Category Archives: Eurovision 2010

EBJ turns FIVE!! | Five years of fashion trends, triumphs and tragedies

Hey there, ladies and gents. You are reading the second-last of my bloggy birthday posts on this *insert description of the weather here* Thursday, and this is a post unlike any one I’ve done before. DUH DUH DUUUUUUUUUH!!!!

So, the deal: Eurovision may be a song contest in some respects, but just turning up and belting out your entry without any regard for how you’re lit, who or what is with you, and what you’re wearing (segue into today’s topic alert) is rarely going to be enough to guarantee success. Costumes in particular can have a dramatic effect on the overall appeal of an entry: they can suit a song perfectly or look totally out of place; they can be commendably crazy or just plain distracting; and they can be young and fun or inappropriate and frumpy. I think it’s safe to say we’ve seen all of the above at some point in our lives as ESC freaks (I mean that in the nicest way possible), and so much more.

On that note, I thought I’d take a look back at the contest fashions from the years EBJ has been in action – and not just at the highs and lows, but also the trends that have had artist after artist opting for the same look with varying degrees of success. Cast your critical eye over my selections and let me know below who’s floated your fashion boat over the last five years, and who’s made you wish it had capsized!

Let’s start with the trends…

 

a

Everything was all white for the likes of Kuunkuiskajaat (Finland 2010), Sieneke (Netherlands 2010), Magdalena Tul (Poland 2011), Pastora Soler (Spain 2012), Birgit (Estonia 2013) and Tanja (Estonia 2014). For some, it was about elegance and simplicity, while others took the bed-linen look to the next level via rhinestones and more lace than a sixteen-year-old should ever be seen in.

 

b

When in doubt, however, going back to black works a treat – and it doesn’t have to be basic! Just check out the statements made by Paula Seling & Ovi (Romania 2010), Christos Mylordos (Cyprus 2011), MayaSar (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2012), Kaliopi (FYR Macedonia 2012), Cezar (Romania 2013) and Mei Finegold (Israel 2014). These guys worked leather, sharp tailoring and plunging necklines into their dark ensembles to make an impression.

 

c

Somebody else well aware of the power of black is Lena (Germany 2010 and 2011), who wore an LBD for her winning performance of Satellite and a belted jumpsuit the following year when she represented her country on home ground. The pared-back styling was obviously a good omen for her.

 

d

Eurovision is one colourful contest, so when they’re not donning black or white, many artists take on the idea that brighter is better. In the last five years, we’ve seen a veritable rainbow of fabulous (and not so much) frocks from Lucia Pérez (Spain 2011), Suzy (Portugal 2014), Elena Ionescu (Romania 2012), Raquel de Rosario (Spain 2013), Pernilla (Finland 2012), Dana International (Israel 2011), Kati Wolf (Hungary 2011) and Niamh Kavanagh (Ireland 2010) to name just a few.

 

e

Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who we’re talking about) being naked on the Eurovision stage is a no-no. But that didn’t stop Anna Bergendahl (Sweden 2010), Aurela Gaçe (Albania 2011), Emmelie De Forest (Denmark 2013), Zlata Ognevich (Ukraine 2013), Ruth Lorenzo (Spain 2014) and The Tolmachevy Sisters (Russia 2014) from going nude for their respective three minutes – if only in their choices of costume colour scheme.

 

f

One of the biggest trends of recent ESC history has been the mullet dress. Party at the front and black tie soiree at the back, unevenly hemmed getups have been rocked by Feminnem (Croatia 2010), Safura (Azerbaijan 2010), Eva Rivas (Armenia 2010), Chanee (Denmark 2010), TWiiNS (Slovakia 2011), Nikki (Azerbaijan 2011), Mika Newton (Ukraine 2011) and Natalie Horler (Germany 2013). Keep ‘em coming, I say. I love the look of what I call ‘the lady-cape’.

 

g

When your song calls for a decision one way or the other, and you’re after an air of elegance, it’s time for full lengths all round. We’ve seen more evening gowns at the contest in the last five years than the Miss Universe pageant has (well, maybe…that’s some fierce competition) worn by, for instance, Sofia Nizharadze (Georgia 2010), Filipa Azevedo (Portugal 2010), Evelina Sašenko (Lithuania 2010), Despina Olympiou (Cyprus 2013), Tinkara Kovač (Slovenia 2014) and Dilara Kazimova (Azerbaijan 2014). From sexy and slinky to prom-style poofiness, we’ve witnessed it all.

