Anžej is alive

Anžej Dežan, who sang for Slovenia in Athens 2006, is still around and recently he won Slovenska popevka. (For some reason, all the ESC sites only focus on the participation of Alenka Gotar, whose greatness I still fail to register.)

I had high hopes for Anžej back then, and I am happy to see that his career is not over. Even though I sense a certain lack of hit factor in this winning entry... But maybe it works in Slovenia?

Anžej Dežan - Šopek Maka
winner Slovenska popevka 2008


Estonia is in

After much discussion, and against the will of some important people at ERR, Estonia will take part in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. A good decision.

A multitude of half-hearted reasons to drop out have been cited, one less serious-sounding than the other. Estonia should show sympathy with Georgia, was one. Estonia fears that Russia will turn Eurovision into a propaganda machine was another.

Of course taking part is the only way to go. Estonia is too small a country to be able to afford missing out international exposure like the ESC. The best statement one can make is to be present.

Now is the question, who wants to pick up the task of representing the Estonian tricolor in Moscow after the ERR tainted the whole thing with so much politics?

My answer now, as always, is: Anne Veski. She is a grand old lady of Estonian pop, a real icon with real talent, and also very popular and appreciated in Russia. If anyone can be a gracious ambassadress in Moscow, it is her.

Anne Veski - Прости за любовь

Anne Veski - Электричка

Anne Veski & Rolf Junior - Sa oled liga noor

Dutch breakdown

The Netherlands are certainly not living their best days of Eurovision, that must be obvious to anyone gifted with eyes and, above all, ears. For a few moments, when it seemed NOS almost had Anouk on the hook, I thought maybe they would get it right this time.

Or, well. They let me down too many times in the last few years that I didn't really expect much. But I was not ready for the complete let-down that was announced today.

De Toppers will go to Moscow for the Netherlands. Gerard Joling, Gordon and René Froeger singing together. Absolutely hooray. The Dutch are wondering why nobody votes for them, and the hottest they can come up with is a collection of half-screaming has-beens? Well, good luck, people.

Maybe they will manage to find the best Dutch entry since the Ice Age and I will have to eat my words. (But I very much doubt it - just watch the gents murder some euroclassics below...) It seems the Dutch love them, but nowhere near as much as they seem to love themselves. They almost make Dima Bilan come across as modest...

De Toppers - Eurosong medley


The juries are back

The EBU reference board decided, in its infinite wisdom, to bring the juries back to Eurovision for next year. Hooray. What a lovely idea.

The verdict of the juries will somehow be wieghted against the televote (nobody knows quite how yet), as that will decrease all this horrific neighbourfriendly diaspora voting that keeps contaminating the voting lately.

Do I sound sarcastic? Really? Well, it is just because I am old enough to remember the juries. They did quite often vote like apes. Do you remember?

On so many occasions, the juries favoured the stereotypical and the expected, rejecting anything slightly modern och slightly different. Not to mention, come the 90's, the increasing level of traded points, which turned the voting into a complete farce.

If the EBU takes this whole matter seriously and makes an effort to keep the juries representative and un-pressured by their national broadcasters, then maybe it is a clever move. Until then, I am not quite extatic.

Serious jury work back in 1973

Sakis is back

Greece was the first country to announce their choice of singer for the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, and it was both surprising and expected to see Sakis Rouvas back for a second attempt to win.

For me, who first heard of Sakis back in 1997, "Shake it" was as close to a complete disappointment as one could possibly get. Simple, repetitive and way under his regular standard.

Let's hope 2009 sees an improvement song-wise and points-wise. Athens was a great host city...

To celebrate his return, I share the first ever song I heard from Sakis. And isn't it Maria Menounos in a blond wig that spreads her light over this clip...?

Sakis Rouvas - Tora arhizoun ta diskola

So much for saving silly season

Yes, yes. I know.

There wasn't much posting going on to save silly season, but the main good reason for that is of course the whole Russia - Georgia crisis and all the tension that brought along also in Camp Eurovision.

Rather than writing anything on the matter that one would have to regret later, it seemed much smarter not to write anything.

But now so much news keeps pouring in and it is time to start writing again. Starting today.