EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Storm” by SuRie, United Kingdom

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the coming weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from the United Kingdom, “Storm” by SuRie, written by Nicole Blair, Gil Lewis, and Sean Hargreaves. The song is performed in English. SuRie – real name Suzanna Cork – has been a musician since childhood, and has been involved with EuroVision twice before – as a backup singer and dancer for Belgian artist Loic Nottel in 2015, and as Belgian performer Blanche‘s musical director last year. As one of the “Big Five” with Spain, Italy, France, and Germany, the UK moves automatically to the Grand Final. For the uninitiated, the UK represents Great Britian, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland as one country; Scotland has tried to enter the contest on its own several times but has been rejected as the rules limit entries to countries who have European Broadcast Union membership and who cannot be represented in other forms; Scotland does not have a membership of its own and relies on England’s membership to participate.

I love this song’s message – that you can get through anything if you hang on through the ‘storm’ – very positive and very uplifting. However, I’m not so crazy about the execution. The video is bland and boring, consisting entrely of head shots of SuRie, and while she’s a beautiful woman and nice to look at, it doesn’t portray the story of the song the way it potentially could have. And the tune is standard UK synthpop, which is fine, and usually one of my favorite types of music, but here it just seems watered down.Which is too bad, because lyrically, this song is fantastic, reminding me of the lyrics of “The Power Of One” by the late Donna Summer, from the film “Pokemon 2000” – you just have to believe, and hang on, and you can manage to get through all of life’s challenges. The song will probably be a hit in the UK and the continent, but I don’t see it making the leap to the US charts without a serious overhaul of the song’s mix.

The UK have been one of the stalwarts of EuroVision almost since it’s inception. They debuted during the competition’s second year in 1957, and have been in 60 contests thus far, winning five times: with “Puppet On A String” by Sandie Shaw, 1967; “Boom Bang-A-Bang” by Lulu , 1969 (part of a four way winner’s tie also including Spain, The Netherlands, and France..and boy does EuroVision love its nonsense titles over the years); “Save Your Kisses For Me“, by The Brotherhood Of Man, 1976 (and one of only a handful of entries since 1975 to make the US charts in a major way, hitting #27 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the AC chart); “Making Your Mind Up” by Bucks Fizz, 1981 (one of those winners I just can’t figure out…); and “Love Shine A Light” by Katrina And The Waves, 1997. They have also finished in the runner-up position a whopping fifteen times over the years, more than double any other countries’ second place finishes. However, the UK’s EuroVision fortunes have had a serious downturn since 1999, which was the year that a rule was dropped requiring that songs had to be sung in each country’s predominate language (a rule that had been relaxed briefly before in 1974 and 1975, which is how ABBA and Teach In were able to perform in English those two years, and thus winning the competition; ABBA would have probably won anyway, Teach-In probably not). As most songs are now performed in English, the UK’s edge has slipped away a bit, finishing the top ten only twice since then in 2002 and 2009. It also hasn’t helped that the UK has fielded some truly inexplicable entries over the past 19 years, the weirdest of which were 2007’s entry, “Flying The Flag (For You)” by musical comedy act Scootch, a satirical swipe at the airline industry (?), and in 2012. when the nation chose living legend Englebert Humperdinck to carry their EuroVision banner with with the pedestrian “Love Will Set You Free”. Go figure. To be totally honest, the past two years I’ve been watching the contest, the UK has offered up bland, boring, recycled-sounding material; we can hope their fortunes will take an upturn this year…but don’t hold your breath, although lyrically the song will score with people

Here’s the official music video  – judge for yourself!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in! This weekend is going to be full, with FOUR song by song profiles each day, so we will have time at the end of the profiles to do some favorites and not-so-favorites…

Are you enjoying our EuroVision spotlights? Be sure to check out all the other great blogs and podcasts PNRNetworks have to offer! And while you’re at it, if you like what you see, please consider becoming a Patreon Patron – we rely on readers and listeners to help fund our blogs and podcasts, and can’t do it without you! We have tons of great perks available, and you help fund over a dozen sites and podcasts with just one recurring monthly donation – check it out at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Together” by Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Ireland

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the coming weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Ireland, “Together” by Ryan O’Shaughnessy, written by O’Shaughnessy, Mark Caplice, and Laura Elizabeth Hughes. The song is performed in English. Once again – what IS IT with this year’s competitors? – O’Shaughnessy gained fame on talent shows, finishing fifth on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and also appearing on the first season of Ireland’s “The Voice” franchise  The song will be performed 18th in the first semi-final on May 8. Ireland has had some rough patches at EuroVision recently, but if the fan reaction to this song is any indication, they’ve at long last found the song that will bring them back to the Grand Final for the first time in FIVE years.

