30 Days of Eurovision Challenge- Day 11

Prompt: A song you would choose to sing as a karaoke in the shower

My hands down favourite ESC song to sing in the shower is probably Serbia’s 2007 winning entry, “Molitva.” Even if I don’t have the backing track with me (e.g. in the shower), the instrumentation is simple enough to back with humming, hand whistling (the flute solo) and stomping on the ground.

It’s also a good song to sing in uni dorm bathrooms because the lyrics aren’t in English. Room/hall mates won’t assume that I’m dumping Cheese Whiz down the drain, and the echo is really nice when the water is on.

*Disclaimer: I don’t recommend doing the hand whistling part if you have soap on your hands.

Want to see the rest of the 30 Day Challenge posts? Click here to find the rest of the entries.

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2015 Review: Iceland

After last year’s performance (which actually wasn’t that bad), Iceland’s RÚV chose to send María Ólafsdóttir to ESC with the song “Unbroken”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pYueOpzswg[/embed]

Compared to last year, I prefer this entry since it’s more accessible at first listen. Though the lyrics may sound a little cliché and the tune a little repetitive to some, I think it’s still pretty good. The lyrics are simple, accessible, and easily interpreted by the audience:  “I’m letting go,” “a step at a time,” “pick up the pieces and put them back together till I’m unbroken,” “get out of the darkness and into the light forever”, and the song’s pretty Ohrwurm-y.

From a personal perspective, the lyrics discuss gradually letting go of my ex-refrigerator, accepting myself, and my current trial of overcoming depression. It may have taken nearly five years, one botched relationship, having to start over multiple times, and countless nights of music therapy, but the ex-refrigerator and the one person in German class have been separated so much that they’re not even the same person anymore. Continuing on the journey, I’m still trying to accept who I am because the refrigerator brought out so many things that I never noticed. I’m still trying to pick myself up from having surprise meltdowns only controlled with Mountain Dew, the South Park movie, and the geography department, since it can be hard convincing me that I’m whole after constantly getting told off and called a POS. But as the song (and life in general) states, everything happens a step at a time. It could mean putting down the Mountain Dew. It could mean pulling out my chem notebook and studying the notes again. It could even mean holding my tongue and texting a friend when my family starts acting up.

I hope that it gets to the finals. “Unbroken” isn’t my winner, but I do wish Maria and her team luck in Vienna.

 

 

 

Random ESC Sighting: Robin Hood

A while ago I saw the play “The Heart of Robin Hood” in Canada.

So if it’s playing in Canada, and it’s probably really far away from the ESC world, there’s no ESC involvement…right?

Wrong.

The playbill stated that the associate director and choreographer was Selma Björnsdóttir… who represented Iceland in 1999 and 2005!

My family keeps telling me to get my head out of the ESC world. It’s kind of hard to if they keep exposing me to ESC sightings…

 

2015 Review: Lithuania

Ahh, Lithuania and your 12-week marathon of Eurovizijos, which selects the song and artist separately…it’s always a pleasure to find out that the national final ended and the song AND artist are finally chosen.

After Vilija’s (slightly confusing) performance last year shouting for attention, Lithuania chose Vaidas Baumila and Monika Linkytė to represent the country with the song “This Time.”

I first watched the performance with the volume off because a) I didn’t have my headphones and b) certain people in the house aren’t fans of me blasting music at 23:30. Since it was pretty basic staging, all I noticed was that:

  1. Monika looked like Madilyn Bailey
  2. Vaidas looked like a cross between David Lindgren (probably due to the suit), Sebalter, and Andrius Pojavis
  3. They look like they’re having fun on stage.
  4. But why is there a kiss in the middle of the performance?

After turning on the music, I decided that I liked the song. It’s got country-folksy vibes to it (reminds me of Sebalter/Firelight/Texas Lightning), and it’s really hard not to tap my foot or nod my head along to the performance. I’ve only got two major gripes so far:

  1. The 3-second kiss is really annoying because I want to hear a full uninterrupted version and I can’t find a duet version without applause and PDA 90 seconds in. Vaidas does have a solo studio version, but there’s no studio duet yet.
  2. Even though it’s easy to follow the beat, when I turn the sound off and try to hum the tune I end up humming “No No Never” instead. Maybe I just have to spam my ears with the song for a few nights and sing along with.

Overall it’s a much more accessible entry than last year. I hope they get to the final in May.

Australia’s official participation

My first reaction to surprises tends to be really boring.

The test got moved to Wednesday instead of Monday. What?

