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Shall we do a round-up then?

Posted by Caroline on February 12, 2012

Gosh, sorry for being so behind in the current round of Eurovision mayhem (except we’re not really because you will also notice we are including the results of tonight’s shenanigans here). Once again a little thing called life managed to get in the way of our ability to blog. But anyway, here we are, with a big stack of songs for Baku – beginning with the French effort. Now we rather put our foot in it last year when we suggested that the Gallic opera lad might just walk away with Eurovision honours – only for him to flounder hopelessly as a result of his frightened rabbit appearance on the night. We suspect that the lovely Anggun however will do no such thing with this odd but very likeable effort Echo (You and I). And is it just us or does this have shades of Georgia 2007 about it (which in turn means it has shades of Madonna?) You decide:

And so to Malta, who chose their entry last weekend in their usual understated, short (well by their standards anyway) final – which we once again struggled to make head or tail of. Who was that random woman playing piano at the start? Why did the introduction go on so long? Where was Chiara? How could Claudia Faniello possibly be snubbed again? Should we stop asking questions? Anyway, following a scoring process which was almost as exciting as the contest itself and seemed to feature random people from all over the continent, this man, Kurt Calleja, was chosen with his song This Is The Night. And you know what? Meh. Claudia was better. There’s nothing wrong with this song exactly – and we’ve made it abundantly clear in the past just how much we love Malta’s enthusiasm for all things Eurovision – but this is already shaping up to be a strong year, and we sense this song will struggle to make an impact. Eleventh place in the semi again, maybe?

So that was last week, now on to this week, and let’s start with Hungary.  And having produced one of our favourite songs of 2011 in the shape of Kati Wolf’s What About My Dreams (even if the lady herself – who appeared on tonight’s national final in verbose mode, was mildly terrifying), they haven’t done too badly this year either. This year’s effort is by Compact Disco (which might just be the best name for a band EVER) and is called Sound Of Our Hearts. We quite like it. That is all:

Norway, meanwhile, rejected the charms of folk band Plumbo (possibly because they sound like the sort of people you would call out when your toilet gets blocked) in favour of this chap, Tooji – aka ‘this year’s Eric Saade’ – with this song, Stay. And it is actually quite fabulous. Except of course it’s too soon for Norway to win the contest again. Isn’t it. Isn’t it?

And finally we come to Iceland, who have opted for a big dramatic ballad this year in the shape of Jonsi and Greta’s Mundu Eftir Mer. We’ll be honest, we weren’t expecting to like this. We didn’t like it last time Jonsi entered a ballad for Eurovision in 2004, in fact we hid under the sofa cushions and pleaded with the producers to make it stop. This, on the other hand, is a very pleasant surprise – it’s strong, it’s performed well, it has violins. Could we possibly have another Icelandic dark horse on our hands?

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, France, Hungary, Iceland, Malta, Norway | Leave a Comment »

Mon dieu!

Posted by Caroline on March 8, 2011

Goodness, France are really going for it these days in Eurovision terms, aren’t they? We can remember a time not so long ago when they basically sent the same moody Gallic ballad every year, sung in French (natch, none of this ‘English’ nonsense for our friends across the Channel) and didn’t seem to care whether they won or not! But they’ve upped their game lately with Patricia Kaas’s fabulous 2009 effort and last year’s Allez Ola Ole which was nonsense but so much fun we forgave them.

This year they have what we can only describe as the Marmite song of the contest. Amaury Vassili’s Sognu is a full-on operatic effort, in Corsican, which may well have the older viewers voting in droves but could well invoke scratching of head and a much-needed trip to the toilet among others. As for us, we can’t make up our minds as to whether it’s pompous claptrap or France’s best shot at victory since, er, their last win. On the one hand, it does stand out from everything else that’s on offer and the performance will no doubt be striking. On the other hand, Latvia tried opera in 2007 and earned themselves little more than a ticket on the next bus home.  And we just can’t imagine how the tone of the contest would plummet if we were faced on the night with, ‘So, that was some fabulously classy opera, beautifully sung by this young, renowned tenor. And now, here’s Jedward……’ Still, judge for yourselves…..


Posted in Eurovision 2011, France | 3 Comments »

Allez Ole Oy-Vay……

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 in Eurovision 2010, Eurovision News, France, Israel | Leave a Comment »

The Great Big Eurovision Experiment 2009 – France

Posted by Caroline on April 13, 2009

patriciakaas1Hot on the heels of the Netherlands getting back to us, it’s the turn of the French to tackle our fiendishly difficult questions. Take it away, Patricia Kaas….

How does it feel to be representing your country at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
I feel so proud, you can’t imagine!

What are you most looking forward to about taking part?
I have to be true: I expect to win! I don’t come Moscow as a tourist, I can tell you!

What can we expect from your performance? Are you planning a lavish stage show?
Not lavish, no, I want my performance very simple, as elegant and sober as I can. This particular song I’d really between the audience and I!

Have you ever been to Moscow and are you looking forward to it? I go to Moscow very often because I have many fans there, I sold 3 millions albums in Russia and have many friends there! Do you know that I’m the only artist to tour in 24 cities all over Russia?

Which of this year’s other songs do you rate?
Yours of course: a pretty singer with a beautiful voice, a great song written and composed by two if the greatest talents ever… What a thrill! I love the Danish song as well.

Which is your favourite Eurovision song of all time, and which is your favourite from your home country?

Too many great songs! Serbia in 2007, Abba back in the years, L’oiseau et L’enfant by Marie Myriam… And Divine last year by Sebatien Tellier! French electro is great isn’t it?

What do you think about the debate over so-called ‘political’ voting?
We have to be careful about it, the new laws are to be improved…please ask me this question after the show! (I laughs!)

How do you think the return of jury voting might influence the final result?
Maybe that the jury will drop a professional hear to this contest: voices are back I believe!

Why do you think Eurovision is still so popular, even after all these years?
Because it is a wonderful show! Glamorous, happy, it is a dream to be part of it!

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…….? 🙂 )

As I told you above, this song is a strong one, and the singer is simply astonishing, UK 12 points… But please don’t forget to vote for number 3:-)

Love from France and thank you for your nice questions!

No, thank you Patricia Kaas – lady, you rock…….:-)

Posted in France | Leave a Comment »

Ooooh la la!!!!!!!!!! (sorry…..)

Posted by Caroline on February 3, 2009

Looks like the UK aren’t the only one of the Big Four taking Eurovision very seriously this year instead of just pulling some old tat out of the bag about four seconds before the draw for the running order takes place. France have also gotten in there early, with this smouldering effort from renowned chanteuse Patricia Kaas, which we think recalls the very best moments of old school Eurovision. It’ll need to be cut down a bit before the big night to meet running order requirements but no matter, we love it nonetheless. But will it follow in the footsteps of Sebastien Tellier and turn up on a Renault ad in six months time…..?

Posted in France | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »