Eurovision 2016: May 5 rehearsals

Like others, Slovenia are guilty this year of not running with the concept of their song title. The backdrop is a fragmented mixture of ‘Blue and Red’ that you don’t really notice, until eyes and lips appear on pale hues for the chorus. Instead, the main talking point is a topless acrobat who joins the ManuElla too late, and has to get an angled pole swinging to fly around on it like a model airplane. The lead singer is in white, and keeps her eyes closed for the yodel sections. Much more work is needed.

Bulgaria’s concept was also slightly disappointing: light-up arrow pads that attempt to enhance a knock-kneed manoeuvre from Poli during the chorus. The choreography is a lot of effort for little reward – it makes her breathy at times too. Dancers shown on the backdrop attempt to make Poli look less lonely on stage, and she’s joined by her five backing singers for the finale. There’s room for plenty of improvement, but time for it too.

Denmark gave us a facsimile of their national final performance, apart from their use of the satellite stage at the climax. The vocals are exposed in the verses, before hidden backing helps them out on the chorus. A plain, dark blue stage completes a very vanilla package, and even the pyros on the last run-through were rather half-hearted.

Ukraine gave us the best rehearsal so far: a finished product with every detail beautifully thought through. Elegantly dressed in black, Jamala starts in a square laser tunnel she slowly walks out of. The backdrop and floor features either blue and yellow arabesques, or sinister red cracks. Sanna-style uplights create a sense of intimacy, enhanced by Jamala nailing every camera angle – and note. At the big scream, she looks to the heavens, and a blue and yellow tree emerges directly behind her in the backdrop. It won’t be to everyone’s taste on Saturday night, but it’s spellbinding for those interested.

Norway’s Agnete has changed the national final staging (but not her outfit), so that she’s on a separate smaller plinth to her backing dancer. She soon moves off it to a suitably dark blue stage with dry ice and CO2 jets. The dancer in a white leotard isn’t really adding much, and Agnete isn’t so comfortable when in the lower register for the verses. But she’s good with the big notes, and there’s some effective sweeping camera shots to match these moments.

It felt like Georgia put themselves in the qualification mix with some effective mirrored split screen effects. The vocals are good, the band twiddle away contentedly, the effects ramp up for the manic part, and it comes across as credible if still alternative by Eurovision standards. Albania on the other hand, offered nothing of interest for ‘Fairytale’. Eneda’s vocals are fine, but beyond a blue to gold stage, and three backing singers, there’s little more to add about the staging.

Belgium’s Laura ends second semi proceedings with plenty of choreography lifted from the video to ‘What’s The Pressure?’ There’s a neat disc backdrop in national colours, and plenty of effective development throughout – notably the clever way Laura uses the satellite stage first before being joined by her four backing dancers. There’s a hidden backing singer helping Laura carry the song vocally. Right now, this feels like it’s doing what it needs to qualify.

Tomorrow sees all of the first heat give their second rehearsals, plus Spain and France in a 12-hour day. Gird your loins, and carry on the conversation below.

57 comments to Eurovision 2016: May 5 rehearsals

  • johnkef

    My first thoughts after having read the reports and seen the videos

    a. It doesn’t matter if you have a very good or a brilliant song if you don’t know how to stage it. Experience counts and that’s why i never trust a country outside the pedigree area if they haven’t at least built a momentum from previous or last year (call me Malta, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia even Latvia). I’m so glad i haven’t bet on them apart from a small amount on Latvia

    b. The contest has taken a turn entering the new tecnology era and many countries were carried away making their songs calculated and soulless. The countries that took the other way offering strong emotions are the big winners. Pick France and i dare to say Spain if you want a feel good happy song, pick Ukraine or Israel if you wanna feel the tension and the opening of the soul of the singer.

    c. Russia is in big trouble. Ukraine might take from them some 12’s and 10’s in East and give the western countries an extra option.

    d. My prediction is that the Final will a thriller with 4 countries fighting chest to chest.

    e. I think that the Top5 has almost been shaped
    Russia-France-Australia-Ukraine and Armenia

  • Guildo Horn Forever

    Have to say that I’m v happy with the price movements of my 2 bets for this year – Ukraine EW on the outright and Belgium for Top 10.

