….let’s not forget about Sweden’s entry, This Is My Life by Anna Bergendahl. Because, er, we did (blush). Oh well. Easily done (rolls over for another snooze):
Archive for March, 2010
Posted by Caroline on March 25, 2010
Posted by Caroline on March 25, 2010
There’s been a lot of talk this year about how Eurovision 2010 is set to be the worst contest in years, that the songs are dated and boring, there are too many ballads, it’s just not good enough etc etc. To which we say – well is it that 2010 is a particularly bad year or just that 2009 was an exceptionally good one and this isn’t so good by comparison? And besides, there are just enough good tunes this year (Iceland, Georgia, Romania, Denmark, Albania, Serbia, Greece, Turkey, etc etc.) to ensure we’ll still have a decent contest on the night, provided you lot do the decent thing and vote them through the semis. And then there’s this, a late contender for possibly the best song of the year, from Azerbaijan. They took their time getting there but it was worth it, for Drip Drop by Safura is a cracking tune – slow and moody (without actually being a ballad), feisty, has a very strong chorus and most of all, actually sounds as though it belongs in 2010. We could have a winner on our hands here. Although note the dancers in this performance from the Ukrainian national final, who appear to be gyrating to an entirely different, faster, song. Safura, love, I’d leave them at home next time:
Posted by Caroline on March 24, 2010
Mopping up the last few drops of song in the Eurovision 2010 stakes we bring you a highly contrasting double bill consisting of Israel and France (put together just so we could use the above silly headline…..). Israel’s offering this year comes from the rather popular local singer Harel Skaat (who found fame on an X Factor-ish type show called something unpronounceable in Hebrew, so we’ll stick to the English title of A Star Is Born), and is called Mitim (Words).
A lot of people are tipping this as a possible winner but we happen to think there are better ballads in the competition. Quite a lot of better ballads in fact. And it all goes a bit overboard for us in the middle with the cellos and everything else. Still, despite getting the distinct feeling that one of our favourite Eurovision countries has let us down a little bit this year (and knowing they have a vibrant music scene there we know for a FACT they could have come up with something more exciting), we present it to you in all its glory:
Now France have had a track record of entering epic ballads like the Israeli one for quite some time now and not really getting that far with them. We’re kind of liking the fact they have changed tack in recent years, with Les Fatals Picards sounding like something out of a Wes Anderson movie, Sebastien Tellier producing possibly the coolest Eurovision entry of all time (well when was the last time you heard one of the Lithuanian entries or similar being used on car commercials and movie soundtracks…..?) and last year Patricia Kaas returning the French triumphantly and deservedly to the top ten. This year they’ve gone for something completely different, in the shape of Allez! Ola! Ole! by Congolese born singer Jessy Matador – and in a sneaky let’s-kill-two-birds-with-one-stone type of way this will also be the theme to France’s 2010 World Cup coverage later in the summer. And we have to say as a World Cup theme this is brilliant – you could quite imagine Gary Lineker or France’s nearest equivalent doing enthusiastic commentary over goal montages while this plays in the background.
But as a Eurovision song? Well a lot of French people have reacted to this one with the same level of shock as greeted Josh Dubovie and the UK effort i.e ‘how could they come up with such an aural assault to our delicate ears?’ But we just ask you one question? If it’s really that bad (and if we’re being honest it does remind us a bit of something used to get the crowd going at the Radio 1 Roadshow in the early 90s) then why have we been walking round singing it so much?????? Because it’s so silly that it’s completely brilliant, that’s why. We have a sneaking suspicion that if this finds itself surrounded by an enclave of ballads on the night and puts on a lively show, it could actually do a lot better than everybody is predicting. Oh and BTW there is no performance footage of this one so you’ll just have to make do with this:
Posted by Caroline on March 24, 2010
Introducing this year’s ‘actually it’s a bit meh’ entry, courtesy of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nothing more to say about this really except it is called Thunder and Lightning. And is by Vukacin Brajic. Can you tell we’re struggling a bit here…..?
