Song: Comme Ci Comme Ca
Ah, Cyprus. One of those countries who’ve come so tantalisingly near to winning Eurovision on numerous occasions, yet have yet to actually taste victory. Recent years have served them well, with boy band One coming up trumps with Gimme in 2002, and Lisa ‘she’s actually from Kent you know’ Andreas making the top five in 2004 with Stronger Every Minute. Last year, however, was a disaster, with Annette Artani shrieking her way through the overblown ballad Why Angels Cry (tut tut, lady, didn’t you learn anything from Lisa Andreas? Less is more when it comes to ballads!) and failing to even make it out of the semi-final.
This year, however, is a very different story. Evridiki is a Eurovision veteran, and this year she’s chosen to sing an upbeat dance track entirely in French (and she’s not the only one opting for a random language this year – Latvia are singing in Italian, Romania have opted for a variety of languages, Israel are protesting against nuclear bombs in English, French and Hebrew, while Ukraine have chosen to sing in several different tongues including English and Mongolian. As you do). But hey! – we’re off topic here (it’s just that when Team Eurovision suggested that every country should be made to sing in a random language other than their native tongue, just for the sheer hell of it, we didn’t expect people to actually start doing it).
Comme Ci Comme Ca, which we believe we were discussing several hundred paragraphs ago, is a distinct improvement on last year’s Cypriot effort, with a funky dance beat, foot-tapping chorus and a bit in the middle that ‘goes all Ayia Napa’ and rave-like. We like it, but we can’t work out if it’s tapping into the current trend for 80s style synth sounds or if it’s just a bit dated. And although it should, by rights, sail comfortably through to the final, we’re not sure about that either. It’s good – but as with Anjelica Agurbash in 2005 and Kate Ryan last year – is it good enough? Time will tell.
For It: This kind of thing tends to do quite well at Eurovision – straightforward, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin style dance pop. And as a Eurovision veteran, Evridiki knows how to deliver the goods.
Against It: The competition is fierce this year, and tracks like this have a habit of failing to make it out of the semi-final, as we’ve already mentioned. And being sandwiched between Israel’s heavily-hyped song and Belarus’ fabulously lush ballad will do it no favours. The performance on the night had better be a good one.
Prediction: Again, we’re borderline on this one – could well qualify but again could just miss out. File under maybe. But at least if they do make it Greece will have someone to give their 12 points to – last year, in the absence of Cyprus in the final, they got all confused and awarded it to some Finnish death metal instead.
Song: Work Your Magic
Here’s something we didn’t think we’d find ourselves saying – this year’s entry from Belarus is MARVELLOUS. Why do we sound so surprised? Well, these relative newcomers into the Eurovision fold haven’t exactly made much of an impact on the contest so far – their debut effort My Galileo sank without trace, Angelica Agurbash’s Love Me Tonight (which by rights should have done better), failed to deliver the goods on the night and floundered as a result – and as for last year’s effort, Mama – well, let’s not go there.
But like Bulgaria, another country who’ve arrived on the Eurovision scene fairly recently and made little impression up to now, Belarus appear to have pulled their socks up this year and made an effort. Because Koldun’s song (he has inexplicably shed his first name Dimitry for the purposes of the contest) is everything you want from a Eurovision entry – reminiscent of Russia’s Never Let You Go from last year (and we all remember how well that did), it starts off a bit like a Bond theme before turning into a big, flamboyant mid-tempo ballad with a killer chorus (it even goes up a semi-tone for the final verse). It’s the kind of thing you could imagine the reformed Take That singing, actually.
As such, we’re left gaping in wonder at how Belarus, who have gotten it so wrong in Eurovision so far, could have suddenly gotten it so spectacularly right. As may be obvious, this is one of our favourite songs in the contest, and if it doesn’t make it through to the final and do very well indeed, we’ll be even more surprised.
For It: Classic Eurovision fodder which with a good performance, really shouldn’t fail.
Against It: Not much, to be honest, although it’s on right after a bunch of really good songs, all of which have a chance of making the final, and as such there’s a remote chance it might get lost in the pack (even though the Icelandic song which follows is frankly not much cop). But not much of a chance, to be honest.
Prediction: We think we’ve made that obvious. Unless something goes very very wrong, we reckon Belarus are on their way to their first final. Expect this one to do very well indeed.