Sunday, 19 May 2013

Eurovision 2013 Round-Up (Plus Performances!)

I don't know how many of you lovely people managed to catch the Eurovision Song Contest this year. Actually, I'm not sure how many of you outside of Europe even know about the show! So before we get to the entrants, here's a little background for uninitiated.

The Eurovision Song contest is an annual music competition where members of the European Broadcasting Union submit one act each year to represent their country. Who decides the overall winner, you ask? Well, after each country has finished performing at the event, it's then left to a panel of judges (from each country) to mark the songs. Those scores are then revealed LIVE via satellite link, which has ushered into existence one of Eurovision's most defining features: watching the host hurry along any waffling representative while trying to keep the show on track. (I'm sure I'm making this sound way more complex than it is). The winner is of course the song which gets the most points after all the scores are in.

Unfortunately this way of scoring has led to quite a bit of political and block voting occurring, where neighbours would score each other highly while freezing out countries they aren't liking at that moment. To try and counter this, the judges' scores are now balanced with 50% of public votes from their country. (To be fair, this hasn't changed much).

Now from what I remember of the show from my youth, because I stopped paying attention to it quite a few years back, was that it was consistently full of crazy people, camp performances and bad songs. In fact, sometimes it seemed like countries were trying their best not to win the competition just so they didn't have the hassle of organising the show in their country the following year. (A perk of winning, supposedly!)

However this year I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed near enough every song entered-hence this post!! I'll tell you who else would have enjoyed this show: Mariah Carey! There were bloody butterflies EVERYWHERE!


Before we get to the the Divas, there was one act that stood out amongst all the others, and reminded me of the way (I remember) Eurovision to have been. Check out Romania's entry, Cezar and his song It's My Life. This is total camp madness!

Amandine Bourgeois -L'enfer et moi (France). This French Diva opened the show, and boy did she take the hard road with minimal props and no gimmicks to win over the crowd. However, her voice and the rockier influences in the song managed to hold my interest and set the more grown-up/contemporary tone of the event perfectly. (4/5)

Aliona Moon- O mie (Moldova): I knew there was a reason she was wearing that dress and not moving- just wait till the second half of the performance. The song was a little dry for me, but I didn't dislike it and certainly enjoyed her voice and the big and dramatic bridge. (3/5)

Krista Siegfrids -Marry Me (Finland): This Katy Perry knock-off was my least favourite song of the whole competition. Musically annoying and terribly gimmicky with its publicity stunt lesbian kiss. Maybe she's a gay rights advocate and I'm just being a cynic.(1/5)

Anouk - Birds (The Netherlands): This song felt like it was written for a musical and reminded me so much of Suspended by Kelis (not quite sure why). It's obvious that Anouk has quite a set of pipes on her, with a gorgeous mid-belt. The song was also a surprisingly left-field choice by the Netherlands. Still, I really enjoyed it!

Dina Garipova- What If? (Russia): This is what I (in an ideal world) want from Eurovision: songs about humanity and loving one another! Even though the lyrics were cheesy, it had a real message and wasn't just a generic pop song. Dina had great control over her instrument; seemingly strong in her head, belt and lower register. Lighters up, everyone!

Bonnie Tyler- Believe In Me (United Kingdom): Oh Bonnie. The song was just too tame for the Eurovision! It was nice enough but just wasn't memorable. Also, we wanted to hear that rasp-filled belt! There's no point having Bonnie Tyler if the expectations of hearing her massive, wrought belt aren't fulfilled! You did us proud, though!

Cascada - Glorious (Germany): I always thought Cascada was British...guess I was wrong! EDM enters the stadium. Usually I dislike the group's songs, but the euphoria of the synths and soaring vocals got to me- the Jack Daniels might have helped too. It sounded a little bit too much like Swedish House Mafia's Don't You Worry Child for me to really rate it.

Emmelie de Forest - Only Teardrops (Denmark): Spoiler....this won! Lol. It's a nice enough song and the singer had a great husk to her voice, but it was a little twee for my liking with the tin whistle. The staging was good, and everyone performing seemed to be genuinely enjoying the experience which was nice to see.

ESDM - Contigo Hasta El Final (With You Until The End) (Spain): Who knew bagpipes were traditionally Spanish...I sure didn't. Really liked the introduction to the song- it was serving up some Lisa Gerrard realness. After that it went downhill for me, descending into a generic pop-rock track. The singer also had a tone too sweet for me, not to mention she was the only singer who suffered from pitch problems.

Alyona Lanskaya - Solayoh (Belarus): This started off well for me and had a production that kept switching it up to maintain our interest. The lyrics weren't to my liking but it was fun, flirty and camp. The percussive breakdown in the middle was EVERYTHING! I Only wish that part had been longer!

Zlata Ognevich - Gravity (Ukraine): This was the most typically Diva vocal of the contest. Great voice and a stunning vibrato but the track sounded too much like a Disney song for me to really enjoy. Give me an animated princess to go with it and then we'll really talk about it.

