Finally I have put pen to paper (or keys to keyboard) and here is my review of all the songs from the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, based on their various studio/video versions circulating all over the web.
ALBANIA - "Hear My Plea" - Frederik Ndoci & Aida
Loved Albania last year thanks to lovely Luiz who did a great performance of his ethnic song well. Frederik is more than a little scary though and this has your attention wandering by the chorus.
ANDORRA - "Salvem El Mon" - Anonymous
Something different from the very small country. Fans of all the Busted/Fall Out Boy genre will lap this up but they are not the Eurovision audience, Rather likeable in a strange way, but would be more successful totally sung in English.
ARMENIA - "Anytime You Need" - Hayko
I am rapidly mixing up all these countries like Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Georgia! He’s a little earnest and this ballad may do well thanks to the diaspora vote (like last year) or again may get lost.
AUSTRIA - "Get A Life - Get Alive" - Eric Papilaya
I rather like this although it will not do well at all. It’s vaguely modern in a rock-dance way and has hit potential but again not a Eurovision song.
BELARUS - "Work Your Magic" - Koldun
One of the first songs to be chosen and still the one that has left the most impression on me (apart from Sweden of course). Expensive video to sell the blue-eyed Idol winner, but can he do it on the night? Minsk 2008?
BELGIUM - "Love Power" - The KMGs
Earth Wind and Fire resurrected for 2007. Disco without the Skamp-irony, this will sadly end up near the bottom of the scoreboard although it is a pleasant if forgettable way to pass 3 minutes and an interesting departure for RTBF.
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA - "Rijeka Bez Imena" - Marija Sestic
Favourites last year and always a contender, it’s ethnic-ballad-by-numbers time, and lacks a recognisable hook although she’s an appealing enough singer in the Balkan mould.
BULGARIA - "Water" - Elitsa and Stoyan
Completely bonkers yelping, drumming Safri Duo-inspired techno. I am at a loss to describe this any further. Winner? Loser? Eh??????
CROATIA - "Vjerujem U Ljubav" - Dado Topic & Dragonfly
Chilled out blues in the style of Eric Clapton or Chris Rea, another rock-influenced number. Not a classic by any means but a welcome departure from the usual Balkan female-in-a-floaty-frock. More English lyrics please.
CYPRUS - "Comme Ci Comme Ca" - Evridiki
Further proof in an already bonkers and ‘diverse’ year that anything goes. Legendary Cypriot singer does a full Cypriot entry in the French language. She is a very good singer, all she needs is to lay off the dad-dancing.
CZECH REPUBLIC - "Mala Dama" - Kabat
Welcome to ESC! Hair metal from the Czechs - it won’t do well unless some voters still want the Lordi-effect to continue a year on.
DENMARK - "Drama Queen" - DQ
Drag-pop which cruelly robbed Jacob Andersen’s "Listen To Love" which should rightly have been the Danish entry this year. Freak-show novelty which will again do well or bomb.
ESTONIA - "Partners In Crime" - Gerli Padar
She looks like a dark-haired Estonian Pink, and that’s what it sounds like. Commercial pop with hit potential, although again not really made for Eurovision. Will struggle yet again to get out of the semi.
FINLAND - "Leave Me Alone" - Hanna Pakarinen
Another missed opportunity as the Finnish voters chose not to send Lovex. Idol winner and Amy Lee wannabe, not what the reigning champions should be doing but good on them for sticking two fingers up yet again.
FRANCE - "L’Amour a la Francaise" - Les Fatals Picards
Charming novelty tune which again is not quite right for Eurovision and possibly only the British will get the "Franglais" joke. Catchy and engaging though, with a cheeky nod to "Toxic"/"Work Your Magic" - will anyone notice the plagiarism?
FYR MACEDONIA - "Mojot Svet/My World" - Karolina Goceva
Yet another of those pretty, leggy Balkan beauties who populate the contest year after year. This has a sense of deja vu about it, but is virtually guaranteed the votes from the neighbours. Not the worst I’ve heard though.
GEORGIA - "Visionary Dream" - Sopho Khalvashi
Another debut country with an ethnic-sounding soaring tune. Change of song title as previously known as "My Story" Dramatic and swooping with a whiff of techno, if she can pull off the soaring vocals it could do well.
GERMANY - "Frauen Regier’n Die Welt" - Roger Cicero
Big band charmer who has already gone platinum in his native country. Good singer who can deliver a good performance of an average song, and possibly bringing Germany’s best result in many a year.
GREECE - "Yassou Maria" - Sarbel
The Greek Ricky Martin, only about 7 years too late. Not the worst this year though, and it won’t be the last time we hear the words "Shake It Up" from the eastern Mediterranean this year....
HUNGARY - "Unsubstantial Blues" - Magdi Ruzsa
Very likely to polarise audiences this year, the most un-Eurovision song on show this year and therefore very unpredictable to, er, predict the result of. Further proof that this is a very odd year indeed!
ICELAND - "Valentine Lost" - Eirikur Hauksson
Thoughtful rock ballad which will either do very well or flop badly. He is a good singer but not the most visually appealing. One of this year’s best in generally a disappointing year. Now if they had sent Jonsi singing this....
