Copenhagen Reviews: Part 3 (Latvia-Portugal)

Hello again, all of y’all who aren’t too busy living it up in Copenhagen and having in-depth conversations with your new BFF Sanna Nielsen to read blog posts written by an extremely jealous Australian who wants Sanna to be her BFF. Writing about Eurovision is somehow a good coping mechanism to help deal with the burning envy I am feeling seeing Facebook and Twitter bursting with photos from Denmark, so I present to you the second-last part of my 2014 reviews. Every word about Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Portugal was written with love and in between pathetic sobs of ‘I want to be in the Hallerne! Why aren’t I in the Hallerne?!?’. While I muse over the answer to that question, check out my thoughts on these entries.

 

LATVIA

Cake To Bake by Aarzemnieki

latviaBest lyric: ‘I talked to a unicorn the other night, he took me up on a lonely star.’

Better than 2013: Yes

Top 10 material: No

IMO: Latvia has a less-than-impressive Eurovision success rate. They may have begun with a 3rd place back in 2000 and won two years later, but it’s been pretty much downhill from there, with their last five entries failing to qualify to the final. Ouch. I wonder if that’s a painful stat for Aarzemnieki to note. It’s up to them to break the drought, after all. I’ll save my thoughts on their chances for later and focus for now on how I like their song, because I do. It’s so cute, and lead singer Jöran is so smiley, that insulting it would be up there with hurling abuse at a precious little old lady who’s just presented you with a tray of freshly-baked scones. Or cakes, which would be more appropriate in this instance. You can easily make fun of the lyrics, but like quite a few songs this year which seem to be about one thing and are actually about another, Cake To Bake isn’t exactly about kitchen troubles. When you know that, you can see how this song strikes a nice balance between novelty and serious. Like Joan Franka’s You And Me, it’s a track made for singing round the campfire, and those kinds of songs can either be nailed or be fails at Eurovision (we all know how things went for Joan). I find this very infectious, and find the chemistry between the band members genuine, so I’m inclined to think it will work – but in a semi final with many a strong contender, and this being Latvia, that doesn’t necessarily translate to qualification. I can’t imagine the juries loving this, so it’s up to Jöran to beam that megawatt smile of his down the cameras and connect with all the televoters. If he and the gang can make them ‘aww!’ then anything is possible. I would really like to see this on Saturday night, because Aarzemnieki = adorable puppy, and a DNQ = slamming the door in its face. DON’T DO THAT TO THE PUPPY, EUROPE!

Winner, loser or grower: Winner. 7 points.

 

LITHUANIA

Attention by Vilija 

lithuaniaBest lyric: ‘Do you dream about me in your bed? Keep on dreaming…’

Better than 2013: Yes 

Top 10 material: No

IMO: Lithuania selected their song/artist combo this year through what can only be described as a marathon, and the outcome needed to be amazing to make it worth their while. I wouldn’t say they totally succeeded in that, but this song has a fan in me. The problem is everything but the song. Positives first: I think Attention rocks in so many ways. It’s original, it doesn’t rhyme all the bloody time which is refreshing, it’s modern, it’s catchy (someone please take that word away from me!) and it’s memorable. Pardon the pun, but it definitely captures one’s attention. Lithuania have more often than not sent entries in recent years that either make me go ‘meh’ or make me scream ‘OH DEAR GOD, MY EARS! MAKE IT STOP!’. So I’m thrilled that I can support them based on song choice for once. Now, the negatives that have to be addressed: Vilija. Her stage presence. Her dance moves (or at least the ones she’s been given). Her choice of costume both at the national final (you know, that end part about six months after it started) and Eurovision In Concert…the list goes on, and that’s not good. I can’t comment on her live vocal as I restricted myself to the radio edit, but I’ve heard mixed reviews on that too. This is what I meant when I said that Lithuania hadn’t 100% succeeded in giving us an entry worth the epic journey to select it. I’m sure Vilija is a lovely person, but she needs sorting out in so many areas that I can’t imagine she’ll be contest-ready in a week. However, I’m willing to be proven wrong on this occasion. My fingers are crossed that Lithuania end up grabbing attention in all the right ways. 

Winner, loser or grower: Winner. 8 points.

 

MACEDONIA

To The Sky by Tijana Dapčević 

macedoniaSounds like: the background song after a contestant with a sob story has successfully auditioned for American Idol 

Better than 2013: Definitely less of a car crash, so, yeah!

