Weaver's Week 2016-05-15

Last week | Weaver's Week Index | Next week

This edition was published on Saturday 14 May, before the Eurovision Song Contest final.

We note the death of Reg Grundy, aged 92. He was responsible for many popular game shows, including Television Scrabble and Going for Gold. He brought Neighbours to Europe, and ABBA to Australia.

We'll have a full tribute to Reg Grundy in due course. Nothing gets in the way of the world's biggest entertainment show.

Eurovision Song Contest


Eurovision Song Contest 60th Anniversary Edition

SVT for EBU, seen on BBC4, 10 May

Back in the day, BBC4 was "a place to think". Somewhere to stimulate the brain. To appreciate art in all its forms. To challenge received wisdom and wrestle with deep philosophical truth. In keeping with the BBC's new home of the contest, we're going to give a more thoughtful review. What have we learned from the semi-finals?

Projection is last year's gimmick. It was new and novel when Måns brought it to the stage. But for this year's opening number, he brought the projection to life, he shared the stage with Stick Boy, and danced with a small army of them. By this year, everyone's using projection. For our favourite young filmmaker, Yasmin Curren, it's but one technique in an arsenal.

Petra Mede is a familiar face, with her well-known sarcastic tone. She hosted the main contest in 2013, she hosted the BBC's anniversary concert last year. Scott Mills and Mel Giedroyc explain how the BBC gives lots of money to the Eurovision organisation, goes straight to the final, doesn't allow text voting (because the telecoms companies can't promise SMS works in real time), and this year doesn't allow app voting (the app sends an SMS). C'mon, straightforward internet voting using micropayments. #democracyfail

At last, Europe gets to throw rotten tomatoes at "Europe! The final countdown begins". SVT had it in the script for 2013, but cut it out just before transmission. They had it in the script for 2000. And for 1992. This joke is older than many performers.

Never At the Races

No, we're not going in performance order. And we refer to broadcasters, not countries.

Eurovision Song Contest Moldova will take your brain to another dimension.

YLE opened the show, an upbeat number that got the show off to a strong start, but wasn't as good as "Heroes". The producers decided to end Finnish involvement before 8.15.

The producers want to confuse us by splitting similar songs, but we're going to treat this as an art project, and not be bound by the running order. We're going to shoot to TRM, the one with the dancing astronaut. That's the gimmick to help promote a tepid disco number. Most of the heavy vocal work was done by backing singers. Moldova do not join us on Saturday.

Elsewhere on BBC4, they've been filling time with repeats of Top of the Pops from 35 years ago. The repeat run has reached 1981, the final weeks for Legs and Co before they were phased out. Legs and Co were famed for their literal interpretative dances, and for their skimpy costumes. The AMPTV entry, "Lovewave", was in this One For The Dads style, sung by a woman wearing a fishnet leotard and dancing under red lights. The routine included some projection gimmicks, but projection is so 2015.

And, because it's Armenia, that's going through.

Eurovision Song Contest Did Jüri charm the jury?

SMRTV sent "I didn't know", performed by Serhat. He doesn't so much sing as growl the words: somewhere between speaking and whispering. The token tune is carried by the backing singers. "Eurovision is about this," says Scott Mills. {headdesk}. "They must have run out of pop stars." Sadly, The Peppermints are still too young to take part.

It is generally accepted that SMRTV's entry was dreck. In this column's view, the song had very little artistic merit, and wasn't redeemed by being fun. Mel Giedroyc took a different view, and cheered for "San Marino" throughout the broadcast. It's her prerogative to have different tastes, and it's honest to reflect her opinions in the show.

But she's also broadcasting to almost a million people. This doesn't reflect well on the BBC. SMRTV's entry meets the Eurovision Song Contest stereotype: a mixture of "these Europeans are crazy" and "such crass rubbish it's good". In the real world, no Eurovision Song Contest entry has been like this, ever. But the myth has arisen, and Mel Giedroyc parrots it reflexively, without thinking. This is BBC4, a place to think.

Close But No Cigar

Eurovision Song Contest This year, the Greeks are wearing clothes.

ERT returned after two years away, with an ethnic number. Showed its Greek roots, but felt a bit one-paced – after the first few seconds, we'd heard all it had to offer. The song would attract the Greek diaspora, but they're voting on Thursday.

Three of the Baltic broadcasters sent a young man. EER sent Jüri Pootsdam, "Play" used his deep voice, and built slowly over the three minutes. But we were distracted by Mel's throwaway line that Jüri looked like Michael Gove. The card trick and blue suit didn't help shed the image. Plenty for the juries, loved in Estonia, left us cold. And checking under our bed: who is terror?

