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So Let’s Talk About Eurovision – Part 2: Are you ready for the Final! by a21
26/05/2012, 10:29
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It’s tonight. The final of Eurovision 2012 or just Eurovision 2012 since we don’t really care about the semifinals. Ok, I did some comments about the first semi-final so I will do the same for the second semi-final as well. So I guessed that ten countries that would go to the finals would be: Serbia, FYR Macedonia, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Lithuania. I guessed 7 of them right, while Estonia, Malta and Ukraine were the lucky ones instead of Netherlands, Bulgaria and Slovenia. All three of them are going to be at the bottom part of the final chart so it doesn’t really matter. I’m not going to comment about Sweden, Norway and Turkey for the moment, since I will have another section for them further down in the post.

Serbia: I don’t have anything to say about the song. I can’t understand the lyrics, but I suppose the lyrics are great since they passed to the finals. Nothing special about the song, the singer or the show. Oh wait, this is Serbia, right. Every year Serbia is a favorite because they always get a lot of votes. This year they won’t get so much since all balkan countries are coming somewhat strong and I don’t think Serbia is better than them. So boring, really!

FYR Macedonia: I like this song, it’s actually a good taste from the Balkans for a change. Singer has a nice voice and the performance was good. Can get a moderate amount of votes, not gonna be very high on the chart.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: When I saw the performance, I thought about last year when Italy came second. Yes, because of the piano. If piano gets votes, than this song can be high. But I don’t think so. I think this song is weak and will not top the chart.

Lithuania: Love is blind and what a great idea to wear a blindfold! Yaaay! Come on Lithuania, be creative. Anyway, it was not that bad. The boy has energy and sings well. I was sure he would be in the finals. However only 12 point he’s going to get is from Estonia and vice-versa. pff!

Estonia: Handsome guy singing a ballad and he’s from estonia. Nothing much to say really. I don’t know why we have to listen to him in the finals again!!

Malta: I think it’s a crappy song but they were funny and had good energy. In the end, both people in the hall and those who were watching them on tv enjoyed them. I didn’t expect them to go to the finals, it was a big shock for me. However, I’m convinced they deserved it.

Ukraine: I really think the song of Gaitana should be forbidden but somehow she made people like it. The show was funny with moving screens and dancers. The dress of the woman was horrible. I still think Ukraine shouldn’t have made it to the finals.

So, finally let’s talk about Eurovision !!

In this part, I will only talk about my favorites. However, first I want to draw attention to the so-called Big Five: Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and France. Since they are not in the semi-finals, we always forget about them. Generally Germany is somehow good while United Kingdom and Spain is horrible. France sometimes sends good songs although nobody understands what they are doing. Italy is generally not very good either. This year, I think all of the Big Five have very good songs.

Spain: I start with Spain because I don’t feel she can get in top 10. But Pastora Soler may very well have the best voice in the contest and the song is perfect for it. Her performance in the rehearsal is great and she can give Spain one of the highest ranks of 21st century.

Germany: Although the song is good and the singer is cute, I don’t think Germany will get good votes. For me, they are not one of the favorites.

United Kingdom: The song of Engelbert Humpledinck can be the slowest song of the contest but I believe it is a good song. I can at least say that he might break the tradition and put U.K. in the top ten.

France: Anggun made a great song. I honestly think it’s one of the best songs of the contest. It’s one of my favorites and I would be very happy if she wins. France prepared an exciting show as well and I believe the performance of Anggun will also be good. However, the competition is though and just nobody votes for France.

Italy: I love Nina Zilli and Italy is my “the favorite” this year. Zilli had a very confusing journey to Eurovision. She was chosen at San Remo Fastival to represent Italy in Eurovision 2012 with her song “Per Sempre” which was a nice song an I quite liked it. Then few months before Eurovision, she announced she changed her song to “L’Amore E Feminna”. Then she made the song more english with a second title in English: “Out of Love”. I think this may even be a first for Italy to be represented by a song in english (at least most of it in english). She made 2 video clips for the song. It seems she just can’t decide. Although I expected his stage show to be better, her performance is amazing on the stage and the song is just perfect for her style. After finishing in second place last year, I feel Italy may win the contest.

Those were the “Big Five”. It’s surprising to see all of them coming strong this year. This year really is a very good year. There are so many songs that can win and so many good songs. It’s going to be a wonderful show. For me, I see all of the Big Five as favorites. So let’s check the other favorites of this year.

Ireland: Jedward added to their popularity since last year and their stage show was very exciting. I believe they have a very good chance at winning. Otherwise they are sure to be in top 10. GO JEDWAAARD !!

