Ott Lepland Estonia
Estonia have sent a very strong, and vocally brilliant, song to Eurovision, but it’s hard to see it make much of a large impact when it comes to the big moment. In a year full of ballads, the only real thing that stands out is it isn’t in English, and that it’s rather better than most of them.
My Verdict: It’s not a bad song, but another ballad loses my enthusiasm for it.
Europe’s Verdict: Another ‘touch and go’ qualifier, though I reckon it will make it.
När Jag Blundar 125/1
Could someone wake me up when this is over. While I appreciate it’s efforts to be sung in Swedish, it’s just so tedious and never ending. And when you see the likes of Israel, San Marino, Cyprus, Denmark and Russia follow this, I can’t help but see this get lost in the first semi final. And it’s one of the few bad songs in the first semi final.
My Verdict: Dull, tedious, dire, sleep-inducing. It’s a no from me.
Europe’s Verdict: Will easily struggle, especially with such a strong second half following her.
Echo (You and I) 100/1
France tried to go big, and they kind of did, going with Anggun who is (or was) massive around Europe. However, it sounds like it could appear in a Mario Kart game, a 80’s disco and a GCSE French revision pack all at the same time, and that combination isn’t fantastic. And her vocals, well, I don’t think she was too chuffed to hear that she couldn’t mime at Eurovision.
My Verdict: France will get it right one year, simply not this year.
Europe’s Verdict: Won’t inspire anyone and will be in a battle with Spain for lowest of the top 5.
Anri Jokhadze Georgia
I’m a Joker 200/1
As one of the two real ‘insane’ entries to this years Eurovision, I could certainly live with listening to this than whatever the hell Montenegro sent. But it really isn’t all that good to attract the televoters, his voice is surprisingly good and probably wasted on this song. However, put up a good show, which it no doubt will, could pull of a shock result.
My Verdict: While more enjoyable to listen to than Montenegro, I couldn’t put up with it very often.
Europe’s Verdict: Many expect it to make no impact, although a strong stage presence and I think this could sneak into 10th.
Roman Lob Germany
Standing Still 22/1
Germany have turned over a new leaf, and now can’t seem to stop sending very good songs. And, well, Jamie Cullum co-wrote it! How can you not love it? Roman Lob is clearly a talented singer, sought out in the same way as Lena, and the song itself is just fantastic. Well done Germany, good going.
My Verdict: Love it. Really couldn’t have picked a better song to suit me, at least.
Europe’s Verdict: Could easily get top 5, but I have my doubts on a push for victory.
Eleftheria Eleftheriou Greece
Well who’d have thought it, Greece have went out and done a Greece. Here, ladies and gentlemen, is your standard, typical pop number which is nothing new nor special. But, it works well for Greece so they might as well keep pumping them out, and it will no doubt work again in 2012. Assisted, no doubt, with very little clothing on the part of Eleftheria. Well times are tough in Greece, aren’t they.
My Verdict: I’m largely indifferent to this one, could stand three minutes of it, at least.
Europe’s Verdict: Being Greece, it’ll do well, but might only just edge into the top 10.
Compact Disco Hungary
Sound of Our Hearts 100/1
I was highly sceptical of the live performance, the vocals seemed weak, and things just didn’t seem to click for Compact Disco. But since then I’ve grown to really like the song, granted the studio version. With any luck the vocals will have improved by the time we get to Baku, otherwise the quality of the national final will see it end in disaster.
My Verdict: The song is enjoyable enough, the live performance will have to step it up a gear to be good though.
Europe’s Verdict: On the borderline to qualify, I keep going back to the vocals of the lead singer, but it’s going to be the difference.
Greta Salóme & Jónsi Iceland
Never Forget 18/1
Wow. As things go, this is pretty much the best. I’d normally contest the move from Icelandic to English, but, it’s still powerful, still stunning. It’s magnificent.
My Verdict: Best song at Eurovision this year.
Europe’s Verdict: They did get a rough draw in the semi-final, but it shouldn’t be an issue. The song is good enough to challenge for the victory. I reckon Iceland must look lovely in May.
I was scared when Jedward announced their intention to compete again. We all knew they’d walk the Irish finals (which they did), and I feared that it would be second time lucky for the really annoying duo. But, Waterline, is thankfully a song so unsuited to Jedward it’s great for the rest of us. It lacks the ability for them to jump up and down, and is rather muted for a Jedward song. While they may have more support from the central European teenage girls, I doubt it will be anywhere near enough to compete with the top half.
My Verdict: A poor song performed by the wrong people, what’s to like?
Europe’s Verdict: Should qualify from a strong starting position, will be lucky if it gets any serious points aside from the UK.
I can’t believe this is so far out, I absolutely love this song. It’s quirky, with a unique sound that really stands out amongst the field. I really want to see this one do well, and I live in hope that it will.
