Eurovision Qualifying Round

One of the most wonderful things on the planet is the GMP. Once a year, every country in Europe (plus Israel), send their best, brightest and not least gaudiest to square off against each other. Armed with enough bling to bring tears to the eyes of the flashiest ghetto ho, and more often than not, a dearth of talent, they all try to bring honor to their people.

It’s often referred to as the show you love to hate. Ironic, camp or not, we all watch it, if only to roll our eyes and shake our heads.

My name is Christian. I’m a fan.

The ESC is about 50 years old; it was a so-called “schlager” festival, referring to a type of song; if upbeat, a schlager is teutonic in nature. If somber, it’s a French torch song. Explaining this to an American is often problematic in nature.

Lately, new trends peak in. Gina G upset the older crowds by wearing not much at all; luckily the song was bland and forgettable. Katrina of Katrina and the Waves brought it home to England not long after the Brits lost the world cup again. She then came out of the closet and back in the void.

Of course, the greatest success story is ABBA. It is difficult to believe that the second biggest group in the history of pop music came about in all this kitsch, but of course, one must not forget that nothing really embodies the ESC like ABBA; ropey lyrics, worse outfits and a beat to invade a small country to.

In later years, more and more countries have joined the contest. What used to be a mostly Western European thing is now infused with strains from the East. Not least from Balkan countries, who routinely send so-called “turbo-folk”; one can claim it’s great or awful, but like most statements regarding the Baltics, such as they’re either an upstanding people or a bunch of criminals, the truth is probably somewhere in between.

Norway has been the object of mush ridicule over the years, as we have often sent shitty contestants. And twice, we have been the recipients of the dreaded phrase “Nil Point”. The Limeys had to eat the words a few years back, of course. Heterosexual rocks czar Cliff Richard has competed a few times. ABBA I mentioned. Celine Dion sang fro France. And Belgium, I think. Carola, the popular Swedish chanteuse (whose ex-husband recently claimed that Mohammed was a “confused pedophile”), has competed a bunch of times.

The best ever contestant must surely be the Israeli Dana International. Huge in her native Israel, Ms. International has also undergone gender reorientation surgery. Without a doubt the

In no order, here are the best ESC songs that I can remember off the top of my head:

1) Making your mind up – Bucks FIzz
2) Waterloo – ABBA
3) Save all you kisses for me (Brotherhood of man)
4) La det svinge – Bobbysocks
5) Främling – Carola

The saddest thing about the contest is that one no longer is required to sing in one’s native lingo. You can, of course, but that would mean potentially losing the international market. And, say, Svetlana Etceterov of the Ukraine will not abide by that.

This means that more than half the songs are in English. This bothers me to no end. That does not in any way mean that I don’t love English, but let’s face it; even though you may luck out every now and then and hear a good lyric, most do not hold up to scrutiny, being written by non-native speakers. It kills the mystery to a certain extent. On the other hand, it does mean that you get some interesting phrases to add to your vocabulary, but not very often.

1) Armenia (without your love – dull east European techno-folk.

2) Bulgaria – lovely lady to look at. English lyrics. Stately, histrionic. Pretty dull. American Idol–like vocal stylings (first hit the high note, then dive three of four octaves, hitting every GODDAMN note on the way. AAAAAH – scary chant by Asian-looking dude with peroxided hair (AND goatee). This thing fucking rocks.

3) Slovenia. The first white dinner jacket of the evening. Now we’re on the right track. English lyric. Surrounded by lovely ladies. Not convinced he knows what to do with them. Awright – serious Disco! This is either for gay men or Eastern Europe. Being both makes it better, I imagine. Good voice, but the suspicion that he would rather be singing “I will survive” or anything by Kylie Minogue lingers. Still, the best act so far. My god, he’s getting gayer as I write this. Song called “Mr Nobody”.

