Off to Sweden then for the biggest Contest until now, with no less than 8000 people witnessing the event live in the Scandinavium (quite the modest name) in the lovely Göteborg. The Swedes love Eurovision but they love their own Melodifestivalen and music scene more, a feeling that is emphasised by the host of the evening…
…because Lill Lindfors does everything in her power to market Sweden like it has never been marketed before. We’ve got humour, we’ve got panache and we know how to entertain. At least, that’s what she wants us to believe. I’m not questioning their organisational skills at all, as this has to be the most swift and efficient edition of the contest but La Lindfors does take up a lot of space in trying to convince the rest of Europe of the Power of the Swedes. With the singing (the jazzy bopping was the turning point) and the dancing and the comical interjections and the sitting on the barstool at the side of the stage during the performances: one really should know when one should retreat and leave the spotlights to the performers. On the other hand the underwear incident wouldn’t have been so effective had she not have been so omnipresent the entire evening so they really got a good build-up towards that iconic moment. Only at Eurovision!
Right, on to the songs then and to my own surprise I only seem to have flunked 5 out of 19 songs! What a difference with the year before! The only ones not to be deemed good enough for me are the childish chaos from Luxembourg (where Ireen Sheer just blows her 5 colleagues out of the water vocally), the cruisy Hawaii shit from Turkey (don’t throw things at us, should be the other way around), the worst gimmick ever (the child for Denmark) and the B-side to a Bond theme that is the pageant performance from Ireland. Worst of the bunch, here comes the wooden spoon already, is our very own entry to which I simply cannot listen. Linda Lepomme has an awful colour of voice, the song is really tedious and the overall approach is simply not OK. Her background in musical makes it all overly dramatic and Sir Terry Wogan was spot on when he uttered the words “steady woman, steady” after her performance. Not our finest moment.
The four not to be flunked but not to make the top ten either fall into two different categories. First you’ve got the songs that are quite okay but are being half butchered by the performers. There’s the lesser Vissi for Cyprus who can’t keep her low notes, dressed in drapes with wrong proportions that make her look like a Hobbit. And then there’s Italy, where Al Bano and the bridesmaid backings desperately try to make up for what Romina Power (how ironic) lacks in singing ability. I cracked up at the bit where she and the backings go for a soft mood and she clearly feels like a gifted singer. You’re not.
And then you have the strong performers that are stuck with a song that only makes me shrug my shoulders. A surprisingly young, skinny and well styled Kikki Danielsson did her best for the home team but with that weak pop song and those dancers I gave up quite quickly. And the horse lady from Portugal, with her own private hole in the ozon layer after getting that hairdo, really gave it her all but the combination of the drama, the dress, the teeth and the sobbing proved a bit too much – certainly for a weak song like that.
A very nice year indeed, let’s see who eventually made the top – here are the points of the Dimivision jury:
1 point: Switzerland – Piano Piano
Mariella Faré really has a highly slappable face and I don’t care much for that porn moustache, Pino Gasparini. This falls in the cruise ship / casino category for me and it’s only because the chorus is so damn catchy this gets a single point. But a bit too cheap to really fall in love with it.
2 points: United Kingdom – Love is
Fire-desire alert!! There’s always a weak one, always a strong one – couldn’t have said it better, Vikki! I don’t necessarily think you were the best choice for this song, with your thin voice and demure aura. Not to mention questionable fashion sense and wrong hairdresser. But it’s quite nice, even though it sounds like a cheap Stock, Aitken & Waterman production.
3 points: Germany – Für alle
Well, somebody’s testicles haven’t dropped yet! I haven’t liked this for a long time but while watching it yesterday I suddenly realised why they were favourites and did so well. I like the harmonies and it ticks all the right boxes with the musical build-up and key change. She’s clearly watched Alice Battiato performing in ’84 with that exact copy of an outfit. Still a bit too soft in general to really stick out for me.
4 points: Norway – La det swinge
The running bit for the opening is too forced for me but the tempo here is really incredible. The vintage feel is quite nice but it’s a bit too fifties for me, a musical period I’m not too fond of. Bettan is so much stronger than partner Hanne Krogh which is a pity in a partnership. Hate Hanne’s skirt but I’m secretly in love with those tacky pinkish glittervests. A snappy attempt and I can see why it won – but I don’t necessarily agree.
5 points: Greece – Miazoume
A whiff of Demis Roussos from Takis Biniaris but the demure version. He really should have a decent shave, he’d be so handsome! The hair has got a life of its own, in which I suspect it’s got its own L’Oréal commercial. The verses are a bit weak I feel, but I love the sadness in the chorus – a decent sized spoon of melancholy will always do the trick.
6 points: Austria – Kinder dieser Welt
How many blowdryers lost their power in trying to create that hairdo? Gary Lux looks like he had to get his official school picture taken. I hate the lyrics (what’s with the fascination with children this year??) but I quite like the musical vibe. The vibe gives a bit of The Tide Is High (what’s up with me and that song?) and there are a couple of bars that remind me very much of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. A nice three minutes all in all.
7 points: Spain – La fiesta terminó
Jackie Collins follows sister Joan into Dynasty in this Big Ballad with Big Gestures. Paloma San Basilio is crystal clear: she is the only Diva in the contest worthy of the title. I just love how over the top this is and I love those transition notes. Of course this kind of songs could only exist within the Eurovision bubble, which is why I love it even more.
8 points: France – Femme dans ses rêves aussi
Terry Wogan deemed this very French and I have very little to argue on that point. Without looking at Roger Bens this is simply marvellous however, the music is simply magnificent and I have to admit I like his vocal rendition. But what’s with the skulking-in-the-shadows attitude and that eternal licking of the lips? Are you here to win Eurovision or to find your next victim? Still, he fills the void very well all alone and my absolute favourite moment of the entire contest is when the light’s turned off the second he’s done – so comical!
10 points: Israel – Olé olé
That way? Right! What, Izhar Cohen has rehearsed so little he doesn’t know the way to the stage? Priceless! Not that he’d need rehearsing with that voice of his. Bastard. The way he gives it his all in this high tempo song is admirable to say the least. Judging by the shriek in the first chorus I suspect the blonde backing, who’s going total loss, is not equally gifted vocally but thank god for that falling microphone otherwise we might have found out! The brunette is just…air headed and hilarious. I simply adore this (I’ve come to the point already where I can actually ignore the Kibbutz prancing).
12 points: Finland – Eläköön elämä
Yes Terry, there’s drama for you! Sonja Lumme does a great job and keeps up the high rhythm until the end. The ammount of syllables is impressive and still she manages to keep the pace and the atmosphere, which in itself is a bit threatening and still fascinating. I even love the clapping bits, I just love everything about this. except for that weird vest that I hope is not made out of 101 dalmatians. Fa-bu-lous.
So a third win for the Fins already, tying them with Ireland and Italy and carrying them over the 100 point barrier in my all time top ten, chasing UK and Germany for a top 5 position:
1 Netherlands 133 (1970 – 1971)
2 France 127 (1960 – 1977)
3 Belgium 124 (1968 – 1983)
4 Italy 116 (1958 – 1964 – 1978)
5 Germany 114 (1959 – 1975)
6 United Kingdom 107 (1961 – 1965)
7 Finland 106 (1962 – 1979 – 1985)
8 Spain 99 (1973)
9 Portugal 91 (1972)
10 Sweden 85 (1974)
Right, I am ready now for our proudest moment thank you!