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It's that time of year again: the Eurovision Song Contest (videos available from the site), wherein the winner holds presidency of the EU for the following year, and is legally entitled to rename one other country of its choice.

Actually, it's not been too bad thus far - with 10 of the 24 qualifying entrants (of 36 in all) through, I'd say I actually enjoyed Serbia-Montenegro's entry quite a lot, along with Malta's. Albania's was rather fluffy, but not bad for what it was trying to be. Much as I hate to admit it, I'll have to rank Germany as leading contender for the coveted nul points this year. Hm. Bosnia-Hercegovina's isn't bad - very lightweight bit of technodisco, but it's not yet another ballad..

Continuing the musical theme, here's a handy recap of just how well the innocents of the RIAA have been most grievously forced to mislead the public, courtesy of quentincoyote, who would also like to point out another's tale of getting stiffed on a tip. Beyond its key conclusion between the differences of units shipped and sold, it's also worth noting the aspect of revenue - a lower price per unit can lead to a lower total, without any loss in unit sales.

And here comes episode five of Paranoia Agent. Yay!

[edit: corrected Cyprus to Malta, for "On Again, Off Again".. and yes, I voted for Serbia-Montenegro]
I actually enjoyed Serbia-Montenegro's entry quite a lot

Great Frith. I was with Wogan on that one. Still, I do agree with you that the Maltese entry was decent.
I'm plainly very much out of phase with Terry onmusical tastes, I think. ^_^ I was astonished to see Germany do so (comparatively) well, and even Sweden's wholly pedestrian entry. Still, whilst I wasn't bowled over by it, I didn't mind Greece's entry, and the Ukraine's was fun enough - what it lacked in verve was more than made up for by Wogan's comments. *chuckle*

Still, at least Britain's entry received what it deserved; why was Wogan enthusing so over it? All I heard was a perfectly passable, routine, uninspired ballad.. nothing to put people off, but hardly one to set a nation's pulse racing, their hearts aflame, or ascend their souls.

Ye gods. Paranoia Agent 5 went off in a.. um.. new direction. Definitely not a straightforward series. *chuckle*

I'd agree with him on the regional voting, to some degree - of course, that's partially explained by the likelihood that they're simply going to be more familiar with their neighbors' music and tastes. Still, the string of Baltic "twelves" for the Ukraine did become a tiny bit predictable, to name but one regional grouping. I'd like to know which countries perform public voting, and which go by a panel or suchlike, if they're not all equivalently chosen.
Still, at least Britain's entry received what it deserved; why was Wogan enthusing so over it?

Probably because he was comparing it with 2003's truly awful effort, whcih even without the political angle would probably have struggled to get out of single figures.

I'd like to know which countries perform public voting

All of them, apparently: I believe it's now mandatory, though there are back-up juries in case the phones go down.
All of them, apparently

Really? (That ought to be in capitals, but there's a worldwide font shortage going on) That's.. surprising, in light of some of the voting. On the other paw, I suppose there simply are old ties amidst many of these regions. (Which, in the UK's case, amounts to a guaranteed trivial or null vote from France :)

(Which makes me wonder if Cornwall and Brittany couldn't just enter separately..)

I do need to download (where possible) the entries for later listening. Hopefully they'll be kept up for a little while; once I've hopefully got DSL active, that'll be much easier than at present.

Poty the Maltese entry did such mediocre business, as it were - not an exciting theme, but well executed, with some quite accomplished voices behind it. Ah well.
who would also like to point out another's tale of getting stiffed on a tip.

If there ever were a Golden Globes for the blogging community, this would certainly be deserving of best comedy of the year.

As for eurovision, I am looking forward to seeing the entries. Are they available in purely streaming, or can one download the videos for offline appreciation?