passionpop: (completely)

Australia
Semi Final 1
Artist: Isaiah
Song: It Don’t come easy
Odds: $51

Word of the day:
Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate



Isaiah won X-Factor Australia last year and even before he won he was already the popular choice for Australia’s Eurovision entry. He is and good singer and a great story but this song has rightfully dropped in the odds in the last week because the package is not right. The singer, the look, the story, the song and the performance don’t gel. It is almost an epic fail.

The biggest issue is this song. SBS internally selected Isaiah and the song writers DNA. DNA provided a song that was perfect for Dami last year or an artist in their late 20s or early 30s. Isaiah is 17. How can he sing about multiple failed relationships when he is 17.

SBS appear to think that resolve this year’s glaring issues they should case internal selections and hold a national selection. On SBS, who is going to watch that? There will be more hard-core international Eurovision fans watching it than domestic viewers. On top of this no genuine artist will take part. At least with internal selection SBS can get a brown paper bag from a record company.

Dami was a good artist to song match. SBS should not get her back, but they should look artists who can provide their own song. Forget this year happened and thing of the good times of 2016


passionpop: (southpark)
Czechia/Czech Republic
Semi final 1
Artist: Martina Bárta
Song: My Turn
Odds: $301

Word of the day
drzý - Sassy
well for Eurovision anyways.



Martina Bárta is a singer and French horn player. She plays the French horn both in a classical context as well as improvised, like the sassy jazz artist she is. Eurovision won’t care for her sass and this song may not get out of the semi.

This song was written by Kyler Niko and DWB (Paul Drew, Greig Watts and Pete Barringer). Pete Barringer also co-wrote this year’s entry for Poland. This song is possibly the better of the two but it feels wrong. It feels more gospel than jazz. It is Ok though because if DWB are the new SAW then Martina Bárta can be the new Rick Astley. Her low tones might even complement his….

Since returning to Eurovision after a five year hiatus, the Czech Republic changed from national finals to internal selections to determine who to send to Eurovision. These have been more successful, but then they could not have been worse. Czechia/Czech Republic has only made it to the final once in 6 attempts and even then the finished second last. Maybe Czechia needs friends, either that or better entries.

2015 was the first internal selection. It was not terrible, but it wasn’t great either. This years song is probably better. They are learning but baby steps.


passionpop: (big)

Poland
Semi Final 1
Artist Kasia Moś
Song: Flashlight
Odds: $81

Word of the day
mdłe – bland
*snore*


‘Must be the music. Only music’. That was the name of the Polish talent show that Kasia graduated from. Her bio is blah, blah, blah about how she is talented and all these famous people she has apparently worked with but that is really the stock standard bio for Eurovision. It just makes the artist seem blander.

The writers of this song are almost as bland as he singer. Their bios are mainly filled with “look at who we have worked with. The only interesting writer is Pete Barringer who is one third of DWB (Drew Watts Barringer), who are like the new SAW but crapper… if that is possible. Pete and DWB also co-wrote this year’s entry for country formerly known as the Czech Republic. We are all looking forward to that one.

This song could potentially not be bland. It could be amazing, atmospheric and thunderous. Here’s hoping it will be because there is too much bland in pop.

Poland finished 2nd in their first Eurovision in 1994, which is still teir best result. Their second best was Ich Troje in 2003 who finished 7th. Hard to believe really….


passionpop: (Default)
Azerbaijan
Semi final 1
Artist: Dihaj
Song: Skeletons
Odds: $41

Word of the day:
qorxu ruhlandırıcı - Awe Inspiring
Not particularly




Diana Hacıyeva, the lead vocalist of DiHaj, attempted to go to Eurovision in 2011 and lost in the national final, despite having the backing of the 2008 (and now also 2015) Azeri entrant Elnur Huseynov. Dianna lost but Azerbaijan went on to win. This year there was no arduous national selection and we have DiHaj (Diana, Anar and Ali) though internal selection.

The songwriters are credited with being involved with a number of Eurovision entries, including Azerbaijan’s 2011 win. They were also involved with Azerbaijan’s entries in 2010 and 2015 as well as Ukraine’s in 2014. None were particularly awe inspiring, not even the one that won Eurovision.

DiHaj is meant to be indi-pop, but the indi appears to be lacking in this song.Diana said "it's crucial for me to stay true to myself", but if she is indi then why is she singing something that sounds like it is from a major US movie sound-track. Maybe the recorded version just lacks the soul of the live performance... but it will need a really good live performance.

