Tag Archives: eurovision 2005

Eurovision reloaded: Kiev 2005: My Top 10

10. Walters and Kazha – The War Is Not Over (Latvia )
#5 in the Grand Final

Speaking of the Baltic bloc, as we enter the top 10 here is Latvia. It should be the naffest load of dreck ever. The styling looks just as you would expect from a Latvian Eurovision entry, and they’re strumming away on their little guitars.

Oh wait, the one with the shit hair got up, HOLD THE PHONE. It’s just a really sweet song, and I’m a sucker for a good falsetto, which is exactly what we get on that last little glory note. Or it is if you saw the semi-final. They mysteriously bottled it on the final performance, but still made it to the top 5. OK it’s not the strongest note every, and I imagine if he tried to push it, it would have gone horribly wrong.

9. Gülseren – Rimi Rimi Ley (Turkey )
#13 in the Grand Final

Turkey time, another country that can rarely do wrong in Eurovision. This time they went for the full-on ethnic bonanza, there are sitars and drum, costumes with tassles and beads, even some weird bongo priest.

I’m not that familiar with the sound of Turkish, so for all intents it reminds me of some sort of Bollywood soundtrack. It’s gloriously sunny and energetic. For all the spectacle of the performance, the vocals aren’t really great, but I really do love that recorded version, very upbeat.

How many drum solos did the participants indulge in this year, feels like LOADS.

8. Javine – Touch My Fire (United Kingdom )
#22 in the Grand Final

Who’s that in the slot of death? Yes, poor Javine got the fabled 2nd slot in the running order, that has never produced a winner. But let’s make the most of it, and throw as much ethnicity at it as we can to try and make up for our Eurovision sins of recent years.

I really loved this at the time. Is she referring to her vagina in the title? Who can tell. She managed to at least avoid another nip-slip during this dazzling performance. She looked amazing, and there’s more than enough Eastern promise thrown in to please our distant European cousins.

At least that was the plan. I’m used to us doing badly in Eurovision, ever since we started sending shit like Gemini, but by and large I don’t think we’ve really been short-changed in the last decade, except in this case. It felt to me to be the most accomplished and appealing entry we had until Jade in 2009, and perhaps this is a more fitting victim to the running order than lumpy old Engelbert this year was.

7. Shiri Maimon – Hasheket Shenish’ar (Israel )
#4 in the Grand Final

Time for an Israeli Barbie singing another lovely Israeli song that I can’t understand a word of. I love the Hebrew sounds though. HAHGHHH.

At first glance it seems like a pretty standard Disney ballad that we’ve seen a handful of already, but she really brought this one alive. That chorus really builds nicely doesn’t it? And she’s so PRETTY. Lebanon tried to entry in 2005, with a rather lovely French ballad, but they couldn’t accept sharing the contest with Israel. If it comes down to the songs, I think the right song ended up on stage.

6. Vanilla Ninja – Cool Vibes (Switzerland )
#8 in the Grand Final

What the hell are Switzerland doing in contention for a win? Or at least ANYWHERE near a top 10. I’m so used the the recent Swiss disasters that it’s a bit of a surprise to see them doing well. But just as they did to secure their last win with Celine Dion, they had to import Vanilla Ninja in from Estonia.

I’m not really sure what to make of it, the title doesn’t quite convey the serious tone of the song, nor does the flippancy of the lead singer when she sings “why don’t you kill me?”. It’s a real slice of drama isn’t it? The lead singer is pretty kickass too, I think she beat up Lithuania’s Laura for that jacket too. Why weren’t they representing Estonia though?

Either way, it really stood out in a field of poppy turbo-sluts and pretty Disney princesses, and really held its own.

5. Luminiţa Anghel and Sistem – Let Me Try (Romania )
#3 in the Grand Final

Time to turn the FEROCITY up to 11 as Romania bring another solid hit to the stage with the big-voiced and big-chested Luminiţa. Is that another drum solo? Honestly guys, what was going on?

She needed a strong voice to get over that noisy percussion, she she certainly had that. With such full-on vocals she even had space for a hair-raising key change too. The props were a bit overkill, I mean angle grinders really shouldn’t be used as percussion should they? What a racket!

It certainly went down well with the public though, giving Romania their best result to date.

