid all the noise and could even be a breakout hit

Mik: Classy professional act, with chemistry. It  will go down well in both East & West and get both jury and telelevote. (1)

25 San Marino

Ann: the pearl of the republic – felicitazioni to Valentina and Uncle Ralph, the San Marinese Andrew Lloyd Webber. You can stay home next year – but come back soon! 

Mik: Aguri, San Marino! She has finally made it to the final. Sweet and confident performance. Just not a strong song. (21)

26 United Kingdom

Ann: too many words, too Eurovision, too difficult…Eurovision won’t be coming home.

Mik: Love raspy voice and great track to end the show. Gets loads of help from DR.  Very cheesy Eurotrash lyrics, similar to Love shine a Light, but Power to the People is what makes the song. (7)

Transport, the fan mile revisited and issues of signage

I last walked the fan mile a month ago, checking out the locations for Eurovision related activities. How’s it all looking now?

On the afternoon of the first semi we started at the central station. There’s a discreet sign on the boards near the clock:

at central station - and that's it

And that’s it. No guidance as to which side of the road to take the bus from once you find the stop, nothing on fares and tickets, alternative forms of transport, the tourist office…there is transport information on the Web, but it’s organiser oriented, confusing and ever-changing, plus there’s very little on the street, and what there is may only be på dansk.

Compare and contrast with Malmö 2013:

At the station, as well as information boards there was a desk manned by volunteers offering Eurovision maps and a pocket sized leaflet with details of buses, trains, ticket prices etc. The butterfly branding acted as a consistent identifier for Eurovision locations and transport – and for fun. Oh, those Swedes.

CPH has tasteful #joinus signs in a font I still have problems with fighting a losing battle with posters for the upcoming European elections, no tasteful minimalism there, creating my old favourite, a jarring disconnect:

I may not be able to vote in Scotland’s referendum but at least I can play my part in deciding whether Denmark joins the European Patent Court.

CPH also has this:

dressing

Also comes in pink. Easy to miss, unless you are looking at your feet and avoiding all eye contact.

Moving on to the fan mile proper, the banners hang but there’s no music playing and some of them are the ‘wrong’ way round.

2014-05-06 17.07.49

At Eurovision Village the concert area on Nytorv felt very Danish, although to be fair there was no concert on at the time, while there were fewer food trucks on Gammeltorv than on Sunday:

No lion dancers or Hamburgers on Højbro Plads yet, and Malmö’s effort defo a bit token:

2014-05-06 17.46.16

Like the events I’ve been to it all felt rather flat and underwhelming, despite the oodles of hype WoCo pushes out.

Before we hop on the boat, just a thought re the harbour bus service. With the changes, I was wondering if it would still be possible to hop on and off. Here’s the stop at Det sorte Diamant/Royal Library:

2014-05-06 15.21.13

På dansk only. Basically, the harbour bus has been turned into a Eurovision shuttle, tough luck if you wanted to use it to go somewhere else.

Anyway, our boat trip to Eurovision Island went swimmingly both ways. We walked on to canal boats and tried out both sides of Nyhavn, oh yes, a free experience, if a little chilly. (Are the regular harbour buses free? How about the 9A?)

Others weren’t so lucky.  On Monday David from Wiwi Bloggs was still calling transportation an absolute disaster (if anyone is still lost, see our post Transport us to Eurovision Island).  He directed particular ire at signage. At Nyhavn “there are multiple locations along the canal where the harbor bus is supposed to dock, but nothing to tell you which location is where it will be”.

Summing up the Danish approach to signage:

As we said before:

After we arrived back at Nyhavn we sighted host Pilou getting into a taxi at Kongens Nytorv – he stopped to congratulate some Icelandic fans, who commented that he looked familiar.

The metro and train home were rammed with Justin Timberlake fans coming back from the concert at 2001 Eurovision venue Parken. Just one more jarring disconnect.

2014-05-07 00.05.35

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)

Semi 1: #joinus in Denmark

Update, 7 May: 7/10 for both of us. Neither of us predicted San Marino or Iceland, although we’re more than happy to see both #joiningus. Mik dropped Montenegro, while Ann dropped Ukraine. Making up the 10: Hungary, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Sweden and yay! The Netherlands.

The semi was not sold out so we were able to move forward and had a bird’s eye view of the green room for some sweet Montenegro moments. You can also see us arriving on @drgrandprix’s timelapse, at around 24 secs:

Back on Thursday with more predictions.

We’re off to semi 1 this evening, sitting in Olsen as a tribute to the snubbed Jørgen and Noller. From Twitter and the bloggage it’s pretty easy to work out how the show will pan out, but we’ll cover that elsewhere.

