Monday, 28 May 2012

Moving shop...

Hi there,

Last year when I created this blog I started an experiment. Where should I run my web discussion: Blogger vs Tumblr. Sadly blogger lost out. I will admit that blogger is a nicer environment to work in, but I've spent more time in Tumblr and there is where I will be staying.

The new link for this website is:

Goodbye (oh oh oh oh oh)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

2012 entry - GERMANY : Standing still - Roman Lob

DRAW: Final(20)

The Germans returned to the format that was successful in choosing Lena; song contest of unknown people whittled down to two people and then a selection of songs. The winner was a bit of rough called Roman Lob, and really good song called Standing still.

I like Standing still basically because it's one of those quiet songs that tell a story and you can see it as he sings the story along. It's quite a raw song with some guts to it, sentimental... soppy. I still like it. I wish it well.

2012 entry - PORTUGAL: Vida minha - Filipa Sousa

DRAW: Semi 2(6)

Portugal annoys me and I have no trouble telling you. Let me tell you my grief. Each year Portugal takes exceptional care in providing a magnificent national final; well presented, lovely staging, very polished. But then they choose some song that in most cases you do not want to listen to again for the eternity of your life.
I am being hard on this year's entry. The song is a classy number, a well sung song, it sounds like a lite version of Senhora do mar but that is under estimating the song again. I like Filipa as well, she seems to have passion for her song.

I hope we see Portugal in the final - if only to hear a language other than English.

2012 entry - MONTENEGRO : Euro Neuro - Rambo Amadeus

DRAW: Semi 1 (1)

After two years out of the contest, Montenegro announced that their participant into ESC 12 is Rambo Amadeus. The title of the song was announced in January and in March we had the song. Many people have not been favorable towards it which I think is a little unkind.

I will admit that it does have a very strange opening with haunting laughter. It also includes a nice spin on modern and traditional Montenegrin music. Rambo does mainly speak his way through the song which may deter some people.

I like it; I don't think that the live performance will capture the atmosphere of the clip - won't make the final.

2012 entry - IRELAND: Waterline - Jedward

DRAW: Semi 1 (18)

Prior to any announcements anything about Irish artists and/or a national final, there were rumours that it would be Jedward again at the Eurovision in Baku. RTE then revealed their ESC national final plans in November 2011. Strangely enough, Jedward popped up and won.

Does anyone get the impression that these two will have this hair into their fifties doing the same dance moves? I think of the old movie 'Whatever happened to baby Jane?' So, Waterline is an okay song. I want to compare it Lipstick, but there is no point as they are like chalk and cheese. I think this is probably a better song, but suits Jedward less.

Finalist: Yes.

Successful as last year: no

2012 entry - AUSTRIA: Woki Mit Deim Popo - Trackshittaz

DRAW: Semi 1(16)

The Austrian national final was a circus and it included a bearded lady. Austrian TV began the planning of their national final in September 2011, named nine entrants and added a wild card to make it an even ten artists. The winner was 'Shake your butt' which may not impress the blue rinse set.

I think it's a brave choice to send this to the ESC. It isn't politically correct, it's exploitive, it's rude, it's dirty and filthy and I absolutely love it. I'm glad they are going whole hog and going hard. Good luck - I hope it makes the final. It's a breath of ESC fresh air.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

2012 entry - GREECE: Aphrodesiac - Eleftheria Eleftheriou

DRAW: Semi 1 (3)

As many people will already know - Greece is now a country owned by the EU, mainly France and Germany. There was a time where there were doubts that there would a Greek presence at the ESC of Baku. ERT pulled some strings, a record company came to the party and we had a national final... in a shopping centre... over the public address system... lip synced and in the darkness. The only credible entry of the final won which was a good thing. Why the official clip is showing them at the shopping centre is so wrong on so many levels.

Let's pass on the fact that this song is going to make the final, because it will. I had my doubts and when you see the clip below, I think that it will change the mind of anyone. (they are a crowd of enthusiasts though). In fact, I've moved from a stance of 'This is the most mediocre ESC entry of all time' to 'What in hell are they doing - they cannot afford to host the ESC'. The last time Greece finished outside of the top 10 was 2003; this year will continue this trend without any doubts.

2012 entry - SPAIN: Quédate Conmigo - Pastora Soler

DRAW: Final (19)

The Spanish announced their artist for the next ESC on 21st December, and that someone is Pastora Soler. Pastora selected three songs and we had a national final in February.

