Thursday, 29 December 2011

Albania 2012 - Rona Nishliu - Suus


Albania have chosen, and they appear to have sent a Gungan from Star Wars in some considerable pain.

Larking aside, they've gone for a really quite difficult ballad, sung fantastically, passionately and somewhat screechily, that will really, really annoy the Eurovision fan boys! Good work in my book!

I love it, but be warned - have fingers poised near ears, and remove all razorblades from the proximity before listening...

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Albania 2012 - Bojken Lako ft. Breza - Te Zakonshem


It's the 50th running of Albania's Festivali i Keneges tonight, a massive national song contest that in recent years has doubled as their Eurovision preselection, and sadly it's a forest of weak lady-fuelled ballads.

However, the few goths among us will be gladdened to see the return of the man mountain of gloom, Bojken Lako, with this cheery little Sisters Of Mercy meets Conan The Barbarian style ditty - heck, he's even got his very own spooky Xena-moll along with him. I'd love it if this got through, but sadly I suspect it'll be another silicon-pumped balladette - or the old bloke with the wig again...

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Belarus 2012 - Victoria Aleshko - Dream



Last night's Belarussian semi-final was a bit of a let down. The usually brually reliable Nuteki sent in a toothless and half-assed indie pop groove, livelyists The Champions crashed and burned and there were far too many ballads - and not enough bonkers folklorick tunes.

Of the five that got through to next month's final, only Victoria Aleshko's effort had any real standout moments to it. Her hair looked so huge that I could swear it had a couple of its own moons, and a weird chord sequnce at the end was unlike pretty much anything I've ever heard at Eurovision.

Sadly, the canned applause got suspiciously louder when her rival finalist Alyona Lanskaya performed, so the final looks like a done deal already. So enjoy this one while you can!


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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Azerbaijan 2012 - Hayyam Mustafazadeh - Molitva



Next year's hosts, rather than choosing some great national musical hero to show off about without having to worry about actually winning, are holding some manner of long and complicated casting show process to choose the singer for their hometown show. But of course, as we know from history, the winner isn't necessarily entirely the act that ends up on the Eurovision stage.

The winner of last week's show has got a bit of something about him though - if you happen to like over-serious men with voices so deep that all the birds fall from the sky when he sings. Witness his read-off-a-sheet version of that little Serbian lad's winning song from 2007, and watch your eye jelly rattle.

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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Slovenia 2012 - Nika & Eva Prusnik - Je Veux


Slovenia are attempting to follow up last year's relative success by changing the whole format of the EMA and turning it into a kind of X Factor style casting show. After ten heats they're down to the last four, and the competition is fierce.

The three solo singer are all pretty strong performers, but the sister act of Nika & Eva Prusnik have got unforced kooky teen charm by the bucketload, and come over every bit like Lena M-L in stereo.

They've sung some beautifully unhinged covers on their journey through the contest. including Satellite and a very strange version of Gangsta's Paradise, but best of all was this delightful stomp through French alt folkster Zaz's fab song Je Veux. If they get through and are dealt a song in this kind of style, I reckon they could sweep up an indecent amount of votes in Baku come May.

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Belarus 2012 - Thriller - Message To The World


Belarus can usually be relied on for a few thrills and giggles, and this year they appear to be having a full and proper final. And while we're most looking forward to seeing what ace Russian screamo act Nuteki will have to offer, of the ones we've heard so far, this curious little ditty has made us smile each time we've seen it.

They're a curious hotch-potch of a band, Thriller, and their song is fitting to their random bus queue of a style. It starts off with the long slow build up of an Ibiza rave tune, but just when you're expecting it to break into the high energy pick up... well... it turns off in a very different direction to the one you were expecting. And then another 40 seconds on, it goes and surprises you again.

It's no winner, but it's a likeable and quaintly entertaining diversion all the same.

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Monday, 12 December 2011

Romania 1998 – Mălina Olinescu - Eu Cred


I was saddened to learn of the death by apparent suicide of Mălina Olinescu last night. She sang the terribly sweet Eu Cred at the very first Eurovision I attended back in 1998, and it's a terrible shame to hear of her passing. So let's have a look at her again in happier days…

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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Switzerland 2012 - SinPlus - Unbreakable




So we have our first song for Eurovision 2012. A pair of pasty-faced indie poppers robbed octogenarian Lys Assia of her last big moment in life by wheezing across the line with a mere 17.8% of the vote in a very lacklustre Swiss final.