Top 10 material: No

IMO: FYROM were a guilty pleasure for me last year (though I’ll never forgive them for taking away Imperija, which would have been an actual pleasure) because they were so bad on stage it was frightening, yet somehow entertaining. I’m not convinced Tijana’s performance will be frightening OR entertaining if it complements her song. There’s nothing wrong with it, per se – in fact, I’ve been defending it from anyone saying it’s super dated because I only consider it mildly so. It’s radio-friendly rock feel makes it accessible and inoffensive, and Tijana’s, shall we say, rugged voice takes command and owns the three minutes. But ‘nothing wrong’ and ‘inoffensive’ makes a winner not, and this is kind of blah on the whole. It doesn’t sound remotely Macedonian, so there’s no ethnicity to latch on to. Lyrically, it feels contrived, and whilst Tijana does a good job of wrapping her manly (let’s no longer pretend it sounds otherwise) tone around the words, I’m not sure she really believes what she’s singing. With all that in mind, and despite the fact that vanilla songs can and do qualify thanks to the juries, I reckon it’ll take one hell of a prop and/or costume reveal to elevate this to qualifying territory. I’m talking some hybrid of Svetlana Loboda’s Hell Machine, Farid’s glass box and Rambo Amadeus’ donkey here, that belches out wind, dry ice and multicoloured confetti simultaneously. Did Tijana happen to pack one of those? If not, I suspect what she’ll be packing is her bags as soon as semi 2 is over. 

Winner, loser or grower: Grower. 5 points.

 

MALTA

Coming Home by Firelight 

maltaSounds like: I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons; Coming Home by Philip Phillips

Better than 2013: A little bit

Top 10 material: Yes 

IMO: Every year, the same thing tends to happen with Malta and myself. They pick a song that I liked going in to their final, but that wasn’t my favourite. Then, shortly after the victory, I suddenly realise that they’ve picked the best possible option – the ‘right’ entry (even if I still like a couple of the losing songs better). You can see where I’m going with this. Firelight stood out to me from MESC 2014 as an act with a decent song and as possible winners, but I was concentrating all my energy on JESC alumni Daniel Testa FTW. He was my top pick. But lo and behold, Coming Home took the crown, and about five minutes later I had accepted this as what was meant to be. This song may be as derivative as they come, and tug at the heartstrings a little too obviously (if the song alone doesn’t tear you up good the video should do it) but damn, it’s got me. Not to the point where I’m going to rave about it, as there are other styles of music and other songs in the contest that I prefer. But I can’t help feeling warm and fuzzy when I hear it, and strangely calm too. Anything with a country vibe does that to me. The key for Firelight will be to keep that sentiment genuine and their onstage camaraderie fresh – i.e. make it look and sound like they’re singing the song for the first time, not the hundredth. Because if they don’t believe it, neither will we. I would expect Malta to sail into the final regardless, but once there they could either be forgotten about, or capture the feeling in the moment and do very well. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be impossible, under the right circumstances, for the tiny Mediterranean island to host two Eurovision events within six months. 

Winner, loser or grower: Grower. 7 points.

 

MOLDOVA

Wild Soul by Cristina Scarlat 

moldovaBest lyric: ‘The world can throw a dice for each of us, any time.’

Better than 2013: No

Top 10 material: No

IMO: In my mind, Aliona Moon was a perfect angel with a voice that makes flowers unfurl and heals wounded animals. If she was the angel on the shoulder of Moldova, then Cristina Scarlat is the devil on the other side. I’m not saying she’s evil and/or untalented – but she’s bringing something quite dark and intense to the table which is a contrast to last year’s offering. Wild Soul is just as powerful as O Mie, but rather than lamenting lost love via a stunning piano ballad, it does…something else, in a dark dubsteppy fashion. Okay, so the lyrics are a little confusing and open to interpretation. I think we can all agree, however, that Cristina’s telling us she has a wild soul in a cruel world, and if you try to argue with her SHE WILL STRANGLE YOU. Because, you know, she has no feelings of mercy. I prefer the lighter, brighter Moldova authorised by Pasha Parfeny that we’ve had the pleasure of experiencing for the past two years, but there is a lot I like about this Moldova too. The dubstep is good (though Cristina should be grateful she’s not singing right after Aram Mp3, ‘cause Armenia’s done it better); I enjoy the way the song unfolds over the three minutes, in particular the transitions between verses and chorus; and her voice is ultra commanding. It needs to be to handle a song like this. I’m actually really interested to see how this is staged and costumed in comparison to how it was in the NF. It has the potential to be really effective on stage if done right. If they throw everything including the kitchen sink (albeit adorned with Swarovski crystals and placed on a solid gold pillar) at the presentation like last year, in a way that makes too much look like just enough, that would be fine by me. I have no feelings of mercy either. Not when it comes to being OTT.

