ESC 2012: My opinion about the Final (Part II)


The second part of my opinion regarding the Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 is now here to shine. On my previous post, I started talking about the begining of the show + started to review the songs and its performances during the final one by one. After talking about the first 13 entries, here’s my opinion of the last 13 entries:

14: Romania – Mandinga – Zaleilah

The second half of the songs starts with another dance music entry that sounds like a potential “summer hit” with the latin influences. The performance from the final itself gives a taste of the warmth and the contagious feeling of the song that also invites us to dance and sing along with it. Despite things not going right for the lead singer during the 1st Semi-Final (she couldn’t hear the music with the earpiece), she still handled things like a professional that she is

15: Denmark – Soluna Samay – Should’ve known better

Once again, Denmark goes into the friendly radio pop-rock formula, but this time in the shape of a female singer with a guitar (at the likes of the swedish entry in 2010 (“This is my life”, sung by Anna Bergendahl), that despite the favouritism, didn’t suprisingly qualify for the final by very few points) accompained by backing singers “playing” instruments. As a song, it’s a nice track, but there were better songs in this edition of ESC (and I still don’t think it quite deserved their qualification). The performance was consistent with good vocal performance and the right atmosphere for the song

16: Greece – Eleftheria Eleftheriou – Aphrodisiac

A used formula from this country is a ethnic-tinged uptempo pop entry with a choreography that includes the reminiscences of the famed Syrtaki dance and this song has it all. Like some of the greek entries of the last 8 years that used the formula, the visual performance is quite contagious in a way due to its choreography and to its ethnicity. The vocal performance could have been better (in a way, the chorist almost overshadowed vocally the singer), but Eleftheria did the best she could to defend the song

17: Sweden – Loreen – Euphoria

The big favourite to win, the song is a dance-pop with trance elements with lyrics that infatuates a prosperous chain of happenings on what could be viewed as intemporal love. If the song is one thing, then the performance is another: the conception of artistic performance is gracefully interpreted in her, with moves that could make us remind of the dance philospophy of modern dance visionary, Isadora Duncan, and also the visual showcase spectacularity of british singer Kate Bush in her heydays (from her videoclips to her tours featuring choreographies of the sort). Added to a powerful vocal performance that was better in the final than in the semi

18: Turkey – Can Bonomo – Love me back

There was a couple of ethnic songs coming from the country that were different from each other, but a alternative-ethnic entry? Never thought alternative music could fuse into ethnic music, not in a ESC edition, and Can was responsible to prove us wrong. The story of the sailor on his quest to find love by the seaside is the main focus of the entry and the performance given by the singer and his backing dancers and/or singers only puts it more in evidence. Great gimmick with the boat made of capes

19: Spain – Pastora Soler – Quédate conmigo

After a couple of catchy songs, we enter again into the ballad domain. This time, we have a resonant power ballad about a seemingly unrequisited love from which the first person of the song hopes it’ll have a second chance, despite the inevitable unhappy ending. The power of the song stood in its equally powerful performance provided by Pastora and the backing singers that, in a perfect visual sequence, come out from nowhere. She proved that sometimes, less is more

20: Germany – Roman Lob – Standing still

A more radio friendly pop-rock ballad is what this country offered us on that night sung by the unknown singer who won the “Unser Star für…” casting talent show that resulted in the 2nd victory for Germany in ESC, thanks to Lena Mayer-Landrut in 2010 with “Satellite”. The performance was the right one for it: very consistent and thoughtfull. Trivia: one of the co-writers of the song was famed british singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum

21: Malta – Kurt Calleja – This is the night

Once again, this country sent the formula of male singer singing a catchy entry with choreography attributes. Unlike last year, they were sucessfull this time, something that did caught me by suprise, as I didn’t thought it’d stand even a chance to qualify for the final. It’s a nice entry, but there were also better songs than this one. I have to admit, though, that what brought life to the song was the visual performance, counting with a seemingly hard-to-do feet choreography

