passionpop: (big)

So the Results are in from the first Semi and I am still in shock that Serbia made it. The bookmakers were right on that one.

I am happy that Romania and Hungary made it through, though I, like much of the rest of the world is sad that Finland did not make it. They rocked for an entire 85 seconds. the bookies had it in but the votes have it out. Goodbye Finland

The bookies got it right more than wrong though. Netherlands, FYR Maedonia and Moldova are also out like the bookies predicted. Many of my friends are saddened that Denmark is also gone, but the bookmakers picked that too.

Prior to the rehersals, Belarus were about 15th with the bookmakers. Thier exit is still not as shocking as Finland who were 5th, but it is still an epic error by the bookies.

The biggest shock to make the cut was Georgia, but then someone has to finish 27th in the final and I think Georgia is ready to claim that spot as their own...

The full list of those who have qualified for the final is available everywhere on the internet, including here. Now I am just waiting for semi 2

passionpop: (dead)
Estonia
Population: 1 313 271
Area: 45 228 km2
Language: Estonian
Eurovision Attendances: 20
Eurovision wins: 1 (2001)



Elina Born & Stig Rästa - Goodbye to Yesterday

I understand why this is a favourite this year. It was 4th with the bookmakers prior to rehearsals, but it is the one I would put my money on. I think it has what got what The Common Linnets had last year which got them to second, but it has it in spades. It also has the darkness Norway is trying to achieve this year, but better. I think one issue for this song winning is that Mørland & Debrah Scarlett may take some votes from them. My message to Europe is FORGET NORWAY.

There is something a little Nick Cave about this song. I think that if ‘Where the Wild roses Grow’ had been a Kylie song more than a Nick Cave song, I think it would sound like ‘Goodbye to Yesterday’. I keep hearing elements of ‘Red Right Hand’ in it. Maybe that is just me.

Elina Born is a talent™ show graduate, but I will forgive her this once only because I think it has all the other elements right. This deserved to win the national selection (Eesti Laul) and so long as they get the performance right on the night (which it doesn't so far but that may be improved with lighting and stuff), this could win.

I think this is the "Diamond of Night" for 2015. The end.

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: (completely)
Hungary
Population: 9 877 365
Area: 93 030 km2
Language: Hungarian
Eurovision Attendances: 12
Eurovision wins: 0



Boggie - Wars For Nothing

I keep misreading Boggie as Booggie and then I think ‘that snot good’, but then this song is ok. This is a pretty song. Not pretty enough to be favoured by the book makers but pretty enough to qualify for the final, just.

Peace songs usually qualify from the Semis, but they generally not likely to win. There are exceptions and how this will do depends on politics partially. With the current politics in Europe, this could be a sleeper and finish in the top half of the draw. Everything will depend on presentation and performance, and we know Hungary has improved in these areas in the last few years.

In the Hungarian national selection this song came second with the Jury, but is going to Eurovision based on the SMS and app voting. The song that came first with the jury was Szabó Ádám’s "Give me your love", but more interestingly the song that was 5th with the jury, "Ne engedj el" was by Hungary’s 2001 entrant Wolf Kati.

Anyway… I don’t know if They have heard of New Zealand’s Dave Dobbin in Hungary, but they sent someone in 1998 who looked a lot like him

passionpop: (dead)
The Netherlands
Population: 16 912 640
Area: 41 543 km2
Language: Dutch
Eurovision Attendances: 55
Eurovision wins: 4 (1957, 1959, 1969 and 1975)



Trijntje Oosterhuis - Walk Along

The lyricist on this song, Anouk, performed one of my favourite Eurovision songs ever in ‘Birds’, so I had high hopes for this song and I was severely disappointed. Half the song is just “Why, why-aiaiai, why-aiaiai”. This whiney tune is more suited to an angsty teen. It explains why the bookmakers don’t rate this song.

If the lyrics were a fail, the music is an annoyance. Swidish composer Tobias Karlsson provided music suited for a second rate melodifestivalen tune. Maybe it should be sung by Carola.

Trijntje has had over 20 year experience in the music industry. You would think someone with that much experience would not be heading in with this tripe. The bookies don’t think this will qualify and I think it will be lucky if it does.

