Friday, 22 February 2013

Here am I [deep sigh], not lost and forgotten

I am still around people. Where have I been? All I can say is Kaitsepolitsei. Oops, maybe I’ve said too much. But before I disappear to somewhere in Võrumaa again (I have said too much now), I thought I’d just catch up with you all.

Some esteemed website out there tells us 28 songs have been chosen. I haven’t had the time to find out whether it’s true or not, but I’m sure the best is yet to come.

I won’t bore you with the minutiae of the results, as Webmaster Phil has already published the admin stuff around here somewhere.

Österreich rockt den Contest? Does it indeed*? Well it might rock ‘Der Semi-final’, but making it to a balmy Saturday night in Sweden might be another matter. But fair play to the Austrians for having a pocket-sized contest. Who needs interminable semi-finals where it seems everyone in a country has been forced to write a song – only for Siegelsome non-native to steal the show? Moving next door, Germany may have a contender on the cards. I’ll say first off that it’s not my bag at all. And it sounds a little too much like some Scandi-pop winner from 2012. And I wanted La Brass Banda to win. But it could have that elusive European appeal. Cascada has a pedigree going back a few years. If our friendly neighbourhood jurors are ‘advised’ to pick a summer hit, that advice could stretch to this.

Our Norwegian chums went through the whole semi-final process and have come up with something safe in my opinion. Not my favourite (again), but it has the Schlagerologists in raptures. I’m all for a bit of variety in Europe’s favourite TV show, but you do also need to appease the die-hard fanbase. Norwegian neighbours Finland also picked an interesting number. Would I marry Krista if she sang at me like that? Maybe. But the way she sings the song it’s almost a demand rather than a polite request. She may be a bunny boiler for all we know, threatening to do horrendous things with big cooking pots if her intended says ‘no’.

I’ll stay in the Baltic for Latvia. This semi-final malarkey is getting contagious and while I’m sure it boosts audience figures, sometimes they shouldn’t bother. The 12 song final had a wide variety of “pleasant” songs. There were a couple of high points, not least Ott Lepland performing the sublime song Kuula during one of the many many intervals. But the wrong song won. If Latvia seriously wanted to get out of the semi-final it/they* should have sent Samanta Tina. Instead we got ‘Here we go, here we go, here we go’. Change ‘go’ to ‘stay’ and the song might me a little more prophetic.

I couldn’t believe what I saw in Greece. Some 12 months ago we saw a national final in a shopping centre with DrachmaEuroland in the background. This year MAD TV(??!!) took over the show and threw most of Greece’s national budget at the thing. Dima ‘sniff sniff’ Bilan, Marija ‘Jimmie Krankie’ Serifovic, Alexander ‘Monkey boy’ Rybak and Ruslana ‘Hey’ Lyzhychko all turned up to turn their weight in moussaka. I tuned out some 45 minutes into the show as we STILL hadn’t seen any of the four songs in contention. But from reading your comments on the Book of Face, the best one probably won. However I’ll wager that like Latvia’s, the Greek song title won’t be a prophecy of things to come in Malmö.

Also picked are Slovenia and Cyprus through selection by committee (what could possibly go wrong?). Admittedly I’ve not really tuned into either of them yet. But when I do, I’ll give you my thoughts.
So onto this weekend. Ireland picks its song. That will be a treat, I’ll be bound. NO JEDWARD!!! The word on the street is that Ryan Dolan will win. But there’s a Hiberno-Turkish collective in the mix too, which can only be a good thing. Hungary, Sweden and Romania are three countries having semi-finals. Plus Estonia (“Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm”). How can Eesti Laul top Winny Puhh making next weekend’s final? I can’t wait to see it triumph over everything else and watch Mr Hacksaw have his best Eurovision experience ever. Other songs, of course, are also available.

Fight the power

R x

*Point of order. Do I refer to a country as an ‘it’ or a ‘they’? Is it ‘Austria send Natália Kelly’ or ‘Austria sends Natália Kelly’? The English language is crazy sometimes. But what do you think?


  1. A country, business or band should (nearly) always be considered as a singular.

    Their people, staff or individual members should generally be plural.

    There are funny exceptions, but we don't need to trouble ourselves with them here.

  2. I think the correct way to phrase it would be 'Austria subject Europe to Natalia Kelly'