Azerbaijan have been in in the final in all of their 9 previous appearances. Since first entering Eurovision in 2008 Azerbaijans worst finish was 22nd in 2014... not particularly awe inspiring.


passionpop: (sweet and innocent)
Albania
Semi final 1
Artist: Lindita
Song: World
Odds: $151

Word of the day
Pushtet - Power
Ballad




Lindita is a reject from both Albanian Idol (Ethet) and American Idol, so it was a natural progression that she would appear at Eurovision. It is also with great excitement that it is announced That Albania is giving us a Power Ballad. W00t.

This passionate and slightly political power ballad was the first confirmed complete entry (song and artist) for this year’s event, though the song has been updated and translated to English from the Albanian in the national final, Festivali i Këngës. From the Festivali i Këngës performance, it appears Lindita has learned from Jamala’s winning performance last year and is overdoing the fake emotion.

One of the writers of this song also Co-wrote the 2006 Albanian song. Who could forget that classic piece of Ethno-pop featuring the guy in the skirt and the bagpipes? If you can’t, try more grappa.

Albania’s first Eurovision entrant Anjeza Shahini from 2004 has tried to represent Albania a further 3 times and finished second in the national election every time. In December 2005 she was bridesmaid to the song written by Klodian Qafoku for the 2006 Eurovision, who also co-wrote this year’s song. At least she had 2004


passionpop: (completely)
Greece
Semi final 1
Artist: Demy
Song: This is Love
Odds: $41

Word of the day
δημοφιλής - popular
In Greece maybe, at Eurovision less so...



Though this is pretty much a standard Eurovision track, there is one thing that ruins the whole song, the ending. Bette Midler said of Chapel of Love, “That is the pits ending for a really terrific song”. The ending of This is Love is worse. You are dancing away and suddenly the song almost stops. It has an attack of the Disney’s and ends. It should have been a lot better

This song has a lot of Euroivison power behind it. Song writer Dimitris Kontopoulos has worked with a number of Greek artists who have gone to Eurovision as well as being involved with entries from Belarus in 2007, Ukraine in 2008, Greece in 2009, and Russia in 2014. Demitris also collaborated with John Ballard, one of the other song writers, on Eurovision entries for Azerbaijan in 2013 and Russia last year. They are yet to get the choccies, but what is most surprising is that two of these songs finished 2nd, and neither of those was the good one.

Demy is a popular artist in Greece for both her music and the musicals she appears in. She was also a Teacher/Mentor in a short lived Greek TV series called The Music School, where a group of kids competed to get a scholarship into the Ωδείο Αθηνών (Athens Conservatoire). It appears that the scholarship took places from rich people who would pay for the tuition. Greece needs money more than talent shows so The Music School had to go. They are so in need of money it is a wonder hey can afford to go to Eurovision.

In 1984 Greece withdrew from Eurovision as there was nothing good enough to send to Luxembourg. Four years later they sent Clown. It is surprising that Greece has ever won Eurovision really.


passionpop: (sweet and innocent)
Sweden
Semi final 1
Artist: Ronin Bengtsson
Song: I Can’t Go On
Odds: $8.50 (3rd)

Word of the day
Nummer tre - Number three
When shit is not shit enough, it is a number 3




This starts so 1980s that it could have been in a Beverly Hills Cop film, and it doesn’t get much more recent from there. For the Eurovision performance the backing dancers should wear walkmans and at the end of the song they should each discard a cassette into the crowd with the song on it. Embrace the 80s.

Typically Sweden has a heap of Eurovision power behind their entry. The co-writers have all co-written Eurovision entries for Sweden. Robin Stjernberg also performed the song he co-wrote in 2013 which finished 14th. David Kreuger and Hamed K-One Pirouzpanah co-wrote the 2014 Swedish entry for Sanna Nielsen which finished 3rd, which is a reoccurring number for this entry. It is 3rd with the bookies and Robin finished third in Swedish Idol in 2008. Mmm number 3s

This song won Melodifestivalen despite finishing third on the popular vote and almost 200000 votes behind the most popular song. The international Jury loved his song and their votes destroyed the 7% advantage Nano had in the popular vote. Who cares what the people think though, this is Eurovision, not democracy.

