Author Topic: The Eurovision Thread  (Read 11079 times)

Offline Mikaela

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 03:41:53 pm »
I have Turkey's 2009 entry on my brain. I go around humming Dum-Teck-Teck all the time.

It's simple and catchy in a "Britney Spears gets with the bellydancing routine" kind of way. :laugh:


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Offline David In Indy

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2009, 04:57:51 pm »
Is it okay for an American to comment in this thread? :-\

I was just going to say I wish we could watch Eurovision over here. I can't watch these videos (dial-up connection :P ) but I've heard lots of good things about it. I can see the first frame inside each of these videos and it looks a bit like our American Idol over here, only perhaps much bigger than AI.

Anyway, have fun everyone! :D

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Offline Kelda

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2009, 05:16:12 pm »
I have Turkey's 2009 entry on my brain. I go around humming Dum-Teck-Teck all the time.

It's simple and catchy in a "Britney Spears gets with the bellydancing routine" kind of way. :laugh:


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&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
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Its very catchy and it STILL reminds me of my number one - the Greek winner in 2005.

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVz0CF2VepA[/youtube]

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Offline Kelda

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2009, 05:24:09 pm »
Is it okay for an American to comment in this thread? :-\

I was just going to say I wish we could watch Eurovision over here. I can't watch these videos (dial-up connection :P ) but I've heard lots of good things about it. I can see the first frame inside each of these videos and it looks a bit like our American Idol over here, only perhaps much bigger than AI.

Anyway, have fun everyone! :D



Of course you can David!

I think you'd love the eurovision..I tried to see if I could find out if it would be shown in the USA, but it seems no you can't...  :-\

heres a run down on the eurovision:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurovision_Song_Contest
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Offline Mikaela

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2009, 05:56:38 pm »
I think you'd love Eurovision too.

It's launched some few international stars through the years. Abba is the best-known, of course.

But another is Celine Dion, who won in 1988 for Switzerland, singing "Ne partez pas sans moi". Check out her distinctly '80s hairdo and clothes.... (The era of the shoulder pads!)


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Offline Mikaela

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2009, 06:06:51 pm »
And once I'm on about the very few international stars launched by the Eurovision, here are the biggest ones. Abba.

In their distinctly '70s and pretty wild costumes for their 1974 "Waterloo" win. Those boots! The guys' hair! Yay!

This is a relatively rare thing for Abba fans: It's from the Swedish finals, and so they're actually singing in Swedish!!

(Perhaps I should post this in the "Socialism" thread too.  ;D )

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Offline Kelda

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2009, 07:49:59 am »



Sounds like Junior Eurovision

by Kev Geoghegan
BBC News reporter

Hands up. Who honestly knew that the Eurovision Song Contest had a kids-only spin-off?

The slightly unimaginatively titled Junior Eurovision has been on the go since 2003. It is limited to children aged between 10 and 15 but otherwise shares many similarities with the grown-up version.

The songs are to be original, written by the performers and under three minutes long.

The local presenters are very excitable and speak English with vaguely American accents. The voting system feels a bit corrupt - in that the neighbouring countries seem to favour each other.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the UK tends not to do very well at all.

In fact, in a new documentary - or popumentary - Sounds Like Teen Spirit, the British contingent is notable by its absence.

"There's been three [British acts] in the history of Junior Eurovision," smiles the film's director Jamie J Johnson.

He continues: "They did well to start with but the last time Britain took part, they came last and I think that was it. They threw in the towel.

"Britain and Eurovision have quite a strange relationship."

'Loveable losers'

Johnson's own relationship with Eurovision started around three years ago, when he shot a pilot for what would become the full-length documentary.

"I had researched it online and I liked the fact that they sing their own songs. It seemed really amateur and I really liked that homemade side of it," says the 31-year-old filmmaker.

"It wasn't a lot of pushy parents. The kids have the time of their lives and there's lots of emotion to it. It's really the most important thing for them."

With the so-called "big four" Eurovision countries - France, Germany, Spain and the UK - choosing to side-step the contest, it really is a chance for smaller nations like Georgia, Armenia and Belarus to shine.

So, instead of a cynical expose of the tears and tantrums of a bunch of Hollywood-brat wannabes taking part in an exploitative beauty contest, Sounds Like Teen Spirit becomes a genuinely funny and poignant love letter to the boundless dreams of childhood.

Instead of following the favourites, the cameras spend time with what the press release cheerily describes as a collection of "loveable losers" - who, in your heart, you know won't win.

Heart-wrenchingly honest

There's 12-year-old Mariam, raised in a crumbling, Soviet-era high rise in Gori, 47 miles west of Georgia's capital Tbilisi, and the birthplace of Josef Stalin.

