REVIEWS | The EBJ Jury Judges Eurovision 2016 (Part 1)

Hello! Or, if you don’t mind me greeting you in the languages of the countries being reviewed today: zdravo, bonjour, xαίρετε, cześć, buna and Привет!

Don’t worry…I won’t do that every time.

Yes, it’s finally ESC 2016 review time here on EBJ (they’ve arrived just as unfashionably late as I do to all professional and social events). If you haven’t met the jury members who will be joining me on the quest to critique and compile a full ranking of all 43 entries, head to the ‘Välkommen Aboard!’ page above, or click here if you’re too lazy to look for it. You may as well get to know the people about to rip your favourite songs to shreds a little better.

Although all of the jurors will be scoring all of the entries this year, only three of us will actually be reviewing each time (if you’re hopping off the train at Complication Station right now, I apologise). And so…

 

TODAY’S EBJ JURORS
Jurors1

In this first installment of reviews, Rory, Wolfgang and I will be taking a look at/listen to Croatia, France, Greece, Poland, Romania and Russia – a.k.a. Nina, Amir, Argo, Michał, Ovidiu and Sergey. There are some hyperbolic highs and some low, low lows among the songs of these countries and artists – but which is which, and according to whom? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out.

Let’s get started!

 

 Croatia

Rory Croatia, you’ve sent some beautiful acts to Eurovision – Doris Dragović and Daniela to name but a couple – but in recent years, you’ve given us some of the most…”interesting” songs around, with a rapping granddad, ‘SALIBRAYYYYY’, and Nina Badrić dressed in an assortment of bin bags! So where have you been hiding potential like this? I am so smitten with Lighthouse, it’s unbelievable. Nina is a proven live singer, what with her experience on The Voice of Croatia, and although her look doesn’t exactly fit the typical Eurovision style, the song is easily going to make up for that. When I listen to the song, I can immediately think of the staging and how it’s going to look, with the cameras and everything. It’s a strong, Balkan song that for once didn’t come from the nostril of Željko Joksimović! This should easily sail through to the final (get it? I’m keeping up with the nautical theme!) and make it into the top 10 – and maybe it’ll give HRT the incentive to make The Voice into a national selection, so they can keep sending individual and adaptable artists to Eurovision.

Wolfgang I’m very happy that Croatia is back in Eurovision again this year, with an outstanding voice and a wonderful song. Nina’s voice is hauntingly brilliant, and the music reminds me of some of the good Irish entries of the 90s. It sounds original, a little Celtic and folky, and it is quite different to a lot of the other female electronic ballads we have this year. In addition to this, Lighthouse gives me the same vibes that some of Enya’s songs give me every time. Plus, it is a contemporary song in the likes of Faded by Alan Walker, which is a huge hit all over Europe this spring. I’m very excited about the staged “lighthouse” that we will hopefully see during her performance. Croatian ladies are the best at Eurovision…well, mostly (Severina not included). Great choice this year, Croatia, and lots of luck from Germany!

Jaz I’ve been through quite the thought process where this comeback track from Croatia is concerned. The first time I heard it, I detected traces of Emmelie de Forest, and that turned me right off (I’m not Only Teardrops’ biggest fan). On my second listen, I suddenly warmed to the Cranberries-meets-Corrs Celtic pop sound, because it’s a nostalgic throwback to the 90s while still feeling contemporary. The third time around, I realised just how much the chorus of Lighthouse mimics the chorus of Swedish superstar Zara Larsson’s Uncover (which I love) and mused to myself, ‘Is THAT what’s making this “now”?’. I won’t go on to tell you how I felt after every single subsequent play of the song, but I will tell you what I think of it at this point (since that’s the whole purpose of these reviews). As much as I’m irritated by the frail, ethereal sound of Nina’s voice, and as much as I detest songs that use lighthouses as metaphors in their lyrics (all the talk about light guiding people safely home and whatnot makes me want to deliberately steer my metaphorical ship into a cliff face so I don’t have to hear it any more), I do like this. The lyrics aren’t as lame as they could be; the pounding beat is hypnotic; the key change is impressive; and Nina does have the kind of vocal chops that suit a song of this genre. So, while Croatia may not be fielding my favourite song of the year (why they’re so high in the betting odds is a mystery to me) I am quite keen on Lighthouse.

