Sunday, April 08, 2012

Eurovision 2012: Semi-Final 1, Part 1

I thought it was about time to give my views on this year's Eurovision semi-final songs.  Up till now I'd only heard a few of them, but on listening to most of the entries in Semi-Final 1, I reckon I hadn't missed much.  As usual, feel free to agree or disagree!  


Montenegro: "Euro Neuro" - Rambo Amadeus.  This guy firstly came to my attention in that fab series "Michael Palin's New Europe", however on first listen this has no redeeming features whatsoever.  A load of words put together, but in a 'song contest' this is most definitely not a 'song' but it's maybe different enough to get a few televotes.

Iceland: "Never Forget" - Gréta Salóme & Jónsi.  Now this is more like it.  Drama!  Knitwear!  Even though I'd have preferred it in its native Icelandic, it still rules.  On the down side, second position is the 'draw of death' but I would really, really, hope that it overcomes all the odds against it. 

Greece: "Aphrodisiac" - Eleftheria Eleftheriou.  One of the many Swedish-co-written songs in this year's contest.  Of course I would want to love it, but it's just not happening and the whole thing comes across like a trashy 14th-rate version of "My Number One" which was never a particular favourite of mine, but compared to this it actually seems so much better.  But it will qualify "because it's Greece". 

Latvia: "Beautiful Song" - Anmary. Once again, because it's Latvia, I want to love it, but on first listen it just disappoints me in so many ways.  Stupid lyrics about being born in the year that Johnny Logan won, and yet more lyrical references to Mick Jagger.  It's a long way from being a 'song that everybody hums and everybody loves'....however in a weak semi-final it could maybe grab a qualifying place.

Albania: "Suus" - Rona Nishliu.  Despite this not particularly appealing to me, extra points for the use of (a) native language and (b) clackers in the official video.  The director was obviously a child of the 70s!

Romania: "Zaleilah" - Mandinga.  This sounds a little Spanish, with the kind of summer-dancey-pop-hit vibe to it.  Without any doubt, a qualifier.

Switzerland: "Unbreakable" - Sinplus.  One of the first 2012 entries to be chosen, yet I haven't heard this till today. Even though it's a bit incomprehensible I'll probably end up liking it as I like a lot of the pop/rock stuff at ESC.  In typical Swiss style though, it will probably not qualify.  

Belgium: "Would You?" - Iris.  So far it's all been pretty underwhelming, so 'would you' vote for this year's Belgian entry?   Well you never know: she's got a slightly unusual vocal style, but on the down side (a) it's not Tom Dice and (b) they went for an internal selection and denied us Eurosong yet again, so I'm not feeling so charitable after all. 

Finland: "Nar Jag Blundar" - Pernilla Karlsson.  Finland in Finlandsvenska-language ESC entry shock!  I get the feeling they don't particularly care any more, although this is actually OK in a kind of swaying, folksy way.  

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