Saturday, January 30, 2010

What the folk? (Notes from National Finals On-Season, part 1)

Been rather busy of late (which explains the lack of activity on this here blog) anyway I’m finally getting into Eurovision national finals on-season. Tonight saw the Finnish final, which was won by Kuunkuiskaajat, with a very folky entry called "Työlki ellää". Just had a weird thought - the girl with the accordion looks like a blonde, Finnish version of my hairdresser who gave me a wonderful haircut today :)) anyway on first listen I think it’s a load of mince and won’t get out of the semi final. Zzzzzz. This is as far removed from Waldo’s People as you can imagine, and then double it, and even then you don’t come close :)

Sadly my favourite Finnish singer, the wonderful Osmo Ikonen, had failed to qualify for the final with "Heaven or Hell" which is probably too good for Eurovision, not that I’m bitter or anything...! (If Salem doesn’t get through to Globen/Andra Chansen in MF next week, expect one major, major, rant from me in the same vein!)

But I digress. For tonight was Siste Sjanse time in Norway. I have been following this year’s Norsk MGP with particular interest, even more than usual, because they are, after all, the defending champs. Tonight, after the dreaded duels, it was Venke Knutson and Bjorn Johan Muri who progressed to the MGP final next week. I'm quite happy about that, although for some strange reason I'm unable to get Gaute's song out of my head :)

Here's my preview of the final, which I'm doing tonight as I'll be Melodifestivalen-obsessed over the next 7 days for obvious reasons :)))))))

"Make My Day" - Maria Haukaas Storeng: it’s the law of diminishing returns I’m afraid. This isn’t as good as "Hold On Be Strong" and it’s not even as good as "Killing Me Tenderly" so I wouldn’t expect this one to win.

"The Dragontower" - Keep of Kalessin: quite a daring choice and I wouldn’t write it off just yet.
"Give It To Me" - Alexander Stenerud: I would really love to see Mr Stenerud get to represent Norge one of these days and they could do a lot worse than this.....very catchy, and I really like him and will be cheering him on next week.

"The Touch" - Maria Arredondo: can’t understand the appeal of this one, which probably appeals to the "Alvedansen" crowd only it’s not even as good as that one, and I wasn’t initially a fan of that song anyway :)

"Don’t Wanna Lose You Again" - A1: how good would it be if they won???? Think "About You Now"-meets-Coldplay and you get the idea. I really want this one to win, if Stenerud doesn’t, and I think it would be a very positive move for Eurovision as a whole if they got to represent Norway. And we in the UK could only ponder on what might have been....

"My Heart Is Yours"- Didrik Solli-Tangen: unfortunately the combination of Fredrik Kempe, a ‘You Raise Me Up’ soundalike and a not-entirely-unattractive real singer from Norway may result in a foregone conclusion. Fast forward to Oslo in May and expect a "La Voix"-type result, and disappointment all round :(

"Yes Man" - Bjorn Johan Muri: very contemporary and quite nice, although in a Eurovision defending-champion context, not too memorable.

"Jealous Cause I Love You" - Venke Knutson: this has a distinctive sixties-pop sweetness about it, and I think that sets it apart from the other songs in this year's MGP final. Add to that the draw position and you now have a serious contender....

So who will win? Well I would be happy if either A1 or Alexander Stenerud did it, but I fear the worst: this time next week expect me to be ranting about "My Heart Is Yours" .... :((((

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