Saturday: from A to Sweden

Hello all! I want to get straight into the results of last night without boring your pants off with a long and rambling intro that in the end turns out to be about very little at all. That reminds me of 1996, the time I went…..just kidding. Here goes:

ARMENIA/ Emmy/ Boom Boom: It might be a Yerevan Eurovision for the Junior contest in 2011, but there’s no need for Armenian television to worry about hosting the big one in 2012 – not with this song representing their country. ‘Boom boom chaka chaka’? Really? I thought we’d grown out of meaningless onomatopoeic phrases in ESC songs? Even Finland’s Da Da Dam has a little more substance. I expected much more from Armenia than this, a song which is passable until the moment the chorus kicks in, at which point any hopes of another top ten finish for them are swiftly dashed in six syllables. It’s a firm thumbs down, and 3 points from me.

When, will I, will I go to Eurovision???

CROATIA/ Daria Kinzer/ Break A Leg: This I would lump in the category of “Songs That Are Almost Quite Good But Are Just Missing That Extra Bit Of Goodness Required To Make Them So”, which also features Slovenia. It’s a bit catchy, fairly well performed by Celine Dion’s long lost cousin Daria, a little up-tempo and a dash clubby – but not a lot of anything. I suppose ‘safe’ is the word I’d use to sum it up. It doesn’t venture outside the box and so I don’t think it was worth the 925 semi finals approximately that Croatia held to end up with it. Not bad, not great, just…5 points. PS – I really wish that the Croatian version could be the one we hear on stage in May, as the English lyrics really bother me. But I think a wish is all it’ll be.

PORTUGAL/ Homens da Luta/ A Luta é Alegria: Oh my god, it’s the Portugese Village People! Eurovision was certainly lacking in that niche department, but no more! The title of this sounded exotically beautiful to me, and I was hoping the song would be too, but it just doesn’t cut the mustard. I like the traditional sound, but that’s about it, and I think Portugal will struggle to qualify again, despite the first semi looking to be the weaker one (as usual). I wish they would just bring a contemporary, thumping pop song to Eurovision once in a while, a lá Spain 2001-2004. The closest they seem to have gotten to that was the corset-clad awfulness of Coisas de Nada in Athens. 3 points.

In other news: 

Lady Gaga, sans makeup?? Nope, it's Alexey!

Russia have internally selected the dashing Alexey Vorobyov to sing Get You in Germany, a song that will be presented to the public on March 12th (how irritated will Sweden be that someone is trying to steal their limelight?). It has been composed by Lady Gaga’s musical manbag RedOne, who must be pleased to get his work to Eurovision this year considering that his song for Love Generation was knocked clean out of Melodifestivalen yesterday (see below). It’s now another unheard song that I have high hopes for, alongside the UK and France. But since countries that can usually be relied upon for stellar stuff (coughArmeniaGreececough) have disappointed, reliable Russia may do the same.

Sweden’s second chance round made a fool of me yet again as the two songs I would least have expected to make it through two duels took the last two places in next weekend’s final. Spring för Livet by Sara Varga and The Moniker’s Oh My God! (coincidentally the first thing I said when I saw the results) join eight other songs for the last battle, the lineup of which looks a little like this: 

1. In The Club/ Danny Saucedo

2. Spring för Livet/ Sara Varga

3. Oh My God! / The Moniker

4. 7 Days and 7 Nights/ Brolle

5. E de Fel på Mej/ Linda Bengtzing

6. Leaving Home/ Nicke Borg

7. Me and My Drum/ Swingfly

8. I’m In Love/ Sanna Nielsen

9. The King/ The Playtones

10. Popular/ Eric Saade

As it’s my last chance to predict something correctly for Sweden, I’ll have to have a careful think about who will win. If the previous track record is anything to go by (the winners having always qualified first in their semi final) then it should be Danny, Linda, Sanna or Eric, but as Swingfly has proven popular with the fans, I’ll be taking that into consideration also. If I had to put money on right now (if I had some money, that is), I’d be tossing it in Eric Saade or Danny’s direction. I might toss myself in Eric’s direction also…

To finish off your weekend, here’s the remaining selection itinerary. By this time next week, we’ll have all 43 songs locked in!

Monday the 7th: France’s song presentation; Tuesday the 8th: Israel; Friday the 11th: The United Kingdom’s song presentation on The Graham Norton Show/ San Marino; Saturday the 12th: Sweden/ Russia’s presenation.

Azerbaijan and Hungary TBC (please hurry up and confirm, guys!)

Enjoy the anticipation, everyone!

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