Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wolfgang Hampel, Betty MacDonald and 8th place Betty MacDonald fan club ESC voting 2016

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Wolfgang Hampel - and Betty MacDonald fan club fans,

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Jamie-Lee with Ghost  got over 5,6 million views and is one of my very hot favourites this year.

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Romania should take part because it's a great song. 

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2016 Eurovision favourites Russia in jury voting scandal

2016 Eurovision favourites Russia in jury voting scandal
(Picture: Getty)
Russia is today embroiled in yet another Eurovision scandal after one of their professional jurors decided to periscope themselves whilst voting on tonight’s semi final.Russia is the favourite to win the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest final this Saturday. Tonight they compete in the first semi final. Eurovision organisers will now have to decide whether the Russian broadcaster responsible for the country’s Eurovision participation will be penalised or whether their jury results will be declared invalid.The juries vote on the dress rehearsal 24 hours before the live final. Their votes are then calculated alongside the televote to calculate each country’s score.
The Event Supervisor for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden told Metro: “We are carefully looking into it and will issue a statement later this afternoon”.
Russia’s entrant Sergey Lazarev is not connected at all to the scandal and there are fears that the troublesome situation could affect his chances of success.
Anastasiya Stotskaya, a 33 year old singer broadcast via social media app Periscope during the performances of Netherlands and Armenia. The broadcast quickly went viral as Eurovision fans realised what was going on. Stotskaya has over 1800 followers on Periscope and has received almost 200,000 ‘likes’ for her broadcasts.

Sergey Lazarev is Russia’s entrant and is not involved in the scandal
 (Picture: YouTube)
A google search also reveals that she is Ukrainian and fans have been quick to question her partiality as a judge with Ukraine as second favourites behind Russia in the multi-million pound Eurovision betting markets.The Periscope video was removed quickly as the scandal broke but it had already made it onto YouTube where it has over 9,000 views on one of the uploads alone.
Because the broadcast shows two entries including camera angles and special effects that were not to be broadcast until the live show airs at 8pm tonight on BBC4.
Additionally, the professional juror appears more concerned with how she appears on her own live broadcast than what’s going on on-screen. Meanwhile, another juror is seen looking out of a window and missing the opening of Armenia’s song,a powerful part of the performance.
Anastasia gives a wink to her camera after the Dutch performance and makes a sign to say ‘keep this a secret’ at the end of her broadcast. It seems highly unlikely that she expected a live broadcast to be kept secret for very long.

50% of votes are via televoting and 50% are from professional juries who must keep their voting secret until after the Eurovision Song Contest final on Saturday night. Eurovision voting is carefully managed and overseen and audited by PwC.
The EBU publishes the names of all jurors in advance of the competition. Russia’s jurors are Larisa Rubalskaya, Denis Maydanov, Olipmiada Teterich Lipa, Oscar and Anastasia Stotskaya.
Earlier this year, there were reports of an alleged homophobic incident suffered by the Israeli entrant Hovi Star when he travelled to Russia to perform at a Eurovision preview event in Moscow.
Then Russia’s Eurovision entrant, superstar Sergey Lazarev fell from his stage prop during his first rehearsal at the Globen Arena last week. Two weeks before rehearsals, footage emerged of Lazarev appearing to collapse during a concert in St Petersburg.
Metro Blogs is a place for opinions. These opinions belong to the author and are not necessarily shared by Metro.

            Very exciting ESC 2016 news

Romania expelled from the Eurovision Song Contest
(Picture: YouTube)
For the first time in the 61 year history of the Eurovision Song Contest, a country has been expelled from the competition. Romania has been thrown out of the competition after its national broadcaster TVR failed to make payments to the European Broadcasting Union (the organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest) that date as far back as 2007. Romania have one of the strongest Eurovision Song Contest records, having a 100% record for qualifying for the Eurovision final. They were due to take part in the Second Eurovision Song Contest semi final on Thursday 12th May. The running order of the show will not be recast following Romania’s elimination.
Ovidiu Anton was due to represent Romania with his pop-rock entry Moment of Silence. Romania will be silent for a lot longer than a moment. Ovidiu promoted the song at the London Eurovision Party on Sunday and was expected to reach a strong position in the Eurovision final on May 14th. In a statement released moments ago on the European Broadcasting Union website, it says:

TVR will now no longer be able to participate in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest and will lose access to other EBU member services including the Eurovision News and Sports News Exchanges, the right to broadcast specific sporting events, legal, technical and research expertise and lobbying services.
Romanian national broadcaster TVR’s debts to the EBU date back to 2007 and with no other Romanian broadcaster a member of the European Broadcasting Union, it is unlikely that Romania will return to the Eurovision Song Contest for a number of years. ‘This is of course disappointing for the artist chosen to represent Romania, for our colleagues at TVR who have prepared their participation so well this year and, not least, for Romanian viewers and the many Eurovision fans in the country,’ says Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU. Asked what this means for host broadcaster SVT, Sand replied: ‘As with all participants, SVT has been preparing for Romania’s act thoroughly over the past weeks. To take an act out at such late stage is of course a little disruptive, but it will not negatively affect the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest in any other way.’ Romania at the Eurovision Song Contest Romania have twice finished third at the Eurovision Song Contest, in 2005 with Luminita Anghel & Sistem with the song Let Me Try and in 2010 with Paula Selling & Ovi and their entry Playing with Fire. Their 2006 entry Tornero by Mihai became one of the biggest summer chart and club hits across Europe in 2006. Mihai took part in the Romanian national final again this year, losing out to Ovidiu. In 2011, Romania was represented by Hotel FM featuring British singer David Bryan. They campaigned extensively in the United Kingdom but failed to pick up any points from the UK, finishing 4th in their semi final, but only 17th in the final.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2016/04/22/romania-expelled-from-the-eurovision-song-contest-5833623/#ixzz46g9XpH39

Anthony Ko

Anthony Ko, our Lancashire correspondent in the UK, first became a Eurovision fan back in 2001. Since then, his passion for the Eurovision Song Contest has blossomed and he has never missed a single contest. His earliest memory of Nuša Derenda gave him the “Energy” to switch Eurovision allegiance to Slovenia in 2006. Twitter: @Bjorneo


  1. Jake
    April 18, 2016 @ 7:58 pm
    Christer is right about what he says, but is wrong about saying it. The person who is in charge of producing this year’s show and is responsible for putting the best possible show for all countries involved should not be going on record and saying “this country’s song will NOT win the contest”. He is showing bias before the UK even steps in Swedish soil– that means he will not give the performance the time a day on the night.
  2. G
    April 17, 2016 @ 9:46 pm
    He is right
  3. malfidus
    April 17, 2016 @ 7:37 pm
    I agree with him about Wogan — he was far too cynical and even a bit bitter by the end. I think Graham Norton is a big step in the right direction; he finds a better balance between the irreverent and the more serious, and he’s obviously passionate about the contest. I’d like to see him take the contest more seriously in general, but it’s important to have a light touch too. In any case, it’s unprofessional for Christer Björkman to pass judgement on one of this year’s entries given his role in helping host the contest. He’s right that we’re not going to win, but Joe & Jake’s entry is catchy and just as “good” as Denmark’s (if not better). It’s unfair on the artists for someone in his position to put it down, however politely.
  4. bella
    April 17, 2016 @ 5:57 pm
    He shouldnt have tell that! Maybe he is right but he will harm Frans.People is angry with Sweden.But its not Frans fault.
  5. Maya G
    April 17, 2016 @ 2:01 pm
    So now Björkman teaches the world how good music should sound like? How condescending.
    Sweden is rightfully doing well in the ESC, and the UK should indeed up their game (though I think their song this year is awesome), but the Swedes should practice some effing humility. They didn’t invent music, Eurovision is not their play thing and the sun doesn’t out of their a***.
