The first of the “Big Five” up now. For those of you just joining us, the five biggest contributors to the European Broadcasting Union’s Christmas party get a free pass to the grand final. France, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy and Germany are all part of this elite group.
An easy ride, right? Not really, with all parties involved having a largely terrible time at Eurovision in the last decade. Some blame jealous from qualifying countries, others blame politics. I prefer the explanation that a lot of the entries have been terrible and wouldn’t have qualified, had they needed to.
Germany seemed to get the message, and after a concerted effort to find a new star with a great song in 2010, they were rewarded when Lena won the Oslo contest with “Satellite”. Since then they’ve had a hat-trick of top 10 finishes, and aren’t looking back now.
The German pre-selection left a little to be desired musically (see my write-up of Unser Song für Malmö), but their glitzy national final did what it needed to do, and selected a pretty hot contender for the Malmö trophy.
Cascada are a German dance act with bilingual frontwoman Natalie. They made their name in 2005 with the international smash “Everytime we touch”, and after reasonable success made another comeback with “Evacuate the dancefloor” in 2009. Their success has been mainly in Germany and UK, though they are still a recognisable name for many in Europe and even America.
Is this going to be the third coming of Cascada, totally reinventing their sound? Well I wouldn’t go that far, it’s still what you’d imagine a new Cascada song to sound like, but it’s GREAT Cascada. Natalie proved that she’s got the vocals to carry this one, and in a year with a lot of slow songs, this could easily do very well.
I don’t think there’s a sense of desperation with this entry, something UK artists seem to be terrified about when Eurovision is involved. In many ways Eurovision is a great fit for Cascada, and I think there are mutual benefits for them and the contest for doing well.
Sometimes I think the song holds back a little bit, the final chorus is just the same as the others, there’s not that insane ramping up of energy that Ireland’s managed this time. But it’s catchy and she’s a great performer.
With SVT deciding the running order, these great uptempos are going to be crucial in keeping the show going, so I think this is going to stand out. I have every faith it will continue Germany’s streak of top 10 finishes, and might even have a shot at winning if the wind’s blowing in the right direction.
See the rest of my write-ups of the Eurovision hopefuls and other news on my Malmö hub.