An American’s picks for the Eurovision 2014 Final

Okay, Europe, this is it! Tomorrow is the night countless Eurovision fans from all over the world have been waiting for – The Grand Final. 

 I will be tuning in with two friends in the afternoon and we will be watching in glee as the finalists take the stage and sing, dance and whistle their hearts out to win the coveted douze points

 I must say that I was shocked that Israel didn’t qualify for the final. I was then enraged to find that Belarus out of all the acts made it through. Seriously, one of the WORST SONGS (in my opinion) made it through while the amazing Mei Finegold sashayed away. Europe, what happened? I was also surprised that San Marino and Slovenia both qualified. I had written them both off completely. 

 That’s what makes Eurovision exciting, though, isn’t it? The curveballs, surprises and ‘WTF’ moments. As an American, I am largely free from the mess of political hullabaloo that comes with a Eurovision Song Contest. Sure, I know that the Balkans all vote for one another, as do the Scandinavian countries. Countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyrpus always give each other 12 points and all the ex-Yugoslav nations give beaucoup points to Russia. I get all that. 

 But because I’m all the way across the pond, I don’t pay too much attention to the gossip and the bookies’ picks. I find it makes for a much more enjoyable experience 🙂 

 Anyway, here are MY Top Favorites for the Final tomorrow!


 

 (In Alphabetical order)

Armenia

Austria

Greece

Hungary

Italy

Malta

Montenegro

Poland

Switzerland

The Netherlands


Now, while I would love to be right about them all, I know that I most likely won’t be. I think that Sweden is a pretty strong contender as well as Iceland. I also have a sneaking suspicion that Slovenia will do better than anyone thinks it will. I hope I’m wrong though. 

 Ultimately, I think that either Austria or Armenia will will tomorrow night. Other possibilities are Greece, Hungary, Switzerland or The Netherlands. 

 Ahhh I just don’t know! I’ll be watching tomorrow with excitement! Thanks for putting up with my Eurovision babble! 

 

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Eurovision Flops 2014

Every year, I fanboy about Eurovision to the point that my friends and family begin to avoid me. I can see it in their faces when I start to bring it up, ‘Oh jeezus,’ their eyes practically scream. ‘Here he goes talking about that godforsaken song contest in Europe again…’.

It is true, though. When Eurovision season hits, I’m oddly obsessed with it. I always get the album and jam out to it for a solid month during and after the contest. I think that, cheese and glitter aside, Eurovision produces some great music that crosses language and geographical barriers.

But…sometimes it doesn’t. Every year there are a handful of songs that I just can’t get in to. Some of them are just generally forgettable, but sometimes they are just so BAD that I wish they were able to be expelled from my mind.

This year, I’d like to devote a list of what I think are the

 

 Flops of Eurovision 2014

 

I can’t stop seeing the Tolmachevy Twins as Children of the Corn…

 

Russia – This song is terrible. I would be willing to overlook the incredibly original title ‘Shine’, but there is just so much wrong with this. The Tolmachevy twins are surely nice people, but they are just a bit…boring. And is this song really about promoting love? Like…Russia, really? Are we just going to pretend that your country doesn’t have an abysmal track record when it comes to human rights? ‘Make a brighter day’? For who, Crimea?

I’ve asked this question before but nobody seems to be able to answer: Does anyone think the whole thing between Russia and Ukraine going to be reflected in the voting this year? I’m genuinely curious.

Regardless, it’s a terrible song.

 

Georgia – Speaking of countries that Russia has invaded, wtf at Georgia’s entry this year? Seriously. It starts out okay enough, but then it’s almost as if the acid that they’ve all ingested kicks in and it just completely devolves into a bizarre mess of a song.

I’m a native English speaker and the lyrics are nonsensical as fuck. ‘Star Jam? Sky divers? Space Jam? Space Jump’? ‘All their wives? All their whys’??? I’m seriously at a loss of words for this song. I think it’s probably best if Shin and Mariko keep orbitting whatever psychadelic planet they’re on.

I SWEAR I hear ‘Space Jam’ in this song.