The public areas have been done in the nick of time, and maybe don’t quite live up to the pre-show hype:

A big round of applause herfra for the creative use of shipping containers, which we’ve been anticipating for months, not so much for the less than subtle branding for Host City partners REDA. Danes on Facebook noted a lack of twin touchstones hygge and Danish design, plus someone commented that it looked like it had been thrown together in a couple of hours…

What about the music? Below are our predictions for semi 1, with a full ranking from ordensmenneske Mik. It’s tricky, because after you’ve heard the songs more than three times you have a love/hate relationship with them all and can’t decide if you like them or not, but we need to lose six of these lovelies. Bolded is out. Check back on Weds to see how wrong we were.

Armenia

Ann: a class act but not likeable and not enough of a story arc for the big win

Mik: Intriguing 3 minutes. If he catches the camera right and doesn’t look too stressed or serious this goes straight to the final. (1)

Latvia

Ann: charming tipping over into annoying, maybe rein Jöran in a tad to go through

Mik: Recipe for hyggelig amateurism, convincing though. And a very good draw, makes a nice contrast to Aram Superstar and his serious business. (7)

Estonia

Ann: the most complete show of the night, entertaining without resorting to gimmicks

Mik: Contemporary catchy dance and singing class. (4)

Sweden

Ann: manufactured and clinical; those ornamental flourishes grate but soars to a climax

Mik: Professional plastic sing-a-long, straight from IKEA. It will give you goosebumps. (2)

Iceland

Ann: trying too hard. LT United without the xtra factor (who was your favourite?)

Mik: LT United light, but we can’t all be Winners. And it has been 8 years. (14)

Albania

Ann: trying too hard (2), but lovely voice

Mik: Little girl with great voice, but uninspired & whining song with poor Albanese English lyrics. (15)

Russia

Ann: best use of twins, best use of mystifying props; effective if unexciting

Mik: Cutesy twin girls will do the trick, with their charming, though very calculated act on stage. (8)

Azerbaijan

Ann: Dilara doesn’t do fur – what’s not to like? Answer: the trapeze in a church gimmick.

Mik: Impressive stage show helps this classic jury jewel. Very convincing. (3)

Ukraine

Ann: ticked off – a poor effort, first ever NQ for Ukraine?

Mik: Gets on your nerves, but Crimea crisis will give this contemporary trash some sympathy vote. (10)

Belgium

Ruslana2
Ruslana shows her appreciation at the Belgian national final

Ann: should be safe enough, as long as pple remember it’s a song contest, with added interpretive dance UPDATE: Out; might have made it with a Ruslana hologram

Mik: Belgique’s got talent goes Eurovision, but the sentimental old fashioned style won’t make you pick up your iphone. (12)

Moldova

Ann: a slight led down from my fave country – borderline, needs more Pasha, plus Aliona’s smile

Mik: Fascinating and Barbu-esque. Maybe too shouty for some, but it sticks to you. And we all love her accent. (9)

San Marino

Ann: a pearl in a shell, a diamond in the rough…too many metaphors. Ave atque vale – and arrivederci! 

Mik: There is no pearl in the shell: Old fashioned boring Siegel trademark. (16)

Portugal

Ann: it’s Beautiful Song without Anmary, no #suzyshake here

Mik: Suzy-shake flying the flag for Portugal, but without charm, sparkle or cheekyness. All that’s left are her very poor vocals, but Martha does a good job! (13)

The Netherlands

Ann: unexciting but does enough for now

Mik: This years dark horse: real musicians, real emotions, real chemistry between them and it looks very good on TV. The jury will love this! (5)

Montenegro

Ann: no Zjelko ripoff – this is the real deal musically. Despite Skating Dolly goosebumps city – see you in Cetinje!

Mik: Now we understand why Montenegro once joined the Serbian Republic. Zjelko has inspired many in a good way, but he wouldn’t approve of the roller skating. Might just miss out. (11)

Hungary

Ann:  I have nothing to say. MTV fodder.

Mik: Contemporary catchy believable song with a message and a hunky Hungarian. (6)

Eurovision Island (6): a row of tents

Latest trip, Sunday morning, just before the fan press pack arrived. Definitely a different feel in the air – people smiling, tourists wobbling past on hired bikes, lots of working spaniels for the beagles to bark at. Sigh.

Now very much a private space, with a new wooden fence up, areas blocked off, security guards. Having been out there six times I thought we were pretty much inured to the raw look, but heck, it’s grim. And bizarrely, it can be too hot in Denmark in April, if there’s no shade to be had.

Some areas, like the flattened area where eager punters will queue to get in, I just couldn’t bear to take a photo of. Certainly lowered the bar for Eurovision venue environs – maybe that’s a good thing? And once you’ve actually got inside, it will all be forgotten, won’t it?

Click on an image to scroll through the lot.