    Whatever happens from a betting point of view, I’m also pleased for Jamala and for Laura.

    In their differing ways they absolutely sell their songs and each deserves a great reception on the big night.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      I forgot that I have money running onto Sweden, and that Sweden is by far my best result!

      I hate the Swedish entry but the reason I included it on a bet was because I figured that the majority of people posting on internet betting discussion sites would be men, and that would partly explain the paucity of positive comment, and that in turn would be reflected in the available odds.

      Partly for related reasons, I also considered that Belgium might be value.

  • The measly 42 second video clip on the web (of which 15 seconds is Jamala talking about the song) really doesn’t serve to do justice to what she and the Ukranians served up earlier. 29s to 7s on Betfair in the space of an hour. I can only see this tumbling more, especially if Amir fails to convince tomorrow evening.

    As its chances of outright victory gather momentum, I just ponder one thing. It’s taken me about 8/9 hearings to pass from being a detractor to a fan. No doubt it will get mega jury love, but for those televoters on May14th, getting the one exposure (two, if they see the second semi final, which she must be now tipped to win from Dami), will this be enough to overcome the handicap of that dark, melancholic feel? Does the report of a “rising tree” out of the destruction at the end, engender a sense that all may yet be well? It DOES need some positivity to be the near finished package I feel.

    Feels, without doubt, the gamechanging three minutes of week one so far.

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Sometimes it takes a crest of buzz for an audience to be primed, open and ready to accept a performance. As the Ukraine now has that momentum established people will be watching and then listening with a view to a generalised confirmation bias being validated. They will want to be “in” on it, get “it”, be a part of “it”.

      On first watching her performance from the Ukrainian national final I was struck by how insanely watchable Jamala and the whole show was. It was a variety of epic.

      And for all of its epic spectacle, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at Jamala. She was heartfelt and actioning the living hell out of the lyrics, but at the same time she was an ostentatious performer, with more than a hint of the melodramatic. In that way she was akin to watching Laurence Olivier as Richard III.

      I imagine her performance is still exactly the same, but that the staging context (the other main character in the performance, if any good) has diluted away any of the peaks and tones and flashes of melodrama (and unintentional comedy).

      • Guildo Horn Forever

        I should add that here I’m talking about phenomenon that are difficult to categorise, where definite, automatic responses are not always readily forthcoming.

        Or phenomenon that come under the umbrella of “Is this brilliant, or is this shit”.

        Ryan Gosling’s acting, as an example.

  • Rob4

    the staging will have had to be incredibly special to lift ukraine into win territory. no song as dark as this has ever won eurovision and story is obscure in most parts of europe so the separation of time and familiarity will dampen the effect however heartfelt… just saying!

  • MGR

    To add something I would have to subtract all here.

  • Lake

    The press viewers mostly seem to think Ukraine can challenge Russia and France for #1. Is this likely? Or is it an exaggerated reaction?

  • Zelenovi

    Re. “No song as dark as this has ever won eurovision” – I know it’s stretching back, but Molitva? Not exactly a bundle of laughs either…

    • Rob4

      when making my post I did consider molitva, probably the darkest, song to ever win eurovision. however molitva is very relateable to the general public – practically everyone can relate to lost love – however, as much as we would abhor it, not many in europe alive today have experienced forced resettlement. it might hit a few nerves in the balkans and eastern europe but i suspect the rest of europe will be looking to something a bit happier for their saturday night.

      • Rob4

        oh… and this song is not as good as molitva

      • Ron

        Ukraine finished only 10th in the OGAE poll, suggesting it is a divisive song even in the fan world, never mind outside it. I would have thought it is way too niche and not mainstream enough to win a modern Eurovision.

      • Rob4

        of course after saying everything above, i have taken out some insurance on ukraine – you can’t ignore the three amigos sitting there in the hall…

    • Guildo Horn Forever

      Just wrote a long piece about Molitva, a song and performance I had not seen before (YouTubing).

      Was doing other things while writing the post and sure enough the post timed out.

      One of the brief side points I made was that Molitva immediately reminded me of Hovi Star’s song.

