Category Archives: azerbaijan

Eurovision 2013: The First Five of the Second Semi-Final

Albania – “Identitet” by Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko


I love the drums, and the music video, which I don’t know if they will be able to reproduce its energy and creativity on stage. Luckily it’s a catchy well done song. No idea what they’re saying, but I think this one will definitely get through to the finals.

Armenia – “Lonely Planet” by Dorians


Pretty song, and being pretty always gets you far in this contest. We’ll see.

Azerbaijan – “Hold Me” by Farid Mammadov


Azerbaijan is always a strong competitor, and this pretty boy power ballad is no exception. Not my favorite, but it has good odds.

Bulgaria – “Samo Shampioni (Only Champions)” by Elitsa Todorova, Stoyan Yankulov


These Eurovision veterans are back. Their previous “Water” remains one of my all time favorite songs from the ESC. Always great percussion, but I don’t think this is their best sadly.

Finland – “Marry Me” by Krista Siegfrids


Finland is another nation who always has a strong submission. This year they enter a more pop and dancey tune. The music video shows off Krista’s range and humor, but I wonder if that will come off on the stage. I’m kinda rooting for this one, but then again, I’m partial to Finland.

The second Semi-Final will take place on the 16th of May.

The Final Six Entries in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest

These are the five nations who are always in the Finals, plus last year’s winner and this year’s host, Azerbaijan.

United Kingdom: “Love Will Set You Free” by Engelbert Humperdinck

The UK always tries to make an effort, like trying to get Morrissey, or getting Andrew Lloyd Webber to write the song. This year they got decades past pop idol Humperdinck. It’s just not enough, UK…

France: “Echo (You and I)” by Anggun

Speaking of trying to win, every once in a while France decides they’d like to win and actually enters something catchy and modern. This is one of those years. Another one that’s growing on me.

Italy: “L’Amore È Femmina (Out Of Love)” by Nina Zilli

I think this one has a real chance of winning. Dancey, jazzy and fun.

Azerbaijan: “When the Music Dies” by Sabina Babayeva

Another power ballad, but a strong one and a real contender for the win.

Spain: “Quédate Conmigo (Stay With Me)” by Pastora Soler

You’ll have to click the link above to see the Spain video, embedding forbidden by YouTube. It has no chance to win though in my opinion, but then again, just my opinion…

Germany: “Standing Still” by Roman Lob

Europe aside, I think this could be a hit here. I like it a lot, one of my favorites, and another strong contender for the win.

The Grand Final for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest takes place on May 26th in Baku, Azerbaijan.

First Six from the Second Eurovision Semi-Finals

Serbia: “Nije Ljubav Stvar” by Željko Joksimović

F.Y.R. Macedonia: “Crno I Belo” by Kaliopi

Zzzzzzzzzzzz…

The Netherlands: “You and Me” by Joan Franka

I’m really not sure what American Indian feather headdress symbolizes in The Netherlands, but Joan Franka is certainly a frontrunner in my mind.

Malta: “This Is the Night” by Kurt Calleja

This kinda reminds me of bad 1990s disco, and I kept expecting to get Rick-rolled. It’s catchy though, and very Eurovision.

Belarus: “We Are the Heroes” by Litesound

Ditto. Pretty too, just not sure about the Power Rangers costumes.

Portugal: “Vida Minha” by Filipa Sousa

The Second Semi-Final takes place on May 24th in Baku.

The Last Five Entries to the First Eurovision Semi-Final 2012

Russia: “Party for Everybody” by Buranovskiye Babushki

Hungary: “Sound of Our Hearts” by Compact Disco

Austria: “Woki Mit Deim Popo” by Trackshittaz

Moldova: “Lautar” by Pasha Parfeny

Ireland: “Waterline” by Jedward

Poor Ireland. Why they are not always a part of the Final is beyond me. They always try so hard, and they are the only country to win twice with the same performer. Unfortunately, they went with Jedward again this year. Sigh. Better luck next year, I guess.

I have to admit, Austria is kinda catchy though. We’ll see. The First Semi-Finals take place on May 22nd, in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2012

The Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan this year, at the end of May. For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, it is similar to “American Idol,” but predates it by several decades.

Over forty nations, mostly from Europe, but some from Africa and Asia, enter one original song into the contest, and over two semi-finals and one final, all of those nations vote by phone or computer for their favorite. The trick? You cannot vote for your own nation’s entry. The winning nation hosts the contest the following year. Past winners and contestants have included ABBA, Katrina and the Waves, Lordi, Cliff Richard, Nena, Lulu, Johnny Logan, and Celine Dion.

Here are four more entries from the first semi-final:

Albania: “Suus” by Rona Nishliu

Romania: “Zaleilah” by Mandinga

Switzerland: “Unbreakable” by Sinplus

And Belgium: “Would You?” by Iris

While Albania and Belgium present some of the same old ballads that invariably both bore audiences and also win the contest sadly, Romania and Switzerland are more with the spirit of the mad dancey eurotrash tunes that embody the spirit of Eurovision. I kinda like Romania as an early fave, and the Swiss entry is growing on me.

Bookmark and Share

Eurovision 2012 Is Coming

Yes, it’s that time of year again, time for the annual Eurovision Song Contest. Today, I’m giving you a peek at the first four entries from the first semi-final on May 22, 2012.

Competing for Montenegro: “Euro Neuro” by Rambo Amadeus

For Iceland: “Never Forget” by Greta Salome & Jonsi

Greece: “Aphrodisiac” by Eleftheria Eleftheriou

And Latvia: “Beautiful Song” by Anmany

Greece is always a fierce competitor in Eurovision, and it looks like this year is no exception. Latvia’s song is growing on me, mostly because it’s about Eurovision. There are many more to come. We’ll see what happens.

Bookmark and Share

Eurovision 2009 Semi-Finals 2 – The Results

Coming through the Second Semi-Finals to compete in Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest Finals are: Azerbaijan, Croatia, Ukraine (go, Svetlana!), Lithuania, Albania, Moldova, Denmark, Estonia, Norway and Greece.

.

Eurovision 2009 Semi-Finals 2

The Second Semi-Finals of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest began with a weird sort of hip hop Mummers thing without the feathers, past hits of the Contest on accordion and banjo, if you can believe it, or at least that’s what it felt like to me. And the polar bears were scary.

The same hosts, Natalya Vodyanova and Andrey Malakhov, were back, annoying as ever. Where’s Terry Wogan when you need him? And the same corny inserts and intros as Tuesday as well, I guess they come with the hosts. Either way, we’re off to find who are ten (nine plus a wildcard) finalists are for this round.

01 Croatia – Igor Cukrov featuring Andrea’s “Lijepa Tena”
Igor is sexy, but someone ought to tell him there’s such a thing as trying too hard. The charm is on overload, and the wind machine wasn’t helping. The wind made the women look like they were witches cavorting on a “Dark Shadows” cliff top. It’s a beautiful song, as is his companion Andrea, but I have to wonder why she didn’t sing the whole song. I liked her voice more.

02 Ireland – Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy’s “Et Cetera”
I like this one, always have. Very frenetic, very 1980s, very rockergirl – but it just might be too mainstream for Eurovision. I hope not. As much as I want it to go through, it probably won’t.

03 Latvia – Intars Busulis’ “Probka”
This guy looks scared. Maybe that’s his natural expression? Or an affectation like Fred Schneider or Danny Elfman? The vocals are stronger than the original recording, and their energy is apparent. Strong finish, I just wish I knew what he was so scared of.

04 Serbia – Marko Kon & Milaan’s “Cipela”
The ‘shoe’ song, or at least what it’s translated as. Wow, that’s some ‘fro, dude. But on second look, it appears that everyone on stage spent the afternoon with a demented hairstylist. Nice computer image effects, I gotta admit it’s different. It’s catchy, and could very well make it through.

05 Poland – Lidia Kopania’s “I Don’t Wanna Leave”
Not my cup of tea, but this is the kind of song that always gets through, and sometimes wins. I’ll be honest though, I would rather have taken a nap. She’s no Celine Dion – you can take that any way you want to.

The crowd certainly seems more energetic tonight. Maybe the soldiers with guns aren’t marching through the audience as often as they did on Tuesday. And the flag and banner wavers don’t seem to be restricted to only one section either. Or maybe someone explained to the audience that this was Eurovision…

06 Norway – Alexander Rybak’s “Fairytale”
This was an early favorite, and this performance did not disappoint. Alexander’s got talent and charisma, and his dancers were a hoot. Final-bound.

