December 2010 Archives
There is a lot of talking but you will get the song eventually - promise
While millions in the UK and beyond tuned in to the final of this year's X Factor (Come on, Rebecca), a small enclave of dedicated Eurovision fans and Swiss television viewers were either crouched over an internet webstream or sat all comfy in their front rooms watching the process that was the national selection for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest unfold before their eyes. Please bear in mind it's only a little bit more than six months since the 2010 Contest concluded.
As I struggled to get a decent webstream I cannot offer any insights into the unsuccessful acts, However, I have now listened to the winner. Twice. And I rather like it.
In Love For a While will be performed by the capably voice-boxed Anna Rossinelli in Germany next May. A mish-mash between a perky acoustic number and the sort of singalong number Denmark sent in 2005 and 2008 (with varying degrees of success), it makes the extremely brave move of not having any discernible sort of chorus, although it does attempt to become Eurovision's answer to Hey Jude by breaking into a long string of 'na-na-na's' at one point. However, it is very catchy and structured thus that it does not really need a chorus (if you think about it, ABBA's The Winner Takes It All is pop at its most perfect. That doesn't have a chorus but effortlessly has you engrossed for almost five minutes of song-time). I'm not even daring to suggest that In Love For a While is in the same league but the composers have done well to ignore the typical Eurovision formula of verse/chorus/verse/chorus/middle eight/big finish.
It's early days and Switzerland were also one of the first countries to call for 2010 yet finished slap bang at the bottom of their semi in Oslo. But this is a definite improvement and, on a purely musical level, wind up being one of my favourites from the 2011 gang.
And here is Boom Bang a Blog's wee taster of what's going on in the run-up to Eurovision 2011 once January rolls along.
It's not the sort of announcement that's going to knock Russia or Qatar off the front pages of tomorrow's global press but the EBU made it clear earlier today that Italy has signed up to appear alongside the other competing nations at next year's competition in DÃÅsseldorf. They have only signed up at this stage, the official cut-off date is sometime around Christmas and if Italian broadcaster RAI gets cold feet over the whole thing, it can pull out wit neither fine or punishment. The official word from Eurovision's organisers suggests that someone from the corporation has been putting on their persuading boots and making the trip to Italy to meet the TV excutives that mayyer for quite some time and this latest news is the culmination of a major campaign.
It doesn't seem too foolish to suggest that Italy, who finished fourth at their latest Eurovision appearance in 1997, as well as another fourth place in 1992 and scored a win in 1990, had a number of conditions they wanted to see satisfied in order to grease the wheels of negotiation. Don't be surprised to see the Italians join the Spanish, German, British and French delegations to make up a Big Five who go through to the final automatically in May. Of course, voting isn't rigged at Eurovision and the San Marinese effort performed in the Italian tongue in the 2008 semi-final stage didn't rake in enough points to suggest that Italy's return will be a triumphant ascent into the Top 10.
However, I will be very surprised if Italy doesn't get to pick its own spot in the running order at the draw for Eurovision 2011 and I have a feeling that, whatever song RAI puts forward, it will do swimmingly in the pre-Contest internet polls.
Of course, it's good to see an old hand back in the Eurovision fold and let's hope Luxembourg aren't too far behind Italy in the chanson renaissance stakes - but am I the only one who thinks a huge effort is being made to entice a country back which has never exactly embraced this competition in the first place? It's no secret that Italians consider the San Remo festival far superior and aren't that bothered about its European counterpart.
It will be interesting to see what sort of song they come up with - that is, if they're still on the participant list come December deadline...