The Spanish have not had a good run at the ESC - sometimes due to audience taste and sometimes because they brought it up on themselves. I will state that Pastora is an outstanding and talented artist who has had a long and successful career. I expect that the setting in Baku will be simple and elegant and could be successful. It could also be a complete mess.

Let's quickly talk Spanish entries and their gaffs of late: 2005 (bad choreography - odd backing people); 2006 (inappropriate chairs and performance); 2007 (fine); 2008 (joke song - joke didn't work); 2009 (good song - forced performance); 2010 (intruder + odd song); 2011 (strange song). Will Pastora become another Spanish statistic? Yep. It doesn't have any strike power and may get lost in the crowd.

2012 entry - BULGARIA: Love Unlimited - Sofi Marinova

DRAW: Semi 2 (8)

Bulgaria had a semi final of 22 songs to whittle it down to a final of 12. The final was held on February 29 and the winner was Sofi Marinova.

People like this song; it's modern, it has various words in languages that are not Bulgarian and it's got a good pace. Personally, I think it's dreadful. Her voice is irritating and the song is a repeat of something we've heard before. I'm expecting the same result as always from Bulgaria - left in the semi.

2012 entry - BELARUS: We are the heroes - Litesound

DRAW: Semi 2(5)

Belarus, like other countries, began making Eurovision-like noises in December. They planned a semi final and that resulted in a selection of five entrants in the final. These entrants had the choice of keeping their song or choosing from 'a pool' of approved songs. The winner of the Belorussian national final was Alena Lanskaya.

But something unprecedented and controversial happened: Alena was removed and the second place entry replaced her. Rumours about inconsistencies in the voting, the Belorussian president stepping in to make a decision and all sorts of other malachi which still comes to the same conclusion; there is no Alena Lanskaya and there will be Litesound in Baku.

Now, I have heard three versions of this songWe are the heroes.The first one must have been in the semi final because every now and again We are the cherroswas sung and I have no clue what that is. The second version appears to the more grammatically correct version, which I enjoyed quite a bit. The last version appears to be a sanitized watered down version that will do nothing for anyone. Hopefully, the live version is better.

2012 entry - SWEDEN: Euphoria - Loreen

DRAW: Semi 2 (11) 

Sweden holds the biggest of the national finals each year. Melodifestivalen is a six show extravaganza with 32 songs, 4 semi finals, and second chance contest and then a final which this year for the last time was held in the Globen Arena in Stockholm.

Loreen was in semi final one held February 4, which she won, and then waited for the final in mid March to take the crown for the representative of Sweden. This is not your average Swedish entry which sounds like a copy or a variant of an ABBA song. There isn't a colourful garment or elaborate dancing or the normal pretense we encounter with Sweden. It is a story of simple movements, a dark stage, and snow. (There had to be something, right.)

Sweden is the favorite to take out the ESC in Baku and I think that the song is going to be up there in the final. Favorites have faltered in the past, but I cannot see it.

They put Julia in a combi

SBS TV have landed in Baku; humourously they have also taken a Volkswagen combi also known as Karl the camper van, drove it/him from Germany to Azerbaijan. Good grief.

Let's go back a step - Julia Zamiro, born in France and now a the doyen of Australian TV (sort of) and Eurovision song tragic has the indignity to drive a camper van across Azerbaijan in preparation for this year's contest. Many Europeans will be familiar with Eurobeat: almost eurovision. Julia is the original Boyka. (Never heard of it - check this out:

Can she drive the thing?

Will she be traveling to the disputed territory near the Armenian border?

Will she be only in Baku?

What will she be eating?

Julia's two part Road to Azerbaijan will she shown on the nights of the semi finals. If you cannot wait, go to this site: and click on videos.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

2012 entry - BELGIUM: Would you? - Iris

Draw: Semi 1 (8) 

Belgium chose their singer November 18 2011 and that person was Iris. After a long wait, the Iris song contest was held three month later on March 17, consisting of two songs: Safety net and Would you? The latter song succeeded 53% to 47%.

When Would you? comes onto my iPod, I always ask what is this that I am listening to before I push it on. Iris has a very nice, pleasant voice, but the song is the most tired and boring entry for Belgium and they could have utilized Iris in so many more interesting and attractive songs.

Finalist - doubtful, but depends on the presentation in the semi (and then its still a big no).

