Episode 150: Bacchanal in Baku

The Overthinkers tackle Eurovision 2011.

Matthew Wrather hosts with Matthew Belinkie, Pete Fenzel, Josh McNeil, John Perich and Dave Shechner to overthink Eurovision 2011 and pay tribute to its winner, Azerbaijan.


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11 Comments on “Episode 150: Bacchanal in Baku”

  1. Amanda #

    Woohoo! Too bad the reason I’m still awake is ridiculously time-consuming homework :( The podcast will cheer me up though! :D
    Also, hey Cat, hey Gab! If I post new comments on the latest TFT page, will you guys read it? No one has written anything there in a while…


    • cat #

      Yes. Though I am currently working on a post so if you happen to comment on anything related to it I will ignore you. Kidding. :) Gossip Girl has been pretty great lately. I need someone to discuss it with.


    • Gab #

      Yes! I only watch Glee, though, so anything I have to contribute will be limited.


  2. Johann #

    Yes! A whole Podcast episode on Eurovision! Finally I will listen to you guys discussing something that I actually have watched as well.


  3. SwedishFrog #

    Excellent show, I have discovered the podcast about three weeks ago and am diligently listening to the back catalog.
    I found this Eurovision episode quite fun, being French and living in Sweden, I have been more exposed to the contest than ever before this year (in France, the Eurovision is not even broadcasted on regular TV, it has been pushed back to more obscure channels on the TNT, a sort of free cable).

    And just so you know, although Saade is probably not going to blow up anywhere else than here, he already has a pretty successful career here in Sweden, and I am afraid he will continue to “get her” now that he is even more popular.


  4. cat #

    “Nobody else is voting for the UK except the UK which of course can’t vote for the UK.” Hilarious statement.

    This podcast needed more Shechner. Can you do an all science episode one week?

    Name one member of the cast of Fame? Irene Cara. I haven’t even seen the movie.

    I just watched the official video for the Azerbaijan entry. If that song wasn’t a duet or if the lyrics had been divided up differently it would have been completely stalkerish…which based on a ton of what seems to be well received in Top 40 pop music should have led people to conclude it would win.
    Perhaps the problem with Russia’s entry is while it does have a Gaga vibe in the production, it doesn’t have any edge or strangeness and he’s too model attractive. The top rated comments for the video are about how “cute” he is.
    The vocals on most of these were pretty hard to stand for the entire length of the song.
    Hungary reminded me of Celine at first and then it started to feel like a Whitney Houston/Leona Lewis dance song that seems inappropriate as an upbeat song. It was like mashing all these qualities from diva power singers together but removing all the meaning from the song and removing the impressiveness. Major props to her for her voice but it was not particularly exciting or engaging.


  5. Chris #

    I would represent Michigan in a Eurovision-esque competition, and I would sing “New Orleans, 1927.” I know it’s supposed to be an original song in Eurovision. I don’t care.

    Also, one more bit about betting, though this is based on my knowledge of sports betting. Bookies set an initial line, but the line will change based on betting patterns. if somebody is getting a lot of money, the line on them will move down, and vice versa. In sports, there is also a thing known as a “public team.” These are the really popular teams that people like to bet on regardless of how well the team is doing at the time. For example, people love to bet on the Green Bay Packers. They take in a ton of money anytime they can be bet on. As such, the line on them is usually lower than perhaps it should be from an objective point of view.

    I don’t know anything about, say, Jedward, or the French entry, but if Jedward is fairly well known, they might have a lot of popularity which pushed the line down on them simply by name recognition and such. Granted, if they were quite popular you think they would have done better, but it is still plausible.


    • petrlesy #

      yeah i would guess that in pop contests the “public” opinion affects the line even more than in sports as there are almost no “objective” data (mentioned youtube hits and hype seem quite weak). my explanation of the large discrepancies in pre-show odds and actual results is that in pop shows the set of people voting and set of people betting has not much in common. plus the volume of money put on pop shows or politics is IMO small, it is more of a novelty thing for the bookies.


  6. Timothy J Swann #

    Betting on sport is pretty legal in Europe. (Although apparently in most nations it has to be done through a state-operated bookmaker). Certainly in Britain, sport betting is one of the biggest sources of bookmaking.

    Also, the reason Jedward are polarising is not their Gaga-ness, it’s their talentlessness. Their Eurovision song doesn’t give a picture of what they sound like. Try searching their versions of Under Pressure etc…


  7. Anthony Abatte #

    This is one of the most interesting podcast episodes I’ve heard in a while because you exposed me to something new. I’ve never heard of Eurovision until this.

    I was trying to guess whether you would be overthinking Bridesmaids or Priest but i was wrong on both. This was interesting though and thanks for sharing some global pop culture.


  8. Johann #

    For me, this episode somehow “felt” different then most others, and I am trying to make sense of it. I think the weirdness for me was that suddenly you were discussing not American pop culture, but European, which you usually don’t do (sometimes you cover things from Asia, but we are usually left alone). So in a strange way it almost felt a little like you guys were “intruding” into “my own” realm of pop culture. Pleasant, though! Would love to see some more European pop culture subjected to a level of… (you know the rest).

    Oh, and even I as a European have no clue why it is 12 points and how the popular and jury votes get integrated.


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