IRELAND - "They Can’t Stop The Spring" - Dervish
Rather than the obvious solution and send Brian Kennedy every year till he rightly wins the thing, Eire has chosen a trad folk band with a trad folk number. Potential winner? Like Dolores O’Riordan singing a protest song. Watch this go.
ISRAEL - "Push the Button" - Teapacks
Not the saucy Sugababes singalong but yet another novelty number allegedly about the leader of Iran - how topical is that? "Wanna see the flowers bloom/don’t wanna go ka-boom ka-boom". Most bonkers Israeli entry in years.
LATVIA - "Questa Notte" - Bonaparti.lv
Latvian version of G4 (r.i.p.)/Il Divo. Possibly the worst styled act of ESC 2007 if the preview video is anything to go by. Potentially dangerous voting-wise, if they get out of the top hats and jeans it could be Riga 2008.
LITHUANIA - "Love Or Leave" - 4Fun
Not much fun going on here on this Dido-esque acoustic strummer. This one may just pass by the viewers and voters and is too forgettable to repeat the success of last year’s "We Are The Winners".
MALTA - "Vertigo" - Olivia Lewis
Eurovision’s most desperate-to-win country attempts a little drama with a flamenco-flavoured rousing number which is not a winner but will gather a few votes. Not a winner though.
MOLDOVA - "Fight" - Natalia Barbu
One of this year’s first songs to be chosen and yet again another Evanescence-style rock number sung by a girl with long dark hair. May again struggle to get out of the semi.
MONTENEGRO - "Ajde Kroci" - Stevan Faddy
Pop-rock star with Scottish ancestry - what’s not to like? Well, not too much sadly, as he will need to deliver a strong performance to lift this below-average rock-influenced number off the bottom of the scoreboard.
NETHERLANDS - "On Top Of The World" - Edsilia Rombley
She is good, there is no doubt about it. However, the Anastacia feel is a few years out of date and this could kill the song’s chances. Edsilia herself also prefers to sing in Dutch - could this also limit her performance?
NORWAY - "Ven a Bailar Conmigo" - Guri Schanke
Winner? Loser? Will Europe’s voters swallow the vision of an over-the-hill Geri Halliwell in a mini-dress giving it cod-Latino-by-numbers? I’m just bitter because none of my favourites in MGP won. :-(((
POLAND - "Time To Party" - The Jet Set
Polish Black Eyed Peas-influenced contemporary number, again with massive hit potential but ESC potential? Possibly not, but they should at least be congratulated for trying something remotely modern.
PORTUGAL - "Danca Conmigo" - Sabrina
ESC’s most depressingly old fashioned country continues to keep up its standard of dull entries. I love the country and its people so much, but do not judge it by its Eurovision entries.
ROMANIA - "Liubi, Liubi, I Love You" - Todomundo
Another novelty entry - they seem to be polluting the contest this year. That old trick of singing in various languages to get votes is employed to full effect here and could very well work.
RUSSIA - "Song #1" - Serebro
Bad-ass girl trio who, with a good vocal performance and the right choreography could cheerily be romping off with the title and taking the contest to Moscow 2008. Russia will inevitably win the thing one of these years - this one maybe?
SERBIA - "Molitva" - Marija Serifovic
That is of course if the Serbs do not, as it is their destiny to also win it. Marija is, how should I say, a Serbian version of Alex Parks if you catch my drift. Good singer - although not the most glamorous to ever grace the ESC stage - who is guaranteed to achieve a very high placing thanks to neighbour voting.
SLOVENIA - "Cvet Z Juga" - Alenka Gotar
Bizarre mix of opera set to a disco beat. What will Europe make of this? Another of those songs which will possibly polarise the audience, not remotely a favourite of mine but who can account for taste?
SPAIN - "I Love You Mi Vida" - D’Nash
The outcome of the marathon "Mision Eurovision" selection process delivered this Latin dance number sung by a rather appealing boyband. Only a poor position in the draw (the dreaded 2nd spot) will prevent this achieving a deserved high position.
SWEDEN - "The Worrying Kind" - The Ark
No need to worry as Ola and the boys are sure to deliver an understated performance in Helsinki....NOT!! I’m biased as I love this band and the song and they will be my favourites. Hope they win (but they probably won’t :-(( )
SWITZERLAND - "Vampires Are Alive" - DJ Bobo
Obvious winner this year if the voters will go for old-school Eurodance cashing in on the Lordi freakshow of last year. Could be hampered by the 6 persons on stage rule and will need a stunning performance to sell the song.
TURKEY - "Shake It Up Shekerim" - Kenan Dogulu
More shaking it up from the eastern Med. Kenan brings eye candy with a Timberlake-style number similar to Andreas Lundstedt’s "Move" from the MF semis 2007. Guaranteed a respectable place in the final standings.
UKRAINE - "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" - Verka Serduchka
Addictive foot tapper from Dame Edna from space. Entertaining 3 minutes of utter bonkers nonsense from a Ukrainian drag queen singing about "lasha tumbai". To dance or not to dance - all the way back to Kiev 2008????
UNITED KINGDOM - "Flying The Flag (For You)" - Scooch
Et finalement, Royaume-Uni. A gay old Europop ode to air travel from the good old bad old days of Eurovision, selected of course in very dubious circumstances and virtually guaranteed nil points from our continental neighbours.