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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eurovision Song Contest: Greece, Latvia and Spain

Loucas Yiorkas Feat. Stereo Mike – Watch my dance

Greece has been in the Eurovision Song Contest 31 times since 1974. They've won it once, in 2005 with Helena Paparizou – My number one, and their worst place ever is number 20 in 1998. In the last seven years they've always ended up among the top 10.
But me personally, I think that will end this year, because… Greece, I'm not liking this, and I’ll tell you the simple truth why. Including the above mentioned winning song in 2005 here’s a sample of what I've come to expect from Greece:
2004 Sakis Rouvas – Shake it
2007 Sarbel – Yassou Maria
2009 Sakis Rouvas – This is our night
2010 Giorgos Alkaios & Friends – Opa
And this year they’re doing a… rap, and that just isn’t my thing, and I certainly don’t want that from Greece. Watch my dance isn’t exactly bad, I can see that it has some good qualities, and the refrain isn’t half bad, and surely some people will like this, me… not so much… I want something fun, something happy, something Greek from Greece, that’s my opinion anyway…
Greece – 3 points

Musiqq – Angel in disguise

Latvia first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000 and has participated every year since then. They've won it once, in 2002 with Marie N – I wanna (which I never quite understood, by the way, because I didn't care much for it at all), but they've also failed to qualify for the final 3 times.
One of my favourite Eurovision songs actually comes from Latvia, that in their first year in the competition, back in 2000, when Brainstorm sang My Star and came in third place. What a wonderful song!
But this year it’s Musiqq with Angel in disguise, and this is ok, but nothing more, and when they get to the spot when even these guys feel the need to do a bit of rapping… please, leave that to Eminem (whom I actually quite like, so it’s not that I don’t like rap, it’s just got to be done right). This song doesn't leave much of an impression on me I'm afraid, I get a bit bored…
Latvia – 3 points

Lucia Perez – Que me quiten lo bailao

Spain has been in every Eurovision Song Contest since 1961. They've won it twice, in 1968 and 1969 (in 1969 they had to share the victory with 3 other countries), and their worst placement came in 2009 when they ended up as number 23. In 1999 Spain became one of the big 4 in Eurovision, that is, the 4 countries that don’t have to go through the semi-finals, because they contribute so much financially to the contest that they’re automatically qualified for the final.
The first time I heard this year’s entry, I wasn't too keen, but the more I listen to it, the more it grows on me, it isn't half bad. It can of course not compete with earlier Spanish entries like David Civera – Dile que le quiero in 2001 and Ramón – Para llenarme de ti in 2004, but still, it is a quite good, happy, party-song, the kind we like in Eurovision, and it most certainly is Spanish. I quite often like it when countries sing in their own language and ad a touch that tells us what kind of culture it comes from. Don’t think Spain will win this year though:
Spain – 6 points

Friday, April 29, 2011

Eurovision Song Contest: Austria, San Marino and Switzerland

Nadine Beiler – The Secret is lov
Austria first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 and has participated in the competition 43 times in the last 54 years. They have however not been in the competition since 2007, so this year is kind of a come-back for them. They have won the Eurovision Song Contest once, in 1966, but has also quite often not done it very well, and in 2005 and 2007 they didn’t manage to qualify for the final, which I thought was a bit unfair in 2007 because I quite liked Eric Papilaya singing Get a life – Get alive. This year’s entry however…
For me it sounds as if Nadine is in pain when singing this song, it’s as if every word coming out of her mouth must be forced out, in pain, and I don’t like it. And I know I'm repeating myself, but there are a lot of these songs this year: boring, it just doesn't do anything for me. So, I’m afraid this is another:
Austria – 2 points

San Marino
Senit – Stand by
San Marino has only been in the Eurovision Song Contest once before, in 2008, and they did not qualify for the final.
This year they’re back with Senit and I’m sorry, but I don’t think they’ll make it to the final this year either. The ballad is ok, but… yes, you guessed it right: boring. The song does no impression on me what so ever, and I forget it the minute it’s over. And here’s something else you can probably guess:
San Marino – 2 points

Anna Rossinelli – In love for a while

Switzerland hosted the first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956 and also ended up winning it, since then they've been in all the competition except for 4 years, but they've not won it since 1956. The last four years they’ve not managed to qualify for the final, which is a shame, because I quite enjoyed both DJ Bobo – Vampires are alive, in 2007, and Michael von der Heide last year with Il pleut de l’or.
But this year it’s Anna singing In love for a while, and I like this. It’s a song that makes me happy from the beginning, it’s light, like floating on a cloud. Ok, so it isn’t good enough to absolutely love, but I hope it will at least make it through to the final.
Switzerland – 6 points