  • MGR

    Can you really believe that Ukraine will be characteristic, clear and catchy for viewers? Is this rational? Can you really believe that she stands out? For me this is contest of images. Not everyone can speak english.

  • Henry VIII

    With Molitva they were all gently touching her and comforting her. Uplifting. With Ukraine she’s on her own in her nightmare.

    Ukraine is interesting in being so beautiful, the highest quality, but the point does remain – nothing remotely this dark has won. Or even come close?

    Most ESC viewers are in a fun party atmosphere. Ukraine would have to be so impressive as to overcome that. It’s a very tall order.

  • Ben Cook

    Am I alone in thinking Frans drifting to 20/1 is bonkers? By all accounts he did a decent rehearsal, and the tweaks in the “choreography” and camera angles are said to be for the better.

  • I’m in complete agreement with Rob4 above. I just don’t understand how 1944 can appeal to western televoters and get anything more than moderate western jury love. This smacks of rehearsal hype from way down the white rabbit’s hole into wonderland (aka the Eurovision bubble.)

    The song is not commercially relevant or radio friendly, it is not timeless or of high class, (Suus was,) and it certainly doesn’t have a novelty factor. A song failing to tick any of these three boxes usually doesn’t even hit top 5 let alone win.

    The word for Ukraine is funereal, not dark or sad, otherwise people come back waving Molitva and Only Teardrops at you. Can you really see a funereal song lighting up esctracker after the semis, getting 12 points from juries in the UK, Switzerland, Spain, Australia and Iceland and playing over the credits of what’s supposed to be a fun Saturday night TV party?

    Molitva was poppier, uplifting and more timeless whereas 1944 is rather alternative. Plus, Moltiva won a final monopolised by Eastern countries. Only Teardrops might have had some poignant lyrics but to call it a sad song is, excuse me, total bollocks. I heard it playing in Superdrug a few weeks ago.

    I’m sure the Ukrainian package is emotionally evocative and visually great and will be fighting tooth and claw with Sergey Lazarev for those eastern votes. The song’s strong Turkic influences virtually guarantees it will receive 24 points from Azerbaijan, (feels weird writing 24 points!)

    I just can’t see what relevant criteria 1944 meets in today’s Eurovision that enables it to win.

    • Hippo

      I agree with all of that (maybe except the timeless or high class part). What surpises me is that I can’t see what’s suddenly changed as the majority seemed to agree with this a while back. We knew she could sing, we assumed Ukraine would stage it well and get camera angles right. What we didn’t know is whether the masses or western juries will take to it or “get it”. I’d be very surprised to see this doing any damage on the western televote or enough on Western juries and therefore she won’t win.

      She may stop Russia winning though so jobs a good ‘un.

      • johnkef

        After clearing my mind from Eurovision for more than 8 hours some thoughts about Ukraine and Eurovision betting.

        This time of year is the most stressfull for all us bettors. We should be careful not be to overexcited or carried away by the wave. Everyone has its preferences and his/her logic for backing a country in any market or not. The rehearsals change the game and everyone wants to be in the right side of a bet but we still have time in front of us.

        All of us have spent hours analysing pro’s and con’s for many coutnries and used every kind of info that could help us win. This is the first year that the posts are so divided. Let’s all agree that our judgement differs and let anyone have a different opinion from ours.

        Ukraine is the topic of the day and is the only country that has upped its game.

        Is it a contender? Yes!
        Can Jamala win? Maybe yes, maybe no. That’s the beautiful thing about Eurovision! We actually never know until the final night.

        Most of the people in here and in other sites argue that is very dark to win. They might be right, but Eurovision is a contest that has surprised us in the past and we definitely should be more open minded. Not forget that last year there were doubts that Sweden could win because if the juries and it actually won because if the juries. Conchita could never win because of the juries and because of the conservative Eastern Europe and she actually won getting points from everywhere. In 2010 Germany wouldn’t win because it didn’t have any voting friends or allies but it did.

        My opinion is that every song has a different target group to reach . If it has more than one target groups even better. We sometimes try to generalise things so that we can draw some conclusions but in fact we don’t even know how many people will or why they vote.