    Also it’s not cool the he’s making this statement when involved in this year’s production and therefore has some power to make or break Jake & Joe.
  6. Fafefifo
    April 17, 2016 @ 1:11 pm
    I also think ESC should be more about “serious music” than “light entertainment”. I think the Swedish version is too much “kitsch”..too much glamour. If you want to see someone who really succeeds with making it serious as a music event…look at Estonia! Eesti laul has got many fans about ESC_fans, because of the “alternative” angle to it, and the focus on content more than visuals, and a more healthy musical credible “less is more attitude”.
    I’d like to add one thing. OK – I’ll be the first to admit the Swedish domination with ESC is TOO big. With all the Swedish penned / produced entrie, how ESC look more ad more like MF…too much glamour / kitsch, changing of things to make it more similar to MF etc….I really think ESC has become “too Swedish”. A feeling many fans share.
    BUT – in all fairness – it seems that many people “bash” Christer Björkman for his critism towards BBC BECAUSE he is Swedish. Unfair. The fact that you are Swedish, doesn’t make you MORE arrogant, more empowrering by defaulth…(even if there are certain people involved with ESC 2003/16 I feel are!). Swedish or not. A prominent figure or not. He might still have valid points! Why just get angry for something, just because the ciritism comes from Swedes. Would it be more acceptable if it came from Jon Ola Sand?
  7. Peter Haine
    April 17, 2016 @ 10:41 am
    What a silly man – he takes himself far too seriously. Surely everyone knows that this competition is just one huge joke? Terry Wogan taught us all how to treat it!
  8. Pip
    April 17, 2016 @ 4:06 am
    To be honest, the only thing that annoys me about Björkman’s comments is this idea of taking Eurovision ‘seriously’. I love Eurovision but for me, it doesn’t have to be 100% serious. The whole point of Eurovision was for countries to be united in a singing competition so whether you send a modern upbeat pop song, a dubstep operatic vampire or a killer ballad, it doesn’t matter. I actually am just happy to see countries send anything to the contest because I like it when more countries take part (and this year we’ve got Bulgaria, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina returning which is fabulous). And I actually think Joe & Jake is probably one of our better entries, so if Björkman wanted serious I’d say he got it!
    I find it funny that Björkman says the contest should be seen as entertainment because to me, the Eurovision is being taken so seriously that it has become less entertaining. Yes, the song quality over the last few years has been amazing but trying to listen to watch and listen to 26 amazing songs in a row is not entertaining to me because my attention starts to fade. I honestly miss the large amounts of Russian grannies, Scoochs, Verka Serduchkas, Krista Siegfrids and whatever else came on the stage. They may not have been winners to everyone (especially juries), but they gave us a nice break in the competition from very serious ballads and large amounts of pop songs.
    But what do I know, I’m just a member of the UK public who actually voted for Joe & Jake so clearly I don’t know what music entertainment is…
  9. Fafefifo
    April 17, 2016 @ 2:36 am
    On a general level, one can of course say as a “principle” that one should not interfere too much with other people’s business!
    BUT that doesn’t apply here I think! Like it or not – Christer is actually in this case 135 % SPOT ON! 🙂 I think if you compare UK and Sweden, there is no doubt Sweden wins 10-0 over UK in the footballmatch of “Which country takes ESC most seriosuly!”
    Of course – it’s not politially correct to “diss” someone who jut recently passed. But sentimentality aside, I hardly can’t honestly say Wogan (or even Norton now) do anything much POSITIVE for the image of ESC in UK. more make it a laughing stock, with the underlaying xenophbic musical arrogance that “We know how to make music, the rest of UK don’t”. Well, recent UK ESC results tell that maybe it’s not that right? And even if the songs deserve it or not, there IS a tendency of that the countries which really put most EFFORT into their NFs / ESC are the countries giainging most succes…..Quite fair really. And Sweden is a good example – like it or not…:
    I think it’s a big shame how ESC has been ptroatited as a joke in UK for ages, and let’s be honest it’s no doubt “Woganism” at least has a fair share of the part of the blame. In many ways, I actually feel sorry for UK ESC fans…. UK is such a great pop / rock country. Both for newcomers and established names. Such a pity of big the gap obviously is when it comes to ESC. Even if they deserve kudos for at least having a NF this year, it was a reather unspisired affair, with rather generic songs (and rather silly stereotypes indicating presentation I think).
  10. Andrey (from Russia)
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:57 pm
    Ooh… Definitely, Bjorkman is afraid of these handsome young UK guys, because they are supposed to steal lots of voices from his gloomy and dull hipster-Frans. And I like his nightmare – I like it so much! 🙂
  11. Petit voisin
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:28 pm
    Christer Björkman !!
  12. Fatima
    April 16, 2016 @ 10:19 pm
    For me, the most surprising thing coming out of this was that Graham Norton was attacked. I thought he was held in very high regard by the Eurovision cognoscenti, but this can no longer be true. I liked Graham in the 90s/00s when he was more of a cult figure on Channel 4, but with the BBC he’s got a bit too Hollywood with boring film stars on his chat show week after week.
  13. Amor A.
    April 16, 2016 @ 10:04 pm
    I agree with what he said. The U.K has produced some of the biggest music acts in history in the past and in the present music industry. Yet for some reason they don’t take the competition seriously at all. From the 50s to the late 90s they used to dominate ESC almost always placing in the top 10. But now its like “oh well”.
  14. David Who
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:29 pm
    The British papers went with the angle that Sir Terry Wogan was not only criticised, but disrespected. Indeed, they have a point there.
    Was Bjorkman unprofessional to talk down a delegation before the competition? Hypocritical yes, but unprofessional? I’m not sure. If a delegation really isn’t taking the contest seriously then it might be considered professional to call them out in the press these days – I really don’t know who holds Bjorkman to account on that, or if there are any “professional” guidelines to follow for that position. (I’m sure someone will enlighten me on that soon.)
    I agree with what Bjorkman said in principal, it’s just a shame that so much offence has been taken. So much for coming together.
  15. PhysalisFranchetti
    April 16, 2016 @ 8:07 pm
    I agree that block voting is not as prominent as it was back in the televoting years, but Russia still very nearly wins every year. Their worst performance recently was with the Tolmachevy twins, and they came 7th then (after having got into the situation with the Ukraine and with some anti-gay laws rattified at the same time). And that’s the point, the voting blocks don’t guarantee a win – think of it as trying to get over a 3m wall, we’re standing on the bottom and they are on a shelf about 2m up.
    I believe that it works like a contest within a contest – the televoters from the core Eastern block by and large only choose between songs from the Eastern block, and if Russia isn’t so good one year, they choose some other country’s song from within the gang. This type of behaviour was well-known to exist in the cold war, where judges (not in Eurovision, but in International sports, even chess) would preferentially vote for their allies.
    Voting blocks are just the sub-conscious-ish variety of getting on at Eurovision. However, we know that there is cheating going on as well; the EBU discarded one jury’s set of votes in 2014 and two sets in 2015. There are also other countries where the jurors absolutely do collaborate and they haven’t been challenged yet.
    This cheating was much more prevelant in 2014 than it was in 2015, but it still exists. It’s aim was to tie up high televote ranks with jury ranks in order to get points. Consider last year that countries like Spain finished 10 places lower than they should have done (if you averaged the ranks) – Spain did not tie up the jury votes and the televotes often. There were other countries who were overall ranked lower than 20th last year and yet they managed to tie up a few jury and televoting high enough ranks to get the points to finish quite high up the score board.
