Blog Archives

Flashbaku: My most-played entries, one year on

Before I had a looksee at my play stats of the Baku 42, I had zero expectations. What with my ever-changing moods and the bias my iPod seems to have towards particular songs when it’s on shuffle mode (I swear those things have minds of their own and will one day rise up and take control of planet Earth) there was no guarantee that the entries I rated the highest a year ago would make equally high appearances on this list. It turns out that, while some of them clawed their way up, songs that I didn’t realise I had a penchant for bumped others way down. I’ll let you decide which are which, as I present to you the 20 entries of 2012 that I’ve listened to most since May.

 

#1 | Love Unlimited by Sofi Marinova

If you happened to be drinking when you read this, I apologise for the liquid you just spat out all over yourself in shock and/or horror. Then again, if you’ve read me before you should know that I am probably the #1 fan of this song, worldwide. I don’t think Sofi herself loves it as much as I do (although she has had to sing it a billion times, so the boredom must have set in by now). So why have I played it more times than any other of the 2012 entries? Well, I just think it’s incredibly catchy (great to dance wildly to in the comfort of any place where there are no other humans present), I love the mixed languages in the chorus (great for singing along to in the same situation) and I find it super motivating (great for jogging to, etc). What a useful song it is.

#2 | Waterline by Jedward

#3 | Euphoria by Loreen

#4 | Zaleilah by Mandinga

I’ve been playing zaleilah-leilah-lay almost everyday, everybody.

I’ve been playing zaleilah-leilah-lay almost everyday, everybody.

#5 | Kuula by Ott Lepland

#6 | När Jag Blundar by Pernilla Karlsson

I want to compare this to Hungary ’13, being the simple, quiet and pretty but not too well-liked song that it is, that I and a few others I know LOVE. But Kedvesem has actually proved itself more popular than I expected, so you’re on your own, Pernilla. I think this song is really beautiful, well constructed and has a lovely sentiment (having been written by Pernilla’s brother for their mother and all). It gets me all misty-eyed even though I have no idea what she’s singing about because I never bothered to translate the lyrics #mybad. But they say music is the universal language, so if I can get the emotion without knowing what’s being said, that’s acceptable, right?  

#7 | Love Me Back by Can Bonomo

#8 | Aphrodisiac by Eleftheria Eleftheriou

That’s one high-powered wind machine ya got there, Greece.

That’s one high-powered wind machine ya got there, Greece.

#9 | Verjamem by Eva Boto

#10 | Be My Guest by Gaitana

#11 | La La Love by Ivi Adamou

Here’s a song I didn’t think douze-worthy at first, but have gotten more and more obsessed with over the last year. It’s a good thing we’ll have this genuine Cypriot gem and the awesome stage show that accompanied it to cling on to while Despina Olympiou takes to the Malmö stage and bores us all to death (more on that in my upcoming reviews). La La Love wound up 16th in the final, which is an excellent result for Cyprus (it’s practically a win, like it would be for Austria, Switzerland, and co) although once it had qualified I was predicting it to do better. Maybe Ivi’s average vocal was to blame; though that didn’t stop Eric Saade from coming 3rd

#12 | Quédate Conmigo by Pastora Soler

#13 | Standing Still by Roman Lob

#14 | Woki Mit Deim Popo by Trackshittaz

My ultimate guilty pleasure from last year’s lineup.

My ultimate guilty pleasure from last year’s lineup.

#15 | Nije Ljubav Stvar by Željko Joksimović

#16 | Sound Of Our Hearts by Compact Disco

#17 | We Are The Heroes by Litesound

This, even in its post-NF disco-lite version, is SO much better than the tropical trash (albeit damn catchy tropical trash) Belarus are sending this year. The unfortunate thing is that Alyona will likely be much more successful than Litesound, and then she’ll knock on their doors and point and laugh at them because they “stole” her ticket to Eurovision 2012 and she’ll have gotten her revenge. Or perhaps not. Anyway, back to We Are The Heroes: another song written expressly to motivate me when I’m on the treadmill and this close to bailing. Thanks, guys.

