March 2012 Archives
We were only supposed to have a chat about five randomly selected songs but we just carried on and on and on and on... until we'd talked about all 42. in the podcast below you will find myself, my other half Glyn and our chum Neil discussing the songs taking part in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Please be warned, it IS on the lengthy side (just shy of two hours) and the sound quality isn't brilliant - so I really wouldn't expect you to listen to all of it in one go. Either way, I hope you enjoy our opinions and comments. Feel free to leave some of your own.
UPDATE: If you want to download the podcast (it's about 70MB), you can right click and save right here
I'm late, I know. You should have given me a poke. About 13 years ago (well, it was less than a week really) the modified Zuckerberg legal team-pleasing version of the San Marinese entry to Baku was unveiled.
Now called The Social Network Song, this Ralph Siegel-penned homage to a remarkable invention called the internet which, it seems, nobody had ever heard about (or its potential to make contact with people on the other side of the globe) until this year. Have you used the internet yet? It's brilliant. You can find out the different types of cheese. All of them.
In other news, now that this song has been tweaked to remove any hint of possible advertising, it no longer has a chorus. Wherever one originally found the words 'face' and 'book' all that remains is an 'oh' or a 'beep'. What it has done is make an already ridiculous song redonkulously ridiculouser. But you'll still find a reference to cybersex. Ralph, you cheeky social monkey.
However. There are not many tunes this year which are all out portions of shameless Europop. This is one of them. That may just see San Marino squeak through to Saturday night for the very first time. Your mouse heard it here first.
I'll admit. At about 11.30am I was not a happy bunny. First in the final? FIRST? In the FINAL? It hasn't happened to the UK in 36 years and in a funny sort of way I never thought it would ever happen again. Why, I don't know, as there's just as much chance of a '1' coming out of an envelope as there is a '2' or a '14'. But I genuinely thought that the effort that had been put in to the UK entry this year would be rewarded with either the wildcard or a double-digit draw. Instead, Englebert's stirring ballad is opening the show. There's not a lot we can do about it now and I'm not entirely sure this song is drawproof.
But they do say that quality shines through and if enough people love this song that have indicated as such on the internet in the past 36 hours then maybe we shouldn't worry. This is not the time for overanalysing where the leaves from the song tree fall - but concentrate instead on how big the pile is in your corner of the garden at the end at the day.
Love Will Set You Free, the last(ish) song to be revealed for Eurovision 2012
So, this is it. After weeks of speculation which included names as numerous as Atomic Kitten, Will Young, Pixie Lott, Tom Jones and, umm, Russell Grant, the song which will represent the United Kingdom in Baku in May was unleashed to the expectant, hungry ears of fans everywhere. It was worth the wait.
No gimmicks, no pyros, no detachable clothing. It's a man with a voice and another man helping him along with his guitar. Love Will Set You Free is unlike any British entry that has ever gone before. Even Kenneth McKellar wasn't as stripped bare as this. The secret weapon where this song is concerned is a vocal so full of velvet and caramel it runs the risk of selling out everywhere this Easter.
I'm very disappointed he sings 'Air-o Nair-o' and not 'Your-oh Nyour-oh'
I am flummoxed as to how they're going to do this one live. Euro Neuro, the song which marks Montenegro's return to Eurovision after three years away has a very MTV/cinematic feel to it which could lose any impact it is already struggling to have on a stage where no more than six performers are allowed.
To be honest, I doubt that's Rambo Amadeus' aim. He already has the best name of any Eurovision performer there's ever been and he doesn't need to try to win any more trophies. This is the chance he's got to make a statement about the state the continent has got itself in to regarding the single currency. He also suggests that both tourism and nudism are excellent methods of relieving rheumatism. It's all very cleverly done but the rambling nature of this isn't boding well for Montenegro to finally make it into a Saturday night final. And that, sadly, is where the audience who will appreciate it most probably lies.
