Friday, February 22, 2013

Ireland - Oh Ireland

Smart followers of this blog may have noticed have noticed that things have been quiet lately. Unfortunately I've been extremely busy lately. Anyhow tomorrow night Ireland decides on their Eurovision entry. Being Irish I've always been very strongly interested to see who my fellow Irishmen and women choose.

Unlike general practice on this blog I've decided not to put up reviews. In all honesty each song has it's merits and these should be acknowledged, together with their faults.

Inchequin probably are the weakest contenders and I'd say have the least chance of going to Eurovision. Even if the public were to vote for this song I'd think the juries will not rank it very highly. I do note though that it did win the poll over on Wiwiblogs. Though not quite the favourite I'd say Amiee Fitzpatrick has the best chance of going to ESC, largely because she only has the only ballad in the contest. Then we come to the three club songs. I sincerely hope that one of these will be sent. They offer Ireland the best chance at Eurovision, largely because they are very different. I hope that the best vocalist will come through and we will judge them based on that.

May the best song win. I'll talk to you on Twitter.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Great ESC Night - Oh and Sweden Have Lost Their Minds

So tonight was another great night of Eurovision. Latvia picked their song, Italy picked their artist and Sweden and Estonia held semi-finals so the highlights:

  • Latvia will send PeR (I hope my capitalisation is correct) with their song Here We Go - Its not bad at all (By Latvian standards). You can watch it here.
  • Italy have decided to send Marco Mengoni to Eurovision. There's no point trying to predict the song he will take to ESC. Not a bad choice though. There is an awful lot to say for the quality of San Remo as a selection process, even if it goes on all night.
  • In Estonia five qualifiers made it to the final including one of my favourite songs in this national final season, Paastke Noored Hinged by Grete Paia. You can watch her performance here.
  • In Sweden, another surprise result was delivered when State of Drama and Ravaillacz qualified to the final and Caroline Af Ugglas and Martin Rolenski went to Andra Chansen. This was by all accounts a surprise especially when Amanda Fonndell and Janet Leon were both knocked out. If you combine this with last weeks result its another big surprise. Really you'd wonder what is going on in Sweden....
  • Something happened in Hungary - Read about it here.
Enjoy your weekend - talk soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It's A Bit Tricky

Unfortunately my computer's broke so the pace of things on the blog may get a little quieter on blog for a while.

I will be very interested in what happens in Germany tomorrow...can Die Priester win?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's Not A Winner And Never Will Be

Pipe down Eurovision fans! I know Margaret Berger won in Norway and this was a good choice on the part of the Norwegian public however let's remember that this song did not exact win by a landslide.

The song as a lot of risks to it. Margaret may not be able to move this to Eurovision. The song will need very strong backing vocalists to sing with Margaret. There is no sure way of saying this will work.

Furthermore, let's remember that Margaret only won MGP with 90000 public televotes. Tooji managed to score 130000 and look where he finished. Stella scored in excess of 240000. She also was the first contender not to win all of the regions of Norway. Scoring only 900 televotes in the North.

This is a lot of good about this entry, but still it has none of the signs of a potential winner. So pipe down - you'd think Green was coming back to Eurovision.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Not As Bad As I Thought, Norway

In advance of the Norwegian national final today, I've been looking at what is on offer, and despite some of the my protests ahead of some of the semi finals I think at this point that Norway are left with a fairly strong national final. OK, it's not Melodifestivalen, but it's not as poor as UMK in Finland. Most importantly songs that were of little unique value were eliminated. But now, let's look at what is left:

Annasofi - I'm With You
It's a pleasant song from Annasofi, but a far cry from Fairytale. Annasofi is able to perform this song with the grace it needs. A really nice song, with great instruments, but an unlikely superfinalist. Grade:B

Gromth feat. Emil Solli Tangen - Alone
I'm not a fan of this by any strech. It's a poor mix of rock and opera. Though it won the semi final it would an unlikely winner as it will struggle in the Superfinal against Margaret Berger, who's song is similar and appeals to the same audience. Grade: D-