    The EBU brought in their new marking scheme I believe in 2014, with it was rumoured a new category added last year. That there was an increase in correlation (agreement) in the way the juries voted between 14 and 15 is statistically identifiable in the data. This is why the EBU have changed the marking scheme this year – they no longer require the televoting and the jury voting ranks to match up. This is not a return to the 2009 – 2012 voting though, the marking scheme has artificially boosted the top 6 ranked songs in the jury vote at the expense of the lower ranks. Effectively, the impact of the televote is now less than 50%, unless your televote is correlated across the board (i.e. you get a high televote rank in most countries).
  16. Skandar
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:41 pm
    The only problem with his opinion that he mixed poor J&J guys up in the issue with BBC. All other sentences were true.
  17. WillFran
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:13 pm
    This made the front page of the Mirror today, but he doesn’t come across well on it. It had a tone of ‘Silly foreniger dares criticise British/attack our late Wogan’ and was rather anti esc (as you’d expect from a tabloid).
    I think they should take all the scorn and venom they have for Eurovision and direct it at the X Factor instead (hate that show but they obsess over it).
    I don’t think Cowell has real interest in the contest but only says things like this after bad results just to keep his name in the papers.
  18. Denis
    April 16, 2016 @ 6:46 pm
    Block voting is still there yes, but it’s not as prominent as it was back then. It plays less of an outcome now, otherwise Russia wood have won every year with the amount of neighbours and diaspora they have. So it’s a mix.
    And yes, the Brits have been somewhat arrogant to the whole thing. Terry Wogan towards the end of hi career especially made it very obvious he couldn’t care less about it. Norton although softened has continued in that vein of “our song really is the best so let’s laugh at everyone else”. And blame politics when we end up badly”.
    And then you get all upset and cry baby when we call you out on your arrogance, and calling us arrogant for doing so. How lovely double-standard of you guys!
    You won’t win any friends by blaming everybody else for your own failure.
    And yes, I say it again. It’s not like Jake & Joe will reach any wuthering heights with the song so it’ no harm pointing it out. Most likely they will end up in the standard British spot of 15th-19th and then we have another round of playing cry-babies and Europe hates us, and neighbour voting and what not.
    Though the song is decent and good enough and it deserves to end up a bit higher than 15th. But I can’t see it happening.
  19. PhysalisFranchetti
    April 16, 2016 @ 5:47 pm
    Personally, I’ve never forgiven the ESC for challenging Malta about the 12 points that they gave to us in 2007. Go and listen to the 2007 voting again – it’s ridiculous. The Scandinavians voted for the Scandinavians and the Eastern block voted for the Eastern block. All that was going on and they directed their criticism solely at Malta? You know that little country with less than 0.5 million inhabitants. Totally surreal!
  20. Karen
    April 16, 2016 @ 5:24 pm
    #what a twat
  21. PhysalisFranchetti
    April 16, 2016 @ 5:14 pm
    most of the songs sent since 2006 and forward has been more or less bad.
    True, but the reason why they have been worse than we could have produced is because of the voting blocks. No-one with an existing career in the UK will go to Eurovision (and even if the acts will, their managers will not let them go). This has been stated by the BBC and well reported in the press.
    And it is not just the UK, other countries have been in the same situation. The Netherlands for example didn’t get out of the semis for 10 years. Ireland have also suffered from the same problem. Austria left the competition for a few years after one of the people at the Austrian broadcaster said that there was something else deciding the outcome and it had nothing to do with quality.
    If Björkman thinks that voting blocks don’t exist, then he is very, very poorly informed.
  22. Simon
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:58 pm
    I don’t blame the UK as a country as much as I blame the BBC. They’ve failed to get a great singer and great song consistently.
  23. Julian
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:57 pm
    UK should follow the glorious steps of Azerbaijan and buy a Swedish song each year. Will probably send ESC final to London in 2-3 years. And Bjorkman will be a delight.
  24. mocosuburbian
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:32 pm
    ‘come together’ my ass
  25. davve
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:09 pm
    This is the Eurovision fans in a nutshell…. they hate and criticize Björkman for simply stating an opinion. And you write horrible and nasty things about him. But at the same time you are all claiming that Booing russia at ESC is wrong and that Russia should not be judge because of Putins horrible human rights crimes..
    Putin should get off, Björkman is a horrible dictator that is ruining the world basically.. you see the ridiculous double standard.
    f*ck off.
  26. Rafa
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:09 pm
    Olé by UK !!! UK , France , Germany , Italy and Spain have nothing better to do than think about this contest …
    UK has perfectly understood the pitfalls and
    neighborhood there , and simply do not need him to win ESC.
    This contest long time is not what it does, and certainly NOTHING is coming Swedish impolite to say anything to the English …
  27. davve
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:06 pm
    The UK keep sending singers like Andy Abraham and Josh Debovie,,,,, and you wonder why the UKs results stinks? please.
    Björkman takes Eurovision seriously, the UK does not. And with that Björkman has the right to give his stance on this matter.
  28. davve
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:04 pm
    Sweden has won the competition twice in the last 5 years… and
    the UK are kind of ridiculous…. they make fun of the competition.. but are butthurt when they over and over again ends up in the bottom of the scoreboard.
    most of the songs sent since 2006 and forward has been more or less bad.
    Björkman is 100% right in his criticism of the UK.
  29. Österrike
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:03 pm
    instagranto475, this will never happen. The wiwibloggers are only judgmental on the acts, never on the EBU and their scandals and how the rig the competition. About EBU related stuff, they let us do the job in the comment section to avoid get banned from the press centres themselves.
  30. Steven
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:57 pm
    The UK came 5th in 2009, their entries in 2011/13/14 were all VERY GOOD entries. This comment is nothing but a scathing attack from a wannabe dictator of the contest.
  31. PhysalisFranchetti
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:52 pm
    Picking up on things others have said especially @Österrike
    Voting blocks and particularly which types matter most :-
    Televoting years and upto 2012 – diaspora-driven ones were the most important. Even after 2009, you could still get 6 points if you won the televote in a particular country.
    50/50 Jury & televote 2009 upto 2012 – diaspora-driven ones with better chances if you had ones based on cultural closeness too. These seemed to benefit the Scandinavians the most initially, but the ex-Soviet block also benefitted. (Cultural closeness = shared or close languages, close music industries with cross-over, lots of trade and also a shared history)
    50/50 Jury and televote 2013 up to 2015 – ones based on cultural closeness became more important as the jury could negate a televote win
    50/50 jury and televote 2016 onwards (but with effect really from 2014 when the jury marking scheme started to have a recognisable effect in the final marks) – **Correlated voting blocks** – either a song has wide appeal in many countries or a song appeals to a particular group of people found in every country. This is most obviously the LGBTI community, but I wonder if it was thought last year to include people with special needs & their carers…..
  32. abedull
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:48 pm
    BTW 2013 esc was the worst in recent years, made in Sweden. Low budget trying to convince the others it was to make an esc reachable for poor countries, amazing hipocrisy.
    Worst stage ever… bad level… low budget…. thanks to you Mr right
  33. instagranto475
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:43 pm
    I’m very happy that this is happening. Finally we can see what Bjorkman and co are doing to the contest and their view for the ESC, or should I say the “Eurovision Music Entertainment Show”.
    Wiwibloggs, William, Deban, Angus, Padraig, Robyn, stop faffing about with fluffy kitsch “interviews” with Hovi Star and coverage of events like Israel’s party and get digging. Look into the Kath Lockett scandal, the sacking of Vlad Yavkovlev, write editorials about how Bjorkman, Osterdahl, and Sand have been working to water down the contest since 2012. You guys run one of the most respected ESC news sites, start talking about the real changes that are ruining the contest and who is behind them. Look at ESC Insight’s and Eurovicious’s work and go from there. When in Stockholm, meet with Sand and Sietse Bakker and Bjorkman and co and ask them the hard-hitting questions that need to be asked. “Eurovision News – With Attitude” – start acting like it!
