Archive for March, 2010
Ok folks what is about to follow is my personal opinion on the first semi final round up in a section I’m referring to as ‘That’s how Stephen C’s it’. I’m not a Glee fan honest I’m not (he says screaming into the void of cyberspace).
Electric violins, saxophones, a singer who resembles Kate Ryan (always a good thing) but most importantly a dance beat which is a rare occurrence amongst this year’s finalists. Is it a winner? No. Could it be improved? Yes, by loosing the male vocalist.
RUSSIA-Lost and forgotten
Its very apparent Russia doesn’t want the gays back this year with this awful tedious song that isn’t helped by a singer who sounds tone deaf. It’s almost like they plucked a group of homeless off the street and let them loose. Could it be improved? Only by giving us another entry, Dima Bilan anyone! This one will remain lost and forgotten.
‘Siren in my head’ gave me a pain in mine. It has some merit, I’m almost sure it does. Singer Malcolm Lincoln has a voice more suited to indie rock than the Eurovision stage. Is it a winner? Only if you want to suffer from continuous Migraines every time it plays.
There is something quite charming about this song it’s traditional merged with an up-tempo beat. This could easily get out of the semi-finals if Kristina’s vocal is strong on the night. I do think the male dancers dance much to fast for the pace of the song. It’s like they are having epileptic fits while she stands serenely amongst them.
Well the Eurovision won’t be in Finland in 2011. I’m all for traditional songs but this sounds like a lot of nothing strung together and preformed by two pretty blondes. Who cares! I’m also beginning to notice violins are featuring more this year, anyone ever heard the phrase once bitten twice shy. Be original people.
This could be a winner, I wonder what shopping is like in Riga. Once singer Aisha doesn’t try to act the song like she does in the video then it could do Latvia proud.
SERBIA-Ovo Je Balkan
Who wants to get in line to cut his fringe? Times must be tough that he can’t afford a hairdresser and puts a bowl over his head instead. What was with his stage make up, if he was short he could have auditioned for a role in Willy Wonka. I really don’t know what to say about the song only it will always remain on skip on my I pod.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA-Thunder and lightening
I like the song and I like the singer but separately. Together I don’t see a mesh. He gets swallowed up by the rock music. I’d like to see this in the final and with the selection so far it’s a distinct possibility.
Poland, Poland, Poland, tut, tut, tut. I’m usually a fan of the Polish entries, loved Isis Gee, Kasia Kowalska and of course the unconquerable Edyta Gorniak and I can almost see the method behind the madness of this song but in the end twas the madness was the clear winner. Pity cause the backing music was quite sweet.
BELGIUM-Me and my guitar
I adore this entry, he has one of the strongest vocals in the competition and he is super cute. Is it a Eurovision winner? Unfortunately I don’t think so but I am definitely going to be looking for Tom Dice’s CD’s in the future.
“It’s my time, it’s my time” ooops sorry wrong song how could I have confused them! Malta has sent us numerous ballads over the years and they have all been relatively good entries but not winners. ‘My Dream’ is no exception. Thea Garrett is a lovely singer and has a look of Liza Minnelli but the song smacks of Englands entry ‘it’s my time’ and ultimately fails to satisfy.
ALBANIA-It’s all about you
Juliana reminds me of American singer Jewel, the song is catchy, the video has some amazing imagery but it still remains a middle of the road pop song and I would find it hard to imagine it winning, still an effort to be proud of from Albania.
OPA should really be renamed OTT, hunks in leather can’t make this pale imitation of Ruslana’s ‘Wild dance’ shine. This entry goes ‘woo pa’ all the way to the bargin bin.
PORTUGAL-Ha Dias Assim
I will be the first to raise my hand and say Portugal’s previous Euro entries never leave any sort of impression on me. This year however an enchanting ballad sung by the beautiful Filipa Azevedo has an edge on quite a lot of the other ballad style entries. This is definitely one to watch out for.