4) Andorra. First non-English song. Sung in Catalan by a waitress who looks like a heavier version of that singer from Ally McBeal. Heavy ballad, like something a smoldering Russian lady would sing in a 60s spy flick. Her, uh, meatier frame is offset by four dancers in very slinky outfits. Like they’re trying to distract our eyes or something. Catalan sure sounds Russian, though. Kudos for the Catalan.

5) Belarus. Popular singer there, and Britney Spears-alike. She’s in hot pants, of course. “Tough” and “street” (i.e. fruits in leather) dancers fool around in the background. I think she’s singing in English, but don’t hold me to it. Kinda looks like Lindsey Lohan, and sorta sounds like Christina Aguilera, lacking the range. Largely tuneless act, but spirited enough (and undressed enough) to merit qualification.

6) Albania. Yes, sung in Albanian. “Fire, yet cold”. Sums up Albania to me. This guy won the Albanian Idol, apparently. Tune is folk-inspired. And YES: The second white dinner jacket of the evening graces the screen. Typical Idol contestant; charisma bypass and mostly mediocre. Saving grace are the two old dudes in traditional costumes. Awesome! The bagpiper has gotten on his knees and pulls his best Steve Vai moves. Wailing like a sumbitch with a freakin’ bagpipe! Lose the waiter and give us more of these guys. Yes, fire, but cold.

7) Belgium. Flemish part. Sandra Kim won for Belgium 20-odd years ago. Kate Ryan, je t’adore. Swedish songwriter, apparently. Sounds like it. Pet Shop Boys-inspired backdrop; Kate Ryan looks a bit like Cameron Diaz without the huge mouth. Gayest dancers yet. Also, they do some choreography involving a couple of mikes lit from within; unfortunately, the red tubes and the black outfits make them seem like Star Wars dweebs channeling Darth Maul’s gay uncle.

8) Ireland. Bryan Kennedy. Wrote it himself. Acoustic number, which means it will either be effortlessly melodic or dull as shit. Sounds a bit like Ronan Keating. “Every song is a cry for love”. Or a cry for help. Man, this is seriously boring stuff. Now he’s on his knees, as if proposing. I reckon Ireland is trying not to win. They have won seven times in the past, which is the record. Apparently, the show cost so much to put on, they actually lost money. This is not a winner. Apparently, this is the one thousandth song in the history of the ESC. Now you know, so that’s half a battle right there.

9) Cyprus. Sounds dull after half a beat. Nice tits, and nearly hanging out. Wants to be Whitney Houston, but lacks the range. God, that was off-key and flat, unlike her chest. Oh no, meaningful lyrics! “Why do the angels cry”? For being subjected to this sort of thing, I suppose. Plus, she looks like she wants to rock out, which always looks daft in a cocktail dress. Pass.

10) Monaco. La coco-dance. Sounds gay, inspired by French polynesian music. Cute girl. Jailbait cock-teaser, but cute. French lyrics. I don’t care what you say; French is a sexy language. Prince Albert chose the song. Sounds like something you’d find on the soundtrack of a comedy set in Key West, except, you know, French.

11) Macedonia – or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Hot pants-wearing cock-teaser. English lyrics. Dry-humped by male dancer who looks very unsure of how to do it right. I thought these guys all went in the back door? Anyway, typical eastern strains, heavy beat; mi

ght do well, it’s sort of catchy.

12) Poland. See why this show is awesome? None of the contestants on Idol ever invaded each other! Ich troje, follow my heart. Damn, this is bad. This is what the show is all about. Remember the Rico Suave debacle a decade or more ago? Some dude is rapping. Why is that? Everybody’s dressed in white, with elaborate masks. One of them has green hair and a uniform that I think is meant too evoke Sgt. Pepper. He has a deep rasp, so he must the rocker. Everyone is off-key. One of the girls looks like Buffy, which is good. These guys are in fact one of Europe’s favorite groups. Jesus.

