Eurovision coverage.

There’s a staggering amount of Eurovision-related stuff on The Guardian’s site this year: go here for the full index, and go here for tonight’s liveblog, hosted by Heidi “H Factor” Stephens.

For a fully illustrated song-by-song preview of tonight’s finalists, David Sim (hands up, who remembers Swish Cottage?) has done an excellent job on the Telegraph’s website.

K’s not around tonight, so I’ll be watching the finals in splendid isolation, laptop perched on my knee… and to be honest, it’ll be a nice change to be able to give the TV coverage my undivided attention.

Happy Eurovision, everyone. And while I’m duly horrified by the appalling scenes that took place in Moscow earlier today, isn’t it ironic that the gay-baiting Russian cops have got HOMO in mirror writing on the backs of their uniforms?

Those Eurovision Song Contest previews, then.

Film-and-music-cover-15.0-001After taking a much-needed break from the obsessive Eurovision-blogging in 2008 – mainly because I wanted to experience last year’s finals as a civilian, rather than as a fan-boy obsessive for once – I thought it might be fun to try and place this year’s previews somewhere other than this here blog.

So, um, here you are then: a handy guide to ten of this year’s more notable entries, which is also the cover story in today’s Guardian Film & Music section.

As for predictions, I’m saying Top Five for Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey, Ukraine… and, oh go on then, the United Kingdom. For once, we may dare to dream…

“Over-excited” Eurovision tweet-splurge.

Last night, I attended the big Eurovision preview party at the Marcanti club in Amsterdam, where around half of this year’s contestants performed their entries. Cue much frantic, hasty and altogether “over-excited” tweeting:

Albania: sweet, underpowered.
Slovakia: strident, screechy, operatic.
Moldova: fab walloping diva.
Slovenia: odd string quartet, almost instrumental.
Lithuania: Freddie-aping skinny dude, in hat. (“Freddie-aping” is an exaggeration, but there was a touch of “We Are The Champions” at the start of the song.)
Serbia: hair bear and accordion, stompy.
Ireland: Vanilla Ninja meets Hepburn, rocking, worked it.
Denmark: totally smashable AOR waiter, grr! (Hmm, the beer goggles had been well and truly donned…)
Cyprus: adorable interpretìve hand movements.
Belgium: fat Shakey does Young Elvis.
Montenegro: upstaged by dancer. I think there’s something he hasn’t told her yet…
Bulgaria’s Got Talent: bizarre castrato car-crash. Many furrowed brows.
Iceland: weak, bland, forgettable.
Germany: preening, overcooked schaffel-swing.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: butcho Balkan bombast, incongruously styled in Coldplay’s cast-offs.
Ukraine: FUCKING HELL THIS IS WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. Demonic, fetishistic energy, with bonus beatboxed reprise. (This was everybody’s favourite, as it had been at the London Scala preview party the previous night.)
Poland: a tad too classy for this advanced hour? Grower, though.
Armenia: full blooded Eastern promise. (Actually, this was terrific. More cultural pluralism, please.)
Malta: eternal fan fave tryer tries again, impressively and adorably.
Spain: wildly popular Latino rump shaker. (slightly undermined by over-exuberantly mincy dancers)
Our Jade (United Kingdom): she’s over-selling it. Lacks sincerity. Respectful but muted applause.