Getting Through, Somehow

Íctimai continue to dice with failure, "Miracle" needed some supernatural blessings. It got a video effect using the wings of the stage, some backing dancers in various states of undress, and the most massive pyro curtain we've seen all year. Quality Eurodisco, great singing, backing vocalists out of shot, and it will fill a hole on Saturday night. But we felt nothing for it, and for the first time in years we weren't tempted to vote for the entry labelled "Azerbaijan".

Win it, host it, come nowhere. ÖRF tried to buck the curse of "winner two years ago". "Loin d'ici" is the one all-French song in this year's contest. The singer, Zoe, is charming and innocent and naïve, the simple backdrop added to the mood – bright colours in soft and pretty patterns. We didn't see a reason to pick up the phone and call, but evidently there was enough love out there. Good.

Working With the Crowd

Eurovision Song Contest Cheeky winks from Douwe Bob.

"Pioneer" took MTV through for lots of little reasons. Three men whose main job was to whistle on stage. Or, to be exact, to mime whistling on stage. Another man beating a massive drum. Distributing some light-up wristbands into the crowd. Freddy is emoting a lot, and his gruff voice took the song to interesting places. The entry labelled "Hungary" will be filler on Saturday.

AVROTROS trusted the audience with ten seconds of silence. Just before the end, "Slow down" comes to a halt for ten seconds of audience reaction. Douwe Bob had already won: he engaged with the camera with cheeky looks and even a sideways glance. The new Harry Hill improvised the final seconds, shaking hands and high-fiving from the satellite stage. What's the Netherlands like at this time of year?

Ice ballads

Eurovision Song Contest Will Nina go back to where the streets are made of stone?

"Lighthouse" gained from intelligent staging. Nina began in some sort of light cage, and wearing a massive plastic dress. It got removed early on, and Nina remained bathed in a white spotlight throughout – the rest of the stage was in darkness. And she was centre of the frame throughout. The song was a bit pop for western ears, a bit folk for Balkan fans near Croatia, and always easy to hear. HRT hadn't appeared since 2013, welcome back.

"I stand" is the most simple idea possible: woman, dressed in white, stands fixed to the spot while a simple geometric pattern unfolds. They could have done it in the 1970s, and there's a timeless quality to a top-notch vocal like Gabriela's. CT had never qualified for the final until tonight. Confirm achievement unlocked, Czech.

Let's R0k \m/

Eurovision Song Contest Sergey flies with broken wings.

Where would we be without RTR? They've got a back-projection gimmick, but that's so last year. They've got backing singers who wander on and off "You are the only one" as though this was platform 1 at Waterloo. They've got – what? He's doing what with his back-projection thingummy? Okay, that is a novelty. Not sure it helps a pedestrian soft-rock song, but by gum we could see that performance again. And as the "Russia" label is attached, we'll see that again.

CyBC employed all sorts of clichés. The rock band locked in cages. Crash zooms. Howling at the mike. A mad axe solo. Strobe lighting, negative pictures. It's all there. So is the tune. Behind all the gruff, beneath the vertiginous camerawork, there's a very easy song. One could take away the guitars, replace it with a simple piano arrangement, and the song would still work. As a song, "Alter ego" is stronger than the Russian entry, but it's not got the better staging. We get to see it again, when the Cypriot expats can vote.

From RTCG, a spectacular mess. Like listening to the Planet Rock "radio" station with its abysmal sound "quality", through the "party" wall from your "neighbours". The camera shakes and vibrates, it shows a woman who's just there as stage dressing. The lights flash like there's a thunderstorm around. "Montenegro" says the caption. We were waiting for the song to start, and then it's finished. No surprise that this fell flat on its face.

Sailing Through (Or So We Thought)

Eurovision Song Contest Dalal and Deen are split by wire.

RUV took the best bits of two recent winners and melded them into one performance. The floor dancing from Loreen (SR 2012) combined with the back-projection from Måns (SR 2015) on "Hear them calling". We didn't understand it until about 90 seconds in, so we want to see it again on Saturday and see what the first half is about. What? It's not qualified?! That's it for Iceland?! Lumme!

BHRT ended their three-year exile with style. "Ljubav je" started out as an epic Balkan ballad, complete with barbed wire splitting Dalal and Deen. Then it went up-tempo for a moment, with a Random Rap Break, but the epic Balkan business was always going to win through. This is Bosnia Herzegovina, of course. The package might not hang together, but it felt like it could have the credits roll over it.

