Selection Season Day 6: A little Latvia and more of Melfest

Happy Saturday, ladies and gents. It’s that magical day of the week yet again, when if Europe was a suitcase and national finals were items of clothing, you’d have to sit on that suitcase just to zip it up. There are bits and pieces happening all over the continent tonight, from Hungary to Estonia to Italy, where the Italian representative is about to be tapped on the shoulder. And those are just the countries I’m not covering in this post! Read on to see what I did bother to discuss, and let me know what you want to happen this weekend.

 

The last few days of Eurovision, in brief

–  Not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR more 2013 entries have been premiered/chosen in the last few days, and annoyingly, since I did that poll on who would win at this point (but more on that in a minute). The first to come out was Straight Into Love from Slovenia, which actually went straight into my pile of entries that aren’t bad, but aren’t great. We’ll see if it’s a grower.

–  Cyprus’ entry for Despina Olympiou came next, and I must say that An Me Thimase (‘If you remember me’) is a very appropriate title. I have loved what Cyprus have sent to Eurovision the last four years (they were robbed of a place in the final for two of them) but it seems for 2013, it’s bye-bye brilliance and hello snoozefest. Hashtag shame.

–  Germany came to the rescue by not-so-surprisingly choosing Cascada and Glorious to go to Malmö. That song is ridiculously catchy, and goes off when it’s performed live (handy for an ESC song, I find). With a few vocal tune-ups from lead singer Natalie, and the immediate sacking of whoever made her wear those pathetic strips of material, there could easily be another top 10 result on the cards for Germany. That is if Glorious doesn’t reek so much of Euphoria that nobody votes for it, apart from the UK who will undoubtedly give it their douze. It doesn’t bode too well that when I sing it in my head, it goes ‘tonight we can be…euphoooooooria’. 

Unlike Beyonce, Natalie has not demanded that this photo be removed from the internet

Unlike Beyonce, Natalie has not demanded that this photo be removed from the internet

–  Last but not least was Shine by Natália Kelly, the winner of last night’s Österreich Rockt Den Song Contest, a.k.a. the Austrian final. She beat out four average contenders with her own average albeit sweet song, which was performed well, but the whole feeling was underwhelming. There’s got to be some changes made before Nat and her delegation pack their bags for Sweden, particularly in the costume and key change departments.

–  On to ‘that’ poll. Minus Cyprus, Germany and Austria (one of which would definitely have affected the results had it been there) you guys decided that if Eurovision was held right now, we’d be looking ahead to Oslo 2014, or possibly Some Other Random Norwegian City 2014. I Feed You My Love topped the list with 45% of your votes, followed by Denmark’s Only Teardrops on 35% and Malta and Switzerland on 10%. There are still a lot of songs to come, but who knows; you may be right about Margaret.

 

Eirodziesma comes to an end

Who’s been following the Latvian NF  this year? Not me, that’s who. With other things happening at the same time, such as Melfest and life, it’s been impossible. But I have listened to snippets of the 12 songs competing in tonight’s final, and as a result I’m not really wishing I had tried harder.

There were only one or two (three at a push) that grabbed me. The main worry is that none of those sounded better to my ears than Beautiful Song (!) but then again, you can’t compare a song you’ve been listening to in full for the last year with twenty seconds of one you’ve never heard before. So you probably shouldn’t take notice of anything I’m saying right now. Or possibly ever.

Anyway, these are the Latvian finalists:

  1. One by Niko
  2. Fool In Love by Dāvids Kalandija & Dināra
  3. When You Are With Me by Antra Stafecka
  4. Sad Trumpet by PER
  5. The One by Pieneņu Vīns
  6. I Am Who I Am by Marta Ritova
  7. Higher and Higher by Liene Candy
  8. I Need A Hero by Samanta Tīna
  9. Cold Heart by Ieva Sutugova
  10. Love by Headline
  11. Upside Down by Sabīne Berezina
  12. Here We Go by PER

My favourite excerpts were from One, Sad Trumpet (what happened to that poor trumpet?), I Need A Hero, Love and Here We Go. PER, who have a greater chance of winning than anybody else with double the amount of competing songs, also have two of the best songs on offer. But Niko’s One is the one – pardon the pun and the rhyming – that caught my attention most of all. Coincidentally performing in slot 1, he’ll hopefully make enough of an impression so that he’s not forgotten about when the time comes to vote.

Like most other NFs, Latvia’s will be decided by a 50/50 jury and public vote blend. Even if I can figure which way the jury will go, I can rarely figure out the public, so your uneducated guess is as good as mine when it comes to who’s going to win. If you happen to be educated (i.e. have been keeping up with Dziesma and know who the favourites are) feel free to predict the outcome for me.

 

Now, onto a show I do know something about…

 

Melodifestivalen – lucky (semi) number three?

I don’t think I need to reiterate how average Melfest has been so far. It’s been easy for middling songs to get to the final purely because they were less crap than the others. If something doesn’t give and one of the songs already in the final represents Sweden in May, it could be an embarrassing evening on home ground. Just because they don’t want to win again doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try at all!

At the moment, we’re halfway through the semi finals, and I was certain things would start looking up with a line-up like this:

  1. Alibi by Eddie Razaz
  2. Island by Elin Petersson
  3. En Riktig Jävla Schlager by Ravaillacz
  4. Dumb by Amanda Fondell
  5. In And Out of Love by Martin Rolinski
  6. Hon Har Inte by Caroline af Ugglas
  7. Falling by State of Drama
  8. Heartstrings by Janet Leon
Did this week's group deliver?