Yiorgos, a doe-eyed imp from Cyprus, goes fishing with his dad but hasn't landed a single fish in two years.

In one of the documentary's many heart-wrenchingly honest exchanges, he admits he is bullied and called "gay" at school because of his interest in singing and dancing rather than football.

Bulgarian hopeful Marina, 14, of the seven-piece Bon Bon, had a comparatively luxurious upbringing in a large house with a swimming pool but exhibits a kind of sadness and maturity beyond her years.

In a genuinely moving segment, she volunteers the information that her businessman father has recently left her mother for another woman.

She hopes he will see the documentary and come home.

One guy said it brought out his inner 13-year-old girl

Johnson admits he felt a responsibility to the kids. "When you're filming with them, you become their friend and their therapist and they do really open up," he says.

"But we tried to make them as rounded as possible and show their different sides."

There are hilarious scenes involving the more awkward kids learning dance routines, while more comedy is squeezed from the earnest adults, for whom Eurovision really is the biggest thing in the world.

And there is no getting away from the fact that it is all, well, a bit daft.

Johnson agrees: "There are moments when you just say to yourself, 'this is just immensely bonkers,' just the level of spectacle and pantomime about the whole show and how seriously people take it.

"The press circus that comes with it, there are hundreds of hardcore, devoted Eurovision fans that just live in this weird Eurovision world."

Reviews, so far, have been overwhelmingly positive - film trade bible Variety was not alone in calling it an "irresistible crowdpleaser".

But Johnson - whose first film Holiday Around My Bedroom earned him a Bafta nomination for best new director - is taking it all in his stride.

"Everybody seems to be receiving it embarrassingly warmly, which is lovely.

"It does seem to make people remember their own childhood or puts people in touch with their inner child. It just reminds you what it's like to think like a 12-year-old.

"One guy said it brought out his inner 13-year-old girl."

Sounds Like Teen Spirit is released in the UK on 8 May.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/entertainment/8024777.stm

Published: 2009/05/07 08:56:40 GMT

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Offline Kelda

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 08:09:40 am »
Abba pair unveil new pop tracks
By Ian Youngs
Music reporter, BBC News

Abba duo Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus have unveiled their first new pop songs for more than 15 years.
One track, Second Best To None, has been recorded by employees at the hotel Andersson owns in Stockholm.
(Watch the Hotel Rival staff sing Second Best To None at: http://www.rival.se/)
It was written for the staff as a treat and has been released as a single in Sweden. "We all had some fun doing this. They can sing," Andersson said.
A second track, Story of A Heart, will appear on the first English-language album from Andersson's current band.
Andersson and Ulvaeus enjoyed huge global success as the songwriters in Abba in the 1970s and early '80s. The band's popularity has enjoyed a resurgence thanks to the hit Mamma Mia movie last year.
The pair have continued to work together over the years, including the Chess musical in the 1980s, and Andersson said their last pop collaboration was on songs for an album by singer Josefin Nilsson in the early 1990s.
"We haven't done any pop songs for a long time," the musician said.
Andersson had the idea to record Second Best To None last September at the Hotel Rival's fifth birthday party, where the workforce had gathered.
"I realised that at least 20 of them were singing in amateur choirs in Stockholm," he said. "I asked them, do you want me to write a song for you and we can put it on our homepage? They said yes so that's what I did.
"And I asked Bjorn if he would like to write the lyrics, and we recorded it with the staff. We released it as a single as well. It's just a lot of fun and it's taking care of the staff at the hotel more than anything else."
Story of A Heart, meanwhile, will feature on an album of the same name by The Benny Andersson Band.
The new track has been recorded by one of the group's vocalists, Helen Sjoholm, and will sit alongside folk tunes that have previously been released in Sweden.
Ulvaeus wrote Swedish lyrics for the originals, and has translated them into English for the UK release on 6 July.
"It's a nice prospect to be able to release music I've been doing for the last 10 years, which is folk oriented," Andersson said.
The group will also play their first English concert on Hampstead Heath on 4 July.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/entertainment/8038805.stm

Published: 2009/05/07 17:37:11 GMT

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Offline Kelda

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2009, 07:59:58 am »


(Winners from each of the six decades of the Eurovision Song Contest)



The A to Z of Eurovision

By Michael Osborn
Entertainment reporter, BBC News



The Eurovision Song Contest began in 1956 as a modest event involving just seven countries.

It has gone on to run for more than 50 years, and has expanded to encompass up to 43 participants.

Loved and derided in equal measure, we help you pick your way through this musical institution and glance at what makes it unique.

