Eurovision Song Contest - Helsinki 2007

   

by Terence & George



Eurovision 2007 Europe's annual date with cheese and campness (they call it Eurovision) this year takes place on May 10th (the semi-final) and May 12th (the final). The city? Helsinki, or rather Hellsinki, as it's been called many times after monstrous metal band Lordi won the trophy for Finland in 2006.

What awaits the viewers on the two nights? Well, it's true that the hardest thing when it comes to the madness that is the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is predictions. Which country will win, which will bomb, which will be saved by neighbourly votes? Only ten countries from Thursday's semi-final will proceed to the final on Saturday.

Terence and George, UKMIX's own Eurovision experts (not!) switch their otherwise good taste off for a while and listen through all 42 entries in alphabetical order.


SEMI-FINAL

ALBANIA: Aida & Frederic Ndoci - Hear My Plea
T: This is totally unlistenable!
G: I like it, not much though. Sort of ethnic meets 90s electronica.
T: They really lost the plot this year... totally boring, and what's their plea for? Votes? The girl's vocals aren't bad though.
G: I wish I could say the same about Frederic. This won't do well.
T: Never underestimate the power of neighbourly love.
George's prediction: 21-25 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 16-20 in the semi-final

ANDORRA: Anonymous - Salvem El Mon
T: A bit of fresh air compared to the C-List female 'stars' they've sent so far. Sounds like Busted or McFly... that kind of trash.
G: Yeah, but at least it actually sounds like a contemporary pop song, if admittedly a little cheap.
T: That's true. It's very energetic though - should sound great performed live.
G: What does the title mean anyway?
T: "Let's Save The World." WWF can adopt it as their theme.
G: They'd better save themselves first, I'm sure the world can wait.
George's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 16-20 in the semi-final

AUSTRIA: Erik Papilaya - Get A Life, Get Alive
T: Now this is an Anastacia reject or so I read and I don't really rate Anastacia that much.
G: He does sound like her at times.
T: Do you know this has been promoted as an anti-AIDS campaign song? Probably a miserable attempt to gain votes, but that's nice of him.
G: Yeah, it could be a trick, but a nice gesture nonetheless.
T: I like the guitar break halfway through...
G: I don't like anything about it; it's kinda hard-edged with a positive message. Sounds like a recipe to me.
T: Erik's vocals are a bit weak, aren't they? It would've sounded better as an instrumental - there's still time to reconsider that option. I can't see this making it through either.
George's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 16-20 in the semi-final

Belarus BELARUS: Dmitry Koldun - Work Your magic
G: Dima Bilan 2007 (last year's Russian entry).
T: Not a surprise. They share the same producers.
G: It's not bad actually.
T: I quite like it, and the intro sounds like a Bond theme. Thing is, can he pull it off live? Belarusian artists have a habit of singing in incomprehensible English.
G: Indeed. It's popular with the fans, but needs a really good stage performance for extra appeal.
T: Definitely one to look out for, and I guess it should sail to the final with no problems.
George & Terence's prediction: 1-5 in the semi-final

BELGIUM: The Krazy Mess Groovers - Love Power
G: This is so 70s.
T: Is disco music still in vogue though?
G: No. Especially this kind of disco... sounds like a blaxploitation soundtrack leftover from 1973. I kinda like it though, this retro feel.
T: Can you feel the love power, George? 'Cos I don't. If Kate Ryan didn't qualify last year, then I see little to no hope for this.
George's prediction: 16-20 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 21-25 in the semi-final

Bulgaria BULGARIA: Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov - Water
G: Now we're talking!
T: This is pure euphoria... Eurovision trance (of sorts).
G: Yeah, it can entrance you, that's for sure. Bucolic vocals over cheap 90s beats.
T: Vocally, Elitsa's as irritating as a mosquito, but the song's been one of my very early favourites and it could change Bulgaria's bad luck. I don't think this will appeal to everybody, however... I can't see grannies enjoying this one.
G: Peasants and goat keepers will love it, so who cares about the grannies?
T: Why? 'Cos she vaguely sounds like a goat?
George & Terence's prediction: 6-10 in the semi-final