The store is out of sweet potato vines and amaranth prices are way too high. What?

Oklahoma plans on replacing AP United States History with a more conservative curriculum: What?

Australia is participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. WHAT THE…?!?!?!

I thought Australia’s interval act performance was going to be it because Australia’s not a full member of the European Broadcasting Union. But this year they’re actually participating…

And then my mind ended up having an argument over this happening:

  • They’re not even part of the EBU! But they’ve been streaming the contest for over 30 years!
  • But what about that they’re not even in the right time zone? Azerbaijan and Iceland aren’t exactly on Central European time either
  • So how come they get to vote in both semis and participate as a Big 5/6? It’s a one-off event, and I don’t think they’re really going to win…
  • But what if they *do* win? It’s still going to be hosted in the EBU, probably Germany.

Anyways, let’s go back to watching Jessica Mauboy’s performance from last year…

Are you sure this is the same person?

Back in 2010, Estonia was represented by Malcolm Lincoln, a group headed by Robin Juhkental. As in, the guy who sang “My life has been oh lame, has been oh lame so far.”

Fast forward 5 years, and instead of the awkward guy on stage, there’s a Ryan Gosling lookalike that replaced him.And it’s kind of creepy. His voice and lyrics style haven’t really changed, so at least we know he’s still the same person inside (or at least that’s what we think)

Given all the hype of “Goodbye to Yesterday“, it’s probably not going to win Eesti Laul, but it’s definitely catchy. And I’m definitely going to sing along with in the car.

 

It’s not always about love

By the time I finish this post, it will finally not be 14. February, and I’ll just be sitting in house eating discount chocolate that was overpriced for the first 2 weeks of February.

I’m stuck in one of those awkward moments right now: I am currently in a relationship but I absolutely despise Valentine’s Day. There’s an overload of pink/hearts/overpriced chocolate/flowers/etc. to deal with and in my opinion it’s pretty much just spamming my senses. It’s already enough that I’m not a fan of people using the word “cute” on a daily basis and that I can’t stand over-the-top cheesiness. It only gets more complicated when my lactose intolerance starts affecting the giant fondue pot called Eurovision.

Because the EBU tried to replace WWIII with a yearly apolitical sing-off, the stereotype is that every song is another obnoxious song about love. It doesn’t matter if it’s supposed to shine a light, set you free, or light your fire/up your desire/take you higher. (Yes I had to do that). It’s still another cliché love song. However, the songs don’t have to be about love. So here are some alternative topics that have shown up in ESC:

1 )World Peace
This is probably the second most common topic in ESC, also due to the EBU trying to avoid WWIII. Maybe the song’s about friends/enemies getting along or being thankful for being alive. Or maybe it’s about astronauts not seeing wars and political boundaries from space. Or let’s just be super generic and send a song about a kid wishing for a little bit of peace. But just make sure that it’s not going to be a super ironic entry…

2)Current events
Don’t have an SO or ex to sing about and you don’t want to sing about world peace? Sing about what you saw on Monday morning TV (or whenever you watch the news), or how you feel about it. Some entries in the past discussed a protest against building a hydroelectric dam, the Beslan school hostage crisis, part of your country breaking up, or the recent Charlie Hebdo shootings. Georgia went a little bit too far in 2009, when their song, a reaction against the war in Ossetia, was denied participation by Russia.

3)Eurovision itself
What do you do when someone asks you to perform, but you don’t really want to? Talk about the contest sarcastically and try your best to make a fool of yourself on stage. Throw confetti on yourself and leave the stage only after taking a picture of the audience. And make a point that you want to come in last.

4)The social network
There’s already a movie for Facebook. Why not write a song about it? Disclaimer: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. And if you are going to write a song about something, probably do some research about how people actually use the internet and social network first…

5)Raising Awareness
Considering that over 180 million people tune into the ESC final, it’s easy to spread a message that everyone can hear. And if people are willing to listen, this is a good time to raise awareness for issues and concerns, like HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, and child abuse.

6)Genghis Khan
No other words needed.

7)Birds
If you want to talk about floating in the air but you don’t want to talk about love, just go the literal route and start talking about birds. For some reason, grounded birds have shown up more than flying birds. These include penguins that want to travel the world, song thrushes complaining that their feet are cold, and birds falling from the rooftop.

8)A lovely horse (Austria 1957/Father Ted episode)
How can I forget Father Ted (and Father Dougal)’s attempt to send a song to Eurovision? Anyways, Austria actually sent an entry about a horse in the second year of ESC. And they definitely did not have a sax solo.