The Netherlands has been using internal selections for the last few years and they have done well. They won’t this time….

passionpop: (southpark)
Albania
Population: 3 020 209
Area: 28 748
Language: Albanian
Eurovision Attendances: 11
Eurovision wins: 0



Elhaida Dani – I’m Alive

Originally Diell was going to be the song Elhaida Dani took to Eurovision, and I am glad that won’t be going because the vocal gymnastics shat me. I do find it weird though that after the writers withdrew permission for the song to go to Eurovision, they didn’t do another national final, the song is as important as the artist that is going after all. We have got what we have got through.

So this Albanian won the Italian version of the Voice. She can sing but can she win… probably not. The bookmakers have her top 20 and I think this is possibly better than that but not a winner.

Going back to the withdrawal of the original song, I thought to myself ‘why would they do that?’. Surely writers like the attention that having an entry to Eurovision can get them. With attention comes money, that it all good. Maybe however (and I perhaps rather cynical) they were piggy-backing off Eurovision without committing enough to sell out. They got all the promotion of Eurovision for a couple months but didn’t have to release their copyrite to the EBU (for the Eurovision CD etc). Could this become more common in the future? We will see in 2016.

I this this song is good, but my pre-show opinion doesn’t mean much. I didn’t think much of Albania in 2012, but when the song was sung on the night, I loved it. This is still Albania’s best result and it deserved better.

passionpop: (putting my foot in it)
Georgia
Population: 4 935 880
Area: 69 700
Language: Georgian
Eurovision Attendances: 7
Eurovision wins: 0



Nina Sublatti – Warrior

This is the second Warrior going to Eurovision this year and it could almost be a continuation of the song Malta sent. I can’t even decide which one I like better or even if I like one at all.

Nina is another Idol winner that is representing her country. What it interesting about this song is not only has the composition been altered by Swedish artist Thomas G:son, but the choreography for her Eurovision performance will be directed by another Swede in Sacha Jean-Baptiste. Are they really better than anything Georgia could have produced? But then Eurovision is a truly international event™

Use of Swedish personnel may be an attempt to hire votes, however the bookmakers don’t appear to think they have helped and the odds imply this will be lucky to qualify. I hope it does and Malta does too so they can be performed back to back in the final.

This years an improvement from Georgia’s first entry in 2007 and that is a positive…

passionpop: (drunk)
Armenia
Population 3 018 854
Area: 29 743 km2
Language: Armenian
Eurovision attendances: 8
Eurovision wins: 0



Genealogy - Face The Shadow

I can hear the Boos already. Blatant politics is not favoured in Eurovision and is against the rules. A group named Genealogy who are descended mainly from families who left after the Armenian Genocide of 1915 (which Turkey and Azerbaijan still deny took place) who are singing a song that was originally called ‘Don’t Deny’… there is no politics in that at all.

I admit that getting Armenian descendants from every continent (except South America and Antarctica) is a cute idea, but there is enough politics in the voting, it is unnecessary to add it to the songs.

Some of the lyrics “Face every shadow purified; Time is ticking and you keep thinking that you are tricking your heart, so; Don’t deny”. No politics at all.

The only Armenian resident in the group, Inga, was half of the 2009 entry for Armenia, the other half being Anush. This years song was also composed by Armen Martirosyan, who also composed the 2006 and 2010 entries for Armenia. I loved Andre from 2006 just for his Eyebrow

passionpop: (putting my foot in it)
Denmark
Population 5 659 715
Area: 42 916km2
Language: Danish
Eurovision attendances: 43
Eurovision wins: 3 (1963, 2000, 2013)



Anti Social Media - The Way You Are

I had to like Anti Social Media’s facebook page, if I had instagram I would follow them there too. I should look for them on twitter…

I get that they are trying to be old school which explains their name and the musical style, what I don’t get is Mr I Am Going to Wander Around Here Because they Don’t Trust Me With A Microphone. Showing off his Michael Jackson white socks and trying to be the Robbie Williams of the band and failing to come across as that charismatic. He is almost as bad as having a ‘ranga as the lead singer…

This is an earworm and a half, too much of an earworm to endure the two months from when it was announced to when it performs. The bookies seem to agree and have put this in the second half of the draw. It is harsh but plausible

From something trying to sounds 1960’s to something that is from 1966

passionpop: (die bitch)
Belarus
Population 9 481 000
Area: 207 595 km2
Language: Belarussian, Russian
Eurovision attendances: 11
Eurovision wins: 0



Uzari & Maimuna - Time

The best thing about this song is the elf ears that Uzari is wearing in the clip. It is not that the song is massively bad, I just like elf ears.

