Issuu on Google+

´ INTERVIEWS O'CLOCK: Andrej Babic, Hazel Kaneswaran and Emmelie de Forest

WHAT'S UP, DENMARK?

a special article about this host country

BECOMING AN ADULT IN ESC:

Junior ESC artists that must go to the adults' contest Eurovision CHRONICLES

Some fresh NEWS & GOSSIP

th issue 4 e th

ALL 37 COUNTRIES IN REVIEW!


Hello! We proudly pr the fourth issu of the only we about the Eurovision Son ever made.


resent ue ebmagazine

ng Contest


TWELVE

th issue 4 the

WHAT'S UP, DENMARK?

Matheus Gomes tells what waits for us in the country that tried so hard to win the contest, now that it actually did

ANDREJ BABIC ´

The Croatian composer tells us about his experiences in national selections around Europe, and also about his work as a backing vocalist

HAZEL KANESWARAN

The mentor behind the Irish entry this year, Can-Linn feat. Kasey Smith, reveals her visions about the 2014 contest, and more

EMMELIE DE FOREST

The artist responsible for giving Denmark the chance to host the competition for the third time shares her winning experience

2014: ALL ENTRIES IN REVIEW Here they are: the 37 songs competing this year, with their strong points, their flaws, and everything in between!

THOUGHT FOR SONG

Our editor Fernanda Cabrera has been observing the latest entries and concluded: Eurovision is going mainstream

FRIDAY TALKS

Filipe Lima read the social media comments, and met some hipsters over there. He tells us what he thinks about what those hipsters have to say

AN EUROFAN'S CHRONICLE

Did you realized how seriously the Big 5 countries are turning when it comes to their ESC entries? Fernanda Barreto shows some successful cases

BIG FIVE: FROM JESC TO ESC We listed the top 5 artists from the Junior Eurovision that should totally fly their countries' flag in the adult competition


THE EDITORS' LETTER

T W E LVE

2014: The year of downtempo

T HE  F I R S T EUROVISION SONG  CONTEST's WEBMAG

Our page on Issuu: www.issuu.com/twelvemagazine The ESC12points blog: www.esc12points.com Contact us: esc12points@gmail.com twitter.com/ESC12points facebook.com/ESC12points

Disclaimer: This webmagazine is made only for recreational and information sharing purposes by an independent group of Eurovision Song Contest enthusiasts. It has no intention of break any copyright rule. If you would like to know more about our policies, just contact us via email on esc12points@gmail.com.

While Copenhagen is adjust-

One of the specialties of Eurovi-

ing the last details for this year’s

sion has always been the variety

Eurovision, and the B&W Hallerne

of styles. Now, we are seeing such

is nearly ready for the shows

a flow of downtempo there, that

(hopefully, as our diva Lynda

they don’t seem that special any-

Woodruff would say), the waiting

more – as they sounded some

is no longer needed for TWELVE:

years ago. They are so many, that

we are quicker than the organiza-

now they are just common, repeti-

tion, and our fourth issue is al-

tive. Some countries, on ESC, have

ready done for you!

a tendency to follow trends from

It’s undeniable that the style of

previous editions. And, when they

songs we will watch this year dur-

enter the repetition, they never

ing the festival is slightly different

win. Even so, they keep trying. It

from the usual – and no, we are

was like this with frikis, then with

not talking about Greece’s not

rock – and we hope we don’t start

having a slutty girl another time.

seeing flutes everywhere.