CROATIA: Fly feat. Dado Topic - Vjerujem U Ljubav
T: ...Which means "I Believe In Love" for your information. This sounds like Santana on drugs.
G: Indeed. Sounds very 80s as well. Male/female duets are so last century!
T: "You'll never know how much I love you..." aren't they a sweet couple?
G: He's middle-aged - she just wants him for his money.
T: Money? Do you think so? But then, he's richer than the two of us combined.
G: Can't see him getting any richer after the contest.
George & Terence's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final

Cyprus CYPRUS: Evridiki - Comme Çi Comme Ça
G: Pseudo-electrogoth. Yeah!
T: Well... you can speak for your country [Greece] and find a reason why this should be awarded the douze points.
G: Well, for one it sounds 2007, if a bit retro. It's catchy and the melody is uplifting.
T: Yeah, it's one of the best songs so far, certainly more than 'comme çi, comme ça'. Why in French though?
G: That might as well ruin their chances. When was the last time a song in French won? 1988? Also, Evridiki's dancing abilities are questionable. At least she has some experience, since she represented Cyprus in the past.
T: She needs a polished, professional performance to stand out among 28 hungry wolves. Can I be honest here? Welcome back Evridiki, but I'm 99% convinced you're the next Kate Ryan (hyped up song, failing to make the final).
George's prediction: 1-5 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final

CZECH REPUBLIC: Kabat - Malá Dáma
T: Lordi-spawned.
G: Yeah... the guitar riff is not unfamiliar either.
T: The title translates as "Little Lady". This is pure rock, not pretentious like Andorra, but I'm afraid I can't say any more positive things about it.
G: Voice aside, it's not that bad. Is it popular with ESC fans?
T: Not really, but it can be a dark horse... depends on the live performance and I'm not writing them off.
G: Lordi's victory was a one off, surely they can't have many chances.
T: Especially since they lack their controversy.
George's prediction: 16-20 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 21-25 in the semi-final

Denmark DENMARK: DQ - Drama Queen
T: Campfest, totally camp, totally Eurovision!
G: Is this a guy singing?
T: A guy in drag.
G: It's very camp indeed, all drama queens will adore it.
T: Hey, I do like this too and I'm no drama queen, at least as far as I know. It's a so-bad-it's-so-good kind of track.
G: Aargh, you like this piece of trash? I say it's trash period - only for peak-time fun at hip gay bars.
T: What can I say? It's a guilty pleasure. And you know what? A friend of mine, who's a Euro-maniac and normally gets the predictions right, predicted this to win. God help us.
George's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 6-10 in the semi-final

ESTONIA: Gerli Padar - Partners In Crime
T: This isn't actually bad, but it just goes nowhere. Cheap, rock-tinged number, and in this year's guitar frenzy it will be easily forgotten and flushed down the drain.
G: Yeah. Big, stadium-like chorus, but with no content. It has that drama factor though...
T: There was some short-lived TV series sharing the same name - I think Gerli's Eurovision adventure won't last long either.
George's prediction: 16-20 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 26-28 in the semi-final

FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA: Karolina - Mojot Svet
G: Beautiful, beautiful - but bound to fail. Lovely, ethnic mid-tempo ballad.
T: She's back (after 2002), with a better song and hopefully a better dress. You want a minus? She'll switch to English for the last verse.
G: Anything for a few votes. Tsk, tsk, tsk...
T: My optimistic side says she'll easily qualify and probably earn their highest peak to date.
G: No way!
George's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 1-5 in the semi-final

Georgia GEORGIA: Sopho - Visionary Dream
T: I have a love/hate relationship with this one.
G: Mine is pure love.
T: I know why... it reminds me of Björk, but in a good way.
G: Well, it's weird, unconventional and powerful. Very interesting. An eastern dance track with attitude.
T: It also reminds me of William Orbit's tracks for Madonna... it has that frantic feeling to it. I'd be shocked if this doesn't qualify.
G: I reckon they will need to do something spectacular on stage if they want to attract votes.
T: Erm... they're going to have a... sword fight! (Shhhhhhhhh... secret!)
G: Oh dear, what next?
George & Terence's prediction: 6-10 in the semi-final

HUNGARY: Magdi Rúzsa - Unsubstantial Blues
T: Quirky song this one.
G: A country number with no tomorrow.
T: The video fits the song well, incidentally. But dear God, her voice does grate on me a lot.
G: I like that huskiness. But apart from a weird title, there's nothing else to this song.
T: I like it (well, it took me a lot of listens) but it sounds out of place in the contest.
G: I think Magdi will be singing the blues for a long time.
George's prediction: 26-28 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 21-25 in the semi-final

Iceland ICELAND: Eiríkur Hauksson - Valentine Lost
T: It's a big, 80s, long hair rock ballad... rejoice!
G: Rejoice? More like 'get off the stage!'
T: The guy's scaring me - look at that face.
G: If he looks like the song sounds, I can understand why.
T: The title seems clichéd, but the lyrics are really powerful.
G: Yeah, the lyrics are admittedly beautiful.
T: Still, the song is a bit Eurovision-unfriendly.
George & Terence's prediction: 21-25 in the semi-final

ISRAEL: Teapacks - Push The Button
G: Tackling such a serious subject as war and ending up sounding so ridiculous is some feat!
T: First of all, what's with multilingual songs this year?
G: Cheap shots at fame and success, that's all. The style reminds me of Austria 2003.
T: It sounds funny at first listen, but soon the joke wears thin. But it could qualify.
George's prediction: 21-25 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 6-10 in the semi-final

LATVIA: Bonaparti.Lv - Questa Notte
G: Straight out of the dustbin, here's a sick joke of a song. A third-rate, operatic ballad. See you in the semi-finals next year Latvia.
T: I have a feeling this will do really, really well.
G: This isn't 1967 you know.
T: Are they imitating Andrea Bocelli? 'Cos if they are, they're failing badly. That Italian accent is unacceptable. Then again, my aunt might be watching the semis.
G: Tell your aunt and all aunts to stay away from the phone.
T: Aunt - stay away! Italy, come back!! We don't need impostors.
George's prediction: 26-28 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 6-10 in the semi-final

MALTA: Olivia Lewis - Vertigo
G: Very camp and melodramatic.
T: Beautiful music, string arrangements and promising intro, but the chorus is weak. Not to mention the fact that the lyrics are rather abysmal...
G: Well, I think the chorus is the best part, actually.
T: I don't think it will be a top scorer, but at least it's a pleasant change from Malta's usual Disney-like entries.
G: Good luck anyway!
George's prediction: 6-10 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final

Moldova MOLDOVA: Natalia Barbu - Fight
T: Where has Grandma Boonika headed off to?
G: She could be dead for all I know.
T: The drum must have been too heavy for her...
G: I predict big things for this one.
T: I'm not expecting it to do well, though I hope it qualifies. It's rock/pop without sounding too rock or too pop.
G: Rather, pop with a rock edge. Backed up by a good performance, it should have no problem entering the Top 10.
T: Sadly, I believe this should fight to achieve a Top 10 slot in the semi-final. Natalia's lovely though.
George's prediction: 1-5 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final

MONTENEGRO: Stevan Faddy - Hajde Kroci
T: Childish, with neither flow nor substance.
G: Unremarkable and annoying second-rate Balkan rock - again. Will Stevan sing in English?
T: Nope.
G: Then it's 100% doomed.
T: The title means "Come On, Step Up" - not even friendly votes will help this on the scoreboard, and I bet they'll eat themselves from the inside watching Serbia making it to the final instead of them.
George & Terence's prediction: 21-25 in the semi-final

NETHERLANDS: Edsilia Rombley - On Top Of The World
T: Another familiar face. Edsilia represented the Netherlands in 1998 - she shouldn't have bothered giving it another try...
G: Anastacia rip-off!
T: I agree, this is a chewed-up, spat out, thrown up version of "One Day In Your Life."
G: Indeed, uninspired and tacky. Boring, too!
George's prediction: 16-20 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 26-28 in the semi-final