Many in the ESC fan community are praising Switzerland for sending a current and contemporary rock tune. Those few Eurovision fans who can name more than three guitar bands without looking at the internet, however, think it's a bit of a lame glue-together of the twosome's favourite bands - without any of the good bits. When you watch this, bear in mind that the song was edited down to two minutes for the TV - so imagine how much the full version drags.

I dearly want to like this, but they're really not helping. In their heads they're My Chemical Romance opening their blistering Reading Festival set this autumn. In reality they're more like that Miodio from San Marino in 2008 - and I fear they're garner a similar result.


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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Latvia 2012 - Mad Show Boys - Music Thief



Although at first this sounds like a lame spot of cod raggle tangle wackiness, on closer inspection turns out to be a rather well thought out hymn to nicking bits of other people's songs - which of course, we all do!

I'll bet some humourless fan boy tries to get it disqualified for plagiarism in a fit of completelymissingthepointitus...

***STOP PRESS***

Now with added live video from the Latvia semi-final! How many pop culture references can you spot in the costumes and stage set alone!

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Friday, 2 December 2011

Austria 2012 - Conchita Wurst - Unbreakable



Austria have just announced their list of competitors for their national final, and apart from the welcome addition of last year's cruelly robbed Trackshittaz, one act stands out a mile. Now this isn't the song Conchita Wurst will be singing on the big night, but it's a good flavour of what the singer is about.

Prepare to be dazzled... and slightly unnerved…

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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Macedonia 1996 - Kaliopi - Samo Ti


In a change to the usual barrage of fabulously nutjob acts they call a national final, this year the Macedonians have gone straight for the jugular and picked one of their best loved international acts in Kaliopi Bukle for Baku. But this lady has form.

She was previously elected to be their entry for the 1996 contest, but was one of seven acts unceremonially booted out in that year's painfully unfair pre-selection process. And by the looks of the old bluesy howler, she'd have come second in this year's contest…

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Friday, 28 October 2011

Switzerland 2012 - Carlos Santoo feat Laila – Siesta Girl


You can always expect a few freakazoid efforts when a national selection process is open to everyone, but there have been few (outside of Moldova, at least) that have proved as creepy and moderately molestoid as this little gem.

Witness as the slightly seedy Mr Santoo, a resident of the out-of-the-way Swiss border town of Buchs (Leichtenstein is only a hork and a spit away), prowls around his back garden in a badly-washed dressing gown, trying to lure the unsuspecting Laila into his bed. It's like some kind of a sexed up snuff video, only with a slightly worse soundtrack!


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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Switzerland 2012 - No Mercy - Bet Your Ass On It

I must admit, when I heard that Switzerland's premier Motorhead tribute act were throwing their greasy stetson into the Eurovision ring I almost got a little excited. Sadly their ham-throated singer affects possibly the worst Lemmy impersonation known to man, and their sub-pub rock song confirms that they are better off sticking to the covers.

We can only dream one day that the real Motorhead represent the UK one day. I guess that's only me, then.

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Switzerland 2012 - Ruth Juon und Evi Juon - Joy of Paradise


There are 221 songs in the Swiss selection, and despite the huge barrage of home made tunes, there are very few that make you stop what you're doing and just stare. So let me introduce you to Ruth and Evi Juon - already one of the most staggering songs of the year...

Click here to see the full beauty

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Friday, 21 October 2011

Switzerland 2012 - Same Difference - Music


Ever wonder what happened to the slightly cloying Portsmouth brother and sister act Same Difference? You know, the ones who did better than anyone imagined and ended up as a High School Musical trib act for a bit…

Well they've got a song in the longlist for the Swiss Eurovision selection process. Showbiz, eh!


See their hastily cobbled together video - and maybe even vote for them - here…

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Switzerland 2012 - Lys Assia - C'était Ma Vie



2012? Already? The whole process has started comically early for perennial Eurovision under-achievers Switzerland, but among the fields of amateur hour dross their earlier stages have just thrown up, one song stands head and shoulders above the rest.

There may be better songs in their selection, and there may be songs who stand a much better chance at success, but they'd be absolute fools not to send this sentimental old slice of loveliness, sung by the 85-year-old winner of the first ever contest back in 1956, and written by Ralph Seigel and Jean Paul Cara, who've got a win each under their belts.

Her voice may be wobbly these days, but that's not the point. She's Eurovision through and through, and I can't think of anyone who would be more apt to take part in what could be the most interesting competition in years. Let's hope that the Swiss see sense for once and do the right thing.