Fans of explosive choruses, mark-

Some years ago, sending down-

ing pop melodies and uptempo

tempo was almost revolutionary.

beats are very likely feeling al-

You would be the nation that chose

most alone in 2014.

a deep and beautiful song over a

If, in 2013, Eurovision seemed

dancy “disposable” pop. Molitva,

to have a special theme “Send

for example, was only unique be-

your own elderly and get some

cause it was performed in a year

Azerbaijan’s 12s”, 2014 is the year

filled with Shake It Up Shekerims,

of downtempo. Of course, there

Work Your Magics and Yassou Ma-

are many people (including some

rias. In 2014, Molitva would be just

of our editors) who are huge fans

one more song in the crowd of

of slower songs. But, in spite of

slow tracks.

that, come on, broadcasters! Some

TWELVE is for variety. We love

songs are so dull, so dull, we feel

downtempo, uptempo. Rock, pop,

like wearing pajamas to listen to

indie. We love everything. But too

them and getting ready for a long

much, as the expression says, is

nap time!

too much.

may ' 14

TW E LV E

7


T W E LV E

THE TEAM:

Antonio Neto

25 y.o., architecture and urbanism student. Lives in BelĂŠm, but dreams of going somewhere colder. Prays for an Icelandic victory on ESC and for September and Laura to perform on ESC someday (it'd be beautiful *-*). facebook.com/netuuh | twitter.com/netuuh_

Fernanda Cabrera (Nanda)

A 25 y.o. who will be a graduated journalist a only few days after this TWELVE is published. Loves traveling, her Kindle, cooking, Spain and Disney. Now that Ruth Lorenzo is in Eurovision, she wants Chenoa there next. facebook.com/NandaICabrera | twitter.com/nandacabrera

Fernanda Barreto (Fefe) 25 y.o. bank employee that still dreams about going to Eurovision, visit San Francisco and her new addiction: the San Francisco 49ers. facebook.com/missfnb | twitter.com/misssfnb

Filipe Lima

28 y.o. who will finally be able to watch Eurovision in the venue in 2014. He is ready to root for Emma with all his strength, and scream for Catarina when Suzy enters stage (but hoping she won't even reach final). facebook.com/filipe.lm | twitter.com/limafilipe 8

TW E LV E

may' 14


Guilherme Luz (Gui)

29 y.o., geographer and lawyer, lives in Brasília. Likes traveling, enjoys a good time with friends and family. Believes that ESC is among the biggest TV events currently, and roots for fair victories and the growth ofthe contest. facebook.com/guilherme.l.pereira | twitter.com/chapbr

Leonardo Vaz (Leo)

The 23 y.o. dude from São Paulo is a Graphic Designer working at a PR agency. Just as much as he loves to make this magazine, he lives to see Urban Symphony back to Eurovision (winning it, obviously). facebook.com/leonardovcpereira | twitter.com/leo_vaz

Marcos Paulo Pereira

27 y.o., Physical Education bachelor from São Paulo, hates to work, loves schlager divas, coreographies, wind machines, hair-whipping and flame-throwers on stage. Might represent Kosovo next century. facebook.com/justmarkos | twitter.com/justmarkos

Matheus Gomes

29 y.o., lawyer, lives in Amazonia. He loves friendly competitions between Nations, like ESC, the Olympic Games and even Miss Universe! Ukraine is clearly his favourite country in the Eurovision. facebook.com/matheusrbr | 14 may ' 14

TW E LV E

9


NEWS& & GOSSIP

Photo: EBU

the latest Eurovision related stories!

She is back! Martina Majerle is back – and you'll surely recognize her face. She's already been a backing vocalist in Eurovision five times. In 2009, alongside the group Quartissimo, she was the front lady. Representing Slovenia, they didn't make to the finals. This year, Martina will be a backing vocalist to Montenegro's Sergej Cetkovic. And we are happy she is back! But Martina might have found some back vocalist competition! Mey Green, from Spain, is going to Eurovision for the third time. In a row. Like Valentina Monetta!

Eurovision Love 1

Eurovision Love 2

A while ago, Dima Bilan talked about a girl who

This one is for real. Copenhagen announced a se-

“had his heart”. Kristina Pelakova, who repre-

ries of mass open air weddings for the Eurovi-

sented Slovakia in Eurovision 2010, shared this

sion week. Couples, both gay and straight, are invited

on her Facebook page, starting rumors that she

get married there. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of

would be the one. Two days later, again on Facebook,

the first ever same-sex legal union, held in Denmark,

Kristina wrote: “I can not explain with words

first country to allow it. “We would like to strike a blow

how much I love him”. It included a picture of Dima

for the diversity and openness we have in Denmark. We

and a tag to his page.

are looking forward to marry all the happy couples, and I’m convinced we’ll be very busy”, said Flemming Otto,

10

Euro-love? Not so fast. Turns out Kristina's page was

Eurovision 2014 office manager. The first celebration,

fake. Oh well, it was a funny rumour.

on May 7th, will include three Russian gay couples.