Because I’m checking the whole songs out as I do my previews, I had heard and seen only a clip of this song before sitting down to write this preview. After watching the video, and listening to the “happy sad” lyrics, about someone wondering if the person they love might be straying from them, I was sitting here with tears rolling down my face. The song is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and paired with the simple, exquisitely choreographed video, it makes for a striking and wonderful experience. The video itself is a masterpiece, and although the song’s lyrics imply by their nature that the two young men in it are possibly lovers, it may not necessarily be so – having watched Guy Ritchie’s version of Sherlock Holmes again last night, it puts me in a different mindset of sorts – perhaps they’re lovers, but perhaps they’re just close friends drifting apart. There’s no real indication of the relationship in the video, outside of a brief few seconds holding hands, which could be simply part of the choreography, only that the two young men are close for one reason or another, and leaves it to the listener and viewer to decide, which is marvelous. It is a bit jarring the first time they suddenly break into choreography that looks like it might have been conceived by one of the pros on Dancing With The Stars/Strictly Come Dancing, but after the first time it happens you don’t notice it so much as you do the body language. It’s truly beautiful and gut-wrenching at the same time. The song itself is also marvelous, and is definitely one of my favorites thus far this year. It’s fortunes on the US Charts could be good if they get a deal over here as the song has a very Ed Sheeran vibe about it – you know him, right? Heh Heh – and could really click with American music consumers if given a chance to do so.

Ireland is truly the Grand Champion of EuroVision over the years. They first competed in 1965, and have been involved 50 times since. They have won the Grand Final a whopping SEVEN times – with “All Kinds Of Everything” by Dana, 1970;  “What’s Another Year” by Johnny Logan, 1980; “Hold Me Now” by Johnny Logan, 1987; “Why Me?” by Linda Martin, 1992; “In Your Eyes” by Niamh Kavanaugh, 1993; “Rock And Roll Kids” by Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan, 1994; and “The Voice” by Eimear Quinn, 1996.  They are the only country to win the contest three years in a row, grabbing the championship in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Singer/Songwriter Johnny Logan is the only performer to win the competition twice (he’s actually won three times overall, as he was also the songwriter on Linda Martin’s “Why Me?” in 1992). However, recently the country has fallen on hard EuroVision times; their best showing thus far in the 21st century was in 2011, when the twins pop act known as Jedward (can i just say “Ick!”?) managed an eighth place finish with their (gawd awful) song “Lipstick“. Their most recent final entry in 2014 finished in last place, and they have been eliminated in the semi-final round each of the last four years. Given the fan following of this song, and the fact that it’s utterly awesome, I’m thinking Ireland is about to come ROARING back to life…possibly with a top five finish…

Here’s the official music video  – it’s amazing, wonderful, tear-jerking, and just about damn perfect!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in! This weekend is going to be full, with FOUR song by song profiles each day, so we will have time at the end of the profiles to do some favorites and not-so-favorites…

Are you enjoying our EuroVision spotlights? Be sure to check out all the other great blogs and podcasts PNRNetworks have to offer! And while you’re at it, if you like what you see, please consider becoming a Patreon Patron – we rely on readers and listeners to help fund our blogs and podcasts, and can’t do it without you! We have tons of great perks available, and you help fund over a dozen sites and podcasts with just one recurring monthly donation – check it out at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Stones” by Zibbz, Switzerland

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Switzerland, “Stones” by Zibbz, written by Zibbz and Laurell Barker. The song is performed in English. The duo’s name is pronounced exactly like it’s spelled, it is a variation on the expression “sibs” meaning siblings – the duo is made up of brother and sister Corinne “Coco” and Stefan “Stee” Gfeller. They have been spending time in Los Angeles and have had their own reality show about their California adventures on Swiss TV.  The song will be performed 17th in the first semi-final on May 8. The song has had a very divisive reaction among fans, with some loving it and others hating it. Should be interesting to see how it goes.