Did this week’s group deliver?

Thankfully, this semi is stronger – not by a mile, but by enough to give me hope that the last one will knock all of our socks off. These are my picks:

Alibi this is one of about 189473829 entries in this year’s competition written by the Euphoria team of G:son and Boström, and I think it’s the best so far. The chorus is predictable but still decent, and the verses have bite.

Dumb I love Amanda Fondell, and was so excited when she was announced as one of the Swedish 32. Granted, this is the weakest song I’ve heard from her, but I quite like the dark, almost Western vibe it gives off.

In And Out Of Love it’s sad to think that Sweden is probably past voting for songs like this…that is, songs like the ones entered by BWO with Martin as frontman. It’s schlager-y (but not in a horrifyingly dated way) and it’s catchy, so I like it. I’m easily pleased.

Falling generic pop-rock about the usual stuff, but it’s good enough for me. Did I mention I am easily pleased?

So, the time has arrived to humiliate myself by predicting the opposite of what will actually happen re: advancement to the final and to Andra Chansen. Based on my opinion of the songs as well as what people have been saying (what? Everyone needs a bit of guidance sometimes!) I’m going to say…

…Caroline and Janet to the final, and Eddie and Amanda to AC. Knowing I’m oh-so-wrong just typing it.

What do you think? Who on Earth is going where?

 

One thing I can correctly predict is that we’ll find out for sure in a few hours’ time. Until then, merry guessing and streaming, y’all. May the best songs win their heats and finals!

EBJ Signature

 

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 26, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on February 16, 2013, in Eurovision 2013, Melodifestivalen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Latvia. I need a hero is a good tune
    Sweden Eddie and Janet to final

    My top 3
    1 Germany
    2 Norway
    3 Ukraine

    Like

    • Ugh, it SHOULD have been Eddie and Janet to the final. I don’t get Sweden right now.

      I’d agree with your favourites…maybe not in that order though.

      Like

  2. Ugh! These results suck. First, I really like Slovenia this year! I can support them for something more than Hannah’s American-ness. 🙂

    Cyprus is boring. Mid-table. Germany is good, but there were at least five songs better than “Glorious” in that NF. Fourth behind Malta, Denmark and Switzerland. Talking of Alpine countries, Austria and “Shine” was surprisingly good. Not great, but good. Mid-table for now. Finally, Latvia sucks. The fact that my favorite, “Higher and Higher,” didn’t even make the super final is extremely annoying, just like PeR’s winning song. Currently in last place with 31 points out of 100.

    Continuing down this negative road, Sweden annoyed me. Elin Petersson’s “Island” is so far and ahead of anything else I’ve heard from Melodifestivalen 2013 (aside from the Danny and Gina numbers) it’s pathetic. And it finished last! Agh! *crycrycry* Whatever. I hope Caroline af Ugglas’ song compares to her 2009 effort since I haven’t heard it yet. She might be able to save MF for me. 😦

    Can we please kick these song selections into high gear and high quality? With Greece coming up on Monday, we’ll get something good there for sure. But when will it really get good? 2012 totally spoiled us, didn’t it? I mean, I like “You and Me,” but I don’t want another one as my top song for Eurovision! 😉 (Besides, it only has 89 points, and at least five songs have been left behind with more than 90.)

    Like

    • Just out of interest, what were the songs from USFM you liked better than ‘Glorious’? There’s only one I would have preferred to win over Cascada, but that failed miserably. If these plagiarism claims go anywhere (which I doubt because everything about them is bollocks) we’ll be getting LaBrassBanda, who I do quite like. But it would be a loss.

      I don’t mind the chorus of Latvia, but that may be coz it reminds me of Lerika’s ‘Sensatsiya’. The rap parts are just…ew.

      Janet’s performance was THE performance of the night in MF, for me. She sang, she danced, she fit into that amazing catsuit…sigh. Eddie was great too. I don’t mind State of Drama, but how those old codgers managed to possibly win the semi is beyond me.

      I like this af Ugglas song slightly better than the last one, but you’ll have to judge for yourself as somebody who actually liked that.

      An interesting choice from Greece, shall we say? It’s certainly less cookie-cutter than ‘Aphrodisiac’.

      Like

      • In order from top to bottom, they were Mia Diekow, Mobilée, Blitzkids Mvt, Betty Dittrich, and Ben Ivory. LaBrassBanda would seriously be a loss, but we don’t have to worry. Those allegations are full of hot air.

        All of it is gross. Hell, “Sensatsiya” was better than most of the stuff in that NF!

        I’ll have to check Janet out then. There are too many of these pretty-boy, dance-pop songs in MF already, so I don’t consider losing Eddie a loss. But, considering the near universal distaste for the old men’s entry, which I haven’t heard, I’m willing to assume that anything was better.

        I can’t wait until SVT lifts its ridiculous ban after next week’s semi final. This bodes well. 🙂

        It’s certainly interesting. It’s also my number 2.

        Like

        • I think all of last year’s JESC songs were better than most of the stuff in that NF!! Including Albania’s. Disappointing, Latvia, disappointing.

          I agree that the Saade-esque songs have filled all the places they can in the MF final, but I think Eddie’s was the best. If he’d been in the first semi in David Lindgren’s place, I reckon he would have qualified.

          Like

  3. Slovenia’s song is my winner 🙂 (And I don’t even like dubstep…… wut)

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