Sunday, 11 May 2014

Eurovision 2014 Final Review

Ok, I'm going to cut to the chase and just give my overall thoughts on my favourites, the show and the results.

I sadly missed Ukraine but based on her semifinal performance I would say she'd probably make my Top 10 because of the classic Eurovision-esque vibes I get from it, despite wavy vocals.

Azerbaijan yet again was a major disappointment. I wanted to like it but it just lacks the oomph. Norway nearly landed into this category as well if not for the much stronger song and good staging.

Romania was classic all out Eurovision and I'm always up for some Paula Seling!

Poland's act was definitely worth a "look".

Conchita is an ok winner, I'm not a huge fan of the song but I think her win has more of a point to prove rather than being a winner based solely on music, since there were no frontrunners.

Sweden further made an impact on me, it's rather catchy.

I really wanted to like Germany and Italy more but P!nk lookalike/soundalike just didn't have a good enough song whilst Italy's MV had much more impact.

Whilst I liked Spain I was still waiting for that big impact which I didn't quite get.

Netherlands was definitely my favourite of the night. I'm so happy they did so well having been shunned early on.

Very disappointed for Molly (UK). Her performance was decent, I was expected a bigger vocal impact, but overall it was a solid performance that deserved to be in the Top 10.

My Top 10 prediction after performances were (not in order)
Austria - Expected it to do ok but not that well
Netherlands - Knew that their sudden surge would propel them
Sweden - She was my safe bet to win
Hungary - Whilst I'm still not convinced I knew it would do well
Ukraine - It has the Eurovision glamour to do well
Norway - A soft man-ballad would have to do well
Denmark - It's catchy and a Scandinavian choice so should do well
Spain - Power diva had to make it after a decent performance
United Kingdom - With betting and a decent song I thought it would at least make Top 10
Greece - Greece always do well and it was distinctive so I thought it would do ok.

Other predictions;
Armenia - Thought it would disappoint because of its early billing as the favourite
Romania - Wanted them to do well but had a feeling they would just miss the Top 10
Azerbaijan - Would probably get their worst placement since their inception

So besides the disappointing result for the UK and rather unexpectedly low placement of Greece I did quite well!

The final ranking was rather interesting. At the middle stages it became apparent that there were 5 that stood out being Austria, Netherlands, Sweden, Armenia and Hungary and towards the final stages the Top 3 and finally Austria had pulled away. It's interesting that only 6 countries passed 100 points which seems rather low.

Ukraine came a solid 6th after a tussle with Russia. In general I'm quite happy with the Top 12.

My personal Top 10 would be (in order)

1. Netherlands
2. Sweden
3. Romania
4. UK - Patriotism, but still decent anyway
5. Spain
6. Denmark
7. Norway
8. Ukraine
9. Finland
10. Austria

5 Others

And on a side note. Semifinal 1 was won by Netherlands, which is rather interesting with such a strong semifinal with Sweden, HUngary and Armenia in the list. Portugal just missed the Top 10 by 1 point. Estonia also missed out slightly and came 12th.

In Semifinal 2 Austria won by a landslide. Romania came a solid 2nd and then the others were rather spread. There's also a huge part of potential procrastination with the split votes and the individual votes from each country but I'll not go into that for the sake of my own sanity.

Anyway final words, congratulations to Conchita Wurst. It was definitely an interesting Eurovision. See you guys in Vienna next year!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Eurovision 2014 Semifinal 2 Review

I missed most of this semifinal so I had to rewatch it today on youtube so the performance might not have made as much impact. Here are my thoughts on it.
Firelight - Coming Home

I know it's quite a toned down track but I really think they could have made more use of the stage since it's so good. It's an ok, watered down Mumford and Sons esque, track but doesn't really stand out.


Mei Finegold - Same Heart

The staging was quite nice and I thought this would attract the diehard Eurovision voters but I guess the somewhat lackluster performance sealed the deal for this.


Carl Espen - Silent Storm

I loved how he got the audience to hold the lights, it was a beautiful staging. However realistically I was kind of disappointed with this. This was possibly my pre semi-final favourite but Carl doesn't have a strong enough vocal to really bring this song to life because it is a very low key song. Saying that, I still like the performance and I hope it does well.


The Shin and Mariko - Three Minutes To Earth

This is just sadly really messed up. It sounds like so many songs being merged into one another. Unfortunately sounds really amateurish.


Donatan & Cleo - My Słowianie - We Are Slavic

This sounded slightly crazy to be honest but the craziness worked for it. It's one of those Eurovision moments that only works at Eurovision. I'm sure the suggestive Slavic girls scored it many votes as well.


Conchita Wurst - Rise Like a Phoenix

Personally I'm not too keen on Conchita's voice but she does a decent job of the song which sounds a bit Bond-wannabe. It just feels a bit too old school for me and never really has any moment despite all the grand gestures.


Vilija Matačiūnaitė - Attention

This is as messy as I remembered it to be. It's not as messy as Georgia but just doesn't work and doesn't have any hook to it.


Softengine - Something Better

This is a nice rock pop song but the lead singer could be stronger in all honesty, he is too shaky on some of the high notes. But it's a decent track. If the falsetto was on track this would have scored higher for me but sadly those notes just stuck out like a sore thumb.


Can-Linn feat. Kasey Smith - Heartbeat

As I said before this is a bit too generic to make enough of an impact though the performance was better than I expected and realistically should have gone through over Belarus.


Teo - Cheesecake

There's an obvious hook that people could buy into but this just doesn't work for me, it just feels to me like Eurovision in the early 00s. And also the tune sounds very very familiar, or maybe it's just too simple that it can literally be overlaid onto any other song.


Tijana - To the Sky

This is another rather bland performance that is just too low key and doesn't bring much to the table. It doesn't leave any lasting impression sadly. 


Sebalter - Hunter of Stars

The whistling in this track makes you remember it and the flair keeps it in your mind but in all honesty it's a rather bland track with a lot of stage tricks.


Freaky Fortune ft. RiskyKidd - Rise Up

This is ok, it will obviously get its voters especially since it's Greece, they always do well. But I would have liked to hear a bit more Greek flair in it rather than a rather generic pop/rap track.


Tinkara Kovac - Round and round

The song doesn't stand out at all and there are parts which don't work that well but it's a solid track but will probably be forgotten in the finals.


Paula Seling & OVI - Miracle

I love the circular piano! Whilst this doesn't pack as much punch as their previous attempt it's still a decent track that easily beat all their opponents in this semifinal and is a good closer to the semifinals


Not really any shocks to be honest, I would probably not have predicted Malta to go through and instead predicted Ireland or Israel. I think Israel's early running cost it as I think it was between her, Ireland and Slovenia for that spot.

So after semifinal 2 this is my updated list

FAVOURITES: Netherlands, Sweden, Romania
Waiting to hear more: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Hungary, Norway, Finland
In it for the ride: Russia, Montenegro, Iceland, Malta, Austria, Poland, Greece, Switzerland
Toilet Break: San Marino, Belarus

From the remaining 6 I'm excited for Denmark, Italy, UK to some extent Spain, I'm hoping she'll blow me away and remove my doubts with her live performance.

Just a quick analysis of the running order:
Ukraine starts the show, is it a blessing or a curse?
Belarus and Iceland will probably be forgotten due to their early running order
Will Azerbaijan make it into the Top 10? It isn't garnering much favour from the sounds of it.
Sweden is just before the break, will it be a good end to Part 1?
Netherlands are in prime position at 24th, will it really manage to rise up the ranks?
The UK close the show, this could be interesting!

I think on the finals watch out for Sweden, Netherlands, UK to possibly take it all.
Ukraine and Greece will probably do well.
Austria will get a respectable placement.
Montenegro will probably do better than I expected.
Armenia and Azerbaijan might fall from grace

It's interesting that Austria is now second for the bookies and Armenia has been pushed to 4th. Good job Molly for staying in the Top 5.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Eurovision 2014 Semifinal 1 Review

Sorry, my posts this year on Eurovision will be brief as I'm currently working on my final project for my undergraduate degree. But here goes anyway.

Having spent two hours watching the first semifinals, my heart dropped. Supposedly the stronger of the two semi-finals I failed to find many songs that I could truly cheer for. Here's a short review on each song. On a side note I love the stage.


I have no problem with Armenia, it's a decent song. But I call into question when it's being billed as the favourite. There really isn't much in this for it to be labelled as the favourite and it seems like the bookies have caught onto this as Sweden have now overtaken it to the top.

I liked the staging and it's a solid performance but it lacks the "hook" which arguably Sweden had. I'm comparing them as their style of performance and song are actually quite similar.


