Eurovision season is well and truly on. While in the UK we're all still waiting on the BBC to get on with Making it's Mind Up about this year's entry, there are songs being chosen all around Europe. 11 songs have been chosen and heard so far, and it's a very mixed bag. Here's Londonist's preview of what we'll be seeing, hearing and cheering in Helsinki.
Belarus are sending Russian Dmitry Koldun with Work Your Magik. That 'k' is all important. It's a dramatic pop song with a Bond tune feel and we think it could do quite well. Minsk 2008? Malta are sending bouncy ethno-pop with a bouncy song called Vertigo. It's full of daft lyrics about getting vertigo from spinning round and round and turning indigo. Olivia Lewis, the performer, seemingly doesn't do dance routines - she'll need one! No such worries for Norway, who are sending Strictly Come Dancing contestant Guri Schanke with a song called Ven a Bailar Conmigo - Come dance with me! The title's in Spanish but the song is in English. Guri - that's her on the right - shakes and shimmies her way through the song with aplomb and brings it to a close with a wonderful key change and costume change. She's so Eurovision. We love it.
Slovenia are sending a woman signing ethno-opera. It's all a little odd really. Estonia are sending a Pink-like popstar with a rocky pop song. It is an album-filler type of song, so probably will not grab much impact on the Eurovision stage. Poland are sending their version of The Black Eyed Peas, while Moldova send a poppier version of Evanescence. Hurrah for Eastern European musicians copying the Americans.
Denmark are going down the fabulous route, sending DQ singing Drama Queen. DQ is a Drag Queen. It's all pink and splendifourous, although that queen needs to get dancing on stage. The Netherlands are looking to a previous performer: Edsilia was in eurovision in 1998 when it was last held in the UK, and did a splendid job coming 4th. She's coming this year with a song that starts off slow but turns disco. The song's just a little flat, but Edsilia's a great performer, and should work the song well.
Romania are sending Locomondo, who are 6 blokes who look like they don't belong together. Each sings a bit in a different language about love all around the world. then they sing a little more, and then the ambulance sirens go off. It's an odd song, but rather charming with it. Romania have had a very impressive Eurovision history of late, but who knows if this can continue the trend. Speaking of countries with impressive results, Ireland chose their song just last night - traditional Irish band Dervish will perform They Can't Stop The Spring.
That's just 11 of the 42 songs for this year! Finland and Iceland are choosing tonight, and Sweden continue their search. We're hearing many a-rumour about what the BBC are upto - hopefully all will be revealed soon.
Photo by Eva Rose