This morning, I turned on my computer with sweaty hands, waited impatiently for my desktop to load, did more waiting for the little globe to appear over the two little computers in the bottom-left corner, and finally navigated my way to Youtube with a racing heart. All because this was the moment I had been waiting for, for what seemed like an eternity: the presentation of the UK entry from everyone’s favourite boy-band-of-the-2000s-that-contains-a-member-called-Duncan, Blue! The Graham Norton Show went to air last night (about 6.30am my time), and Blue finished up the episode with a commendable live performance of I Can, striking their final pose to rapturous applause from the audience (I kid you not!).
Now, I was one of the few people who hadn’t had the opportunity to hear the snippet of the song released yesterday, or the leaked full song that was floating around for an hour or so much to the chagrin of the BBC. So this morning was the first time I’d heard it. I watched the live performance, and listened to the studio version. So what did I think of the song, one that has received a great amount of positive feedback so far? Well, I have three words, words that I never thought I would use to express my feelings towards the UK entry ever again.
I LOVE IT.
There, I said it! I’m smitten. Granted, any old cobbled-together excuse for a song would have sounded hip and happening in comparison to That Sounds Good To Me, but this is a genuinely good song. It reminds me of Just A Dream by Nelly, which I also love. It’s contemporary and catchy but not clichéd, thumping and up-tempo without falling into the ‘mindless dance track’ category that seems to be the thing this year. I don’t see it as a winner, but I think it has the potential to do very well in the final – being on a par (for my taste and opinion) with France as the best song to come out of the Big Five bunch. I have read, in the few negative comments, that some people don’t believe that it lived up the hype of the last month or so. But as far as I can see, the only hype was generated not by the BBC or Blue (who only commented on how happy they were with the song) but by Blue fans who were perhaps a bit over-zealous in their loyalty when they began scrawling “EUROVISION LONDON 2012!!! WOOHOO!” all over cyberspace when the band was announced as the UK’s representative. Just like the bookies who have Russia in the top few countries to win despite the fact that, you know, we HAVEN’T HEARD THE SONG YET (at least we’ll know who to blame if that doesn’t live up to expectations). Anyway…I’m giving this 10 points, because there are songs I love more. But still, a stirling effort from Royaume-Uni.
As you may or may not be aware (thanks to Blue hogging all the attention) San Marino also revealed their entry for Senit last night. It’s Stand By, so stand by for my verdict:
Hmm. That is the best noise I can use to sum up how I feel about this. It’s definitely the worst entry from San Marino, though that doesn’t say much since there’s now only two to choose from. It’s just a bit dated and generic, yet I don’t hate it. I suppose I really don’t know how to feel about it. I do know that I was expecting something completely different, having listened to some of the artist’s previous work. It’s in the first semi, another contributor to that semi’s reputation as the weaker one – and so things are looking promising for Norway, Poland and Turkey. 4 points.
So I’ve had quite a bit to say about the Friday nights the UK and SM had, but what about Saturday? There isn’t much I can say about Azerbaijan and Russia, who are both selecting internally. Luckily, there’s always something to say about Sweden’s Melodifestivalen, my favourite national final!
32 decent (for the most part) songs have hit stages around Sweden for five weeks now. Tonight, 10 of those will battle it out in a fierce competition, with a few – such as Linda, Danny, Swingfly, Sanna and Eric – having the best odds of getting to Eurovision. I’ve had to think long and hard about my prediction of that one (sacrificing a large chunk of study time in the process – well worth it), and although I still think I’ll manage to be wrong, I’ve narrowed it down to a top three, in random order:
ERIC SAADE/ Popular – I think Eric may continue the tradition of artists succeeding in their second go at Eurovision, but with an inferior song to their last. It’s not that I dislike Popular, because I don’t. But Manboy was more genius than Kanye West claims to be, and was always going to be hard to top. But it has to be said, this time around, he does have a truly awesome gimmick. As much as I relished the whole Flashdance ‘impromptu shower’ thing last year, the emergency glass breaking is something to behold.
DANNY SAUCEDO/ In The Club – Danny has a huge fan base thanks to Swedish Idol and being a member of EMD, and didn’t let anyone down with his flawless performance in the first semi. The televotes should flood in for him. The song is very repetitive (a mindless dance track, perhaps?) but I still rate it – though on the first listen I hated it! – and think the juries might see it as being very Eurovision-friendly and current. I would be pleased if this won.
SANNA NIELSEN/ I’m In Love – Sanna just edged out Linda in my top four. Both of them have made countless appearances in Melodifestivalen, and both of them are ABBA-like, stereotypically schlager entries, but my gut told me to go Team Sanna, and so I have. I think she’ll be giving it everything tonight if just out of pure frustration on missing out a zillion times before, and the song is quite strong. In the last few years, Sweden’s gone for ballads, pop opera, a little rock and Charlotte Nilsson, but the last time they did well was with the wonderful Carola in 2006, with a song very much like this. My point is that maybe it’s time to revert back to what works.
Enjoy your Saturday night, be it in or out, because it’s the last one to feature national finals for a long while! While you’re doing so, why not let me know what you think of Blue or San Marino or Sweden’s final here or on Facebook?
See you in the morning!