Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oh. My. God.

Reports from a Saturday evening

EUROVISION: Yesterday evening, I think I reached an absolute culmination point when it comes to sensed and displayed enthusiasm. Compared to situation and circumstances, that is, because I'm in the middle of my exam period and my energy levels keep reaching rock bottom and I wasn't quite ready to work up such boundless glee. But man, I sure did. In fact, my hysterical involvement knew no limits; I was literally off my feet and shouting. And for good reasons, too. I'd been reading and working a lot; revising and recalling and rewriting, to utter exhaustion; and called it a day around nine o'clock, just in time for the annual Eurovision Song Contest finale. Which I was quite determined to catch, since I'd chosen to stay at home and be a secluded student fanatic in the first place - might as well make the most of it, and reward myself for the demanding labour achievement by a proper all-night singalong-song marathon. So there I sat, in front of the telly, all by myself - with only a box of rather non-talkative chocolates to keep me company. And it was the most wonderful kind of relaxation. Had goosebumps already whilst the opening credits were rolling; of course, seeing that I am such a Eurovision fanatic and had been looking forward to this event for so long, and I simply adore that signature tune. Though, I must admit, I was slightly disappointed at the quality of the TV program itself - the technicality of it and the general production. The hosts seemed unprepared; they were actually reciting from a piece of paper at times, because they couldn't remember their lines; whereas the outside reporter hardly knew her place, or tasks, she seemed quite uncomfortable; similar to the green room reporters who were completely useless and ridiculous and annoying. Even our Norwegian commentator(s) made some criticial remarks about this, although they weren't much better themselves. The continuity and editing didn't help, and the flaws in camera work, in addition to sound failure, cuts and embarassing silences (!) all contributed to a rather poor show, overall. Some highlights, though, which were equally, and contrastingly, fantastic; the animated introductions to each song, all made of win, and the voting sessions which progressed flawlessly; with more ease and continuous flow than ever before. They'd cut them down radically, so that the record of 43 countries voting wouldn't be the downfall of boredom, and in fact it turned out very exciting and interesting. Nice work. Moreover, I loved the costumes - as in everyone's, but in partciular those worn by the hosts - and, I suppose, considering how the intermission number is always subject to taste and preferences, I won't judge it too harshly; the people in the audience sounded like they loved it, they were all cheering and singing along. I, personally, hated it. With fierce passion. And it wasn't too professional; I found it to be remarkably in tune with the rest of the arrangement. Not downright bad, nor was it very appealing. Still, all that became completely irrelevant, in a flash, when Maria (Haukaas Storeng) swirled into the centre of the viewers' attention. This brilliant, talented girl - with possibly one of the best entries Norway's ever had, and a wonderful representative for our musical traditions - took to the stage clad in her blue silk dress; instantly revealing a catchy, determined and superbly focused mode. Ready to baffle us all - with an immensely improved, now perfectly coreographed and styled, show that was amazingly beautiful in all respects. We did have to wait until the very last minute, hers being the final perfomance of the evening, but what an ending! That's what I call rounding off with a bang! Maria was fabulous, and no matter what the result had been, she could have returned home feeling nothing but pride about her own efforts. Absolutely stunning, the lot of it, including the chorists who had practised their dance routine and were now in sync, both physically and vocally. They did so great, I was left in speechless awe. And, apparently, and somewhat to my (our) surprise, the lot of European voters agreed! They actually loved her too! Suddenly, Norway was amongst the top 6 countries on the score ranking and we were gaining in and there were a small chance we might actually win, and there went all my self-preserving composure, straight out the window - when we got our first twelve points I was screaming out so loud, I must have scared off every single neighbour I have in this building. And then, finally, too my immense joy, we were granted fifth place; as best of the west-european countries, superior to the likes of Great Britain, Portugal, France - and dark horse Azerbaijan. Grand old Sweden, tipped as a certain winner and bookmaker favourite throughout, didn't even make the top ten. Indeed, the general voting was very unpredictable and unexpected. Except for Mr. Number One, Russia's Dima, and the runners up Greeece, Armenia and host nation Serbia, which were all deemed potential winners beforehand. The acts were all very focused on public entertainment and pleasing the crowd; sometimes, the dancing and jumping and visual effects and absolute absurdity took over, and drowned any attempt of a nice singing perfomance, which was a bit of a pity. But still - it did make an eye-catching, and interesting, if rather wild constellation. Not for a second did it get boring. My personal favourites, in addition to Norway, were Iceland (as always, with a fabulously modern disco song), Turkey, Romania and Finland. Pop, rock, opera and metal. Only Eurovision can get away with being that varied. Unfortunately, all the Nordic countries - save for Norway - ended up with rather miserable results. Said Turkey, however, suprised everyone with what was - in my opinion - the second best song of the night (next to Norway's, of course); a brilliant rock tune for which I cheered intensely. It did receive a pretty decent place as well. But Noway's own Maria remains the top performer of this year's Eurovision, and the one who beat all the odds; literally speaking; and who most deserved her place amongst the - wow, it's amazing just to say it - top five. My sincere congratulations to her, and to song writer Mira Craig, for your great achievement, for the success of "Hold on be strong", and for - undoubtedly - the most stylish moment of an otherwise strange, eccentric, fluctuating and at times very bizarre show. But great fun, all in all. It was indeed some great fun, and a pleasant viewing experience.