Winner, loser or grower: Winner. 8 points.

 

MONTENEGRO

Moj Svijet by Sergej Četković

montenegroSounds like: the spirit of Željko Joksimović will be present in Copenhagen

Better than 2013: Is chocolate better than ice cream? I can’t choose!

Top 10 material: No

IMO: Montenegro has gone from divisive and quite frankly, badass (well, as badass as you can get when astronauts and sexy cyborgs unite) to majestic balladry in one short year, and I’m in love. Just when I thought the lack of Balkan countries in the contest atm would make things unbearable, the country that brought us Igranka (igranku, ku ku, irgranku) of all countries has saved the day with a beautiful Balkan ballad that brings to mind gems like Lejla and Nije Ljubav Stvar. Gorgeous. That’s also an adjective I’d use to describe the music video, which is basically a long advert for Montenegrin tourism with all its sweeping shots of clifftops and crashing waves. When I’m not gazing starry-eyed into the distance as the song transports me to one of those clifftops, I’m thinking ‘I wish this song would literally transport me to one of those clifftops.’ I just love this song to pieces. Thankfully the English version isn’t the ESC version, because the native tongue makes a lovely song even lovelier. It’s soaring and sentimental (but not overly so) and goes somewhere, even ending while it’s still in that big, climactic place. By all accounts Sergej is a top bloke and a great vocalist, but by rehearsal-based account he’s a bit stiff, so loosen up, man, for possible qualification’s sake! I desperately want Montenegro to make the final for the first time with this, still believing Who See should have gone through. Unfortunately, I have this feeling Moj Svijet is just going to miss out thanks to songs that perhaps deserve it less from countries that always go through (I’m referring to Russia). I know not everyone feels the same way about this as I do, but…come on! We’re talking pure class, here, people. You’ve got to award points for that.

Winner, loser or grower: Winner. 10 points.

 

THE NETHERLANDS

Calm After The Storm by The Common Linnets

netherlandsSounds like: it was made for road trippin’ through America (with the possibility of falling asleep at the wheel)

Better than 2013: Yes

Top 10 material: No

IMO: Just a brief aside to defend myself – yes, I am Team Common Linnets over Team Anouk, but I never got Anouk, and as I said re: Malta, country music soothes me. This song is a palate cleanser and a half, so humble it’s verging on comatose. It will put many a flag-waver to sleep, but I find it a rather enjoyable listen. Ilse and Waylon’s voices blend nicely together, at least in studio, and the song cruises along at the same altitude which doesn’t bother me because this is not meant to be a big, brash drama-fest. Although I am running out of things to say about it already, and that ironically says a lot. I like it, I like that it’s less depressing than Birds, the performance will be competent if not mind-blowing, I’ll be surprised if it qualifies…what else is there to come up with? Unless they manage to catch some wave of momentum from last year’s ‘at last!’ qualification, I suspect The Common Linnets will be nothing more than a pleasant break between more exciting entries.

Winner, loser or grower: Grower. 7 points.

 

NORWAY

Silent Storm by Carl Espen

norwayBest lyric: ‘I’m here to use my heart and my hands. Somehow the bruises changed my plans.’

Better than 2013: No

Top 10 material: Yes

IMO: It’s been a while since we’ve had a Norwegian ballad in the contest, and since the last one was the melodramatic My Heart Is Yours, it’s like having a whole new Norway with the much calmer and restrained Silent Storm in the running. I didn’t follow MGP too closely this year, listening to a snippet of this song when I heard it was the favourite out of curiosity and only hearing the full version post-victory. The snippet had me questioning why it was the favourite – that thirty seconds was okay, but nothing more. It was the song in its entirety that gave me some serious feels, more serious than Carl himself (someone give the man some laughing gas stat, or at least tell him a joke!). It was the simple but effective piano intro that kick-started said feels, followed by the lyrically sparse verses in which few words say so much, then the chorus (in case you weren’t sure what usually comes after a verse) which is pretty in a haunting, sad kind of way – that being a compliment, guys. Basically, I find this whole song hauntingly beautiful, and the fact that Carl puts the required emotion into his performance without letting it spill over – there’s that restraint again – holds my interest the whole time. To say that this song is calmer than others is not to say that it doesn’t go anywhere. It certainly does ramp up towards the end, which is where Carl has been heard to lose his control on the higher notes, and also where they really need to be at their best. Because this is a bare-bones sort of ballad, he’s very exposed. I hope he’s not reading this and is now totally offended and terrified of screwing up. If you are, Carl, I’m sorry. I’m really fond of your song, and if you can just pull off that last thirty seconds (backup singers may come in handy to mask any cracks) yours could be a magic moment.

