Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Now if Lea Michele were in Eurovision... she'd win.



Always brilliant live.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Eurovision: still waiting for Armenia but here's the Top 10 anyway.

There are still over 50 days to go but already some clear groups of contenders for this year's Eurovision victory are forming. I was waiting for Armenia to release their song but, other than a singer and a title, there's nothing to help yet so I'll carry on with what we can learn from what has been issued now.

Young boys with carefully brushed eyebrows are the in-thing this year. Australia started it with their chap but his singing leaves a bit to be desired and the song is a bit tedious too. They'll be disappointed after Dani did so well last year but I expect they might still make the Top 10 as they're one of those countries people can vote for without worrying about the politics.

Another new kid on the Euro block is the Bulgarian lad who looks set to repeat last year's excellent result for the country. He's very young and no doubt many followers will find him cute and adorable. He can also sing very well and the song suits him and the competition well. In the Battle of The Baby Boys he's the likely winner.

The other boy is the lead singer from Homeland, a successful Irish band, much supported by Louis Walsh who usually knows what he's doing. A very good song and another extremely good singer should get Ireland back into the main show after their embarrassingly poor performance last year which failed even to get them in the Top 10 of their Semi Final group.

Then we have slightly older lads from Sweden, Portugal, Austria and Hungary. Last year, Austria were virtually written off by everyone except me before the competition but actually finished quite high in the table. I wonder whether the same could happen again. They're currently languishing at around 300-1 and, whilst I don't expect them to win, they have a chance of reaching the Top Ten if the singer performs well. It's a pretty good track although it's not going to inspire many.

Hungary have one of the few vaguely traditional tracks with a combination of the new and old that could appeal to quite a few in the juries at voting time.

Sweden have a very smart chap and four similarly smart lads singing and dancing around him. They win the Best Suit Award and the song could easily be a hit in our Top 40 but doesn't exactly come across as an all-out winner as many of their recent efforts have done. It's all competent stuff and is currently predicted to come 2nd so it would seem likely that Sweden will secure another Top 10 place this year.

Portugal is my own prediction for a challenger for the title this year. Much will depend on how the chap comes across on the day and I guess we won't really know until we get a preview at the Semi Finals. That will probably be when most people decide whether he's got a chance or not. I remember how France led the favourites list all the way through the lead up to the competition with a stunning video performance by their young male ballad singer one year - only to get virtually no votes at all on the night after a totally lacklustre live performance.

So it's still the older Italian for the Top Spot amongst the boys as things stand.

There seem to be no groups this year worthy of mention other than an early favourite from the Netherlands. OG3NE had the pzzazz of Little Mix - and the talent - but a poor song has left them way out of the running this year. Indeed, I am not even sure they'll reach the Final which is quite sad but that's the way things go if you get a lousy track.

Romania have a couple with a classic Euro-weird entry that will get votes just for the hell of it. A rapper and average girl singer do yodelling. At times she's quite good but there are other times when she's dreadful. It is crazy enough to win - Eurovision is like that, you know. I expect it'll scrape into the Top Ten and hope that's as far as it gets - even though it does make me smile.

So that leaves us with the girls. There are, of course, plenty of them and this year's main pretender to the Euro Throne is a girl from Belgium with a low voice that could almost be one of the boys we talked about before. Danger Zone is simply a good pop song and, once again, if it is performed well then it will certainly get votes from juries and public across the board. It reminds me of the Common Linnets track from the Netherlands a couple of years ago which quietly surprised everyone and consistently good scoring helped it to come 2nd. I see the same thing happening this year. It is, in fact, a potential winner should either Francesco let Italy down on the night or juries and voters simply not getting Occidentali Karma after all.

Another girl who could make the Top Ten is the young lady from FYR Macedonia. They haven't had much luck over the years and if their success was to rely upon the video then they could forget even qualifying this year. The video is not pleasant viewing. However, the song is good and deserves votes which a good live performance could attract.

