Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eurovision Song Contest 2008

Some observations on the Belgrade Finals as they happened…

Opened by last year’s winner Marija Serifvic doing her song “Molitva” in a disco mix and then a new song in English with various gender-bender shenanigans going on with her back-up singers and dancers. Marija herself began the song with a partner in wedding dress to match her own groom tux. The gown was then torn away to reveal a matching tux.

After the opening the hosts were introduced, our hostess wearing a dress that had nipples peaking out the top to say hello, quite an act in itself. I wonder if she knew?

Of the first five acts out the starting gate this year, only Andy Abraham of UK and No Angels of Germany really have given a good impression in my opinion, although apparently the latter was a bit off-key. I thought they both had strong showings.

Bosnia & Herzegovina’s homegrown superstar Laka continued the odd wedding flavor as his back-up dancers also wore bridal gowns. This of course was overshadowed by the crazy woman in the red-and-white, polka-dot, frilly skirt. She reminded me of an odd mix of Minnie Mouse, Toni Basil and Dot Warner. At least the tune was catchy.

Finland’s Terasbotoni came on with a bang and brought the noise and enthusiasm that others have lacked. My main problem is that they want so badly to be Lordi, to the point of even swinging a mace around at one point. They’re not Lordi though. Think Dio and Metallica’s love child and you’re closer to the mark.

Croatia’s Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents has been a fave since I saw their Semi-Finals performance. This was no disappointment. Love the old man. And like Croatia, Turkey’s Mor ve Otesi gave just as energetic performance here as in their semi-final. Another fave, and so far, one of the best of the finals.

At the break after Turkey’s performance, it appears that our hostess’ nipples have gone into hiding. Just for those who were wondering.

I don’t think they’ll win, and they are only slightly better than last year’s entry from the UK, Scooch, but at least Latvia’s Pirates of the Sea are not only sticking to their silly guns but also look like they’re having a ball. Good for them. It was kind of startling to hear the booing when they were done however.

This time around, blind singer Diana Gurtskya of Georgia gave me a much better impression with “Peace Will Come.” I guess that’s a good thing, this being the Finals, everyone should bring their A game, right?

Speaking of A game, Ukraine’s Ani Lorak, another of my faves, certainly brought it. More power, confidence and precision in the performance is solidly evident. It’s possible the vibe that Ukraine has a good chance at the win must be fueling this. Even the stage tricks come off better this time. And I guess it doesn’t hurt that she is a very sexy lady herself either.

Azerbaijan’s Samir and Elnur with their angels and devils in a weird morality play set to music was a bit bizarre, but sometimes bizarre wins the contest. Case in point: Lordi, but we’ll see.

Greece’s entry, “Secret Combination” by Kalomira sounds great, and is my favorite song from the contest this year, but her performance here and in the semi-finals just doesn’t come up to snuff for me. In my opinion, if the contest were all about the music on CD and the video on TV, Greece would win this year, but that’s not how it works. Europe votes on the performance seen here. Shame. Even the dress coming off won’t help this one.

Speaking again of bizarre, I just don’t get Spain’s entry, “Baila El Chiki Chiki” by Rodolfo Chikilicuatre. He strikes me as a mutant hybrid of Borat and Weird Al and Austin Powers, only without the talent. At least his back-up dancers were pretty even if they were out of step.

Someone please tell Russia’s Dima Bilan to get off the floor and put on some shoes please. Come on, dude, it’s embarrassing…

Norway’s Maria closed the contest with the infectious power ballad, “Hold On Be Strong.” Last is always a good place to be, leaving the last taste in folks’ minds before they vote.

And now the voting begins…


My predictions:

3. Croatia
2. Ukraine
1. Georgia

No comments:

Post a Comment