Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eurovision 2009

Well I don't know about you, but I thought last night's Eurovision was one of the best I've seen in many a year. Only the Swedish and Russian songs set my nerves jangling and I think with that it was a reaction to both the voices.

A and I liked all of the top five (Norway, Iceland, Azerbaijan, Turkey and the UK, in that order) and I personally don't buy into the whole "Britain's hoped dashed again" vibe that was splashed all over my home page this morning. Considering where we have finished in recent years, fifth is fine by me. It was a good song, but if you listened to the rest, it was very different to the rest of the entries. Therein lies the key to our performance - as a nation, we have vastly different tastes to nearly all the other nations in Europe - particularly the wider Europe that competes now. There are a number of countries that are culturally influenced by Arab music and anyone who had spent time browsing record shops in France or Italy (the only places I have) will realise that their contemporary pop music does not share much with ours.

But the key victory for me was for the actual contest. There was still some bloc-voting (12 points from Croatia for Bosnia & Herzegovina, for example) but much much less than there has been in the recent past. Well done Eurovision - having music judges as well as the public was a brainwave.

So for those of you who missed it, here are some of my highlights. Some have come from the semi-finals or the country's own heats, but the performance is similar:

Turkey (fourth place)

Azerbaijan (third place)

Norway (first place)

And then some that didn't do so well, but made me smile. First, Denmark. Listen carefully and see if you can tell the composer from the style of the singer (and yes, the singer is Danish!)

And one of my all time favourite Eurovision performances from Germany, which finished in a woeful 20th place. Well done Germany - nice to see you bring Burlesque into family viewing with the gorgeous Dita Von Teese!

And did you get the composer of the Danish song? Yes of course, it was Ronan Keating!

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