Just so you all know… 3

The site is working back as it should. It’ll look like a blog for a few weeks whilst I have a good old fashioned rebuild and a bit of a break and my usual summer holidays!

I’ll still be contributing, and so will Riigi but expect the site to look like this till about the last week in July!

Thank you for all your support, including that of my mysterious benefactors who got the site back up and running when I was melting down in Stockholm! 😉


ESC birthdays 28 June – You can’t have enough songs about angels

Angel

It’s duo time today. Are you excited? Are you full of anticipation of what delight I might just have in mind for you today? Will it be one of your favourite songs of all time? Or just one that makes you go ‘meh’? Well, today’s birthday boy Marats Ogļezņevs is the non-singing (be-spectacled) half of the the Latvian popular beat-type people Musiqq. They should be commended for even having two letter ‘q’s together – you don’t see that very often in this work-a-day world. Marats is 33 today.

Daudz laimes dzimšanas dienā, Marat!

 


ESC birthdays 27 June – Is anyone you know going solo?

Han Solo

From one runner-up to another. It could be said that Ireland’s song on Saturday signalled the end of an era, yet today’s runner-up showed us a taste of things to come. Today is the birthday of Алсу Рәлиф кызы Абрамова/Alsou Ralifovna Abramova, songstress and one time hostess of our favourite TV show. Since she blazed a trail to second place in 2000, her fellow countrymen and women have equalled or bettered her four times – an impressive record in these days of hundreds of countries participating. But is this Russia’s best song? What do you think? Alsou is 33 today.

С Днем Рождения, Алсу!

 


ESC birthdays 25 June – Mysterious Araby

Araby

Can you believe that the last time Ireland had a top three finish was in 1997. Some of you out there might not even have been born when that happened. They were the host country and only beaten by the United Kingdom of stuff. Second for a host nation is by far the best place to finish. Your national broadcaster nicely hands over the title to some other unsuspecting broadcaster, and you don’t have to find the money down the back of the sofa to pay for the contest the next year. Of course, back in the 1990s, Ireland just kept on winning (a bit like a certain Scandinavian nation recently), so they must have been pleased to not win. Marc Roberts (né Seán Hegarty) sang a three minute song asking a question that could have answered if he’d only bothered to look at a departures board. Maybe he was at Terminal 3. Marc is 48 today.

Happy birthday, Marc!

 


ESC birthdays 24 June – Eurovision never dies

Beauty and the beast

Eurovision always has its fan favourites. Those songs that immediately capture the imagination of your typical fan. The ones they can’t stop singing of dancing to at your average disco. I won’t name all of them that the fans love (probably more than they should) and you have your own in mind. Today’s the birthday of Бојана Стаменов/Bojana Stamenov, who had one of those favourites from 2015. Unlike some of those other favourites, she actually made the final and definitely knew the majority of her audience. Bojana is 30 today.

Срећан рођендан, Бојана!

 


ESC birthdays 23 June – Come and wake me, and let’s dance!

Friends

Do you have a favourite year? A lot of mine are from the 1980s. Such as 1989. The multiplicity of languages. The copious use of français. The fun voting. And Céline Dion. Well, most of those anyway. There were, of course, some excellent songs that are still played at Eurovision discos of note even to this day. And today it’s the birthday of one of the performers from that illustrious year. Britt Synnøve Johansen’s preview video mixes a live performance from the MGP with a video set inside a cutting edge home in urban Oslo from 1989. Just marvel at what you see. Britt is 46 today.

Gratulerer med dagen, Britt Synnøve!

 


ESC birthdays 22 June – Accidental winners: Which is the most accidental?

Latvia coat of arms

I have a winner for you today. It’s from the northern portion of Europe and, no, it’s not Carola. It’s a song by a female soloist and, no, it’s not Carola. It’s also a self-composed song so it’s definitely still not Carola. But it is (in my humble opinion) a surprise winner that wouldn’t even have been there if Portugal had not decided to take a year out. Yep, let’s blame RTP for a Latvian win in 2002. That winner, as we all know, was Marija Naumova. Was she the most accidental winner ever? Marie is 43 today.

Daudz laimes dzimšanas dienā, Marie

 


ESC birthdays 21 June – A song about soaps?

Alp

Today I’m going to celebrate a singer who entered a very exclusive club back in 1983. So exclusive there is only a small number of members, the most recent of which joined in 2015. It is, of course, those who failed to score a single point. ‘Nul points’ if you will. For today’s birthday boy Çetin Alp, he was that good he didn’t even finish last by himself. However his stage show was eye-caching and I’m sure it would have scored a whole heap of points if his magnum opus was in a post-2010 contest. Ironically, he died three days after the contest was broadcast in his home city. Cetin would have been 69 today.

 


ESC birthdays 20 June – Silence is golden 1

Crowd

I would love to see Portugal win. I’m looking at compilation of all of their entries that someone has kindly put on the Tube of You, and they had their fair share of cracking little songs that were mainly ignored by the juries/televoters of Europe. But don’t you agree that Portugal would be a fine place to hold our favourite TV show. The sun, the sea, the fine local drinks of an alcoholic nature. If RTP is reading this, please take part next year. But of course, we here for a birthday, so I’ve gone for Maria Adelaide Fernandes Guinot Moreno, who sang a fine song that closed the 1984 Contest in Luxembourg. Maria is 71 today.

Feliz aniversário, Maria!

 


ESC birthdays 18 June – What’s your favourite fruit?

Durian Fruit

Some days I can’t think of anything witty to write about a birthday. I could write about the country, but they weren’t in Stockholm, deciding to take a year out in order to try and find that elusive winning formula. Or I could write about the song. Today’s song just reels off lots of different fruit, in the same way Beathoven name-checked every famous person they knew of, or Liam Reilly gave us a list of cities in our fair continent. Or I could say something interesting about today’s birthday girl Ondina Maria ‘Dina’ Farias Veloso, in that it took her 12 years from first participating in Festival do Canção to actually win it. On reflection, I might stick with fruit. Dina is 60 today.

Feliz aniversário, Dina!

 


ESC birthdays 17 June – Do you like the wind kissing your cheeks?

ESC 1963

I know that many of you out there don’t realise that there were quality contests and quality winners before 2000. If you didn’t, you should check some of them out. Youtube and other quality video sites are bound to have them somewhere. I’ve picked a winner today, which is possibly one of the coolest songs ever. And it’s in black & white, which keeps you concentrating on the quality of the fine song that it is. Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann were the first duo to win Eurovision, even though only Grethe sang. Unfortunately neither of them are with us any more – Grethe died in 1990 and Jørgen left us last year – but this is a fine example what they accomplished. Grethe would have been 78 today.