 

h

The boys tend to put a little less effort into their onstage wear, generally speaking. Street clothes have remained from rehearsal to the real thing for Jon Lilygreen and the Islanders (Cyprus 2010), Roman Lob (Germany 2012), Max Jason Mai (Slovakia 2012), Dorians (Armenia 2013), ByeAlex (Hungary 2013) and Firelight (Malta 2014). Whatever makes you feel comfortable, guys…or in Max’s case, whatever slowly falls down as you’re performing so that you end up a millimetre away from giving Eurovision an X-rating.

 

i

But wait – the men-folk can bring it in the formal stakes too. Sometimes a suit is the best option, whether sharp and suave complete with tie, or more casual without. Just ask Didrik Solli-Tangen (Norway 2010), Harel Skaat (Israel 2010), Engelbert Humperdinck (UK 2012), Kurt Calleja (Malta 2012), Eythor Ingi (Iceland 2013), Marco Mengoni (Italy 2013), Axel Hirsoux (Belgium 2014) or Basim (Denmark 2014). NOTE: Basim also answers to the name ‘Harry Highpants’.

 

j

A big trend over the years has understandably been anything shiny or metallic. If you can’t go OTT at the ESC, something is very wrong. For 3+2 (Belarus 2010), Stella Mwangi (2011), Maja Keuc (Slovenia 2011), Anggun (France 2012), Nina Zilli (Italy 2012), Jedward (Ireland 2012), Conchita Wurst (Austria 2014) and Molly (UK 2014) all that glittered was gold, silver and bronze. I can’t confirm that no sheet metal or tinfoil was harmed in the making of these costumes.

 

k

For those less keen on blinding the audience with reflective materials, and more interested in emphasising ethnicity, there’s been the option of something traditional. Whether it’s been a hybrid of old and new á la Ansambel Žlindra (Slovenia 2010) and Cleo and the Slavic girls (Poland 2014), or a totally trad look from the likes of Buranovskiye Babushki (Russia 2012) and Klapa s Mora (Croatia 2013), it’s always been nice to see on stage.

 

l

Last but not least, there’s always a place for costumes that look less like clothing and more like creative craft projects for which the only guideline was ‘you’re only limited by your imagination!’. Since 2010, we’ve had: Alyosha (Ukraine 2010) in the contents of her grandma’s knitting box; Olia Tira (Moldova 2010) and Vilija (Lithuania 2014) taking tutus out of the ballet studio; Sofi Marinova (Bulgaria 2012) and Rona Nishliu (Albania 2012) getting architectural with pleather (and a dreadlock); Eldrine (Georgia 2011) practicing their quilling skills on a bin liner; Eva Boto (Slovenia 2012) cultivating a cottage garden on her gown; Gaitana (Ukraine 2012) sponsoring Shamwow by wearing one; and Moje 3 (Serbia 2013) in the inexplicable. Some of these experiments paid off and some didn’t, but I applaud all of the creativity.

 

And now…my five most stylish moments in EBJ history (and remember, this is veeeery subjective):

m

Maja Keuc (Slovenia 2011) – Who would have anticipated that modeling yourself after an intergalactic stripper would prove to be so hot, hot, hot? In her metal-plated, fringed bodycon with thigh-high platform boots and matching fingerless gloves (naturally), Maja looked UH-MAY-ZING. With emphasis on the ZING.

Margaret Berger (Norway 2013) – It is still TBC whether M. Berg was dressing up as a contemporary Nordic version of Princess Leia, but it’s obvious to everyone that she nailed the ice princess look. Both she and Birgit opted for long white dresses with added bling last year, but the then mum-to-be got out-fashioned in this instance.

Getter Jaani (Estonia 2011) – Cute, colourful and coordinated with the backing peeps? Check, check and check. Getter’s dress was bright and bold but not distracting, with just enough quirk and fun to perfectly suit it to Rockefeller Street. Plus, she could sit down and/or eat in it without splitting the material, unlike (I should imagine) Maja or Margaret.

