passionpop: (die bitch)
San Marino
Population: 32 576
Area: 61.2 km2
Language: Italian
Eurovision Attendances: 5
Eurovision wins: 0



Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola - Chain of Lights

This song started off OK and thought this could be interesting, and then it went all Ralph Siegel. It made me really want to hit Ralph Siegel hard. San Marino, Stop using internal selections to choose Ralph Siegel songs, no one wants to hear that shit!

I am trying to find a positive in the Siegel crap, and the only one I can see is that at least the singers are not Idol/X-factor graduates. Instead these two 16 years olds are graduates from Junior Eurovision. Anita Simoncini was part of the Peppermints from last year’s Junior Eurovision and Michele Perniola performed in 2013.

Can two teenagers carry San Merino to the grand final, I doubt it and so do the bookies. Why would they set up these kids for such a letdown? Maybe they wanted younger entrants so they could get more years out of them before they will retire from Eurovision like Valentina Monetta did last year.

Last year was the first time that San Merino qualified for the final, and I think that was to stop them sending Valentina Monetta singing Ralph Siegel songs… We won half the war…

passionpop: (drunk)

Before the rehearsals get underway, here is a quick looks at the odds (Here from Good evening Europe)

Sweden are favourites with Italy close behind. They are followed by Australia, Estonia and Finland. The winner should be out of those in the top 5, but the outside chances, and those rounding out the top 10 are Russia, Norway, Azerbaijan, Slovenia and Iceland.

The top two are supported by a number of fan sites but with Italy being favourite. Can Italy be ripped off again?

Back to the bookies, the bottom of the ladder have these countries with the least chance of making the finals

Semi 1
Moldova
Georgia
FYR Macedonia
Denmark
Romania
Netherlands

Semi 2
Portugal
San Marino
Czech Republic
Switzerland
Malta
Montenegro
Ireland

Lithuania, Hungary, Poland and Greece are also teetering on the edge a bit. Two of my favourites from semi one may not make the final.

it is also noteworthy that France, Germany and Austria are already so low with the bookmakers that they should be keeping everyone else propped up from the bottom in the final.

passionpop: (die bitch)
Latvia
Population: 1 985 600
Area: 64 589 km2
Language: Latvian
Eurovision Attendances: 15
Eurovision wins: 1 (2002)



Aminata - Love Injected

I have to say that the Bookmakers appear to rate this higher than I do and it sits in the mid-range with them. This song appears to be trying too hard to be different. It fails and just sounds annoying.

The song is not complete shit, I think the bridge is ok and the end is particularly good, mainly because it does end. This could be a surprise packet and on the night it shows itself to be complete brilliance. I doubt it, but it might

Aminata has entered a number of singing competitions and talent shows. Amongst others she was part of a Choir that competed in the Latvian version of Clash of the Choirs. This has been her second attempt to get into Eurovision through the national selection of Supernova. She may give Latvia its best result since 2008 in actually qualifying for the final. We will find out in a fortnight I guess

Going back further in Latvia’s Eurovision history, I think the less said about 2001 the better….

passionpop: (completely)
Slovenia
Population: 2 061 085
Area: 20 273km2
Language: Slovene
Eurovision Attendances: 20
Eurovision wins: 0



Maraaya - Here For You

They are calling the vocal indie-pop, but I cannot see the indie, I see wanna-be soul. This song is currently top ten with the bookmakers, and it is one that takes a bit of warming to. I have to admit I still prefer the version performed with those other Slovenes, Perpetuum Jazzile though I may be biased with that. I do think Perpetuum Jazzile is one of the best things to ever come out of Slovenia.

This husband and wife duo have been using an image stylised like the Mama Mia image (with one of the girls facing straight into the camera with the other in front of her in a side profile). This promo pic has been used a bit and it is only slightly less annoying than Marjetka’s constant wearing of headphones. At least it is less fiddly than an ear-piece foldback on stage.

Raay (Aleš Vovk) is no stranger to Eurovision having been composer of last year’s entry ‘Round and Round’, I am sure this entry will do better than that did though…

One of the judges in the Slovenian national final (EMA) also have the equal best result for Slovenia at Eurovision. Can this year’s song beat 7th?

passionpop: (my ass)
Czech Republic
Population: 10 358 275
Area: 78 866
Language: Czech
Eurovision Attendances: 3
Eurovision wins: 0



Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta - Hope Never Dies

The Czech Republic sent entries to Eurovision from 2007 to 2009 and they withdrew after not going anywhere. In 3 years the Czech Republic finished with 10 in total. Now they are back and I can see the Czech Republic maybe doubling that total.