I have to be honest – I like the song, but the first minute of the video is annoying because it takes so damn long to get to the actual song – almost a full minute goes by with just one or two phrases before the hard driving rocker finally kicks into high gear. A song about…well, I’m not QUITE sure, maybe a bad family life, or a bad life due to political strife (which makes no sense coming from Switzerland, IMHO) has a lot of potential and will probably do well on the continent. However, when watching the video, both it’s execution and the lyrics of the song make me think that the song COULD be a huge hit in the states…but NOT for Zibbz. If I were Coco and Stee, I’d take the pure songwriting route on this one, and send it off to Carrie Underwood‘s management and producers – lyrically its dark themes match well with a number of her monster country hits and with a country backing instead of a rock one, I think she could have another monster hit with this song as well…

Switzerland has been around since day one of the EuroVision contest, and has won the Grand Final twice – the very first edition of EuroVision in 1956 saw the country on top with “Refrain” by Lys Assia (who would also finish second the following year as well), then had to wait 32 years for their second win, with “Ne partez pas sans moi“, in 1988, performed for the country by then-unknown French-Canadian singer Celine Dion; her win at EuroVision set her on the path of international superstardom (and deservedly so).  Switzerland’s track record has been spotty since the introduction of the semi-final round, failing to qualify for the final ten times since then, and have made the top ten only once in the 21st century, in 2005.

Here’s the official music video  – it’s interesting, if not perfect.

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in! This weekend is going to be full, with FOUR song by song profiles each day, so we will have time at the end of the profiles to do some favorites and not-so-favorites…

Are you enjoying our EuroVision spotlights? Be sure to check out all the other great blogs and podcasts PNRNetworks have to offer! And while you’re at it, if you like what you see, please consider becoming a Patreon Patron – we rely on readers and listeners to help fund our blogs and podcasts, and can’t do it without you! We have tons of great perks available, and you help fund over a dozen sites and podcasts with just one recurring monthly donation – check it out at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Forever” by Alekseev, Belarus

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Belarus, “Forever” by Alekseev, written by Kyrylo Pavlov and Evhen Matyushenko . The song is performed in English. 24-year-old Alekseev is Ukranian by birth, and yet another of this year’s EuroVision performers who found his first taste of fame on a televised talent contest – he shot to stardom by claiming fourth place on “The Voice of Ukraine” in 2014. The song will be performed 8th in the first semi-final on May 8. One of this year’s most popular entries among fans of EuroVision, this should be an interesting finish for the song

Ok, where to start with this one. First off, I love the song – the beautiful, heartfelt declaration of undying love in the lyrics make it a standout, and the song is going to be a favorite in the future for weddings and proms and such. So why did the powers that be choose to undercut the vast potential of the song by making possibly the most disturbing, honestly CREEPY video ever to be released for a EuroVision song? Geez Louise, this video is just psychotic from beginning to end – it starts off with Alekseev mutilating himself with a fountain pen, and watching as blood drips on the lyric sheets, as we see a burning cigarette on a table with the word “love” written on it. Then we get about eighty seven shots of the artist flicking his Bic (don’t worry, Bic fans, it returns later in the video), then he stares at the camera with an almost-dead look from various poses, one or two sipping from a coffee cup. We get shots of him kicking around a soccer ball (????!!!), and then he’s seemingly doing the IceBucket Challenge and shaking his head, making water go everywhere. And don’t forget the all important record selection scene and the spastic…um…dancing? And the shaving scene, particularly the last shot – yikes. I’m sorry, if this boy was in love with you….RUN! RUN TO THE HILLS! He’s a fucking stalker or serial killer or something….HOLY MAIRD did this video go completely off the rails or WHAT?  It’s sad, too, because he’s quite the heartthrob in the looks department, and he has a truly glorious voice that i’ve fallen head over heels in love with. But I can’t get past some of the stuff in the video…it’s just icky….especially the shot of a newspaper headline halfway into the song proclaiming “Another Horror Murder in Mythos; body count now up to four“…with the gigantic word “FEAR” just to the left and blood stains all over the newspaper itself…seriously, WHAT. THE. FUCK?????  The video changes the entire meaning of the song – it makes me think of those kind of people who are of the “if I can’t have you…NO ONE WILL!” psychopath variety… In all fairness, the song could be a hit on the US Charts if they manage to find a release here – Alekseev’s voice is glorious, and the song has a great sentiment. But a suggestion – if you DO bring it over to the states…please, FOR THE SAKE OF ALL THAT’S DECENT, CHANGE THE DAMN VIDEO!!!