#18 | Nebo by Nina Badrić

#19 | Laŭtar by Pasha Parfeny

#20 | When The Music Dies by Sabina Babayeva

Rounding out my most-played list is Baku’s host entry. I have long suspected that Sabs was referring to Running Scared as the thing that made the music die. But that’s irrelevant. This isn’t my favourite entry from Azerbaijan, but it’s one I’m still liking all these months later. I didn’t think it was going to do as well as it did, but I think we’ve all learnt that the power of Azerbaijan-representing, Swedish-penned ballads cannot be underestimated.

 

I’ve showed you mine – show me yours? Which entries of last year have you been playing on repeat?

 

Most-Played…random Europop

Good morning/afternoon/evening etc! I’ve finally recovered from my Christmas food coma and I’m ready to blog once again – no mean feat considering the overload of pudding that had me unable to lift my fingers to type a single word. I hope you guys had a great festive few days, with or without similar repercussions, and that Santa brought you some quality junk.

Today’s topic of discussion actually has nothing to do with Eurovision, although I can’t say I didn’t discover what you’ll read about as a result of my obsessive but totally healthy fixation.** It’s a most-played list of a different kind, factoring in my top songs from Europe that haven’t been sung on an ESC or NF stage. That’s the only rule, so let me know below which Europop-tastic tracks make your list.

 

* Okay, so maybe this ↓ has something to do with Eurovision. Just maybe.
* I think my New Year’s Resolution should be to stop writing such rambly, confusing introductions. 

 

#1 | Korabliki by BiS (Russia)

They may have split up – #sadface – but BiS are still the best thing to have come out of the Russian music industry after Dima Bilan and those adorable grannies. You’ll see quite a few songs from their first and last album Dvuhpolyarniy Mir (Two-Polar World) in this list, because I love it to pieces and play it constantly. Korabliki (Boats) has to be my favourite track. It’s ridiculously catchy and is accompanied by a pretty cool Pirates of the Caribbean-esque video in which the guys aren’t wearing a whole lot.  

#2 | Zasipay by BiS

#3 | Dvuhpolyarniy Mir by BiS

#4 | Zhivoy Tsvetok by BiS

#5 | J’aimerais Tellement by Jena Lee (France)

#6 | Pick Me Up by Emila de Poret (Sweden)

Swedish pop music is, not to generalise at all, amazing. This particular slice has more of an r & b feel than what we’re used to from our Melodifestivalen exposure, but the main reason I like it is the main reason I like the majority of entries in MF every year – yes, because it’s catchy. And believe me, it is great for performing in the shower using a shampoo bottle as a mike.

#7 | Stop! Stop! Stop! By Nu Virgos (Russia)

#8 | Pauza Povtor by BiS

#9 | Cry For You by September (Sweden)

#10 | L’Amore by Sonohra (Italy)

Brothers Diego and Luca won the youth section of the 2008 San Remo Song Festival with this piano/rock ballad, about *shock horror* love. It’s a much more mainstream-sounding song than the traditional Italian ballads that dominate that competition, and seems like something that would have been selected to go to Eurovision had Italy returned at that point. I reckon it could have done pretty well, too.

#11 | Money For Nothing by Darin (Sweden)

#12 | Pop-Korn by BiS

#13 | Vivi Per Un Miracolo by Gemelli Diversi (Italy)

#14 | Hurricane by Rebound (Sweden)

This could easily be an Eric Saade B-side, and like several of his singles and albums, it has topped the Swedish charts. It’s not deep or meaningful and the hurricane simile is kind of nonsensical, but it’s such danceable fun I couldn’t care less (in fact, I rarely care about that sort of thing when it comes to music). I defy you not to be singing along to the chorus by the time the last one rolls around.