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Monday, 30 May 2011

Switzerland 2011 - Fräkmündt - D'Draachejongfer

Well now, you think you've heard everything from all the various qualifiers, but this little gem that didn't quite make it to the Swiss final managed to pass everyone by. Until now!

Fräkmündt could do with a little following up, I fancy, as they've got a bit of a look about them!

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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Azerbaijan 2008 - Elnur & Samir - Day After Day



Congratulations to Azerbaijan for getting their first Eurovision win at only their fourth attempt. I might not be the biggest fan of the song, but I'm not going to pass up the chance of a fortnight in Baku this time next year!

However, I do rather wish that they'd won it with their debut song in Belgrade back in 2008. When it was first announced that Azerbaijan were taking part I fully expected it to be either a mawkish Caucasian ballad or a fruity slice of ethno disco. I wasn't however expecting Elnur and Samir...


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Monday, 14 March 2011

Belarus 2011 – Anastasia Vinnikova - I Love Belarus


Belarus had to bin their original effort because of a rules technicality. Boo!

But they've sent this instead. Yay!

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Friday, 11 March 2011

Ukraine 2011 - Maxim Novitskiy - True Love Can Free You

There are some things in Eurovisionland that you just peg down cultural differences that folks from other countries will never really understand. Sometimes it's a time signature or a vocal style or arrangement. But more often than not it relates to their outfit.

That's what we thought when we first saw Maxim Noviskiy. OK, so we think his Cossack Michael Jackson schtick is pretty weird, but to the locals in Ukraine, his dressing up like plasticised member of Laibach must seem completely normal. But then we saw the looks on the faces of the jury members as he stomped around the stage, and they thing he's fecking mental as well.

The song itself starts at around 2:55, but it's almost worth ploughing through the preamble just to see how unhinged Ukrainian telly can be!

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Albania 2011 - Goldi Halili - Ne Krahet E Tua


Watch the video by clicking here.
Back in January when I first saw this I didn't really give it a second thought. Sung by a willowy lass with a thin voice nervously tugging at her frock like a teenager struggling to keep her bath towel up, I felt like I was intruding on the young girl skipping about and singing to herself in her bedroom.

But three months on, and with a lot of musical water under the bridge, it makes a lot more sense. In fact I'd rather this were the official Albanian entry - in the right hands this song could have a chorus to make the boys swoon.

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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Russia 2009 - Alex Sparrow - Angel Be

It's not the first time this year's Russian boy has had a stab at entering Eurovision. Last year he had a reasonable pop with an oddity called The New Kalinka - which updated the popular Russian folks song and somehow made it kinda worse. But it was in 2009, and under the name of Alex Sparrow that he gave a performance that will forever go down in National Final history.

His over-mannered pop pomp may be a bit cloying at first, but stick with it, because witnessing the whole thins makes what happens in the final ten seconds all the more entertaining. I hope he attempts that again in Dusseldorf!

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Portugal 2011 - Henrique Feist - Quase a voar

Portugal is a bit like the land time forgot in Eurovision terms. Not for them the perky pop punk and techno tunes that have been littering the national finals of late. Instead they prefer to go for songs of a more timeless nature - and indeed this particular example could have come from any Eurovision years since colour TV came into play. It meanders a bit at the end, but whatever it is that Henrique is telling us, you certainly believe it! Best use of a flat cap this year, too!

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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Austria 2011 - Freddy Sahin-Scholl - Butterfly


Click these words to hear this dazzling song - but put away the glasswear first.
Before that handsome Corsican lad popped up for the French there was one vocal performance that stood head and shoulders above all others this year (and I don't mean Jamala) - and if anything it was even more astounding. There's no proper video for this, but you won't be quite expecting what you hear in the clip if you base your preconceptions on the picture above. I wouldn't necessarily say it's good, but it's amazing all the same.

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Portugal 2011 - Sete Saias - Embalo Do Coração

When it boils down to it, this is what Eurovision is all about - regional frocks, wonky folk instruments and some gorgeous squawking in a regional dialect. Yes, one of them does appear to be playing a couple of pine cones! This is what the people want!

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Sweden 2011 - Sara Varga - Spring För Livet


I wasn't all that taken with this delicate little ditty the first couple of times that I heard it. But it's quietly got under my skin and now I reckon it's a right smasher. The understated fragility of Anna's voice recalls Carla Bruni at her best (only without the star shagging tendencies), and her economy of expression makes you hang on her every syllable. It's a thoroughly nice song, to be sure.

