It’s actually a bit said that we are getting to the point where all of this year’s songs have been chosen. There’s Eurovision excitement going on all year round of course, but there’s something particularly squeal-worthy about the busy weekends (and frenzied blogging) that accompany the February-March period. Still, that pesky deadline for having the entries decided means that the contest itself is edging ever closer, and that has to be a good thing!
We are at the 65-days-to-go mark right now, with eleven countries still to let us hear their songs (the wait is killing me – I hope I live to see Düsseldorf!). So here is a run-through of what’s happening in some of those countries tonight, as well as some things that have caught my attention over the last few days, from some others…
GERMANY: Obviously we’ve hated Lena’s song…er, I mean, had knowledge of Lena’s song, for a while now, but earlier this week the music video was released (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFciOb0diQE), and I must say, it made me like the song a whole lot more. It’s a very slick and gothic-looking production, inspired by Black Swan if Lena’s disobedient reflection is any indication. Unfortunately, what happens in the clip can’t be replicated onstage, and I think that’s where the entry will fall flat. It is literally an album-filler song, and without a good visual it’s going to be most useful as my tea break. And I don’t even drink tea.
PORTUGAL: Festival da Canção concludes tonight with 12 contestants fighting for the golden ticket. Will one of Eurovision’s most prolific songwriters, Andrej Babić, get another chance to compete with his song after Canta Por Mim was left behind last year? Will the winner shed a tear at the end of their performance or faint in the dress rehearsal? So many important questions!
SLOVAKIA: The TWiiNS entry I’m Still Alive should be retitled I’m Still Stuck In Your Head and It’s 3am in my opinion, as that was exactly the situation I experienced upon hearing the song in the full last night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6DNmKB45aQ). The 19-second teaser that was released last week was promising, and it turns out that the song is basically that same 19 seconds repeated over and over again. But it works! Well, it worked on me anyhow. It’s a good, modern, R & B slash pop ballad and a definite ear worm. I’ll be interested to see how it goes down live on stage, but just as a standalone song it’s a 7 pointer.
SWEDEN: The aforementioned Melodifestivalen reaches its penultimate stage tonight with the Andra Chansen round. Four duels will be fought, followed by two more, until the pair of songs emerge that complete the line-up of next Saturday’s much anticipated final. I had imagined the outcome would be easier to predict than that of the semis (which, as I have said maybe one too many times, I failed miserably at). Still, I had a hard time making a decision on the lucky two. Here they are for you to agree with/laugh at/ignore as you wish! My predictions are in bold:
Jenny Silver (Something In Your Eyes) vs Love Generation (Dance Alone)
Loreen (My Heart Is Refusing Me) vs Sara Varga (Spring för Livet)
The Moniker (Oh My God!) vs Linda Pritchard (Alive)
Shirley’s Angels (I Thought It Was Forever) vs Pernilla Andersson (Desperados)
Jenny Silver vs Loreen
The Moniker vs Pernilla Andersson
So I think Jenny and Pernilla will be the lucky ones tonight, although in my ideal world (in which Eurovision features as a tri-annual event) I’d be taking Loreen and Shirley’s Angels through. Whatever happens, it will be a stellar final for the Swedes this year, and an entry much the same. According to me taste, of course.
That’s about all that’s on my mind for the moment, but before I go I feel I must tell you that I won’t be able to leap on tomorrow’s news the second it comes out of the oven, and burn myself on its wonderfulness, because it happens to be my mother’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mum!) and I am taking her out to lunch (a.k.a having lunch bought for me as I am currently too poor a student to treat her). But as soon as I’m home I’ll be onto it, bringing you another opinion on the matter just because I love to. Three countries select tonight: may they all pick a winner in the best sense of the phrase!
(Below are my thoughts on Armenia and Croatia – they are supposed to be at the beginning, but WordPress was misbehaving. Don’t worry, I gave it a good slap.)
ARMENIA: Emmy is finally performing tonight after the Armenian final was delayed due to her father’s sad death last month. She’ll sing four songs: Ayo, Hi, Boom-Boom and Goodbye, which can be heard at www.eurovision.am. I have listened to them, and I have to say that like Greece, Armenia is just not up to its usual standard this year, and I think they’ll struggle to make the top ten – something they have done on every appearance at the contest (save one year at Junior). Ayo is by far the best one, and their best hope, so I’ll be crossing my fingers for that to triumph.
CROATIA: The Dora selection festival has been a veritable marathon, blowing Sweden’s six-week Melodifestivalen out of the water. But finally, the obnoxiously long list of contestants has been narrowed down to two – Jacques Houdek and Daria Kinzer (neither of whom sound particularly Croatian, but who’s caring). They’ll each perform the same three songs in a final that echoes 2010’s Unser Star für Oslo, from which the winner will be decided. At long last!