This is another country where the section practices are questionable. Why bother having a popular vote when all it amounts to is an 8th member of the jury? Why, because the Belarussian people cannot vote. The song the public voted #1 was a novelty entry and the song that was #2 with the public and the favourite to win was so dire that every Junior Eurovision entry ever was better than it. I almost cried listening to these

In the national selection the song that came second over-all (including the other jury 7 members) was the level of engrish that I expect from Belarus, so it seems that the right song is being sent to Eurovision. Sure, Uzari is a backing vocalist from a previous Eurovision entry, but this song is probably the best choice out of what Belarus had.

The bookies don’t rate this song but the bookies do often get it wrong. In 2005 Belarus was rated top three by the bookmakers and failed to qualify for the final. It appears wanted to love them that night...

passionpop: (big)
Greece
Population 10 816 286
Area: 131 957 km2
Language: Greek
Eurovision attendances: 35
Eurovision wins: 1 (2005)



Maria-Elena Kyriakou - One Last Breath

Twelve points from Cyprus! Except that Cyprus is in the other semi so Greece will have to qualify for the final to cash in on those 12 points. Meh, this will likely qualify.

The vocals are style over substance. I have trouble making out some of the lyrics, particularly in the first verse because she diva-breathes at every opportunity. Why the Diva Breathing, oh she was a winner of The Voice. Well her mentor probably taught her something then…

Azerbaijan won a few years ago with a ‘yummy-mummy’, but she has the assistance of the twink. Can the Cypriot mother of 3 win for Greece? If you believe the bookmakers, then no. If you take it from me then Hell No!

I think there was another Cypriot who represented Greece a couple times at Eurovision…

passionpop: (drunk)
Belgium
Population 11 239 755
Area: 30 528 km2
Language: French, Dutch, German
Eurovision attendances: 56
Eurovision wins: 1 (1986)



Loïc Nottet - Rhythm Inside

With a Voice bridesmaid singing a song with an intro that is an obvious rip off of the style of Lorde, I think I have heard it all. It is working for Belgium though. The book makers see this as being only their third qualifier for the final in 11 years. I don’t like this as much as they do.

This song needs a strong vocal performance on the night and if the 17 year old Loïc nails it, it might be worth watching. If he doesn’t, it still may be worth watching if you are into schadenfreude and that is the reason some people watch Eurovision. It is like the people who watch car racing just for the crashes.

He is self-taught and Loïc has composed this song, collaborated on the choreography and co designed the set design and visuals. Maybe he is just really talented. Completely unoriginal but really talented, that is possible right?

Now for a guy with the same initials as Loïc, from 1969

passionpop: (southpark)
Republic of Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
Population: 2 022 547
Area: 25 713 km2
Language: Macedonian
Eurovision attendances: 15
Eurovision wins: 0



Daniel Kajmakoski - Autumn Leaves

I find the selection for the Macedonian song interesting. Firstly they had international juries helping them determine the winner and all the songs that finished top three were miserable… I don’t mean they were bad; they just had a tone of misery. More interesting than that though is that the winner was determined 6 months before the Eurovision final. Imagine having to sped 6 months promoting a song, you would loathe it by Eurovision

This song is a victim of the 3 minute limit with a sudden ending that feels a little wrong. It will possibly suffer for having a less pretty singer. I dislike that he an X-factor winner and parts of this song scream ‘X-factor winner’s single’, but as long as he can execute on the night he should do ok.

Though the bookmakers have this song as fairly mid-range, this is one of the better songs Macedonia has sent to Eurovision, but considering Macedonia has qualified once for the final in the last 7 years, it isn’t hard to seem good in comparison. I think this will qualify.

During the National selection there were performances by former Eurovision entrants for Macedonia including the performer of this 2002 entry

passionpop: (dead)
Moldova
Population: 2 913 281
Area: 33 846 km2
Language: Romanian
Eurovision attendances: 10
Eurovision wins: 0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVN723iwj8c

Eduard Romanyuta - I want your love

This is a guy who attempted to represent the Ukraine on 3 separate occasions at Eurovision and failed to win their national selections each time. This year his country is not competing so what does one do in that situation? Obviously move to Moldova, get 200 SIM cards, pay off a chunk of the jury and buy your way to victory…. Allegedly…

There were a lot of discrepancies between the result from the semis to the final in Moldova, but apparently Eduard bragged about his vote rigging. This resulted in Sunstroke Project (who are most famous for giving us the Epic Sax Guy at the 2010 Eurovision), who finished third overall, storming out of the green room and all the acts who performed, including DoReDoS (who came second with the public) and Valeria Pașa (who won the Jury vote) boycotted the after party.

