2014 Eurovision in Review

Friends,

In what was one of Eurovision’s most contested finals, Austria’s Conchita Wurst united Europe (well, mostly the western part) to celebrate individuality and libertarianism. That’ll learn Vladimir Putin!

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The 2014 Eurovision final took us to Copenhagen, just north of the liquorish equator. Our competent yet languid hosts, Lise, Nikolaj and Pilou welcomed us in assorted languages, and left us longing for last year’s charming and witty host, Petra Mede.

The evening kicked off with the Ukraine’s Tick-Tock (an analogy to its precarious political situation) with the best on-stage use of a hamster wheel. Limited sympathy for the Ukraine from the European audience – 6th place! The first of several leather wristbands to come!

Belarus’s Teo appeared with 4 goons dressed as waiters, none could sing or dance. Not even a reference to cake could lift this performance into the top 10….16th place. Twelve predictable points from Russia, though!

Next was the first of several twins – Azerbaijan. One was on stage singing, the other twirling on a trapeze. Both tried to ‘Start a Fire’ but left the spark at home – 22ndplace!

Iceland’s beards in primary colour gave us the first key-change for the evening. The Nordic lads reminded me of the Ramones, only happier and far less conservative! Best use of bow-ties on stage – 15th!

Carl from Norway sported a leather wristband, his heart on his sleeve and plenty of on-stage fog! Why did the four violinists have stand on such a steep slope? Surely performing at Eurovision is difficult enough? A deserved 8th place for Norway.

Romania’s disco anthem had it all: wind machines, cleavage, pyrotechnics and a circular piano, which I do not think was switched on…12th place.

Next up was one of the favourites – Armenia’s Aram MP3, dressed as the new Dr Who. A boring number, hurled into 4th place by an outstanding lightshow.

Montenegro gave us an extra serving of schmalz and a faux ice skater (they were really roller blades…at least they could have had real ice, like Russia’s Dima back in 2008). Was there another set of twins among the back-up singers? Douze points from Armenia and Macedonia catapulted Sergej Ćetković into 19th place.

What can I say about Poland’s Slavic rap? Most inappropriate use of cleavage for the evening, and at Eurovision, that is saying a lot – 14th place.

Greece sent in the first of several boy-bands – dressed as waiters (in some sort of rap-restaurant). Thankfully there was no cleavage on stage, but a trampoline…..a deserved 20th place.

Austria’s Conchita wore a dream in beige, sporting an enviable waist. There she was, a lone figure in a beam of light, surrounded only by fog and staring straight into our hearts! What a performance! Austria’s second win at Eurovision – see you in Vienna next year!

Germany cut short the euphoria with a piano accordion and a terrible song (the outfit was a rip off Celine Dion’s winning attire at Eurovision 1988) – 18th place!

One of the highlights of the evening was Sweden’s Sanna Nielson who gave Conchita a run for her money – 3rd place!

It looks like France just does not want to win Eurovision….EVER! France’s Twin/Twin (here is another set of twins) was a real stinker, and everyone knew that – last place (26th)

Russia had a tough gig with lots of boos from the audience. The delicate Tolmachevy sisters (who looked a little bit like a young Steffi Graf), co-joined at the pony-tail, climbed about on a giant see-saw with a double windmachine effort! 7th place thanks to the pacifying votes from all territories of the former USSR.

Italy put the rock back into Eurovision with plenty of intensity and a full band on stage! Best use of a keytar! Not enough, though…..21st place!

Slovenia’s Tinkara, dressed as the evil queen from Snow White, tortured us with flute playing…why? Best shoulder pads of the evening! Second last (25th), unsurprising!

The next boy-band was from Finland, nice enough but we were hoping for something better – 11th.

Why Spain made it into the top 10 is beyond me, but apparently wet hair is back en vouge!

The whistling waiter from Switzerland (with a full band on stage) made it to 13thplace despite a banjo and a fiddle!

Hungary’s András (is he wearing a cardigan?) gave us a solid performance to the background of physical abuse on stage. After watching for 3 minutes, András does save the girl in the end! 5th place!

Malta’s Firelight went nowhere (23rd) – perhaps the lack of gimmicks, pyrotechnics or laser show cost them dearly.  There was a leather wrist-band!

Possibly the worst choreography was offered by Denmark’s Basim, which did not stop them breaking into the top 10 (9th). Best white ankle socks for the evening!

The Netherlands came and went and I have little recollection. Something country-western with a hat, richly rewarded with plenty of points – 2nd place!

Images of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus were re-enacted by San Marino’s Valentina, who was promptly relegated to 24th.

The final act for the evening was the UK, with a catchy tune and a hippy/hipster outfit (Molly) Clearly, the UK’s best entry in years, but still only good enough for 17thplace!

The intermission was bland at best, the highlight being its conclusion with all contestants on stage singing along with Emilie de Forrest (last year’s winner, still looking for her shoes).

The voting landscape was unexpectedly broad with an even spread of points and a very tight race between Austria, Sweden, Netherlands, Armenia & Hungary. The only fly in the ointment was the booing whenever Russia received any points.

What is new in the Eurovision fashion stakes? Leather wrist-bands and beards. I will only be getting one of these!

Romania

Artist: Paula Seling & OVI

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Song: Miracle

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Hello Flashdance (look up the VHS section in your local video store)! Sadly neither Paula nor OVI come even close to the fabulous Jennifer Beals. But the rest is there: dancing, indoor rain and heavy duty welding (just kidding). Ok, back to the actual song…what does Romania offer us here? A disco anthem of the highest caliber! I predict big things for Miracle…on rotation at Club Med all summer (but only after 1am, when no-one is likely to retain any memory). Oh, and top 15 in Eurovision!


Lithuania 

Lithuania

Artist: Vilija Matačiūnaitė

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Song: Attention

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Vilija is a determined young woman who knows what she wants – your attention (and Eurovision glory)!  Who am I not to yield to the demands of a dominant woman…douze points!

Hungary

Hungary

Artist: András Kállay-Saunders

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Song: Running

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Hungary has had an excellent run of solid entries at Eurovision over the last 2-3 years. Remember last year’s Kedvesem (toe tapping number that was) and of course Kati Wolf’s Euro-anthem in 2011 (still one of my faves, although it did not make it into the top 10!). András offers us another good (not quite excellent), dynamic and quite catchy number, which for inexplicable reasons reminds me of Matt Bianco (remember that old chestnut?). I wonder how the Eurovision audience will react to the song topic, which is about child abuse. Eurovision is not really know as the platform for raising serious social woes. My guess is that everyone will just ignore the content and go along with the fluff!


Lativa

Latvia

Artist: Aarzemnieki

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Song: Cake To Bake

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Marvellous, everyone!!!! I love it. This genuine looking young man wants to bake a cake and has won my heart! This is exactly the kind of song to clear your head of any serious thought (e.g. child abuse…see above). ‘Make some dough, add some love, let it bake’…simple really! Douze points from me!

Spain

Spain

Artist: Ruth Lorenzo

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Song: Dancing in the rain

Review by Patricio Lagos

Angelical voice, coming from white walls, and she… SHE walks, looking up to the sky, to her loved one… Oh boy!…. Come on Spain! This is more a song for some tv spot than a song for a prestigious competition such as Eurovision. And you will sing and dance in the rain, you have to beat Gene Kelly. Honestly (or Alexander DeLarge, for that matter)


Denmark

Denmark

Artist: Basim

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Song: Cliche Love Song

Review by Patricio Lagos

Basim sings “cliche love song”, which honours its name: a complete cliche, from start to end. This could perfectly turn into a summer’s hit among the teenagers! However, what is really shocking is Basim’s style. Some weird mixture of not-good-looking new kids on the block, Sack Morris (except for the hair, of course, that’s more like a poodle), and the socks and shoes of Michael Jackson.

Australian TV channel SBS has come to visit our laboratories to document the cutting edge science behind this blog.