And, to prove how much we know, BHRT are also o-u-t.

"Walk on water" demonstrated that PBS have read the Flick Colby Book of Literal Choreography, and applied its lessons to the modern video screen. The song is called "Walk on water", and rather than walk on actual water, Ira Losco walks on a video effect of water. It assists a strong Eurodisco number to go through, the second Maltese to cross into Saturday.

The results?

Progress for "Lovewave" (AMPTV), "Miracle" (Íctimai), "Loin d'ici" (ÖRF), "Pioneer" (MTV), "Slow down" (AVROTROS), "Lighthouse" (HRT), "I stand" (CT), "You are the only one" (RTR), "Alter ego" (CyBC), and "Walk on Water" (PBS).

Lack of European Integration

BBC viewers were permitted to see "Hosts as taxi drivers", taking guests around the city. "Eurovision Nerd Nation" wasn't shown; might have appealed to the fans, but there's an excuse to show a bit of the BBC's entry.

Which brings us to the interval act. We can understand why the BBC opted out of the second recap, it's strictly for viewers voting. We see why the BBC made a skit starring Linda Woodruff, the inept and inaccurate tourist guide: the character is useless with such charm. But – gah! – "Vote for England". Cue mass complaints from Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Isn't half the BBC's entry from Wales?

Eurovision Song Contest Two tourists were kidnapped by Linda Woodruff. Bad luck, chaps.

But we cannot understand why the BBC decided not to air "The Grey People", the main interval act. It's a reflection on the refugee crisis and on how national borders work against humanity's common good. It's six minutes of high art. It's exactly what BBC4 says it will show.

Instead of this art, the BBC showed a recorded piece where Mel Giedroyc interviewed some of this year's competitors and wittered on about meatballs. The replacement was trite and trivial. It asked no questions of the audience. It was comfort food. It was a poor substitute for even the lamest interval act, let alone a knockout performance.

The BBC doesn't show the Song Contest semi-finals on BBC2 or BBC1 because it sees them as for the hardcore fans, the sort who will talk about Jüri for years to come. Frankly, they're probably right. But then they patronise the hardcore fans by showing this trite and trivial filler. It asks no questions of the audience.

Eurovision Song Contest Petra Mede enters the Eurovision Host Holding a Card Contest.

We demand BBC4 is difficult.

Let's set some things straight.

  • These Europeans are sane.
  • The Song Contest offers depth and culture.
  • It tells something about the state of the world.

The BBC could have challenged myths – about Eurovision, about refugees, about Europe. But it chose not to. It chose to put on weaker elements to conceal something meaningful. It did not educate. It did not inform. It did not even entertain. This column reckons the BBC failed.

We expect BBC4 to challenge, to offer the unexpected. We want BBC4 to be difficult. Nay, we demand BBC4 is difficult. But we got a banal and predictable programme. We expect excellence in everything, and we didn't get an excellent programme.

SVT for EBU, heard on RTE Radio 1, 12 May

So we have a choice. BBC4's "efforts" at "entertainment". Or RTE Radio 1 on crackly old long wave, subject to interference from Algeria – though it still sounds better than Planet Rock. Or RTE Radio 1 over the interwebs, up to 30 seconds behind the pictures.

Good evening Neil Doherty! Good evening Zbyszek Zalinski! What's Donnybrook like at this time of year? Just about thirty seconds behind the pictures, but even in the opening moments, we know the studio hosts are competent. The show hosts open with "History of ESC", a song-and-dance number telling the history of the last 60 years. Penguins and puppets and Riverdance and a list of every language ever sung. Those are the facts!

Qualified on Wednesday

Eurovision Song Contest Dami Im was not silent.

SBS performed "The sound of silence", a very contemporary number. Dami Im spends most of the song sitting down, as though she were auditioning for the Westlife reunion. It looks like she's operating a touch-screen, like they do in futuristic movies. The back projection doesn't quite keep pace with her hand, but this is a little criticism. A top-quality vocal performance, probably the best of the night. We reckon that a song finishing top three across the board will get through just from the juries. SBS didn't need a televote.

Nor did NTU. "1944" is a personal reflection on Stalin's mass deportation of Crimean Tartars, on the false pretext that they were collaborating with the nazis. Jamala is the only person on stage, her dance appears to be unplanned and unpredictable, but always hits the mark. There are visual motifs of cages and a tree. And even though we don't speak a word of Tartar, we get the emotion.