  34. abedull
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:25 pm
    He has destroyed the classic Eurovision to make a European melodifestivalen.
    Eurovision is Eurovision and melodifestivalen is just your selection program.
    Don’t ruin Eurovision please, Mr right!
  35. abedull
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:22 pm
    Everybody knows how Sweden won last year, Italy was 1st in televote and a band of juries all over Europe toOK Sweden’s song as a favourite instead of the il volo song. That was really strange. When someone thinks abut a professional jury it comes to mind they are going to vote for a more classy song, close to bel canto. I thought they would vote for Italy but… what happened? And in many countries at the same time!
    To win Eurovision you just need juries, friendly juries. .. not Europeans spending money in sms.
    It was a joke as the commfrom this guy are
  36. Jacques
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:21 pm
    And also the fact I can’t stop shipping Joe & Jake.
  37. Jacques
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:18 pm
    Gfy, Christer.
    The whole world shouldn’t be same, Melodifestivalen-a-like, without a soul.
    Swedish selection is a very cold, cruel show, and now as well Eurovision, thanks to him.
    I never liked a Swedish entry except Frans and maybe Loreen. They all are so dull.
  38. abedull
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:11 pm
    I can’t understand why people think the big 5 concept makes UK or any other country to don’t take seriously Eurovision.
    Eurovision is just a stage for small countries to be shown but big countries doesn’t need this platform to get attention in the world.
    Maybe Sweden now a days is ruling the contest but that’s all they can do as small country.
    UK has much more important things to do than this. As Germany France Spain or Italy. ..
    This guy is quite arrogant but well he would die like all of us.
  39. Österrike
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:00 pm
    Jai, your point about bloc voting is in my opinion not true. My country Austria will never do well in Televoting, because there is no block of friends neighbours behind us. This has always been true in the past as the poor televote often completely undermined our chances that we got from juries (2011, 2013, 2015). Conchita is no exception, she always won thanks to block voting – the found support in the most important block of all – the LGBTI.
    The UK knows that Eurovision is a competition between Russia, Scandinavia and the Balkan with the rest of Europe on the sidelines. And for the UK there is no need to take Eurovision more seriously than they do, because they already have the most relevant music industry and do not need to boast their ego with this competition. Adele would crush everyone, but why would someone like her want to prepare 4 months only for a rigged event, when she could in the meanwhile busy make a lot of money?
  40. MTD
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:57 pm
    I hate him. But he is right.
  41. oli
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:53 pm
    Bjorkman has a big mouth. He is arrogant because Melodifestivalen is a success and Sweden won twice under his supervision, but it wasn’t very difficult, Sweden already loved Eurovision when he came… If he is so good, then go to the UK, San Marino, Spain or Portugal and make them win
  42. sufle
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:47 pm
    I agree with the fact that the UK should take Eurovision seriously and there should be a Melodifestivalen-style competition (I have supported this idea for a long time). But everything else he says is an insult and is quite frankly rude.
    The U.K. should not give up their Big 5 status. We have it for a reason to begin with. You might as well get rid of the Big 5 concept anyway if you want to say that. Or does he secretly want Sweden to become part of the Big 5 group? Not happening.
    To say that we have no chance of winning is also very rude. Maybe our song isn’t the best this year, but it certainly isn’t the worst. What is important for us is that we have a good placing, not a victory because it shows that the BBC is doing something right.
    Isn’t it ironic that he bashes on us when he came last when he competed? You have no right to insult us. If you had won the contest, then yes, but don’t act as if your opinion is important and is god’s gift to the world.
  43. Jai
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:28 pm
    I totally agree with everything he said. The UK sends horrible acts every year and then acts arrogant and mocks the countries who actually try and care. I’m from America so the Eurovision news I read is in English which means that aside from Eurovision websites, the majority of news I read is from the UK. I have to say that the attitude and snideness of the UK media toward Eurovision make me steer clear of them and I’m glad that websites like Wiwibloggs exist. Also, at first I was disappointed that BBC America did not broadcast the contest and that I had to watch the live feed on the Eurovision website, but after seeing part of Graham Norton’s commentary I’m glad I don’t have to hear it every year . I’m a fan of Graham Norton’s talk show but I when don’t want to hear that he thinks a singer’s dress looks like a toilet brush or hear him arrogantly deride every non English song. As far as bloc voting, while is does exist if the UK ever sent a somewhat decent song they wouldn’t be almost dead last every year. Austria hadn’t won the contest in decades or even made it out of the semis often but they won the whole damn thing in 2014!!!! Actually TRY and act like you give a damn before you complain that the system is rigged against you. The UK has no one but itself to blame for its failures at Eurovision
  44. mad-professor
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:15 pm
    Is this leftover rage for him being near the bottom of the board in 1992?
  45. Daan
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:06 pm
    Eh.. Wasnt Germany in trouble in 2011 because the hosts almost revealed who their favorites were or something like that? I’d imagine that Bjorkman should be kicked out for saying who his least favorite is. It would only be fair.
    Thankfully we all have to stick our right arm up this ESC and say HEIL BJORKMAN while we got flags with his smug face everywhere during eurovision. I honestly hope they will flop one day soon like in 2010 with that sheep that sang.
  46. Steven
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:00 pm
    He is a disgrace. There is so much irony in this. The amount of changes that have come to the show as a result of his business have been farcical. He has no right to criticize an act in this year’s competition. Graham Norton is the best presenter of the contest, that is not up for debate. The quicker Sweden are out of control of the contest the better. This man is so far up his own arse.
  47. Katie Boyle
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:38 pm
    It’s a little rich for the tv exec who introduced Lynda Woodruff to our ESC screens to take a pop at the BBC for not taking things seriously. Ultimately, it’s light entertainment, entries vary and that’s what makes the show. It’s probably more to do with Swedish sour grapes at not being a Big 5 nation. Pay the silly Swede no heed.
  48. MirkoJoshua
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:28 pm
    I completely agree with EugeneEscUK
  49. HelmaR
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:26 pm
    Very well said, mr. Björkman. *claps*
  50. @EugeneESCUK
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:24 pm
    Whether Björkman is right or wrong is not so relevant. The two words that immediately sprang to mind when I read this is arrogant and unprofessional. A man in his position especially as Host and slogan “Come Together” should not be making derogatory comments to one of his fellow Delegations. And of course some comments are aimed at Guy Freeman and the BBC. You don’t hear football managers having a go at fellow managers BEFORE a football event do you? It’s just NOT done. Whatever you think you just do not come out with comments like this in the build up to an event. Björkman should know that and it is pretty poor to say the least, very unprofessional.
    Of course there IS bloc voting!! Who is he trying to kid? Is Björkman that naïve? As though Sweden does not get help from the Nordic bloc………..of course they do. But that is not the reason why the UK is not doing well………………we all know why, you do not need to be an expert!! (Robyn: – the UK does not have a voting bloc, how funny!!)
    As for having a go at Terry Wogan and Graham Norton? At times in the past the ESC did have a real joke/comical element. Again who is Björkman trying to kid? He must have a poor memory. The perception was not of a serious song contest, but that perception is changing in recent years and the quality of songs is improving. After 2013 it has become even less of a song contest though!!
    He is right about a “music entertainment” competition and not a “song” competition. Who knows Björkman might have been behind the change and publication of the EBU guidelines to the juries in 2013 when vocals, stage performance and staging now represents 75% of the jury score? So he is right there, but vocals ARE important to the juries, he is kidding himself again?
    It is quite ironic then that NONE of Björkman’s 4 favourites with the best “shows” and vocals were chosen by the Swedish public this year. They chose a public favourite with a song they liked rather than someone with amazing vocals and amazing staging!! So based on what he said, will there be new staging in May for Frans as this entry lacks any type of wow staging or vocals? It is very possible that Sweden could fail to make an impact this year as a result and Björkman may have to eat his words.
