Freitag, 25. Mai 2012

Eurovision '12.

It's Eurovision time and I should know better, but I go there and do it again and again and again. For the third year in a row, the line-up manages to underwhelm, but at least it's not as bad as last year's. The results are in and listed in alphabetical order of the countries involved, because it's not exactly as if the artists involved are actually involved, or artists for that matter. Be there tomorrow and be there with beer.

Albania. The kids in the video are giving me major creeps (one of them looks a bit like a Grey) and Rona Nishliu opening her mouth wiiiiiiiiiiiiide, thinking she can sing (she can't), isn't much better. I am still puzzled about what's lurking in her hair, waiting for its moment, waiting to make its move...

Austria. Can Trackshittaz, Christina Stürmer and the one person everyone always mentions in lists of bad things that are originating from Austria (like this one) be outweighed by Kaiserschmarrn, Most and Linzertorte? And why do foods and drinks seem to be the only good thing about the country, and why do they always have to be used in arguments to make up for everything else? Did not qualify for the final.

Azerbaijan. Keep hugging yourself, because I'm not going to do it.

Belarus. It's Riley from Season Four of "Buffy"! This first impression is only strengthened by the outfits and the naive self-appreciation. Lite not only in sound, but also in performance and in the ability to raise any kind of reaction above or below a hearty "bleh". Did not qualify for the final.

Belgium. When you said you love me, I'd probably yawn. Bonus points for ogre face at 0:58 minutes and capturing the essence of my spirit to engage in unholy rituals at 2:38 minutes. Did not qualify for the final.

Bosnia & Herzegovina. The moving piano has been done before by Vanessa Carlton, but I like the added idea of the assembly hall. Musically, little more than a solid ballad that does neither excites nor offends. 

Bulgaria. The background track has serious chance of growing on me (minus the common drum sequence), but all I grow upon hearing Sofi Marinova sing is cancer. Did not qualify for the final.

Croatia. Several men were made to undress to provide enough cloth for Nina Badrić's dress. They were then forced into a low-gravity chamber in order to float around naked and think about what the producers wanted to signify. First results are due to be published in the next issue of Nature. Did not qualify for the final.

Cyprus. Comb your hair, young lady. There's a deep gulf between sound and video here and I do not want to visit the mind in which both come together beautifully.

Denmark's navy does need to revisit their uniform design, methinks. But what we have here is an okay pop song with definite winning potential.

Estonia. A classic ballad that is the opposite of riveting. Your best chance to go to the fridge to grab another drink.

Finland. This is a pretty good pop song in a language I cannot understand, which is, as a general rule, how I like my pop songs. Did not qualify for the final.

France. I don't think I get the video, but that's nothing compared to France not getting Eurovision or its taste even remotely right for how many years now?

Georgia. Anri Jokhadze looks like the lovechild of Udo Kier, H.P. Baxxter and Kiefer Sutherland and as such, deeply upsets me. His music is equally upsetting, yet in a completely different way. Make of that what you will but I'll go and make myself a sandwich. Did not qualify for the final.

Germany. [Space intentionally left blank, for lack of reaction.]

Greece. When singer Eleftheria failed time and time again to not mention the social, economical and political crisis in her country, her producers rewrote the song to say "Ah-ah ah-oh-oh" and made her dance like a maniac pretty much everyone else who ever followed a choreography. Wins the men's vote (and I have to admit, the way she pronounces "addictive" has a certain appeal), but that's always been Greece's specialty.

Hungary. Someone in Budapest has a grey day, and we are forced to witness it: This is like watching German television. There's nothing quite like the feeling of having wasted three perfectly good minutes, except perhaps the thought that several people invested a lot more time into this garbage.

Iceland. Gréta Salóme's and Jónsi's (not of Sigur Rós, mind you) massive jaws may only be seen in half light. Their Amy Lee-like UTTERLY DRAMATIC singing (if you don't notice, they will throw in a LOOK OF DESPAIR and the ARMS LIKE WINGS for good measure) engulfs an okay string solo.

Ireland. Again!? There's something about Jedward, and it's not the music. If you're that close to the waterline, why won't you take just another step or two? Please?

Israel. Easy-going and catchy and not creepy. What could possibly go wrong? Something did, apparently, because it didn't qualify for the final.

