Blue, Blacksheeps and Barbu abound as Düsseldorf draws closer

I don’t know about you, but waiting for the next Düsseldorf song to be selected has been killing me!

There has been something of a drought in the national finals during January. There are plenty of semis going on, but they just can’t make me jump up and down with excitement in the way that a fresh-from-the-European-selection-oven song does. There was a terribly cruel false alarm last week when I was perusing the Eurovision 2011 Wikipedia page for the 500th time and noticed that Cyprus. Had. Selected. Their. Song (OMG). I broke the speed record for opening a Youtube tab in the race to hear it…only to discover that, like so many, Cyprus is a country who will be presenting their song several centuries after they have actually picked it. Anyway, it’s called “San Aggelos S’agapisa” (Like an angel I loved you) which sounds promising. Or not, depending on your definition of promising.

We are finally at the end of the month, which means things will pick up on the selection front. The Netherlands picks their song for 3JS tonight, which I am super excited about! One of those five oddly-named songs will fly the Dutch flag this year, and I hope for everybody’s sake the chosen one is decent. In addition, after San Marino allegedly selects on Wednesday and the first semi of Melodifestivalen gets underway on the 5th, more than 20 other countries will make their decisions in rapid succession. They don’t call it February Madness for nothing! Look out for the schedule of national finals that I’ll be posting sometime in the next couple of days.

Before that happy insanity takes all of us over, here’s my take on some of the Düsseldorf developments that have…well…developed since my last post.

  • Amaury Vassili singing for France, while the UK feels Blue: Two of the Big Five have picked their artists and/or songs over the last few days. The former, Amaury, I hadn’t heard of this time last week, and having overdone my internet this month (again) I haven’t yet been able to check out his vocals. I did, however, zip over to Google to see what he looked like in a totally un-shallow way. I am still undecided on the attractiveness front, FYI. But the French accent may work in his favour. Wink, wink. But no amount of hotness or notness can interrupt my excitement over the UK’s internal selection of boy/over 30 band Blue today! As a female who grew up listening to and loving the boy bands who made 90s pop (N*Sync, the Backstreet Boys, Westlife…need I continue?), and whose iPod has played “All Rise” several thousand times (and that’s just today), I am ecstatic with a capital E. Blue will sing the song “I Can” which is self-penned and sounds like it could be terribly uplifting and contain lyrics such as “I believe in myself, but I don’t wanna hide. I can do it, I know, but only if you’re by my side, oooooh ooooh baby” (wow, maybe I should write a Eurosong?), but it could also be amazing. Fingers crossed. There’s been mixed reactions to their selection as it’s the first time the UK has decided on behalf of the public, but let’s face it: doing the same thing they’ve done for 50+ years has been more miss than hit of late. I say Blue will be brilliant!
  • Last year’s hosts speed through the MGP semis: I’ve listened to the six winners from the three semis and I have to say, I’m rather impressed. Both Aste & Rikke and Hanne Sorvaag qualified with songs I could marry, whilst Helene, Babel Fish and Stella Mwangi are not as good in my books, but still worthy. The Blacksheeps, on the other hand, are great live, but I hope they don’t go to Germany. Their song “Dance Tonight” is just not my cup of tea. I don’t even drink tea, but if I did it wouldn’t be that brand.
  • Moldova’s top picks feature familiar faces: Were you not dedicated enough to listen to all 1.5 million Moldovan songs before they were narrowed down to 60? Still couldn’t hack it at that stage? Me neither. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that there remains now only 25, including the entry from Zdob Si Zdub, who beat the drumma with Grandmamma in Kyiv, 2005. Also on the list is Natalia Barbu, who represented the nation in 2007 with “Fight”, a ripper of a pop-rock number. “Let’s Jazz” is her latest effort, and it doesn’t really sound like her, but I like it. Good luck to her and all the others for the final on February 26th
  • Saying goodbye to a member of FLY: Okay, so this isn’t strictly Düsseldorf related, but earlier this week one of the two male members of FLY (the trio who represented Latvia on home ground in 2003), Mārtiņš Freimanis sadly passed away at the age of 33, and I just wanted to say how sorry I am about it, especially since there was another unexpected death in Iceland recently, of one of the contenders for their national final. His bandmate Lauris Reiniks is participating in the Latvian selection this year with a cracker of a song titled “Banjo Laura”, and I hope he gets the golden ticket in the wake of his loss (and because, as I mentioned, it’s a great song. Listen to it on Youtube).


That’s about all I have to say for the moment, but I’ll be back tomorrow with my thoughts on the Dutch entry. If you’re reading from Europe, you can watch the Dutch final on If you’re reading from the Netherlands, you know what to do. And if you’re reading from Australia where I’m writing from, or anywhere far enough away from Europe to require a long-haul flight, just go to bed. The final starts about 3am our time, so you’ll be better off getting your beauty sleep and checking things out in the am. Trust me, I watched JESC over the net until 4.30am last year and it wasn’t worth the hideousness of my reflection the next day.


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