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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hopefully Not Really Running With Lions

Enough complaining about rigged/wrong juries/televotes, here are some songs that aren't making it to Eurovision this year and hopefully won't be forgotten.

In Sweden's Melodifestivalen, "Running With Lions" by Alice had the most ambiguous and concerning metaphor since "Hope and Glory." Mans didn't make it clear enough he wasn't an actual soldier in 2009, and I Aope alice isn't actually surrounded by big cats in 2017!

In Denmark,  "Vesterbro" by Thomas Ring makes you want to go to copenhagen, with a hot synth hook.

Slovenia's second-placer BQL's song "Heart of Gold" sounded  like a winner, and by that I mean it sounds like "Only Teardrops," with a bit of "Stay With Me" in the verse. The lyric doesnt make sense but they had charisma which is not common in Slovenian entires :(. Dear Slovenia: never don't enter Maraaya-penned songs.

Moldova went 2010 for their entry but they should have gone 2009, with "Discover Moldova" by Ethno Republic & Surorile Osoianu. This song has it all, and goes all over the place. It's a three minute tourism ad and that's okay.

Ukraine's "Thank You For My Way" by Ilaria is a ballad that is kind of comfortingly throwback/dated, with a cute fantasy backdro.

I think I am too old for "I'm In Love With You" by The Ludwig from Latvia. What is this, future bass? I am an out of touch Eurovision fan that needs to rely on FrankJavCee to tell me what real kids like. This precocious voiced slow jam could have fit in with the country's past few entries. The real applause though goes to the Riga Beaver, who invented the word "destressnessening" during the commercial break.

My favorite in Romania that didn't go through was "Doua Sticle" by Zanga (not Xanga, remember that?). She had an interesting marionette routine - shades of puppet on a string?
fav that didnt go through, had an interesting marionette routine – puppet on a string?

Next week: finals in Estonia, Romania, Portugal, as well as a couple other preliminary rounds.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Voiceless Three & Beat

This Saturday, Hungary, Malta, and Poland picked their Eurovision entries for this year. Here are three songs, one from each country, that missed their chance to be performed in Kiev.

Poland's Isabell Otrebus-Larsson performed "Voiceless", a pop song by none other than Fredrik Kempe, who has left a surprising void in this era of Swedish pop domination. Until this point, his most significant contribution to Eurovision in the past 5 years was "Love Love Peace Peace."

In HungaryKallay Saunders Band gave another try after their 2014 5th place in Copenhagen with “17”.

In MaltaJanice Mangion's song, "Kewkba" was notable for actually being performed in the Maltese language. Malta has traditionally not performed in Maltese, even during the national-languages-only days, but it would have been nice to see them do something different 

Slovenia had two semifinals this week, with the most notable song being "Free World" by Tosca Beat. If only this had gone to Kiev. Yes it's a Laibach ripoff but what a breath of fresh air and stage presence.

Next week brings a real Super Saturday, with finals in Denmark, Latvia, Moldova, Slovenia, Ukraine, and semifinals in Iceland, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Sweden.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Hungary had two semifinals this week, the first of which elmininated my favorite song in their national selection, “Deák” by Spoon 21. Apparently the performance was lacking, but this catchy synthpop-influenced hook could have been a hit.

Spain had their national final where “Ouch” by LeKlein came in third. Despite the unsual and...creative English, the message comes across excellently, and the song was catchier and more emotional than the actual winner.

I only watched a little of Sanremo (boy is there a lot of talking) but the best song I was able to watch was “Con te” by Sergio Sylvestre. Maybe it wouldn't have lit up the scoreboard at Eurovision, but it's a pleasant and emotional ballad. It looks like not all is lost - he has some Disney experience.

The Swedish public made agreeable choices in the second semifinal of Melodifestivalen, so instead I will highlight the Melodifestivalen hits medley performed by David Lindgren. It is hilarious to any Melodifestivalen fan and easily the best thing he has contributed to this contest.

Likewise, Germany only had two songs in their final, with five intepretations each. They did have a past winner's medley with a perfect-as-always Conchita singing “Satellite”.

Next week: semifinals in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, and Ukraine, plus finals in Hungary, Malta, and Poland.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

One More Gold Night

This week only one country chose their Eurovision entry - Switzerland. Freschta's ballad "Gold"  is emotional and could have fit among the several ballads already chosen.

Of course since this blog is this blog, we have to cover the first semifinal of Melodifestivalen. Dinah Nah made it to the final two year ago with the excellent "Make Me (La La La)". Her song this year , "One More Night" unfortunately came in 5th place. This dance song is a real early 00s eurodance throwback  Not the coolest thing out there, but comfortingly nostalgic and just what you need from Melodifestivalen at least once a year.

I wasn't able to cover the other semifinals this past weekend.  Next week is a big week for the big 5, with finals in Germany, Italy, and Spain. There will also be semifinals in Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and Ukraine.