Category Archives: ireland

French Fry Diary 483: Authentic Irish Food

Eurovision 2013 – More from the First Semi-Final

Denmark – “Only Teardrops” by Emmelie de Forest


Hmmm… someone needs a new conditioner. Seriously, this one is a contender. Catchy tune, part ballad, lotsa drums, traditional flute, and a beautiful woman, and not too outrageous – if there was a formula for Eurovision, this would be it.

Estonia – “Et Uus Saaks Alguse” by Birgit


Estonia is usually a fierce competitor, but this year we just get a ballad.

Ireland – “Only Love Survives” by Ryan Dolan


No Jedward or Dustin the Turkey this year, Ireland gets a bit more serious about the competition with this Ryan Dolan entry that continues to grow on me every time I hear it.

Lithuania – “Something” by Andrius Pojavis


I’m not sure which is more bizarre, the background dancers, or the Abraham Lincoln drag… craziness in the Eurovision tradition, love it.

Moldova – “O Mie” by Aliona Moon


Wow, that is some outfit, and a lot of hairspray… pretty song though.

The Last Five Entries to the First Eurovision Semi-Final 2012

Russia: “Party for Everybody” by Buranovskiye Babushki

Hungary: “Sound of Our Hearts” by Compact Disco

Austria: “Woki Mit Deim Popo” by Trackshittaz

Moldova: “Lautar” by Pasha Parfeny

Ireland: “Waterline” by Jedward

Poor Ireland. Why they are not always a part of the Final is beyond me. They always try so hard, and they are the only country to win twice with the same performer. Unfortunately, they went with Jedward again this year. Sigh. Better luck next year, I guess.

I have to admit, Austria is kinda catchy though. We’ll see. The First Semi-Finals take place on May 22nd, in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Eurovision 2009 Semi-Finals 2

The Second Semi-Finals of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest began with a weird sort of hip hop Mummers thing without the feathers, past hits of the Contest on accordion and banjo, if you can believe it, or at least that’s what it felt like to me. And the polar bears were scary.

The same hosts, Natalya Vodyanova and Andrey Malakhov, were back, annoying as ever. Where’s Terry Wogan when you need him? And the same corny inserts and intros as Tuesday as well, I guess they come with the hosts. Either way, we’re off to find who are ten (nine plus a wildcard) finalists are for this round.

01 Croatia – Igor Cukrov featuring Andrea’s “Lijepa Tena”
Igor is sexy, but someone ought to tell him there’s such a thing as trying too hard. The charm is on overload, and the wind machine wasn’t helping. The wind made the women look like they were witches cavorting on a “Dark Shadows” cliff top. It’s a beautiful song, as is his companion Andrea, but I have to wonder why she didn’t sing the whole song. I liked her voice more.

02 Ireland – Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy’s “Et Cetera”
I like this one, always have. Very frenetic, very 1980s, very rockergirl – but it just might be too mainstream for Eurovision. I hope not. As much as I want it to go through, it probably won’t.

03 Latvia – Intars Busulis’ “Probka”
This guy looks scared. Maybe that’s his natural expression? Or an affectation like Fred Schneider or Danny Elfman? The vocals are stronger than the original recording, and their energy is apparent. Strong finish, I just wish I knew what he was so scared of.

04 Serbia – Marko Kon & Milaan’s “Cipela”
The ‘shoe’ song, or at least what it’s translated as. Wow, that’s some ‘fro, dude. But on second look, it appears that everyone on stage spent the afternoon with a demented hairstylist. Nice computer image effects, I gotta admit it’s different. It’s catchy, and could very well make it through.

05 Poland – Lidia Kopania’s “I Don’t Wanna Leave”
Not my cup of tea, but this is the kind of song that always gets through, and sometimes wins. I’ll be honest though, I would rather have taken a nap. She’s no Celine Dion – you can take that any way you want to.

The crowd certainly seems more energetic tonight. Maybe the soldiers with guns aren’t marching through the audience as often as they did on Tuesday. And the flag and banner wavers don’t seem to be restricted to only one section either. Or maybe someone explained to the audience that this was Eurovision…

06 Norway – Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale”
This was an early favorite, and this performance did not disappoint. Alexander’s got talent and charisma, and his dancers were a hoot. Final-bound.

07 Cyprus – Christina Metaxas’ “Firefly”
Unlike Ireland or Norway, this was not one of my favorites before this, but I have to say that the unique presentation kept my attention, or at least more than Poland. It’s amazing what giant glowing icecubes can do. But then again, on a Eurovision bizarreness scale, giant glowing icecubes are amateur hour.

08 Slovakia – Kamil Mikulčík & Nela Pocisková’s “Leť Tmou”
Zzzzzzz…. Sorry, dozed off. Just watch, now this one will win.

09 Denmark – Brinck’s “Believe Again”
This Lionel Ritchie soundalike was an early frontrunner, and while he’s almost as good looking as Ritchie (again, take that any way you want to), the stage presentation of this song is much better than the audio version suggests. Better than expected, good chance to get through.