Winner, loser or grower: Winner. 10 points.

 

POLAND

My Słowianie – Slavic Girls by Donatan & Cleo

polandSounds like: the Igranka of 2014

Better than 2013: Technically, yeah. Better than Poland’s last entry in 2011? Also yeah.

Top 10 material: No

IMO: This song was a web phenomenon back when it was first released, with Youtube views of the video currently in the double-digit millions (which I’m sure has nothing to do with the amount of cleavage on display in it) and people have been getting down to it all over the world. As a fan of Igranka, which this reminds me of a bit in style terms and a lot on pure weirdness and divisiveness, I took to it instantly, and a part of me does now want to be a Slavic girl. But I can’t shake the feeling that I should be ashamed of loving this. Even if you subtract the endless parade of boobs from the equation, I still class this as a guilty pleasure even though I don’t want to. I think as a song, it’s got truckloads of appeal. It’s ethnic, but not your standard ethno-pop that we’ve all heard countless times before (for more on that, see the next review on Portugal!). It’s got way more attitude than those kinds of songs, especially during the Polish parts which are the best parts. I’m glad they’ve gone for the bilingual version over just English, because three whole minutes of lines like ‘cream and butter taste so good’ would be hard to take (although Cleo has a point there). I hate to use this word yet again, but this is catchy, darn it, and there’s nothing else like it in the contest. My one complaint is that Cleo feels the need to announce hers and Donatan’s names at the beginning, Jason Derülo-style, like we’d have no idea who was singing the song otherwise. But that’s just one of my pet peeves. As with Montenegro, I’ll be devastated if this doesn’t qualify, but it is on the tipping point. I can imagine it being even more divisive than Igranka, and since that failed I think Poland’s chances are on the slim side. No doubt Cleo, who has a PHD in Swag and proves the theory that Slavic girls are stunning, and Donatan, who…well, I’m still not sure what he contributes to the duo in terms of stage performance (will he even turn up?) will give success their best shot.

Winner, loser or grower: Winner. 10 points.

 

PORTUGAL

Quero Se Tua by Suzy

portugalSounds like: Eurovision 2004 is back with a vengeance

Better than 2013: Again, this doesn’t apply, but I do like it more than Vida Minha.

Top 10 material: No

IMO: I say Eurovision 2004 with regards to this entry because it reminds me of Xandee’s 1 Life, but Quero Se Tua could just as easily have been drawn from the archives of the 90s. It’s not like Gina G was that far off this. Having said that AND made that disparaging reference above (ethno-pop we’ve all heard before, blah blah blah) you’ll be surprised to learn that I’m actually pro-Portugal this year. It’s those very ethno-pop cliché numbers that, as predictable as they are, suck people in by the droves, and I am not ashamed to announce that I think this is gold. Not douze-level gold, but worth a decent chunk of imaginary points, if not real live ESC points. I have the feeling I would detest it if it were in English, but the Portuguese makes it both a) mysterious – the lyrics could be genius for all I know as I’m yet to Google a translation – and b) exotic and even more representative of its country than the music. Throw in a dance beat with those qualities and you’ve got an irresistible Portuguese version of at least three entries from each year between 2000 and 2008. So it won’t win any awards for being current…so what? Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of Eurovision nostalgia every now and then, or in my case, 24/7? Kati Wolf look-alike Suzy is a confident performer armed with the ability to dance and sing fairly well at the same time, and a shirtless backup drummer who adds energy to the proceedings. I’m assuming she’s brought him to Copenhagen with her. He won’t help her win or come anywhere near contention, but I for one will enjoy his presence. And Portugal’s, for that matter. Let’s hope they don’t take Suzy’s likely non-qualification as a sign to withdraw again.

