Posts Tagged ‘A journey into Eurovision’

Early March is a good time to be a Eurovision fan. All across the continent, the competing nations are selecting their representatives. Some are taking it very seriously indeed, some less so. Nevertheless we have now heard 24 of the 43 songs due to participate, and I’m happy to say that it’s shaping up to be a very decent year. Here’s my top 5 so far….

5. Ukraine: Gaitana – Be My Guest

One of my very favourite things about Eurovision is the way foreign songwriters tackle the english language. The lyrics can range from inspired, to deranged, to incomprehensible, to technically fine but not quite right. Gaitana’s jubilant entry for the Ukraine falls into the latter category. “You can be my guest!” goes the euphoric refrain – to what, we are never told. Fabulous tune too, and I do love a diva vocal.

4. Iceland: Grétá Salome & Jonsi – Mundu eftir mér

One of the most reliable Eurovision nations of recent years, Iceland once again field a fantastic song this year, with a dramatic folk-inflected by 2004 competitor Jonsi and songwriter Grétá Salome. Possibly too niche to be a big hitter, but this one creeps up on you…

3. Finland: Pernilla Karlsson – När jag blundar

Another gorgeous scandi-folk slow-burner, this subtle but richly atmospheric guitar ballad truly gives the lie to the stereotype that the Finns are only good at scary hard rock screeching.

2. France: Anggun – Echo (You & I)

Indonesian-born pop diva Anggun was a popular decision for France this year. This pulsating dance track is a world away from her lush signature hit Snow on the Sahara, but if she can nail the vocal it could be a big hitter.

1. Norway: Tooji – Stay

Classy ballads are all well and good, but let’s face it, it’s unadulterated pop madness like this that really makes Eurovison worth watching. This utterly infectious earworm of a track was a clear winner at Norway’s national finals, and could go big guns in Baku in May. On the other hand, I thought the same about Stella Mwangi last year…


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The National Pre-Selections for the Eurovision Song Contest have really started to kick off over the last few weeks, although early signs weren’t good when both Switzerland and Denmark opted for boring dirges over far more fabulous competitors. Thankfully, Cyprus made the right choice tonight with this poptastic (albiet utterly, utterly generic) slice of dance pop from Ivi Adamou.

She almost certainly can’t sing a note, but she looks good and she’ll doubtless be surrounded by backing dancers, so I reckon this has a good chance of being Cyprus’ first decent placing since way back in 2004.


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Hungry like the Wolf

First things first, we need to take a moment to reflect on that name. Kati. Wolf. There is a strong possibility that the first name is pronounced like “Katie”, but in my head it will always sound like “Catty”. Catty Wolf. Brilliant. Eat your heart out “Pixie Lott”.

This was the Hungarian entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, and a mighty disco thumper it is too. In the best tradition of Eurovision classics, she was a bit ropey and the lyrics didn’t make a great deal of sense, but sweet Sandie Shaw what a tune.

Criminally, it only finished in a fairly dismal 22nd out of 25 on the night – a combination of being overshadowed by Jedward in the running order and a complete inability to sing in tune unless she was rooted to the spot. But I can virtually guarantee that this song will be more beloved in the long term of most than the forgettable Disney ballad that inexplicably emerged victorious. Sometimes, just being present is what matters.

Note: I actually prefer the Hungarian original of this song, as if you’re going to listen to total gobbledygook you might as well go the whole hog.

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