Sunday, February 24, 2008

Super-Saturday Round Up

The biggest day of the year viz National Finals has come and gone. There are some good songs, some shite songs and there is a most definitive single digit salute to the Contest from Ireland.

The Good:
First song of the year to go in our special category 'too good for Eurovision' is Bulgaria's dance track - 'DJ, Take Me Away' by Deep Zone & Balthazar. Two DJs attacking their turntables whilst one of their Dads plays guitar (seriously). The female vocalist does a great job in the studio. Interestingly, they've done a re-mix of last year's entrant from Bulgaria.

Iceland didn't send our fave (Ho Ho Ho We Say Hey Hey Hey) but the re-vamped version of 'This Is My Life' (originally Fullkomið líf) should see Eurobandið get to the Grand Final with help from Western Europe.

Poland has opted for US-born Isis Gee (real name: Tamara Gołębiowska / Tamara Wimer) who will sing 'For Life' - a adult-contemporary ballad of the Shiri Maimon mould.

The Bad:
Apparently everyone under 50 years in Croatia was out doing the town on Saturday night, coz escapees from the nursing home have won Dora. Kraljevi Ulice featuring 75 cents (a 75 year old vocalist) will perform 'Romanca.'

FY Macedonia is doing it by the numbers with a lifeless Pink rip-off with two annoying male rappers interrupting it. Tamara Todevska featuring Vrčak & Adrian Gadza will perform 'Vo Imeto Na Ljubovta' (In the name of love).

Turkey and Ukraine had announced their singers a while ago, but the songs have just been revealed. Mor ve Ötesi (Turkey) have a unengaging heavy-rock pop song called 'Deli' (Eng. nuts, crazy, insane). Ani Lorak's Shady Lady was selected as the best of the five songs she presented to Ukraine. The other four must have been woeful!

And the Ugly:
Ireland have clearly decided that parody is the best form of defence - and are sending their version of Ozzie Ostrich: Dustin the Turkey. The song would not be out of place on a teen's mobile phone (yep - its that crap) but the lyrics are amusing enough:
"Drag acts and bad acts and Terry Wogan's wig...
Give us another chance, we're sorry for Riverdance"

Romania may face a crisis - after it selected Nico & Vlad Miriţă with 'Pe-o margine de lume.' If you listen closely you'll hear quite a bit of Italian in the lyrics - if you listen very closely to David Bustamante's 'La magia del corazón' from the Spanish National Finals, 2002; you'll hear where this song was stolen from!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Deli of Love

Norway has selected Maria Haukaas Storeng to sing 'Hold on be strong.' Maria has such faith in her song she has changed her surname by deed poll to match the song title.

Moldova have opted for jazz singer Georgeta Burlacu who will perform a 'Century of Love' in three minutes (after a national final which had the public and two juries select three different winners!).

Turkey's song title has been announced (Mor ve ötesi will sing 'Deli') and Serbia's final will be on Wednesday (Feb 20th). All eyes are on Super-Saturday (23rd) when the Ukraine reveals Ani Lorak's song and no less than seven national finals are held!

Heartbeat by Candlelight

So, Csézy's song is still called Szívverés (Heartbeat) when it's in Magyar - but when she sings it in English for ESC it will be called 'Candlelight.' Clear?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Szívverés - why do you skip when my baby kisses me?

Hungary may have provided the first decent song of the Contest (is it the dawning of the good songs, or are our expectations now so low?). The artist is Csézy and her song is 'Szívverés' (Heartbeat). The Hungarian jury placed this second; one point behind Adrien Szekeres with 'Piszkos tánc' but the public vote reversed that order when the National Final was held on Feb 8th.

The song will be performed in English (we've only heard the Magyar so far) and its a fairly obvious, swelling sort of a ballad, not out of place on a Disney soundtrack. Some re-arrangement will help it, losing the cheesy electronic percussion and emphasising the strings and piano.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Who Will Rid Me of these Terrible Songs?

2008 is not looking any better - with the Eastern bloc sending more boring warbling and the public of northern and western Europe seemingly sending suicidal entries to undermine the contest.

The latest unfortunates from a big weekend of finals are:

Azerbaijan - Elnur Gusseinov feat. Samir Javadzadeh with Day after day
He has until May to learn how to pronounce his lyrics; we have until May to forget hearing it this once.
The Azeri final did have some talent - rock group Unformal were third overall and kicked it - combining fast tempo with traditional instruments and a strong Ofra Haza style vocal.

Lithuania has given the nod to the lead singer of a heavy metal band (Soul Brothers) who is going solo with an operatic ballad. He is Jeronimas Milius - the song is 'Nomads In The Night'. You can see it here: (but we suggest you watch 2nd place Aiste Pilvelyte with 'Troy on Fire' instead).

Denmark has left originality and gay anthems behind and gone for a runaway from Dexy's Midnight Runners - Simon Mathew with 'All Night Long' just pipped UNITE with 'Tree of Life.' Simon's tune is bland, cliched-adled and sounds like a 1980s Cricket advert jingle.

We get some eyecandy from Slovenia as their failed 2001 Miss World entrant, Rebeka Dremelj let's the Devil take it in 'Vrag naj vzame.' In one of the narrowest public votes ever, Rebeka beat Skupina Langa by 0.7% of the vote.

but the most miserable of the miserable is Estonia. Kreisiraadio are a comedy act (in the sense that Benny Hill or the Black and White Minstrels were). They got nearly 50% of the public vote in round one - from a field of 10! The lyrics (apparently) see the two complain about a lack of camping gas, too many green beans and eating sausage, whilst repeating Summer Light in various languages (and mangling German totally!)
You will think we are being too mean until you see:

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Everything Old is New Again

Romania's National Final features a few familiar faces - one of which is far from home. 'Fairytale Story' is sung by Nicola - who finished 10th in 2003. 'Dr Frankenstein' is sung by LaGaylia Frazier & Anna Sahlene - Anna sang back-up to winner Charlotte Nilsson in 1999, sang 'Runaway' for Estonia in 2002 (3rd place) and finished 5th in the 2006 Swedish Nationals.

(Romania's Final is 23rd Feb)