Eurovision Song Contest Jamala conveyed her story.

We get the emotion, the exclusion, the feeling of being in the out-crowd. Jamala takes the intensely personal story of her grandmother, and projects it onto this massive global stage. Been deported? Parted from a loved one? Penalised by the human brutality of borders? Of racism? Homophobia, sexism, religion? Viewers can read a lot into this show. We're feeling a winner, and we're hearing a lot of good things on the ground.

Oh, boys

LTV drew on their biggest hitmaker of recent years: Animata, from last year's contest. "Heartbeat" is a modern pop song, uptempo, a strong bass beat. The camera has lots of energy, it barely stops moving throughout the performance. Justs gave a strong opener.

TVP "Color of your life", X Fac alumnus, guy in a red trenchcoat. Staged like an X Factor elimination song, Michal standing in the spotlight with the string section just visible over his shoulder. A very powerful power ballad: the juries will love the technicals, but we thought a bit too dated for the fans. Got through, somehow.

From the IBA, "Made of star" was an ice ballad. Hovi Star never takes off his trenchcoat, the pyro curtain adds to the atmosphere. The song builds to a moving climax, and if this got a late draw it could threaten. First half again? That's snookered: lucky to get top ten.

Eurovision Song Contest Nicky Byrne entered.

Nicky Byrne represented RTE, performing "Sunlight". The former Westlife crooner spent years on stage, tonight he's with an x-ray image of the sun. The staging had merit: Nicky is centre stage, in the spotlight, every shot makes him the hero. Towards the end, he steps forward and glad-hands the front row, proving he's not an automaton. The song was bland: middle-of-the-road mush, but really came through well on screen. By all reports, he had a nightmare in the jury final on Wednesday, and that gave him too much to do for the televote.

LRT had a long selection process, it gave "I've been waiting for this night". Donny Montell captures the "cute boy, great voice" vote, though teenage girls aren't really the Thursday night audience. The song is at the right mix of modern and accessible, we can see this doing well.

DR sang of "Soldiers of love", performed by Lighthouse X. The three young men sang a song, then it finished, and we'd forgotten it. Byeeee!

Taylor Swift Won't Do the Interval Act

Eurovision Song Contest Rykka takes a long walk home.

SRF won the cross-community vote in Switzerland, and they've sent a Canadian. "Last of our kind" is performed by Rykka; she begins by smoking like she's on fire, and very nearly gets swallowed up by the vortex half-way through. A massive pyro curtain only distracts from a forgettable song. When we hear it again in a few years, we'll think it was interval music in a C-list teen movie from the 1980s.

Zbyszek compared RTS to a lemon and ginger tea: an acquired taste. "Goodbye" has the most sumptious staging: a cage of lights, a man with Ill Intentions interrupts Sanja and her girl gang. Powerful and moving, and really comes to life in the last couple of minutes. Given the draw, this could go places.

NRK gave us "Icebreaker". It's performed by Agnete, a Strictly Come Dancing winner. And it's a technical miracle, changing tempo and key signature between each verse and each chorus. It's complex – and a bit messy: the jurors might have loved it, the televoters appear not to have done. Won't see this on Saturday.

VRT were also confused, thinking this was the Eurovision Fleur East competition. "What's the pressure" is a spot-on parody of "Sax", and Laura Tesoro even looks the part. It might be familiar, but "Sax" is a damned fine tune, an earwig on very few listeners. Coming last in the show meant it would be fresh in the televoters' minds.

Eurovision Song Contest ManuElla's postcard fixed her image.

But RTVSLO won the Eurovision Taylor Swift competition, sending "Blue and red", a contemporary country-pop song. It's performed by ManuElla, a young attractive blonde singer. There's a bit of yodelling and a topless man prancing about with a big pole. It was a contrast to the SBS entry just before, and looks like it was overshadowed by the SBS entry just before, seeing as how it didn't get through.

Back Projection is So Last Year

"If love was a crime" came from BNT, performed by Poli Genova. She's a dab hand, hosted Junior Eurovision last year, and performed on the Senior stage in 2012. The image of a dozen dancing Genovae is uninspiring. Didn't distract from a dark dance number, enlivened by her clothes. Where's my dress? Throw the switch, it lights up. A dark dance sound, complemented by a very strong image.

Eurovision Song Contest Ivan's projection looks like Colonel K's hologram.