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Monday, 7 March 2011

France 2011 - Amaury Vassili - Sognu


Oh my, France are in the contest! A pretty boy opera singer silking out a powerful yet tender belter - the mums are going to go all weak at the knees. Quick, call the bookies - can you still get 66/1 on it?

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Sunday, 6 March 2011

Portugal 2011 - Wanda Stuart - Chegar à Tua Voz

Portuguese finals are mainly populated by large women singing mournful ballads about losing their fisherman love at sea, or seedy middle-aged men at pianos rasping out slightly bawdy pimba songs. So it was a nice surprise that this year's selection show was one of the best of the season, with a right old range of decent songs and astounding weirdness.

This song fits into the latter category. How can go go wrong with an old bird with blue hair and quite frightening breasts belting out her song while flanked by backing singers in medieval garb? I never want to find out what this actually means - I think in this case it's better not knowing.

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Russia 2010 - Buranovskie Babushki - Long Long Birch Bark And How To Make Ayshon From It


Russia have just announced that they're sending a handsome young chap called Alexey Vorovyov to Dusseldorf (although they're probably going to anglicise his name to Alex Sparrow, just for us foreigners). He's a nice enough fellow, and I'm sure he'll do very well, but they certainly missed a trick that could have won them a second title in three years.

For a couple of weeks prior to Alex's selection, rumours abounded that the man upstairs in Moscow favoured the candidacy of the fantastic grans of Buranovskie Babushki, who won the hearts of many a fan worldwide when they squeaked a close second in last year's Russian final.

It's not one of this year's possibilities, but it bears another look as it's genuinely one of the most beautiful things you will ever see...

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Sweden 2011 - The Playtones - The King


There was a cracking neo-rockabilly tune in the Norwegian final with The Lucky Bullets' Fire Down Below, so I guess the Swedes thought they'd be neighbourly and have a go too. Unfortunately The Playtones aren't quite in the same league as The Bullets. It all starts off quite well, but turns into little more than schlager in quiffs by the time it gets to the chorus. Is it the law that all Swedish songs have to sound like this?

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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Portugal 2011 - Homens da Luta - Luta é Alegria


Click here to see this thing of beauty.

I love it when a national in joke gets to Eurovision. They always storm their home finals and then make the rest of Europe go "Huh?" when they get on the big stage. We suspect that this one has something to do with the Carnation Revolution in 1974, but that might be reading too much into it. What it is though is strange, regional and terribly enjoyable.

It won the Portuguese final in a strange fashion, coming from miles behind on the back of a massive televote, and it's really going to attract the silly little booboys in Dusseldorf. But if it pisses them off it's doing something right by me!

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Friday, 4 March 2011

Serbia 2011 - Briz - Ring Ring Ring



The Serbian final practically slipped under the radar during last Saturday's barrage of selection competitions. So we dang nearly missed this strange little curio that was part of a three-song final, with all the tunes written by different members of the same family. There was a stock ballad, the glow pop winner, and this unlikely sixties pastiche.


They look like The Byrds, play with a Ringo Starr beat and suddenly turn into the Beach Boys half way through - all the while still feeling like an old time Yugo get down. Actually, I'm not even sure that it's a pastiche. They could well be playing it straight!


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Macedonia 2011 - Skipi & Tajzi – Ostavi Politika I Pojacaj Ton

Belligerent Macedonian hip-hop. That's three terms I never thought I'd use in the same sentence - especially in a Eurovision context. They've even got a posse - although I'm not entirely sure that they were fully briefed on what they were supposed to do before they went on.

This one also features some of the most intricate arm dancing you'll have seen for quite some time.

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Sweden 2011 - Lasse Stefanz - En Blick Och Nånting Händer

There's something tremendously heartwarming about this superannuated danseband as they creak their way through this sweet-natured old-school tune. Indeed, some aged are some of them that they look as though they might be killed by their own guitars.

It's particularly noteworthy for two lovely moments. The first the minimalist dance routine that the singer chap affords to the choruses, the second the slightly unsuccessful kettle drum pay off at the end. Quite lovely.

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Thursday, 3 March 2011

Finland 2011 - Stala & So - Pamela


This hapless slab of Finnish glam is most notable for the fact that the bloke hoarsely barking out the words and gradually losing his voice as he goes along has actually won Eurovision before. Can you guess who he is? It's the drummer from Lordi! Don't recognise him? I think he's done something new with his hair...

