Considering Stefan Raab’s career…

… this is the guy who started it all:

Ray Cokes was a freaking god on MTV, I watched this EVERY night. Best show ever.

I still think he should have his own show on TV these days…

It looks like somebody posted his last 8 shows on YouTube – great effort, here’s the first part:

Am still in Eurovision Song Contest mood…

… so I did some googling tonight and found these classics on YouTube:

This is probably the year I started enjoying the Eurovision Song Contest. I remember watching this with Hannes and Bastian, after returning from a very cool trip to Bonn to a two day seminar on the Euro, all expenses paid for by the Bundespresseamt (I had a great time, but a complete waste of tax payer money to send five 12-graders to Bonn and put them up in an expensive hotel).

This is also the first time I scored the contest, and later even wrote an article in our school paper about it. 13 years ago – shit I’m getting old.

I think this is when Stefan Raab (who wrote and produced the song) started to take the Eurovision Song Contest into the 21st century (and away from Ralph Siegel, who tried to keep it in the 70s). Notice how the audience is all seated, and compare it with the opening act from Saturday night:

While I think Raab’s ego might be one size too big, I guess you need an ego like that to be as successful as Raab.

That act also reminded me of Raab’s 2000 performance at the Eurovision Song Contest:

He’s certainly had an amazing career.

On an unrelated note – 11 years later I still think “Wadde Hadde Dudde Da” sounds like “Say You’ll Be There” from the Spice Girls:

Then again – nearly every song from Saturday night reminded me of some other song (see my live blog below), I guess in this day and age it’s difficult not to sound familiar, except if you invent a new genre, such as Lady Gaga or Eminem…

Eurovision 2011 Live Blog

Due to my location over the past few years (a small resort in the Maldives), I’ve not been able to watch the Eurovision Song Contest since 2008, but tonight I’m only two hours ahead of Western Europe, so I’m gonna attempt my first live blog since the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.

In past years there has been much controversy around the overperformance of Eastern European acts due to cross-voting, which I also commented on in 2008. In the following two years however, Western European acts won (in my eyes due to increased quality), so it will be interesting to see what happens tonight.

22:38: The live feed from is working well, let’s hope it stays this way throughout the contest.

22:53: The live feed is now only showing a loop of a Schwarzkopf Sponsoring ad every few seconds, hope this changes in a couple of minutes…

22:55: Obviously, I’m not the only one missing Terry Wogan’s brilliant commentary. He stopped doing it after the 2008 event because he just couldn’t take the Eastern European Cross-voting anymore. I really miss his sarcasm.

23:00: Here’s the live feed!

23:01: Amazing, I’m sitting here in Abu Dhabi, listening to the Eurovision melody. That’s also globalization…

23:05: Stefan Raab get’s to open, not a big fan of his version though… Nice to see him perform again though, always thought he was a great entertainer.

23:08: Oh, Lena is there after all… Is Raab stealing her limelight?

23:12: So this is Fortuna’s stadium? Not living in Germany since 2006, I don’t even know what league they are playing in anymore. Anyway, here’s a shoutout to Aleksandar Ristic, whereever you are.

23:13: Yeah, never heard of Judith before, but she is nice to look at.

23:13: So voting is open before the performances? Won’t this give an advantage to early acts?

23:15: Finland – a country ballad. Quite easy to listen to, actually… I think if Robbie Williams sings this, it goes platinum.

23:18: Bosnia Herzegovina – again easy to listen to, but does not have anything very catchy in my opinion. Very 70s.

Some comments on Twitter:

miss_s_b RT @weekspotblog: When did Christopher Lee become Bosnian? #Eurovision

Lizzochka RT @natashamay_: Bosnia & herzegovina, it’s 2011 not 1911. #Eurovision

23:23: Denmark – this sounds eerily familiar. I can’t quite place it though. Catchy, could score well. Boygroup appeal could help get young female callers.

23:25: Probably the best performance so far. Sounds a bit like Boyzone.

23:26: Lithuania – sounds like a West End musical ballad.

From twitter – I’m not the only one thinking musical:

writerJames RT @mrchrisaddison: Meanwhile, in a faraway lair, Sarah Brightman releases the flying monkeys. #Eurovision

Amaya_7 RT @Luciaaa_T: This sounds like some kind of Disney song… #Eurovision

I also thought Disney, it’s a bit like Aladdin.

Not catchy enough to win, if you ask me.

23:30: Hungary – After half a minute I think she can win. Reminds me a bit of Joana Zimmer: “I believe”

Yep, she can win. By the way, what is Joana Zimmer doing these days…?

