Wednesday, 17 April 2013

R.I.P. Sita Chan

The girl who cried uncontrollably when she won her first award left a mark as a talented newcomer in the Hong Kong music industry. She was definitely one of the best of the recent singers and a budding favourite of mine, never did I expect to hear this sad news.

Rest in peace Sita, you'll forever be a shining star.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Eurovision 2013 - Preview of the 39 acts - The Big 6E

The Big 6

Amandine Bourgeois - L'enfer et moi

The song has a nice swag about it and is memorable in the midst of all the samey Eurovision tracks however I don't see this making it high on the leader board.

Possible finals placement - Near the Top of the bottom half

France's record since 2004

One of the Big 5 France haven't found much success at Eurovision due to its status. Their best performance was in 2009 with the emotional track "Et s'il fallait le faire" by Patricia Kaas, a personal favourite of mine. Whilst they haven't been in bottom at all they have placed below 20th for four times.

Glorious - Cascada

Arguably the biggest name in this year's crop however it isn't predicted to do very well, it's an outside bet on the bookies list and they are usually right with the favourites at Eurovision. It's typical Cascada so maybe her fans will vote in their droves.

Possible finals placement - Among the Top 10

Germany's record since 2004

Unlike the other countries in the Big 5 Germany managed to win in 2010 with "Satellite" by Lena. They have seen a recent resurgence since Lena's win but before that were finding it difficult to reach the top half of the board.

Marco Mengoni - L'essenziale

Since rejoining Italy have been welcomed with open arms. This year Italy are going back to a more muted sound like their 2011 entry. Whilst I'm not a huge fan of this track I think Italy have a good chance of keeping their Top 10 streak. However I was expecting to hear something more distinctively Italian.

Possible finals placement - Among the Top 10

Italy's record since 2004

Italy only returned to Eurovision in 2011 and were immediately reinstated into the Big 4 (obviously Big 5 now). Their best performance was on their debut where they were a shock 2nd with "Madness of Love" by Raphael Gualazzi.

ESDM - Contigo hasta el final

This song is quite different from what Spain normally enters, I don't think it's distinct enough to find its market.

Possible finals placement - Lounging near the Bottom 10

Spain's record since 2004

Spain's best performance was with their power ballad last year where they came 10th. Besides that they have faced the same problem as the other former Big 4 countries. 

Robin Stjemberg - You

Sweden send another well polished pop track, it will be a stretch for Sweden to make a back to back win but I expect Sweden to rank among the Top 10. I really like the chorus "Because of You" it makes the song distinctive.

Possible finals placement - Among the Top 10

Sweden's record since 2004

Sweden have had two great years at Eurovision, winning last year and placing third the year before. Besides that the only time they failed to make the finals was in 2010. Like Norway they are one of the few Western European countries that fares well in the competition.

Their best performance was last year's "Euphoria" by Loreen

United Kingdom
Bonnie Tyler - Believe in Me

My heart sank when I learnt that Bonnie Tyler would represent the UK. I'm not saying she isn't a good singer but she just isn't relevant as an artist anymore like Engelbert Humperdinck so the likelihood of them winning is low. The song is decent but I think on the night it will be dwarfed by the other ballads.

Possible finals placement - Near the top of the bottom half

United Kingdom's record since 2004

Out of the Big 5 the UK have possibly had it the worst. We were bottom twice since 2004 and besides Jade Ewen and Blue's success we have failed to make any impact at Eurovision. It was back in 2009 when we had our best performance when little known Jade Ewen belted out a Andrew Lloyd Weber track putting us 5th on the board, I wonder when the UK will take Eurovision seriously again.

Denmark - Emmelie de Forest - Only Teardrops
Netherlands - Anouk - Birds
Azerbaijan - Farid Mammadov - Hold Me
Norway - Margaret Berger - I Feed You My Love
Georgia - Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko - Waterfall
Sweden - Robin Stjernberg - You

There's still more than a month to go so maybe by that time my favourites will have changed.

Eurovision 2013 - Preview of the 39 acts - Semifinal 2

Acts in Semifinal 2

PeR - Here We Go

This isn't a strong track and Latvia have been at the bottom of the pack for a number of years now so I don't think they'll stand a chance.

