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What have you got to say for yourselves…Denmark?

Posted by Caroline on May 16, 2012

It’s the turn of Denmark to grace Eurovision Blog now so…take it away, Soluna Samay! (You see what we did there?)

Introduce yourself and tell us how you ended up representing Denmark in Eurovision this year!
My name is Soluna Samay and I will be representing Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest. I was discovered on Facebook by Chief 1 and Remee, two danish songwriters/producers, who were looking for an artist to sing their song at the Danish national final. And I just happened to win! 🙂

Are you looking forward to going to Baku? What can we expect from your stage show?
Yes, very much! It will be a great experience, no matter the outcome! Our stage show will be quite intimate. I have the same band on stage with me as at our national final.

Which of this year’s other entries do you rate?
I think that our neighbour Sweden will definitely be one of the toughest competitors!

Denmark have done pretty well of late, how do you plan to keep up the good work? And does the fact you’re coming to the contest off the back of two top five results leave you with added pressure to do well?
It does add a little pressure. But I will just do my very best. As long as I am myself and concentrate on singing the song (and not the millions of viewers) I think it will go fine. 🙂

Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke, an attitude which a lot of us are trying to change. How can we get people over here to take it as seriously as the Danes do?
Hard question. I think it’s up to the organizers of the UK national show to present a line-up of serious musicians to the viewers. That way people might get the feeling that it’s more about music than just the “show” and take it more seriously.

Why do you think so many people still love the contest so much even after all this time?
I think it’s just a tradition that people have grown up with. Here in Denmark it’s a family event. It’s probably out of nostalgic reasons that it’s still so popular.

Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it, and our somewhat older representative?
I think it’s a lovely song, sung by a true legend! I really hope I get to meet him.

Posted in Denmark, Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, Interviews | 1 Comment »

Permission to yawn?

Posted by Caroline on January 21, 2012

Oh Denmark, we’re disappointed. After the double whammy of 2010 and 2011 we had high hopes for another cracking tune from you for Baku. And OK, so there’s nothing actually wrong with the song you’ve chosen, it’s perfectly decent and pleasant. It’s just that a) there were better songs in the final (There were. Seriously. We watched it. We know) and secondly, it’s just not very, well, exciting. And choosing a winsome but slightly quirky singer with a mid-tempo guitar-friendly pop tune suggests just one thing to us – that you have learned nothing from the failure of Anna Bergendahl. In short, we think you Should’ve Known Better. You see what we did there?

Posted in Denmark, Eurovision 2012 | Leave a Comment »

Just talk to us already: Denmark

Posted by Caroline on April 18, 2011

And the Eurovision interview season continues apace, as Danish hopefuls A Friend In London settle down for a chat with some friends in London. Or something…

Introduce yourselves and tell us how you ended up representing Denmarkin Eurovision this year!
A FRIEND IN LONDON is: Tim Schou – vocals, guitar, Sebastian Vinther Olsen –
guitar, vocals, Aske Damm Bramming – bass, vocals, Esben Svane – drums, vocals.
We were offered to perform the song and we thought it was a very strong song that
fitted very well together with our other songs, so from that point on we didn’t have to
many doubts about participating. It is all about the music for us.

Was the band name A Friend In London inspired by an actual friend in London, or
was there some other reason behind the name?
Yes, there was an actual friend 🙂 since we chose the name it has become a very
good metaphor for what we do as a band. Building bridges between countries and
interacting with our fans.

Are you looking forward to going to Dusseldorf? What can we expect from your stage
show?
Very much!! Our stage show will basically be the same as we did in Denmark but on
a much bigger scale so it will fit the arena. There will be some changes but we can’t
reveal anything yet.

We are big fans of your song at Eurovision Blog, but which of this year’s entries do
you rate?
Thank you. France and Azerbaijan have very good entries this year in our opinion and
we also like the Norwegian entry a lot.

