Tag Archives: bosnia & herzegovina

Eurovision 2012 Preview Part 12 – Norway, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Lithuania

We’re getting near the end of our series of Eurovision previews – today we’ve got the last three countries who’ll be taking part in the second semi-final a week today. Today’s blog not only previews them, it also takes a look at who the bookies have got odds on making it through to next Saturday’s final. We’ll start the previews today with Norway. It’s been a funny few years for the Norwegians: in 2009, they won with a record score; then in 2010 as hosts they finished near the bottom in the final; and then last year, somewhat surprisingly, the failed to qualify from the semis. This year one suspects they’ll be back in the game, as they send Iranian-born singer Tooji, singing Stay. There’s a bit too much farty noise going on the background early on. There’s also an Eastern trill riff nicked direct from Beyonce’s Naughty Girl. Which of course quoted the late Donna Summer. So, in a way, topical.

Fundamentally it’s the sort of power pop that the Scandinavians specialise in, and I’d be very surprised not to see Tooji amongst the contenders in the final. The penultimate country performing next Thursday will be Bosnia and Herzegovina. They’ve done consistently well in recent years, coming sixth last year. This year they’ve sent Maya Sar (who played keyboard backing on Dino Merlin’s entry last year), performing Korake Ti Znam, or “I Know Your Steps” (which sounds like reassurance given by a professional to their celebrity partner on Strictly). In one of those deeply inscrutable music videos, Maya performs on her piano in a factory and on the back of a train, whilst a random bloke with a couple of donkeys wanders about with a giant treble clef. Like you do.

It’s a solid, and very 1990s-sounding, ballad – it’s placing near the end of the running order should give it an extra fillip when it comes to qualification. As for Maya herself, she’s done a lot of really good work in the fight against cervical cancer, which in my book makes her a very good egg indeed.

On to the 36th and final semi-finalist in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Lithuania. Lithuania still have only one Top 10 finish to their name, and that was with the joke entry We Are the Winners back in 2006. Since then, they’ve tended to alternate between not qualifying for the final, and qualifying, but finishing well down the running order. This year they’ll be pinning their hopes on Donatas Montvydas, or as he’s better known, Donny Montell. With a name that sounds like that of a 90s R&B artist, and the appearance of a 12-year-old, Donny spends the early part of this song (which keeps promising to turn into One Night Only, but doesn’t quite deliver) blindfolded. Because, you see, Love Is Blind.

There’s a decent disco number that never makes it out in that song. Frustrating, and again will need to rely heavily on its placing in the running order to make it through.

And that’s it for the semis. 36 countries previewed, of which 20 will make it through to the final. But which 20? You may well have formed your own opinions based on what you’ve seen and heard, but what do the bookies think? Well, currently the semi-final odds would suggest that the following countries will make it through:

1st Semi-Final – Denmark, Romania, Russia, Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Moldova, Cyprus and Albania, with a tight squeeze between Israel and Switzerland for the one remaining place

2nd Semi-Final – Sweden, Serbia, Norway, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey, Estonia, Ukraine, Slovenia and Belarus, with a toss-up between Slovakia, Croatia and Macedonia as to who gets the other place.

Of course things rarely run to form, so expect one or two rank outsiders to win a place in the final (although possibly not San Marino).

But whilst we can’t be sure about twenty of this year’s finalists, we can be sure about the other six, as Azerbaijan and the “Big Five” – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – all have automatic places in the final. So for the last two parts of this year’s preview, we’ll be taking a look at their entries for this year, in the order in which they’ve been drawn. And that means next time we’ll have our own effort from Engelbert, plus France and Italy.

Chris x

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Eurovision 2011 Preview: Bosnia & Herzegovina and Austria

And so we move into the second semi-final in this year’s Eurovision preview, and the first two of the nineteen entries who will be fighting it out for ten places on the night of Thursday 12 May. First up are Bosnia & Herzegovina. Famously applauded just for managing not to be bombed whilst giving their results in their debut contest in 1993, the Bosnians have performed solidly in recent years, never failing to get through the semi-final stage and posting their best-ever result – 3rd place – in 2006. This year they’ve employed the services of Dino Merlin (who helped them to their first Top 10 placing in 1999) with Love In Rewind. With a much younger woman by his side and an awful lot of gingham, this is like Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra in a country hoe-down:

And now for the big return. Four years ago, following a dismal performance in which they came second last in the qualifier, Austria called it a day with Eurovision, claiming that the Eastern bloc vote had rendered the contest completely unfair. However, Germany’s victory last year saw the Austrians have a change of heart, and so it is that they return this year, hoping to be in the final for the first time since 2004. Nadine Beiler is the singer, and the song is The Secret Of Love. Her voice suffers from a severe case of Xfactoritis (indeed the whole thing looks, feels and sounds like it’s come out of Simon Cowell’s brain), but as a gimmick-free ballad it could get some votes just for being, in Eurovision terms, a bit different:

Time for tonight’s classics. For Bosnia, I could have picked songs of undoubtedly greater artistic merit. On the other hand, I could go for Deen with In The Disco. Chuck a copy of The Fame in G.A.Y. on a Saturday night and you’ll probably hit several dozen Deens, all bleached blond hair and throwing shapes to a bastardised version of Hot Stuff. Possibly:

Look, I’ve been pretty good so far, showing Eurovision isn’t all a load of camp fluff. As for Austria, well I’m afraid that once again the lure of camp was too strong to resist. You want a magnificently overblown Mitteleuropean ballad performed by a singer whose hair has been tamed with ozone-annihilating quantitites of Harmony hairspray? Then Thomas Forstner is your man. Here he is with the 1989 entry, Nur Ein Leid. It came 5th. Crank up the wind machine and enjoy:

Incidentally, Thomas came back for another go two years later and got the dreaded bagel. Not everyone can be Johnny Logan (fortunately). That’s it for tonight – tomorrow, the two-thirds of Benelux still doing Eurovision get scrutinised. See you then!

Chris x

Eurovision 2010 Haiku #8: Bosnia & Herzegovina

This year’s entry that
Sounds worryingly like Creed –
which is never good