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eurovision Song Contest: Belgium, Lithuania and Russia

Witloof Bay
– With love baby
Belgium is one of the founding members of the Eurovision Song Contest, and except for three times, it’s been in the Eurovision Song Contest every year since the beginning in 1956. They have won the competition 1 time, and failed to qualify for the final 5 times in the last 6 years. And I’m afraid they won’t do very well this year either. Not using any instruments is probably quite rare this contest, and I’m sure quite a few people will enjoy this, but for me, it just isn’t my cup of tea, at all. I can see that this song certainly has its qualities, but I don’t think they will go very far in Eurovision Song Contest.
Belgium – 2 points

Evalina Sašenko – C’est ma vie

Lithuania has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 11 times since 1994, and not done very well so far. Once they’ve come in number 6, but usually has ended up close to the bottom of the Final list, and 4 times they haven’t even qualified for the final.
This year’s entry, C’est ma vie, is an attempt to do one of those huge, powerful ballads, and Evalina sure has a great voice, but… to me this just gets a bit boring. There have been some huge, great ballads in Eurovision Song Contest before, but this is not one of them I’m afraid, despite the singer’s good voice. So this will probably be one of those years when Lithuania won’t even qualify for the final.
Lithuania – 2 points

Alexej Vorobjov – Get you

Russia first appeared in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, and has participated 14 times since then. They’ve won the competition once, in 2008, and their worst placement has been as number 17.This year’s entry is a happy party-song sung by a quite cute, young man by the name Alexej, and I like this. It’s not one of my top favourites this year, but it’s not bad either. And I think Russia will do quite well in this year’s competition.
Russia – 7 points

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eurovision: Cyprus, Moldova and Azerbaijan

Christos Mylordos – San Aggelos S’Agapisa
Cyprus has been in the Eurovision Song Contest 28 times since 1981, their best place ever is number 5, and 4 times they’ve not managed to qualify for the Eurovision Final.This year’s entry actually starts out quite nice, like a quiet ballad building up, and I’m thinking: hey, this could be one of the good ones, and then a woman starts screaming… And they’ve lost me, it’s all downhill from there.
Cyprus – 2 points

Zdob şi Zdub – So Lucky
Moldova has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest every year since 2005, their best place has been number 6 and once they’ve not managed to qualify for the final. Incidentally the year they did come in as number 6, in 2005, it was the same group as this year that represented Moldova. That time Zdob şi Zdub sang Boonika Bate doba, and I loved it. Yes, I know, some people found that song a bit… noisy, but I thought it was excellent. This year’s entry, So Lucky, sigh… This just is a lot of noise, a lot of singing So Lucky over and over again, without the song really going anywhere. It’s only a 3 minute song, but after half a minute I’m already bored with all the noise. So sorry, but for me this is:
Moldova – 2 points

Ell & Nikki – Running Scared
Azerbaijan has a very short Eurovision Song Contest history, and has only participated since 2008. But despite the few appearances, they’ve done very well with an 8th, 3rd and 5th place so far, and I must admit Azerbaijan is now starting to be one of the countries that I expect to have a good song in Eurovision Song Contest. I wasn’t too big a fan of the 2008 entry, but I’ve quite liked both Aysel & Arash – Always in 2009 and Safura – Drip Drop in 2010. How about this year’s entry then… I’m not disappointed! This is even better than the two previous years. It’s such a great ballad, good singers and so well performed. I would not be surprised or disappointed if this ended up being this year’s winner!
Azerbaijan – 10 points

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eurovision: Portugal, Estonia and United Kingdom

Sorry about suddenly ending up with a week’s delay in my Eurovision posting, but Easter happened and… thank God I had better things to do than being on the internet every day. Actually, for the first time in very many I didn’t turn my computer on at all for 3 days, that’s a new record for me…

But now I’m back, and have found out that if I am to get this done before the first Eurovision song contest semi-final on Tuesday the 10th of May, I’ll now have to do 3 songs a day:

Homens Da Luta – Luta é alegria

Portugal has been in Eurovision song contest 44 times since 1964, but their best place ever is number 7, and 4 times they haven’t even made it through to the final – and I think that’ll happen again this year. I can’t remember Portugal ever having a song that I liked. Now I’ve started to expect something weird from them every year, and I’m not disappointed this year either. I don’t even understand what this is supposed to be. I quite endorse it when singers sing in their own language, but then at least they’ve got to have a melody that makes sense. Could be that this song is funny in Portuguese, but for the rest of us it just sounds and looks really, really strange. I can’t stand this at all. So:
Portugal – 1 points.