Aarzemnieki - Cake to Bake

Eurovision has been taking on a more serious tone for the past few years so a song like this just doesn't draw sympathy votes as much as it once did. It's a simple track which might have benefited from the absurd lyrics but next to the more serious contenders it feels like too much of a joke.

P.S. I absolutely hate the shaggy haired singer who sings "A piece of cake".


Tanja - Amazing

I came to like this performance on the night because of its eurodance sound, uplifting beat and the simple staging. I was impressed that the lead singer sang and danced quite well (though it did effect her vocals slightly).

I was disappointed that it failed to make the finals. I thought they did a decent job but I expect the early, slightly low key, performance might have lost it some votes.


Sanna Nielsen - Undo

In such a short span of time we have already seen the two favourites but don't you think they are awfully similar? However I prefer Sweden as it's more catchy though I feel the vocals are a bit rough, but by the finals I might have had sufficient listens to this to be truly captured. The staging was also quite nice, actually I liked the staging for quite a few performances tonight. I can see this winning, sending Eurovision back to Sweden again.


Pollapönk - No Prejudice

I wouldn't call myself a fan but there is something in this craziness to like and it was a dark horse for me to make it to the finals. If you remove the gimmicks from this track there are some solid moments and I guess it is this that managed to see them through to the finals. 


Hersi - One Night's Anger

Sadly for me this was one of the weakest of the night. The song didn't capture my attention and the vocals were off, on top of that the singer made some very odd expressions throughout the performance.


Tolmachevy Sisters - Shine

I'm not keen on the Russian entry and its gimmicks. It's also rather "low-key" for a Russian entry. However they did ok and deserved to make the finals, it's a shame that the audience felt the need to boo them when they made it through.


Dilara Kazimova - Start a Fire

I was slightly disappointed as the singer didn't have enough power in her vocals to truly deliver this moving ballad to its true potential. However I still love the track, the staging was quite strong and, on a side note, she looked beautiful. Though Dilara might find it hard to maintain Azerbaijan's stellar track record.


Mariya Yaremchuk - Tick-Tock

I'm not a huge fan of this though I can definitely see it doing well with its Eurovisionness! The hamster wheel definitely added much needed drama and slightly diverts the attention away from her somewhat wavering vocals. Either way it deserved its placement.


Axel Hirsoux - Mother

I'm sorry to say but I never saw the love for this and correctly predicted that it would be one of the supposedly safer bets not to make the cut. He has a good voice but that's just not enough when the song is bland and he never really truly shows his potential in this track.


Cristina Scarlat - Wild Soul

I can't really conjure up any musical recognition for Moldova besides the rather odd staging. All I remember was it being rather messy with the random pulling of hair.


Valentina Monetta - Maybe

Whilst I congratulate her for making the finals, finally, I wouldn't say this left a lasting impression. I preferred her track last year over this.


Suzy - Quero Ser Tua

I knew this had very little chance of making it through but I enjoyed the change of pace and the performance was more entertaining than some others. Either way I hope Portugal continue to send acts to Eurovision as they sometimes come up with some beautiful songstresses.


The Common Linnets - Calm After the Storm

My favourite of the night, it might be slightly low key and country but it's a beautifully simple track with good vocals and beautiful staging. What more can you ask for? I'm glad the bookies are finally seeing its true worth as it has slowly climbed the odds. However I hope it manages to maintain its charm for the finals as many of these types of tracks get lost within the big performances.


Sergej Cetkovic - Moj Svijet

I was somewhat distracted from this performance. It never really captured me though his vocals were good enough and I guess there weren't any major quips from me that it made the finals.


Andras Kallay-Saunders - Running

Andras was surprisingly not as strong vocally as I expected, especially towards the end. It's an ok track though a bit overhyped I think. There are some catchy bits to it though and it deserves a spot in the Top 10.


Overall a rather predictable Top 10 though I was disappointed that Estonia didn't make it.

Besides San Marino I predicted that the other 9 would make the finals.

For tonight this is what I found out!

FAVOURITES - Netherlands, Sweden
Waiting to hear more - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, Hungary
In it for the ride - Russia, Montenegro, Iceland 
Toilet Break - San Marino

I won't be able to watch the 2nd semifinals live so there'll probably be a delay with my post on Thursday.

My top 2 there are Norway and Romania.

See you on Thursday