ESCountdown 2019: #33 – “That Night” by Carousel, Latvia

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 10, 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!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #33 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Latvia, “That Night” by Carousel, written by Aleksandrs Volks, Mārcis Vasiļevskis, and Sabīne Žuga. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 5th on the second semi-final on May 16.

Mārcis Vasiļevskis and Sabīne Žuga have been performing as Carousel since 2015.

This is a nice, pleasant little story song, reminding me of classic national folk styles…but that’s about it. The vocals are very pleasing and the song is very “minstral”-like, telling a story and they hit the mark they intended to hit. It’s not bad, not great, it just is. That’s about the best I can say about it, unfortunately, it really doesn’t do much for me, although  I do really enjoy it’s stark difference from other Eurovision entries this year…

Latvia made their debut in EuroVision on the cusp of the 21st century in 2000, and have participated 19 times since They have captured the Grand Final championship once, in 2002 with “I Wanna” by Marie N. Their 2017 and 2018 entries failed to make the Grand Final and they are looking for a return…but I don’t think it’s really in the cards…

Here’s the official music video…enjoy…

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.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #34 – “Better Love” by Katerine Duska, Greece

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 10, 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!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #34 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Greece, “Better Love” by Katerine Duska, written by Duska, David Sneddon, and Leon Of Athens. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 16th on the first semi-final on May 14.

Greek-Canadian singer/songwriter Duska has been performing around her native Canada for many years, and shot to fame with the release of her debut album in 2015.

Ok, I have so many conflicting issues with this one. On the one hand, I really DO love the song, and Duska’s somewhat-husky vocals are amazing. The video is an unusual if masterful presentation of the song. But despite the song’s powerful lyric, I think the video, as visually interesting as it is, also undermines the song’s message of “unconditional and unapologetic love”; rather, I think the video is a teeny tiny bit exploitative, almost objectifying women in the ways most women hate – by putting them on display as if to say “Wow, don’t you think I’m beautiful?” while at the same time projecting the women in the video as somewhat cold and indifferent. Maybe as a man I’m misreading what they’re going for here, I don’t know. But I do love the song, and it has a HUGE fan following, with many fans ranking the song in their top ten picks this year, so it could do pretty well and could make it through to the grand final. However, last years’ entry from Greece, “Oneiro Mou” from Gianna Terzi, was also a huge fan favorite and it failed to make the cut, so it’s hard to tell how this one will do…

Greece made their debut in EuroVision in 1974, and have participated 37 times since, missing five years here and there. They have captured the Grand Final championship once, in 2005 wiht “My Number One” by Elena Paparizou. They are also one of the few countries who have never finished in last place, and have had top ten finishes ten times in the 21st century.

Here’s the official music video…I’m curious about what people think about this one, because I can’t get a handle on it…

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.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #35 – “Look Away” by Darude featuring Sebastian Rejman, Finland

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 10, 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!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

In at #35 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Finland, “Look Away” by Darude featuring Sebastian Rejman, written by the artists. The song is performed in English, and will be performed 3rd on the first semi-final on May 14.

DJ, songwriter, and producer Darude (real name Ville Virtanen) shot to  fame in 1999 with his instrumental dance club smash “Sandstorm“, which hit the charts around the world, including here in the U.S., and although he’s continued to work non-stop in the nearly (OMG really?) TWENTY years that have passed since that song took the world by storm, he’s released projects only occasionally, preferring to produce rather than perform. Singer Sebastian Rejman has been a star in his native Finland for decades, both as a musician and as a television host and occasional actor.

