Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eurovision 2008 Final - The Advance Look

This is it!

Going through tonight's Final country by country with critiques (some recycled) and semi-final screen captures. What are you voting for?

01 Romania
Nico & Vlad

Pe-o Margine De Lume

Sexy, intimate, powerful operatic ballad. They're both attractive and work well together, but it does get a bit too Disney channel half-way through for my liking.

02 United Kingdom
Andy Abraham

Even If

A kitsch multi-colour nightmare on stage. UK has stopped trying seriously years now. COME BACK HOME!

03 Albania
Olta Boka

Zemrën E Lamë Peng

Only 16 year olds, she was impressive for her age, a strong and powerful voice and a powerful expressive presence on the stage. Give her a few years and she'll own this contest.

04 Germany
No Angels


A power-diva collective with an interesting song, but nothing I'd really ever vote for.

05 Armenia

Qele, Qele

It's scary how easily this could have been a Greek hit in a trashy Athens live music club. The boob-bump, the hips-shake, the arm wave, the body-tilt, the choreographies, the beat. Even the dress ultimately worked. Not the ultimate fave, but I'd love to see it in the top 10.

06 Bosnia & Herzegovina

Oh, DIGGIN' this! It all clicks in the performance: the Bride parade, the unstable crazy-eye Johnny Depp and fruity Helena Bonham Carter, the childish dance patterns, the LOVE laundry line, and the general concept of 'Tim Burton meets Emil Kusturica'. The twisty surprising vocals and exuberant energy make this a definite top 5 favourite. TO THE VERY TOP!

07 Israel

The Fire In Your Eyes

Dana International (go on, you remember her) signs the music and lyrics, although I'm misty why she would send her toy boy to the competition in her place. He's pretty in silver, and kicks it off with an impressive vocal display, but does fall flat during most of the middle part. GO HOME

08 Finland
Teräsbetoni Missä
Miehet Ratsastaa

Just because Lordi won that once (probably rightfully so at the time), doesn't mean we're now abiding any random metal band on Eurovision stage... Take your business elsewhere, gentlemen, and put a shirt on, outside of a rock concert that just looks presumptuous. GO HOME (and put some masks on)

09 Croatia
Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents


75-cents? Is that 50-cent's rich great-uncle? Although Grampa was endearing, the music was a pleasant departure from the rest of the entries so far and the girl in her red-wine dress set the mood. A mesmerizing performance, and definitely a favourite. I was a bit disappointed when I read the lyrics translation, but I'll still back this song. TO THE TOP!

10 Poland
Isis Gee

For Life

BARBIE alert - with teeth! The plastic scary over-tanned lady with glow-in-the-dark teeth gnawing at our heads with a passe ballad. GO HOME (and keep in the shades)

11 Iceland

This Is My Life

It may be the greatest song of the bunch, but still if it doesn't have any razzle dazzle, or any touching performance, or any fantastic presence on stage, or even some inspired costumes to stand out... Well, Iceland doesn't have any of that (Boy and girl, clad in black singing to each other? that took a lot of brain-storming), but it's not even a mildly good song, so why are we still talking about it. Dear God SKIP to the next!

12 Turkey
Mor ve Ötesi


It's great to sing in your own language, but you gotta give the audience something to enjoy music-wise or stage-wise if we're gonna stand there for 3 minutes and gawk at a high school garage rock band sing in Turkish. GO HOME

13 Portugal
Vânia Fernandes

Senhora Do Mar (Negras Águas)

It's that rare exception where the looks and choreographies don't matter when you've got a beautiful song, and a booming melodic voice that send shrills up your spine. Close your eyes and imagine the waves hitting on the shores, a dark witch bellowing about lost loves at sea and captains who won't return. I'd love to see this song win the contest this year, and visit Portugal for the contest next year. TO THE VERY TOP

14 Latvia
Pirates Of The Sea

Wolves Of The Sea

It's the one song I was praying on my knees wouldn't make it through. It's the gay pirates. UGH. I'd rather walk the plank than listen to it ever again. We have a popular saying in Greece: 'Piracy kills music'. HOBBLE HOME you one-legged pirate freaks.

15 Sweden
Charlotte Perrelli

Hero? Pe(t)relli? LOL. Subtle... The song is catchy, but her expressionless bottox-filled face gave me a scare, I was hoping I wouldn't have to see her again. She was voted sexiest woman of the year? She's 33? *itch, please! You look like a vampire escapee from Buffy, GO HOME (and prowl some other country's dark alleys)

16 Denmark
Simon Mathew

All Night Long

That boy totally owns the stage, uplifting, confident and boastful like a peacock. Weird, as I don't see what he's got to be proud of, with a shit song and forgettable lyrics. He sells his crap for gold though and he's definitely star material. Just not with this tune.

