Eurovision Review – 1981: Well, I for one have made up my mind.

Posted: 06/11/2011 in Eurovision Song Contest Reviews

Let’s get straight to the point (not The Point, sillies, we’ll have to wait for another decade) shall we: Worst winner ever. Ever. Yes, even before Riva. And in such a great year! An absolute outrage.

It started off so well though! The Irish had foreseen a lovely stage with a lot of atmosphere, especially thanks to the lighting effects. Host Doireann Ni Bhriain (does it get any more Irish than that?) provided a qualitative and thankfully short enough introduction. The real star of the evening however would soon prove to be the incredible orchestra, turning (almost) every song into gold.

Of course it isn’t all gold that shimmers. Italy dropped out and we got the first ever entry for Cyprus, which was highly regarded by the omnipotent Terry Wogan but I failed to see why this was a possible contender. The chorus is flat and outdated and the performance is very traditional. Two other snoozers were the Netherlands and Norway, songs so uneventful I checked out after one minute. You can always discuss what’s worse: being boring or trying to stand out and fall flat on your face. Finland obviously fall in the second category with their interpretation of reggae, sung by a man resembling our Plastic Bertrand in a terribly wrong ’80s fitness outfit.
Of course we had a couple of returnees, some of whom we’ll even see pop up in my top ten. Others were sadly less fortunate. Björn Skifs gave a decent enough performance for Sweden but had made some doubtful wardrobe decisions – babypink shirt and pants, blue jacket and gloves… Where’s my brown paper bag? Another blast from the past we got from Luxembourg with Jean-Claude Pascal, a former winner even though you would not be able to tell from his ’81 performance – bless his heart. Ce n’est peut-être plus ton temps, cher homme. Too outdated I’m afraid.

But the absolute worst is that the absolute worst eventually took the trophy. I simply don’t get it. Was the gimmick with the skirts really that new? Was their energy enough to sell this slightly outdated little tune? Did nobody hear at least two of them miss more than half of their tones? I’m sorry Bucks Fizz, but I really couldn’t care less and if it were up to me you would have ended right at the bottom.

Let’s see then who did manage to make the top ten, here are the points of the Dimivision jury:

1 point: Belgium – Samson

I see what your trying to do darling, but still you look a bit vulgar I fear. I’m not a very big fan of the colour of your voice either which doesn’t suit your song very well. Pity, because there something to it that makes me like it. Enough at least for a single point.

2 points: Austria – Wenn du da bist

Well, whatever they’re having I’m having please. Are they for real? I simply do not comprehend how they’ve come up with this concept for this song. The baseball outfit leaves me speachless really, as do the slow-mo running moves. Entertaining enough of course, and I cannot deny I love the woman’s voice and the sort of sad melody in the chorus.

3 points: Israel – Halaila

Is she afraid of the high pitched wolf back there on the right? He’s pumped alright, and I wish I could say the same for her but she’s very nervous. Loving the dramatic bridge there and the sway of it all is rather fab.

4 points: Denmark – Krøller eller ej

Debbie Cameron finally gets the role she should’ve gotten in 1979 and sadly has to settle for a slightly weaker song, though this swinging little number works in its own way. Miss Debbie certainly gives it her all, perhaps even a tad too much so, and capters that roaring thirties feel quite well. Not that I’m talking out of experience obviously… That dress is a good choice but almost is a presence on its own and can distract at times. I still don’t get why mister Seebach insists on sitting behind the piano though.

5 points: Portugal – Play-back

I love Carlos Paião‘s timing in the verses which announce an exciting song and the chorus only delivers partly. Love the jumping strings again. But what’s the idea here? Are they a cult? Did they escape some kind of institution? I like it anyway, love it when they go out of the box without losing sight of the box.

6 points: Turkey – Dönme dolap

Now you might think I’ve gone mad but I loved the music so much that I could tune the voices out completely. It all sounds very modern and it’s a pity it’s being sung by this bunch. Those sharp bits are really almost too much and the combination of her high pitch and the low male voices is questionnable. But the music did it for me.

7 points: Ireland – Horoscopes

I hear a bit of The Little Mermaid and incidentally their outfits are quite mermaidy as well. I raise my eyebrows slightly. The middle one looks like Crazy Val from Will & Grace. Loving the disco feel about this and the changes in tempo keep the song going nicely. And the harmonies are to die for.

8 points: Germany – Johnny Blue

Right, I’m on the wrong track! Another Siegel song with high points! The love child of Linda Evans and Lucy Lawless that is Lena Valaitis does a marvellous job here and sells a song that is calculated to the millimetre so it becomes believable. I love the country melancholy and the only point of criticism would be that god awful skirt.

10 points: Switzerland – Io senza te

I could park my bike in that. Get those teeth fixed man! And Sue darling, you’re 31 and not 61. Actually, I know women that age who have more youth in their style than you. Shame about those visual mishaps because you sound so beautiful! Definitely the best of your attempts and a nice style excercise in the Italian school.

12 points: Greece – Fegari Kalokerino

The clumsy fiddling at the piano wasn’t necessary for me because this is just so beautiful it can just stand on its own. It doesn’t need anything else, it just needs to be sung exactly the way Yannis Dimitras does. Dreamy and simply sublime.

Over to the all time top ten where only Germany manages to take advantage of this year’s result, the rest of the battle is being fought way down at the bottom out of your sight:

1             Netherlands 127 (1970 – 1971)
2             France 116 (1960 – 1977)
3             Germany 110 (1959 – 1975)
4             Italy 104 (1958 – 1964 – 1978)
5             Belgium 103(1968)
6             United Kingdom  90 (1961 – 1965)
7             Spain 85 (1973)
8             Finland 84 (1962 – 1979)
9             Sweden 78 (1974)
10             Luxembourg 76 (1956 – 1967)

Can’t wait to get on with the ’80s, loving them so far!

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