Eurovision 2012: One Day to Go
The 'Unser Star...' format worked a treat in 2010 when it unearthed a young singer called Lena Meyer Landrut who was then given a song to sing called Satellite which went on to win that year's Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo. It returned this year to try and repeat the same formula for an expectant Germany but the ratings plummeted through the floor. Therefore, I'm not sure how many people were watching when former mechanic and unlikely member of the ugly club, Roman Lob, won with a song co-written by British ivory-thumper Jamie Cullum. Whether Mr Cullum actually knows he has a song entered in to Eurovision remains to be seen as I have yet to hear a comment from him on the subject in the three months since the final of Unser Star fur Baku. I'm sure he and Sophie (and the baby) are pleased. But back to Roman, whose name, by now, has surely been appropriated by one of the actors appearing in German-made specialist films for confirmed bachelors. Standing Still is well-fancied in some quarters and tipped to go down the drain in others but as simple-yet-effective male ballads go in Eurovision, it's right up there with some of the best. Thanks largely to the songwriters being people who don't have their heads stuck in a bucket of schlagery fluff this is one of the more radio-friendly songs in this year's competition. There have been such songs before (Switzerland 2009 comes to mind) which sounded brilliant on record but collapsed on the big stage. I think this is too straightforward a song to suffer that fate but Germany clearly does not fear hosting the Contest again so soon as Standing Still remains another of this year's big contenders.
This could do very, very well indeed. It's what Terry Wogan seemed to refer to (away from the commentary box, except in 1998) as 'a sleeper'. Roman is on 20th, a prime position to make an impact and he's going to make an interesting contrast to Pastora immediately before him. This will resonate with the vast majority of the audience who spend more of the year listening to the radio and watching music channels than following Eurovision national finals and Roman also has a very appealing look. By the time you read this you'll also know how he's sounding in his initial rehearsals. If they're decent, listen carefully on the wind, you may just hear me tearing my hair out as I wonder why I didn't put a bet on him when the odds were more generous.
That's that, Boom Bang a Blog has previewed all 42 entries in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, just in time for tomorrow's first semi-final (anyone would think this whole thing was planned in advance by counting backwards 42 days from the first qualifier...). So tomorrow, I suppose, we'll be taking a look at: Montenegro, Iceland, Greece, Latvia, Albania, Romania, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Israel, San Marino, Cyprus, Denmark, Russia, Hungary, Austria, Moldova and Ireland as they fight for a place in Saturday's final. Enjoy.