Anggun (France 2012) – I have frequent fantasies in which I get to parade around in a gold leotard with miles of chiffon fanning out from the back in a glamorous manner. Of course, without Anggun’s stunning figure and ability to stay upright in stilettos, I’d be less likely to parade than fall flat on my face and swear my head off. But luckily for her, Anggun had the poise required to pull off this striking look.

Alyona Lanskaya (Belarus 2013) – Her song left a lot to be desired in terms of originality and English pronunciation, but Alyona looked like the tinsel-covered fairy off the top of a Christmas tree in her blue and silver fringed number (a good thing IMO). Fierce and festive. I award extra points for the backing singers’ ombre outfits, also with fringe. See, it’s not just for cowboys!

 

Going now from wonderful to ‘WTF?!?’, here are my five worst style moments of the EBJ era:

o

Daria Kinzer (Croatia 2011) – Tall, blonde and beautiful Daria had not one, not two, but three dresses on during her performance…and somehow, they were all hideous. I’d say they got worse as they went along, but the pink monstrosity in the middle that looked like a child’s party dress gone wrong was the most fug by far.

Dana International (Israel 2011) – Back in 1998, she was a woman who rocked feathers like no other and looked fabulous doing it. Then Dana goes and wears a shredded outdoor chair cover for what was supposed to be a triumphant return to the contest! Whaaa?!? I think John Paul Gaultier lost his touch after the 90s. Just look at what he dressed Petra Mede in for her hosting duties in Malmö…

Blue (UK 2011) – They’re called Blue, and they wore blue. We get it, it’s hilarious, blah blah blah. But when four attractive men ruin a great song with aesthetics alone (lighting and giant heads included) it’s hard to see the funny side. Shiny suits are a risk that didn’t pay off on this occasion. Not even making Simon go sleeveless in the hope we’d all be too focused on his biceps to notice anything else helped.

Moje 3 (Serbia 2013) – It’s too complicated to explain why here, but I lay 95% of the blame for Serbia’s failure to qualify last year on these outfits. These were like ice-cream sundaes with all 31 of Baskin Robbins’ flavours and available toppings included – i.e. way overdone. They also made the angel/devil dynamic virtually impossible to detect.

You have to wonder if this was the moment Nevena realised 'THIS is what we have to perform in?'.

You have to wonder if this was the moment Nevena thought to herself ‘So…we’re actually wearing these? Like, for REAL?’.

'OH. MY. GOD!!!!!!'

‘OH. MY. GOD!!!!!!’

Aisha (Latvia 2010) – It’s been four years and I’m still trying to figure out why Aisha wore her dressing gown on stage. You’d think someone would have told her backstage that she’d forgotten to put on her actual costume. How embarrassing!

 

And finally, what would Eurovision be without the odd costume reveal? These are my five favourites, 2010-2014:

3 + 2 (Belarus 2010) – I for one never saw those butterfly wings coming. Well, not at the semi-final stage. Still, if ever there was a moment in a song that screamed ‘INSERT COSTUME REVEAL HERE!’ it was that key change, and Belarus did not let that pass by.

Aliona Moon (Moldova 2013) – I’m not referring to how Moldova made Azerbaijan’s dress-projection abilities of Baku look amateur, although that was spectacular. The costume reveal in this case was that Aliona could have worn stilts and still had enough material in her skirt to cover them, as seen when she was raised up high enough to look down on Ukraine’s towering Igor.

InCulto (Lithuania 2010) – Because sequinned hotpants.

Daria Kinzer (Croatia 2011) – Yeah, the dresses were rank, but the way she got in and out of them was impressive. If I could get changed that fast, I’d actually be on time for a change, so long as I didn’t choke to death on the confetti or cloud of smoke.

Alex Sparrow (Russia 2011) – All those in favour of light-up leather jackets, say ‘OMG YAAAASSSS!’. I’m going to assume you all said it, ‘cause who wouldn’t want to own something that not only keeps you warm, but also lets people know what letter your name begins with? You’ll also come in handy in a power outage if you get one. What are you waiting for?

