Tag Archive | Eurovision

Eurovision 2023: nothing in the world can stop the cha-cha-cha of her wings

Norway remained my fave even after hearing the rest of the entries, and they came in 5th! Good showing, My favorites are not usually the voters’ favorites, so I am unreservedly happy for them.

Finland’s runner-up song was not my jam, but considering how perfectly on-brand it was for Eurovision nonsense, and how much the audience overall clearly loved it — yeah, they got robbed.

Also: Sweden’s winner was so forgettable! If you played me the “10 seconds of each song” montage, no intros and no video of the performances, I swear I wouldn’t be able to pick it out. (With video, at least I would recognize it as The Literally All Beige One.)

Aside from Norway, the one that’s going to be stuck in my head the most is Austria’s bop:

I’m still in the Moon Knight zone, so: considering that the MK guys are played by the same actor as Poe Dameron, please imagine Steven just happily singing this to himself around the house, and Secret Fourth Headmate Poe going “…how the kriff did he figure out about me??”

Alternately, imagine Secret Fourth Previously-Unnamed Spacecraft-Pilot Headmate overhearing the song and thinking “oh hell yes, that’s my name now.”

Finally: New Zealand still hasn’t gotten invited to join Australia in the ESC, so they put together this unofficial entry. Catchy beat, some impressively creative rhymes, more appealing than half of the actual finalists:

Youtube commenters are calling it “the best song about Eurovision since Love, Love, Peace, Peace.” They’re not wrong. If NZ doesn’t still doesn’t get into ESC 2024, at least invite these folks to do an interval act! They’ve earned it.


Eurovision 2023: my fave made it out of the semifinals this year!

Time for the annual One-Month Reactivation of my Peacock Subscription, because it’s Eurovision week again.

As usual, I didn’t even listen to the songs before this week. I like to savor the anticipation…and also, if my favorite gets cut before the final, this way I haven’t had weeks or months to get invested in it first.

That’s what happened in 2022, with LUM!X’s Halo (Austria):

And in 2021, with Lesley Roy’s Maps (Ireland):

(Robbed, both of them! Absolutely robbed.)

Well, my favorite from Semifinal 1 was Alessandra’s Queen of Kings (Norway), hands down. First one in the lineup, nothing else for the rest of the night came close, (I mean, it would’ve been a criminal injustice if the Croatian entry didn’t qualify, but that’s not a personal-favoritism thing, that’s a They Understood The Assignment thing.)

Aaaaand they made it!

Last qualifying country to be announced, too. (The audience members audibly chanting “NORWAY NORWAY NORWAY” while the hosts drew out the suspense — y’all get me.)

Still haven’t listened to the other half of the entries, so maybe Semifinal 2 will reveal and then knock out something else I like this much. But so far, so good.

Gonna be at work during the #Eurovision final…

…so I’m gonna post a bunch of Post-Semifinal Feelings now, and then go into Spoiler Avoidance Mode.

General stuff:

  • Peacock has the US Eurovision streaming rights this year, which means I went from “never heard of it” to “signing up for an account” in the space of 1 google search. Bad sign for their advertising department, but a hat tip to their rights-buying department
  • Shame the “subtitles” are just auto-generated English-language closed-captioning, no help for any of the non-English songs
  • Real talk, I get a little teary every time it cuts to another little CGI house in the next country, with the signals bouncing house-to-house to draw lines that connect them all together
  • Absolutely perfect way to celebrate the contest taking its first step out of lockdown, while honoring and being there for everyone (and I bet these were designed before they knew for sure that the whole show wouldn’t be remote)
  • There are always a bunch of pride flags visible throughout the shows, but it looked like this year there was a particular emphasis of trans flags. I’m into it
  • Are there always this many songs with “giant words in block letters flashed on the screens” as part of the staging? I’m not into that. Give us more show-don’t-tell in the visuals, please
  • Four people sure did wear basically the same dress, huh? (It’s cool, it’s a good one, they sure could’ve done worse)
Remember that year I did a whole Eurovision-themed storyline and timed it to match up perfectly with “the contest not happening”

Song opinions:

  • Favorite songs going to the final: Sweden’s “Voices“, Finland’s “Dark Side
  • Favorite songs that got robbed: Ireland’s “Maps” (I love that the presenters had to do some extra patter before they started — that set must’ve taken so much setup)
  • Favorite staging/performance for songs I was meh on: Ukraine’s “Shum“, Greece’s “Last Dance“, Moldova’s “Sugar“, Bulgaria’s “Growing Up is Getting Old“, Latvia’s “The Moon is Rising
  • Staging/performances that got robbed for songs I was meh on: Australia’s “Technicolor“, Denmark’s “Øve os på hinanden
  • Songs that need to make out: Cyprus’s “El Diablo” and Norway’s “Fallen Angel
  • Wouldn’t be a real Eurovision without one of these: Iceland’s “10 Years” (The outfits! Those wind machines! The wobbling at the end when they do a fake freeze-frame!)

