Hey, people who read my blog! Tonight is a great big fat night on the NF calendar, with impending host country Denmark and last year’s hosts Sweden going head-to-head with their respective finals. There’s also the Slovenian final to look out for, plus semis in Norway and Portugal and an alleged revelation from Russia…and that’s not all. Yikes, right? Unlike likely Melodifestivalen winner Ace Wilder (spoiler alert!) I suspect none of us will be busy doin’ nothin’ this evening. In fact, we’ll be busy doin’ a heck of a lot. Here’s a more in-depth look at what you’ll be dividing your time between.
PS – Read on to the Melfest section to see the results of last week’s poll, and whether they’ve influenced my prediction at all.
PPS – Getting to that section may take while. Seriously – this is a long post. Go grab yourself a cup of tea, or better yet, an energy drink, and get reading.
Norway: the semis continue!
I have a confession to make: I didn’t have the time to follow Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix this year.
Having followed it the last few years and enjoyed myself immensely, I had every intention of doing the same thing in 2014. Unfortunately, life (and a bunch of other NFs) got in the way, and last night I realised it wasn’t going to happen, what with the first semi final taking place pretty much as I was accepting that. Oops.
But the show must, and did, go on without me. Three songs out of five are through to next Saturday’s final – Heal by Mo (which I have previewed and quite enjoyed), Needs by Dina Misund, and High Hopes by Linnea Dale. Tonight, another five songs will compete for another three places. They are:
- Hele Verden by Cir.Cuz
- Right Now by Martine Marbel
- Sing by Oda & Wulff
- Taste of You by Knut Kippersund Nesdal
- Hit Me Up by Charlie
I can’t offer any educated insights here, but I can offer uneducated ones. Based purely on title/name appeal, I like the look of Hele Verden, Right Now and Hit Me Up. It’s a given that at least one of those will qualify to the final, but that won’t stop me from gloating when that happens, just to warn you.
Tomorrow night, it’s the same deal with lucky last semi three, featuring:
- Bensin by Moi
- Ain’t No Love In This City No More by El Cuero
- Who Needs The Universe by Ilebek
- Sole Survivor by Elisabeth Carew
- Silent Storm by Carl Espen
I’m interested to (eventually) hear Bensin, Who Needs The Universe and Sole Survivor in this group. I’m also interested to hear whether anyone has the potential to reach or top the standard of Margaret Berger – i.e., is Norway keen to keep the ESC in Scandinavia for another year, or are they just not that bothered?
Denmark’s MGP seeks someone to fly the home flag
Speaking of not being bothered…here’s Denmark! DMGP was very strong last year, and we all know what came of that. I’d like to take a moment to remind you of one my personal favourites from back then.
What could have been *sigh*…but it was Emmelie de Forest who took the win, then again in Malmö. That’s why we’re all referring to Denmark as ‘the host country’ this season, isn’t it? So, in saying that, the host country chooses its entry tonight, and whichever song wins can be guaranteed a rapturous applause in the Eurovision final.
That song will be one of ten entries competing in Odense, listed below in running order.
- I Choose U by Bryan Rice
- Your Lies by Rebekka Thornbech
- Feeling The You by Sonny
- She’s The One by Danni Elmo
- Vi Finder Hjem by Emilie Moldow
- Right By Your Side by GlamboyP
- Before You Forget Me by Nadia Malm
- Cliché Love Song by Basim
- It Hurts by Anna David
- Wanna Be Loved by Michael Rune feat. Natascha Bessez
I chose to be lazy here and only listen to the snippets a few times over.
The impression I got was that Denmark definitely don’t want another win; but at the same time, give these songs a chance and you’ll probably find quite a few that will give the Danes a middling to decent result, which won’t embarrass them.
Here’s my top five:
I Choose U – Bryan Rice is my ultimate ‘one who got away’. He 110% should have gone to Eurovision in 2010, but was left languishing in second place. Four years later, he’s back with a song that doesn’t have the same impact as his last, but is perfectly good radio pop with a great tempo.
Feeling The You – The disco sound is having a revival, no? I blame that for my attraction to this cheesy funkfest. It can’t have anything to do with that nonsensical title, which could either refer to Sonny’s penchant for sexual harassment or some kind of heightened vibe-sensing ability he possesses.
Vi Finder Hjem – This reminds me of something you’d find in the Swedish preselection for Junior Eurovision, which suits me just fine. Extra points for singing in Danish!
Cliché Love Song – Damn, this is catchy. And I wish some other songs would be this honest. For example, Dina Garipova’s What If would be Shamelessly Lame Ballad Wired To Rake In The Points, and Solayoh would’ve been Off-The-Shelf Ethnopop Five Years Past Its Use-By Date.
Wanna Be Loved – Very European dance pop. Not original, but a decent example of what it is.
Now, who among these five and the leftovers will succeed Emmelie as the Danish rep? I always have a hard time predicting DMGP, but working on the basis that my favourites hardly ever win it, I’m going to guess Danni Elmo or GlamboyP. If I was to get lucky and have a most-liked take out the comp, it’d be Bryan Rice or Basim.
What do you think? Who’s going to fly the Danish flag on home ground?
This is it: Melodifestivalen reaches its exciting conclusion
And I’ll be getting up at 3am to tune in! I am so P.U.M.P.E.D, my mini Swedish flag is practically quivering with excitement.
This is the ten-strong lineup for tonight, accompanied by some bite-sized reviews.
Natural by Anton Ewald – I’ve finally figured out what isn’t clicking here. It’s too forced, too try-hard, too ‘I want to come back and WIN, damn it.’ I loved Anton last year, and I still think he has the face of a Hollywood heartthrob (and the voice of Eric Saade on an off day) but Natural is one club banger that will stay in the club.
Songbird by Ellen Benediktson – And the award for Song Most Likely To Send Me To Sleep goes to Sporty Spice lookalike Ellen! I was shocked when this qualified straight through, because it is nice, but boring as Sanna Nielsen’s outfit. Bless the girl, but she will be my toilet break.
Blame It On The Disco by Alcazar – The schlager-tastic trio has sucked me in with their hypnotically catchy chorus circa 2002, and I no longer dread the thought of them winning. That is partly because they won’t be winning. But they will more than make up for the lack of bedazzling on Sanna.
Yes We Can by Oscar Zia – Perhaps it’s my secret addiction to cheesy Disney Channel movies talking here, but I LOVE this one. Oscar is adorable, can bust a move and has the voice of an angel (when compared to Anton Ewald). Combine those pros with the karaoke dream that is Yes We Can, and I for one am sold.
Bröder by Linus Svenning – I’m so happy this came out of AC, because it was one of my favourites in the first semi. It’s one of just two Swedish-language songs in the final, which coupled with the sad back story makes it all the more special. I don’t expect it to do much tonight, but it will stand out in the line up.
Survivor by Helena Paparizou – She made it (almost) all the way! I’ve grown to love Survivor, and the already-established love I had for Helena herself means there is a whole lotta love from me to this entry. I’ve been singing this in the shower, back-to-back with Undo, constantly for the last month. My neighbours are not amused.
To The End by YOHIO – I still prefer Heartbreak Hotel, but this has grown on me. I have to admit though, my favourite thing is that the big, brash performance is going to make Sanna’s simplified staging a breath of fresh air. I think YOHIO’s chances of winning have waned, but he should do okay with this.
Undo by Sanna Nielsen – Sanna is a perfect human, and this is a near-perfect lady ballad IMO. You can take your Wrecking Ball comparisons and shove them somewhere intimate, because there is no way you’ll ever see Sanna swinging across the stage astride a heavy-duty piece of destruction equipment. I do hope to see her swinging into first place during the voting, however.
Efter Solsken by Panetoz – I love these guys, their sound, and their irresistible choreography. They are definitely a collective ray of sunshine in this competition, and if there was to be a shock winner, I’d want it to be them.
Busy Doin’ Nothin’ by Ace Wilder – This song is an ear worm and a half. It’s also interesting and modern enough that it would make a good winner. I’m skeptical of Ace’s live vocal abilities (she’s no rival for Sanna in that department) but if Eric Saade can win Melfest, singing prowess is obviously not that important…
The outcome of Melfest 2014 isn’t going to be as hard to predict as DMGP, or as I initially thought. We’ve seen how the acts performed in the semis, we’ve seen the betting odds, and we have our gut instincts to guide us. Still, I was that hopeless during the semis and AC that I needed all the help in the world to make my prediction. That’s why I recruited you guys to vote for who you thought would win tonight.
Firstly, I’d like to thank you all for voting – the numbers were bigger than I expected, and I appreciate every click made. Secondly, HERE ARE THE RESULTS!
It was a close one between Ace and Sanna at first, but perhaps poor Sanna is destined to be second-best.
I’m not so sure she can defy that destiny this evening. The result comes down to televotes from the Swedish public, as well as vote cast by a variety of international juries. Last year, the juries took victory away from YOHIO and boosted Robin into what became a winning position. Not to sound too dramatic, but acts will suffer at the hands of either Sweden or the juries. It’s the way of the system.
I’m calling Girl Power to overcome the suffering, in the form of either:
Ace – I had a feeling about her before the poll results proved her so popular. I don’t think the juries will love her, but Sweden does/will, and they could give her the boost required so that a middling jury score won’t matter.
Ellen – Hers was a shock qualify, and I still don’t get it. But apparently there’s something about her I’m missing. Songbird is understated where Busy is aggressive, and sometimes less is more. The victory may depend on how many people have migraines.
Sanna – I am Team Sanna. I want her in Copenhagen, dammit. She’s tried six times in the past, and I’m not convinced she’ll get over the line now, but I can’t discount her. She has a decent draw, and based on downloads Sweden has responded well to Undo. The juries should rate it too, so if it’s not quite a win for Sanna, it will be a good result.
If you’re watching Melfest tonight, join me on Twitter @EurovisionByJaz. I’m excited to share my first (and probably only) live NF of the season with anyone who’ll have me. We can share witty 140-character quips until the sun rises (or until the show is over and you go to bed at a reasonable hour, if that’s your situation). See you there?
Sans Scandinavia (i.e. elsewhere in Europe)…
I think this post has gone on long enough, so I’ll just gloss over the rest of this weekend’s happenings.
- Russia will supposedly make an internal selection, having set an NF date and pushed it back already.
- Slovenia’s EMA final, featuring 2005 rep Omar Naber and a song co-written by Hannah Mancini, begins and ends.
- Portugal’s Festival da Canção kicks off with a semi.
- Sergej Četković’s song for Montenegro will be premiered. According to Wikipedia it’s called Moj Svijet, which means it’s very unlikely to actually be called Moj Svijet.
Tuesday (not part of the weekend, but worth a mention)
- Greece decides which of four acts to send to Denmark, presumably flying economy or with the baggage.
Alright. I’ve talked at you for long enough. I’ll let you go and prepare your viewing snacks and test your flags for wave-ability and flex your pumping fist. Me, I’ll be setting my alarm for a very silly hour of the morning and choosing the pajamas that would be best suited to watching Melfest.
Enjoy your evening, ladies and gents!
Hej, children of the universe. I’m assuming that’s how Molly Smitten-Downes would address anyone she came across, although I’d say we were more like children of the Euro-verse. But I’m not here to talk about the freshly debuted UK entry for Copenhagen (that’s what my reviews are for). Nope, as promised, I’m here to celebrate Melodifestivalen just days before the 2014 final takes place in Stockholm. It’s going to be a hotly-contested comp this year, with any one of three, four, or even five songs being possible winners, which means, IMO, that Melfest is back to its former glory. You know, the kind of glory that exists in countries that haven’t just won Eurovision and really aren’t keen on winning again.
Although the 2013 final was strong, the standard in the semis was pretty low. This year, it was much higher, meaning we’ve lost some gems along the way. That’s happened on many occasions over the years. I have literally shed tears over the loss of Melfest entries at the semi stages. So, to be relevant rather than random AND revisit some of these gems, today I’m revealing my top 10 Melodifestivalen songs, 2009-2013 (because, as I have mentioned before, covering the past ten years plus is too darn difficult). There are some in this list which did make it past the semis, with a few doing very well indeed. But I’ve found that a great deal of my favourites were clearly not Sweden’s favourites at the time. Check out the lucky ten and let me know whether any of them are your personal favourites, or if I officially have the worst taste on the planet (if you’re going to say that, however, word it nicely).
PS – I chose not to include any songs that won Melfest and went on to Eurovision, because I see those more as ESC entries to be included in other lists. I also have not included any songs from the 2014 edition, because they’re still so fresh and can’t be compared to songs I’ve been listening to for, like, ever.
PPS – If you haven’t yet voted in my poll to see who will win MF on Saturday, you can find it at the end of this post, and I will bow down to you and do all your bidding if you have your say. Voting closes on Friday, so hurry and help me predict the winner!
Now, on with my top 10 Melfest entries of the past five years, beginning with #10.
#10 | Baby Goodbye by EMD (2009, 3rd in final)
The three ridiculously good-looking guys who make up EMD – Erik Segerstedt, Mattias Andreasson and Danny Saucedo – have all participated in Melfest outside of the group, but it was together that they were at their most schlager-tastic and suave. Baby Goodbye has been heard time and time again in Melfest (let’s be honest, Manboy and Youngblood are retitled versions of the same thing) but for some reason, I find it the most appealing. I suppose the hypnotic power of the three handsome men singing it could be influencing that opinion a little.
#9 | Better Or Worse by Julia Alvgard (2011, DNQ)
Julia was one of two wildcard entries into Melfest 2011, and like the other, she failed to win over the voters. She did win over a certain Australian fangirl in a big way, though (that’s me, in case you were wondering). I fell in love with her unusual synth-pop number instantly after hearing it for the first time, and whilst I knew it didn’t have much hope of going to the final, let alone winning, I was still a walking sadface when Julia ended up 6th in her semi. I will admit, the stage performance featuring those giant lampshades was disturbing, so perhaps that was partly to blame.
#8 | Förlåt Mig by Mattias Andreasson (2012, DNQ)
He wasn’t suited up when he went solo, but EMD’s Mattias was still smooth and suave in Year Euphoria – and that was before he’d even opened his mouth to bust out the first line of the slick R & B track that is Förlåt Mig. It’s not the coolest use of light sabers since Kate Ryan (almost) nailed them in Athens that makes me get down to this. It’s the general catchiness and clever construction, build worth waiting for, and the fact that it’s in Swedish, which somehow elevates it for me – perhaps because songs like this often have nauseating lyrics when they’re in English.
#7 | Begging by Anton Ewald (2013, 4th in final)
He’s one of a bunch of artists who returned to MF this year, and like the majority, Anton’s come back with a weaker song, IMO. Natural’s just fine, but Begging was the bomb! It took me a few listens to really ‘get’, which may explain why Sweden didn’t vote it straight through to the final, but to Andra Chansen instead. Not only did it emerge from AC alongside eventual winner You, but it out-scored six songs that had been voted straight through. It’s on this list because it manages to be contemporary and mainstream at the same time as being original in its genre…and, of course, because it’s freaking catchy. That’s my main criteria.
#6 | Why Start A Fire? by Lisa Miskovsky (2012, 9th in final)
Miss Miskovsky has penned songs for, among others, the Backstreet Boys – one of my many true loves – so it’s not surprising that I’m a fan of her own music. This effort from Melfest two years ago sounds nothing like a BSB chart-topper, but that makes it no less beautiful. It’s hauntingly so, if I may say so without sounding like a ponce. Whether that’s from the unusual instrumentation, her voice or a combo of both, I don’t know. I just love it. It’s a shame it didn’t do better in the final, but 2012 was a strong year, and Lisa didn’t have crab-dancing in her repertoire.
#5 | Aldrig Aldrig by Andreas Lundstedt (2012, DNQ)
Andreas did cheese as part of Six4One at Eurovision, and plenty of it as part of Alcazar (and what do you know? They’re doing it again in 2014!). When he donned a metallic dinner jacket and ventured on stage by himself, there was no cheese to be seen anywhere. Aldrig Aldrig was like the musical love child of Coldplay, Urban Symphony and Donny Montell, and I mean that in a positive way. It had symphony, claps possibly borrowed from the Friends theme song, a mod-disco beat, and, once again it was in Swedish, which instantly made it more exotic in my eyes. Andreas performed it like a boss, and I wouldn’t mind him doing it again some day if he ever manages to shake off those pesky bandmates of his. JKIDOLOVEALCAZARISWEAR!
#4 | Mystery by Dead By April (2012, 7th in final)
Am I a rock fan? Not really. Metal (if it ain’t Lordi)? Uh, no. How about songs that incorporate death growls? Forget about it! That was until Dead By April somehow won me over with the gentle verses and irresistible chorus that contrasted so nicely with the aforementioned screaming to form a cohesive piece of awesomeness. If that doesn’t make sense, it’s because I actually have no idea what it is about Mystery that I can’t get enough of – it really is a mystery. The massive crush I had on lead singer Zandro at the time may have played a part. Could it be another case of EMD syndrome?
#3 | Soldiers by Ulrik Munther (2012, 3rd in final)
2012 was a seriously amazing year for Melfest, standard-wise. Sweden’s answer to Peter Pan, Ulrik Munther, provided yet another example of that with the rousing, anthemic Soldiers, which I’m sure has won some sort of award for Best Use of a Harmonica. I don’t say this very often, but in this case it’s the lyrics that have a lot to do with how I feel about this song. They are flawless and meaningful, and don’t rhyme ‘love’ with ‘above’, or ‘heart’ with ‘apart’ or any of that cliché crap. It’s genius songwriting, is what it is. I also have a thing for the drumming, which is suitably militaristic and makes me want to march right into Neverland with Peter/Ulrik and play the harmonica for the rest of eternity. Kind of.
#2 | Kom by Timoteij (2010, 5th in final)
I’m yet to come across a person who didn’t at least like this a lot, so expect a great deal of criticism if you tell me Timoteij aren’t your cup of tea! The quartet and their respective instruments turned folk on its head by making it pop and making it dramatic. Everything they produce is in this vein and is epic, but Kom is the pinnacle to date. Just try getting that chorus and/or riff out of your head. The song won the OGAE Second Chance Contest in 2010 and made us all wonder what could have been, since things didn’t go so well for Anna Bergendahl.
Finally *drum roll*, my favourite Melodifestivalen entry of the past five years is…
#1 | You’re Out of My Life by Darin (2010, 4th in final)
Beating Timoteij in the 2010 final (despite qualifying below them in their semi) was Eurovision 2013 interval act and my favourite artist period, Darin. He did so with a ballad that gave me goosebumps on the first listen, and still does approximately 10 995 listens later. I’ll admit, the live performance didn’t have the exact impact of the studio version (that money note is a toughie) but it’s still magic as far as I’m concerned. I know hardly anyone will agree with me on this, but know that whichever songs give you the bumps probably wouldn’t do the same to me. YOOML is my personal stunner, and sometimes I do wish it had beaten Anna. And Salem. And Eric Saade. Man, 2010 RULED!
EBJ extras: the ones that just missed out…Keep On Walking by Salem Al Fakir (2010); Try Again by Dilba (2011); My Heart Is Refusing Me by Loreen (2011); Elektrisk by Anniela (2011); På Väg by Abalone Dots (2012); Why Am I Crying? by Molly Sandén (2012); Hello Goodbye by Erik Segerstedt & Tone Damli (2013).
So that’s that…what did you think? Do we have anything in common? Yay or nay, I think we can agree that this Saturday night is one to look forward to. In the latest Melodifestivalen final, one of ten songs will become a Eurovision entry, whilst the others will compete for places on lists like this one for years to come. You can still help me decide which one will come out on top by voting in the poll that I mentioned earlier, and have been bugging everyone on social media etc about for days now. Here it is!
You still have the power to change the results. You won’t win a prize if you do, but it may make you feel superior for a few minutes. #winning?
I’ll be back on Saturday with the final poll results, predictions and other (hopefully) entertaining stuff re: NF season. Takk for reading, and see you then!
Hello there. So, in my last post, I promised that Melodifestivalen madness would take over my next ramble, with a poll AND a top 10 focused on what is the most Eurovision-like national final around. I intend to keep that promise, however…now that the Melfest final is full up for another year, I couldn’t resist getting my poll on early, for reasons such as a) I don’t want to be the absolute last person to do it; b) I want to give you guys more time to vote; and c) I seriously need help predicting the winner of this year’s comp, and I figured this might help with that. I’ll add my Top 10 Melfest entries of the last five years into this post later in the week, but right now, let’s get our poll awn, y’all!
I’m asking you – yes, you (love that shirt, by the way) – this very important question. This isn’t about who should win Melfest in your opinion; it’s about who you believe will sing their way into the good graces of Sweden and the international juries and head off to Copenhagen in May.
Consider your choice carefully…the correctness of my upcoming prediction depends on it!
Spread the word and get your friends, family, mailman, newsagent and that creepy guy staring at you on the bus to vote for the likely winner. Le results will be revealed prior to Saturday’s final (duh!) so get in while it still makes sense.
Yes, it’s now March. But let’s not dwell on that flabbergasting fact, because this year appears to be going just as fast as the last and that scares me. Instead, let’s get straight on to the good stuff: NF talk! This is the first Super Saturday of this month, as I see it.
The end of Eesti Laul
I’ll admit, I’m a pretty sad panda because I did not follow Eesti Laul in detail this year. This national final is becoming a revered one in the Eurovision community, over and above the old classics such as Melodifestivalen (still my favourite, in case you were wondering) and always produces multiple gems that get mentioned like they’re going out of style in every ‘what could have been’ post on the whole internet. Last year, for example, EL gave the world Grete Paia’s electronic epic Päästke Noored Hinged. It also gave birth to the web phenomenon – and the stuff of nightmares – that is Winny Puhh, but the less said about them, the better sleep I’ll get tonight.
What I’m trying to say is that whilst EL may not be perfect, it seems to be consistently interesting and never boring, and so I’m making a vow right now to follow it in 2015 like it’s Ott Lepland and I’m in full stalker mode. As things stand, I’ve listened to three of the ten songs in tonight’s final line-up; a.k.a. 5, 9 and 10 in the running order below.
- Laule Täis Taevakaar by Brigita Murutar
- Für Elise by Traffic
- Search by Norman Salumäe
- Resignal by Wilhelm
- Supernoova by Lenna
- Maybe-Maybe by Super Hot Cosmos Blues Band
- Siin Või Sealpool Maad by Maiken
- Tule Ja Jää by Kõrsikud
- Amazing by Tanja
- Kui Tuuled Pöörduvad by Sandra Nurmsalu
I listened to Lenna’s because she’s Eurovision alumni (as part of Vanilla Ninja and representing Switzerland, mind you) and had a wonderful song in EL a couple of year ago. I wasn’t too impressed this time, unfortunately. I listened to Tanja’s because a ton of people were saying how amazing it was (pardon the pun) and calling her out as the favourite very early on, and I was curious. Again, I was let down.
As you’ll know if you’ve read my last few posts (the reward for which is my gratitude and a possible free dinner if we ever meet in the flesh) I listened to Sandra’s because SHE IS FLAWLESS AND I WILL LOVE HER UNTIL THE END OF TIME. Also, on a saner note, I was interested to hear something solo from her post Urban Symphony. It was third time lucky with EL 2014, because I fell in love with Kui Tuuled Pöörduvad instantly. It’s uplifting, it’s infectious, and Estonian has never sounded so pretty. Therefore, without having heard any competition that would be worthy of beating her, I am backing her FTW tonight. She’s doing wonders in popularity polls the whole web over, and whilst that may have something to do with her previous ESC benchmark, I’m hoping it also bodes well for her result. Her song is more than good enough to justify her return to Europe’s biggest and most bespangled stage.
Do you think Sandra has what it takes, or is there someone I’m missing from Eesti Laul?
Who will be given a second chance in Sweden?
It’s really, really hard to say. The penultimate installment of Melodifestivalen takes place tonight in Lidköping, with eight songs fighting for the last two positions in next weekend’s finale. In the past, when the Andra Chansen eight have been paired up in duels from the start, it’s been easier to guess at what the outcome might be. These days, the process is as follows: half the songs will be knocked out after a round of voting, and the remaining four will then be paired up in duels. The winners of those duels will go to the final and attempt to do a Robin Stjernberg – or at least an Anton Ewald (Anton himself, already in the final this year, will be attempting to do a Loreen…I think). So, that said, here are the songs we’re all racking our brains over:
- Raise Your Hands by Ammotrack
- Bröder by Linus Svenning
- Love Trigger by J.E.M
- All We Are by State of Drama
- En Himmelsk Sång by Ellinore Holmer
- När Änglarna Går Hem by Martin Stenmarck
- Survivor by Helena Paparizou
- Echo by Outtrigger
It’s a strong show for the most part – Linus, Helena and Outtrigger, for example, were among my favourites in their respective semis. The math/rules dictate that I’m going to lose at least one song I’d love to see go through, and most likely more, so I’ll be all like if I get my way on one.
But who I want and who will actually get that precious second shot are two very different things. After much deliberation, and with a feeling of wrong-ness still lurking inside me, this is how I believe things will go down.
After the first round of voting:
- Raise Your Hands by Ammotrack
- Bröder by Linus Svenning
- Love Trigger by J.E.M
- All We Are by State of Drama
- En Himmelsk Sång by Ellinore Holmer
- När Änglarna Går Hem by Martin Stenmarck
- Survivor by Helena Paparizou (sorry, Helena fans…I just have this feeling)
- Echo by Outtrigger
After the duels: Martin and Outtrigger. Martin’s the only AC contestant to have graced the heights of Swedish iTunes, which shows that Sweden are liking him a lot. Outtrigger’s semi performance of a damn good song was disturbing yet fascinating, and tonight should be the same.
So for me, it’s a former ESC entrant and a straightjacket-loving rock band filling those final spots. What about you…who will the lucky two be? And/or, who do you want them to be?
Getting Lithuania’s Attention, and is Romania a done deal?
Also on the agenda for this evening is Lithuania’s artist selection (because they chose their song a week ago. I don’t get it either) and the one-off Romanian final that is Selecția Națională. I purposely haven’t listened to Attention, the Lithuanian entry, because I’m waiting to see what final form it takes. Nor have I listened to any of the Romanian possibles, since I chose their NF as one of my surprises. Nope – I haven’t even let myself play Paula & Ovi’s Miracle, which really is a miracle. With such a lack of stuff to say here, I can ask one big question: do Paula & Ovi have the Romanian representation all sewn up? Many fans seem to think they do, and that TVR even bothering to hold their final is pointless. I’d like to think that P & O wouldn’t be chosen because of who they are in favour of a better entry – but then again, I’m finding it hard to extend that thinking to Estonia, so why should I expect that of a whole country? At the same time, it’s exciting to think that the duo that did so well back in Oslo could be back at the big show and hungry for an even better placing.
I’m so confused! Help me out if you’re clued in on the Selecția selection. Would Miracle deserve to go to Eurovision no matter who was performing it?
Ireland, Azerbaijan and France: past and future entries
To finish off, here are my thoughts on the NF just gone, and the two to come on Sunday.
- Ireland chose their entry after a show that brought out Linda Martin’s inner psycho, and it’s Heartbeat by Can-linn feat. Kasey Smith. I don’t want to give a mahusive verdict pre-review, so I’ll just say it’s not a bad choice. It’s current, has a little Irish stamp on it, and the live performance seems to be more effective than the studio, which matters. I’ll see how I feel in a month or so.
- Azerbaijan’s Böyük Səhnə ends tomorrow night, presumably with an effortlessly good pop song performed by a super-attractive guy or girl who can smoulder down the camera like nobody’s business. The person will also have some other day job or talent that makes them awesome, such as being a lawyer, speaking three languages including that of the Eurovision host country, or being a master of capoeira. It’s just Azerbaijan’s way.
- France’s winning song will also be revealed Sunday, and I’m expecting it to be Ma Liberté or Moustache. I want TwinTwin like cray-cray, but I won’t be devastated should Joanna and the work of art that is her hairdo be the chosen ones.
So that’s basically all the action of this weekend, which should keep you satisfied. Next week brings more, however. Monday, we discover just who’s representing the UK and with what (which may actually be worth looking forward to if the BBC are to be believed) and Wednesday, Mei Finegold’s song for Israel will be picked. In amongst that, I’ll be back with a themed post in honour of Melodifestivalen. Not only will you have the privilege (ha ha) of voting in my own personal ‘So, like, who’s gonna win Melfest?’ poll, but I’ll also be revealing my top 10 Melfest entries of the last five years (because the last 10+ was JUST. TOO. HARD!). Have your own lists at the ready so we can compare notes. Please?
Hello, if you’re reading this! And if you’re not, then how the heck do you know what I’m saying?
It’s the middle of the week and I’m avoiding study at all costs, so what better time to review and complain about the latest developments of NF season? Let’s get straight on it.
The weekend’s action – Running from all the cake, and then some
- Latvia: We all joked about Cake To Bake joining Cheesecake in Copenhagen in what would be a very JESC pair of song selections (kid Eurovision is usually the forum for food-themed entries). Well, it’s happened, and May’s contest looks to be the biggest bake-fest since the Buranovskiye Babushki took to the stage with their wood fire oven. Seeing as I’m Team TEO, and Aarzemnieki’s song is sweet (pardon the pun) in an offbeat, lyrically questionable kind of way, that’s fine by me. Although I haven’t listened to the Latvian runner-ups which, by all accounts, were “actual songs”. I’ll leave that utter disappointment for later.
- Hungary: It was third time lucky for Kállay-Saunders on Saturday night, when he took out A Dal with Running, which deals with a slightly heavier subject matter than dessert. He was a favourite in the strong selection, and I’m pretty pleased he won with a contemporary, catchy, non-novelty pop song. I do feel that Fool Moon had more of the magic I found in Kedvesem last year (and that chair choreography thing would have been cool if they’d taken it to Denmark) but KS still makes it 4/4 great entries for Hungary since they made their comeback in 2011. It remains to be seen whether it’ll be 4/4 qualifications also.
- Macedonia: Tijana and her surprisingly husky voice have premiered To The Sky, and it’s not bad at all. The biggest drawcard is it can’t possibly be the train wreck that was the Esma & Lozano incident. I do suspect it’ll be a grower for most people as opposed to an instant hit, and I can’t help wondering how the originally chosen entry Pobeda would have compared. The way it was described had me excited. Changing the song was a terrible move for FYROM last year, but we may never know what could have been in this case.
- Spain: In the battle between Brequette and Ruth Lorenzo, it was Ruth who triumphed by the hem of her fancy gown in Mira Quien Va A Eurovisión. There were three songs of the Spanish five that I thought would be great choices (the other one being Jorge’s) so I can’t complain, despite Brequette being my winner. Strangely, she’s been rumoured as a UK entry (hasn’t everyone? I’m expecting to hear my name any day now) with a source alleging the BBC have poached her to sing an English version of Más. As much as I love the song, FOR GOD’S SAKE, BBC, DON’T DO IT!
Bits and pieces hot (ish) off the press
- Poland: Speaking of rumours…one that turned out to be very true was that of Donatan & Cleo taking My, Słowianie to Eurovision. The Polish broadcaster confirmed the duo’s participation last night to the shock of nobody, but to the über-divided opinions of the masses. I listened to the song for the first time after the announcement (I didn’t want to love it/hate it until I knew it was going) and apart from ‘why all the boobs?’ all I could think was ‘Igranka!’. The resemblance is good because I loved/still love Igranka, but bad because that song was just as divisive, and not even a perfect performance could get it into the final. I’m afraid if Poland doesn’t at least qualify this year, they’ll opt out of the comp for good. The ESC doesn’t need to get any smaller at this point.
- Estonia: I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Eesti Laul final for weeks, and now it’s almost upon us, with the running order draw recently revealed. I’ve only exposed my ears to three entries, all of which happened to make it into the final, and there’s one you’ll probably know I want to win above anything else – Sandra’s. Tanja’s is generic, Lenna’s is too bland, and I don’t know about the rest, but I do know that Kui Tuuled Pöörduvad is FREAKING PERFECTION (like Sandra herself) and if it wins, it will rocket straight to the top of my rankings so far. With such a great song, previous ESC experience behind her and now a plum draw in the running order (last but not least) I feel like it’s meant to be. Please, please let Estonia feel the same way!
Melodifestivalen: two weeks to go!
And that means we’ve heard the Swedish entry for 2014 – I just have no clue what it is. With only the second chance round left before the final, the list of songs already in is reading unpredictable. Will YOHIO manage to make it with a worse song than he had last year (in my opinion…don’t kill me, super fans) or will the international juries turn on him again? Can Sanna finally go all the way with her beautiful ballad? Or, will we see an Andra Chansen song win for the second time in a row? It’s unlikely, but after last year, I for one would never say never.
In case you’ve forgotten, here are the eight songs in it to win it at the moment:
- To The End by YOHIO
- Songbird by Ellen Benediktson
- Undo by Sanna Nielsen
- Efter Solsken by Panetoz
- Yes We Can by Oscar Zia
- Busy Doin’ Nothin’ by Ace Wilder
- Blame It On The Disco by Alcazar
- Natural by Anton Ewald
There are only a couple I wouldn’t want to see go to Eurovision, but I feel like you can’t write anyone off at this stage. It’s hard to pick a frontrunner, and even harder to imagine where the Swedish and international points might go. That will hopefully make for a nail-gnawing voting sequence that will keep me from dozing off when it takes place at 5am my time.
As I mentioned and as we all now know, you can’t discount whichever two songs emerge from Andra Chansen from the race either. I’ll be having a guess at the identity of those two on Saturday, so drop by if you want my thoughts. Otherwise, I’ll drop by your house and force you to listen to my thoughts with the threat of duct-taping you to a chair and blasting Cry Baby through your sound system for twelve hours straight. In the meantime, who do you think should get that all-important second shot?
Time for a top 13…
…because nobody got the chance to do a top 10. There have been six or so new additions to the class of ’14 since I last went a-ranking, so there was a lot to consider. It took me a good few minutes of blood, sweat and tears to put this together. I present to you the results, a.k.a. my personal top 13:
- FYR Macedonia
I apologise, but it’s going to take nothing short of Sandra Nurmsalu to push the Cheesecake aside. What can I say? I’m easily pleased. So much so that I can’t confess to hating anything so far. There’s the meh/yet to grow category, and that’s as low as it goes.
Let me know how your top 13 is looking down below, so long as you’re in the mood for intense arguments over other people’s horrifying musical taste.
Coming up this weekend are seven national finals of sorts, kicking off on Friday with Ireland and concluding on Sunday with Azerbaijan, and France’s announcement that TwinTwin are going to Copenhagen (hopefully). It’s a busy one, so put aside all other responsibilities such as bill paying or school work or that knee reconstruction you’ve been waiting to have for eighteen months, and get your streams ready. I’ll be here on Saturday to discuss the chaos. #JoinUs?
Hey hey, it’s Saturday! No, this post isn’t about the TV show of the same name that you will know if you’re a fellow Australian. It’s actually about Eurovision (shocking). At last, we have a Saturday that is truly super, with multiple entries being decided and one being debuted. As such, there’s no time to waste with long intros. I’ll make up for that next time with an extra long and extra boring intro, but for now…lights, camera, action!
Hungary…for Eurovision victory?
Since they rejoined the Eurovision family in 2011 (when the last memory we had of them was an over-tanned dance machine wearing the tightest pants ever manufactured) Hungary has been on form. Sure, they haven’t constantly hit the highest of heights, but they’ve qualified for the final every year since Kati Wolf of the Bouffant Hairdo, and made top 10-worthy magic with Kedvesem last year (still my one true love). ByeAlex got me excited to see what his country would produce next, and then so did all the fans who said the A Dal lineup for 2014 was über awesome. As such, I couldn’t resist having a sneak listen to the final eight, chosen after quarter and semi finals – despite my earlier decision to leave Hungary as a total surprise. So yeah. I did. And here they are.
- Running Out of Time by Victor Király
- We All by Bogi
- The Last One by New Level Empire
- Csak A Zene by Depresszió
- Running by Kállay-Saunders
- It Can’t Be Over by Fool Moon
- Brave New World by Dénes Pál
- A Legnagyobb Hős by HoneyBeast
The video of snippets I watched told me that yes, the level is pretty high. A few of the songs grabbed me immediately, and the rest stroked me gently on the shoulder as if to say ‘you could grow to love us’. If I had to pick favourites based on just a taste, these would be my most delicious picks:
Running Out of Time – cute but not cheesy pop with a chorus that sticks.
The Last One – it’s kind of dance and kind of not. The mystery intrigues me.
Running – this guy did very well in A Dal last year, but I like this song much better.
It Can’t Be Over – I do love me some Group Cosmos, but if this wins it could well be the best a cappella entry to have graced the ESC stage.
So who’s going to try and out-score Kedvesem in Copenhagen? I guess a more important question is, should I step back and leave the predicting to those of you who’ve heard the songs in their entirety? I think yes. I would be happy for any of my preferences to win, so let me know below if that’s likely to happen, or if I’m going to have to learn to love something else. How high do you think Hungary can go at Eurovision this year?
Hola, Mira Quién Va A Eurovisión!
That’s ‘Look Who’s Going To Eurovision’, if Google Translate is correct. I have to hand it to Spain for being extremely organised without seeming to be at all. They had their songs, they had their NF date, and we knew nothing about either of them until very recently. Since then, however, we’ve all listened to and passed mostly positive judgment on the five prospective entries, and tonight is the moment of truth. Which one of these ridiculously good-looking Spaniards will fly the red and gold in May?
- Más (Run) by Brequette
- Estrella Fugaz by La Dama
- Dancing In The Rain by Ruth Lorenzo
- Aunque Se Acabe El Mundo by Jorge González
- Seguir Sin Ti by Raúl
We have dance, we have ballads, and we have key changes. We also have a lot of awkward Spanglish which seems unnecessary, but that can be taken care of later (it better be *shakes fist threateningly*). There are great, good, and not-so-good elements in all of them, but there is one that stands out for me. If I had the power, I’d rank them as follows:
- Más (Run)
- Aunque Se Acabe El Mundo
- Estrella Fugaz
- Dancing In The Rain
- Seguir Sin Ti
Si – Brequette’s the one, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not convinced she could do a Pastora Soler, but her song is the only one that doesn’t put me off with something dated or cliché (such as the painful key change in Raúl’s song). It does bear a resemblance to a certain other song, and if it wins the cries of plagiarism will be heard around the world because that’s what people do these days (just STAHP!) but let’s face it, most songs do sound like other songs in some way (so JUST STAHP!).
Going by the predictions of the masses, tonight is ultimately a catfight between Brequette and Ruth Lorenzo, so it will be interesting to see how the results pan out. I do believe it will be one of the two that ends up on top, and even if that one is Ruth I can make peace with it. What about you? Who should Spain select and who should they steer clear of?
Sweden – have they saved the best for last?
It’s hard to comprehend that we’ve already arrived at the last semi of Melodifestivalen. Time flies when you’re enduring the agonizing wait between national finals that are actually final.
The Örnsköldsvik semi includes a lot of returning artists, i.e. Alcazar and last year’s surprise success, Anton Ewald (a.k.a. one of my many future husbands). But do big guns come armed with big songs? Listen and decide for yourself here.
- Blame It On The Disco by Alcazar
- Fight Me If You Dare by I.D.A
- Hollow by Janet Leon
- Raise Your Hands by Ammotrack
- Hela Natten by Josef Johansson
- Ta Mig by Linda Bengtzing
- En Himmelsk Sång by Ellinore Holmer
- Natural by Anton Ewald
I think Sweden has almost saved the best for last. This semi’s just a little weaker than last week’s, which I thought was the best so far. The returning artists are bringing it for the most part, and there are a few newcomer surprises too. Here’s my top 4:
Hollow – this is hard to compare to Janet’s last entry Heartstrings, but I think I prefer this. It’s a pop ballad that is less depressing than the title would have you believe.
Hela Natten – say hello to my hands-down favourite of the semi! Josef looks like a younger version of Darin (Swedish superstar/Melfest alumni/my beloved) and his song could have been lifted from a Darin album easily. His voice is different though, and if he’s a good live performer this could be amazing in the arena.
Ta Mig – Linda has swapped schlager for electronic pop with a rock edge, and it works for her. Song-wise, I’d rather E Det Fel På Mig (her last effort) but this has appeal.
Natural – Anton’s Begging was a surprise success last year, and he’s the favourite of favourites in this semi. Natural isn’t quite as original, but it’s a perfectly wonderful club banger. I hope his backing singers are up to the task of carrying him, Eric Saade-style…
Now, to predict. I’ve been trying to figure out why my Melfest predictions always feel wrong no matter how I configure them. I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t know how Sweden thinks, so I’m constantly uncertain. Oh well…embrace the uncertainty!
To the final: Linda and Anton
To Andra Chansen: Alcazar and Janet
I might be putting too much faith in the returning artist gimmick there. We’ll see. I’m actually hoping for yet another favourite + underdog pairing to go straight to the final. Anton and Josef, anyone?
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe…
There are a couple of other things happening tonight, but they’re hardly worth mentioning. All we’re getting out of them is THREE MORE SONGS, PEOPLE! Gosh! Why are you being so blasé about it?
Oh wait, that was me.
- Latvia’s Dziesma final (another one as yet unfollowed by moi) is ready to roll with 12 songs in the running to represent. I’ve never considered Latvia’s NF one not to be missed, and in missing it again, all I know is that one half of PeR obviously didn’t take their Malmö fail too hard, since he’s back already to have another shot. And also that Samanta Tina is becoming the Latvian equivalent of Sanna Nielsen, so if she wins tonight I’ll take it as a good omen for Sanna.
- FYR Macedonia is presenting their (freshly changed) song tonight after internally selecting Tijana Dapčević around the same time dinosaurs began to walk the earth. Instead of premiering the initially selected Pobeda, they’ll be premiering the English version of Tamu Kaj Što Pripagjam…at least from what I gather. It’s called To The Sky, which I suppose is a better name for a competition song than To The Bottom of the Scoreboard With Zero Points. My fingers are crossed for a gem.
- Lithuania’s mammoth quest to find their entry/rep continues with show no. 456386858711…haven’t we all lost count? This time, something significant IS taking place, with the song (but not the artist) to be determined. That’s as far as I can see, anyway. It’s Confusion Central over there in Lithuania.
Yikes – I think that’s enough to satisfy even the most demanding ESC fan. The only bad thing is that, if you don’t want to fry your brain, you’ve got to choose which NF/presentation to tune in to. Whatever you watch, enjoy it, and may your favourite win! Unless it’s different to mine, in which case stuff you, I want mine to win.
What? Honesty is the best policy.
See you on the other side of Saturday…
To quote Outkast (as a new way of greeting y’all) hey ya! A week ago I promised to be back mid-week reporting on whatever happened that Saturday night, which didn’t quite work out…as in it didn’t work out at all. I blame technical difficulties and a serious case of Olympic fever. Still, I’m here now when it really counts, on another Super Saturday. Though I think we’re all using the term ‘super’ loosely on this one, because there isn’t a heap going on. We are getting one entry for Copenhagen, plus more Melodifestivalen, however, and that’s worth getting excited about.
In addition to rambles about that NF action, I’ll also be glossing over some of the news of the past seven days – again, of which there hasn’t been that much. But rest assured there’s always something happening in the Land of Eurovision. It’s just sometimes you need a magnifying glass, search party, metal detector and sniffer dog to find it.
Here’s what I managed to track down this week.
The titular newsy roundup
Because what else would I call this segment?
- Malta: MESC 2014 finished in style last weekend, with Malta’s answer to Mumford & Sons (a.k.a. Firelight) scoring the ticket to Denmark with Coming Home. Forget coming home – I’m still coming to terms with the fact that they aren’t Daniel Testa with One Last Ride (who, as I suspected he might, ended the night in the top three). With the way things turned out, I don’t think our favourite tiny island will be hosting JESC and adult Eurovision consecutively, but I do like this entry. Yes, comparisons to other songs can be so easily drawn with it, and yes, the performance in the final came off a bit messy…but the former may actually help Firelight (a sense of familiarity rarely hurts) and the latter shouldn’t be an issue come May.
- Sweden: Unsurprisingly, Sanna Nielsen sailed through to the final of Melodifestivalen at the pointy end of Saturday’s second semi with the lovely Undo (it’s been stuck in my head all week). Somewhat surprisingly, my beloved Panetoz nabbed the remaining spot with Efter Solsken, the only Swedish-language song in the final at the moment. It’s times like that when I’m happy to be a hopeless NF predictor. Joining Helena Paparizou and co in Andra Chansen was reality show alumni J.E.M, and winner of Melfest 2005 Martin Stenmarck, whose song and performance bore no resemblance to that of Las Vegas (yay or nay, depending which way you look at it). It was a pretty good result all round.
- Romania: Paula Seling & Ovi may be in it to win it (again) in their home country, but it turned out to be a thumbs-down from fellow former rep Mihai Trăistariu, whose ballad I’m Sorry would have been a strong contender in the NF. Despite telling us all back in Athens that he’d return (via Tornero, of course) he’s not going to in 2014. Torner-NOOOO!
- Belarus: Cheesecake is still going to Copenhagen (at this stage) but TEO has suffered a Valentina Monetta. Just as her Facebook became a social network, so too has his Google Maps undergone de-branding. The Google lyric has had to be changed as per the ESC rulebook, which is a bit of a shame as I liked how specific TEO was about his means of escape, but it doesn’t make a huge difference.
- Russia: Okay, so this isn’t exactly current ESC news, but there is a contest connection. If you’ve been watching the Olympic figure skating (as I have, until ridiculously late at night/early in the morning) you may have seen the legendary Evgeny Plushenko injure himself during the warm-up for the men’s singles comp, and withdraw about a minute later, bringing his career to an abrupt end. It was über unfortunate to say the least. But the man has given us decades of graceful yet manly routines, including the one that, let’s face it, sealed the deal for Dima Bilan in Belgrade (see, there IS a connection!). So I hereby embed that very performance into this post in a tribute to the incomparable Mr. Plushenko. Watch with mute on if you must.
I may have used the word ‘news’ loosely when it comes to all of the above, but the less time we spend mulling over that, the better. Moving on…
Iceland – it’s time to decide!
That’s right – Thor’s Eythor’s reign is over. Iceland will hopefully be weeding the next Yohanna out of their six-strong field tonight after several weeks of Söngvakeppnin semis. I’ll admit (because you’d soon realise anyway) that I haven’t been following Söngvakeppnin at all this year. Each NF season, I’m selective about what I do follow and what I leave as a total surprise, and in 2014, I want a surprise from Iceland. With any luck, it’ll be a good one. If you’ve been paying attention, let me know. Is this a top-notch bunch of finalists?
- Þangað Til ég Dey by F.U.N.K.
- Amor by Ásdís María Viðarsdóttir
- Lífið Kviknar á Ný by Sigríður Eyrún Friðriksdóttir
- Von by Gissur Páll Gissurarson
- Eftir Eitt Lag by Greta Mjöll Samúelsdóttir
- Enga Fórdoma by Pollapönk
Looking at this list, I’m struck by two things: a) why don’t more Icelanders use stage names? It would make life much easier for the rest of us; and b) they all look promising somehow. You can’t judge a song based on its title or who’s singing it, but there’s something about stuff like Amor and Pollapönk (which I swear was a magical creature featured in the Harry Potter books) that gets me excited. As I’m in the dark save for my attraction to song and human titles, I’ll leave it up to Iceland to make the best decision.
Although…I can’t help having a stab at predicting the winner based on words alone. I’m getting vibes from Eftir Eitt Lag, guys. If it doesn’t win, I’m getting my vibe detector serviced.
Third time lucky for Sweden’s Melfest?
Now onto an NF I have been following and can talk about with some level of authority! Woohoo! Melodifestivalen continues this week in the city of Göteborg, and like the past two weeks, this semi’s line-up consists of a good mixture of old favourites, returnees and newbies, namely:
- Echo by Outtrigger
- Red by EKO
- Yes We Can by Oscar Zia
- Burning Alive by Shirley Clamp
- All We Are by State of Drama
- En Enkel Sång by CajsaStina Åkerström
- Busy Doin’ Nothin’ by Ace Wilder
- Around The World by Dr. Alban & Jessica Folcker
In terms of quality, it’s definitely third time lucky for Sweden. For the first time, I’ve had trouble picking my top 4, and whilst that means there will be casualties tonight, it also means Melfest is back on form. Exclamation mark!
After much internal debate, here are my personal favourites:
Red – I have to wonder if EKO have a thing for Margaret Berger, because this song has echoes of I Feed You My Love for sure. Is that a problem? Um, no. Not at all.
Yes We Can – Oscar Zia is precious (think a snack-size Eric Saade) and his song is like all the High School Musical soundtracks rolled into one, only without all the cheese. Cute, catchy, and most likely endorsed by Barack Obama, it gets my stamp of approval.
Busy Doin’ Nothin’ – Nothin’ but giving us a great, current addition to the line-up, that is. This dance-fest (with a slight country edge) is pretty ace, Ace.
Around The World – Dr. Alban was big in the 90s, so it’s not surprising that his entry brings Ace of Base to mind. It also brings to mind OMG I LOVE IT PLEASE LET IT QUALIFY.
You know what comes next: predictions. It is a tough ask, guessing Melfest. Unless there’s two runaway standouts, how do you draw the line between what ought to go straight to the final and what deserves a second chance? That’s a serious question. Please, would somebody let me know?
To the final: Outtrigger and Oscar Zia
To Andra Chansen: Ace Wilder and Shirley Clamp
With only one more batch of Melfest entries left unheard, we could already be acquainted with the winner. I don’t think the same goes for Eurovision itself. There’s the possibility of success, but not victory, amongst the teensy group of entries chosen. Could the winning song come from Iceland? Sweden, after a year’s break? Or maybe even Hungary, heading towards the climax of A Dal with semi finals on tonight and tomorrow? All will be revealed…well, in May. But the coming month will give us all the options, at least.
Enjoy what this evening brings, fellow ESC-ers, and leave me your thoughts on pretty much anything below
Bonjour, and welcome to Super Saturday the Second! This one’s not going to be quite as super as last week’s, if you classify “super” by the amount of final decisions for Copenhagen being made. Seven days ago we had picks from Finland and Switzerland, whereas this evening, reigning JESC champ Malta is the sole selector of a 2014 entry.
Don’t curl up into a ball and sob helplessly, however – there’s plenty of action elsewhere to make this weekend one of the happening kind. From Sweden’s Sanna Nielsen making her 7th attempt to represent her country, to last year’s Hungarian runner-up looking to push one place ahead, this may not be THE night (as far as Kurt Calleja is concerned) but it’s certainly a decent night.
Before I get on to further NF discussion, I have to mention another competition taking place in Europe at the moment. It’s just a little insignificant thing called the Winter Olympics…I don’t know if you would’ve heard of it. Ha. Ha. ANYWAY, the Games have begun, and that was cemented with last night’s/this morning’s spectacular opening ceremony (depending on where you are, it could have taken place at any given time) in Sochi. Now, I say spectacular, but I must admit to falling asleep towards the end of the athlete parade. During the ceremony for London 2012, I only made it to Lithuania before passing out, so I consider making it past Ukraine this time a major achievement. What I can remember up until that point was pretty epic, though – not only was a Russian flag constructed out of people on the stadium floor, but they made it wave. Bravo.
Eurovision takes priority over the Olympics tonight, but I’m still keen to catch as much figure skating, ski jumping and luging as possible without creating a Jaz-shaped indentation in my couch. If you’re not feeling MESC or Melfest, maybe you’ll end up tuning in too. For those winter sports un-enthusiasts, I’ll quit the Sochi talk now and move on to the aforementioned Super Saturday action from around the continent.
Malta’s mini-ESC reaches its climax
Last night, six artists were sent packing in Malta’s largely pointless semi final (either kick out a decent amount or don’t bother, guys!) including two-time Eurovision rep and million-time MESC attempter Fabrizio Faniello. To be honest, that wasn’t a great loss. Nor were the five others that now have zero chance of winning tonight.
What we’ve been left with is one of the best line-ups Malta’s had in ages, featuring some very un-Malta-like stuff. I don’t say that to be offensive – it’s just that Malta has this way of cramming their NFs with middling pop songs and ballads with awfully cliché lyrics, and in 2014, there’s much less of that. Awesome.
In order of performance, this is the final fourteen:
- Lovetricity by Christabelle
- Some Kind of Wonderful by Wayne William
- Brand New Day by Davinia
- City Lady by Ryan Paul Abela
- Love Will Take Me Home by Franklin
- One Last Ride by Daniel Testa
- Let The Sunshine In by Sophie Debattista
- Oblivion by Chris Grech
- Until We Meet Again by Deborah C
- Hypnotica by Jessika
- Take Me by Pamela
- Coming Home by Firelight
- Because I Have You by Amber
- Pin The Middle by De Bee
I feel like it’s either going to be one of the fan favourites that wins, or some random song that nobody rated. I’ll do the best I can to predict it right; but first, my preferences for Denmark are…
One Last Ride – yes, I have been overly excited since I found out Daniel, of JESC fame, was aiming for adult Eurovision. But believe me when I say my adoration only clouds my judgment of his song a tiny bit. OLR is the business, people! Great verses, a great chorus, catchy, well performed, and exactly what I was referring to when I said ‘un-Malta-like’.
Hypnotica – is it a copy of Euphoria? No. Is it highly original? Well, no. But this dance track has sucked me in, probably using the hypnotic forces Jessika is singing about.
Coming Home – it’s Mumford and Sons meets Americana country, and the results are pretty darn good. Apart from the risk of Sjonni’s Friends suing Firelight for stealing their song title, I don’t see any problems with this going to Copenhagen.
Take Me – Pamela is one of the fan favourites, and it’s not hard to see, or hear, why. Her song is a very pretty ballad, and it got me despite the fact I was initially desperate not to like anything that wasn’t Daniel Testa-endorsed.
Lovetricity – some would call this the poor man’s Hypnotica, but I call it an equally catchy dance song that hasn’t got a chance of beating Hypnotica.
Now, who is actually going to score their way to Scandinavia? Based on (mostly) non-biased calculations, I predict one of Hypnotica, One Last Ride, Take Me, Let The Sunshine In, Brand New Day and Coming Home. I didn’t mention Sophie Debattista’s or Davinia’s songs earlier, but they sound to me like they have a shot. Also JESC alumni, Sophie’s participated in MESC before, but she’s got a better song this time. Davinia, on the other hand, came 3rd last year with an amazing song, and hasn’t come up to her own standard with this one in my opinion. But she’s another favourite, so I can’t discount her.
I believe Malta will end up sending something decent, wherever the votes go. What do you think? Who’s going to succeed the singing doctor that was Gianluca?
Melodifestivalen semi 2, ready to roll
Everyone’s (I may be generalising on that one) favourite NF continues this week, having traveled from Malmö to Linköping. There are big guns and intriguing unknowns (to me, at least) in this second semi, including Sanna Nielsen, who should get some kind of Melfest lifetime achievement award, and Swedish X Factor finalists J.E.M, who are made up of a girl, a guy, and another girl who looks like Moran Mazor. Here’s the rolecall:
- Love Trigger by J.E.M
- Hallelujah by The Refreshments
- Glow by Manda
- Efter Solsken by Panetoz
- I Am Somebody by Pink Pistols
- Undo by Sanna Nielsen
- Set Yourself Free by Little Great Things
- När Änglarna Går Hem by Martin Stenmarck
You can listen to all eight here.
I had a feeling this semi was going to be better than the last, so I couldn’t wait to hear the songs. Now that I have, I will say it’s definitely more consistent than the last – there’s nothing worse than average in there. Here are the songs I rate most.
Efter Solsken – Panetoz didn’t disappoint me, coming up with pretty much bang on what I expected of them. That, by the way, was effortless, fun rap-pop with a tropical tinge that makes me feel like I’m partying it up in Barbados or the like.
I Am Somebody – I don’t know how to describe this exactly; nor am I sure whether the two women in this group are actually women (not that it matters). It’s electro rock-ish, moody, atmospheric, and catchy, which automatically makes it a good song in my mind.
Undo – Could this be the one that gets Sanna to the ESC? I’m not sure, but it’s my favourite song of the semi. It’s predictable in the way it develops, but so pretty I don’t care. I love the lyrics. An A-grade vocal will be needed to elevate, but I think she can deliver.
När Änglarna Går Hem – Martin’s hairstyle isn’t the only thing that’s changed since he represented Sweden in ’05. This song is nothing like Las Vegas, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you felt about that. I liked Las Vegas, but I rather like this too, and I’m enjoying hearing him sing in Swedish.
As for who’ll actually advance, I’m thinking it’s Sanna and The Refreshments to the final tonight, with Little Great Things and Martin going through to Andra Chansen. Sanna is a force to be reckoned with in present company, and if she didn’t go straight through it would be a shock. The Refreshments aren’t my cup of tea, but they’re a Swedish institution, and every time a song with a hint of rockabilly competes in Melodifestivalen, it tends to go somewhere. Little Great Things and Martin just give off an AC vibe – though I may be hoping to be wrong about them if it means Panetoz takes one of their spots.
I was 50% right about semi 1 (who saw Ellen Benediktson coming?) so don’t be surprised if this prediction pans out completely wrong. Make yours down below, or, if you’re reading this after the fact, let me know what you think of the results!
But wait – there’s more!
There always is. Azerbaijan and Belgium will have their own bits and bobs going on Sunday night, but because they are in super-early stages, let’s put them aside and focus on tonight.
In addition to MESC and Melfest, you can also tune in to:
- Semi final 2 of Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin
- Heat 3 of Hungary’s A Dal (this is where you’ll find Gigi Radics, runner-up of A Dal 2013, singing for a spot in the final.)
- Show 9 of Lithuania’s Eurovizijos Dainu Konkursa
You’re spoilt for choice, really. Once again, I’ll be sleeping through the action, saving my energy for the Melodifestivalen final, so whatever you watch, enjoy it a little extra on my behalf.
I’ll see you on the other side of Saturday, where I’m sure there’ll be plenty to talk about.
Hola, amigos. It’s the middle of the week, and as of now, that means it’s time for me to belatedly weigh in on the Eurovisiony happenings that have made the headlines since it was previously the middle of the week. Although…nothing of note really happened prior to our first Super Saturday, so let’s just go from there.
Quite a lot has gone down since the weekend, and not just in the Land of National Finals. Sure, we’ve now got two more songs for Copenhagen, taking the total to six; and sure, Sweden’s Melodifestivalen has begun and that is SO MUCH YAY!; and sure, Spain has shocked us all by premiering some decent potential entries; but, we also now know who will present the ESC this year – more specifically, all three of them. Discussions of these developments are coming up, but for now, let me say this: please let those hosts put in a better performance than the last trio we had to put up with!
The hosts with the most (maybe) are…
*drumroll*…three people I’ve never heard of! Woohoo!
That doesn’t actually bother me. Some of the most entertaining hosts have been unknown to most of us before they took to the stage – e.g. Jaana and Mikko, Eric Solbakken, and Her Royal Funniness Anke Engelke. So give a great big benefit of the doubt to Lise Rønne, Pilou Asbæk, and Nikolaj Koppel.
Lise, Pilou and Nikolaj are not without credentials. She is a television presenter (handy) who has helmed Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in the past, á la Petra Mede, who hosted Melodifestivalen before Malmö; Pilou is an actor, so he’ll be used to making a script sound like natural dialogue; and Nik (as I am affectionately calling him since now) is a musician and former judge on Denmark’s Got Talent. All that sounds promising, don’t you think? I’ve never been sold by the trio concept, so hopefully this trio can change my mind.
Something Better from Finland, and a Swiss star-hunter
Then again, who cares if they don’t? It’s all about the music. Well, more about the music, anyway. And as I mentioned before, Super Saturday gave us two more songs to add to the small pile we already have which will be en route to Denmark in a few months’ time.
Finland’s UMK ended with Softengine’s Something Better on top, beating out fan favourite Sängyn Reunalla by Mikko Pohjola. As you’ll know if you read my last post, I didn’t follow UMK this year, but I did subject myself to snippets of the competitors before Saturday night. That decision has left me a little disappointed that the result wasn’t the other way around. The mod-rock style of Softengine doesn’t do much for me, whereas I thought Mikko’s song was a downright lovely ditty (or perhaps that’s the senior citizen in me) but time, in addition to healing all wounds and going by so slowly, changes things. Time and multiple listens. I may be proclaiming Something Better my first douze-pointer of the year this time next week.
Meanwhile, the Swiss chose the best of a bad, bad bunch in their Grosse Entscheidungsshow, opting for Sebalter’s Hunter of Stars to fly their flag. On the whole, this is a positive thing – it’s nothing like the lame lady ballad that it beat, and has a certain charm with the whistling and whatnot. I still think Switzerland can so much better though. It’s sad that this is the only half-decent outcome we could have had from them.
Exactly how half-decent is Sebalter? How could we figure that out…wait, I’ve got it! It’s TOP SIX TIME! Here, in a world exclusive, is mine:
Okay, so Seb is still on the bottom in my books, and I’m still totally on Team Cheesecake (which is surprisingly still the Belarusian entry). But with 30+ songs yet to be picked or premiered, this ranking is bound to change. Hit me with your personal top six in the comments, and the ensuing disagreements will no doubt keep us occupied until the weekend.
Melfest: it’s well and truly on!
It’s safe to say that Sweden is back. Maybe not back in a ‘we’re ready to win again, bitches’ kind of way, but definitely in a way that makes last year’s Melfest sound even worse than it actually was (bar Robin Stjernberg and a select few others). Saturday’s first semi turned out to be less predictable than I was expecting, with only one of the big favourites being voted straight to the final.
I’m talking, of course, about YOHIO, who no doubt won the night (but hopefully won’t win the whole thing) with To The End. But it wasn’t the Eurovision royalty that is Helena Paparizou who followed him – she was relegated to Andra Chansen alongside Linus Svenning’s beautiful Bröder. Newcomer/stand-in for Amandine Bourgeois in Malmö, Ellen Benediktson, scored the other ticket with Songbird. I have to admit, despite the Helena love I share with many other ESC fans, I consider this a victory for all the artists who think they haven’t got a chance against those who have been there and done that. Go Ellen!
With the wins must come the losses, and four songs are now out of Melfest ’14 for good. Only one of those had the power to bring a tear to my eye, and that was Alvaro Estrella’s Bedroom. Say what you want about a bad performance – I thought it was a-ok, and that the song was easily the best of the night. I mean, if Eric “I’ll smash a ton of glass to distract you from the fact that I’m not a very good singer” Saade can win Melfest, why couldn’t his former backup dancer qualify? Sob. The good news is that Bedroom has topped the Swedish iTunes charts, and that I intend to send the song into a radio station anonymously to try and elevate it to Gangnam Style status in Australia. Wish me luck.
What did you think of Melodifestivalen’s first installment?
Spanish surprises: the national final five
Following France’s shockingly impressive lead, Spain released the select group of songs that will be vying to represent them sometime in the near future (a date would be nice, Spain). I’ve given them all a listen, and on the spectrum of prospective entries, they collectively sit closer to the likes of Sweden than of Switzerland – a.k.a. hooray!
- Más (Run) by Brequette
- Aunque Se Acabe El Mundo by Jorge González
- Estrella Fugaz by La Dama
- Seguir Sin Ti by Raúl
- Dancing In The Rain by Ruth Lorenzo
I’m not saying these are the strongest songs on the planet, but they do take me back to those days when Spain sent ethno-pop year after year, and did well with it. Generally, the selection is poppy and generic, but there’s always room for poppy and generic songs to succeed at Eurovision. I reckon Spain has a chance here, if not to hit the heights of Pastora Soler, to at least improve on last year’s fail.
I’ll wait for a date before I think about reviewing them properly, but at the moment, my picks are Brequette, Jorge and Ruth. How about you?
Super Saturday #2 – what’s on?
There’s only one more song to look forward to this Saturday, but Malta’s NF is only the beginning of the action. Olympics fans like myself would add the start of the Winter Games in Sochi to the list of comps worth watching (it’s basically the Eurovision of the sporting world) but for those who are interested in the ESC only, look out for…
- MESC. That’s Malta’s Eurovision Song Contest. After a semi final on Friday which will, inexplicably as ever, only send 6 of 20 songs packing, 14 will be left to battle it out for the win. There’ll be two former JESC contestants taking part (assuming they both advance, and let’s face it – the odds are in their favour) but the only one I’m gunning for is Daniel Testa. His song One Last Ride has Eurovision written all over it, and not in a cheesy way. However, there is some fierce competition he’ll have to push out the way to make it…can he do it?
- Melodifestivalen semi final 2. A veteran of this NF, Sanna Nielsen is back for what seems like her millionth shot at representing Sweden, and this could be the one that gets her all the way. She’ll be joined by Martin Stenmarck (who was beaten by Helena Paparizou and many others in Eurovision ’05) singing in Swedish, and my personal gem Panetoz. Check out their hit Danza Pausa and then tell me you’re not excited to hear what they’ve come up with!
- Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin semi final 2 and Hungary’s A Dal heat 3. I admit to knowing nothing about either of these at this point, so whether they’re worth watching is up to you.