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Sweden 2011 - Christian Walz - Like Suicide


This little oddity has to go down as possessing the most ill-advised lyric of the year. So what you're saying then mate is that spending time with the love of your life feels like violently killing yourself? Not sure how she'll take that, to be honest.

And of the song wasn't odd enough, just look at the way he twitches his way around all them cellos on stage. And what the heck is he wearing? A bit of a strange one all round.

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Macedonia 2011 - Vodolija - Ne Vrakaj Se


Another perennial of the Macedonian qualifier is the fine and understated Risto Apostolov and his Vodolija project, who've gradually been getting more poppy with each new year. This time round you could close your eyes and swear that it's the seminal 80s indie rockers The Chameleons - except that it's in Macedonian and has girls in it. A cracking little groove on this one, to be sure.

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Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Sweden 2001 - The Moniker - Oh My God!

If you'd drawn me a diagram of this song and told me that I'd enjoy it I'd probably have said that you were a fool. An early 1970s oompah pop pastiche squawked out by an over-mannered bald chap in a garish jacket? Nein danke! I mean, it's not even the only song in the Swedish process called Oh My God! But despite the unlikely ingredients you find yourself warming to the curious chap.

And what a walk!

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Israel 2011 - Michael & Shimrit Greylsummer - Tu Du Du

Now here's a delightful yet nicely off-kilter entrant in the Israeli final. So sweet and laid back, you scarcely notice it at first. But as the song goes on it slowly gets under your skin, and by the time it rather abruptly ends you'll be wanting to hear it all over again. Too understated to do terribly well? I hope not!

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Macedonia 2011 - Martin Srbinovski - Ram Tam Tam

The Macedonians got half the job right. It's true they chose something a bit noisier than the norm to send to Germany, but they wimped out of picking a song that not only had crunchy guitars, but a singalong chorus and some regional instruments in unusual configurations, all pumped out with bags of infectious enthusiasm. I fancy this would have been a sure fire semi-final qualifier, but sadly we'll never know. Damn shame.

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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Sweden 2011 - Swingfly - Me And My Drum


Eric Saade might be the bookies favourite, and Sanna Nielsen is most certainly the fan boy's rave, but there's something about this glorious little explosion of unabashed hip pop fun that makes it stand out from the more calculating schlager tunes. I reckon this could the Melodifestivalen outsider to keep a sneaky eye on.

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Norway 2011 - Susperia - Nothing Remains

One of these days one of these Norse black metal bands is going to make it through to Eurovision proper, and it's a danged shame that Susperia didn't quite make it, cos they were flippin' intense! They should just go the whole hog and send Varg Vikernes - there's none more Norwegian than him, after all!

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Moldova 2011 - Doinita Gherman - Viata


My favourite shouty folk punk mentalist go overlooked in Moldova - AGAIN! How can they keep ignoring the unstoppable force that is Doinita? The whole of Europe will go bonkers for her happy-go-lucky insanity. Mind you, I'd imagine a whole gig could be a tiring affair! You'd die of exhaustion by the time the encores came around!

Hup Hup Cha Sha!

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Monday, 28 February 2011

Macedonia 2011 - Vlatko Ilievski - Rusinka

The Macedonian final seemed to go on for about a month, and had many incomprehensible twists and turns - but in among it all were one or two cracking tunes. The eventual winner had a certain hectic charm, but there was something not quite right about the singer. He'd clearly never seen a guitar before the night of the final - let alone played one - and the crisp shirt and suit combo left him looking more like a weatherman or a TV chef. Still, I think it's just about escaped onto the side of goodness - just about.

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Austria 2011 - Alkbottle - Wir San Do Ned Zum Spaß


Austria surprised many people with their varied and excitable national final, and one of the more entertaining acts were this lively bunch of rural beer metalists. The song might have been a tad pedestrian, but they knew how to whup up a crowd, and would have been a cracking addition to the Dusseldorf party fun. I mean, they've got a biker clown in a supermarket goods cage - what more do you want!

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Israel 2011 - Knob - I'm Loving It


Some headlines write themselves…

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Belarus 2011 – Anastasiya Vinnikova - Born in Belorussia


Rumours abound that this piece of strangeness is going to be the Belarussian entry. I'm not sure if I'm delighted or frightened.

STOP PRESS: It's true! Heck! It's almost as if Lukaschenko himself wrote it!

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Israel 2011 - Dana International - Ding Dong


Everyone's favourite Israeli transexual's having another go in their final this year, but this time around her song isn't quite as immediate. What do you reckon?