2012 entry - FRANCE: Echo (You and I) - Anggun

DRAW: Final(9)

France announced their representative December last year and the song was presented in late January. Anggun has had a long career in her native Indonesia and then in France. The song is modern, has some whistling and is quite attractive.  I can see the European hordes listening to it on the radio, and dancing to it in the clubs. Will the Eurovision viewing public vote for this? I'll label it a maybe.

Personally, I think it one of the better songs selected this year. I like the road we travel with the song and I love her voice. Sadly, Anggun has been logged next to a power diva with Italy scoring the 10th place in the final draw. I suppose we will see who win win there or will the cancel each other out?

2012 entry - HUNGARY : Sound Of Our Hearts - Compact Disco

DRAW: Semi 1 (15)

The people of Hungary decided on a song on February 11 and there was a national final. Eight songs competed for the honour of representing Hungary and the song Sound of our Hearts succeeded.

Not many people are talking about this song and I clearly don't know why. It is a great song and probably too good for the ESC and their cheesy songs, soupy ballads and key changes. What I find really sad is I don't think it will attract votes. I can't see it in the final and these are talented people. Talented people who deserve better.

Vote for Hungary people.

2012 entry : ESTONIA - Kuula : Ott Lepland

DRAW: Semi 2 (14) 

Estonia is another country who retained the contest format they used last year. The Eesti Laul 2012 final was held March 3 and consisted of 10 songs that emerged from two semi finals that were conducted the previous weekends. The winner was Ott Lepland and the song is called Kuula (Listen).

A lot of people like this and expect this to do very well, but I am a fence sitter. It reminds me mainly of the Finnish song 'Why' from 2005, a glimpse of Jonsi in 2004 and a mash of other songs. But I am comforted by the fact that this man can sing and the song is good. But I'm uncertain of it making the final - optimistically finalist and into the top 10 with a good performance. Semi-pessimistically, still a finalist but a low placing.

2012 entry - LITHUANIA: Love is blind - Donny Montell

DRAW Semi 2 (18) 

Lithuania, much like most northern European countries in the Baltic/Scandinavian region, hold a multiple semi final selection process and then have a final of ten or so songs to select a winner. This year, Donny Montell prevailed with top marks from both the jury and the televoters.

Much like last year's song, there is a degree of stillness to this one; at least up to the point that the blind fold is removed. I like that even if you knew the title of this song and were just watching - you'd get that at the point of the blind fold being discarded you know that the the man's eyes are finally open. Donny is a charismatic gentleman who puts in a single handed cartwheel in his act and has the voice to hold the tune.

I am honestly concerned that this will not make the final, but I will be optimistic and say that it will. In the final, he will either sink like a stone or be incredibly popular.

2012 entry - ROMANIA: Zaleilah - Mandinga

DRAW: Semi 1 (6)

The Romanians followed their normal national final program. March 10 was national final day in Bucharest and of the selection of 16 songs, Zaleilah was the winner.

Let me begin by saying that the lady is very pretty and I like the drums through the song. Other than that I think it's rubbish. I absolutely loath the bag pipes and really am not enjoying the words, and the way the song travels. It's rare but I think it was much better live than in the film clip as the clip does not show off the lady's voice.

It'll make the final; and then it'll do okay. It won't win.

2012 entry - RUSSIA: Party for everybody - Buranovskiye Babushki

DRAW: Semi 1 (14) 

March 7 was the day Russia chose their song out a huge 25 song national final. This final included Polina Smolova, Belarussian entrant of 2005, Dima Bilan, ESC winner in 2008 and he teamed up with Yuliya Volkova, the dark haired lady from T.a.t.u. and a gent called Farinelli Balls. The winner though was none of the above, but six harmless grandmothers from Udmurtia, somewhere in Russia

I will admit that I don't like entries where there are a handful of words sung in English. It is a cop out. This one has the added bonus of 'boom boom' said about six time through the song. I'm not sure about anyone else, but i feel uncomfortable about someone twice my age saying boom boom to me - maybe I am strange.

It is not a bad effort and it ridiculously addictive. But if they turn up and their garments have neon lights sown into them or they start rapping, I'm turning off the TV.

2012 entry - ITALY: L'amore e femmina - Nina Zilli

DRAW: Final (10) 

The Italian song contest known plainly as Sanremo is the model for what we know as the Eurovision Song Contest today. Fifty odd years later, the Sanremo Song Contest is still alive and kicking. Much like last year, the song that won the song contest is not the song that will be representing the country at the ESC. Further more the song representing Italy was not even in the song contest.

