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Archive for the ‘Croatia’ Category

Go East? Er, no thanks….

Posted by DINRIL on February 23, 2012

Why are we beginning to get the distinct impression that the Eurovision crown may be heading back westwards this year? Could it have something to do with this trio of not-quite-so-lovelies which were chosen over the weekend perchance? Let’s start with the Ukrainian entry this year, Gaitana’s Be My Guest which swept to a blindingly obvious victory last Saturday during a national final in which the judges greeted all the other entries with polite applause and slightly bored expressions, only to break into a rapturous standing ovation when our winner had finished her song. Anyway, Be My Guest is an anthemic little dance number aimed at welcoming visitors to the country for the forthcoming Euro 2012 championships (as in those which Poland is co-hosting, and which resulted in them saying they were too busy to take part in Eurovision this year. Yes. That’ll be it. Not even partially a discreet flounce based upon the fact you came LAST IN THE ENTIRE CONTINENT IN 2011.). And Gaitana is part Ukrainian, part Congolese. Hang on a second. Football anthem? Part Congolese? Didn’t France do this in 2010? Oh whatever. It’s not their finest hour, but this is Ukraine, who as we all know could sneeze in a bucket for three minutes and still make the final:

 

 

Probably the less said about the next two the better. Latvia came up with an utterly bizarre final on Saturday night which made us almost long for the ridiculousness of UK rap acts and, er, Scooch as a cavalcade of mad people dressed in Willy Wonka costumes, medievally dressed bands playing the lute and a woman wearing a giant wedding cake took to the stage. But the eventual winner was this, the slightly tongue-in-cheek Beautiful Song by Anmary. Bit of a divisive effort this one, with some actually quite liking it and others failing to see the irony behind lyrics which include ‘I was born in a distant 1980, the year that Irish Johnny Logan won’. (what, not 1987?) Er, yes, and I was born in 1971, the year that Monaco scored their one and only victory, what of it?? On this basis, we are already looking forward to Eurovision 2042, which may well feature a song that begins, ‘I was born in 2012, the year that Latvia single-handedly failed to make it out of the semi-final yet again:

 

And then we have Georgia’s effort, in which Anri Jokhadze informs us ‘I’m A Joker’. You are indeed, aren’t you? Ahem.

 

Still, there was one redeeming feature over the weekend, and that was the lovely Nina Badric from Croatia revealing her entry Nebo, aka Heaven. Not a lot to say about this since we didn’t have the added entertainment of a national final to sit through but this is a nicely stirring ballad which may yet redeem the Eastern Bloc. And we bet she’ll belt it out on the night.

And on that note we are off for a nice lie-down…..

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Posted in Croatia, Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine | Leave a Comment »

Our new favourite song…..

Posted by DINRIL on March 8, 2011

We haven’t been that impressed by the Croatian entries of late, at least not since Severina’s majestic Moja Stikla in 2006. This year however, following a national final which enthralled us and confused us in equal measures (all the singers perform a song each, then some songs get knocked out, then the singers perform different songs that the others sang previously, then the audience shriek like banshees, then someone else sings something different, etc.etc.) they chose Daria Kinzer to take the song Lahor to Dusseldorf.

Lahor means ‘breeze’, apparently. Yet for some reason the English title of the song is Break A Leg. Does someone want to explain that to us? Because apart from the fact that it fits nicely into the beat of the chorus we can’t think of any other reason for the title change.  And now we’re just even more confused…..oh enough already. Love this to bits,and the fact it ticks all the right boxes (right down to the key change) makes it a front-runner in our minds…..

Posted in Croatia, Eurovision 2011 | 5 Comments »

RIP….

Posted by DINRIL on November 21, 2010

Sad news comes to us courtesy of ESC Today, who are reporting that 75 Cents, the man who brought Croatian pensioner rap to the Belgrade contest in 2008, died on Friday aged 78. The accordion player turned unlikely rapper will be best remembered – at least in Eurovision terms – for shouting all the way through  Kraljevi Ulice’s song Romanca in Belgrade, doing a bit of ‘DJ-ing’ on an old gramophone, eyeing up the band’s dancer and generally enjoying himself thoroughly. They may only have finished 21st in the final (having come a creditable fourth in their semi), but we enjoyed the performance even if the massed ranks of Europe turned out to be largely indifferent. Let’s just take a moment to remember Mr Cents’s finest hour…..:)

 

 

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The Great Big Super Super Extra Large Weekend Round Up

Posted by DINRIL on March 9, 2010

Phew! What a busy weekend it was in Eurovision land. No less than seven songs chosen for Oslo. So instead of waffle, let’s get down to business. First up we have the Croatian entry, which is by Feminnem, who represented Bosnia and Herzegovina a few years ago with the oh-so-cute Call Me (are you keeping up?). They seem to have grown up a bit for this one, as Lako Je Sve is a dramatic ballad which we would like more if a) it didn’t sound so much like a cross between Molitva and Believe, b) it weren’t for the mad overblown posturing in the performance which reminds us of something out of a Shakespear’s Sister video c) they didn’t include that funny heart thing at the end and d) their frocks looked a bit less odd. Still, those in the know inform us this has a good chance of winning so we shall monitor it with interest:

Next up we have Ukraine, Vasyl Lasarovich’s I Love You. And the less said about this one the better, except to say that we’re very very disappointed in you Ukraine. And we wouldn’t be at all surprised if you didn’t make the final this year:

Ramping up the tempo a bit, we come to Moldova, who bypassed the much-hyped Pavel Turcu in favour of this,  Run Away by Sun Stroke Project and Olia Tira. ‘This year’s Waldo’s People’ is probably the best way of putting it:

