So, after a triumphant night for Labour in Manchester at the local elections, it’s time to look over three more Eurovision contenders. All of today’s hopefuls are representing countries that have won the Contest in the past. Switzerland won the first-ever Eurovision back in 1956, then had a second victory courtesy of Celine Dion in 1988. Since then, their record hasn’t been amazing – they looked to be back on track when they qualified for the final last year for the first time in ages, only to finish an undeserved last on the big night. Their hopes this year lie with Sinplus performing the song Unbreakable. And possibly the fact that the lead singer has a vibe of John Barrowman with hair by Jedward:
They also look like they’ve borrowed the dancers from Lena’s effort last year. Nothing amazing about the song itself – it might squeeze through qualifying but can’t see it doing much more.
Belgium won for the only time to date back in 1986, courtesy of 13-year-old Sandra Kim who, thanks to a subsequent rule change on the lower age limit, will forever be the youngest-ever Eurovision winner (as we will see in the not-too-distant future, there is no such cap on an upper age limit). And they’ve chosen a young performer this year – 17-year-old Iris, who performs Would You:
Slow-burning, gimmick-free ballads have had a tendency to surprise everyone and do really well in recent years (see, for example, Norway in 2008). There’s a bit too much of the hiccupy, Janet Devlin-esque vocal mannerisms going on for my liking, but I’m going to stick my neck out and say this one could do quite well.
Last up today are Finland who, ever since Lordi’s victory in 2006, have struggled to have a follow-up success. This year, for only the second time ever, they’ve sent an entry performed in Swedish (the last time was in 1990, and on that occasion they came last, so it doesn’t augur that well). Pernilla Karlsson is the singer, and the song is När jag blundar (which translates as “When I Close My Eyes”). It contains leaves and interpretative dance:
Not sure if coming straight after another female solo artist singing a pleasant mid-tempo ballad in the semi-final will do Pernilla any favours, although personally speaking I find it more pleasing. But who knows, they might both go through.
That’s a wrap for now – next time we’ll have Israel, San Marino and Cyprus. But mostly San Marino, with one of the most hilarious, jaw-droppingly bad entries in the history of Eurovision. And you don’t want to miss that…