My Verdict: Fantastic song, I can listen to it all day.
Europe’s Verdict: Sadly, most others seem less keen than I. But, what do they know? (A lot, is the answer). It’s ‘on the bubble’ to qualify, but could do surprisingly well. With luck.
Nina Zilli Italy
L’Amore È Femmina (Out of Love) 9/1
No one saw Italy finishing second last year, this year, Italy could well be disappointed to only finish second. They won’t bother with the rubbish pop that’s flung out by Cyprus and Greece, but they bring a classy, well sung and frankly brilliant song to the table. It’s a shame she drifts from Italian to English, especially as the all-Italian version is pretty much perfect.
My Verdict: Comes a close second to Iceland for me in terms of brilliance. If only it was all-Italian.
Europe’s Verdict: Pretty much a certain top 5, and will be looking for the win.
Take any look at Eurovision odds and you will see France topping more or less everyone of them. But just below lie Ireland, and this year, no matter how much you love or loathe them, they’ve got a hell of a shout to make it victory number 8.
There was a time when all Ireland could do was win, 4 wins in 5 years in the mid-90s. Ireland almost became the unofficial home of Eurovision. Victories in 1992 by Linda Martin, 1993 by Niamh Kavanagh, 1994 by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettin and 1996 by Eimear Quinn. But since then the Irish have struggled to make any impact at all. The best finish for them this millennium was 6th at Stockholm 2000. They have failed to qualify three times since the introduction of the semi final, finished last in the final in 2007 and second to last just last year. It got to such a stage they sent a turkey to compete for them.
So this year RTE said, you know what might just work, Jedward.
That same group who divided everyone in the 2009 British X-Factor. When I say divided, you had the teenage girls…. and everyone else. Yet the did alright and in the end got every single person in Britain talking.
Also, they have 12 points in the bag from Britain. And hey, for once it isn’t down to political voting (it’s not just Eastern Europe doing it people, we just, have less countries to do it with), as frankly the duo is going to deter a lot of people from voting for it because of who they are. But many others are, as I’ve said earlier, those teenage girls (who I am slightly hoping won’t be reading this, my poor comments) will vote in the droves and with 23 other nations hoping to get all of the other votes, the spread is going to allow this to go through.
That of course depends if they make it out of the ‘semi final of death’ and it really is down to how the rest of Europe sees them. I said in my preview they could be seen as a breath of fresh air, a bubbly, infectious pop group with an annoyingly catchy song, or a breath of polluted air, a pop group that’ will simply fall flat on their faces with an annoying song.
My own opinion is a bit of both, you can’t deny that John and Edward are bubbly and infectious and that is going to be popular with some of the voters. The song itself is a difficult one to call, as its basically the same 30 seconds repeated six times. Yes, it is annoying, and after one day when it just wouldn’t leave my head I seriously had thoughts of going to sleep and not waking up until May 15th.
But it is memorable, it has a fantastic running order in the semi final and assuming it gets a nice enough draw in the final, might be enough to challenge for the win.
One worry for them though must be the fact this won’t appeal to everyone. Unlike, for example, Romania, which is a toe tapper and generally upbeat and fantastic in most departments. Like almost with France they share the issue, and both songs are the polar opposites to each other. It will be interesting to see if Ireland or France could pull it off.
We’ve already had a look at the songs from the nations beginning with A through to D, so lets go straight into looking at another eleven songs at this years Eurovision.
|Estonia: Rockefeller Street – Getter Jaani|
| I’m still in a sulk over Malcolm Lincoln finishing 14th in the first semi final last year. This is no Siren, though to me, that would be tough to achieve. If I put my sensible hat on though, I’ll find this is an alright entry from Estonia. I’m looking at the odds though and see its the second favourite. Its upbeat, positive and you are going to enjoy the chorus. My only negative is the performance itself, which seems poor in the Estonian Final, though I’m sure will be ironed out for Eurovision. Also, Getter Jaani (who seems to be a magician, watch the video) reminds me of one of my substitute History teachers, which is slightly off-putting.
Prediction: Is definitely going to fight for the title. And will be fighting in the top 3 for victory.
|Finland: Da Da Dam – Paradise Oskar|
|Tom Dice finished 6th with his just him and his guitar last year. This is a better song and is following the same principles as Dice. The message is simple, young lad called Peter and he wants to save the world from the mess it has found itself in. Its straight to the point and certainly has a deep meaning rather than just a wishy washy pointless love song about someone you can’t have but you really love. Da Da Dam is nice, sweet, lovely and so is the sound of the singer. In the BBC Preview show Your Country Needs Blue (brilliant pun by the way BBC, worth the license fee) it said this sort of song won’t work. Yes it will. Prove them wrong Oskar, prove them all wrong.