I’ll be back on Saturday to preview and predict MESC and Melfest, and complain about what an agonizing decision it is choosing between multiple national finals AND the Olympics. There’s something for you to look forward to.
Ahem. In the meantime, don’t forget to rank and ramble about results down below. If you don’t…well, I’ll be sad.
See you Saturday!
Madonna once said “Time. Goes. By. So. Slowly.” You can hear it for yourself on that dodgy yet somehow appealing song she did a few years ago that sampled ABBA. But let me tell you, she was a lying harlot, because literally one minute ago it was New Year’s Eve (well, not literally…but bear with my exaggeration) and now, it’s freaking February! I’ve had to change my calendar already, and that is not what I call a leisurely passing of time.
On the plus side, February is going to make up for the pathetic showing January put on, national final-wise. The next four weeks are packed with preselections, beginning with this Super Saturday we’re about to experience. That means I won’t be posting the retro ranking I promised at the end of my last post just yet, but I plan to squeeze it in amongst all of the NF reviews and predictions that are coming your way via moi this month.
Firstly, it’s time to check out the main events of this evening, direct from Finland, Switzerland, and (saving the best for last) Sweden. Get excited, guys!
Who will Finnish first in the Finnish final?
During its warm-up period of advancements and eliminations, Finland’s UMK has sent a whopping FOUR WHOLE SONGS packing. Eight remain in with a chance to succeed Team Ding Dong in Copenhagen.
- Something Better by Softengine
- Hope by Hanna Sky
- God/Drug by MIAU
- Going Down by Lauri Mikkola
- Shining Bright by MadCraft
- Sängyn Reunalla by Mikko Pohjola
- Top of the World by Clarissa feat. Josh Standing
- Selja by Hukka Ja Mama
Up until yesterday, I hadn’t listened to any of the Finnish songs, wanting to make the result a brand-new discovery. But having heard only good things about the finalists (bar the odd snarky comment) I couldn’t resist stopping by Youtube and feasting my ears on one of those handy recap videos made up of thirty-second snippets.
My verdict? Well, any seasoned ESC fan knows you can’t judge a song by one listen of an excerpt. That’s why I’m still holding out hope that I’m more impressed by the full song that wins than I was by any of the snippets. Don’t get me wrong, there was some promising stuff in there – but you UMK followers out there had me thinking I was going to be blown away by each and every one, darn you.
The songs that did appeal to me on snippet alone: God/Drug, Sängyn Reunalla and Top of the World. I’ve seen some of these crop up in the fandom (i.e. on social media/in blog comment sections) as favourites, and there’s a 50% chance one of them will win, so…happy face?
Truth is, I don’t have the authority to predict UMK 2014. But since I distinctly remember saying ‘meh’ to a snippet of Marry Me this time last year, that may be irrelevant.
Those in the know – what do you think? Who’s got the goods to represent Finland in Denmark?
Swiss-appointment in Die Grosse Entscheidungsshow
Moving on to tonight’s second final, I must give you a warning: prepare yourself for a rather bitchy Jaz.
In all my history as an NF follower, I have never been impressed by the Swiss line-up, but I’ve always been able to console myself with the few musical gems present. Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the even worse this year, because Switzerland is bringing us what I believe to be the worst national final line-up of ALL. TIME. I don’t even think Kanye West would interrupt me to disagree.
For years I’ve been wondering what Switzerland’s problem is. Why have we been getting stuff on a par with The Wiggles’ Big Red Car year after year, save a couple of brief, shining examples of semi-decent music? This year, each Swiss broadcaster even had to go through an ‘Expert Check’ stage to whittle down their submitted list of songs to the best of the best (or so we were led to believe) and yet, the six songs remaining are a woeful bunch, IMHO. Perhaps the ‘experts’ in question thought their role was to sniff out any signs of potential Eurovision success and destroy them. If so, that misinterpretation has left us with these:
- Au Paradis by Christian Tschanz – gravelly-sung, inoffensive (read: boring) guitar pop. The only saving grace is that, since it’s in French and I hardly know any, I have no idea if the lyrics are up to the cringe-worthy standard of the English-language entries.
- Together Forever by 3 For All – okay, so the accordion riff is catchy, but everything else, title and group name included, is pure Swiss cheese. It makes me sicker than the thought of Engelbert Humperdinck in a mankini.
- La Luce Del Cuore by Nino Colonna – not awful, but forgettable. The kind of song that wouldn’t make it past the first evening of San Remo.
- I Still Believe by Yasmina Hunzinger – I hope you’re hungry, ‘cause here’s another hunk of Swiss cheese! This is 2014, and I think it’s beyond time for the rubbish ballads about believing and achieving and having faith and uniting as one to be shelved. Or preferably, binned.
- Une Terre Sans Vous by Natacha & Stéphanie – this actually borders on being nice, but that doesn’t stop it from being bland. If it goes to Copenhagen, expect it to be everybody’s toilet break song.
- Hunter of Stars by Sebalter – last but not least, a more alternative version of boring guitar pop. Some of the lyrics make no sense, which I happen to prefer over lyrics that encourage us to join hands and all that crap. Send this, Switzerland. Why not?
So yeah, you could say I’m disappointed in the Swiss. Last year’s Grosse Show at least had the likes of Carrousel, Jesse Ritch and Melissa raising the bar. This year, I can’t express enthusiasm for any particular song to win, and that makes me sad.
I can say who I think will win, and that’s 3 For All, Yasmina or Sebalter. Do you agree? Am I being too negative, or do you think Switzerland should just stay home and think things over this year?
Saturday’s saving grace, straight from Sweden
My Swiss rant is out of the way, so let’s get on to the good stuff. Melodifestivalen has arrived!
Call it a cliché, but Melfest has long been my favourite NF. The standard is always high (unless they’ve won Eurovision the year before) and it always attracts a great mixture of big names and relative unknowns. Last year Melfest provided my top ESC-related moment of the year when Robin Stjernberg emerged from Andra Chansen and won. I’ll never forget the look on his face when it dawned on him what had happened.
Winning saw him represent Sweden in Malmö Arena last May, and fittingly, that’s the location of tonight’s first semi final, which will begin and end with two of the aforementioned big names.
The eight competing songs were released earlier this evening. Here’s the running order.
- To The End by YOHIO
- Aleo by Mahan Moin
- Bröder by Linus Svenning
- Casanova by Elisa Lindström
- Bedroom by Alvaro Estrella
- Songbird by Ellen Benediktson
- Bygdens Son by Sylvester Schlegel
- Survivor by Helena Paparizou
It’s all about the soloists tonight, but – let’s not kid ourselves – mainly YOHIO and Helena. They may be getting a lot of love, but they’ll also be judged harshly on their previous efforts, YOHIO for Melfest 2013 and Helena for Eurovision 2001 and 2005. Did To The End and Survivor impress, or did the newer-comers leave the old-timers in their dust? Well, here’s my top 4.
Aleo – this ain’t no cookie-cutter ethno-dance track, which means it’s not as instant as the Allez Ola Olés of the world, but I like that it keeps veering into unexpected places.
Bröder – I expected heavy metal and death growls from the pierced and tattooed Linus (yes, I know what they say about books and covers and judging and whatnot) but this is actually really nice. There are heavier parts that allow him to get rough, but generally it’s quite nice. There’s some emotion in there that got me.
Bedroom – hands down my favourite of the semi, this is a ridiculously catchy dance track that wouldn’t be out of place on the radio anywhere, if it weren’t for the risqué subject matter. I really hope this goes through, but that depends a lot on whether Alvaro can pull off a decent live vocal. If he can’t, it could be a train wreck.
Survivor – how could I say no to Helena? Again, I had expectations that were defied, because this is not a schlager-scented club banger. It’s more of a pop ballad, with a strong chorus and verses. It doesn’t scream “WINNER!” but it should do her well.
Now, for prediction time…half of these semi-finalists will advance in some way as normal – the top two to the final, and the third and fourth-placers to Andra Chansen (which, as we now know, is not at all a sign they can’t possibly go on and win). This seems like an easy semi to predict as far as the finalists go, but we’ll see how what happens. This is what my gut is telling me:
To the final: YOHIO and Helena.
To Andra Chansen: Linus and Alvaro.
I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the favourites got bumped to Andra. Melodifestivalen has been both incredibly predictable and shockingly random in the past. Either way, it’s good to hear the show back at the usual standard, as indicated by this first lot of entries. I don’t think SVT will be in it (a.k.a. Eurovision) to win it again just yet, but it seems they’d like a stronger result than last year’s.
The tasty leftovers: what else is happening tonight?
This is a Super Saturday and a half, folks. Finland, Switzerland and Sweden aside, here’s what you can be watching while your non-Eurovision fan friends go out and socialise.
Heat 1 of Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin
Heat 2 of Hungary’s A Dal
Semi 1 of Latvia’s Dziesma
Show 8 of Lithuania’s Eurovizijos Dainu Konkursa
For a comprehensive list of what’s on, when, and where you can tune in, visit the guide over at Wiwi Bloggs.
No matter what you choose as your Saturday night viewing, I hope you enjoy it. And don’t go too hard – the rest of February’s weekends will be just as busy, so you’ll need some energy for those. I know I’ll have a great time posting this ASAP then going to bed because I can’t be bothered getting up at 3am to watch a wonderful but highly predictable Melfest semi (which would be my NF of choice, obvs). Maybe I’ll dream of the day Switzerland becomes an ESC force to be reckoned with?
What are you watching tonight? Who should win where? And, if you’re reading this post-Saturday night…OMG, what was up with that result?