 

So that pretty much sums up who wore what, and when. It also serves as proof that I disagree with the majority of Barbara Dex Award winners of recent history (don’t even get me STARTED on 1997-2009). If you have a disagreement re: the Eurofashion I’ve mentioned, now’s your chance to get it off your chest. Whether you thought something was good, bad, ugly, or situated in a very confusing place in-between, I want your opinion. What’s your favourite costume trend? Who got their look right and who failed to flatter their figure? Spill, guys!

 

NEXT TIME: With Junior Eurovision on the horizon, it’s only fitting that my final fifth birthday post should reveal my top 10 JESC entries since this blog got going. That’s a warning for all of you who are anti-JESC to steer clear for a while…

 

Eurovision Challenge: Day 16

The song that never fails to make you dance

Almost there:

Džuli by Daniel (Yugoslavia 1983)

Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz (UK 1981)

Dime by Beth (Spain 2003)

1 Life by Xandee (Belgium 2004)

Always by AySel & Arash (Azerbaijan 2009)

Ovo Je Balkan by Milan Stanković (Serbia 2010)

Haba Haba by Stella Mwangi (Norway 2011)

 

But the one that ALWAYS gets me dancing is:

Allez Ola Olé by Jessy Matador (France 2010)

It has to be said that Mr. Matador did plenty more dancing than singing in Oslo, but who cares???? This song is great fun and every time it comes on I feel compelled to shake my booty. Which is why I make sure I don’t shuffle my music in a public place. Tout le monde dance now!

 

Eurovision Challenge: Day 9

The most memorable performance

Almost there:

Sweden 1974 (Waterloo by ABBA)

Spain 1990 (Bandido by Azucar Moreno)

United Kingdom 2003 (Cry Baby by Jemini)

Finland 2006 (Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi)

Ukraine 2009 (Be My Valentine (Anti-Crisis Girl) by Svetlana Loboda)

Spain 2010 (Algo Pequeñito by Daniel Diges)

Italy 2011 (Madness of Love by Raphael Gualazzi)

 

But my most memorable is:

Ukraine 2010 (Sweet People by Alyosha)

I rate this as my most memorable because it took me completely by surprise – and I’ll never forget it. It wasn’t a song I rated initially, but much like Cyprus this year, something just happened when it came to the live performance. The simplicity of Alyosha standing there, in that crazy-awesome bodysuit/dress-with-tentacles ensemble, with the wind machine and the red lights, and singing like a champion…wow. It’s definitely a performance I can’t look away from!

 

The Eurovision doppelgangers exposed: Part Deux!!!

 Yes, they’re back, and looking more like each other than ever before…or less, depending on the quality of your vision/computer monitor. These are the Eurovision lookalikes who thought they’d escaped from being discovered in the first installment (https://eurovisionbyjaz.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/exposed-the-eurovision-doppelgangers/). Silly, silly people.
 

75 Cents (Croatia 2008, RIP) looks like Hugh Hefner

Eric Papilaya (Austria 2007) looks like r & b singer Jay Sean

Ich Troje lead singer Michal Wisniewski (Poland 2003/2006) looks like this troll doll

Mika Newton (Ukraine 2011) looks like Aisha (Latvia 2010)

Natalia Podolskaya (Russia 2005) looks like Kejsi Tola (Albania 2009)

Verka Seduchka (Ukraine 2007) looks like The Wizard of Oz's Tin Man...and this Christmas tree

Nikki (Azerbaijan 2011) looks like DJ Havana Brown

 
Got any twins-separated-at-birth from the ESC that I’ve missed??? Comment me and let me know. Together we can reunite the lost siblings!

