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More treats from the East….

Posted by Caroline on March 8, 2012

….or possibly not as the case may be. First in this quartet is the Bulgarian entry, Love Unlimited by Sofi Marinova, and are we the only ones to find this a tad bizarre? The song is upbeat and fun, the singer is dressed as though she is about to sing a Lithuanian Disney ballad, and is standing all alone on that great big stage with just a few giant sparklers for company. Surely a song like this demands a few dancers or at least something beyond static fireworks? Better liven it up a bit before Baku we think, otherwise it’ll back to semi-final oblivion for the Bulgarians. Again:

And here’s Estonia’s effort, Kuula by Ott Lepland. Not one of your finest hours, Estonia, it has to be said (and could you really have come up with something more different to Rockefeller Street if you had tried?????) Although we sense there could be a bit of jury love a la Lithuania 2011 heading in this one’s general direction:

And speaking of Lithuania, here they are with their entry, Donny Montell’s Love Is Blind. Now this isn’t bad once it gets going but we have some questions: 1) why does it sound like two songs stuck together? 2) In what way was this better than the dwarf rapper from the national final? 3) why, Donny, are you dressed like Zorro for the first half of the song? Fair enough if it’s a gimmick but don’t come crying to us when you fall into the orchestra pit mid-song on semi-finals night:

Finally we have FYR Macedonia, a little number called Black and White by Kaliopi. Or as we are sending here, the Macedonian answer to Bonnie Tyler:




Posted in Bulgaria, Estonia, Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, FYROM, Lithuania | Leave a Comment »

Adding to the motley crew….

Posted by Caroline on February 27, 2011

… this year’s effort from Bulgaria, Poli Genova’s Na Inat. And for the first time in years they appear to have bucked the trend of going for a bangin’ dance track – although we remain unconvinced that this is a good thing:

Posted in Bulgaria, Eurovision 2011 | Leave a Comment »

Party Of Five….

Posted by Caroline on March 1, 2010

The national final season continues apace, and while we are having slight palpitations at the thought of next weekend, when songs are being chosen by the fistful, this weekend brought us another five to wine, dine, get to know and then invite back to our place for a nightcap. Let’s start with the Slovakian entry – and while we are the first to admit our hopes weren’t high after the long-absent central Europeans made one of the worst comebacks in contest history in 2009, we have to admit this one’s come as quite a pleasant surprise.  Horehronie by Kristina might come across as Ruslana-lite, and it’s not exactly world-class, but it’s still a damned sight better than we were expecting, and we might even venture to suggest this one has a chance of putting the Slovakians back in the final:

And so to Latvia. Now we’re convinced that one day the Latvians, the people who have in recent years brought us singing pirates, accapella singing accompanied by stick puppets,  Italian cod-opera and, er, that bloke who jumped up and down a lot last year, will at some point just enter a nice normal song and we’ll all be really disappointed that they have lost their ‘wacky’ edge. This year is not that year. What For (Only Mr God Knows Why) isn’t exactly a bad song as such, but the execution is so wondrously bizarre – singer Aisha (and you’ll note we use the word ‘singer’ in the loosest possible sense here) stands atop a giant podium initially in a dress that makes her look about nine feet tall, while a man playing an accordion wanders amid women in togas doing their washing. And that’s one of the more straightforward moments.  The whole thing reminded us curiously out of something from the musical Annie (only with slightly more grown-up orphans) and as such we can’t quite decide whether we like it or not. Still, if they don’t do well then the laundry ladies are more than welcome to come round to Team Eurovision HQ, since the washing machine is currently broken:

Then there’s the Bulgarian entry, Angel Si Ti by Miro, which in a shock move is a 2010 Eurovision entry which actually sounds like it was composed in 2010. It’s a bangin’ dance tune of the type we’ve come to expect from the Bulgarians in recent years, and the kind they seem to do so well, and if we’re being honest Miro is more than easy on the eye, with the kind of dazzling dental excellence that is seen on the Eurovision stage all too rarely. But of course we want him to get through to the final because of the quality of his music. Oh yes of course we do:

Belarus, meanwhile, slipped their entry in quietly with very little fuss and bother (are you listening, Malta??), so much so we almost forgot about it. Far Away by boy/girl group 3+2 is pretty standard Belarussian rock of the sort we’ve come to expect from them year after year after year after year (yawn. The magnificence of Koldun is beginning to look like a hazy memory), but it’s still a considerable improvement on last year’s effort.  Just one thing though, how weird is the audience for this one? Half of them look as if they’d rather be anywhere but watching yet another Eurovision entry which is likely to be on the next plane back to Minsk the second the semi-final is over, the other half just look a tad lost and puzzled:

And last but not least, we have the return to the contest of Georgia, following their controversial withdrawal from last year’s proceedings. This year’s effort is called Shine (we’re trying not to think about the Netherlands’ horrendous, similarly-titled effort from last year), a big epic ballad by the winsome Sofia Nizharadze. And we have just two words: potential winner. End of:

Posted in Belarus, Bulgaria, Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News, Georgia, Latvia, Slovakia | 5 Comments »

It Begins….seven months in advance. Stop it.

