No, I really don’t wanna! This is the post I’ve been dreading to write since the day I started doing my reviews as this is the absolute worst edition for me – and it’s not about not wanting to give out bad ratings or comments, as should’ve been clear by now, but I just can’t be bothered. I’ve seen this edition twice until now: on the night itself and then when Boyfriend got me the entire collection on DVD. After this review I’ll probably never watch it again. Let’s get this Worst Contest Ever over and done with – brace yourselves!
I’m not saying Estonian television is to blame for my lack of enthusiasm even though the production isn’t entirely up to scratch. The location luckily isn’t as megalomaniac as the previous year and the fact that the audience is that close to the stage provides a lively atmosphere, even though it does come across a bit chaotic at times – especially in the bits where the catwalk is used. The translation of the logo to the stage is a nice gimmick but I find it very odd that some performers are only allowed to use a limited part of the stage. On top of that some of the camerawork is really not on par and the use of special light effects or the moveable panels only work on a couple of performances while they just blend into the chaos for others. Hosts Annely Peebo & Marko Matvere are both a bit of grey mice, Peebo’s operatic voice being the only remarkable thing to mention. I even only shrug at the post-modern fairytales in the postcards. On a productional level it’s all okay-ish without ever being really exciting or genius.
On a musical level however it’s just a disaster. There’s absolutely nothing in this field to get my juices flowing, the one even more bland than the other andif it’s not hopelessly outdated it’s definitely not chart- or radioworthy. Hjälp.
Absolute worst for me is the Disney drivel from Malta (I’m still flabbergasted this got to second place, but in this field anything could happen really), followed very closely by Israel (you shall not come anywhere near my candle, missy), Switzerland (another boring old schlager) and Russia (not exactly posterboys are they?). Greece isn’t too high on my list either with their malfunctioning Borg and neither is the bendy bunny from Croatia. In the category ‘Could Have Been Bearable’ we have Lithuania (the wrongest choice in singer we’ve ever witnessed), Germany (too sharp and too messy), Belgium (he should be doing what he does best – stand behind the bar in his own pub) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (a housewife doing a homemade routine).
The weener of the evening leaves me stone cold as well, with her terrible accent and her absolute non-song. The fact that that not even so terribly clever routine got Latvia the trophee sums the entire edition up in one go really. Probably the worst winner we’ve had since 1981 and definitely one of the worst ones ever. I would have rather had Cyprus (where Constantinos really is the ugly duckling in that forest of muscled arms), the UK (a bit shouty at times and even though I see why people would love it I’m simply not bothered) or Austria (too bad the chorus is so repetitive but on mute this is just fantastic).
I’d rather not do a top ten because I don’t think any of them deserve to be put on the same level as rewarded song from previous years but alas it’s the concept so here it goes – these are the points of the Dimivision jury:
1 point: Denmark – Tell me who you are
Again the big favourite screws it up and this time it’s the frozen-in-the-headlights concept that does Mahlene in. There’s simply no passion to be found here and that dowdy secretary outfit doesn’t help her come across sexy either. Such a pity because this song’s got a bit of potential me thinks, which is the only reason why I award it a single point. Oh, and I would have kept it in Danish as it just goes nowhere in English.
2 points: Finland – Addicted to you
Did somebody order a bit of Fierce with some Laura on the side? I like this blonde bombshell, even though that sweat stain is slightly off-putting, but those high notes are rather dodgy in the beginning. She saves it for me towards the end when she gets all funked up but by then my intrest in her second rate disco song has sadly flown.
3 points: Slovenia – Samo ljubezen
Silly queers – if you want to go out in drag then go full out. Don’t keep it so demure! And if you really want to give that concept a go then go full out. Don’t keep it so demure!! A bit of spice would have done wonders for this, because as a pop song this is up there with the strongest in the field – which is still not saying much of course. And it has to be said: not a lot of women or gay men would make an uglier trio than Sestre.
4 points: Romenia – Tell me why
Oy, quelle drame! Not the most exciting composition by far but the way it’s performed is quite impressive – thank God someone remembered to send some skilled vocalists to the Contest! Too bad Monica Anghel & Marcel Pavel don’t have the accent to support their effort, resulting in all of Europe hearing “now I masturbate” instead of “now I must obey” (or am I really just a perverted soul??). But I appreciate this at least, and those last 15 seconds are nothing short of impressive.