4. Nuno Resende – Le grand soir (Belgium )
Did not qualify, #22 in the Semi-Final

OK so I can expect to meet some resistance on this one, but I don’t CARE ANYMORE. The slightly vampiric Nuno really nailed those vocals though, and did his best to take my attention off that vile jacket, and his unfortunate facial hair decisions.

French just sounds so nice, and he certainly stretched his rhyming dictionary as far as it would go. It’s naff, especially when that hidden electric guitar screeches away quietly.

But it’s really that vocal that won me over, especially that gorgeous final note. You can tell the audience don’t really give the tiniest shit though, can’t you. Ultimately it was doomed, and Nuno was forced back into his coffin for driving Belgium into a losing streak only matched by their neighbour Netherlands.

3. Chiara – Angel (Malta )
#2 in the Grand Final

THAR SHE BLOWS. The royal yacht Chiara is cruising into view, with her mightiest Disney ballad to date. I really want her to finally win this contest for Malta one day, it would be such a lovely story. Just get some Swedes in to write the song please.

It could easily have stalled as a pretty boring ballad, but her voices really elevates this into something really glorious. She even gets to give it a bit of SASS halfway through, before resuming her task of blowing away all the other vocalists in the contest.

Christ knows why Malta are mothballing her with a 5-year ban for all previous Maltese entrants, and leaving her to sing the shit out of some plus-sized hits on Maltese TV. Put her in a nice dress and do her hair please, she looks like Dr Robotnik’s sister at the moment.

2. Selma – If I had your love (Iceland )
Did not qualify, #16 in the Semi-Final

I did think long and hard about who I’d eventually pick as my 2005 favourite. It was a close-run thing, but Selma has to settle for 2nd place, as she did in 1999 when she first entered. I’ve just notice that my top 3 were all former participants – former top 3 finishers, no less! while Chiara and Helena managed to reflect this in the leaderboard, Selma got a raw deal crashing quite heavily in the semi-final.

It’s a shame really, Iceland have produced some of the best entries of the 7 contests I’ve counted down, perhaps better even than Sweden (we’ll forget 2007 happened). Selma’s song ultimately didn’t quite have the OOMPH that Helena mustered, but it was still a great performance.

A vaguely Toxic-sounding string riff, and a full on euro-slut sound was present here, but Selma herself was utterly gorgeous, like Amanda Holden might look like with her original head. The routine was simple but effective, with the golden motif throughout the performance really setting off the whole thing.

I can see why it might have got lost in the pack, but it really did deserve much better than it got.

1. Helena Paparizou – My Number One (Greece )
#1 in the Grand Final

So yes, there we have it. It’s one of those rare occasions where my favourite track of the contest actually WON. In fact judging by Greece’s record in recent years, it’s almost unthinkable that they’ve only won it once.

But what a win, it just has the gravity of a winner, and while they realised that Helena’s vice was strong, it couldn’t compete with some of the ballads, so they threw plenty of gimmicks at it. A hot dance routine, the human string-section (!), the stick dance, that naff but inch-perfect ‘1’ design laid out in Greek dancers.

I think the planets just aligned to secure the Greek victory, it was closer than I imagine it would have been, but Chiara at least didn’t have to suffer such a nail-bitingly close defeat as she did in 1998.

Some great lyrics in there though, that I’m sure you would only ever find in Eurovision “You’re my passion, my relief, my crucifixion”. In a short space of time, Greece certainly learnt the secret combination (…) to Eurovision success to become one of the untouchable for the best part of a decade, and I can’t imagine it’ll be long before they win again (unless they destroy Europe).

Leave a comment

Filed under Eurovision, Music, Reviews

Single: Aline Lahoud – “Quand tout s’enfuit” (Eurovision 2005)

“Quand tout s’enfuit” is one of a small list of Eurovision entries that never came to pass. I thought that just before I share my Eurovision 2005, I should mention the Lebanese debut entry that never was.

The story is a lot less simple than I originally thought, and thanks to reader Kelly-Ann for correcting me. Middle-Eastern country Lebanon were to debut at Kiev’s Eurovision in 2005. They paid their fees, and selected a song. But it then emerged that the fee for entry was raised, and the broadcaster couldn’t afford this without extra sponsorship. They pulled out, lost their participation fee, and incurred a three-year ban from the contest for the broadcaster, and were never seen again.

It wasn’t, as the story goes, because Lebanon were forbidden from showing Israel’s entry in the contest under Lebanese law. It’s been pointed out that sporting events and even Miss World were shown in Lebanon with Israeli contestants, so this wasn’t a deal-breaker.

