Hey, Persephoneers, it’s that time again! March Madness (and Middlemarch Madness) has come to an end in the States, but Eurovision is ramping up across the pond!
I don’t know about you, but I actually knew nothing about this contest except that it happens in Europe and provides awesome and ridiculous music for my amusement, such as
Please note the ode to Power Ranger villains
ABBA! (Actual winners)
Anyway, let me provide a little bit of background information before I get to this year’s contestants. Basically, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) formed in 1950 and set up an ad hoc committee to figure out a way to make everyone place nice and get comfy with each other again after all the killing of the World Wars. They came up with a lovely piece of light entertaining programming known as the Eurovision Song Contest, which premiered in 1954. Any country who is a member of the EBU may enter a contestant but not all choose to do so, and some like Tunisia start to enter and then get cold feet. But as of 2008, 43 countries have successfully entered this lovely competition (More information here.)
Now down to this year’s contestants as I know them. We have 42 to get through this year, so I’ll look at 6 entries each time, so we can know them all before Dr. Song does her live blog of the Contest during the week of May 21st.
In Semi Final #1
1. Montenegro: Rambo Amedeus “Euro Neuro”
I was not familiar with Rambo Amedeus’s work before this video, and honestly I think it’s hilarious. I absolutely love the video but not in the, “I hope this one wins” kind of way, but in the, “I’m so glad they made this; it’s totally absurd!” way. The craftsmanship of the msic is wonderful, and I can see why Montenegro chose him. It’s a beautiful song full of humor.
2. Iceland: GrÃ©ta SalÃ³me & JÃ³nsi “Never Forget”
I feel like this song could be part of a really good Rock-Opera. It’s that quintessential power song right before the climax, and it reminds me of Evanescence, but with less trashy-gothic and more refined operatic tones.
3. Greece: Eleftheria Eleftheriou “Aphrodisiac”
I really enjoy the pop beat with this song, but the lyrics make me laugh just a little too hard to take it seriously. I do applaud Greece for this one though; I like it much better than last year’s entry. And I really enjoy the cheesy boy-band dancers in the background.
4. Latvia: Anmary “Beautiful Song”
The only thing nice I can say about Anmary is that they harmonize well. I find this song to be a little pathetic and too dreamy. I don’t want to know your history unless it’s interesting, and hers is not. At least not to me. And frankly if Mick Jagger phoned me, I’d be all over that. I wouldn’t just blow him off, especially if I were in the music industry right now. This song just left me disappointed. (Sorry, Latvia).
5. Albania: Rona Nishliu “Suus”
I absolutely love the concept for this video! And I find Nishliu’s voice fascinating and beautiful. My personal taste tends to shy away from this style of music, but I find her captivating. She might be in my top ten for technique. Plus, she’s rocking a sock bun, which makes me giggle.
I’ll be honest, I have no clue what she’s singing about, and I don’t care. I just enjoy the sound and video combination, and I don’t want to ruin it if the lyrics happen to be bad. (Alright, I looked them up. They’re actually pretty decent translated into English).
6. Romania: Mandinga “Zaleilah”
So this video gets points right off the bat for me because I love drumlins and bagpipes; however, it loses them right away because the singer subscribes to the “The more I touch my boobs, the hotter I’ll look and the more points I’ll get” school of dance. I do not approve. She’s very pretty and she moves well. She could have done so much more. That being said, I think the song is okay. I can listen to it, but I’m not going to turn the radio up if I hear it in my car.
In this round, I’ll give my points to Albania for sheer powerful pipes and to Greece for fun pop dance music.
What do you all think? If you had to pick on entry from this group to win, who would it be?