Winner, loser or grower: Winner. 8 points.

 

Believe it or not (depending on how much time you think passed while you were reading this) that’s another lot of reviews completed. With one more group to go, here’s my penultimate mini-ranking based on the points I’ve handed out this time.

  1. Poland
  2. Montenegro
  3. Norway
  4. Lithuania
  5. Moldova
  6. Portugal
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Malta
  9. Latvia
  10. Macedonia

Stay tuned for the last installment, up this weekend when there’ll be a week to go until the grand final. That’s Saturday, in case you weren’t sure. Then and there I’ll be rating and hating on Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. There’s definitely both rating and hating to be done over that bunch.

I shall see you then. In the meantime, answer me this:

 

As always, what do you think of the songs from Latvia through Portugal? How would you rank them?

 

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 May 1, 2014, in Eurovision 2014, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. With you on Poland and Montenegro, but I’d take Netherlands+Malta over Norway+Lithuania. Not a big country fan, but those entries have significant strengths.

    Lithuania: Once I’d finished mocking their selection process, I thought there just might be hidden potential for a very effective entry after some work. That hasn’t happened. Lithuania’s back in the slightly off-kilter groove that generally gets them to the final, but I really don’t see this making it.

    Macedonia: FYI : Don’t “FYROM” unless you mean to be insulting; “FYR Macedonia” is fine, or “MK” for convenience. The reason it’s insulting is not the “FYR” part, but the complete suppression of their chosen name by the contentious qualifier.
    Now the song … Main issue is that Tijana is detached from it, and not just in the awful lip-sync video — She sings along, and smiles, but feels nothing, and every indication is that she’s not a great mover, and brings no character of her own. Her lack of conviction is infectious.

    Moldova: I was relieved to learn that the lyrics are by her niece, as they are rather too pretentious and narcissistic for an adult, and they set off a lot of alarms when combined with her apparent religious bent. I like Christina’s musical style, but her performance abilities have been unreliable. I just hope she can hold it together.

    Norway: You had me imagining Carl cracking a smile during the song, trying not to laugh. Possibly not the effect they’re going for.

    Poland: Donatan won’t appear on stage, which improves the overall folk image. I don’t like the obligatory hip-hop rollcalls either, but it doesn’t hurt as a vocal wake-up here.

    Like

    • And now we know there’s a tutu involved in Vilija’s costume (as there was at the NF) it’s pretty much put paid to any remaining chance Lithuania had!! They are a country that tends to go through when you least expect it (I’m still not over ‘C’est Ma Vie’ making it and ‘Eastern European Funk’ not) but I can’t see that happening this time either.

      Got the memo re: Macedonia. I’ll fix that up sharpish. To be honest, I’m always confused as to what could be taken as an insult and what definitely won’t when it comes to this country.

      Cristina’s niece looked pretty adult when I saw an interview with her the other day!

      I don’t think we have to worry about Carl taking his performance seriously. From what I’ve heard he’s looking a bit lost/nervous up there, but hopefully that was just earlier on in the rehearsals, and the more he familiarises himself with the setting and whatnot, the more comfortable he’ll feel. He’s the kind of guy I would be sad to see fail.

      It may be awkward when Cleo yells out Donatan’s name and he’s not even there…still, just leaving it to the Slavic girls is probably for the best. I don’t think he’d look very nice in a low-cut embroidered dress.

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      • Yeah, figuring what’s PC/polite is basically guesswork until the party in question says something. I’m just passing on my 2nd hand understanding.

        I retract my comments about the lyrics of “Wild Soul.” An inappropriate and unfair excursion into irrelevant territory.

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        • I appreciate you passing on the info! I don’t want to offend anyone, unless it pertains to people with terrible music taste.

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  2. Hi Jaz 😀 First comment in centuries but I have finally ranked all of the songs and decided which ones I like and which ones I don’t.

    I’m absolutely in love with the Latvian entry (like seriously love it to the point I have the lyrics painted on my nails right now) I just love the way they managed to include some Latvian in the lyrics and the song is so cute. and cake..My heart breaks every time I read anything negative about the song and I’m really scared it won’t qualify 😦

    Lithuania: oh I really disgree with you on this one :/

    Macedonia: it’s so catchy xD I like this a lot, but yeah I agree that it’s pretty meh to be a winner…

    Malta: it’s ok ish, not very memorable

    Moldova: I just don’t like dubstep! And since Moldova was my absolute fave last year I can’t help it but being disappointed :/

    Montenegro: ugh I hate it so much…not 😛 Seriously it is my overal fave this year (what a surprise, I know). It isn’t the best Balkan ballad ever in Eurovision but it’s still an awesome balkan ballad..and omg the music video makes me want to go to Montenegro so much!!