Nina Zilli and her song Per sempre came 7th in the final of Sanremo. The song also came third in the Mia Martini award and second in the Press, Radio & TV Award award. Somehow a jury came up with the decision to send Nina to Baku while the eventual Sanremo winner, Emma Marrone, will be viewing ESC from her TV somewhere in Italy.

Per sempre was replaced with L'Amore e Femmina from Nina's forthcoming album as it was believed that the song would be better for the international audience. I like both, but truth be said the new song is a much more contemporary choice that is more current and will definitely be remembered; there is nothing else like it in the contest. Nina reminds me of Amy Winehouse in some ways - hair mainly, but mainly I like her because she's the moody temptress type that you want making goo-goo eyes at you from across the way.

Personally, this is the song to beat in this year's ESC. Hopefully, this is not a kiss of death.

2012 entry - CYPRUS: La la la love - Ivi Adamou

The very first announcement made regarding the 2012 contest was made by Cyprus in August 2011. Cyprus announced that their entrant for the 2012 ESC would be Ivi Adamou. A national was organised in January 25 with three songs and the highly addictive la la la love was selected.

On the outset, good song that has the effect of sticking itself to your brain and you randomly and subconsciously mutter la la la much like the other la la la song. It has all the good things going for it, but I have a very very small issue. I'm always a little alarmed when an ESC entrant has not sung the song live anywhere; every appearance so far has been lip synced.

I expect it will reach the final and sink like a stone - all depends if she can sing the song and the performance in Baku.

2012 entry - LATVIA: Beautiful song - Anmary

Draw: Semi I (4) 

Latvia selected their song on the 18th February with a selection of ten songs. The winner was Anmary and the song Beautiful song.The performance at the national final was somewhat strange with Anmary pulling faces as she sang, performing a hillbilly-like dance, and wearing the most stupid and unattractive hat. Not really optimistic so far.

That is not were this story ends. Latvia organised a very clever film clip where Anmary is being interviewed a few times, is in the recording studio and a flash mob at the airport. It also showed that with the right outfit, make up and direction an odd song can look like a winner. They also took the time to correct the English grammatically and it became somewhat more attractive again.

So, the question now is this: IsBeautiful songgoing to be the song that everybody hums and everybody loves? I cannot say yes or no, but a strong maybe.

Monday, 16 April 2012

2012 entry SAN MARINO: The social network song - Valentina Monetta

DRAW: Semi 1 (11)
March 16 was the date that San Marino revealed their song. The composer of the song is ultra famous German Ralph Siegel, who has written over a dozen songs for his homeland as well as Luxembourg, Switzerland and Montenegro. The lyrics are by Timothy Touchton & José Santana Rodriguez.

The original song 'Facebook' was deemed a break of rules so they had to quickly re-jig the song to fall within the boundaries of Eurovision law and thus 'The Social network song' was born. I suppose it now can be about not only Facebook, but Twitter, chat sites, dating sites and countless other internet things.

Personally, I don't like it but only because it's not the kind of music I listen to. But there are benefits to the song. It is about a subject most viewers of the song know of and/or have used, seen or spoken about. It is a lighthearted song that is pleasant enough to fill three minutes of the evening. Finally, they have a clever clip which of course present the joys of social media.

2012 entry - MOLDOVA: Lăutar - Pasha Parfeny

DRAW: Semi 1 (17)
The Moldavian people chose their song on March 11th 2012 via national final. The winner was a handsome gentleman by the name of Pasha, who looks very much like American action Edward Norton, and a song called Lautar.

I've watched the clip and listened to the song countless times and I don't get it. It has cheery music and is pleasant to listen to. The video clip is quite addictive as everyone seems to be having some fun. But the words are strange. The whole trumpet thing through the lyrics doesn't make sense, and it irritates me that while everything else is going for it, the trumpet spoils it for me. It's careless and clumsy - but it's there because there is a man with a trumpet and that's supposedly the link.

We may see Moldova in the final or just miss out. If it makes the final, I'd expect the usual 12 from Romania and little else.

2012 entry - AZERBAIJAN: When the music dies - Sabina Babayeva

DRAW: Final (13)

Azerbaijan has a habit of holding long winded national finals, select a singer and then silence till mid to late March when they provide a song. This year there was no difference. Sabina was selected in their national final on February 12 - song was presented  March 17.