5 points: Spain – Europe’s living a celebration
Oh memories! I was just taking a Spanish course when Operacion Triunfo was running on Spanish tv so I witnessed the rise of Rosa as well and quite frankly I agreed she was the only one capable of defending the red-yellow flag in Tallinn, even though cutie David Bisbal and vamp Chenoa were fab as well. I did not however agree on the choice of song as it’s a typical cliché people think will do well at Eurovision but ultimately ends up somewhere mid table. I preferred Un sueño especial and the only reason ELAC did so well is because Rosa delivered the way all of España expected from her. Still, a fun trip down memory lane.
6 points: Estonia – Runaway
I believe I can fly because I’m seventeen only once in a lifetime! I hint of R. Kelly and a LOT of Ines in this little ditty but the golden rule says it’s better to copy in a crafty way than to invent something stupid. And at least Sahlene knows how to work the camera and sing under pressure – though I still find it odd to have someone from another country defending the title on homeground, especially for the Singing People the Estonians claim to be. Still a bit too static as a performance, but I don’t really hate it – I can hardly get any nicer this year!
7 points: FYROM – Od nas zavisi
A bit of a Nayah moment there for Karolina and she really has to learn how to stand still – that constant moving about is very distracting and doesn’t suit the slow drama of the song. She would have done better joining the backings in their toreador tribute. That said I think it’s a breath of fresh air in this field and it’s intriguing enough to keep me interested. But that outfit… I mean, really? Ripping off that coat was a big mistake. Some mishaps in presentation there!
8 points: Turkey – Leylaklar soldu kalbinde
Yes I know this isn’t all that in the live version but at this point I consider myself lucky if I don’t doze off mid song and Buket Bengisu is quirky enough to keep me dabadabbing along. It’s silly basically but I find it entertaining and I regulary catch myself humming this on a spring day – exactly what it says on the tin.
10 points: Sweden – Never let it go
Oh my, this is really all over the place isn’t it? Afro-dite (quite the lame play on words or is it really secretly genius, still can’t decide) clearly want to sell this the best way they can but end up overselling it in chaos. With the loud interjections and Gladys del Pilar‘s hoarse shouting this sympathetic disco stomper quickly turns into a mess and those ghastly silver outfits don’t help one bit. It’s disco, we get it. As if the backdrop wasn’t enough as well. Plus I wouldn’t have let Blossom Tainton take the front spot as she resembles Gulliver in the land of Lilliput. But it is one of the rare swift pop songs in the field and keeps up the tempo nicely until the end.
12 points: France – Il faut du temps
The logical choice really even though it isn’t even really my cup of tea. Too Celine again for me but Patrick Bruel did his best in creating something that didn’t sound too mid-90s. I’m still used to the 4 minute version so for me this 3 minute one sounds weird and Sandrine François shows too little emotion to really float my boat but she does however manage to sing this almost perfectly and it comes across very well. In another league compared to the rest of the field.
Thank God that’s over.
With this douze in their pocket the French take over the lead again in the all-time top 25 and I don’t think we’ll see the Netherlands up there again – they’ve been there for far too long already really. Finland squirms back into the top 5 and Estonia comes back from around the corner, overtaking Poland in the process:
1 France 195 (1960 – 1977 – 1991)
2 Netherlands 188 (1970 – 1971 – 1993)
3 Belgium 157 (1968 – 1983 – 1986-1990)
4 Finland 149 (1962 – 1979 – 1985 – 1988 – 1989)
5 Italy 149 (1958 – 1964 – 1978 – 1992)
6 Portugal 148 (1972 – 1998)
7 Germany 134 (1959 – 1975)
8 Sweden 134 (1974)
9 United Kingdom 132 (1961 – 1965)
10 Spain 128 (1973)
11 Norway 120 (1966 – 1982 – 2000)
12 Ireland 119 (1969 – 1980 – 1984 – 1996)
13 Israel 102 (1976)
14 Denmark 84 (1957 – 1963 – 2001)
15 Greece 79 (1981)
16 Turkey 76
17 Switzerland 72
18 Slovenia 55
19 Austria 53
20 Croatia 46
21 Cyprus 37
22 Iceland 34 (1987)
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina 31
24 Russia 30 (1994)
25 Estonia 29 (1999)