2012 In Review - (Reviewing Contest!)
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January 28th, 2013 (5:15 PM). Edited January 29th, 2013 by François.
For the uninitiated, the Eurovision Song Contest is for the most part exactly what it says on the tin. It is a yearly contest of song that involves the vast majority of European countries and a few random western Asian countries. Essentially, each participating country sends one song and then they all fight to the death for the win in an epic continent-wide battle of the titans. If that description is
not enough to entice you, then you must read further on! And if you already know what it is / are a fan then you should probably read on anyway because who doesn't love re-living this
of all things camp?
I suppose a good way to tackle any Eurovision year is to look at the three main categories of song: the good, the bad, and the humorously bad. 2012 had what was a pretty spectacular amount of good, and I reckon it will go down as one of the best Eurovisions of the 21st century so far. It also had an above average amount of hilariously awful songs and a surprisingly small share of pure awful ones. So, let’s start with the highlights.
As with most Eurovisions, my highlights were divided between numerous power ballads, generic fem-pop and the occasional (relatively) classy uptempo. Eurovision has always been a lover of super camp power ballads with power vocalists and key changes. Essentially, they throw everything including the kitchen sink into it when they do their ballads. My three favourites of the year had all the hallmarks of Eurovision ballads. First up was Azeri entrant Sabina Babayeva (also known as the Patron Saint of Plastic Surgery). Her entry
'When The Music Dies'
was a rather fabulous ballad that started slow and built into a stunning climax. While I do believe the woman was drunk while performing in the final, she still delivered a fantastic vocal (despite a sketchy start) and was hugely helped by her amazing
! It was without doubt the outfit of the year and helped her hugely in my affections. There was one more classic ballad in the form of Pastora Soler's
, but by far the most interesting ballad of the night came from Albanian entrant Rona Nishliu's
. Featuring a chorus that consists entirely of her shouting what appears to be "SHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY" and camp-yet-depressed acting, it was something of a showstopper and one of the most interesting Eurovision entries in years. It came home in a well-deserved but shockingly good 5th, in a result that will hopefully encourage more risks in the future. But onto the generic pop numbers. My personal favourite was something that virtually nobody else liked –
by Eleftheria Eleftheriou. As a Greek entrant, she had a strong tradition to uphold – they’ve been top 10 staples for the best part of a decade. However, she came home in a disappointing 17th and her whole country turned against her. The song was honestly a tad basic, but I loved it. Probably of more interest to PC readers was the participation of "The Italian Amy Winehouse", Nina Zilli. Her song
L'amore è femmina
was to my ears better than anything Amy recorded. It’s a fabulous retro kiss off anthem with an absolute stormer of a final chorus. The final performance was unfortunately not quite as majestic as the studio version but it did the job (and came home in 10th!).
Of course, the winner probably needs her own section. The winner of Eurovision 2012 was of course Loreen with her song
. Now this is first and foremost a dance song and it’s not entirely unlike something you'd hear on the radio by David Guetta. It is, however, better than anything you’ll hear by David Guetta (give or take 'Titanium'!). The amount of emotion packed into that chorus is just unreal and the performance was beautiful. As a winner it’s fantastic for the competition, proving that not everything that wins Eurovision is something the general public will hate (it was a huge European hit) and that not everything has to be camped up to the max either. Loreen went on to deliver an incredible album but that is a discussion for another day.
Onto the bad, which should be a far shorter part of this review (if only because I tend to forget the bad that isn’t funny). The first that comes to mind is Britain’s entry, which was an old man clearly on the verge of dying (much like the country in Eurovision – nice metaphor, guys). His song
'Love Will Set You Free'
was the musical equivalent of sleeping pills, and deservedly came 2nd last. British media went on to rant about how racist Europe is. But we’re not racist, we’re just not deaf. Other lowlights came from Donny Montell, who performed a camp disco love song called
'Love Is Blind'
while wearing a blindfold (clever!) and, well, the exact type of song you expect to come from a band named
Thankfully, not all the bad entries were just plain bad! There were three amusingly bad entries this year, which came in the form of
a middle-aged woman singing about Facebook
(the studio version is actually worse!), a
middle-aged and decidedly drunk-looking man shouting about European politics
(choice quote: "EURO NEURO MONETARY BREAK DANCE") and
a bunch of adorable Russian grannies singing about partying
(bless them – they came second!).
So basically, Eurovision 2012 was (like most years) all over the place in the absolute best way possible. I don’t think I could possibly have enjoyed it more, and thus it gets
Joined Jan 2013
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