    The Netherlands: I heard that this was a fan favorite though? I agree with you on the soothing bit and I think it’s really cute. Not in my top 10 but close to it…and I also like it a lot better than “birds” 😀

    Norway: oh gosh this one bores me so much zzz

    Poland: I have a love/hate relationship with this one. I was so happy when Poland decided to return and I just wanted to support them almost no matter what…but I wasn’t so convinced by the song when I first heard it…but then the Polish version actually grew on me and I came to realize how brilliant it is. I don’t really like the bilingual mix but I forgive them because they’ll have traditional Polish costumes 😛

    Portugal: omg now that you mention it, she does look like Kati Wolf xD This one is really catchy too, I agree with you that if it were in English I’d hate though I understand a little Portuguese so I understand the lyrics and they are pretty meh but the song is really catchy xD (oh and it’s my parents’ fave haha)

    ranks:
    1. Montenegro
    2. Latvia
    3. Poland
    4. Portugal
    5. The Netherlands
    6. Macedonia
    7. Malta
    8. Moldova
    9. Norway yawn
    10. Lithuania

    Like

    • Heeeeeeeeeeey!! Welcome back 🙂

      I am trying to picture your lyrical Latvian manicure…it sounds so impressive! I’m lucky if I can get country colours on my nails without making a total mess of it. Speaking of which, there’s something to add to my to-do list.

      I’m really undecided about Aarzemnieki. I mean, the Pirates of the Sea qualified!! This is much subtler and way less novelty than their song was. I know it depends what stuff is up against. It could go either way, but I’m leaning towards a DNQ at the moment. Sorry!

      ‘Wild Soul’ doesn’t compare to ‘O Mie’, of course!! I still love that so much. I will be a bit annoyed if Cristina miraculously manages to beat Aliona’s position, but it’s unlikely.

      Okay, you REALLY scared me there when you sayed you hated Montenegro!! I totally agree with you – the classic Balkan ballad has been done better in the past, but this one’s just lovely. The video is on a par with Croatia’s last year. Just stahp it, former Yugoslavia!! Stahp being so stunning when I’m too poor to come to you and walk along your shorelines and gaze wistfully from your clifftops!! I want Sergej to qualify so badly, but now it seems he may have sabotaged himself with the ice skater lady. I haven’t seen the rehearsal (as usual I’m not watching them) but from what I’ve heard, it’s not working. Sigh x infinity. Just because it worked for Dima… 😥

      Thanks for the extra ‘yawn’ on Norway at the bottom there. Just to hammer that home, ahaha! I can understand where you’re coming from, but I think it’s really nice.

      I hope you are free enough from study to enjoy the ESC week now 😀

      Like

  3. wschmidt1206

    And this is what I think about the 10 songs of Part 3 of your reviews:

    10. Poland: I wasn’t a fan of “Igranka” last year, so it is not a big surprise that I don’t like this song either! Too much of folklore and I don’t like Cleo’s voice, and then THOSE dresses!!! Awful! I would have wished for a much better song from Poland returning to The Eurovision, but that don’t impress me much! Sorry, but no points for that, and I don’t see this actually qualifying to the final, same as “Igranka”!!!

    9. Latvia: this song sounds more of a children’s song from “Sesame Street” or the soundtrack of the new “Muppets Movie”! I can imagine Ernie and Bert dancing to it ;-)! But for the big Eurovision stage it is much too childish and ridiculous, IMO! I am sure this will not qualify, would be a BIG surprise, if it did! No points for Latvia, although I like cakes very much, “cheesecakes” are my favs ;-)!

    8. Lithuania: is this really the best song one could get from the Lithuanian “marathon”? If they made their preselection a bit shorter next year, they maybe would find a much better song!? This song is absolutely not my cup of tea, and I see this far away from qualifying!
    Again a “zéro points” disaster!

    7. Portugal: this is soo old-fashioned, and normally I don’t like the combination of weak voices and short skirts, but with a kind of “Lambada” it almost fits! The song really reminds me of Kaoma’s Lambada from 1989, which was I think the most successful song in Portuguise language ever, and it has a little sunshine in it rather than it shines brightly! 1 point for its sunny mood!

