So Azerbaijan won Eurovision 2011. It was an OK song, with a distinct hint of Annie Lennox’s ‘No More I Love You’ about it, and a nice performance by Ell and Nikki, but it mainly benefitted from coming close to the end of the contest. The same thing happened with Denmark last year. A vaguely catching song just as things are winding up, and everyone votes for it. But Italy coming second this year? That is quite simply a no-brainer. As is Switzerland coming last. However, the inexplicableness of the results of Eurovision is one of its chief characteristics!
My tips for the top were Denmark, Sweden and Georgia. I hoped Ireland would do well because of our Irish connection, but Jedward creeped me out a bit, it has to be said. Was, as Graham Norton, the commentator, suggested, their hyperactivity due to a heady mix of hair spray fumes and fizzy drinks? However, Ruadhri loved them. I really wanted France to win so that Eurovision would be in Paris next year because I’d have been first in the line for tickets to see it live. I would love that. I’m a hopeless Eurovision addict, as I’ve mentioned before.
For what they’re worth, here are my comments, hastily scribbled down last night as the show unrolled in over-the-top splendour last night:
Finland – Da Da Dam by Paradise Oskar: Tom Dice wannabe. Green song with thoroughly commendable intentions, but dopey.
Bosnia-Herzogovinia – Love in Rewind by Dino: harmless folksy ballad. One cool dude in the band – they guy with long hair and the purple hat.
Denmark – New Tomorrow by A Friend in London: catchy, wholesome song with anthem type chorus. Good looking band.
Lithuania – C’est Ma Vie by Evelina. Cracking singer but dire song. Musical theatre sort of number. Few moments of sign language for no particular reason.
Hungary – What About My Dreams by Kati Wolf: uninspiring retro pop. Very blue outfit but good background dancing.
Ireland – Lipstick by Jedward: disastrous outfits but great stage presence. Fun song.
Sweden – Popular by Eric Saade: unfeasibly good looking boy band wearing a lot of leather and buckles. Slick dance moves. Catchy and impressive.
Estonia – Rockerfella Street by Getter Jani: good magic trick at the beginning. Vague shades of Avril Lavigne in the chorus, but undeniably, Estonia lost the plot this year.
Greece – Watch my Dance by Loucas and Stereo Mike, a David Beckham lookalike and an ageing rapper. Probably the best background dancers of the night. Lots of stubble and attitude.
Russia – Get You by Alex Sparrow: another pretty boy band in leather. The back of their jackets lit up temporarily. Impressive but pointless! Catchy, harmless pop.
France – Sognu by Amaury: good looking mec with an awesome voice but a misjudgement on France’s part. Eurovision isn’t ready for opera.
Italy – Madness of Love by Raphael: words fail me. Horrendous jazz cum Billy Joel affair. Ugh.
Switzerland – In Love for a While by Anna: super, happy little song. Bit too much ‘nah nah nah’ in the middle, but catchy and singalong. (Certainly didn’t deserve to do so badly.)
UK – I Can by Blue: pleasant but nothing special. Well performed by a smart-looking band.
Moldova – So Lucky by Zdob: the garden gnome group. Euro rap with a unicycle. What more can I say?
Germany – Taken by a Stranger by Lena: she hasn’t got any better since last year. She didn’t deserve to win it then, and this year was no different. Dull, posy song. However, I think she may have worked on her English pronunciation. Last year it was quite a bizarre mix of Eastenders meets Essex Girl.
Romania – Change by Hotel FM: Geordie front man with dimples and stripy trousers, one of them attractive the other not. True Euro pop with finger clicking and clapping. Happy, catchy song and excellent piano playing.
Austria – The Secret is Love by Nadine: great voice but a bit of a boring belt-it-out ballad in the Lisa Stansfield style.
Azerbaijan – Running Scared by Ell and Nikki: lots of shiny hair. Nice enough boy/girl duet. Not a patch on the country’s song last year. Drip Drop by 17 year old Safura was awesome. One of my very favourite songs.
Slovenia – No-One by Maja: another young singer with a super voice, but again an unmemorable belt-it-out ballad. The beginning reminded me of an old song, ‘Sunrise Sunset’, that used to be on Junior Choice way back when! Catwomen backing singers.
Iceland – Coming Home by Sjonni’s Friends: like Azerbaijan, Iceland is a musical nation. Last year the sturdy Hera sang Je Ne Sais Quoi, another song I adore! Catchy, close harmony number with a touching story behind it. The man who wrote it, Sjonni Brink, submitted it to be considered as Iceland’s entry. But he died in January this year, so his friends decided to get together and perform the song in the Icelandic song final as a tribute to Sjonni, and it was selected. The John Candy lookalike singer has a fantastic voice.
Spain – Que Me by Lucia: happy, forgettable song with good dancing and mean fireworks.
Ukraine – Angel by Mika: I have no idea what the song was like. I was mesmerised by the awesome sand art going on in the background. I know the singer had dead birds on her shoulders though!
Serbia – Caroban by Nina: great voice but too 60s psychedelic pop for my liking. Truly hideous outfits.
Georgia – One More Day by Eldrine: now this is more like it. Gothic metal and rap. Gutsy performance by a band with personality. Cool group.
Can’t wait till next year’s contest!
Oh yes, and I’d never realised just how many acrobatic backgroun dancers there are in Europe. It’s a thriving business.