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Don’t play that song again! Or did you already….

Posted by DINRIL on February 25, 2013

We figured that given the success of Loreen’s bangin’ dance anthem Euphoria in Baku last year (and indeed the very reason that your Eurovision contest is off to Malmo this year), that a brace of club floorfillers would find their way into the line-up of this year’s contest – and indeed we haven’t been disappointed. For while 2012’s performers couldn’t get enough of big ballads (off the back of Ell and Nikki’s Azeri victory), 2010’s hopefuls favoured post-Fairytale twiddly folk nonsense and the class of 2007 wanted to out-Lordi Lordi, so 2013’s crop seem to be hellbent on emulating our Swedish siren. Well some of them anyway. To kick off, here’s Slovenia’s Hannah Mancini going all Skrillex on Straight Into Love. We quite like this but we cannot envisage many people west of Bulgaria will:

And here’s Ireland’s Ryan Dolan, who snatched victory from under the nose of Aimee Fitzpatrick in this weekend’s national final with this little number, Only Love Survives. This reminds us of what Euphoria might have sounded like if it had had a few ethnic drum beats thrown in. And had been sung by a man. Or possibly it just sounds the kind of thing Malta might enter in a particularly average year. Your choice:

Not to be left out, Germany have also gotten in on the act with their effort from Cascada (you may remember them – adoptsTroy McClure voice – from such hits as Evacuate The Dancefloor and Every Time We Touch) with their much-hyped entry Glorious (much-hyped in that we’d actually heard of them as opposed to most of the other finalists). The song’s already whipped up a bit of controversy back home where it’s been accused of ‘copying’ Euphoria – but we can’t think what they’re on about. I mean they’re both upbeat dance tracks, they’re both sung by women, and they’re both in Eurovision – well, stands to reason doesn’t it? They must surely be the same song. Well they’re not really since Euphoria is a strong, powerful dance anthem while Glorious to us sounds like something Tulisa might pull out of the bag for an X Factor semi-final. You be the judge:

To finish, here’s the Greek entry, the wonderfully-titled Alcohol Is Free by Koza Mostra and Agathonas (i.e that bloke with the moustache). This isn’t really a dance anthem at all (unless you count the sort of dancing you do after partaking of much free alcohol) but since it is a) marvellous and b) sounds like nothing else in the competition we figured we’d include it anyway, if only to convince you it’s not all about drum machines and glowsticks this year:

 

 

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Posted in Eurovision 2013, Eurovision News, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Slovenia | 2 Comments »

So then, what did we miss…..?

Posted by DINRIL on March 8, 2012

Well quite a lot actually, given that we are in the midst of national final season and songs are now coming in faster than we can keep up! Firstly, an oversight in that the German entry was chosen weeks ago and we forgot all about it. Sorry! (the person responsible has been escorted from the building). Anyway, after several weeks worth of Unser Star For Baku dominating German screens, this chap, Roman Lob, was finally chosen with a winsome little ditty called Standing Still. Now this sounds to us very much like a zillion and one other male pop-rock tracks – not that there’s anything wrong with that, apart from the fact that it may well be overlooked on the night – but what does interest us is the fact that it was penned by our very own Jamie Cullum. And while it’s great to see a prominent UK musician taking an interest in Eurovision one is left to wonder why he should write a song for Germany and not the UK. Granted, a lot of swapsies do go on across Europe when it comes to songwriters but it all seems a little curious to us, as if perhaps he did offer his services to le Royaume-Uni and was turned down. We do hope not, because it wouldn’t be the first time that a talented act has offered to represent the UK, only to be rejected in favour of, well, something that comes last and is derided by the entire continent. Anyway, here’s what the song sounds like:

Speaking of big five people, Italy have finally decided on a song after San Remo music festival winner Nina Zilli was chosen as their representative last month – and would you believe it, after much deliberation they have decided to go with the song she performed in the first place (what took ’em so long to figure that one out then?). Not that we’re complaining because Per Sempre, as it’s called, is slightly fabulous – as Eurovision ballads go it is a tad old school (you could imagine some random country singing this in about 1995) but Nina is ace and the song has a sort of Bond theme quality to it which gives it the edge over all those other run of the mill ballads. As long as she keeps it in Italian we are hedging our bets for another top ten finish this year:

And finally in this little round up we have fellow Big Fiver Spain, who have also gone down the power ballad route with the lovely Pastora Soler singing – nay belting – Quedate Conmingo (aka Stay With Me). And it’s power-ballad-tastic, doncha know:

So that’s that then. Italy, France, Spain and Germany have all unleashed their songs, so just the UK to go (looks at watch while making impatient foot tapping gesture…..)

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Eurovision News, Germany, Italy, Spain | 1 Comment »

Just Talk To Us Already: Germany!!

Posted by DINRIL on May 14, 2011

Mind your manners everybody, we are indeed in the presence of Eurovision royalty. Ahead of tonight’s final, your very own Eurovision Blog has managed to grab a brief few moments with Germany’s very own reigning champion Lena, and is utterly chuffed to bits that at least one former winner has been kind and gracious enough to talk to us (are you paying attention, Dana International…..?)

Nice to have you back again after last year’s victory! But tell us, what prompted you to return to defend your Eurovision title? I really wanted to be the German contestant again, since it was so much fun last year. And I also wanted to defend my title in my home country. 🙂

Which of this year’s other entries do you rate / like? My favourites are the ones from Blue (UK), Nina (Serbia), Paradise Oskar (Finland), and of course the Irish twins Jedward! 🙂

Which is your favourite Eurovision entry of all time and which is your favourite from your home country? I’m sorry, I really don’t know…

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). Do you think your victory last year has helped to change people’s perceptions of it in Germany?
Yes, there has been a big party here in Germany after last year’s victory already. And now, since we are this year’s host country, even more people are interested in the contest and they’ll watch and enjoy it.

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……:) ) I have always been a fan of Blue – I mean, I grew up with them / their music. They are great! And I’m sure you won’t come last this year. 🙂

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News, Germany, Interviews | 1 Comment »

Under construction…..

Posted by DINRIL on April 3, 2011

Want to see what the Dusseldorf stage might look like? Interested in seeing a bunch of burly builders wheeling around shopping trolleys full of dangerous looking tools and random bits of wood? Then check out this video. Don’t worry if you only speak ein bisschen Deutsch, you will get the idea….

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Germany | Leave a Comment »

Haven’t we seen you somewhere before…..?

Posted by DINRIL on February 19, 2011

OK, so when reigning Eurovision champion Lena Meyer-Lendrut announced she planned to defend her title in Dusseldorf this year we may have uttered a slightly hollow laugh of disbelief. But consider us chastened, because the winsome young lass who brought song contest glory back to Germany has only gone and done it again (which officially makes her their coolest ever participant. Did Nicole come back the following year for another try? NO) However it remains to be seen whether or not she can ‘do a Johnny Logan’ based on the song that she’ll be fielding in Dussedorf. Taken By A Stranger actually reminds us a bit of Satellite with its quirky lyrics, sparse beat and Lena’s distinctive vocals, only it’s a bit grungier and, er, not quite as good in our opinion. We have absolutely no doubt that her popularity and performance will win her points by the bucketload but somehow we just can’t see this doing the double. Oh well. Eurovision’s an expensive business and you didn’t really want to host it two years running anyway…..

Oh and while we’re at it another big five country, Spain, also chose their entry on Friday night, in the shape of the lovely Lucia Perez and Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao. And just when you thought nobody could possibly rival Norway for joyfulness on the Eurovision stage this year, along come the Spanish to prove us wrong, for this is about as happy and upbeat a track as we think you’re likely to get this year. And we’ll just gloss over how much it reminds us of Portugal’s 2009 effort for the time being, shall we…….?

On that note, Eurovision Blog is off on its hols (well, a long weekend anyway) for a few days. We shall return towards the end of next week with a belated round-up of this weekend’s action including (gasp!) the first Italian entry since 1997, which we await with bated breath……:)

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain | 1 Comment »

Das Ist Dusseldorf, Ja….