Belarus debuted in the EuroVision contest in 2004, making it one of the more recent participants; they have participated fourteen times thus far. Their best finish to date was sixth place, with “Work Your Magic” by Dimitry Koldun in 2007. They have qualified for the final only four times since the semi-final round was introduced in 2004.

Here’s the official music video  – I would LOVE to know your opinion of it, given my strong opinions above…do you agree with me about how totally messed up this video is?

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in! This weekend is going to be full, with FOUR song by song profiles each day, so we will have time at the end of the profiles to do some favorites and not-so-favorites…

Are you enjoying our EuroVision spotlights? Be sure to check out all the other great blogs and podcasts PNRNetworks have to offer! And while you’re at it, if you like what you see, please consider becoming a Patreon Patron – we rely on readers and listeners to help fund our blogs and podcasts, and can’t do it without you! We have tons of great perks available, and you help fund over a dozen sites and podcasts with just one recurring monthly donation – check it out at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Light Me Up” by Gromee feat. Lukas Meijer, Poland

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Poland, “Light Me Up” by Gromee featuring Lukas Meijer, written by Gromee, Lukas Meijer, Mahan Moin and Christian Rabb. The song is performed in English. Gromee is a well known DJ and music producer who shared a stage with a vast number of artists of all types at various points in his career, from Steve Aoki to Eric Clapton. He was the support (opening) act for Mariah Carey’s first ever concert in Poland as well. The song will be performed 11th in the second semi-final on May 10. The song has a huge following among EuroVision fans, and might actually make an impact with the voters and judges- time will tell.

I don’t know what it is about Poland, but they always produce songs I really love, at least since I’ve become a EuroVision fan two years ago, when it first started airing here in the US. This is a fun, quirky little love song that bounces along and Mejier’s stellar vocals help make the song even better. It’s stylistically a far cry from Poland’s last two entries in the contest, the deep, contemplative (and incredibly AWESOME) “Color Of Your Life” by Michal Szpak in 2016 (which has become one of my ALL TIME favorite songs, EuroVision or otherwise), and “Flashlight” by Kasia Mos in 2017. The video, which features a gang of friends enjoying life, is fun and it has skateboarding and breakdancing in it, so it instantly grabbed my attention. It’s a great, feel good love song (as opposed to the very next song I will be spotlighting later today) and if it finds a US distributor, it has a real honest shot to make the US charts – in fact, it wouldn’t surprise me to see it reach the upper reaches of the Hot 100, it’s exactly the kind of song that US Pop radio loves to eat, chew up, overplay, and then spit out….damn I HATE US radio these days…heh heh heh…

Poland made its EuroVision debut in 1994. They have yet to top the contest, their best finish in the 20 years they have previously participated having been “To nie ja!” by Edyta Gorniak, runner up in their debut year, 1994; they also missed the grand final for seven consecutive years, 2005-2011. With the huge fan following this song has, could this be Poland’s year to top the Grand Final? Maybe…

Here’s the official music video  – I love it, and I hope you do too…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in! This weekend is going to be full, with FOUR song by song profiles each day, so we will have time at the end of the profiles to do some favorites and not-so-favorites…

Are you enjoying our EuroVision spotlights? Be sure to check out all the other great blogs and podcasts PNRNetworks have to offer! And while you’re at it, if you like what you see, please consider becoming a Patreon Patron – we rely on readers and listeners to help fund our blogs and podcasts, and can’t do it without you! We have tons of great perks available, and you help fund over a dozen sites and podcasts with just one recurring monthly donation – check it out at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Mercy” by Madame Monsieur, France

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from France, “Mercy” by Madame Monsieur, also written by the artist. The song is performed in French. I don’t speak French, but Wikipedia tells me that the song is “about a girl named Mercy who was born to Nigerian refugees on a boat on the Mediterranean Sea in the midst of the European migrant crisis.” Okay, if you say so…

Don’t get  me wrong here – this is a very beautiful song, the syncopation is elegant, vocalist Emilie Satt has an amazing voice, and the melody is very pretty. But if the song is about what the Wikipedia article indicates, why is the music video a totally abstract travelogue of French landmarks interspersed with studio shots of the duo singing, pouting, and in the case of the guitarist, looking like he’d want to be anywhere but where he is?  There is not ONE “true’ shot of Nigerian refugees anywhere in the video – well, in an abstract for there is, people wrapped in mylar blankets walking at the landmarks above and on the set as well – but it’s not really terribly definitive. I would have thought they’d want to include at least something more directly relating to the subject matter of the song, like news footage of the migrant crisis or something. Geez. The song will probably be a massive hit in France and in other French-speaking countries, but it has a very limited scope as far as non-French success, and I seriously doubt it has any real shot at making the US Charts.