TW E LVE

may' 14


H2O = drama Eurovision is a show full of fire. Literally. There are

tween stage and audience, so no major space would

all kinds of special effects involved in this contest. But

end up wet. The Danes said no. Apparently they told

this year, it's the opposite nature element that has

that “not even Emmelie De Forest will have rain”.

been on everybody's minds: water.

Emmelie will perform the Eurovision 2014 anthem

It all started when Ruth Lorenzo, the Spanish rep-

alongside the 26 finalists. The title of the song? Rain-

resentative with the song Dancing In The Rain, said

maker. The story gets more interesting when DR calls

that she would love to have water on her staging for

this year's stage “one big waterfall”, with a lot of water.

Eurovision. But it looks like the rain, mentioned in

A video posted on YouTube shows that the gap

her song, will not make it to Copenhagen. In some

between stage and audience, where usually the

interviews Ruth gave, she said her team asked DR (the

special effects are hidden, is filled with water. Ruth Lorenzo confirmed that there will be no rain,

different ideas to make “la lluvia caer”. The sug-

however water will, somehow, be involved in her

gestions went from her being in some sort of a box and

performance. Fans have been theorizing about it, but

only raining inside of it, to rain on the catwalk or be-

only on May 10th this water-gate will be solved.

PhotoS: REPRODUCTION

Danish broadcaster) many times about it, proposing

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

11


What's up, Denmark? The Danes host this year's Eurovision. So, we will tell you what they are all about

ALL PhotoS: INTERNET RESOURCES

PhotoS: LEONARDO VAZ

Written by Matheus Gomes

12

TW E LVE

may'14


Similar to what we did with Azerbaijan and Swe-

preserved. People there, though, did not seem open to

den, we prepared a special post about the Eurovision

visual differences: women seemed to have taken a dress-

host, so we can know a little more about local curiosi-

code which would only allow black pieces, men are chro-

ties and its relationship with the festival. As Emmelie

matically bolder than women, contrary to what I was

de Forest overcame the competition in Malmö with

used to see in Brazil. Crossing the border with Sweden,

her drum-filled Only Teardrops, Denmark won the

just a few miles away, I was able to note the difference in

right to host the event in 2014, so it’s the country to

the personality of the people. Malmö’s people are gener-

be unveiled for us in this special article.

ally more cheerful, colourful and welcoming.

Kingdom of Denmark lays right there, in Scandinavia.

A Canadian friend, who accompanied me, already

It has a population of nearly 6 million lucky people who

a habituée to the city, told me that Danish people re-

live in the country with the lowest level of social inequal-

spect the others and never invade your space. The

ity in the world. Denmark was considered the happiest

birth rate must be high - there are many couples, with

place to live in the world and also the least corrupt. It is

less than 20 years old, already with babies in arms!

also the second non-officially English speaking country

In the Danish capital, nothing is cheap. I remem-

with the best fluency the language (perfect for tourists!).

ber that a single subway ride (with a weekly-saving

The Danish cultural scene is very rich, eclectic,

pass) costs the equivalent of R$ 7.00 (€ 2.25), a price

and you most certainly have been a victim of this

too high to the average South American standards.

wonderful influence! Who doesn’t know the beautiful

The food followed the same pattern. It was inter-

story of The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid,

esting to see how the culture of organic food is well

written by Hans Christian Andersen? Which of you

rooted there: all the restaurants had organic dishes.

have never played with Lego, devised by a Danish?