    Björkman needs to make sure he does not turn himself into this arrogant hate character.
  51. Darcy
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:07 pm
    Whilst I’m sure his comments were intended right, as someone from the UK I find them insulting and hypocritical. I don’t see why someone who is at the head of the entire contest making jibes about one country in particular, and to insult the memory of someone who was loved on British TV will only further us from the EBU. Eurovision should be about coming together and celebrating music, it should be whatever the people of Europe want it to be, not some cold, slick competition with the personality of a spoon like Bjorkman is creating. Think he should look at the motto of this year’s contest and how these belittling and heartless thoughts fit in with that.
  52. Laura
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:06 pm
    Spilling the truth tea
  53. Hurricane86
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:51 pm
    Unprofessional and inappropriate to comment in his capacity as the producer of a show in which the UK are competing.
  54. QueenofEurovision
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:40 pm
    TBH I can’t force the uk to take it seriously. I find it annoying how when the UK did take it seriously but others took a joke out of it we did terribly bad. But then when the uk decided to go along with the joke Europe then start to take it seriously and now the uk don’t want to go along with the seriousness of the contest they are hated for it. If they want to make it a joke contest then let them. It’s up to the UK what they want to send it’s called democracy. Ps why will foot the bill if the uk leave the big 5. Sweden? Haha
  55. Héctor
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:27 pm
    Bjorkman is an a**hole, but I have to agree in the part he says that UK is only mocking. I also think ‘You are not alone’ is a step in the right direction, but they need something more. But I have to say, Mr Bjorkman, that the block voting is very real even if nobody in the EBU or the delegations wants to admit it. Only Western countries votes for their real favs, Eastern and Balkan countries make block voting. Countries like Spain, France, UK or Germany (except Lena) wouldn’t have won in past years with the same songs and singers that did win (Serbia 2007, Russia 2008, Norway 2009, Azerbaijan 2011, etc…)
  56. Le Malte
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:18 pm
    How unprofessional for the eurovision producer to publicly share negative comments about a particular country. It could have been any act.. it is simply out of order and wrong to say the things Bjorkman said, prior to the contest. We all know the UK won’t win this year, but why pick on them, when they are clearly trying? #Bjorkmanthebully
  57. Criticca
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:18 pm
    Joe and Jake will be working with stage director Jay Revell. At the BBC Eurovision page they’re asking ppl to send selfies that might be added to the staging of You’re Not Alone!!
  58. Matt
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:57 am
    I completely disagree with him, this year I feel a quality act has been put through which was chosen by the UK public, also watching Eurovision without Graham Norton would leave the show feeling empty, I think that if we were to do the semis then we should just not pay as much into the EBU. I’m sure the UK will do great this year.
  59. Trala
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:54 am
    Very unprofessional comments about Joe and Jake. Really disappointed.
  60. Österrike
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:51 am
    Terry Wogan openly called out on the vulgarity of irregular voting live on TV. But the Swedes were not different at all, because if they would have liked the Eastern power in the Eurovision, then they would not have changed Eurovision over the last years: overrepresentation in the steering committee, introduction of juries who almost always favour them, introduction of a jury with the power to deny televotes to be represented in the combined score and to deny even a record breaking televoting winner from winning the competition, introduction of a deliberate draw that never has hurt themselves so far. And after they won, as hosts their show is underwhelming, self-demeaning and looks like on a budget, but never shy to send a controversial blindfolded political message.
    And I am not sure if Wogan killed Eurovision in the UK (and even if so, Graham Norton is doing everything to revive it) or if Sweden (represented by Björkman and Österdahl and their puppet Sand) is killing Eurovision with their power crazed behaviour. Eurovision does not have to have at least 10 songs composed by Swedes sung by other countries, it becomes Swedovision or Melodifestivalen, and the country who performs a Swedish song best, wins.
  61. Criticca
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:42 am
    I agree with some of the comments here though. Björkman basically threw Joe & Jake under the bus…shame on him for doing that. The UK ESC is finally putting more effort this year by hosting a song selection show & hiring a brilliant stage director (who worked with Ellie Goulding).
  62. Österrike
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:38 am
    Björkman should not teach others. The rules and steering committee changes in favour of Sweden, so they better keep their mouths shut. How about teaching the UK as a Swede back then in 2010 after having a losing streak of 7 years of their own in the televoting era, Mr. Björkman?
  63. Criticca
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:31 am
    Let’s drop the Big 5 already. BBC contributes a lot of money to help semi finalists with their staging and what does UK get in return? being called ‘cheaters’ by the Turks and being ignored by international juries. And yet the show is still watched by millions of Brits each year….there is NO benefit.
  64. MikeG
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:30 am
    Oh, he finds the UK entry just OK… Christer, don’t forget you guys have failed big time a couple of times too. And MF is weaker and weaker every year, so step down your diva-know-it-all podium will ya?
    NO block voting? HA! Surely decent countries vote for the best song, it’s a completely different thing the minute you cross over the east. The UK would NEVER have got the results RUSSIA have with the exact same songs and same artists… so please.. SHUT UP!
  65. Criticca
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:25 am
    Wiwibloggs, Joe & Jake made an appearance on The Graham Norton Show. Could you guys make an article about that?
  66. […] dass sich das Land heute nicht mehr anstrengen und bessere Beiträge zum ESC schicken würde.  Björkman: “Joe und Jake haben einen ordentlichen Song und die Jungs sind charmant. Es ist ein Schritt […]
  67. Ljupco MACEDONIA
    April 16, 2016 @ 11:10 am
    I completely understand Mr. Bjorkman. The UK has given up on Eurovision ever since their last place in 2003. It seems as if they have had perception for themselves that they can always do good in ESC. For the past 10 years only serious candidate from UK was Jade Ewen, and her entry was suitably rewarded by both the public and the juries. When it comes to popular musical genres, UK is the best not only in Europe, but the World too. They have given us so many outstanding, even divine-like musicians and bands, and I believe they can still do it. However, it is obvious that someone in the BBC decided to play games on EBU, Eurovision and its fans. UK has so many awesome musicians which can easily win the contest, but how does BBC end up with their final choices is beyond me.
  68. Denis
    April 16, 2016 @ 10:56 am
    Lol, how can people be offended by what Björkman says and find it rude that he find the song just O,K? Isn’t that what most think about the song? No one is expecting them to win or be in top 10.
    And yes, it is an entertainment show. It hasn’t been a strictly singing show since the 90’s. Since semi-finals were introduced it has shifted more to an entertainment concept where the whole package is important, not just song. Otherwise they could just show video-clip of the songs and judge based on that.
    Why people wants to downplay or demote the whole entertainment value is beyond me. That’s the reason most are watching and enjoying the show, including me.
    Be honest, how many of the song would you have enjoyed on their own without the show that comes to it? Not even half probably
  69. Random.sage2.6
    April 16, 2016 @ 10:32 am
    Yaaaas! Tell em, Bjorkman! If there were REAL Bloc voting then Ireland, Australia, Malta, and Israel would give them 12 points for being an Anglo country like the Scandis do each other. Culture is culture. A song is a song!
  70. NL
    April 16, 2016 @ 10:30 am
    I think the idea of having the big 5 is actually great, we always had 5 fresh performances in the final! Italy became tirth last year, so being part of the big 5 doesn’t ruin your chanches. This year they won’t show the 5 (+Sweden) clips, but let them perform in the semi’s which sounds great.
    The problem of the uk is the song quality, however its rude for someone like him to say this year’s uk entry is crap.