Statistically speaking: the 2011 top ten and beyond…

1. AZERBAIJAN

Artist: male/female duo Ell/Nikki

Song: Running Scared

Language: English

Style: pop ballad

Change from last appearance: +4

Last top 10 appearance: 2010, 5th place

With:  female soloist Safura and Drip Drop

Which was: an English-language pop/r & b ballad

2. ITALY

Artist: male soloist Raphael Gualazzi

Song: Madness of Love

Language: English/Italian

Style: jazz

Change from last appearance: +2

Last top 10 appearance: 1997, 4th place

With: male/female duo Jalisse and Fiumi Di Parole

Which was: an Italian-language ballad

3. SWEDEN

Artist: male soloist Eric Saade

Song: Popular

Language: English

Style: Club pop

Change from last appearance: Did not qualify

Last top 10 appearance: 2006, 5th place

With: female soloist Carola and Invincible

Which was: English-language schlager

4. UKRAINE

Artist: female soloist Mika Newton

Song: Angel

Language: English

Style: Pop/rock ballad

Change from last appearance: +6

Last top 10 appearance: 2010, 10th place

With: female soloist Alyosha and Sweet People

Which was: English language rock

5. DENMARK

Artist: male quartet A Friend In London

Song: New Tomorrow

Language: English

Style: rock anthem

Change from last appearance: -1

Last top 10 appearance: 2010, 4th place

With: male/female duo Chanee & N’evergreen and In A Moment Like This

Which was: An English-language pop ballad

6. BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Artist: male soloist Dino Merlin

Song: Love In Rewind

Language: English/Bosnian

Style: Folk pop

Change from last appearance: +11

Last top 10 appearance: 2009, 9th place

With: male quartet Regina and Bistra Voda

Which was: Bosnian-language folk rock

7. GREECE

Artist: male duo Loukas Yiorkas & Stereo Mike

Song: Watch My Dance

Language: English/Greek

Style: Rap/ethno-pop

Change from last appearance: +1

Last top 10 appearance: 2010, 8th place

With: male soloist Giorgos Alkaios and OPA

Which was: Greek-language ethno-pop

8. IRELAND

Artist: male duo Jedward

Song: Lipstick

Language: English

Style: Pop

Change from last appearance: +15

Last top 10 appearance: 2006, 10th place

With: male soloist Brian Kennedy and Every Song Is A Cry For Love

Which was: an English-language ballad

9. GEORGIA

Artist: male/female group Eldrine

Song: One More Day

Language: English

Style: rock

Change from last appearance: =

Last top 10 appearance: 2010, 9th place

With: female soloist Sopho and Shine

Which was: An English language ballad

10. GERMANY

Artist: female soloist Lena

Song: Taken By A Stranger

Language: English

Style: I actually have no idea!

Change from last appearance: -9

Last top 10 appearance: 2010, 1st place

With: female soloist Lena and Satellite

Which was: English-language pop

  • 6 countries in this year’s top 10 were in the top 10 last year.
  • Of those, 5 sung completely in English in 2010 and 2011.
  • Last year’s winner recieved 9 lots of 12 points and 5 lots of 10 points. Ell and Nikki managed 3 lots of 12 points and 5 lots of 10 points.
  • Azerbaijan have placed no lower than 8th since their debut in 2008. 75% of their Eurovision time has been spent in the top 5!
  • Last year, 9 of the top 10 entries were completely English language, compared with 7 this year. That is despite the fact that 59% of the 2010 songs were in all English, 60% of the 2011 ones were.
  • If the last few years are any indication, these have the best chances of ending up in the top 10: Female soloists performing a pop ballad/ straight pop song sung in English, OR a pop/rock song with an ethnic influence sung in English/ a combination of languages.

We are the winners…part deux of EBJ’s top ten

Bonjour, and welcome to part two of my ten favourite winning songs – a countdown of awesomeness. I hope you enjoyed part one, and are now dying to know who could possibly out-score ABBA according to me. Well, if that’s the case, I won’t keep you waiting any longer than necessary!

Read on, and don’t forget to share your thoughts here or on Facebook (search for Eurovision By Jaz)!

 

#5. 1995/ Nocturne/ Secret Garden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-2qcawdYCw&feature=related 

If someone who is not a Eurovision fan (i.e. everyone I know D=) heard Nocturne I should imagine they’d think it was a joke. ‘Surely that couldn’t be a Eurovision song, let alone a WINNER??? !’. Pull the other one!’ et cetera. It is certainly leagues away from being a ‘traditional’ entry, being 99% schlager free and all. Traditional in this case of course equates to ‘stereotypical’. The performance in Dublin was for me one of those rare ones where, despite the absence of Olympic figure skaters, discarded bits of costume and the frenzied choreography of dancers desperate to get in the shot, you can’t tear your eyes away because of the sheer power of the music. Nocturne is hauntingly beautiful, and didn’t need a gimmick, or any more than the twenty-four or so lyrics in total it featured to grab attention. I bet the Irish broadcaster couldn’t have been more thrilled when it won because it mean they didn’t have to foot a fourth consecutive bill (a feeling of happiness that, as we all know, lasted only another year).