By the way, I could really do without the 30 second intro videos, but I guess they need some segue between acts.

From Twitter:
JAKAZiD Hungary’s song sounds like something Cascada would rape. #eurovision

I agree with that, had Cascada in my mind when hearing this.

23:34: Ireland – My passport requires me to support this ;-) It sounds a little like Britney Spears’ “Womanizer”, sung by Jean Paul Gaultier Models.

Not huge fan of it, but still better than most of the UK acts of the past 10 years…

23:28: Have Hungary ranked ahead of Denmark and Finland at the moment after six acts.

23:39: Sweden – this is catchy. This also sounds a little like Cascada.

From Twitter: Sponge_Avengers RT @jamesjammcmahon: Wogan, if you’re reading this, now is the time to buy a bottle of gin and set up a twitter account #eurovision

23:41: This should rank well.

23:42: Next up, Estonia, in some very colorful dresses.

Why am I reminded of Glee? I love twitter, again somebody who wrote the same independent of me:

___Andrew She looks like a wannabe Rachel from Glee. #eurovision

Also a good comparison:

raghavmodi #Eurovision Estonia’s Shaarpay (High School Musical) is in – Jaani – OOOOOkay the lyrics are killing it

Gotta love random pop culture allegories.

It is somewhat catchy though… Got it ranked 3rd so far, behind Hungary and Sweden.

Another good comparison:

vickyloras I wanna be Katy Perry #eurovision #heeeeeelp

23:46: Greece – have they had any success since their win a couple of years ago? Can’t remember.

The singer looks like Ricky Martin. The other guy reminds a Tweeter of Vanilla Ice:

jackers Hes dressed like Vanilla Ice #Eurovision

Fair comment. Like the singer, he’s not bad. But not too keen on the song in total. Ranking it second to last, just ahead of Bosnia Herzegovina for now.

Twitter: spoustaj If anyone finds out how Greece made it to the finals please, please let the #Eurovision people know of this flaw in the system

Sorry, there are simply too many flaws in the system…

23:51: Russia – Is it Grease?

I simply love it when Tweeters think the same:

dako El de #eurovision es el nuevo Travolta 2.0

Russia usually submits some of the best performances. Although, it’s getting better. Not catchy enough though.

23:54: France – Let’s see what they come up with, they’re often too artistic and not enough pop (in my humble assessment).

Sounds like Vangelis – Conquest of Paradise. And yes, they’ve gone artistic again.

Great comparison: RaudhrGarm LESTAT! #Eurovision

Easy to listen two Opera, but not catchy enough to win this, although let’s see what else he brings.

STEWIEHPEE RT @mrchrisaddison: Ooh. It’s the surprising opening scene to Pirates Of The Caribbean 4. #Eurovision

Now this is a tweet I don’t appreciate during a Eurovision Song Contest:

Pugwall83 Is anyone else hoping for a mischievous #eurovision VT editor slipping the Nuremberg Address footage in with all these ‘nice’ Germans.

Anyway, interesting song, not cutting it for me though.

23:59: Italy – my thoughts are covered in this tweet, couldn’t say it better:

lihapasteija Italy sounds so quaint, but it’s not a winner. It’s sweet, though. #eurovision

Also a good comparison:

janeruffino Fucking Italian Buble. #eurovision – but I like Buble, so I’d not be using the “Fucking” in this case.

He’s a decent Crooner, but that won’t win the contest. Have him ranked in the middle, 7th out of 12 so far.

00:02: Ah, they’re taking a break and are going to the Green Room. Christopher Lee from Bosnia apparently participated a long time ago. He wore the same jacket the last time, it’s 15 years old.

They’ve gone through 12 songs in 50 minutes, that’s an impressive pace they pull off each year.

00:04: Switzerland – sounds a bit like a female Otis Redding (“Sitting on the top of the bay”). She’s not bad.

Reminds me of something else, can’t quite place it, and have not yet seen the right comparison on Twitter.

Twitter for Eurovision is awesome.

Have them ranked 5th for now out of 13. Hungary, Sweden, Estonia, Denmark are in front.

00:07: UK are next. Let’s see whether they’ve finally send something decent again (such as Gina G, or Katrina and the Waves).

Of course it’s a boy group. East 17 are back! Just a little softer and less rap. And less catchy.

This captures it in a nutshell: MrAidanJohnson their harmonies are awful… Your voices dont go… #eurovision

It’s not bad, I can see how it definitely can chart, and might even do well here tonight, but the comment above is correct.

00:12: Moldova – It’s the B52s as Gnomes? It really reminds me of “Love Shack”. Ranking them 3rd to last.