 

Lithuania – ATTENTION! Oh! okay, what?! ATTENTION! what?! what do you want from me?! I think it’s a shame this song made my list – the singer seems like a really sweet person. I think that the message, female empowerment (right?), is a good one. But the delivery is so frantic and the dancing is so all-over-the-place and jerky that I don’t know what to make of it. “I’m gonna make you fall, down d-d-down down on your knees!” What?

Ireland – I hate that Ireland ended up here, I really do. I always love the Irish entries! Last year, ‘Only Love Survives’ was actually my top pick. It then ended up in dead last and I felt so bad for poor Ryan Dolan.

The Irish entry this year just bores me. And…that’s about it. Sorry, Ireland. I still love you.

 

Latvia – Latvia has always been a joy for me to watch. I mean, their pirate entry in 2008 was amazing and I generally like what they send every year. But this? I think they’ve been sharing the same drugs that the band from Georgia has been using; only it seems they’ve baked them into a cake. This song is catchy, I’ll give it that, but I just can’t take it seriously. I can’t even enjoy how ridiculous it is. At least with Pirates of the Sea, it was fun ridiculous. This song is just…bad.

 

 

Belarus– The second Eurovision song this year to be about cake…go, Belarus. It’s as if they plucked the beat from a shitty karaoke version of a 90’s song. The poor vocalist is trying to be Robin Thicke, which is in and of itself pretty upsetting. The cheesy lyrics, bad instrumentals and obvious lack of chemistry between he and the poor girl forced to dance with him is painful to watch. Sorry, Belarus.

 

F.Y.R. Macedonia – You know, I think I’ve always kind of liked the Macedonian entries over the years, but this one? Hot messssss. Seeing her lip-sync (poorly) to this song when she won the national selection was cringe-inducing. She dances super awkwardly and kind of looks really uncomfortable on stage. When she fist-bumps, I just want it to stop. It’s a pity because the song itself isn’t terrible…but her stage presence is.

 

France – France seriously, what the hell? It literally sounds like they just blatantly copied Stromae and then added in some Major Lazer winding sounds a la Pon de Floor. It’s a shame because this song would be great if it weren’t so obviously ripping off another well-known French artist. Pour quois, France? Pour quois?

I had the same reaction, Stromae!

 

Germany – Gurl. This song makes me really uncomfortable. Maybe it’s the creepy accordion? It gives me a weird carnival vibe that I don’t like. It’s nothing that we haven’t seen before in Eurovision and I find it quite boring, to be honest. Germany is lucky that it’s already advanced to the final. If it were to try to compete against the other countries with this song, I don’t think it would qualify.

 

Now, I don’t doubt that, in order for these artists to make it to Eurovision, they had to work incredibly hard. I really respect that they are all representing their countries and the hard work that it’s taken to do so. That being said, these are just my opinions.

 What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Have another country that you think qualifies as a ‘Flop’? Leave a comment and let me know!

Eurovision Haikus II

Hi! I’m back with my second round of Eurovision Haikus! Here are another ten and my thoughts on them in 5-7-5 format. Here’s the first batch in case you missed it.

Armenia

Wow, Armenia
Great voice and great emotion
But why the wubwubs?

Belarus

I’m not digging this
A wannabe Robin Thicke
Lost my appetite

Estonia

Good Europop song
Has a nice dance routine but
Kind of Déjà Vu?

France

Um, France? What the hell?
Blatant copy of Stromae
So bad. Oh my god.

Georgia

Georgia, what is this?
A bizzare hippie commune.
Did they say ‘Space Jam’?

Greece

Upbeat and Catchy
Feel like I’m in a Greek club
Repetitive, though.

Italy

I really love this
Italian Power Ballad
Next year…in Venice?

Montenegro

Don’t understand but,
The emotion translates well
Very pretty song

San Marino

She has a good voice
Sounds like a James Bond theme song
or a disco jam.

Spain

What a pretty voice
Already in the final
But still could go far

****

Honestly, there are some great ones but I’m not too impressed with a lot of the songs this year. I don’t know what it is, but it seems like so many of them are just too odd. And not in the good, quirky way that makes me love so many Eurovision acts.

What do you think? Agree/Disagree? Have you already chosen your favorites? Do you have a Top Ten already? Have I missed any that have been released so far? Let me know!