When the music dies is an updated copy of Sam Brown's 'Stop'. Now that has been said, Sabina has a lovely voice and she could probably sing the telephone directory and she would still do well. I've not heard Sabina sing this song live - only preview clip - and that can give an indication that all is not well.

2012 entry - NORWAY: Stay - Tooji

DRAW: Semi 2 (16) 

Norway, like all years, have hosted the MGP (Melodi Grand Prix) to select the person to wave their flag. As always a high standard show with great songs. The favorite and the eventual winner was Tooji and his song is called Stay.

Stay is going to make the final in my opinion, but i can't see a crystal ball that is going to tell me the ESC 2013 will be in Oslo again. For me, it is a professional song, modern, ethnic and interesting - but it is also a noisy headache of a song. There are comparisons to Popular from Sweden last year that i believe are unjustified. I'm starting to like it quite a bit.

2012 entry - FYROM: Crno i belo - Kaliopi

DRAW: Semi 2 (2) 

The FYROM announced their artist in November 2011. Kaliopi Bukle was previously selected to enter the Eurovision of 1996 (she was Kaliopi Gril back then). Sadly for FYROM and the ESC watching community, her song was eliminated at the semi final stage. Crno i belo (black and white) was revealed in late January.

I'm torn with this one - I kind of like it and kind of hate it. If we remove the singing we have a lovely piece of music; dramatic and with suspense. Even the sound of the actual words are great and interesting. I really hate Kaliopi's singing - it's like scratching fingernails on a blackboard; husky, squealing and squeaky.

The draw isn't going to help them, second in the draw after Serbia in a semi final with most of the Balkans taking part. It's not going to be a final for FYROM this year either.

Monday, 9 April 2012

2012 entry - DENMARK - Should have known better

Draw: Semi 1 (13)

The Danes held an extraordinary national final like they do every year and a magnificent stage reminiscent of an actual ESC stage. The winner this year was Soluna Samay as you already know with a slightly unusual song for the ESC. The song itself is very easy to listen to, Soluna's voice is pleasant and reminds me alittle of similar sounding American or British singers of the moment.

It's not that extraordinary that it will be a third year in a row for Denmark in the top 5. There are other songs that will surpass it. Don't get me wrong, Denmark will make the final, but finish in the early teens.

2012 entry SERBIA: Nije Ljubav Stvar - Željko Joksimović

DRAW: Semi 2 (1)

On November 18 2011, Serbia announced their entrant to represent them in 2012. Željko Joksimović is not a stranger to the ESC; he was the host of the show when it was in Belgrade and this is his 4th song in the contest since 2004. His songs have come runner up (Lane moje), third (Leyla for BiH) and 6th (Oro). This year's song is Nije Ljubav stvar.

The song is lovely and it's heartfelt and beautiful. Because he wrote his own song, he written to his own strengths and challenges. But it is no Lane moje, Leyla or Oro, which is a disappointment. These three songs were all classical and timeless, while this new song is trying to be modern and not really working for me.
I have a bad feeling that Zeljko will suffer the curse of the returning artist and finish outside of the top 10 in the final.

2012 entry SWITZERLAND: Unbreakable - Sinplus.

DRAW: Semi 1 (7)

The first geriatric we can upon in this year's song selection process and the one that will not be appearing on stage in the actual competition is legendary Lys Assia. [I figure Lys will be in Baku for the merth in any case] Poor Lys entered the National selection for Switzerland in December as hot favorite to win with a lovely French song. Unfortunately, she came 8th.

The song for Switzerland, Unbreakable, is modern, lively and familiar. To me, it sounds like a Cure song mainly due to the voice of the lead singer. I'm trying desperately to like the song, but there is something missing or something too much. Not sure.

Switzerland will probably miss the finals this year, but that may not be a surprise to anyone.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

2012 entry UKRAINE: Be my guest - Gaitana

DRAW: Semi 2 (7)

The Ukraine did something unprecedented this year; they had almost no controversy regarding the selection of the song or artist to represent them. Almost as some political person decided to openly discuss dissatisfaction due to the lady's skin colour. The political party distanced themselves from the previously mentioned person.

I've listened to this song a lot and while it will make the final and make the top 10, it's not really wonderful song. The song is kind of bland and the beauty of it is in the singer. Gaitana has a lovely deep voice in comparison to some of the squeaky entrants this year. Her rendition of the song is great and makes it sound like an anthem. It is a song that will be used for the up coming European football Champions held in Poland and the Ukraine, so i guess it will be heard alot over the European summer.