The EBJ Jury says… 

  • Ali 12
  • Fraser 4
  • James 10
  • Jaz 7
  • Martin 7
  • Nick 4
  • Penny 12
  • Rory 12
  • Wolfgang 10

Croatia’s EBJ Jury score is…8.67

 

 France

Rory I’ve enjoyed the majority of French songs from the past few years (the exception being Sognu – what was that utter mess?!?) and this year is no different! Unhappy with their constant string of undeservedly low results, France has finally sent something that can actually be seen as radio-friendly! I enjoy the indie tones of J’ai Cherché, and the bilingual aspect of it means it will be a lot easier for the song to make a connection with a wider audience. However, this could end up being a double-edged sword, as the wrong sort of staging could ruin their chances. It’s been done before (Anggun, I’m looking at you…why GYMNASTS, of all things?). I’m not sure how it’s going to be on stage, as previous performances have been very bare and stripped back, but I’m open to being surprised. As long as Amir gives a strong performance, France will definitely be out of the bottom five!

Wolfgang I am a big fan of la France and their musical genre Variété Francaise-loving artists, like Patrick Fiori, Garou and Mickaël Miro. The French Eurovision artist for 2016, a.k.a. Amir, belongs in this category too, and he has got an excellent song in his luggage for Stockholm. J’ai Cherché is very catchy and contemporary, and it could be THE Eurovision summer hit of this year (at least I would love to hear it more often). As with Croatia, I am really happy that France has come again with a great song after four years of suffering over a ‘lowlight’ vocal performance, a horrible alternative song, a crazy fun entry and a boring lame lady ballad last year. But this year, France is back in the game, and it could become their Eurovision year. No other city in Europe can use such a big event like the ESC than Paris at the moment. Hopefully they go all the way with Amir – that would make me happy. Douze points d’Allemagne!

Jaz If there’s a Team ‘France Has Totally Been Robbed of Higher Rankings in Recent Eurovision Years’, then I’m on it. L’Amour Á La Française, Divine, Allez Ola Olé and Moustache all should have had more success than they did in my opinion (although in some cases, I get why they didn’t). I don’t want that same fate to befall J’ai Cherché, because I truly believe that if it doesn’t hit the heights of the top 10 in Stockholm, there will officially be something very wrong with the world (or some possible irregularities in the jury and/or televoting figures). Amir’s ESC effort is everything I appreciate about French pop wrapped up securely in a three-minute package, without being stereotypical (though that doesn’t give him the space to appear onstage sporting a Breton t-shirt and beret). It’s folk-inspired, but not stale like an old baguette; it’s fun, but takes itself seriously at the same time; it blends French and English seamlessly, making it the poster song for bilingual success at this year’s contest; and it’s irresistibly catchy (karaoke, anyone?). And then there’s Amir’s rugged French handsomeness, which is far removed from my beloved Måns Zelmerlöw’s clean-cut and beautifully buff exterior, but is somehow (almost) equally appealing. Basically, what hasn’t this entry got going for it? C’est magnifique, Mesdames et Messieurs…just don’t eff up the staging, France.

The EBJ Jury says… 

  • Ali 10
  • Fraser 10
  • James 8
  • Jaz 12
  • Martin 10
  • Nick 8
  • Penny 10
  • Rory 10
  • Wolfgang 12

France’s EBJ Jury score is…10

 

Greece

Rory Believe it or not, this is first Greek Eurovision entry since Secret Combination that I’ve actually enjoyed *braces for the onslaught of ‘WHY DIDN’T YOU LIKE OPA?!’ comments*. Of course, I’m definitely partial to a bit of ethnicity, but if there’s a lack of authenticity, then you’re just as well to be Rodolfo Chikilicuatre! Argo has created a song that on first listen is quite…odd, but as it goes on, you start to get drawn into it, and by the end, you do feel yourself swaying with the off-beat rhythms. When I listen to Utopian Land, I get echoes of Björk’s Náttúra, which in itself is four minutes of off-beat rhythms and headbanging. I love the ethnicity of this song, and I think it’s a perfect way of describing Greek traditional-pop music. However, with the negative reception the song has received, I feel like people might not get on board with it, and Argo’s Utopian Land may become a DYStopia! I really hope not though.

