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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

While France's new president vacations on a yacht in Malta, final preparations are underway in Helsinki for the 2007 Eurovision semifinal. For the uninitiated, I should add that Malta has to take part in the semifinal this year because of last year's dismal result.

I'll be attending the first of three dress rehearsals this afternoon; I always thought that the dress rehearsal was the last rehearsal before the first public performance...apparently not. I will be subjected to two and a half hours of magnificent television technology for live stage performances while enduring several number mind-numbing schlagers, spiced up with the odd "rock" ditty.

Here's a quick rundown of the ten countries I think will make it through to the final from the 28 taking part in the semifinal. They're in the order they'll appear during the semifinal. DISCLAIMER: this list should not imply that I neceessarily endorse a particular song or country; it is merely a pick of the 10 songs I think will pass on to the final. The comment following each pick is an indication as to why it's on my list of 10.

Israel: TEAPACKS - Push The Button
This band reminds me of my beloved Xtruppaw...but they're not going the extra mile for a Lordi-style win.

Cyprus: EVRIDIKI - Comme Ci, Comme Ça
It's a catchy song that should attract enough votes to make it into the final.

Belarus: KOLDUN - Work Your Magic
The people have spoken! Haven't you heard?

Georgia: SOPHO - Visionary Dream
If only Malta's debut Eurovision entry was this good!

Switzerland: DJ BOBO - Vampires Are Alive
A cultish entry that could capitalize on the countless Emo and dark side lovers. Then again, it's too much of a pop dirge for any self-respecting emo.

Denmark: DQ - Drama Queen
One drag queen is not enough for this year's final.

Serbia: MARIJA ŠERIFOVIĆ - Molitva
Marija seems to have the Chiara syndrome. There has to be a good reason why this entry is currently topping the betting odds.

Czech Republic: KABÁT - Malá Dáma
You have to respect a country that sends a rock act the first time it takes part the Eurovision Song Contest. Wouldn't it be fantastic to visit Prague next year?

Malta: OLIVIA LEWIS - Vertigo
Well, I'm sure you'd have her on your list if she invited you in for a chat while she has a bubble bath...but, truth be told, there has never been a stronger Maltese entry to the Eurovision Song Contest.

Andorra: ANONYMOUS - Salvem El Món
This is a good parallel case to see how Klinsmann would have fared this year in Helsinki.

So that's the list before the first semifinal dress rehearsal. I may tweak it later. If I do, I'll let you know. In any case, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below after hearing the songs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI Ton.

Well done for your predictions. I really agree. I think that Malta has never had a good song together with a good singer like this year.

No matter what the results will be, Olivia will still be the one and nly for us. 

6:58 PM, May 10, 2007
Anonymous adrian said...

i mourn the uk's loss of faith in the eurovision. when i was kid i remember us taking it seriously and caring whether we won and if our entry was any good. it was a matter of pride.

so i will cheer on malta too this year because it looks like you do care. look forward to your commentary toni.

(personally i think both sweden and russia are in with a chance with israel as a wildcard. my predictions are usually either very accurate or wildly wrong - i don't do middle ground) 

11:30 PM, May 10, 2007
Anonymous Anonymous said...

il-lallu kemm mort zmerc ras!!! 

11:54 PM, May 10, 2007
Anonymous Meta l-Alternattiva jtellaw kantant, nuri ismi. said...

Mela sena ilu kien hemm rebha Nazzjonalista ghall- Eurovision u tela Faniello biex gab punt biss.
Il-Laburisti hadu gost b'dan ir-rizultat u zejnu din l-istorja b'hafna intricci u suppozizjonijiet.

Din is-sena saret rebha Laburista u telghet Olivia. Fuq Super 1 (WAN sar issa) rajna messagi ta' pregji u elogiji kbar fosthom li hi kien haqqha li tirbah ghal zmien twil.

Sfortunatament, giet aghar il-bicca ghax qass punt wiehed ma ddubajna minghajr qass biss ikwalifikajna. Jahasra dawn l-imsieken li nhar is-Sibt ordnaw l-ikel (jew ippjanaw biex idawru lira) ghal waqt il-Eurovision ghax nahseb issa se naqra mqanzha l-bicca.

Let me do my prediction now Toni:
Ghada l-ewwel diska li se tindaqq fuq Radio 101 se tkun 'Vertigo'... dik tal-U2.

Uno, dos, tres, catorce...
Turn it up loud, captain cause I am going to enjoy it even more this one. 

11:56 PM, May 10, 2007
Blogger Clifford said...

Your predictions were not as good as last year. 2/10!

Sorry! Good luck for next year 

12:39 AM, May 11, 2007
Blogger Rene A said...

I'm really disappointed with how the whole thing turned out yesterday. the finalists chosen are either countries in the balkan region or ones related to them, or else ex-soviets...speak of voting neighbours! this competition's been turning into a joke for far too long. With Olivia giving her utmost by way of a fabulous performance...hence, playing by the "budding rules", Malta should honestly consider giving them all the cold shoulder and looking to other, more cost-effective means of promoting local talent. 

6:50 AM, May 11, 2007
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quite agree with your chosen 10. A lover of music i've been following the eurovision for a long time .... it is very unjust that Malta is not taking part in the finals ... when as you said it has a very strong song .. personally i think its another voting where you scratch my back and i scratch yours ... ah nieghbours !!!!

Marisa Pisani 

8:37 AM, May 11, 2007
Blogger JG said...

My preferred one was Israels' and I found them really similar to the Maltese group "Brikkuni" in particular the track "Fil-Bar ta taht il knisja". (Dunno if I heard it on one of you podcasts sometime). Its beginning especially clearly resembles the beginning of Israel's Push The Button.

As regards the Maltese Entry, I was very positive before hearing Olivia singing, however she was rather insecure and shaky, high notes were slightly flat and she had no idea of how the cameras were moving. I can think of a couple of excuses which will come out tonight on Xarabank e.g. the jet fan infront of her putting out too much air, the mic, monitors or some other bs, but as I always say, in my opinion the main problem is that singers rely too much on singing playback in village festas and mimings on tv and the common voter doesn't notice this except on a verdict day such as yesterday. 

11:38 AM, May 11, 2007
Blogger thiswaste said...

I too was hoping Israel would pass. Absolutely loved the song- am hoping it will pop up on the DJ's playlist at 2am one Saturday night at Coconut in Paceville.

As for Malta: though I predicted we would not make it to the finals, I thought we deserved it nonetheless- our song seemed to stand a very good chance compared to some of the mindless drivel other countries were performing in the semi-finals. Yet, I think our problem is that we take all this WAAAAY too seriously. I'm all for sending Xtruppaw next year.

We've tried, year after year, to enter generic song after generic song, complete with 'a Spanish twist', a key change right after the bridge, and dancers. Obviously this isn't working, so give it a rest. Let's see some blues or punk or ragtime in there next year.


4:53 PM, May 11, 2007

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