May 17, 2009

We just finished watching the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 from Moscow. Norway won with a pretty decent act. Denmark just barely missed the top half of the 25 finalists. Unlike last year, there were few acts that were truly wacko, other than Ukraine.

If you’ve got a few hours to spare, you can watch the semi-finals (part one, part two) or the finals. (Assuming that the streaming video works outside Europe, and that you want to install some proprietary viewer.)

Or, you can watch these highlights:

  • Norway “Fairytale” (the winner; pretty catchy, and cute)
  • Iceland “Is It True” (second place; okay, but mostly forgettable pop song by a Copenhagener with a great voice)
  • Azerbaijan “Always” (came in third; has Eurovision zaniness with a bit of ethnic flair)
  • Portugal “Flor-de-lis” (One of our favorites for the song and the visuals. Plus: accordian! flute! Ukelele! Unfortunately, they came in 15th)
  • Denmark “Believe Again” (A decent, catchy country-pop song, but odd to hear a Dane singing with a Nashville twang! He came in 13th. Look for the guitarist, who is imitating that smarmy guitarist from the rival band in the movie School of Rock.)
  • Estonia “Urban Symphony” (ethereal, and one of the most stylish of the entrants. They came in sixth. We were rooting for them as Cate’s best friend here is from Estonia.)
  • Ukraine “Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl)” (This was the only truly wacko finalist this year. Ladder Dancing! Roman soldiers in silver helmets without shirts! Lyrics like “Baby, Baby you’re so fine, be my, be my Valentine”! It doesn’t get more Eurovision than this! Remarkably they came in 12th.)
  • Sweden “I can’t sing, so I’ll screech” (BTW–that’s not the actual title. This was the only truly horrible finalist. Criminally bad. I recommend you watch. She came in 21st out of 25. The crazy thing is that in the Sweden national competition, there were about 5 pretty good acts, and yet the Swedes chose this schlock.)

You can find additional videos on YouTube here.


Apparently, this passes for Prayer in Denmark…

May 12, 2009

Friday in Denmark was Great Prayer Day. Watch the celebration here, and then look at the photos here.

A rough quote from the police when asked about a guy who claimed to participate: “There’s no basis to go arrest him. But we’ll interrogate him and charge him with vandalism.” Which makes me think: is being charged with a crime in Denmark sort of like being called a name on the playground? ‘Eeww! Jan Jansen has cooties!’