ESCountdown 2019: #4 – “Say Na Na Na” by Serhat, San Marino

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 12, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!

At this point in time we are now less than ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only three days from the first semi final. Today, I will wrap up this year’s ESCountdown, bringing you my top five picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road with their own personal tastes and choices, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)

In at #4 on my countdown this year is the official entry from San Marino, “Say Na Na Na” by Serhat, written by Serhat and Mary Susan Applegate. The song is performed in English with two lines in Turkish, and will be performed 17th and last, a performance spot that is usually an almost-guaranteed ticket to the grand final, on the first semi-final on May 14th.

Ahmet Serhat Hacıpaşalıoğlu, known by his middle name Serhat, is renowned throughout Europe as a singer, producer, and television host. He was the producer and host of the Turkish adaptation of “Jeopardy“, known as “Riziko!“, which ran for years. He started his singing career around the time he was hosting, and this is the second time the Turkish native has represented the small enclave country-community of San Marino at Eurovision.

Ok, I can’t help myself. I’ve seen it derided all over the ESC Fandom community…and YOU ARE ALL WRONG! NYAAH!  This is just about the coolest song in this year’s contest, and it has MASSIVE potential to become a worldwide smash, with an infectious beat and a memorable – and irresistible – chorus hook; I have passed the video for this song onto a number of friends who all fell hard for it. It’s simple message is that Serhat will be there anytime you need a pick me up when you’re having a bad day – just call him and he’ll tell you so. Really – “Don’t forget my number, call me anytime” – LOL! OK, OK  I KNOW… he means it as a metaphor for knowing you can call a true friend when you need some boost to get through the day. Basically, it’s a jaunty, upbeat cross between “Lean On Me” and “Don’t Worry Be Happy“, the Eurovision editions. And you know what? IT’S AWESOME! This world FUCKIN’ NEEDS that right now – there’s so much craziness going on, no matter where in the world you are living, that knowing you always have a friend by your side can only be good, right? The video is my absolute favorite of all the videos this year – performed on a city street set, with inserts of Serhat singing while clad in his colorful suit jackets, and then actually joining the crowd in the final chorus, the video is just awesome – love the briefcase dance in the street from the guys right after the first chorus, and that little girl in the red and yellow jumpsuit who does the “Say Na Na Na” at the end of the video is just about the cutest kid on the planet right now. I have played this song more than ANY OTHER SONG this year – I absolutely ADORE it, from the admitted cheesiness of the upbeat fun lyrics to Serhat’s usual awesome deep-throated delivery. Say what you want about him, he is fun, he is likable in so many ways, he obviously loves and enjoys performing, and he’s STILL the ONLY Turkish artist to ever hit the Billboard charts in the U.S.; the last song he represented San Marino with at Eurovision, “I Didn’t Know“, rerecorded as a duet with the legendary Martha Wash, hit #25 on Billboard’s Dance Club chart in 2017. Do NOT count this song out – allow me to repeat myself – it’s AWESOME! If it doesn’t get through, I am going to be SOOOOOO pissed off…..and then I’ll have to just listen to the song again to help me get over it…heh heh heh….

San Marino is one of those little European conclaves that tourists flock to – the entire country is only TWENTY FOUR SQUARE MILES, has a population of just over 33,000 people, and is contained entirely within Italy, but they are completely autonomous, currently making them the smallest country represented at EuroVision (in comparison, among the countries of Europe, only Monaco, which hasn’t participated since 2006, and Vatican City, which has never participated, are smaller). They made their debut in 2008, and have made 9 appearances in the contest. They have qualified for the final only once, in 2014, where they finished 24th. They DO hold a EuroVision record, as strange as it seems – Valentina Monetta, who represented the country three years in a row, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and also in 2017 with Jimmie Wilson, holds the title for the female artist with the most participation in the contest with four appearances…pretty wild…and now Serhat is challenging her and coming after her spot; as noted above, this is his second appearance for the country at the contest.

Say what you will, this video is absolutely AWESOME – If you don’t love it…check your pulse, you’re probably deceased…heh heh…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’  ahead. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.

I will be LIVE BLOGGING during both semi-finals and the finals this week – coverage will start at 3 PM Eastern/12 PM Pacific in the US – I suck at time zones so you’ll have to figure that out if you’re not in the US – where I will comment on each performance, the ongoing spectacle, the hosts, the crowd, the performers, and everything else. Please check it out at http://ecinemaone.com !

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Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel!

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