Wolfgang Now we come to the “Land of Utopia” a.k.a. this year’s Greek entry. I am really biased about this song. On the one hand, I like the instruments used, and the sound is quite catchy, ethnic and original. But on the other hand, I don’t like the rap/spoken parts in the verses much, and the chorus is too repetitive for my ears. The next thing that strikes me is the terrible English the entry is sung in. Why don’t the artists sing in Greek instead of bad English? I’m absolutely not sure if Greece is able to qualify this year in their semi, since the quality of the songs is generally much higher compared to Vienna. I still like Argo’s artful video clip that reminds me a bit of Run, Boy, Run by Woodkid, which is amazing. And the song’s obviously better than the Dion-esque LLB from last year!

Jaz The last time Greece sent a group to Eurovision, everything about it was epic (and that’s if we’re talking about Koza Mostra, OR if you’d define Freaky Fortune feat. Riskykidd as a group). But the standard of their songs and their success on the scoreboard have both taken a hit lately, and I have to admit, I’m very ‘hmm…’ about Utopian Land. As with a whole bunch of 2016 songs, there are things I like and dislike about this one. I don’t mind the rap, since it tends to sound particularly badass in Greek; the chorus is somewhat catchy; and the ethnicity Argo is bringing to the table is appealing, given how little national identity can be heard among their fellow competitors. But overall, it’s a non-dynamic, non-event kind of entry, with lame English lyrics and far too much repetition. So I’m leaning towards a thumbs-down more than a thumbs-up, and I really think Greece will struggle to qualify with it (i.e. they’ll probably squeeze through in 10th place). You never know – it could be staged in such a way that it stuns us all into silence (and then we’d hear that sound that Dami Im’s on about). But I don’t think Greece can afford the amount of trampolines, confetti cannons and state-of-the-art projections required to make THAT happen.

The EBJ Jury says… 

  • Ali 6
  • Fraser 3
  • James 3
  • Jaz 5
  • Martin 7
  • Nick 8
  • Penny 5
  • Rory 10
  • Wolfgang 4

Greece’s EBJ Jury score is…5.67

 

Poland

Rory SHOCK HORROR! MARGARET’S NOT GOING TO EUROVISION! It came as a shock to most Eurovision fans that Conchita’s Polish second-cousin-twice-removed Michał Szpak managed to triumph over Margaret – and Edyta Górniak – to win Krajowe Eliminacje. I have to say, I was expecting Margaret to win as she CLEARLY had the best song of the nine. But with Michał going instead, I’m not as disappointed as I thought I would be. His live vocals have shown that he can actually sing, and his look will easily make him stand out from the crowd. My one problem is that Color of Your Life is a ballad. A ballad in the first half of a semi that’s filled with other ballads. If it was more like Cool Me Down, it would help him be more individual and outstanding. I feel like this will bomb on the night, because it’ll get lost. If it does end up qualifying, we’ll probably see it in the same realms as Monika the year before. Poland, you should have sent Margaret.

Wolfgang To be honest, I wanted Poland’s greatest living singer – Edyta Górniak – for Eurovision 2016, and Margaret was my number two from the Polish national final. And it looked like there was a fight between those two female artists. But in the end, Michał Szpak won the ticket to Stockholm, to my surprise I must admit! But after just a few listens I am now totally won over by this song. It is a beautiful and timeless classic entry that easily could have been in any other ESC in the past. Every time I listen to Color of Your Life it grows on me and gives me goosebumps. The only thing I would change is Michał’s jacket – he looks like a circus ringmaster in it. He needs something cooler for his stage performance, but everything else is awesome, including his HAIR! I love it! I hope Poland will qualify. BTW, the “color(s) of my life” are midnight blue and orange. Man, I feel so Dutch this year.