I have to be honest here – I absolutely ADORE “Sandstorm”, it’s one of my all time favorite instrumental hits. So I was expecting a LOT when I heard that Darude was representing Finland this year. And what we got…is a total letdown. This bland social justice ditty about how the world looks away and ignores the potentially devastating problems it faces could have been SOOOOO much more. Instead, it just sits there, flat, dull, yawn-inducing. It has a decent enough beat, but the lyrics are pedestrian, and could have had much more impact than they do. It’s like they set out to do a song as powerful as 2018’s “Non mi avete fatto neinte” from Italy’s Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro, and in the end couldn’t deliver anything better than “Our Choice” from Iceland’s Ari Olafsson…and I’m truly sorry, because I wanted to see this team SOAR…and I just can’t get into it…

Finland made its EuroVision debut in 1961, and has appeared 52 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 entries in 1963, 1965, and 1982. They finished in the middle of the pack with the fan favorite “Monsters” by Saara Aalto last year…and i’ll be bringing this song up again later on in the countdown for a completely different reason, heh heh….

Here’s the official music video…meh…

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.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #36 – “Limits” by Paenda, Austria

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 10, 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!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

We don’t stop til we get to the top (with a nod to the late great Casey Kasem)!  In at #36, it’s the official entry from Austria, “Limits” by Paenda, written by the artist (under her real name, Gabriela Horn). The song is performed in English, and will be performed 9th on the second semi-final on May 16.

Born in 1988, Paenda has studied pop and jazz music for many years, with much of her education coming at the Vienna Music Institute. She writes, produces, and performs all her own music.

I’m trying to figure out where to start with this one, because I happen to like the song. It’s not a HUGE contender in my book, unlike a lot of the rabid ESC fandom, who are split between love and loathing for the song, but it’s certainly pretty and deep enough to be a pretty big hit. Again using a lost love as the seeming catalyst for the story of the lyrics, her performance in the video is touching…and yet the static video – just Paenda and her blue hair standing in front of a green screen with images floating behind her – is deadly dull, much like SuRie’s “Storm” last year; decent song, lousy video. I hate it when a lousy video dooms a good song – see 2018’s “Forever” by Alekseev, which was totally RUINED by an incredibly creepy video and doomed to miss the grand final by a lousy live performance. She’s got a shot at making the finals for sure, which will be even stronger if as I suspect she can pull off a terrific live performance, but I don’t think the placement will be as huge as some fans think it will be.

Austria made its EuroVision debut on the contests’ first birthday in 1957 and has been around fifty-one times since then, missing years here and there for various reasons. They have two Grand Final championships that were a whopping 38 years apart – 1966’s “Merci, Cherie” by Udo Jurgens and 2014’s instant EuroVision Classic “Rise Like A Phoenix” by Conchita Wurst. But every good side has its bad side too…they have finished dead last in the contest a whopping EIGHT times, with four of those times with the dreaded “nul” points – 1962, 1988, 1991 and 2015,  a most “nul” points record they share with Norway. 2018 was their best showing in years, with Cesar Sampson‘s “Nobody But You” finishing third overall.

Here’s the official music video…see if you agree with my assessment of it…

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.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #37 – “Wake Up” by Eliot, Belgium

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 10, 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!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

Next up on my countdown, it’s #37, it’s the official entry from Belgium, “Wake Up” by Eliot, written by Eliot Vassamillet and Pierre DuMoulin . The song is performed in English, and will be performed 10th on the first semi-final on May 14.

18 year old Eliot was a contestant on season seven of The Voice Belgique, and co-wrote the song entered in an internal selection by Belgium’s Eurovision committee

