You win some and lose some

So it’s been a week of pleasant surprises and bitter disappointments here in Euroland.

Vittoria will not be playing her trumpet for Switzerland.

Perhaps the most bitter is the disqualification of Vittoria Hyde’s ‘Play The Trumpet’ from ‘Die Grosse Entscheidungs Show’ (the Swiss National Final), as part of the song was revealed before the 1st of September. That’s really too bad as I honestly felt that this KeiSha-esque song was one of the best songs amongst the Swiss contenders.

However, on the good news front, some even more amazing and talented artists have been announced for Melodifestivalen 2011 (Sweden’s Eurovision preselection). Three of them in particular. They are Le Kid, Jenny Silver and Brolle.

Le Kid are one of Sweden’s newest pop groups and have yet to release a bad song. I’m really excted about their participation as they describe their song ‘Oh My God!’ (to be pronounced “Gawd!”‘) as a typical Le Kid song that follows up their previous releases “in a good way”, which is really encouraging to hear. Check out their most recent single below:

And then we have Jenny Silver, who participated in Melodifestivalen this year with firm fan favourite ‘A Place To Stay’ (below). However, her song ‘Something In Your Eyes’ is the total opposite as it has been described as a happy, disco ABBA-esque song. Given that the songwriters are Erik Bernholm, Thomas G:son, and Henrik Sethsson who took Denmark to fourth place at this year’s Eurovision with ‘In A Moment Like This’, I think we are assured of an amazing song, to be delivered by an equally amazing singer.

Oh, and Lithuania has confirmed their participation for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m still trying to decide if that’s a good or bad thing. Well, in any case, the more merrier!

Swiss Hopes for 2011 (Part 2)

Who will wave the Swiss flag in 2011?

So SF have announced a majority of the finalists that will take part in the Swiss national final. They are:

Sarah Burgess – ‘Just Me’
Andrina – ‘Drop Of Drizzle’
Anna Rossinelli – ‘In Love For Awhile’
Bernarda Brunovic – ‘Confidence’
CH – ‘Gib Nid Uf’
Duke – ‘Waiting For You’
Polly Duster – ‘Up To You’
The Glue – ‘Come What May’
Vittoria Hyde – ‘Play The Trumpet’
Dominique Borriello – ‘Il Ritmo Dentro Di Noi’
The Colors and Ilira – ‘Home’

The song that has captured my attention is ‘Play The Trumpet’ by Vittoria Hyde.

Its a mix between Kei$ha and Black Eyed Peas and makes for an interestingly fresh sound. Its also fully in line with the current trend of contemporary music that is proving to be successful at Eurovision. I really like the verses and the middle eight. Overall, a fun, quirky and modern song that should do Switzerland proud, if selected.

Other than that, the rest are a pleasant enough group of songs. Miles better than Romania’s shortlist to be sure. However, I’m gutted that none of my personal favourites made it through. Also, what gets me is that for a country with four official languages, a majority of the songs are in English. Would have liked to see some variety but then again, I’m more happy that none of the joke/bad entries made it through.

Now with only the French-speaking broadcaster to pick the last song, I’m fervently hoping that ‘L’Égoiste’ by Evelyne Filipe will make the cut. Go on SF, you know it makes sense!

Speaking of hosts…

… here are two who are actually confirmed. This year’s comperes for Melodifestivalen will be none other than Swedish pop princess Marie Serneholt and, er, some other dude. We all know Marie from Sweden’s Eurovision Preview Jury as well as worthy competitor in Melodifestivalen 2009 with the amazing ‘Disconnect Me’. She’s also Måns’ gurlfraind!!!

The Hosts for Melodifestivalen 2011: Rickard Olsson & Marie Serneholt.

Marie’s got fabulous stage presence and should be a perfect host. Should Sweden win Eurovision next year (Go Sanna/Danny!!!), I’d love for Måns & Marie to host the 2012 Eurovision! How cool would that be? “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host tonight, Marie Serneholt and Måns Zelmerlöw” They’d melt the stage with their hotness.

Swiss Hopes for 2011

Switzerland is in the voting stage of the song selection for Eurovision. Interestingly, the country’s using an online platform which is a method Spain pioneered in 2008 with mixed results. Now I’ve been attempting to wade through all the different entries in search of my Eurovision fix and I’ve identified some noteworthy songs that I thought I’d share. Some of these have already been covered by other sites but I’ll list them again here anyway, because they are that good.

Check them out below!

‘L’Égoiste’ by Evelyne Filipe

I’m really liking this song! If it sounds a bit familiar, that’s because it has been composed by Andrej Babic and Carlos Coelho. It’s performed by Evelyne Filipe whom we all remember as a backing singer for Vania Fernandes in 2008. Remember, it was this same team that took Portugal to the Final for the first time with ‘Senhora Do Mar’ and there the country stayed. So maybe they will do the same for Switzerland? It’s plausible, as the song is a cracking one. I LOVE the horns and the melancholy wistfulness of it all. It’s all so French. I can just imagine Evelyne standing on the Champs-Élysées singing her heart out in the rain. Wearing a beret. Clutching a soggy baguette. I really hope this makes the Final Ten. We need more French in Eurovision.