00:16: Germany – finally I get to see Lena live after missing her win last year. Am not a huge fan of her song this year, but let’s see how she does.

I just don’t think it’s catchy enough to win the contest. Not sure how it will perform. It’s easy to listen to though.

Am ranking it 5th for now.

00:20: Romania – I immediately like it. It reminds me a little of The Cure, not sure why. Catchy.

It’s a bit like Take That – there’s some Gary Barlow in there. I’m ranking it 2nd after Hungary.

00:24: Austria – woah. I like it. She should be doing a Bond Title Song.

I’m really impressed. I’m ranking this first. This is like Vanessa Amorosi with “Heroes” during the 2000 games in Sydney.

By the way, what is Vanessa Amorosi doing these days?

00:28: Azerbaijan – Woah again. I really like this as well…

Ranking it 2nd so far.

00:32: Slovenia – yikes, the quality has really improved in the second half of the contest. I think I’m getting the Eurovision 2011 record on iTunes tomorrow morning.

She’s a bit like Anastacia. Really like it. Am ranking it 4th for now, behind Austria, Azerbaijan and Hungary.

00:37: Iceland – very 1960s. Easy listening, but would not go out of my way to listen to it.

Have ranked ‘em 15th out of 21 so far.

A lot of Financial Crisis references on Twitter re Iceland, one example:

andrewburnett RT @journodave: Vote for Iceland? Vote? They’re lucky we haven’t annexed them. #eurovision

00:42: Spain – Somewhat catchy.

From Twitter: velvetvocals no that’s a proper #Eurovision song, well done #Spain. Full of cheese and terrible dancing!

I actually liked it – ranking ‘em 5th!

00:45: Ukraine – 3rd last act for tonight.

Cool, they’re creating art live on stage with sand. That person is really talented. I’d buy art from her.

Distracting from the song though. Which is not a bad one.

Everybody on Twitter is commenting on the sand paintings, virtually nobody about the song. I like it, it’s decent pop.

Just moved into 5th position on my board.

00:50: Serbia – let’s me refer to this quote from Twitter:

TheRealJessieJ This song is straight out of Hairspray! #eurovision

Agree with this one: karenuk1969 #eurovision – Serbia – Quite like this. Love the hair & fashion. Song not so much. 7 out of 10. Quite a high standard overall tonight though

Have ranked them 8th, thought it was quite catchy towards the end.

Last song, let’s see who we’re missing…

00:53: Georgia!

Interesting dress… Song fills an empty niche in tonight’s contest, has not been much rock tonight. Oh, and we have a rapper. 2 Unlimited anybody?

I like it – very 90s. Am ranking it 6th.

00:58: Okay, that’s it, we’re thru with the 25 songs.

Here’s my ranking as per my observations tonight:

  1. Austria
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Hungary
  4. Slovenia
  5. Ukraine
  6. Georgia
  7. Sweden
  8. Spain
  9. Romania
  10. Estonia
  11. Denmark
  12. Germany
  13. Serbia
  14. Switzerland
  15. Finland
  16. United Kingdom
  17. France
  18. Italy
  19. Iceland
  20. Ireland
  21. Lithuania
  22. Moldova
  23. Russia
  24. Greece
  25. Bosnia Herzegovina

It’s very well possible that I’d change my mind if I could listen to the songs all over again. I did make some changes above after seeing the quick rundown….

01:06: Do I stay up for the voting? I guess so…

01:12:  Overall a strong field this year, much stronger than in most years. I enjoyed most songs, which I usually do not. I feel this is a much stronger than last year. Don’t think Lena would have one with Satellite this year.

However, in some years there’s a song which will be remembered years from now, I’m not sure we have such a song like that this time.

01:28: The results are starting to come in!

01:31: Greece and Ukraine are strong so far…

01:35: 12 Points from Cyprus to Greece – nobody saw that coming ;-)

01:36: Austria is not doing as well as I’d hoped.

01:38: The girl from Armenia looks like Angelina Jolie.

01:40: The crowd does not seem to appreciate the block-voting.

01:45: Please let Germany finish ahead of the UK

01:47: Why are they all saying “Here are the first results…” – are there more to come?

01:48: Looks like Ireland is doing very well…

01:49: It’s amazing that even San Marino (population 31K) has a vote, and of course sends 12 points to Italy. There’s not only block voting in Eastern Europe.

01:51: In 2008, when I last live-blogged, I got 4 of the top 6 right. This time it appears as if I’m quite far off, with exception of Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

01:53: There are still a lot of nasty comments on Twitter:

samuel_flynn #eurovision 12 points to austria to say sorry for the invasion


01:58: The girl from Greece is smokin!