2012 entry - UNITED KINDGOM: Love will set you free : Engelbert Humperdinck

DRAW: Final (1)

The first day of March, the United Kingdom announced the representative for their nation. Three weeks later the song with the corresponding video clip was revealed.

Some people were horrified, others were delighted. I was in denial for the first part of March expecting the entire announcement to be an early April fools joke. On hearing it for the first time I can say I was pleasantly surprised. It's a wonderful song, the orchestration is really good and the Hump does a lovely job. Again, we haven't heard it live yet, but I highly doubt that this song will be at the foot of the ladder this year.

2012 entry CROATIA: Nebo - Nina Badric

DRAW: Semi 2 (10)

Croatia decided to dispense with the annual Dora contest and announced Nina Badric as their representative. The song is Nebo. I want to say quite early in this that Nina has a wonderful weathered voice and is very pleasant to listen to. I'm sure she is very popular across the Balkans, but Nebo is awful. I can't get into it and I think it will be overshadowed by other songs in a very tough semi final.

I'm sure that when the ESC comes around it will be altered as most entries do and the presentation will be wonderful. At this time though, I can't see it getting out of the semi final.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

2012 entry - THE NETHERLANDS: You and me - Joan

The Dutch chose a new way to select a song; six songs competing against each other in duals much like a Swedish second chance final. The dual three winners then competed for the honour of representing the Netherlands.

Joan, dressed like an Indian, sings the song while playing the guitar. It's kind of quirky and it's very much the kind of song that you can sing along to, endearing and people can relate to it. I like it quite a lot.

The second semi is full of 'big guns and Balkans'. This said, Joan should be able to overcome all of these things and curse of being drawn third.

2012 entry - SLOVENIA - Eva Boto - Verjamem

Draw: Semi 2 (9)

Slovenia announced early on they were holding a show called 'Mission Slovenia' and the intension of the program was to find a successor to Maja Keuc last year. There were eleven shows leading to a final of two competitors and six songs. The winner was Eva Boto and the song Verjamem (I believe). Let's get the good/bad news out of the way early; it sounds like Molitba, winner of ESC 2007, and thats because the man who wrote the music for both.

Personally, I didn't give this a second glance when it was selected and remembered it only as the song with the Lena look alike and the backing singer with the fairy floss on her head and the badly buttoned cardigan (look closely and you'll see). Then I loaded it onto my iPod and couldn't stop listening to it repeatedly.

Will it make the final? It all depends on the presentation they choose and the fact that is dominated by Balkan ballads. She is only 16, and I think that if that presentation is spot on, Eva Boto could potentially be the most successful Slovene in ESC history.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

2012 entry - ICELAND: Greta Salóme & Jónsi - Never Forget

Draw: 1st Semi final (2) 

Iceland did what they do every year: chose 15 songs for three semi finals and brought that down to a dozen or so songs to complete a final. That final was conducted on Feb 11 and the winner was Mundu eftir mér. As with all Icelandic songs, they were then translated into english and the song ever forgetis the song for Iceland in 2012.

This song was an early favorite with the fans. There is drama, it is well sung and Greta and Jonsi are so in the moment when they sing it. Expect that we will see it in the final, but it landed a terrible draw. We have seen decent songs be 2nd in a final and then make the final - not worried.

2012 entry - FINLAND: Pernilla Karlsson - Nar jag blundar

Draw: Semi 1 (09) 

Finland announced the format for the national final in August 2011 with a new name but somewhat the same format. Semi finals, eliminations and a final and we have a song sung in Swedish for Finland.

The song is very pleasant sung in a lovely, quiet way by Pernilla. I'm troubled about it being in Swedish and not Finnish; minor point though. I wonder seeing as it is in the middle of the draw will it be forgotten by the televoters and final does see a final for a third year in a row.

2012 entry - TURKEY: Can Bonomo - Love Me Back

Draw: 2nd Semi (13)

The Turks have traditionally chosen their entries internally. The last time TRT held a national final they chose the hysterical Gulseren and the entry Rimi Rimi Ley. It came thirteenth which is the worst Turkey has come in the final in this last decade.

January 9th was the date that Turkey announced their singer to be Can Bonomo and this was followed closely (Feb 22) with the actual song. Can is a quirky fellow and he has a style of his own. It may be an outfit to go with the seafaring theme of the song, maybe he likes it, maybe he is deranged. The last time a gentleman wore a fisherman's cap upon an ESC stage they finished second from last.

