One of the many things often thrown at Eurovision by detractors is that the voting is a ridiculous con. Why should they spend hours investing in something when their country is ‘never going to win’? I’ve got little sympathy for such arguments and would politely suggest that such criticism is missing the point.
We all know that countries affiliated to the former Soviet Union vote en-bloc. We all know that there’s often a Scandinavian love-in. We all know that the best song rarely wins. I fail to see how any of this is a problem when you’ve got hours of fun leading up to the vote.
What bothers me more about Eurovision is when Countries enter songs with a message. The message is often a simple one such as ‘war is bad and peace is good’ or ‘I used to be really ugly but now I realise that beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ or ‘don’t shag sheep’. There’s quite a few of these songs entered this year. And a large proportion in this final ten.
THE NETHERLANDS Trijntje Oosterhuis – Walk Along
Trijntje does her best impression of a Geordie in the chorus of this. ‘Why-ay why-ay why-ay’, she sings. A bit like passing a road traffic accident.
NORWAY Mørland – A Monster Like Me
Morland is pure evil. Aside from sounding a little bit like Chris Martin at the start, we’re treated to the best opening couplet of this Eurovision, “Honey, I’m telling the truth. I did something terrible in my early youth”. I don’t think we ever find out the secrets behind this terror but I think it might refer to some stolen pick n’ mix from Woolworths. You monster Morland.
POLAND Monika Kuszynska – In The Name Of Love
After last years milk-churning, butter-squelching erotic selection from Poland, they revert back to a more normal choice with Monika. There’s not much to say about it. It’s dull and bland.
PORTUGAL Leonor Andrade – Há Um Mar Que Nos Separa
Marks for not singing in English but that’s as far as my praise goes. I could listen to this non-stop for hours and still not be able to tell you anything about it. I’d rather not listen to it non-stop for hours though.
ROMANIA Voltaj – De La Capat
Goodness, we’re really scraping the barrel in this last ten tunes. Blander than Poland and Portugal combined. Oh hang on – it’s a dual language effort. Half way through, Voltaj starts to sing in English. ‘You’ll be the reason to start all over again”, he sings. Tell you what, please don’t!
SERBIA Bojana Stamenov – Beauty Never Lies
I think this is one about how beauty is all about what’s on the inside of a person and that it’s very shallow to judge a book by its cover. I doubt that Bojana will be appearing on the front cover of ‘hello’ anytime soon. The tune is a grower.
RUSSIA Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices
Russia go all Disney and tell us that they believe in the dream of peace. It’s despatched in a decidedly passive-aggressive manner and is thus a bit threatening. I’m sure that Polina is a very nice person but this says nothing to me.
SWEDEN Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes
I quite like the opening verse to this. It’s vaguely country-ish and has a synthesized slide guitar sound . But then, it goes all dancey like that chap Avicii. Mans struggles to pronounce his ‘H’s’ – it sounds like ‘we are the ear holes of our time’ – perhaps we are?
SLOVENIA Maraaya – Here For You
Maraaya has a nice soul-ish twang to her voice. And there’s a couple of fiddle-breaks within. It’s all a bit frantic but i’m flattered to know that Maraaya is here for me. It’ll help me to sleep without nightmares. Perhaps.
SAN MARINO Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola – Chain Of Lights
‘If we all light a candle, we’ll illuminate the night”, sing Anita and Michele. And somehow, by doing this we’re going to create world peace. Nice sentiment I suppose. Shit song though. Seriously, this is not a song to listen to if you have an ounce of cynicism in your body. Seeing as I’m cynically-obese, we were never going to get on. Will probably be loved by all of those who purchased a copy of ‘Candle In The Wind’ when Diana died.
And, with that, our time is up. There are a lot of good songs in this years Eurovision but, arguably, no great songs. The quirky edges seem to have been sanded down and now we’ve got an overdose of bland. It’s all perfectly professional and will, no doubt, be a great show to watch. But, somewhere the spark is missing.
Regardless, I’m going to be dancing like a loon and waving my flag for the UK when in Vienna’s state arena. Today’s video choice comes courtesy of the monster from Norway and the angels from San Marino (I love the credits at the end of the video which last half as long as the song & appear to list all of the residents of San Marino – a treat there).