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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Haba Haba Good Weekend

Earlier today, The Netherlands chose the least boring song out of their five-song selection, “Je Vecht Nooit Alleen.” It’s still boring enough that I don’t have much to say about it.

Norway had their third semifinal yesterday. My favorite before the show was “SOS” but that didn’t qualify, and it wasn’t that great on stage either. Of the qualifiers to the final, my favorite was “Haba Haba” which seems to be the favorite of the fans and the Norwegian iTunes buyers. The other direct qualifier, “Dance Tonight,” is also decent. Of the second chance qualifiers, “Nothing Remains” is definitely my favorite.

Iceland also had their third semifinal, but none of the qualifying songs really appealed to me.

Finland had their third and last semifinal. This was definitely my favorite of the three. Of the qualifiers “Dancing in the Dark” and “Pamela” were the best.

Next week is the Norwegian second chance round. Of that selection I’d probably like to see “Nothing Remains” and “Alt du vil ha” qualify the most. A few other countries have semifinals with songs that haven’t been revealed yet. See you next week!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Scandinavia Shorts

I've been very busy lately so I'll keep this week's commentary short.

I thought Croatia was going to have their first semifinal with the actual songs, but it was only a performer selection, so I won't comment on their selection until the songs have been revealed.

Finland had their second semifinal and three songs qualified to the final. “Sydämeni kaksi maata” is my favorite of the three but none amaze me.

Norway also had their second semifinal. "You're Like A Melody" was my favorite of the night so I'm happy it qualified, a little less so about the other qualifier "Depend on me." Neither of the second chance qualifiers, "Allergic" and "Oh oh (Puppy Love)" excited me.

Iceland had their second semifinal as well. "Nott" was the best of the night and of their selection so far, but it's no "Is it true." It has a great performer but not as an amazing song. If it wins the national final I don't see it doing as well as "Is it true" did.

Next week: more of the same!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Scandinavian Firsts of the Year

I skipped last week because nothing much was happening, but this weekend a few countries held semifinals.

On Friday, Finland had their first semifinal. I’m not a big fan of the qualifying songs. “Rapture in Time” is probably the most original and energetic of this semifinal’s qualifiers. “Synkän maan tango” is okay too but it’s just an average tango that might not do so well if it makes it to Dusseldorf.

On Saturday Norway held their first semifinal. My pre-show favorite was “Trenger mer” which didn’t qualify but I’m not too broken up about it as it wasn’t very good on stage. Of the qualifiers “Vardlokk” is the one I like more but it’s slow to excite, and I’m not a fan of “Not that Easy.” The two qualifiers to the second chance round, “Daisy” and “Alt du vil ha” are good but not my style, although I prefer the latter a bit more.

Iceland also held their first semifinal on Saturday which resulted in two qualifiers: “Ástin mín eina” which is a ballad, the better of the two but not amazing, and “Ef ég hefði vængi,” an average rock song.

Next week brings semifinals from all these countries plus Croatia. Of the Finnish songs in next week’s semifinal, I prefer “Strong” and "Sydämeni kaksi maata,” but neither very strongly, and the songs in the other three countries’ semifinals haven’t been revealed yet.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Back for a while: 2011

I am back from the long Eurovision off-season to welcome in the new year of songs. Already three songs have been chosen for the 2011 Eurovision contest.

The first song chosen and released to the public this for this year's contest was Switzerland's "In love for a while" performed by Anna Rossinelli. I'm not sure which version to comment on. The demo version is plain and sounds like a demo. The live version adds more instruments, including an ukelele, giving it a fuller sound but also making it more twee. Definitely the best and most mainstream sounding song so far.

Next was Albania with "Kënga ime" performed by Aurelia Gace. This song will probably go through an edit or two like most Albanian songs lately, but I doubt it will gain an interesting melody, despite its passionate performance. Then again, I also thought France 2009 was boring and went nowhere and we know how that turned out.

Finally, on New Year's Day Romania chose "Change" by Hotel FM. I agree with some other commenters in various other places on the internet; this song sounds very "Denmark". In the national final he's even wearing suspenders like Simon Mathew. It's pleasant but not exciting, but there weren't many other better songs in the group of competitors.

A few other countries have had online selections going on but I'll refrain on commenting on them until their televised selections approach. Ukraine has had a couple of semifinals but besides saying that "Smile" seems like the front runner to me, I won't comment on those any more until more have been held.

What's up for next week? I don't know! I usually rely on ESCToday's calendar but they haven't updated it. You'll have to wait and find out!