Düsseldorf dribs and drabs

I could just as easily have titled this post ‘A hodge-podge of miscellaneous developments that relate to the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest but wouldn’t necessarily collate together nicely in the same category’, but of course, that would have been altogether too clunky and uninteresting…much like this introduction.

So, first on the mixed-lolly bag agenda is the selection of 2011’s very first entry. It comes from Switzerland (obviously, you would already know that), more specifically Anna Rossinelli, with the song In Love For A While.

I had a feeling I was going to be disappointed when I got up this morning to check who had won, which wasn’t surprising since I only really liked three of the choices – and even that was pushing it. Duke, one of those three, came next-to-last, Aliose took seventh, and my favourite, The Colors & Ilira, got bronze. The winning song I had to Youtube again because I couldn’t remember how it went, which was not a good omen. And that’s what I think is going to be the whole problem with it next year. It’s a bit of Train’s Hey Soul Sister, a bit of Colbie Callait’s Bubbly and, as one comment on the video pointed out, a whole lot of I’m Yours by Jason Mraz, but all of those songs are more memorable than this! I’m hoping it’s a grower, like Russia was last year for me – I despised it at first, then by the time the contest was over I was loving it. Generally, I think In Love For A While is too modest to make any ESC headway (i.e. qualify from the semi final), though that will depend on what songs it is up against and maybe how it is visually presented. At the very least, we have proof that Anna can cut it live, so we won’t have another Kristina Pelákova on our hands…or should I say ears? Sorry, Kristina, but we all know its true. At the moment I give the song 5/10 for being halfway between rubbish and awesome.

Moving on – in brilliant news for European fans and rich people (and heart-breaking news for moi), tickets for the 2011 final go on sale today. All 35 000 of them. The prices are remarkably low even for the better seats, so if you are a fan and live in Germany YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES NOT TO GO!!! *cries due to having to stay at home on the couch during May next year*. Good luck if you’re after some – I hear they usually sell out within an hour.

The rumour mill is rapidly turning over who the duty of hosting in Düsseldorf could fall to. Wikipedia reports that Stefan ‘Wadde hadde dudde da?’ Raab and Anka Engelke will be the dynamic duo, the former of which pleases me no end as I love Raab and his gold lamé flares from 2000. I’m not familiar with Engelke aside from what Wikipedia has told me, so basically I don’t know her at all. Who would you have host the 2011 contest? Heidi Klum? David Hasselhoff? Let me know down below.

I am also thrilled by the participant tally at the moment: 41, which means two more than this year (yay!). Every country that participated in 2010 except Slovakia will be back, as well as Italy, Austria and….SAN MARINO! It’s so great to have them back again after their brief 2008 appearance with Complice, a song I loved. We are still waiting on confirmation from Hungary and Montenegro, which would level the total with that of 2008, a Eurovision record, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for two yeses. I think us Eurovisionaries have been given enough good news to last us a lifetime with Italy etc, so perhaps asking for more countries to say oui to Germany is asking too much.

Finally, now the Swiss national final is finito, the upcoming Albanian and Romanian finals are the focus. The Albanian one takes place on Christmas Day (why???) with Romania following suit on the 31st (once again – why??? Do they not want anyone to watch/vote?). As I mentioned in the last post there are way too many Albanian songs listed in random order for me to single out any to listen to, but I have gone through the better organised options for Romania, and I am tré impressed! I’d be especially happy to see one of the following take to the contest stage:

Adi Cristescu – One By One – I just love this, it makes me feel happy for some reason.

Leticia – Dreaming of You – A bit country, a bit pop. All good.

Blaxy Girls – It’s So Fine – This is unusual, and not as good as their entry last year, Dear Mama. But it’s still very catchy, especially with the trumpet bits.

Claudia Pavel – I Want U To Want Me – Apart from the slightly-too-frequent repetition of the title, this is a great ballad.

Rallsa – Take Me Down – I would describe this as the long-lost sibling of DJ Take Me Away from Bulgaria two years ago, in that it is a clubby song with 10% singing and 90% music. But that music is irritatingly infectious. Woooow.

Mihai Alexandru feat. B-Body & Soul – Bang Bang – This is another club song in the vein of We No Speak Americano. I think it’s better than Rallsa’s, however.

So there’s your assorted 50¢ lolly bag, folks. I hope future posts to be less random for both of our sakes. Anyway, with those two national finals approaching there is plenty more to talk about, although surely we’ll all be too busy on Christmas and New Year’s Eve to pay much attention to who wins.

Yeah right!

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