Well, Eurovision 2009 is over. I’ve just got my hands on the DVD and watching it again, I have confirmation that this was one of the best contests EVER! Of course, that’s just moi. I wanted to post a bit of an overview in regard to the performances, results etc, but I’ll only pick some from the final as I can’t be bothered doing all 42. So here goes nothing…
LITHUANIA – Sasha Son opened the show, and unfortunately I don’t think it was enough of an “impact” song to stick with the voters, who tend to forget what happened in the first half of the program. His performance was great though, simple and well done. Plus the hand on fire thing was a cracking way to finish. I think he fell to that disappointing place for lack of punch. You know, the BAM factor!
CROATIA – What a dark horse this was! In making my predictions pre-contest, I had palmed this off as being too boring to make it to the final. But I guess you never know what’ll happen at Eurovision. (Was it the jury’s pick? I can’t remember). Anyway, ‘Lijepa Tena’ was one of several songs that grew on me this year, as I listened to them more and more. Can’t fault Igor’s vocals (he reminds me soooo much of Grant Denyer), but Andrea was a bit unnecessary, I thought, chiming in every now and then with her high high notes. I give this a 3/5. I think it deserved to be placed a bit higher, don’t you?
ICELAND – Aah, yes. One of my absolute favourites. At first I thought it was a bit boring, but Yohanna’s perfect voice sucked me in, and now I love it. SO deserved to be runner-up. I was deflated when i found out how young she is – my age! As if Kejsi and Christina weren’t enough. But there’s a lot of overacheivers at Eurovision, I find. Anyhoo, I thought the song was damn good. But that dress was hideous, the only thing that let her down, with all its frills and fluffs and shades of blue – totally unflattering for such an attractive girl.
GREECE – Sakis is back! (is). I heard heaps of people saying that this song wasn’t half as good as his 2004 third place effort, but I majorly disagree, so I was annoyed when 7th was the best it could muster. Still, top ten is nothing to be sneezed at. I loved this song. It was catchy, and slick, and the gimmick of that giant LED stapler was clever. It’s official – Greece are one of the most consistently awesome participants. Maybe I’m biased, since us Aussies were supposed to be cheering for Sakis and his Aussie songwriters.
RUSSIA – The good thing about hosting the Eurovision is that you don’t have to care if you send a bad song, or if it doesn’t do any good, coz hey – it’s your show and you can do whatever you want. You’ll still get the biggest cheer. Having said that, I grew to appreciate Anastasia Prikodkho’s effort ‘Mamo’, which ended up in 11th place. It was an unusual song, which is good, and had what I believe to be the best “prop”, which of course was the vision of the singer slowly ageing on the LED’s. Veeeeery clever. It has been said that many host countries deliberately send songs that are sure to fail so that they don’t have to foot the bill for ANOTHER contest. But I don’t think that was on Russia’s agenda, although they wouldn’t have expected to win again.
AZERBAIJAN – ‘Always’ on my mind indeed…this was one of the songs that refused to get out of my head. I just love that instrumental interlude. Another cracker from the Azerbaijanis in 2009, which was performed very well on stage…by Arash. Like several other artists this year, I think Aysel was way off the vocal mark. I am giving her the benefit of the doubt in assuming that she would sound better in her first language, but tut tutting in that it apparently doesn’t matter how bad you sing, you can still conquer Eurovision. Not that Iceland or Norway have anything to do with this.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA – SHOULD HAVE WON! I adore this song. It should have been top 5 at least, but I’m just greatful for top 10. I’m not sure what it is about ‘Bistra Voda’ that gets me (besides my obsession with the lead singer who is probably three times my age), but it just does. I loved the military theme of the performance, the vocals, the red flag…everythink dahling! And to all those who said Regina were a crapper version of My Chemical Romance…check your facts and your musical taste.
TURKEY – One of the most infectious tunes this year for sure, but once again, the vocals were way off. Hadise sounded like a breathless rapper the majority of the time. Sorry, I love you, but next time, maybe tone down the gyrating so you can push out some more successful notes. May be she was just nervous? Anyway, pros – The outfits were gorgeous, choreography was good, the song was another ESC hit for Turkey. They’re good. Real good.
NORWAY – I have to talk about Alexander, I just can’t help myself. Obviously, this was the winner, by just a tad. Only by 160 or so points. OK, OK, it was a runaway victory. Norway were the favourites from the start which was nice since they are notoriously one of the worst performing Eurovision nations. But it made the voting very anticlimatic, as after about four countries had voted, it was clear that nobody else had a chance. I can see the appeal – Alexander’s hot hot hot, for starters. The song was catchy, a real singalong one. And believe me, I did, as I sat on the couch alone, watching the delayed broadcast. But it wasn’t the best in my opinion, so I can’t believe that it won by so much.
UNITED KINGDOM – Oh Jade, I’m so proud of you! Now matter how she got there, fifth place is a miracle for the UK in a decade where bloc voting has determined all the do-gooders. Perhaps it was the star power of Andrew Lloyd Webber that did it, because as far as I can see, the 50% jury influence did little to prevent the Cyprus-Greece type point exchanges. But who cares – they did the UK proud.
FINLAND – I am still in a state of shock as to how the heck they came LAST. Before Bosnia came into my life, ‘Lose Control’ was my favourite song, and I thought to myself ‘there is no way this could miss out on a top ten spot’. What is going on? Did the performance not have enough impact to be remembered? Was the song too reminiscent of 90’s dance hits? Sigh. I was crushed. There were songs in that final that deserved to come last, goshdammit. Better luck in 2010 Finland (please return!)