DOCTOR WHO: What I didn't know, however, was what I had in store for me next. As mentioned before, due to England's (lousy! embarassingly bad! shame on yee!) participation in same Eurovision Contest, yesterday's "Doctor Who" episode has been postponed for a week, and is due next Saturday; same time, same channel; but meanwhile, they'd decided to give us something to make up for the waiting, a bit of a gift, and it turned out to be almost as good as a new episode. Almost. But very close. For whereas the next upcoming twoparter is a Moffat tale about an alien (and mental? wtf?) library, and some scary adventures there, with no appearances from old companions or villains, as far as we've been told, last night's gift trailer - as provided by the BBC - was packed with fangirl goodness, previews and incredible cameos; a regular squee fest of grand, unforeseen dimensions. I was rather taken aback by the whole thing. Here it is, by the way, for all of you to see:

How brilliant is that? I mean, it's just (over)loaded with potential and promises of absolute magnificence yet to come. If there's one thing the BBC knows, it's how to make exciting trailers, and thus - increase our excitement, simultaneously. I can't wait. And I know I say that way too often, but my goodness did I love this! And how could anything make, er, everything more worth waiting for? I mean, it's Rose! And so much Rose, I was barely able to keep myself together! Walking, talking, crying, shooting - determined look in her eyes, leather jacket shining bright, mascara on the move - and she's got her classic ear rings on! Also, her acting was immaculate; spot-on and back to the old days; it blew me away! Here we've been kept in the dark (...pun intended) for so long; being fed (small and smaller and) the smallest pieces of information, one single piece at the time, for numerous months; and then, all of a sudden, they decide to bombard us with a whole load of gunfights and explosions and running and screaming and Billie Piper looking mysteriously mature, toughened-up and just extremely cool? Gah! Here's surprise issues for ya'! Additionally, there was Donna's comment about Rose Tyler returning, which sums up - pretty well - my own set of reactions, too. YES, it is good; no matter what, no matter how, no matter where. Second, David Tennant, the brilliance that is David Tennant's acting skills - and, not to mention The Doctor's grin at the prospect of having his darling beloved back! The sadness of the whole situation, everything's gone wrong (apparently), but at the same time: it's her, and she is coming back to him! Made my day! As great as the Moffat episodes may prove to be, I can't help looking the more forward to seeing Rose again and discover what kind of fighter chic she's been transformed into, after a few years with Alternate Universe Torchwood. Regardless if I cry or get scared shitless or is left in total misery, because it's so tragic, the lot of it; and all this is probably destined to happen; it will be fantastic. Utterly fantastic. Although the very word "fantastic" seems close to an understatement, right now. Judging from my own reactions, this trailer thing was made of pure divinity. Very James Bond, very Star Wars, very Matrix, very Modesty Blaise, and very much made up of all good things I love. Moreover, and to top it all: it's compressed into this one, single concept that seems based on, and constructed from, all good things that are there to be discovered, throughout the galaxies. "Doctor Who"; the one and only; made with an unparallelled measure of heart and ingenius soul. I rest my case and press rewind!

Last but not least, though, let me add some relevant links of interest, in terms of further trailer exploration and Whovianism:

Planet Gallifrey's breakdown, with screen caps
BBC official site, with a special puzzle or two, and a countdown
Blogtor Who, brilliant blog with loads of news and pics


Tom said...

Glad you enjoyed ESC as much as I did then! I too am an armchair fanatic, and I prefer it that way to be honest.

The final was great, though I think most of the results were disappointing. I voted for Portugal, Israel, Turkey, Ukraine, Serbia AND Norway. Norway's song wasn't the most impressive I have to say but Maria was stunning in that blue dress, her vocals were excellent and the overall performance was just very captivating. I think that explains her well deserved 5th place!

I don't think Russia deserved anywhere near 1st place though and Azerbaijan was equally as awful. My country, the UK, came last as you know. I don't think it deserved it at all but then again, I wouldn't have voted for it myself, and the songs that get points are the favourites of the most individuals. I expect not many people disliked it but not many people liked it enough to vote for it either.

By the way, I also get absurdly excited when I hear the EBU signature tune. XD

elgen said...

oi, har ikke sett traileren før! visste ikke at Rose kommer neste gang. i de andre trailerne var ingenting om Rose. Gleder meg på søndag!