ARABIC
The language has only been heard once at Eurovision, thanks to a one-off entry by Morocco in 1980. But it's making a comeback in 2009 with Israel's entrants Noa and Mira Awad whose song also features Hebrew and English.

Language has always been a big issue at the contest, but Belgium take the prize for fielding songs in 2003 and 2008 that consisted of lyrics in made-up tongues.

BARE FEET

Sandie Shaw's trademark shoeless feet made their way to the Eurovision stage in Vienna, 1967, where she claimed the UK's first of five victories to date.

In 1983, Spanish singer Remedios Amaya also decided to cast aside her slingbacks, but the ploy was less fruitful. The Flamenco songstress's mournful lament finished last with no points.

CAN WE HAVE YOUR VOTES, PLEASE

Watching the performances - some might say - is just a tedious preamble to the legendary Eurovision voting and scoreboard, which gives many British viewers their annual exposure to the French language.

The jamboree of calling up each country is fraught with potential pitfalls, from the vote announcer taking too long to gush over what a wonderful show it was, to muddling up their scores in the heat of the moment.

Since announcers began appearing in vision, former entrants have often returned to bask in the glory, including the UK's Cheryl Baker from 1981 winners Bucks Fizz.

DIASPORA

The modern era of televoting and free movement around Europe has led to some interesting quirks in Eurovision voting from migrants supporting their home countries. A strong Romanian contingent in Spain has led to the country awarding douze points to the Balkan nation, while Ireland's Baltic communities have pushed the country into giving top marks to Latvia and Lithuania in recent contests. A new voting system in 2009 (see juries) may dampen the influence of diasporas.

EXPANSION
The collapse of communism transformed Eurovision from a cosy western European club into a contest taking in the former Soviet Union, Croatia, Slovenia, Poland and Albania. Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan (pictured) have recently joined the fray. Some fans admit to having teary-eyed nostalgia for the Eurovision of old.

FOUR-WAY TIE

At the end of the 1969 contest, the UK, France, Netherlands and Spain were level on points, creating confusion as the organisers had no idea how to fix it. The four-way tie prompted five countries to boycott the 1970 competition. They were better prepared in 1991 when Sweden and France finished level at the top - a countback system saw the Swedes win the day.

GREEK GODDESSES

Some of Greece's best-known female singers have performed on the Eurovision stage - but not always for their country of birth. Musical legend Nana Mouskouri represented Luxembourg in 1963. Vicky Leandros (pictured) sang for the Grand Duchy in 1967, and took the country to victory with rousing ballad Apres Toi in 1972. It was left to Helena Paparizou to score Greece's only win to date in 2005. Ironically, she was born and brought up in Sweden.

HOSTS AND HOSTESSES

After a bevy of glamorous (if stern) female solo hosts, the Eurovision has been presented by a succession of male-female double acts, with varying degrees of success.

The UK plumped for Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson in 1998, while Irish star Ronan Keating and previous competitors Zeljko Joksimovic, Sakis Rouvas and Renars Kaupers have all tackled the presenting gig.

ITALY (WE MISS YOU)
Italy was one of the original Eurovision nations who have managed two victories to date. They last appeared in 1997, citing financial issues and the existence of their own San Remo Festival for staying away. But last year, their tiny neighbour San Marino (entrants Miodio) graced the contest, stoking calls for an Italian renaissance. Five-time winners Luxembourg are also sorely-missed absentees from the original shake-up in 1956. Come back, why don't you?!

JURIES

Until 1998, jury panels made up of members of the public were used to decide the winner of the contest. The advent of telephone voting led to increasingly predictable scoring, prompting organisers to try a mix of public and jury voting in 2009. While the public sat on panels back in the day, this time music industry experts will deliver their verdicts. Their decisions could be very different to those of viewers.

KATIE BOYLE

The queen of Eurovision hostesses merits a separate entry for having chalked up four contests in her time during the 1960s and 1974, when Abba scored their famous win in Brighton. Renowned for her crisp style and command of languages, Katie, now 82, had to host the show wearing no underwear as it could be seen under the studio lights. Her most recent appearance was on a Eurovision Weakest Link special in 2004.

LOGAN, JOHNNY

The Irish crooner holds a unique place in Eurovision history for being the only performer to sing two winning songs, in 1980 and 1987, which were UK hits. In 1992 it was third time lucky as a songwriter, with Why Me performed by Linda Martin - the first of Ireland's incredible run of four wins during the 1990s.

MOLDOVAN GRANNY
A mature Moldovan lady who leapt off her rocking chair and banged a drum was the surprise hit of the 2005 contest. But she was outdone last year by Croatian performer 75 Cent - the clue to his age is in the name.

