The 2012 EBJ Awards: Part 1 (Artists and Songs)

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the third (I think?) annual EBJ Awards for Eurovision Excellence!

Tonight (if you are in a different time zone to myself, just draw your curtains and pretend) it’s time to look back at Baku and give some gongs to…well, pretty much everyone and anyone who took part. You don’t need a tux or an evening gown, and you won’t need to get drunk to make the ceremony less boring. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and prepare to disagree with everything I say.*

And with that, may the first installment of EBJAFEE 2012 begin!


* All of the nominees were narrowed down from a big bunch according to my personal taste, so please don’t abuse me in the comments because I didn’t think Engelbert Humperdinck was quite sexy enough for the ‘Hottest He’ category or something. I’m talking to you, grandma.



Hottest He

Dmitry Karyakin (Litesound)


Max Jason Mai

Ott Lepland

Roman Lob


I never thought anyone would appeal to me more than my beloved Jónsi, of the Amazingly Chiseled Cheekbones. But there’s something about waistcoat-wearing Idol winner Ott from Estonia – I suspect it’s the eyebrows – that makes Jónsi look like a reject from Iceland’s Next Top Model.



Hottest She


Eleftheria Eleftheriou

Elena Ionescu (Mandinga)

Ivi Adamou

Nina Zilli

Sabina Babayeva

Ivi looks so much like a young Liv Tyler, I bet the actual Liv Tyler wishes she looked more like her. It’s a good thing she’s as stunning as she is, because she’s not exactly super-talented in the vocal department…



Mr. Congeniality

Engelbert Humperdinck

Donny Montell

Kurt Calleja

Ott Lepland

Roman Lob


From what I’ve seen, you don’t get much friendlier than Germany’s latest unser star. Of course, Roman could be an evil genius, expert at convincing the press that he’s a nice guy – but I think he may just be a nice guy. It’s the boring reality.


Miss Congeniality


Ivi Adamou



Rona Nishliu

Soluna Samay

As she is such a huge star in the Balkans, you might expect Kaliopi to have an ego bigger than Greece’s national debt. But she charmed the pants off everyone in Baku (luckily the weather was warm), became BFFs with Can Bonomo, and was truly appreciative of her qualification and eventual 13th place.


The Born Entertainer

Anri Jokhadze

Donny Montell


Pasha Parfeny

Rona Nishliu

Soluna Samay

He cartwheels! He plays the air guitar! He memorises camera locations so he can still look down them when he’s wearing a blindfold! For your next function, don’t think twice about the entertainment – just pick up the phone and call Donny on 1800-LOVE-IS-BLIND.


Best Artist Gimmick

Buranovskiye Babushki

Engelbert Humperdinck

Eva Boto

Rona Nishliu


Željko Joksimović

From the moment they won the Russian final to the moment the bell went off on the oven to let them know their pies were ready, the grannies were the most-talked about contestants. Just call them six colourful, compact publicity generators.




That Sounds Familiar (the award for the song that most resembles another)

Don’t Close Your Eyes (Slovakia – sounds like Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars)

Lăutar (Moldova – sounds like Ovo Je Balkan by Milan Stanković)

Love Unlimited (Bulgaria – sounds like Mr. Saxobeat by Alexandra Stan)

Should’ve Known Better (Denmark – sounds like Crazy by Seal)

Unbreakable (Switzerland – sounds like Mr. Brightside by the Killers)

Verjamem (Slovenia – sounds like Molitva by Marija Serifovic)

We can’t call it a coincidence that Slovenia’s non-qualifier is so similar to 2007’s winner, since they were both co-composed by the same person.


Fanwank (pardon my French) of the Year

Aphrodisiac (Greece)

Euphoria (Sweden)

La La Love (Cyprus)

Party for Everybody (Russia)

Waterline (Ireland)

Zaleilah (Romania)

For once, a song that seemed to have been constructed mainly to appeal to the Eurovision family won the contest, and deservingly. Euphoria did what Haba Haba failed miserably to do last year.