#15 | Datascroller by Apparatjik (Denmark/Norway)

#16 | One In A Million by Bosson (Sweden)

#17 | Lovekiller by Darin

This is the title track from Swedish Idol runner-up Darin’s last album, which also featured his 2010 Melodifestivalen entry. It’s another album I’ve played over and over again due to its general awesomeness, which itself is due to this guy’s knack for writing very clever pop songs. Lovekiller is a builder, starting off simple and ending up walloping you in the face with strings and choruses and whatnot.  

#18 | Mr. Saxobeat by Alexandra Stan (Romania)

#19 | All This Way by Amanda Fondell (Sweden)

#20 | Dragostea Din Tei by O-ZONE (Moldova)

I think everyone knows this song, even if they don’t know who sings it, what it’s called or where it came from. Released in 2004, it was one of the most-downloaded songs of the year and had a heck of a lot of people saying ‘numa numa’ at inappropriate moments. If you’re not familiar with O-ZONE, you may not be aware that 1/3 of the band represented Moldova in Eurovision 2006 – that’s Arsenium (Arsenie Todiras) who together with Natalia Gordienko and Connect-R crashed and burned with one of the most hideous contest performances of all time. I guess he should’ve stuck to riding on the DDT fame wave.

 

I’ve showed you mine…show me yours?

 

NEXT TIME: Everybody has a few national finalists they wish had gone all the way. In my last post of 2012, you’ll find out which 10 I think should have been chosen for Eurovision, but missed out. 

 

Most-Played…JESC entries

By my reckoning, there are 296 days until Junior Eurovision 2012 – but I always was rubbish at maths.

Now that I’ve gotten that bad joke off my chest, I can tell you that there are in fact 22 days until the show, and that I don’t feel one of my usual rambling introductions is necessary for this post. Here’s a playlist of my most listened to entries from the last nine years of mini Eurovision, which surprised even me in its lack of resemblance to my list of all-time favourites…

 

#1 | Zo Verliefd (Yodelo) by Laura (Belgium 2009)

“I’m SO much cuter than Ralf…it should’ve been me!”

This list may not go hand in hand with my top 20 Junior songs of all time, but it does have my absolute most-loved right where it should be. Belgium is one of my favourite JESC countries (as opposed to being one of my most maligned ESC countries) and of all the gems they’ve sent over the last nine years, Laura’s is my personal best. Who’d have thought yodeling could a) not bring up unpleasant memories of being forced to watch all 56 and ½ hours of The Sound of Music when I was a kid and b) be so enjoyable? Prior to 2009 (and Gwen Stefani’s Wind It Up aside) not moi. 

#2 | Erazanq by Arevik (Armenia 2007)

#3 | Antes Muerta Que Sencilla by Maria Isabel (Spain 2004)

#4 | Arabiens Drøm by Anne Gadegaard (Denmark 2003)

#5 | Mama by Vladimir Arzumanyan (Armenia 2010)

“The power of my finger compels you! To vote for me, that is.”

Two years on and I’m still loving it! This is the most recent winner I was 100% happy with, and didn’t have to spend a fortnight or so coming to terms with. Vlad (who I suspect will grow up to be quite the ladies’ man) deserved the victory with this ethno-pop plea for his mother’s love advice, which I can’t believe he wrote and composed himself at the tender age of twelve. 

#6 | Det Finaste Någon Kan Få by Molly Sandèn (Sweden 2006)

#7 | Ti Si Moja Prva Ljubav by Dino Jelusic (Croatia 2003)

#8 | Allt Jag Vill Ha by Josefine Ridell (Sweden 2010)

#9 | Eooo, Eooo by Anja Veterova (FYR Macedonia 2010)

Little does Anja know her backup dancers are laughing at the ‘KICK ME’ sign on her back

I’m sorry to say this, but Anja’s singing – and unfortunately, speaking – voice is one of the most irritating I’ve ever heard. Luckily her entry for Macedonia in Minsk was so damn catchy it overshadowed that. I find this such a good sing-along song, and I think it could stand up in big Eurovision with a few tweaks. 