Jaz Honestly, I’m more upset that Poland didn’t bring us My Słowianie the sequel for 2016 than upset that Margaret didn’t win their national final. Michał and his majestic mane can’t be compared to Cleo and Donatan (well, mainly just Cleo), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Instead of butter-churning and heaving bosoms, he’s wearing his heart on his sleeve by offering us the sentimental (but not sickly-sweet), sing-along friendly semi-power ballad that is Color of Your Life. I’d say the same thing about this song’s lyrics as I did about Greece’s – they’re cringingly cliché at times (‘…ask your heart who you really are’…seriously? No originality points for you, Mr. Szpak). But that’s where I stop complaining on this one. I actually like it a lot, when I’m listening to it (when I’m not, I forget how much I enjoy it). There’s something about the chorus that speaks to me, saying ‘DAYUM, girl, that melody is super-smooth!’. And I take those words on board. I am concerned that Michał only gives us two choices when it comes to informing him what color/colour our lives are (neither of which are technically colours anyway), but I guess going through every hue in the Pantone range would have taken far longer than three minutes. So, will he bomb or be THE bomb in Stockholm? Fail or succeed, black or white? Given that I assumed Poland wouldn’t qualify last year, I’ll wait for the ESC version of his live performance prior to predicting that. But I’d happily see the country make their third consecutive final with this.

The EBJ Jury says… 

  • Ali 8
  • Fraser 7
  • James 3
  • Jaz 7
  • Martin 8
  • Nick 2
  • Penny 6
  • Rory 5
  • Wolfgang 10

Poland’s EBJ Jury score is…6.22

 

Romania

Rory And so, from the songs I love/don’t mind to one I loathe. I didn’t really pay attention to the Romanian national selection, but what I gathered from it was two things: that Mihai will never do Eurovision again, and that Ovidiu Anton won…and I have to say, why this? It’s rock for starters, which is something I don’t listen to in the first place. Secondly, in the chorus, when he shouts ‘take a moment of SIIIILEEENCE’, he goes so off-key that dogs could probably hear his screams! I’m sorry Romania, but in the last few years you’ve given me no joy whatsoever in the songs you’ve picked. It’s just…..bleugh, for me. I’m sure it’ll qualify, just because it’s Romania and they have that 100% qualification record, but it’s gonna be like Miracle and finish nowhere near where people expect it to. Sorry! Maybe you should have a Moment of Silence for the places that Romania will never reach with this.

Wolfgang To get straight to the point with Romania in one word: HORRIBLE! Just horrible! I hate everything about the song and its stage performance. And I’m still not over Florena or Mihai not winning the Romanian national final. There was such a great line-up in Selecția Națională. I liked 6 of the 12 entries from their semi final much, and two others were quite good. But Romania took the decision out of the remaining entries I did not like. To me, that was the ‘supergau’ of this year’s national final season, even worse than Denmark. The song sounds completely dated to me like something that Belarus, Georgia or Russia would have sent in the early 2000s. And that theatrical performance à la ‘Lord of the Rings’ joined by a “Lord of the Dance” is so awful, I did not enjoy watching it. And why did they call it Moment of Silence? It’s so loud, there won’t be a single moment of silence for the whole three minutes (unless you push the mute button). To me, it looks and sounds like a formulaic Meat Loaf tribute. Normally I like Romanian entries at Eurovision much, but this year they belong to my bottom five songs, and I instantly hope they won’t qualify with this terrible song. For me, it’s one of the clear non-qualifiers of 2016 and a BIG ZERO from me. That’s absolutely not what I want to see on Eurovision stage.

