17 minutes ago
Thursday, 9 April 2015
Eurovision Song Contest 2015 - My evaluations and choice for winner.
..........I've listened to each of this year's 40 entries, giving all of them my complete attention. After careful consideration, I've now come up with my choices, ordinally placed as follows:-
1) Estonia (current betting odds puts it 3rd)
2) Austria (19th)
3) Denmark (30th)
4) Russia (7th)
5) San Marino (40th, i.e. last!)
I have high hopes for the U.K. entry, a M/F duo with a 'Roaring-20s' pastiche. Present betting places it 10th. I think it's a brave choice, unlike any other entry this year - or maybe it's a sign of desperation to try to get something noticed after many years of finishing in unillustrious positions, even last or near to last (except for Andrew Lloyd Webber's [pretty good] song, which finished 5th in 2009). If the U.K. doesn't make the first ten with this one there ain't no justice. If it ends up in the bottom half it'll be a travesty; but travesties have always been second nature to this infuriatingly watchable event.
A few further comments:-
Current favourite is Sweden (it usually is!) which I don't rate at all. It didn't even make my 'long list' of 12 from which I chose the above five. But it's a rare year indeed when my own favourite song wins, the last one being (also 2009) with Alex Rybak, the little happy hottie from Norway with his fiddle.
My top choice of Estonia clearly won't be to everybody's taste, but it has an attractive originality about it, both melodically and lyric-wise.
Austria's song, which I place second, is a very Lennon-esque arrangement (think 'Imagine'), though putting that aside I think it's a quality song.
Denmark's entry (a throwback to 1960's pop groups) reminded me a lot of the title song of the Tom Hanks written-and-directed film 'That Thing You Do', but it's no worse for being that. It's a cheerful little number.
Russia gives us one of those rather predictable, aspirational big ballads but I've heard a lot worse, and it's actually not that bad. The video features mainly little kids but also adult couples, most of advanced age, only one (or two?) of which could possibly be considered as a possible same-sex couple (both couples being female), though they are much more likely to be familial-related. Anything suggesting that gay couples can be okay (oh, horror!) would be contravening their 'gay propaganda' laws. ("We Believe in Dreams", indeed - but dreams for whom?)
The accompanying video mimics but is very different from Madonna's video for her abridged version of 'American Pie', which was gratifyingly upfront about showing us gay couples. (I loved her version of the song itself, by the way, which had an infectious drive to it, even though it was generally panned and Madge herself regretted having acquiesced to Rupert Everett's pestering her to release it.)
Australia's offering wasn't at all bad. It very nearly got into my Top 5 with it's jazzy inflections. However, I doubt if it'll be highly placed, unless the novelty of having that country enter for the first time gets it noticed.
You can hear (and see) all the songs here:-
So there you are. Make of my choices what you will - and we'll see if they come to pass on May 23rd.
The second part of the above is easy, at least for some of us - the first, well-nigh impossible!