A more watchable but nevertheless most confusing video accompanies the Azerbaijan entry. The punk-looking girl is one of the more modern-sounding girls this year, if not the only one now I think about that. There's a tone to her voice that people will either love or hate and we know that Azerbaijan always gets a bundle of votes so a Top Ten position is pretty likely for this unusual but quite effective track.

By my reckoning there's just one place left in the Top Ten if that lot all do well. The girl contenders are UK's Lucie Jones, Greece's Demy, France's Alma and Finland's Norma John. These are all really good singers and experienced performers so any one has the potential to knock out one of the people I've mentioned with better songs on the night. Their own songs, however, are just a bit lacking so if they do make it, it would be more by a combination of luck and their own personality than good songwriting. They should all do well but I think it will be another girl who makes that tenth spot.

There is also, of course, Russia. We've come to expect Russia to come 2nd or 3rd now as they do put a lot of effort into their challenges and, regardless of how good some have been, they have a legion of nations who seem inclined or obliged to give them good voting figures. This year the big nation is playing the Diversity card big time and Yulia Samoylova will be singing from her wheelchair. In the video she seems frail and her singing isn't as good as we've heard from previous entries. There is something very appealing, though, about this attractive young lady's performance and I am sure she'll pull in plenty of votes across the board.

Top 3

Italy | Belgium | Portugal

Top 6

Bulgaria | Sweden | Ireland

Top 10

Romania | FYR Macedonia | Azerbaijan | Russia

Outside chances

UK | France | Greece | Hungary | Finland | Australia






Friday, March 10, 2017

Eurovision: Portugal return and could be Runner-Up

This is not your average Eurovision entry. Indeed, watching Salvador Sobral you'll see how this is a little strange but it has a certain charm that absolutely no other entries have. If voters have any heart at all then this will make the Final and I'd love to see it do really well.

Eurovision: Ireland finally get a good song again

Ireland have to thank Louis Walsh for this, as well as the superb singing by Homeland's Brendan Murray. Sounds like a Top 10 entry this year and this is likely to beat most of the usual suspects like our own entry from Lucie as well as Denmark, Belgium and Greece's pretty good efforts.

Apart from whatever Sweden , Russia and a few others have still to come out with, so far only Portugal seems to have a chance of beating Ireland to the Runner-Up slot.

For some reason best known to Google, I am unable to embed the video for this one. Here's the link instead.

https://vk.com/video319686257_456239027

Eurovision Winner: It has to be Italy!

I know there are still two months to go and acts that usually win or come close to winning like Sweden, Russia and Armenia haven't even yet released their entries, but I really cannot imagine anyone coming up with a better track than Francesco Gabbani's Occidentali's Karma.

It really is almost the perfect Eurovision song and just grabs you after a couple of plays. Initially you think What the... and wonder what on earth the gorilla is doing but, eventually, trust me, you'll get it.

Quite simply. Italy wins this year.


It is actually better live although the official recorded version is still pretty good. I can imagine the audience shouting out with this at the key moments too.

Here, courtesy of Eurovisionworld.com, is a translation too.

Westerners' Karma

To be or to have to be
Hamlet's doubt
As current as the Neolithic man

Get comfy in your 2x3 cage
Highbrows in caf├ęs
Internet experts

Honorary members of the selfie-addicted anonymous
Cleverness is out of fashion
Easy answers
Pointless dilemmas

AAA grand endings wanted
hoped for
Whatever happens, panta rhei*
And singing in the rain

Nirvana lessons
There's Buddha in single line
recreation time for everyone, a moment of glory

The crowd is shouting a mantra
Evolution stumbles
The naked ape is dancing
Westerners' karma
Westerners' karma
The naked ape is dancing
Westerners' karma

Drops of Chanel are pouring
On aseptic bodies
Save yourself from the smell of your own kind
All know-all with the web
The people's cocaine
The poor's opiate

AAA virtual humanity wanted
Sex appeal
Whatever happens, panta rhei*
And singing in the rain

Nirvana lessons
There's Buddha in single line
recreation time for everyone, a moment of glory
The crowd is shouting a mantra
Evolution stumbles
The naked ape is dancing
Westerners' karma
Westerners' karma

The naked ape is dancing

Westerners' karma




When life is distracted men drop

Westerners' karma

Westerners' karma

The ape gets back on its feet

Namaste, go!




