The past few weeks have all gone by in a blur with the national finals season reaching its zenith as the last of the 42 particpating countries select their entries for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. Here’s a quick run-down of what’s been happening in Spain, Slovakia, Lithuania and Russia:
SPAIN: In the elaborate Eurovision gala organized by RTVE for Pastora Soler, the country’s Eurovision Song Contest entry was selected and to no one’s surprise, pre-contest favorite Quédate Conmigo made a perfect score with both the jury and public. It was, in my opinion, the best song on offer, not for the song itself (which is your typical Eurovision belter ballad) but because of Pastora’s beautifully emotive delivery that started off all vulnerable and delicate before building up to that powerfully explosive key change. Pastora was absolutely flawless. And it’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about the prospects of a Spanish entry.
SLOVAKIA: The Slovak entry was unveiled and Max Jason Mai will do the honors of flying the flag with the song Don’t Close Your Eyes. It’s light-weight rock very much in the style of Thirty Seconds To Mars. It’s got a fantastic intro and the bridge and the chorus sounds very promising. However, I feel it’s not fair to judge the song in its studio version as it had been built to be a stadium rock anthem so it will most likely come alive when performed on the big stage. That being said, it is a brave choice by the Slovaks and continues their trend of diverse, quality songs. However, Max really needs to get a haircut and stop the pouting. People keep mistaking him for a girl!
LITHUANIA: The Lithuanians selected Love Is Blind by Donny Montell to represent them at the Eurovision Song Contest. This is Donny’s fourth attempt at the Lithuanian ticket and he’s finally managed to clinch it with this rather interesting song that starts off as an adult-contemporary pop song with faux jazz before transforming into a disco stomper. And just when you think you’ve got the handle of it, the middle eight kicks in with Donny performing handstands and all manner of theatrics. You’ve got to give him points for sheer enthusiasm. He sings the song very well despite it all but I reckon he ought to loose the blindfold. I think we can figure out that ‘love is blind’ for ourselves. Overall, great song choice for Lithuania.
RUSSIA: What can I say about Russia’s entry? Buranovskiye Babushki are adorable and sweet and all, but so are kittens and you wouldn’t send them to Eurovision. Then again, there really wasn’t anything great on offer in the national final. I honestly don’t know what to make off it, or their chances at Eurovision with the song Party For Everybody. Either they do well and get a good result, or crash and burn in the semi-final. Eitherway, they are loads of fun to watch.
And tonight, we’ll have five more songs to add to the line-up for Baku! They are Portugal, Romania, Moldova, Serbia and Sweden.