Posted by DINRIL on October 12, 2010

….and there we were holding out just a faint glimmer of hope that the Germans might do the obvious thing and hold Eurovision 2011 in Berlin. But obviously it wasn’t to be. After weeks of speculation and other possible host cities including the capital, Hamburg and Hannover, it’s finally been confirmed that next year’s contest will take place in – ta-daaaaaa!!!!!!! Dusseldorf. Or to be precise, Dusseldorf’s Fortuna Arena, which holds an impressive at 24,000 people.

Obviously we would have loved it to be in the capital given it is one of our favourite European cities.  But when you consider the sheer size of the venue plus the fact that Berlin apparently wanted to hold the contest in a large inflatable tent, it’s not hard to see why Dusseldorf got the nod.

And just to blind you with further useless information, that means next year’s contest will be the first since Istanbul 2004 not to take place in the host nation’s capital city – plus you will also be hard-pressed to find another country who have hosted as many times as Germany (bearing in mind they hosted several times in the 50s) but never actually held it in their capital.

As for our thoughts on this – well, we’re sure they’ll do a fantastic job. And frankly we’re just relieved that we’ll now escape a re-run of the 1983 contest in Munich…..

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Germany | 2 Comments »

Corner Of We Were Wrong…..

Posted by DINRIL on April 12, 2010

One of the great things about the Eurovision season is the way in which songs that didn’t impress us at first eventually win us over, to the extent that we are prepared at key moments to hold up our hands and say OK, we were wrong. Such is the case with this year’s German entry. Nope, we admit, we didn’t like Lena Meyer-Landrut’s song at all at first.

But we took it away and we listened to it, and we gave it a chance – and we can now categorically say we’ve done a complete about turn and think it is indeed one of the best songs in the contest. Not because public opinion dictates so. Not because we’re aware it’s the favourite and we don’t want to look foolish when it flies to the top of the scoreboard (although we’re still not completely sure it’ll do this, it might appear too quirky to the casual voter on the night and if our first impressions were negative what will theirs be?) Simply because we’ve seen its appeal as a lovely, fresh song and possibly one of the few original efforts around this year – and while yes we still do find the lyrics a bit cringeworthy there’s something altogether charming about Lena and her weird singing.

And in fact this is what makes the Internet such a useful tool when it comes to getting to know Eurovision songs before the night. Had Germany fielded that song in, say, 1990 before the information superhighway took over everything we probably wouldn’t have heard it at all before the night (except possibly on BBC1’s late lamented ‘preview’ show) and chances are we wouldn’t have rated it at all then acted all huffy and surprised when it did well. Now we have a chance to really get to know songs and form proper opinions of them instead of just going on first impressions (and it’s not the first time we’ve done an about turn on what we think of a song – Romania 2005 springs instantly to mind). Which is what many of the postings on this blog are when it comes to songs, in an effort to keep as up to date as possible.

What will also be interesting this year is to see the effect that jury votes have on the German entry plus the new system which allows viewers to vote from the very first song. Since Germany aren’t performing until the 22nd spot in the contest this will give 21 songs before it an opportunity to gain more votes, so it’s going to have to work hard to do well. Plus we don’t know what will be before or after it – the similarly fabulous Azerbaijan on right after this could just be the nail in the coffin of a potential Berlin 2011. But then it has the advantage of jury votes on its side, which could really help propel this song to the upper echelons of the scoreboard – and it’ll be interesting to see how that helps it.

And it’s in the case of songs like this that it’s easy to see the plus side of having jury votes back in the contest. A few years back when the old school and the Big Four were struggling to make an impact in the era of 100 per cent televoting a song like this would probably have been lost in the mix. Now thanks to the combined voting it has a real chance to do as well as its peers. Let’s hope it does.

(Oh and btw we quite like the Israeli song now too. But don’t tell anybody…….:) )

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Germany | 5 Comments »

Sleeping Satellite?

Posted by DINRIL 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 in Eurovision 2010, Germany | 5 Comments »

Douze Points For Deutschland?

Posted by DINRIL on February 12, 2009

Er……..nein, mein Liebschen. Well, that’s just our opinion, what do you think…….?

Posted in Germany | 2 Comments »

Separated at birth?!

Posted by DINRIL on February 9, 2009

…….Germany’s contender, Oscar Loya

oscarloya

and, er, legendary Grange Hill ‘tough guy’ Gripper Stebson…….

gripper

Posted in Germany | Leave a Comment »