Thursday, 21 March 2013

View from Oleviste Kirik - Part II

While my most learnèd colleagues deliberate and cogitate over this year's crop of songs, I'm giving you, the discerning reader, my humble thoughts on them all.  These are in the second half of the first semi-final.  But you probably knew that already.

Belarus - When I first heard this I thought she was singing about ice cream type confection. The EBU won’t allow that I thought. But no, it was just me mis-hearing. I understand some other luminaries on this site really like this one, and I’m inclined to agree. Them White Russians sometimes have a little trouble getting to the final, but I think this one could be through.

Belgium – I remember a long time ago in a country far far away actually tuning in one Sunday morning to watch the Belgian final. Three songs and a three hour radio show with webcams if I recall. Who says RTBF doesn’t take this thing seriously? Sadly, I think plucky little Belgium will be way down in the order when we see this semi-final’s result. Poor little Roberto appears to be like a lamb to the slaughter this year.

Cyprus – I always like it when Cyprus sings in Greek. It sets them apart from the anodyne singing in English in a bad accent that often happens. However, it’s a ballad sung by a pretty girl. Amongst lots of other ballads sung by equally pretty girls. And the thing it’s missing it Greece in the same semi-final. Will it qualify? I’m not sure. I’d like it to but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t.

Ireland – Ah, Ireland. I have to take my hat off to you. You’ve finally got that twin fixation out of your system, and now you can move onwards and upwards. This time, much to my surprise, I actually really like the Irish song. It proves that a good song trumps a hackneyed gimmick every time. It uses the odd Celtic element (see Denmark) but I think this has more reason to do so. It’s a qualifier.

Lithuania – Year after year I wonder what goes off in Lithuania. I should show a bit of solidarity with the country, but I’m still not convinced they ‘get’ Eurovision. But they completely confound me and end up getting through the semi-final. What are they doing right that the likes of the Netherlands are getting so so wrong? I just don’t understand. The song itself is a little odd – it’s got a 80s vibe about it. The guy wears a top hat looking like someone out of the Clockwork Orange. But it might, just might work.

Moldova – Yet another ballad. Now there’s a novelty. She’s a very striking woman with a bit of a bedhead and a long dress combining the Linda Wagenmakers and Sabina Babayeva looks. If she’s book-ended by two fast songs, she’s in with a chance of a place in the final – as Moldova often manages to wangle. Otherwise, I don’t think this will go anywhere.

Montenegro – I love Montenegro. Rather than trying to pick something they think Europe might like, they just pick something they like. If Europe doesn’t like it, that’s just Europe’s hard luck. I think this song is incredibly brave, and incorporates all of those things that no-one else dares to try.  I would love love love this to finish 10th or higher on 14 May.  People of Europe, you know what you've got to do.

Serbia – I like the Serbs. Over the years they’ve entered quality ballads, usually written by the Balkan Dennis Waterman (written the song, presented the show…). This time we have a Serb for every mood. I call them nice (brunette in white), nasty (brunette in red and devil horns at a jaunty angle) and neutral (blonde in gold). Easy on the eye ladies not singing a ballad? A refreshing change. I suspect this will be another one of those vote sponges. Although we did say that about the lovely Femminem a few years ago.

I hope you can't wait for Part III.  I know I can't.

Love ya

R x


  1. Semi 1-Part 2:

    Belarus - The 1st thing that comes to mind when hearing this song is:Have Turkey decided to enter at the last moment?That said-it's actually not bad and has potential, if they don't kill it with over-staging or do something to overkill it.Belarus remember-Sometime less is more.

    Belgium - As it is, it's weak-and that is an understatement.Everything is wrong with this song.Unless they can preform a miracle, it will remain at the semi and will be forgotten at the moment the song ends.

    Cyprus - There is something melancholic with this song.Maybe it's the language or the sound of her voice.Unfortunately it misses something to leave an impact.The last time Cyprus were singing in Greek, they were stranded in the semi.Looks like this going to happen again with this song.

    Ireland - The 1st 20 seconds of the song sounds like something I heard before.Just can't put my finger on it.As a dance song it's a bit out dated, but it works. Should do well.

    Lithuania - Yes, this has an 80's feel to it, and that alone should be enough. However there are several problems -His voice is too low in the mix, he is lacking of any charisma and he is very static in his presentation. Each problem, for itself, is a killer for such a song, if you ask me.When they are all combined-it a receipt for a disaster.

    Moldova - Her English diction is horrible, but I understand she would sing in Romanian, which may be a plus. There is something in the harmony of this song that works. a Bit of tuning down the presentation may just do the trick for this one.

    Montenegro - not really my kind of song. I am not a rap fun and it luck a melody. And I am sucker for good melody.

    Serbia - Euro-trash, and not in it's best form. There is something childish and amateurish to the whole package.It may qualify not because it deserves to, but because someone has to.

  2. My comments:

    Belarus - In my opinion Alyona was robbed last year when the old Dictator overuled the National Final result and i'm glad she actually has a shot at Eurovision. I quite like her song as well, although it does remind my strongly of another song, i just cant think what it is. Should easily qualify and with a decent vocal and staging my scrape top ten.

    Belgium - Truely awful and if he performs like he did at the National Final this has null points written all over it.

    Cyprus - i think this is a good song, it reminds me a bit of Cyrpus' entry in 96. I think the juries may go big time for it and i expect to see it on the Saturday night.

    Ireland - I like this, its a good dance song, if a little dated. I am a bit concerned that the staging is going to be very sickly sweet, which could easily kill off its chances of qualifying.

    Lithuania - I know i may be in the minority, but i love this, best song in the contest this year. It has a strong Killers vibe (which is probably why i like it) which should give it wide appeal. There are issues, particularly with the staging and the weird facial expressions he pulls. But if these are fixed this will surley be top ten, with potential top five.

    Moldova - No, no, no. I just dont get this - its three minutes of noise, and nothing else. This really shouldn't qualify, but that has stopped Moldovan entries in the past (yes i'm talking about you Natalia Barbu)

    Montenegro - I think Montenegro might have pulled off a blinder here. Its very contemporary (reminds my of the sort of stuff Will I Am would do) and should appeal to the younger audience. Probable qualifier for me at the moment and with a decent staging, performance and draw may well be a surprise top five.

    Serbia - blah, blah, blah, below average pop song, Serbias worst entry to date, may qualify, but only just.

    My overall view of qualifiers from Semi 1 is:

    Def qualifies - Denmark, Russia and Lithuania
    Probable qualifiers - Ukraine, Austria, Estonia, Belarus, Ireland, Montenegro
    In the mix for tenth spot - Slovenia, Moldova, Serbia, Netherlands, Cyprus
    Probably wont qualify - Croatia
    May as well not turn up - Belgium

    But this may well all change when we see the staging