For everybody who expects a party opener now – please wait, sit down, relax and make yourself a cup of tea. This is the old school of Eurovision now. Engelbert is the oldest and most successful and established entrants this year. He has received 68 golden and 26 platin albums. Engelbert did not give interviews and behaved like a real super star. He is born in Chennai, India 76 years ago, and made a world career and is mainly known in the easy listening – schlager genre. Nevertheless he receives the highest respect singing in this contest and his song is not the worst, stylish with dancing couple, all in black, very British and many think he could make it this year. In the United Kingdom they are a bit concerned as Engelbert has uttered that he will sing from his heart for Germany, as has so many fans there.
And now you can expect something more modern. Popular music from Hungary. Compact Disco have convinced in the first semi final with their solid song without attitudes, made party in the Euroclub, chatted to everybody. Very sympathetic though. The band name doesn’t hold what it looks like, it’s not disco at all, but beautiful, probably the best radio song of this contest. The only disadvantage is the stage setting; the stage has not been utilized to the utmost as others do. But maybe that’s exactly what is appreciated by the 100 millions watching tonight.
Put everything what can break out of the room! Rona’s voice will bring your glass to break! This is the most outstanding songs of the entire contest. Rona has a very pure stage, just a spot on her; the audience will be touched immediately. She is singing a dirge with such fervency that goose bumps are guaranteed for 100%. And if you know the story about her you will even cry, she had to flee as a child from Kosovo to Albania – Rona is crying, too at the end! Even if this song will polarize, some people will love and some will hate it, it’s a song of its own. The very long and high notes are unique and this must be awarded. This one of the best Albanian songs ever! Touching!
Get up and turn the music louder! This is some funky Lithuanian dance song with the right beat to get the party started. This good looking singer is Donny Montell is singing musical normally. Tonight it’s his chance on the big stage. He is so enthusiastic and talented; he even makes a loop on stage! His blindfold with crystals on it looks a bit weird, but it’s the message of his song. To all who are in love for years, but don’t appreciate it anymore like they used to do when they met – this is about the message.
Now there is another stunning love song. But this time from Bosnia & Herzegovina, composed and sung by Maya Sar. She is having a grand piano on stage and is wearing a long black gown, which is very suitable to this entry; the stage shows the sunrise and sunset, plain but gorgeous. This is a kind of classical Eurovision song like there were so many in the past. You see there is still space for all kinds of music, also classical ballads. The stage is beautiful and the singer is, too. This might not have the biggest chances to win; maybe this is more something for the juries to vote. Nevertheless it’s one of the best Balkan songs this year.
06. Russia Buranovskie Babushki | Party for Everbody
This song will be well remembered in history. This is probably the most Russian entry ever, six grandmas from a little town just two hours east from Moscow want to collect money for the refurbishment of the church. They are quite popular in Russia since years. When they qualified in the Russian national final, the audience seemed to be shocked and likewise enthused. This is definitely the funniest number this year; they are baking cookies in a big oven and make a party afterwards. They are all wearing their traditional clothes and comfy shoes. They are so cute and everybody will admit that they deserved to be in this festival. Many people think that these could even win the contest. Just the fact that they are cute is not a winning parameter. The song itself is a bit simple.
Now there is something more serious on stage! The lovely duet from Greta & Jonsi is called “Never forget”. It’s about a promise children gave each other and they lost contact when they were older, now one of them has passed away. It’s a very powerful and stunning performance! Even if the stage appears in dark colours with icebergs it has a special fascination by its own. The song reaches its climax when Greta’s violin being played (she is playing in the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra) and hollow drums come up again - and the powerful rhythm joins together. Don’t underestimate this one!
And another dance song is coming now! The lovely and pretty Ivy rocks the arena with her sexy dance. This is a very Greek-Cypriot-styled dance floor song with a drum climax, short skirts and long legs. Ivy is dancing on a bench made of books. The Greek song comes a bit later, a bit similar but is not as strong and this one. And both songs have been written or co-written by Swedish composers. And these are famous for the strong optimistic and uplifting songs and melodies. The message is not the strongest “La La Love”, but the choreography is one of the best tonight, the drum interlude is very clever made and the audiences in the arena will go bananas.
