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Monday, June 17, 2024

Eurovision 2013

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Ah, the yearly event that unites the whole of Europe through song! Of course, it also unites the whole of Europe, with Internet access, into a public display of mockery, given that most of the songs featured are sub-par, some of them making me question the sanity (or tone deafness) of those that have selected the songs for the contest) For those of you in parts of the world where European business isn’t that well-known, here’s a quick rundown: Eurovision is a song contest that has been around since 1956. Each year people vote for the best song and the winning country gets to house the following year’s competition.

It’s also rife with political voting; most countries voting for their neighbours or distant linguistic cousins. If Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia or Slovenia are all in the competition, expect each country to give one another the maximum score. Same goes for France and Belgium, Ireland and England and so on and so forth. That’s how most of the things are decided, unless there actually is a really good, amazingly fantastic song that steals everyone’s hearts- but this is Eurovision so such gems are rare. Also, keep in mind that putting on a good show requires lots of money, so a poorer, smaller country has less chances to win based on that alone.

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It also gave us the great gem Alcohol is Freeby Greece. It was the only song to get the audience pumping in an otherwise dull show, and it’s probably going to be a summer drinking hit. It also came up on the fifth spot and let’s face it, given everything that’s going on over in Greece, this is one of the best things happening to them. There was also a hammer-less Thor from Iceland that didn’t score that high, but hey, his hair looks better than mine and the song wasn’t half bad, so I’m not complaining.

This year’s contest was… not the best. Not from a visual stand point, mind you. Sweden did an amazing job with the sets and everything ran smoothly, however most of the songs were enough to put me to sleep and, given the late hour, some actually made me doze off once or twice, while others bordered on the brink of hilarity (my own country’s song included – when the twitter feed explodes with “castrated Dracula” posts, you know you’re in for it).

England was represented by Bonnie Tyler, something I should’ve probably opened with, however, despite the song not being horrible, it wasn’t that good either, something most people agreed with. Her voice, despite her age, still sounds like it did some decades ago, why give her _67679061_tyler2something horrible to work with? Oh, oops. Did I say horrible? I merely meant not good. I think it was the problem of the entire show. Everyone played it safe, using ballads about saving the world, about love, songs that would’ve been all the rage some place else, but not here. Is it a wonder a drinking song scored higher than most of the lulling-me-to-sleep songs of the evening? I think not. And speaking of blasts from the past (sorry Bonnie!) what was up with Anouk? I seem to remember her songs were better, but Birds did nothing for me. I was actually counting down the 3 +/- 5 seconds, hoping time would fly faster, because really, it was that dull. I wonder who voted for her since she did make it in the top 10.

Now that I spent time dismantling the show, let’s focus on what was good about last night’s show. Denmark. I know I mentioned the political vote that goes on, but this song was actually worth the first place. Perhaps the victory would’ve been sweeter if there would have been some actual competition, but even so, Emmelie de Forrest did a great job with her song Only Teardrops and I wouldn’t mind hearing it again.

Azerbaidjan, which came in second, wasn’t as good, but I have to admit that the stage performance was impressive, and for that alone I have to agree with those that voted for Farid Mammadov. Ukraine however, the proud owner of the third place, wasn’t up to par, in my opinion. From the frantic flailing of the singer who was struggling to balance herself up on a log, to the Disney-like tune she played (during which I recognized certain elements belonging to different, more famous songs) it was all a little off to me. Of course, like with most other things, music  is a matter of taste and opinion, so don’t take what I say as gospel. However, if you’re interested in hearing some of the best songs in last night’s show, here is my selection:

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1. Denmark – Only Teardrops

2. Hungary – Kedvesem (one of the few songs performed in the contestant’s national language)

3. Norway – I Feed You My Love

Alas, it’s a very short list. I would’ve included the Maltese Jason Mraz, but the jury is still out on his performance. It was cheery. Well, what the hell, since it’s Sunday and I should do at least one good deed today:

4. Malta – Tomorrow

All in all, last night’s Eurovision was an alternative to watching good movies, reading good books, spending time with friends or doing anything remotely interesting. It was almost hilarious to see how many people watched simply to gouge the political repercussions of the vote or to mock everything from suits and hair to shoes and songs. It’s a guilty (slightly masochistic) pleasure that only Europeans can relate to, one we all pretend we don’t have as we curl under blankets to watch the show. But have no fear, since there are about 120 million viewers of the show, you are not alone.

Here are the final results for last night’s show and last but not least, the winning song which, if you have the patience to play out all 26 songs in the final, will make a bigger impression on you than it would on its own.

  • Denmark: Emmelie de Forest, Only Teardrops – 281 points
  • Azerbaijan: Farid Mammadov, Hold Me – 234 points
  • Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich, Gravity – 214 points
  • Norway: Margaret Berger, I Feed You My Love – 191 points
  • Russia: Dina Garipova, What If – 174 points
  • Greece: Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis, Alcohol Is Free – 152 points
  • Italy: Marco Mengoni, L’Essenziale – 126 points
  • Malta: Gianluca, Tomorrow – 120 points
  • Netherlands: Anouk, Birds – 114 points
  • Hungary: ByeAlex, Kedvesem – 84 points
  • Moldova: Aliona Moon, O mie – 71 points
  • Belgium: Roberto Bellarosa, Love Kills – 71 points
  • Romania: Cezar, It’s My Life – 65 points
  • Sweden: Robin Stjernberg, You – 62 points
  • Georgia: Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani, Waterfall – 50 points
  • Belarus: Alyona Lanskaya, Solayoh – 48 points
  • Iceland: Eythor Ingi, Eg a lif – 47 points
  • Armenia: Dorians, Lonely Planet – 41 points
  • UK: Bonnie Tyler, Believe In Me – 23 points
  • Estonia: Birgit, Et uus saaks alguse – 19 points
  • Germany: Cascada, Glorious – 18 points
  • Lithuania: Andrius Pojavis, Something – 17 points
  • France: Amandine Bourgeois, L’enfer et moi – 14 points
  • Finland: Krista Siegfrids, Marry Me – 13 points
  • Spain: ESDM, Contigo hasta el final – 8 points
  • Ireland: Ryan Dolan, Only Love Survives – 5 points

Cristina Bogdan
Cristina Bogdan
What's there to say about me? I love the sci-fi and fantasy genre when I read, but I am in no way limited to that alone. I do think Frank Herbert deserves a statue for his writing(if there is one, point me in that direction, please). I enjoy writing quite a lot, but I am also kinda lazy. If you want to make me happy give me books or Doctor Who collectibles. Or a real TARDIS, in which case I will love you forever.

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