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Eurovision Song Contest 2016: Coming to America at last!

dXTC

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TechTimes.com is reporting that the long-running international entertainment spectacle that is Eurovision will be making its USA debut this year, at long last. It'll air live on the Logo cable/satellite network (home to RuPaul's Drag Race), and will stream from Logo's website and app as well.

Click here for the full article on TechTimes.

My early pick for this year was Poland, until Margaret's "Cool Me Down" was spurned in favor of by Michał Szpak's "Color Of Your Life." "Cool Me Down" had American Top 10 single written all over it.

I guess I'll have to take a peek at all the countries now, to see if there's another immediate standout, like Serbia's Bojana Stamenov was for me last year with "Beauty Never Lies."

Feel free to discuss your faves for this year below...
 
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BeamWalker

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Will it get it's own commentators or use the BBC stream ? Graham Norton was the only reason for me to watch this in the recent past.
 

dXTC

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I'm not sure, to be honest. The Logo website has not announced the host(s). However, as Logo is a LGBT(QQIA)-themed channel, I think Graham Norton would fit right in.

Then again, as RuPaul's Drag Race is Logo's dominant show, some of its performers may take that role for the US broadcast.
 

BeamWalker

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Having someone commentate that has no prior engagement with this let's call it "particular" event, might be very entertaining.

Right now I haven't heard any of the songs. I usually make up my mind after the semifinals. Given that my personal favorite usually doesn't even make it into the Top5 I don't have high hopes for this time around either.
 

BeamWalker

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It might not just be the humor, the voting (especially the non-musical side) could also be something the US is not familiar with. Some additional information by commentators could maybe shed some light here and there.
I think everyone could take an educated guess why Germany usually doesn't get any points from Israel, but there are other "voting-alliances" that may need some explaining for non-europeans.
 

Scepticalscribe

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America would not get the irish/english humour of Norton ... They would likely get their own commentator.

Yes, agreed; it is quite a specific brand of dry ironical humour.

I seem to recall that Terry Wogan used to do an excellent - if very sardonic - job when offering a running commentary on the Eurovision before Graham Norton succeeded him.
 
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MRU

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Seems like a bit of a broad brush to be painting with eh?

Not really. I've seen plenty of interviews from Graham Norton where he mentions similar thing regarding his comedy (when he was doing stand-up) and how audiences in different countries take the humour. It's why a lot of big name Irish and English comedians remain unknowns in America.

Likewise many Eastern European countries do not get the sarcastic irony of Eurovision of which Norton and Wogan before him presented. Indeed they take the competition utterly seriously, and the laughing at itself which even Sweden in its presentation of the contest played upon too - goes down like a lead weight in some of those countries.
 
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dXTC

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I've previewed most of the entries, and my early faves are:

Semi-final 1:
Finland: Sandhja "Sing It Away"
Moldova: Lidia Isac "Falling Stars" (my personal fave this year, though I admit it probably has little chance of winning; it reminds me of Ian Van Dahl when they were popular)
Russia: Sergey Lazarev "You Are The Only One"
Malta: Ira Losco "Walk On Water" (out-of-the-ordinary production on this one)
Austria: Zoë "Loin d'ici" (my daughter likes the video, even though she understands no French; I had to translate it for her)

Semi-final 2:
Belarus: Ivan "Help You Fly"
Ireland: Nicky Burne "Sunlight" (could do quite well here in the States)
Australia: Dami Im "Sound Of Silence" (this lady nails the notes, making up for somewhat weak lyrics)
Switzerland: Rykka "The Last Of Our Kind" (good voice AND strong songwriting on this one)
Belgium: Laura Tesoro "What's The Pressure" (should play very well here in America, with its bassline's vague resemblance to a classic Queen song)

Of the automatic finalists, only Sweden's Frans with "If I Were Sorry" stands out for me. It's just Bieber-esque enough to get noticed in the USA.

Two WTF entries for me:
Norway: Agnete "Icebreaker": I like the lyrics, but the arrangement threw me off. It sounded like it was going to be a dancefloor stomper at first, but then turned into a power ballad for the chorus-- like "Beauty Never Lies" from last year, but in reverse. Nope, not a fan.
San Marino: Serhat "I Didn't Know": There are several songs with retro/disco elements this year. Unfortunately, this one decided to use all the worst ones, resulting in some serious cheeze.
 