A shame really, I’m all for more countries entering the contest, even moreso for ones outside the usual voting cliques. But c’est la vie. We can at least enjoy the entry that Lebanese-born Aline was going to sing.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s performed in French. After all, it’s a recognised language there (even if Arabic is the offical tongue). But I suppose I expected it in Arabic. I don’t blame them though, such a move would certainly make Europe a bit more inclusive of a country that few would place within its geographical borders.

It’s a gorgeously dramatic ballad with some lovely beats behind it. Sort of reminds me of something from a musical, so it’s difficult to imagine how it would have played out in Kiev, but I certainly think it would have done well. It may well have even have enjoyed Azerbaijan’s consistent success by expertly blending mainstream musical styles with traditional instruments in an easily digestible parcel. OK maybe English lyrics would have sealed the deal more effectively, but it would have made a worthy entry.

What a heartbreakingly desperate fan-made video though, editing is as if it had been in the show after all, bless them!

2 Comments

Filed under Eurovision, Music, Reviews

Eurovision reloaded: Kiev 2005: My #20 – #11

20. Donna and Joe – Love? (Ireland )
Did not qualify, #14 in the Semi-Final

OK not really sure how this entry really came to pass, but here are the unlikely pair that the Emerald Isle deemed fit to carry their torch of enduring Eurovision success. Or sort of anyway, their amazing 90s in the contest went from bad to worse in the 00s, with this entry becoming their first entry of three to miss the final. They should count themselves lucky that this total wasn’t higher.

So Donna & Joe somehow found themselves on-stage in Kiev singing their little hearts out with the simply-titled “Love”. I don’t know WHY I am so fond of this song, there’s an endearing heart of crapness there, and the brother & sister duo are really putting everything into it despite the odds. The styling is awful, the pair can sing well enough but the dancers had their work cut out distracting from the hideous moves of Joe, who seems to have eaten too many blue Smarties before going onstage.

It’s a relentless barrage of bland non-lyrics, but even saves space for a manic key-change. Quick! Do some Riverdance, maybe they won’t notice!

19. Martin Stenmarck – Las Vegas (Sweden )
#19 in the Grand Final

A prelude to Sweden’s wilderness years in the latter part of the 00s, breaking a 7-year string of top 10 finishes for the country. At least we know there’s a happy ending, with the events in Baku last month.

It’s just clinging to the right side of cheesy nonsense, and thank God he never went for some sort of Elvis homage. I think if he wasn’t so hot I’d be quite ambivalent towards this, but it turns out that even when Sweden aren’t giving it their best, they are better than most.

Don’t know why he’s singing about Vegas, or why he thought that would resonate with the rest of the European voting public, but here we are. Maybe if the lyrics were about something else entirely, and the naff faux-brass accompaniment wasn’t there, this might be much improved, but as it stands it’s very catchy despite itself. It may not be well regarded among the Swedophiles but it’s a good track in the context of other entries in 2005.

18. Zdob şi Zdub – Boonika bate doba (Moldova )
#6 in the Grand Final

Years before the Russian grannies, there was this. Zdob şi Zdub were to return in 2011, but they weren’t to better this debut Moldovan entry, still standing as their biggest hit to date.

Not my typical choice for a favourite, but maybe my tastes are changing. Normally I would be a little resentful at some faceless female’s hi-NRG pop song being kept out of the final at the expense of rockier numbers like this, but I think variety like this is what the contest is about.

An energetic rapid-fire barrage of Moldovan ska-lite rap nonsense, and it’s surprisingly a lot of fun. And that’s even before the lead singer wheels on his grandma as a drummer, gumming happily away as if this was completely normal.

One of those songs I can imagine playing really well in the arena, and a lot of fun for everyone else too.

17. Son de Sol – Brujería (Spain )
#21 in the Grand Final

Spain might have a peppered history in the contest, but at least with this entry you couldn’t possibly accuse them of selling out and sending something that wasn’t immediately recognisable as Spanish.

This is just an onslaught of nonsense, I am quite defenceless against it. A dizzying array of gaudy-coloured dresses being thrown around, inexplicable interruptions by a baffling biker gang as backup dancers.

The terrifying trio of ladies unleash a breathless string of Spanish with some flamboyant gestures, I’m taken aback every time I watch the clip. It doesn’t really matter that the vocals are a little off, even with the best voices there is a LOT to take in, and that makes it one of the most entertaining Spanish entries for a while.