BTRC gave "Help to fly". The song was run-of-the-mill Eastern European rock, not beyond redemption, but needed a sympathetic stage show. It got a bombastic and confusing projection show. Ivan appears to be performing with a wolf, then drumming with a hologram of himself, and eventually turns into the Dancing Baby from 1998. The good news: no wolves on the Saturday stage, you'll have to watch In It to Win It.

Top of The Pops 1976 Called, They Want Their Visual Effect Back

GPB. "Midnight gold". Nika Kocharov & the Young Georgian Lolitaz. Special effects from splitting the screen vertically, and the kaleidoscope lens. And from flashing every light on and off a zillion times. With a less aggressive display, this could pass muster as the great Menswe@r revival we've not been calling for. An evil director would put this as the show's first number: it's come out in position 23.

Eurovision Song Contest "Midnight gold" spins around like this for three minutes. Careful now.

What's Swedish for "A Blockbusters sweatshirt and dictionary"?

Kaliopi sung "Dona" for MRT. She can do better than shouting "Donna" like she's ordering a kebab at a Boy George memorial concert. And the final note isn't in her range: a nasty screech, not a pure high note.

RTSH gave "Fairytale love", Eneda Tarifa's pedestrian nothingness. On a night when we were had five out, but were struggling to identify eight losers, this was too weak to survive.


The active voting window was from 21.30 to 21.45.

The numbers were the same as ever. UK 09015 22 52 xx (or short number 6 22 52 xx), calls cost 15p plus "call setup fee" (and we shake a fist at OFCOM for normalising this rip-off). Ireland: text xx to 53125, or call 1513 71 72 xx. SMS votes cost 60 cent, phone votes about 61 cent.

Opt-out watch: in the first ad break, RTE took adverts, BBC had an interview with Douwe Bob, EBU offered more taxi nonsense. Yeah, seen that before. Second ad break, everyone's in the green room.

Ad break in the Active Voting Window, EBU and RTE have the second part of "Nerd Nation", a spoof Scandi-drama on the rise of ABBA. The BBC showed their own spoof Scandi-drama, which concluded in the interval act proper. So, again, the BBC chooses not to show the modern interpretative dance of "Man versus machine". C'mon, even RTE Radio tried to do the dance – then cut to commercials, because dance on the radio doesn't work. EBU and RTE gave a joke we'll never unhear, and The Numbers of Eurovision. BBC preferred to have Scott Mills wittering with his guests.

Eurovision Song Contest Måns Zermelöw enters the Eurovision Host Holding a Card Contest.

From the voting, we find "Midnight gold" (GPB) and "Color of your life" (TVP) got through. Which means RTE are out "I thought Nicky did brilliantly; I'm really disppointed," says Zbyszek.

The other qualifiers: "Heartbeat" (LT), "If love was a crime" (BNT), "Sound of silence" (SBS), "1944" (NTU), "Goodbye" (RTS), "Made of stars" (IBA), "I've been waiting for this night" (LRT), and "What's the pressure" (VRT).

More Eurovision after the rest of this week's news.

This Week and Next

The 3rd Degree returned. It's the joker in the pack of Radio 4 quizzes, asking pop culture questions with tongue firmly in cheek. For instance: "Name one celebrity who's been injured on The Jump."

Democracy season continued with the BAFTA Television awards. Leigh Francis won the Entertainment Performance award, for Celebrity Juice. The Great British Bake Off topped the Features category. Have I Got News for You headed the Comedy and Comedy Entertainment Programme list. Strictly Come Dancing won in Entertainment Programme.

BARB ratings in the week to 1 May.

  1. Britain's Got Talent had 9m on ITV-SD, another 2.3m on ITV-HD.
  2. Masterchef was the BBC's top game show, seen by 5.55m. HIGNFY pulled in 4.95m, and Bake Off Creme de la Creme a tasty 3.5m.
  3. Other than its big hitters, ITV is struggling. Second-top game show is daytime The Chase (2.55m), ahead of Celebrity The Chase (2.3m) and Play to the Whistle (2.2m).
  4. Low scores on the non-PSB channels: 1.27m for Britain's Got More Talent, and Celebrity Juice falls to 1.06m. Penn and Teller Fool Us brought 910,000 to Channel 5.
  5. Lots of shows around 300,000 viewers – repeats of HIGNFY, Room 101, QI XL, Mock the Week on Dave; Four in a Bed and Catsdown on More4; and America's Next Top Model on UK Living.

If Eurovision's Song Contest isn't your thing, there are more tunes on Young Musician of the Year (BBC4, Sun). We've also the final of Bake Off Creme de la Creme (BBC2, Tue). Two favourites return: Just a Minute (R4, Mon) and The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC2, Mon).

