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Eurovision Sofa: The Songs – E to I

Estonia   Ott Lepland                                                                                                  Estonia
   Kuula                                                                                                                    66/1
EstoniaEstonia 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.


Finland   Pernilla                                                                                                        Finland
   När Jag Blundar                                                                                                   125/1
FinlandCould 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.


France   Anggun                                                                                                          France
   Echo (You and I)                                                                                                  100/1
FranceFrance 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.


Georgia   Anri Jokhadze                                                                                              Georgia
   I’m a Joker                                                                                                          200/1
GeorgiaAs 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.


Germany   Roman Lob                                                                                               Germany
   Standing Still                                                                                                        22/1
Germany 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.


Greece   Eleftheria Eleftheriou                                                                                  Greece
   Aphrodisiac                                                                                                           33/1
GreeceWell 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.


Hungary   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.


Iceland   Greta Salóme & Jónsi                                                                                  Iceland
   Never Forget                                                                                                        18/1
IcelandWow. 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.


Ireland   Jedward                                                                                                        Ireland
   Waterline                                                                                                              20/1
IrelandI 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.


Israel   Izabo                                                                                                                Israel
   Time                                                                                                                   150/1
IsraelI 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.


Italy   Nina Zilli                                                                                                             Italy
   L’Amore È Femmina (Out of Love)                                                                          9/1
ItalyNo 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.

Eurovision Sofa: The Songs – A to D

Well, here we go then. A full and slightly comprehensive review of all 42 songs in this years Eurovision Song Contest split into four parts which will be posted inside the next four days. So, instead of the usual waffling, lets dive straight into it.


Albania  Rona Nishliu                                                                                                  Albania
  Suus                                                                                                                    150/1
Albania My ears, my poor, poor ears. I’m sure there’s a good song in there between the unbelievably annoying screeches and screams of Rona Nishliu, but those really turn me off a song I don’t care for much in any case. By far and away one of the songs I dislike the most, and it’s a shame because she is clearly a talented singer who is inflicting pain on my ear drums.
My Verdict: Run my friends, run far away.
Europe’s Verdict: Could do well with the juries, the fact it’s in Latin and is, well, quite annoying, could detract audience votes.


Austria  Trackshittaz                                                                                                  Austria
  Woki mit deim Popo                                                                                            150/1
AustriaOh the opportunities Austria have offered us this year, Trackshittaz certainly live up to their name. The name of their song literally translates to ‘shake your bum’, and you’d never guess what the main focus of attention was when they performed it in their national final. The rapping is worse than Daz Sampson and the only thing anyone’s going to like about this is their amusing name. And potential shaking of body parts.
My Verdict: Dreadful.
Europe’s Verdict: Will fail miserably, and thank God for that too.


Azerbaijan  Sabina Babayeva                                                                                    Azerbaijan
  When the Music Dies                                                                                             25/1
Like all good host nations, Azerbaijan have sent something so average that they just know won’t win Eurovision for the second time in a row. It’s quite bland, and by quite, I mean very, certainly isn’t knocking anything out of the park or striding for the win. In fact, the only way it’ll get close is the support of the home nation.
My Verdict: Not very good and easily the worst of the automatic qualifiers.
Europe’s Verdict: Will be on the right hand side of the scoreboard very easily.


Belarus  Litesound                                                                                                      Belarus
  We Are the Heroes                                                                                                66/1
BelarusIt’s a bold claim to sing ‘we are the winners’. When LT United performed it in the more literal sense, they came fairly close. In terms of this context, Litesound are more sure that they have sorted everything out and passed the tough challenge. I quite like it, it’s good enough and in a turgid semi-final, really does stick out like a sore thumb. Especially if it sticks with it’s slightly over the top sci-fi theme.
My Verdict: It’s not spectacular or special, but this is still my third favourite song in the second semi-final.
Europe’s Verdict: Has every chance of qualifying, but will become anonymous when mixed with the big guns.


Belgium  Iris                                                                                                                Belgium
  Would You?                                                                                                          200/1
BelgiumIris is 17. Slovenia’s entry Eva Boto is 16. Both are younger than me. What am I doing with my life? Well, I can tell you I’m not sending a decent, if not unspectacular song to Eurovision. And I won’t be expected to have just returned from appearing from a rather emotional, and dreadful, episode of Hannah Montana, in which she is about to propose to the guy of her dreams (who has been there for about 20 minutes). And I think she’s taller than me too, damn her.
My Verdict: Iris is arguably more talented, younger and taller than me, so, I can’t stand her.
Europe’s Verdict: Mediocre at best and will struggle to get out of its semi-final.


Bosnia-and-Herzegovina  Maya Sar                                                                          Bosnia & Herzegovina
  Korake Ti Znam                                                                                                      80/1
BosniaI presume you all remember the ridiculous piano player behind Dino Merlin last year? Well guess what, she is back! And this time, she can’t pretend to sing, mainly because she’s just singing an OK song. Just, OK. Nothing even special, just, OK.
My Verdict: So, so average I really don’t care much for it.
Europe’s Verdict: Could do fairly well in the semi-final, dependant on the neighbours voting in it. Then a poor showing in the final.


Bulgaria  Sofi Marinova                                                                                               Bulgaria
  Love Unlimited                                                                                                    200/1
BulgariaIf Bulgaria couldn’t qualify with a good song last year, God knows how they will qualify with this. While it seems to be an attempt at be a pain in singing in as many languages possible, it fails to work and ends up in, surprise, surprise, another bland, unimaginative song.
My Verdict: I don’t want to be enforced to listen to this on a regular basis.
Europe’s Verdict: Will get nowhere, and fast.


Croatia  Nina Badrić                                                                                                    Croatia
  Nebo                                                                                                                    150/1
Croatia While, like Bosnia, it should do well because of their neighbours in the second semi-final, there is nothing amazing that stands about this. The song feels longer than three minutes and just goes on, and on, plodding along like a limping horse. There are few redeeming features, Nina Badrić is decent enough, but the song is horrendously bland.
My Verdict: So dull. Croatia can’t get anything right can they?
Europe’s Verdict: As I’ve said, the Balkan-heavy semi-final should assist them, aside from that though, they’re going to struggle everywhere else.


Cyprus  Ivi Adamou                                                                                                     Cyprus
  La La Love                                                                                                            33/1
CyprusI hated this song to start off with, a seemingly never ending  stream of ‘la’s’, with an occasional ‘love’ thrown in when you least expect it. I still can barely stand it, but I do note there is a great chance for it to be stuck in everybody’s heads for a bit, like it has mine. Curse my stupid head.
My Verdict: I don’t like it, even if I can’t stop thinking about it.
Europe’s Verdict: Could be popular, it is catchy, bouncy, and very pop-y. Will qualify from the semi-final and will be mid-table come finals night.


Denmark  Soluna Samay                                                                                           Denmark
  Should’ve Known Better                                                                                       18/1
DenmarkI love Yohanna, quite literally. But with her absence in recent times I find myself drifting towards Soluna Samay, the Guatamalese-turned-Dane who is one hell of a good singer. Her song is just lovely and positive, and should do well even in such a strong semi-final.
My Verdict: I do quite like her. Quite a bit. One of my personal favourites as well, and would love to see her do very well.
Europe’s Verdict: Should go far, but might be just short to challenge for the win.


All odds are correct as of Sunday 13th May and all images are courtesy of the European Broadcasting Union.

If you agree, or more likely disagree, please do share in the comments.

Eurovision Sofa: The Songs (S to U)

So, part 4 of my preview of the songs for this years Eurovision, starting with San Marino and ending with grand ol’ United Kingdom. Lets roll.

San Marino: Stand By – Senit
They are only in it so Italy don’t score nul points. Oooh, you big cynic. Well, maybe. San Marino isn’t that bad. A nice song by a very talented singer for sure, but I do think this could work well being in the middle of two dance songs from Malta and Croatia. Right on the edge of qualification.

Prediction: Shame for the returning Sammarinese, but I can see this one just missing out. 

 

Serbia: Caroban – Nini
Graham Norton: “And now we are going back in time to the 1960s for Serbia’s entry by Nina. Look, it is just like watching Austin Powers all over again. However the retro feel isn’t going to work in my own opinion.”*

*Opinion of me, not Graham Norton.

Prediction: Ooooh I’m not sure why I’ve decided to put them in squeezing into the final, but apparently I have. Must have done it at 3am.

 

Slovakia: I’m Still Alive – TWiiNS
Slovakia decided that this year one good looking girl just wouldn’t be enough to qualify with a poor song, so they decided to send two that looked exactly the same. Double the hotness double the points? God no. But hey, the video has football in it… although that might be them trying to bribe to say nice things about it. Its not a memorable song for me, but I’ll still be alive at the end of it at least. I hope.

Prediction: Miss. Though I imagine the twins themselves may prove to be quite the hit.

 

Slovenia: No One – Maja Keuc
Its like The Silence, once its off our screens, everyone will magically forget about it. Until the round-up, when they come and again and we can continue this all night. Its nice, but not memorable. Nowhere near it, and just as it happens, people are going to forget to vote for it too.

Prediction: Going home early for me.

 

Spain: Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao – Lucia Perez
Its a standard little pop song here. Though, I will admit, actually one of my favourites this year. I feel like I’m celebrating and having a damn good time. Good times!

Prediction: I really want to say top 10, but can’t see it. Sadly. Damn you rest of Europe.

 

Sweden: Popular – Eric Saade
Eric Saade attempted to win the Melodifestivalen in 2010 but could only finish 3rd with Manboy, which in my eyes is a stronger song than Popular. And with the way Popular is being built up, if that had been sent it could have done very well. Popular isn’t too bad.

Prediction: Could be hit and miss, but I’ll follow the crowd and say this will be massive. Top 5.

 

Switzerland: In Love For a While – Anna Rossinelli
You go onto the YouTube video for this song and you’ll notice there are a few dislikes. Honestly, I can’t see how you can dislike this song. Its a sweet song sung by a cute girl which is easy to listen to and easy to look at. But it just doesn’t offer much more than that overall.

Prediction: It’ll get through the semi final and languish in the bottom half of the final.

 

The Netherlands: Never Alone – 3JS
I feel for the Dutch. The come year in year out and never make it out of the semi finals, and they’ve tried everything. 3JS (not to be confused with JLS) are this years latest attempts by the Dutch just, possibly, to reach the coveted grand final. Its similar in a way to Denmark, soft-rock, but its actually OK. Nothing more really, but OK. Not as bad as some of their previous efforts and is borderline qualification.

Prediction: Inevitably going to give it the kiss of death here… but the Dutch will qualify.

 

Turkey: Live It Up – Yüksek Sadakat
Somehow, maNga snuck up on everyone last year and finished second behind Lena. Turkey, obviously thinking that worked well for them, have decided to send back something similar. Although it is a bit less hard rock than last years (having watched rehearsals I can say that, for example, there is a girl doing gymnastics rather than a metal robot with a chainsaw one program error from killing everyone in Oslo). But this is a good song and although he may be slightly older, Turkey are going to be fighting for the win.

Prediction: Top 5 without a doubt and maybe, just maybe, even more.

 

Ukraine: Angel – Mika Newton
It wouldn’t be Eurovision if it didn’t include a Ukrainian disaster in the national final. Mika Newton won, but claims of vote rigging ensued and in the end, somehow, the dullest song in Dusseldorf is here. Its just a boring ballad really and I can see this one struggling.

Prediction: Zzzz, won’t go far.

 

United Kingdom: I Can – Blue
Jemini, James Fox, Javine, Daz Sampson, Scooch, Andy Abraham and Josh Dubovie. Jokes. The lot of them (for the record Scooch deserved nil points, if it wasn’t for that pesky block voting stuff from Ireland and Malta…) Those will sum up Britain in the 2000s, but when Jade Ewen finished 5th in 2009 you realised there was hope for us yet. And despite last year’s step back, this is a jump up a few more steps to gaining credibility again. After realising going to the public was probably not sensible, the BBC chose internally and one of the most popular boy bands in Europe, Blue. Hell, we’ve got points already just because they are Blue. The song is strong again, typical boy band material. You know what, I’m proud to be supporting Britain at Eurovision again this year, because this could do very, very well.

Prediction: Win! Well, nearly, at least.

Predictions

To sum up who I feel will qualify for the semi final, well, here it is (I won’t do the final because I genuinely keep changing my mind every four minutes.

Pos Semi Final 1 Semi Final 2
1 Turkey Estonia
2 Hungary Sweden
3 Azerbaijan Ireland
4 Poland Denmark
5 Norway Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 Russia Romania
7 Iceland Bulgaria
8 Finland Austria
9 Switzerland Netherlands
10 Serbia Moldova

So there we go, I’ve looked at all 43 songs and you can expect from tomorrow some indepth thoughts on certain songs and Eurovision itself. Bet you all can’t wait. If you’ve agreed, disagreed, shout at me in the comments as per usual.

Eurovision Sofa: The Songs (A to D)

A record 43 songs will be performing in Dusseldorf and I, the kind chap that I am, have decided to give you a run down of all 43, in a nice alphabetical list which is hopefully easy to follow. Links to each song can be found under the country name. Naturally if you don’t wish to have the songs spoiled, then don’t read on or click any of the links.

Albania: Feel the Passion – Aurela Gaçe
To use a favourite expression of mine: meh. Its not the nicest song to listen to, it feels forced and shouty and it isn’t a nice thing to have in a song.