Sweden: Euphoria is really amazing. Although we have never seen much success from electronic songs in Eurovision, Euphoria is already very popular around Europe. She is seen widely as the favorite since she won Melodifestivalen. Everybody’s saying Loreen is the winner just like 2 years go when Lena rocked Europe with Satellite. This year Loreen is rocking the house and she’s most likely going to win it.

Norway: I expected to Tooji to strike hard but I think he’s intimidated by Loreen and I don’t think he has the confidence to win this. People compare his style to Eric Saad but personally I believe that “Stay” is a much better song than “Popular”. I think at this point, it depends on the performance of Tooji tonight. He has the energy and the perfect song to rock the house in Baku.

Turkey: Can Bonomo managed to get everyone in Turkey excited about Eurovision this year. Although this year it’s practically impossible for Turkey to win the contest, with a very cute stage show. Can Bonomo guaranteed its place in top ten. The song is not good so of course he needs to be cute. Everything may depend on the performance tonight since it was very sloppy at the semifinals. I think he was excited since he’s very young. Nevertheless, the Turkish trust in him and will still be proud of him even if he doesn’t win.

Russia: Yes, there is a big possibility that Grannies from Russia will win the contest. That reminds me of “Hard Rock Hallelujah”. Figure it out why. I’m so afraid that Russia will be the winner tonight because there are so many good songs that it would be a disastrous joke to see them perform a second time tonight.

Azerbaijan: The host of this year has Sabina singing a ballad with her amazing voice. I believe Azerbaijan will get some extra votes since they are the host this year and those votes may put them in top ten.

Other countries which may find themselves in top ten are Romania, Serbia, Denmark, Cyprus, Greece and Iceland. I don’t want to comment further on them since I already said everything there is to say about them. This year, the competition is crazy, there are so many good songs and I’m so curious to see the results.

Finally, I’m going to make my top 10 after watching the performances tonight. I’m watching the contest at the famous Eurovision party: “Dix Points” (#dixpoints). So it’s gonna be a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it as well.

Catch you up after the results !!

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So Let’s Talk About Eurovision – Part 1: First semi-final ! by a21
23/05/2012, 15:30
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Those were the 10 countries I predicted would be the finalists from the 1st semi finals: Romania, Israel, Cyprus, Denmark, Russia, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Latvia, Greece. I got 6 of them right!. First, let’s check those who didn’t make to the finals:

Israel: For me, it was the biggest shock of the night! It was one of the songs I liked the most from this year’s competitors. I would have liked to see them at the finals.  They didn’t do any performance mistakes, however I believe they were only voted off since they represented Israel.

Austria: I don’t know why I picked them. I guess I thought that there should be a group of people on Europe who would vote for them. But honestly, so glad we’re going to see a finals without them.

Switzerland: Another disappointment. The song was very good in my opinion and they did a very clean performance of “Friendly Rock”. I believe they should have made it to the finals. I guess nobody votes for Switzerland either.

Latvia: I liked the song before the semi-finals. However, their performance was poor and the rythm of the song didn’t keep up to the pace of the semi-finals. They were boring and didn’t deserve to win.

 

And now those who made it to the finals:

Moldova: One of the 4 countries that I didn’t expect to see in the finals. They performed better than I expected them to and deserved their place in the finals. I don’t think they will make their way to the top in the finals, but they can certainly get a good amount of votes.

Iceland: I don’t know why I didn’t expect them to win. Maybe I thought that without their scandinavian buddy countries in the semi-finals, they wouldn’t get enough votes to advance. However they have a great song with a theatrical and impeccable performance. They can get good votes and make their way to top 10 in the finals with a bit of luck.

Hungary: I think they have a very ordinary song without any special performance. I don’t think they should have won the semi-finals and don’t think they will be on top of the chart in the finals either.

Albania: Last of the 4 countries I didn’t expect to see in the finals. I guess they received votes of solidarity from some countries and for the great mystical voice of the singer. I still don’t believe they should have been in the finals and certainly they won’t get good votes.

Romania: A very catchy song with happy tunes. Although they had some problems during their performance, they were lucky. Could be a summer hit in Romania. They will not make it to top ten in the finals but certainly deserved to be in it.

Denmark: Although I didn’t like the song, I guessed that a lot of people would and they would be in the finals. They had a cello player dressed like a rapper and a singer with a sailor hat who was acting like a fish. We see a lot of sailor and sea themed performance. I guess it’s because Azerbaijan is a landlocked country. Anyways, although I still don’t like them, I think they will get enough votes to be in top ten.

