>Eurovision 2010: You Wouldn’t Think We’re in the 21st Century

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Right now, I am watching the Rabbitohs get slaughtered by the Roosters in their opening game, and it ain’t pretty.

Serbia on the other hand has chosen a very pretty boy (in contrast to the sirens, including marijia lang and their dirges) with a very pretty folk song, clearly geared to scoop the votes that went for Moldova last year.

 

Germany has taken note of Gabriela Climi (shout out to Oz!) and Amy Winehouse (shout out to Narcotics Anonymous!) and actually picked a song that could be seen on present day charts. It’s not terribly remarkable, but at least it’s modern.

 

Following the lead of its fellow Scandinavian neighbours, Sweden is going s-l-o-w and simple. This Is My Life is livelier than the Norwegian entry, but misses the comical dramatics of the Danish entry.

 

The last time Flanders went to Eurosong-land, they had a quirky nonsense song in a nonsense language. This time they have some Ronan Keating-esque dross sung by a whinging Idol cast-off about him and his sodding guitar. Denmark did the same last year. The UK did the same some time back, and the Dutch did it even earlier. Come back Kate Ryan, PLEASE!

 

Speaking of the UK, it’s one of the few countries who could benefit from digging in Eurovisions past, and they have pretty much done that. Pete Waterman arguably is the father of the Swedish-pop sound which has pretty much been on the charts nonstop since 1999. That Sounds Good To Me might remind a lot of Don’t Play That Song Again, but perhaps in 2010, it might get a better reception than in 2000. (Josh’s nerves notwithstanding.)

 

Shockingly Greece might actually sing in Greek this year, and while OPA might be sung in the standard “More Greek than Ouzo in Athens” style, the fact that it’s actually in Greek makes it really stand out. I’m going to get a bit controversial here, but it’s like a really testosterone-driven Greek-folk answer to Superstar (complete with male dancers in body-hugging outfits).

 

Now onto Spain. I never quite know what to make out of Spain ever since they’ve decided to rely on MySpace to come up with their entry, but after Soraya’s cruel result on the scoreboard last year, and the inanity of Rodolfo, we have Daniel Diges. What can I say about Daniel? Well, he certainly is not adverse to being photographed in nothing but briefs (aiming for the DNA magazine vote), but his song and performance!

It’s pretty damn bizarre: take the wackiness of Bosnia-Herzegovina 2008, and add on De Oude Muzikant (same writer as this year’s Dutch entry) sung in Spanish.

 

Croatia has picked former Bosnian entrants Feminnem to fly their flag in Oslo. Last time they were at Eurovision they had a catchy shout-out to former Eurovision entrants, this time they are telling us that everything is easy. So easy as to be near comatose. In other words, it’s pretty much every dull Croatian entry since Severina apparently used up all of the Croatian reserves of upbeat music. (Oh well, at least they are nicking their own lot.)

Not even a very random dance break livens this up, but they are at least excellent vocally.

 

Ever since realising that Eurosong-land wasn’t keen on their soft-core porn ballads and preview videos, Bulgaria has had more success going the quirky route (be it percussion and screaming or male operatic screaming). This year they have opted for a really shiny looking man singing another knock off of Romania’s 2006 entry.  I think it’s a fair bet that the choreography will be more than just Miro sitting down and singing. At least I hope so.

 

Belarus has generally been playing follow the (Russian) leader at Eurovision, fortunately they aren’t this year. No, this year, they are taking the 2 men + 1 woman line-up from Macedonia’s 2008 entry and singing a less operatic version of Azerbaijan’s 2008 entry.

Be happy they are at least ripping off entries from the past two years, and the singers’ English is comprehensible. (Remember this was the first Belarusian entry.)

 

Cyprus, poor Cyprus. They just don’t know what to do at Eurovision now. After having some brother & sister warble about butterflies last year, now they have some Welshman doing a musical therapy session with Spring as a metaphor.

I just made the song sound inherently more interesting than it really is, because basically it’s another knock off of Denmark’s 2009 entry as performed by a John Mayer wannabe. (Just play Monika, Cyprus’s excellent Eurovision debut, and you’ll resist the urge to kick in your screen.)

 

Estonia & Latvia used to be rivals for the quirky Eurovision entry stakes, until Latvia pretty much decided that they will be weird at all costs. Now Estonia has decided to go the serious, artistic route, and while it paid dividends last years, I don’t think Siren (which really comes across as a very cold version of last year’s Lithuanian entry…in comprehensible English crossed with a b-side from an old Cure single) is going to do the same.

Malta pretty much has been sending the same song every year (save for 2002, 2007, and 2008): It’s a woman singing a Disney-esque ballad. Mind you, we’re in a post-Susan Boyle world, and this old hat might work now.

 

From one dull ballad to another, Georgia now. Georgia had a kickass debut with Sopho and the avant-garde Visionary Dream. They followed that with Diana Gurtskaya’s screeching ballad about peace. After sitting last year out (killjoy EBU), they bounce back with a dull ballad by a young woman called Sofie or Sofia and a song called Shine. She can sing, and manages not to be upstaged by the pantomime act and pyrotechnics going on around her. She also manages to perform a bland version of Hungary’s 2008 entry.

 

Armenia closes this post out. They are going to be represented by Eva Rivas and the song Apricot Stone. It’s pretty much the classic “let’s put folk instruments over English lyrics that talk about motherland…a lot” (aka VOTE FOR US DIASPORA!), which Armenia has sent pretty much every year save for their debut. I never thought I’d wish for Qele Qele part 2, but compared to this engineered-for-maximum-saccharine song, I do.

 

The Eurovision rumour mill has it that France is going to go upbeat this year because the head of the French Eurovision team is eager to have a danceable song.

GRACE A DIEU SVP!!!

Mind you the title looks like it could be Allez! Ola! Ole! and the performer’s name is Jessy Matador, so it could be a big fromage-fest

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One comment

  1. Anonymous · March 15, 2010

    >serbia: that's a boy? well, it's a good song anyway. and the folk dance moves are pretty smooth, too.germany: i think she's a contender. decent material in the hands of a strong performer… that's the key to success.sweden: i wouldn't buy the song, but it's not bad.belgium: i think this entry is good, actually. it's very easy to parody an entry like this one, but it's listenable. in fact, one could easily imagine this song becoming part of some movie soundtrack.uk: i'm disappointed. i think the entry is musically weak and uninspired. and the dancers need to do more than just writhe around.greece: mc hammer called from 1990 and he wants his pants back.spain: simply a train wreck.croatia: boring song.bulgaria: do they even know their entry is lame?belarus: the strongest part of this entry was the light show accompanying the performance.cyprus: just not in the running.estonia: not the best composition.malta: this contestant happened to be the lucky fifth caller to the radio station that selected the country's entry.georgia: disappointing.armenia: i like this song. it may be formulaic, but it's fun.france: this bears watching. i like the song, but it could be perceived as too gimmicky if it become the french entry.

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