Posted by Caroline on October 29, 2009

So next year’s Eurovision isn’t until May 29, a whole seven – count ’em – seven months from now, yet it seems some countries have already started making preparations. Bulgaria, for example, who have decided they will be represented by this chap, Miroslav Kostadino. We don’t even know what song he’ll be singing, when it will be chosen or any of those particularly salient details – all we know is that he’ll be singing it. And, er,  call us killjoys but doesn’t it all seem a tad early to anybody else?????? We’re way too entrenched in X Factor category and mulling over the all-conquering power of John and Edward to even think about what the rest of Europe might have planned for Oslo. But hey, nonetheless, he has been chosen, so, er, yay Miro. Or something.

Posted in Bulgaria | 2 Comments »

The Great Big Eurovision Experiment 2009 – Bulgaria

Posted by Caroline on April 15, 2009

bulgariakrassimir1Let’s all wave hello to the lovely Krassimir Avramov…..

How does it feel to be representing your country at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
It’s a big emotion. I really hoped and wanted very much to win,  but  when I heard my name at the final , actually it came a little bit like a shock. I couldn’t stand my emotions and my tears, because I have been thinking that after so many years abroad people in Bulgaria have forgotten me a bit. And  I was so grateful to the audience that they prove me that still love me,  love my songs and love „Illusion” It is great, but it is a big responsability as well. You are the face of your country in front of Europe.

What can we expect from your performance? Are you planning a lavish stage show?
Well we will use the theme of the music video as a base for the stage performance, the details I will keep in secret. I think it will be an impressive show. It will be a try  in a modern way to bring on the stage the athmosphere and the spirit of the medieval centuries.

Have you ever been to Moscow and are you looking forward to it?
I have never been in Moscow, it will be my first time there  and I am happy that  my first visit to the Russian capital will be because of such a event like Eurovision Song Contest.

Which of this year’s other songs do you rate?
Well it is hard to me to be specific at this moment and to mention names, but yes I have favourite ones. And I wish good luck to all of the participants.

Which is your favourite Eurovision song of all time, and which is your favourite from your home country?
I had the chance to follow the contest for the last five years. As a musician of course I am interested as far as music goes and changes in the time. I appreciate this kind of contest because you really hear a lot of music and melodies . European imagination can really go far and I love this . I like many songs, I can not mention all of them,  but of course  Elena Paparizou , Number 1 is one that i like a lot. What  is specific with the Eurovision songs is that  somehow the winner songs remains , I mean  that after so many years passed you still continue to listen them and they sound like a modern hit. Since Bulgaria is participating from a short period of time on Eurovision, we don’t have a big list of choices, but I was very impressed and proud where Voda took such a high place few years ago, it was very good song, really.

What do you think about the debate over so-called ‘political’ voting?
I am not really familiar . Some called it political, some not. I believe it  is more about music , then about politics. At the end I  hope it is not, because I would have to prepare myself in a different manner if it was political voting./ha ha/

How do you think the return of jury voting might influence the final result?

Only in a better way, I think. I support this return, because the balance between the audience and the jury  is one perfect way to evaluate the efforts of the participants.

Why do you think Eurovision is still so popular, even after all these years?
Because Eurovision is one way to unite people form different nations, religions and colors with the music, to make them happier  and to give a light of brightness into  the dark. And also because it is an interesting format. It is a place where people can be influenced from each other, can creat waves like music style, fashion,  performance and this especially affects on the  youngest generation.

Have you heard the UK’s song this year and what do you think? Any chance your country could give us some points this year (please…….? 🙂 )
Your entry is very good, I like it. And your vocalist is absolutely brillant as voice and stage performace. I wish you good luck. I think you  have pretty good  chance to get votes from Bulgaria, because the  community of people from UK , living in Bulgaria grows in the past few years  J And when we speak about voting, as you will be able to vote on the First Semi Final I will also ask you for suport, I will ask you to hear my song, to open your heart and if you like it really to give your votes for me. I will represent Bulgaria under number 11. Thank you and God Bless you!

Posted in Bulgaria | Leave a Comment »

Those Wacky Bulgarians Part 782

Posted by Caroline on February 24, 2009

Techno beats! Women larking around on stilts! Strange backing singers! Flaming torches! Falsetto singing blokes wearing chainmail sweaters! Yup, it’s congratulations to Bulgaria, and their singer Krassimir Aramov, for delivering the weirdest and wackiest Eurovision entry so far this year…..

Posted in Bulgaria | Leave a Comment »