Cyprus: They were on the popular songs of this year. Again, I didn’t like them. On top of that their performance was horrible, the singer didn’t sound right. They were popular enough to get the votes to win the semi-finals but hopefully they won’t win the finals, although I still expect them to place high.

Greece: This year, they are not as popular as they should have been. Greece is always a Eurovision favorite. Although this year, I don’t expect them to win. They have a catchy song with an appealing performance but they are just not popular enough. The song can be a summer hit in Greece and Turkish coast. They will place high in the finals, although not that high since we have seen better songs from Greece fail.

Russia: Come on Russia !! and Come on Europe. Yes they are cute and yes they should perform in the finals. But aren’t they also scary?! Seriously, although Russia always gets a lot of point, this year I’m annoyed at every vote that goes for Russia, s.Grannies are a nice addition of freakiness to the contest but please don’t let them place high in the finals with their horrible song.

Ireland: JEDWAAARD! You love them! Last year, their song was better but they performed poorly. This year, their performance is great and have an appealing stage show. I believe they will place in the top five in the finals which means I place them higher than any country in the 1st semi-finals. And who knows they might just win it ! Just don’t forget to vote for them!!

 

So that was it. I believe the second semi finals have better candidates to be the winner of Eurovision 2012. See you later and don’t forget to listen to all eurovision contestants in the special playlist of AvukatFM on Youtube.

 



Dear Turkey, We need to talk about Tarkan. by bayripley
15/03/2012, 20:39
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Dear Turkey (1),

It is time to bring up a pop start other than Tarkan because for the last 11 years that I have been in contact with people from other countries, I am sick of pretending as if I am happy to hear that they know Tarkan. I have personally observed Tarkan is known in at least 20 countries. Some people still remember his song “Şımarık”, and some of them even made me sing it, over and over again. I had to pretend as if I was OK with that. There were moments when Tarkan’s name was almost forgotten in Turkey and people around Europe would ask me how he was doing. He had basically lost 2000s, the decade in which I was exposed to most of these questions. Nowadays, he is an oriental memory with nice eyes and hair, but his expiration date has long passed.

You may ask, my lonely and beautiful country, who else can I bring up to reach that position. As we all know, the reason for the endnote is the conception of multiple actors in creating one action in a defined field. So, it was never only Turkey who created a world star out of Tarkan, but it was the combination of the record companies who invested in his music and image, his manager who supported his quest abroad, and his song writer making beautiful songs for him, and Tarkan’s persona or “stardust”.

There were moments when similar projects couldn’t actually succeed. Look at Sertab Erener example. She is actually the second “star” Turkey created, if not the third after Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ who for a while enjoyed a significant visual presence in the Middle East. She was ambitious enough to sing with Ricky Martin — when Ricky Martin was not a guest star to TV series but actually a world wide known pop music star–, to do collaborative projects with other singers or even win “the” Eurovision. But later what happened? I remember her saying in one of her interviews, “By the time I reached to a level where I could go further, after Eurovision victory, I realized I was too old for that.”

So, the next star should be a young one, who can enjoy his international success for longer than 6 months, and save me from this agony of Tarkan-centric definition of Turkish music.

My dear country, you might ask a suggestion. So, here it is: If you have a young singer, who is doing music to an international audience but with an oriental touch, with the correct promotion strategy, we can create a new star. And I must confess, the latest Eurovision contestant of Turkey, Can Bonomo is one of the most possible candidates on that matter. Since TRT declared him as the singer to go to Baku this May, his promotional campaign has been going, at least visually, flawless. His social media activity was just awarded by some web awards. His website is talking to an international audience. His music video is playing towards winning the contest. This guy knows what he is doing. So, even if he can’t make it to the stage for a second time in Baku, Can Bonomo might be our new Tarkan and actually show another dimension of Turkish music, and culture, and pop culture.

I am, however, ending this letter addressed to Turkey, with a note to my friends in other countries. Guys, if you are fed up with Tarkan just like I am, please vote for Can Bonomo at Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Believe me, you will not regret it.

(1) Although, as condemned by many social scientists, except those of IR who belong to classicist realist paradigm or ignorant graduate students in all fields, approaching countries as monolithic entities is lame, and ummm, non academic. “France and Germany agreed upon Greece’s future, or Russia felt resentment after US installed Jupiter missiles in Turkey.” The expiration date of this type of sentences has long been over, but in this post, I am using one of them, so I apologize from the academia.