    Block voting doesn’t exist? Really? Belarus getting 12 points from Russia in 2014, for one of the worst songs in the competition! Whatever the reason for that is, it will not be blockvoting!!!!! …oh well
  71. simon barker
    April 16, 2016 @ 10:19 am
    Well I do agree with a lot that he has said, but it is so unprofessional to say this a few weeks before the contest and to say one of the entries will not win is just so wrong when you are in charge of the contest he should be SACKED!!!
  72. Ben Rafter
    April 16, 2016 @ 10:14 am
    He’s right, but he needs to stfu as it’s not his business. This guy thinks he owns ESC now.
  73. Laburnum
    April 16, 2016 @ 10:12 am
    “..and enter the semi-finals if you’re to have any chance of winning”, I’m sorry, but what was the point of having the full song from all the automatic qualifiers shown during the semi-finals. And how do you expect Sweden to win again if you think that? And to bring Terry Wogan into this, that is quite low. He did a lot for the show, and he is the reason why quite a few Brits enjoy Eurovision.
  74. oli
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:59 am
    Christer Björkman needs to shut up
  75. raulescfan
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:50 am
    Björkman shouldn’t have said that. Sweden is just about to host the ESC, and he is one of the big ones for this year. When I saw the headline I thought “is he crazy?”. I’m sadly starting to think Sweden will turn out as being an ESC dictator, and they’re just another country in the contest. They’ve only been getting good places for 5 years now and they’ve changed the running order choosing way (which I think is the worst that has ever happened to the ESC), then the voting format and now they’re starting to advise countries about how their song should. Did Ireland do this when they got good places for 5 years, did they? C’mon Sweden, just shut up a little!
  76. Pedro
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:50 am
    I don’t know if I’m petrified with this stupid man or with your stupid agreements! Lord!…
  77. Franco
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:30 am
    Why so serious? Graham Norton is the best. I always rewatch the final with the bbc commentary the day after, because it’s fun.
  78. Happy
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:27 am
    Yesterday my Twitter accounts blew up with comments of people who were offended by Bjorkman words. Now I’m finally reading what he actually said and can’t understand – what did he say wrong? Every single thing is true! UK doesn’t take this competition seriously – it’s a fact! Norton is mocking pretty much all the contestants – also true. Joe and Jacke are kinda cute, but most certainly won’t come even near winning spot – true again! And if UK will ever want a proper chance of winning then it needs to start taking this competition seriously, and get the idea that Eurovision is not just about the song, but it’s about the performance and staging too! Stop messing about and finally listen to the person who is responsible for Melodifestivallen as well as three victories in last 15 years!
  79. mathESC
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:26 am
    Well, I agree with him. I’m French and I can see the difference this year. In France, our team has been taking the ESC more seriously and then, today, France is one of the favourites. I’m not saying that France will win, because it’s possible that France flop in May, 14th (even if I hope no, and I think that it will not be the case), but the implication of the Eurovision team has permitted to France to have another place, more considering, at ESC.
    BUT I think that’s not at C. Bjorkman to give advises, because in 3 years, he has destroy the Eurovision Song Contest : first, deleting the random order in Final, now with the voting… and I think that is not his role to give advises. Shut up and he needs to prepare ESC rather to give some interview. Come on British : I like your song, and I will vote for you 🙂
  80. LaughingOutLoud
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:13 am
    It’s hilarious to read all the comments beause Christer is actually right with everything he said. Too bad you guys don’t see it.
  81. AndersP
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:12 am
    I think he fails to grasp the British paradox of being awfully polite and straight-laced about things we just don’t care much about and only really mock things we love; it’s a very difficult concept for non-Brits to understand, and to grasp the difference between insults and “taking the Micky” (in my experience Canadians and Swedes tend to be the least receptive). Eurovision is an institution and is loved in the UK, just not revered like some deity.
    I can’t help but feel he is getting a bit big for his boots, and since he can rely on at least 40 points from his fellow Nordics before the stage has even been built (no matter how awful Frans’ song is), a little less lecturing might serve him well.
  82. oooops
    April 16, 2016 @ 9:10 am
    And Sweden didn’t take JESC serious, did PBS tell ’em, answer: NO.
  83. georgekirkas
    April 16, 2016 @ 8:58 am
    I agree that the UK has to take the contest more seriously! I was happy that they held a national final this year and I thought that they would choose an amazing song, but they went for a just OK song!
  84. Benjamin
    April 16, 2016 @ 8:57 am
    UK Just send Adele and win XD
  85. Tony
    April 16, 2016 @ 8:50 am
    LOL this is crazy. C’mon let the UK send whatever they want and keep it in the BIG 5. We need mockery in the contest, too. It is a one year thing. We need entries to joke about, to be controversial. If everyone sent Swedish pop song the contest would be boring too.
  86. badger
    April 16, 2016 @ 8:39 am
    I never understand why the UK seems to have this attitude like the ESC is screwing them over and treating them unfairly or like people aren’t voting for them for political reasons. 2014 is the only year they could legitimately argue a song really deserved better. The one other time they sent a good song post-2002, it finished a very respectable 5th place, and Blue could have done a lot worse than finishing 11th.
  87. nene
    April 16, 2016 @ 8:13 am
    what the uk needs is someone like the netherlands had in 2013. the netherlands didn’t make it to the final for 8 years in a row but when anouk decided to compete in 2013, we suddenly managed to make it to the 9th place in the final. anouk’s participation really opened doors for other bigger artists and it made people take the contest serious again. ilse delange from the common linnets (2014), trijntje oosterhuis (2015) and douwe bob (2016) all said anouk opened doors for them and gave them a completely different view on the contest. I generously think all the uk needs is just one bigger artist to think ‘oh f**ck it i’m just gonna do this’ to prove that the uk CAN reach a top ten position and let the uk audience take the contest serious again!
  88. Marco
    April 16, 2016 @ 8:01 am
    “Eurovision is […] not a singing competition or a song competition, it is music entertainment”
    Exactly this phrase is what makes me so angry about how Eurovision is perceived and managed these last years. YES, Eurovision IS a song competition! This is the basic idea of the whole thing. Exactly this idea of “entertainment only” is what indirectly leads people to turn away from the contest:
    if voting rules and running orders are not created to get a result that is as fair as, but instead to get “good entertainment”, every year some countries feel as if they had been “sacrificed” for another song and did not stand a chance to qualify in the first place. If countries, in spite of an improved effort, fail to qualify for the final ever and ever again partly because of this (and because of not having a diaspora that could help to just boost them just into the semi-final’s top 10), the viewers feel frustrated and will turn away, stating the usual “oh, we don’t stand a chance anyway”.
    This is not to speak of several voting scandals and rigging in certain countries which, in combination with the other things mentioned above, just lead to mockery of the contest (pardon me, of the entertainment).
  89. Stan
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:55 am
    I like the UK this year… It’s a nice pop song. Melodifestivalen showed some winners, but also some really bad entries (anyone remember Eric Saade who only scored with looks and staging???). Also, this year (if the Nordic block is a bit fair) the UK will end up higher than Sweden!
  90. oooops
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:43 am
    But sadly, Björkman cannot in this case respect the freedom of opinion(Some thinks that they send great songs, which Christer Björkman probably not know yet, I loved Electro Velvet last year for example, and Molly was a fan favourite. How could he forget that? It is maybe his opinion, but let UK still do their thing, or let everybody in big 5 stay in the semis’). It just feels like he wants to kick ’em out of ESC, which I not want to. The more participants, the better.
    Did forget to write that in my last comment.
  91. Hollandique
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:42 am
    Bite your tongue bjorkman, it’s not for you to criticise our Eurovision entries.
  92. oooops
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:32 am
    I think UK will surprise this year, but I think every country in the big 5 should be in the semi finals. But wait a sec, didn’t Italy say in 2011 that they would only return if they were part of the big 4. Did they?