As you may have guessed, I'm not liking this and it pains me to say this as I love the Turkish entries. I don't like the man, I don't like the words, I don't really like the music nor the na ni na ni words. I may be wrong, but I see another year with no Turkish song in the finals.

Monday, 2 April 2012

2012 entry - BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Korake Ti Znam - Maya Sar

Draw: Semi 2 (17) 

The selection of the artist for Bosnia & Herzegovina was made in December 2011. The name of the artist is Maya Sar. This was followed by a silent period of three months before we were advised of the entry itself.

Korake Ti Znam (English: Everything I love) is one of a series of ballads in the contest and most of them are coming from the Balkans/former Yugoslav states. This song has a timeless beauty and Maya has a lovely tone to her voice. The problem I see is that I haven't heard her sing it live and while i can locate other songs were she is singing, it is always reassuring to hear the song itself.

Regardless, it'll make the final without a sweat.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

2012 entry - GEORGIA: Anri Jokhadze - I'm A Joker

Draw: Semi 2 (12)
Georgia selected their entry February 19 and there were 9 songs in the national final. The song that was selected is 'I'm a jocker' with a dark haired Anri gyrating about aimlessly. Once it was selected, the title changed from 'jocker' to 'joker'.

The song has now morphed as most songs do - Georgia took it one step further and Anri is now a blonde. It opens with a dramatic opening maybe to show that our bloke can actually song and then the rhyming begins; joker rocker shocker poker. They have worked on this song quite a lot and it better than the horror we had in Tbilisi.

Let me assure you though even with these changes I still believe this is the worst entry of the year; I expect some sort of gimmick (it's Georgia after all - long sheets, goths, heavy choreography and impromptu sword fights expected) and it'll tumble into the final like they deserve it.

2012 entry - ALBANIA: Rona Nishliu - Suus

Draw - First Semi final (5)

Albania chose their song second of all the countries in this years Eurovision way back in the last days of December 2011 (Switzerland got in first). They held their annual song contest Festivali i Këngës and the winner of course would represent their country.

Rona Nishliu is not the type of person you anticipate representing Albania with a fantastic head of dreadlocks. Let me assure you though, her hair and her appearance in Tirana last December did not dissuade the jury or the televoters of Albania in choosing a great song to represent them.

The song that is representing Albania has been cut down from a 4:30 minutes to 3  minutes to fit into the Eurovision standard. While the original version was rambling and repetitive, the new version is an outstanding, dramatic, stylish and powerful entry. Rona looks stylish, almost like an Audrey Hepburn clone, and the music of the new version appears to be using the full orchestra.

I am really looking forward to Albania at the final and hopefully the magic of the song captures everyone.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

2012 DRAW!!!

Woo hoo. We know when everyone is singing.

This is what I think of the draw:

Semi 1
01. Montenegro [Last three entries have all been semi 1, slot 1 - no final from here]
02. Iceland [People like Iceland; bad draw though. If they are singing in English; the battle may be lost]
03. Greece [No idea how long since the Greek have sung this early - worst place in the semi draw]
04. Latvia [Latvia has landed early draws often - we will see how lucky this one will be]
05. Albania [Albania has landed 5th a few times with some success - expect it will continue]
06. Romania [Romania has sung 6th before, I'd dont believe it was lucky] 
07. Switzerland [Switzerland has not had luck from 7th; wouldn't have made the final even if they sang last]

08. Belgium [No mans land for Belgium in the middle of the draw]
09. Finland [Can't recall the Finns ever singing 9th]
10. Israel [Lively number - should do okay from 10]
11. San Marino [Wouldn't have made the final anyway - may get a vote from the Swiss and Italy]
12. Cyprus [Not great to be before Denmark; but are following San Marino ...]
13. Denmark [Good draw for a decent song]
14. Russia [Eccentric song - decent draw]
15. Hungary [Should make the final and possibly resolve some disappointment from last year]
16. Austria [Good chance of qualifying now - earlier draw could have been a disaster]
17. Moldova [17 is always a good place to be]
18. Ireland [They were lucky to get the wild card - would have qualified anyway]

Semi 2
01. Serbia [Good song to open with - will make the final]

02. FYROM [Chances have desolved - all over red rover; don't even pass go]

03. The Netherlands [Oh dear - last year the Dutch sang in exactly the same spot in the same draw and came last. Much better song this year - should do better]