Which is your favourite Eurovision entry of all time and which is your favourite from your home country?
Waterloo by ABBA is probably the song that has had the most impact on song writing
and producing afterwards so that’s probably our favorite. From Denmark we have to
mention the late Tommy Seebach. He has done a lot of great stuff for the Eurovision.

Here in the UK Eurovision is regarded by many as a bit of a joke (something we are
aiming to change this year with our entry). How is it regarded in Denmark?
A lot of people in the Danish music business also still consider it a joke, and we
would also like to try to make a change to this way of perceiving it. But the general
reception in the public has been very good.

Why do you think so many people still love it so much even after all this time?
When the Eurovision is on it is all about the music and having fun. It is a breath of
fresh air in between all the bad news you get everyday.

What will be the first thing you do if you win?
Open a bottle of champagne, light a cigar and call our moms 🙂

Have you heard the UK entry and what do you think of it? Is it a bit better than our
recent entries or are we going to come last again? Be honest……:)
It is a very professional production performed by a strong artist. It will definitely be in
the top 10 this year.

Given that the UK has entered a four-piece all-male band this year in the shape of
Blue, and you are also a four-piece all-male band, do you regard the UK as being
among your bigger rivals in the competition?
For sure and also because the theme of the lyrics is the same in the two songs. It is
very strong message that everyone can relate to.

And finally, tell me why Denmark should have the chance to host Eurovision in 2012 and which city would you choose to host it?
The host city would be Copenhagen. We are so ready to host it again, we have a very
strong song and rumour has it we have some very pretty girls here, so there you go J

Posted in Denmark, Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News, Interviews | Leave a Comment »

My Big Fat Weekend Round-Up (Part 1)…..

Posted by Caroline on February 27, 2011

Phew, what a weekend it’s been so far! Snacks have been consumed, drinks have been drunk and songs have been chosen by the bucketload.  And it all kicked off on Friday with Turkey revealing its entry for Dusseldorf. Now the law of averages dictates that since the Turks fielded a hairy man-band last year, 2011 should have been their year to send some winsome coiffeured diva singing a spot of ethno-pop – and as such, they have, er, fielded another hairy man-band. Yuksek Sadakat have come up with a decidedly retro sounding rock anthem entitled Live It Up, complete with guitars, bleepy keyboard breaks and somewhat dated lyrics which make lots of references to rock’n’roll and the radio. An acquaintance of ours claims to be ‘obsessed’ with this song, and while we wouldn’t go that far we do rather like its anthemic sound and pleasingly nostalgic feel, and we have no doubt it will breeze through to the final and stay there. But let’s be honest, the Turks could send a flatulent donkey playing the nose-flute for two and a half minutes and they would still make it to the final:

Also making a welcome return to the fray on Friday were Austria who bypassed the option of choosing a song by Sting’s son Joe Sumner in favour of  Nadine Beiler and her big ballad The Secret Of Love. There aren’t a lot of ballads around this year (well there’s Lithuania but the less said about that the better – more of that later however….) – possibly because so many were entered and flopped dismally last year – so this one could potentially stand out from the pack, particularly since Nadine has a strikingly good voice. But the song is as cliched as they come, right down to harmonies and appropriate key changes, and for all the world sounds as though it could have walked straight out of any mid-90s contest. Could be a popular one with the juries though, even if it does inspire fans across the continent to dash off for a toilet break:

Moving on to Saturday, the first of six countries to make their choice for L’Allemagne was Moldova, who in a ‘stick with what you know’ kind of way have once again chosen Zdob si Zdub to perform their song (you may remember them as the nutters who gave the country a smashing debut result in 2005 with Bunica Bate Toba, featuring a random pensioner playing the drums). This time around there’s no sign of grandma, and in her absence their song, So Lucky, doesn’t have nearly as much charm as their previous entry – but it’s not a bad little ditty nonetheless:

