Friday, March 21, 2008

EDU Ill-Fated Predictions

So, we've got all 43 songs selected. We know 38 of them have to qualify to be in the Grand Final - and we wait with breathless anticipation to see whether the EBU has found a way around bloc voting in the semis.

Semi Final #1 is certainly the strongest of the finals and there are a few nations who will consider themselves unlucky not to qualify: including former winners Israel, Estonia, Greece and Finland. Semi Final #2 is much more of a dog - and seems to be the only semi we're likely to see in Australia in SBS. Webcasts, here we come.

Based on the quality of the song (!) and the number of 'like' nations in the semi-finals, the Editors make their first tentative prediction (certain to be completely wrong).

From Semi Final #1, EDU reckons the following six will definitely qualify:
Andorra / Armenia / Ireland / Netherlands / Norway / Slovenia
Taste suggests the final three to qualify will be Belgium / Moldova / Greece (but our neighbourhood watch methods suggests they will miss out and the following will sneak in: Bosnia and Herzegovina / Poland / Russia)

From Semi Final #2, EDU reckons the following eight will definitely qualify:
Belarus / Bulgaria / Denmark / Georgia / Hungary / Iceland / Sweden / Turkey
Taste suggests the final two to qualify will be Croatia / Switzerland (but our neighbourhood watch methods suggests they will miss out and the following will sneak in: FYR Macedonia / Ukraine)

And so, EDU awards its points for Eurovision 2008, thus:

1 point Charlotte Perrelli - (Sweden) Hero
2 points Maria Haukaas Storeng - (Norway) Hold On Be Strong
3 points Hind - (Netherlands) Your Heart Belongs To Me
4 points Sirusho - (Armenia) Qele Qele
5 points Csézy - (Hungary) Szívverés
6 points Sebastien Tellier - (France) Divine
7 points Paolo Meneguzzi - (Switzerland) Era Stupendo *
As we're not totally sure Paolo is going to qualify, we reserve the right to give 1 point to Rebeka Dremelj - (Slovenia) Vrag naj vzame - and add a point to Charlotte through Sebastien.

8 points Mor Ve ötesi - (Turkey) Deli
10 points Dustin the Turkey - (Ireland) Irelande Douze Points
and the EDU tip for 2008 winner is:
12 points Eurobandid - (Iceland) This Is My Life

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Take Me to Your... Re-Hash

Sweden's Melodifestivalen has finally concluded - which brings an end to the pre-selection of songs for ESC 2008. MF has continued the trend of familiar faces returning to the scene of the crime, with 1999's victor Charlotte Nilsson - now known as Charlotte Perrelli - selected to perform at Belgrade with the song 'Hero.' (Ironically a singer named Nielsen was second place).

Perrelli (her husband changed his name from Ingrosso as part of a feud, so you know he is actually Italian) has had only one Top 10 single since 'Take Me to Your Heaven' and her last two singles did not chart in Sweden. 'Hero' has gone straight to No.1 - feat not even 'Heaven' accomplished.

Friday, March 14, 2008

San Marino announces: I Sh*t Me

We've had artists called No Name and Anonymous & songs called Disappear and Leave Me Alone - but it appears apathy is turning to enmity - and self-loathing at that. San Marino have announced the penultimate 2008 ESC entry - and it is Italian 5 piece band Mi Odio (I Hate Myself) with the song 'Complice.'

When we say they've announced we mean just that. Mi Odio was unanimously selected by the Sanmarinese jury - but so far only a snippet has been released for us plebs.

After the Finals...

come the claims of plagarism!

Like the tides or interest rates going up, accusations of plagarism have become inevitable in each Eurovision contest (and we love them!). The latest storm in a tea cup concerns Germany's song-writer: Remee. The Danish song-writer claims to have written 'Disappear' "a long time before" the remarkably similar song 'Break the Silence' appeared (performed by a talent show entrant called Steffi List).

Here is Steffi List's 'Break the Silence' and here are No Angels with 'Disappear'

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Quelle Surprise!

Jelena Tomašević has won the Serbian Final - Beovizija - with 'Oro,' in a move that stunned and surprised absolutely nobody. Oro was deliberately placed 20th out of 20 songs so it would be the climax of the night - the other 19 contestants really just wasted their time showing up. Željko Joksimović will now be the host of Eurovision 2008 and the composer of the host nation's song. Ruslana, take a bow and exit stage left. We've found our new ESC+hog. Perhaps Željko can hand himself the trophy if Serbia wins this back to back.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Everything Old...

Belgium has gone back to 2003 when a folk act singing in a made-up language came 2nd - for 2008 its folk act Ishtar singing 'O Julissi Na Jalini' in a made up language.