Posted by Caroline on March 23, 2010
Excitement loomed large in Oslo today as the draw for the running order of the semi-finals and final was made. And ’tis as follows:
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Good news for: Finland (fifth is generally quite a good place to be in, especially if the songs before haven’t been so memorable), Belgium (mid-table can often bring with it decent results), Greece (one of the best songs in the contest placed right before three of the most snoozesome – hands up which one people are going to remember), Iceland (last on the list), Belarus (being second last could work in their favour but let’s face it they need all the help they can get), Serbia (actually we’re not sure about this one. But since it’s our favourite this year we just want it to go through wherever it’s placed)
Bad news for: Russia. Nobody has ever won from the dreaded second slot, and it proved crushing for Ireland last year. They’ll probably still go through but we still reckon they’ll have to work a bit harder to get there.
Good news for: Georgia (with such a strong song and that starting position all they really have to do to secure their place in the final is turn up), Turkey (but then Turkey could sing anywhere and make it through), Bulgaria (uptempo adrift in a sea of ballads), Ireland (a strong ballad amid uptempo numbers), Romania (one of the strongest songs in the contest sandwiched between two of the weaker efforts)
Bad news for: Slovenia (a lively duet positioned straight after – a lively duet that’s better), Lithuania (nobody will remember you. Unless it’s because you’re rubbish), Switzerland (yes, they did choose this position but given the songs they’re surrounded by it may not work in their favour), Armenia (the dreaded number two slot), Denmark (although actually this probably isn’t too bad because they’ll qualify regardless), Croatia (might be overshadowed by the Georgians).
And the Final…..
Given they’re likely to be the song before the break, this could potentially mean one of two things for the UK. Either everybody will remember the song because it was the last one before the presenters flash back to a lengthy boring film about Oslo herring factories (or something). Or nobody will remember the song because mindful of the fact that a long boring film about Oslo herring factories was forthcoming they all nipped off to the kitchen to make a cup of tea and missed it completely (which under the circumstances might not be such a bad idea). Of course we could just wait and see which songs come before and after us before we deliver our verdict……
Posted by Caroline on March 19, 2010
One of the great advantages of singing your Eurovision entry in your native language (unless said language happens to be English of course) is that only speakers of that dialect will have any idea what you’re going on about. Technically of course this means you can sing about anything you want and the vast majority of viewers will just nod and smile and happily go along with it. Isn’t that right, Serbia?
(Scroll down to the English translation to see what we’re talking about. And we don’t know who this Ljubica is exactly, but frankly she scares us……….:) )
Posted by Caroline on March 19, 2010
Continuing our plough through the recently selected songs for Oslo 2010, we come to the German entry, a daunting prospect indeed given that we’re still slightly traumatised by Oscar Loya and his Bacofoil trousers from last year. This year they’ve gone for a winsome young thing named Lena Meyer-Landrut, who won the chance to represent L’Allemagne through the Pop Idol-esque show Unser Star Fur Oslo. And yet somehow we’re wishing they hadn’t. Because her song, Satellite, sounds like something cobbled together in about two and a half minutes by an angsty student type who’s been listening to too many Alanis Morrissette albums. At least if the lyrics, all about buying blue underwear and painting one’s toenails are anything to go by. Do we actually, possibly think that the Germans have just given up any hope of ever winning? Because frankly if this is the best they can come up with then that second victory could be years, nay decades, away….
Posted by Caroline on March 18, 2010
Just when you had given up on Ukraine for the year, there may yet be a reason to support them. According to ESC Today, the new president of Ukrainian state channel NTU has listened to the complaints from other artists over the internal selection of their singer Vasyl Lasarovich – and as such as agreed to a hastily organised new national final to choose a new song from a selection of performers. Er, allow us to offer a tentative yay? No offence to Vasyl (who will be allowed to take part in the new final anyway) but that song was one of the worst we’ve heard on a Eurovision stage in many a year. And if the country who has consistently entertained us so much over the past few years can have the opportunity to come up with something better, well that’s just fine with us. Bring on the high-haired, Svetlana-esque divas! Just one thing though – don’t do a Hungary 2009 and change your mind about the song yet again…..
