Eurovision Song Contest - Estonia 2002


by Ben Cook

United Kingdom - Jessica Garlick Love it or hate it, the Eurovision Song Contest is still extremely popular - last year it attracted around 100,000,000 viewers all over the world. Although it has a stigma for being camp and cheesy, there are a lot of good pop songs in the mix this year. Inevitably though, there are still a large number of embarrassingly bad ones which don't do much for the Eurovision's reputation. Let's face it, most people only watch it for Terry Wogan's sarcastic comments and the bad hair, clothes and songs.

This year, all twenty-four entries are released on a compilation CD. You're probably best off waiting until after the competition before deciding to buy it unless you're a huge fan, because there are a number of unwanted weeds.

1. CYPRUS - Gimme
Boy band ONE will kick off the competition at 8pm on May 25th with this rather cheesy piece of pop. Don't be deterred by the possibility that they will be taking off most of their clothes, to cover up for the fact that the song is just plain awful - it does get better after this, trust me. The most helpful description I can give is to think of Brit Pack's "Set Me Free", if you can even remember that.
Prediction: Top 20

A nice change - we've entered a bit of class this year which should do pretty well. We can at the very least be assured of a strong live performance this time, with a ballad performed by Pop Idol finalist Jessica Garlick. It should be a reasonably big hit in the charts, and with televoters all over Europe. Where we might fall down is our lack of friends in Euroland.
Prediction: Top 5

Greece 3. GREECE - S.A.G.A.P.O.
Weird song this one. It's like an unusual 1980s robotic dance vomit, not typical Eurovision material at all. It's quite popular with the fans though, so it might do OK. However, it's still in danger of relegation I think, a far cry from their Top 3 success last year.
Prediction: Top 15

Austria 4. AUSTRIA - Say A Word
A very sing-a-long-a-D:Ream sort of song. Awful lyrics like "Say a word and I'll be there, say a word and I will care." Not very memorable at all, and it looks like Austria will be out of 2003.
Prediction: Top 20

5. SPAIN - Europe's Living A Celebration
This is very highly regarded by Eurovision fans. Ultra camp and ultra happy pop from a rather large girl called Rosa, who won Spain's Pop Idol equivalent, 'Operation Triunfco'. It's sung mostly in Spanish, except the main line. This can't fail really, it's very strong and is going to get a lot of votes. I wouldn't be surprised if it won.
Prediction: Top 5

6. CROATIA - Everything I Want
Awful awful awful. There was a good song here before they butchered it - now it just sounds like a row. It's sort of ethnic pop, and it's not camp, which makes a change, but I don't see this doing very well. The girl really can't sing.
Prediction: Top 15

7. RUSSIA - Northern Girl
Who do they think they are, *N Sync? This is similar to the Cypriot entry, but perhaps ever so slightly better. They probably won't do quite as well though, because they don't take their clothes off and they don't have the guaranteed 12 points from Greece that Cyprus will get.
Prediction: Relegation

Estonia 8. ESTONIA - Runaway
Well, this is one of the better songs in this year's competition. Estonia haven't been entering Eurovision very long, but they always seem to submit good songs, probably because there isn't a stigma attached to it there. Of course, they're the host country this year, and it'll no doubt do wonders for their tourism. The song is very strong, a good pop song sung by a pretty girl called Sahlene, who is actually Swedish. It's been criticised for sounding suspiciously like R Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" though.
Prediction: Top 5

9. MACEDONIA - Od Nas Zavisi
Nooooo! Stop screaming woman! Absolutely diabolical, the chorus is virtually non-existent and the girl just screams completely off-key. Some strange people think it'll do well but I beg to differ. A definite tea break song.
Prediction: Relegation

10. ISRAEL - Let's Light A Candle
Yuck. A ballad with a horrific chorus: "Liiiiiiight a candle, a thousand candles in the dark will open our hearts." The singer sounds a bit like a chipmunk. About time they took a year out methinks.
Prediction: Relegation

11. SWITZERLAND - Dans Le Jardin De Mon Ame
Boring. Another dirge of a ballad and it's in French. Bye bye Switzerland.
Prediction: Relegation

Sweden 12. SWEDEN - Never Let It Go
This is probably the favourite to win. A very good party song that's currently No. 1 in Sweden, performed by a three-piece girl band called Afro-Dite. Ever so slightly reminiscent of ABBA, but not so much as the usual Swedish entries. This one will get you on your feet if you've had a few to drink.
Prediction: Winner?