17 Georgia
Diana Gurtskaya

Peace Will Come

One of the most memorable songs of the night. The lead singer is blind (something I didn't catch in the youtube previews and made an ass of myself) but has a beautiful, loud and strong voice to balance out her stage performance. The change from black to white with the passing of the sheet is the most striking and impressive stage trick of the night, and definitely shoots this entry straight TO THE TOP

18 Ukraine
Ani Lorak
Shady Lady

Wow. A sure win tonight. A drunk-off-her-ass Ukrainian SWF staggers on stage keeps bumping with her back onto a callboy shopping window display. When she realises they're all probably gay anyway, she climbs on the top and jumps off. Or at least that's what I got from it... Sexy lady, legs, shoulders n boobs shaking in the right direction, lots of sparkly stage tricks, vamp poses (with famous Greek choreographer Fokas Evangelinos doing his best work ourside his country)... I'm digging the one-sided mirror/light closet showcase. Have the Ukrainians been going through the same laundry-list of Eurovision musts as the Greeks? Pity about that -nod-nod- tick though, wehad a Prime Minister here with the same affliction. TO THE TOP

19 France
Sébastien Tellier


As much as I LOVED the quirky fun videoclip of this song, it just translates into a flat mess on stage. GO HOME

20 Azerbaijan
Elnur & Samir
Day After Day

Good vs Evil, Angels vs Demons, Day After Day, Gay & Even Gayer. Great visual candy, the best song to enjoy -- on MUTE! Just please stop screeching in my ear! Despite the christianic conversion subtext, most guys will want to head to the side of the wine-bathed she-devil with the demonic leg-stretch. GO HOME (but leave that *itch behind)

21 Greece

Secret Combination

KALOMOIRA!!(pronounced kah-lo-meerah) Trust me, it's not Greek pride when I say she's the best of the night. From the impressive opening on top of her entourage (ναι, το καβάλησε το καλάμι, σκάστε), the sexy dress, the very innovative stage bit with the giant pop-up book (following the lyrics cue ''an open book'', perfect - though the director missed the whole bit in the semi-finals!), the dress change (you gotta have a costume change to win these things) and the Shakira-eat-your-skirt shake-shake-shake apotheosis before the end. She's become quite the little diva. Greece number 1 ;) TO THE VERY TOP!

22 Spain
Rodolfo Chikilicuatre

Baila El Chiki Chiki

The ultimate crowd-pleaser of this year's competition, a camp fun-fest starring Geek Elvis, his Chiki Chiki and the Four Deadly Dance Moves (with the absolute breakout hit '#4 el Robocop'. TO THE VERY TOP!

23 Serbia
Jelena Tomašević feat. Bora Dugic


An enchanting folk/ethnic ballad from the host country. They're consistent surely.

24 Russia
Dima Bilan


It's Dima again?? --and he's doing an Anna Vissi wipe job on the dirty stage with his whiteroos. The opening performance is strong (he's good on his back, what can I say). The ice-skater (they have actual ice on stage? wacky!) doing circles around him and the violinist is brilliant. The rest of it, with the undressing, and the poseur-iffic movements and muscle flexes, until the final EEEEUCH of the finale... pity. He had a much stronger song and a breath-taking performance in Athens and still didn't go home with the prize; he really stands no chance this year with this drivel. (plus he's totally losing all the girlie votes with his stage gayness: stop touching your male dancers dude)

25 Norway

Hold On Be Strong

Oh, honey this is so wrong, wrong, wrong. A blue silk dress and an air fan don't a Eurovision performance make. I'm sure the trio of back-up singers looking exactly like the lead only taller slimmer and more beautiful) towering around her in the finale didn't help matters. GO HOME

As for my personal Top Ten?

1. Portugal (Senhora Do Mar)

2. Greece (My Secret Combination)

3. Bosnia & Herzegovina (Pokusaj)

4. Spain (Chiki Chiki)

5. Georgia (Peace Will Come)

6. Ukraine (Shady Lady)
7. Armenia (Quele Quele)
8. Croatia (Romanca)
9. Denmark (All Night Long)
10. Romania (Nico & Vlad)


azrael said...

This was a great review man!

Shame that u totally missed Russia's triumph...
Maybe you can do a retrospectival re-write of this post marking them' Russians with your classic phrase "TO THE VERY TOP!"

Thumps up !! :)

Manolis Vamvounis said...

I didn't care for Russia's song (i can't even remember the lyrics by now) so not changing my break-down..

very happy for greece, armenia and ukraine though, they all deserved the top 4 spots

interesting point:

all top 3 spots had Greek involvement: one was the Greek entry and the other two were both choreographed by a Greek guy, Fokas!

ria said...

συμφωνώ απόλυτα μαζί σου
το κροατικό, πορτογαλλικό και γεωργιανό τραγούδι σκίζανε.
το καλομοιράκι που το κοροϊδεύανε όλοι έκανε τη διαφορά.
μήπως έκανες λάθος στο τοπ πέντε σου? έβαλες τις νύφες τρίτες!

Manolis Vamvounis said...

ma tis latrepsa tis nyfes san skiniki parousia! k akoma den mporo na bgalw tin melodia apo to kefali mou... krima pou den pige toso kala