16. Feminnem – Call Me (Bosnia and Herzegovina )
#14 in the Grand Final

Speaking of a dizzying array of European beauties, here are Feminem with their debut performance. It’s certainly far removed from their sober return in 2010 representing Croatia, and this is perhaps best described as a mutated triple-edition of Sweden’s 1999 winner.

They certainly give it 9000% on the vocals and while it’s a bit screechy, they hit the notes and have some great energy driving their performance. Some of the lyrics are a bit ropey and certainly going for some suck-up points for name-checking Eurovision’s 50th anniversary. “50 candles on the party cakes” indeed!

But it’s very light-hearted and has a satisfying conclusion, really keeping in the fun spirit of the show.

15. NOX – Forogj, világ! (Hungary )
#12 in the Grand Final

Now I really had to give this one credit for some awesome choreography, even if there was a dash of Riverdance in the middle. She’s a game old bird too, joining in for some of the elaborate choreo with the boys. Oddly her vocals seem to improve towards the end after all that exercise.

It’s got a really peppy ethno beat to it, I only wish they had worn lighter costumes, I fear some of the effect was lot on that dark stage by wearing black.

I hadn’t got this down as one of my favourites before I’d seem the performance but it all rather came together I think. Who knew Hungary had it in them?

14. Martin Vučić – Make My Day (F.Y.R. Macedonia )
#17 in the Grand Final

Thought I’d already dumped most of the vaguely handsome ethnic types with their Ricky Martin-esque Mediterranean holiday hitz? Fear not, here is the hopelessly-dressed Martin from Macedonia (no, not THAT Macedonia, the other one).

It’s an unusual song really, just telling the object of his affection to just piss off and leave him alone. It’s got a really instant chorus, and he’s really quite likeable with his utterly hopeless choreography (if you can call it that, I think he’s just making it up as he goes along).

He even gets a drum solo. Where DID those drumsticks, did they knock out some poor Ukrainian stage hand? The girls do their best to distract from this nonsense with some hot Balkan moves and some vile dresses. You can’t keep a good song DOWN.

13. Ortal – Chacun pense à soi (France )
#23 in the Grand Final

It was an utterly awful year for the Big Four, with them cluttering up the bottom four places on the leaderboard. In some cases I think that was quite undeserved (fair enough on Spain though). But France at least tried to send something vaguely contemporary to Kiev.

It had a great slot just before voting opened, but for some reason people didn’t get on board. OK fair enough it’s not much to look at, a rather humourless setup and a relatively ordinary routine to go with it. But really it’s a solid enough French pop song, it took a while to grow on me though, and perhaps that’s where this song fell down, you only get 3 minutes…

12. Global.Kryner – Y así (Austria )
Did not qualify, #21 in the Semi-Final

Oh I know what you’re all going to say, what a load of old shit. WELL I LIKE IT. I think it’s a really adorable little oompah-band tale of some Cuban slut shacking up with an Austrian yodeller. Tale as old as time, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Not really sure what look they were going for, the singer is looking like some alpine milkmaid, but why are the band in track-suits? I love that yodelling tromboner (there’s a Googlewhack if I ever saw one), just those facial expressions!

Anyway I JUST THINK IT’S REALLY NICE, SHUT UP.

11. Laura and The Lovers – Little by Little (Lithuania )
Did not qualify, #25 in the Semi-Final

Now really, this deserved better than LAST place in the semi-final, didn’t it? Where did the Baltic bloc go? Voting blocs tend to give Lithuania a bit of a wide berth for some reason, so I don’t imagine they will follow their fellow Baltic chums to a win any time soon.

But honestly this is a pretty solid pop song isn’t it? Am I missing something? OK so it’s a bit of a motley crew of backing dancers, but she carries off the performance pretty well. Perhaps not quite as good as the recorded version, but I don’t think she did anything wrong.

Perhaps performing 2nd in the semi-final didn’t help, but it’s not totally forgettable, I just don’t get it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eurovision, Music, Reviews

Eurovision reloaded: Kiev 2005: My #30 – #21

30. Omar Naber – Stop (Slovenia )
Did not qualify, #12 in the Semi-Final

Time for the dismal middle-ground now, and a fresh-faced Slovenian gentleman. He doesn’t really look like the sort of guy I imagined singing this sort of sweeping Balkan downtempo song, but he seems to have the voice for it at least.