Birgit - Et Uus Saaks Alguse(Estonia): 5 months pregnant and still managing to sound and look like an Estonian Goddess! Shame the song was boring.

Margaret Berger- I Feed You My Love(Norway): Loved the dirty electro sound and the general vibe of the song. Was possibly the weakest vocal of the night (and that's no real insult considering how high the standard was), but I enjoyed the darker edge that it brought to the contest.


And now the Males:
(RE: that linked Gif. I'm only kidding, there were some great entries. Just don't expect any real commentary or scores!)

Ryan Dolan- Only Love Survives (Ireland):I really liked this; Staging and song! Shame it came last.

Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani- Waterfall (Georgia):My second least liked song of the evening.Way too old school for my tastes.

Marco Mengoni- L'Essenziale (Italy): A nice little ballad.

Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis - Alcohol Is Free (Greece): This song was hilarious, with the energy and passion shown being the strongest of the night.

Farid Mammadov - Hold Me (Azerbaijan) : Not for me, thanks!

Eythor Ingi - Ég Á Líf (Iceland): Was one of my favourites from the men UNTIL that key change. Blergh.

Robin Stjernberg - You (Sweden): Like Ireland's entry, this was another song that I could totally see on the charts of today. Really enjoyed this one. Guy had a cracking voice, too!

Dorians - Lonely Planet (Armenia): This was a strong, and surprising entry from Armenia. It was written by a member of Black Sabbath, which enhanced the authentic, rock sound of the song.

Roberto Bellarosa - Love Kills (Belgium): I really liked this entry, but boy was the singer creepy. It had a great build-up and was the only song sporting an electro breakdown in its bridge.

Andrius Pojavis- Something (Lithuania): Second song of the night, and had a Bravery/ Kings Of Leon sound about it. Needed more of a punch, but it was enjoyable!

ByeAlex - Kedvesem (Hungary): Cute song.

Gianluca- Tomorrow (Malta): Another cutesy and inoffensive song, which was way too breezy and bright for me.

I can't imagine any of you watched EVERY performance, but I'll ask anyway: Who did you like best, and who do you think should have taken the trophy home? Vote below.

And here's the score table from the night, pinched straight from Wikipidia but changed by me to read from winner to loser:

And to close, last year's winner, Loreen, who put on one helluva show while the scores were being tallied. ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS! Definitely going to be looking for more from her!


  1. Lol I experienced that not quite the same.
    Anouk was ofcourse imo the best song and best singer. But anyody who knows the songcontest knows that usually means it won't win. She pretty much ended at the place I expected her to end.

    The Danish winner was boringly generic pop.
    The Russian entry was nice Good singer.

    My winner would definitely be Greece. Taking their traditional sound, updating it to 2013 and generally being really FUN!
    The whole 'peace' message I could do without but ''the alcohol is free'' there's a message!!! :-)
    Good thing they didn't win though. Obviously they would not be financially able to oganize next years event.
    German song was, it was said, a almost copy of last year's winner btw

    And I absolutely agree...the Belgian dude really looks creepy.

    I hadn't watched this contest sings the late nineties and was amused to see how that whole political voting hasn't changed at all.
    But , for as far asI can remember, the vocal standard has gone up. The songwriting standard alas...not.
    To think, this originally was a songwriting contest.

  2. Little background on the ''out of left field choice'' of Anouk and her song.
    The Netherlands choices lead to them not making the final ( there are two semifinals) for 8 years in a row. Anouk offered herself and her song to go but only if they just said yes. She said she was not willing to go through any hoops. It was a take it, or leave it'' proposition. I love her feisty attitude. :-)

  3. I watched all of it! Kind of had to since I'm a Swede :P My favorites were Anouk, Zlata Ognevich and Margaret Berger. Although Loreen was for me the star on the evening. She's amazing!

  4. Just now saw Anouk say she'd rather have seen Zlata win than the Danish song.

  5. Sweden's song was definitely my favourite, but my personal highlight of the night was the weird ovary massage dance Belgium's backup dancers were doing at 1:38.

  6. Oh Belgium. Our act was so terrible. You have to know that guy actually won The Voice Belgique. So hilarious!

    Don't really understand how Denmark won. Such a cliché of a Eurovision song! Ukraine and Azerbeijan deserved the victory more IMO.

    Somehow I really liked Romania for the first minute or so. The lower part (well, 'normal' part) was great, the sudden, unexpected transition between registers was completely awesome, but after that it got kinda boring for me (how strange that may sound).

    Anouk was sooooo overhyped. Of course, she's got a really nice tone to her voice and the song was quite good (a bit boring though), but I think there were better entries. Like Norway, that was definitely my favourite of the night.

    Belarus was the worst IMO. That chorus was making my ears bleed. Also, WTH at Cascada? I mean, I know you're moving at all, but that was a terrible vocal performance.