Youthful performers have also made their mark, with Belgium's only winner, Sandra Kim, lifting the trophy at the tender age of 13. Singers now have to be at least 16, while the Junior Eurovision spin-off kicked off in 2003.

NUL POINTS

A glaring absence of points at the end of the contest has to be the biggest embarrassment Eurovision has to offer. Hapless UK act Jemini  heaped shame on their country in 2003, while the most recent country to finish with a big fat zero was Switzerland in 2004 - and that was in the semi-final. Norway take the spoils with four nul points, but on the flip side, the Nordic country won twice - in 1985 and again a decade later.

OOPS!

A big live event usually encounters hiccups, and Eurovision is no exception. In 1990, Spanish act Azucar Moreno were first on stage in Zagreb and their backing track jammed. The pair abandoned their performance and had to start all over again. As the delay dragged on, UK commentator Terry Wogan quipped: "This could be a long evening, ladies and gentlemen," and offered to hum the song's opening refrain.

POLITICAL MOMENTS

They are officially banned at Eurovision, but a seemingly innocuous Portuguese song in 1974 was the trigger for a revolution back home. Organisers have weeded out any recent controversy, telling Ukraine to tone down the lyrics of their 2005 Orange Revolution anthem. Georgia withdrew in 2009 after their anti-Russian jibe fell foul of the censors.

QUALIFYING
Winning your national final is one thing, but now there are further hurdles to jump. To stop the contest dragging on for days, a semi-final was introduced in 2004, and was split into two last year. Andorra and Estonia have failed to make the grand final, while old timers Belgium and the Netherlands have fared badly since Eurovision became a beast of vast proportions.

"Big Four" the UK, France, Germany and Spain sail into the final thanks to the money they throw at the event.

RAPPING

It's an experimental musical style for Eurovision, but the UK has tried it twice with 1995's Love City Groove and Daz Sampson in 2006. Neither of them lit up the scoreboard. The most successful rap entry came from Bosnia in 1999 and wound up in 7th place. In 2009, Finnish act Waldo's People have an uptempo pop song with rap at its core - maybe it's time for a breakthrough.

SERIAL PERFORMERS

Some acts just can't get enough. Eurovision's first winner from 1956 sang two numbers in that contest, and Swiss star Lys Assia returned in 1957 and 1958. In the modern era, Maltese chanteuse Chiara notches up her third appearance in 2009. But experience doesn't always pay - Sweden's 1999 winner Charlotte Perrelli returned in 2008 and limped home in 18th place.

The UK's Michael Ball, on the other hand, said he'd rather "stick needles in my eyes" than return to Eurovision after finishing second in 1992.

TRANSSEXUAL

Israel's narrow victory in the 1998 contest held in Birmingham was one of the most memorable, with singer Dana International making headlines for her status as a post-operative transsexual. The huge support she built up and the early days of televoting helped her win the title - but some fans would argue that her hi-octane song Diva was not the best on the night.

USE OF PROPS
All manner of seemingly random objects have been brought on stage over the years in an effort to make performances more memorable, including a barrel organ and puppets (Netherlands, 1974). Bigger stages have meant more props in recent years, including a washing line, golf buggy and a bus stop sign (Hungary, 2007). Live additions such as animals are not allowed in Eurovision performances, strangely enough. VIRGINS

Or countries who are still desperate to pop their Eurovision-winning cherry. So many new countries have joined the show in recent years that the list is long - but the prize goes to Portugal, who are still waiting after more than 40 attempts. They came second in 2008, albeit in one of the semi-finals. Stalwarts Malta and Cyprus are still holding out for a victory.

WARDROBE MALFUNCTION

In 1985, Sweden's Eurovision host Lil Lindfors lost her skirt as she came on stage - but the incident was a highly stage-managed piece of entertainment, as was the legendary skirt-ripping moment by Bucks Fizz in 1981. It led to costume changes during songs becoming the norm, with Belarus's Angelica Agurbash revealing two fresh outfits in 2005.

That same year, UK hopeful Javine suffered genuine blushes when she accidentally exposed her breast during the country's live national final.

XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS

The star and winner of the 2004 contest in Istanbul was a fresh-faced, lively Ukrainian called Ruslana Lyzhicko, who wowed the contest with a thumping, energetic dance routine and a fetching fur and leather ensemble with more than a passing nod to cult TV show Xena Warrior Princess. YUGOSLAVIA

Free-wheeling Yugoslavia was the only socialist country to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest from 1961. They scored their only victory in 1989.