STOP PRESS: She only went and won! Blimey. But is it strong enough - or is her name still big enough - to drag her out of the semis?

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Sunday, 27 February 2011

Macedonia 2011 - Rok Agresori - Kukuriku


I know this bloke from Skopje called Falus. He's in one of the best and most historic punk rock bands in Macedonia. I'd guess he's somewhere between Wakey from The English Dogs and Captain Sensible. Every couple of years he enters a situationist punk nursery rhyme into his national final - and it really pisses off the fanboys! This is one of the greatest three minutes you'll see this year - nice one Falus!

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Slovenia 2011 - April - Ladadidej


Well someone's been watching a bit too much Lady Gaga, haven't they now...

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Bulgaria 2001 - Wikeda - Blue Cotton Levi's


Now here's a curious bit of business. What starts out as a passable spot of carnival ska - replete with a poor stab at a Jamaican accent - soon loses its way to become an impenetrable and self-indulgent cacophanic ramble. Not entirely enjoyable, but worth a look for the curiosity spotters among you.

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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Denmark 2011 - A Friend in London - New Tomorrow


The Danish finals was a dismal parade of samey drabness, but then this one popped out of the mirk to nick the title. I didn't much care for it at first, but it's growing on me like a git. I'm seeing unlikely contender here, curse them.


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Greece 2011 - Trihmitonio - Hamogela


Greece appear to have used the power of the gods of Olympus to dip back in time and grab a clutch of 90s happy house kids off the floor of an Ibiza chill out bar, and given them a sweetly dopey singalong to bark out. Dumb, but annoyingly likeable!


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Sweden 2011 - Nicke Borg - Leaving Home


By crikey! The singer from Backyard Babies has gone and got himself in the Swedish final! How the heck did that happen? If you know his old band's previous output you may be surprised by what's on this clip. But while it might not be as noisy as most of his back catalogue, it's not without power. Lovely power, at that.

(Oh, and be warned - the Swedes are notorious for shutting down YouTube links, so if this vid suddenly disappears I'll try and dig you out another!)

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Moldova 2011 - Pasha Parfeny - Dorule


Now here's the first sighting of a dulcimer in Eurovision in quite some time. But it's not in quite the kind fo song that you'd have imagined to see one in!

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Friday, 25 February 2011

Latvia 2011 - Inta Rudzīte un Uldis Timma - Walking on My Tiptoes


Is Latvia in a different century to the rest of us? How the heck else could you explain this? And who the heck thought that big billowing white sheet maguffin was a good idea? But having said all that, you'll still be singing it for the next hour and a half!

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Austria 2011 - Klimmstein ft Joe Sumner - Paris Paris



Well who knew that Sting had a son. Austria tried to send him as part of a hokey community festival ska pop band - although they made sure his name was very clearly labelled on the packet. I can just imagine producer at the event. "OK Joe, that's very nice, but can you sound a bit more like your dad? Yes... and a bit more...?"

He came third, after a Pop Idol winner and an Alpine Rap act called Trackshittaz. His dad will be so proud. See if you can guess which one he is.

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Turkey 2011 - Yüksek Sadakat - Live It Up


Well now. Turkey have been promising an uptempo indie rock song for weeks now, and what have they given us? A fat old pub rock band groaning out a leaden drear. I'm on the phone to Watchdog, I feel cheated!

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Bulgaria 2011 - Rumaneca & Enchev - Shatrata


The Bulgarian final was a proper mixed bag of quality and weirdness, but the best song of the night was saved for the interval act, when a couple of fat blokes with massive bling and comedy shave-ups spat out a fabulous slab of Eastern-tinged hip hop, while surrounded by pretty much a whole circusful of acrobats.

Sadly I've not found a clip of their performance yet, but the official video of the same song will more than make up for that. Why didn't they just cancel the contest and send this!

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

Romania 2011 - Rallsa - Take Me Down


Head of Romanian telly: "Quick, we've had an act pull out from Song For Romania. We've got to get a replacement pronto!"

Junior producer: "Well my mum's down the over-35s disco next door. I can pop down and get her, and maybe she can drag a couple of mates along. Do they need to learn a dance routine?"

Head of telly: "There's no time for that. Tell 'em to make it up as they go along. We'll slip in a handybaggy house bit halfway through to confuse 'em!"

Junior producer: "Oh no, the cameraman's just fainted. I'll man the machines..."

Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.