Estonia have once again come up with a fairly decent, contemporary sounding, could-do-very-well-indeed type of tune in the shape of Rockefeller Street by Getter Jaani. We promise to like this even more than we do already as long as she solemnly swears not to wear that dress in the semi-final:

Ukraine, meanwhile, provided an interesting viewing experience with an oddly subdued national final (where were the shrieking, appreciative studio audience?) which also featured a simultaneous English translation, at least on the bit that we saw. We particularly enjoyed the bit when the presenter, looking a bit lost and puzzled, told viewers, “We’re going to take a break for the news now…we’ll be back in less than 20 minutes.” Eh?????? HOW many minutes exactly?? And these people managed to organise and screen an entire contest? Or possibly they just fell victim to a spot of bad translation….but anyway it makes no difference because the winner, Mika Newton’s Angely, is about as dull a song as they could have chosen, and matters aren’t improved by the fact that she is engulfed by bizarre acrobatic dancers as she performs. Come on, this is Ukraine! We want to see mad glossy-haired divas cavorting about the stage or some other general weirdness, not this….!:

Serbia’s final featured a family of songwriters competing against each other for the Dusseldorf ticket – and eventually Kristina Kovac’s track  Caroban, performed by the elfin -haired Nina (is it just us or does she look a bit like a female Milan Stankovic?) triumphed. And actually we love this, with its distinctive 1960s tone, eye-strainingly colourful costumes and general goofiness. One for the final, we think – and anybody who complains it ‘doesn’t sound very Serbian, does it?” can bog right off this minute…..

Next up we have Latvia, whose voters bypassed the hot favourite Banjo Laura in favour of this little oddity, Angel in Disguise by Musiqq – or as we like to refer to them, Diva Fever of Riga. This isn’t actually a bad little song but the presentation is just baffling – you have a dance track on your hands, chaps, so why are you just sitting there? Either this is that trademark Latvian quirkiness that permeates every entry of yours, or you just don’t want us to know that you actually dance like a geography teacher at a sixth form disco:

And finally, we come to Denmark, and once again the Scandinavians have come up trumps with a corker of a song. New Tomorrow by A Friend In London pushes all the right buttons – big, scarf-waving harmonies, a chorus that sticks in your head and stays there, plus it’s very commercial and radio-friendly – and, we might add, one of our favourites so far. The only slight problem – from our point of view at least – is that A Friend In London just happen to be a four-piece boy band. Er……haven’t we come up with that idea already? We don’t want to put a dampener on the UK’s chances but if Blue don’t come up with something equally as good as this we fear that the Danish quartet just might wipe the floor with our boys…….

And on that note, we’re off for a long lie-down. Or at least until it begins all over again this evening with Slovenia and FYR Macedonia…….

Posted in Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine | Leave a Comment »

The First Great Big Weekend Round-Up

Posted by Caroline on February 8, 2010

It’s official, the pre-contest season is in full swing, with no less than five – count ’em! five songs being chosen for Oslo over the weekend. Well actually, it’s four and a half given that one of them was the Netherlands but let’s not split hairs here. It’s all gone a bit Scandinavian round Eurovision way over the past couple of days, with only Sweden left in that part of the continent to choose their song (and with only about 4000 hours of Melodifestivalen to go we shouldn’t have too long to wait).

But anyway, where shall we start? The host nation, we think, and in keeping with recent tradition Norway are showing all the signs of a country that really doesn’t want to host the contest again next year. My Heart Is Yours is a competent but rather bland ballad performed by Didrik Solli-Tangen, a cute lad with a powerhouse voice and Jedward hair. Top ten, we think, but that’s about all:

Onwards and upwards to Denmark, who have chosen In A Moment Like This by uber-cute boy/girl duo Chanee and N’Evergreen (look, they hold hands and everything! What is not to love?????). We like this a LOT, albeit in a “we know we shouldn’t really because it’s actually cheesier than an entire plate of Wensleydale, but we just do OK?” kind of way.  Would be very surprised if this didn’t qualify, and we’ll even go so far to say that in a world dominated by this kind of stadium arm-waver nonsense (thank you very much High School Musical and Glee, you have a lot to answer for) this could do very well indeed in the final. So there:

Then we have the Cypriot entry, Life Looks Better In Spring, by Jon Lilygreen and the Islanders which, while not exactly floating our boat, has a kind of commercial mainstream quality that could help its chances. To us though it just sounds like an X Factor winner’s single waiting to happen:

And so to our favourite of the bunch, Iceland’s Hera Bjork with the song Je Ne Sais Quoi. A fabulous schlager stomper sung by a big, likeable diva(actually are we sure it isn’t Dawn French in disguise?)  in a superb frock. It even has a Eurovision-sounding title.  We will fall down in amazement if this doesn’t make the final:

And finally we come to the Netherlands. Now we’d already heard the demo version of Pierre Kartner’s song Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie) and as such had refrained from passing judgment until we’d heard the version that would ultimately go to Oslo. OK, so now we have. And, er, we’re speechless. C’mon folks, we thought Papa Smurf’s song was ridiculous and dated to begin with, so who on EARTH decided that a version featuring a Wurlitzer organ and some rock n’roll rhythms, thus turning it into something that wouldn’t be out of place at the Grand Ole Opry (and possibly giving us the closest thing we will get to a novelty entry this year?), would be the thing that would drag the Dutch out of their semi-final doldrums? Even its singer, Sieneke, looks faintly embarrassed. Had this been 1984 and it had benefitted from the addition of some Hot Eyes backing dancers in frilly bloomers it may well have rocketed to the top of the scoreboard. Unfortunately for the Netherlands however, this is 2010. And if they get any points at all they can count themselves screamingly lucky. Still, kudos to the Dutch for acknowledging Pierre Kartner’s former triumph and actually voting for a singer who, for all intents and purposes, looks a little bit like a Smurf:

And on that note, we are off to stick our fingers in our ears and pretend it never happened…..

Posted in Cyprus, Denmark, Eurovision 2010, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway | 6 Comments »

The Great Big Weekend Round-Up: Part 1!

Posted by Caroline on February 2, 2009

Since the weather outside has turned Arctic and Team Eurovision would have to dig their way out of a snowdrift just to make it up the road to Tesco, there’s no time like the present to take a look at the flurry of continent-wide contest activity that dominated the weekend. And what better place to start than with the UK:

Now we know this song has its dissenters and of course we won’t get any points because of our involvement in the Iraq war about 100 years ago, but we are going to stick our necks out and declare once and for all – this is a cracking effort from the UK (and we’re not just saying that for the sake of patriotism, bearing in mind just how utterly rude we were about Scooch in 2007). And while we are the first to admit we were very impressed by the Twins’ version on Saturday night, we also have to say the right person won.

Crucially though, this is the song that we think the UK has needed for such a long time – how long have we been bleating on about the fact that the best thing we can do is to send a soloist with a ballad, giving a simple no-frills performance and simply letting the song speak for itself? Quite a long time, actually. Now it’s happened – and we gurantee Jade will own that stage come May 16. And to all the dissenters: stop calling her the Poundstretcher Leona Lewis. Don’t think we didn’t hear you…..:-)

Next up, we have this little number from Finland’s Waldo’s People. We liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike, and then some….

Staying in Scandinavia, we have the Danish entry by Niels Brinck. Spent the entire duration of the song thinking, “hey, this sounds a bit like Life Is A Rollercoaster,” only to discover it was co-written by Ronan Keating (quite why we thought this we have no idea since Rollercoaster was written by Gregg Alexander, formerly of the ace one hit wonders New Radicals, but anyway….). This is a good solid pop song with the potential to do well, we think….

And finally check out this little number from Romania’s Elena Gheorghe. We didn’t like it at first, now – as with pretty much every Romanian entry for the past five years – we, er, do….

Posted in Denmark, Finland, Romania, United Kingdom | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »