Friday, 30 March 2012

View from the Kiek in de Kök - Part 4

We're nearly there...

10. Croatia – We’re nearly there with les ex-Républiques Yougoslaves. I understand Nina Badrič has seen a summer or two and her voice seems to reflect this. It’s maybe a bit too similar to the previous song, but doesn’t seem to have the same impact. To be honest, in some quarters (but not all) Eurovision is a young singer’s game. Will this qualify? No.

11. Sweden – What do we have here? A potential winner? The most over-hyped song since something by Kate Ryanair? To be fair, it sounds like a lot of other songs that have been successful. It reminds me of something from the era of disco by Donna Summer, so should suit those born in the distant 1960s or 1970s. I think it might be tooooo obvious to win, and its draw in the final will certainly play a part. The crucial second spot in the Saturday night final and it’s dead in the water – a tactical draw near the end and we could be at some 65,000 seater arena on the outskirts of Stockholm with a 9pm local start time in 2013. Will this qualify? As sure as my name is Riigiametnik.

12. Georgia – From the sublime to the downright ridiculous. Jocker? Joker? Is it code for something special in Tbilisi? Between winning his ticket and releasing his video, Anri seems to have got 30 times kitscher. I don’t think Georgia have really tried this year – in the words of my old history teacher Mr Pruun, “Could do better”. Will this qualify? No way Pedro.

13. Turkey – The Turks have reverted to type this year, with a typical crowd-pleasing ethnic pop. I didn’t realise Mr Bonio was one of Turkey’s small Jewish community, and this definitely has a bit of Kletzmer about it. More please I say and the prospect of a Turkish party with a bit of kosher food thrown in sounds good. Will this qualify? Yes

14. Estonia – Yeh!! Time for a bit of class. Three upbeat songs and then we have a perfect song to take things down a tempo or two. Ott has stayed in his native eesti keelt which is right and proper. I think it starts a little like Nilsson’s classic ‘Without you’ and it builds just as well. OK, so I can’t be totally unbiased, but don’t you like a site that actually has opinions? Anyways, will this qualify? You betcha.

15. Slovakia – One of Eurovision’s most unlucky countries tries something different and they have to be commended. There’s no other song like it in Baku and it grabs you by the unmentionables and says ‘listen to me’. Some of the watching populace, if they haven’t been roused during the previous song, will be when MJM/Miro Šmajda struts his funky thang. Will this qualify? I’d like to think so, but I think the unlucky streak will continue.

16. Norway – Following on in the great tradition of Iranian born performers at Eurovision (Arash of Aysel and Arash, erm, that’s it), Tooji does his best to be the 2012 vintage of Eric Saade. This sort of shtick has worked before, so who’s to say it won’t work this year. After all, he gives a very slick delivery and this time the glass all shatters on cue (oops, that was last year). Will this qualify? Yes.

17. Bosnia-Herzegovina – A pleasant little number from what seems like the same team that wrote for Amila ‘Morticia’ Glamočak in the dim and distant past. Does this go anywhere? Well, it’s just pleasant. Nothing more, nothing less. But she is very pretty, and a few voters in dirty raincoats might find that rather appealing. Will this qualify? I think it’s just too ordinary to qualify.

18. Lithuania – Finally we have a refugee from some boyband who is paying tribute to such illustrious names as Serafin Zubiri, Csaba Szigeti and Diana Gurtskaya. Then he decides it’s in poor taste and ditches the blindfold he probably got free on the Emirates flight to Brisbane. This is a bit too George Michael for me and not the best way to end a semi-final. I still think Lithuania hasn’t quite ‘got’ Eurovision yet. Will this qualify? No.

So, from this bunch of musical goodness, the 10 qualifiers I’d pick are Serbia, Netherlands, Malta, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, Estonia, Norway.


  1. Semi2-2nd part

    Croatia - Another ballad,coming after a ballad. And much inferior. Needles to say that the 16 years Slovenian is singing better and has a better song.Will be overshadowed by what coming before and after her.

    Sweden - The verses are less memorable than the chorus. Musically it's strangely constructed, as the verses aren't flowing naturally into the chorus. If I'm hearing it correctly, there are no background voices,which means she will be alone on the stage. Over-hyped as a winner, but I don't see it happening.

    Georgia - Sounds like something Tom Jones could sing.Only Tom Jones would have sound much better and probably will leave the song aside as being too mediocre or too outdated in its current musical style.

    Turkey - Sound like something Israel would have sent somewhere in the course of the year, but it has rhythm that will make everyone move and clap.The words,though,are just silly.

    Estonia - I like this one from the first time I heard it during Estilaul. He gives me goosebumps and I don't care I don't understand a word he is saying.It is just one of the better songs in this year Eurovision.Hope it qualify.It deserve to.

    Slovakia - Yes, it is different, and very out of this place. A kind of song that will make the grannies of Europe to call the authorities and complain about the noise coming on from their tv at a respectable 10 pm.

    Norway - If it was a Swedish shtick, I would have been very much against this one(Showing that I'm a bit bias). But it nicely constructed and is better sung than Swedish shtick of last year.In the past such songs didn't do well, but last year proved that it can do quite can go either way and I haven't got a clue regarding this one.

    Bosnia & Herzegovina - What is it this year with with ex. Yugoslavia countries. Almost of them are sending a ballad. Is there no other known genre in that side of Europe?Admittedly it's not as bad as Croatia but not as good as Slovenia.If anything it's as weak as the one Serbia has sent, and that one has the benefit of a known singer, which will help him a bit.

    Lithuania - Nothing we didn't hear before.It's also not a very good song.too average to leave any mark. And that blindfold is a receipt for a disaster.1 wrong step and it will become the comic relief of the evening.

  2. I am smashed by your comments about Lithuanian song. Oh, and he is not from a boyband but, yupp, reminds on George Michael too much.

    1. There are some years when a song screams 'winner' and this is one of them. The Swedish entry is head and shoulders above anything else I've heard this time but there's a BIG BUT. The vocal is suspiciously perfect on all the video replays I've seen. All too often, on the night, there's a bit of dancing and the tuning goes to pot. We'll see.

      As for the accusation that the song is stuck in the 60's, I don't get that. It's not a million miles away from the latest David Guetta stuff (and I bet he'd do a brilliant remix). Good luck to Sweden. A contemporary-sounding song in what seems to me to be a sea of boring nostalgia (and I include the UK in that).