Bonjour, peeps! It’s been a month since I last posted anything, and that last post did have a long intro justifying my lack of blog action up to that point, so I won’t bother doing another one. I’ll just blame tertiary education once again, and we can move on.
A quick life update from yours truly *clears throat*: two rather exciting things happened to me this week. I’m not going to tell you about the first one until I have photographic proof, but here’s a clue: it has nothing to do with Eurovision. Not just yet, anyway. Who knows what the future will bring for one of the contest’s most unsuccessful countries of late? On that basis, and on the basis that it is SO FREAKING EXCITING, I will be telling y’all about it very soon.
The second thing was that I had me a birthday. I had me a birthday yesterday, to be precise, and the greatest gift I received was the fact that I can now sing Taylor Swift’s 22 at karaoke nights and mean it (that and the doorstop I got that looks like an upside-down melting ice-cream cone. Stuff doesn’t get much cooler than that). In all seriousness, I now feel incredibly old and will be spending the next few weeks trawling eBay for a time-slowing device. But in the meantime, I thought I’d distract myself by looking back at the year Eurovision celebrated a special birthday (of sorts).
2005 brought us the 50th ESC, which I consider a birthday because there was probably a cake, streamers, and a bunch of drunk people involved at some point (and probably has been at every contest since). It was a year of hits and misses song-wise, as I discovered when I decided to continue my Retro Rankings with Year Kyiv, but there were some absolute gems. Read on to see how I rated the 39 songs from top to bottom – and as always, share your rankings with me down below. Please? Consider it a belated birthday gift.
A reminder of all the entries:
And now, my personal top 39:
- Serbia and Montenegro/ Zauvijek Moja by No Name – This marvellous creation came in at #9 in my all-time ESC 50 list, which was actually lower than another song from ’05. But it’s not against the law to have a change of mind, y’know. For the two years that Serbia and Montenegro were represented at the contest they were magical, so although Zauvijek doesn’t have the same spellbinding quality of Lane Moje (and No Name didn’t have the raw sexual magnetism of Željko Joksimović…or was that just me?) it still gets me all goosebumpy. Oh, how I love thee, Balkan drama!
- Romania/ Let Me Try by Luminita Anghel & Sistem
- Latvia/ The War Is Not Over by Walters & Kazha
- Slovenia/ Stop by Omar Naber
- Norway/ In My Dreams by Wig Wam – Hands up who likes glam rock? Me neither. But Eurovision has a way of making me like things I’d retch at if they came on the radio during everyday life. This song rocks, so to speak. It’s ridiculously catchy and anthemic, and compels me to wave a flag whenever I hear it (flag, pillowcase, sock, my cat…whatever’s lying around, really). If you can resist singing along with the chorus, then you are DEAD INSIDE. No offence.
- Albania/ Tomorrow I Go by Ledina Çelo
- Denmark/ Talking To You by Jakob Sveistrup
- Hungary/ Forogj Világ by NOX
- FYR Macedonia/ Make My Day by Martin Vucic
- Israel/ The Silence That Remains by Shiri Maimon – I think Shiri may have been my first girl crush. Even now I watch her performance and drool a little bit over that dress and that perfect face and those gravity-defying…false eyelashes. But her song was every bit as beautiful as she was (and, I assume, still is). I love a non-cheesy mixed-language ballad, so it ticked all my boxes.
- Moldova/ Boonika Bate Doba by Zdob şi Zdub
- Malta/ Angel by Chiara
- Andorra/ La Mirada Interior by Marian van der Wal
- Bulgaria/ Lorraine by Kaffe – Someone sound the guilty pleasure alarm, quick! Yes, this entry is sleazy – like, B-grade porno sleazy – and the rhyming couldn’t be more unimaginative (Lorraine/rain/pain…who would have seen that coming?) but it’s the kind of cruisy, café-style muzak that I apparently go for. I’m not saying that Bulgaria should have qualified or anything, so you can stop typing that abusive comment now. I just kinda sorta like this. Don’t tell anyone.
- Sweden/ Las Vegas by Martin Stenmarck
- Greece/ My Number One by Helena Paparizou
- Spain/ Brujeria by Sun de Sol
- Bosnia and Herzegovina/ Call Me by Feminnem – B & H brought a birthday anthem to Kyiv with this up-tempo funfest that wouldn’t have sounded out of place at Melodifestivalen. It wasn’t a great effort, and was by no means Feminnem’s best ESC outing (I still shed tears for Lako Je Sve) but it’s harmless bubblegum pop. Hating it would be like hating a puppy, and nobody hates puppies.
- France/ Chacun Pense A Soi by Ortal
- Portugal/ Amar by 2B
- Croatia/ Vukovi Umiru Sami by Boris Novkovic & Lado Members
- Ukraine/ Razom Nas Bahato by Greenjolly
- Germany/ Run and Hide by Gracia – I know what you’re thinking. ‘#23? Does this girl actually have functioning ears?’. Well yes, I do, and whilst I don’t approve of the dodgy goings-on that made Germany then what Belarus are now, I reserve the right to think that Run and Hide is not as heinous as the majority of other people. I like its style, and I’m not annoyed at all by those ‘ahh-iy-aaaii’ bits that make up 85% of the song. Unless I have a headache, that is.
- Switzerland/ Cool Vibes by Vanilla Ninja
- Belgium/ Le Grand Soir by Nuno Resende
- Turkey/ Rimi Rimi Ley by Gülseren
- Lithuania/ Little By Little by Laura & The Lovers – As a former English major, what I most appreciate about this is the alliteration. There are more Ls there than you could poke Helena Paparizou’s baton at. Still, the song has its charms, outside of it being a cliché and everyone knowing exactly where it’s headed because it’s made up of a tried-and-tested Swedish formula.
- Estonia/ Let’s Get Loud by Suntribe
- Austria/ Y Asi by Global Kryner
- Cyprus/ Ela Ela by Constantinos Christoforou
- United Kingdom/ Touch My Fire by Javine – When you consider that then-pregnant glamour model Jordan could have been gyrating around in pink pleather in Javine’s place, Touch My Fire starts to sound and look pretty good. But that aside, 2005 was another fail for the UK. This song would have done better as a radio track than a Eurovision one.
- Monaco/ Tout De Moi by Lise Darly
- Finland/ Why? by Geir Ronning
- Poland/ Czarna Dziewczyna by Ivan & Delfin
- Iceland/ If I Had Your Love by Selma – IMO, Selma was suffering from a severe case of Shouldn’t Have Returned-itis when she took to the stage in Kyiv. This song is clearly inferior to her runner-up of 1999 (although the costuming did improve) and I don’t see how she could have thought otherwise. It’s like three different but equally average songs rolled into one, and the result is a total non-event. I guess she really was all out of luck.
- Netherlands/ My Impossible Dream by Glennis Grace
- Belarus/ Love Me Tonight by Angelica Agurbash
- Russia/ Nobody Hurt No One by Natalia Podolskaya
- Ireland/ Love? by Donna & Joe – Love? Not if I can help it. Hands down my least favourite song of the year, this makes Dustin the Turkey’s offering sound like the stuff Grammy winners are made of. It’s just terrible in every way! The performance was super cheesy, the outfits were bad even for 2005, and the song is dire. Ireland did redeem themselves the following year with Every Song Is A Cry For Love, but I have to correct Brian Kennedy. Donna & Joe’s entry was less of a cry for love than a cry for competent songwriters.
I’ve showed you mine…show me yours? How would you rank the Class of ’05? How right or wrong are my rankings?