Archive for the ‘Eurovision 2013 Preview’ Category

I met up with Hannah from Slovenia in Amsterdam and asked her a couple of questions, the result can be found below! (more…)

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And now the end is near, here’s part 20 of the run through of this year’s contestants! Will they be beautiful butterflies, or rather moths that have to hide away in the dark?

First of all, a bit of framework for the judging – I’ll be looking at the song, the vocal performance and the stage presentation (or concept of the video if we haven’t seen a stage performance) and I’ll round up by putting them to the DIMI test (do I think it’s Dramatic, Intriguing and/or Modern enough to Include in my iTunes library?). I’ll score the entries from 1 to 5 on each of those points, resulting in a score out of a possible maximum of 20.

 5. UK – Bonnie Tyler – Believe in me

The Song: Oh dear, where to start? First off: this is as generic as the next Shania Twain country ballad. The floating insert of the title is perhaps the most catchy part, but even then this is hardly memorable. Secondly: If you’re famous for rockballads, why not go for a rockballad? The tackier, the better I’d say – nobody would mind Total Eclipse Of The Heart 2.0… And finally: really UK? With all that young talent in your music scene with fresh ideas you give us this snoozefest? You really don’t want to win ESC again, do you?
Verdict:
The Voice: Smoke another pack of cigarettes dear. This will be even more hoarse than Anna Vissi. Imagine.
Verdict:
The Performance: If it’s as boring as the video we’re in for 3 beige minutes. I’m rolling my eyes with anticipation #sarcmark
Verdict:
The DIMI test: I am very cross with the powers that be @ BBC. Another has-been that wouldn’t have touched Eurovision with a stick back in the days, but now uses it to try and squeeze out whatever remains of that once beautiful carreer? Downright shameful. This is mocking the Contest and I’d rather have they stay away than spit on it.
Verdict:

PERSONAL TOTAL: 8/20
PREDICTION: Bottom 5.

  6. Sweden – Robin Stjernberg – You

The Song: This has to be one of the most modern sounding songs in the year’s edition, slipstreaming the current sounds in Britpop – I’m always reminded of Temper Trap when I hear this. The build-up takes its time to get there but when it gets there it delivers big time: the soaring chorus is spot on and the way it explodes in a different way  every single time is very effective. Very cleverly written, this.
Verdict:
The Voice: When he hits the notes, he hits them well – especially The Big One at the end. We’ve heard several versions of this though, the question remains how he’ll pull it off on the night…
Verdict:
The Performance: I am in no way a fan of what we saw at Melodifestivalen: the interpretative dancing feels too forced for me and a less faux-artistic approach would work miracles. Robin is endearing in the way he throws himself onto the song but can come across a bit…intense might be the best expression for it I think. In other words: this needs to get more of a professional feel, rather than looking like it belongs at a talent show at a local school.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: I like it. I’m not crazy about it, but I like it.
Verdict: 

PERSONAL TOTAL: 12/20
PREDICTION: If they manage to get this across then this might well surprise everyone. Can Sweden pull an Ireland? Perhaps. But if it fails it fails big time.

So that’s it!! Without further ado, let’s see what my top 26 would look like right now, almost one month before the Big Event:

1. France
2. Norway
3. Slovenia
4. Netherlands
5. Finland
6. Estonia
7. Italy
8. Malta
9. Serbia
10. Moldova
11. Montenegro
12. Hungary
13. Azerbaijan
14. Spain
15. Germany
16. Sweden
17. Bulgaria
18. Albania
19. Greece
20. Denmark
21. Ireland
22. Iceland
23. Austria
24. FYR Macedonia
25. Ukraine
26. UK

Hmz, that doesn’t seem realistic at all does it?
The polls will be launched tomorrow, curious to see what you all think!

Stick with me until the end, here’s part 19 of the run through of this year’s contestants! Will they be beautiful butterflies, or rather moths that have to hide away in the dark?

First of all, a bit of framework for the judging – I’ll be looking at the song, the vocal performance and the stage presentation (or concept of the video if we haven’t seen a stage performance) and I’ll round up by putting them to the DIMI test (do I think it’s Dramatic, Intriguing and/or Modern enough to Include in my iTunes library?). I’ll score the entries from 1 to 5 on each of those points, resulting in a score out of a possible maximum of 20.

