Eurovision Song Contest 2017

All right, it’s this time of the year again: it’s Eurovision! The biggest and longest running

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ESC 2017 logo

song competition in the world, that claims to be unpolitical, but everyone and their grandma knows it’s not.

Granted, a few stars rose from the ESC and managed to build a career, but for the most part it’s cheesy and sparkly and gay and fun and pop songs and Eurodance and ballads all in 3 big shows. I’m not a huge Eurovision-geek, but being into it once a year is perfectly fine.

I would like to talk about 2 things about this year’s ESC: Russia and Italy.

As we all know, Russia is boycotting the ESC this year, after Ukraine forbid russian entry Julia Samoylova to enter the country. Now, this may sound mean, even more so because she’s disabled and sitting in a wheelchair, but she broke ukrainian law by performing on crimera without going through Ukraine – in other words: she flew directly from Russia to crimera to perform and that resulted in a 3 year ban to enter Ukraine. There’s another 140 artists that share the same fate.

Is Ukraine being too hard? This is very hard to answer. Russia obviously is trying to be the victim here, I mean: there’s no way Russian authorities didn’t know about Samoylovas ban to enter Ukraine before choosing her and they chose a disabled artiest on top of that – someone you’re going to feel bad for easily. This was a calculated conflict from Russia, they knew this would happen and they knew Ukraine would not make an expection, because these two countries are in war and Ukraine is still damn pissed about crimera.

However, neither country was interested in resolving this conflict, the EBU said Samoyolova could perfom in Russia and her performance could be streamed live during the show, but both countries declined and neighter offered another solution. Every single person with a brain their head should’ve known either Russia or Ukraine was going to pull one out after Jamala won last year and quite honestly, nobody really seems surprised either. It’s a little sad, because Eurovision is supposed to bring countries together and it has been used to deepen an ungoing conflict this year. Personally I think both countries should’ve acted more peaceful.

Leaving Russia and Ukraine behind, I would like to talk a bit about Italy this year. Yes, Italy, the huge favorite. Some people think the song is overrated, I personally really like it. I think it’s a catchy popsong, that’s fun to listen to and you don’t feel bad listen to it more than once. I’m also a huge fan of Francescos rough voice and hope he can deliver a great perfomance in the finale.

However, I think having a great song is not the only reason so many people support Italy this year. I often read comments about Italy being robbed 2015 and they finally deserve

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Italy: Francesco Gabbani

the win they should’ve taken two years ago. Rewind backwards to 2015 when Italy was the huge fan favorite and took an undisputed clear first place in the audience voting. That night european people decided “Grande Amore” was their winner, but a hand full of profressionals decided to make a much more radio-friendly song the winner: Sweden. Since Italy was so widley supported by fans, many felt Italy was robbed by the juries and now that Italy has another outstanding top song, the support is there once again.

Additionally, I would like to add Jamala was second place last year: she was second place in jury voting and second place in audience voting. She won, because Australia did very well with the juries, but not that good with the audience and Russia did very well with the audience, but not that good with the juries. Once again, just like the year before, we have a huge difference between the fan favorite and the jury favorite and fans felt their winner was robbed once again. Add to the fact many people believe the votes for Ukraine were out of political interest and you kind of understand why the fans finally want to see “their winner” actually win.

Italy would be a very “safe” winner this year. After all the controversy around the ukraininan win last year and their trouble with Russia this year, Italy is very safe. They already deserved it two years ago, they don’t have any major problems with other countries, or at least not of the scale that Ukraine does, and they have a good song you can play on the radio in most parts of the world. It’s a “feel good” song at a time when many people don’t feel that good and problems are rising all around us and maybe we need a song to win, that makes us feel good for 3 minutes.

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Protugal: Salvador Sobral

The other favorites to win are currently Portugal and Sweden – also two very safe options – and Bulgaria, another controversial entry, because ever since Russias announced they won’t participate this year, Bulgaria is basically Russias secret entry, because their artist has russian roots, is very well known in Russia and is expected to get many russian votes. Quite honestly, I really REALLY don’t want Bulgaria to win and it has nothing to do with their song, unfortunately, it’s 100% politics: I don’t want this mess a second time in a row. It’s been a long time since ESC was as political as it is this year and I want to have a break from that next year. Every once in a while: okay, but not every year.

I’ll be rooting for Italy, I really like France and Belgium as well and hope they’ll be doing great this year. My own country? Germany? Set to lose again, no point talking about it.

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Olympic Special: London 2012 – Day 5

I missed so much! Damn you work, damn you and I’ll have to work again tomorrow. Such misfortune… but the day started good. For the Britons, because they finally got their first gold and the second one as well. Congratulations.