 Chances of making the final - Low

Latvia's record since 2004

Latvia haven't had a great run at Eurovision either with two lowest scores in 2009 and 2010. Their last finals appearance was in 2008 and their best performance was all the way back in 2005 with "The War is Not Over" by Walters and Kazha.

San Marino
Valentina Monetta - Crisalide (Vola)

There aren't as many belching divas in this semifinal so San Marino might stand a chance of making the finals despite their woeful Eurovision history. This is a typical ballad with quite a weird, cheesy 80s, twist at the end.

Chances of making the final - Risky/Good

San Marino's record since 2004
Since scoring the lowest score on their debut San Marino left dejected and only returned in 2011. Both times they've failed to make the finals and arguably neither can really be attributed as their best performance but I'd rather go for "Stand By" by Senit which scored higher but ranked lower.

Esma & Lozano - Pred da se razdeni

This is a rather odd duet. In a way I love the randomness but it will probably fail to make it through. It's basically a very normal Eurovision track mixed with a random Macedonian granny

Chances of making the final - Risky

Macedonia's record since 2004

Last year Macedonia managed to salvage a losing situation by not making the finals for four years straight. Twice they were ejected from the finals over a jury's vote. Their other performances have charted mid table with neither really scoring better than the other so I have chosen "Mojot svet" by Karolina Goceva as their best performance having scored the highest points.

Farid Mammadov - Hold Me

This will be the entry that gets the teen girl votes (if Sweden doesn't), Azerbaijan have been targeting this demographic for the past few years. It's a well crafted pop track that should keepn Azerbaijan's stellar run at Eurovision alive.

 Chances of making the final - Definite

Azerbaijan's record since 2004

Azerbaijan have got to be the most successful country in Eurovision having made the Top 10 every time since their debut and making the Top 5 all but once. Farid has a lot of pressure going on him! Azerbaijan even won in 2011 with "Running Scared" by Ell & Nikki.

Krista Siegfrids - Marry Me

This sounds like it has come straight out of Disney! Finland hasn't found success since Lordi and sadly I don't think Krista is going to help. She might however make the finals as this is undeniably memorable and will find its audience at Eurovision. They really haven't found the same formula as their Scandinavian neighbours Norway and Sweden.

Chances of making the final - Good

Finland's record since 2004

Lordi's shock victory saves Finland's rather poor performance. Besides their win Hanna Pakarinen produced the best result placing 17th whilst Paradise Oskar did manage to place third in their semis but weirdly fell all the way to 21st in 2011. So without much choice I present to you "Hard Rock Hallelujah" by Lordi.

Gianluca Bezzina - Tomorrow

Malta sends in another one of those unplaceable tracks, this really could come from anywhere - almost sounds more fitting if it were the British track. However I kind of like the simplicity and with quite a weak semifinal to contend with they might just make it.

Chances of making the final - Risky

Malta's record since 2004

Malta have either found success or scored lowly at Eurovision since 2004 but really they've only managed one success and that was with "Angel" by Chiara. They couldn't sustain it by scoring 1 point the year after. Chiara tried to pull Malta out of the slump in 2009 but failed also.

So to cut it short here's Chiara with "Angel"

Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov - Samo shampioni

I actually quite like this and being in a weaker semifinal will allow for more experimental tracks to make it to the finals. I like that it's different, almost like a chant even though it's kind of messy and still couldn't escape from dubstep. They managed to make it all the way to 5th in 2007 so they could possibly make it again.

Chances of making the final - Risky/Good

Bulgaria's record since 2004

They've only managed to make the finals once in eight years though they did make it all the way to 5th with that performance and guess what to take Bulgaria out of it's slump they are competiting this year! So here's "Water" by Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankoulov will their success in 2007 translate to 2013?

Eythor Ingi - Eg a lif

This really doesn't attract me and I don't think it will attract Eurovision audiences either, its just a very muted ballad.

Chances of making the final - Risky

Iceland's record since 2004

Iceland have steadily made the finals since 2008 despite never really ranking well besides in 2009 with "Is It True" by Yohanna. Well at least they make the finals, a lot of countries would dream of being able to make the finals.

Koza Mostra ft. Agathon Iakovidis - Alochol is free

I'm in two minds with this, one part of me thinks this is pure Balkan mess but another part of me champions it for showcasing Balkan flavour! Nonetheless Greece will go through whatever happens.