Václav Noid Bárta sounds like the singer from the Crash Test Dummies, mmm mmm mmm mmm. Out of the two though, he would be the one you would expect to be the lead singer of an Alternative metal band, but that is actually Marta Jandová. That is as interesting as these two get though.

The song is a snore and I agree with the bookmakers that it belongs somewhere near the bottom of the pile. It is a shame but I hope the Czech Republic doesn’t withdraw again because of the poor result that this song is expected to get. We need the Czech Republic to return to be a cusion at the bottom of the ladder for everyone else…

I have to admit, ‘Hope Never Dies’ is a huge improvement from the last song sent to Eurovision by the Czech Republic….

passionpop: (die bitch)
Switzerland
Population: 8 211 700
Area: 41 285
Language: German, Italian, French, Romansh
Eurovision Attendances: 55
Eurovision wins: 2 (1956, 1988)



Mélanie René - Time to Shine

This is possibly the least interesting song and artist in this years competition. In an attempt to sound interesting the following appears in Mélanie‘s bio “I come from a multicultural background, from a Mauritian familly. However, after doing some research, I have found out that one of my ancestors was an Indian princess who married a French captain”. It is still uninteresting.

There are hints of Céline Dion in the vocal styling, which is understandable seeing Céline was Switzerland’s last winner. If Sweden can regurgitate ABBA clones, Switzerland can do Céline. I wonder is Mélanie will wear a white tutu like Céline did. I hope she at least wears the long shapeless white jacket.

So will Céline with a beat win? The bookmakers rate this as a snowballs chance in hell and I tend to agree.

I think we are under no illusions with this years entry, but 1971….

passionpop: (die bitch)
Malta
Population 446 547
Area: 316 km2
Language: Maltese, English
Eurovision attendances: 27
Eurovision wins: 0



Amber – Warrior

This song got maximum 12 points from all of the 5 jury members as well as the Maltese public, who combined to be the 6th jury member. As a result the backing singer from 2012 is the 2015 Maltese representative.

Before I read that she idolised Beyonce I knew it. Some of her phrasing is in a Beyonce style… not that Beyonce is original either… but little in Eurovision is unique. It is so ununique that this is one of two warriors going to Eurovision this year. Intelligently there is one in eash semi, it is good to keep the warriors separated.

This sits in the mid-range with the bookmakers and I think that is fair. Malta has to wait at least another year for that elusive Eurovision gong.

I cannot understand why Malta has never has never won a Eurovision. They send beautiful songs that are well presented, like the 1975 by the rather dapper Renato….

passionpop: (die bitch)
Montenegro
Population 620 029
Area: 13 812 km2
Language: Montenegrin
Eurovision attendances: 6
Eurovision wins: 0



Knez – Adio

Composed by a guy who has represented Serbia twice at Eurovision, this year’s Montenegrin act sounds just like 90% of the solo male vocal songs sent to Eurovision by a former Yugoslav nation in the last decade and a half. A pretty ballad full of ethnic symbolism and rising to a crescendo like a bubbling volcano, *snore*

This style of song seems to do ok at Eurovision. Željko Joksimović who wrote this song finished 2nd himself in his first Eurovision as a performer and 3rd in 2012. Montenegro is obviously hoping to piggy back off that however the bookmakers believe he will fail epically. Knez is not as visually appealing as Željko Joksimović for starters.

I don’t care for this song, but I am sure there will be a heap of people who will. If you want a bet on a long shot top ten finish, you could do worse than this. I think it will be a sleeper and possibly Montenegro’s best ever result, not hard seeing that was 19th.

They don’t have to send Ethnoballads, sometimes Montenegro tries to be interesting…

passionpop: (big)
Poland
Population 38 483 957
Area: 312 679 km2
Language: Polish
Eurovision attendances: 17
Eurovision wins: 0



Monika Kuszyńska - In The Name Of Love

In a word, Inspiring. I cynically said a few years ago of Diana Gurtskaya of Georgia that she was ‘proof that the sympathy vote can take you all the way', but there was no voting in Poland, this was an internal selection. She may not be blind like Diana, but least they found a pretty paraplegic.

It is interesting that in the presentation clip you don’t see Monika is in a wheelchair until the end of the clip. I wonder if her performance in Eurovision will be similarly subtle. Either way, I doubt she will be moving around the stage much…

The tune is making me think there is something New Romantics about the writing. Parts of it remind me of a couple of the popular songs of the 1980s, maybe that’s why I don’t mind it. Even though the bookies do not rate this song but I think it is ok, better than some.