NORWAY: Guri Schanke - Ven A Bailar Conmigo
G: A Latin affair this one, with a small breakdown towards the end.
T: For me it's a breakdown from start to finish.
G: What do we know about Guri?
T: She's 45, but looks 65, this old tart. Don't get me wrong, the song is pleasant and summery enough, but for some reason I just don't rate it.
G: Somehow I think not even the Spanish would send something like that. It's nice to listen to once or twice but that's it.
George & Terence's prediction: 16-20 in the semi-final

POLAND: The Jet Set - Time To Party
G: Oh. My. God.
T: The Black Eyed Peas representing Poland - how thrilling!
G: The Black Eyed Peas are Mozart compared to this. Pure trash. This would not even be accepted as muzak in fairgrounds.
T: What worries me is that kiddies might actually vote for this. Poland came agonizingly close twice in a row in the past two semi-finals, so you never know.
George's prediction: 21-25 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final

PORTUGAL: Sabrina - Dança Comigo (Vem Ser Feliz)
T: Norway Part II, but at least you'd expect Latin music from Portugal.
G: Indeed, but still trash.
T: You'd think Portugal had learnt from Finland and decided to send something groundbreaking, but we have to wait at least another year. And... wow, another language switch here! I'm sensing a desperate pattern.
G: Point is, will it work?
George & Terence's prediction: 26-28 in the semi-final

Serbia SERBIA: Marija Serifovic - Molitva
G: This year's big ballad then.
T: An outstanding, overblown, ethnic power ballad, sung by a butch lady - I really, really like it!
G: Well, it's not bad by ESC standards. What does "Molitva" mean?
T: It means "Prayer", though she needs no prayers, as this is so winning the semi-final!
G: Hmmm, allow me to have my doubts, but it will most probably end up Top 5.
T: You've got to hand it to ex-Yugoslavian countries when it comes to ballads!
George & Terence's prediction: 1-5 in the semi-final

SLOVENIA: Alenka Gotar - Cvet Z Juga
G: Ultra-camp this one - opera disco. I'm sensing another theme here.
T: It's basically an opera song, but not old-fashioned like that Latvian dirge, and it's the beat that turns it into a disco-fest.
G: It has potential to do very well, but sounds dated nonetheless.
T: It's a bookies' favourite, but I'm not sure if it will lift Slovenia from the semis for the first time.
G: Not sure either, but, just maybe, the gimmick will pay off.
George's prediction: 6-10 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 11-15 in the semi-final

SWITZERLAND: DJ Bobo - Vampires Are Alive
T: A possible winner this year apparently; a sure-fire winner had it entered ten years ago. 90s Euro-trash, with a male lead singer and a female-driven refrain.
G: That's all DJ Bobo knows to do. Cheesy Euro-disco, most appropriate for free CD giveaways with teen mags. This one's about zombies - bless Lordi!
T: Demons, vampires... change the subject. Let's have songs about cows and pigeons next year!
G: Yeah, bring back 1960!
George's prediction: 6-10 in the semi-final
Terence's prediction: 1-5 in the semi-final

Turkey TURKEY: Kenan Dogulu - Shake It Up Shekerim
G: This could win, you know.
T: This is a purely Turkish song merged with Justin Timberlake-ish elements.
G: Yeah, oriental pop with one eye to the west.
T: I quite like it, except for the "lovey dovey" part. That's a big mistake. But let's hope he can shake the arena up anyway!
G: I think we'll see him doing his thing twice this year...
George & Terence's prediction: 1-5 in the semi-final


FINAL

ARMENIA: Hayko - Anytime You Need
T: I'm in love with this song... the backing oriental music is lovely.
G: Yeah, it's heartfelt, even if the lyrics are nothing to get fussed about. Somehow, Hayko comes across as sincere. So is it the second time for Armenia in the contest?
T: Yup, though they won't do well like they did last year...
George's prediction: 16-20 in the final
Terence's prediction: 11-15 in the final