Nirvana lessons

There's Buddha in single line

recreation time for everyone, a moment of glory

The crowd is shouting a mantra

Evolution stumbles

The naked ape is dancing

Westerners' karma

Westerners' karma

The naked ape is dancing

Westerners' karma




*panta rhei = everything changes

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Eurovision 2017: Early Reviews

Assuming the new organisation team get their act together rather better than the bunch who just resigned then it's not much more than a couple of months before the Competition is upon us.

There have already been a good number of releases of tracks by artists who have been selected, although how many are official releases and to what extent there might yet be changes is not clear. What I've seen so far, though, has not been particularly exceptional but then, to be fair, it has not been particularly bad either. So far.

Ones to watch are:

Austria

A nice young chap who has bags of personality and a pretty tune. This is an easy-going number but, like their entry last year, could do well for them. The singer is Nathan Trent so I'm wondering if he's actually British?

Netherlands

The girl group with the strange name OG3NE are like three quarters of Little Mix and sound professional and modern. I expect them to do well too, just because people will like them and the number, whilst a bit uninspiring, is different to most of the rest of the entries I've seen.

Greece

Even though we have yet to hear the song, I have a feeling that Greece are heading for a Top 10 spot at least with Demy, a fabulous singer popular in the charts over there and with a song to be written by a couple of brilliant writers who have penned a string of Eurovision successes to date for other countries' singers. Trust me. Demy will do well.

United Kingdom

We have yet to hear the final version of the song but I am sure Lucie will put on a great performance and in a battle of the ballads she stands a good chance of winning against many. Maybe not a winner but quite a few people are supporting her on forums where the UK haven't featured as predicted successes for many years. Having Emilie deForrest writing the track helps too!

Belarus

I have only heard a snippet of this but it looks like an attractive couple with a good song.

Finland

A moody entry which I can see now with black shadows and all sorts of monochrome effects on the night ensuring that we remember what will undoubtedly be a passionate and accurate, if maybe not winning, performance of Blackbird.

France

I have already published the early release of this girl's song. She's great, talented and her personality may keep France again near the top of the list.

Denmark

The Danes have chosen an Australian to represent them this year and Anja Nissen looks and sounds good. Sh'ell get the Australian douze points at least!

Italy

Italy are this year's favourites at the moment. They had had some excellent entries recently and seem capable of attracting votes across the region. Maybe Sicily is controlling the voting data stream but they may not need to do so this year. An oldish bloke has a sparkle about his performance that is irresistible even if you don't really like him that much. He could have had a part in a 1940s movie without changing his suit and the song is not something I can imagine hitting the UK charts in a hurry. However, I reckon it will be one of those performances that will go down really well on the night and he'll get bucket loads of votes.

Moldova

Some weird people are back with an instrument that can only be Moldovan. They'll make us smile and, who knows, may get enough points to make the authorities in the tiny country panic a little. they couldn't afford to hots it but I'd love to see them win.

There are a few countries who are going to struggle this year, either to get to the Final or, if they do get that far, to get the to left hand side of the score sheet. These are Spain, Slovenia, Malta, Georgia, Switzerland and Poland. They may have great singers but the tracks are almost instantly forgettable. Ukraine, too, seem to have decided that they don't want another win with an entry of a rock band who I can't see doing very well. They'll get some good points. Ukraine always do for some reason and they're the hosts and it may even be the only rock band so that'll be useful. But they're not going to win. Albania, Hungary, Germany and Latvia I have heard bits of but can't make my mind up yet about these. That must mean they're not likely to go anywhere but I will have another listen in a while. Maybe the final versions will be more impressive.

These really are early days. Italy seem too short at 3-1 to me at this stage. Likely strong entries from Russia and Sweden, in particular, have yet to be declared so there is a good chance of at least one other getting more fancied and that will change those odds considerably.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Like a Rolling Stone



One of my favourite bands doing one of my favourite artist's songs and doing it really well too. Looks like the French Eurovision girl in the background!
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