        Some of you say that Ukraine can’t have a broad appeal in western Europe and you might be right. But what about the juries? Who can say for sure how the juries will vote? What about the Balkans and eastern Europe where many nations have had a similar experience? What about the Turkish diaspora? Will they feel the urge to vote for a singer that sings in their language? What about the hipster teens? Is Ukraine something genuine, atypical and worthy to vote for like Kedvesem insted of playing it safe with Sweden? Who knows…

        We will find out in 8 days. The only sure thing is that Russia’s chances are in danger because of Ukraine and politics will definitely be involved in the next days.

        Everybody keep calm and enjoy the Eurovision roller coaster!

    • Ande

      Since I ranked Ukraine highest in my pre-rehearsal rankings I guess I should defend my stance. For me Jamala was an inverse Sergey, that is an entry that was surely going to do well with juries but having a much more uncertain televote.

      ‘1944’ has a few qualities that helped ‘Love Injected’ with the (jury) vote last year.

      = Outstanding vocals
      = Unique and quirky song
      = Deliberately unique staging concept
      = Thought-through staging concept

      But even if that would be enough for a top 2 with juries ‘Love injected’ wasn’t impressive with televotes. One shouldn’t be too worried however as Jamala won the Ukrainian televote convincingly. 1944 also has a few additional traits that makes it competetive in with televotes.

      = Big money note
      + Impressive televotes in NF
      + Strong accessible emotional appeal
      + Relevancy of subject
      ++ Likely highlighted by national commentators
      + Highly motivational appeal

      It’s important and difficult to judge how big of an impact the emotional appeal will have. Nevertheless “Missing home” is a strong and relatable theme with proven charting appeal while war and humitarian crisises are strong motivators for those who regularly donates to charity. National commentators are also very likely to highlight this message with key words like “Crimea”, “deportation”, “Tartars” and “Sovjet Union”. As the Crimean conflict is ongoing it’s more likely to be picked up by viewers giving a favorable respons.

      Ex sovjets with deported relatives
      – Will sympathize, very likely to vote.

      Those closely following foreign affars.
      – Will know the entire backstory, likely to vote.

      Anyone knowing about the Crimea annexation
      – Will pay more attention to the song

      To sum it all up Ukraine has the strongest emotional appeal in the competition while still being obvious jury bait.

  • I actually agree Henry VIII. For me Ukraine is the ‘Albania 2012’ or ‘Latvia 2015’ of this year. Artistically very relevant. And I shall be honest now, PERSONALLY I would love Ukraine to win. Like Netherlands in 2014 it would result in such a quality boost to Eurovision. I even think it can enter the TOP 3…but justtt.

    I can’t see it winning though. It lacks a certain ‘feel-good factor’ that has become more apparent since the introduction of televoting in 1998. And it’s even apparent with 50% televoting. Amir and Frans for me are still luring from Jamala’s back. The last real moody, ‘arty’ winner for me was Serbia 2007. But this year there’s still a bit too much ‘feel-good’ competition for an entry like ‘1944’.

    If people put a gun under my chin and pressed me to make a TOP 15 prediction at this stage. It would look like this:

    01. France
    02. Sweden
    03. Ukraine
    04. Australia
    05. Latvia
    06. Russia
    07. Israel
    08. Czech Republic
    09. Serbia
    10. Belgium
    11. Armenia
    12. Germany
    13. The Netherlands
    14. Cyprus
    15. Austria

    One question I have though. Which country from the Benelux will do better? Belgium or The Netherlands :-P?

    • Mr Wolf

      Albania 2012 and Latvia 2015 didn’t have that catchy “hit song element” Ukraina 2016 has.
      They had their target group and did strong result in their level. They didn’t scream “winner”.
      Ukraine has more powerfulness and stronger emotion.

  • Daniel, tomorrow’s quite important for the outright market since France will be rehearsing. I wonder if, like me, you will be looking to settle the matter for good of whether or not France can win, or is there some benefit to keeping things ambiguous for now?

    • Daniel

      Hi Ben, a lot can change between first rehearsals and the final. Tomorrow we get to know what the French are planning in terms of staging. In an open year, I doubt I’ll be trying to call the winner at the end of tomorrow.