As for this song, it is like everything else that is churned out of the United States. I couldn’t believe he was only 22. He looks (and if the allegations are proven, also acts) like he is a lot younger, may be because I am old. Either way I wonder how he will rig the votes for all of Europe (and Australia) at Eurovision….

I am just sad because we could have had another Epic Sax guy meme

passionpop: (big)
Serbia
Population: 7 209 764
Area: 88 361 km2
Language: Serbian
Eurovision attendances: 7
Eurovision wins: 1 (2007)


Bojana Stamenov - Beauty Never Lies

Anyone who has looked at a fashion magazine or used a dating site will tell you that not only does beauty lie, it constantly talks out of its own arse. Beauty, as we see it, is a lie. I know this is meant to be an anti-body shame song, but the message is mixed to me.

This is a powerful vocal trying to get the whole body empowerment out there, but even the bookmakers see it is missing the point. This song is on the cusp of not qualifying for the final because the lyricist is a moron. It is the first time Serbia entered a song completely in English so maybe I can excuse them this once...

There are elements to like about this, but the singer is a ‘Got talent’ contestant that didn’t even win. I am voting her off the island now.

And now for something completely different from 2012

passionpop: (putting my foot in it)
Russia
Population: 143 975 923
Area: 17 098 242 km2
Language: Russian
Eurovision Attendances: 18
Eurovision wins: 1 (2008)



Polina Gagarina - A Million Voices

When I saw the title of this song was ‘A Million Voices’ I straight away thought of the line from Star Wars "...as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.” The destruction of Alderaan is possibly not the image the Russian government wanted this song to conjure up.

This song appears to have been written to go about 30 seconds longer, but the three minute limit on songs resulted in the song having a really average ending. Not that the song was brilliant before that, it is slick, most of the songs this year are, but it is just another cliché peace and love song for Eurovision. This was Germany’s genre but Russia is trying to steal it it seems.

The bookies have this in the top ten, which is a safe bet with Russia and the votes it owns. I think it is generous. It is not badly sung, just not a winner.

Now from the voices of many to being solo from 2000

passionpop: (die bitch)
Finland
Population: 5 474 094
Area: 338 424 km2
Language: Finnish (Swedish, Sami)
Eurovision Attendances: 48
Eurovision wins: 1 (2006)


Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät - Aina Mun Pitää

Pertti Kurikan Nameday is a band made up of developmentally disabled men and though their entry has been panned by many, the song is currently in the top ten with the bookmakers, so they must be doing something right

The good news for people who dislike this song is that it is mercifully short. This is the shortest song to ever go to Eurovision at 1 minute 27 seconds. Considering there is an ad break scedules for straight after this song, the break between this song and the next will probably be longer than this little ditty.

A documentary about these guys apparently gave them quite a following in Scandinavia and Germany. Good on ‘em. While here, the Australian government is haggling to avoid paying disabled workers what they deserve for their work saying a couple dollars an hour is enough, these guys show that disabled people have value.

So this year’s entry is punk, but Finland has tried all kinds of music, including in 1981 Reggae, ok.

passionpop: (completely)
Romania
Population: 19 945 642
Area:  238 391 kms2
Language: Romanian
Eurovision Attendances: 16
Eurovision wins: 0


Voltaj - De la Capăt (All Over Again)

Yes I have decided to ‘start all over again’ with Eurovision for another year and what an amazing year this is looking like it will be. Well I can live in hope.

Romania is sending a pop-rock ballad which is about the parents that go overseas to work and leave their children behind in Romania. If political comment was allowed in Eurovision I would suggest that this is a request to Germany to allow families of migrant workers to reside in Germany, but because political comment is banned by the rules, that cannot be the intention of this song.

A very nice emotional piece which is to be sung in Romanian and English after fans of the band got upset about the band initially planning to go into the contest singing in English only. It will not win because Romania never has and never will. Even if Romania sent clearly the best song to Eurovision, it would never win, it would qualify for the final but not win. Mid-range odds are deserved.

One thing I won’t change this year is having a flashback. This from 2011

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