The healthy lifestyle is complemented by the widely

Who never sang Barbie Girl, the epic 90s classic of

spread use of the bicycles – the city infrastructure is

Aqua? Guys, the Danes are everywhere.

very prepared for them.

Last year, Leonardo Vaz , one of our editors, personal-

The architectural planning of the city, for me, was

ly followed the Eurovision in Sweden, but chose to settle

one of the highlights. With the old center kept immacu-

in Copenhagen and will tell us about his experience:

late, Copenhagen grew to more peripheral areas, with

"Copenhagen is a city that works: public transporta-

cleanly-lined, contemporary designed buildings. "

tion to everywhere, the streets are clean, the city is well

At the opposite page, buildings in downtown Copenhagen, and below, a contemporary designed students' housing, in Ørestad. At the left, an accidentally parked truck outside last year's arena, after the final show.

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

13


AN DR E J

bab ic

He's been one of the most prolific names in the composers' hall of fame at the Eurovision stages, composing audience and fans' favourites for a number of different countries. We've talked to him, right after his attempt to conquer the Portuguese national selection for the fourth time. 14

TW E LVE

may'14


[TWELVE] You've had songs on ESC for many dif-

ing it, and one of the reasons was the rough

ferent countries. How is the process to adapt

cut's instrumentation. But she also said that

your compositions to each one? How do you

she loves the lyrics, referring to it actually as

make sure a song will work in a specific country?

a poem. Can you tell us a bit more about the

[Andrej] So far I have entered selections for four dif-

process of creating this song, and then trans-

ferent countries (Serbia, Georgia, Belarus and Switzer-

forming it in what we know today? By the way:

land). Bosnia and Slovenia are our neighbours, so we

she also suggested that she would love to work

kind of share same market on the territory of former

again with you.

Yugoslavia. When we talk about Portugal, my friend

I didn’t know she had doubts, hehehe! Well, I had that

and colleague, Carlos Coelho does that part. I only pres-

song in my demo's folder for two years before it was

ent him my demos, and then he makes the decision,

performed in FdC 2008. The song was different from

which song are we going to work on.

everything that was happening in Eurovision, and some could say it sounded like a song from a musical.

You were also a backing singer in the perfor-

When Carlos heard it, he said: "that’s the one we need

mance of Claudia Beni’s Više Nisam Tvoja, back in

for the Festival." Portuguese people have very spe-

2003. Which part felt bet-

cific taste when it comes to

ter for you: performing or

songs in the ESC. Not to men-

composing the song?

tion, that RTP always wanted

I was backing singer also in 2007, for Alenka Gotar. I often sing back vocals here in the Balkans, for big regional stars as Doris Dragovic (Croatia 1999), Nuša Derenda (Slovenia 2001) and Novi Fosili (Yugoslavia 1986). I love performing.

" Of course I'd love to write for Croatia again. I send my songs in every year."

to keep national influences in the songs. Vânia is one of the best singers I have ever worked with, and not because it was my song, but I really think that Senhora do Mar should've been higher ranked on ESC 2008. If there would

But I'm not interested in being

be a song for her, I would very

a solo artist. Being a backing

much love to collaborate with

vocal is just what I need.

her again.

You're Croatian, and your country withdrew

You’ve been very involved with Portugal in the

this year's ESC. What do you think of this?

past few years. Can you tell us how is your rela-

I find it very bad, the Croatian broadcaster should have

tion with this country?

brought Dora back. Of course I'd love to write for Croatia

Among many links that connect Portugal to me, the

again. I send my songs in every year. I was very sad,

biggest one is Carlos Coelho. He's a friend, and he has

when my last song, made for Klapa (in 2013) wasn’t se-

such good skills – I do all about the record, music, back-

lected, because I think I made one of the most beauti-

ing vocals, mixing, mastering, and he does beautiful

ful songs of my career. Later it was released by one of

lyrics, and all the rest to make it look professional on

the most famous klapa groups in Croatia, Klapa Cambi.

the stage. During the past few years, I fell in love with that beautiful country with a very nice people. Also,