Chances of making the final - Definite

Greece's record since 2004

Another powerhouse, last year was the only time Greece failed to make the Top 10, which I think must have been related somehow to their financial problems. Without that slight blip in their record they won in 2005 with the very sexy dance number "My Number One" by Helena Paparizou and placed third twice.

Moran Mazor - Rak bishvilo

Another big voiced diva, I think Eurovision has past that time when they liked their power ballads so I wonder if she'll make it through. She is lucky that Ukraine is in a different semifinal.

Chances of making the final - Risky/Good

Israel's record since 2004

Israel have seen high highs and low lows with two Top 10 performances and some that barely made it over 10 points. In 2008 Bo'az brought in 124 points for Israel but their best performance is still the power ballad "HaSheket SheNish'ar" by Shiri Maimon which placed 4th in 2005.

Dorians - Lonely Planet

The song and the singer is so nondescript it could really come from any country. I don't know if Eurovision will open its arms to this track since it really doesn't feel distinctive at all.

Chances of making the final - Risky

Armenia's record since 2004

Armenia is another strong performer having placed in the Top 10 every time besides in 2011. That hit their ego hard forcing them to withdraw in 2012. Their best performance is with "Qele Qele" by Sirusho.

ByeAlex - Kedvesem

This is quite an odd entry, I can't figure out whether the lead vocals voice adds or detracts from this performance. I think it's too muted to do well at Eurovision and I myself don't know if I like it or not, it just seems like they are repeating the same lines over and over again, it sounds almost like a chant.

Chances of making the final - Low

Hungary's record since 2004

Whilst Hungary haven't done as well as some countries they have been in the finals more times than they haven't despite not entering every year. Their best performance was in 2007 with "Unsubstantial Blues" by Magdi Ruzsa

Margaret Berger - I Feed You My Love

This is another bookies favourite and I can see why because it is really distinctive and I wouldn't be shocked if we see Eurovision returning to Norway. I really like the performance and Margaret Berger does the song justice.

Chances of making the final - Definite

Norway's record since 2004

Norway has been one of the more successful Western European countries in Eurovision having won once in the past 10 years with "Fairytale" by Alexander Rybak, the breakout hit that year. However they have also suffered two bottom places in the finals. 

Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko - Identitet

It's a very low key song, I don't think it's going to make it out of the semis. However this semifinal seems easier so maybe they will.

Chances of making the final - Risky

Albania's record since 2004

Albania have had a steady performance since they joined in 2004. Their best performance was last year with "Suus" by Rona Nishliu a bit belt out of a song (a personal favourite of mine). Besides that they also made 7th on their debut but besides that have been unremarkable on the rankings.

Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani - Waterfall

This is actually a very beautiful duet, their voices suit each other very well, I prefer this much more than the likes of Ell & Niki who were so overrated.

Chances of making the final - Good

Georgia's record since 2004

Georgia has been steady at Eurovision since their debut in 2007, generally placing around the Top 10 besides their blip last year. Their best performance was in 2010 with "Shine" by Sopho Nizharadze.

Takasa - You and Me

Switzerland has had an awful recent history at Eurovision and I don't see this helping their cause. Whilst I don't think this will score well I'm inclined to think this has a small opportunity to shock. I don't really like it but I can see it having a select audience.

Chances of making the final - Risky

Switzerland's record since 2004

Like Belgium and netherlands Switzerland have one of the worst records at Eurovision since the introduction of the semifinals scoring the lowest score twice and failing to make the finals six times out of nine. Their best performance was all the way back in 2005 with "Cool Vibes" by Vanilla Ninja

Cezar - It's My Life

The song to finish the semifinals! OMG. Dubstep with opera! Really! His soprano voice can be good but his transitions freak me out. However Romania have made the finals every year so I wonder if they'll still make it with this.

Chances of making the final - Risky

Romania's record since 2004

Romania is one of those oddities at Eurovision who haven't won but have made the finals every year since 2004. They have made the Top 5 three times and even though their other performances have been less than stellar they still hold a good streak at Eurovision that very few other countries can say the same for.

My 10 predictions
San Marino

Dark Horse