Jaz The minute I discovered Moment of Silence was representing Romania, I asked myself ‘Would I like this if it was the closing song of the first act of a Phantom of the Opera-type musical with a residency on the West End?’. The answer is no, but at least it would belong in that environment. As a Eurovision entry, I like it even less. Pompous, melodramatic and dated dirge performed by a gaggle of Game of Thrones extras is not the kind of thing I wave a flag for. I adored De La Capăt, so this is a real step south for Romania as far as I’m concerned. I’d even rather have Paula and Ovi (plus cameo from computer-generated Paula) back for a third try than sit through Ovidiu’s “moment of silence” (as Wolfgang pointed out, that’s hardly am accurate description of the song). In spite of all of the above, I’m a generous judge and I wouldn’t give Romania nothing, points-wise. But if we were handing out fruit baskets or gift vouchers, it’d be a different story.

The EBJ Jury says… 

  • Ali 5
  • Fraser 2
  • James 0
  • Jaz 2
  • Martin 7
  • Nick 3
  • Penny 7
  • Rory 3
  • Wolfgang 0

Romania’s EBJ Jury score is…3.22

 

Russia

Rory *BRACE YOURSELVES FOR A RANT!!* And so we come to the worst one of the lot for me (though not in the whole group of songs – that’s reserved for Rykka and Serhat!). I feel incredibly let down by Sergey Lazarev’s Eurovision effort. In the teaser he published a couple of days before the public release of You Are The Only One, I was impressed by the video production, the high-tech studio, and most of all, the intro to the song, which hinted at it being an alternative, emphatic, atmospheric song (which is right up my alley). Then the song was released…and it was schlager. SCHLAGER. WHY SCHLAGER!?!?! I was left cringing for three minutes, and at the end, I was like ‘Ehh…just eh…I don’t…WHAT!?”. I loathe this sort of 90s Eurodance beat; it’s so outdated, and though people can hate me for all eternity, I’m going to agree with Christer Björkman and say that schlager should be left in the 90s/00s where it belongs. Music has changed, Russia. So should you. And yes, Sergey is very good-looking, but that doesn’t make up for the song, OKAY?! *sigh…rant over*.

Wolfgang I can’t say that I’m disappointed with the Russian entry this year, because Russia meets my expectations exactly with Sergey Lazarev, sending one of their biggest national stars again. Of course, it all smells like the (formulaic) ‘Dima Bilan’ winning package from 2008. The ingredients here are almost the same: you take a big national star, some internationally-recognised songwriters and producers, a hit-like song that sounds so Swedish (more than any song from Melodifestivalen this year) and a performance that almost looks like a Måns Production (but isn’t!). And ready is the Eurovision soup! Let’s face it: Russia are trying very hard this year. They want to win again, under all circumstances and no matter what the cost. But do I want them to win? The answer is ‘No’! The good thing about Russia’s entry this year is that they don’t annoy me again with another ‘love, peace and understanding’ message song (lesson learned?) and Sergey’s video clip is really stunning to watch. If he manages to stage only about 30% of what we see in his video with his acting and live singing abilities, then it can easily be the winning performance of the grand final. On the other hand, the song lacks any kind of emotion for me. It’s formulaic, radio-friendly, sterile and very stereotypical, and it does not touch me at all. Obviously it will be a clear qualifier and yet another top five placement, but here I would go for 3rd or 4th place and hopefully not the no. 1! And another last thing that strikes me: the running gag in Germany about the Russian entry is that the performance will be “sehr gay” this year, and I would add “faux gay” to it. Well, that is what Russians are probably known for at the Eurovision, but it always means a lack of authenticity, and that’s not win-worthy in my opinion.