It’s a mysterious-sounding melody, lots of spooky magic flourishes before it cracks in a rockier sound for the climax. That cross-eyed diva on the platform is a bit of a surprise, I’m not entirely sure she’s even supposed to be there. He seems quite taken with her though, so all’s well that ends well. The performance improves the song for me at least, even if it did no favours for Slovenia’s qualification record.

29. Constantinos Christoforou – Ela Ela (Come Baby) (Cyprus )
#18 in the Grand Final

As usual, Greece end up overshadowing their Mediterranean friend, but Cyprus certainly looked the part this year. Not sure how they managed to get Mr Christoforou into that outfit, perhaps it was painted on.

There are plenty of props too, revolving mirror blocks (must be a bugger to clean those), a stick dance, some drums… what more do you need? I do feel for Cyprus, Greece usually wheel out this sort of ethno-pop music to great dividends. In 2005 Cyprus tried the same, but Greece were one step ahead with a Greco-Swedish hybrid powerhouse, leaving Constantinos floundering near the bottom of the final scoreboard.

It’s not a particularly special song, but it’s catchy enough. I don’t think they could really have expected a great deal more as a result.

28. 2B – Amar (Portugal )
Did not qualify, #17 in the Semi-Final

Speaking of hapless entrants, here’s good old Portugal with another doomed attempt. You have to admire their persistence in the face of such utterly disappointing results year after year.

This one had doom written all over it. An energetic dance route was pulled off well, but the singers were left breathless, and their lower registers were practically non-existent. Which would be a problem for most songs, but was pretty terminal for this one.

There’s a nice enough song behind it, I like the energy behind it, and they are really just trying so hard. I think if the singers had less moving to do (losing the cartwheels would be a good start), leaving the dancing to the dancers, things could have been different, but perhaps not by much.

27. Marian van de Wal – La mirada interior (Andorra )
Did not qualify, #23 in the Semi-Final

I miss Andorra. With the country considering a departure from the EBU entirely, it doesn’t seem hopeful that we will see them in the contest for a while. Not that they ever had a good run of success, with six failed attempts to qualify for the final.

Spain has enough trouble with their Spanish-language entries gaining little traction with the voting public, so Andorra’s Catalan entries have an even tougher time. So more focus is on the melody and performance.

In fairness the performance was quite accomplished, lovely outfits, a feather dance, and some OTT dancers flailing around like shark attacks. Her voice was good too, even if she was gnashing her teeth quite a lot. That scary witch lady singing the big backing vocals was a bit of an eye-opener too.

It’s not a particularly striking song, but there’s a memorable melody in there. I can see why it didn’t really engage the viewers, but that’s always a risk for songs like this I guess. Andorra are just easy cannon fodder amongst similar-sounding songs, particularly from Eastern Europe who seems to have this style down to a fine art.

26. GreenJolly – Razom nas bahato, nas ne podolaty (Ukraine )
#19 in the Grand Final

Time for the hosts to take the stage, with a revolutionary anthem for Ukrainians, who had undergone the Orange Revolution only a few months before. The title even means “Together we are many, we cannot be defeated”, and (I’ve read) was popular during the revolution. So you can understand the incredible reception this got in the arena on the night.

Ukraine had already won, they didn’t need to prove anything, so they had free reign to show their pride with song that was never likely to be a massive hit for the rest of Europe. The fact that this is their worst-performing entry in the contest is immaterial really, this was a hugely significant song for the country and perhaps represented their country more than most entries over the years.

The rap style isn’t really to my tastes but it’s really got some power in it, that chorus is insistent and memorable, and the performance is well-performed. They had won before they took the stage really.

25. No Name – Zauvijek moja (Serbia and Montenegro )
#7 in the Grand Final

Having been held off from winning the contest in 2004 by Ukraine, Serbia & Montenegro made another strong attempt before the country split into its two constituent countries before the 2006 contest (subsequently with wildly differing levels of success).

I might not really be one to judge how well this sums up popular music in the Balkans, but this is certainly a powerful attempt, sending an enthusiastic boyband in to perform what is certainly NOT the usual boyband song.

The drama is amped up to maximum, as the boys power through with some big vocals, while others go crazy on the drums. There’s something strangely compelling about the whole arrangement, and even though I have no idea what they’re singing about, I’m totally into it. While it’s simple (and lazy) to explain the success of these countries on pure geographical favouritism, but you can just TELL when some of these are destined to do well, and this song certainly has that feel about it.