  • Black n Blue

    Since we’re going to be seeing France tomorrow, I thought I’d share this:
    The vocal sounds fairly solid. I just hope Amir and his team know what they’re doing. My instinct is telling me that they don’t need to go to town on this trying to win people over with fancy projections. Just keep the camera close to Amir.

  • RonH

    Have listened to Ukraine a dozen times again today, asking myself ‘what am I missing?’
    Then I consiously decided not to put a penny on this song no matter how spectacular the staging might be. This could very well be the biggest mistake in the 43 years I tend to follow ESC closely. Yet I fail to see any attractiveness in this song for a family TV-show.

  • milton

    Rather than asking yourself how many songs like Ukraine have ever won, how about asking how many songs like that have failed to win? Are there any parallels in previous years to draw upon of songs of this genre that have absolutely blown away everybody who has seen them, both from the betting and fan fraternity?

    • An excellent point Milton. Scanning back through the years I struggle to find a song of a similar “mood” at all, let alone one that was rated highly by fans and betting.

      One recent example that does come to mind is France’s L’Enfer et Moi from 2013. This wasn’t highly rated, but people did rave about Amandine’s performance in a similar way that they are Jamala’s.

      Suus is a comparable that many have raised but despite finishing 5th, its odds were way up in the several hundreds throughout. I’ve already argued that Suus had an obvious wow factor in Rona’s vocal that lots of people could easily pick up on. It was also more of a classical, borderline jazz lounge ballad compared to 1944 which feels closer to prog rock.

      You could also bring up a similar Ukrainian entry to 1944, Alyosha’s Sweet People from 2010, but this wasn’t nearly as alternative musically.

      I think my best comparable is Russia’s “Mamo” from 2009. It feels similar in terms of how likely 1944 is to appeal more to the east than the west, and Mamo certainly did have emotional, slightly unhinged, disturbing yet captivating staging, yet managed 11th place. I still have nightmares about that crying, aging face sometimes.

      Those are the songs I’d compare 1944 to going back through my years as a hardcore ESC fan, to 2007. But I’d say their similarities are loose, and I’m sure 1944 will fare moderately better than all of them.

      • Milton

        Thanks for the reply Ben and taking on board my point. The above examples are all of a similar ilk, but none of them at the time got the reaction that Ukraine got. Dismissing Ukraine without having seen it when the hardened betting professionals at the arena who have seen it are taking it very seriously seems brave to say the least. For clarification, are you or any of the other doubters on here in Stockholm? Has anyone seen a luke warm review of Ukraine?

        By the way Ben, can I take this opportunity to thank you for this year’s Eurovision Wipe I loved the Armenia bit and Russia had my whole family rushing into my office to find out why I was laughing so loud! For anyone who has missed it check it out:

  • Lina

    I think, Jamala will lose some votes from Eastern block because of the message of her song. Ukrania adressed this song to western audience. When eastern audience looks from the other side, because of nowadays antirussian politics in Ukraine and because of history… as mostly people in Russia, Belarus, may be in Caucasian states, think about crimean tatars not as victims, but as those who betrayed soviet people in hardest moment of war and stood on Nazi side, so many soldiers and civilians died because of that betrayal. I mean, its the reason why she will not get high points from at least Russia and Belarus, i’m not sure about Azerbaijan and Armenia and Moldova…but i’m sure there will be big amount of people with same opinion as russians….

    • Rob4

      agree. it is hard to analyse politically. there will be low points from Belarus and Russia and other countries with high Russian populations will be difficult to predict e.g. Latvia, Moldova. It is also difficult to perceive how the Balkans will react – they have recently experienced war so should be sympathetic but many still have ties to the old eastern bloc. it could be that RUS and UKR cancel each other out. another variable is the western vote – Russia has a bigger diaspora and therefore may become more motivated to vote if they think there is a political dimension from Ukraine that needs to be countered.

    • Ande

      Interesting point! I didn’t know Tatars were considered traitors in Sovjet. This might mean Ukraine loses some jury points from the Sovjet block, it should however have minimal impact for televotes as viewers cannot vote against an entrant.

      • Henry VIII

        In Russia hardly anybody is a Stalinist any more and hardly anybody considers the Tatars as traitors. If anything they sympathise with their history.