Fun fact: Well, it’s more of something I happened to notice than a fact, and it isn’t a whole load of fun, but…doesn’t the initial piece of instrumental violin remind you so much of the music used in the sad parts of Shrek? No? Well forget it then.

Six points.

#4. 1993/ In Your Eyes/ Niamh Kavanagh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uytzP8dqpeo

Sorry Johnny Logan, but in my opinion, the wonderful Niamh Kavanagh (who I must admit I had been calling ‘Nee-arm’ until 2010) and her song In Your Eyes was Ireland at their most ballad-tastic! Although anything had to be a better winner than Why Me?, one of my most despised victors. Not that I cared at the time, being two years old. Anyway, no matter what it’s up against, I will always adore the power and passion of the pre-Eimear Voice of Ireland and the song that rendered her 2010 comeback entry immediately inferior, in my eyes (pun intended).

The strange thing is that Ireland sends In Your Eyes to Eurovision almost every year, and has done as far as I can recall: the big ballad about love or feeding the children, performed by a smartly dressed soloist (male or female or unknown) – perhaps with a few candles littered about the stage for ambience. And even more strangely, they seem to alternate between bombing (2001) and doing amazingly well (1980, 1987, 19…blah blah blah). But I love In Your Eyes more than any of the others, save for Brian Kennedy’s four years ago. It builds spectacularly with Niamh handling the big notes with ease, as well as looking quite fetchingly 90s in her maxi-skirt and embellished jacket combo. Which was appropriate since it was the 90s. Bravo. Seven points.

#3. 2010/ Satellite/ Lena

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmOeISUYXuI 

The reigning title-holder of ESC gets the bronze medal in my countdown. Satellite is many things, but what I love most about it is that it’s proof any country can win Eurovision if they just enter the right song; and that those who aren’t in a geographical clique (I’m talking to you, UK) can no longer use their lack of friendly neighbours as a scapegoat for their poor contest results. In that, I think it even prompted the return of countries like Austria and perhaps even Italy to the 2011 contest, by making them rethink their Eurovision mindset. But why do I love the song itself so much? Well, for starters, it’s right up my alley genre-wise – catchy, up-tempo, fun pop music reminiscent of the best of Kate Nash and Lily Allen, only sans expletives and featuring more references to undies and toenails. Plus it’s simple and repetitive, but not overly so – although it is simple and repetitive enough to have prompted hundreds of dodgy Youtube cover versions. Eek.

Lena’s quirky voice adds to the appeal and individuality of the song, to such an extent that it loses something major when you remove her from the equation (singing loudly in your own voice over the top of her does the trick). It’s another entry that doesn’t need flashy gimmicks to be great. Eight points from Jaz to Germany, with liebe.

#2. 2004/ Wild Dances/ Ruslana

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXgaOTOCSuU

If ever there was a Eurovision winner that had it all, 2004’s Wild Dances was it. The song fabulously executed that fusion of ethnic and contemporary pop sounds that countries like Greece and Turkey do brilliantly in their sleep, and was written and sung by a woman who wasn’t afraid to a) Be constantly likened to Xena, Warrior Princess, and b) Get down and bust some serious moves with her muscly, long-haired and leather-clad posse of dancers. In a way, we should’ve all been booking our tickets to Kyiv the moment we heard that Ruslana and co had managed to break the LED floor of the Abdi Ipekci Arena during rehearsals with their enthusiastic dancing and whip-cracking – anyone who is THAT dedicated to amping up the level of performance would be a force to be reckoned with. And for that, Wild Dances gets ten points.

#1 

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you have all been waiting for – the winning Eurovision song that Jaz gives douze points to is:

One that I love because (apart from the fact it won the contest in my birth year) it’s uplifting and infectious, a real high-quality pop song. Despite its strength and the faultless vocals delivered by a seasoned performer, it very nearly missed out on first prize (perhaps because the visual combination of costume and stage made the singer look like the love child of Peter Pan and Julius Caesar). But in the end it was declared the winner, making it the third win for that country – although they have won once more since then. I can’t stop myself from getting up and shaking my thing to this prime cut of Europop whenever it crops up on my iPod or somewhere in my CD collection. 

