Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Eurovision 2012: Best of the First Semi Final Contenders

Ok, folks, here we go. I've been through all the first semi final contenders and here are 8 that deserve a mention. The Eurovision.tv site has some very smart very widescreen videos this year which are reproduced here rather smaller. The other 10 really are not worth troubling with - some real disasters there you can check out in your own time.

The ones most likely to get through the first round, therefore, in alphabetical order:

Albania

This is an extraordinary song and an extraordinary video too. I have no idea what either are about but maybe that's Albanian 21st Century art. I have previewed this before and said that if the singer managed to reach all the notes this could be impressive. It was a bit of a screech before but in this take she's superb. It's not something I would rush out and buy nor will it appeal hugely to many Eurovision voters but it has got something about it that makes it stand out. It sounds like a typical 8th placer with respectful votes from quite a few but it's not a winner.



Cyprus

I have already promoted this big time. It's a very catchy number and if the girl performs well it should do very well. She does have a lot of competition in the pretty dark-haired girl singing pop songs category, though, so may well suffer from split votes there. despite what I said in the introduction, however, the 'official' video is terrible and totally does not do the song or the singer justice with some silly fairy tale about Snow White. So I've added the far better, albeit very scratchy, one here.



Denmark

This is great, a very US-influenced young girl leading a band with a well-written song that will definitely appeal to lots of the younger voters. She's right on tune and looks like a very young Britney or Christina mixed with someone else I can't quickly identify. Nice but that doesn't mean it's interesting enough to win.



Hungary

Theirs is a strong song - quite a protest too but, without the smart video, I doubt if it will get far. It may not even make it past the semis but I included it as there has been a lot of talk about it and the guy is very popular.



Iceland

This is a nice track, two people, which is often a good combination these days, and it seems to have come from the same stable as Denmark's 2010 brilliant number. The girl sings and plays a violin and the boy's bearable too, something which might have cost Azerbaijan a win last year as he just made us all laugh but luckily there weren't any other real contenders at the end of the day. There's a massive pause near the end which will really confuse the audience. That trick has been used many times before but seldom in Eurovision so it'll help make this a memorable track and may give Iceland their highest showing in this competition. I think it is a contender.



Ireland

Well, this has to be the best song but... can JEdward sing it live? The official video shows their badly synchronised efforts from the performance when their song was selected but, thank goodness, the soundtrack is the good studio version. Now, if they can pull off a good mime, stay fairly still and no one notices they'll win. In other words, they may well not win. Your guess is as good as mine.



Moldova

Great trumpet, rhythm, a jazzy, modern, fun feel to this. It's a bit wacky but I reckon it could have a lot of appeal. The guy singing is good and should come across well on tv and the girls are stunning. It's cool and unpretentious which I admire from this little state that has tried hard over the years. Remember the upside-down flower pots last year? At one point they were Top 3!





Romania

I have just written about this in my last post. A good number and nice video. Could do well.


Russia

If you haven't already heard, Putin has persuaded some old ladies from some distant village to perform. They look pretty sad, despite the grins, and he really is taking the p*** out of Europe with this entry. His nation has tried very hard to win in previous years with some very impressive entries but this is plain ridiculous and I won't even give it another airing here. If you want to watch five or six old women in dresses made of red carpet singing, unbelievably, in English about having a party then go and find it yourself. Putin's boys will ensure that it gets through the semis, though. If it doesn't then there'll be hell to pay.



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