We can't wait to see if Dustin the Turkey - one of the most, if not the most rediculious Eurovision Song Contest act ever - will make it to Belgrade as the Irish Eurovision Song Contest representatives. Since this year, the rules of the contest explicitely forbid living animals on stage. "I am not a living animal, I am a puppet, so let's go for it," the brave man behind (or should I say inside) Dustin must have thought. My editor Glen checked upon the bookmaker odds for Dustin the Turkey, and returned from his mission in shock as he found out that some bookmakers are so sure of Dustin's victory in Ireland that they don't even take bets on it. Did they forget this is still the Eurovision Song Contest? Did they forget that anything can happen? Did they forget how sure Ebonique was going to win the 2001 Dutch final, but they didn't? Did they forget how sure Cyprus was going to win or at least finish top-three in 1999, while poor Marlayne finished second last with only 2 points? Bookies, wake up!
In Romania, a Swedish-made song got top marks from the selection committee. In Poland, Sweden-born singer Sandra Oxenryd - she represented Estonia in 2006 with Through My Window - takes her chance. The "invasion of the Swedes" is heavily critisized by some fans and media, who claim that this kind of intercultural exchange of music ruins the spirit of the Eurovision Song Contest. I don't think it's that bad, actually. After all, if a foreign act really wins a national final, it might be a good impulse for local song writers and composers to make a bigger effort for next year's competition. The past 53 years have proven that the contest is, to a certain extent, a self-regulating mechanism.
In Ukraine, it's Ani Lorak who already booked her tickets to Belgrade. She will perform four songs during Saturday's final. One of the songs is written by Philip Kirkorov and Karen Kavaleryan. Kirkorov represented Russia at the Eurovision Song Contest in the nineties and the duo took part in the Eurovision Song Contest as writers of Work Your Magic, the Belarusian entry in Helsinki. It's up to the public to decide if Russian pop 'diva' Kirkorov will be joining the Ukrainian delegation in Belgrade, in May.
Though hectic and stressful, we are looking forward to Super Saturday! Throughout the week, my team and I will keep you updated on what's going on behind the scenes at Eurovision.tv.
PS Stop sending us coffee and energy drink, we're well equipped already!