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Marija Sestic - Rijeka Bez Imena
G: This is one ballad too many!
T: I liked it when I first heard it, but I'm getting bored of it now.
G: It's hardly impressive. Totally forgettable.
T: It could end up somewhere in the bottom quarter, but then again, it's Bosnia & Herzegovina...
G: So what? Goodnight Marija!
George's prediction: 21-24 in the final
Terence's prediction: 16-20 in the final

Finland FINLAND: Hanna Pakarinen - Leave Me Alone
T: Finland's played it safe long enough, now they're sticking with the guitar route. This might get some points if performed well, but I guess most people will take Hanna's advice and leave her alone.
G: They'd better! Don't forget they're the hosts though... Anyway, I bet Avril Lavigne will sound like Hanna in ten years.
T: Definitely. She already whines too much anyway.
George's prediction: 16-20 in the final
Terence's prediction: 21-24 in the final

FRANCE: Les Fatals Picards - L'Amour À La Française
T: Now this is a fresh and certainly unique number!
G: Agreed, it's quite lovely, isn't it? Funny in a way as well. English with a French accent, and French with an English accent. I think it's brilliantly ironic.
T: And at last! Gone are the females with boring ballads from Eiffel-land! The thing is, with so many unconventional songs this year, I think this will underperform.
G: Also, France is one of the 'Big Four', which has proven to be a minus in recent years.
George's prediction: 11-15 in the final
Terence's prediction: 16-20 in the final

GERMANY: Roger Cicero - Frauen Regier N' Die Welt
T: Oh, jazz music... The title means "Women Rule The World" by the way.
G: Cabaret music for 2007... yawn! But I sort of like it. It reminds me of Denmark 2005, which did well.
T: So you're saying we're up for a surprise hit?
G: Yup... Schlager fans in the audience will love it.
George's prediction: 11-15 in the final
Terence's prediction: 16-20 in the final

Greece GREECE: Sarbel - Yassou Maria
G: Why this song is doing so well at Internet polls baffles me.
T: Well, 'cos it's in the Ricky Martin/Sakis Rouvas vein, that's why.
G: Plus, it's catchy I guess. The bouzouki bit near the end will be the key to Sarbel's stage performance I suppose.
T: It's catchy, that's all. I guess that's enough for it to be a hit. Greece's record of going straight to the final since the semi-final introduction will remain untarnished.
George & Terence's prediction: 6-10 in the final

IRELAND: Dervish - They Can't Stop The Spring
G: I don't know what to make of this, frankly.
T: Neither do I. I love the fact that it borrows a lot from traditional Celtic folk music.
G: Yeah, it's awfully sweet. Sounds almost medieval with that flute in the background.
T: I know what you mean. It's also very simplistic; no shiny outfits or aerobics for a change.
G: The singer's voice reminds me of Dolly Parton though.
George's prediction: 11-15 in the final
Terence's prediction: 21-24 in the final

LITHUANIA: 4 Fun - Love Or Leave
T: Dido should sue!
G: I love the originality in this contest.
T: Indeed, this contest is a bag of wonders.
G: One-hit-wonders, that is.
T: I honestly love this though.
G: Well, it's far from the worst song of the final, but still...
T: It's simplistic, the lyrics aren't tragically awful and it's a grower.
G: But with only three minutes on their hands, I'm afraid they won't have any time to grow on anyone on Saturday.
T: Sadly, this will pass by unnoticed and they'll need another cheerleading fiasco to make the finals again.
George & Terence's prediction: 21-24 in the final

ROMANIA: Todomondo - Liubi, Liubi, I Love You
T: Romania has gone from strength to strength these years.
G: Are you serious? This is a new low for the contest. Rock bottom. Cheap and stupid multilingual excuse of a song!
T: Yeah, well, the song screams 'DESPERATE HERE! VOTE FOR ME' but I find it insanely contagious.
G: What is it that you like about it?
T: I really like the Romanian and Italian parts - I'm not too fussed on it, but it's addictive, like I said.
G: Unfortunately, I believe more will succumb to this addiction.
George & Terence's prediction: 6-10 in the final