In 1985 Sweden hosted Eurovision (after their 1984 win) and came third. NUMBER 3!!!


passionpop: (Default)
Montenegro
Semi Final 1
Artist: Slavko Kalezić Славко Калезић
Song: Space
Odds: $151

Word of the day
довиђења Dovidjenja - Goodbye
Please don't return with this crap next year.



What the actual fuck. This appears to be 3 minute community service advert warning kids on what happens when you do drugs. This song is also everything that can go bad at Eurovision. This could be as bad if not worse than Bosnia’s Deen from 2004.

This has the longest odds available this Eurovision and those odds are thoroughly deserved. A song this bad that is sung by someone who could not even make the live shows of X Factor Adria 2015 (the 4 country X-factor including Montenegro) could not be expected to even make the Eurovision final. The person at RTCG (the Montenegrin broadcaster) who decided on this song should be fired.

Montenegro uses internal selections to determine their participants for Eurovision. Maybe in 2018 they should take it to the people. Popular voting could not result in anything worse that what Montenegro is currently sending to Eurovision.

This year’s entry won’t end up with the least amount of points Montenegro has received at Eurovision. It would be hard to get less than the 20 points in the semi that Montenegro finished with in 2012


passionpop: (subliminal)
Cyprus
Semi final 1
Artist: Hovig
Song: Gravity
Odds: $67

Word of the day:
Puan - σημεία - Points
12 of them from Greece.



Gravity is the only song Thomas G:Son has co-written to appear in this year’s Eurovision. He has previously written or co-written Eurovision entries for Sweden, Spain, Norway, Georgia, Denmark, as well as last year’s entry for Cyprus and why would you not employ this guy as a writer? G:son won Eurovision in 2012 and out of the 12 previous entries that he has been involved with prior to this year, only one failed to make the final. Sure he has written about 70 songs that have failed to make it through various national selections, but it is only the ones that make it that count.

This will get 12 points from Greece because Greece always gives Cyprus points. Hovig is also well known to Greek audiences after appearing on X-Factor Greece in 2009. He is also the closest thing to a Turkish Cypriot that Cyprus will ever send to Eurovision, being of Armenian descent. Well Armenia is close geographically to Turkey…

This is not the first time that a song called Gravity has gone to Eurovision. This year’s Eurovision Hosts Ukraine sent Gravity in 2013. Cyprus’ Gravity is a better song, but Ukraine had a giant which scores bonus points.

This is far from the worst song Cyprus has ever sent to Eurovision. That award appears to go to the song from 1986


passionpop: (completely)

Latvia
Semi final 1
Artist: Triana Park (Triānas Parks)
Song: Line
odds: $81

Word of the day
noteikts - Determined
Six national finals means you're pretty bloody determined to go to Eurovision.



It is surprising that Latvia has ever won Eurovision, though the year they won (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4GOSw7v0N0">2002</a>) was a particularly weak contest. There have been good Latvian songs but they were in much stronger years. This year is reasonable one a far as Eurovision is concerned, but ambient music probably won’t win.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5aPtzBhZBc">Triana Park’s performance on Supernova</a> (the Latvian national selection) is best described as 80’s inspired. This performance came after a 4 year hiatus from Latvian selection (previously Eirodziesmā). 2017 was Triana Park’s sixth attempt to make it to Eurovision. With a bio that emphasises their many awards it makes you wonder why getting to Eurovision is important to them.

Triana park was originally created by Agnese Rakovska and her father, Aivars (from the band 'Bastards'). Dad has left the band but still, that is some good parenting. Not practical perhaps. Maybe a house would be better than a band, but still, pretty cool.

There are many reasons why Latvia is lucky to have won one Eurovision. 2001 is certainly one reason why it is just the one

passionpop: (die bitch)

Georgia
Semi final 1
Artist: Tamara Gachechiladze თამარა გაჩეჩილაძე
Song: Keep the Faith
odds: $81

Word of the day
პოლიტიკური -Political
Something Eurovision is certainly not...



The presentation clip for the song that was provided to the EBU is filled with unsubtle political statements, which would have caused the EBU to not accept this clip, if they had balls. It would not have been the first time თამარა crossed paths with the EBU. Her first attempt to go to Eurovision in 2009 was withdrawn by Georgia after the EBU demanded changes to the song due to its unsubtle political commentary.

