As I said on my Facebook page earlier this morning – Eurovision is like Blackpool, if you don’t get it, you don’t get life.
It’s not about the political voting, although I would dearly love to see this comp go global just for one night and see who gives whom the 12 points. I mean America….who would give them 12 points? Mexico? Libya? Pakistan?
And what about places like New Zealand? I can’t think of anyone who would feel obliged to donate their highest score to them for political reasons so they’d have to be offering Hot House Flowers on a plate and genuinely win on their musical merit!
Eurovision has changed over the years and not in a good way. I can remember when an unknown composer stood nervously in front of the BBC Orchestra (was it them?) and conducted their own piece, invariably sung by an equally complete unknown in the vain hope of winning.
In the last twenty years, however, we’ve had a fare few moments of sticking an established celebrity up there….with what…a better chance of winning? Well maybe, Michael Ball and Sonia both came second, Katrina and the Waves won but then Andrew Lloyd Webber’s penned and attrociously predictable effort, It’s My Time, lagged behind in fifth position. Not bad….and I guess better than our disastrous yet unmmissable Jemini. That won in the piss poor, at least we can laugh at ourselves stakes.
This year sees Blue as our chosen entry.
I was never a Blue fan. I’ve nothing against them, they seem like a lovely bunch of blokes. They have a nice sound and I remember fondly doing workouts to one of their albums one rainy week in Spain many moons ago….but they might perhaps be better named Bland.
There’s nothing about their sound to make you sit up or distinguish them from any other mediocre boy band except that they’ve gone the distance and still have a fan base….which is more than can be said for many others from their era in the charts.
Duncan’s like the happy meal of the band and appeals to everyone in some way, Simon’s got the velvet voice with the added turn your knees to jelly looks, Lee has the voice and that look of Essex rough in so far as you know you would but you can’t think why, and then there’s Anthony…..I’m guessing the dark horse of the gang.
I wish them every success, I really do, but I don’t think they’ll win. It’s not because they can’t sing, they have no stage presence, they’re too old (yes sadly I think age does enter the frame) or the song itself has no merit. It’s because we’ve had some odd winners over the last few years and Europe is not the UK.
Lena’s Satellite last year was boppy, discoesque and wouldn’t have been out of place in a European pop chart but would never have graced a UK chart, would it?
2009’s entry from Norway was so catchy but actually a bit folky, sung by an elfin, adorable little boy, or so it seemed. An irritatingly unforgettable tune I can’t even think of him without having it on my mind for days….but again, you’d never hear on a UK chart list, in a million years.
Russia’s 2008 win by Dima Bilan was, in my opinion, shockingly bad. An odd mix of something from a musical, an advert or film’s incidental music, I can’t believe it won….I think it was just because he was accompanied onstage by an ice skater! Whatever next?
Serbia’s 2007 win was one I think I must have missed as having googled it, it rings no bells whatsoever…..but just playing it gives you an idea of what Europe votes for…which brings us to Lordi and Hard Rock Hallelujah, Finland’s 2006 winning entry.
I have no words. Winners are not predictable but what I will say is that it’s seldom something you’d hear in a regular British chart…which is why I think Blue will lose.
I can see chances for France this year, Georgia, Finland, Hungary and, yes, Jedward for Ireland. I throw the first four countries at you for European appeal and Jedward for their look, because I think young Europopettes will love their quirky appearance, because it is memorable, but not so slick it’s improbable….and because I think they’ve found their niche.
Part of me thinks Ireland will die if they win. How will they afford to stage it next year….which is why I think Portugal has offered something of so little merit that they want to be sure they’ll not stand a cat in hell’s chance. We’ll see.
Sweden might be a safe bet too……depends on the crowd that night but clever writing “I will be popular” into the lyrics. Bit like writing I will survive, Simply the Best….
After 15 years in event management I’m still professionally turned on by awards ceremonies. I always wanted to do the Oscars, I watch the Brits religiously to see if this year they’ll get it right, I do and don’t like the BAFTAs in equal measure – I wish Stephen Fry could introduce just one category without coming across as the most pompous twat on the planet….and I say that as a fan.