Vidar Busk - Paid My Way
Does anyone actually care? This is a fairly average song that came third in the semi-final and arguably the weakest semi-final at that. Hasn't a hope of winning, really average song that we've all seen before. Not a superfinalist either. Grade: D

Lucky Lips
Like Vidar Busk, this has little hope of winning. Honestly I don't understand why there is a jury wildcard in Norway. If the public already put nine songs into a final why another in with it? Grade: C-

Fjellfolk - Ultetuva
Fjellfolk have certainly got the most Scandinavian sounding song in this year's contest. A strange combination of folk, ballad and rhythm, it's got a lot to it and surprised me when it came second in semi-final 2. This is an unlikely winner but I would not be surprised to see it in the Superfinal. Personally I really like this song and hope it does well. Grade: B+

Datarock - The Underground
Out-of-date, cheesy and meaningless lyrics, surely this has Eurovision written all over it. This bounce pop song is certainly one of my favourites but its failure to win the semi-final mean I Am doubtful it can win tonight a possible superfinalist, that is all. Grade: A-

Gaute Ormasen - Awake
Most unremarkable song in this year's contest. Grade: D+

Sirkus Eliaseen - I Love You Te Quiero
Joke entry alert! This stupid but catchy rap song could conceivably do well. However if it went to Eurovision it would go the same direction as the Trackshittaz. Grade: B-

Margaret Berger - I Feed You My Love
Arguably the most controversial entry in this year's MGP. It is the bookies favourite and very, very divisive. It is a strange combination of ballad and rock. If it wins expect to see similar divisions to Suus. I like this but its not my favourite. Certainly the most likely winner. Grade: A-

Aledén - Bombo
The biggest surprise of MGP this year was when this won the third semi-final. Second favourite with the bookies, the Mediterranean pop song is a delight and helped by the fanatic looking Aledén. Its my favourite in Norway and I'd love to see it at Eurovision. Grade: A

I'm away for the weekend so I don't have the time to be on Twitter. May the best song win.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

RTÉ Plays It Safe

Today RTÉ premiered the five songs in the 2013 national final. Generally speaking there is four club songs and one ballad involved. I'm somewhat impressed by what RTÉ have come up with. I think that by RTÉ standards this is one of the strongest national finalists we have seen in a number of years. Having said that this is not a miracle - it's an improvement.

As regards individual entries I will post more formal reviews but in the meantime, I think that this is a straight fight between Ryan Dolan and Aimee Fitzpatrick. Ryan probably will benefit from Kasey and Zoe are probably too similar and will cancel each other's vote. As the male Ryan stands a strong chance. Aimee also has a great chance having the only ballad in the competition and that cannot be discounted.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bookies Pay Day In Ireland

Today, as some of you may have seen RTÉ released the names of the five acts that will be trying to represent  Ireland in this year's Eurovision song contest. Suffice to say that I am somewhat disappointed by the list of names that they have released. It's a good day for the bookies as none of the names released were on Paddy Powers lists before the announcement.

The five acts are: Zoe Alexis Bohorquez; Ryan Dolan; Aimee Fitzpatrick; Incheqin and Kasey.

Nope! I haven't heard of any of the either. All I can say is that Zoe and Aimee are the favourites in early betting. While it is nice to see that it will not be Jedward this year I think I shall hold back my most grating comments until after the Mooney Show, where the songs will be presented tomorrow. Though I have classes during these times, I will be updating the blog and Twitter page later in the evening.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Isn't That What National Finals Are All About?

After a surprising night of national finals and semi-finals we've two more Eurovision entries, and many songs have been eliminated in the quest to find a Eurovision entry. Many people have been shocked to see some of the choices made in some of the shows yesterday. But really is this not The story continues....

Malta have selected Gianluca Bezzina, to represent them in Malmo, with his song "Tomorrow". It's a delightfully bouncy song and might do well at Eurovision. On reflection though it was not my favourite entry in Malta, it probably was the best selection. Hear Gianluca's song here.