Also congratulations to our Beachvolleyball-sunshineboys, who won their match against Switzerland and advance to the knock-out rounds as the best of their group. In field hockey our men’s team won their second match against Soth Korea. Our last remaining Badminton Player had a pretty dark day, because he failed to reach the quarterfinals. Well, we’re not really that great in Badminton, so he did pretty well. Even worse must have been this day for usbek gymnast Luisa Galiulina, she apparently doped and was disqualified from the olympics.

We have so many gold-winners today, let’s jump into it: the first medal of the day was given to the british Coxless pair athletes Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, winning Great Britains first gold medal in London. The crowd was going crazy over these girls and they totally deserved it. The german boat came in last, but we never expected a medal from them. They did great. Australia did a lot better, because they came in second, just 0,20 seconds faster than New Zealand.
The next rowing final was the women’s Quadruple sculls event won by Ukraine. The german athletes tried their best at the end to attack the leading boat, but weren’t able to catch it. A good second place for Germany and bronze went to America. Well done, but of course there is still one decision missing, the one we all wanted to see: the men’s eight. The german flagship, unbeaten during the last 4 years and the favorits to win. Did they win? Yes, of course they did, they had to. This was the one medal we really had to win. This gold just had to be, it was an all-or-nothing-race, second place would have been a huge disappointment and what a race, it was so exciting, totally worth an olympic final, I tell you. The Britons were slightly leading at one point, but Germany came back and eventually won the race. The Britons sadly only managed thrid place and to everyone’s surprise Canada snatched away the silver medal. They all said: if someone is going to be dangerous, it’s going to be the United States, but they ended up 4rth place.

And more racing, but this time agasinst the clock and on a bike. We had the men’s and women’s time trials today in cycling. The women went first and US athlete Kristin Armstrong managed to win gold again, after she already stood on top 2008. Second place was Judith Arndt winning Germany’s next silver medal and I was so surprised. From the media I’ve heared that she’s actually pretty good and a medal was not that unlikely, but in my head cycling and Germany don’t match anymore. I really don’t know that muhc about cycling, well aside from riding my own bike, that is. Olga Zabelinskaya from Russia place thrid only slightly slower than Arndt.
As for the men, of couse there’s only one possible winner, the one who recently won the Tour de France. Naturally it was Bradley Wiggins, earning Britains second gold. Silver went, once again, to Germany and it’s needless to say that I was surprised by this as well. Tony Martin sure must have felt like a sandwitch, because he was surrounded by Britons: thrid place went to british athlete Chris Froome.

The next event on my list is the men’s synchronized 3m springboard diving event. After this event China now has half of the possible diving gold medals, meaning 4 wins in 4 comnpetitions. They might actually really win all the diving medals. You can still place your bets, they’re very strong. Second place went to Russia and thid to the United States. Sadly I wan’t able to watch this event from start to finish.

Next up is also in the water, because there we have the men’s K1 slalom canoeing event, won by Daniele Molmenti from Italy. During the civtory ceremony the one standing to his right was Vavřinec Hradílek from the Czech REpublic, who was only slightly faster, meaning 0,14 seconds, faster than thrid place Hannes Aigner for Germany. I’m really starting to like the canoeing events, it’s amazing to see those men and women fight their way through the water. I’ve never seen a canoeing event before this olympics and I really like it.

Next up is the women’s 69kg event in weightlifting, won by yet another north korean athlete. Seriously, what do those north korean athletes do to dominate their events so much? Jong Sim Rim won the thrid gold medal for her country, followed by Roxana Cocoș from Romania and Maryna Shkermankova from Belarus.
Later this day we had the men’s 77kg weightlifting event won by Lu Xiaojun from China, who must have known second place Lu Haojie, because that man is chinese as well. Bronze went to Iván Cambar from Cuba. Just to let you know, so far we have 4 chinese gold medals in weightlifting and 6 chinese medals in total. Second best country in weightlifting so far is North Korea with 3 gold medals and 4 in total. China and North Korea are currently dominating the weightlifting events. At the olympics in Beijing 2008, China won 8 gold medals in weightlifting with a total of 9 medals and North Korea won gold and bronze once. I won’t commentate this any further.

The shooting event today was the women’s 25m pistol event with a winner from South Korea: Kim Jang-Mi got herself a gold medal, slightly better than Chen Ying from China and the bronze winner Olena Kostevych from Ukraine. I didn’t watch any of it, I think there was something wrong with a pistol one athlete had and it destroyed her hope to reach the top ranks, or something like this. My father told be a bit about it. I wish I would have been able to see it for myself.

