Yes, it’s Eurovision Song Contest time again! The final is on tonight. Twenty five acts battle it out to take home the prize and in these credit crunch times, less enthusiastically, get to host the contest next year.
Britain this year is “pulling out all the stops” with our entry. We’re taking it VERY seriously this year and have a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber no less. A slow, boring ballad called “It’s My Time”, sung by a young woman called Jade Ewen. Last year we had a fab upbeat song, a great singer and we came last! I’m not sure if the name Andrew Lloyd Webber is going to make a great deal of difference, we’ll have to wait and see. The book makers have us equal 4th favourites with Armenia I think it was.
Here’s a low down of the finalists.
Lithuania: Sasha Son with “Love”. Kind of a Lithuanian JT on piano, complete with Trilby hat. Tenuous lyrics…here’s the chorus…
If you really love
The love you say you love (really love)
Then surely that love would love …
Then surely that love would love to love you back
Pardon? It’s got a good chance. Melodic and a message to the song (despite it not being present in the chorus). Update: Erm…I wasn’t the only one unimpressed by this song. It ended up equal 23rd place (in a line-up of 25). Oops.
Isreal: Noa and Mira Awad with “There Must Be Another Way”. Going for world peace having an Isreali and an Arab singing together. A good sentiment behind the song and a worthy contender. Words to the song alternate in Arabic and Hebrew with the English chorus line “there must be another way”. Update: Lower ranks for them, ended up 16th.
France: An automatic entry, didn’t have to go through a qualifying round in semi-finals. They are using one of their biggest music artists this year Patricia Kaas with “Et S’il Fallait Le Faire”. From the snippets I’ve seen it seems a bit “ingenue” torch song. The French taking their entry seriously again, after having a fantastic entry last year with Sebastian Tellier singing in English too (sacre’ bleu!). Update: Going serious and using a “big star” didn’t really pay off for them. They ended up 8th.
Sweden: Malena Ernman with “La Voix”. Big haired blonde, rather trannie looking operatic singer doing what sounds like the British Airways advert from the 80’s, Delibes’ Lakme. Not my cup of tea, but I’m sure if tactical voting still finds a way through then it’ll gets some points. Update: It did actually only manage SOME points. Only 33 in fact, which ranked it 21st on the board. Never mind.
Croatia: Igor Cukrov feat. Andrea with “Lijepa Tena”. Nice looking guy, spoilt by being joined on stage with woman who can’t really sing. When they performed Thursday night, their harmonies weren’t great, but the pulling power of the Eastern block saw them through. Not sure if it’ll really do anything… Update: I was right. It didn’t. It came 18th.
Portugal: Flor-de-lis with “Todas As Ruas Do Amor”. One of my faves. Really liked them on Tuesday night. I found it really catchy in a sort of old style traditional music kind of way. I’d like for them to win. Update: I knew it wouldn’t happen. They came 15th. Such a shame. I wish it had least made the top 10.
Iceland: Yohanna with “Is It True”. Young blonde girl with nice voice sings sort of teen angst ballad. Quite nice. Most likely a contender. I didn’t NOT like it. It’s just a bit safe, that’s all. Update: Safe enough to be the runner-up! Well done Iceland. Not sure if they’d have really wanted to win, but near enough is good enough in a credit crunch.
Greece: Sakis Rouvas with “This Is Our Night”. A Grecian Ricky Martin, dressed all in white with a big light box. A big Latino feel. Seems very popular, one of the faves to win. Update: Was UTTERLY snubbed! Sanity sort of prevailed with this one. It just made the top ten, coming 7th.
Armenia: Inga and Anush with “Jan Jan”. I did like it, even though it goes for that old school Gypsy sound. It’s certainly a contender. I like the way the ladies dress too. Update: It got in the top ten, at 10th place. Not a bad result for them.
Russia: Automatically qualify this year for winning last year’s contest. They are the host nation. Anastasia Prikhodko with “Mamo”. This certainly sounds catchier to me than what they won with last year, from the snippets I’ve heard. No one’s really talking about it, but they COULD pull off back to back Eurovision wins. Update: The performance was DIRE. I retract what I had said about the song earlier. No wonder no-one talked about it. Ew! Though with some tactical voting STILL happening, it came 11th.
Azerbaijan: AySel and Arash with “Always”. It’s okay. Not exactly taxing with the lyrics…
Always on my mind
Always in my heart
And I can hear you call my name
On a mountain`s high
Always on my mind
Always in my dreams
I wanna hold you close to me
Always all the time
Poetic…lol Update: It must’ve spoke to the masses as it came a very respectable 3rd. Well done Azerbaijan!
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Regina with “Bistra Voda”. Described by someone texting into the semi-final coverage on Tuesday night as “Six Time Lords at a Doctor Who convention”. They look more like a mini “Les Mis” sextet to me. The song was okay enough. Not going to set the world alight. Last years entry was SO much better! Bring back Laka!! lol Update: He was there!!! Laka read out Bosnia & Herzegovina’s results!!! Poor Regina. I found them boring, but they made the top ten, coming in at 9th place.