10 Slovenia – Quartissimo featuring Martina’s “Love Symphony”
I’ve always liked this entry but wondered how audiences would react to a mostly instrumental performance. I guess I had nothing to worry about. Except that they would hide the woman behind the only vocals in the song – she’s behind that curtain much too long. It’s not like she’s Martha Washington or anything, let us see her! I think this will hurt their chances.

11 Hungary – Zoli Ádok’s “Dance With Me”
Another frontrunner that conjures the ghosts of disco. I thought it interesting that he started the song lying on the floor, a stunt that helped Russia win last year. Perhaps he should have also taken off his shoes. Despite all that, Zoli is very hot and moves with confidence and sex that should have girls, and boys, all over Europe voting for Hungary.

12 Azerbaijan – AySel & Arash’s “Always”
This one is another entry that is a favorite of friends that does nothing for me. The stage show is better than the song despite the weird torn costumes of the back-up dancers. The charisma of the singers more than made up for what I think is a weak entry.

13 Greece – Sakis Rouvas’ “This Is Our Night”
Greece is always a strong competitor in Eurovision, and 2009 is no exception. The song is great dynamic dance music, but I have to wonder if Sakis attended the same dance rehearsals as his back-up dancers. He seems out of sync more often than not. Still a hot performance.

14 Lithuania – Sasha Son’s “Love”
Powerful song with a very simple performance. I would have rather had Sasha Son stay behind the piano, he’s not a dancer, not even a subtle one. I also thought the “Hope” sign and the flame in the hand was a bit much. It’s like he’s playing the Serbia card. Still this just might win.

15 Moldova – Nelly Ciobanu’s “Hora Din Moldova”
As much as this song and stage performance begs to be in a Dumpsta Players production, I don’t think it has the stuff to make it to the Finals, despite all the jumping around and the guy yelling with the big stick.

16 Albania – Kejsi Tola’s “Carry Me In Your Dreams”
Albania’s teen idol pop princess, her teenybopper back-up singers, mimes and … is that Disco Gumby? Wow. Did someone slip something into my drink?

Um, a toaster? Yeah, I’ve definitely been dosed…

17 Ukraine – Svetlana Loboda’s “Be My Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl)”
I love this song and Svetlana, so much that I bought the album (not an easy task for an American), and I guess there’s no hiding this is my pick to win it – whether that will actually happen is a whole ‘nother thing. A lot of money was certainly spent on the sets and costumes. She is certainly a stage visionary on the scale of Kate Bush or Madonna, but I don’t know how this will affect Eurovision audiences. And I don’t know about her playing drums or the half-naked gladiators, but I have my fingers crossed.

18 Estonia – Urban Symphony’s “Rändajad”
Beautiful woman and a beautiful song, and a sobering moment after Svetlana Loboda. I think this has a good chance.

19 The Netherlands – The Toppers’ “Shine”
Their wardrobe people are mad at them, aren’t they? Catchy uplifting song that in my opinion was stronger in the studio. If they were wilder than just the costumes they might have had a shot.

Wow, this is a hard one. Tough competition tonight. My picks to go through to the Finals: Estonia, Ukraine, Serbia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece and Lithuania. We’ll see, shortly.

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Eurovision 2009 Ireland

No turkeys this year, it looks like Ireland has finally gotten serious about Eurovision – and it looks like they have a real chance too. “Et Cetera” by Sinead Mulvey and Black Daisy is one of my favorite entries of the field so far.

The Quiet Man


Last night I watched The Quiet Man again. I’ve probably seen the flick twenty or thirty times. Not only is it one of my favorite movies, it’s probably one of the best films ever made.

Locally in Philadelphia, channel 6, WPVI-TV has made a habit of showing this film late Sunday night either before or after St. Patrick’s Day. They’ve been doing it for at least thirty years, maybe more. It’s a pretty shitty print to be honest – faded and edited and chopped up, but it’s still become a welcome tradition. Back in the 1980s when my mom was still alive we used to stay up and watch it every year. It was never a planned event, we just found ourselves up at that time and watching the film all the way through together. It’s one of the only traditions for St. Pattie’s that our family ever really had, and I miss it.

I’ll probably watch it again today sometime, partly for nostalgia and partly to get the taste of channel 6’s lousy print out of my eyes. Brilliant acting, perfect directing and unparalleled casting aside – it’s a beautiful film. You get to see the glory of Ireland in big bright technicolor. If you haven’t seen The Quiet Man before, take out the time and do it. Romance, comedy, drama, music, it’s got it all and it’s one of the best.

Dustin the Turkey

It’s almost Eurovision time and you know I love me some Eurovision. And while the question of where this year’s competition may be held due to riots and threats of war is still up in the air, entries are online for all to view.

Ireland who has repeatedly placed at the bottom of the voting most years in Eurovision, last year second to last with an old-fashioned Irish ballad, has decided to pull out all the stops to win this year. Much like the UK attempted (but failed) to bring Morrissey to the stage last year, Ireland has recruited its latest and some say greatest pop sensation to compete in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest… Dustin the Turkey.

Well, I’ll say this, it’s much better than Scooch…