Ballad of the Year

Korake Ti Znam (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Kuula (Estonia)

Standing Still (Germany)

Suus (Albania)

Quedate Conmigo (Spain)

Verjamem (Slovenia)

2012 was the Year of the Ballad, so there was plenty to choose from. What lifted Spain’s above the rest, for me, was that spine-tingling, key-changing, epic note that Pastora delivered flawlessly every time. Has there ever been a more perfect moment for a wind machine to kick in?



Ethno-pop Song of the Year

Aphrodisiac (Greece)

Lăutar (Moldova)

Love Me Back (Turkey)

I’m A Joker (Georgia)

Stay (Norway)

Zaleilah (Romania)

Quirky Turkey at their best – that’s how I’d describe this year’s nautical delight from Can Bonomo. It narrowly beats out the entries from Norway and Romania by being so weirdly wonderful.


Most Danceable of the Year

Be My Guest (Ukraine)

Euphoria (Sweden)

La La Love (Cyprus)

Love Unlimited (Bulgaria)

Party for Everybody (Russia)

Stay (Norway)

This Is The Night (Malta)

Anybody who can keep their rear end firmly in contact with a chair during Be My Guest must either be deaf or dead. That trumpeting and those na na na’s are irresistible to those of us in the land of the living.


Novelty Song of the Year

Beautiful Song (Latvia)

Euro Neuro (Montenegro)

I’m A Joker (Georgia)

Party for Everybody (Russia)

The Social Network Song (San Marino)

Woki Mit Deim Popo (Austria)

San Marino’s entry was the most novelty of all the novelty songs this year. It out-cheesed and out-horrified its competition by a landslide (becoming a guilty pleasure for some – a.k.a. me – in the process) and made many a brain ache as we tried to figure out if it was worse than Rebecca Black’s Friday. The debate rages on.


Best Preview Video







When you’ve got some of the most beautiful scenery in the world to use in your shoot, you don’t need much else – but chucking the Aurora Borealis in for good measure really helps. Watch as Jónsi follows an angelic Greta through a winter wonderland in a spiffy jumper, and be transfixed.



NEXT TIME: Naturally, it’s part II of the EBJAFEEs, featuring the performances, costumes and results.


5 Responses to “The 2012 EBJ Awards: Part 1 (Artists and Songs)”

  1. Lukman

    Great review Jaz! Below are my personal winners from your categories, I hope you don’t mind! 🙂

    – Hottest He: Lukas Plöchl from Trackshittaz
    – Hottest She: The small one from the Babushkis
    – Mr Congeniality: Roman Lob
    – Miss Congenality: Kaliopi
    – The Born Entertainer: Anri Jokhadze
    – Best Artist Gimmick: France, that dress and the things that came off it and they took some time to float down. Looked cool XD
    – That Sounds Familiar – Slovenia with “Molitva”
    – Fanwank – Cyprus
    – Ballad of the Year – Albania
    – Ethno-pop Song of the Year – Montenegro XD
    – Most Danceable – Cyprus
    – Novelty Song of the Year – San Marino
    – Best Preview – Montenegro


    • Jaz

      I don’t mind at all! I love hearing other people’s opinions =]
      HAHAHAHA the mini Babushki! She’s definitely cute – I don’t know about hot! But she would be very flattered to hear that, I’m sure.
      We are agreed on Congeniality, it seems. I want to be friends with both of them.
      You will see that I have given Anggun’s floaty bits an award in Part 2. They so deserved one.
      The main thing I remember from the Montenegrin video is the donkey…


  2. Lady Rosa de Vere

    I have to say I think you are on the money for most the picks! (at least from my personal view point!)
    But i guess best looking guy is always a bit personal…:P
    I have to say that in the final Nina looked absolutely fab and Anggun I had thought was the most gorgous for months! (Will admit to a slight bit of envy there!! :P)
    Spain was really beautiful ballad too but for me its love with Serbia 🙂
    Other thing is as much I enjoyed dancing along to Ukraine, it seemed so familar but i cant pick what it reminds me of.


    • Jaz

      Best looking is always objective. Plenty of people seem to be in love with Can Bonomo, but I don’t get that!
      You could say Ukraine was a mash-up of a whole bunch of songs (like Cyprus). I think we’ve got to a point where very very few songs aren’t going to remind us of something else.


      • Lady Rosa de Vere

        i guess i could see what interested ppl about Can Bonomo but i wasnt one of them.



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