Ordinary Time 9 – Monday
OK, the kitsch and the schlager are over for another year. And yes, I called it. Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles. Lena’s track has been embedded in my brain ever since I first heard it a couple of weeks ago (even though Anna Bergendahl’s track has been in my head for a lot longer).
This year was surprisingly stronger than previous years that I have followed. The quality of the performances exceeded the kitsch that Eurovision is known for.
Turkey ended up winning the SBS Eurovision poll (no surprises, there’s a fairly large Turkish-origin population here in Oz) but damn, maNga were one helluva act. Loved the panel beating influence too with the hot chick. Random, but it worked with the rest of the song. But God help you if you have epilepsy. The amount of strobe lighting used in the Turkish performance would probably have triggered an episode for those who were unfortunate enough to not look away in time.
Was disappointed that the Irish entry didn’t poll higher (they came 23rd out of 25 entries). The same went for Iceland who were well in the bottom half of the final vote (19th of 25 entries). Hera Björk and her euro-trance number obviously didn’t have a certain Je Ne Sais Quoi with the European audience.
Azerbaijan surprised me. I suspect that Safura appealed to voters who were erm… more visual. The same for Armenia’s Eva Rivas (if that push-up bra were any higher, we would have had a free show when she was erm… bouncing across the Eurovision stage) though her voice was better than Safura’s IMHO. The Armenian song choice (“Apricot Stone”), while reflecting their cultural heritage was just all over the place lyrically. Kitschy to the max. Azerbaijan at number 5 and Armenia at number 7.
Was nice to see the Georgian entry (Sofia Nizharadze with “Shine”) crack the top 10 at number 9 and even more surprising to see them get douze points from Russia. Sofia has a huuuuuge voice that was pretty much on fire for most of the track. She’s a pretty lass too.
Belgium put in a strong entry this year. It was nice and simple: Tom Dice with “Me and My Guitar”. And literally, it was only him and his guitar on stage. His vocals sounded very strong too. Didn’t detect too many nerves from him at all and his vocals were pretty much in tune for the entire track. Pity he and Belgium ended up finishing 6th.
The Ukrainian entry (Alyosha with “Sweet People”) was sung with a lot of verve and panache given that it was more of a rock-influenced number. But she looked like she could have been an extra in one of those “Twilight” movies.
Denmark started off with a flurry in the voting but trailed in the end to come 4th. Sharnee and N evergreen’s song (“In A Moment Like This”) reminded me the most of ABBA’s “Waterloo”. Kitschy but with a chorus that you’ll remember for months to come. Definitely would sound good on adult contemporary hit radio format stations.
The Romanian entry, Paula Seling and Ovi with “Playing With Fire” (ended up at number 3) was another catchy number and I loved Paula’s Eartha Kitt-inspired black catsuit. Rrrrreeeoooowww!!!
Cyprus had one helluva entry that was John Mayer-ish in feel and sound. Loved it. Douze points from me. Hell I would have given douze points to a number of entries. Pity they ended up at number 21. =(
Milan Stankovic’s entry for Serbia was just plain fun to watch. That Serbian blonde bowler-hat fringe somehow worked wonders for him. Ovo je Balkan!
The Russian entry had me reaching for the vodka bottle to ease the pain. But then I realized I had to be at work today. There went that idea. Honestly, it may have been as painful as a root canal sans anesthetic. If there was ever a case of bloc/political voting at this year’s Eurovision, it was for Russia. I don’t know how many times I heard the crowd booing when Russia ended up with huit points, dix points or douze points. I was too. They shouldn’t have ended up at 11th position. Hell, I would have preferred the UK to be at 11th spot than Russia. And speaking of the UK…
Well, at least they didn’t end up with nul points (they ended up with a lowly 10 points). But I laughed my ass off when Belarus got 12 points from some country to lift them from being the wooden spooners to second last just after Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang (the SBS commentary team) were saying how there was a chance this year that the UK might actually escape being last. I guess the UK can avoid hosting Eurovision for yet another year. Well done.
But Norge… o.m.g. At Melodi Grand Prix 2010, Didrik Solli-Tangen was damn near perfect in his execution of his entry. But on the big night itself, he sounded so out of tune for about 70% of the song. At least he finished strongly.
And Norway (well to be more correct NRK, the state broadcaster) put on one helluva show. Tusen takk Norge for et fantastisk show!
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Eurovision in Germany. Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles. Wir sehen uns in Deutschland!
Yes, my German is very rusty!!!