13) Russia. The bear. Never Let You Go. Sounds awful. He looks like the sort of wannabe delinquent you don’t want your daughter to date. Sports a half-assed mullet. What the hell is the point of a mullet if you’re gonna be timid about it, for God’s sake? Let that sucker fly, I say! You can’t invoke the power of the mullet if yo do a half-assed job about it. Ever see The Lost Boys? Now THAT was a mullet, man! Or Mel Gibson in the two first Lethal Weapon movies. I love the first one; Gary Busy is a nut. Oops, the song is over.

14) Turkey! Europe’s moslem brother and friendly neighborhood drug supplier. This sounds bad already. Peroxide tattoo lady singing about “superstar”…no wait, is it super CZAR…that makes sense, but wasn’t that a Sabbath tune? Damn, Sabbath. Now that would be something. Paranoid. Lost in the Wheels of Confusion…hey, speaking of Turkey, ever see Midnight Express? That was some nasty shit when he bites of that guard’s tongue. I’m shook back to the TV as she shouts “I wanna heah yoo”, but I don’t really want to hear her. This is dull. It’s apparently a controversial song, but it’s hard to figure out why. It’s a typical “meh” song, not even “blah”.

15) Ukraine. Shortest dress so far, I hear. “Show me your love”. Tina Karol. English lyrics. Rubbbish, of course, though her pronunciation is sort of cute. I don’t think the Turkish dress was much longer than this. Gay hussars dervish wildly in the background. The Third Man lets rip a scorcher of a zither solo. Show me your love, that’s why I came, go the lyrics. Tantalizing double entendre or evidence of a less-than-perfect grasp of the English language? You decide.

16) FINLAND! Alice Cooper and KISS rolled into one. Hard Rock Hallelujah. GWAR masks. Kid-friendly hard rock, but definitely one to make you shake a leg. Masks could put off the older crowds, though. Catchy; bonus points for the ropey Iron Maiden-esque backing vocals. Might be a tad too close to Norway’s own WigWam, though. Not a winnner, I think, but could lead to actual exposure in Europe. The masks worry me; I want to see them advance, because the contest needs a guitar and a fuzz pedal but honestly, this sort of things will scare people who avoided flicks like LOTR. I know a few of them.

Green room interlude. Hokey host banter and all the artists waving flags in the background. Female host is very. Hot. Indeed.

17) The Netherlands! Girl group. Sung in actual gibberish. God, if only Sigur Ros could be on stage for Iceland. OK, so heavy rhythms, Wisely augmented by braless costumes, so they drum twice as hard. It’s boring. Sorry. Just like the girls; pretty, but not knock-outs. Also a sign of the worrying trend that you have to have the Eastern beat in every goddamn song. Such is life with the baltic mafia.

18) Lithuania. We are the winners. This just sucks, because it’s so obviously a joke. It’s like a bad football song, except it would still suck even if you were in a serious beer haze with your favorite players and David Beckham missed the goal again. It might be so bad as to actually qualify, though. It’s an interesting thought. Lead vocalist looks like like Shaun of the Dead. Audience seems happy enough, though.

19) Portugal. Gonna make you dance. First Portuguese entry in English. Kinda like a classic ESC type song, but…they can’t sing, the costumes are rubbish and they are plain unsexy, which is weird for such a collection of girls; objectively, they have the cheekbones and the racks and the asses, but somehow, it DOESN’T ADD UP! Plus, it’s just geriatric. It’s like the dullest Spice Girls song sung by drunk, middle-aged biddies at karaoke night. Nope. They’re called Non-stop, but I predict that is wrong.

20) Sweden. Carola. The old warhorse. Biggest costume of the evening. I can’t top the commentator; his supply of zingers is bottomless. This is the most classic ESC entry; the beat, the bridge, the modulated bridge. It’s designed to give you a physical reaction. But Carola is an old warhorse; gorgeous (will be a plastic surgery terror in a few years, though) with a fantastic voice; the chick is a powerhouse. But something is missing, she doesn’t connect.

21) Estonia. Swedish singer. Looks like ABBA and sounds like it, too. ABBA with a smidgeon of Bucks Fizz thrown into the mix. Swedish guitar. Can’t explain it, but you can only get that guitar tone in Sweden. It’s like a musical Volvo. Not bad, and fun to see after Carola. She has a lot of the same…will she dethrone Carola? But christ, it’s like the same fucking song as Sweden’s.