Next Saturday is men's FA Cup final day in England, so there are special editions of A Question of Sport and Pointless Celebrities (BBC1). Tickets for Britain's Got Talent live shows have been issued for Sunday 22 May.

Eurovision Song Contest Redux

After the excesses of the last few years, just seven Wrong Sort of Shiny warnings this year. Most come just after half way through the performances.

"Release the pressure" will be a funky opening. "I stand" will get lost, then "Slow down" wonders if third is too early to do big things. Probably is. "Miracle" and "Pioneer" are filler. And then, at 8.31, we have the First Annual Terry Wogan Memorial Drinks Break. "Don't drink before song five," said the outgoing host in 2009.

Weaver's Week 2016-02-07 Raise a glass in Wogan's memory.

From the preview clips, we're looking forward to how they stage of "No degree of separation", then a run of Very Possibles: "Made of stars", "If love was a crime" (SHINY), and "If I were sorry".

"Ghost" is being used as candyfloss filler before "J'ai cherché" – a possible winner on Sunday, now fading fast. "Color of your life" is more filler, then the commercial break. Viewers to the web stream get Mans on the position of Eurovision The Party.

"Sound of silence" is a high point, but will Europe still be refreshing their glasses? "Alter ego" (SHINY) is the interval act, and "Goodbye" comes in a decent slot, it'll contrast well with the songs around it.

"I've been waiting for this night" (SHINY) is used as filler, "Lighthouse" is solid and simple in a way "You are the only one" (SHINY) is complex. "Say yay!" (SHINY) will be limited amongst strong company, and it's followed by Petra Mede in the green room.

The things they'll do to keep distance between similar songs: in this case, "Heartbeat". "1944" has a very strong draw, it's the last realistic winner.

After "Walk on water", we have the light-show of "Midnight gold". Then the biggest contrast possible, to the twee "Loin d'ici". The final entries – "You're not alone" (SHINY), "Lovewave" – will be overshadowed by the length of the contest. We're pleased that the producers have taken note, and effectively end the contest in position 21.

Over 40 minutes of voting.

The script has the Active Voting Window from 9.58 to 10.41. Ouch! The interval acts are Justin Timberlake at 10.08, with "Rock your body" and "Can't stop this feeling". The video presentation "Best of Sweden" follows at 10.15, Destiny from Junior Eurovision drops by at 10.26, followed by "Love Love Peace Peace". Lynda Woodruff is on at 10.33, then the finale of Nerd Nation. How the BBC viewers would have loved this!

Mans performs after the voting ends, and the jury votes run from 10.47 to 11.22. The phone voting will be reported from 11.24 to 11.31, and the winner's walk begins at 11.31 and 43 seconds. Not a second sooner. The EBU vignette fires at 11.39, so expect the News at 11.40.

Voting notes

Eurovision Song Contest Eurovision: a house built on Sand (© Bother's Bar 2013).

Two unplanned advantages for the BBC.

The voting will be split into jury and telephone voting. 25th is a rotten place, but there are two things in the BBC's favour. The only song afterwards is One For The Dads, it won't appeal to the teenage televoter. The Beeb only has to have televoters stick around for ten minutes, with the carrot of Justin Timberlake in a bit.

Also in the BBC's favour: the complete failure of the Scandinavian bloc. Only LTV of Latvia won through the semi-final, joining hosts SVT. Nordic countries might have televoted for their neighbours, but they cannot do that any more. The votes will have to go somewhere else.

Great entries from anywhere will benefit. The likes of RTR and NTU and SBS (labelled as Russia, Ukraine, Australia) might have televoted 4th and 6th, that's now 2nd and 3rd for 15 extra points.

Nations on the fringe of the Scandinavian bloc might benefit – there's no point for 12th, but remove four Nordic neighbours and there are points for 8th. Expect better scores for these fringe entries in a Western vibe – LRT of Lithuania, MTV of Hungary, AVROTROS and VRT from the Netherlands and Belgium, and the BBC.

We still expect the BBC entry will finish in the bottom ten, but we can see a way for it to pick up small scores from many voting areas. If other performances don't work, if the BBC's works like a charm, top half is just possible.

Eurovision Song Contest Who wins? You decide!

Photo credits: SVT/EBU, BBC.

To have Weaver's Week emailed to you on publication day, receive our exclusive TV roundup of the game shows in the week ahead, and chat to other ukgameshows.com readers, sign up to our Yahoo! Group.

Last week | Weaver's Week Index | Next week

A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in