Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Saturday 2009 (part 1)

I still can't get over it. All those weeks excitedly waiting for the British Eurovision song, written by songwriting heavyweights Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren....only to find that it's a total pile of mince. A pile of X Factor/Idol winners song mince to be precise. All we needed was Peter Kay's funny-once-but-now-tedious comedy creation Geraldine to come on stage and start warbling "I started with nothing...." at least that was a spoof, what's the excuse for this?

All through "Your Country Needs You" I wanted Mark to win, but having heard all three versions of the song I didn't really care in the end, it's such a dire song that it would still be dire no matter who sang it. As it was, the viewers chose Jade to go to Moscow. She had better enjoy her five minutes of fame, for yet another bottom-five placing probably awaits on 16th May! Her reprise at the end of the show was possibly the worst ever winner's reprise I've ever heard. The Twins were second, and they surprisingly delivered a half decent rendition of this so-called 'song'. Mark was third - and he was stitched up IMHO: giving a musical theatre singer two 'soul' songs to sing was a blatant attempt to put the viewers off voting for him, and then to have him sing "It's My Time" first, when the song was completely unfamiliar. Oh well...Royaume-Uni messes up again. And not for the first time either.

Britain could take lessons in how to produce a national final from many of our European neighbours, who can fill stadiums with enthusiastic fans and deliver an absolute event, rather than an embarrassment in a small studio.

Last night I watched my first ever Dansk Melodi Grand Prix final live on the internet. Mainly because I was completely frustrated yet again that I didn’t get to see this week’s Norwegian MGP heat. (OK, technically I did get to see it, but there was no sound on the live stream).

Anyway I had a bit more success with the DMGP live stream although the signal did break up quite regularly and I couldn’t get through any of the songs without regular buffering interruptions.

I thought the hosts Birthe Kjaer and Felix Smith were very good indeed! I thought Felix was rather cute with his messy blonde hair and unshaven look :P

Song 1: "I’ll Never Fall In Love Again" - Trine Jepsen.
This song was very "Hero"-ish, although her stylist let her down with unflattering headgear and those shorts.
Song 2: "Lucky Boy" - Jeppe.
I was particularly interested in this as he was a member of Junior Senior who did the fabulous "Move Your Feet" a few years ago. "Lucky Boy" was very 80s electropop-sounding and even though it didn’t really have a chance, I quite liked it.
Song 3: "Crying Out Your Name" - Marie Carmen Koppel.
Visually reminiscent of Sarah Dawn Finer in looks, but a bit less subtle in vocal delivery. A dull, bawling ballad.
Song 4: "Det’ Det" - Sukkerchok.
First Danish-language song of the night and after I heard it, I knew that this would progress to the ‘superfinal’. A girl group with a contemporary sound - this reminded me of Katy Perry’s "Hot N Cold" with a chorus right out of Orson’s "No Tomorrow". Not that I’m suggesting plagiarism or anything....
Song 5: "Alice In The Wonderland" - Jimmy Jorgensen.
Still on the comparison theme, this reminded me in places of "Flowers In The Window" by Travis. A decent enough anthemic pop-rock song but again I didn’t really see it having any chance. He looked quite scary too, and it was a bit clumsily staged with the girls-with-guitars backing him.
Song 6: "Someday" - Hera Bjork.
The pre-contest fan favourite, this was a great big ol’ slice of schlager, as if someone had taken Shirley Clamp, Fredrik Kempe, added a helping of "The Winner Takes It All" and thrown it into a blender. Very good, and she seemed to have a nice warm personality too. By this point I had predicted this as the winner.
Song 7: "Big Bang Baby" - Claus Christensen.
I didn’t really see/hear much of this as I was watching the DMGP final and "Your Country Needs You" at the same time, and at this point Dima Bilan was on BBC-1 doing his usual understated (!!) performance of "Believe" - you’d think by now he’d have learned how to pronounce ‘impossible’ correctly - anyway he took off his jacket mid-song and Claus was abandoned...!
Song 8: "Sindssyg" - Johnny Deluxe.
Unfortunately my internet connection was really playing up so I missed most of this. The bits I heard were OK though. A bit like "Modern Love" by David Bowie.
Song 9: "Underneath My Skin" - Christina Undhjem.
I was a big fan of her song "Here" from the Norwegian MGP from a couple of years ago, but I couldn’t say the same for this. Even the nice moving stage-effect wasn’t enough to save this "Because of You" soundalike from flopping. Dull.
Song 10: "Believe Again" - Brinck.
Tonight Matthew I’m going to be Ronan Keating. Singing a song written by ....oh, wait, Ronan Keating!! (who wasn’t even there by the way - points deducted) This was quite a nice midtempo song and I liked the singer, Niels Brinck. Very cheeky though, putting in a song called "Believe Again" when last year’s winning song was called "Believe". I reckoned this would provide the closest competition for "Someday" and I was right.

The superfinal was split into two head-to-head contests therefore we had "Det’ Det" against "Someday", and "Believe Again" against "Syndssig". Very interesting to see two of the final four songs were in Danish.

The interval act - Birthe and Felix’s Eurovision medley - was highly entertaining. I thought they were a very likeable partnership, even though I still can’t understand a word of Danish.

After the semi-finals came the result we expected: the schlager-tastic "Someday" (yes Rachel I liked that ‘destiny will work its magic’ line too) against "Believe Again". By this time I thought Hera had it in the bag - but she fell at the final hurdle as the voters chose "Believe Again" to represent Denmark in Moscow. I would have been happy with either of the songs winning so I didn’t really mind. It could have been worse: it could have been "It's My Time".

Good news from Finland: my two favourite songs made it to their ‘superfinal’ - "Lose Control" by Waldo’s People and "Speakerbox" by Signmark, with Waldo's People winning with a lively and exciting performance. It's all very E-Type 90s Eurodance, which I like, although I hope it doesn't suffer a similar fate to "Vampires Are Alive" and fail to make it out of the semi-final.


Poster Girl said...

Thank goodness you mentioned not getting any sound from Norway--I thought I was going crazy! I didn't watch it live, but in all my attempts to stream it from NRK afterwards, it's been audio-less.

EuropeCrazy said...

I thought it was just me!! I haven't tried to watch it again on NRK's site yet, but I probably won't bother now if there's no sound. I guess it'll have to be good old YouTube I suppose.

Rachel said...

A total pile of mince is a great description of My Time! When it started I thought "mmm,it's gonna go all Someday on us in a minute and turn into a schlager anthem".Shame it didn't- UK ESC songwriters should know by now that that's what people want! And the lyrics...dear me.

Dima's performance made me laugh- the writhing on the floor,the big high notes,the milked ending- classic Dima :)

As for the DMGP,I'm still disappointed but not too surprised.Only saw the last 15 minutes but was very excited to see Someday and Sindssyg in the superfinal.Believe Again is a good song (as were most in the MGP I think),but I can't see Europe going mad for it.

EuropeCrazy said...

"And I believe in .....yooooooooooo!!" Yes, good old understated d-d-d-Dima.

I really really enjoyed the DMGP - there very few songs I didn't like in it.

I like "Believe Again" too, but I agree that it probably won't get the ESC fans voting. My mum thought he was a Ronan Keating tribute act!