Eurovision 2010 Superlatives

2010 was not a good year for the Lemur household, but at least the Eurovision Song Contest was really fun. I mean, except for the part when the United Kingdom performed.

  • Best 100-yard dash in three-inch heels while singing: Azerbaijan (Safura – “Drip Drop”)
  • Most professional reaction to a gate-crasher: Spain (Daniel Diges – “Algo Pequeñito”)
  • Best song cut from Titanic: Norway (Didrik Solli-Tangen – “My Heart Is Yours”)
  • Best meme: Moldova (SunStroke Project and Olia Tira- “Run Away”)
  • Second best singer-songwriter entry: Cyprus (Jon Lilygreen and The Islanders – “Life Looks Better in Spring”)
  • Best Google-translated lyrics: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Vukašin Brajić – “Thunder and Lightning”)
  • Best singer-songwriter entry: Belgium (Tom Dice – “Me and My Guitar”)
  • Best homage to This Is Spinal Tap: Serbia (Milan Stanković – “Ovo je Balkan” )
  • Least impressive “Featuring” credit: Belarus (3+2 featuring Robert Wells – “Butterflies”)
  • Best periodic reminder of how tough it is to win a second Eurovision title: Ireland (Niamh Kavanagh – “It’s for You”)
  • Act most likely to smell of barbecued lamb: Greece (Giorgos Alkaios and Friends – “OPA”)
  • The “At least it wasn’t nul point” award: United Kingdom (Josh Dubovie – “That Sounds Good to Me”)
  • The “Just let poor Sofia Nizharadze sing already” award: Georgia (Sofia Nizharadze – “Shine”)
  • Best Eurovision Song Contest entry that manufactured sparks: Turkey (maNga – “We Could Be the Same”)
  • Best back-up singers: Albania (Juliana Pasha – “It’s All About You”)
  • Best bounce: Iceland (Hera Björk – “Je ne sais quoi”)
  • Best angel of death: Ukraine (Alyosha – “Sweet People”)
  • Annual award for most successful theft of France’s thunder: the former Soviet Union countries, none of whom gave France any points (Jessy Matador – “Allez Ola Olé”)
  • Best musical representation of the premise for the TV show The Avengers: Romania (Paula Seling and Ovi –  “Playing with Fire”)
  • Best send-up of the Russian soul: Russia (Peter Nalitch and Friends – “Lost and Forgotten”)
  • Least magnificent apricot tree: Armenia (Eva Rivas – “Apricot Stone”)
  • Best approximation of an English accent: Germany (Lena – “Satellite”)
  • Song most likely to be served with lobster Thermidor and a Pink Lady: Portugal (Filipa Azevedo – “Há dias assim”)
  • Most palindromic song title: Israel (Harel Skaat – “Milim”)
  • Nico & Vlad award for singers who don’t appear to actually get along with each other: Denmark (Chanée and N’evergreen – “In a Moment Like This”)
  • Greatest Eurogasm: Denmark
  • Worst consequence of Jimmy Jump’s cameo appearance earlier in the show: Spain’s second chance
  • Most likely to get there, popular: Germany

Originally published 2 October 2015

At Last the 2010 Show

After weeks of dealing with things like, you know, child-rearing and our actual jobs and stuff, we’re finally going to wrap up this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. First off, here’s a couple of words about Portugal’s entry: it sucked.

Moving on. Overall, it was a good, solid show, although not necessarily a fun show if you’re a big fan of camp. Oh sure, you have a few overstaged numbers and one outright disaster, but if it weren’t for Belarus and their butterfly wings, kitsch fans would have been suffering horribly by the end of the night.

Let’s take a look at what we predicted and what actually happened. Italics mean right top 10 finish, bold means correct placement:

Jen:

  1. Denmark
  2. Germany
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Israel
  5. Ireland
  6. Turkey
  7. Armenia
  8. Belgium
  9. Greece
  10. Iceland

Last: U.K.