Jaz If you’d asked me to review You Are The Only One right after my first listen, I would have let rip (kind of like Rory did). After all, I had been expecting something that sounded as cutting-edge as Sergey’s video clip looks, rather than a stale throwback to Eurovision circa 2006 (and let me remind you that a man with a mullet, also from Russia, managed to come second that year). Meanwhile, everyone else was drooling over the song and/or Sergey’s various shirtless shots, which made me wonder whether there was something wrong with me, or with them. The solution? Taking another listen to the song – a.k.a. giving it an andra chansen. And, well…I suddenly saw the light. Or at least, why the bookies universally had and still have Russia in their top spot. I’m not denying that YATOO is dated, and that the songwriters could have written it more into 2016 if they wanted to keep up with the Latvias of the contest. But damn, did they know what they were doing anyway. This is precisely thought-out, clinical and slickly-produced schlager dance, and it is dangerous. If Sergey’s vocals are shipshape, and his staging is as eye-catching as that video (and we know that Russia always have their staging under control), he will certainly be the ‘only one’ to beat. There’s a power in the unrelenting energy and instant chorus of the song that makes it memorable, even in studio – and when paired with visuals that give it a perfectly-packaged kind of feel (á la Heroes) it becomes one step of a winning recipe. Oh, and thank the Lordi it’s not another preachy peace ballad!

The EBJ Jury says… 

  • Ali 7
  • Fraser 12
  • James 6
  • Jaz 10
  • Martin 8
  • Nick 6
  • Penny 7
  • Rory 4
  • Wolfgang 7

Russia’s EBJ Jury score is…7.44

 

And just like that – after several hours of feverish reading on your part – we’re done for the day. And, with all of the above said and done, the leaderboard currently looks like this:

  1. France (10)
  2. Croatia (8.67)
  3. Russia (7.44)
  4. Poland (6.22)
  5. Greece (5.67)
  6. Romania (3.22)

That makes France the très convincing champion of this round…but it’s early days. Can Amir hold on to the top spot? Only time, plus 37 more reviews, will tell!

What do you think of the Part 1 reviews and rankings? Who took the words right out of your mouth, and who should wash theirs out with soap for daring to defile an amazing song? Which of today’s six countries deserves douze points in your opinion? Let us know below.

In the next episode of EBJ Jury judgments, a trio of Aussies (#accident) – including none other than my mother – will have their say on Belarus, Cyprus, Georgia, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. It’s going to be interesting, to say the least! Come together and join us because we are one?

 

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About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 25, 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 April 4, 2016, in Eurovision 2016, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Nice start to the reviews guys and gal 🙂

    Looking at my scores compared to other jurors, I must be mellowing in my old age, although I don’t dislike any of these entries – I even liked Greek rap and ‘Game Of Thrones – The Musical’! I would like to see France be the best of these, although I suspect that Russia will get that nod…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loathe, off-key, screams, bleugh, horrible, supergau, awful, terrible, non-qualifer, BIG ZERO, pompous, melodramatic, dirge—-all the words used to describe the Romanian entry accurately reflect my feelings. “Moment of Silence” is the bilge water of 2016. I won’t have it on mute, but the sound will be turned down very low so it is not easy to overhear during the bathroom break.

    It took me almost a year to appreciate The Makemakes; I’m not having that issue with Michal Szpak. His performance was spot on and the baby blues were charming. I have not seen Margaret’s live performance to compare it to, only the video version, and it is not a drop-off for Poland imo. Wolfgang’s description as a timeless entry that could have been in any of the past contests is apt. Would somebody please verify that if Michal had not won the NF he was dressed to go directly to an audition for the local production of ‘The Three Musketeers”? That would make my day, thanks.

    I took one hit of “You Are The Only One” and was addicted. Let’s face it, Russia has the formula down and can make voters putty in their hands. Sergey’s main drawback with me is a physical similarity to the Lachey brothers of the mid-tier 90’s boy band 98 Degrees (it is what it is). He has to be easier to watch on stage than Dima, one can hope.

    Nice start Jurors!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Welcome to the ‘I H8 Romania Club’, Amy! Glad to have you. I keep telling myself ‘Surely, this ain’t advancing?’ but it is Romania at the end of the day. Their qualification is truly going to depend on the strength/commitment of their diaspora though. I think it’s time for that 100% record to be broken.