From the early 1990s the nation's dissolution was mirrored on the musical stage as new states including Croatia and Slovenia entered the fray. The most recent addition was Montenegro. The former Yugoslavia may have become a formidable voting bloc, but only Serbia (2007) has secured a win. ZELJKO JOKSIMOVIC

The popular Serbian singer-songwriter has rapidly turned into a Eurovision fixture in recent years. He sang Serbia and Montenegro's debut entry Lane Moje in 2004, finishing in second place. Two years later, he penned Bosnia's effort Lejla, which came third. Not content with co-hosting the contest when it came to Serbia in 2008, he also wrote the host country's song. Phew.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/entertainment/7977271.stm
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Offline Kelda

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Re: The Eurovision Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2009, 08:05:35 am »
Jade's moment dawns at Eurovision

In January, singer Jade Ewen was chosen by the British public to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The 21-year-old from east London was hand-picked by Andrew Lloyd Webber to compete for the honour in a bid to give the country a credible entry after years of neglect.

Months later, and with a lot of careful preparation including the UK's first promotional tour of other Eurovision countries, the journey is coming to its final destination.

Jade discusses performing Webber's song It's My Time and working with the man as her Moscow moment draws close.

ON STAGE IN MOSCOW

Everyone just expects me to stand there and sing the song, but we don't want to do a boring performance - we know what we're up against. My thoughts and ideas have been put forward.

Amanda Wakely has designed the dress and we wanted to keep it British - we had an offer from Jean Paul Gaultier which would have been amazing, but we wanted to keep it British. I'm pretty confident that it's going to be a good frock. It should be a really classy gown and not too mature. I'm 21, but then it can't be a whipping off the skirt moment! Coming on stage in a mini-skirt singing a ballad would just not be right.

It has been revealed that Andrew Lloyd Webber will play a white grand piano for the performance, while Jade will be accompanied by four violinists and have a staircase on stage.

ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER

I see him more or less every day and speak to him more or less on a daily basis.

We've spoken about the video, the production and performance on the night - even dresses! But he's put on musical theatre and has a vision about the music and whole package. He has always been a mentor to me, giving assistance and vocal advice, telling me what to prepare for on the night, including how best to conquer nerves. I feel like we're really together and that I don't have all this pressure on my own.

THE SONG

It lives in my head all the time! But it doesn't get on my nerves and I'm not sick of it. Every time I give a performance I try to do the best that I possibly can. If you set a standard, naturally you think next time you have to do even more. I hope that just continues and I'm at my peak when 16 May comes around. I made a decision to always sing live when I was on the promotional tour. When it comes to Eurovision, you can't mime on the night - there is no point practising miming! But it's the one song that I don't sing in the shower! As for my voice, I don't scream, I don't smoke so I'll be protecting it in Moscow. I'm there to take part in Eurovision. Socialising can take a back seat.


RIVALS

You definitely check them out - I've already seen them on the tour and YouTube. I'm competitive, but I don't let it stress me. Whatever they're doing, I let them get on with it.

If I concern myself with what they're doing, it'll just be a distraction for me. I want to win, so I'm going to keep them in my peripheral vision. Chiara [Malta] is very strong and Patricia Kaas [France]. They're singing ballads, but they're very different to my ballad. If we were all singing the same style, it would be much easier to pick out the best one. With other songs that are completely different, there's nothing I can do other than give a great rendition of the song on the night. I'll just make sure that I give it my all.

THE VOTING

I think the new expert juries are a good thing. As for the voting public, on the tour I was worried about going to places like Bosnia and Ukraine as it's eastern Europe, but they've given me the best response. As long as we show them we're taking it seriously, we've got as good a chance as anyone.


EURODISASTER?

If you focus too much on the things that could go wrong, more than likely they will. So I'm just trying to stay completely optimistic and positive about it all. To be honest, the expectation is so low [laughs] so in that sense there's not much pressure. But I feel that this year we'll do better than we have done.

How many people get to say that Andrew Lloyd Webber has written a song for them and they've got to represent their country? That in itself is a big enough achievement for me. But I want to win, and I know that whatever happens, I'm still going to go on to have a music career. I have an album in the making, and Gary Barlow has contributed some tracks. A lot of interesting people have put forward a lot of good songs. I'm so excited about it.

Jade Ewen performs 23rd in the running order at the Eurovision Song Contest final on 16 May, shown on BBC One from 2000 BST. She talked to BBC News entertainment reporter Michael Osborn.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/entertainment/8034321.stm


Re: the bit I highlighted in red... I hadn't realised there was a Eurovision tour - how did I not know this!!? Who is going to have a little part to themselves on Saturday watching this!?!


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