Eurovision Review – 1990: Unite unite Europe! But leave Eurocat out of it.

Posted: 09/12/2011 in Eurovision Song Contest Reviews

European unification is upon…eum…Europe and boy will we have known it. Half of the field in the ’90 Contest hints at a Europe without borders so we’re in for A LOT of messages of peace and understanding. Pity the Yugoslavian TV stations JRT/RTZ felt the need to symbolize this event with one of the dumbest ideas EVER to grace the Contest.

The idea of one happy continent offers a lot of possibilities and I simply can NOT understand how we could’ve ended up with Eurocat. The concept could’ve worked if only it hadn’t been so…out of this world might be the best (read: most polite) term. What the hell were they thinking? He’s pink, fat, has got warts all over his gigantic nose – wronger than wrong. Sadly it’s just the embodiment of the organisational skills of the Yugoslavian TV. Not everything went the way it was supposed to, from preparations to the actual where the technical side of things got lost in the fog at times. But you have got to love Helga Vlahovic aka the lost Collins sister.

Musically things looked/sounded a tiny bit better than the surroundings, thankfully. I’ve even got a couple of peace anthems in my top ten, imagine! That’s probably because there’s such a contrast in the different styles that are used to convey the message. The likes of Germany (snooze alert), Ireland (cheap pub version of Billy Joel), the United Kingdom (a bunch of dusty librarians accompanying a naive child) and Austria (this time with a copy of Samantha Fox) took forever to get through as they went for the cheesiest musical options. Others were simply too ‘been there done that’ to catch my interest: Cyprus had a demented Kylie in an aerobics-like feel, Sweden gave us the chaotic schlager version of Europe (the band), Denmark chose a lesser version of Kikki Danielsson, Portugal went for what looked like a parody on Gloria Estefan (the notes, the hair, the lack of a voice!), Greece was so classical I forgot what it sounded like after two minutes and Iceland captured the entire ’50s in three minutes. Yawn! Turkey’s about the only I would have switched with my number ten, sounding positively ’70s and a bit Dutch, had it not been for that unattractive man singing it. So superficial, I know!

These however did somehow convince me – here are the points of the Dimivision jury:

1 point: Finland – Fri?

This is obviously not a very strong performance, but I do like the flow in this one. And of course there are the harmonies. I think the steps are ridiculous though, and those dead poodles on their heads should have stayed home in Helsinki. But it’s got a certain something that makes me like it. Perhaps it’s the incidental Swedish that throws me off!

2 points: Norway – Brandenburger tor

Boyfriend’s absolute favourite and int he meantime he’s played it so much even I got used to it. No, I admit that this is quite catchy – I take full responsibility. Visually it’s awful though, salmon has got to be the worst colour ever and that brooch Ketil Stokkan is wearing is simply not done. But so damn catchy in the end! Schlagerpeace!

3 points: Spain – Bandido

This is VERY Spanish for me, but they took their traditional elements and poured a contemporary sauce over it all.  Impressive, but a bit too shouty for my taste. The fact that they’re pissed about THE incident makes it only stronger. Corazon!

4 points: Israel – Shara Barechovot

After all those year I’m still confused about this one. At first I disliked it, now it’s starting to grow on me because I find the structure and the storytelling very intriguing. Rita‘s putting on too many layers of Drama though, tone it down a little honey! Especially in the end scene, it’s sliding down to Razzie levels. And get those eyebrows plucked.

5 points: Netherlands – Ik wil alles met je delen

One Drama after the other! And I’m not talking about that dress, though it is awful. I love Maywood’s rendition, mainly due to Karen Wood‘s (aka Doetie de Vries, such a Dutch name!) vocal capacities. And I’m secretly happy the trumpet fell away in the instrumental bridge, much better like that!

6 points: Luxembourg – Quand je te rêve

Céline Carzo looks like she’s not having fun and sings like someone’s standing on her toes – a bit of dynamism would have worked wonders. But I like the music here, especially towards the end when it all shifts up a gear. With a better/more talented/more present singer this would have done much better I feel. And I want to shave her head so badly it itches!

7 points: Yugoslavia – Hajde da ludujemo

There’s something about Barbie! Another bubbly entry from Yugoslavia and I have to admit I’m taking a liking towards their entries, especially because they always manage to find the perfect performer for this kind of song. Tajci has got a lot of presence and fills the stage well, never lets go of the attention and delivers without effort. If only they’d let out that horrible electric guitar solo!!

8 points: France – White & black blues

Perhaps I’ve just grown tired of this one, or perhaps it is really just a *bit* too forced. But only a bit! Of course we have to keep in mind this was nearly 22 years ago and times were different so I get the outrageous performance and presence (the hair, the nails!). Love the idea behind it and the musical puzzle is constructed well, merci monsieur Gainsbourg. A clear message that’s wrapped neatly – see how it’s supposed to be done, mr Siegel?

10 points: Italy – Insieme:1992

I realise this is not the most popular of winners, but I can see why this walked with it: that musical build-up is just incredibly effective and for once someone manages to put the electric guitar to effective use. It’s a miracle! Some clever directing going on here, with a lot of wide shots as to underline the impressive feel of the song – and at the same time avoiding the slightly dumb look on Toto Cutugno‘s face. The man can sing, you just don’t want to look at him do you? I sure don’t.

12 points: Belgium – Macédomienne

A fourth douze for my own country and I think you’ll agree this one’s more than deserved. It’s so fascinating and rich musically, I adore it. Philippe Lafontaine may not be the most charismatic performer, but he does his own song – an ode to his wife – justice. Just not too sure about that outfit: colourblocking is hip, but you’ve got to pick out the right colours now. One of my all time favourites.

The wooden spoon for the last place goes, quite naturally, to the tasteless cheese from Switzerland – I refuse to put energy into commenting this poor excuse for a song. Back to the Matterhorn with you, Egon Egemann!

Not a lot of movement in the top ten. Belgium is back on top though and France slides back into bronze position but every country in my top 5 received points this time round. Luxembourg crosses the 100 points mark, a nice almost-goodbye:
1             Belgium 157 (1968 – 1983 – 1986-1990)
2             Netherlands 151 (1970 – 1971)
3             France 147 (1960 – 1977)
4             Finland 138 (1962 – 1979 – 1985 – 1988 – 1989)
5             Italy 125 (1958 – 1964 – 1978)
6             Germany 116 (1959 – 1975)
7             United Kingdom  115 (1961 – 1965)
8             Portugal 114 (1972)
9             Spain 110 (1973)
10            Luxembourg 100 (1956 – 1967)

Enough peace, time for some chaos now!

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