22) Hari Mata Hari from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Heavy balkan ballad. The music video would be in black-and-white and he would walk in the wind, a despondent look on his face. There would likely be water involved somewhere. It’s a good song, though. He has the pipes and is confident enough to understand that he doesn’t have to use them within an inch of their life. It’s a mannered performance, but he sings it like he means it. I think this will do very well. Oh yes, white dinner jacket, which is only a plus.

23) Iceland. Selma Night, or something. Uses every pop cliché in the book. Also, Britney Spear’s chords from Hit me Baby One More Time. Congratulations, I have arrived. I’m Sylvia night and I shine so bright. It kind of sucks. Two guys in (yes) white suits and (whoa) Mexican dinner jackets. She’s apparently Iceland’s most popular TV star. But this won’t make it; sad thing is, there’s a catchy tune in there and she’s cute, if weird. Like the weird girl in the record store that you sort of have a crush on, even if you’d never date her, because you know that after about a week, her ditziness and love for shitty indie buttrock would get so grating that you’d have to kill her stereo. Serious booing after the song, too. Apparently, she’s been a bitch at rehearsals and have pissed of the hosts by swearing at the crew and the other contestants.

These countries qualified:

1) Russia
2) Macedonia
3) Bosnia-Hercegocina
4) Lithuania (See a pattern forming? Lots of booing)
5) Finland (yes!)
6) Ukraine
7) Ireland (Dull ballads are often a safe bet)
8) Sweden
9) Turkey (Was that the Iranian president cheering them on? Christ…)
10) Armenia (WTF?)

Almost over. We’re treated to the main contestants; Croatia is so fucking awesome. Also, awful.
The Uk has a really shite rapper. I like the Norwegian entry, though I think it’s no winner. Saturday is the motherload. Break out the beer; music is imminent.

The Eurovision song contest 2006

One of the most wonderful things on the planet is the GMP. Once a year, every country in Europe (plus Israel), send their best, brightest and not least gaudiest to square off against each other. Armed with enough bling to bring tears to the eyes of the flashiest ghetto ho, and more often than not, a dearth of talent, they all try to bring honor to their people.

It’s often referred to as the show you love to hate. Ironic, camp or not, we all watch it, if only to roll our eyes and shake our heads.

My name is Christian. I’m a fan.

The ESC is about 50 years old; it was a so-called “schlager” festival, referring to a type of song; if upbeat, a schlager is teutonic in nature. If somber, it’s a Frenc

h torch song. Explaining this to an American is often problematic in nature.

Lately, new trends peak in. Gina G upset the older crowds by wearing not much at all; luckily the song was bland and forgettable. Katrina of K and the Waves brought it home to England not long after the Brits lost the world cup again. She then came out of the closet and back in the void.

Of course, the greatest success story is ABBA. It is difficult to believe that the second biggest group in the history of pop music came about in all this kitsch, but of course, one must not forget that nothing really embodies the ESC like ABBA; ropey lyrics, worse outfits and a beat to invade a small country to.

In later years, more and more countries have joined the contest. What used to be a mostly Western European thing is now infused with strains from the East. Not least from Balkan countries, who routinely send so-called “turbo-folk”; one can claim it’s great or awful, but like most statements regarding the Baltics, such as they’re either an upstanding people or a bunch of criminals, the truth is probably somewhere in between.

Norway has been the object of mush ridicule over the years, as we have often sent shitty contestants. And twice, we have been the recipients of the dreaded phrase “Nil Point”. The Limeys had to eat the words a few years back, of course. Heterosexual rocks czar Cliff Richard has competed a few times. ABBA I mentioned. Celine Dion sang fro France. And Belgium, I think. Carola, the popular Swedish chanteuse (whose ex-husband recently claimed that Mohammed was a “confused pedophile”), has competed a bunch of times.

The best ever contestant must surely be the Israeli Dana International. Huge in her native Israel, Ms. International has also undergone gender reorientation surgery. Without a doubt the

In no order, here are the best ESC songs that I can remember off the top of my head:

1) Making your mind up – Bucks FIzz
2) Waterloo – ABBA
3) Save all you kisses for me (Brotherhood of man)
4) La det svinge – Bobbysocks
5) Främling – Carola

The saddest thing about the contest is that one no longer is required to sing in one’s native lingo. You can, of course, but that would mean potentially losing the international market. And, say, Svetlana Etceterov of the Ukraine will not abide by that.

This means that more than half the songs are in English. This bothers me to no end. That does not in any way mean that I don’t love English, but let’s face it; even though you may luck out every now and then and hear a good lyric, most do not hold up to scrutiny, being written by non-native speakers. It kills the mystery to a certain extent. On the other hand, it does mean that you get some interesting phrases to add to your vocabulary, but not very often.

1) Armenia (without your love – dull east European techno-folk.

2) Bulgaria – lovely lady to look at. English lyrics. Stately, histrionic. Pretty dull. American Idol–like vocal stylings (first hit the high note, then dive three of four octaves, hitting every GODDAMN note on the way. AAAAAH – scary chant by Asian-looking dude with peroxided hair (AND goatee). This thing fucking rocks.

3) Slovenia. The first white dinner jacket of the evening. Now we’re on the right track. English lyric. Surrounded by lovely ladies. Not convinced he knows what to do with them. Awright – serious Disco! This is either for gay men or Eastern Europe. Being both makes it better, I imagine. Good voice, but the suspicion that he would rather be singing “I will survive” or anything by Kylie Minogue lingers. Still, the best act so far. My god, he’s getting gayer as I write this. Song called “Mr Nobody”.

4) Andorra. First non-English song. Sung in Catalan by a waitress who looks like a heavier version of that singer from Ally McBeal. Heavy ballad, like something a smoldering Russian lady would sing in a 60s spy flick. Her, uh, meatier frame is offset by four dancers in very slinky outfits. Like they’re trying to distract our eyes or something. Catalan sure sounds Russian, though. Kudos for the Catalan.

5) Belarus. Popular singer there, and Britney Spears-alike. She’s in hot pants, of course. “Tough” and “street” (i.e. fruits in leather) dancers fool around in the background. I think she’s singing in English, but don’t hold me to it. Kinda looks like Lindsey Lohan, and sorta sounds like Christina Aguilera, lacking the range. Largely tuneless act, but spirited enough (and undressed enough) to merit qualification.

6) Albania. Yes, sung in Albanian. “Fire, yet cold”. Sums up Albania to me. This guy won the Albanian Idol, apparently. Tune is folk-inspired. And YES: The second white dinner jacket of the evening graces the screen. Typical Idol contestant; charisma bypass and mostly mediocre. Saving grace are the two old dudes in traditional costumes. Awesome! The bagpiper has gotten on his knees and pulls his best Steve Vai moves. Wailing like a sumbitch with a freakin’ bagpipe! Lose the waiter and give us more of these guys. Yes, fire, but cold.

7) Belgium. Flemish part. Sandra Kim won for Belgium 20-odd years ago. Kate Ryan, je t’adore. Swedish songwriter, apparently. Sounds like it. Pet Shop Boys-inspired backdrop; Kate Ryan looks a bit like Cameron Diaz without the huge mouth. Gayest dancers yet. Also, they do some choreography involving a couple of mikes lit from within; unfortunately, the red tubes and the black outfits make them seem like Star Wars dweebs channeling Darth Maul’s gay uncle.

8) Ireland. Bryan Kennedy. Wrote it himself. Acoustic number, which means it will either be effortlessly melodic or dull as shit. Sounds a bit like Ronan Keating. “Every song is a cry for love”. Or a cry for help. Man, this is seriously boring stuff. Now he’s on his knees, as if proposing. I reckon Ireland is trying not to win. They have won seven times in the past, which is the record. Apparently, the show cost so much to put on, they actually lost money. This is not a winner. Apparently, this is the one thousandth song in the history of the ESC. Now you know, so that’s half a battle right there.