Nobody Knows‘ by 3nity Brothers

A pleasant piece of guitar pop. My favourite part is when they went acapella at the middle eight. I reckon the song might be a better if they started acapella and let the beat and music build up. Then perhaps the song will stand out. And they are competent live singers and look like cute little puppies! I can just imagine little girls across Europe squealing if they were to make it.

Erés‘ by Lynn

A haunting ballad with a really nice melody. The only thing working against  this song is that it is in Spanish. Not that I have anything against Spainsh, I love Spanish music. It’s just that it seems rather odd that a Spanish-language song is bidding to represent a country that doesn’t speak it. I’m a firm believer in songs having some sort of national tie to the country its representing, be it language, music, songwriters, singers, whatever. If the song were recorded in one of Switzerland’s official languages, we might be onto a winner. Methinks Italian would work the best. At this point, as great as the song is, being sung in Spanish strikes me as being really indulgent and having no interest in representing Switzerland.

Take My Heart‘ by Auf Hi’Dee feat. DQ

Woohoo! As expected of DQ, Denmarks 2007 representative, this is a classic schlager song. Some may argue that it is formulaic and derivative, but I say its a brilliant piece of Europop. It sounds like something that would appear on the Melodifestivalen stage. Hopefully this makes its way to the Top Ten. In all likelihood, it may not win, but it will be so worth seeing the glitter and sequins flying again!

Sweden announces first four names for Melodifestivalen 2011

The first four artists and songs to participate in Europe’s most popular national final have just been announced! They are:

Song Title: Desperados
Artist: Pernilla Andersson
Composer/Lyricist: Pernilla Andersson

Song Title: E De Fel På Mig
Artist: Linda Bengtzing
Composer/Lyricist: Pontus Assarsson, Thomas G:son, Jörgen Ringqvist

Song title: Me And My Drum
Artist: Swingfly
Composer/Lyricist: Teron Beal, Patrik Magnusson, Johan Ramström

Song Title: En Blick Och Något Händer
Artist: Lasse Stefanz
Composer/Lyricist: Alexander Bard, Ola Håkansson, Tim Norell

It’s really great to see Linda Bengtzing back in Melodifestivalen. This will be her fourth participation and going by the song’s composers, it is going to be one massive schlager anthem. Another composer that caught my attention is Alexander Bard. The rest of the artists will be making their debut and represent a wide variety of musical genres.

Belgium unveils first songs for 2011

The sun has barely set on summer 2010 and already countries are kick starting their preparations for the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in May.

Sweden and Albania have announced the dates and venues for their national selections. Cyprus has even gone ahead and selected their singer. But its Belgium that has truly got the 2011 Eurovision season rolling with broadcaster RTBF’s rather innovative online platform which they’ll be using to select the country’s song and singer.

Basically, aspiring Eurovision contenders can upload their songs onto the platform and get people to invest in it. The songs that manage to rack up 20,000 euros will then proceed to the second stage of the selection, which will be a televised national final with the song being selected by a mixture of public televote and expert jury. Phew!

Although the platform was only launched a few days ago, we’re already seeing a number of songs being uploaded and gathering up euros.

Léa Clément is hoping to represent Belgium with 'Où s'en vont nos rêves?'.

I’ve had a listen and my favourite song by far is the lovely ‘Où s’en vont nos rêves?’ by the talented Léa Clément. The song is a sweet combination of pop and classic French chanson. The melody is subtle but grabs you on the first listen, which is important for a Eurovision entry. I felt that the chorus could have benefited from having the violins featured a bit more prominently to emphasize the melody but I guess that, should the song make it to the second stage, the production will be amped up. But it’s a lovely song and the only one of two from the lot that I listen to repeatedly. You can listen to ‘Où s’en vont nos rêves?’ by clicking here and then on the ‘Play’ icon off on the side.

Another really good song is ‘Ice Blood’ by Gautier Reyz, which is the second song I find myself going back for more. It’s contemporary, upbeat and catchy. Gautier sounds a bit like Metro Station, but with a slight French accent, which is actually quite cool. You can listen to ‘Ice Blood’ here.

Other notable mentions are ‘Taste Of Today’ by Krystel Yorke, ‘J’imagine’ by Double Vie and seventies throwback ‘Doesn’t She Notice’ by Wilhelm Schweigamer.

‘Ice Blood’ is currently leading the pack with ‘Où s’en vont nos rêves?’ coming in second. Yay! My two favourite songs are doing well.

Overall it’s a good crop of songs and with more artists adding their songs to the fray, the Belgian national selection is shaping up to look pretty promising.