Moldova: Nelly Ciobanu with “Hora Din Moldova” is akin to something done for the Moldovan tourism board or something. It’s catchy enough, in a traditional music sense. It was popular. It’ll probably make top 10. Update: They didn’t quite make the top ten. They came 14th.
Malta: Chiara with “What If We”. This is Chiara’s third try at getting the Eurovision crown. The first time she entered she came third, then last time she came second. Will it be third time lucky? I’m not sure… Update: Poor Chiara. It wasn’t to be 3rd time lucky. It didn’t even make the top ten, or the top twenty! It came in at a wrist-slashing 22nd. It wasn’t a bad song!
Estonia: Urban Symphony with “Randajad”. I liked this one. Ladies on classical instruments. It was catchy and is probably my second fave to win. I’m not sure it will though. It might make top five. Update: Damn! They didn’t quite make the top five. They came 6th. It was a pretty good stab by me though as to where they’d end up.
Denmark: Brinck with “Believe Again”. This song has been co-written with Ronan Keating and is being sung by a guy who sounds remarkably like him. It got through to the final, but I’m not sure it’ll do much else. Update: Much like Ronan Keating it ended up in the “middle of the road” at 13th. Unlucky for some, but that’s as much luck as they got.
Germany: Alex Swings Oscar Sings! with “Miss Kiss Kiss Bang”. Another auto-entry. I’ve only heard little snippets, but it seems another Ricky Martin-esque thing. A bit too much like Greece’s entry for me. Dita Von Teese is meant to appear on stage with them. Russia was helped by having Yevgeni Plushenko as a prop last year, so who knows? Dita might pay off for Germany. Update: Dita Von Teese was obviously not the winning prop they’d hope she’d be. They came in at 20th. How she got herself in that corset I’ll NEVER know though!!
Turkey: Hadise with “Dum Tek Tek”. The same kind of thing we’ve seen for years now. Middle-Eastern sounds, gyrating bellies and hips, lots of flesh. Yawn, yawn, yawn! It’s popular though, so might get top five. Update: Oh so predictable it would make top five. It came 4th. Yawn!
Albania: Kejsi Tola with “Carry Me In Your Dreams”. I don’t remember it from the other night, but listening to it on the Eurovision web site, it sounds good. It could be a real contender. Think I missed the performance on Thursday night. Not sure how it fared on the night. Update: I now know why it passed me by. The poor girl had these guys on stage with her. Two of them looked like Joker extras from Batman. Another guy appears in a bright green costume in full gimp mask!! It was such a good song, but the extras detracted from it. It only came 17th.
Ukraine: Svetlana Loboda with “Be My Valentine! (Anti-crisis Girl)” What *IS* with the song title!? She’s all scantily clad, dancing about with blokes. It’s catchy and is a bookies fave. I’m sure it’ll do far better than it deserves really. Update: Good old anti-crisis girl only could manage 12th. It just goes to show, sex doesn’t always sell. She was meant to have paid for her entry with her own funds, in the form of re-mortgaging her flat. Oops!
Romania: Elena with “The Balkan Girls”. Another song that could be used on a Fry’s Turkish Delight advert. All Middle-Eastern promise, blah, blah, blah! Why does this sound CONTINUE to influence Eurovision entries? It’s SO f**king old hat!! Update: The Balkan Girls might know how to party, but no one cared! They came 19th.
United Kingdom: Jade Ewen with “It’s My Time”. Nope. It’s going nowhere. Slow, boring ballad. Jade doesn’t sing too great live. She’s pitchy and the song is just SO boring! Sorry Andrew. Nul points! Update: Well, f**k me sideways! I stand corrected. What Do *I* know. Obviously the name Andrew Lloyd Webber means something, because amazingly, we came 5th!!
Norway: Alexander Rybak with “Fairytale”. The hot favourite this year. It’s sort of folkie. A bit weird. The guy sings and plays violin. It’s more traditional Eurovision in some ways. It’s an odd juxtaposed thing. I should like it therefore, but I haven’t warmed to it so far. It’s the favourite though, so probably will win. Update: And it did. It was a record-breaker! Accumulating more points than any previous Eurovision winner. It scored a MASSIVE 387 points. Iceland’s second place scored 218 points, that’s how “run away” the win was. I hope Norway hasn’t been hit TOO hard by the credit crunch.
Finland: Waldo’s People with “Lose Control”. It’s a kind of rap, sort of hip-hop, Eurodance thingy. It’s catchy, but somewhat lost by the presence of the “Eminem wannabe” Waldo. It might get top 10. Update: No top ten. No top twenty, but stone, motherless last. Poor Finland 😦 Waldo wasn’t THAT bad! lol
Finally…Spain: The last auto-entry. Soraya with “La Noche Es Para Mi (The Night Is For Me)”. She’s up there with the faves. Blonde, leggy, Spaniard. Ex airline hostess. One for the boys. More of the old Latino influences… Update: Ah, no one cared. It was equal 23rd with Lithuania. CUMULO NIMBUS! (sorry, it’s an old Fast Show in joke)
My top five would be: Portugal, Estonia, Isreal, Albania and Armenia.
But I think the top is going to be fought out by Norway and Greece.
Update: Well the big tussle between Norway and Greece didn’t happen! Norway just ran off with it!
I’ll leave you with my top entry…