If you’ve never seen him make the speech against the Catholic Church as a force for good in the world, you have truly missed out on one of the greatest speeches in my living history…you don’t have to agree with his perspective but to listen to someone speak so magnificently is a sight to behold, and for this reason, hearing him drone on at the BAFTAs bores the crap out of me. He’s capable of so much more.
I always thought I’d not feel a sense of achievement in my professional life until a room I was using had been swept by the Police, dogs and all…..aren’t I sweet? I never did achieve that, although I did once do a fab gig in South Africa and had a minor security sweep as my opener was the then Minister for Education there, Kader Asmal. For years I kept his number in my mobile like a trophy..
I digress. Eurovision, I’d love to work on it. Sitting in Dublin the night the interval act was Michael Flatley’s Riverdance I had my jaw on the floor, thinking I MUST be involved in this one day.
Never have been but am such a fan……so here goes, my appraisal of this year’s entries……I’d love your thoughts.
Albania – could be a winner
Armenia – Boom Boom…classic transitions from major to minor keys, dreadful lyrics, cute girl….you never know…Europe’s a funny old voting place, plus she sounds a bit like Britney
Austria – ah yes a gay icon in the making…..good vocal range – shame about the extremely dull (plus infinity) nature of the song! Jane Macdonald eat your heart out! Ah yes the classic key change plus faux choral accompaniment….we love.
Azerbaijan – can’t even be bothered to listen to all of this, his voice is so off-the-shelf, his looks so reminiscent of 2009’s Alex Rybak, boyish and underage while she looks like some haggard school teacher after a bit of illegal behaviour! My definition of dullsville!
Belarus – well the song’s at least called I love Belarus so I’m interested! If you just listen and don’t watch you’d swear it was a bloke singing…love it for cheesetasticness…….you have to laugh!
Belgium – Manhattan Transfer meets Matt Bianco meets the beatboxing freak from Police Academy…actually a shame the lyrics are so bloody awful and that the beatboxing is so shamefully intrusive as it’s got some really lovely harmonies – on reflection if this makes it through the semis to the final, it’ll be a bleedin’ miracle!
Bosnia & Herzegovina – not a chance, if for no other reason than the backing ‘band’ all look like they’re on a day out from mime school, movements too exaggerated, as if they’ve been told YOU MUST ENJOY YOURSELF OR PAY THE CONSEQUENCES! Oh and the song’s just dismal.
Bulgaria – at least it sounds like it’s probably in their hit parade! Not my bag but 10/10 for being different to the rest of the crop!
Croatia – she’s got that Julia Bradbury he-man she-man look going on. Looks like an extra from Hollyoaks. Europop i guess, am hoping it fails miserably.
Cyprus -will it be Greeky, or Turkishy? Always a dilemma…..always very folksy and traditional, I hear balalaikas! You have to hand it to the Greeks, their entries always entertain. Sounds a bit middle eastern, quite like it! Bit menacing in places….I am so predictable.
Denmark – come on boys, come on girls, in this crazy crazy world…well any song that begins like that doesn’t deserve a single vote….really really can’t begin to describe how dreadful this is in every single way.
Estonia – this will do really well because Eurovision loves stuff like this – OMG. There’s a bit of Britney in there.
FYR Macedonia – looks like Kurt Cobain on his mugshot, thankfully this tune is far more enjoyable than his crap! (so controversial LOL, well I’m sure he was very good but the hype surrounding his death …good grief) – this guy’s a slavonic Ricky Martin! Actually he looks more like jamie oliver when he’s singing. Am thinking this tune will get through although it’s not a winner by a long chalk.
Finland – another boy. Intro at least sounds like a properly crafted song! I think this could win. It’s so normal compared with the previous formulaic dross. I can see it in a pop chart anywhere in the world…..it’s just pleasant. Lyrics are a bit I’m going to save the world but I like it. Good luck young Oskar!