We interviewed Vânia Fernandes two years

with Carlos, being recognized by audience, and marked

ago. She told us that the first time she listened

as the team, who managed to bring some enthusiasm

to Senhora do Mar, she felt unsure about sing-

to FdC again, feels very nice.

 may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

15


This year’s Festival da Canção was full of con-

to take a chance and conquer the trophy to Lis-

troversy, with some contestants willing to

bon in the coming years?

withdraw before the final, the eurofans com-

I thought: maybe the problem was in the songs, com-

munities uprising on the internet accusing the

posers, singers, etc. But now, I can say, each country

portuguese broadcaster of voting fraud, and

that has no good results in ESC it’s not because of the

the audience leaving the venue during the win-

artists, but of the national broadcaster. About Portugal,

ner’s reprise performance. What’s your view on

I think it is impossible for me to return there. I have said

what’s happened, and your feelings as a com-

what I had on my mind, and I am very angry at RTP.

poser of a song that was competing?

There should be one hell of a deal, if I would be back

Where to start? I'm very sad for all that happened.

there as a composer. And, also… what for? Portuguese

I have to admit that I was the one pushing Carlos

people love our songs. It’s enough for a couple of lives.

to withdraw. The reason was that I found very bad having unlimited calls for the voting week. Also, we all faced

If you could suggest EBU to change or create

comments from “the winning team”, how this will NOT be

any rule on Eurovision, what would it be?

place where the best one win, but the one with the most

Bigger control of a national selections; one phone num-

money. And that’s how it was.

ber, one vote. And also, allow-

And I am very, very sad, that

ing commercial TV stations to

RTP did nothing to prevent that,

take over the ESC from public

although Carlos asked Mr. Poiares to reconsider it. RTP allowed people behind the winning song to have LEGAL FRAUD. Some could say, it was in the rules, so it’s legal and not a fraud – but then I have a big problem, if no one else thinks having 80%,

" About Portugal, I think it's impossible for me to return there"

broadcasters. Our team at TWELVE is from Brazil. What do you know about our country? Not so much, except from the telenovelas that are airing on television. I am sure, in next few

or 90% votes for the win-

months, as the World Cup is ap-

ning song coming from a single

proaching, there will be more

phone number. It’s one telephone

information about your country.

against a whole nation. We informed people in EBU, and they

Croatia’s national team will be there, and their first match

were actually very interested in the story, but also said, that

will be against Brazil. May the best one win. At least, we

they don’t have authority to react, unless we bring them

know that the winner will not be decided by a trainer dial-

court decisions. RTP made it look legal, so there are actually

ing numbers for his team, like on Festival da Canção 2014.

no elements for pressing charges, and in EBU it stays legal. BUT, people from EBU also mentioned, that they are very

Leave a special message to the eurofans.

concerned about this attempts of manipulation, because it

I would love to THANK all of you, who supported

brings a bad image for the whole concept of ESC. Now, all

Catarina Pereira and whole team, and felt betrayed by

delegations know that Portugal is actually represented by a

RTP for allowing this to happen. Specially to Portu-

song that was voted for itself, not a song representing the

guese fans, who actually spent their own money on

portuguese. Only RTP, and maybe themselves.

voting for Mea Culpa, and it was all for nothing. But, if it's any sort of consolation, you will always stay writ-

Let’s face it: Portugal is among the most unlucky countries ever in the ESC. Are you willing 16

TW E LVE

may' 14

ten in our hearts… Hugs to all from Croatia!


PhotoS: DAVOR ZUNIC

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

17


KANESWAR A N She won't be on the Copenhagen big stage, but she plays a huge role in one of the most interesting entries this year. Hazel Kaneswaran is the mentor of Can-linn feat. Kasey Smith, the act representing Ireland this year. Will they be able to keep irish good track on making it to the finals? 18

TW E LVE

may'14


[TWELVE] The fact the Kasey was part of Won-

to make our music. We have the fiddle which is a bit

derland, caused some tension during Eurosong

like a violin and also the bodhrán (a Celtic style drum)

this, because Louis Walsh was a manager for the

which is held on one arm. Then we have the irish-style

band, and also acted as a judge. Can you com-

dancing, that really adds to the performance.

ment on this situation? [Hazel] That is not entirely true. Louis Walsh was not a

You have to go through semifinals. How do you

judge. He did appear on the Late Late Show Eurosong

feel about it?

