Dana International: back, and Hungary for success!

Boom boom, ding dong, da da dam!!! What’s that noise? Oh, it’s just Eurovision 2011.

Among other things (including, apparently, a throwback to the onomatopoeic song title fetish of the seventies) this year’s contest is a year of familiar faces: from Lena, Dino Merlin and Zdob şi Zdub, to that guy from Two Tricky who is reappearing for Iceland, a fact we would never have known if Wikipedia hadn’t told us: they’re all there, and that’s not counting those who entered the national finals. Now another living piece of contest history (and some competition for Lena in the ‘I’ve reached the top but I still want MORE MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!’ category of participants) is back in the mix for Israel – yes, it’s the transsexual with a better body, hair, skin, nails, and more impressive wardrobe of dresses than yours truly: Dana International!

I absolutely LOVE Dana, and to make things even better, I also love her song Ding Dong (a lot more than Boom Boom and Da Da Dam, FYI).

Israel’s Kdam last night was one of the stronger national finals I’ve seen this year, with great songs from Adi Cohen, Chen Aharoni, KNOB (ha ha!), Hatikva 6, Idit Halevi…basically all ten entrants! I know many people were impressed with the lineup, but also worried that it would be a given for Dana to triumph because she is Dana, and for no other reason. However I firmly believe this infectiously catchy song deserved to win, and although it’s in a difficult semi final, has a fair chance of qualifying. Sure, maybe if someone else had sung it it wouldn’t have pipped the Taylor Swift-esque, poppy ballad from Idit – but who else would we WANT to sing it? I can’t wait to see the first lady of Divaliciousness back on the Eurovision stage again after her 1998 win, and then her cameo a decade on as songwriter for Boaz (my favourite song of Belgrade). It’s safe to say we can expect an exciting stage show from her, with or without the feathered Gaultier! As for the song, I’m going to go ahead and give it the douze points – I think it’s a cracker.

In other, slightly less thrilling news, Hungary have chosen their first entry since 2009, the more pop-rock than Poprocks What About My Dreams? sung by Kati Wolf. Listen to the Hungarian version below:

It’s a slightly less thrilling entry too, another of those “not bad, not great” songs in my opinion – at least for the moment. The chorus is quite strong and thumping (and a little bit retro) but doesn’t really keep my boat afloat. Hungary is in the less competitive semi final 1, so this may be enough to get them through…what do you think? Personally, I’d give it 5 points.

In other, potentially more-thrilling-than-the-last news, this Friday brings the moment so many Eurovision fans have been waiting for: Blue’s appearance on The Graham Norton Show, and with it the premier of I Can! Ironically, I CAN’T wait to hear it, although I am worried my expectations are too high – this is the UK we’re talking about here. Then again, this is Blue we’re talking about here, and as any late teen/early twenty-something female who grew up in the 90s will tell you (including Lena), they were awesome! As long as they still are, and the song is worthy of at least 8 points, this fan will be happy.

Also on Friday, San Marino chooses their song, whilst Saturday, the last Saturday before the selection deadline, will see not only Sweden but Russia and Azerbaijan finish off. So long as Belarus decides what they are doing (to disqualify/change the song, or not to disqualify/change the song? That is the question), Monday morning will dawn with all 43 songs locked in, and the long-awaited running order draw ready to go ahead.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there, as the countdown continues, and we prepare to find out where 2012 will take us…..

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