It’s amazing what can happen in Eurovision-ville in the space of a couple of days! Since Super Saturday, three more countries have chosen their entries, one has finally revealed theirs, and another’s national final has sparked so much controversy that the winner is no longer the winner, and they are re-doing the whole thing to (maybe) determine another….it’s so exhausting!
So which countries have now picked their representatives?
BELARUS/ Anastasia Vinnikova/ Born In Bielorussia: I’m trying not to like this too much, as the rumour mill has already been churning with whispers of it being a candidate for disqualification. But the fact is, I do really like it! It’s nothing groundbreaking or über contemporary, but it’s catchy and thumping and suitably ethnic for my tastes. After just one listen I still have the chorus stuck in my head, which isn’t even bothering me. At this point, I would give it 7 points, probably a lot more than most of you would give it!
MACEDONIA/ Vlatko Ilievski/ Rusinka: There is a slight problem I have with this song that is preventing me from getting into it. Actually, it’s less about the song itself than about the “singer”. Yes, as those sixty-sixes and ninety-nines would suggest, I do not think that this guy can sing. He can yell, sure. He could play a patient with emphysema in Grey’s Anatomy 100%. But sing? Uh-uh. The song is…not bad. Not great. It certainly has some strong sections, particularly those that are instrumental, but it’s not bad. 4 points, leaning more to 5 than 3.
SLOVENIA/ Maja Keuc/ Vanilija: I adore songs where the titles encapsulate exactly what I think about them, although this is usually not in a positive manner. Vanilla is the most inoffensive flavour of anything, really – sure, it tastes good, but it doesn’t have you hankering for more like, say, cookies and cream does (drool). And that IS this song – it’s well sung by Maja, but it’s so safe and doesn’t stray beyond any borders. It’s nice but not exciting, pleasant but not memorable: very vanilla. 5 points.
Who has revealed the song they will send?
CYPRUS/ Christos Mylordos/ San Aggelos S’agapisa: It feels like Christos was selected a decade ago, we’ve been waiting that long to hear his song. Was the wait worth it? I’m not so sure. Writing as someone who truly believed that Cyprus had it in the bag (or at least in walking distance of the bag) in 2010, this just doesn’t do much. The verses are nice, but coax you into thinking that there is something much better coming for the chorus than what really is. What bothers me most is that each different part of the song doesn’t seem to fit in properly with the others, as if three songs of the same soft-rock ballad mould were jammed together in a hurry.
And who has snatched the glory from their initial winner?
UKRAINE: Whilst the course of true love never did run smooth, it’s a walk in the park compared to the bump-fest (four-wheel drive required) that is the Ukrainian preselections! From Ani Lorak’s strange snubbing in 2005 to last year’s multiple-song shenanigans, it seems this country, though very successful in Eurovision, is more often the poster-nation for controversy in national finals than not. This time around, it’s all about the voting and some dodgy numbers, which indicate that Jamala and Smile, a fan favourite for reasons this fan cannot see, should be the rightful winner.
Poor Mika Newton must be rather disappointed right now, having had her plans ruined right in the middle of her deciding what outfits to pack for Düsseldorf. She will now be pitted against Jamala, as well as the runner-up of Saturday’s final, Zlata, on Thursday, in a televote-only final, where whoever wins will be Ukraine’s entry this year (or will it?). As I mentioned, I do not like Jamala’s song, the one that will most likely take out the new final, but I love Zlata’s The Kukushka (a catchy and quirky pop song), and Mika’s Angely (a stellar ballad that I know a lot of people found boring, but I found spine-tingling), so my fingers will be firmly crossed for those two.
So it’s the 1st of March, and that means that the madness of February is over and there’s only a handful of countries who still have to make their Eurovision decision. Here are the dates (some tentative) of those who have made us wait way too long!
Wednesday March 2nd – Greece
Thursday March 3rd – Ukraine
Saturday March 5th – Armenia, Croatia, Portugal
Monday March 7th – France (song presentation)
Wednesday March 8th – Israel
Friday March 11th – San Marino, United Kingdom (song presentation)
Saturday March 12th – Sweden
TBC – Azerbaijan (song presentation), Hungary, Russia, Slovakia (song presentation)
Check in regularly with eurovision.tv for the latest news, and to make sure you don’t miss out on any developments! After all, there’s only a little over two months until we go live to the Esprit Arena!