A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

The 2011 review, part Six

Part six out of nine, reviewing all 43 entries of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf, and we are going through the second semi final.


Mika Newton - Angels (Ukraine 2011)

I have no idea just how they do it. Maybe they get special classes at school, maybe they have a secret button on their remote controls. But Ukraine has a fantastic ability of making their entries come to live when they have to.

Followers of this blog will know how unimpressed I was with the entire national selection in Ukraine, as it turned into a farce for the second year running. How I would have preferred another song, the one that actually recieved the larger number of votes. And here we stand with the song I had labelled as dull and pointless, and I have to admit that it is actually rather good.

Above all, Mika Newton is a sensational performer, the kind that seems to be growing out of each and every bush in Ukraine. Where do they find all these talented people? When she nails all the notes and fixes the camera with her eyes, this song could rise even further and the votes will flow in from all over. Again.

Yes. No doubt in my mind that this will look fantastic and sound great. Then you easily forget that the song is maybe not all that to start with.

My grade: 3/5


Zdob si Zdub - So Lucky (Moldova 2011)

Maybe it is something in the water? Or how do you otherwise explain the sense of sheer madness that often lives and thrives in the Moldovan entires? This is completely bonkers, hard to make head or tail of, and yet it is so entertaining.

Best described (perhaps) as an etno-punk version of Petula Clark's "Don't sleep in the subway" with a breathtaking instrumental break that sound remotely similar to the end of the world, this must be distinct enough to make it to the final. At least if good old Europe has any sense of humour.

Probably. It is a mess, but a very entertaining one.

My grade: 3/5


Eric Saade - Popular (Sweden 2011)

Young master Saade had a bit of bad luck in the draw. Had he entered stage after the succession of Austria - Netherlands - Belgium - Slovakia - Ukraine, he would have seemed to young and potent and popstar-like that most viewers would have just fallen over and surrendered. Now Moldova steals his thunder a tiny bit, but that should constitute no large problem.

A much bigger problem is the fact that the song is so obviously aimed at the youngest segments of the audience. I believe the vast majority of the audience is older than seventeen, and they may not necessarily understand the greatness in this. I don't think the juries will swallow this with hook and all either, they could be looking for something slightly more sophisticated.

Yes. This snappy young pop singer will have enough fans to make it to the final rather easily. But then there is always the risk that he pulls a Perrelli there. Which, given Sweden's recent track record, wouldn't be so bad.

My grade: 3/5


Christos Mylordos - San aggelos s'agapisa (Cyprus 2011)

In all fairness, I didn't fall head over heels when I heard this the first time. I thought it sounded like a reject from some local musical, but after repeated listenings and a very direct recommendation from a friend whose taste I respect, I found my way inside this pretty complicated construction of a song.

Once you get a grip on it, it is a delicate little piece of drama, sensibly performed by young Christos, whose soft voice really marries the entirety of this song. That won't help much, though. If I needed ten listenings, determined there was something to be found somewhere if I listened carefully enough, then hardly more than a fragment of the audience will find that certain something by accident.

No. But it is a pleasant praline for the precious few who will understand the craft.

My grade: 3/5


Poli Genova - Na inat (Bulgaria 2011)

Many people claim that the second semi final is way stronger than the first, but I would not be so sure. Possibly these people are confused by the impressive amount of very distinct performers in this bunch. Poli Genova is another one of those really energetic and enigmatic young people who will just blow up in your face and leave you wondering who they are and why they are not on your screen more often.

Bulgaria's own P!nk has a song that is both demanding and accessible at the same time, but maybe the aggressive song will prove a bit too aggressive in the end.

Possibly. Bulgaria has had a hard time convincing Europe of their talent, despite putting on many impressive entries. This is running the risk of being another good Bulgarian effort left in the semis.

My grade: 3/5

1 comment:

  1. Actually I was showing to a friend other Ukranian entries from the last years and he was impressed by both beauty and talent (except for Verka who ended up in top5, although the so-called song was a total crap). I wasn't that impressed by Mika's song at the beginning, but it is getting better an better the more I listen to her voice. Hogla