The best finish for Poland was in their first Eurovision. Maybe next year they can better that result.

passionpop: (my ass)
Sweden
Population 9 760 142
Area: 450 295 km2
Language: Swedish
Eurovision attendances: 54
Eurovision wins: 5 (1974, 1984, 1991, 1999, 2012)



Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes

This song has been compared to a song from last summer by David Guetta, and I can hear the ‘influence’ of David Guetta on the Swedish entry. Despite the fact that it is not very original this song has settled in nicely as the favourite for this years event. I was actually looking forward to hearing this song because it was such a favourite, but after hearing it next to David Guetta, I hope this doesn’t win.

A year ago Måns said that Homosexuality was "avvikelse" to him (which can be translated to "deviation" or “unnatural” in English). He quickly added that there was nothing wrong with it, but the old story still gained traction soon after he was announced as the winner of Melodifestivalen. This was a bad start considering the Eurovision audience.

I think what I hate most about this is that it is another bloody idol contestant and also this was his 3rd attempt to represent Sweden at Eurovision. The song is catchy, but I am going to make the big call can say that the favourite won’t win. I have said that for the last 5 years and have been wrong most times but I was right last year and I may be right again.

Considering the Guetta influence, I am going call this out: you’re (so last) summer

passionpop: (die bitch)
Portugal
Population 10 427 301
Area: 92 212 km2
Language: Pork and cheese
Eurovision attendances: 47
Eurovision wins: 0



Leonor Andrade - Há um Mar que nos Separa

They say ‘if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything’. I never listened to them. Why would I, If I did listen to them then I would have nothing to write about this song.

The bookmakers rate this as the worse song this yeah and I don’t think they are that far from wrong. The end sounds like a female cat being fvcked on the back fence. It is the key change at the end that stuffs her up most, and I am sure she can learn the tune by mid next month.

This looks like another loser from Portugal, which is a shame because I like to see new winners, especially ones that have tried for so long. Maybe next year.

A couple of previous Eurovision entries competed for the chance to represent Portugal again, including this 965 (and 1969) loser

passionpop: (dead)
Lithuania
Population 2 921 920
Area: 65 300 km2
Language: Lithuanian
Eurovision attendances: 15
Eurovision wins: 0



Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila - This Time

It is so nice that Monika Linkytė finally got to go to Eurovision on her 6th attempt… and then there was her attempt to go to Junior Eurovsiion.

The song is a little too Mumford and Sons for me. It is cute and will get radio airplay, but it is not special and even the bookmakers are putting it in the bottom half of this year’s event. They may be harsh. It is a catchy song with a kitschy performance and good looking performers. That has to get them in the top half just…

Lithuania had an Idol style selection to find the singer for 2015, but two of the top 3 decided to form a duo and we ended up with this. Thank you Lithuania….

In 2004 Lithuania sent a duo to Eurovision which not only did not qualify for the final, but it came last in the semi.

passionpop: (big)
Israel
Population 8 238 300
Area: 20 777 km2
Language: Hebrew, Arabic
Eurovision attendances: 37
Eurovision wins: 3 (1978, 1979, 1998)



Nadav Guedj - Golden boy

This kid is 16, my arse. He looks older than that. The song also seems that is it aimed for a slightly older audience, one with money and cars. This is a bog-lap song (a bog-lap is repetitively cruising around the same area in a car with a big engine).

What I love about the song is the following lines:
“Pull me baby, I'm your trigger
You know that my love is bigger”
Maybe the words ‘Pull me’ coming from a guy have a different definition in Israel…. But then reading the second line there, I doubt it.

The bookies think this song will qualify, just. Muscle car drivers are not usually Eurovision’s major audience I thought…

If you are going to do Bog-laps, you need hair and accessories more like Izhar Cohen from 1985

passionpop: (drunk)
Iceland
Population: 325 775
Area: 102 775 km2
Language: Icelandic
Eurovision attendances: 27
Eurovision wins: 0



Maria Olafs – Unbroken

The voting processes of some countries fascinate me. This song came second in the final, but Iceland is one of those countries that have a superfinal. This resulted in the guy who won the final in both Jury and televote coming second overall in a superfinal based only on televote to someone who came second in televote and 4th with the jury in the final. I am not saying Friðrik Dór’s song is better, but it is another example of a flawed system of voting in Europe.