13. FINLAND - Addicted To You
Another girl that struggles to stay in key. Similar sort of upbeat song to Sweden, but a lot weaker. What often happens when two similar songs are put together is the better one kicks the other's arse. I think that's likely to happen here, although they might make the Top 10.
Prediction: Top 10

14. DENMARK - Tell Me Who You Are
Yet another young female solo singer, yet another pop song. The best I can describe is that it's similar in style to Billie Piper's "Day & Night". Not strong enough to challenge the big songs in my opinion.
Prediction: Top 15

15. BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA - Fairytales Of Love
Might appeal to some people, this is a bit like last year's winner. Anyone under 21 will think it's awful, but those over that age might think it's good, especially if they give a good performance. I wish they'd get relegated though, they always give us tripe.
Prediction: Top 15

Belgium 16. BELGIUM - Sister
A very deep-voiced man singing an 80s rock-style tune. Not very Eurovisiony, but again could appeal to many people who like a 'proper' song, not bubblegum pop. A sneaky outsider to win I think. God help us if it does.
Prediction: Top 10

17. FRANCE - Il Faut De Temps
Do I even need to review this? Needless to say, it's another Celine Dion impressionist. The song is actually quite good, easily as strong as their Top 5 entry last year. However, it's entirely in French, so it might suffer as most of the rest are in English.
Prediction: Top 10

18. GERMANY - I Can't Live Without Music
Just as you were losing faith in the Eurovision, along comes another camp, frankly G-A-Y sort of tune. Just too fruity for me. Could either do very well, or flop completely like our Nicki French did two years ago.
Prediction: Top 5

19. TURKEY - Leylakar Soldu Kalbinde
Interestingly, this is fairly good for Turkey! Good ethnic beats, quite catchy. It won't do that well as most people won't understand a word of it. Oh what am I saying? It's rubbish.
Prediction: Top 15

Malta 20. MALTA - 7th Wonder
Very pleasant song, cute is the word. "Is it good is it bad, am I simply going mad." The beginning sounds like the start of a children's TV programme or song, but I can't quite put my finger on it. It's quite charming, though I'm not too convinced about the girl's vocal abilities. May just about make the Top 10.
Prediction: Top 10

21. ROMANIA - Tell Me Why
Oh I won't even bother reviewing this, you know what it's going to be like.
Prediction: Relegation

22. SLOVENIA - Samo Ljubesen
Here we go then, a bit of controversy. This is sung by three transvestites dressed up as... trolley dollies! Heaven knows why. They caused a bit of a stir in Slovenia because it appeared no one at home wanted them to win, but the jurors did. I should think the Slovenians are a bit embarrassed by the whole thing, it's just terrible.
Prediction: Relegation

Latvia 23. LATVIA - I Wanna
Everyone seems to have dismissed this, but it has quite a good chance. Sung by a pretty girl called Marie, the song has a slight Latino-style, a bit like "She Bangs" by Ricky Martin. "I wanna see lobster in your eyes" - OK, she doesn't really sing that, but it sounds like it. Could sneak up and surprise us all.
Prediction: Top 10

24. LITHUANIA - Happy You
Worst song of the whole competition. Awful production, awful voice, awful song. They can't even pronounce the words properly, "Heppy I cuz heppy you..."
Prediction: Relegation

So all in all, Eurovision hasn't changed that much, but it's always worth watching if you're a pop music fan or just want an entertaining night. If you're expecting top quality music, then you'll be disappointed!

Eurovision Song Contest 2002
8pm, Saturday May 25th, BBC One

WEBSITE: Eurovision Song Contest Official Site