At least Russia didn’t win

If last year was a demonstration of the power of the gay vote at Eurovision, then this year, despite the indications the contest is running with that now, between the heavy use of Conchita and the clips of gay couples in the opening, is a demonstration that sometimes it doesn’t have that much power.  I doubt they were that thrilled at the contest coming down to the Russian singer and a homophobic Swedish one, however much PR damage control he’s been doing since getting caught(which he probably felt he had to do to compete, because of aforementioned gay vote).  Although Mans Zelmerlow was definitely the lesser of two evils winning, both because hey, his song actually was the best of the night, and also because it’s far better for the contest to return to Sweden than to Russia.  Perhaps the gay vote was responsible for the Italian opera tenors coming in third, though, and when they really shouldn’t have; they may have been hands down the best singers of the night, but the song had no substance.

And really, the night was still owned by last year’s winner.  Conchita was in her element as hostess and singer both; she actually impressed me a lot more this year than last.  And she even took the high ground, being remarkably nice to the Russian girl whose only real crime was probably to be a pretty good singer, and even to the winner:

The King and Queen of Europe-an odd couple indeed.

The King and Queen of Europe-an odd couple indeed.

Sadly, the night was also a reminder that the more common non-gay-related voting issues of Eurovision are still far from gone, especially given the toll taken on the earlier and/or Western European songs(the French song deserved a far better fate).  One supposes that’ll never go away.

Just in case the IOC was getting any ideas

So after we all spent the better part of a day being anxious about a rumor that they were going to remove ice dance from the Olympics, even though that never made sense(U.S., Russia, and probably Canada would all be against it, plus it would hurt the team event, and would Speedy really let that happen to his baby?), the IOC and the ISU have both said the rumor isn’t true.  I have now seen at least one conspiracy theory claiming this is Didier Gallaghuet trying to scare people into electing him ISU president.  Even so, I believe a few examples are in order of why ice dance should remain in the Olympics in 2018, 2022, and for as long as the Games go on.  Or maybe an entire alphabet’s worth:

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Dancing With the Stars, Season 20, Week 10, Finals, Night 2

After last night, two hours does seem a bit long for this finale, but at least they start it spectacularly, with an opening number take place outside in front of the bleachers!  The eliminated couples are all back, and each get their moment to dance, before the finalists come out at the end.  They will later do the 24-hour fusion challenge, but first there are recaps, and also performances, in both the ballroom and on the round ounoahtside stage, including:

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Dancing With the Stars, Season 10, Week 10, Finals, Night 1

The finals are here, the most competitive final ever, they all say.  I’m not absolutely sure about, especially with only three couples dancing tonight again, but it’s a good one, even if with the reduced field and no elimination it only lasts an hour tonight.  The couples march out in familiar looking costumes; looks like the first round goings to be reprises.  Indeed, it is, with the couples choosing which of their past routines they do again:

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Things MCU-related was supposed to take a breather at this point…

Really, the movie’s out, the TV season’s wrapped up, everyone’s gotten through the Netflix series by now, and nobody really cares about that Ant-Man thing coming out…whenever it’s coming out; I haven’t even looked yet.  Couldn’t we all calm down and focus on other things for a while?

Nope.  It’s kind of crazy to think less than two weeks after Age of Ultron comes out Civil War has started filming *already.*  Logically it makes sense enough; it takes a while to make movies, after all, especially if they have lots of special effects, but it still feels crazy.  And there are photos leaking way too fast; more Natasha already?  At least she looks good, but she always does.

And as if that wasn’t enough, we’re getting news about the second season of Agent Carter.  Although it is really strange to be reading all about that when reports are going on about Civil War filming a scene that sure as hell sounds like Peggy’s funeral. That this final Captain America movie would contain such a scene is hardly a surprise, though; from the time it didn’t happen in Age of Ultron I’ve suspected Civil War would open with it.

Not sure how I feel about this move to LA for the second season.  I suppose this TV series is trying to avoid being predictable or repetitive, and I generally trust they’ll tell us a good story at this point.  But there’s a lot about NYC to miss, especially the other characters, and especially Angie.  Though Howard Stark being Howard Stark, I’m sure he and Jarvis both can show up anyway.  But can Peggy at least stay in touch with Angie or something?

At least it’s good to see not only the #DiversifyAgentCarter movement, but to even see Hayley Atwell supporting it,  Now if that could just get some practical results…

Dancing With the Stars, Season 20, Week 9, Night 2, Results

Second results show of the season, and this one’s going to take some stretching, with only four couples left.  At least they’ve got a lot to recap.  Starting, of course, with Noah’s proposal, and we get a review of the ballroom’s reactions, and an interview with the newly engaged couple, and we learn that while only the producers knew about the proposal beforehand, Noah did alert Riker and give him a chance to object, since he was dancing next, but thankfully he felt he could follow it fine.

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Dancing With the Stars, Season 20, Week 9, Semi-Finals/”Judge’s Choice”

The semi-finals this year also brings a new phenomenon: “Judge’s Choice.”  We’ve had judges show up in the studio to help couples out before, but this season each of the judges will have creative control over a routine.  We have a montage explaining this, and also an opening number that for some reason takes place in a bowling alley, with Mark throwing a strike, which Tom claims he never did in rehearsal.  Tom also informs us that each of the four remaining contestants, when their scores have been combined with votes, has been on the top at least once during the season.  Lots of info tonight, really: the first round of dances tonight(not the Judge’s Choice) has the routines preceded by biographical segments, and there are interviews before the scores with people from the celebrities’ lives, which turns out to be very important in one case…

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