22: Macedonia – Kaliopi – Crno i belo

Finally the country returns to a final (the last one was 2007) and also finally Kaliopi got the chance to perform live in ESC (she was the representant of the country in 1996, but in the pre-qualifiying round in which jurors from the 30 countries in contention for the 22 remaining places for the final (as Norway was the host and therefore was already a finalist) voted for the songs by listening to audio tapes, she placed 26th, in tie with Russia, out of 30 countries and, therefore, didn’t make it). And all this in a pop-rock catchy ballad that starts gracefully until the point when the rock part kicks in, finishing in a piano solo incorporated in the singer’s voice. In terms of performance, this far exceeded my expectations: perhaps one of the fiercest performances of this edition vocally and visual. The high-pitched scream added more embellishment to the performance. Goddess Kaliopi, I bow before you

23: Ireland – Jedward – Waterline

After participating in ESC last year with the intriguing “Lipstick”, the twins were back with a more light power pop entry, without giving up the eccentric and hyperactive side of their previous entry. What we can say about their performance? It was as entertaining as possible, with them being so positive and having loads of fun, aided also by the chorists and also by the gimmick that also represents the entry: a water fountain

24: Serbia – Željko Joksimović – Nije ljubav stvar

Also a returning artist, Željko goes back to the ethnic ballad genre, done in a different way than his previous entries as both singer-songwriter and just as a songwritter. It might not be as splendorous as his previous efforts, but it’s an equally enchanting entry that grows with intensity until reaching the full scale of the song. As always, the singer gave a impressive vocal performance and the visual concept of the performance was well envisioned

25: Ukraine – Gaitana – Be my guest

The song, as even the title, seems a well-intentioned invitation to the UEFA Euro 2012, which was held this time in Poland and Ukraine and has the feeling of both “summer hit” and “football anthem”, meaning that of a song that could be chosen to be officially one of the songs for the football tournament that will start next week. This is one of the cases in which the little LED stage screens work in a performance (the british entry of 2011, “I can” sung and made by the boy band Blue, also did the same, but the effect wasn’t really good) which ends with a “flash mob” demonstration. The singer was also competent on her vocal performance, much better in the final than in the semi she participated

26: Moldova – Pasha Parfeny – Lăutar

Last but not the least, the song that combines the folk music of the lăutari musicians and the funnier side of the 1920’s jazz ambience into a modern catchy song (sometimes, its folk leitmotiv reminds me of the serbian entry of 2010, “Ovo je Balkan”, sung by Milan Stanković). And like the forementioned entry, it also counted with a vivacious and funny visual performance and choreography that totally sold the song out

Next, there was the interval act performed by Emin Agalarov, known singer whose works go from jazz to pop music and has been releasing singles in United Kingdom lately. Sadly, I couldn’t see much of it as I was following it via RTP 1 HD and they usually make a commercial break when the interval act is being performed, so I can’t say much of it

The results’ presentation itself provided some suprises and some non-suprises, as it’s usual to happen in ESC. High favourite to win, Sweden won (deservedly) with just 15 points less than the song that still holds the record of most points: “Fairytaile”, Alexander Rybak, Norway, 2009 – 387 points. Albania was one of the suprises of the night as they reached its first ever top-5 placing. Germany got a top-10 against the odds this time, while Spain finally got a top-10 after 8 years without one. On the other hand, Moldova and Macedonia got their second best placing ever in ESCGreece ended their consecutive top-10 streak that started in 2004 and some of the favourites, like Iceland, Denmark and Norway, were in the lower positions of the scoreboard, with Norway getting their 11th last placer in the history of ESC

Well, next year, we’ll go to Sweden (destination still unknown, as in the history of ESC, the country has hosted the contest in three different cities: Stockholm (1975 and 2000), Gothenburg (1985) and Malmö (1992) and we never know what’s going to happen). Until then, I hope next year’s ESC will be as great as this year was. And hoping Portugal will return to the final next year (with a great song) after undeservedly being out of it this year by 10 points less than the 10th qualified one

A last treat – the repise performance of the ESC 2012 winner:

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)


Posted on 28 de May de 2012, in Eurovision Song Contest. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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