07 Cyprus – Christina Metaxas’ “Firefly”
Unlike Ireland or Norway, this was not one of my favorites before this, but I have to say that the unique presentation kept my attention, or at least more than Poland. It’s amazing what giant glowing icecubes can do. But then again, on a Eurovision bizarreness scale, giant glowing icecubes are amateur hour.

08 Slovakia – Kamil Mikulčík & Nela Pocisková’s “Leť Tmou”
Zzzzzzz…. Sorry, dozed off. Just watch, now this one will win.

09 Denmark – Brinck’s “Believe Again”
This Lionel Ritchie soundalike was an early frontrunner, and while he’s almost as good looking as Ritchie (again, take that any way you want to), the stage presentation of this song is much better than the audio version suggests. Better than expected, good chance to get through.

10 Slovenia – Quartissimo featuring Martina’s “Love Symphony”
I’ve always liked this entry but wondered how audiences would react to a mostly instrumental performance. I guess I had nothing to worry about. Except that they would hide the woman behind the only vocals in the song – she’s behind that curtain much too long. It’s not like she’s Martha Washington or anything, let us see her! I think this will hurt their chances.

11 Hungary – Zoli Ádok’s “Dance With Me”
Another frontrunner that conjures the ghosts of disco. I thought it interesting that he started the song lying on the floor, a stunt that helped Russia win last year. Perhaps he should have also taken off his shoes. Despite all that, Zoli is very hot and moves with confidence and sex that should have girls, and boys, all over Europe voting for Hungary.

12 Azerbaijan – AySel & Arash’s “Always”
This one is another entry that is a favorite of friends that does nothing for me. The stage show is better than the song despite the weird torn costumes of the back-up dancers. The charisma of the singers more than made up for what I think is a weak entry.

13 Greece – Sakis Rouvas’ “This Is Our Night”
Greece is always a strong competitor in Eurovision, and 2009 is no exception. The song is great dynamic dance music, but I have to wonder if Sakis attended the same dance rehearsals as his back-up dancers. He seems out of sync more often than not. Still a hot performance.

14 Lithuania – Sasha Son’s “Love”
Powerful song with a very simple performance. I would have rather had Sasha Son stay behind the piano, he’s not a dancer, not even a subtle one. I also thought the “Hope” sign and the flame in the hand was a bit much. It’s like he’s playing the Serbia card. Still this just might win.

15 Moldova – Nelly Ciobanu’s “Hora Din Moldova”
As much as this song and stage performance begs to be in a Dumpsta Players production, I don’t think it has the stuff to make it to the Finals, despite all the jumping around and the guy yelling with the big stick.

16 Albania – Kejsi Tola’s “Carry Me In Your Dreams”
Albania’s teen idol pop princess, her teenybopper back-up singers, mimes and … is that Disco Gumby? Wow. Did someone slip something into my drink?

Um, a toaster? Yeah, I’ve definitely been dosed…

17 Ukraine – Svetlana Loboda’s “Be My Valentine! (Anti-Crisis Girl)”
I love this song and Svetlana, so much that I bought the album (not an easy task for an American), and I guess there’s no hiding this is my pick to win it – whether that will actually happen is a whole ‘nother thing. A lot of money was certainly spent on the sets and costumes. She is certainly a stage visionary on the scale of Kate Bush or Madonna, but I don’t know how this will affect Eurovision audiences. And I don’t know about her playing drums or the half-naked gladiators, but I have my fingers crossed.

18 Estonia – Urban Symphony’s “Rändajad”
Beautiful woman and a beautiful song, and a sobering moment after Svetlana Loboda. I think this has a good chance.

19 The Netherlands – The Toppers’ “Shine”
Their wardrobe people are mad at them, aren’t they? Catchy uplifting song that in my opinion was stronger in the studio. If they were wilder than just the costumes they might have had a shot.

Wow, this is a hard one. Tough competition tonight. My picks to go through to the Finals: Estonia, Ukraine, Serbia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece and Lithuania. We’ll see, shortly.

.

Eurovision 2009 Azerbaijan

“Always” by Arash featuring AySel, the 2009 Eurovision entry from Azerbaijan…

Seems like Svetlana Loboda isn’t the only one with an amazing video, too bad the contest is based on performance…