Italy. She's hardly reuniting soul with Eurovision, but her voice can be appreciated and the tune is catchy. The song wouldn't be any worse off if it finished a minute earlier though, as it suffers from the same-multiple-endings-and-yet-again-the-chorus-syndrome as most entries do.

Latvia. Watch the audio track mismatching the video 0:31 minutes into the song and you'll know everything there is to know about it. Did not qualify for the final.

Lithuania. I can see you peeping below your blindfold! If in doubt, rip it off, do a cartwheel and thus better accompany the music which just sped up a bit. You could swear this shit is planned.

Macedonia. Feeling hand, the grab of power and a tense closing of eyes (and the skillful combination of all elements). You've got your video standards down, and your song doesn't outright hurt, but how will the Greeks feel about you further fueling the Macedonian naming dispute by calling yourself Kaliopi? Huh? HUH?

Malta. "Hey, look at me." I'd rather not, thank you. But much more to the point: I'd do a hell lot not to have to listen to you. Quite possibly the worst and most annoying and ah crap, I'd rather not continue to write but just punch you. P.S.: Your heart is slightly to the left of center of your torso.

Moldova. Why did they have to ruin the perfectly good wind instrument band by having Edward Norton wear suspenders and sing?

Montenegro is little more than a beautiful seaside resort and Rambo Amadeus the embarrassing uncle from the 80's that the tourism office which runs the country doesn't want to be seen by visitors. That's why the sent him far away, to Azerbaijan. No one expected him to enter Eurovision and the massive public relation disaster that will unfold in the weeks to come, essentially crippling the country's economy. Did not qualify for the final.

Netherlands. Nice flame .gifs, Joan, but this isn't Geocities. You might have had something there, if you took the annoying wannabe-country-style away and replaced it with... well, something else. Did not qualify for the final.

Norway. Ricky Martin, or worse, or why would anyone spend time producing something like this when they might as well read a book?

Portugal. I was wondering what the bodyguards were about until they raised their microphone. When whatever they did wasn't quite audible, I went back to wondering what the bodyguards are all about. Did not qualify for the final.

Romania. Plastic girl feat. shiny city and gay leprechauns. There's also Rick Astley in there, and bling, and bagpipes, and none of it makes sense.

Russia. Do they know what they're doing? Does anyone?

San Marino's entry looks and sounds like a Weird Al parody, but I'm afraid they're being serious about the dangers of... the Internets. Oh-oh-oh! Did not qualify for the final.

Serbia. A ballad, and not the worst I ever heard, up until the two-pointer and confetti rain, evoking the specter of Eurovisions past. Past, my dear, past. Bonus points for the fitting generic Serbian haircut.

Slovakia. This year's token guitar rock entry in the spirit of Bon Jovi with a video repeatedly making light of its own tone and look of seriousness because, we get it, Eurovision is about fun and stuff. Heaven help me. Did not qualify for the final.

Slovenia. I was about to lash into the singer's weird headdress when the camera panned and revealed that she wasn't actually the singer singer, leading that is. Tricky! Her background singers look like they got cancerous shower caps on though, and the lighting engineer a fancy for making you blind. Did not qualify for the final.

Spain. Mega. Split. Jump. Blown hair. A general throwing about. For a song this slow, the video offers quite the choreography and attempts to reconcile both through slow-motion. The jury is still out on the verdict though, because it went to see "Black Swan" again instead.

Sweden. This is what Robyn might sound like if she was shit. Winner of the "It's Poetry Because It Rhymes"-award and, sadly, most likely top contender this year.

Switzerland. If the singer didn't look as much as a douche as he does (and didn't move like one too), this might have been not much more offensive than your standard radio rock. Which is pretty fucking offensive to the ears, come to think about it. Did not qualify for the final.

Turkey. Mr. Bonobo reveals the similarity of Eurovision acts like none other this year. His song and video is the ultimate amalgam of all entries and thus can't be any better than their average - which is low. He will still win the women's vote and may be in for an upset.

Ukraine. I thought Melania Thornton died in a plane crash? A decade ago? If this is her undying self I finally have found one good argument against the ubiquity of zombies in today's pop culture.

United Kingdom. A message from the 60's: We want our dust back and I'm sorry, but black pudding is out, will you have a roast beef instead?
Best unintentionally amusing video: Croatia.
Most enjoyable song: Finland.
Additional endurable songs: Denmark, Israel.
Potential winners: Sweden, Denmark.
Most overused cliché in performance: Dramatic (and possibly painful) closing of eyes.

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