FYR MACEDONIA-Jas ja imam silata
Its okay, I can visualise it growing on me but then again I could just as easily skip it. Rock songs however are few and far between this year so that could make it stand out of the crowd.
I love the song I believe it could win however it would stand a much better chance if they reverted back to their native language. The main male singer’s pronunciation of English lets the song down.
ICELAND-Je ne sais quai
Didn’t Kylie Minogue have a song with a similar title? I love Iceland, they never fail me and once again they have produced a great dance song backed by a powerful singer who looks like Carola. Love love love.
So to conclude on my round up of the first semi final, the ten songs I hope will get through to the final are…
Iceland, Belgium, Belarus, Portugal, Albania, Latvia, Slovakia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova and Malta.
Course if Russia, Estonia, Finland, Serbia, Poland, Macedonia and Greece get through Ireland stands a much better chance of doing well and that folks is how Stephen C’s it. Join me tomorrow for the second semi final annihilation and those elusive five countries. I think its time for a song. ’Money talks but it don’t sing and dance and it don’t walk la di dum di…
In 2004 Shirley Clamp burst onto our scenes in Melodifestivalen 2004, this being her second appearance, and the foxy little minx managed to have an instant schlager classic with “Min Kärlek“. But nothing could stop the Lena Ph train that year and poor Shirley only came second. She has since been in the 2005 and 2009 contests but has failed to live up to her success of 2004. She was part of the MF interval act this year though. Go on Shirley girl, belt out those notes
With all the latest updates to the songs how has this changed the overall betting odds? Well Azerbaijan is still number one but Germany has jumped to #2 along with Israel, Denmark has gone up a few spaces as well to number 3, and Niamh is climbing away currently 8th favourite to win. Looks like they have as much confidence in Russia as we do here. It will be interesting to see where all the neighbouring votes go if Russia isn’t there to soak them up.
Germany/ Israel 11/2
Norway /Armenia 14/1
Belgium /Iceland /Ireland 33/1
Albania /Turkey 40/1
Slovakia /France /United Kingdom/ Spain 50/1
Belarus/ Ukraine /Romania 66/1
Moldova /Georgia 80/1
Bosnia & Herzogovina /Russia /Malta /Serbia /Lithuania Cyprus 100/1
Finland/ Latvia/ Portugal 150/1
Switzerland /Bulgaria /Holland 200/1
FYR Macedonia /Poland /Slovenia 250/1
The first (we hope) in a set of tribute acts, local legend and Ireland’s very own Verka Serduchka, Sheila Fitzpatrick does a wonderful version of Niamh Kavanagh’s “It’s For You”. Sheila is a huge supporter of the Eurovision and is particularly famous for his Malena Ernman impressions Better yet, it’s gotten the official royal approval, Niamh loves it.
Yes Eurovision fans, this Sunday afternoon we sat down with the beautiful and charming Niamh Kavanagh to discuss her memories of Eurovision in 1993, her current musical favourites and a few hints about the dress she will wear on stage in Oslo!
- Niamh thank you so much for taking time from your schedule to chat with us! It’s not often a Dub relocates to the countryside! Was it that fateful trip to Millstreet in 1993 that convinced you the country life was for you?
My mother and father are both from the country. Dad was a Tinahealy man (Co Wicklow) and my mum Kilcullen (Co Kildare) and like all good country boys and girls moved to Dublin for jobs. They met each other and after a long a lovely and romantic story married and settled in Dublin. They then proceeded to have 4 lovely daughters making us first generation Dubs! As a chid we visited my mother’s family in Kilcullen a great deal and I loved spending time with my relations there. I used to spend as much time as they could bear me to stay with them. My mother used to say that I only came home to go to school. To be honest I loved growing up in Dublin city and spending time in the country. What I am trying to say is it wasn’t a big change for me to move to the country. I live in Carrickfergus, which is 8 miles from Belfast and combines the perfect balance of country and city for me. I still come home lots in the year as it only takes about 2 hours. Sometimes I can be in Dublin quicker than some people living in the suburbs of Dublin! It’s a shame I can’t say that Millstreet was the deciding factor, but it’s safe to say that I fitted in there no worries and it certainly gave me an experience that has never been nor likely to be repeated!
