Tag Archives: croatia

Eurovision 2012 Preview Part 10 – Croatia, Sweden and Georgia

It’s Monday evening, the first day of another week is nearly done and dusted, and the first of this year’s Eurovision semi-finals is now barely more than a week away. This year’s previews, meanwhile, move on apace, and today we’ve got Croatia, Sweden and Georgia lined up for inspection. Starting with Croatia, who’ve missed the qualification boat in the last couple of years and will be hoping to put that right this year. Croatia decided to scrap their selection competition (fabulously called Dora) and go for an internal selection instead. Their representative is Nina Badrić (who herself has missed the boat when trying to get selected on a number of previous occasions), singing Nebo, or “Heaven”, from inside what appears to be a Dove advert. Complete with lots of gratuitously semi-naked men.

Random fact: Nina once did a TV job-swap with a zoo-keeper. That’s not a bad entry at all, but whether moving to an internal selection will improve things for Croatia as it did for the UK last year remains to be seen.

From a country that’s amongst this year’s rank outsiders, to the country that is currently this year’s hot favourite. Sweden of course are no strangers to success at Eurovision, although it’s now 13 years since Charlotte Nilsson (as she was then, and minus the ill-advised cosmetic enhancements) gave the Swedes their fourth Eurovision triumph with Take Me To Your Heaven. Last year it looked like Erik Saade’s glass-smashing efforts might come good, as Sweden led the voting for a while before being overtaken in the later stages and having to settle for third place. Hoping to take the lead and stay there to the end is Loreen with Euphoria, performed here using interpretative dance on a level not seen since the early days of Kate Bush.

It certainly has the sound of a potential Eurovision winner – start slowly, build up to a banging chorus and keep it up from there. She ends the performance being held aloft – whether she’ll end this contest holding the trophy aloft remains to be seen.

Last up today are Georgia. In the four Eurovisions they’ve competed in so far, the Georgians have been a model of consistency, qualifying each time and then finishing somewhere from 9th to 12th in the final. This year, they’ve sent Anri Jokhadze performing I’m a Joker. Anri, judging by this video, isn’t exactly a shrinking violet. In fact he makes John Barrowman look restrained. He also, one suspects, might be going all-out to make it clear to the world that he’s completely and utterly heterosexual.

Anri has apparently been doing showbiz since the age of 4 and is known as “The Georgian Golden Voice”. With hair colour to match. Completely OTT – if the stage performance is similarly excessive, and based on their previous results, this might make it through.

So, three very different entries, one of which could be this year’s winner. But there’s plenty more still to get through, and next time it’ll be the turn of Turkey, Estonia and Slovakia to get the preview treatment.

Chris x

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Eurovision 2011 Preview: Malta, San Marino and Croatia

A triple helping of Eurovision as promised today. We begin with Malta, officially the most successful country never to have won the contest. After a few unsuccessful forays in the 70s, Malta returned to Eurovision in 1991. What followed was a remarkable run in which they finished in the Top 10 in all but three out of 15 years. The last few years, however, have seen a very sorry reversal in fortune, with songs either failing to qualify for the final or, if they do make it, finishing at the wrong end of the leaderboard. I’m not sure that this year’s entry, One Life performed by Glen Vella, will improve their situation. It’s dance-pop by numbers, enlivened only by the two backing dancers nicked from a Pet Shop Boys concert who seem to be doing a camped-up recreation of the video for New Order’s True Faith:

Next up are San Marino. The Sammarinese have only entered Eurovision once before, in 2008. And it didn’t end well as they finished last in their semi-final with just 5 points. The microscopic nation will be hoping it can do rather better with this entry, Stand By, performed by Senit. It might get a few more points, but it feels too inoffensive and unremarkable (with a video that looks like an M&S ad) to make any real impact:

Last up in this threesome are Croatia. Like Malta, Croatia enjoyed a strong run of form in the 1990s (culminating in Doris Dragovic finishing 4th in 1999), but have seen that form tail off badly in the last few years. Here’s this year’s entry, Celebrate peformed by Daria. Like the Maltese effort, it’s been lyrically assembled from the cliche database marked “Life-Affirming”. She also looks a bit too excited to have got hold of a bubble gun:

Could do quite well, depending if that’s what the viewers and juries are after (and given the prevailing economic gloom, a bit of escapism might be just the ticket for them). On the other hand, it starts to make Lady Gaga’s Born This Way look like a masterpiece rather than a bit dull.

Classic corner time now. Frankly no consideration of Malta’s Eurovision history would be complete without Chiara. She’s represented Malta three times, and here’s her first outing from 1998, when she finished 3rd with The One That I Love. A few bum notes and a really horrible dress aside, it’s a classic bit of 90s Eurovision balladry:

I mentioned earlier that Croatia’s best Eurovision performance to date was in 1999, when Doris Dragovic came 4th. So here she is with the song in question, Maria Magdalena, continuing the fine line of camp musical Dorises stretching back to Doris Day and Doris from Five Star:

Diva-tastic, non? There’s three more coming your way tomorrow, as we go far north, down south and somewhere in between…

Chris x

Eurovision 2010 Haiku #32: Croatia

Bored girls in floaty
Dresses flirt with Madonnas
From 1990

Eurovision Haiku #19: Croatia

The rhythmic gymnast
Lets fall the chandelier to
Solve tuning issues