This is not the 2012 Eurovision entry for San Marino - it's either being rewritten or substituted for another
One day to go until all the entries for Eurovision 2012 have to be slid under the door of the headmaster's office and a last minute hitch has surfaced which has forced one cheeky little nation in to song detention. On Friday evening, the Ralph Siegel-penned entry for San Marino, Facebook, performed by Valentina Monetta was unveiled to a disbelieving world. Disbelieving because, even by the sugary sweet, diabetic coma inducing offerings that Herr Siegel has offered up in the past, this is truly one of the worst songs to have been submitted to the competition in the 21st Century. Although the video suggests that Val has her tongue plonked so far in her cheek while singing this ode to Mark Zuckerberg's money-sweating global social experiment that it's a wonder she can pronounce the lyrics about cybersex, even a knowingly bad pop song is still a bad pop song. But it's not the naffness that has caused a furore. It is the fact that the rules of the Contest clearly state, with its own subsection and everything, that no entry submitted for the competition shall have any commercial links. Considering this is Uncle Ralph's 20th entry for the sing-off, you'd think he'd have scanned the do's and don'ts a couple of time before wheeling the Bontempi out from the lean-to again.
Nina Zilli with L'Amore E' Femmina. You don't need moving pictures when a song's this good
You've got to hand it to the Italians, popping back in to Eurovision after 14 years away and they're already showing us how to put really good songs in for the Contest. Madness of Love deservedly took silver last year in Germany and our friends in Rome could very well go one step further in Baku with L'Amore E' Femmina. This wasn't the song Nina Zilli enjoyed success at the San Remo festival with and her entry to her homeland's ultra-successful domestic ditty stand-off, Per Sempre, was until this afternoon the song that was going to Azerbaijan.
But I doubt Per Sempre would have scored anything like what L'Amore E' Femmina is going to. This is another example of the jazz-infused big band fuss of a pop song that could well become Italy's signature sound in the Contest if they can be persuaded to keep on entering (viewing figures for their big Euro comeback last year were not brilliant). Maybe an early win will get the Italian public interested and I wouldn't be at all surprised if this is the song that does it. It's brilliant.
Eleftheria Eleftheriou and Aphrodisiac, winner of the 2012 Greek final
Much has been made of the fact that the Greek final was held in a shopping centre to save the cash-strapped nation a few more Euros. However, it was a very swanky shopping centre, even though the entrants seemed to perform on some pallets measuring 15ft by 8ft. It's a wonder none of the complex choreography saw some backing dancers fly off into the worryingly small crowd.
At the end of it all, Eleftheria Eleftheriou (that's like me being called Jamie Jamou, I love it) got to take the trip in the great glass elevator from men's casuals down to the food court after the voting to perform her winning number, Aphrodisiac.
It's another example of the bouzouki pop which Antique first brought to Eurovision for Greece in 2001, a template the nation has more or less stuck to ever since. It's one that has served them very well over the past 10 years and while I would not rush to my stereo to put this on repeat, this will very likely be another Top 10 finish. But not enough of a contender to give the accountants at Greek telly cause to check their pulse during the voting.
Sarah Dawn Finer channels her inner Marjorie Dawes in the best bit from Melodifestivalen 2012
Real life got in the way slightly between Saturday afternoon and right this very moment of typing so I apologise for bringing you news that has been all over t'net for more than 48 hours. Team Loreen were left euphoric in the Globen on Saturday evening (look in the post below for her song) by the time the 2012 Melodifestivalen drew to a close. It's so frustrating being British at times. If you tried to explain to somebody how they have a dead good show in Sweden to choose their Eurovision song which is full of perfect pop, doesn't take itself at all seriously and has some genuinely funny moments in it (see the video up there for proof, that's Swedish singer Sarah Dawn Finer being all cock-er-nee), they'd probably tut under their breath and make a point of never speaking to you ever again. But I can see a show with a similar vibe as the Swedish final (perhaps only taking place over one night though and not six weeks) gradually woeming its way into the UK's hearts. I think it would take a few years to get its grip, however, and that would require patience from the top brass at the Beeb. Hmm... perhaps that's why it won't happen. Still, can't complain, we've got the Hump.
And Loreen? The internet is going potty for her. And I don't know why but it just leaves me cold. Perhaps it's all that snow.