04. Malta [Dreaded spot for the Maltese - may have some luck with a good performance]

05. Belarus [Meh draw - lively song should do okay]

06. Portugal [They would have hoped for better - danger off missing the final from 6]

07. Ukraine [They chose 7th. There is no danger of the Ukraine missing the final]

08. Bulgaria [Following Ukraine, poor Bulgaria will be ignored.]
09. Slovenia [I believe the Slovenes have sung at nine before - knife edge of qualifying]

10. Croatia [Last of the Balkans - has sung 10th before with moderate success too]
11. Sweden [Could have sung anywhere and passed through]
12. Georgia [Following the hot favorite could be trouble. Could miss out.]
13. Turkey [Moderate draw - depends on the performance]
14. Estonia [Should be okay from 14th]
15. Slovakia [The first entry from Slovakia in 94 was at 15th - it got no points; i believe they were followed by Norway that year too]
16. Norway [Not bad for Norway - should do well.]

17. Bosnia-Herzegovina [Best draw of the Balkan countries - should do very well]

18. Lithuania [Normally, singing last is a good thing, but this is Lithuania. Remember 2002?]


01. United Kingdom [The UK have won from first before]

09. France [Bad, mainly because Italy comes next]

10. Italy [Okay, it's about the performance]

13. Azerbaijan [Not a hope from 13]

19. Spain [They had the wild card last year too, and chose the place of the previous winner - that doesn't work. 19 is a super luck place in the draw anyway. ]

20. Germany [Good draw being late in the game]

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow

My first review of a national final, just happens to be the first national final. Held December 2011, Switzerland was first to select a song a full five and a half months before the contest in late May.

Before this contest, I had only heard the song presented by Lys Assia and since I've only heard the contests winner. The rest are comments from a first hand experience and I can only say that I am frightened.

Patric Scott feat. Fabienne Louves - Real love 
These two sang well together. What I didn’t enjoy is when they sang separately as well as the actual song. It sounded to me like ‘reality show’ performance; mainly say this because their was vocal aerobic that weren’t necessarily required.

Emel – She
Opening with la la and some odd choreography by the two men, and it really went down hill for me from there. I listened to this twice and couldn’t decipher anything but la la’s. Tune is pleasant though.

Chiara Dubey - Anima nuova
Who was the unfortunate person who had to light and then extinguish all those candles? Chiara is good. She can sing and the song had a decent amount of drama to it. I wanted it to go somewhere after a while and it started to and ended abruptly.

Guillermo Sorya - Baby baby baby
I hate the title and I haven’t listened to a word yet. Guillermo is quite a handsome gentleman but the inability to sing this song does not score points with me. Pleasant song I suppose, dated though.

Macy – Shining
Macy is not a chick but a band of men. The tune was very clever and got my attention at once. Through the entire song I was wishing the man would speak up because he was completely drowned out by the musicians.

Sosofluo - Quand je ferme les yeux
They had a decent stage for their presentation. The song was all over the place with yelling, and everyone looking ill at ease.

Atomic Angels - Black Symphony
What is a Black Symphony? A collection of African Americans? And what are those people doing in Switzerland? I think the Swiss version of Serebro sang this, and it was underwhelming.

Ivo - Peace & freedom
Looked and felt like a cross between and Austrian song and a Danish song. Interesting song; usually shy away from peace, harmony and freedom songs. This was okay.

Ze Flying Zézettes Orchestra - L'autre
This had an interesting sound to it; a watered down gypsy kings maybe. Possibly the most original song so far.

Raphael Jeger - The song in my head
A fiddle player in a vest seems familiar, but that is where the similarities end. Poppy song that tumbles along and I couldn't wait for it to be over.
I Quattro - Fragile
On one hand I want to say it’s been done before in various ways and different places and I don’t think this is the best of the attempts. The song wasn’t to bad though, and the blonde lady coming in was a complete breath of fresh air. I would rather listen to her singing the entire song.

Sinplus – Unbreakable
It sounds like a Cure song and I was anticipating the dude with the hair to appear at one stage. It definitely is a wake up song after some quiet entries and the fore mentioned classical number.

Lys Assia - C'était ma vie
Hot favorite time. Considering Lys is 500 years old, she looked decent. She sounded a little off and the song was somewhat dated. Well done.

Katherine St-Laurent - Wrong to let you go
Hmm. Pretty girl, but wasn’t really right on the night. Not sure what it was.