#10 | Knock Knock!…Boom Boom! by Nicole (Malta 2010)

#11 | Mijn Ogen Zeggen Alles by Roel (Netherlands 2003)

#12 | Anders by Trust (Belgium 2007)

#13 | Oki Doki by Bartas (Lithuania 2010)

Bartas’ reaction on discovering he’d be opening the 2010 contest

I distinctly remember disliking this in the lead-up to Minsk, something I could say about quite a few of the songs on this list. Apparently I’ve come around. It does have a way of getting into your head – particularly the ‘oki doki’ parts, which are kind of annoying but so easy to sing along with. 

#14 | Muzyki Svet by Daniil Kozlov (Belarus 2010)

#15 | Shut Up by Oliver (Belgium 2008)

#16 | Click Clack by Ralf (Netherlands 2009)

‘Click-Clack’ is actually Dutch for ‘stop that, you’re pulling my arms out of their sockets!’

Who doesn’t love this song? Okay, so it’s likely not everyone loves it, but come on – it’s so hard to resist those ba-da-bi-di-do’s! All in all it’s one of my favourite JESC winners, and despite the strong competition from Russia, Armenia and Belgium, I think it was the right choice. Anytime the Netherlands win anything ESC-related, there should be widespread celebration. 

#17 | Čarobna Noč by Sonja Skoric (Serbia 2010)

#18 | Moondog by Amanda Bašmakova (Latvia 2011)

#19 | Get Up! by Jill & Lauren (Belgium 2010)

#20 | Sommer og Skolefri by Malin (Norway 2005)

‘Yes! I managed to hold up this giant mike the whole time!’

I’ve already sung the praises of this entry in my JESC ’05 recap (not literally, but if I had it would’ve gone something like this: ‘IIIII looooo-uhhh-ooooove thiiis SOOOOOOONG!!’, followed by riotous applause) but you can never say too many good things about it – it’s not like it’s going to get a big head. Malin was so teeny and adorable back then, and her super-cute song that implied how much school sucks was just the cherry on top.

 

Which Junior songs make your most-played list?? 

 

COMING UP: As the countdown to Amsterdam continues, I put JESC 2009 under the microscope. Then, it’s the exposé you’ve all been waiting for: who are the JESC doppelgangers? All will be revealed very soon…  

 

Most-Played…national finalists + OGAE 2012!

I think it’s time to take a break from JESC, partly for those of you who roll your eyes at Junior Eurovision and partly for me because I’m tired of typing ‘JESC’ and ‘Junior’ every second word.

Today’s post is a hybrid, featuring the second installment of my new (ish) Most-Played series, as well as a quick look at the results of everyone’s favourite second chance contest: the OGAE SCC.

But first up, that list of most-played songs. Last time it was winners (you can read/re-read that here: https://eurovisionbyjaz.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/new-most-played-esc-winners/) and this time, as you most likely figured from the title, it’s national finalists – the songs that have tried and failed to get to the big show, but have found their place on the iPods of NF followers everywhere. Check out my list, and then comment me the ones you’ve played the most since…well, ever. Pretty please?

 

#1 | Kom by Timoteij (Sweden 2010)

The Fab Four (only Swedish, female, and with less embarrassing haircuts)

Timoteij are to me now what the Spice Girls were to me fifteen years ago – I love everything they’ve ever produced and think they’re totally fabulous in every way (and if Timoteij had their own brand of perfume, I’d probably buy it too). The first of their two Melodifestivalen songs may have come 5th in the final, but for many it will be one of those potential ESC entries that got away. It did win the 2010 OGAE Second Chance Contest however, so that’s some *sniff* consolation *sniff*.  

#2 | Nada Es Comparable A Ti by Mirela (Spain 2009)

#3 | Breathing by Bryan Rice (Denmark 2010)

#4 | En Una Vida by Coral (Spain 2010)  

‘I’ll get you, Daniel Diges. And your posse of circus performers too!’