      I have it on good authority that yes, Michal was indeed en route to a Musketeer tryout post-Poland’s NF…but Eurovision is a bigger fish to fry, despite the fact that he’d have done a musketeertastic job. Oh, and Margaret’s live was a letdown. Her song was good, but I’d say it was a lot more soulless than COYL. Mr. Szpak’s got the heart and the performance ability that she lacks. And the voluminous head of hair.

      A resemblance to the Lachey brothers, a drawback? I beg to differ! My Sergey doppelganger is Australian cricketer Michael Clarke. In fact, I’m not convinced that they aren’t one and the same (the only oooooone). Proof: https://twitter.com/EurovisionByJaz/status/675185472474374145.

      I’m happy to hear you’re enjoying the reviews so far. Can I interest you in being on the jury in the future?? I always want more girl power 🙂

      Like

      • Viva la upset Romania! Does that sound like a fantastic Eurovision cheer? Why vote for Romania when you can vote for San Marino, Europe? *cringes* okay, bad example, moving on….

        I should have known your doppelganger game was stronger! Mr. Clarke is a fine example and knowing Aussie cricketers is not a strength of mine. Aussie basketball players though, yes. I’ll confidently say Sergey does NOT resemble Patty Mills or Lauren Jackson.

        Happy to add a pair of X chromosomes to the jury anytime! As soon as you hand over that list of 2021 contestants I’ll start immediately in hopes of having it finished in time. 😉 *procrastination contest*

        Like

  3. Ali Nella Houd

    Just one quibble, Wolf:
    What exactly is your problem with Severina??
    “Afrika! Paprika!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to second this question!! MOJA SCHTIKLAAAAAA.

      Like

    • Well, Ali, exactly EVERYTHING about this song AND performance was my problem:
      the voice of Severina, the lack of a song, that stupid topic “a song about red shoes” (can only be done in a good way by Kate, that’s the benchmark ;)), the dress reveal, the background dancers in their ‘nice’ folklore costumes (haha).

      But the most annoying thing of it all to me is: THAT VERY REPETITIVE CHORUS!!!

      “ojda, da, oj da, da, oj da, da, da, ojda, da, oj da, da, oj da, da, da”

      To sum it up: everything was OTT in this case and absolutely not funny at all, imo!

      Except for one line (since you mentioned it) and that was: “Afrika, Paprika!” which probably is the key line in this song?! ;D

      My review of Croatia 2006 would’ve been: bottom 5 of that year or better dead last!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Nella Houd

        Hmm. Surely you’re not anti NLVs (non-lexical vocables: oy/oi/oj, da, oh, la, lai, hey-lo-la-loi-li, etc.) as a hard and fast rule? Do you dislike, for example, the 1968 winner? There are some fairly critical ones (NLVs) this year too — about which, more later! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Exactly, I’m not a fan of Spain 1968, because it’s in the same way repetitive as Croatia 2006. It is also not on my list of favourite ESC winning songs.
    From that era I only love Spain’s Mocedades, and of course Julio ‘Gwendolyne’ Iglesias. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ali Nella Houd

      Well, the only sensible and coherent response to that is …
      Shalalie shalala, shalalie shalala – zo gaat het ongeveer.
      ;P

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha … very sensible! You know with that song kind of nothing ever would go in any sense for me. That’s a secure bottom 10 song of all-time Eurovision entries in my ESC book of days, I hate it with a passion! 😉
        Although I normally love the Netherlands and what they send to Eurovision, but that schlager makes me screeeaaam (louder and louder) every time I hear it ;)! Even Papa Smurf should be punished for that song, imo! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ali Nella Houd

    Ah, Wolf, you need to chill out a bit, man – just pop some ‘De Troubadour’ on the stereo, or ‘Czarna Dziewczyna’, let the cascading NLVs take you where they take you, lie back, relax, yada yada yada …

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ali Nella Houd

    BTW, the official vid of Cz.Dz. is better than the SF version, IMHO:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good suggestion, Ali! How did you know that? ‘Chill out’ was exactly what I did last weekend … in Amsterdam … at Eurovision in Concert! ;D
      And guess what they played during the second break of the show. Yes, exactly that:
      Shalalie shalala, shalalie shalala … 😉
      Was it you who ordered the song?! XD Well, I can tell I survived, and since it was in the Netherlands, that was to be expected. 😉

      Thank you for sharing the video of Poland 2005! I can say I enjoy the NLV’s in there much more than those from the other two. I immediately thought that would be the right Eurovision track for the EBJ drinking game: for every “lei/ley” that occurs in the song you take a drink, maybe some “Milk & Honey” or a “Bucks Fizz” 🙂 (see video reference too).