        It’s the current situation that may have some effect, if anything.

        • Ande

          That is reassuring.

          I find it unlikely that the current situation would have a big impact on jury votes, both the Belarus and Russian juries gave Ukraine points in 2014 and vice versa.

          • Chris Bellis

            In support of johnkef above, as I say every year on this site, the prejudices cancel each other out, more or less. I remember when Conchita was said by some on this site to be unable to win because of “Russian homophobia”, I was reading that on my laptop in a gay bar in Moscow. I also read that Russians would never vote for a Country and Western act, yet I had attended a country music festival in Moscow the previous week. This year Amir is going to suffer because he has a Muslim name and is also Jewish, and the Russians and former Soviet states won’t like that. Do people who say such things realise how many Muslims there are in the former Soviet sphere, or how many people of Jewish heritage? Yes there are loads of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim people in the former Soviet territories, but by and large they will be cancelled out by those who hold opposite views. Also ask yourself who watches Eurovision, and votes in the contest.

          • Ande

            In Conchitas case it didn’t balance out however as she definitely gained from the beard gimmick. Many punters thought the average Joe were going to be off-put by the trans thing. In retrospect it gave her song a new meaning upping her USP.

      • I would be very careful with any political “analysis” (Eurovision-related or otherwise) from a person describing Ukraine as the aggressor against Russia in the current conflict (not to mention is a big fan of Stalin’s). Just sayin’. There is this slight chance that the claims are influenced by the author’s own political views.

        • Lina

          – I didnt say Ukraine is agressor, i said their current government have anti-russian politics. its obvious.
          – I’m not fan of Stalin. I said that people in Russia appreciate his work as head of state, i’d say more than 50% of russians have this opinion. I explained why they have this opinion.
          Anyway, i’m sure, you will separate facts from my opinion.

    • Zelenovi

      I mean, will more than 5% of viewers even know that the song’s about Crimean Tatars, let alone have an opinion that will influence the vote? In my experience, people rarely listen to the commentators – I’d say the audience will mostly say “oh hey, that’s an unusual song and she sings it really well. Also the stage looks nice”. And then vote.

      • Lina

        intresting thing is… if western audience will not listen to commentators, and will not know about background of her song…they will see woman from ukraine singing about “soldiers come to home and kill…etc” and then they see name of song 1944…will they think that she sings about nazis killing people in eastern europe in wwII??
        not all, but mostly people in Russia now about Jamala and her song, as central TV news told about it few times…

  • I’m not touching Ukraine either.

    Very happy with my Belgium to qualify though!

  • Joining the ongoing Ukraine debate, in a very tight year with three or four songs competing for the crown, if you do the maths, Jamala can afford to lose quite a few votes in those telebloc regions mentioned hitherto, and still edge to victory. If she comes first or a good second in the jury vote, the pressure is off and a narrow, Azerbaijan 2011 type win is on the cards. It’s not a runaway Norway 2009, Sweden 2012 year by any stretch of the imagination, which makes the calculations more intriguing.

  • Milton

    The main thing that seems to be holding Azer’s price up is the possibility of golden envelopes and sim cards. Thing is what’s the point? She’s clearly not winning, so why bother spending a load of money dragging her into the final where she is going to embarrass herself and her country, where either you spend a whole load more money to get her up to 18th place or see her finish rock bottom? Any thoughts on this Daniel or anyone else?

  • Brittany

    I guess you had be in the arena and see Ukraine’s rehearsal to get its appeal, as it certainly doesn’t come across by listening to the CD and is one of my least favourite songs this year.

  • Ande

    France tumbling as it’s too static according. At least they’ve gotten rid of the tutus.

  • Lina

    In Russia many people support Stalin, because mostly everything he had done was for the good of people and country. Actually he is considered as last genial and good head of country, before Putin. (Stalin achievements – highest level of education, medicine, industry, economy, lower level of uneployement and poverty. Besides he planned to make 5hour working day – next head USSr Khrushev denied this plans, and also he is responsible for anti-Stalin propoganda. ANd mostly stories about bad Stalin have no facts and proof behind).

