It’s a question being asked by many in the Eurovision community, now that we are at the eleven-song mark of the 2011 selections with no winners in sight. But before I ponder it for your reading pleasure, I’ve got a few points of housekeeping:
a) If you have visited me here at EBJ more than once over the last few days, you may have wondered why every time you did, there was a different header/background going on. Well, that is because I decided it was time for my baby to have a non-invasive facelift (NB: this is code for “I just discovered that such thingummies can be altered to meet individual tastes”). Naturally I had to experiment several (hundred) times with different colours and patterns, but I think I’m satisfied with this rainbow look for now. Which means at least a week. I hope you like it, and that it reminds you of lollies like it does me, not a heinous pair of striped pajamas your mother forced you to wear when you were eight.
b) Last week I was lucky enough to be solicited to write a feature article for up-and-coming Eurovision website ESC Insight (which I have added a link to on the sidebar). Yesterday it was published, and I am so pleased that I can’t help plugging it to all and sundry. PLEASE go and check it out if you have the time, right here: http://www.escinsight.com/2011/02/16/the-comeback-queens-why-some-artists-just-cant-get-enough-of-eurovision/ . I’m sure you’ll love the rest of the website, too – there’s in-depth editorials, reviews, chances to get to know fans from all over the world, and access to ESC Insight’s podcasts (which I love), if you don’t have iTunes.
Well that’s enough of that. After all, you came here to see where, oh where, all the good songs have gone, right? Let me get this straight from the beginning: I don’t actually know.
It is a mystery to me why, this year, the eleven songs so far released have been disappointing for the most part. Since posts started appearing around the place on the subject last week, I’ve been denying the fact that none of the entries are really capturing anyone’s attention. But a couple of nights ago, the straw came that broke the feather-boa-clad camel’s back, when I went to listen to the six finalists’ songs from Greece, one of Eurovision’s most consistent countries.
Like the Turkish, Azerbaijanis, and Russians, the Greeks always seem to bring their best to the table, having nailed the fusion of ethnic and modern sounds that just rakes in the points. I specifically sought out their potential entries for Düsseldorf to cheer myself up, knowing (or at least, thinking I did) that they would be impressive. I was wrong. Of the six songs, there were only two I liked, and even they were just acceptable (The Time Is Now by Valanto Trifonos, and I Don’t Wanna Dance by Nikki Ponte, in case you were wondering). And none of them really met the Greek criteria we have become accustomed to. Not even the one called It’s All Greek To Me.
Yes. There really IS a song in the selection called that.
Anyway, something I’m noticing is that the Eurovision songs this year are rather upside down. What I mean when I say that is, the countries who can usually be relied upon to pick brilliant stuff – Romania, Malta, and Iceland – are just not hitting the mark, whilst those who have been very hit and miss over the last decade or so – Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and Poland – are changing their tunes (literally) and making a much better impression with their picks. Is this a trend that increases the chances of the UK song being in the running to win, and the Armenian entry falling flat on its face for the first time ever? Or is it just a coincidence? Because as much time as it took in 2010 for the majority of the entries to grow on me, I can’t see the same thing happening here. I guess we’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope that the general standard lifts over the next few weeks.
Speaking of unimpressive music, the Spanish final, Destino Eurovisión, is on tonight! (What praise!). There, nine songs will be performed between three groups/artists – boy band Auryn, who despite being Spanish do not have on single member who resembles Enrique Iglesias which is totally unfair; attractive brunette songstress Lucia Perez; and attractive brunette songstress Melissa. Now you would think, that considering there are nine songs, a Europop freak like me should easily find herself enamoured with at least half of them, right? No, no, no. Congruent to the majority of goings on in the lead up to this year’s ESC, I was blown away by how average/boring/dated/clichéd they were….all except for two, which both happen to be written by the same people, including Swedish Jonas Gladnikoff and Danish Christina Schilling (who have teamed up to pen a whole bunch of songs for national selections over the last few years, including Niamh Kavanagh’s 2010 comeback song, and her cousin Nikki’s 2nd place effort of last week). So it is that Volver by Auryn, and Sueños Rotos by attractive brunette songstress No. 2 Melissa, are the ONLY songs I want to see anywhere near the top of the Spanish scoreboard when I wake up tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, that isn’t likely to happen as the songs I like always end up missing out….sob! If that’s the case, then I hope that I am the only one who doesn’t like any of the others and that all of you fans will have your flagging spirits lifted by whichever song is the victor.
There’s some more promising action tomorrow night, including the choosing of Italy’s first entry since 1997, and Melodifestivalen’s third semi final, featuring my husband-to-be (even though he doesn’t know it yet) Eric Saade. Drop by tomorrow for my pre-Saturday evening coverage of that and the rest, which I promise will be a less rubbish read. I am not feeling too well at the moment =( but I am committed to blogging away on my favourite subject, so instead of taking a day off to recover I have churned out a post that probably hasn’t made any sense thanks to my feverish forehead, and just confused you. I know you love it.
See you Saturday.