France made its EuroVision debut in 1956 (the first year), and has appeared 60 times since then. They have won the Grand Championship five times – with “Dors, mon amor” by Andre Claveau in 1958, “Tom Pillibi” by Jacqueline Boyer in 1960, “Un Premier Amor” by Isabelle Aubret in 1962, “Un jour, un enfant” by Frida Boccara in 1969’s one-of-a-kind four way tie (with Spain, The Netherlands, and the UK), and “L’oiseau et l’enfant” by Marie Myriam in 1977. Their luck ran out after that last win, and they’ve made the top five only twice in the 21st century, and finished last for the first ever in 2014. As one of the “Big Five” with Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, the song automatically gets a place in the Grand Final.

Here’s the official music video  – take a look. you’ll see what I meant above…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in!

This weekend is going to be full, with FOUR song by song profiles each day, so we will have time at the end of the profiles to do some favorites and not-so-favorites…

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “That’s How You Write A Song” by Alexander Rybak, Norway

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Norway, “That’s How You Write A Song” by Alexander Rybak, also written by Rybak. The song is performed in English. Belarus-born Rybak has been to EuroVision before; in fact, he’s been the Grand Champion before, with his 2009 winner “Fairytales”, considered by many to be one of the best EuroVision winners of all time.

I am a huge fan of “Fairytales” and of Rybak in general. But this song, which is inexplicably HUGELY popular with a lot of Eurovision fans, is…um…well…contrived? Yes, that’s the word I want, contrived. Lyrically, the song seems as though it was designed specifically to sway the EuroVision juries and televoters into voting for it. Even the official video is extremely cloying, if fun – it opens with Rybak reading a letter from a young fan asking his advice on how to write a song (naturally – it IS part of the title, heh heh).  He then proceeds to dance around a white set with “ordinary” people playing imaginary instruments (including his trademark violin) and singing his advice on just that subject, even if the advice is fairly generic and possibly even out of context. It’s just too damn cutesy for me – the song, the video, his irrepressible smile – EVERYTHING! The song is going to do well at EuroVision, probably top ten if not top five, but I don’t think it has a second win for Rybak in it’s voting this year; although if it does, he would become only the second performer in history to win the contest twice, following Johnny Logan’s wins for Ireland in 1980 and 1987. And as for the US charts, if I were a programmer, I’d say “forget it”, but you never know what people will like, and since I’m only one of three people I’ve seen so far who really doesn’t care for this song, i could be completely off the mark on that; even my wife says I’m being a curmudgeon about this song.

Norway made its EuroVision debut in 1960, and has appeared 56 times since then, missing the contest only twice; in 1970, they boycotted the contest to protest voting procedures, and in 2006, according to Wikipedia,  they were ‘relegated’ – not sure what that means. They have won the contest three times, with 1985’s  “La det swingle!” by Bobbysocks!,  in 1995 with “Nocturne” by Secret Garden, and as mentioned above, in 2009 with “Fairytales” by Alexander Rybak. But they’ve set two lower records as well – I mentioned yesterday that Finland was part of EuroVision’s equivalent of Dancing With The Stars‘ Kenny Mayne Club, having finished dead last ten times, actually receiving “nul” (zero) points for their song entries in 1963, 1965, and 1982. Their fellow nordic neighbor Norway’s track record is even WORSE, getting “Nul” (zero) points FOUR times – in 1963, 1978, 1981, and 1997, a record that was tied in 2015 by Austria. And Norway has finished dead last more times – ELEVEN – than any other country. So they’ve seen both ends of the horse, so to speak….

Here’s the official music video  – take a look! See if you agree with me…or other fans who keep singing the song’s praises:

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in!