Today we had the first table tennis decision and, no surprise, China dominated the women’s single event, winning both first (Li Xiaoxia) and second (Ding Ning) place, leaving bronze for Feng Tianwei from Indonesia. I can already see the result of the men’s single event tomorrow: China, China, Taiwan. Germany 4rth place. By the way, the women’s 4rth place was Feng Tianwei from Singapore, so I guess we can be pretty proud to have the only non-asian (european) athlete in the semi-finals of a table tennis singe event. No, I’m not optimistic at all, I think I’m pretty realistic here.

Unrealistic was the second place in the women’s middleweight event in Judo, because it was german Judoka Kerstin Thiele who won herself all the way through the tournament only to be beaten by gold medal winner, european champion and world champion Lucie Decosse from France. Nevertheless Thiele can be very proud of herself, because most thought she wouldn’t survive the first round. Reaching the final seemed unthinkable before, but she somehow made it, that’s so awesome.
As for the men’s middleweight event, it was Song Dae-Nam from South Korea standing at the top, winning the final match against Asley Gonzalez from Cuba.

The men’s gymnastic individual all-around also had a surprise second place, who fought his way back up from last place to second place, but favorite Kōhei Uchimura was the unbeateable man this day, winning gold. The surprise second place came with Marcel Nguyen from Germany, who only placed 7th during the qualifications, 4 places lower than his team-colleague Fabian Hambüchen, who qualified with the 3rd best score and was obviously the favorite to win something from a german point of view. He had an incredibly bad day, came in 15th in the final and Nguyen had the day of his life. Danell Leyva from the US ranked 3rd, winning bronze.

In Fencing there were two decisions. The men’s individual épée event won by Rubén Limardo from Venezuela followed by Bartosz Piasecki from Norway and Jung Jin-Sun from South Korea. As for the women’s individual sabre event, we had Kim Ji-Yeon from South Korea standing at the top winning over Sofya Velikaya from Russia in the final. Third pace was earned by Olha Kharlan from Ukraine.

I’m so tired and I still have the swimming decisions to go… Let’s go. The first medal for swimmers of the day, was earned by Dániel Gyurta from Hungary who also broke the World Record while doing so. Briton Michael Jamieson swam a new National Record in the men’s 200m breaststroke event, but was still slower than Gyurta by 0,15 seconds. The third fastest in this event was japanese athlete Ryo Tateishi.
Jiao Liuyang from China won the women’s 200m butterfly event with a new olympic record. No american athlete in the top 3 this time with second fastest swimmer Mireia Belmonte García from Spain and Natsumi Hoshi from Japan who came in thrid.
The lack of US athletes in the previous two events can be overlooked, as another US boy won the men’s 100m freestyle event: Nathan Adrian was faster than James Magnussen from Australia and Brent Hayden from Canada.
The women’s 4x200m freestlye event was also won by America, followed by Australia and France. And Germany? Nnope, still doing very poorly, even olympic gold medal winnner of 2008, Britta Steffen, failed to reach the finals of her favorite event: women’s 100m freestyle. My guess? No swimming medals for Germany this time. Our men’s 4x200m freestyle result was probably the closest to a medal we can manage.

And now let’s take a look at tomorrow and the events with medals: Women’s team (archery), Men’s C-2 and Women’s K-1 (canoeing), Men’s team sprint and Women’s team sprint (cycling), Women’s team foil (fencing), Women’s individual all-around (gymnastics), Man’s and Women’s half-heavyweight (Judo), Men’s double sculls and Men’s lightweight four and women’s eight (rowing), Men’s double trap (shooting), Women’s 200m breaststroke and Men’s 200m backstroke and Men’s 200m I.M. and Women’s 100m freestyle (swimming), Men’s singles (table tennis)
This is a total of 18 decisions, we had 2 more today, but that’s still a lot. We’ll see the first Athletics decisions Friday, by the way.

I’m too tired for proofreading, so please bear with it until I’ve slept a bit.

Olympic Special: London 2012 – Day 3

Actually, I seriously thought I would start this entry with the following words: “And yet another day without medals for Germany.” Nnope, we actually got one today and it was not the Men’s synchronized 10m platform event and it has a pretty unpleasant story behind it. More about it later, but another unpleasant story now, because our last remaining female Table tennis player lost today and is out of the tournament. Probably the most successful and best Table tennis player who ever lived, Timo Boll, currently ranked 7th in the world rankings, surprisingly lost in the rount of the best eight and is also out of the tournament, sadly. His team colleage won and advanced into the quarterfinals, thanks. Let’s hope he’ll make it into the semi-finals, then we have a chance to win a medal.

Other than that, there are more surprising stories to tell about this day, because during the equestrian eventing cross-country event, sadly quite some participants fell and one of the horses decited to finish the race on it’s own, meaning: it ran away and the event had to be stopped temporary to catch the fleeing horse. The last event, jumping, will be held tomorrow and Germany has a pretty good chance, because the team is currently ranked first, before second place Great Britain and in the individual rankings Ingrid Klimke with her 15-year old horse Butts Abraxxas are curently at the top with high hopes for gold. Now that’s something we like to hear.