The lovely singer Anggun comes originally from Indonesia, but now she lives in France. She is one of the biggest stars in Malaysia and has totally bewitched the journalists here in Baku with her kind and honest appearance. She is wearing a dramatic dress which will wave in the wind from the wind machines, the perfect look. She has also brought four sexy topless background dancers with her, doing some gymnastic on stage. The stage looks like a gym. Hopefully the users will also notice and remember her song as well. This is a shiny and fulminate entry from France, never seen before like this! 12 points for that!
Good to have Italy back in the Eurovision Song Contest! This is another strong candidate for victory this year! The beautiful singer Nina Zilli has lived in New York and the song “L’Amore E Feminina” is made in the motown style, with Italian spice. In the dress rehearsals Nina’s hair fashion looked a bit weird; hopefully she is wearing her full black hair tonight. Last year Italy made the 2nd place; many people here in Baku believe that she could make it this year, a great voice from a sexy Italian lady with a good choir, that what’s a Eurovision need. Benvenuti Italia!
The best male voice is coming from a very sympathetic guy from Estonia – Ott Lepland. This guy is filling the arena with the pureness of his voice. Everybody will have goose bumps listening to this gorgeous performance. In the beginning he even closes his eyes, the light spots align only on him, and then with the chorus the stage begins to illuminate, stunning! Ott has profited from his authenticity during the Eurovision weeks, very sympathetic and down to earth. Compared to some other singers he shows the special verve in his eyes – he is willing to win. Let’s cross our fingers for him!
The Prince of Persia is coming from Norway! Tooji is born in Iran but moved to Norway. For him it has a special meaning to sing in Baku, so close to his birthplace. It’s also Tooji’s birthday today! Maybe this evening will make him happy. Tooji is a model and is doing singing for a long time already. The song has a very oriental touch as well, which suits quite well in this exotic country with oriental music played the whole night here. Even though it’s a dance song with a very well equipped choreography. This song might do well tonight.
13. Azerbaijan Sabina Babayeva | When the music dies
The host country! Azerbaijan is so proud and happy to host the contest. You can see it everywhere around the city; the entire population is in Eurovision mood. And there is always put a special eye on the host entry as well. In some contests the host country could even win on home ground, remember Ireland’s victories or Israel in ’78 / ’79, so everything is possible. And the Azerbaijani television and production team have given Sabina the best stage tonight. This is a great song and there is a Mugam singer accompanying her on stage to give the oriental flair to this entry. The highlight of the song is the white dress which is put on scene with changing colours as never seen before. This is a very strong song and due to this performance it will impress the viewers in the arena and on television.
“Zaleilah” could be the next summer hit in Europe. The Cuban-styled band has a great stage appearance with an infecting dance style with a great choreography a sexy singer, cool background and an enlightening spirit. Additionally “Zaleilah” is a very powerful and rhythmic song which will be sung in Spanish and will push everybody from the couch. Europe needs something to dance and celebrate.
This entry from Denmark could be the underdog this year. A lovely singer, very musical talented and natural, very authentic though. In the dress rehearsals she was not wearing her graduation hat, but lovely perm. She even looks a little bit like Agnetha Fältskog (from ABBA) like this. She has travelled a lot as a street musician with her father and has absolutely no fear, and so she is very confidential on stage. This is another good radio song, similar to the music style of Alison Morisette! Watch out for this!
Didn’t we have Greece already? No, before it was Cyprus, Greece is now! The Greek song is very similar to the Cypriot song. Therefore these countries will change out their 12 points like every year – a kind of tradition at the ESC. But the song is nothing new from Greece! There is rhythm; there is a well equipped choreography and an easy chorus to sing along. The background is a bit too much kitsch with a big clam and artificial colours. Even if Elefeteria is a very beautiful singer with a charming smile, the song is not the strongest. The always used Zirthaki in Greek entries won’t help much in this case!