Special as one of four panellists – all on whom were irish

Not everyone might agree, but I think having to compete

music industry experts. They were there to give their

in a semifinal could give us something of an advantage. It

opinions of the five acts on the night, but had no say as

means we get the additional practice/experience of per-

to who won the competition. The winner was decided

forming our song in front of the Copenhagen crowd. You

based on a combination of independent regional jury

might say that we are getting to do two Eurovision per-

vote (not connected to the live show’s panel) and public

formances for the price of one! That is, assuming we do

voting. Louis Walsh didn’t pick the Eurosong winner, the

a good job of our semifinal performance and get enough

people of Ireland did.

votes to qualify. decided

Even though Ireland is the

to take part in the 2014

biggest Eurovision winner,

Why

have

you

Eurosong – and then Eurovision? RTE got in touch with me in relation to putting an act together with a view to compete in this year’s Eurosong contest. I was happy to accept their offer, as I had been considering

" I think having to compete in a semifinal could give us something of an advantage"

it has been a good while since the Irish took home the prize. How do you guys see the past few results of your country in Eurovision? Well, obviously everyone was disappointed when Ryan Dolan finished in last place at last

getting back into the music

year’s competition. Only Love

business properly after taking

Survives was a good song

a career break to raise my kids.

which was a top ten hit in many

I had an idea in my head about the kind of song that I

European countries, so when it got so few votes we were

wanted to do, so I put the word out looking for people to

genuinely surprised and confused. Maybe it simply wasn’t

collaborate with. Jonas Gladnikoff, Rasmus Palmgren and

irish enough in relation to the lyrics? Who knows?

PhotoS: internet resources, HAZEL PERSONAL ARCHIVE

Patrizia Helander all got in touch with their various ideas. Once we got going, everything just sort of clicked and

Talking about this year's songs: have you heard oth-

pretty soon we had the song we wanted.

er’s counties songs? What do you think about them? I have been keeping an ear out for the other country’s

What makes a great Eurovision song?

songs as they come in and there are some great ones. The

I think it’s important that as many nations as possible

UK, Spain and Denmark are among the standout songs

include something in their Eurovision act that reminds

this year. Overall though, the quality is exceptionally

people which country it is that they are represent-

high. It should be a great show!

ing. If you don’t do that, it kind of defeats the purpose of representing a particular nation – it’s your identity. In Can-linn we use traditional Irish instruments may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

19


20

TW E LVE

may'14


EM E M I L E She brought the contest to Denmark, only a few miles away from the arena in Sweden where she took the trophy. After that, her winning song be-

came a hit around Europe, and even in South America. In the next pages, this young artist tells us about

her impressions after her triumph in Eurovision ďƒ˘

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

21


22

TW E LVE

may'14


[TWELVE] The audience reac-

Do you have plans of making

tion during the first whistle

concerts in South America?

of the flout said a lot about

I hope to release my new single in

your favoritism. Tell us a little

Brazil and play some concerts

bit about your whole Eurovi-

there. I have never been to South

sion experience.

America before. So that would be

[Emmelie] It's a moment I'll never

very exciting for me. In this fall I'm

forget. An experience of a lifetime!

going on tour in Germany and Den-

I met really wonderful people on

mark. But maybe next year...

my Eurovision journey, and got the chance to sing my song in front of

You used to sing alongside a

the entire Europe.

Scottish folk musician, Fraser Neill. How much of your time

You seemed very calm and col-

with him has influenced on

lected while walking from the

Only Teardrops production,

green room to the stage, right

since the song has some of

after your victory. How did

those celtic sounds?

you cope with the pressure of

The years I've been touring with

being a fan favourite? What

Fraser Neill has influenced me a lot!

was going through your head?