I have yet to figure out the ESC Fandom’s rabid support of Belgium and their totally lackluster tunes. This has happened every year I’ve been watching the contest. Everyone was gaga over the 2017 entry “City Lights” by Blanche, which was at best only so-so (and also written by this year’s co-writer DuMoulin), and which went on to finish the contest in an inexplicable fourth place, placing ahead of far better tunes. Last year’s entry, “Sennek’s “A Matter Of Time” also had a rabid following among the fans, but while it was better than the previous year’s entry, a lackluster live performance banished it from the grand final. That brings us to this…this milquetoast bland and totally boring “Wake Up” which is actually more likely to put people to sleep. The video is deadly boring, and while Eliot is a nice kid, easy on the eyes for the girls, and has a beautiful singing voice, this song is just blaaaaah. Even the lyrics, which are dark and mysterious, with hints of a relationship issue, are just meh. I’d actually compare it (and not favorably) in style if not substance to last year’s entry from Iceland, “Our Choice” by Ari Olafsson, which the ESC fan community utterly loathed, and I don’t understand the love for this song in any way, shape, or form. It’s frequently in the top five on fan YouTube countdowns. For me…nopity nope nope…it’s just TOO…DAMN….BORING…he might be able to save this with an amazing live performance at the semifinals…but I’m not counting on it…although even if the judges see what a bland song it is, teh fans will probably push it through the televoting, even though he doesn’t necessarily deserve it…

Belgium made their debut in EuroVision in the very first contest in 1956, and have participated sixty times – the three years they missed – 1994, 1997, and 2001 – they were relegated out due to low scores from previous contests. They have one Grand Final win under their belt in 1986’s “J’aime la Vie” by Sandra Kim. They have finished last eight times, with two “nul” points years in 1962 and 1965. Their fortunes have greatly improved of late – they have had four top ten finishers since 2010. But as noted above, they missed the cut for the grand finals last year.

Here’s the official music video…don’t watch it if you’re sleepy…:-)

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.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year somewhere – American fans, with Logo dropping coverage this year, let’s let AXS know we want to see it become the American home of EuroVision!

ESCountdown 2019: #38 – “Keep On Going” by Oto Nemsadze, Georgia

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 10, 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!

Last year, when we first launched our ESC coverage, I did the songs in random order. This year, I’m changing things up a bit. Due to copyright issues with the way I did my TKR videos on YouTube, my ESC show last year never made it to public consumption. So this year, rather than just cover the songs, I’m bringing you all the info on each song this year ranked in order of my personal preference from bottom to top. I’ll give the reasons for my personal rankings, and some background info on the song, artist, songwriters, and such.  Again, these are MY opinions, and I realize that the ESC fan community is a rabid one, and rarely everyone agrees with everyone else, so as they say, your mileage may vary.

Up today is my #39 this year, it’s the official entry from Georgia, “Keep On Moving” by Oto Nemsadze, written by Roman Giorgadze . The song is performed in Georgian, and will be performed 11th on the first semi-final on May 14.

29-year-old Nemsadze won this year’s Georgian Idol on March 3, securing him the right to perform this year’s entry to the contest; previously, he had participated with his then-band Limbo in the national contest in 2017; he also finished second on a recent edition of The Voice in Ukraine.

In one of the fan commentary videos online, the video’s creator referred to Nemsadze as  looking “like a serial killer” and although they were trying to be funny, they were somewhat correct in that meant-to-be-funny comparison as the man is INTENSE. Despite the song’s upbeat lyrics, which refer to keep trying, keep singing, no matter what adversity life may throw your way, you cannot escape the earnestness and intensity he is able to bring to the song – clearly he BELIEVES what this song says. It’s not my cup of tea, personally, but it has it’s fans out there too…and he IS kinda scary…heh heh…

Georgia made their debut in EuroVision in 2007, and have placed in the final eight of the eleven times they’ve participated. Their best showing has been ninth place. They missed the grand final last year.

Here’s the official music video…check out the guy’s intensity…

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.

If you like my Eurovision coverage (or anything else we at PNRNetworks do, of course), please take the time to become a Patreon Patron! We have a TON of great perks available, three Patron-only podcasts available to patrons at the $5/month level and above, and more! Be sure to check us out and help us be able to bring you all kinds of great coverage of music, movies, television, and much more! Become a Patron today at http://patreon.com/pnrnetworks!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And hopefully, we’ll get to see the finals again this year (although nothing is confirmed yet) on LogoTV!