Wake up now! This is a big show – the far best tonight! Sweden is handled as the winner this year. The stage is very dark, it’s snowing on stage and the million light dots make one of the best backgrounds – the imagination that it’s snowing is perfectly transferred. Loreen as a singer is outstanding, authentic and really friendly, even if she looks a bit crazy. She is like she is and does not play a role. On stage she gives everything accompanied by a male dancer who is accompanying her at the end. The cool rhythm, the sound, the catchy chorus, the oriental dance performance and the entire atmosphere make it a perfect combination. One of the best entries in Eurovision history! Heja Sverige!
This entry also received a lot of applause as Turkey is Azerbaijan’s brother country; the language and the mentality are very close. The song is also very oriental with a solid singer who has never watched Eurovision before. The background dancers form a ship with cloth on a stormy sea. Compared to the ship in the video clip it appears a bit unimaginative. Great to have Turkey back in the final, but due to the big amount of competitors this will probably not stick out enough.
19. Spain Pastora Soler | Quédate conmigo (Stay with me)
Spain was not very successful in the past, but this year might be the big chance. The song has been written by Thomas G:son from Sweden and the arrangement appears a bit Scandinavian, but the atmosphere and melody is absolutely Spanish. Pastora has a very powerful voice and when the choir comes on stage at the end of the song it will hopefully convince everybody. The chances for Spain are higher than ever before to make a good place or even win the contest.
And now there is another great voice from a male singer, this time from Germany. Roman Lob has convinced many people with his naturalness and without star posturing. He also strictly wears what he normally wears on stage also his cap and his lumberjack shirt. His song has been played in the German radio stations over and over and this is a good sign that it’s a chart song, accepted and loved by a large audience, which everybody can sing along.
The Maltese entries are always going under a special revamping procedure, from the national final to the Eurovision version there are big differences in the arrangements. Nevertheless the song has become an international standard with a cool hook – and that’s the dance step. The attractive band uses the dandy-look with the typical hair fashion, black glasses, ties and tubes jeans like the 60’s style; together with the cool choreography this might get some votes tonight.
The beloved Kaliopi from Macedonia has reached the final with flying colours. Macedonia has not been in the final in the past four years. The very sympathetic singer is very well known in the Balkan countries as she is in the music business for a long time and everybody knows her. This is a great song from the Balkan. Kaliopi has a very good voice and reaches even people in the last row with powerful voice. In the beginning its slow and emotional then it turns into a rocky and powerful song with exotic cellos and dark colours and a thriving black & white theme on stage. A good starting position as well for Kaliopi.
Jedward are back! Last year in Düsseldorf they have reached a good 8th rank. Now they have passed the semi finals again and it will be fun to watch them again. But how can they top themselves? As their song is called “Waterline” they are bringing real water on stage as fountain where they are going to take a real shower towards the end of the song. And in the meanwhile they are jumping and jumping like rubber balls, dressed in silver costumes. This will be their 3-everything-must-be-in-minutes. Let’s see if they are able to shape up better than last year.
Zeljko Joksimosovic is one of the most famous artists in the Balkan region. He came 2nd in 2004 with the beautiful song “Lane Moje”; he has written several entries for the ESC like “Oro” 2008 for Serbia and “Leijla” 2006 for Bosnia & Herzegovina, they all shaped up very well. Furthermore he has been one of the hosts of the 2008 ESC held in Belgrade together with Jovana Jankovic, with whom he was falling in love. It will be an easy game to receive the top votes not only from the neighbour countries. You can expect a stunning performance on an atmospheric stage, all dressed in black, Zeljkos dark and beautiful voice, altogether will definitely causes goose bumps. One of the mighty winners tonight.
Gaitana is a very electrifying person with a great heart. She is always wearing flowers in her hair and receives a lot of media attention wherever she is. She is able to entertain a full house in an easy way – people love her. She is giving a party on stage and she obviously enjoys herself very much. This will probably also awarded by the televoters, but the juries may think differently. The Ukrainians use their own four LED screens on stage. At the end the projections shows many people on stage, a very good trick as there are only six people allowed on stage. The soccer theme is not visually used – even though a strong contender with a very good starting position.
Last but not least Moldova on stage! This is one of the more folkloristic songs this year. The trumpet styled song has some coolness and the choreography is nicely made and will for sure get 12 points from Romania and other neighbour countries. Moldova made it into the final for entire three last years! But this is not a winner song.