Personal favorite so far is Sweden, which probably means it won’t win, because my favorites never do. (Speaking of songs that got robbed: Waterline.) Only watched the semifinals, none of the songs from auto-qualified countries, so maybe one of those will turn out to be my new favorite? …and then not win either, lol.

Guess we’ll find out tomorrow night.

Egg replacer, international light shows, holy squirt guns, and…data malpractice

Finally managed to give blood on Sunday, after a few misfires earlier in the month. (For the first time, my pulse kept coming in high. This round I cut all caffeine for a week, recorded my own pulse a couple times a day to figure out the best strategy, and set the appointment for shortly after I woke up. Success!)

Other nice/heartwarming things:

April 14: ““I re-read ‘So Much Cooking,’” one of my friends said on social media, tagging me, “and realized I hadn’t stocked up coffee. Now I have. So, thanks.” Someone else bought two bottles of chocolate syrup, crediting my story. Another person bought themselves birthday cake ingredients. “I’m shopping based on what Natalie would want,” someone else told me.”

May 16: “Buildings around Europe and beyond were lit up for Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light. Shine A Light was played by the Rotterdam Philharmonic, from home.” Video that’ll hit you right in the heart.

May 17: “A Roman Catholic priest in the Detroit area has taken aim at his parishioners in a bid to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, using a squirt gun to shoot holy water.

In less-heartwarming news, public-health data in the US is being skewed by people with a financial interest in reopening things, safety be damned. A few examples:

May 18, Florida: The data architect of Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard: “As a word of caution, I would not expect the new team to continue the same level of accessibility and transparency that I made central to the process during the first two months. After all, my commitment to both is largely (arguably entirely) the reason I am no longer managing it.”

May 18, Georgia: “But on closer inspection, the dates on the chart showed a curious ordering: April 30 was followed by May 4; May 5 was followed by May 2, which was followed by May 7 — which in turn was followed by April 26. The dates had been re-sorted to create the illusion of a decline. The five counties were likewise re-sorted on each day to enhance the illusion.”

May 21, the whole US, via the CDC: “The government’s disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests, compromising a few crucial metrics that governors depend on to reopen their economies. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and other states are doing the same.”

Ways to help, things to do, Eurovisions to watch

I’m watching the recordings of Eurovisions past…and 2015 opens with a montage of “people in all different home countries making long-distance connections with each other” that, if you’re anything like me, will mean all of a sudden you need a minute, you’ve got something in your eyes.

A set of productive, helpful, or at least generally non-awful links:

Folding@home lets you donate your computer’s spare processing power to disease-fighting research. Since March 10, that includes simulations to design potential treatments for COVID-19.

If the program gives you any trouble or doesn’t pick up much to do, try World Community Grid, actively working on AIDS, tuberculosis, childhood cancer, and more. That’s the one I’ve been running on-and-off for more than a decade. (Full disclosure, it’s a referral link….but the only thing I get out of it is a 50x50px image to commemorate how many people I’ve referred.)

And if you have money to spare, Doctors Without Borders is one of the organizations that will make good use of it.

History’s Deadliest Viruses Illustrated to Scale.” (Illustration.)

Finally, some personal posts about people’s medical experiences. Not an endorsement of specific treatments, just a recommendation to read them, and decide if any of it would be personally helpful for you to explore further.

“The important thing to note here is that lysine is not immune-system-boosting in the vague ‘we hope it does something but we aren’t sure what’ way of many herbs; lysine, as an amino acid, is a basic building block for immune cells, particularly antibodies.

I’ve been seeing a lot of people who don’t normally worry about lung complexities ask questions about it, and my lungs are also going through their change of season crankiness, so now seems a really good time to write up some notes about things I’ve found helpful.”