Archive for the 'Television' Category


Eurovision 2010 – 1st Semi Final

Another year, another Eurovision. I love it. I already have the CD, have watched many of the clips on YouTube and have just watched the first semi final.

The quality of songs is quite good so far this year. Yes, it is ballad-heavy which saps away some of the excitement and atmosphere. Lets face it, there’s enough doom and gloom in the world at the moment and people look to Eurovision for fun, theatrics and escapism. To prove my point, it was mainly the more “up” songs that have gone through to the final and not the ballads. Some countries will be regretting their choices.

I do love the theatrics of Eurovision, the so-called gimmick. This semi-final was no disappointment with apples, dancing trees, a Bird Man (but no Galaxy Trio), a head lock, life size butterflies

I was surprised that Russia was one of the ballads that went through. Although not a bad song in itself and the singer has a great voice, the overall effect of this song is that of a dirge. I wonder if this is one that the judges got through rather than the public. Speaking of which, I am not a fan of the return of judges. I think that judges are more likely to be influenced by politics. The so-called bloc voting in the past has been heavily exaggerated, usually by sore losers who send bad songs (are you listening Terry?).

I am really happy that Moldova, Iceland and Albania have gone through to the final. All very poppy and very Eurovision. The one ballad I do love, Belgium, got through too so I’m happy.

I was disappointed that the blond Estonian indie boys didn’t get through. A different type of song and well sung. I think they were trying to channel Jon Pertwee with those velvet jackets.

Finland was definitely a favourite with the audience with their happy folk song. But this didn’t translate to important votes so they didn’t get through which is a pity.

I quite liked Poland too, although the image of the singer with a head lock on one of the dancers probably conjured an image that was not what they intended. I did like the way that some of it was sung in Polish. More songs should be in their native languages.

And lets not forget the dancing trees from Slovakia.

Roll on the next semi final.


Eurovision 2010 – the official videos

It seems that this year, more than ever, different countries are putting some real efforts with the official videos for their entries. Here is a selection of my favourites in random order.









Another ^$%#* Irish ballad in Eurovision

Eurovision sunk to new lows back in the 90s when Ireland kept winning the contest with a series of boring ballads. Even the Irish got sick of winning and it seemed like they kept trying to send the worst possible song so they would never win again.

Things looked bright last year when they sent quite a poppy rock song but this year they’re back with another ballad sung by Niamh Kavanagh who was one of the winners during that 90s slump. Oh no, I cried.

But this ballad is actually really quite nice and I don’t even mind the pan pipes which are used quite sparingly but effectively. So it comes as no surprise that the song is written by Swedes. In fact, Swedish songwriters have also written the entries for Norway, Denmark and of course, Sweden itself.

Here is the song.

And here is the official club remix which takes the song to a whole new level.

This is one of the few ballads that I actually like this year.


James Johnston – debut single

My favourite contestant in Australian Idol last year was without a doubt, James Johnston. Although I wasn’t too sure at first, he quickly established himself  as a consistently good performer who rarely sang a bum note. I loved his music style, acoustic pop, and his lack of pretension. I think the thing that really sold him to me was that he was one of the few contestants who you actually believed was there for the music. His passion and his seriousness for his craft shone throughout the series. You could see him taking in all the judge’s feedback and processing it. I thought some of the judges were a little unfair with their feedback. I know they had their obvious favourite but still. James was, and still is, the whole package. A good looking young man with a passion for music who can sing and play music very well. I knew that even though he didn’t win Idol, his future would stay rooted in the music field and that success on a bigger scale would come one day.

And now James has a single. And a good one at that.

The song is called “Rollercoaster” and is a solid acoustic pop song. Also included on the single is his beautiful ballad “Falling” which was a popular song on MySpace last year. And just to show that James is no music snob, there is a very good dance remix of “Rollercoaster” that I just can’t get of my head.

The single comes in very nice gatefold packaging and there is a professionally shot film clip.

You can get the single direct from James himself and the details are on his Facebook page:

James also has a MySpace page where you can hear “Falling”:

Lets hope an album isn’t too far off.

EDIT: The single is now available on iTunes. Click here.


New Doctor Who trailer – Woah!

Just saw the new trailer for the new series of Doctor Who that starts on 3 April 2010 in the UK and 18 April 2010 in Australia. It’s bloody exciting. Daleks, Cybermen and lots of Weeping Angels. Not to mention an old favourite of mine returning (although they’re not in the trailer).

Can’t wait. Matt Smith and Karen Gillan look great.


Iceland’s Eurovision Entry

Iceland have done it again with another great song for Eurovision 2010. Hera Björk with “Je Ne Sais Quoi”. She has a fantastic voice and the song has a great beat. I’m sure it will do well.

After Sweden, I have always taken an interest in Iceland. For a small country (with a total population less than that of Canberra), there is quite a bit of musical talent.

Iceland’s best effort in Eurovision came with a second place in 1999. “All Out Of Luck” by Selma. I was living in Sweden at the time and gave my vote to Selma. I loved it so much, I bought both her albums. The official clip is quite camp too.

Selma came back in 2005 with “If I Had Your Love” but in a strange twist it didn’t even make it past the semi finals. I still can’t work that one out. It was a huge upset at the time.

Silvia Night was Iceland’s highly controversial entry in 2006. I thought she was a hoot and I liked her song “Congratulations”.

Speaking of controversial, Paul Oscar was fabulous but possibly just a little too gay for Eurovision in 1997. How anyone can be too gay for Eurovision is beyond me. Like Selma, he is an artist I have continued to follow.

I’ll finish off with 2008’s disco stomper “This Is My Life” by Euroband. The official video is very camp. Persevere with it- Euroband do appear in it. 🙂


What was Sweden thinking?!?

It’s taken me this long to process the outcome of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen final. How could Sweden have chosen such a boring song to represent them at Eurovision? Okay, it’s a nice song and Anna Bergendahl seems a nice girl but considering what else was in the final, there’s no way it should have won. I don’t think it has much chance at Eurovision in Oslo in May. But then again, Ireland did prove that you can win with a boring ballad time and time again so who knows.

I was surprised that Peter Jöback didn’t do better. Some people have compared his position (9th) with how he did when he was last in the contest back in 1990. Apart from the same position, it’s actually quite different. This time he was voted into the final 10 by the public so obviously people liked him and liked the song. Also, the single has been selling well making number 8 on the singles chart. His 1990 song didn’t even chart. So all in all, he did well, it’s just that on the night, people liked other songs better.

Same with Pernilla. I honestly thought she would do a lot better. It’s a fun song and it’s in Swedish. I guess she would have done an English version had she won but now we’ll never know.

As the voting progressed, it seemed like a two horse race between Anna and Salem. Out of those two, I was rooting for Salem. I loved his indy pop song and I honestly think that would have done much better at Eurovision.

Another year and yes, I’ll be following Eurovision in May. SBS are once again showing both semi-finals as well as the final. How will Sweden go? Time will tell.