      And “le Troubadour” is a great choice that always works for me, at any time. It’s one of my favourite Dutch entries of all-time. 😉

      Not that you think I don’t have any Dutch guilty pleasure songs, but then it has to be trashy 80’s ;D. Here’s one that I would’ve liked to see in the ESC of 1981 representing the Netherlands (much more than Linda Williams), because I enjoyed the NLV’s a lot:

      *Lei-lei-lei-la, Lei-la, La-la-lei-lei-lei-la, lei-lei-lei-la, lei-la, la-la-lei-lei-lei-la*

      Feel free to dislike/like it, it was my fave Dutch girlsband from the early 80’s. OMG!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Nella Houd

        “The Dolly Dots”!?
        I’m sorry, but that just sounds hilariously euphemistic:
        “Gwynneth, darling, do please pop your poncho back on, there’s a dear. I’m quite sure the groundsmen don’t want to see your dolly dots.”
        Thank you for the introduction!

        Anyway, on a separate matter, whether it’s been through the intervention of the Queen of Sheba or of some other personage or minor deity of influence, there has indeed been a fortuitous turn of events, such that I am able to announce to you here and now:
        Es ist tatsächlich ein Wunder geschehen! …
        🙂

        Like

          • With my greatest pleasure, Monsieur Hood! Woohoo!

            Will you join us, our Eurovision Royal Jaz and moi, for the ABBA Museum and the Eurovision exhibition and a strut around Gamla Stan on May 11th?

            Just in case you should hesitate, a ‘no’ would not be an appropriate answer for me! ;D
            So you have to think of something different as an answer. 😉

            ‘Happy face’ greetings from Germany,

            Wolf 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Ali Nella Houd

    Wolf, I was struggling to find an alternative to the ‘inappropriate’ Perniola-esque response (‘no’) to your kind invitation, then I found this one:

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy me!!! I’m glad you found that wonderful Eurovision song as your answer. 😉

    Sorry for not saying it explicitly, but you already got that right: this IS my invitation to you!

    I’m happy to do the reservation for us for the ABBA / Eurovision museum asap for Wednesday, May 11th (Hey, that’s already in a month time :)!). I will tell you the exact time as soon as I have the confirmation.

    But I have one little request for you: would you take a perfect photo of Agnetha and moi while we’re in the museum? That’s still missing in my Eurovision collection ;D.

    I’m already looking very much forward to it and happy to have you on board. 😀

    Talk to you soon,

    Wolf 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ali Nella Houd

      Do I agree to take a perfect photo of Agnetha and toi?
      I do, I do, I do, I do, I do.
      😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • We now have an appointment, Ali: Wednesday, May 11th at the ABBA/Eurovision Museum on Djurgården/Stockholm. Our confirmed entrance time for the visit will be 10.30 am to 10.44 am. I’m happy to meet you there!

        Wolf 😉

        P.S. I knew I can count on you concerning the photo. ;D You now better start practising your “Dancing queen” singing abilities immediately, since there is not much time left till May. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ali Nella Houd

          Danke vielmals, Wolf!
          I hereby appoint you my official social secretary for the duration of this trip to ‘un pays loin d’ici’.
          Ah, poor Jaz – I’m really not sure how much she’ll enjoy being the VEBJimite in a Wolf/Ali Rampensau sandwich …
          Du sollst mich aber jetzt bitte am Twitter folgen, damit wir einander gegensetig weiter Bescheid direkt hingeben können, nicht wahr? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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