Valentina Monetta San Marino
The Social Network Song (Oh Oh – Uh – Oh Oh) 200/1
Hmm, there appears to be a lot of traffic ahead. Oh, I see why, there’s a massive car crash with this song up ahead.
My Verdict: I do quite like her. Quite a bit.
Europe’s Verdict: Why would anyone want to intentionally vote for this? Why? WHY?
Željko Joksimović Serbia
Nije Ljubav Stvar 14/1
No one seems to be talking about this, and I’m surprised. Serbia have the countries who can vote for it, and a song that’s pretty good too. He came close to victory with Lane Moje back in 2004, and his song this year although of a similar quality, can equally challenge.
My Verdict: Not a personal favourite, but it is memorable.
Europe’s Verdict: At least the second semi-final gets a good song opening it. Should qualify and be in the top 10 at worst.
Max Jason Mai Slovakia
Don’t Close Your Eyes 125/1
In a year totally devoid of any decent rock songs, Slovakia have of course sent a rock song that is far from decent, it’s painful. It doesn’t appeal to the proper rock fans, and gets rather shouty for a good time too. Ahh, it could’ve promised a change from the ballad’s, but it’s not getting there.
My Verdict: No, no, or in tribute to this song, NO.
Europe’s Verdict: I can’t see anyone who will want to vote for this, or listen to this.
Eva Boto Slovenia
She’s 16 and she can sing like that? I give up, just what hope for me is left? Sigh.
My Verdict: It’s annoyingly good.
Europe’s Verdict: I wouldn’t be surprised if this got out of the semi-final, and is a lot better than the other ‘Just old enough not to qualify for Junior Eurovision’ song from Belgium, and quite charming in another context. Could easily do a Switzerland on the Saturday, but I’m sure Eva won’t care about that.
Pastora Soler Spain
Quédate Conmigo (Stay With Me) 18/1
In a strong year for the big 5, it’s hard to believe this song I find to be one of the weakest. It’s not that bad, Pastora is one hell of a singer, I just find the song waning my interest half way through. But, for Spain certainly, this is easily their best song in at least a decade.
My Verdict: Why did Spain start taking this seriously?
Europe’s Verdict: This could be a huge hit with the juries, but will fall short. Still going to be good for Spain. Which in fairness, is usually being higher than 16th.
As fan favourites go, this is right at the top threatening to go into a league of its own. Yes, it’s a song that is going to do well, and a song that is unique at this years contest, but it relies on a lot on the stage performance. Thankfully for Sweden, that part is unbelievably brilliant. Everything but together and this will go down incredibly well.
My Verdict: It isn’t one of my own favourites, but I can see why everyone else loves it.
Europe’s Verdict: Should be pushing for victory.
It took me quite a while to realise the chorus was ‘Swim against the stream’, rather than ‘somethingsomethingsomething’. I want to like it, but it’s too middle ground, and two Swiss people struggling to be clear in speaking English.
My Verdict: I can’t even sing aloud to it… not that I would want to, of course.
Europe’s Verdict: In such a strong semi-final, this could get left behind
Can Bonomo Turkey
Love Me Back 33/1
After mixed success in the rock genre the last few years, Turkey have returned to a more ethnic and ‘Turkish’ song. A lot about this is relatively charming, if not a bit annoying to listen to it after quite a few listens. It should be unfeasible to see Turkey fail to reach the final again.
My Verdict: If only I hadn’t kept on listening to it! Though the two time listens it needs should be fine for everyone else.
Europe’s Verdict: Practically has the Eastern Europe vote in the bag, could be mid-table on finals night.
Be My Guest 40/1
Ukraine, being Ukraine, do well at Eurovision whatever they send, and that’s not going to change this year or many years in the future. The saving grace is at least they do send good entries (or something to distract us from the fairly average ones, looking at you Mika Newton), and Gaitana is sending a catchy, fun and a high energy three minutes to Eurovision
My Verdict: Enjoyable and fun to listen to.
Europe’s Verdict: They’re practically guaranteed a top 10 finish already, this could keep pushing it up for a dangerous result.
Engelbert Humperdinck United Kingdom
Love Will Set You Free 20/1
Well, well, well. As ingenuity goes, the BBC may have surprised us all, no one expected Engelbert Humperdinck, no one expected anything to good from it either. But, for the second year in a row, the internal selection has come up good, yet fails to be brilliant. It’s a song that can go anyway and everyway possible, but hey, at least I’m not embarrassed with it.
My Verdict: It’s good, at least.
Europe’s Verdict: Who knows? Won’t win but a good performance should be on the cards.
Turkey is in a situation far worse to Italy circa 2006. Italy saw its biggest clubs, AC Milan, Fiorentina and the biggest of them all, Juventus, all hit hard. Juventus worst of all, relegated down a division with a hefty points deduction and the humiliation of being stripped of their previous two Scudetto’s, all for match fixing. Turkey has seen a grand total of 16 clubs implicated in the most recent match fixing scandal.
The biggest of these is without a doubt Fenerbahçe, 18 time winners of the Süper Lig and fairly regular Champions League competitors. Fenerbahçe won the 2010-11 season on the final day of the season, beating Sivasspor 4-3, allowing them to finish above Trabzonspor on goal difference. All of this sounds thrilling, exciting, but the season is marred by dodgy and suspicious results in a variety of fixtures, and Fenerbahçe appear in a lot of them.
But as already mentioned, they aren’t the only clubs involved, 15 others come in at a smaller scale to this. These include Trabzonspor and the Turkish Cup finalists Beşiktaş and Istanbul. But like with the Italian case, they will be hunted down and they will be given severe punishments.
The match-fixing isn’t being done my gangs, threatening and offering players who a susceptible. No, this is being done by those at the top, the Presidents, the directors, even some of the players. The former Newcastle midfielder Emre Belözoğlu has been questioned by the police in his role, being later released. Overall, twelve members of staff for Fenerbahçe have been arrested, and all of the trouble has seen them kicked out of the Champions League group stages by the Turkish FA.
Ultimately, UEFA opted to go for the second best option to replace them, even with talk of Arsenal, FC Copenhagen and even Liverpool, the most logical choice is to remain in the country, therefore allowing Trabzonspor their first Champions League appearance.
Logical, if Trabzonspor weren’t also one of the sixteen involved in match fixing.
I am aware it isn’t to the same scale of Fenerbahçe, but they are still involved and should be suitably punished. They caused a certain amount of games to go a certain way, changing the outcome of the match away from the natural progression of it all. They shouldn’t be given the privilege of competing in the biggest European club competition.
Logically then, it should be given to Bursaspor, a team not involved in the match fixing scandal, and a team who finished third in the Super Lig.
Once again it shows total ineptness when it comes to serious issues from the governing body. The fact that a number of clubs were banded around saying they had every right to be involved and replace Fenerbahçe shows that no one really knows what is going on in terms of the rules and regulations. Nothing makes sense anymore. And not even the right decision was made, and it is hardly the first time that has happened.
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.
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|
|5||Norway||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
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.