THIS IS IT. The final five. I know you’ve all been chewing your nails and that’s not good because you might get an infection or something. I mean imagine if one of your fingers dropped off, I couldn’t forgive myself. You wouldn’t be able to type as fast, it would be all weird. I could lose one of my little fingers I think, I don’t use the left one really.
So yeah, anyway, Tallinn! It’s been a punishing selection. Who would have thought we’d have had something as amazing as Malmö 2013 having just watched Tallinn 2002? Hell, even 2008 was blinding. But here are the cream of the crop, the kings of the hills etc. Hope you like them.
Prime Minister – Northern Girl
Another boyband now, singing a classic Backstreet Boys-style track at a time when the Backstreet Boys were pretty much done. They aren’t quite your typical image of a boyband are they, but they’ve got most of the boxes ticked; a blond twinky one, a ‘dangerous’ one with braids, a black one and another one who’s probably the writer or something.
They could have done with a few more singers to be honest, with braids-guy doing most of the work while the others croak through their parts, supported by a few girls in the back that give the illusion of a decent harmony.
But it’s a full-on pop song and pretty darn catchy. Hard to think that only a year later we’d enjoy the… powerhouse vocals of t.A.T.u…
Sarit Hadad – Nadlik Beyakhad Ner (Light a Candle)
Ahh, a bit of a schmaltzy peace ballad. Does anyone this mini-genre of Eurovision better than Israel? I suppose if they are going to have nukes I’m happy to hear them singing about peace.
It’s a standard Israel ballad though: pretty girl, lamenting melody, cheesy sentiment. This time they want you to light a candle. Not sure why, 1,000 candles in the dark will open our hearts apparently. Better than lighting a SCUD missile I suppose (or however you set them off).
Effortlessly good vocals, puts me in mind of their 2005 entry, even if it didn’t do quite as well.
Sahlene – Runaway
Joint 3rd place
The host nation had a good shot at keeping the contest in Tallinn with this contagiously upbeat pop song that went down a storm in the arena. Very likeable stuff, even if Sahlene’s moves were a bit erratic.
That’s a killer chorus though, and would have been a pretty solid winner I reckon. Seems quite contemporary for the time too, it’s like an Atomic Kitten track isn’t it? That’s a good thing in this case. One of the better performances of the night. Well obviously I think so, it’s #3!
Corinna May – I Can’t Live Without Music
Oh now, I know what you’re going to say, but for the ridiculous cheesiness of the song, it’s a really solid tune. Deutschland appealed to the pink vote and fell flat on its face, and was written by Ralph Siegel, the current force behind San Marino’s entries.
Corinna is blind, so I suppose this was supposed to lend a poignancy to the lyrics. I mean if you took away music as well as her sight, what’s she got left? Of course if you didn’t know this, she just looks like a shit-scared German woman with no dance move.
Aside from that, it’s a garish, extravagant schlager song with a bulletproof key-change and a powerful vocal. What more can you want? Maybe a performer who didn’t look terrified, but you can’t have everything.
Jessica Garlick – Come Back
Joint 3rd place
And to finish, in the slot of death (2nd performer of the night), I have selected my dear homeland for the top pick of the class of 2002. It’s also our best performing entry since 1998, and rightly so. Jessica rose to fame on the first series of Pop Idol, making the final 10.
It might be a bit of a plod, but with an later performing slot she might well have won. It’s a constant source of frustration that we don’t use more talent show artists to perform, they have little to lose and it’s a good springboard to bigger things in Europe even if not at home.
But “Come Back” is a classic style of shoop-shoop love song, almost getting a bit gospel at the end. The vocals weren’t 100% but they were decent (see Jemini in 2003 for a comparison). It would’ve made a good winner, but we’ll get our moment one day, if we pull our fingers out.