Chris:

  1. Germany
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Turkey
  4. Belgium
  5. Armenia
  6. Israel
  7. Denmark
  8. Georgia
  9. Ireland
  10. Romania

Last: U.K.

Europe:

  1. Germany
  2. Turkey
  3. Romania
  4. Denmark
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Belgium
  7. Armenia
  8. Greece
  9. Georgia
  10. Ukraine

Last: U.K.

The U.K. had finished fifth in 2009 with Jade McEwen and Andrew Lloyd Webber, and clearly the people organizing the 2010 effort thought they had a hit formula: take a song by a famous songwriter, find an unknown singer, and viola! Unfortunately, Pete Waterman struck gold writing songs for acts like Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley in the 1980s, and the song he, Mike Stock and Steve Crosby came up with sounded like some unsold number that they dusted off for the occasion. With its dated arrangement, it was going to be a hard sell, but Josh Dubovie struggled to pull it off. He sang fine at first (unlike his god-awful back-up singers), but then he went flat twice at the end of the song, putting a rancid cherry on top of an already moldy cake.

Even then, the U.K. could have avoided finishing last if Georgia hadn’t somewhat inexplicably awarded Belarus 12 points towards the end of the night. They had given U.K. three to pull the Brits out of the cellar, then cruelly slammed the door and knocked them down the stairs. Continue reading “At Last the 2010 Show”

Chris' Final Picks

Here we go.  Azerbaijan’s stock has fallen a bit after the Semi, and because it’s got the opening slot on the night.  Adorable magic pixie German girl benefits!

  1. Germany
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Turkey
  4. Belgium
  5. Armenia
  6. Israel
  7. Denmark
  8. Georgia
  9. Ireland
  10. Romania

Last place: United Kingdom

No nul points this year.

If I had a vote, I would vote for Serbia, because I am so cheeky.

Jen's Final Picks

Ok, here’s my top 10, plus last place. Given an erratic draw and new voting rules, I am not confident in this order.

  1. Denmark
  2. Germany
  3. Azerbaijan
  4. Israel
  5. Ireland
  6. Turkey
  7. Armenia
  8. Belgium
  9. Greece
  10. Iceland

Last. United Kingdom

Jen and Chris' Eurovision Semifinal 2 picks

Sorry, site was down during the critical Semifinal 2 time. Here were our picks for Semifinal 2. 8 of 10 for Jen, 7 of 10 for Chris, not bad. And overall, pleased with the outcome.  Not shocked by Sweden’s exit: the song wasn’t good, it was poorly sung, and the production was bloated, a triple whammy.

Jen
Armenia
Israel
Denmark
Sweden
Azerbaijan
Romania
Ireland
Croatia
Georgia
Turkey
Chris
Armenia
Israel
Denmark
Sweden
Azerbaijan
Ireland
Bulgaria
Croatia
Georgia
Turkey

Eurovision 2010, Chris' Semifinal 1 picks

The numbers in this year’s song contest are really hit or miss, and most of the misses are in the first Semifinal.  I would have bet Belarus would not have gotten out of the Semis if it weren’t for the fact that it is in this Semi.  Here are my picks, in the order they appear on the show tomorrow night:

Moldova
Slovakia
Finland
Serbia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Belgium
Albania
Greece
Belarus
Iceland

Eurovision 2010, Jen's Semifinal 1 picks

The first Semifinal is the weaker of the two and harder to call. Without a strong group of songs to qualify on merit, songs that qualify may be more influenced by neighborly and diaspora voting. At least that’s the logic I’ve got going for some of the picks.

Jen’s Semifinal 1 picks, in order of appearance:

Moldova
Russia
Slovakia
Finland
Serbia
Belgium
Albania
Greece
Belarus
Iceland

Eurovision 2010 Preview

Break out the crackers, wine, and vodka, because the Eurovision Song Contest, Europe’s annual cheese-fest and search for the “best song in Europe,” is happening this week.  This year, national representatives from 43 countries have descended on Oslo through a cloud of volcanic ash courtesy of Iceland.  Alexander Rybak’s fiddling and puckish grin linger in the air as Europeans look to crown a new champion.  Norway needn’t worry—their entry is competent but they won’t be hosting next year.  The semi-finals are May 25 and May 27.  The final will be held on May 29.