France – opening sounds like Bolero! Long haired operatic….easy on the ear, very anthemic, it’s begging to have the lyrics overdubbed by the guys who do those classic Hitler-Downfall parodies on youtube. Something a bit too Lloyd Webber about it that makes me pray none of you vote for it!
Georgia – rock band. totally unlike anything else thus far down the alphabet listing. good, catchy, I really like it as far as a Euro entry goes. Could be a contender.
Germany – defending her title, starts a bit like Hall and Oates Maneater, then rapidly turns into something completely different. Not her fault but I just don’t like her English accent when she sings – I think she thinks she sounds like Bjork crossed with Adele – it ain’t happening Lena!
Greece – well I guess it’s a step up from a woman in a kaftan playing an accordion…Greece’s take on the talky rap-esque interlude is, as one might expect, the Greek take! Instantly forgettable and shockingly poor for their usual entertaining offerings. Can only guess they’re opting for the gaycandy vote in Loucas Yiorkas!
Hungary – does Celine Dion, with another he-man she-man singer, masculine woman who’d give Julia Bradbury a run for her money in the female Adam’s apple department. Possibly a winner. Discotastic, sufficiently melodramatic middle eight, dancy, well sung, easily a Europop chart topper of which Antoin de Caune would be proud!
Iceland – enjoyable song. Got a sweet feel about it, not what you’d expect from dead swan wearing Bjorky types…then suddenly it turns into something Brotherhood of Man would have sung in the 70’s. In a bad light you’d be forgiven for thinking the lead singer was Mickey Buble……but with a voice you don’t tire of quite so quickly.
Ireland – OK so here’s the rub. I think Jedward might win. I’d like to say – that is all. BUT it’s catchy, the girls, and boys, will love them, it’s poppy, it’s totally memorable so not too deep and they’re already a household name….watch out Blue – you might not be as dead certy as you think you are…
Israel – welcome back Dana International. Who can forget Viva La Diva knocking our best entry for decades, Imaani, off the top spot? Last time we were beaten fair and square by fab, gay icon and transsexual Dana, and quite deservedly – but get a load of this one….and it even has the moronic title Ding Dong! I defy any heterosexual out there not to err just a little bit towards the pinker side of Euro voting life – complete with key change, shimmy, big white, virginal dress and troupe of angelic girls in maxi dressmungousness. Dare not to vote for this!
Italy – Raphael Gualazzi, described by the BBC website as jazz with raucous trupets (not). He’s obviously their Jamie Cullum. Pleasant, smiley and easy on the ear but NOT a Eurovision winner. Love the major/minor key combo with a hint of Broadway….but then I am a musicals fanatic! Great pianist but I don’t think actually being a legit musician is what this competition is all about.
Latvia – definitely losing in the frockability stakes. Singer, to his credit sounds like the lead singer of the Fundacion Tony Manero – but sadly with no other appeal – dire song, dire lyrics and for God’s sake..Musiqq??? Why why why? DREADFUL RAP MOMENT – PLEASE NO MORE.
Lithuania – is that Barry Manilow intro? I love Evelina’s effortless voice but it’s just not my bag, man! It’s got a bit of Disney about it, if Jordan had the range she wishes she could sing it. Echoes of St Barbra of the Streisand. Not a winner but a good display of someone’s vocal ability….if cheesy plus added parmesan!
Malta – if Glen Vella is not an established popstar in Malta then I’ll eat my hat. Cutesy, boyish, a few Jacko moments to his voice, pseudo menacing tones a la George Michael. Going gets Tough rythm. A contender.
Moldova – or the Beastie Boys…or Acker Bilk…I mean really WTF? They will so lucky to do well….really don’t know how to pitch this one. Years ago we had winning monsters so why not this curious entry? I just want to sing Tricky…
Norway – OK starts like a US songstress might start something, it’s not A-ha that’s for sure. African rhythms and harmonies….more reminiscent of the Serengeti than the Arctic Circle and suicide inducing lightless days of curing reindeer steaks….never let it be said that I do not sweep those statements out! am thinking this could do well though don’t know why.
