In honour of Eurovision’s 60th birthday concert being on tonight, I’ve finally got round to finishing my review, so I’m about to post my review of all 40 of this year’s entries (yes, that includes Australia) here. As usual, there’s a random mix of all sorts of stuff, ranging from the very weird to the very wonderful. In a year full of boy/girl duets, dull and boring female ballads, boybands and the odd good-looking male singer, most are good, some are just a case of ‘what the hell did I just hear?’, whilst others are that short, you’ll wonder why they even bothered in the first place. None of the artists in my Eurovision wishlist are appearing this year (SOB!) but I still like most of the songs we have on offer this year anyway, so it’s not all bad.
Anyway, here it is. Enjoy.
ALBANIA (Elhaida Dani – I’m Alive): Her first song, Diell, was crap. This one is a little better, but only just. It’s the first of many dull and boring ballads this year. Someone pass me a pillow and wake me up when it’s finished. Ta.
ARMENIA (Genealogy – Face The Shadow): Whilst I like the idea of a band being made up of famous singers, all with Armenian heritage, from the five different continents, I’m still not overly convinced about the song. Sorry Armenia. See you in the semis.
AUSTRIA (The Makemakes – I’m Yours): Like with every year, the host nation have sent something unlikely to win Eurovision twice in a row, though I do kind-of like this song. It’s better than some of the stuff we have this year, anyway…
AUSTRALIA (Guy Sebastian – Tonight Again): Debutants Australia have given us a damn good song by one of their biggest-selling artists but, as they’re only guest entrants for Eurovision’s big 6-0, they won’t be able to enter again next year. PS: If this wins, can the Aussies give it to us next year please? Ta.
AZERBAIJAN (Elnur Hüseynov – Hour Of The Wolf): Most people seem to like this song but I’m not so keen. It’ll probably qualify though… this IS Azerbaijan we’re on about, here.
BELARUS (Uzari & Maimuna – Time): For once, Belarus, you’ve actually sent a song that I actually like… and there’s not a cheesecake in sight! Well done!
BELGIUM (Loïc Nottet – Rhythm Inside): Last year, Belgium sent a fat guy singing a song for his mum to Eurovision. This year, they’ve sent a youngster who was once on their answer to The Voice with a toe-tapping little ditty. I’m still middle of the road with this one though. I don’t hate it but I don’t like it either. It may grow on me.
CYPRUS (Giannis Karagiannis – One Thing I Should Have Done): Cyprus may be back at Eurovision this year but, with this song, they won’t be going much further. It is a bit bland and boring for my liking. Sorry.
CZECH REPUBLIC (Marta Jandová & Václav Noid Bárta – Hope Never Dies): YAY! They’re back! And not a weird guy in a superhero costume singing a crap song in sight! Well done Czechs! As for the song itself, however, it is rather boring. Sorry.
DENMARK (Anti Social Media – The Way You Are): Most people actually hate this but, being a bit of a rock and indie fan, I actually like this song. It was my favourite song in a somewhat dull Danish national final and it has elements of McFly and Denmark’s own A Friend In London too and, as a fan of both bands, it’s not hard to see why I like this song. Sadly, I can’t see it making the final, but I hope it does. We NEED the Danes in the final!
ESTONIA (Elina Born & Stig Rästa – Goodbye To Yesterday): Everyone seems to love this song but I personally don’t like it. I’m not entirely sure why. Sorry Estonia!
FINLAND (Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät – Aina Mun Pitää): For starters, I’m not against disabilities, I just hate this song. Shouty punk just isn’t my thing but, thankfully, this is only a mere 85 seconds long, though it is still shit. Fair play to them for having a go but, if the Finns wanted any chance of reaching the final or even winning, they should have gone with Siru. Her song was lovely and they can do SO much better than this! Come back Lordi, all is forgiven!
FRANCE (Lisa Angell – N’oubliez Pas): Another year, another questionable song from Le Frenchies. Nil points!
FYR MACEDONIA (Daniel Kajmakoski – Autumn Leaves): Another song I’ve loved from the first listen is this one. I loved the Macedonian version as well and, whilst it’s not my favourite song this year, I still hope it makes the final.
GERMANY (Ann Sophie – Black Smoke): SCANDAL ALERT! The guy who won the German national final decided he didn’t want to go to Austria after all so, instead, they sent a girl with a naff song to Vienna. Still, at least it’s not totally rubbish, so I’ll let them off.
GEORGIA (Nina Sublatti – Warrior 2.0): Hey, Georgia, Malta called… they want their song back! That’s all I’ve got on that one…
GREECE (Maria Elena Kiriakou – One Last Breath): I actually quite like this in a weird sort of way. It may be a ballady-type song but it’s not a totally dull and boring one so I can forgive them for that.
HUNGARY (Boggie – Wars For Nothing): Hungary have gone all acapella on us in this less-than-subtle political song about people being killed in wars all over the world. Maybe Russia and Ukraine should listen to this. It’ll definitely prove a few points at least.
ICELAND (Maria Ólafsdóttir – Unbroken): WOW, Iceland! Just… WOW! After last year saw the Icelandics send their answer to the Teletubbies on LSD with a rubbish song, they’ve seen sense and sent a beautiful song sung by another female solo artist. And, what’s more, she’s barefoot as well and, as we all know from previous Eurovision winners, being barefooted is a good thing. Maybe we’ll see Reykjavik hosting Eurovision for the first time in 2016? Who knows? Watch this space…
IRELAND (Molly Sterling – Playing With Numbers): Well done, Ireland. Not a dubious Celtic song or energetic singers in sight! Nice one! PS: A girl with a piano? What could possibly go wrong?
ISRAEL (Nadav Guedj – Golden Boy): First up, how is this lad still only 16?! He looks well older! Secondly, Israel haven’t had much luck at Eurovision in recent years but I can see them bouncing back into the final with this song, which is traditional and Israeli-sounding. It’s better than some of the stuff they’ve sent in the past, anyway.
ITALY (Il Volo – Grande Amore): Now, as most of you will know, I love a good classical song but, unfortunately, they don’t always work at Eurovision. Italy’s song, however, might break that trend. It’s a beautiful song sung by three good looking chaps and, though they beat my favourite artist in Sanremo, I can forgive them.
LATVIA (Aminata – Love Injected): WEIRD SONG ALERT! Poor Latvia haven’t been in a Eurovision final for a good few years now, purely on the basis they’ve sent rubbish songs, and I can’t see that changing any time soon. Sorry Latvia!
LITHUANIA (Monika & Vaidas – This Time): Oh look, these two don’t have to shout to get their message across! And this song is MUCH better! Well done!
MALTA (Amber – Warrior 1.0): THIS Warrior came first, Georgia! Bugger off and get your own song title! And, whilst Amber was allowed to change the song, she decided to keep Warrior and just decided to edit the song to make it sound better. And it is! This Warrior is SO much better than Georgia’s sort-of up-tempo namesake and it’s also one of my favourites this year, if not my ultimate favourite! GO MALTA!
MOLDOVA (Eduard Romanyuta – I Want Your Love): Last year, the Moldavians sent a weird woman who literally pulled her hair out on stage. This year, they’ve gone for a male solo artist. Ukraine may not be in this year’s competition but they are represented with this guy, a Ukrainian-born singer singing for Moldova. And, weirdly, I like this song as well. Not sure if it’s the song or the fact the guy is actually quite good looking. Either will suffice.
MONTENEGRO (Knez – Adio): Another lovely little song from Montenegro. Last year they sent Nick Pickard’s long-lost Montenegrin cousin and, this year, they’ve gone for another male soloist singing a sort-of classical song. Methinks they’re actually taking it seriously for once instead of sending rapping astronauts and weird blokes who think they can rap.
NORWAY (Mørland & Debrah Scarlett – A Monster Like Me): If, like me, you went to watch The Script live a few years ago, you’ll remember their supporting act, Absent Elk. Well, Kjetil from the band has now gone solo and joined forces with a young lady to sing at Eurovision. And, after last year’s dull as dishwater song, as sung by Norway’s answer to Lee Boardman, the Norwegians haven’t let me down this year. This song is brilliant and, whilst it’s not quite another Scandinavian stormer, it’ll do for me!
POLAND (Monika Kuszyńska – In The Name Of Love): After the horrific porn show the Poles gave us last year, I was rather hoping not to get a repeat of that. Thankfully, they’ve sent a slow song which is actually much better and I won’t mind if they get do get to the final with this. You’re forgiven, Poland.
PORTUGAL (Leonor Andrade – Há Um Mar Que Nos Separa): Last year, the Portuguese sent a stormer of a song which I actually quite liked and was surprisingly robbed of a place in the final. This year, they’re back with another dull and boring ballad. Yawn!
ROMANIA (Voltaj – De La Capăt (All Over Again)): Originally, Romania were going to go for the all-Romanian language option, then decided to ditch that idea and go for a dual-language song instead which, surprisingly, works. And there’s not a circular piano in sight. I still have no idea what that was all about…
RUSSIA (Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices): Nobody likes you, Russia. Go home. You’re drunk. In all seriousness, though, I actually don’t mind this song, despite the obvious references about them wanting peace from the rest of the world. Just don’t expect masses of points, Russians. It ain’t going to Moscow next year.
SAN MARINO – Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola – Chain Of Lights): Glad you managed to find someone that ISN’T Valentina Monetta, San Marino! Bravo! Just a shame the song’s a bit questionable. See you in the semis.
SERBIA (Bojana Stamenov – Beauty Never Lies): Remember Chiara from Malta? She’s now changed her nationality and is singing a nice little ballady-type song for Serbia. And, for the first time in Eurovision history, they’ve ditched the Serbian language and gone for English instead! Nice!
SLOVENIA (Maraaya – Here For You): Whilst I like the song (in a weird sort-of way), I can’t help but think those oversized headphones unfortunately make the lass look like a poor man’s Cyberman. Hope they ditch them for Eurovision or they probably won’t be getting my vote.
SPAIN (Edurne – Amenecer): Over the years, Spain’s Eurovision entries have been mostly wonderful. This year’s is no exception. I loved it on first listen and, with this song, I can see them shooting up the board again this year. Not bad for a football WAG! (She’s David de Gea’s girlfriend, in case you’re wondering…)
SWEDEN (Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes): WOW SWEDEN! Here we have a guy who is nice on the eye, who can sing and has an amazing stage set-up with cute little cartoon figures marching to the beat of the song (though, due to plagiarism, they will have to be changed for Eurovision – DAMN IT!). And, what’s more, I sense another top five finish at Eurovision for you this year. Bravo!
SWITZERLAND (Mélanie René – Time To Shine): Another year, another little toe-tapping ditty from the Swiss. There may not be a fiddler this time round but I do quite like this song and I fully expect to see it in the final.
THE NETHERLANDS (Trijntje Oosterhuis – Walk Along): Another wonderful little song from The Netherlands. Can they make the final for the third year in a row? Only time will tell…
UNITED KINGDOM (Electro Velvet – Still In Love With You): And finally, my country. What am I going to do with you, UK? I do like our song but, last time we sent a duo to Eurovision, it went horribly wrong. Let’s just hope it goes right this time round.
AND THAT’S THE WRAP! But who’ll win overall? All will be revealed in May…