This weekend is going to be full, with FOUR song by song profiles each day, so we will have time at the end of the profiles to do some favorites and not-so-favorites…

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Monsters” by Saara Aalto, Finland

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Finland, “Monsters” by Saara Aalto, written by Saara Aalto, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, and Ki Fitzgerald. The song is performed in English. Once again talent shows played a part in the performers launch; Aalto is a veteran of both The Voice of Finland and X Factor UK, both of which she was the runner up on during her respective seasons; she also did the Finnish voice for Princess Anna in the Disney film Frozen. The song will be performed 15th in the competition order during the first semifinal on May 8.

I will admit that this song is incredibly catchy – I find myself grooving to the beat every time I play it. Aalto is almost channeling Katy Perry or Pink here, with the same kind of glossy yet vulnerable vocal. The video is interesting as well. Whether or not it will make the US Charts I can’t say, but if it got a good push, I think it could see some action in the lower reaches of the Hot 100, and definitely on the dance chart as well. The song appears to be a fan favorite with EuroVision fans, so it could really perform well in the televoting at both the semis and should it make it through, the Grand Final as well.

Finland made its EuroVision debut in 1961, and has appeared 51 times over the years. They got their first and only Grand Championship finish in 2006 with one of the most popular EuroVision winners of all time, Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah. But it also should be noted for historical accuracy that they are also part of EuroVision’s equivalent of Dancing With The Stars‘ Kenny Mayne Club, having finished dead last ten times, actually receiving “nul” (zero) points for their song enteries in 1963, 1965, and 1982. I don’t think they’ll have to worry about THAT this year…heh heh heh…

Here’s the official music video  – take a look!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Fuego” by Eleni Foureira, Cypress

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Cypress, “Fuego” by Eleni Foureira, written by Alex Papaconstantinou, Geraldo Sandell, Viktor Svensson, Anderz Wrethov, and Didrick. The song is performed in English, although the Spanish title word appears throughout the song. Foureira began her music career in 2007 as a member of the Greek girl group Mystique, and has been active with a popular solo career since the group disbanded in 2009. The song will be performed nineteenth and last in the competition order during the first semifinal on May 8.

The song is a typical Eurodance style number, and will probably get played in tons of dance clubs throughout the continent. Its chances on the US charts is limited however; perhaps an even more frenetic remix would give it some exposure in the larger dance clubs on the east and west coast. Foureira is a more than competent performer, but I’m never been terribly fond of this overall style, and as such a song, it’s really kind of basic and pedestrian. It’s a good song, and I’ll definitely give it some play, but it’s not going to be on “repeat” a lot on my player. it does seem to have a solid following with EuroVision fans, however, which could see it in top ten territory at the end of the results at the Grand Final.

Cypress made its EuroVision debut in 1981, and has appeared 34 times over the years, with occasional years off. Their best finish has been fifth place, which they’ve done THREE times, in 1982, 1997, and 2004.

Here’s the official music video  – take a look!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “O jardim” by Claudia Pascoal, Portugal

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Portugal, “O jardim” by Claudia Pascoal, written by Isaura. The song is performed in Portuguese. It seems like many performers at EuroVision over the past few years have been involved in television talent shows, and Pascoal is no exception; she has appeared on Idolos (Portugal’s “Idol” franchise entry ) and Factor X (which is, hmmmm, Portugal’s ‘X Factor’ franchise? Heh Heh). As last year’s winner and this year’s host in Lisbon, the song gets an automatic “bye” advance to the Grand Final on May 12, where it will be performed eighth in the competition order.

The song is a very lush ballad, well suited to Pascoal’s beautiful voice, and has a bit of the Celine Dion factor, although not quite as dynamic; perhaps Sarah McLaughlin would be a better comparison. Although the song is performing well in views on the EuroVision official YouTube channel, it’s one of those songs that will probably find success in Europe, but in all honesty, I doubt it has much of a chance to dent the US Charts. THe song is also extremely short, clocking in at just under 2:45 , which is short even for a EuroVision entry.

Portugal made its EuroVision debut in 1964, and has appeared 49 times, missing the finals 8 times since semi-finals were introduced in 2004, and they missed five years altogether for various reasons. They held the record for the longest record of participation without a win until last year, when they finally found a Grand Champion in Salvador Sobral’s “Amar pelos dois“, a slow jazz waltz-tempo song which was a huge favorite on the continent apparently, but left both Kim and I (and a LOT of American Eurovision fans) scratching their heads…I STILL don’t get this at all, or why many music critics insist it was one of Portugal’s best ever entries…blame it on not being One Musical World, I guess…

Here’s the official music video from the Portugal national contest – take a look!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!