24. Glennis Grace – My Impossible Dream (Netherlands )
Did not qualify, #14 in the Semi-Final

Andorra have a shitty qualification record, but at least they got out while they could. Netherlands have continued with dogged persistence after 8 straight years (some straighter than others) losing in the semi-finals.

It’s nice to know people were still called Glennis so recently, and she really deserved better than this. The song is pretty old-school Whitney, even if it’s not high-grade Whitney. Maybe more like Vanessa Williams or something. Lazy black lady comparisons aside, she performs the song really well, aside from some unfortunate slow-motion running choreography that looks terrible.

She did the best she could with it, but ultimately it was a little too dated to get anywhere big, and so she started a grand tradition of hopeful Dutch failures that I hope will be broken soon.

23. Angelica Agurbash – Love me Tonight (Belarus )
Did not qualify, #13 in the Semi-Final

We’ve seen countries overshadowed by more popular neighbours, and Belarus is another to add to that list, often showing the potential for hits like Ukraine but rarely delivering on it.

In 2005 we got a delightful piece of Eurotrash with the ostentatiously-dressed Angelica trying her best to keep this fun mess of a pop song together. The energy is quite contagious, and the queenly stylings helpfully distract from a ropey vocal. It’s just a lot of fun to watch, and while there were certainly (many) better singers in the contest, few strutted around with such confidence and two costume changes.

A+ for effort, Angelica.

22.Suntribe – Let’s Get Loud (Estonia )
Did not qualify, #20 in the Semi-Final

I’ve already had a soft spot for Estonia, fondly remembering their 1996 entry as a teen. However this mess was the sign of their previously strong performance at the contest collapsing, and they are only really now getting back on their feet.

It’s an energetic trac, great fun and deserved better than its disaster in the semi-final. OK it’s a bit of a naff girlband track, and putting them ALL in front of record decks for the first half of the song was a questionable choice in staging.

Attempts at a decent dance routine evidently were limited in their success, with a bit of arm-waving and high-kicks not really making up for the wasted first half. As throwaway as it was, it’s a real sugar-rush of a track, and should’ve done better I think.

21. Ledina Çelo – Tomorrow I Go (Albania )
#16 in the Grand Final

Albania took 8 years to better their debut success in 2004, and as a result of this success they got a free pass to the final in 2005 thanks to the rules at the time. But it more than held its own with a full-on ethno track with a subtle dance beat under it.

Her vocals were strong, even if they missed the mark a few times. A strong performance of a curious song, I’m not sure if she’s really that happy she’s getting married. Where is she going afterwards?? It’s a pretty catchy and powerful representative of its genre, and while Albania often seem to get short-changed in Eurovision with some pretty HOT TRAX, they didn’t shame themselves in Kiev.

Leave a comment

Filed under Eurovision, Music, Reviews

Eurovision reloaded: Kiev 2005 – My #39 – #31

After becoming a fully-fledged Eurovision loon during/after the 2009 contest in Moscow, I decided to revisit older Eurovisions to see what I missed. I’ve got back as far as 2005 now – I will post the later ones in due course but I’ve just finished with Ukraine’s first Eurovision and I wanted to let you see. So here we go!

39. Kaffe – Lorraine (Bulgaria )
Did not qualify, #19 in the Semi-Final

Well someone has to get the wooden spoon, and this time it goes to perenially hopeless Bulgaria, with one of their many non-qualifying entries. Insanely this was accused of plagiarism, but Christ knows why someone would rip off such an insipid song.

It’s not offensively bad, but that chorus is just dismal. “I’m calling you AGAIN and AGAIN, I can still remember LORRAINE in the RAIN”. His voice is alright but really much more than a reasonable amateur.

I guess it’s a nice sign that the worst song of the contest (IMO) isn’t really THAT bad in the grand scheme of things.

 

38. Geir Rönning – Why? (Finland )
Did not qualify, #18 in the Semi-Final

Was in two minds whether to make this the worst song, and it seems Europe had similar thoughts, with this scoring just one point more than Bulgaria.

Really weirdly styled too, really not age-appropriate. Lots of power-ballad energy going on here, and in fairness there are some rather serviceable moments. The bridges for example, though they lead to rather dull WAHHH choruses.

