A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ESC 2014 - Tobson top 37, part 1

It is time to bid farewell to the year 2014 and what better way than to finally do away with ranking all of this year's entries once and for all?

I graded them already back then, in their preview versions, but as you live with them for the rest of the year things will start happening. Some of them will crumble to nothing and some of them will be slow growers.

So here we go, in this part one I will rank the songs that placed 21 - 37 in my personal list.

21. Montenegro
A wonderful break to finally see Montenegro make it all the way to the final. A warm and pleasant voice managed to breathe some extra life into a ballad that is pretty but in no way spectacular. Balkan by the numbers.

22. Estonia
Good vocals and an ambitious stage show came to nothing as the director had nothing more than long shots of the stage to offer the Estonians. Once all closeness and intimacy removed, all that remained was a song that ultimately wasn't distinct enough to stand out.

23. Slovenia
A good performer and a flute added well needed flavour and temper enough to raise this rather average pop/rock entry all the way into the final.

24. Latvia
I really would have wanted this happy little campfire ditty to work, but ultimately the performance was too lean and amateurish (and really not helped by being placed that early in the running order). Charming but without the final impact needed.

25. Switzerland
I still don't think this is much of a song but it does go out to prove that a bit of personality can go quite a long way. Extra plus for the violin and the catchy whistling.

26. Denmark
A silly and rather sexist piece of cheerful nonsense that somehow makes its way into your system and makes you hum along either you want to or not. I'd rather not but I have to admit it's efficient.

27. Lithuania
Despite this being a song contest, you can get surprisingly far without a decent song. If you have the right stage presence, stage show and attitude you can get people's attention anyway. Lithuania almost gets away with it, it's almost working. The performance is almost powerful enough to make you forget what a hopeless song this is. Almost.

28. FYR Macedonia
We've been here before - we are well aware of FYR Macedonia's ability to find decent songs and ruin them with messy stage presentations. How a stage personality like Tijana can leave as little of an impression as this after three minutes remains a mystery.

29. Georgia
Another one of those entries that make you stop and wonder what they were actually thinking when they wrote it. Musically challenging and I always welcome that. Up to a point. Intriguing but chanceless.

30. Portugal
Pleasant and likeable but ultimately not much more than a washed-out version of their 2007 entry. And I liked that one just a tiny bit more.

31. Russia
Well staged but cold and calculated. Also relying too heavily on special effects and with political undertones I just can't pretend are not there. If the Russian entrants wish not to be judged on political grounds, they themselves need to keep politics out of the game.

32. Germany
Just a matter of taste, I guess. Elaiza managed to attract lots of attention on home ground and had a respectable breakthrough, but to me this just feels lukewarm and shouty. So not my cup of tea.

33. Ireland
Possibly the most insipid entry of the year. There is nothing wrong with the various bits and pieces it is made up of, but it doesn't feel original, leaves no impression and is very swiftly forgotten.

34. Albania
Could have been a really good one but lost everything it had on its way to Copenhagen. Should have stayed in in its original language but not much could have helped this overly complicated composition to hit home with the voters.

35. Romania
A complete car crash performance that leaves you with the impression that not even the people involved like the song and desperately try to hide it underneath as much effect-seeking as possible. It's only redeeming feature is its own wish to at least be happy and cheerful. And the gorgeous Paula Seling, of course. But not even she can save this ship from sinking.

36. Moldova
Pretty much like Romania, but without the slightest attempt of being fun. Gloom and doom all over.

37. Belgium
If you ever read this blog during the last season this last place won't come as a major surprise to you. I didn't like it then and I didn't warm to it since. Aggressively pompous platitudes about a mother/son-relationship that doesn't feel healthy at all. Poor Axel didn't give his best vocal delivery, but he isn't the problem here. A distinct lack of taste reigns every aspect of this - down to the magnificently creepy dancer. Entertaining in its own little way, but it wasn't intended to be.

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