9) Cyprus. Sounds dull after half a beat. Nice tits, and nearly hanging out. Wants to be Whitney Houston, but lacks the range. God, that was off-key and flat, unlike her chest. Oh no, meaningful lyrics! “Why do the angels cry”? For being subjected to this sort of thing, I suppose. Plus, she looks like she wants to rock out, which always looks daft in a cocktail dress. Pass.

10) Monaco. La coco-dance. Sounds gay, inspired by French polynesian music. Cute girl. Jailbait cock-teaser, but cute. French lyrics. I don’t care what you say; French is a sexy language. Prince Albert chose the song. Sounds like something you’d find on the soundtrack of a comedy set in Key West, except, you know, French.

11) Macedonia – or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Hot pants-wearing cock-teaser. English lyrics. Dry-humped by male dancer who looks very unsure of how to do it right. I thought these guys all went in the back door? Anyway, typical eastern strains, heavy beat; might do well, it’s sort of catchy.

12) Poland. See why this show is awesome? None of the contestants on Idol ever invaded each other! Ich troje, follow my heart. Damn, this is bad. This is what the show is all about. Remember the Rico Suave debacle a decade or more ago? Some dude is rapping. Why is that? Everybody’s dressed in white, with elaborate masks. One of them has green hair and a uniform that I think is meant too evoke Sgt. Pepper. He has a deep rasp, so he must the rocker. Everyone is off-key. One of the girls looks like Buffy, which is good. These guys are in fact one of Europe’s favorite groups. Jesus.

13) Russia. The bear. Never Let You Go. Sounds awful. He looks like the sort of wannabe delinquent you don’t want your daughter to date. S

ports a half-assed mullet. What the hell is the point of a mullet if you’re gonna be timid about it, for God’s sake? Let that sucker fly, I say! You can’t invoke the power of the mullet if yo do a half-assed job about it. Ever see The Lost Boys? Now THAT was a mullet, man! Or Mel Gibson in the two first Lethal Weapon movies. I love the first one; Gary Busy is a nut. Oops, the song is over.

14) Turkey! Europe’s moslem brother and friendly neighborhood drug supplier. This sounds bad already. Peroxide tattoo lady singing about “superstar”…no wait, is it super CZAR…that makes sense, but wasn’t that a Sabbath tune? Damn, Sabbath. Now that would be something. Paranoid. Lost in the Wheels of Confusion…hey, speaking of Turkey, ever see Midnight Express? That was some nasty shit when he bites of that guard’s tongue. I’m shook back to the TV as she shouts “I wanna heah yoo”, but I don’t really want to hear her. This is dull. It’s apparently a controversial song, but it’s hard to figure out why. It’s a typical “meh” song, not even “blah”.

15) Ukraine. Shortest dress so far, I hear. “Show me your love”. Tina Karol. English lyrics. Rubbbish, of course, though her pronunciation is sort of cute. I don’t think the Turkish dress was much longer than this. Gay hussars dervish wildly in the background. The Third Man lets rip a scorcher of a zither solo. Show me your love, that’s why I came, go the lyrics. Tantalizing double entendre or evidence of a less-than-perfect grasp of the English language? You decide.

16) FINLAND! Alice Cooper and KISS rolled into one. Hard Rock Hallelujah. GWAR masks. Kid-friendly hard rock, but definitely one to make you shake a leg. Masks could put off the older crowds, though. Catchy; bonus points for the ropey Iron Maiden-esque backing vocals. Might be a tad too close to Norway’s own WigWam, though. Not a winnner, I think, but could lead to actual exposure in Europe. The masks worry me; I want to see them advance, because the contest needs a guitar and a fuzz pedal but honestly, this sort of things will scare people who avoided flicks like LOTR. I know a few of them.

Green room interlude. Hokey host banter and all the artists waving flags in the background. Female host is very. Hot. Indeed.

17) The Netherlands! Girl group. Sung in actual gibberish. God, if only Sigur Ros could be on stage for Iceland. OK, so heavy rhythms, Wisely augmented by braless costumes, so they drum twice as hard. It’s boring. Sorry. Just like the girls; pretty, but not knock-outs. Also a sign of the worrying trend that you have to have the Eastern beat in every goddamn song. Such is life with the baltic mafia.

18) Lithuania. We are the winners. This just sucks, because it’s so obviously a joke. It’s like a bad football song, except it would still suck even if you were in a serious beer haze with your favorite players and David Beckham missed the goal again. It might be so bad as to actually qualify, though. It’s an interesting thought. Lead vocalist looks like like Shaun of the Dead. Audience seems happy enough, though.

19) Portugal. Gonna make you dance. First Portuguese entry in English. Kinda like a classic ESC type song, but…they can’t sing, the costumes are rubbish and they are plain unsexy, which is weird for such a collection of girls; objectively, they have the cheekbones and the racks and the asses, but somehow, it DOESN’T ADD UP! Plus, it’s just geriatric. It’s like the dullest Spice Girls song sung by drunk, middle-aged biddies at karaoke night. Nope. They’re called Non-stop, but I predict that is wrong.

20) Sweden. Carola. The old warhorse. Biggest costume of the evening. I can’t top the commentator; his supply of zingers is bottomless. This is the most classic ESC entry; the beat, the bridge, the modulated bridge. It’s designed to give you a physical reaction. But Carola is an old warhorse; gorgeous (will be a plastic surgery terror in a few years, though) with a fantastic voice; the chick is a powerhouse. But something is missing, she doesn’t connect.

21) Estonia. Swedish singer. Looks like ABBA and sounds like it, too. ABBA with a smidgeon of Bucks Fizz thrown into the mix. Swedish guitar. Can’t explain it, but you can only get that guitar tone in Sweden. It’s like a musical Volvo. Not bad, and fun to see after Carola. She has a lot of the same…will she dethrone Carola? But christ, it’s like the same fucking song as Sweden’s.

22) Hari Mata Hari from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Heavy balkan ballad. The music video would be in black-and-white and he would walk in the wind, a despondent look on his face. There would likely be water involved somewhere. It’s a good song, though. He has the pipes and is confident enough to understand that he doesn’t have to use them within an inch of their life. It’s a mannered performance, but he sings it like he means it. I think this will do very well. Oh yes, white dinner jacket, which is only a plus.

23) Iceland. Selma Night, or something. Uses every pop cliché in the book. Also, Britney Spear’s chords from Hit me Baby One More Time. Congratulations, I have arrived. I’m Sylvia night and I shine so bright. It kind of sucks. Two guys in (yes) white suits and (whoa) Mexican dinner jackets. She’s apparently Iceland’s most popular TV star. But this won’t make it; sad thing is, there’s a catchy tune in there and she’s cute, if weird. Like the weird girl in the record store that you sort of have a crush on, even if you’d never date her, because you know that after about a week, her ditziness and love for shitty indie buttrock would get so grating that you’d have to kill her stereo. Serious booing after the song, too. Apparently, she’s been a bitch at rehearsals and have pissed of the hosts by swearing at the crew and the other contestants.

These countries qualified:

1) Russia
2) Macedonia
3) Bosnia-Hercegocina
4) Lithuania (See a pattern forming? Lots of booing)
5) Finland (yes!)
6) Ukraine
7) Ireland (Dull ballads are often a safe bet)
8) Sweden
9) Turkey (Was that the Iranian president cheering them on? Christ…)
10) Armenia (WTF?)

Almost over. We’re treated to the main contestants; Croatia is so fucking awesome. Also, awful. The UK has a really shite rapper. I like the Norwegian entry, though I think it’s no winner. Saturday is the motherload. Break out the beer; music is imminent.

18.05.2006 • Permalink