3. Italy – Marco Mengoni – L’essenziale

The Song: Ballad number 5326 in this Contest. But the most quintessential one of the bunch, I’m sure. The fact that it’s in the language of love sure doesn’t hurt its chances, and even though it borderlines (rather heavily) on the ‘been there, done that’ feeling it’s got that certain je ne sais quoi that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, whether you want them to or not. It sounds gorgeous in Italian, pity the poetic lyrics won’t touch everyone.
Verdict:
The Voice: Marco’s nasal sound takes about 30 seconds to get used to, after that he blends beautifully with the rest of the composition. Love his timing when he’s pronouncing the title to the song at the end of the (rather demure) chorus.
Verdict:
The Performance: Eye candy alert. This song doesn’t require a lot of fuss and a lot will come down to Marco himself and how he performs the song. I have no doubt he will be perfectly groomed, which will make ladies and other fans of men Swoon with a capital S.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: Is it too Eros R? Perhaps. But for those three minutes on that one Saturday in May I don’t think I will mind.
Verdict:

PERSONAL TOTAL: 16/20
PREDICTION: Is it too Eros R? Perhaps. But for those three minutes on that one Saturday in May I don’t think Europe will mind. Sure top 5, possible winner.

  4. Spain – ESDM – Contigo hasta el final

The Song: The Corrs have moved to Spain it seems. I also smell a toch of Ireland 2007, even though this is more clever in production: I love how many instruments are used here and the layering is very clever. It doesn’t obey the standard Eurovision build-up, which makes me love it even more, but it does take quite some time before we get to the essence of the song and that might not be very beneficial. Still, kuddos to them for sticking to their style instead of sacrificing their proverbal artistic soul.
Verdict:
The Voice: It’s a tad on the sharp side but with their live reputation I don’t think vocals are going to be an issue. Unless a crowd of a possible 120 million viewers gets the better of them.
Verdict:
The Performance: This might be the pitfall for Spain. There’s not an awful lot you can do with this song, so I think a rather straight to the point approach would work best for them. I fear for it though, the Spanish are notorious in fracking up their entries when it comes to the actual presentation on stage. I hope ESDM are putting their foot down.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: It’s a nice little ditty. A perfectly nice spring song. Nothing too extraordinary, out of this world, must put it on repeat multiple times though…
Verdict:

PERSONAL TOTAL: 13/20
PREDICTION: I fear this is too sweet for its own good and will get lost in translation. Possible bottom 5 contender.

Tomorrow: UK & Sweden

Je ne te ferai pas l’enfer, here’s part 18 of the run through of this year’s contestants! Will they be beautiful butterflies, or rather moths that have to hide away in the dark?

First of all, a bit of framework for the judging – I’ll be looking at the song, the vocal performance and the stage presentation (or concept of the video if we haven’t seen a stage performance) and I’ll round up by putting them to the DIMI test (do I think it’s Dramatic, Intriguing and/or Modern enough to Include in my iTunes library?). I’ll score the entries from 1 to 5 on each of those points, resulting in a score out of a possible maximum of 20.

1. France – Amandine Bourgeois – L’enfer et moi

The Song: We had a pure retro attempt from Serbia in 2011, something rocky retro from Italy last year and this year we get this bluesy retro ditty from France. Raw, to the point and in your face – we haven’t seen many songs like this one in Eurovision and I doubt we ever will again. This can measure itself with, yes yes, the best of Amy Winehouse and I simply adore the ballsy approach France took here. Great build-up, great lyrics, great vibe, great everything.
Verdict:
The Voice: She won a (or rather THE national) talent show – sounds vaguely familiar in a year like this – but one can see (or rather hear) why. The way this girl wraps herself around the notes and song is simply delicious and she translates the feeling of the lyrics extremely well. LOVE the last part where she just goes nuts.
Verdict:
The Performance: She seems to know what she’s doing and in this case I think she’s going to put everything on an emotionally involved performance that doesn’t require a lot of visual tricks. We saw her doing her thang in Amsterdam and she was bloody brilliant there, I have no reason to doubt she’s going to be even more mindblowing come Malmö.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: Ticks all of my boxes: voice, song and performance blend beautifully to one impressive and unforgettable whole. Hence the score.
Verdict: 

PERSONAL TOTAL: 20/20
PREDICTION: I hope Europe will see its true value. I hope this will go on where Hungary 2007 had to stop. I hope this will go top 5. I hope. I don’t know though…

