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Monday, May 09, 2011

Eurovision Song Contest: Germany and Norway

Well, we've come to the very end of my posting of all the Eurovision Song Contest songs, when Germany and Norway are done, I've listened to, had an opinion about and graded all of this year's 43 contestants in the competition. Now I'm eagerly waiting for the semi-finals, tomorrow the 10th of May, and on Thursday the 12th - and finally the big finally on Saturday the 14th.

Here's what I think of the two remaining countries in this year's competition:

Lena Meyer-Landruth – Taken by a stranger

Germany would have been in every single Eurovision Song Contest since the beginning in 1956 is it hadn’t been for the rules that EBU used for the contest in 1996 when all countries had to go through qualification to compete in the final, Germany didn’t get enough points. Since then of course, the EBU has changes their rules, and Germany is now one of the Big 5 countries (together with United Kingdom, Spain, France and Italy) which are the countries that contribute the most financially and thus are automatically qualified for the final each year. Germany has won the competition twice, in 1982 with the truly excellent song Ein Bißchen Frieden sung by Nicole, and again last year with the also great song Satelite sung by Lena Meyer-Landruth.
This year Lena Meyer-Landruth is back again competing for Germany with the song Taken by a stranger. The first time I heard this it was not at all what I expected from Lena. I very much loved the happy-happy fun song she sang last year, and I guess I thought she would come up with something like that again this year. But this is very different, darker, a bit jazzy, a bit strange… and I quite like it. Don’t think it’ll do very well in the competition, but I still think it’s a good song, and I like Lena’s voice.
Germany – 5 points

Stella Mwangi – Haba Haba

Norway has also been a quite eager participant in Eurovision Song Contest since their debut in 1960, and only missed out on 2 competitions. They’ve… or rather, since I’m Norwegian I guess the right term would be: We’ve won the competition 3 times: 1985 Bobbysock – La det swinge, 1995: Secret Garden – Nocturne, 2009: Alexander Rybak – Fairytale (which also is the winner song that's received the most points all in all and the most 12 points in Eurovision Song Contest history), all really great songs. We’ve also done very poorly in the competition, even failed to qualify one year, in 2007. Norway also has the dubious honour of being the first country to receive no points at all in a competition, that happened with Jahn Teigen singing Mil etter mil in 1978, and 3 years later we did it again with Finn Kalvik – Aldri i livet. One of my personal favourites among the Eurovision songs is our entry from 1993 when Silje Vige sung Alle mine tankar and came in 5th place.
So, this year then, what can I say… this is the 43rd and last song I have an opinion on in this year’s competition and you all probably thought I was saving the best for last… no such luck I’m afraid. I’m not keen at all on the Norwegian entry this year. Stella is not a very good singer I’m afraid and the song’s just… old, that’s how it seems to me, nothing new happening here, old and worn. But I have to be a little bit of a patriot of course, and even though I’m convinced that Norway won’t even qualify for the final this year, I still feel I have to give Norway a few points, just because, well, I’m Norwegian and it’s the Norwegian entry so:
Norway – 3 points


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