What could have been one of the most embrassing stories to come from they put a story up on saying that Amber had won the Maltese selection about one hour before results were due to be announced

In one of the Iceland's most surprising moves they selected Bill Bailey Thomas G:sson Eybor Ingi Gunnlaugsson to represent them in Malmo. By all accounts it is a poor choice from a fairly selection which is a same given the strong run that Iceland have had since 2008. You can listen to the song here.

Melodifestivalen is my favourite national final and despite its critics last year it is able to produce some really great songs. In last nights semi-final Daivd Lindgren and YOHIO progressed to the final directly with Eric Gadd and Cookies 'N' Beans going to Andra Chansen.

Unusually and surprisingly SVT do not appear to have censored the songs progressing in the contest from the internet, perhaps they understand that at this stage they would have some job to do that. They also have left the semi-final up on their site and you can watch it here. 

I was also very impressed with Danny and Gina as presenters the interval act was very impressive. Well done!

Three more songs have made it to the final in Norway. Gaute Ormasen, Sirkus Eliassen and Aledén all qualified. The most surprising of these was Aledén who came in first place. As far as I can see this had nothing to do with her legs.

I don't pay much attention to Hungary so I shall let escXtra fill you in.

So we can all look forward to next weekend when Norway and Finland will select their entries.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Who Can Malta Choose?

The lengthily Maltese national final takes place tonight and after a long semi-final last night will anyone be awake? Last night was fairly unsurprising and succeed in eliminating some of the real junk though surprisingly knocked out one of my favourites, Klinssman. Anyway what can the choose from tonight?

Scar – Superstar
I’m half expecting either the wimax ad (You’d have to be Irish to understand) or else a tribute act to Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan. This is certainly a potential winner but I still am not convinced this is an ideal Eurovision choice. Grade: B

Dorothy Bezzina – Starting From The End
I never got Dorothy, her songs are always very good vocally but are never particularly warm. This one is no different. Probably will do well with juries. Grade: E-

Corazon Mizzi – My Stranger Love
Corazon’s song is probably similar in ways to other songs in this national final. However something about her voice makes me think that she might just standout a little more in the national final however perhaps I just prefer her voices to others in MESC this year. Grade: D-

Jessica Muscat – Ultraviolet
Can fiery red heads go to Eurovision? Yes of course, remember Niamh Kavanagh? Certainly Jessica has a pretty distinctive look. Her song is also fairly good and reminds me a bit of Lena Meyer Landrut. Maybe has an outside chance? Grade: B-

Gianni – Us Against The World
Gianni may have his fans from last year but I doubt that they will be overly impressed with this teen pop song that really is unimpressive. Last year I had him down as someone who could represent Malta at Eurovision in the future, however I don’t think 2013 is the future. Grade: D

Davinia Pace – Betrayed
I don’t like this, for no reason at all. I just don’t. Sorry. Grade: G

Kevin Borg - Needing You
For some reason I overlooked this last night and when I was writing up my first reviews. This is a strong ballad but that's only by Maltese standards. It doesn't really go that far. Grade: D

Richard Edwards – Fall Like Rome
Seasoned MESC competitor returns with another dramatic song. This is certainly one of the more stand out song in MESC however I still wonder if he could actually win given that he has missed out so many times before this. Never the less I think this is a possible winner and could be in Malmo. Grade: B+

Janice Debattista – Perfect Day
This is a vanilla song, plain and simple. Not that it is never a bad idea to err on the side of caution in a national final this is just lacking in many areas and there are so many similar songs in this national final. Grade: E

Deborah C – Love-O-Holic
This is my favourite song in the competition. I loved Deborah last year and once again I find myself in the same position this year. Sadly vocally she was way off last year, hopefully the year has done her some good. If this worked it could have a chance of winning but if it goes wrong it surely won’t be as bad as last year. Grade: A

