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’.
– 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:
- One by Niko
- Fool In Love by Dāvids Kalandija & Dināra
- When You Are With Me by Antra Stafecka
- Sad Trumpet by PER
- The One by Pieneņu Vīns
- I Am Who I Am by Marta Ritova
- Higher and Higher by Liene Candy
- I Need A Hero by Samanta Tīna
- Cold Heart by Ieva Sutugova
- Love by Headline
- Upside Down by Sabīne Berezina
- 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:
- Alibi by Eddie Razaz
- Island by Elin Petersson
- En Riktig Jävla Schlager by Ravaillacz
- Dumb by Amanda Fondell
- In And Out of Love by Martin Rolinski
- Hon Har Inte by Caroline af Ugglas
- Falling by State of Drama
- Heartstrings by Janet Leon
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!