What we also like to hear are news from our amazing rowers. 4 german boats managed to qualify themselves in different finals so far and special attention should be given to Germany’s Men’s Four during the heats. Why? Because they passed the 1500m mark on fifth (last) place and passed the goal-line, only 500m later, in second place. I know I’ve said the german rowers are doing amazingly well, but this was seriously impressive. When I was watching I honestly thought they would have to go into the repechage and then they suddenly came out of nowhere completing the race right after Australia, who absolutely outclassed everyone in this race.

In canoeing, whe had some more events today and sadly in the men’s C-2 slalom our german participants missed the semifinals by 0.03 seconds. This hurts. In the women’s K-1 slalom competition our competitor made it into the semifinals with the 9th best time. I wasn’t able to watch any canoeing yesterday, but I was really impressed when I fist saw where the slalom events are being held. It looks so cool at Lee Valley White Water Centre, thank you Britons for the wonderful location, but pretty much all the locations are so beautiful, it’s just a matter of what is most impressive.

Our gymnastics failed to win a medal and only paced 7th, even though Fabian Hambüchen did extreamly well, it was just not enough for the team, but he will have his chance to win an individual medal. Let’s hope he wil present himself as good as he did today, or better of course. Still, it’s not too late to place your bets on Germany’s worst summer olympics.

Back to bussiness and to the first gold medal of the day, that was given to Alin George Moldoveanu from Romania in the Men’s 10m air rifle shooting event. It was a very exiting final, the first place changed several times and Niccolo Campriani from Italy came in second at last. Bronze went to Gagan Narang from India and this man has a pretty touching story behind him, because his father had to sell some land to be able to buy his son his first air rifle and in order to prevent this to happen again, he later founded a school for air shooting, I think. Of course evey athelte deserves the medals he or she wins, but this man’s medal weights a bit more than others.

For the second medal, we have to go back into the water and also into the next german medal-catastrophy, because the same guys who won silver 4 years ago, only got 7th place today, because they seriously messed up one of their jumps and got thrown back from 3rd place to 7th. The winners were Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan from China with a very strong performance in the synchronized 10m platform diving event and absolutely deserved to win. Second place went to Mexico and third to the United States. Britain was unable to keep their good results from the early jumps. Too bad, because the audience celebrated their athletes like heroes with massive cheering every time they appeared. By the way, the Chinese said they wanted to win every diving event there is in the olympics this time. They’re doing pretty good so far.

In Judo Kaori Matsumoto from Japan won against romanian athelte Corina Caprioriu in the lightweight event. Men’s lightweight winner was Mansur Isaev from Russia, who won against Riki Nakaya winning silver for Japan. Nice fight, but I didn’t liked the fact that Isaev sat onto his opponent after the fight was over to celebrate his victory, while Nakaya was still lying on the ground. This was unnessecary and I absolutely love the fact that so many athletes congratulate the winners very friendly, hugging and kissing them.

In weightlifting, we had the decision in the women’s 58kg event, that was won by chinese athlete Li Xueying, who also broke the olympic record while she was at it. Silver medal winner was Pimsiri Sirikaew from Thailand and the bronze medal made it’s way to Yuliya Kalina from Ukraine. Just as a side note: German competitor Christin Ulrich rewrote the german record 3 times during this event and still only made it to 13th place. Yeah, this is how good we are at this event, but congratulations to her for improving her personal best so much.
In the men’s 62kg event, we have the third gold medal for North Korea won by Kim Un-Guk. He also rewrote the World Record.

Remember when I was talking about men’s gymnastics? Yeah, this event was won by China, who did a lot better now than they did during the qualifications. Japan also did a lot better compared to their prior performance and won silver, followed by the host with bronze. As a fact, the chinese athletes did so well, they won gold before the competition was over. Oh boy.

Now to the swimming competitions, the first gold medal in the Aquatic Center was given to french superhero Yannick Agnel winning the men’s 200m freestlye event. German competitor and world champion Paul Biedermann only managed to place 5th, but he swam his best time this season so far and the others were incredibly strong, so I think he did a good job, although he’s not entirely satisfied with his time. Ryan Lochte was still better, but also failed to win a medal. Next winner is Missy Franklin in the women’s 100m backstroke event, who qualified for 200m freestyle only 17 minutes before the backstroke final. Her sheldue is pretty impressive in general by the way, she’s trying to win 7 events. Also from America, but on the male side of the swimming team and also winner of the 100m backstroke, is Matthew Grevers. The german athelete came in 6th, but was happy to be able to swim this race at all and was absolutely satisfied. That’s something new from a german swimmer in London.
The last swimmer-medal went to 15-year old Ruta Meilutyte from Lithuania, who managed to improve her personal best during the last 3 month so much, that she won the 100m breaststroke event in Lonon as yet another unusually young athlete. What have I been doing when I was 15 years old? Right, nothing.