And it’s back to the ballads with Portugal’s Filippa Azevedo, singing Ha Dias Assim. If ever a 1980s James Bond theme had been commissioned out to a Portuguese artist, it would probably have sounded something like this. And we can safely say that their record as the longest-serving country without a Eurovision win isn’t going to be troubled this year:

And finally, our favourite song to be chosen on Saturday night, Romania’s Playing With Fire by Paula Seling and Ovi. Let’s think why we like this one so much? Because of the double-sided piano? The operatics? The fact it’s NOT A BLOOMIN’ BALLAD? Or possibly because it’s just ridiculous and playful and fun and ever so slightly barking? Er yes, that’d be it. Plus of course they’re clearly the anti-Chanee and N’Evergreen, while Paula amply fills the ‘mammoth-haired East European diva’ role normally taken care of by the Ukrainians. This has to be in the final as far as we’re concerned:

Sunday, meanwhile, brought with it two more songs. Now we watched some of the Russian final and there were some pretty good tunes, including our favourite by the folk-singing grannies known as Buranovskiye Babushki – so quite why this turgid effort, Lost And Forgotten by the Peter Nalitch Band (or as we like to refer to them, Kings Of Leonid), got chosen is beyond us:

And last but not least we have the year’s most pleasant surprise to date, from Belgium. Now in common with their neighbours the Netherlands, the Belgians haven’t done too well of late, so much so we almost began to think they had given up. In other words this could have gone one of two ways. They could have gone the way of the Dutch and entered a load of complete nonsense or they could actually have gone back to the drawing board and thought about how they could possibly improve upon recent performances. And it seems – hurrah! – they’ve done the latter. Tom Dice’s Me And My Guitar, which in essence is the man himself, with a guitar, might bear a passing resemblance to Mark Cohn’s Walking In Memphis, but it’s a very likeable, simple song that has huge mainstream appeal and will go down a storm with the juries. Good move Belgium. You may just have gotten yourself your most successful entry in years:

Posted in Belgium, Croatia, Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News, Moldova, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Ukraine | 5 Comments »

The Great Big Eurovision Experiment 2009 – Croatia

Posted by DINRIL on April 29, 2009

igorcukrovAnd the interviews just keep on coming! Step forward Croatia’s Igor Cukrov…

How does it feel to be representing your country at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?

With Eurovision song contest being such a huge event, representing my country is quite an honour.

What are you most looking forward to about taking part?

Well, whole package – going to Moscow, being a part of Eurovision song contest, getting to see all of that first hand, performing on a, I’m sure, spectacular stage in front of a sell out crowd and millions of TV spectators… What can we expect from your performance? Are you planning a lavish stage show? Ofcourse, we are going to do some things differently than we did in Opatija (Croatian competition), but lavish? We are not going to over do it. I believe in our song and, besides, it’s not an up tempo, dance or some similiar style, so over doing it doesn’t really make sense…

Have you ever been to Moscow and are you looking forward to it?

Since this is going to be my first visit to Moscow, i’m really looking forward to seeing such, I’m sure of it, splendid city. Well, how could it be different – Moscow is one of the greatest cities in the world.

Which of this year’s other songs do you rate?

I liked songs from Greece, Turkey and Norway. Which is your favourite Eurovision song of all time, and which is your favourite from your home country? Two stand apart – Abba and Johnyn Logan. Of Croatian songs, i liked 1995’s Nostalgija, and from the even older ones, from the times of Yugoslavia, there were Daniel’s Julie (1983)..

What do you think about the debate over so-called ‘political’ voting?

Ha ha… One side of it is understandable – and it’s same in ex-Yugoslav, ex-USSR, Benelux or nordic countries -. people from those countries live in area where social and cultural connections are strong and it is understandable for them to vote more for artists from their region. As I know – political, and i’d rather say regional – voting existed for years, but became interesting for media only recently – when eastern countries prevailed, both in numbers and votes gained. In the end, tere is a saying that says – “it is what it is”.

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

Croatian preliminary contest (Dora) has such voting for years. And it also draws criticism. Displeasure is in peoples nature, especially if you don’ get what you want or what you think you deserve. I, personally, don’t mind. Everybody knows rules prior to competition and by coming to competition, you agree to its rules.

Why do you think Eurovision is still so popular, even after all these years?

I think it’s popularity increesed in recent years, and for couple of reasons. Firstly, it became more spectatular, often with over the top kitsch, but that is what draws interest from audience. Ofcourse, some of that spectacularity has nothing to do with the quality of music, but eurovision is a show, and often a spectacular one. Secondly, countries new to contest invest in it, making it more interesting.

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…….? 🙂 )

Of course. Jade has great voice and her song is definitely one of the better UK songs in recent years. And about the points from Croatia? Well, if you believe in “political voting”, wait till we give highest points to Serbia, Bosnia… Now seroiously, who can say what voters will do…

Posted in Croatia, Interviews | 2 Comments »

Permission To Yawn?

Posted by DINRIL on March 2, 2009

It’s been another frantic weekend of activity in Eurovision land (we’re starting to enjoy all these Saturday night webcasts – what will we do when it’s all over?) with another clutch of songs being chosen. First, we have Croatia. Which is doing absolutely nothing to float our boat whatsoever. Have we heard it all before? Yes. Is it better? No. In fact, Igor Cukrov’s song is a bit on the dull side, we reckon. Bet it sails through to the final….

Posted in Croatia | 1 Comment »