It’s February and that means that many European countries are about to decide which song and artist they will send to the Eurovision Song Contest. In the next few weeks I will pay attention to some of the national finals that will take place and write some reviews on the songs that will represent their country in Copenhagen in May. This week, Spain chose it’s contestant, Sweden is getting closer to the big final and Hungary, Iceland and others chose their contestants.
A few weeks ago I already wrote about the songs that were participating in the Spanish national final, stating that Brequette and Ruth Lorenzo were by far my favorites. It seems like I was not the only one with this opinion as it was already more than clear before the final started, that it would be a two horse race between the big voiced divas. Both gave decent performances of their mid-tempo tracks with powerful choruses. The vocal performances were not perfect but still nice enough to enjoy. The juries all gave their highest points to Brequette’s ‘Más’ while the public at home voted the most for Ruth Lorenzo’s ‘Dancing In The Rain’. Both singers finished with the same amount of points and at that point the televoting was seen as more important and therefore Ruth Lorenzo will represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. It is my favorite Eurovision entry this year so far and I think she can do really well in Copenhagen. She is capable of a good performance and her song is beautiful, current and catchy.
In Sweden they are getting close to the final stages of their national selection to choose a participant for Eurovision. All four heats of Melodifestivalen have passed and this saturday, the last two finalists will be added in the second chance round. In the third heat, Ace Wilder surprised by reaching the final directly, but I would say this was totally deserved. She might not be the best vocalist of the contest, but her song ‘Busy Doin’ Nothin” is the best pop song Melodifestivalen has to offer this year. It’s modern, it’s current, it’s damn catchy and fun, somewhat like a mix between Ke$ha and Gwen Stefani. It is a pity that good songs like ‘Red’ by EKO and ‘Burning Alive’ by Shirley Clamp did not manage to get any further in the competition. The same goes for Linda Bengtzing and Josef Johansson in the fourth heat, that was rightfully won by Alcazar and Anton Ewald. Ewald was the big favorite before the competition started, but his vocal performance still is somewhat poor and ‘Natural’ is a nice and catchy track, but prefer last year’s ‘Begging’. Alcazar do what they have always been good at, which is of course campy disco pop. This saturday’s andra chansen round should be all about Helena Paparizou, who definitely deserves to reach the final and get a decent result there with the track ‘Survivor’. At this moment I would predict Sanna Nielsen to win the final which I would really like, but I would be happy with Ace Wilder or Ellen Benediktson as well. Strong final in Sweden this year as I like almost every song!
Hungary, Latvia and Poland
The Hungarian public chose the artist that will represent them in Eurovision last weekend. András Kállay-Saunders won the national selection A Dal with the song ‘Running’. The song is about child abuse and domestic violence which is of course a heavy theme, but luckily the song is not too sad and dreary. ‘Running’ is a current composition with interesting verses and a catchy chorus. The song has some drum & bass influences, but could be best described as modern pop. Strong entry from the Hungarians, absolutely one of the best songs chosen so far.
Latvia chose a song called ‘Bake a Cake’ and this actually says it all. Almost every year they end up at the bottom of the scoreboard and totally deserve that most of the time. It is not even news these days that they came up with another bloody awful song. One can only hope that one day they will take it seriously again and send in some decent track.
Poland sends one of the biggest hits in the country over the past few months to the contest. ‘Slavic Girls’ by Donatan and Cleo has already been viewed over 38 million times on YouTube. The song could be described as a mix of R&B hiphop and folk music. We have to wait and see if the rest of Europe will ‘get’ this as well, but it is always good to see a country making the effort to actually send a big hit to the contest. It might not be my cup of tea, but not a bad choice at all.