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Sunday, February 28, 2010

This is my blog, my friends

This week a couple more Eurovision entries were chosen. With two weeks left there are still half of the entries left to be revealed. I’m in the middle of midterm time so I’ll keep it short.

Spain chose “Algo pequenito,” not my favorite from their selection but it’s still charming.

Belarus chose “Far Away,” which isn’t as good as their previous few entries and is thus kind of depressing after the long string of fabulous male solo singers.

Georgia chose "Shine" which is much better than the Dutch "Shine" from last year, and also quite different since it is a classy ballad rather than a schlager disaster.

Latvia chose "What For," which I like because it is depressing and quirky, and has very very awkward English lyrics.

Slovakia chose the fan favorite "Horehronie,” which is much better than their entry last year.

Bulgaria chose “Angel si ti,” which anyone could have seen coming as it was the only entry written by the performer.

Sweden had their fourth and final semifinal. The qualifiers "This is My Life" and "Hollow" weren't my favorites - that would be the second chance qualifier "Human Frontier - although they were very good.

Next week, Sweden has their Andra Chansen round, of which I would like to see "Headlines" or "Human Frontier" qualify, but sadly only one of those are able to. According to's calendar, twelve countries are going to select or present their entries in the next seven days:Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine. Hopefully all of those songs will sound like winners, or at least be very good.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lucky 13 Songs

This week three countries chose their Eurovision entries, and now 13 songs, or a third of the total, have been made public. Instead of reading up on Eurovision events I spent much of this week watching and discussing Olympic men’s figure skating, which is somewhat Eurovision related considering the silver medalist was part of an Eurovision winning act.

Malta chose “My Dream,” a sugary ballad that isn’t their best but is pretty standard for them, and definitely better than last year’s. If we can accuse other countries of jumping on the solo-male bandwagon, then can we accuse Malta for jumping on the young-woman-singing-ballad bandwagon in response to last year’s 2nd place song, despite being this being what Malta “does”?

FYR Macedonia chose “Jas ja imam silata”, which didn’t get me at first listen but upon a few more listen’s it’s not that bad. I think I’ve just been softened to Eurovision ex-Yugoslav pop-rock through repeated exposure.

Slovenia chose “Narodnozabavni Rock,” a bizarre mixture of musical styles that will probably end up in a similar place on my list as previous songs that attempted that.

Three countries also had semifinals. Slovakia had their second semifinal. The qualifiers were good but my favorite is from the first semifinal.

Lithuania also had their second semifinal. “Running fast” is unique and decent, as is “Field of Kings“. “I Love a Boy Who’s In Love With A Fairytale” straddles the line between novelty song and subversive.

Last but not least, Sweden had their third semifinal of Melodifestivalen. This semifinal was of poorer quality than the previous weeks in that it did not have as good a sketch with Dolph Lundgren in it. The actual songs themselves were of mixed quality, but some good songs qualified. The qualification of “You’re Out Of My Life” was no surprise, given the popularity of Darin, but “Kom” qualifying was a different story. I thought “Kom” would be one of those poppy fan favorites that only makes it to 5th place, so I was very shocked when it won the public vote. Alcazar’s fourth attempt, “Headlines,” made it to the second chance round, as well as “Heaven or Hell” by Crucified Barbara, which is sadly not about Guilty Gear.

Next week six more countries select their entries: Bulgaria, Georgia, Latvia, Slovakia, Spain, and Turkey, and a few others have more qualifying rounds. As for potential national final winners, I’d like to see “Your morning lullaby” in Latvia, “Horehronie” in Slovakia, and “Beautiful Life” in Spain (though it will probably be “En una vida”).

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Legenda of Manboy

It's barely still Sunday here (by a minute!), so it's still time for Eurosunday.

Two more songs were added to the list of selected entries. Armenia's "Apricot stone" was a good choice as it was my favorite out of the entries in the national final, although I was a little confused by the title as I'm more used to hearing it referred to as a pit rather than a stone. Poland chose "Legenda" which is one in what could be a long line of male solo singers in this contest, but so far the first one with a song that heavily features string instruments.

Slovakia had their first proper semifinal after weeks of quarterfinals. Luckily their best song "Horehronie" qualified with a large amount of the popular vote. Lithuania also had their first semifinal with some decent qualifiers but nothing that stuck out to me.

Sweden had their second semifinal, with the much-awaited (by me) song, "Manboy" which flew into the final. As anyone could have predicted, it had an infectiously catchy chorus with awkward lyrics. Mr. Saade doesn't seem like a manboy at first glance to me so I will take his word for it that he isn't. Andreas Johnson, who I now realize sounds like Swedish Bono, also qualified with "We Can Work It Out." Of the second-chance round qualifiers, I liked Pauline's song, "Sucker For Love", and her hairbow.

Next week: Finals in FYR Macedonia, Malta, and Slovenia! Semifinals in Lithuania, Slovakia, and Sweden!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Surprised it took this long for this to happen

Just because "The Dragontower" didn't win in Norway doesn't mean they didn't pick a song with fantasy themes. You see,

"My Heart is Yours" is totally about Twilight! And thus, it will score very very highly. At the very least, better than "Vampires Are Alive."

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Scandinavia, Spring, and Shalalie

This week had a total of 5 songs selected for Eurovision, three of them from Scandinavian countries. Iceland chose “Je Ne Sais Quoi” which of course I am thrilled with, since it has “fan favorite” written all over it.

Norway chose “My Heart is Yours,” which sounds vaguely Irish. I was a little confused as to why people like it until I saw the songwriting credit -- it’s more of that Fredrik Kempe song magic. The lyrics are a little creepy ("I watch you at night" really?) instead of romantic at first listen, though.

Denmark chose “In A Moment Like This,” co-written by another songwriter of fan favorites, Thomas G:Son. It’s not my favorite song from the national final, but it’s decent.

Cyprus chose “Life looks better in spring,” which I’m not enthusiastic about yet. It has a good melody but it’s missing energy. I like it better than last year’s song, though.

The Netherlands chose the worst possible arrangement for their song “Ik ben verliefd (Shalalie)”, which sounds even more old-fashioned than the demo version.

I’m not going to comment on the Azerbaijani or German semifinals just yet as they seem to be choosing the singer rather than the song.

Slovakia had another two quarterfinals. I liked “Horehronie” and “PRidaj si ma” but not many of the others.

The best comes last: Sweden had their first semifinal. None of the songs stood out as “fan favorites” but it was still a pretty amazing set. “Unstoppable” brings back Natalie as a recurring character, and I applaud that practice in modern songs. “You’re Making Me Hot Hot Hot” is a classic 5th place song. “The Saviour” is ridiculous quasi-religious rock musical theater. “Keep on Walking” is burned into my head, its chorus so catchy it’s going to get annoying. And I get the feeling that “Road Salt” is going to be this year’s “Snalla Snalla,” although I’m wrong whenever I get these feelings.

Next week is a little slower: semifinals in Sweden and Slovakia, and finals in Armenia and Poland.