Keep the Faith has a bit of religious commentary, confusing ISIS with all Muslims and with the line “Who told you to hide behind the veil”. Georgia shares its borders with two majority Muslim countries, one of whom is competing in this years Eurovision and in the same semi as Georgia. Nil pois to Georgia from Azerbaijan.

The dress worn by თამარა in this clip is very close to that of a previous Eurovision entry. Conchita wore it better. The lights on თამარა’s at the end are a nice touch though.

Keep the Faith was written by Anri Jokhadze, who also wrote and performed the Georgian entry from 2012. He was more successful though when he was a backing vocalist for the 2008 entry.

passionpop: (beer and tits)

Iceland
Semi final 1
Artist: Svala
Song: Paper
Odds: $51

Word of the day
salerni - toilet
Where the paper for this song came from



Every Eurovision act has a Q&A given to them to add to their bio. Everything that needs to be known about Svala is in one question:
Do you have a (lucky) routine before you go on stage?
I bathe myself in unicorn tears and take a shot of snow on fire.

Whereas many artists in this year’s Eurovision were contestants on the voice, Svala betters them, she is a judge and mentor. A mentor is usually someone who is successful enough to not have to sell themselves as cheap talent in competitions like Eurovision. Maybe Svala is only going to Eurovision because her dad did it in 1995.

Most fans of Eurovision consider this song as the “what the fuck” song of the year. It will only qualify for the final if everything else that it is up against is shit, which is possible. It does offer a question though, why do so many female singers sing songs about enabling their narcissistic partner?

Once upon a time Iceland was that weird kid at school, trying hard to be like everyone else and failing. The song from 1990 was everything a Eurovision song should be and it still only managed 4th. It is good that they gave up trying…

passionpop: (putting my foot in it)
Belgium
Semi final 1
Artist: Blanche
Song: City Lights
Odds: $8 (4th)

Word of the day
gevarenzone - zone dangereuse - danger zone
Highway to the...



Last year Blanche, then known as Ellie Delvaux, was knocked out of The Voice Belgique (one of Belgium’s two versions of The Voice currently running) just before the qualifying final. This year Belgium is sending her to Kyiv. The song was apparently initially written in an imaginary language with just the words City and Lights in English. Though it would have been the third time Belgium went to Eurovision with an imaginary language, in the end they decided to change all to English.

Female vocalists singing about ‘the danger zone’ go back decades. In She-bop, Cyndi Lauper mentioned “I can’t stop messing with the danger zone” when singing about masturbation. Redefines the lines “All alone in the danger zone, are you ready to take my hand”

Could a contestant from The Voice Belgique do a duet with a contestant from The Voice van Vlaanderen (Belgium’s other version of The Voice)? That could make for an interesting song. Not that this year’s entry is not interesting, it could just be less ‘same’… or more same. It could be anything.

Everyone enters a talent show contestant and sings in English now. The first time Belgium sung in English was 1977

passionpop: (big)
Slovenia
Semi final 1
Artist: Omar Naber
Song: On My Way
Odds: $151

Word of the day
vojno območje - Warzone
Somewhere Slovenia likes to send Omar...


Over the last 12 years he has released 3 albums and been jailed for sexual assault. The criminal conviction would cause him to be denied entry into some countries, but he can go to Ukraine while Russia (and potentially Armenia) may be denied entry. It is a strange world.

Despite his conviction for sexual assult, Omar apparently lives in the UK where he is a licensed busker on the London Underground (does he think he is Ed Sheeran?). Usually a conviction and sentence of over 6 months in the last 10 years meant you couldn’t enter the UK. Obviously the UK authroities don't google visa applicants.

The odds on this song are possibly a little cruel seeing this song is not that bad. There have been worse songs that have reached the top ten in Eurovision, and even won. This won’t win, it doesn’t have the political backing, but the odds should reflect that it will qualify for the final… it should qualify for the final… maybe…

Omar last appeared at Eurovision (with the same hairdo) the last time it was in Ukriane. He didn’t make the final then, and if you believe the bookmakers, he won’t make it this time either.

passionpop: (subliminal)
Armenia
Semi-final 1
Artist: Artsvik Արծվիկ
Song: Fly With Me
Odds: $19

Word of the day
երեսպաշտ - Hypocritical
What it could be is Russia was disqualified and this wasn't



Artsvik is a former contestant in Голос, the Russian version of the voice. She was eliminated in the battle rounds after singing Never Gonna Give You Up. Artsvik could be eliminated from Eurovision before even getting there as she has performed in Crimea, which means she may be banned from entering the host country, Ukraine.