Russia RUSSIA: Serebro - Song #1
T: The Russian Sugababes!
G: Now that's a pop song that actually sounds like one.
T: It has a very strong rhythm. It could even be a big UK hit.
G: Agreed. It reminds me of Britney's "Oops I Did It Again" at times. That was a big hit too.
T: The lyrics are a bit corny... what in the world is a 'funny bunny'?
G: A bunny that tells jokes? Don't expect Shakespeare mate... Anyway, my money's on this song to win - this or Cyprus.
T: Really? I'm only predicting a low Top 10 finish for this.
George's prediction: 1-5 in the final
Terence's prediction: 6-10 in the final

SPAIN: D Nash - I Love You (Mi Vida)
T: A boy band singing about love and sweethearts.
G: Oh, how cute and original. It makes me sick.
T: I'll save my stomach contents for another song. G:Son produced this - the mastermind behind Carola's "Invincible", last year's Swedish entry.
G: I have to go to the bathroom now, thanks.
George's prediction: 11-15 in the final
Terence's prediction: 16-20 in the final

SWEDEN: The Ark - The Worrying Kind
T: Wow, a non-schlager-pop-melody-happy-go-lucky entry from Sweden.
G: Lord, have mercy on us!
T: Sounds like Edison Lighthouse's "Love Grows"...
G: Crossed with Gary Glitter's lowest moments. Bye bye Sweden.
George's prediction: 16-20 in the final
Terence's prediction: 11-15 in the final

Ukraine UKRAINE: Verka Serduchka - Dancing Lasha Tumbai
T: I think I'll stop reviewing now.
G: Verka is an obese drag queen, right?
T: Yeah... I like the intro: "Hello everybody, my name is Verka Serduchka, Me English nicht verstehen, Let's speak dance!" but it goes downhill from there.
G: It goes beyond cheesiness... it's totally something else.
T: A winner perhaps? I believe 2004 will be repeated, meaning this will beat Serbia in the final.
George's prediction: 6-10 in the final
Terence's prediction: 1-5 in the final

UK UK: Scooch - Flying The Flag (For You)
G: Erm......
T: Now this is atrocious, dated and brings the British music industry to shame. I know this is a UK website, but I have to speak my heart.
G: I have to agree, unfortunately. It's really as good as the Fast Food Rockers.
T: That's British music for you, voilà!
G: In Evridiki's words, I'd rather say "La fin voilà".
George & Terence's prediction: 21-24 in the final


RUNNING ORDER

SEMI-FINAL (10 May)
01. Bulgaria
02. Israel
03. Cyprus
04. Belarus
05. Iceland
06. Georgia
07. Montenegro
08. Switzerland
09. Moldova
10. Netherlands
11. Albania
12. Denmark
13. Croatia
14. Poland
15. Serbia
16. Czech Republic
17. Portugal
18. F.Y.R. Macedonia
19. Norway
20. Malta
21. Andorra
22. Hungary
23. Estonia
24. Belgium
25. Slovenia
26. Turkey
27. Austria
28. Latvia

FINAL (12 May)
01. Bosnia & Herzegovina
02. Spain
03. Semi-final qualifier
04. Ireland
05. Finland
06. Semi-final qualifier
07. Semi-final qualifier
08. Semi-final qualifier
09. Lithuania
10. Greece
11. Semi-final qualifier
12. Sweden
13. France
14. Semi-final qualifier
15. Russia
16. Germany
17. Semi-final qualifier
18. Ukraine
19. United Kingdom
20. Romania
21. Semi-final qualifier
22. Semi-final qualifier
23. Armenia
24. Semi-final qualifier


The semi-final can be seen on May 10th live on BBC Three from 8pm onwards; the final will be broadcast two days later on BBC One from 8pm onwards.

WEBSITE: Eurovision Song Contest Official Website