Here’s an epic ballad in the mould of Mirela’s and/or Pastora Soler’s Quedate Conmigo, both of which I love unconditionally. Having been beaten in Spain’s 2008 final by none other than Mr. Baila El Chiki-Chiki, I bet Coral thought she had a win coming two years on when she stepped back on the NF stage with only a curly-haired, clown-toting guy who’d been in the stage adaptation of High School Musical to defeat. Unfortunately she thought wrong, but she’ll always be the rightful winner in my eyes.

#5 | Emotions by Mista (Slovakia 2010)

#6 | You’re Out of My Life by Darin (Sweden 2010)

‘Can we PLEASE get that wind machine turned down a notch?’

#7 | Nótt by Yohanna (Iceland 2011)

#8 | La Histeria by Marquess (Germany 2008)

Germany had a super-strong (or über-strong) national final in ’08. Caroline Fortenbacher! Monrose! Cinema Bizarre! It couldn’t have had more star power unless there were more famous people competing (duh). Anyway, none of those artists managed to win, and neither did Marquess – but their entry La Histeria is so much fun. Albeit more Spanish fun than German fun. I think it would have done much better in Belgrade than Disappear, a song which many fans wish would do just that.

#9 | Dear Mama by Blaxy Girls (Romania 2009)

#10 | Elektrisk by Anniela (Sweden 2011)

#11 | Forever Or Never by Cinema Bizarre (Germany 2008)

#12 | My Heart Is Refusing Me by Loreen (Sweden 2011)

Who knew you could feed clothes through a paper shredder?

Loreen was another ‘one that got away’ from Melodifestivalen, but she kind of compensated by coming back in 2012 and, you know, winning Eurovision, et cetera. The song that brought her and her wacky taste in clothing to ESC community attention was different to, but just as kick-ass as Euphoria. I still can’t believe it didn’t get out of the second chance round.

#13 | In The Club by Danny (Sweden 2011)

#14 | Better Or Worse by Julia Alvgard (Sweden 2011)

#15 | Tid Att Andas by Simon Forsberg (Sweden 2011)

#16 | Surrender by Passionworks (Finland 2009)

#17 | Or by Chen Aharoni (Israel 2011)

I am nothing if not a member of Team Dana International, but even I have to say that sending her to Düsseldorf instead of Chen was a MASSIVE mistake on Israel’s part. I swear to Mr. God that he would have qualified and made the top 10 had he been given the chance. Or is everything I want in a Eurovision song – ethnic but contemporary, catchy, dramatic, performed by a hot guy…sigh.

#18 | Do You Wanna? by Gipsy.cz (Czech Republic 2009) 

Let’s face it – DYW was the lesser of two evils.

#19 | Sleepless by Anna Noa (Denmark 2011)

#20 | Drømmen by Jeffery (Denmark 2011)

This is quite a humble number that slipped through the cracks, failing to make the super-final of DMGP last year. I think it’s my fondness for Scandinavian languages in hip-hop/r & b-type music that keeps me playing it. It probably wasn’t right for Eurovision, but as a listening song, it ticks all the right boxes. 

 

The results are in: OGAE 2012 

For those of you who don’t know, the OGAE Second Chance Contest is where the songs that failed to make Eurovision go to try and redeem themselves. Nominated songs from each national final are voted on by official fan clubs all over the world to determine the best of the could-have-beens.

Last year, it was Iceland’s Yohanna who won the contest with Nótt (a song that coincidentally, or nótt, made my above playlist). This year, another powerhouse female vocalist took out the competition – Pastora Soler, the most successful Spanish ESC entrant since 2004.

