Check out this really cool video of Lukas Plöchl, member of Austrian pop/hip-hop group Trackshittaz, performing the song Love Shine A Light, the winning song of the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest originally performed by Katrina & The Waves. It’s a great, updated rap version complete with a gospel choir and synchronized elevated hand movements!
Also, check out this performance of One Night In Bangkok, one of my favourite songs composed by Eurovision Song Contest-winners Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, under the guidance of one of my favourite singers, Kate Ryan who herself is a former Eurovision particpant for Belgium. I sense a pattern here…
So now it should come as no surprise that Lukas, together with Manuel Hoffelner as Trackshittaz, have finally made it to the Eurovision stage. They will be representing Austria at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with the über catchy, utter zany song Woki Mit Deim Popo, loosely translated as ‘Shake your booty’. This is going to be a breath of fresh, fun air to the proceedings I reckon.
As the 2012 national finals season for the Eurovision Song Contest approaches its final stages, we can see that plenty of Eurovision entries as well as national final entries enter the iTunes chart in their respective countries. Have a look below:
Perhaps the most surprising is the Netherlands, with the Dutch entry You And I by Joan Franka at # 2 (previously #1 last week). The last time a Dutch entry was a commercial hit on home soil was in 2010 with Sieneke’s Ik Ben Verliefd (Sha-la-lie). I suppose John de Mol deserves some credit in drumming up interest in the Eurovision Song Contest again and for making the entry a commercial hit, thus restoring some credibility to the Contest in the eyes of the Dutch public and media as well creating a bit of pride. That still doesn’t exonerate him from hijacking the Nationaal Songfestival and turning it into a ‘The Voice’ after-show.
Another welcome surprise can be seen in the Spanish iTunes chart, with the country’s newly selected Eurovision entry Quédate Conmigo in at #9. This has never happened before, at least in my recollection, to a Spanish entry. It means that the people are getting behind the song and are very proud of it. I think we can expect some really good viewing figures from Spain this year.
Unsurprisingly, we can see Cyprus’ entry La La Love in the Greek chart at #9. No surprises for guessing where Greece’s douze points are going to.
As usual, Sweden’s Melodifestivalen dominates the iTunes chart in the run up to the Finalen i Globen and we can expect this to continue over the next coming weeks as the Swedes turn their attention to Eurovison Song Contest preparations.
A few entries have fallen off the charts but will most likely appear again as the Contest looms closer. These include Norway’s Stay by Tooji and Italy’s Per Sempre by Nina Zilli, which I suspect may return re-incarnated in its Eurovision form.
I have to say, it’s really great to see countries getting behind their entries and turning them into commercial hits as well as worthy showcases of their country’s music heritage, culture and industry. Goes to prove that the Eurovision Song Contest is more commercially relevant than people are prepared to admit.
Continuing on from Part 1, I’m listing out really great singers that, for one reason or another, either didn’t get the result they were hoping for, or were more deserving of a better score in the Eurovision Song Contest. Here are some artists that I’d really love to see back on the Eurovision stage:
Ines was the hot favourite to win the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Once In A Lifetime. It was a catchy, uplifting number but nerves and bad styling quickly stifled any chances of victory. Fast forward to the present day and Ines has now become one of Estonia’s most popular singers and is just plain stunning. Here’s a recent video of her performing Once In A Lifetime:
Widely touted as Austria’s very own Ricky Martin, Manuel Ortega took to the stage in Tallin and gave a spirited performance of his song Say A Word. While it was definetly a crowd pleaser, I thought the song failed to excite with the chorus being rather repetitive. I’d really like to see Manuel back with a fiery ethno/Latin-inspired number. Given the success that has been granted to this genre on the scoreboard, I think Austria could definetly pull off a Top 10 placing.
France had one of the best songs in 2004. A Chaque Pas was beautiful, wonderfully performed and continued the great tradition of French balladry at the Eurovision Song Contest. Unfortunately, it also fell into another tradition of gimmicks. Using ‘Le Petit Prince’ as inspiration, France had a contortionist atop a pair of stilts. Suffice it to say, people paid more attention to the lofty gyrating antics. Next time Jonatan, please come solo. With feet planted firmly on the stage.
Shiri’s breathtaking performance of Hasheket Shenish’ar (The Silence That Remains) is Eurovision at its best. A talented songstress in a gorgeous dress singing a beautiful ballad. Give the girl another ballad, throw her in an evening gown and let her do her thing again Israel! This was, in my opinion, was one of Israel’s more finer entries this decade and never fails to remind me of Contests of decades past.
Hungary got everyone’s feet tapping with their entry Forogj, világ!, featuring tap dancing and powerful vocals in the mystical Hungarian language. The song is really catchy and it was a pity that they were drawn first, for had they performed in the second half, I’m sure they would have done better in the scoring. NOX ought to enter again with the same formula but they should do what Kati Wolf did this year and keep the song mainly in English with a verse in Hungarian.
Viennese duo Darius & Finlay have released their anthem for summer entitled Here Comes The Night. It’s a catchy house track that worms its way into your brain and refuses to budge. It also comes with a fun music video filmed in Spain. It makes one want to just drop everything and grab the next flight to Barcelona. Check it out below: