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News Archives - May 2006

: Race Car Ya-Yas

May 31 2006

As I mentioned in an April update, I was trying to get this year's Clipsal 500 photo gallery online sometime before the end of the year... My Clipsal 500 2005 photo gallery took a not-so-impressive 4 months to finally appear on Pants, so I was hoping I wouldn't repeat that delay with 2006's photos...

By some strange freak of nature, the Clipsal 500 2006 photo gallery is ready for viewing right now, even though it's only a mere 2 months after the actual event took place!

Just like last year, the galleries not only contain a handful of motorsport-related photos, but you'll find full coverage of the Clipsal grid girls, the swimwear parades plus photos of all 25 Bartercard Miss V8 entrants (like Eliza Miller, shown right).

Although taking half the time to prepare, the 2006 gallery has exactly twice as many photos as 2005. Through some dodgy extrapolation, this should mean that my 2007 galleries will not only have a metric crapload of photos, but will take approximately 8 months to complete! This chart says it all:

So go to the 2006 gallery and have a look around... Hopefully you'll see something you like. :)

: Praise The Lordi...!

May 22 2006

As I've mentioned here several times on Pants, I have a tendency to follow sports that I don't necessarily understand. Along the same lines as the Superbowl or Wimbledon, yesterday I witnessed another one of those big annual sporting events: the '06 Eurovision Song Contest.

Every year, dozens of European countries participate in what can essentially be described as a 51-year old glorified talent competition with serious geopolitical undertones. And every single year, without fail, it manages to be an absolutely excruciating television viewing experience. But in spite of this pain, every year I come back to watch it for a couple of reasons...

One reason would be the fact that I love watching all sorts of extravagant live TV broadcasts simply for the technical side of things. I'm a curious person who enjoys seeing a well-oiled OB/EFP machine at work, partly because of how many people are involved and the associated logistics & co-ordination required. Also, traditionally Eurovision broadcasts always have a very skilled team of steadicam operators, which is something I can appreciate.

The other reason is that while Eurovision might be painful, that is the whole point of watching it. It seems that the worse the show (or the acts) get, the more entertaining Eurovision becomes. It is with this paradox that I say that the 2006 Eurovision contest was one of the worst (hence, best) contests I've ever seen. I get the impression that some of the entrants this year weren't taking things as seriously as others were... The obvious example would be the Finland entry, Lordi, who managed to win the contest this year to much surprise. Much, much surprise...:

Incase you're not familiar with Eurovision, I can tell you that Lordi definitely does not fit the ESC entrant stereotype. The traditional Eurovision performer is normally a leggy female, a manly man or a combination of the two. But Lordi is probably Eurovision's first death-metal entrant, and as soon as I saw the lead-singer's (Mr. Lordi's) top hat, I knew this was going to be weird.

By the time I started listening to the actual lyrics (featuring such gems as "It's the arockalypse" and "On the day of rockoning"), I was crossing my fingers, hoping that they would win the comp. From the axe-handle mic stand to the kick-ass drum-kit to the creepy guitarist, the Fins made me laugh with their attention to detail. Even in the pre- & post-show press conferences they kept up the hilarious act. Or at least I hope it was an act...:

Lordi, May 12 Eurovision press conference:
"Am I married? No. Do I have kids? No," he said. "I don't believe that children should have children and in my head I'm a 15 year old. I have three dogs and a tarantula. That's enough. I used to have kids but I ate them for breakfast."
Lordi, May 14 Eurovision press conference:
In the previous press conference, Lordi had said that he eats babies for breakfast. In this one, he was asked what he eats for dinner. "Kittens," he said. "And crickets and spiders, that kind of thing. The same as you."

And of their 181-seconds-long Eurovision song, Hard Rock Hallelujah...?

"What are the best bits of the song?" he said. "The first three minutes."

Lordi weren't the only ones who I suspect who were joking around... Flying the flag for Germany at Eurovision was an Australian-led country & western song, complete with cut-out cacti. The guys from Lithuania deserved an A for effort though, because if they weren't taking the piss out of the whole contest but were actually being sincere with their entry, then I truly do pity them.

Their song, We Are The Winners, definitely stands out as my highlight of the night — yes, it was that bad. Even on paper the lyrics are horrific, but you can easily multiply that by 100 when you actually hear the song (or even worse, when you watch this guy dance).

Although some of the acts this year were something different, there were still plenty of countries sending the token buxom blonde or at least someone wearing a white dress.

The American host Maria Menounos did a good job and didn't upset me (as much as she usually does), but I didn't think much of the Greek host Sakis Rouvas. Sir Terry Wogan's commentary was as cynical as ever, which is always entertaining.

The one disappointment with the contest came late in the broadcast, when the hosts announced that the voting system has changed this year. In previous years, one-by-one every participating country would announce that region's voting results, with 10 different point values being tallied. Every vote was repeated in French (so "two points" is repeated as "doo pwa"). It was fun...!

But those damn Euros had to ruin my fun & deprive me of the oh-so-entertaining French points, didn't they? This year, the first 7 results are simply displayed on screen, with only the highest 3 pwa values being announced (to save time, presumably...). So we've gone from 10 pwas to 3 pwas per voting region this year — in 2005 we had 380 potential pwas, and this year it's 114. :(

I know I'm not the only one who will miss these abundant opportunities to giggle, so I've had the Pants research team dig up a time capsule from 2005 so we can compare the good-old-days (last year) to the utterly broken world we live in today...:

I just pray to god that those damn arrogant Frenchies don't ever learn what that crazy foreign word "points" means, otherwise we might be stuck with an English-only broadcast next year...

There's more where that came from...: Return to the News Archives index.