It’s the final weekend of February, folks, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be run off our feet with songs for Baku – amazingly, March is going to be the mad month. The next few days will be breezy, with just three songs on the way. A little on that, plus the most recent results and the usual Melodifestivalen ramble are on today’s menu, so get stuck in!
Austria, Ireland and Turkey want us to shake our bottoms to the waterline if we love them back?
Apparently, yes. In an outcome that nobody could have foreseen (sarcasm alert), Jedward won the Irish national final last night with Waterline. Also last night, in an outcome that many of us would have predicted, Trackshittaz (the duo fans have been obsessed with since their crazy-amazing NF entry Oida Taunz almost made it to Düsseldorf) won the Austrian selection with Woki Mit Deim Popo. Finally, mid-week, Can Bonomo presented his song for Turkey (and Europe) Love Me Back, and I can safely say we all knew that was coming.
I’m pretty pleased with these three choices. I came to terms with Jedward representing Ireland again the millisecond I knew they were trying again; as we are all aware, they + their gravity-defying hairdos = unbeatable. Waterline is a good enough song to make me think less of the likelihood that they were picked because they are Jedward, which is a bonus; however I don’t think it’ll make the twins a certainty to qualify, as Lipstick did last May.
Austria’s song is basically three minutes of two guys telling anyone who’ll listen to shake their rear end/booty/derriere etc – and not even very politely. But for some reason it works. It’s what I would call quality novelty (a good song with a sense of humour) and I hope it goes further than others of the same mould have done in the past (i.e.InCulto’s Eastern European Funk) because I’m loving it.
Love Me Back may not be one of those songs that everybody loves (like the ones Latvia’s Anmary will be singing about in Baku, I suppose) but I sure do! Just like Can, it’s a little off-the-wall and it’s just repetitious enough – not too much. The chorus is so catchy, and the traditional Turkish elements make it nice and ethnic. Will Can sing his way into the final after Yuksek Sadakat’s shock failure to do so last year? I reckon he Can. Ha, ha.
Trouble in Belarus…
With any possible upsets in Ukraine yet to occur, it looks like the award for the Most Inconclusive National Final will be going to Belarus this year. I can’t say I’m disappointed by that, since the initial winner has been disqualified in favour of the original runner-up, who just happened to be my favourite. You do have to feel a bit sorry for Alyona Lanskaya, who was under the impression she’d be heading off to Baku in a few months (hopefully she hadn’t started packing yet) only to discover that investigations into Eurofest had found her/her posse guilty of something or other (vote rigging? Being in possession of a depressing ballad?). And so it is that the second-placers, Litesound, will step up to represent the country with a much better song (in my not-so-humble opinion) called We Are The Heroes. That is, unless they too are given the boot for some reason. What is up with Eastern European NF debauchery?
Finland, the Netherlands and Slovenia – it’s decision time!
The Finnish final is Saturday and those of the Netherlands and Slovenia are on Sunday. You know all that, right? What you don’t know (but may have guessed given my recent history) is that I have not reviewed all of the potential entries there because I like surprises.
I am allowing the Dutch to not surprise me, however. I’ve had a listen to the final six on their list – listen to the snippets here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZwAdAgdB3o – in order to give you a prediction. I have to admit I expected to be underwhelmed. There is some strange phenomena that makes the Netherlands kick butt when it comes to Junior Eurovision, but quite frankly suck at the Big ESC. The latter hasn’t always been the case, but take a look back at their last decade in the contest and you’ll see a trend.
To cut a short story even shorter, it turns out I was underwhelmed.
But I won’t moan on about that. Let’s just take a look at the contenders, who have been paired up to face off in duels (and not in a wizardy, Harry Potter way). The winner of each will proceed to the Super Final, and one of them will become the ultimate fighting champion! A.K.A the winner of the whole thing.
The show: Duel 1 is between Chocolatte by Rafaëlla Paton and You and Me by Joan Franka; Duel 2 will see Children of the World by Kim de Boer vs. Take Me As I Am by Ivan Peroti battle it out; and Duel 3 has pit We Can Overcome by Pearl Jozefzoon and Undercover Lover by Tim Douwsma against each other.
My prediction: I think it’ll be Rafaëlla vs. Ivan vs. Tim in the Super Final. I want Tim to win, but considering the deciding jury includes Afrojack, I’d say Rafaëlla’s got the edge. I won’t be devastated if she does win; I’m just not sure Europe’s ready yet for another song about confectionery.
Melodifestivalen: the last semi
It may be the last, but the epic journey to find Sweden’s hopeful is far from over – we still have Andra Chansen and the final to look forward to. This is the last lot of new songs to review for MF 2012 though, and that brings a tear to my eye (yes, I love the Swedish preselection that much). I’m going to miss counting down to 9pm (my time) when the songs are released and I can decide how much I adore/despise them!
- The Girl by Charlotte Perrelli
- Allting Blir Bra Igen by OPA
- Land of Broken Dreams by Dynazty
- Don’t Let Me Down by Lotta Engberg & Christer Sjögren
- Goosebumps by Hanna Lindblad
- Kyss Mig by Axel Algmark
- Why Start A Fire by Lisa Miskovsky
- Amazing by Danny Saucedo
My picks: The Girl, Goosebumps, Why Start A Fire and Amazing.
ESC veteran Charlotte said herself that The Girl was stronger than Hero, which won MF in 2008. In a way, she has sort of reinvented herself with a different sound (still schlager but not 110%) and a different look, which I must say is making her look both more feminine and less like a creature of the beyond. The song is my least favourite of my top four, but it should make for a show-stopping opener (that so does not make sense).
Goosebumps is a brilliant, well-thought out number with great variety between the verses and choruses. I’m not usually a fan of pop-rock, which is how I’d describe this, but I guess it’s an exception because I’m hoping to see it go straight to the final.
Why Start A Fire is not what I imagined it would be – thankfully it’s better. I don’t rate it’s chances of moving on but for me it deserves to.
Danny Saucedo – can you do any wrong? I love everything he does, and if I was still of the acceptable age to have posters on my bedroom wall he would be above my bed. Amazing is everything In The Club was last year, and look how close that came to victory. Many have touted this as Danny’s year, so will Amazing, with its infectious sound and super-cool dubstep dance break, deliver the goods required to make that true? My fingers are crossed.
My predictions: Being as objective as I can be, I’m guessing Hanna and Danny will get to the final, with Charlotte and Dynazty getting an andra chansen.
Thanks for sticking around for another looooooong post. As always, I shall spare you another tomorrow if you join me on Twitter/Facebook for lots of single-sentence reactions to the action of this evening. Until then, ponder this: will this be the weekend that produces the winner of Eurovision 2012? I don’t think we’ve heard The One yet, so it could happen…