Prediction: Ahh, so what, it isn’t going to win. It’ll scrape through the semi finals and finish on the right hand side of the board on finals night, but it shouldn’t.
|France: Sognu – Amaury Vassili|
| Look, I’m 17. There is no way I should like this. It is in Corsican not English, it is an operatic song and is sung by a French bloke. Yet I like it. Maybe I’m just impressed. But on the grand scheme of things, opera is going to struggle at Eurovision. Despite it being, pretty good, it is going to be hard to appeal to the masses. It’ll stand out at least and I fear its the only thing that might go in its favour on the night.
Prediction: Another one looking good for the win. So far the bookies favourite and is good for a top 3.
|Georgia: One More Day – Eldrine|
|The song was going well, a good bit of rock, I was even thinking that it might get itself into the final. And then, oh dear, they decided to put a rapper in it. It doesn’t work, at all. Bizarre mix and ruins everything.
Prediction: It’s a tough song to sell and I can’t see it happening in the first semi final.
|Germany: Taken by a Stranger – Lena|
|It is a rare thing for a host country to enter a song which wants to win the competition back-to-back, but Germany have decided to do it. Coming back is Lena, winner for them last year, and Taken by a Stranger is a different beast to Satellite. Although I feel it is a better song, it doesn’t have the same grab to it as Satellite, which won’t appeal to the voting public. It falls down here, despite the song being unique and pretty damn good, it just looks like it will lack the spark to inspire votes.
Prediction: Sadly it won’t be back to back wins for Lena, but looks good still to finish in the top 10. Which for a host country is a good effort.
|Greece: Watch My Dance – Loukas Giorkas feat.Stereo Mike|
|Oh Greece. You usually provide us with something memorable, something actually worth listening to and watching. I loved This Is Our Night and OPA, it was an outrage they didn’t finish higher up (UK votes tend to agree with me as well, both times Greece got the 12 points). But this isn’t. The rapper, Stereo Mike, is not very good at all, and in fairness, Giorkas is slightly better. The two however don’t really mix well and it turns into a disaster of a song.
Prediction: For the first time, Greece aren’t going to make the final.
|Hungary: What About My Dreams? – Kati Wolf|
| Hungary have decided to return in style. Well done MTV. This is a fantastic dance song which is certainly one of my favourites. Kati Wolf is an impressive singer and the dance beat itself isn’t too shabby either. I’m going to put my neck out here and say, if this is in the last five in the running order come Saturday night, this is going to win.
Prediction: As I’ve said, last five on finals night and this will win. Otherwise, I expect a top 3 finish.
|Iceland: Coming Home – Sjonni’s Friends|
|Originally, this song was to be performed by Sjonni, however during the Icelandic selection process he sadly passed away. In tribute, his wife and a group of his friends decided to go on and sing this in his memory. It went on to win in Iceland and represent the country, beating former runner-up Yohanna in the process. Coming Home is also a nice enough song, its a sweet little number and with the back-story it has, might find itself being a popular song in Germany.
Prediction: Impossible to predict this one and it all depends on how Europe sees it. It’ll either finish 14th in the second semi final or go out and win it.
|Ireland: Lipstick – Jedward|
|This song is brought to you by Marmite. Runners-up in the British reality TV show X-Factor, Jedward have decided to take a crack at Eurovision. I know many, many people who hate them (I may be included), the singing isn’t great and my God is it repetitive. Annoyingly though you can turn that on its head and also say those are good things. You aren’t going to forget this song. It is memorable and will get people talking, which in the end is only a good thing. Turning it again though, that didn’t help Dustin the Turkey. This will either be a massive hit or a massive failure and it depends on how they portray themselves to Europe in the semi final. For me though, they could be huge.
Prediction: Impossible to predict this one and it all depends on how Europe sees it. It’ll either finish 14th in the second semi final or go out and win it.
|Israel: Ding Dong – Dana International|
|Dana International won the Eurovision Song Contest way back in 1998, in Birmingham. Ding Dong feels like it belongs in that same competition. Its a poor attempt from a previous winner, feeling very dated and just generally a very average song.
Prediction: Shame for a former winner to put out such a weak song, this isn’t going to make it out of the semi finals.
|Italy: Madness of Love – Raphael Gualazzi|
| Italy’s 13 year strop with Eurovision is over as they, as part of the ‘Big 5’, return in Dusseldorf. The entry isn’t too shoddy either, a nice little jazz number from Raphael Gualazzi. It gets you going but jazz is a genre that rarely performs well at Eurovision, and while I imagine it will pick up points, it will only be the lower numbers (apart from when we get to San Marino, of course).
Prediction: In a strong year from the ‘Big 5’ I can see this performing the worst of them. Won’t make the top half, but just below mid-table for me.
As ever, if you agree or disagree, please do yell in the comments