Sunday, May 22, 2005

2005 Eurovision Song Contest -my review....

So, its all over, the favourite won, and for a change nearly all the songs I like made the top 10!

Here's my verdict, with my marks out of 20

Hungary
The first of many, many ethno-pop songs of the night. Sort of Riverdance-meets-Wild Dances, with a weak lead singer and lots of choreography. The song was forgettable and frankly, irritating. The Hungarian national final featured some really good songs too....but i hope they wilkl drop the ethno next year! 9

United Kingdom
Sounding very similar to the preceding song, this just didn't sparkle. Javine appeared out of breath in places and the vocal was harsh. It was never much of a song, and whilst I don't think it was the worst in the contest, nor our worst entry, it wasn't good. The UK has to start taking this a bit more seriously or this low place will become the norm - if it hasn't already. 10

Malta
Fantastic! Not the best draw for a ballad, but Chiara was excellent. Its a simple, soaring ballad, and her singing was amazing. Just goes to show that a simple song, with just a singer on stage, no dancing, no backing singers, can still cut the mustard. Would it have won with a later draw? Or with 50% jury voting ( to break the balkan neighbourly voting) ? Who knows? But I hope Chiara will be back and next time, she may well win. 20

Romania
A good singer, certainly, and it actually won the semi-final. I didn't rate the song much, but she sang well, although it didn't have quite the impact of the semi. Beaty uptempo pop, with an industrial feel.. 12

Norway
I sincerely hope,now this hasn't won, that glam rock will never return to ESC. Straightforward rip off of Living on a prayer, very loud, very unpleasant - but then , I'm not a rock fan. Norway have entered some of my favourite ballads in the past and I hope this is a one-off! 2

Turkey
Ethno, ethno....very colourful performance, and she has a good voice, but a very 'typical Turkish entry' with all the ingredients you'd expect. At least they have a justifiable reason for entering something like this! 10

Moldova
Novelty song of the night. Touches of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, manic and crazy, with the added gimmick of the 80 year old on the drums which may have picked up a few votes. I was scared this would win, particularly when the semi result was leaked, but in the end it came in 6th. Not my sort of thing 9

Albania
More ethno, only this time even more tuneless and tedious than the ones before. Simply boring and forgettable 8

Cyprus
Skin tight while t-shirt, an energetic performance of - yes, another ethno-pop dance entry. One of the better ones all told, with the female guest vocalist used quite effectively,but it did blend in rather with everything else and didn't look like a winner 13

Spain
This was another rip-off - of the Ketchup Song this time. They looked colourful, but this wasn't a song to speak of - another novelty entry, and I don't think it worked. Tuneless noise 9

Israel
Before the contest I wasn't sure about this one, but yes, its a strong ballad from a good singer, though not a patch on Chiara. Still, good to see ballads doing well this year. I think it lacked 'light and shade', though - it didn't 'build' in the way a classic ballad always does. 16

Serbia and Montenegro
Six pretty boys doing some very curious dancing - apparently traditional Montenegran! Dramatic stuff, very well sung, and they looked as if they were enjoying themselves. I thought this was really good - one of my favourites 17

Denmark
The surprise of the night. I've always liked his singing but thought the song was forgettable - but after a few listens its finally made it through the memory banks. One of the best singers of the evening, this deserved to do well. Its a jaunty, mid-tempo easy-listening song, I can imagine it being played on Radio 2! 18

Sweden
With the current craze for retro show songs in the UK, I expected this to get high marks from us - it didn't. I don't know if it was a problem with the singer, but it seemed a bit flat, without the power of previous performances. Should have got more votes than it did though. Funnily enough, on first listyen I didn;t like it at all and predicted relegation to the semi for sweden. I was right 14

Macedonia
Can I admit that I thought this was OK? Martin, the singer, is a chunky, cute young man who really cannot dance at all! He didn't bother much last night! But of the uptempo songs, this wasprobably the one I liked most - its catchy and fun. And he's a sweetie! 14

Ukraine
The chant of the Orange Revolution comes to ESC. Powerful stuff, in the Chumbawamba vein, basically a rap with a chanted chorus. I liked it, but I can understand why it didn't go down a storm at ESC. Still, like nothing else and made a change from the ethno-pop 15

Germany
This was awful. Loud,laboured, tuneless and tedious. It deserved to do badly. 4

Croatia
Another football-chant chorus, which did better than I thought it would (helped by the Balkan bloc, which was well in evidence last night). mid-tempo, singalong stuff, slightly anthemic, but ultimately very average 10

Greece
The winner, and more ethno. I don't really get it, if I'm honest. I don't hate it, and I'm sure its good of its type - its just not the sort of music I would personally choose to listen to. But its catchy and contemporary, and Athens is a favourite city of mine, so well done Greece! 12

Russia
Avril Lasangneski lives! A production line rock chick singing an unmemorable song. Didn't like this. 6

Bosnia-Herzegovina
The first 'typical Euro-schlager' of the night, with a touch of motown rhythm and an Abba chorus. Jaunty, brash, fun, and forgettable. 12

Switzerland
They guaranteed some Baltic votes by picking a popular Estonian girl group who performed a rock track of absolutely no appeal to me. But my heavy-metal loving mate ben thought this was cool! 5

Latvia
A much better performance of a sweet and appealing song. This was, for me, the best actual song in the contest, and at one stage it was in the lead but faded towards the end. Still, 5th is very credible. Its a tuneful, gentle, acoustic ballad, and its simplicity and charm certainly did the trick for me 20

France
if French chanson is noted for anything its beautiful melodies - and whilst French ballad entries haven't won recently, they always do respectably. This was almost completely without a tune, and quite a bemusing entry from France. It could have been rescued by a funky, jazzy treatment, but this was just average 11

So - its off to Athens next year

A few observations:
* The 'Big 4' came last - not undeserved, as none of the songs were good. But they call the tune, financially, so I would expect - at least - some reforms, perhaps a return to an element of jury voting to break the ever-more-ridiculous Balkan bloc voting.
* Ballads did well this year, which i found encouraging
* Too much ethno-pop and exaggerated choreography following Ruslana's win last year. A bit more variety nest time, perhaps?







1 comment:

Turbulent Cleric said...

Sadly I missed the show as I was at a wedding event. What do you think UK needs to do to be a serious competitor again? I rather fancy Chas and Dave next year but would that really come off.