Eurovision 2012 build-up on Sofabet

Eurovision rehearsals begin in just over three weeks, on May 13. Sofabet will be in Baku this year reporting daily from the press centre, just as we did from Dusseldorf last year.

In the build-up there are two big Eurovision preview parties, in Amsterdam this weekend and London next weekend. We will be bringing you first-hand reports on both. They should be posted the morning after, so if you have any comments to add to our coverage, you shouldn’t have long to wait.

In the pre-rehearsal period I will be finishing off my country-by-country analysis of the market leaders by looking at the entries from Greece and hosts Azerbaijan. You can also expect a few other pertinent articles before rehearsals begin. So stay tuned, and keep up the debate in our comments section that adds so much to the site.

23 comments to Eurovision 2012 build-up on Sofabet

  • Preben

    I would love to hear you thoughts on the Netherlands’ chances. Is this finally going to be the year of their return to the final or are they doomed…? Last year you had a NL-analysis if I recall correctly. It’s in my top 3 along with UK and Germany…

    • Daniel

      Hi Preben, along with a lot of Eurovision fans, I like the Netherlands song. I do fear for its qualification chances though – in that semi, with that draw, if she wears that outfit. The rehearsal period will tell us more.

      • From what I heard from the Dutch delegation so far, is that they will bring a more softer image of Joan Franka to Bakoe. Sylvia from PR3 (management behind the Dutch entry) said to me she will probably look a bit more like the outfit she wears in the official videoclip. You can read the analysis and see that video here: http://www.esfmagazine.nl/?p=9072 .

        Still, it’ll be tough. I agree with that.

        • Boki

          Hi Gert, can she bring the children couple from the video to the stage? It would look great imo but I have no idea if it’s allowed by the ebu rules…

          • Trust me, after all previous failures, a new team was necessary. And that new team will be present in Bakoe, supporting broadcaster TROS. They include John de Mol from Talpa Media (the creator of ‘The Voice’) and Sylvia Snel (manager PR3).

            I fully agree with Daniel that we have a sh*t-draw. But then again, Israël went to the final in 2010 from grid 3. It is possible, but everything depends on creating the best audivisual total package.

            The indian-outfit? I am pretty certain at this stage that you will see something different in Bakoe.

    • Boki

      Another bad thing about this year Dutch song is the fact she was 3rd (out of 3) in the national final both on domestic jury and international advice jury. Full resulst are available on the wiki page:
      http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationaal_Songfestival_2012

      • Boki, if you like professionells opinion, you may also like this:

        http://www.eurovision.de/videos/videoindex101_archiveID-videoarchiv167_page-1_videoID-songcheck115.html

        12 points go to Russian Babushki.
        No other entry gets 12 points.

      • Emma

        I agree with Daniel and Boki–the song is good, but its chances don’t look great. It’s certainly more memorable than last year’s song and most of the feedback I’ve seen has been positive but its draw is equally bad as 3JS’s and there’s no Belgium for some friendly votes. I think we can expect some points from Turkey, at least–the singer is half-Turkish–but the semi is so tough a few friendly votes won’t help. You could make a case for just about any country qualifying (save for, perhaps, Portugal, Malta, and Bulgaria–countries with not great records and songs that seem to be at the bottom of everyone’s list of favorites) and with the entire Balkan bloc together, strong songs from Norway and Sweden, fairly strong songs from the handful of ex-Soviets (save for Georgia but their record is flawless), Turkey with a decent draw, appealing song, and plenty of friends, it seems there just isn’t enough room for nice, if slightly kooky performances with rubbish draws and few friends. Of course, much of the same could be said about Iceland last year, though their draw was near perfect. The Balkan vote might just split enough for Joan to sneak in if she improves the act.

        There’s a cute story behind the costume (she and the boy she’s singing about used to play cowboys and Indians) but if no one explains this, she’s just going to look weird. I doubt the general population of Europe will be offended the same way my American/Canadian friends and family have been by the costuming, but the juries could still dismiss it as novelty/trying too hard. At least she has the guitar and drums going for her:)

    • David

      I have found Netherlands not to Qualify at around 1.72 to be the most amazing value so far in this year´s ESC. IMO, it’s pretty much a no-hoper, even if they do change outfits.