01:59: It’s still a very close contest. Also glad that every act has receive a good number of points.

02:01: Of course the French are the only ones not addressing Europe in different languages than their own.

02:07: I’d love Azerbaijan to win – would be something different. Should try to go to Baku next year if that happens…

02:09: Azerbaijan’s lead is now quite considerable, statistically it’s becoming more and more likely they’ll win it.

02:16: The UK always complains about block voting, but they’re pissed off that Ireland’s not given them 12 points:

awibee RT @Queen_UK: Your interest rate has just gone up by 200% Ireland. And one’s coming over next week to collect. #eurovision

CharleyGC 6 Ireland? 6? We gave you 12! What is this? You are the only ones that vote for us! #Eurovision

x_MiSsClAiRe_X RT @coy0te: FUCK OFF IRELAND! Where were our points? I VOTED FOR JEDWARD DAMMIT!!#eurovision

1dbieberswag Asif Ireland only give us 8 points? what the fuck? hahaha #eurovision


02:18: Azerbaijan has won it. I had ‘em ranked 2nd, so that works for me! Congrats to Azerbaijan!!!

Great performance, like it more each time I hear it…

I’m off to bed, am up again in just over 4 hours, have to work!

Bayern Munich

The Bundesliga season 2010/11 just ended, with Borussia Dortmund winning the league, but with some remarkable statistics from Bayern Munich, who by all accounts have had a very disappointing season:

  • Best team of the second half of the season
  • 50 Goals in the second half of the season (only four teams shot more in the ENTIRE season!!!)
  • 20 goals conceded in the first half of the season, 20 goals conceded in the second half of the season

Essentially the only change between the first half of the season and the second half of the season was the availability of three players:

  • Arjen Robben: only returned from an injury sustained during the World Cup for the second half of the season, scoring 12 times in 14 matches, and adding 10 assists.
  • Franck Ribery: injured in parts of the first half of the season, also played in 14 matches in the second half of the season, scoring 5 goals and 11 assists.
  • Mario Gomez: not injured, but only got his first start of the season on Match Day 7! Before he had been brought in after the 70th minute five times. Shot his 28 goals  in the last 26 games, and 16 in the second half of the season. Imagine how many goals he might have shot if he had been starting from the first match of the season! 35 goals would have been possible, 33 or so likely.

Thomas Müller played most matches of the first half of the season, but of course benefitted from the players above rejoining the team, scoring 8 of his 12 goals in the second half of the season, as well as 8 of his 13 assists.

Nonetheless, it was Bayern’s defense (or lack thereof) that resulted in this disastrous (in comparison to their – and everybody’s –  usual expectations) season, and they need to bring in at least one top notch central defender, one right or left back (with Lahm taking the other position) and find a successor for Butt in goal (which apparently will be Neuer, which would settle that position at Bayern Munich for the next 10 years and is easily worth the 20 Million Euro that he’ll supposedly cost).

Unfortunately this was all already very clear after they lost the Champions League Final against Inter Milan last year, but they made none of these transactions, so let’s see if they get it right this time. There offense is not far off from the quality of Real or Barcelona, but their defense is light years away.

Ein Kanzler dem Handlungsfähigkeit…

wichtiger war als weiter im Amt zu bleiben:

Defintiv ein erfolgreicherer Kanzler als Merkel, Kohl, oder Schmidt (der unglaublich smart ist, aber im Amt wenig durchgesetzt hat). Hartz IV hat Deutschland gerettet, aber das kapieren heute zu wenige.

One of my favorite quotes of all time

Sam Seaborn: “Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes. We need gigantic revolutionary changes… Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense.”

I am sick and tired…

of Hooligans rioting at football matches just because their team is not playing well.

After Cologne’s Germany striker Lukas Podolski netted a 93rd-minute penalty to seal his team’s and drop Frankfurt to second-bottom, angry home fans poured onto the pitch at the final whistle.
Frankfurt players had to flee into the changing rooms and were protected by hundreds of riot police, who beat back a group of charging fans and made several arrests.
“The behaviour of the fans is just terrible,” admitted Frankfurt chairman Wilhelm Bender.
This is the second Saturday in succession that Frankfurt fans have allowed their emotions to boil over.
A group of 200 fans stoned the team’s bus after they were beaten 3-0 at Mainz last weekend and the club cancelled training on police advice early last week before resuming their preparations in secrecy.

Seriously, why is this tolerated? There should be ZERO tolerance for such behaviour – stoning a bus? Players having to flee? When will we draw a line in the sand and deal with this?

Kevin on record