And we finally reach the last medal of the day and that was given out in fencing. The women’s individual épée was very dramatic with an extremely close decision in the semi-final between german athlete Britta Heidemann and south korean athlete A-Lam Shin. The last action by Heidemann was so close to the end of the last second, that the korean team discussed it over with the officials, who gave the point to Heidemann nonetheless after 25 minutes of discussions. They relyed on some complicated rules that I didn’t quite understand, but as much as I pity Shin, it actually really does seem like Heidemann’s victory is legit and even after Shin broke into tears and refused to go off stage, there was no helping. They even protested against the decision, but the officials still said it was Heidemann’s victory. She on the other hand lost in the finals pretty much in the last second herself to Yana Shemyakina from Ukraine, but still winning Germany’s first medal in London. Could’ve been gold, because it was a very exiting and close match, but happened to be silver. Still very well done. As for 3rd place, Shin lost aganst Yujie Sun from China, who won the bronze medal. What a mess and a silver medal with a very bitter taste.

And this was day 3! Very exiting, lot’s of stuff happend, good and bad stuff, but still a very exiting day. From a german point of view there’s actually more to celebrate, for example in men’s field hockey and badminton, but I’m lazy now.
Tomorrow, we have decisions in: Men’s C-1 (Canoeing), Women’s synchronized 10 m platform (Diving), individual eventing and team eventing (Equestrian), Men’s individual foil (Fencing), Women’s team all-around (Gymnastics), Women’s and Men’s half-middleweight (Judo), Men’s Skeet (Shooting), Women’s 200m freestyle (Swimming), Men’s 200m butterfly (Swimming), Women’s 200m I.M (Swimming), Men’s 4 × 200 freestyle relay (Swimming), Men’s 69kg and Women’s 63kg (Weightlifting). This is a total of 15 decisions, the most we’ve had so far.

UEFA Euro 2012

Europe once again celebrates it’s sportsmanship with the second most important football-event worldwide, the UEFA Euro that conveniently takes place two years after the World Cup… no, not by accident. Hey,  can you really blame us? Football was born in England, no wonder Europe loves it the most and even until today, there’s still a lot more competition between European countries than anywhere else. South America has some amazingly good national teams… like, 3 of them, but you get the idea. I actually consider the UEFA Euro harder than the World Cup, because less countries are allowed to participate, we have a lot strong national teams around here, there’s no round of best 18 (so you jump right into the quarterfionals where most of the lesser great teams have already been eliminated) and the rules for the group-matches are insanely complicated, so it’s harder to advance to the knock out-rounds.

The group-matches are over and we finally have our quarterfinalists. Just as a note: I watch football every two years: FIFA WC und UEFA Euro. I know the rules, I know how it’s supposed to be played, but I’m no expert by any means. Still, seeing the groups, I guess Group A was the easiest group, Group B… well, Group of Death and all, Group C had a very strong Croatia, Iratly and Spain and Group D had a pretty good Ukraine, France and England.

I was very surprised that Russia lost to Greece in their final Group-match and Greece managed to advance to the quarterfinals and actually, I would’ve preferred if this didn’t happen. One reason is because I think Russia deserved the quarterfinals more than Greece, because Russia had the overall better apperance. The other reason is because the media tries to push politics onto the Greek/German-match now and this is freaking annoying. It’s a football match fot god’s sake, not a political banquet. I want to watch a good game friday, fair and square, no hate, no anti-german parols after a greek defeat, because they wanted to beat us because of the €uro-debate. None of this crap, I just want a good game, but actually I highly doubt that thanks to the kind of football Greece plays. It’s extreamly defencive, so it’s going to be hard to show some awesome to look at offensive football, because there will hardly be any room to work with for Germany. I’m positive they can crack it up, but it’s not going to be a very exiting match when Greece walls itself up with 9 people in front of their goal. I personally would’ve preferred Russia, because they also play offensive and very fast football. Nicer to look at. Thanks for losing, guys…