      This is the comment I posted at ESCbet:

      * The verse is laughably bad. The falsetto is a joke, quite frankly. The chorus isn’t that bad, but the question is wether it manages to erase the first impression.
      * She seems to completely lack stage prescence. She’s glancing to the sides all the time, and doesn’t catch any cameras whatsoever.
      * Country/folk ins’t exactly a recipe for success in ESC, historically. The outfits just compound the problem, but even without them it’s just the wrong track.
      * The Netherlands have virtually no friends (even though Turkey should provide some support here given that Franka is turkish). Their qualification record is dismal.
      * Their running slot is the second worst. With an arguably forgettable (if somewhat sweet) song, that’s bad.

      I remain like the three judges seen in the clip: extremely underwhelmed. At fair value, I think the odds should be around 5.00-6.00 to Q, and thus 1.20-1.25 not to Q.

      • David

        Boki also points out a significant problem in the apparent dislike of the song by juries. What otherwise could propel a song like this (without friends and with a bad draw) to the finals is a random superscore from the juries (hello Lithuania 2011). I don’t think we’ll be getting that here, especially since this semi is chock-full of juryfriendliness.

  • The Dutch outfit will be changed, definitely. Denmark starts in the other semi. So this year the way is clear. I see the Netherlands in the final.

  • Boki

    Hi Daniel,
    Does your ‘first-hand report’ mean you are flying to Amsterdam today ?

    • Daniel

      Unfortunately not, Boki. One of our regular commenters is covering it for us. I will be at the London event next week.

      • Boki

        Well, we need about 80 minutes by car to get there but each year we think of some poor excuses not to go (like bad participant list, everything is available on youtube anyway with better view etc.) – I guess we are not the real die hard fans 🙂

  • fiveleaves

    It would be a crying shame if the Netherlands didn’t qualify given some of the absolute dross in that semi final.

    I think it’s a gem of a song, extremely well sung…. and if she’s going to tone down the Native American theme then that’s a huge positive.

    It’s the sort of song the juries should be supporting.

    • Dear Fiveleaves. Can I tell you one thing? I am Dutch. And the Dutchies are at this very moment thé losers in Eurovision.

      We haven’t had a TOP 10 spot in the final since 1999. We didn’t manage to get into the final since 2004. For many Dutch Eurovision fans these are hard times ;-).

      Having said that, I have become so used to not qualifying, that I think I can have a somewhat unique perspective on judging and predicting songs.

      Dutch broadcaster TROS has slammed my editors (www.esfmagazine.nl) on many occasions, for initiating a lobby to actually get things done, to get us qualify for the first time in 3977 years.

      It has been in vain the past years. TROS is not exactly the most democratic broadcaster on the Dutch PBN (Public Broadcaster Network). Actually, the Dutch PBN is very complicated. You might read this article to get a better understanding of the complex broadcasting system in Holland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands_Public_Broadcasting .

      Havinf said that, TROS is one of those channels that is mostly representing a rather social-conservative part of the nation. Hence the fact for their completely outdated vision towards Eurovision.

      Luckily, TROS hired John de Mol (The Voice) and his Talpa/Endemol Media Conglomerate. I must agree that Joan Franka’s ‘You and I’ isn’t a straight-in-your-face song. And it can fail (Look to Switzerland last year. With only one point difference they qualified).

      But if it fails, we have at least a well produced Nationaal Songfestival; a national final with a The Voice-like format. The only thing WE need right now is a bunch of foreign topcomposers.

      IF Netherlands qualify on May 24th, then I can tell you we will celebrate it as if it’s our 5th Eurovision victory haha.

      • fiveleaves

        LOL GL Gert.

        You’ve sent some rubbish in the past TBF.
        As have the UK.
        We’d have hardly ever qualified over the last couple of decades if we didn’t get a free pass into the final.

        1.72 not to qualify was clearly a touch of value for you to miss out again, given the price on betfair atm, but I’d like some of 5-6 on Joan doing it for you this year that David thinks it should be.

        For me it’s a top 10 song with jury support and if they drop the headdress, Joan may well receive that support.

  • Henry VIII

    Thank you Daniel for the useful adaptation of the word fanwank. It’s new interpretation has taken off (among gamblers anyway) and I feel it should now be added to dictionaries.

  • IMO people in Europe will like Joan Franka. That’s the point. Many bettors are over-analytical. They get bogged down in details. They miss the forest for the trees. They are cynical or gay or right-wing or all together.

    The viewers are none of this. Eurovision is family entertainment. People enjoy the show, they have a good look and they allways take the right decision. The Netherlands will qualify for the final. You will see.

  • Tim B

    I was supposed to be going to Eurovision In Concert in Amsterdam, but unfortunately an untimely illness prevented me from going. I am, however, attending this Sunday’s London Eurovision Party. Are many others from here going?

  • Tim B

    Cool, thanks Daniel! I will do just that.

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