A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 2012 review, part two

Here goes, another five entries from the first semi final, complete with my grades and my predictions. Feel free to give your own opinion in a comment!


Mandinga - Zaleilah

Here comes the first serious contender of the year, I feel. This one has a lot more gravity than the five songs preceeding it, and Romania has apparently set its aim at becoming the summer hit of the year. This is easy to retain, it has a very summery flavour with the drums, the bagpipes and the accordeon and the chorus has a very graspable hook.

This will do very well, surely, but personally I'm not completely convinced. I feel the verses lack something and the bridge is too much of a let-down for this to be a personal favourite, but rest assured that won't bother the large masses a bit.

Yes. Romania goes bang into the final and can, with a bit of luck in the draw, aspire to quite a high placing there.

My grade: 3/5


Sinplus - Unbreakable

A brave attempt of creating a piece of modern radio-friendly rock along the lines of The Killers, and that is a good initiative in my book. These two brothers are likeable and, pronounciation aside, deliver their entry in the best possible way.

The problem is that this song would have needed some more complex writing in order to stay interesting for three minutes. There is too little going on and I find myself tiring of it when there is a whole minute left.

No. It is never an easy ride for Switzerland to get into the final these days and when the song isn't stronger than this it will be close to impossible. Swim against the stream, indeed.

My grade: 2/5


Iris - Would You?

Two years ago, Flemish television sent a sweet lad with a sweet song and landed their best placing since 1959. Now they wanted to repeat the trick with a sweet lass named Iris instead, and she shares quite a few of the qualities Tom Dice had: young, fresh, equipped with a good voice and an ability to nail the camera.

Just too bad that everyone involved forgot that you need a decent song as well.

No. This half-ballad-half-pop-hybrid never takes off and poor Iris is left with nothing to work with. What good is a pleasant voice when you have nothing to sing?

My grade: 1/5


Pernilla - När jag blundar

Finland keeps exploring its softer side with another ballad entry, this time in the second national language Swedish (mother tongue for six percent of the population). Singing a song about how lovely your mother is could easily turn into a large chunk of musical cheese, but Pernilla pulls it off very nicely. Warm, sincere and appealing, and judging from online reactions it seems this song has a way of reaching also people who won't understand the words.

Hopefully. It is always hard to judge your "own" entry - especially when your entry is Finland, well known not to do so well every year. But Pernilla, with her strong presence and likeability, would very much deserve a spot in the final.

My grade: 4/5


Izabo - Time

Israel does what Israel does best - a fun, quirky and upbeat entry complete with a cheerful delivery and strong melody line. (All that is missing to make this the perfect Israeli entry would be Izhar Cohen's troop of dancers from 1985, but I guess you can never have it all.)

This was an early favourite of mine and it still stands out in a very positive light, even if it seems to be way more divisive than I would ever have imagined at first.

Yes. This group is confident and fabulous, and so is the song. That must break through to juries and televoters alike.

My grade: 5/5


  1. The Israel entry has grown on me too. It's presently 150/1 to win amongst the available odds in the UK, or 37/1 to finish in the final top 4. It probably won't do as well as that, but nonetheless I've taken a little gamble on it.

  2. The second Autotune prize goes without a doubt to the singer from Romania. You can hear the digital sounds in every sound she sings. I am afraid, that her voice just falls apart in live situation. Or have you heard her sing this song live without this artificial enhancement?

  3. After slashing the romanian song, I had to go to Youtube and check the live version. To my surprise Mandinga did a good job live. So why ruin the song with autotune, when you clearly can do without it?

  4. I guess Finland will go to the final although I don't like it at all. This is a very good song to be sung at your mother's birthday. To me it is too simple - just two little verses that go on and on. Why was this entry chosen?

    Well this year the system in Finland was quite extraordinary - no famous singers - no experienced composers and a new name for the national selection. What did we get : a bunch of party bands and wannabe composers -who might be famous in 10 years.

    The show itself was poorly hosted and edited so not too many spectators did watch it. Pernilla won because she was maybe the only one who could sing and she didn't have a crappy band. I never voted.

    If you wanna compare two little countries with funny language: Estonia's melody is just fine and the singer can express feelings.

    Why does Pernilla sing in Swedish? There is no calculation that Sweden might vote for us. Sweden is our second language (we have to learn it at school) and there is always at least one entry in Swedish language.

    To me ESC isn't about winning the game (I'm used to it) but to know different singers in other countries and listen to music in many beautiful languages. And to meet fabulous people all around the world.
    Thank you for reading my whole comment :)