Technically, I dislike songs that think every chorus has to be a crescendo. Also, lyrically this is too repetitive, there only appears to be one verse… if that. It is a very lazy piece.

This is an inoffensive radio song that should qualify and will fit neatly in the mid to lower end of the results. If I really need to go, I won’t mind using this song as a toilet break, but then with a good enough performance, this song could almost be watchable.

So this song got into the superfinal with the aid of the juries and the jury was not involved in the superfinal. One of the jurors took this to Eurovision in 1988 so his opinion may best be ignored

passionpop: (southpark)
Norway
Population: 5 136 700
Area: 385 178 km2
Language: Norwegian (Lule Sami, Northern Sami, Southern Sami)
Eurovision Attendances: 53
Eurovision Wins: 3 (1985, 1995, 2009)


Mørland & Debrah Scarlett - A Monster Like Me

‘I did something in my early youth’, yes, opening for Girls Aloud is something that would be shameful to admit, but it is something Mørland did in his former life when he performed with a band. Oh the shame.

This is a song that can either be made or broken by the performance. It is an interesting song. I am glad it beat the song that came second in the national final because the singer of that could not hit any of the low notes. In saying that Debrah Scarlett could not articulate half the words in her solo live so this song could collapse in Vienna.

The song Norway sent last year was one of my favourites. This year I think I am going to have to forget Norway.

Back to 1972 for a more classic style duet.

passionpop: (die bitch)
Cyprus
Population: 1 117 000
Area: 9 251 km2
Language: Greek, Turkish
Eurovision Attendances: 31
Eurovision wins: 0



John Karayiannis - One Thing I Should Have Done

This song is pleasant for a toilet break song, though it sounds too much like ‘To Be With You’ (that 90’s classic) by Mr Big for me to like it as much as the bookmakers, and they only have this as mid-range. It may qualify only because there are a lot of votes in ballads.

In the Cypriot national section, it is a 50/50 split (jury and public) to determine the winner. This song was neither favourite with the public nor the jury, it was bridesmaid in both votes and won by default. Listening to the songs that the jury and the public respectively favoured, I realise that default a respectable choice. Out of the 3, the jury song was less of a toilet break.

I doubt Cyprus will win a Eurovision until they start sending Turkish-Cypriot acts to represent them, but that will never happen. I love the politics of Eurovision.

A couple of the people on the Cypriot jury were former Eurovision entrants themselves, including the performer of this 1991 classic

passionpop: (drunk)
Ireland
Population: 4 609 600
Area: 70 273 km2
Language: Irish, English
Eurovision Attendances: 48
Eurovision wins: lots (7: 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996)



Molly Sterling - Playing With Numbers

Sometimes I look at what Ireland has sent to Eurovision and I think they are desperately trying not to win. This year they have tried to not make it look obvious, but I can still small that rat.

I too have been playing with the numbers and even the bookmakers think that this song will be lucky if it qualifies. It is not that there is anything wrong with Molly, she is the young pretty creature that Eurovision loves, and her vocal is interesting, it just doesn’t fit. The song is all wrong and it just appears to have been written in a rush for the contest.

Sometimes an act is so disappointing that I do not have the heart to be critical of it and this is one of those. I don’t think Ireland should be wasting the money sending this song to Eurovision and breaking this poor girl’s heart and destroying her dreams. I hope she comes back in 5 years with a better song.

Eurovision can be The Chance of a Lifetime for some, as sung in 1968

passionpop: (die bitch)
Azerbaijan
Population: 9 494 600
Area: 86 660 km2
Language: Azerbaijani
Eurovision Attendances: 7
Eurovision wins: 1 (2011)



Elnur Huseynov - Hour of the wolf

We have our first repeat offender for 2015. I have to admit I like this song more than his last entry in Eurovision but then I did say of that song “ARGH! My Ears!!!! They're bleeding! ARGH! the noise! The pain! ARGH!”, so anything has got to be an improvement.

So what has Elnur done since we last saw him? Well he won The Voice in Turkey last year. It does not bode well for Turkey if they have to import singers to win their reality TV shows. It also makes me like Elnur a little less. I dislike repeat offenders enough, but I hate reality TV show winners.

This song sits in the top 10 with the bookmakers, but it is early days yet. The song goes well for commercial radio or as an ad for a luxury SUV. I can just see a champagne SUV driving through all kinds of terrain until it gets to the end of the ad where there is a couple embracing. The song is more useful than great, but it is not bad.

And now for the torture Elnur brought us with Samir in 2008. How did this qualify for the final?

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