You can watch the report here: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/05/06/scientists-analyse-paradox-eurovision

Armenia

Artist: Aram Mp3

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Song: Not alone

Review by Nansi Ngahere

…..zzzzzzzz…… huh, whaaaa… oh, not alone, you say?? Apparently a bookies favourite – with lyrics like “You’re gonna wake up, it’s only a dream, why do dreams make people scream?” – beats me why. This is D-U-L-L. And then he starts scream-howling which is equally tedious in its own special dub-step way. Mr Aram MP3 (not his real name, surprisingly enough) is also a comedian, so maybe he’s just saving the punch line for the night. We can but hope!


Iceland

Iceland

Artist: Pollapönk

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Song: No Prejudice

Review by Nansi Ngahere

Fun-lovin’ hipster wiggles? Sure enough, research backs me up on my basic assumption that any all-male band in primary coloured outfits must be in early childhood edu-tainment. Pre-school teachers in this case. Lesson plan is more world harmony, love and understanding, less basic maths and biology but they touch all the bases, just in case (“It’s not trigonometry, Inside we’re the same”). Lovely message, catchy tune, imitable dance move, natty outfits… what’s not to love? Hark up Armenia!

Montenegro

Artist: Sergej Ćetković

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Song: Moj Svijet

Review by Nik Tatarnic

This year Montenegro is represented by the veteran singer-songwriter, Sergei Ćetković. The song, Moj Svijet is a sad, sad song about lost love. The beautifully filmed video follows a young boy whose first love moves away never to return, only to haunt his dreams for the rest of his life. I want to make fun of this, I really do. But I can’t. The song is good. What else can I say? I tell you, if Sergei wins, have some tissues handy, as hearing this song more than once will crack the coldest heart and tears will certainly flow.


San Marino

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Artist: Valentina Monetta

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Song: Maybe (Forse)

Review by Nik Tatarnic

This is the third year in a row that Valentina Monetta will represent San Marino, making her only the fourth artist to pull off the consecutive Euro-hat trick, and the first to do so since 1966. Sadly she will probably have to be satisfied with that honour – if San Marino’s previous outings are anything to go by, they will likely not make it out of the semi-finals. (But hang in there Valentina – all the previous hat tricksters ultimately prevailed and achieved Eurovision glory!) This year’s song, Maybe, is about love and sundry items.

Portugal

Artist: Suzy

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Song: Quero Ser Tua

Review by Scott Fabricant

I must give full disclosure of a conflict of interest. See, this is my last dispatch from our honourary European shores before I embark as our foreign correspondent. I was very fascinated to see the source material of the country I will come to know*. And I’ve learned a few things about what to expect. One thing I’ve learned is that while bodily symmetry is often seen as attractive, there is no statistical correlation between attractiveness and dance symmetry. Or synchronicity. Or being on key. The second thing I learned is that vegetarians may not feel excessively comfortable in Portuguese countries. The food, the instruments, the pants, all cow. The third thing I learned is the important of modesty, except when it comes to eye makeup. However, the singing is very modest, in tempo, catchiness, and talent. Most importantly, I learned important Portuguese terms, like “I want to be your passion cupid” and “I want to be the honey of your kiss”. Clearly these skills will serve me well in my new assignment studying fungal infections of mucus membranes. So thank you, Portugal. I hope your larger and more popular former colony is as delightfully whimsical as you.

*Scott is moving to Brazil for a post-doc!


Greece

Greece

Artist: Freaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd

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Song: Rise Up

Review by Scott Fabricant

How can I describe the swelling emotion that Greece’s entry instils in my heart? It feels like a tightness, a shortness of breath, and a shooting pain in my right arm. Oh that’s right, it feels like a blood clot. The repetitious chanting, poor synthesizer abuse, and profoundly boring lyrical content actually act as cofactors in song-induced thrombin and fibrinogen production.