There are some who may subscribe to the theory that this entry was part of the Russian conspiracy to humiliate Ukraine or some rubbish, but there is no logical reason other than coincidence that could explain why, out of 24 artists, potentially the only one that could be banned from the Ukraine was chosen from a combination of Jury and televoting. An international Jury that go Artsvik to the top two did not even include one Russian (and the jury that made the determination from that top two only had one Russian). It is almost inconceivable that Artsvik was a plant.

Fly With Me deserves to compete in Eurovision. It is Ethno-pop, but it is at least interesting. Worse than that though, it took Armenia three months to decide on the artist for this song. They will never decide on a replacement in time for the big event.

One of the writers of this Armenian entry also co-wrote the 2009 entry. 2017 is a much better year
passionpop: (die bitch)
Portugal
Semi Final 1
Artist: Salvador Sobral
Song: Amar Pelos Dois
Odds: $12 (5th)

Word of the day:
avô - grandfather
Who this song is targeted towards


This years Portuguese entry sounds a little like something from the first decade and a half of Eurovision. The old style sound is probably why it is popular with older Eurovision fans. With most music in Eurovision aimed at younger fans, songs aimed at the grey (haired) vote have a lot of potential to win, which would be a first for Portugal.

Salvador competed in Idolos 3 in 2009/2010 and finished 7th after performing "Jura", which may have been a cruel elimination. He was on Idolos as a clean cut young man. Since then he has adopted a hipster look and the beard and long hair has aged him about 15 years in only 7.

This years song was written by Salvador's sister, Luísa, who is also an Idolos graduate who finished 3rd in Idolos 1. It still sounds weird that Salvador is singing a love song his sister wrote. Incest is the best, put your sister to the test...

And from music that sounds like grandfather music to music that is grandfather music, Portugal's first entry from 1964

passionpop: (southpark)

Moldova
Semi Final 1
Artist: SunStroke Project
Song: Hey, Mamma
Odds: $17

Word of the day:
primit insolație - Got SunStroke
...while in the army and they thought it would be a good name for a music act...

This song came in with such hope and is giving Eurovision such disappointment. Last time SunStroke Project appeared at Eurovision they gave the world Epic Sax Guy, as well as a passable song. This time they have just given us Engrish. What is this song about anyways?

DJs across the globe have probably already picked up samples of this song, and that's about all it is good for. This will be a fun performance on the night, if it makes it there. With Russia's recent ban and the fact that SunStroke have a number of connections with Russian music, they may not even get the the Ukraine. Possibly a good thing. A festival containing 43 acts has got to be a bitch to produce and anything to cull the numbers would ease the pain.

This song is all about the catchy dance routine and the saxophone. They will make the running man fashionable again if only for a night.

As is tradition with repeat offenders, The flashback is their previous entry from 2010

passionpop: (putting my foot in it)

Finland
Semi Final 1
Artist: Norma John
Song: Blackbird
Odds: $41

Word of the day:
Ihmemaassa - In wonderland
Doubt that one will be useful any time soon


This act comprises of a singer who came third in Finland's X-Factor (Leena Tirronen) and her long time friend (Lasse Piirainen). I generally hate 'talent' show winners, but presently this is my favourite song in this years event. It is early days yet and I am sure I will hate it soon.

This song borrows the sounds of a few winners. The mid-90s Eurovision winners like Secret Garden (Norway) can be heard as an influence, as can ABBA. The piano in the refrain reminds me of the outro of Chiquitita. You can do worse in Eurovision than to borrow from ABBA, but ou can be more original. Also Leena sounds like Lena who won for Germany

Lasse co-wrote 3 songs on Leena's solo album, Leena in Wonderland (Leena Ihmemaassa), one of which was the third (and final) single from the album. It sounded nothing like the Eurovision entry. It sounded a bit crap. The only good thing I can find in a quick glance with the solo album is that the cover art made Leena look like Veronica Mars. Veronica Mars is cool, the solo album was not.

Blackbird won UMK (Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu - New Music Competition), the Finnish national selection, in a bit of a landslide. Finland won Eurovision in 2006 in a landslide, but usually landslides are more how finland loses... like in 1982

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