- Niamh, we all have such fond memories of 1993! RTÉ bringing the contest to Millstreet, Fionnuala doing such a great job of hosting, that amazing futuristic set that transformed Noel C Duggan’s Green Glens Arena! Musically, it certainly was one of the higher quality contests of the early nineties; can we push you to pick one other entry as your favourite from that year and why?
You can push all you like, you spend a week with everyone and get to know their songs and before you know it you want everyone to win!! I always liked Ruth Jacott, the Swiss entry was sung beautifully and actually I loved Norway that year. So I guess your pushing has worked a little!!!
- Oh but we loved Ruth too! She had soul and amazingly fitted flares! Her backing singers scared us a little though! Are you still in touch with Ruth or any of the other contestants from 1993?
No, although if I would be delighted to meet them. I am much more likely to meet one of the other winners from Ireland. Although we don’t all live in the same house, which most of the fans would love, we do get to do an event at least once a year when they herd us all together. I love seeing everyone, including all the crew and fans who were such a big part of the Eurovision experience for me every time I visit it.
- Have your kids ever sat down to watch the 1993 contest on video or DVD? How do they feel about their Mum taking part this year? Will they be going to Oslo?
Actually I have never watched my 93 Eurovision yet. I guess I am saving it for when they are going to watch with me. I watch the Why Not Millstreet? documentary because it is more the experience I remember. Does that admission shock you? Does it mean I am stripped of my title of Euro-queen? I promise faithfully I will watch it soon, I guess because I lived it I am not in a hurry to watch it. Anyways I don’t really watch myself on TV.
- Don’t worry Niamh, we’ve watched the ’93 contest enough times for the entire Kavanagh family. And we love the Why Not Millstreet? documentary; Linda getting hit in the face by the horse, the people of Millstreet painting their houses to welcome the Europeans, Sonya’s face when Malta awards you YET another douze points! But Eurovision of course, has moved on since 1993. How do you feel about the obligation to use backing tracks and the demise of the orchestra at the Eurovision Song Contest?
Truthfully I will always choose to perform live and with real musicians. Tracks have their purpose but realistically I miss the orchestra so much, it gives life to songs and performances often. However I am aware that times change and I recall in ’93 and the years about it how much people said Eurovision had to change to survive into the next generation and so it has.
- Oh Niamh, we can tell you’re a supporter of our BRING BACK THE ORCHESTRA campaign! What is your favourite Irish entry, winning song and simply favourite entry from the past ten years of Eurovision?
Tough one really, I watch every year, it’s better fun now watching with my kids. The one that really stand out for me have to be Iceland last year and Patricia Kaas of course because I adore her. Would like to say that I remember before that but I just can’t!
- Have you listened to any of the other entries this year? In terms of competition, whom do you fear the most and do you have any gossip on any of the other entrants?
I must confess I have only heard a couple of them. I know I should be listening to suss it all out, but I think things change so much on the big stage. I never measure myself in relation to others. I have no fear of anyone else, we are all going to Oslo to do the same job and it’s possible there may be some who ‘fear’ me, but I ain’t buying in to it. I will watch as many as possible before I go so that I might get to know who I might meet so I am not a complete eejit when I speak to other delegates. Hmmmm gossip, none yet. I won’t deny I love a bit of gossip so if ye have any to share with me I am all ears!!
- We’d love nothing more than to share a bit of gossip over tea and biscuits in Carrickfergus! I’m sure you have a few Sonya stories yourself from 1993! Niamh, what music have you been listening to yourself lately? What were your favourite albums released over the past year and what will be on the Ipod when we call round for tea?
Hmmmmm, this is where I should show how fantastically hip I am, mostly what I have been listening to from the last year or so of releases are Paolo Nutini, James Morrison, Newton Faulkner, not exactly current, but totally brilliant. I always have Bonnie Raitt and Paul Brady on my Ipod and of course Aretha, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Cash, but they are definitely not current. I am excited about new talent though so I keep an eye. A lot of the time I listen to audio books too, great for travelling. I guess I will be listening to some Euro music this year !!
- Just remember to turn the Ipod off for takeoff and landing! The Norwegians are strict; they had police at the running order draw and everything! Have you ever been to Norway before? It must be a bit more exciting than travelling to Co. Cork in 1993!
I have worked in Norway a few times and I loved it everytime. The people are so good and I loved it there, plus I always made sure I went to their parties in all the Eurovisions I went to, because they know how to have a good party! As to being more exciting, I am not so sure. It’s hard to compare the two. In Millstreet I was the home representative and we all know how fabulous it was to be there. Oslo will be a different experience and I am really looking forward to it.
- Niamh, with a name like Stylingochconsulting, you can imagine how intrigued I am as to how you will be styled in Oslo! Finally, can you share any little secret about the gúna you’ll be wearing in Oslo? Can Frank and I volunteer to take the place of the two girls in the video and be your two personal assistants in Oslo?
The ‘guna’ I will be wearing will be very special, I am excited about the whole planning process. It’s amazing how much work goes into it. In fairness it’s also takes a lot more work to make me look right these days so I am grateful for it. It will be beautiful and womanly, and the design will follow through to the other singers on stage, Nikki and Niamh in particular, as they are beautiful ladies and it would be a waste not to show that.
As for the personal request at the end, it is surprising just how many offers I have had to carry my bags and to be honest I would love to bring you all with me. I know you would look after me fabulously and keep me well in the gossip!!!
Looking after a talent as down to earth, easygoing and beautiful as you would be a pleasure Niamh! Thank you so much for your time and let’s bring Eurovision back to Millstreet in 2011!
Being a little underwhelmed by her winning performance in the Icelandic National Final we advised our beloved Hera to… in the words of Sue Sylvester… “swish it up“!
And oh my Carola she has! We don’t have a new video to reveal the new choreography but the new backing track is gayer than Paul Oscar and Sylvia Nott performing This Is My Life.
The second semi-final will take place in Oslo on 27 May 2010. This is such much so the stronger Semi-Final and features our very own Ireland, and the current bookies favourite Azerbaijan and Israel. definite no qualifiers would be Slovenia and Bulgaria methinks. Definite qualifiers are Turkey, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Azerbaijan, Israel and Croatia.
The UK, France and Norway will be voting in this semi-final as well so it looks good for Niamh.
The ad break will be after Ireland.
|01||Lithuania||40/1||InCulto||“East European Funk”||—|
|02||Armenia||8/1||Eva Rivas||“Apricot Stone”||—|
|03||Israel||11/4||Harel Skaat||“Milim” (?????)||Words|
|04||Denmark||9/1||Chanée and N’evergreen||“In a Moment Like This”||—|
|05||Switzerland||125/1||Michael von der Heide||“Il pleut de l’or”||It’s raining gold|
|06||Sweden||14/1||Anna Bergendahl||“This Is My Life”||—|
|07||Azerbaijan||5/2||Safura Alizadeh||“Drip Drop”||—|
|09||Netherlands||150/1||Sieneke||“Ik ben verliefd (Sha-la-lie)”||I’m in love (Sha-la-lie)|
|10||Romania||20/1||Paula Seling and Ovi||“Playing with Fire”||—|
|11||Slovenia||150/1||Ansambel Roka Žlindre
|“Narodnozabavni rock”||Folk rock|
|12||Ireland||16/1||Niamh Kavanagh||“It’s for You”||—|
|13||Bulgaria||125/1||Miro||“Angel si ti” (????? ?? ??)||You’re an angel|
and The Islanders
|“Life Looks Better in Spring”||—|
|15||Croatia||8/1||Feminnem||“Lako je sve”||Everything is easy|
|17||Turkey||14/1||maNga||“We Could Be The Same”||—|