  1. Spain – Tu Vida Es Tu Vida by Pastora Soler
  2. Sweden – Amazing by Danny Saucedo
  3. Norway – High On Love by Reidun Sæther
  4. Denmark – Take Our Hearts by Jesper Nohrstedt
  5. Austria – That’s What I Am by Conchita Wurst
  6. Iceland – Hugarró by Magni Ásgeirsson
  7. Russia – Back To Her Future by Dima Bilan & Yulia Volkova
  8. Slovenia – A Si Sanjal Me by Eva Boto
  9. Estonia – Mina Jään by Lenna
  10. Cyprus – You Don’t Belong Here by Ivi Adamou
  11. Germany – Quietly by Ornella de Santis
  12. Netherlands – Chocolatte by Raffaëla Paton
  13. Portugal – Gratia Plena by Ricardo Soler
  14. Belgium – Safety Net by Iris
  15. Finland – Lasikaupunki by Ville Eetvartti
  16. Greece – Killer Bee by Cassiopeia
  17. Latvia – She’s A Queen by Roberts Pētersons
  18. Ireland – Mercy by Donna McCaul
  19. Lithuania – Why by Beissoul

I am a little surprised that Pastora managed to win. I’m not a huge fan of Tu Vida Es Tu Vida, possibly because I love Quedate Conmigo so much; and anyway, I figured Norway or Ireland would romp to victory. But she is a stellar performer, so my pointless-since-she’ll-never-see-this congratulations go out to her.

Just because, here are my personal picks of the bunch:

  1. Norway
  2. Russia
  3. Ireland
  4. Slovenia
  5. Estonia
  6. Sweden
  7. Denmark
  8. Finland
  9. Austria
  10. Cyprus  

May we all celebrate the brilliance of these national finalists, ‘til the upcoming selection season erases them from our memories!

 

What do you think of the OGAE results? And don’t forget to tell me about  your most-played national finalists!

 

NEXT TIME: It’s back to the JESC recaps as I look back on Rotterdam 2007. Then, prepare yourselves for a very frightening Halloween post as I count down the top 10 Scariest Eurovision Moments of All Time…BOO!

 

Düsseldorf in Rewind: My top 10 most-played entries

#1 UKRAINE Angel by Mika Newton

#2 UNITED KINGDOM I Can by Blue

#3 CYPRUS San Angelos S’agapisa by Christos Mylordos

#4 IRELAND Lipstick by Jedward

#5 POLAND  Jestem by Magdalena Tul

#6 SLOVENIA No One by Maja Keuc

#7 NORWAY Haba Haba by Stella Mwangi

#8 SLOVAKIA I’m Still Alive by TWiiNS

#9 MACEDONIA Rusinka by Vlatko Illievski

#10 ISRAEL Ding Dong by Dana International

 

EBJ extras: Here are the ones that just missed out…Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Germany

 

Which 2011 entries have you played most over the last year???

The top 20 most-played ESC songs on my iPod

 

In random order:

This Is My Life by Anna Bergendahl (Sweden 2010)

Lejla by Hari Mata Hari (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2006)

Lako Je Sve by Feminnem (Croatia 2010)

Tornero by Mihai Traistariu (Romania 2006)

Džuli by Daniel (Yugoslavia 1983)

Horehronie by Kristina (Slovakia 2010)

Die For You by Antique (Greece 2001)

Wild Dances by Ruslana (Ukraine 2004)

We Could Be The Same by MaNga (Turkey 2010)

Allez Ola Ole by Jessy Matador (France 2010)

Angel Si Ti by Miro (Bulgaria 2010)

Glow by Madcon (Interval 2010 – I think it counts!)

Rijeka Bez Imena by Maria (Bosnia & Herzegovina 2007)

Anytime You Need by Hayko (Armenia 2007)

Run Away by Sunstroke Project (Moldova 2010)

Follow My Heart by Ich Troje (Poland 2006)

Rändajad by Urban Symphony (Estonia 2009)

Cipela by Marko Kon & Milaan (Serbia 2009)

Se Pa Mig by Jan Johansen (Sweden 1995)

Nur Ein Lied by Thomas Forstner (Austria 1989)

 

What are your most played Eurovision songs? Let me know!