Claudia Faniello – When It’s Time
Claudia is back for yet another national final with yet another dull song. Personally speaking I think if they weren’t go to send her with the song Pure I cannot imagine her doing well enough with this one. It is dull and predictable. Grade: E+

Gianluca Bezzina – Tomorrow
Anyone else thinking Train’s Hey Soul Sister? Certainly I am. I think this is somewhat like it but none the less this is a very sweet song and Gianluca’s charisma helps to boost the song. A strong entry that may well win. Grade: B+

Chris Grech – Never Walk Away
Another plain song with some U2 overtones. Chris is quite an introverted performer so this song may not come across as well as it should. Slow rock songs also don’t tend to do extremely well in national finals. Grade: E+

Petra/Richard Edwards – Wonderful Today
I personally would prefer their individual song than this duet. It really does not show off Richard’s vocal abilities and the age difference (apologies if there is no difference). Taxi for this one then. Grade: E

Amber – In Control
Also a dull song. It tries to be right but gets it so wrong. Grade: E+

Dominique Azzopardi – Too Little Too Late
Another dull ballad. Dominique has a delicate and gentle voice but it still will not take away from the fact that the song really is just not that outstanding. Grade: E+

Melodifestivalen Semi Final 1: Review

Unfortunately thanks to SVT's bizarre ideas I have to construct a review from clips of less than one minute but lets give it a bash anyway

David Lindgren - Skyline
A strong song to open the competition. David returns from a very successful debut in Melodifestivalen last year. This is broadly what we expected from David this year. This is the favourite to go to the final from this semi-final, and is second favourite to win overall. It also is notable that he won the vote in the dress rehearsal. Personally I was never the greatest fan of this type of song, it feels very hollow. Nevertheless it's still good. Certainly a qualifier and possibly more. Grade: A-

Cookies 'N' Beans - Burning Flags
Seasoned Melodifestivalen competitors Cookies 'N' Beans return to Melodifestivalen with a song by Frederick Kempe. The song itself is fairly old-fashioned Melodifestivalen, however it is endearing in a strange sort of way. Personally I like this but don't think it has a hope. Grade: B

Jay-Jay Johnson - Paris
Debut Melodifestivalen performer Jay-Jay comes with an unusual song with some French influences (at least that's what I think they are). It is a very odd song to listen to the first time round but still, it has its charms. I find it difficult to believe that enough people will be able to listen to this the first time round and get it. So it will be in the running for last place in the semi-final in my view, still a very creative and different song. Grade: C+

Mary N'diaye - Gosa
Once again we have another new Melodifestivalen performer. Mary brings an upbeat pop song with African influences. It's pleasant to listen to but I think we've seen this before with Stella Mawagi - it may sound a little different but it still is not up to the required standard. Grade: C

Eric Gadd - Vi Kommer Aldrig Att Forlora
A rather dull song from Eric with far to much drumming for the overall song. This is just not what I like. That said the song has a nice tune that would be nice without the drumming but if it was entered without the drums then it would be a fairly dull song and would not advance in the competition. Do drums really make a difference? No. Grade: C-

YOHIO - Heartbreak Hotel
Another one of the highly tipped to do well in this semi final. This is a strong rock song but still it is lacking in something and though it could do well I'm not sure this is the right song for the popular band. This might be more of an Andra Chansen then a Finalist. Personally, as many of you may guess rock is not a genre I was ever a fan of. Grade: D

Anna Jarvinen - Porslin
A very surprising song is in seventh position. Anna's song reminds me of some of the Eurovision entries that might be found in the 1970's particularly the early part of that decade. This song is sweet but is it a finalist?, probably not. The one minute clip of the song is last part of the song which not really that dramatic. Still I like this. Grade: B

Michael Feiner & Caisa - We're Still Kids
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you return of Epic Sax man Mark II. This is a fun pop song from the duet. I just love this song, though then again I was a Bjorn Ranelid fan. Though some might not put this direct to the final I think that the Swedish public probably will go for this, particularly as it is in the last running spot in the final. Grade: A

So I hope you enjoy the evening and let's all hope for a fair result.