A nice enough middle-eight too. There’s a good song in here somewhere, he’s got a pretty good voice too, but something just falls flat for me. TELL ME WHAAAYYY??

 

37. Jakob Sveistrup – Talking to You (Denmark )
#9 in the Grand Final

Denmark really seem to be hit and miss for me, having produced some really good tracks in the past, but some real MOR turds like this one. In ugly shirts too.

Again he’s not a bad singer, but this song is just such cod-reggae awfulness. He looks a bit like the rubbish guy from Jemini too, which is not a good look. How on earth this managed to come in the top 10 is a mystery, but there he was. NAFF.

 

36. Wig Wam – In My Dreams (Norway )
#9 in the Grand Final

Ugh… not a typo sadly, this also came 9th (along with Denmark). A full-on hair rock nightmare now, a year before Lordi suited up, perhaps the signs were there that rock was still a going concern at Eurovision.

But for now we have to deal with some ker-azy Norwegians doing their best Bon Jovi impressions in some real ugly outfits. The lead singer in particular just looks like a sad old line manager from an office indulging in his passion for naff 80s rock music for the office Christmas party.

OK so his voice just about suits the song, and he can hit those big notes, I just wish he WOULDN’T

 

35. Gracia Baur – Run & Hide (Germany )
#24 in the Grand Final

First of the big four out now, and Deutschland’s effort is reasonable enough, but that vocal hook really does my head in. Rocky with some spazzy synths and more than a passing resemblance to 4 Non Blondes.

It’s just so repetitive, I’m so tired of that HI-III-IIIDE noise throughout the choruses, and the verses aren’t really up to much. It’s a reasonable effort but this flopped on the night, and kicked off an unbeatably bad night for the Big Four, with all four of them at the bottom of the table.

 

34. Ivan and Delfin – Czarna dziewczyna (Poland )
Did not qualify, #11 in the Semi-Final

Oh what the fuck? Who knew Poland had this sort of business going on? LAIIIII LAI LAI LAI LAIIII. A bewildering assualt of frilly dresses, a guy who looks like Chris de Burgh in a woman’s dressing gown, and some insane accordian work on a little music-box that looks like it came from an Early Learning Centre.

It’s got an incredible energy to it, which I am more than happy to cite as distracting enough to make me really quite enjoy this. Somebody needs to switch these guys to decaf though.

 

33. Natalia Podolskaya – Nobody Hurt No One (Russia )
#15 in the Grand Final

I’m thinking maybe I prefer Poland to this now, but whatever. I love the miserable feel to this, another rocky track. The vocals are a bit OFF in places, but she’s got a decent presence onstage. I like the backing singer singing the echoey bits.

Showing a decent amount of cleavage to distract from the pretty forgettable chorus. OK this gets to be a bit of a mess vocally towards the end, but it’s not a bad effort.

 

32. Boris Novković & Lado Members – Vukovi umiru sami (Croatia )
#11 in the Grand Final

Hear that siren? It’s the Balkan Ballad alarm. Or is it a hurdy-gurdy or something? Either way, this is NOT A DRILL. Time for another proud Balkan man with a typically Eastern-European haircut to emote his way through more inspirational drudge.

His performance didn’t really help his cause on my countdown (though somewhat inevitably he made #11 in the final). It’s a decent song despite his ropey vocals, and that hopelessly out-of-place-looking bongo player even does an unexplained handstand to give the song’s flat climax a sense of OCCASION.

It’s got quite a nice swaying rhythm to it, very old-fashioned, but it’s not bad and those Balkan girls like to party like nobody on the backing vocals, offsetting the main guys vocals quite nicely. I’ve heard worse.

 

31. Lise Darly – Tout de moi (Monaco )
Did not qualify, #24 in the Semi-Final

Oh I really quite like this one after seeing the performance. What was a pretty limp but pleasant Disney ballad on record is turned into the most beautiful 3 minutes of this contest you would have missed when you went to the toilet.

Unfortunately Lise had plenty of time for toilet breaks after this crashed and burned in the semi-final. The song is a bit boring, and Monaco doesn’t exactly have much in the way of migrant worker diaspora in other countries. That said, it didn’t hold Malta back this year, and Monaco have amazingly managed to win the contest once before. I hope they come back one day.

That glory note for the key change was really well played, and it’s a shame she wasn’t rewarded by the voters outside France and Andorra (and curiously Moldova).

2 Comments

Filed under Eurovision, Music, Reviews