  2. Germany – Cascada – Glorious

The Song: Well. It’s not exactly plagiarism is it. It IS a rather clever dedication to last year’s winner however. The soaring ‘Gloooooorious’ for example. Sorry, ‘Gah-looooooorious’ – ridiculous adding of a redundant syllable. And the demure verses versus the exploding chorus is quite comparable as well. But this is so much more ‘been there, done that’ than Euphoria. No? Yes.
Verdict:
The Voice: I think the live version at the German NF wasn’t all that but I suspect the mix had something to do with it. Blondie might not be the bést singer in this Contest, but we’ve sure had way worse.
Verdict:
The Performance: With all that international experience, Cascada sure knows how to sell this entry. But. She needs to fire that stylist that made her wear *that* outfit at the German final. Or hire one. Either way: you’re not 18 anymore, girlfriend, so stop trying to act and/or look that way. That said, I rather like the straight forward approach they took at the NF: who needs distractions à la Kate Ryan when your singer can really SELL it?
Verdict:
The DIMI test: I don’t dislike it. It’s perfect to include in my Spring Cleaning list on my iPhone. But it lacks  something to make me lav it. I suspect it’s called backbone.
Verdict: 

PERSONAL TOTAL: 13/20
PREDICTION: Perhaps it’s got too many obvious references to last year’s winner to really do extremely well. But it won’t fall flat on its face (or her behind) either.

Tomorrow: Italy & Spain

Drawing semi to a close, here’s part 17 of the run through of this year’s contestants! Will they be beautiful butterflies, or rather moths that have to hide away in the dark?

First of all, a bit of framework for the judging – I’ll be looking at the song, the vocal performance and the stage presentation (or concept of the video if we haven’t seen a stage performance) and I’ll round up by putting them to the DIMI test (do I think it’s Dramatic, Intriguing and/or Modern enough to Include in my iTunes library?). I’ll score the entries from 1 to 5 on each of those points, resulting in a score out of a possible maximum of 20.

 17. Romania – Cezar – It’s my life

The Song: It’s really hard to pay attention to the song itself I have to admit – the first half is rather OK, with that beat and those dubstep effects but that bridge is as bewildering as his voice and that keychange simply murders this not all that fantastic entry. Cheap might be the word for it.
Verdict:
The Voice: Farinelli is good in his genre but should perhaps stick to his genre. The attempted wow effect degrades to something bewildering and even a bit shameful.
Verdict:
The Performance: If they’re going to keep the NF performance this is doomed. The outfit, the dancers, the entire approach is simply off. How to try and fix something tailormade for Eurovision and fall flat on your face.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: I love quirky shit, but this is just shit.
Verdict: 

PERSONAL TOTAL: 5/20
PREDICTION: Even with that draw, I suspect the producers put it there in order not to lose viewers during the show, I don’t see this qualifying. Unless Europe wants a laugh on Saturday.

This concludes semi 2, let’s take a look at the ranking:

1. Norway
2. Finland
3. Malta
4. Hungary
5. Azerbaijan
6. Bulgaria
7. Albania
8. Greece
9. Iceland
10. FYR Macedonia

And I actually think this might be my prediction as well. Oh wait, there’s Georgia. I’ll swap them for…dunno…eum…on the fence here…bare with…bare with…bare with…FYR Macedonia?

Tomorrow: France & Germany

A waterfall of thoughts, here’s part 15 of the run through of this year’s contestants! Will they be beautiful butterflies, or rather moths that have to hide away in the dark?

First of all, a bit of framework for the judging – I’ll be looking at the song, the vocal performance and the stage presentation (or concept of the video if we haven’t seen a stage performance) and I’ll round up by putting them to the DIMI test (do I think it’s Dramatic, Intriguing and/or Modern enough to Include in my iTunes library?). I’ll score the entries from 1 to 5 on each of those points, resulting in a score out of a possible maximum of 20.

 15. Georgia – Sopho Gelovani & Nodiko Tatishvili – Waterfall

The Song: So, this is supposed to be a force be reckoned with? I don’t hear it. What I do hear is something we’ve heard lots of times before, quelle surprise with (arrrrrgh!!!) Thomas G:Son behind it. It sounds so sterile, does absolutely nothing for me.
Verdict:
The Voice: God knows I like me some harmony and these two pull it off quite nicely. The only redeaming feature on this entry. In studio, that is.
Verdict:
The Performance: I suppose that demure showing at the song presentation will have to make way for something along the lines of Azerbaijan 2011. The duo is less likeable though: he’s Bland with a capital B & she’s laying it on waaay to thick, and the interaction between the two of them is so by the book it’s rather comical.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: I’ve heard this two times until now. Add Amsterdam, May 16th and May 18th and after that… never again.
Verdict: 

PERSONAL TOTAL: 6/20
PREDICTION: I suppose there’s an audience for this. But if Pastora Soler couldn’t cut it in the final with a comparable entry, I don’t see this doing much better. Even with more friends on their side.