Poland – another Going Gets Tough beat, but you know a keychange is gong to be the main feature, I’m putting money on it. Run of the mill, reminds me of a recent UK hit. I preferred the Polish (?) guy who appeared yonks ago in his wholly inappropriate pornstar outfit writhing on a sofa in wetlook rubber LOL.
Portugal – I have no idea what planet Portugal is on, I can only guess that their crisis goes much deeper than the Euro deficit. I can say so many things about this entry but they’re all politically, socially and and morally incorrect, cruel and inappropriate. Viewing is believing. Voting for it will win you two doctors signatures on a sheet of paper. This song says we can’t afford to win this competition, sadly.
Romania – catchy, interesting, love a heavy piano laden tune…..bit predictable and a bit Coca Cola adverty but then all I ever wanted to do was teach the world to sing. Baby love really hurts without you….it’s Billy Ocean season everyone! And it’s breaking my heart, so what can I do?……de dum de doo…..the last chord might, however, lose them the competition – very Frank Sidebottom and he should have sung, Loves Gonna Change the World, you know it will, it really will, because it does!
Russia – oh so many influences….where to start…Talking Heads maybe but then quickly NOT. Don’t like it which means it will, doubtless win! There’s something a bit The Heat is On about this track too.
San Marino – like the intro, sounds quite normal, I might cry. Oh here we go, crescendos abound, key change imminent, cheesy lyric, a nod to the hereafter…and the lull before the crashing soar to headier notes I fear! but no…just peters out to what I suspect they’d hoped could be a whole massive choir of primary school children singing.Dullsville. Next #fail
Serbia – totally unlike every other entry and for this reason alone I love it!
Slovakia – can’t even be bothered to listen to all of this song it’s so boring. Warbling twins who aren’t a patch on Jedward!
Spain – the sound of this summer’s rastros without a doubt…and 10/10 for singing in Spanish. I am usually biased into voting for Spain because I am such an hispanophile but this is awful! This is not Yes Sir I can Boogie. Sounds like an advert for Petits Filou. IN a country so full of musical talent, this is quite depressing.
Sweden – Eric Saade…..have we had him before? Name rings a bell. Europopmungous, will win many a vote without a doubt…there’s a bit of Abba in there, and Erasure. I see spandex, glitter balls, podium dancing, it’s Canal Street time. And I quote, “My body wants you girl” I doubt that very much!
Switzerland – jolly intro, quite surprising for a country I’m led to believe is so dour! Another female singer with quite a deep voice, but at least she’s not scriking away to hit the high notes. Sounds like an ad for breakfast cereal, Tetley tea or Ikea. Inoffensive, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
The Netherlands – sounds like a Bon Jovi album space filler. Nothing special. Decent enough voice….very middle of the road. Probably would make it big in the US if they were in this contest. Amusingly the Euro site tells me the lyrics are in French?
Turkey – oh dear, I’m wondering if the faux orchestra tuning up as an intro is the start of something poor…..ooo er it’s gone all Rolling Stones meets INXS meets Human League meets Pearl Jam, I’m lying it’s like none of those, fleetingly maybe. Not bad. A chart tune. Wouldn’t be out of place in a UK chart. Rocky. Not bad if only because it’s unlike others.
Ukraine – another one that sounds like all the other female soloists these days. Kind of makes you hanker after Kate Bush and the man with the child in his eyes. You can keep all your wannabe divas, they all sound the same, at least Kate Bush sounded different…albeit once she collaborated with Peter Gabriel I never listened to her again #fickle. Angel love, I’m really not arsed about your tune. I take it back, you’re not called Angel, Mika. Mika love, I’m not arsed about your tune!
United Kingdom – OK it’s OK. I just don’t see it as a winner. Not because it’s bad, because it’s just not a winner for all the reasons cited above.