MRU

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I actually like Norway - well the official video works better than the live version.

Not a fan of our own entry and it's not exactly setting airwaves alight here in Ireland. I think we'll be looking at the usual 10 point total if were lucky.

The two I think that will do well are. Amir, France's entry ... Jai cherche
Also Freddie, Hungary. Pioneer

With Bulgaria sneeking in the top 5 too.

UK despite having a decent entry for once - the forthcoming 'possible exit' of the EU vote could mean politics come into play voting wise too.

I think Australia could do well.

Biggest WTF! For me is Ukraine - Jamala ..... Seriously WTFWT ?
[doublepost=1462572079][/doublepost]
How the f*** is Australia in the contest?

They were invited to attend last year and they are willing to pay the significant euros it costs to enter the contest. One country was already kicked out this year because they didnt stump up the million or so owing to Eurovision.
 
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dXTC

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How the f*** is Australia in the contest?

Australia was invited for the first time last year as a special guest. Apparently, Eurovision was a hit there, and so they're back.

<soapbox> Although I'm American, I hope we remain spectators only. Music artists from here get more than their share of global exposure already. </soapbox>
 
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BeamWalker

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Always funny to see how different taste in music can be. I just watched a short compilation of this years contenders on youtube and I think the Big Five all have some very strong entries. My favorite so far is Spain. Really liking that song.

I agree with your WTF songs though. San Marino and Ukraine are definitely not for everyone.
 
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dXTC

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The two I think that will do well are. Amir, France's entry ... Jai cherche
Also Freddie, Hungary. Pioneer

Biggest WTF! For me is Ukraine - Jamala ..... Seriously WTFWT ?

"1944" is very politically charged. I'm surprised Eurovision allowed that entry to remain unchanged, considering the continued tensions in Crimea right now.

... I think the Big Five all have some very strong entries. My favorite so far is Spain. Really liking that song.

Of the Big Five, I prefer Spain's and France's entries. I find it amusing that France's entry is not the most "French" entry in the competition; "J'ai cherché " has an English chorus, but Austria's "Loin d'ici" is 100% in French.
 
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MRU

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Oh well it's essentially Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday's evening TV sorted :)

After which I'll be so Euro'd out that I won't want to see another Eurovision for at least 12 months ;)
 

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Agnete "Icebreaker": I like the lyrics, but the arrangement threw me off.
That sudden transition to the chorus really threw me too. I had to rewind it to make sure I hadn't missed something!

Spain and Belgium are really catchy this year and I've had them stuck in my head for a while. I more-or-less agree with the other song opinions above :)

One country was already kicked out this year because they didnt stump up the million or so owing to Eurovision.
I believe it was 16 million. Not cheap!
 
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dXTC

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I hope Americans will not think Eurovision entries are what the everyday's proto type European countries' music is like. :)

I'm pretty sure that the segment of the US population that would tune in to watch would probably figure out the difference rather quickly-- especially when they hear the more ethnic entries like Bosnia & Herzegovina's or Greece's.
 

dXTC

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It's not because I'm bosnian but our entry this year is great. :) Best bosnian entry since Hari mata hari's Lejla. I think we'll make it to the final.

I like the cello in this one, and I hope Ana Rucner gets to play it live in the competition. If she gets to interact with Jala on stage like she did in the video (which made very good use of the chosen space), that would definitely boost its chances. The producers were wise to avoid overproduction here; the vocals and cello were allowed to stand out in the mix.

Normally, I'd say it has a pretty good chance, but I've noticed that this year's semifinal draws have resulted in a really competitive first semifinal. If Bosnia were in the second semifinal, it would have easily qualified for the final; there are a lot of nondescript, "same-sounding" pop songs in the second one.
 
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dXTC

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I think they are not allowed to play instruments live on stage. :(

At first, I thought you might be mistaken, but unfortunately you are correct. In 1999, live music became optional, as competing countries quickly showed their preference for backing tracks; no host country has provided an orchestra since. In 2004, live instrumentals were banned; all instrument players must thus pantomime their performance.
 
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