So what is it? See for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnDQ8kWRbKk 

SURPRISE!

There it is, my terrific ten done and dusted! I’m thinking this will be the first of a few countdowns – after all Eurovision provides us with endless subjects for close examination. There’ll be plenty more coming your way too as Düsseldorf edges ever closer, so stay tuned folks!

18 weeks approx. and counting.

Jaz

Vote, vote, vote for the winners!

DON’T BE ALARMED! This is not a post devoted to Lithuania’s Eurovision entry from 2006. Though it was apt to borrow some lyrics for this title, so LT United – cheers.

This is what it’s really about:

Happy voting =)

(PS – Just in case your wondering, my pick is a tie between 2006 and 2010…but I love them all really)

National final number two’s make for good listening

It has been way too long since my last post. As usual, tertiary education is to blame (my favourite scapegoat!) – I have been flat out with work and am somehow still managing to be behind. ANYWAY, among all that I’ve also been spending a lot of time checking out what could have been where Oslo is concerned. Yes, I’ve been listening to all of the runners-up of the 09/10 national finals, and I have to say, there’s some crackers! Whilst I don’t believe any of the silver medalists were better than the winners (except for Norway and Slovenia), I would have been perfectly happy waving a flag for many of them instead. Of the 39 countries, 35 or so had national finals where the runner up sang a different song (unlike the Netherlands or the UK), and of those, here are my picks for those you should Youtube (my top ten are highlighted):

ALBANIA – Në Pasqyrë – Anjeza Shahini

ARMENIA – Hey (Let Me Hear You Say) – Emmy & Mihran

BULGARIA – Twist and Tango – Miro

CROATIA – Jobrni Je Jobrni – Franko Krajcar: I love the ethnic riff in this.

CYPRUS – Angel – Constantinos Christoforou

DENMARK – Breathing – Bryan Rice: very Top 40!

FYR MACEDONIA – Sreka – Vlatko Ilievski

GERMANY – I Care For You – Jennifer Braun

ISRAEL – Le’an – Harel Skaat: almost as stunning as Milim.

MALTA – A Little More Love – Glen Vella

NORWAY – Don’t Wanna Lose You Again – A1 – I’m a bit biased as I have a pre-existing love for A1 but I do believe this is a great song, better than My Heart Is Yours.

PORTUGAL – Canta Por Mim – Catarina Pereira: catchy pop with involvement from the great Andrej Babic.

ROMANIA – Save Their Lives – Luminita Anghel, Tony Tomas & Adrian Piper: a clubby song with a difference.

RUSSIA – Crowning – Oleg Bezinskikh: this is unusual, but I can’t help liking it.

SLOVAKIA – Emotions – Mista: a fantastic ballad!*

SLOVENIA – Dez – Nina Puslar

SPAIN – En Una Vida – Coral Segovia: another beautiful ballad.

SWEDEN – Keep On Walking – Salem Al Fakir: this is the last song you would expect to do so well in a Swedish (schlager) final, but it is just so good. I’ve got it on repeat.

* If you like this song, listen up: the English version is available to download IN FULL for FREE – yes, you did read correctly – from Mista’s site http://www.mista.sk. For those of you not Slovakian-literate, click on “Hudba” at the top of the home page and scroll down.

It’s getting late, so as much as I hate to post and run, I’m going to. I have a heap of assignments to start this weekend but I want to get on to some more stuff up here! Bear with me, Eurovisionaries!

PS – As I already know one thing I’m getting for my birthday (in a month!) I wanted a surprise – but how do you ask for what you want and then expect a surprise? Well, the official Eurovision shop has the answer! For twenty euros you can now order a “surprise package” which contains a mixture of merchandise from past years to the value of fifty euros. Sure, it may be a clever way of them getting rid of their excess stock, but I’m not complaining. There’s loads of other great new stuff online so grab your credit card and check it out.

Party for one (part 3)

Maybe I helped the Germans win???

 

Sad or awesome???

Party for one (part 2)

Well, I got my wish on ONE count

 

Graffiti for the final