    But the big 5 is just making these countries to bribe, even Italy, France, Spain, Germany and maybe surprisingly UK, could do well in the semi finals with the songs they have this year. The big 5 is maybe also causing their bad results, except Italy and Spain in the latest years’, but still, I think the big 5 thig is a bit worthless.
    Greetings from the country of Christer Björkman
  93. Robyn Gallagher
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:22 am
    Colin: “Block voting isn’t real, huh? Along with global warming, I guess ?”
    Sure, block voting exists – there will always be countries who vote for others that are culturally similar. But it’s never enough to ensure an outright victory. Even Russia, who can potentially rely on some points from the nine former Soviet states, has only managed to secure a win once.
    And the UK has its own block pals: it can usually rely on some points from close neighbour Ireland, English-speaking Malta, as well as the British diaspora in Spain.
  94. steve
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:22 am
    For the UK, Eurovision is what it is; a fun, camp competition. Of course we don’t take it a seriously as some countries- why would we, when the BBC gets good viewing figures on the night? Mocking some of the entries is all part of the fun. People need to just chill out, sit back and enjoy the flight! (contest)
  95. ESCaddict
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:20 am
    Christer is reported as saying the UK have a good song, the boys are charming & they are not going to win. What’s wrong with that? He is right on all three points. Does someone seriously think the UK is going to win this year? He is stating what we already know.
    He is right, Terry Wogan was mocking & insulting. I was really offended by some of the things he said about contestants. Graham is nowhere near as bad but he is flippant.
    SBS has stopped treating ESC as a comedy show now that Australia is competing. Those dickheads that want funny costumes & kitsch songs are relics from the past.
    The staging of the song can make a huge difference to the success of a song. That’s why it is not just a singing or song competition. It is about engaging with the viewers. That’s entertainment!
  96. Richard
    April 16, 2016 @ 7:11 am
    Christer is a little behind the times in his assessment of the UKs entries. This would certainly apply to our Scooch era (bless them) when tongues were firmly in cheeks, but songs from the last few years are more credible, even if they were never likely to be winners. Electro Velvet’s effort could be seen as a joke by some, but as cringey as it proved to be I think it was intended to be fun rather than awful (not much of a defence I know). As for the humour angle, with each year I am missing the quirky, comedy and bizarre entries more and more. It’s why I have such a soft spot for San Marino this year, Serhat was certainly an unexpected treat in a very bland selection. The standard has gone up certainly, but with so many songs in English, and so many credible, if middle of the road poppy ballads, and hardly any humour or quirky fun, it runs the risk of taking itself far too seriously. Still love it though. x
  97. Huh
    April 16, 2016 @ 6:59 am
    The queen has a point but he needs to deliver his message properly. Given his recent comments about Sweden’s victory, British people and others might see him too demanding for this as if he really owns Eurovision now. Negotiate directly and properly with BBC and don’t just direct them to the entrants. Joe and Jake are only there to sing and entertain, just like what your last point is all about.
  98. John Doe
    April 16, 2016 @ 6:50 am
    This negative remark about Joe and Jake before the contests wasn’t fair, but it can be counter-productive. Poor boys, they are so enthusiastic.
    Where are the articles about them?
  99. Terry
    April 16, 2016 @ 6:38 am
    If you’d lived in Sweden as I have I don’t think you’d be surprised by this! If the comments about this years entry are true that would be totally innapropriate for a producer , and for once we have entered a decent & contemporary British rock/pop song. People who dispute British commitment to Eurovision should take a look at the history books as I believe the BBC staged the contest on at least two occasions when the previous winners (Luxembourg & France I think) couldn’t manage to do their bit.
  100. Pollaski
    April 16, 2016 @ 6:22 am
    Didnt the Swedish commentator say “In case you didn’t notice, Ukraine’s not here this year for some reason. Anyways, here’s Russia with a song about peace.” last year?
    I mean, if thats not snark, I dont know what is.
    And while I agree that the UK could stand to take the contest seriously, the fact of the matter is people keep acting like all the UK needs to do is call up their big name stars- ignoring the fact that no global superstar is going to give up 3 months of lucrative studio/touring time to do promotional events for the contest. Nor would anyone with prominence be willing to risk their careers on an embarassing finish- which for some stars (like say Coldplay) would be considered anything less than winning.
  101. Aaron GR
    April 16, 2016 @ 6:00 am
    Eurovision it TOTALLY musical entertainment. Be honest – if it weren’t for the amazing, creative staging, how many of these songs would you love on their own merit? Not very many, maybe a half dozen.
    Eurovision is the most wonderful show ever, but to dismiss its entertainment value is mistaken and dishonest.
  102. ESC84
    April 16, 2016 @ 5:23 am
    I agree stop mocking the contest, some of the people i met from UK still thinks Eurovision is crazy-costume or crazy song, but the ratio of these are shrinking, countries especially from Slavic and southern Europe are starting to take the contest very seriously
    Nevertheless, it is completely wrong to sing it is a muisical entertainment than a song a contest. A media must has its own style to maintain in history, just like movie, it can be either entertainment or art, but if you treat it as solely an entertainment it would become void that no one wants to talk about (just like the hollywood movie nowadays)
  103. Colin
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:58 am
    Block voting isn’t real, huh? Along with global warming, I guess ?
    And I’d say that UK isn’t mocking anyone. I actually liked most of their recent entries. How about Molly, Bonnie, Engelbert… this guy clearly has bias.
  104. fikri
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:25 am
    gosh i cannot stand this guy at all.
  105. Fergy
    April 16, 2016 @ 4:16 am
    Also this is a man who has a direct influence on the positioning of songs as a producer. By talking to the media about his opinions on songs it shows he`s not impartial and biased towards certain songs (in this case the UK)! So if the UK get placed 2nd we`ll know who to blame
  106. Lanti
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:55 am
    Bjorkman’s right about the BBC needing to put in more effort fot a better entry. And maybe constantly drowning the contest in negativity isn’t the best idea in the world. But cutting out the snark ? Nopr
  107. Briekimchi
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:36 am
    Keep Simon Cowell away….
  108. Fergy
    April 16, 2016 @ 3:21 am
    When it comes to Wogan he`s 100% right.
    When it comes to Norton he`s 100% wrong.
    Graham has done an amazing job and added some credibility to the contest in the UK. Bjorkman is talking like the Swedish Commentary don`t use any jokes or mock the other countries when they can be just as bad as Wogan was!
  109. Ewan
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:27 am
    This is why I’m glad about Australia’s switch to its own team, they genuinely love to have fun and joke, but Julia definitely does it out of love for the contest (despite most of Australia still seeing it as something that should remain a kitsch joke). E.g. She loved Italy’s 2014 song but couldn’t help but express her disappointment after Emma’s performance in the final.
    And while I agree with bjorkman’s opinion of the UK song I don’t think he should be voicing it in his position.
  110. mad-professor
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:23 am
    Of course the reason the British, Irish and French public mock Eurovision is not at all down to a barrage of poor quality songs from Europe for 50 years, but because they’ve been brainwashed. Also, last time I checked, it was called the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’, not the ‘Eurovision Musical Entertainment Show’.
    But most importantly: what is this obsession with the UK at Eurovision? France and the Netherlands last won in the ’70s, Spain in ’69 – why not focus on how badly they’re doing?