    Offcouse there are no Stalinists now, mostly people just appreciate his work. Though opinions are different. ANd there are lots of Ukranians living in Russia, maybe they will vote for Jamala, who knows. May be 5 years ago russians would sympathise Crimean tatars with deportation, but now Ukraine has so agressive antirussian politics, that every their step is considered antirussian, and russians clearly understand why right now ukraine chose this theme,to put dirt on russians and their history, and make it in front of millions of European viewers.

    Everybody knows that WWII traitors stand behind tens of millions of dead russians (soviets), and Crimean tatars are among them, its the reason why Stalin punished them (and at the same time saved from revenge of crimeans, red army soldiers). And don’t forget they are “Crimean tatars”, because “Tatars” live in Russia, in Volga region, and they have no connection with Crimean tatars – different nations.

    Plus this theme is connected with WWII and Eurovision will come right after 9th of MAY – when all ex – soviet people will remember their tragic losses, hororr stories from war, and here on Eurovision Jamala will cry for western Europe about Nazis and bloody traitors…

    i give 99% that Sergey will collect all 12 points in televotes of ex-Soviet states (i’m not sure about Lithania and Estonia), because he is well-known and popular there. And his song is not that bad to loose this votes…

    • Chris Bellis

      Agree about Sergey. Don’t agree about Stalin. Agree about the Soviet sacrifices in WW2, without which we would all be under German domination…hang about, must check that again…what happened there?
      In the “Museum of Communism” on Tverskaya Street, just near the Kremlin (the only place in Russia where you will find any traces of communism), there are several rooms devoted to Stalin’s atrocities, as well as his achievements, so most Russians have Stalin in perspective. I don’t think any of this will influence the result that strongly, but most of the Slavic countries will cast some votes for Sergey because he isn’t half bad and he will perform well. All my East European friends like his song and many will vote for him. Eastern Europe has a bit of a love hate relationship with Russia, but in my recent travels I’ve noticed a decided warming towards the former “oppressors”. Something to do with the EU not living up to expectations I suppose. Whatever it is, for betting purposes, discount the politics, both big and small. It leads you up the garden path.

      • Lina

        well traces of communism are in heads and memory of people. not communism actually, just memory about USSR times… just watch on you tube rally from 1st of May, or watch on youtube “immortal regiment” march, its epic, and you’ll find lots of soviet flags there. Its not about communism, its about what Stalin did to our country – free education of highest level,, free medicine of highest level, best industry, thousands of rebuiled cities after WWII, nearly 0% uneployement, best science in the world, space programm, Most (not all) but most stories about cruel Stalin were falsified during Khrushev era (he hated Stalin). there were strong punishments for violators of law, but it was hard times – before WWII country just recoverd from great civil war (with whole country in mess, criminality, poverty), and then after WWII with same problems, ruined half of country, millions of people with weapons, poverty.
        YOu ask about story with Crimean tatars? When germans invaded Crimea, there were heavy battles with red army, and then Crimean tatars suddenly stood on Nazi side (may be because of their strong connection with turkey (which was also on nazi side)). they started to fight against Soviets. As Crimean tatars were locals, they new all secrets of island, seckret roads, and all weak sides of Red army positions. As a result defenders of Crimea were surrounded by nazis, and were fully exterminated, as they havent way to move back, whole island was occupied, civilians killed. Ao in 1944 when Soviets beat nazis and freed Crimea, what they had to do with Crimean tatars? Germans were killed or captured. And Crimean tatars just were replaced. Actually this saved their nation – if not Government, then angry, tired, exhosted red army soldiers would have panished them for their betrayal, so anyway they couldnt have life in Crimea after soviets returned it back. Offcouse not all Crimean tatars were traitors, but they also suffered because of that.

        About Estern Europe our sountries did nothing bad to eachother, USSR wasnt opressor. just propoganda against |USSr, now when people can compare that Western governments are not angels too…they start to realise that USSR times werent so bad for them as propoganda said, and nowadays times are not so good as they expected, yes =) Just look at all those Ex-soviet block states, they mostly lost all their Industry, and they had great industrial and agricultural complexes, during soviet times…now they buy every product from western european states. USSR had goal to develope these states, and EU has goal to not allow their development, to avoid economic competition.

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