Eurovision 2012 - Semifinal one contestants

Posted Sunday May 6, 2012 by John Gunders in |

Well it’s that time again. Yes, we are off to Baku in Azerbaijan for Eurovision 2012. This will be the most easterly Eurovision ever, and the first time it has been hosted in Eastern Europe—Latvia in 2003 and Ukraine in 2005 are the closest the competition has come to the countries that seem to take it the most seriously.

Below the fold are my frankly ill-informed assessments of the first semifinal contestants, based on a single hearing of the Youtube video. There are presented in alphabetical order rather than performance because… well, because. I was going to add links, but I couldn’t be bothered. The Eurovision site is here.

I’ll be back in the next couple of days with the second semifinal contestants. In the meantime, enjoy :-)

Albania – Rona Nishliu, “Suus.” Piano ballad in Albanian, with typically over-dramatic vocals. Check the glassware.

Austria – Trackshittaz, “Woki Mit Deim Popo.” Generic rap in German. Title seems to translate as something like “shake your booty.” Only thing I like is the name: maybe they don’t speak English?

Belgium – Iris, “Would You?” Piano ballad sung in English by a seventeen-year-old brunette with a single, four-lettered name. Well, worked for Germany. The Idol franchise really has a lot to answer for.

Cyprus – Ivi Adamou, “La La Love.” X-Factor alumni, and doesn’t the song sound like it? Indistinguishable from everything else on commercial radio, although I’m kind of digging the synth-pop arrangement.

Denmark – Soluna Samay, “Shouldn’t Known Better.” Catchy pop song in English by the Guatemalan-born Soluna, but not much to remember it by.

Finland – Pernilla, “När Jag Blundar.” “When I close my eyes” apparently. Middle-of-the-road ballad in a pleasant, forgettable way. Sung in Swedish, for some reason.

Greece – Eleftheria Eleftheriou, “Aphrodisiac.” You could see this any Saturday morning on your local pop clip show. After a couple of good showings in recent years, this is disappointing. But I suppose Greece is desperate not to win—how could they afford to host next year?

Hungary – Compact Disco – “Sound of Our Hearts.” Four-piece electro-pop outfit that formed in order to enter Hungarian Idol. And sounds like it.

Iceland – Greta Salóme & Jónsi, “Never Forget.” Urgent strings and driving rhythm under a plaintive ballad. Actually a bit Bond theme. Apparently Greta plays the violin solo, which is pretty cool. Thought the key change was a bit unnecessary.

Ireland – Jedward, “Waterline.” Jedward? Again? Seriously? Mindless dance pop and stupid hairdos.

Israel – Izabo, “Time.” Synthy, bass-heavy indie pop that quite bouncy that might grow on you, or might do the opposite. Probably one that everyone’s going to have an opinion about.

Latvia – Anmary, “Beautiful Song.” Was totally expecting another piano ballad, but it’s an up-tempo pop song with faint folk-tinge. Rarely heard so much processing on the vocals though.

Moldova – Pasha Parfeny, “Lautar.” Folk, ska, dance—it’s hard to tell. But everyone is having a good time. Lead singer is the Moldovan Dave Hoskings.

Montenegro – Rambo Amadeus, “Euro Neuro.” Eclectic and humourous. After the comic-opera introduction it turns into an electro-pop rap.

Romania – Mandinga, “Zaleilah.” Seven-piece latin band (only six allowed on stage due to Eurovision rules). Catchy pop song, but a bit derivative.

Russia – Buranovskiye Babushki, “Party for Everybody.” Um. A Russian folk band of grannies (oldest is 76). That is all. I hope they win.

San Marino – Valentina Monetta, “The Social Network Song (Oh oh – uh – oh oh).” A song about Facebook? Contains the line “Do you wanna play cyber sex again”. That is only thing it has going.

Switzerland – Sinplus, “Unbreakable.” Radio-friendly, idol-influenced rock. Should be called “forgettable.”

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