Eurovision 2011 Preview: Part 1

It’s almost that time of the year again! Yes, it’s almost time when I don’t have to put any thought into coming up with something new for the site and can simply embed a few music videos and mock the artists and countries responsible for the atrocities! It’s Eurovision time!

Eurovision will be taking place in Düsseldorf this year because last time around Germany foolishly went and put forward a good song by a quirky and rather pleasant to look at singer, Lena Meyer-Landrut. Clearly, paint fumes burning away in some area of Eastern Europe are still wafting over the inhabitants of the Rhineland as they’ve decided that Lena can sing for her country again. And – horror of horrors! – it’s only another cracking song!

That’s Taken By A Stranger by Lena and I think it’s clear to see that it suffers from only one major flaw: it’s way too good for the likes of Eurovision.

One of my prerequisites for considering voting for a country in Eurovision is this: has the song or video been influenced in any way by the classic 1982 Marc Singer and Rip Torn movie The Beastmaster? It’s not a secret prerequisite and my vote is clearly worth a lot because Albania have embraced it this year in style with a tribute to the film’s falcon/eagle/I-don’t-know-birds Sharak in the song Feel The Passion by red-headed lungstress Aurela Gaçe.

If the Eurovision Song Contest ever turns into a competition to find the continent’s best movie soundtrack for an upcoming, lighthearted, romantic story set against the backdrop of Venice starring Juliette Binoche and Colin Firth then it’s entirely possible that Italy can resubmit Madness Of Love by Raphael Gualazzi with more than a slight expectation that it will do well. It will not, however, do well in the contest’s current format.

Ireland have a reputation that’s second-to-none when it comes to victories in Eurovision but alcohol poisoning does eventually affect decision-making and that may explain the appearance of the unbelievably dense and irritatingly irritating twins John and Edward, or, sigh, Jedward, and their song Lipstick.

Now, it’s entirely possible that the song gets really good after nine seconds but that was all I could take. By all means, feel free to play the video and ascertain the worthiness of the Irish musical contribution this year but I would suggest something firm to clamp your teeth down onto, strong straps to prevent injury during your inevitable convulsions, and a deaf friend nearby who can shut down your computer and alert medical personnel when you collapse into a coma.

Greece have surprised in recent years with some catchy and well-received songs but it’s in the nature of all music in general and Eurovision Song Contest entries in particular to occasionally flip everything on its head and produce something quite terrible. Those of you of a gambling nature who bet early that Greece would produce a stinker for 2011, give yourself a pat on the back and go collect your winnings. Watch My Dance is one of the least dance-worthy songs ever recorded and may well be the ultimate in ironic songmaking. It’s more likely, though, that Loucas Yiorkas and Stereo Mike (I know) are just the faces to a track for a country that knows it could win and has pulled out all the stops to prevent that.

The last entrant to look at for this first part of the Eurovision preview is by Anastasiya Vinnikova and her song I Love Belarus. Anastasiya is representing Finland. No, of course she’s not; that would be crazy (don’t get any ideas Finland!). This Belarusian entry ticks many of the Eurovision checkboxes: national pride, pretty singer, strong voice, English lyrics, proximity to other countries that will all vote for it.

It’s not a great song but it should do fairly well except among people who don’t actually love Belarus. But who doesn’t love Belarus?

Author: Mark

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