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

Posted by Caroline 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:

 

 

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

Oh and just in case you hadn’t heard….

Posted by Caroline on February 25, 2012

…..Jedward WON the Irish final last night. Don’t start acting all surprised (and was it us or did Niamh Kavanagh and co just sound a bit like they were going through the motions before the boys took to the stage with their inevitable winning performance?). In case you missed it look below. Go on, you know you want to:

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Ireland | 2 Comments »

If at first you don’t succeed…..

Posted by Caroline on February 12, 2012

In the words of Lady Bracknell, ‘To lose Eurovision once might be regarded as misfortune, to lose it twice is sheer carelessness.’ Not that such blatant mangling of Oscar Wilde has stopped Jedward from having another crack at the Song Contest title after spreading Jedmania all across Dusseldorf last year. Now initially we weren’t too keen on this idea, but then we heard the song – and we have to say that this year’s effort Waterline is actually pretty decent. It’s a good solid pop tune reminiscent of McFly and the like – and while they haven’t actually won the Irish final yet, at this stage it just seems like a formality.

What is interesting though is that we can’t help but have a spot of admiration for the way the stack-haired twosome’s Eurovision career has been managed. Last year the initial scepticism over them entering was tempered by the fact that Lipstick was a darned good pop song – albeit a song that still had the potential to do well regardless of who was singing it. Then the rest of Europe fell in love with the lads and their shiny jackets and suddenly they were serious contenders for the title. And very well they did too.

This year however things are a little different. Jedward are now ridiculously popular around Europe, so you would think they’d just churn out some identikit not-quite-as-good entry, sit back and wait for their fan base to vote them into the final. Not so. For they’ve got a song under their belts which is stronger, better and altogether more credible than the one they entered last year – and on that basis, should they win the Irish ticket to Baku, we don’t see how they can fail to do very well indeed. Whoever is choosing the songs for these two, you have to admit they’re doing a pretty good job.

And while we’re at it, we should also like to express a sigh of relief that Jedward are making their Eurovision bid for Ireland and not for the UK. Because you can guarantee if they were representing the latter that they would basically be regarded as some ridiculous novelty act and given a borderline comedy song to sing in which they had to dress up as giant chickens. Or something. Either way it wouldn’t be pretty. And we sincerely doubt it would sound anything like this:

 

Posted in Eurovision 2012, Ireland | Leave a Comment »

Clash Of The Titans….

Posted by Caroline on May 14, 2011

This time last year, with the Eurovision final just hours away, we were resigning ourselves to the fact that the UK was probably going to come last again, sighing about the fact nobody in this country was taking it seriously but vowing to support poor old Josh Dubovie anyway because, damn it, our national pride was at stake. Fast forward to this year and things could not be more different. For once there is actually a real sense of interest and excitement in the UK about Eurovision – despite all the bleating naysayers going on about it all being political and biased towards the East (of course, that’s why it’s in Germany this year, hmmmmm?)

Except of course it’s not just because the UK has finally decided to take it seriously and field a well-known act. It’s because for the first time in as long as we can remember there are two acts on tonight who will be very familiar to UK viewers – quite remarkable given that we’re usually lucky to even have heard of one. And in recent days the focus has switched from ‘can Blue bring Eurovision back to the UK?’ to ‘the titanic battle that is Blue vs Jedward’. Both have a fighting chance of bringing home the gold tonight, and even though the latter might be representing Ireland there’s still a huge groundswell of support for them here. The whole notion of ‘are you Team Blue or Team Jedward’ has sprung up without warning, and everybody you ask seems to have an opinion on it (we have yet to meet anybody who has said ‘Team Kati Wolf, actually’. But anyway….)

So let’s just look at this from both sides of the coin for a minute. Team Blue supporters vehemently argue that Jedward are a silly novelty act and that Duncan, Lee and co have entered a proper song and it’ll bring glory back to the UK if it wins and maybe enable us to start taking the contest seriously once again. Team Jedward fans will inevitably tell you that Blue are old and past it and have a dull song and that the wacky Irish twins are, well, more Eurovision somehow (although the people who say this last bit are clearly the people who still have a preconceived idea of what a Eurovision song should sound like and henceforth are the reason we ever sent Scooch in the first place).

It’s true that Blue probably have more at stake here than Jedward do. A lot is resting on how they fare tonight given that it is, after all, their big comeback. And given the UK press’s perception of our Eurovision prowess (having conveniently forgotten the period between 1967 and 1997, it seems) nothing short of a victory will be any good whatsoever. Remember how they denounced Andrew Lloyd Webber as a Eurovision failure when Jade Ewen finished FIFTH in 2009? Er we’d say that was far from a failure (do these same people also call their children a failure if they finish fifth in a spelling test at school? Er, I think not). We can hear the sound of venemous pens being sharpened as we speak and can picture tomorrow’s headlines – ‘WE CAN’T’, ‘BLUE’S EUROVISION FLOP CONTEST’ etc etc which would no doubt be applied even if the UK finished in second place with 400 points.

On the other hand Jedward probably don’t have quite so much to lose since their bizarre career seems to be on the up anyway and not winning Eurovision probably wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to their many advertising deals, personal appearances and general habit of hanging around and being annoying. Granted, the song is probably what those aforementioned people would call ‘more Eurovision’ but that’s not necessarily the key to victory these days as we well know, while the Blue fans hoping for a victory will happily denounce it as throwaway rubbish. The question you have to ask yourself at this juncture though is – is it the song they are not keen on or the fact it is by Jedward? If Lipstick were by any other artist in the whole of Ireland would people be so hesitant about admitting they liked it? Somehow we think not.

We are the first people to admit we were very sceptical about the whole Jedward business when we first heard about it. But we also hold up our hands and admit that they have a very catchy, memorable tune on their hands – and being less of a worthy, serious song than Blue’s effort doesn’t make it any less of a worthy candidate for the title. And we can’t help but be impressed by the way they have won the rest of Europe over with their mad personalities and frankly bizarre performance – which actually looked as though they were making it up as they went along. More importantly it is a song which suits them perfectly – there would be no point them trying to do something a bit more staid any more than there would be a point to Blue trying to do a song like theirs. Everybody would get in a muddle and end up with the dreaded ‘nul points’ and then there would we be?

The point is whoever you are supporting tonight, both Blue and Jedward deserve to be up on that stage for the simple reason that they’ve brought Eurovision fever back to the United Kingdom after years of ennui. And if either one of them triumphs, you can guarantee Eurovision Blog will be celebrating on their behalf.

And on that note, we shall offer our usual vote of thanks to our lovely readers and every person who has helped us with content during this Eurovision season, and rest assured even after the season is over we’ll be back here offering salient comment whenever there is something of interest to report before the whole thing kicks off again around Christmas 🙂 And don’t forget to join us back here later on for the liveblog or Tweeting for Virgin Media at TVonVM

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Eurovision News, Ireland, United Kingdom | Leave a Comment »

The mind boggles…..

Posted by Caroline on April 28, 2011

Guess it wasn’t an April Fool after all then……:)

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Ireland | 2 Comments »

If it’s good enough for Sebastian Tellier…..

Posted by Caroline on April 9, 2011

THIS has to be the oddest story of the entire Eurovision season. Next week: Duncan James reveals that I Can has been snapped up for £40m to be sung by the cast of the next Halifax ad. Actually he won’t really. We just made that bit up. But anyway. If nothing else, it means the song will have legs beyond the semi-final (do you note our optimism there??????). And hey, if Sebastien Tellier’s Divine can make it on to a Renault ad then why not indeed?

(Just out of interest has anybody actually seen this ad? Please do tell us if you have…..)

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Ireland | 2 Comments »

With a crushing inevitability…..

Posted by Caroline on February 12, 2011

…….those Jedward boys have won the Irish ticket to Dusseldorf. Yup, the stack-haired twosome scored their ridiculously predictable victory on Ireland’s Late Late Show on Friday night, although it wasn’t nearly as much of a runaway win as one might have imagined. This could have had something to do with a last minute change in the voting pattern after 30 seconds of their track Lipstick was leaked online ahead of the contest.

Apparently this wasn’t supposed to happen, and so as not to give them an unfair advantage over the other four acts the voting was changed from 50:50 jury/public to just one-third of the votes coming from the public and the remainder from the regional juries (hang on, didn’t the BBC used to do this on Making Your Mind Up before deciding it was a very silly idea and the public couldn’t be trusted to choose a song that wasn’t about air stewards or didn’t sound like the song that won two years ago and was no longer fashionable? But anyway, we digress……)

All of which meant that the boys were neck and neck throughout the jury voting with the very fine Falling by Nikki Kavanagh, which would have been an equally worthy Irish entry had it won. And so it would have done if the entire thing had been counted on jury votes, since she was ahead of the gruesome twosome by the end. Still, never ones to be let down by their public except for that time when they voted them off the X Factor, failed to get their debut single to number one in the UK etc etc – Jedward eventually snatched victory from Nikki’s clutches when the scores from the public result were revealed and they were revealed to have the highest number of votes from the viewers at home – although ultimately they won by just two points.

And you know what? Against our better judgment, we actually quite enjoyed their performance. We’re still not convinced that they can sing a note, and will attempt to cover up the fact on the Eurovision stage by wearing very shiny jackets and jumping around a lot, but there’s something about this song that we think the massed ranks of Eastern Europe in particular will love. Could this potentially give the Irish their best result in years? We wouldn’t rule it out.

Oh, and for the eagle eyed among you, that backing vocalist with the red mohican is one Rebecca Creighton, who is (or possibly was, we lose track) in that X Factor 2010 ‘girlband’ Belle Amie. You remember, the ones that Simon Cowell put together from bootcamp and who miraculously managed to hang in there until about the fourth week, possibly due to their ability to look pretty in very short frocks rather than do any actual singing? (Actually we think we may have lost you at ‘you remember?……??????’)

But anyway. We grudgingly wish the Jedward boys good luck in Dusseldorf (remember lads, you’ll have to get through to the final if you want any support from your fanbase in the UK), in what was a very enjoyable national final – succinct, to the point, and all done and dusted in just over two hours without being filled full of mad performances from 47 past acts and dragged out longer than the director’s cut of Ben Hur. Take note, other nations…….:)

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Ireland | 1 Comment »

32 Seconds Of Your Life You Will Never Get Back….

Posted by Caroline on February 5, 2011

……but should you remain unruffled by such a possibility, then head on over here and check out a sneak peek of Lipstick, Jedward’s bid for the Irish ticket to Dusseldorf. Yup, undeterred by the fact that their biggest continental fanbase – the UK-  isn’t even voting in their semi-final, the gruesome twosome are pressing on regardless. They may however nab some support from unexpected quarters, since one of my spies informs me they are big in Albania. Uh huh. So was Norman Wisdom. That doesn’t mean we would have wanted him to enter Eurovision.

Still folks the link is there for your perusal, the twins are due to showcase the song in full on the Late Late Show next Friday. Good people of Ireland, don’t say you weren’t warned……:)

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Ireland | 1 Comment »

Wrong. Wrong. WRONG. Did we happen to mention it was WRONG……??

Posted by Caroline on January 14, 2011

We’ll be honest with you. When we watched The X Factor in 2009 we thought we’d got Jedward sussed – basically a couple of identical twin talent vacuums with silly hair whose career would doubtless last for as long as the novelty of all those routines they performed on the show. At which point they would retire, aged 21, absolutely loaded and spend the rest of their lives pointlessly frittering away their endless amounts of disposable income.

It appears however we were wrong. Not content with foisting their ridiculous album on the world, duetting with Vanilla Ice, advertising Nintendo, appearing on Big Brother 11 and generally hanging around like a bad smell, the act more commonly known as John and Edward Grimes now have Eurovision in their sights. The pair have announced their intention to bid for the Irish ticket to Dusseldorf, and are set to perform their potential entry  – the title of which has yet to be confirmed – on The Late Late Show on February 11. And despite being up against some stiff competition – including Niamh Kavanagh’s backing vocalist cousin Nikki – they’re tipped to win.

We’re actually not quite sure how to take this news, quite frankly. On the one hand it sounds like a stroke of genius, on the other hand we’re not entirely sure that anybody outside of the UK (who doubtless would reward the Irish teenagers with a boatload of points) has actually heard of them and would understand the post-modern irony of their performance.  At the very least, it would make for interesting viewing – although the backstage staff, in view of their wacky personalities and the way they rampaged through the Big Brother house prodding random people last summer, might want to consider nailing everything down before they make it into the green room.

Oh, and in case you live in Lithuania or somewhere and have absolutely NO idea who we’re talking about, here is one of the reasons why they went down in X Factor history…..

Posted in Eurovision 2011, Ireland | 1 Comment »

While We’re At It….

Posted by Caroline on May 29, 2010

……trying on our costume for the final, are we Niamh??????

Posted in Eurovision 2010, Ireland | 2 Comments »