Howdy pardners! It’s been a while since I’ve wrangled the stats of the 2011/2012 season into submission (by a while I of course mean a few weeks – a lot can happen in a short time here in Eurovision-land). So here they are, not exactly hot off the press, but hopefully still warm enough for y’all to be interested. And trust me, it is going to be an interesting 10 months…
(NB: Things have changed since I wrote this, mainly in relation to the confimed countries in Baku…let’s hope Italy, the Czech Republic etc DO confirm!)
– 1 revised logo: A rainbow (not in completely logical ROYGBIV order, as the OCD part of me would prefer, but a rainbow nonetheless) and a demand to reach for the top.
– 12 participants confirmed: They are Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Georgia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia, San Marino, Sweden and Ukraine. 2 down on last year isn’t half bad. Obviously. It’s 2-down bad. Ha ha.
– 3 withdrawals confirmed: Sadly, neither Latvia, Malta, or Serbia will not be competing. Sigh. I have to say, I’ll particularly miss Serbia, who are always in my top 5 for JESC. Come back soon and teach us foreign languages on a magical night while writing letters, and such!
– 3 songs chosen: I reiterate – Candy Music by Candy from Georgia; Kak Romeo I Dzhulyetta by Ekaterina Ryabova from Russia, and Evropa by Kristall from Ukraine. If you haven’t already, please vote on my poll (the previous post) for your favourite of the three. Russia is in the lead so far, so if 8 of the other countries get stranded at the airport (we can only assume that won’t happen to Armenia, unless they have an especially roundabout way of getting to their own stadium), The Artist Formerly Known as Katya could be in with a good chance!
– 4 tentative preselection dates: Lithuania could be next, choosing their entry as an early birthday present to me on the 18th of September (it’d better be good or I’m taking it back and getting a refund!), followed by hosts Armenia on the 20th and Belarus at some point during the month. The Netherlands will make their choice on October the 1st.
– 2 possible stadiums: Azerbaijan’s leaving nothing (e.g. having somewhere to hold Eurovision) to chance, with the 37 000-seat Tofiq Bahramov complex waiting in the wings as understudy to the Baku Concert Arena. The latter doesn’t actually exist at the moment, but construction has begun on the monumentally massive structure, which will seat 50 000, making the TB stadium look as accommodating as a teacup.
– 24 participants confirmed: For the semi finals, we have Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, as well as the Czech Republic who are back for their first go since a disastrous cape-clad fail in Moscow. Azerbaijan, Germany and Italy are loosely locked in for the final (I knew you’d be back, Italy…you couldn’t resist. Mwahahahaha!).
– 2 possible participants: Morocco could return for the first time since 1980, whilst Portugal may have to pull out thanks to broadcaster privatisation. Sounds painful.
– 1 artist chosen: There is an approximately 95.7% chance that 17-year-old Greek X Factor finalist Ivi Adamou will sing for Cyprus, and I’m expecting something Lena-like (i.e. catchy and contemporary) from her if she does. Perhaps Cyprus feels that enlisting a success from the hit reality show (I’m about to get sucked in to the Australian version…again) is the ticket to a top 10 finish, as it was for Greece in Düsseldorf?
– 4 equally-as-tentative preselection dates: When will Switzerland learn that the early bird doesn’t always catch the worm? It’s the well choreographed one in the short skirt that usually does. Regardless, they’ve decided yet again to get their national final over and done with before Christmas (unlike Albania, whose competitors usually have to forgo the turkey and Yorkshire puddings in favor of vying for the golden ticket ON Christmas) – that is, on the 10th of December. Meanwhile, the Dutch and the Slovenians should pick in January, with Finland booking the first place in what is sure to be February Madness.
Whew! I think that’s all of the crucial info, and the not-so-crucial info, there is to cover. Of course, from the point of me writing this sentence to the second of postage, there’ll probably be more…and that’s the beauty of it. Bring on the contest season!