Group B was truly the Group of Death, with 4 teams ranked in the top 10 of the FIFA worldrankings. I was very surprised that the Netherlands did so bad, they have such great players, but were all over the place. It was like, you know, they have great individual players, but didn’t worked well as a team. I’m really sad it turned out this way, I would’ve loved for them to continue, it’s always something special to play against the Dutch for Germany. But how it turned out, they had to go home after 3 losses, that’s a bitter pill to take für the vice-worldchampion. Portugal was a bit disappointing during it’s first two games as well, but when Ronaldo remembered how to play the game in the 3rd match, it got a lot better. Ronaldo is pretty much their toughest weapon and when he has a good day, he’s very dangerous. As for Denmark, they successfully annoyed all the other countries in Group B and did better than most expected. To be honest, I would’ve loved for them to advance into the quarterfinals, because they tried so hard and fought with all they had in this hars group, but it just wasn’t enough. 😦 Germany, well, not much to say about us. We played worse than expected, but it was still enough for 3 (way too close) wins – the only country with 9 points btw – and to be able to keep being a favorite for the title. That’s quite an accomplishment, let’s so how far we can go this time. If you ask me, we should be able to get into the final and meet Spain there – again.

Talking about Spian, they nearly got kicked out of the tournament as well. Croatia annoyed the hell out of them, that’s for sure. In all respect for their great gameplay and everything, but if they would have failed to reach the quaterfinals, I would’ve laughed to hard. I’m sorry, you have a really amazing team, but this would’ve been just too funny. And Spain also played worse than expected, actually I see Spain and Germany pretty even right now and both teams still have a lot room to improve, so if they do, we’ll see a breathtaking finale with no favorite. This’ll be awesome, especially because Germany already lost 2 titles to Spain, this heats up the whole thing a lot. Before that, there’s still Italy and they did surprisingly good, after the huge shock 2 years ago during the World Cup, I guess we can expect some more surprises from them. Last is Ireland… well, you see, the Irish probably had the worst team that amde it into the tournament, but by far the most amazing fans I’ve ever seen. Guys, I love you so much, I would’ve loved to see more of you, please qualify for the next World Cup, altough you’re in our qualification-group and considering the others we’re kinda expected to go first place, you can still make it through the play-offs. We will all miss you during the knock out-rounds, that’s for sure.

Now, last group, France disappointed, could’ve been better, but still made it to the quarterfinals anyway. Sweden tried really hard and I think they would’ve probably deserved to advance more than France and their Captain Zlatan Ibrahimović was really good, he scored an amazing goal against France and absolutely deserved that win. Too bad it wasn’t enough. Same goes for Ukraine, they tried hard, but sadly failed. England advanced and did pretty good, but now there’s a lot of complaining going on the match between Ukraine and England, because of that one “goal” that would’ve tied the game. I perfectly understand that Ukraine is very pissed about that, because the ball was over the line, it was in the goal, but two passes before, there was an offside-situation the referee didn’t see. I know the goal was a different playing situation, but it was pretty close after the not-given offside, so honestly, I think it’s ok that the goal was not given. One referee-mistake kinda neutralises the other referee-mistake. Both were mistakes and because of that I wouldn’t have complained even if the goal would have been given, but as it is… this is actually the fairest outcome for both teams.

As for the hosts: I think they tried to play good games and I’m sad they failed to make it into the quarterfinals. Especially for the host, it’s always a very special tournament and the overall exitement in the hosting country is better when it’s still in the tournament.

Predictions for the upcomming matches? Oh well… I guess Portugal will beat the Czech Republic, Spain will beat France, Germany will beat Greece and Italy will beat England. Then we would have Portugal agianst Spain and Germany against Italy in the Semifinals from which Spain and Germany advance to the final match. Actually winning the whole thing sounds too good to be true, but of course I hope our boys can make it.

And these are my very amateur-ish thoughts on the UEFA Euro 2012. Let’s hope we’ll see some more good matches.

Eurovision Song Contest 2012 (Baku – Azerbaijan) – 2. Semi-Final

I’m a day late! Again! Yay for me. Well, that’s because I had to work and was only able to watch it today. Was it worth it? Yes and No. The overall quality of the singers and songs seemed to be better and we had less silly acts, but this resulted in more boredom, you know. For the most part it was pretty appropriate for the masses, many ballads, many danceable stuff and generic pop-songs. I guess the second semi-final was better quality wise, but the first one was just overall more entertaining. At least they had Loreen, oh and Alexander Rybak…. oh my god they had Alexander Rybak, I think I might take minute off to fangirl over Fairytale (although the poor guy is probably sick and tired of singing this song). Best 80 seconds of the show.

1. Serbia  Zeljko Joksimovic – “Nije Ljubav Stvar”

Unlike the first semi-final, the first act in the second semi-final was actually pretty good and when I say pretty good, I mean, he was pretty amazing. I was very impressed, he’s a good singer with a good song that I ended up liking a lot, it was a very nice start into the show. The background people trying to look like they’re playing instruments, still look stupid and just walking around the stage is not very creative, but who cares? The song was good.