  111. Mark
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:22 am
    Shut up Bjorkman
  112. ian from the philippines
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:08 am
    as what i’ve said last years (source:http://eurovisionphilippines.tumblr.com/post/119716856625/eurovision-autopsy-united-kingdom-between-a) the BBC is scrapping the barrel because of perception. i do agree with the dark lords comments but i do disagree that the BBC is not trying. what is the national selection for than trying. the songs weren’t great but it was serviceable to get us an ok placing and get next year get better and better and then win.
    people always think that UK can go from last to winning at eurovision in about the course of a year that is not the reality. it’s a long game. the result may vary year on year from now but it will get better. if we let it shine and not snuff the flame just because it sent schooch. i don’t want in instant fix. i don’t want to do a germany and get an instant win then in a couple of year end up with nul pointe.
    also, your [insert artist here] wont enter eurovision because thier already successful. the BBC did not to british music that eurovision seems like an after thought. sweden does not that kind of success outside eurovision. can an one me a swedish artist that it’s in eurovision, melfest, abba or avicii?
  113. Denis
    April 16, 2016 @ 2:00 am
    Mr Björkman has had two wins in three years and top 5 places so I would take his advice.
    I think most would agree with his statement: It’s a step in right direction but far from a winner. It probably will end up in typical U.K territory, 15th-17th spot
    As for him commenting on the act, well maybe he was asked what he thought about them and answered. Besides, he will host the Swedish pre-selection show so he probably states his opinion there too.
    And Simon Cowell has actually stated on numeral occasion he would do it if asked and has proposed several ideas how to do it. Why not? To have someone as experienced and interested in the contest as Simon could be a positive factor.
    I think the attitude can be changed but it must start with the population, and BBC reflects what the population thinks. Somewhere the British population started to see it as one big camp event and it stayed on. Their commentary reflects that view. Norton is funny and every country needs a Norton but if you’re going to joke about the contest and entrants then do it with love for the contest, not outright mocking it. That’s what Norton lacks.
    So keep him and his joking but let his love for the contest shine through. His soft funny side as opposed to his cynical old man side. That could change attitudes and gain positive press.
    That said though his commentaries are sometimes the highlights of the entire evening.
  114. David Who
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:40 am
    Jonas – Thanks for the link. I wasn’t aware of that story. Cowell seemed to be concerned with Eurovision clashing with Britain’s Got Talent, so I doubt that issue will be resolved any time soon. 🙁
    Hey, I’ll run the UK selection process if no-one else will! 😀
    As for changing the culture surrounding it – any suggestions? PR campaign? Re-branding? Axe Graham Norton? (shock!)
  115. Slightly Biased ESC Fan
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:19 am
    Well Sweden’s had a couple titles under his watch so I’d say he wasn’t wrong. If the UK want to do well they’ve gotta stop playing the hopeless victim and change the culture, hire somebody who genuinely cares about the contest.
  116. silvester
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:19 am
    Yes, they should stop mocking Eurovision and if they don’t want to send something good then they should withdraw from the competition.
  117. Seth
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:12 am
    He might have made a few good points but criticising a current act is unprofessional given his position, and Simon Cowell should stay as far away from Eurovision as possible.
  118. Jonas
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:10 am
    David Who – Simon Cowell has already expressed an interest, so it’s not the first time the subject has been raised. See – http://wiwibloggs.com/2015/05/31/simon-cowell-eurovision/97147/ .
    I would hate to see BBC lose the contest to ITV. The show belongs on the national broadcasters. 4Music (what is that?) sounds even worse. Commercial television would be more likely to treat it badly if there’s even a dip in the ratings or whatever.
    No. Not a good idea.
  119. ian from the philippines
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:10 am
    i do believe that the UK needs to tone down the snark a bit. the irish commentary was not exciting because they play it straight. i bit of sas is good not over the top. i think graham norton does get the balance of being funny while not slagging the song too much. he tells you if the song is good or terrible.
    will the UK win this year? no. can you get a good placeing this year? maybe. but a failed eurovision contestant does not decide how and why any other country presents eurovision
  120. David Who
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:09 am
    N.B. I think what Bjorkman said about Joe & Jake’s entry was fair actually. It is a step in the right direction, but it won’t win. Sorry guys.
  121. Jonas
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:05 am
    Yes, his own entry is arguably the worst Swedish entry ever – but I think it’s fair to say he’s learned his lesson. He definitely knows a thing or two by now. I have to agree with Fatima, he shouldn’t have revealed his opinion – if the UK do get a bad slot, whether Christer’s views played a part or not – it won’t appear to be fair. Perception is important.
  122. David Who
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:05 am
    Bjorkman is absolutely right. Unfortunately, all of the general UK public i have spoken to echo Sir Terry Wogan’s sentiments and attitude when it comes to the contest – that’s a big problem to tackle. Another problem is the way the Big 5 funding works, but i’ll let someone with more knowledge than I clarify that.
    The main issue being criticised is the attitude and history of the BBC rather than the public. What is most interesting is how Bjorkman has raised the possibility of Simon Cowell getting involved when 1. Cowell is an ITV man, not BBC (i wonder if that’s Bjorkman feeling the waters, asking if ITV would like to take over UK Eurovision coverage?)
    2. Cowell has a somewhat controversial image (depending on what show one talks about). Right now, The X Factor is on its way out, but Britain’s Got Talent seems to be doing really well.
    A small note to add: “The Voice UK” has been bought by ITV recently, so is that another sign of an eventual BBC-ITV switch for Eurovision?
    A thought: I don’t see why 4Music can’t cover Eurovision in the UK one day in the future. Crazy idea, or genius?
  123. MarioMario
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:02 am
    His 1992 song was the worst Swedish entry in decades so he shouldn’t really talk about how to win Eurovision.
  124. Jonas
    April 16, 2016 @ 1:02 am
    I was with him up until he said it’s not a song competition, it’s “music entertainment”. Also the Simon Cowell judging idea would be terrible. Finally, Terry Wogan commentated from 1971-2008 so that’s a lot longer than 25 years.
  125. Fatima
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:55 am
    I basically agree with Björkman, but I think that Adam is right, it wasn’t fair of him to belittle Joe and Jake. I think it’s a fantastic song. It really ought to be a hit in the UK soon, but BBC radio won’t support it, will they ? And if Björkman doesn’t think it will win, then I guess #1 or #3 will be the draw he’ll give it if he can.
  126. Tom
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:51 am
  127. Robyn Gallagher
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:49 am
    Also: “You sound like the French now.” Sickest burn ever.
  128. Robyn Gallagher
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:48 am
    Christer shouldn’t have criticised Jake and Joe (at least wait until the 2016 competition is over – let them have their moment!), but otherwise his criticism of the UK’s attitude to Eurovision is completely valid.
    Interestingly, Australia used to use the BBC’s commentary and kept the same Wogan-style mocking tone when they shifted to their own commentary team in 2009. But when they came to enter in 2015, SBS knew that they had to take the competition seriously and enter a decent song.
    Weirdly, I’ve seen Facebook comments from Australian viewers who are genuinely annoyed that SBS don’t enter crazy, kitchy songs. But Guy Sebastian’s fifth place and Dami Im’s odds are showing that they’re on the right track.
    The BBC seem to be on the right track this year, but they still have a long way to go.
  129. Adam
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:45 am
    Whether it’s true or not, it seems really unprofessional for the *Producer* of the whole show to say that about Joe and Jake. Like it’s one thing for regular voters/not as important people to say their personal opinions but when the whole Producer does it, it just doesn’t seem right. He should be impartial until after the show.
    Though I agree with him that Terry Wogan messed up eurovision for the UK by planting those polarizing ideas about the contest in the viewers (especially years 2000-2008), Christer sounds like he doesn’t know a thing about british humor. Graham’s commentary is the best, he’s not annoying and depressing like Terry was.
  130. Loo
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:40 am
    He is absolutely right!
  131. wozzeck
    April 16, 2016 @ 12:40 am
    Should the UK presen better songs? Yes, sure. Should Graham Norton change his tone? Damn, no! I wish my country had Graham Norton. It’s one of the best thing of Eurovision. I can’t wait to download the BBC broadcast as soon it’s av