Getter Jaani – Rockefeller Street

Estonia has been in Eurovision song contest 16 times since 1994 and they’ve won once, with Tanel Padar, Dave Benton & 2XL singing Everybody in 2001. They’ve also not qualified for the final 6 times. As for this year’s entry: I simply just don’t like it. There’s something about the woman’s voice that just sounds completely wrong in my ears, it’s almost painful to listen to, but the song itself is quite catchy, so perhaps it would’ve been better off with another singer? Who knows. But it is what it is, and this year:
Estonia – 2 points

United Kingdom
Blue – I can

United Kingdom has been participating in all Eurovision song contests except the first year in 1956 and in 1958. They’ve won 5 times, the first time in 1967 with Sandie Shaw singing Puppet on a string, and the last time in 1997 with Katrina and the waves singing Love shine a light. Since they’re one of the Big 4 (one of the four countries that contributes the most towards Eurovision) they don’t need to qualify for the Eurovision song contest final, and this has for many years been fortunate for the United Kingdom. Over the last years they’ve become quite famous for having really horrible entries that ends up near the very bottom of the final list, and shouldn’t really have been in the final in the first place. Which has been a shame, because there are so many great artists and songs that have come out of the United Kingdom. They have huge success with several boybands, and perhaps that is the recipe? This year’s contestant for the United Kingdom is the newly re-united boyband Blue, who had a huge single together with Elton John back in 2002 with the song Sorry seems to be the hardest word. I loved that song, and I love Blue’s entry into Eurovision song contest this year. Finally, for the first time in years, United Kingdom’s got an entry in the contest that they can be proud of, so:
United Kingdom – 10 points

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Eurovision Song Contest 2011

Here we go again! The semi-finals and finals of this year's Eurovision song contest is coming closer every day, and I thought it was about time that I started meaning something about the songs. Those who know me also know what a huge Eurovision song contest enthusiast I am, and I have recently been asked why I'm not already posting about Eurovision so I guess it's about time...

For the next twenty or so days until the first Eurovision Song Contest semi-final on Tuesday 10 May 2011 I will try to post something about a couple of contestants in this year’s competition.

Yes, I have heard all the songs/watched all the videos, though not all of them in full. Some songs you hear immediately that it’s a big NO! Some of you might now ask: aren’t all Eurovision songs like that, but that is also a big NO! Mind you though, this is not a very good year for Eurovision. Some years I find so many songs that I really enjoy, it’s hard to land on a favourite, this year… not so much… I have graded the different countries and so far given out one 10 – 12 points, one 10 points, one 8 points, one 7 points, three 6 points, eight 5 points, ten 4 points, nine 3 points, seven 2 points and two 1 points. So we’re partly in for a rough ride, but I’ll try to present one country from the top of my list and one country from the bottom of my list every day, so hopefully it won’t be too bad… Here we go:

Maja Keuc – No One

Slovenia has been in the Eurovision song contest 17 times since 1993, 6 of those times they have not made it through to the final, their best place is number 7, and… I predict they won’t get through to the final this year either. Remember I said I’d given out to 1-points this year? Well, here’s the first.

The song is just boring, the singer is, to be honest, not very good, occasionally it sounds like someone moaning in pain in the background and in the end everyone’s screaming! The woman doesn’t look half bad though, so I guess she deserves a point for that, so:
Slovenia – 1 point

Kati Wolf – What about my dreams?

Hungary has been in Eurovision song contest 8 times since 1994, the last two times they participated, in 2008-2009, they didn’t make it through to the final, and their best place ever is number 4.
Kati Wolf may not be as beautiful as the Slovenian singer Maja Keuc, but other than that she’s got her beat, because wow this woman can sing! The song is an up-beat, happy, party- and dancing song, and every time I hear it I just feel the need to play it really, really loud! I love this song, and predict it will do very well in this years contest. So:
Hungary – 10/12 points