Result: in the Finals

2. F.Y.R. Macedonia  Kaliopi – “Crno I Belo”

Macedonia was ok, they just had the problem that their song was kind of similar to Serbia, but not as good. The singer did her best, but her voice was not as impressive as it could have been. Still a good singer though. At one point she destroyed my glass when she hit a very high note for a short time, but I’ll forgive her. I didn’t expect her to advance to the finals, because her song was too similar to Serbia who did a better job.

Result: in the Finals

3. Netherlands Joan Franka – “You and Me”

And yet another one of our dear neighbors. Our commentator said the Netherlands really wanted to advance to the finals after several useless tries, but as soon as I heared this song, I was actually doubting that a lot. First of all, what’s with this weird headdress? Just because she’s singing about Indians doesn’t mean she has to look like one and then she’s singing a song in the style of Texas Lightning. Ok, congratulations for trying something different and thanks for being one of the weird entries in this semi-final.

Result: kicked out

4. Malta Kurt Calleja – “This Is the Night”

Aww, look at him, such a cute and charming boy. No, really, I ended up linking the singer a lot, he does look very charming and his song was ok. It was another danceable track with more useless eh eh eh eh-stuff in the middle of it and nothing too outstanding. It’s not completely aweful and if you’re into this kind of stuff, it’s nice. I have to admit that I ended up paying more attention to the singer than the song.

Result: in the finals

5. Belarus  Litesound – “We Are the Heroes”

Ok, now, what was that? I expected rock, I got (once again) pop, the song was… well it was there, nothing special and actually one of the worse song of the evening, but the real question was about something entirely different. What’s wrong with those microphone… things? They probably wanted to get the audiences attention off the music and on the equipent and while they kind of succeeded, it didn’t make the song better.

Result: kicked out

6. Portugal  Filipa Sousa – “Vida minha”

I think they tried folklore dirge… or something and it was nice listening to something different between all the standart-pop-stuff, but unlike Albania (who also did a dirge), they just weren’t impressive enough to catch the audience enough. I somewhat liked it, but it wasn’t as dramatic and emotional as Albania was in the first semi-final. Even Angelina Jolie’s leg didn’t help, but Angelina is an acress, so they should’ve seen that comming.

Result: kicked out.

7. Ukraine  Gaitana – “Be My Guest”

The Ukraine seemed to test their possible hymn for the upcomming UEFA European Football Championship here, at least that’s what it sounded like and even the text would fit. It’s one of those feel-good-party-songs that gets into your ear and sounds a lot better the more alcohol you’ve drank. Also I think the singer would probably make an amazing soul-singer, she does sounds a bit similar to Anastacia and has a good voice. I thought it was a shame she was performing Euro-Trash instead of an emotional soul-track.

Result: in the finals

8. Bulgaria Sofi Marinowa – “Love Unlimited”

Bulgaria is yet again another example of the right artist and the wrong song. Our german commentator said she was actually a really good folklore-singer and at some points of her song, this did come through and made me wonder, why in the world she had to sing a trashy Disco-song. It fit her as good as her clothes did: not at all. I guess they tried to play safe and messed it up.

Result: kicked out

9. Slovenia  Eva Boto – “Verjamem”

I think she was the youngest participant in this years contest and her age was… 16? She did a pretty nice job, especially for her age. Even if you’re a naturally good singer, if you don’t practicve, you’ll never become truly great, so I do have quite some respect for her. Aside the fact that I thought one of her background singers overshadowed her. The one who did the “ahhh”-sounds at the beginning, I thought she was great.

Result: kicked out

10. Croatia  Nina Badric – “Nebo”

I’m sorry, I completely forgot her song. All I remember was her having some weird dress. It was connected to her finger, well, we’ve all seen this before, but the weird part was it’s shape. I was probably so distracted by this, that I forgot to listen to the song. And here’s the problem with the second semi-final: most songs aren’t really bad, but it’s all the same and at some point you forget to pay attention.

Result: kicked out

11. Sweden  Loreen – “Euphoria”

And finally: Loreen. I haven’t listend to even one of the songs beforehand, so everything was new to me in both semi-finals. All I knew about Loreen was that she’s one of the favorites to win and while I had mixed feelings about that, she taught me better. Yeah, her dancing was all like “Look at me being awesome”, but her song was so great, I really really liked it. Hell, I even got goose bumps, only Albania managed that before, who’s still my favorite, but Loreen really impressed me.

Result: in the finals (of course)

12. Georgia  Anri Dschochadse – “I’m a Joker”

Thank you Georgia for being one of the wtf-acts and spice up the somewhat boring second semi-final. Too bad your song was aweful. Weird songs can be good and they can be bad and this one was bad. Really bad. It pretty much changed every 30 seconds and was all over the place, first he played drums, then piano (for show) and it just left me utterly confused. after Loreens great performance, I was just left in one big feeling of wtf.