  16. Switzerland – TAKASA – You and me

The Song: Is this something Nanne Grönvall had as a back-up for Håll Om Mig back in 2005? It transports us back to the time of Ruslana, and as that’s already almost a decade behind us I wouldn’t call this very fresh. It’s nice, yes, and rather inoffensive but it doesn’t exactly blow me away.
Verdict:
The Voice: With a haunting guitar riff like that you’d expect a bit more power oozing out of the vocals. Far too demure to sell this entry the way it needs to be sold.
Verdict:
The Performance: I hope they will seriously reconsider that NF performance. This song requires some dynamic on stage. Which doesn’t mean they’ll have to milk the old man (ieuw, no pun intended AT ALL) as they do in the official video, just keep the audience on their toes, or at least awake, during those 3 minutes please.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: There’s not an awful lot wrong with the song but the entire approach needs to be reconsidered. I know we’re talking about a Heilsarmee division, but that’s no excuse. At all.
Verdict: 

PERSONAL TOTAL: 9/20
PREDICTION: From what I’ve seen until now this is hopeless. Even with that draw.

Tomorrow: Romania + wrap-up semi 2

I feed you my thoughts, here’s part 15 of the run through of this year’s contestants! Will they be beautiful butterflies, or rather moths that have to hide away in the dark?

First of all, a bit of framework for the judging – I’ll be looking at the song, the vocal performance and the stage presentation (or concept of the video if we haven’t seen a stage performance) and I’ll round up by putting them to the DIMI test (do I think it’s Dramatic, Intriguing and/or Modern enough to Include in my iTunes library?). I’ll score the entries from 1 to 5 on each of those points, resulting in a score out of a possible maximum of 20.

 13. Norway – Margaret Berger – I feed you my love

The Song: YES! Thank you, Norway! A contemporary entry that could’ve easily comefrom the back catalogue of The Black Keys or could feature on the soundtracks of The Fifth Element or The Matrix with those deep & slow electronic effects and those haunting drums. The lyrics are slightly bewildering and a bit in your face, with the title on top, which only makes this entry more intriguing.
Verdict:
The Voice: Miss Berger has a talent show history and she is in fact a vocal talent, but this composition sounds like a challenge for her. Well, it really is an exhausting song to sing which has an impact on those last high bits but if she wants the trophy she’ll need to be able to keep it up all the way through. Looking forward to hear those omnipresent harmonies with a live backing vocal as well…
Verdict:
The Performance: Ow, I hope she’ll keep the demure approach for Malmö! The start, with focus on her, the dress and the effective armography, really showcases how in-your-face the composition is and by the time the second verse kicks in it’s already so hypnotizing any random visual tricks or choreography would break the spell. Fingers crossed they don’t change one single bit.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: L.O.V.E.
Verdict: 

PERSONAL TOTAL: 19/20
PREDICTION: Should sail into the final and my gut feel tells me this is one to watch for the trophy. If people ‘get it’. I think they will.

  14. Albania – Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko – Identitet

The Song: In this diverse semi it only has one direct competitor and this entry wipes the floor with Armenia. It doesn’t sound a lot more contemporary, I am reminded of some Eastern European entries in the mid ’90s, but it’s got a good build-up & some clever hooks that keep me interested all the way through. I can even sit through the electric guitar solo, just iemaygien!
Verdict:
The Voice: The switching of singer in certain parts gives a certain kind of dynamic and they complement each other in a great way. For a rock song. At Eurovision.
Verdict:
The Performance: I suppose this will be supported by huge amounts of pyro effects. I suppose that fits. The more in your face this will comes across, the better.
Verdict:
The DIMI test: Not my favourite this year. By a long shot. But it’s a nice addition.
Verdict: 

PERSONAL TOTAL: 12/20
PREDICTION: I’m struggling to see this qualify – I adored their attempt in 2011 which gave me the same vibes and that got stuck in the semis. In this diverse field however this one might just scrape through.

Tomorrow: Georgia & Switzerland