ESC 2013: Final – The Songs
Less than a month, the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 (which will be held this year in Malmö, Sweden) is going to start with the 1st Semi-Final on Tuesday, 14th May 2013. After the semis, the last ones to be given an opinion are the Finalists (unlike previous years, the running order will be determined by the producers. Before that, an allocation draw is going to be done during the press conference of the semis and, before that, the finalists press conferences during the rehearsals, etc… in order to determine which half (1st or 2nd) they are going to sing in the final)
From winning the 6th edition of “Idol”‘s french version (“Nouvelle star”) back in 2008 to being the french representant in this edition of ESC, Amandine Bourgeois has come a long way with its ups and downs. With lyrics made by the same responsible for the monegasque entries of 1973 (Marie, “Un train qui part”, 8th) and 1975 (Sophie, “Une chanson c’est une lettre”, 13rd) (Boris Bergman), “L’enfer et moi” (translated as “Hell and me”) is a retro-R’n’B pop entry about an hellish relationship. Quite corky, sexy and totally fresh for what’s usually heard on ESC and Amandine‘s voice in this song totally blends well with the hardness of the song’s lyrics. Will France do a top-10 with an entry of its type?
It won’t be easy to replicate the highly honourable results they had with the “Unser Star für…” talent show contestants in the last 3 years, but prolific dance music band Cascada are ready to fight for one of those results with a song that ESC fans in general compared with last year’s winner: the dance music entry “Glorious”. Professionally well made and produced song, highly proper as well to be played in general or dance radio stations around the world. Will Cascada go on with the wave of good results Germany has been recieving since 2010?
The last time Italy sent a Sanremo winner to ESC was back in 1997: Jalisse won the “Campioni (Big)” category with the ballad “Fiumi di parole” and months later in Dublin, they finished 4th. Marco Mengoni, who rose to fame after winning the 3rd season of the italian version of “X-Factor”, made a total ressurgence by winning this year’s Sanremo Festival and the song responsible for that triumphant moment was “L’essenziale” (translated as “The essential”), a power pop-rock ballad that mixes love with social issues. Totally brilliant and full of passion, this ticks all my buttons for its complexity and its tenderness. Italy is a favourite to do well by ESC fans, polls and betting odds, but can it win against all odds?
From ballad to folk: El Sueño del Morfeo (they will be named internationally as ESDM for the contest) have the difficult task to repeat the good placing Pastora Soler achieved last year with “Quédate conmigo” (10th place). In a way, everything is coming down with “Contigo hasta el final” (translated as “With you until the end”), a midtempo to uptempo folk pop-rock entry written by themselves and simply a bit like most of their repertoire. Nice catchy laid back entry that makes us think somehow of Spain in a different way and I like Raquel‘s voice on this song. From the BIG 5 (countries directly qualified for the final) songs, Spain seems to be a/the underdog this time around and only a very convincing performance might do the trick. Will they do better than expected?
XX: UNITED KINGDOM
The most famous artist out of all 39 participating entries: Bonnie Tyler‘s carrer is forever linked to big hits in the 70’s and the 80’s such as “Lost in France”, “It’s a heartache”, “Total eclipse of the heart” (arguably her most remembered song) and “Holding out for a hero”. For ESC, she has chosen a song written by, among other writers, noted songwriter and producer Desmond Child called “Believe in me”, a country-influenced rock ballad about the pretensions of a woman trying to make her beloved one believe in her. Very much Bonnie‘s style these days: soothing, calm and heartfelt as in many of her songs from her output. There’s many thoughts as to whether she’ll do a good placing for the United Kingdom, but anything can happen. Will Bonnie reach a top-10?. NOTE: this is not the first music contest she has ever participated. Back in 1979, she won the World Popular Yamaha Song Festival (held annually in Japan from 1970 to 1989), representing her country with the song “Sitting on the edge of the ocean”
And finally the only finalist song that knows in which postion will be singing…
He wasn’t the favourite to win Melodifestivalen (the swedish preselection for ESC) 2013 (well, on his respective semi, he only came 3rd and qualified as far as Andra Chansen (Second Chance) round. Then he struggled to get into the final after AC‘s last round by very few televotes over Martin Rolinski. Finally, he did the suprising win by becoming the international jury’s favourite and reaching 2nd in the televoting), but Robin Stjernberg (who first was in the spotlight after participating in the swedish version of “Idol” back in 2011) will represent the host country with the radio-friendly uptempo entry titled “You” (a song he wrote together with 3 other people). It’s a good and well-structured song with a quite memorable chorus, really fit to be heard on normal radio stations (well, I’d picture that possibility, since it’s the genre of music that could be heard on radios these days). But I prefered some other songs from this Melodifestivalen edition (those of Yohio (who has a big favourite to win after performing in its semi), Martin Rolinski, Amanda Fondell, etc…). As the host country, Sweden has the difficult task of doing a good result on homesoil. Will Robin live up to those expectations?
And that’s all concerning ESC 2013‘s songs, folks… I now wish good luck to all the participating countries and may the best song win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest edition