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Song Reviews – Montenegro and Israel

Posted by Caroline on April 18, 2008

It’s that time again – when we cast our opinion over the songs that will be lining up on the Eurovision stage this year – and as per usual, we’ll be looking at them in the order in which they appear in the semi-final, followed by the finalists. So kicking off with semi-final number one song number one (help!), we have….

MONTENEGRO

Song: Zauvijek Volim Te

Artist: Stefan Filipovic

When the good people of Montenegro went to the ballot boxes to vote for independence from Serbia, just after Athens 2006 had been held, we can’t help thinking things might have been different if just a few voters had thought, “Well, I’m not sure about this whole independence malarkey. It could have a catastrophic effect on our fledgling Eurovision career.” Had they done so, things could have been very different. For when twinned with Serbia, Montenegro was a potentially strong force on the Eurovision stage, scoring two consecutive top ten placings and almost winning the contest with their Serbian colleagues on their very first attempt in 2004.

Fast forward to a time when the countries exist as separate entities and the Serbians have gone from strength to strength (after all folks, that is why we’re in Belgrade this year) while the Montenegrins, left to strike out alone, have been left floundering in semi-final hell. And so it’s likely to be the case again this year – for Stefan Filipovic here kicks off the 2008 tournament with a song about as bland and dull as you could possibly imagine. This rather dated (honestly, it’s as if the Montenegrins got stuck in a timewarp where every new year it’s 1989) soft-rock effort sounds for all the world as though it might have come from the East European equivalent of High School Musical – and while it’s certainly more palatable than Montenegro’s 2007 entry, that really isn’t saying much. Expect this to be the moment in the contest when a million casual viewers, who have just tuned in on the promise of seeing something good, change their minds and decide to switch over to Holby City instead.

Reminds us of: Last year’s Austrian entry. A little. And look what happened to that.

Will it qualify?: Doubtful. Granted, the first semi-final has the weaker selection of songs, meaning that anything is in with a chance, but we can still think of ten entries in that semi which are much more deserving than this. Better luck next year, perhaps?

 

ISRAEL

Song: The Fire In Your Eyes

Artist: Boaz Mauda

Israel may be one of our favourite Eurovision countries ever, but even we will admit they haven’t had much luck at the contest in recent years, what with Eddie Butler finishing second from bottom in 2006 and Teapacks crashing out of the contest at semi-final stage in 2007 with just 17 points (we actually loved their song Push The Button but perhaps it was a little too odd for Eurovision audience tastes).

Whether 2008 will see a change in their fortunes remains to be seen, since this is one of those entries which has really divided Team Eurovision, some loving it and others dismissing it as a load of old tosh. Since the editor has the last say, however (and favours the former option), we’re going to give this one a cautious thumbs-up, since there’s some definite promise here – the song itself has the feel of much of the rock music that comes from that part of the world (with a touch of ethnicity thrown in for good measure) while Boaz, winner of Israel’s equivalent of Pop Idol, has a very pleasant voice and gives it all he’s got. This one, we suspect, really will stand or fall on the night depending on the performance – a good one could actually see this one sneak into the final, while a bad one could spell disaster. We shall see.

Reminds us of: Any number of male Israeli singer songwriters (check out Omri Levy for starters…..)

Will it qualify?: Quite possibly. We shall just sit on the fence for now, and wait and see how it goes on the night!

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3 Responses to “Song Reviews – Montenegro and Israel”

  1. Yug said

    I disagree that the the first semi-final has the weaker selection of songs. I can find more than ten worthy candidates from the first semi-final, but only about a half-dozen from the second.

    For some reason I can’t explain, I like the Montenegran entry (but I agree that it does seem dated and bland, and has little chance of qualifying). I don’t see any resemblance to the dreck Austria sent last year, though (and Montenegro certainly won’t adopt that ridiculous presentation with the 15,000 Swarovski crystals).

    I agree with the editor about Israel’s entry. It took a while for it grow on me, but it sounds like quality to me now. 🙂

  2. Yug said

    The first semi-final has a MUCH stronger selection of songs – at least according to people betting money on the contest. We can compare them by looking at how much it would cost to make a bet on every song to win exactly one “unit” (pounds, euros, dollars, or whatever).

    Using the best odds from bestbetting.com for each song, it would cost 0.66 to buy every song in the first semi-final, but only 0.39 to buy the every song in the second one.

    If we bet on the songs finishing in the top ten instead of winning, the difference becomes even more stark (only one establishment offers odds on finishing in the top ten, so we just use theirs). It would cost 27.27 to buy all of the songs in the first semi-final to finish in the top ten, but only 11.21 to buy all of the songs in the second semi-final. Again, not even close. I just don’t understand why people believe in the myth that the second semi-final contains stronger songs. It clearly doesn’t.

  3. Clive R said

    Boaz is a sexy fit looking young guy, hopefully that will help him along with a very good song.

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