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June 15, 2007

Road Trip Day #6: Eurovision Night!

0030asitia Now, I've talked before about how seriously Eurovision is taken here.

The build up to the show resembled the way the BBC and ITV used to build up to their simultaneous coverage of the F.A. Cup Final. NET had a two hour preview show, only interrupted by a news bulletin, on which the lead item was the Eurovision Song Contest.

Mega was even worse. When Claire got back from the trip she found that the hours of American TV she records each Saturday had been replaced by six hours of Eurovision preview. All on a channel that wasn't even showing the contest.

We'd made sure our hotel room in Sitia had a TV for the occasion, but we could have watched it in any number of tavernas. In Sitia they all seemed to have their big screens out for the occasion.

We chose to sit in our hotel room though, and simulated the group party experience by having a free flow of text messages back and forth between Crete and various people in London.

0030beurovision We had our own voting fiasco as well.

Neither of us could get through on the telephone numbers on Greek TV using our pay-as-you-go Greek mobiles - perhaps they had identified us as immigrants and denied us our voting rights?

I tried to vote by text message, having at the last minute decided not to vote for the goth-sheer-body-stocking-and-bin-liner combo of Natalia Barbu from Moldova, and instead opt for Georgia's ambitious electronic Bjork-a-like Sopho.

I don't think I did it right though - from the instructions on screen I think I was supposed to text E11, but I missed off the 'E'. Then I tried again, but couldn't work out if I had to text a western capital 'E' or a Greek capital epsilon character 'Ε'. Which might look the same to us, but which I'm sure are very different to the computers counting the votes.

Then the time limit expired.

We didn't think much of the winning Serbian entry. Our favourites included the aforementioned Moldova and Georgia, whilst Claire had intended to vote for Romania. We liked the Finnish entry (more goth rock) as well.

0030celtonwrong Claire found the Swedish glam rock entry to be every thing she hates - "I just can't bear it". We also, like most of Europe, despised the UK's Scootch entry with its smug red, white and blue fly the flag British patriotism, and calculating campness. Let's be honest, if you are going to do camp at the Eurovision show, you really have to camp it up à la Ukraine - or "Elton Wrong" as Claire dubbed him.

We were most pleased that Greece did not get relegated though - I'm not sure we would have heard about anything else on Star or Mega news for the next six months if they had.

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