Portugal has returned to sending winners of Idol (Operação Triunfo) this year sending Vânia Fernandes who will perform 'Senhora do Mar' (Lady of the Sea).

Russia had the option of re-sending the brilliant Prime Minister (2002) or the crusty Polina Smolova (2006 - Belarus) but eventually settled on the artist formerly known as Dima Bilan (he lost the rights to his first name in a bizarre deceased estate decision recently). Viktor Bilan - who came 2nd, fifty points south of Lordi in 2006 - will perform 'Believe' which we feel lacks the energy and pop-hooks that 'Never Let You Go' had.
Montenegro may have settled on a song for Stefan Filipovic: 'Zauvijek volim te' (I Love You For Eternity).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Song not the Singer...

And tidying up the loose ends, we have a number of songs being announced for entries where the performer was announced months ago.

Armenia - Sirusho will sing 'Qele Qele' (Come Come) which was selected from four songs performed on March 8th. Coma coma more like! EDU thought 'I Can't Control' it was the best of the pick - but Armenia never listens to us.

Netherlands - Hind has performed her song 'Your Heart Belongs to Me' on Dutch telly. Its a moroccan-infused pop track, a bit on the repetitive side, but Hind carries it off very well - sort of Ofra Haza meets Beyonce.

Even Hugo's doing it!

Well it took TVE until about 2am to get to the decision, but Spain is sending their first intentional gag entrant this millennium. Rodolfo Chikilicuatre (who like Silvia Nott and Verka is a comic character) will perform 'Baila el Chiki Chiki' (Dance the Chiki Chiki). Andreu Buenafuente is the actor behind Chikilicuatre and appears on a late night private TV station in Spain - La Sexta. Chikilicuatre was the popular winner of the bizarre myspace competition Spain ran, as well as the televised final. To see him:

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Germany has selected girl band 'No Angels' with their song 'Disappear.' No Angels are a culturally blended German-Spice Girls with questionable fashion sense and limited range. Disappear is the ESC song of 2008 most likely to force itself into your head and loop all night long despite your best efforts.

Oui! Oui!

Massive news from France! After last year's break-through of singing partly in English and taking the micky out of Eurovision - they have gone the whole hog and are sending Sébastien Tellier with 'Divine.'

The entire song is in English and sounds like Cornelius covering a George Harrison song. It's utterly wonderful and will ensure France come dead last. (Seriously pearls before swine stuff!) Tillier's latest album was produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo (half of Daft Punk).

Former ESC-Stars of Macedonia

Two of Macedonia's best Eurovision entrants are coming Down Under.
Karolina Goceva is already in town - playing Perth (March 7), Melbourne (Saturday March 8 - at the Croatian Club, Fitzgerald Rd, Sunshine), Adelaide (March 10), and two shows in Sydney (March 13, Forum - Fox Studios - March 15, Bella Vista Cruise).

And if that wasn't enough - creme caramels herself is only a few weeks behind Karolina. Elena Risteska will Grand Neret Reception, 19 Salicki Avenue, Epping (Melbourne) on 21 March. (more info here)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Great Pretenders

The latest rounds of national finals are inspiring some deva ju - that certain feeling that you've heard something like these songs before. We present:

Greece - Kalomoira Saranti with 'Secret Combination' which sounds for all the world like a Britney Spears (Toxic era) track. Kalomoira can at least claim common cultural territory, as she was born in the USA. Kalomoira joins Poland's Isis Gee as the second septic in ESC 2008.

Latvia - have joined the lighter side with a pirate themed 'Pirates of the Sea' by Wolves of the Sea (an instant group featuring a radio presenter, one of the singers from from last year and a leggy dancer to get the DOM vote). At EDU HQ, all we can hear is Boyzvoice selling fish fingers.
Finland have not surprisingly returned to the source of their 15 minutes of Euro-fame - heavy metal. This year's entry is Teraesbetoni (lit. = steel-reinforced concrete) with 'Missae Miehet Ratsastaa' - and they dont sound so much like Lordi, as they do Spinal Tap.
Georgia can be forgiven - as new arrivals - for not fearing a Corinne repeat in their selection of sight impaired Diana Gurtskaya. Her song 'Peace will Come' is benign at first, but once it gets going it comes off like a slow tATu track.

Perversely, the United Kingdom has gone for someone who can sing - former garbo, Andy Abraham, who was 2nd on the X Factor (Series 2) doing his Hot Chocolate impersonation. His song 'Even If' reminds us of 'Starlight' by Supermen Lovers (c. 2001).