Prediction: Not going anywhere from the first semi final. Easy miss.

 

Armenia: Boom Boom – Emmy
emmy_final_02 A cheesy pop song over a Greek/Turkish bed. It’s poor, it has been done before, it offers nothing new and nothing I’d actually want to listen to again. The lyrics are also dreadful. This won’t get far.

Prediction: Like with Albania, this is staying in the first semi final and I don’t think anyone would miss it.

 

Austria: The Secret is Love – Nadine Beiler
This isn’t too bad but unfortunately found itself in the ‘semi final of death’ (a term I have just made up). Nadine is a good singer and its a fine ballad, nothing too spectacular however will see this low down the order in the final. Which isn’t the end of the world for the returning Austrians.

Prediction: Might just squeeze into the top 10 in the ‘semi final of death’, will end up finishing in the top 20 come the final.

 

Azerbaijan: Running Scared – Ell and Nikki
img_9876_2 Name a bad Azerbaijan entry to Eurovision. Hard isn’t it. That’s probably because there are none. Sure they’ve only been in since 2008 but its clear that they want to win Eurovision and they sure do put out some good stuff. Running Scared is not an exception either, its a good song that I really do like. Very friendly for the radio and generally in my eyes it is excellent. Ell is probably the superior singer which is the only issue, although Nikki is alright to look at (she has a bit of Louise Redknapp about her) which will partially make up for being not the greatest singer. I adore you Azerbaijan. You have my vote.

Prediction: Putting personal preference aside, this might not be enough, but still good enough for a top 5 finish.

 

Belarus: I Love Belarus – Anastasia Vinnikova
vinnikova_03 Is this a Eurovision entry or a promotional song for the Belarusian Tourist Board? The lyrics have already been modified once because they promoted political views, and ultimately the title and the lyrics come across as arrogant and self centred generated for propaganda about Belarus. This isn’t going to impress the viewers and no matter how decent the song and beat is, I hope it fails miserably.

Prediction: Last in the second semi final. Hopefully with nil points as well.

 

Belgium: With Love Baby – Witloof Bay
Risky business from Belgium, acappella. I do honour their attempt at trying this out at Eurovision and the immense ability they clearly have to have to do it in the first place. However this can only flop in my eyes. This isn’t a song for Eurovision and is aimed towards a niche amount of people. Will be lucky not to finish last.

Prediction: Second to last in the second semi final. Shame I suppose.

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Love in Rewind – Dino Merlin
dm_img_12 I love this song. There is something about it that makes it fantastic. It might be the feet stomping and the clapping or the general feel that it puts a smile on my face when I watch it. Dino Merlin has done a good job here and really hope it gets into the top 10. Will probably do it easily if they get rid of that pianist, or actually give her lessons.

Prediction: You know what, top 10 finish this. Just top 10, but that is still a damn good result.

 

Bulgaria: Na inat – Poli Genova
This could be easily mistaken for a Pink song. I imagine Pink would do alright with this in the charts as well, as it isn’t too bad. It’s a nice little guitar powered pop rock song and might do well in a live performance.

Prediction: Will make it through the semi final but not get very far up the leaderboard on the Saturday.

 

Croatia: Celebrate – Daria
Anything that starts with ‘Friday’ naturally has me concerned, but thankfully this is far better than what you hear from Rebecca Black. Its a good dance tune with light lyrics and a lot of strong energy that will work in the clubs around Dusseldorf but not the stadium. When compared to other songs of the same genre, such as Hungary, it doesn’t quite seem as memorable.

Prediction: May, just, miss out on a top 10 in the semi.

 

Cyprus: San aggelos s’agapisa – Christos Mylordos
the5421 In the end this tries to be too many songs at once, and it struggles to pay off. I think it gets better towards the end and it is unknown how it could perform on a live stage. But in the ‘semi final of death’ I can’t see it making it out. Also, the music video for this seems to have been made in the 1980s and features the worst female actress of all time, which may have put me off slightly.

Prediction: Can see this finishing low down in the semi finals.

 

Denmark: New Tomorrow – A Friend In London
Come on boys, come on girls. You know it isn’t original, and it really lacks something towards the end of it, but this has the potential at least. The song reminds me of Coldplay, and while that might put some people off, I happen to like their music. Probably at the state it was in at the final though will find it mid-table come finals night.

Prediction: Will qualify easily, and be around or about 10th place.

 

I shall place part two (of four) up on Saturday. Till then, if you disagree with my suggestions, yell loudly at me in the comments and criticise me for not knowing a thing about anything. Or if you agree, do the same.