Posted by: John | May 24, 2008

Final tonight!

For the many who feel that the Eurovision Saturday is a special day or just those that view Eurovision as interested observers the main thing to do is to remove the wheat from the chaff – essentially finding those gold nuggets that deserve to win.

Here’s my cut-out and keep guide:

1. Romania – Not sure why or how this got through except it was near the end of their semi. Like a poor man’s Joe Dulce and Mariah Carey they sing this dull song with aplomb. Won’t win.

2. UK – Notwithstanding the great performer that he is Andy Abraham will be performing an unmemorable average funk song that seems to go nowhere. I’m afraid you can have the best performer in the world but you can’t dress a pig in pearls (this song) and expect it to win a beauty contest. I mean all credit to the man, and I’m sure he’ll have to explain away bad scoring with people goading to say it’s bloc voting. It’s not it’s a song contest not a country contest – it simply is extremely uncompetitive in this market. Won’t win.

3.  Albania – controversial song about Kosovo that’s not going down well in Belgrade! To the uninitiated though (ie those that can’t speak Squip or Serbo-Croat) this is a dull affair. Best to get it over with at the start! It will get votes from Eastern Europe due to any anti-Serb feeling.

4. Germany – OK you can wake up now. This is a good quality catchy girlband song that could do well for Germany. A nice song no 4 to whet your appetite for later.

5. Armenia – caucarabic pop that chugs along nicely – worth a listen but i fear it will get lost due to its placing

6. Bosnia – Ethnic turbo folk par excellence – this will haunt and entrap you and the staging is interesting to say the least. Tip for the top – definite top ten.

7. Israel – Another song whose popularity evades me – how did it get through that semi? I can’t see it going far.

8. Finland – typical Finnish Metal/Rock with a good synth beat underneath – they do this sort of stuff so well and it just sounds so, well, Finnish! Goes to show how you can elevate popular music that your country does so well and sell it to Europe. Who knows if people want to revisit the Lordi win in 2008?

9. Croatia – Charming ethnic turbo folk for the older generation. A 75 -year old rapper doing his thang with a good group of musicians and singers. It’s chirpy with a huge nod to Eurovision old school – like a drinking song with folk dancing. Could be top ten.

10. Poland – a quality ballad by a good singer – polished performance (and i’m not talking about the fake tan!) with a classy song. Should do well.

11. Iceland – Iceland have made a particular form of contemporary Euroswing their own – Euroband are superb exponents of it. Sit back and enjoy or get those feet tapping! Could be top ten.

12. Turkey – Others like this more than me – so i won’t say anymore suffice to say that it’ll probably be top ten as it’s from Turkey!

13. Portugal – A rousing torchsong type ballad as only Eurovision does. Emote baby emote! First Portuguese finalist for years and well-deserved. The only problem is that there are three similar songs of this genre so the market might be split. Could go anywhere.

14. Latvia – from the sublime to the ridiculous and a bit of fun as a respite. A real foot-tapper this one and smooth production and good singing will lift it. In the final analysis this is a bit of nursery school daytime television music for kids par excellence. Could go anywhere.

15. Sweden – Shame for Latvia that it is preceded by Sweden. The Swedes have also found their own sound – done badly fans call it `Swedish formula pop` – done well though like this it’s amazing to behold. The song has professional written all over it from the production to the singer to the choreography (not too busy just right). I’ll be shocked if this doesn’t get top ten.

16. Denmark – to carry on the good vibes we have Simon Matthew with his quality throw your arms in the air prozac let’s be happy MOR pop. I have a sneaking feeling that this will do well as it’s supremely catchy and goes down well with the crossover (that means 99% of viewers) crowd.

17. Georgia – a song about peace (and boy is it relevant to Georgia) sang by a blind singer. It did seem to sound better on the CD than live though – hopefully they’ve ironed out those problems and will give a good performance. The song is also MOR with a Georgian twist. All eyes will be on the voting of Russia and Georgia given the tensions in that area.

18.  Ukraine – a contemporary song that seems to work. It’s a melange of R`n`B, funk and pop that connects the dots perfectly. Definite top ten.

19. France – France seems to be putting in a bit more effort lately and this is no exception. It’s very contemporary and stands alone as an individual song and not the usual Eurovision fayre. Could go anywhere.

20. Azerbaijan – A monster of a song that takes in the new Europera, Rock and pop. The performance will dictate the scores. A phenomenon. Definite top ten.

21. Greece – Fantastic Greek pop girlband club number that is supremely catchy. Definite top ten.

22. Spain – the naysayers `joke` song done perfectly and could easily be a song for the wedding reception with dance movements and catchy tunes. Really trying in Eurovision is when countries put forward something that THEY like coupled with a respec for the genre that smartly twists it by ADDING to it. That is what Lithuania did a couple of years back when they came 6th. This could do equally as well as it stands alone as a song – basically a Spanish `joke` song that introduces the Latin Reggaeton by a great performer. Could be top ten!

23. Serbia – it’s great that all these good songs are left till last – another confident song from Serbia – more haunting ethnic turbo folk. What’s interesting is that the Balkan countries bravely stuck their necks out and introduced new music a few years ago that is integral to them. They are so supremely confident that they have now slowed it down and allowed it to really breathe. This is almost classical. Classy it certainly is. Could the Serbs do it again?

24. Russia – if this isn’t top five i’ll eat my fur hat!  Just to explain the provenance of this singer. It’s sung by Dima Bilan who is an Eastern European superstar. An international performer he has worked with Timbaland and this is written by himself. He came 2nd in 2006. The song is so much a cut above about 3/4 of the competition both in writing and production it can’t fail to be top five or win.

25. Norway – Now relax! It’s time for a pleasantly good ballad to finish the show to wind us down and complete the process.

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Responses

  1. A few disagreements – Albania went down very well in the hall at their semi-final, and that would have been a predominantly Serbian audience. Can’t see the appeal of the Greek song, it is similar to a number of their previous entrants and nothing like as good as their 2005 winning entry.

    And Spain – appears to be singing about cheeky girls – why isn’t Lembit on stage


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