Posted by Caroline on March 17, 2010
Now we know we’re a little bit behind on bringing you the latest crop of songs, but they’ve all happened so fast and we’re so busy with actual – how shall we put this? – proper jobs at the moment that we’re fighting to keep up! Bear with us, we shall post everything as soon as we can, complete with salient comment. Starting with this oddball duo which weighed in over the weekend. The first song comes from Estonia, who surprised us all in 2009 after years in the semi-final wilderness, by producing one of the best songs in the contest (and they were duly rewarded with a top ten placing). But how do you follow a success like Urban Symphony? By, er, sending someone called Malcolm. Malcolm Lincoln, to be precise. Doesn’t sound very Estonian to us. So we were relieved to discover that it’s actually the name of a group rather than an individual, a duo who have teamed up with backing vocalists Manpower 4 to give us this offering, an uber-quirky number called Siren. We’re not sure why we like this. The fact that in a year where everything is either very much ballad or uptempo this is actually neither? The fact it appeals to our indiepop sensibilities? That it’s physically impossible to dance to in a Radiohead Paranoid Android kind of way? Or simply that it sounds like nothing else in the contest? Oh yes, that’ll be it. Not sure how this one will do, or if it’ll even make it out of the semi-finals, since it might be just too offbeat for the tastes of your average Eurovision voter. But let’s hope not, for we maintain the final would be a richer place with this song in it. Meanwhile, rumours that Latvia are planning to send a singer called Colin in 2011, thus causing a collective nation to fall over in shock, have been staunchly denied…..
Also taking the path of all things weird and wonderful is Serbia, who we’re pleased to see have finally found their sense of fun after the string of very serious songs they sent to Eurovision in the beginning.Yes, Cipela might have been a load of old nonsense but it was entertaining – which pretty much sums up our feelings about this year’s effort. Ovo Je Balkan (This Is The Balkans) by Milan Stankovic is a daft but irresistibly catchy folk tune accompanied by mad dancing, ladies in headscarves and – oh yes – clothes falling off midway through the song. It’s one of those ones you’ll either love or loathe, and the fact we’ve been walking around all week shouting ‘Balkan! Balkan! Balkan!’ at every possible moment (although generally under our breath on public transport) should give you some idea of where our loyalties lie. Stankovic himself does remind us somewhat of a Thunderbirds puppet, mind, with his uber-smooth skin and jerky dancing – but that aside, we have a sneaking suspicion this will sail through to the final. Mind you, we said that about Serbia last year…..
Posted by Caroline on March 16, 2010
While we were all sat open-mouthed in wonder at Your Country Needs You on Friday night, the Greeks (among others, comment on those coming very soon), were busy choosing their song for Oslo – and would you believe it, they’ve come up with one of our favourites so far. In a year dominated by beautiful young people singing heartfelt ballads, Greece has opted for a full-on Eurovision foot-stomper, of the sort that seem to be in very short supply this year – and it’s a welcome distraction from all the soul-searching that’s being served up by other countries.
Opa, by Giorgos Alkaios And Friends is the Greeks’ best effort since they won the bloomin’ thing back in 2005 – a lively, traditional sounding Eurovision foot-stomper that appears to make use of such unlikely musical instruments as a Casio digital watch alarm. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the song is so irritatingly catchy it’ll stick in your head after about five seconds, and more importantly you just know this is going to absolutely own the stage come semi-finals night – just imagine, for example, if this suddenly pops up in the running order amidst seven ballads, how much it will stand out. Our only reservation really is that Greece only ever seem to do well in this contest when they enter pretty people whose clothes fall off at key moments in the song, as opposed to, er, hairy men playing bouzoukis. Which is what we have here. But if voters can overcome that small obstacle (because frankly we’re already having flashbacks to 2002’s Sagapo and breaking out in a minor sweat) then we think there’s a distinct possibility we could be back in Athens next year…..