  7. I couldn't believe it when I heard he won The Voice.
    He seemed a very limited singer.

  8. He simply is a very limited singer. His singing in general is very shaky.

    They even had to modify his song. Originally, he was (apparently) completely off-key in every possible way during the rehearsals.

    I'd like to give him some props for the belt at the end of the song though. Sounded quite nice (unlike his lower, emo-like voice).

  9. I missed Eurovision this year, unfortunately I wasn't near anywhere with Internet access at the time.

    My favorite would have to be Greece.

    And in regards to the Russian singer Dina, she was the winner of Russia's version of the Voice and she studied at one of the top russian music schools, she was my main reason for wanting to watch this year because she is quite the singer.

  10. And again, Eurovision is the only thing that makes me ashamed of being spanish (Apart from the ever-growing political corruption, of course).And to think that El Sueño De Morfeo used to be a well known band in here! The performance and the song were awful u.u

    Still, this contest, for those who don't know, it's pure polics. I mean,every country gives its 12 points to its neighbours (You can check it, they countries with a lot of neighbours usually will) and the only time we won was during Franco's dictatorship because of his friendship with the other dictators, so... (really sad that they mix music with politics, but it's true...)

    Leaving that aside, of course bagpipes were originally from Spain! :P Actually, this band always uses them in their songs ("Nunca volverá"; "Chocar", and a large etcetera..)

  11. It encourages me even more to dig up more of her stuff!

  12. Well Eurovision taught me something this year! lol

  13. Well, you guys were definitely robbed when Mocedados didn't win with Eres Tu. Love that song! :-)

  14. I did not know this. Definitely a strong vocalist, with great control.

  15. I'd never heard of Anouk until Opie sent me a mail on friday. As for Cascada, it wasn't that bad, was it? I should really go and listen to it again. (Some/most of these judgements were made under the influence of alcohol while watching it live on TV).

  16. Whoever choreographed that must have been listening to something else when they worked it out! Was hilarious in parts.

  17. She is! Even watched the performance again- sober- to make sure my affections for it hadn't been influenced by the booze. Was so good, not to mention lyrically apt for the night.

  18. My money- while watching the show- was on Greece, in part for the fact that they had managed to retain their cultural influences in the song and more so because of the energy and fun they brought to the stage. I was wrong...obviously.

  19. I was surprised at Greece. I also loved that one for the same reasons. But I knew already who the bookies were favoring.Didn't hear Greece mentioned at all.

  20. I can help you there.:-)
    Here are two older songs. One is from a movie soundtrack.
    The other is more her original style.

  21. Lol I can't believe you haven't heard from her before. 'Nobody's wife' was a huge hit all over the place.


  23. Indeed, she has been studying since she was six, so she has a strong foundation for her voice, so technique comes secondhand to her most likely. I'd recommend checking out her performances on the russian voice, just search Дина Гарипова on youtube and they should come up

  24. Cascada was kinda bad. Compare the studio version to the live version: during her live performance her voice was pretty shaky.
    The Belgian announcers went as far as saying that it was sung off key. I'm not so sure of that, but it definitely was worse than most others that night IMO.

    Also, the only Anouk song I really like is 'Girl' (which was a huge hit in Belgium) because that song's kinda catchy. Not too fond of most of her other songs

  25. Can you sent one or two vids my way on youtube? Can't search cyrillic font with my tablet. :-)

  26. (this performance best displays all aspects of her voice imo, fits her theatrical background)

    Here you go :)

  27. Cheers! Going to check those out. :-)
    I agree that she's a good singer but disagree with DD about the song. I think it IS a generic pop/eurovision song.

  28. Truly an excellent singer. I particularly enjoyed the second and third video. does seem to be her niche. I don't get the impression she would equally impress in other genres.( I also checked out the I Will Always Love You cover and another vid. Don't know the title but it was in the sidebar of that last link. She's wearing a sparkly blue sleeveless number?)
    Unfortunately, though, such singing impresses but rarely touches me where it hurts so to speak. ''Theater'' singing. The singing style that is.
    But within that style....this woman is amongst the best I ever heard for sure.:-)

  29. Yes, her voice is very suited for more theater stylings. I hope she personally stays within that branch of music.

    She serves more as a vocalist, than a singer. Not someone one would listen to to have their heartstrings pulled at, but great for those who appreciate the theatrics.

  30. Yeah, that's what I mean. The funny fact is that we ended in a better place with this guy (11 place, I still can't believe it) so you see how this works XDD Also, the commentator of the show in spain (who has been commenting the show since I have a memory) always says "This country is going to give its 12 to this other country" and TADAA!!, he's always right.

  31. Lol not true. Mocedades ended at second place.
    But yeah...everybody knows who gives 12 to who.:-)

  32. Oh, sorry, I meant better than this year (Although I didn't know what place Mocedades had ended either)

  33. My bad, I didn't check out the link. Didn't realize it was 2008's entry.