Who are the contenders?

In the days leading up to the contest, Azerbaijan has the momentum.  Safura’s “Drip Drop” is a pop-ballad with RnB influences; it’s relevant, soulful, and catchy. It’s the buzz entry and the bookie’s choice.

Other entries poised to compete this year:

  • Germany “Satellite,” a cute, quirky pop tune, made cuter and quirkier by Lena’s odd English pronunciations.  She’s an engaging performer and has the influential support of Stefan Raab behind her.
  • Armenia “Apricot Stone,” a singer-songwriter story song.  The staging will feature a tree growing out of a giant apricot pit. Roald Dahl would be proud.
  • Israel “Milim.” This year’s best ballad, gloriously oversung by Harel Skaat.
  • Denmark “In a Moment Like This,” an uber-pop duet.  The shine is off slightly because Chanee and N’Evergreen have struggled in rehearsals, but if they can execute the song is just like candy—sweet, irresistible, and goes down real easy.

Which are this year’s guilty pleasures?

Let’s face it, this is why we watch.  At the core of an unhealthy Eurovision obsession is a deep affection for kitsch, train wrecks, and pop culture gone horribly awry.

  • Iceland “Je ne se Quois.” In the capable hands of Hera Bjork, Iceland’s perennial Eurovision entry back-up singer, this song is a disco diva masterpiece.
  • Serbia “Ovo je Balkan.” This year’s shout out entry to the Balkans is damn catchy.  It’s sung by someone who’s taking his fashion cues from Jimmy Fallon and/or Mike Flowers.
  • Belarus “Butterflies.”  The song is saccharine dreck.  But in the staging, the 3 women in band 3+2 grow butterfly wings.  We eagerly await the semifinal to determine if their metamorphosis vaults them into the pantheon of legendary Eurovision kitsch.
  • Malta “My Dream.”  It has a man dressed as a bird flapping behind singer Thea Garrett. A Maltese falcon, if you will.
  • ESTONIA!!!!! “Siren.”  There’s one entry every year that is actually cool; that is to say we genuinely like it.  Unfortunately, the entry is often too offbeat to find a wide audience from a 3-minute listen.  Malcolm Lincoln’s vocalist does a funny dance, but it’s probably not enough to get them into the finals.  “Siren” draws comparisons with the likes of Simple Minds, but more austere, progressive, and melancholy.

Is anyone at risk for a nul points humiliation?

The United Kingdom had a successful 5th place finish last year with an entry penned by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Dianne Warren.  UK organizers attempted to replicate the model this year by bringing in another songwriting heavyweight.  Who they found was Pete Waterman, a songwriter who achieved success in the 80s by penning hits for Rick Astley, among others.  After what was undoubtedly a lot of coaxing and ego grooming, organizers persuaded Ol’ Pete to go to his filing cabinet and dredge up “That Sounds Good to Me.”  Unfortunately, the selection is ridiculously dated, a not-so-subtle echo of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America.”  It cannot be saved by amiable singer Josh Dubovie, nor by the UK’s attempts to develop a more contemporary arrangement.  But, hey, our 2-year old likes it.

Three Updates to Previous Posts

We’re getting caught up on all this year’s entries, and we’ll be doing a few reviews shortly, but in the meantime, we’ve updated three of our previous posts:

  1. United Kingdom: There’s a new version of “That Sounds Good to Me,” that takes the original dated version and somehow makes it sound even more dated.  Good luck with that.
  2. Germany: Lena’s “Satellite” is a big hit in Germany and Austria, and the bookies can’t decide if she’s the favorite to win or Azerbaijan’s Safura is.  There you go.
  3. Sweden: I said nice things about this year’s winner. I take them back.