It’s time once again for the world’s biggest song contest. This year, because Eurovision fans Down Under physically relocated Australia to the North Sea during last year’s show, that nation will be considered a “special one-time-only guest member of the European Broadcasting Union” and will be allowed to participate.
That brings the total number of participating countries to 40.
The “official” music videos have all been released, and are on YouTube for you to watch and make fun of.
I’m no music critic, nor do I really follow current trends in European pop music. So I cannot really comment on the songs.
But I can give my thoughts on the videos…
Here’s the entrants for Semi-Final Round 1:
Elhaida Dani – “I’m Alive” (Albania): Nice voice. But I don’t get the point of all the women standing with blank expressions on their faces. Maybe if I read the lyrics.
Genealogy – “Face The Shadow” (Armenia): Not a bad song; thie video is nicely edited. Was that entire set made in grays, or did they digitally remove all the color?
Uzari & Maimuna – “Time” (Belarus): Oh no! Will she finish the song, and will he get to her before she’s buried in the sand? I wonder what sort of powder they used – real sand could not have been comfortable, and would not have been good for the violin. What’s the deal with the snake, and those things on his ears?
Loïc Nottet – “Rhythm Inside” (Belgium): An OK video – until they started with the fake blood/red paint.
Anti Social Media – “The Way You Are” (Denmark): The first concert performance video. It’s a catchy tune, but they’ll need a bit more activity on stage if they hope to win.
Elina Born & Stig Rästa – “Goodbye To Yesterday” (Estonia): A concert video – in black & white, for some reason. Not much on-stage chemistry between them.
Daniel Kajmakoski – “Autumn Leaves” (F.Y.R. Macedonia): A fun little animation. How will it work in a live performance, though?
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät – “Aina mun pitää” (Finland): If you were curious as to what Lordi is doing these days…. Actually, it’s kind of uncomfortable making fun of them when they all have Down’s Syndrome… It’s a short song, which, considering it’s punk/metal, is probably not a bad thing.
Nina Sublatti – “Warrior” (Georgia): ANOTHER black and white video? (checks computer display settings…)
Maria-Elena Kyriakou – “One Last Breath” (Greece): A power ballad – do I hear some traditional Greek instruments in the background?
Boggie – “Wars For Nothing” (Hungary): Anti-war folk song; voices and acoustic guitar. Nicely done, but what’s Hungarian for “schmaltz”?
Eduard Romanyuta – “I Want Your Love” (Moldova): Kids, don’t have sex while you’re driving! Not even imaginary sex!
Voltaj – “De La Capat – All Over Again” (Romania): Pretty good – until they clubbed you over the head with a message….
Polina Gagarina – “A Million Voices” (Russia): Too distracted by Ms. Gagarina’s ethereal beauty to form an opinion about the song. But just when you start having interesting adult fantasies about her, they cut to little kids. Don’t do this!
Bojana Stamenov – “Beauty Never Lies” (Serbia): As it says in the credits to the video, “This video filmed by Eurovision song contest fans from the whole world on a smartphones and portable devices” (sic). Neat experiment! The puzzle for the viewer is to guess which one of the people in the video is Bojana Stamenov….
Trijntje Oosterhuis – “Walk Along” (The Netherlands): Oh no, not another black & white video…
Okay, first impressions on this batch:
Belarus had the most interesting video – but the songs aren’t judged that way. Only Finland is trying to do anything different with regards to the song. Everything else is your basic “Top 40” stuff; there’s nothing in any of their music that hints as to their country of origin. I’ll have to listen to them a bit more before I can come to any decisions. Five of the 16 were in black and white (for the most part). That’s probably too many.
I’ll get to the Second Semi-Final group soon enough. Stay tuned!