Result: kicked out

13. Turkey  Can Bonomo – “Love Me Back”

Can was the darling of the audience that night, no doubt, they loved him. His background dancers were a bit weird and one of them tripped over his clothes when he tried to breakdance and wasn’t the boat they created just too cute? The song itself wasn’t my cup of tea, I didn’t liked and I can’t understand why it’s so popular. If I remember correctly, there was some controversy about him in Turkey, because he’s jewish and he said he wanted to represent everyone in Turkey, so I do feel sympathy for him, but it wasn’t my song.

Result: in the finals

14. Estonia  Ott Lepland – “Kuula”

I remember Estonia’s song from last year, “Rockefeller Street”, and it was one of my favorites, it was stuck in my head for weeks. It was weird, but at the same time pretty amazing, I loved it, don’t judge me. This year, they send something entirely different, but a very good ballad sung by a pretty amazing artist. I have to admit that I’m truly impressed. It sounded really good, not much to say about it other than that.

Result: in the finals

15. Slovakia Jason Mai – “Don’t Close Your Eyes”

For once, a rock band that plays a rock-song. Haleluja, thank you, thank you so much, I’ve been waiting for a rock-track the entire time. The lead singer looked a bit off with his hairdo, like some kind of angel on crack or something, but I ended up liking the song and would’ve liked to see it in the finals. True, there were better acts, but also worse who managed to get past the semi-finals and I just love rock overall, so…

Result: kicked out

16. Norway  Tooji – “Stay”

What’s Anakin Skywalker doing on the stage? He seriously should go back to being a Jedi… or a Sith-Lord, actually, a Sith. I liked him better when he was Darth Vader. Nevertheless, the song could have been good. I really liked the oriental touch it had, the only part I didn’t like was the singing, because Tooji probably didn’t even hit one note. As you might have noticed, I’m not exactly a pro when it comes to music, I just like what I like, but even I noticed his singing was completely off.

Result: in the finals (Jedi mind-manipulation?)

17. Bosnia & Herzegovina Maya Sar – “Korake ti znam”

Stop playing the piano when you’re not playing the piano. I think she actually can do it, but the music is not live, only the singing, so it’s just for show anyway and makes no difference if she sits in front of the piano or not. Other than that, I thought her dress was a bit weird, but her song was good, I liked it. If I remember correclty, she’s a professional musican who specialized on movie-soundtracks, but I have to admit she also did a pretty nice job here.

Result: in the finals

18. Lithuania  Donny Montell – “Love Is Blind”

The song is called “Love Is Blind”… oh, oh, oh! I have a great idea, let him sing blind! At least for the first part, the slower part of the song, he was wearing a blindfold. Why? Dunno, it was stupid. The song was as clichéd as you can get, but I was impressed by the fact that he was able to do a side handspring with only one hand and a pretty good one as well, considering he was holding a microphone in his other hand. Maybe that’s why he was so popular?

Result: in the finals

Now, let’s talk a bit about the show for the break while they were counting the votes. In the first semi-finals they had some traditional music and while it dragged on for too long, it was kind of nice. This time, they had the winners of the last 5 years performing their winning songs, well 4 of them did, with traditional instruments from Azerbaijan.

Did it work? Surprisingly, yes, the mixture of modern and traditional music was nice to hear and we had the pleasure to listen to some of the best artists this evening. First was Dima Bilan from Russia, second was an amazing Marija Šerifović from Serbia, third was Alexander Rybak and fourth was Lena. I do pity those people though, I mean, they will be forced to sing their winning songs forever and they’re probably sick of them for a long time now. All of them did a good job, Alexander and Lena probably better than they did when they won with their songs, but I have to say that Lena seriously should eat some more, she was so thin.

As for the song from Azerbaijan… I’m convinced they’re both pretty good singers, or at least I want to think they are, but when you hear someone fucking up “Waterloo” by ABBA so bad, it actually hurts a bit. I’m sorry, but this song is so well-known and Nikki still managed to confuse the lyrics halfway through and both didn’t really hit the right notes on top of that. That’s pretty bad, I’m just saying… but the other 4 were good, I loved them.

Now, all what’s left is the last big show and I’m really looking foward to the Big Five, because I think this year all five of them have pretty amazing entries and really good songs as well as capable singers. They would’ve probably advanced to the finals even if they had to go through the semi-finals, I like all of their songs. My favorite is, like I said, still Albania, but I wouldn’t complain if Sweden wins, or the United Kingdom, or Italy… yeah, of course and I’d be happy very happen if Germany won, although I kinda doubt it and being the host again wouldn’t be good, I think.

But the Eurovision Song Contest is a loose cannon and everything can happen.