This trait is an amazing evolutionary advantage that likely functions to protect this vulnerable song from auditory consumption. Behavioural ecologists, take careful notes. Eurovision and consciousness-loving mere mortals, stay a safe distance from this dangerous creature.


Poland

Poland

Artist: Donatan & Cleo

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Song: My Słowianie – We Are Slavic

Review by Scott Fabricant

Wake up, brush your teeth with a bottle of Stolichnaya, and come round the table as we watch the premiere of a new documentary by Donatan and Cleo about the lives a small band of rural butter-churners in Poland. My heart breaks to watch them suffering; spending all day churning up and down, up and down, unable after all this labor even to afford shirts that go higher than their mid-busts. However, these intrepid women never lose hope, singing proudly about their rich and voluminous genetic heritage. The most touching scene was when the butter-churners all banded together to help their stricken sister, who is suffering from what appears to be a tragically advanced neuro-degenerative disorder and left unable to even drink a glass of milk without spilling it all over her body. The tears flowed over my rounded cheeks much as that milk streamed… sorry, what were we talking about? Yes, Poland. The song was wonderful, I think. Catchy if redundant. Will make it to finals, because Europe will want to watch the performance a second time. Who doesn’t love a historical docudrama?

Belgium

Artist: Axel Hirsoux

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Song: Mother

Review by Scott Fabricant

Good evening Copenhagen, Freud calling!

Belgium’s mother-besotted rotund man-child is certainly a strong contender to make the finals. But only because many matrilineal cultures in Europe may appreciate the sentiment. The song itself is mostly just creepy. This man seriously needs a social life. In all likelihood, he wears a wig and the dress of his desiccated mother. But clearly he loves her, and enunciates it in a crisp, well-sung love ballad. Excellent falsetto as well for a man who never grew up. I wish I could tell you just how wonderful she is, but I was too distracted by horrible flashbacks of a high school performance of Oedipus Rex. 10 points from Mother Russia.


Finland

Finland

Artist: Softengine

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Song: Something Better

Review by Scott Fabricant

Eurovision has a proud reputation of divas, awkward backup dancers, and wind machines. And yet, time and time again, the one band that is nothing like this comes through to be the winner. Sometimes referred to in the literature as the Lordi  Effect, this results in a multi-year cycle of good musical taste in Europe which radiates south from  Nordic regions. And here we return to Finland and their entry Softengine. A heavier rock band reminiscent of My Chemical Romance, but with dignity. This upbeat power anthem is actually really catchy and manages to keep your interest despite a criminal lack of wind machines. It’s a strong contender for the top 3, and an even stronger contender for my iPod. Unlike Loreen, I have no shame admitting that either!

Albania

Artist: Hersi Matmuga

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Song: One Night’s Anger

Review by Rachael Gallagher

Looks like Albania have gone all out this year on a quest for Eurovision glory! To my mind, this is the best clip to ever be produced in the name of European unity. The Albanian’s have it all – a ‘Fan Man’ (yes…a man powered by a fan), the Grim Reaper on guitar, a gothic waif on vocals (Hersi Matmuga), a beach, jogging, horses, a gritty urban setting, a confusing narrative… who could ask for more? And the song? Titled ‘One Night’s Anger’, this one is auto-tuned to within an inch of its life and has all the key-changes and lilting choruses we have come to expect from Eurovision winners. May the Albanians reign supreme in their quest for glory.


Italy

Italy

Artist: Emma Marrone

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Song: La Mia Città

Review by Rachael Gallagher

I think this may be the first time in Eurovision history that offensive headwear has been used to such classy effect. Emma Marrone (pronounced moron) sports some ‘tasteful’ headwear in this clip, a beanie which roughly translated asks music lovers to ‘Come for the f**k down’. What a charmer! However, you can’t hide a bad song behind an offensive beanie and so the Italians seem unlikely to make a splash in this year’s comp.

Estonia

Song: Amazing

Artist: Tanja

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Review by Tom White

After a poor showing last year with the legendarily boring ballad ‘Et Uus Saaks Alguse’, Estonia are trying their luck with a modern dance track from Tanja. ‘Amazing’ doesn’t quite live up to its name though, and would be better titled ‘Passable’ or ‘Yeah, that’ll do’. It builds and it drops, but it never quite takes off. The melody is bland and the bass and drums don’t drive hard enough to get these feet tappin’. The light show does keep things interesting and hints at some potential for the live show, but it’s an otherwise forgettable entry.


Slovenia

Slovenia

Song: Round and round

Artist: Tinkara Kovactinkara_kovac6

Review by Tom White

After browsing the photos I was excited for this entry, but Slovenia’s Tinkara isn’t nearly as genre-busting as her headshots suggest. I was hoping for Bjork-eske absurdity but – aside from a jazzy flute solo that would make Ron Burgundy proud – we’re handed a song straight from the Eurovision-ballad handbook. My Slovene is rusty but I’m confident the lyrics feature (a) mountains, (b) butterflies, and (c) unrequited love. Points further deducted for the lack of a key change. I don’t see ‘Round and round’ swinging through the semi-finals this year.

Belarus

Song: Cheesecake

Artist: Teo

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Review by Tom White

It’s Michael Buble meets Christopher Walken, dressed as Bill Nye, in a knock-off Robin Thicke video. And yet this one-man supergroup somehow fails to thrill (much like every other supergroup, ever). Teo delivers a tune that just isn’t catchy or absurd enough to keep you interested. Not even the visual feast of a bow tie, bowler hat, and maracas (conspicuously absent from the music track) can distract us from the by-the-numbers pop on offer. Instead, we’re left to mull over the dubious baking metaphor that lies at the heart of the song. Is he the cheesecake? Is she? Is baked cheesecake a true cake, or is it more accurately considered a torte? Teo leaves us with too many questions, and I predict a weak finish for Belarus this year.


Israel

Israel

Song: Same Heart

Artist: Mei Finegold

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Review by Tom White

Mei’s rich, smoky voice is a refreshing change that wouldn’t be out of place in a blues club. The song sticks to the tried and true pop formula but there is fire in her delivery and the chorus brings a nice hook. Bonus points for bi-lingual verses, and the best (only?) use of samurai swords. Visually, the Beyonce-inspired costumes and synchronised dancing feel forced and unnecessary, but it is otherwise a solid performance. Israel landed at 14th place last year and while she’s an outside chance, I think Mei deserves to do much better.

Georgia

Artist: The Shin and Mariko

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Song: Three Minutes to Earth

Review by Mariella Herberstein

The Shin with singer Mariko are treating us with a jazz/folk fusion that is classy, neotraditional and entirely inappropriate for Eurovision. It is a brave entry, but I just can’t see it strike accord with the audience and judges yearning for schmalz or disco or both, drama and at least a wardrobe change!

The melody is too complex, and importantly, it just does not build up any sort of crescendo, like Georgia’s Sofia so successfully did in 2010 and was richly rewarded with 3rd place. The stage show’s most exciting item seems to be astro-turf. Finally, I must have said this 1000 times, never yodel…not in Georgian or in any other language.

Switzerland

Artist: Sebalter

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Song: Hunter Of Stars

Review by Colm Halbert

I struggled somewhat to write a review of this song that would capture the essence of this offering, but eventually I realised that NOBODY could do it better than Sebalter himself when he whistles and fiddles through and tells us….

‘I fear your judgement, I’m so wet, I’m dirty’

What-else can be said? What-else needs to be said?

Ireland

Artist: Can-Linn (featuring Kasey Smith)

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Song: Heartbeat

Reviewed by Colm Halbert

Ireland … Ireland … What’s another year without a turkey in a shopping trolley? Gone are the uber-energetic twins with high hair and no talent, and in their place is Kasey Smith, a woman of huge talents, but unfortunately, singing is not one of them.

The song itself isn’t half bad, and thanks to the ‘official video’, with some very heavy handed post-production and an over reliance on close ups of various parts of Kasey’s anatomy, Ireland is now ranked as a firm favourite for a win in Denmark!

I’m not booking my tickets for Dublin in 2015 just yet, but ‘Heartbeat’ is a nice bit of dancey music mixed with some traditional instruments, and frankly if you don’t like that you can take a flying leap because this is a good song even it sometimes feels a bit like it hasn’t quite got going vocally. —- but then I predicted a top three position for dear sweet Ryan Dolan last year

Malta

Artist: Firelight

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Song: Coming Home

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Oh no…a war story.… I can’t do wars……or beards and Malta’s Coming Home has plenty of both. Throw in an Appalachian dulcimer (google it!) and I am ready to write Malta off for this year!

But no one wishes for Malta to FINALLY win Eurovision more than I! The song is a toe-tapping, country-western number belted out by lead singer Richard. He has a bit of an intense stare, which I suppose is perfectly acceptable at Eurovision, but would cause you to change seats on the bus.

Will the Eurovision audience respond favourably to country western? Germany tried it in 2006 (Texas Lightning’s No, No, Never) and it only got them to 14th place (I liked that one too!). Add to that the fact that Malta has no neighbours who’d feel compelled to vote for them. So, sadly, no win for Malta in 2014, possibly not even the top 10.

Austria

Artist: Conchita Wurst

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Song: Rise Like a Phoenix

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Because of my beard phobia I could only watch snippets of the video, so can’t really comment on it. My prediction is however that the stage show will be a rather static one person performance….perhaps some fireworks?

Now the song…look….I like it. There is a hint of Shirley Bassey (Dame) and James Bond in this, but just a little lacklustre without that Bassey ‘wow’. The lyrics also have Bassey drama about them……brave Chonchita crawls over glass, can’t recognise herself anymore in a mirror, seeks revenge and in the end, she rises like phoenix! Hurrah!

With one hell of a stage performance, Chonchita could make it into the finals and even break into the top 15, which would represent Austria’s best performance since 2003’s Witzfigur Alf Poier.

Germany

Artist: Elaiza

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Song: Is it right

Reviewed by: Kate Umbers

My dad once said that a gentleman is a man who knows how to play the piano accordion and doesn’t. He also once said that he “solved the plague”, “abandoned the toaster” and “broke the toilet seat” so it’s important not to take too much from that. Regardless, this pianistaccordienne ain’t workin’ too hard in this performance and it seems to be included for its pure novelty. It might work; it’s really rare to see a piano accordion at Eurovision. To be honest, the whole thing seems a bit half-hearted. Zuul (from Ghostbusters) is reborn as the lead singer of Elaiza but even with her and her alien dog-cows I think they have little chance of winning. For me this performance falls in the Eurovision Fitness Valley between “you can’t do that on television” and “quite good” Deutschland, Lena zurückbringen!


Moldova

Moldova

Artist: Cristina Scarlat

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Song: Wild Soul

Reviewed by: Kate Umbers

13 seconds in and I have paused the youtube clip. So far I see: Farrah Fawcett hair, a half-robot half-dress costume, evidence of at least one wind machine and a metallic sash. I hear slow piano music. At this point I think I could write the review without watching the rest. I’m going to make some bold predictions up front here and then watch it to find out just how familiar with Eurovision I have become. OK at 13s in, I predict:

  • (a) at least two key changes
  • (b) a violin or another string accompaniment, just the one other person on stage with the lead
  • (c) the lyrics will be about love lost and there will be mention of a ship or the ocean
  • (d) there will be fireworks on stage or the CGI equivalent
  • (e) there will be a costume change or a major rearrangement of the initial garment
  • (f) we will see a tear welling in the right eye of the singer around 2min 52sec.

OK – I will now resume watching. 1:09 – massive puppet Tupperware is dragged on stage… (am wrong about (b)) and …1:03 oohh it’s a mirror!… 3:02 we have a key change – come on number two…nope. And that’s it. It seems I was wrong all accounts and have underestimated.. err.. what country is this again? Moldova? Ah yes, Moldova. I have underestimated Moldova and I have underestimated Eurovision. Back to the drawing board.


Sweden

Sweden

Artist: Sanna Nielsen

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Song: Undo

Reviewed by: Kate Umbers

Sweden’s performer Sanna Nielsen has the same surname as my high school biology teacher – coincidence? I think NOT! This could be my high school biology teacher! I’m going to watch and find out….Wait! Paused at 2 seconds in I see hanging crystals and hear light piano music maybe my Moldovian predictions were meant for this piece! OK , OK, sorry – back to the song. Three remarkable things to comment on: (a) never before has the word undo had so many syllables! U-u-u-u-u-undo-oo-oo my saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad! and (b) I think this is the first arms and head combo on Eurovision – astonishing! (c) it really is my biology teacher!! Hi Ms Nielsen, sorry for giggling when you said “organelle” in that funny way.

Azerbaijan

Artist: Dilari Kazimova

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Song: Start a fire

Review by James O’Hanlon

The song title, Start a Fire, conjures feelings of unrepentant rebellion. Molotov cocktails hurled with the cathartic rage of long suppressed masses. Chaotic streets pulsing with sweat drenched freedom fighters, risking life and limb for belief in a better world. The kind of uninhibited expression that would make Banksy want to paint a picture of a giant kitten prancing over skyscrapers onto the side of a family owned delicatessen.

The song itself however conjures none of this unbridled energy. Sorry to get your hopes up. It’s a gentle piano driven ballad with just enough intermittent lilts of delicate falsetto to keep you wanting more. Too understated for a Eurovision winner but delightful nonetheless. James’ prediction: 9th place.


Russia

Russia

Artist: Tomalchevy Sisters

Tolmachevy

Song: Shine

Review by James O’Hanlon

We have come to expect great things from the Eurovision powerhouse that is Russia. This song however is not one of them. Russia have handed us a bland and forgettable pinky-pop ballad. Are they resting on their laurels after the relative success of their winter Olympics campaign? Or have the volatile relationships with neighboring countries left the Russian population yearning for normality, stability and easily digestible distractions from their trigger-happy ruling class. Why did they even bother entering a saucy sibling duo? There’s no harmonizing, no tension, no counterpoint, nothing that, in any way, capitalises on the ‘sexy twin’ weapon that Russia has in its arsenal. It’s a lost opportunity and a disappointing low point in Russia’s Eurovision discography. This year Russia will need to rely on the ever-influential swing of strategic votes from its increasingly nervous neighbors. James prediction: 6th place.


France

France

Artist: Twin Twin

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Song: Moustache

Review by James O’Hanlon

It’s a song about moustaches with the chorus line “I want to have a moustache, a moustache, a moustache”! Need I say more!? Ok if you insist! This is a catchy, pleasing tune that would make for an inoffensive ringtone. Twin Twin are guaranteed at least some success given their novelty value and ridiculous costumes, not to mention the sheer importance of the song’s core message. Which is about moustaches. Did I mention that it was about moustaches? Well it is! If we don’t hear this at the opening of next years Eurovision song contest in Paris you are likely to hear it again in French dance clubs, modern winebars and barbershops catering to hipster types. James prediction: 7th place. Also moustaches are in this year!

Dear Friends of Eurovision!

I am super excited to open the Eurovision season for 2014! Last year, Denmark took home the coveted Eurovision crown thanks to Emmelie De Forest’s laboring ‘Only Teardrops’. This was Denmark’s third win, but by far not the most tedious – that honour goes to the Olson Brothers who won in 2000.

The 2014 host of Eurovision is sunny Copenhagen, at the outermost edge of Denmark, dangerously close to last year’s host, Malmo.

Danish history can be summarised thus: Vikings – Princess Mary – Sarah Lund  – Eurovision 2014.

For the next 2 weeks we will guide you through the maddening complexities of European geography, wind machines, key changes and geopolitical block voting. Subscribe to this blog for our exclusive song reviews, visit the official Eurovision website and watch the show on SBS May 9, 10 & 11.

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