    6. Moldova: another Bond Theme or a wild drama? Cristina’s strong voice somehow resembles a bit to Shirley Bassey and Gladys Knight in combination. The song is O.K., but I’m still indifferent to it! But it is definitely not better than last year’s entry from Moldova! I think it will become very difficult to beat last years 11th place, but I see this qualifying due to a good stage performance and show; 3 points from Germany!

    5. Macedonia: I like Tijana and her song! it’s a catchy and modern pop song that sounds a bit like “Pink”! And it fits much better here that she will perform it in English! If she qualifies in the semi, very much depends on her live vocal abilities. But I keep my fingers crossed for her ;-)! 5 points for a good song!

    4. Malta: yes, it is “Mumford & Sons”, but in a “light” version! It is not the best song Malta ever had in the contest, but I like it and like this one qualifying too. In the final it will be very difficult to get a high placement, I see this around place 18 or lower?! 7 points for “Coming home”.

    3. Montenegro: this Balkan ballad is awesome, and I agree with Annika: the video clip is more than beautiful :-)! And it feels good having the spirit of Zeljko in the Eurovision of 2014! This hopefully will qualify, I will be very sad, if this is not the case! 8 points for this beautiful song!

    2. The Netherlands: I love Ilse DeLange, and the combination with Waylon is just perfect in my ears! This MUST qualify (Bitte, bitte!). The song to me is the best of all the country songs this year, and I hope they will create a memorable atmosphere on stage! For me again a Top 10 placement in the final, but I’m a bit scared about the stage show! 10 points for the “Common Linnets”!

    1. Norway: Douze points! This is my winner and winning song! When you just look at Carl Espen you expect something like a decent country rock song in the style of “Triggerfinger” or the “BossHoss”, but not that voice and such a beautiful ballad! The first time I listened to this song it gave me goosebumps. The Norwegian entry is a very big surprise for me this year, because I had very low expectations concerning their song. This song would deserve to Win this year; the stage performance: I don’t know by now!

    Only 4 days to go, and I’m already sooo excited! I can’t wait!!! When do you watch the semis on TV or live on the internet?!

    See you with Part 4 ;-)!

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    • I think the deal with Poland is, if you didn’t like Igranka, My Slowianie isn’t for you!! And vice versa. I personally like everything about it, including the dresses. But each to their own 🙂

      I guess the shorter an NF is, the less amazing the song has to be for it to have been worth the wait. So if Lithuania do it all in a day next year, their entry will probably seem like a winner! Obviously I’m an Attention fan, but it wasn’t entirely worth that epic journey to reach it, especially since it’s very unlikely to qualify.

      We are in agreement that Moldova ’14 isn’t as good as Moldova ’13. I think it’s missing the magic Pasha Parfeny touch 🙂

      It will be awful if Montenegro don’t go through. But it is Montenegro…

      I just can’t see the Netherlands doing that well! Then again, I never got Birds and look what happened with that. I like the song, but I don’t think one year of success has helped the Dutch find their groove.

      I think you love Norway more than I do, but it’s something special for me too. It’s a lot less ‘in your face’ than most of the other ballads, so that could work in Carl’s favour. This might sound weird, but he’s so adorable (for a slightly intimidating-looking, very serious dude)!

      I will be watching semi 1 on TV on Friday night, semi 2 on Saturday and the final on Sunday, so it’s a full-on internet blackout for me from Wednesday morning! I could watch online, but it’s worth the extra wait IMO for the TV broadcast. And being at night, not at 3am, makes it special. So I’ve got a few more days to wait. Enjoy your experience in a few days’ time though!

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  4. Jaz! 😀 I can’t believe it’s so close to Eurovision! I’m going to diiiiiiiie!

    I wrote a post about all 37 songs here http://hopefullydaedal.wordpress.com/2014/05/01/texas-calling-daedals-eurovision-2014-top-37/. 🙂

    Also, you can finally vote for Josef! 😉 Here’s that link. http://hopefullydaedal.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/the-winner-is-heats-7-and-8/

    Like

    • I totally beat you to both of these posts!! I read the first one and already voted for Josef. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!! I swear I will contribute some comments ASAP so you know I’ve been there 🙂

      PS – Don’t die BEFORE Eurovision. That would be a waste. When it’s over, you can die happy!

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