A pleasant Change for Romania

Happy New Year everyone! I hope the first few hours of 2011 have treated you well, and that you can actually remember some of the last few hours of 2010. Wink wink!

Some people who I’m imagining did have a fab start to the year are the boys from Hotel FM, the winners of Romania’s national final!!! They will be off to Düsseldorf next year…hang on, THIS year (yay!) with their happy clappy song ‘Change’:

I have to admit that I was surprised by this win, despite having a growing affection for the song, with its irresistible sing-along chorus and quite attractive lead singer….er, I mean quite attractive…lead vocals. Yes, Hotel FM are damn good live, which is three out of three so far when you add Anna and Aurela’s talents to the mix. The song in my opinion is great, very catchy and upbeat but not straying down the path of something that is perhaps too alternative for Eurovision (a lá Estonia 2010). I don’t know if it will be enough to stand out in the crowd of yet-to-be-chosen entries, though. I’m having trouble thinking of how they will present the song, and if they do a Tom Dice or Lena and just rely on the song itself….it may get lost. I’ve already Facebooked my vision of Romania being in Düsseldorf what Cyprus were in Oslo – i.e. a country who qualified with a decent pop-rock song, only to drift down into the lower end of the scoreboard in the final, overshadowed by the likes of ESC experts Greece and Turkey. Of course, this all depends on the other songs, and which semi final Romania is in – something we will find out in the allocation draw on January 17th. I do hope ‘Change’ does well. I think it deserves to be recognised as the quality song it is, performed by quality artists.

Let’s now take a quick look at Selectia Nationala: the combined jury and televoting results (according to eurovision.tv) rank Directia 5 with ‘Cinema Love’ and Distinto et al with ‘Open Your Eyes’ in equal second place, both big surprises to me as I couldn’t warm to the former, and just didn’t think the latter would appeal to the voters despite my attraction to it. My top pick, ‘Bang Bang’, Romania’s answer to ‘We No Speak Americano’, ended up in third position. The hotly-tipped Claudia Pavel failed to impress (her vocals weren’t quite up to scratch), though evidently not as much as Feminnem clones Rallsa, who sank to last position. It had to be somebody!

I won’t go into detail about the positions and such, but I will do up a quick ranking of my own. See how yours compares (and comment me here or on Facebook on what you think of ‘Change’ and its chances at Eurovision!).

In my ideal world,

1. ‘Bang Bang’

2. ‘One By One’

3. ‘Dreaming of You’

4. ‘Change’

5. ‘I Want U To Want Me’

6. ‘Take Me Down’

7. ‘Open Your Eyes’

8. ‘It’s So Fine’

9. ‘Song For Him’

10. ‘Cinema Love’

11. The remaining three in random order

(Keep in mind that I LOVE the first eight. It’s difficult to rank them.)

So now the third song has been picked, what’s next? January is looking relatively quiet on the selection front, especially next to February when 7624 countries will pick their song every weekend =P. We have one specific date, with the Netherlands picking the entry for 3JS on the 30th. However Belgium, San Marino, Spain and Turkey are all allegedly to choose theirs this month.

In related news, Turkey announced yesterday that the band Yüksek Sadakat, who on paper sound a lot like MaNga (woohoo!) will represent them.

In non-related news, Italy will get an automatic ticket for the final as part of the illustrious Big 5, and as Slovakia has now changed tacks and confirmed their participation, this takes the semi final tallies to 19, and the total number of participants to 43, a level not reached since Belgrade 2008! What a boon for us Eurovision fans, considering that just weeks ago, it looked like we were only to reach the mid-thirties. There is about 18 weeks to go until Germany brings the 56th ESC to the world, and things just keep getting better and better!

Look out soon for my top ten winners EVER list, as we race towards finding another.


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