I've always had a soft spot for folk

I was calm, but also extremely hap-

music, and that inspires my sing-

py, of course :) To be honest, I tried

ing. And I think that's very clear in

not to think too much about being

Only Teardrops.

a favourite. Sometimes it could make me nervous, but instead I

What about other artists or

tried to see the positive side, that

musicians? Who inspires you?

Europe and the Eurovision fans re-

I'm a huge fan of Kate Bush! I abso-

ceived my song so well.

lutely love her voice, her way of performing and her songwriting.

Only Teardrops is already a hit even in brazilian radio sta-

Your song, Ireland's (Ryan

tions like Antena 1. Did you

Dolan's Only Love Survives)

expect to get that far? What

and

was your reaction when you

Stoyan's

saw the news?

had strong drum sounds. In

I've always been making music and

any moment did you feel that

dreamt of making a living of it. I

these three songs could over-

was very surprised and excited

shadow each other?

when I heard my song was popular

I've never thought about that.

in Brazil, and played on brazilian ra-

There was a lot of drums going on,

dio stations.

but I think all three songs were

Bulgaria's

(Elitsa

Samo

and

Shampioni)

strong and different and with their

ďƒ˘

own qualities. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

23


24

TW E LVE

may'14


We've spotted you hanging

Our Headquarters are located

out with a lot of other Eurovi-

in Brazil... What comes to your

sion contestants, including

mind when you think about

2012 winner Loreen and irish

our country? Do you have any

Ryan

example.

experience or story to tell us?

How is the backstage vibe be-

I think of Samba, Brazilian Carnival,

tween the contestants? Do

Copacabana Beach and Cristo Re-

you still have contact with

dentor :) Last year, my brother trav-

any of them?

eled three and a half months

There's a good atmosphere at the

through South America. He started

backstage. All artists are in the

out in Brazil! And told me many sto-

same boat, we're going through the

ries and showed me beautiful pic-

same things and are all nervous for

tures from your country.

Dolan,

for

the competition. It was great meeting all the other singers, and we ac-

It has been a pleasure to talk

tually talked about that we did not

to you, Emmelie. Thank you

feel like competitors. I have met Lo-

so much. Now can you please

reen and Robin Stjernberg a couple

leave a message to all our

of times over the summer when I

readers, and your fans in Bra-

was performing in Sweden. Both

zil and South America?

are so nice...

I want to say THANK YOU to all my brazilian and South American fans!

Robin Stjernberg posted a

Your support means so much to me!

photo of him with you, Zara

And I hope i soon will get the oppor-

Larsson and Darin Zanyar on

tunity to visit your beautiful coun-

Instagram, on Victoriadagen

try. All the best <3

ď&#x192;˘

festivities. Tell us about this experience â&#x20AC;&#x201C; how does it feel to be performing to such a royal audience? I'm always extra nervous when I'm performing at a crown princess's birthday. You really want to make a great perfomance! But everything went well and the swedish crown princess and her family came afterwards to say hi and congratulate me.

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

25


PhotoS: EBU

26

TW E LVE

may'14


" To be honest, I tried not to think too much about being a favourite. Sometimes it could make me nervous, but instead I tried to see the positive side, that Europe and the Eurovision fans received my song so well" ď&#x201A;&#x;

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

27


EUROVISI

#59 ◊◊◊

the revie TWO semifinals. ONE grand final. THIRTY-SEVEN entries. We got them all reviewed.

28

TW E LVE

may'14


ION

9 ◊◊◊

reviews

This year, 37 countries will have their delegations in

Copenhagen, showcasing the

best of their musical talent in the Eurovision Song Contest stage. Here's the TWELVE guide for you to follow this

year's Eurovision, with all

the songs reviewed by our expert editors.

HOW TO READ THIS ARTICLE:

 The reviews are shown in the performing

order of each semifinal, and in random order in the final.

 In the end of each text, you will find two

special highlights:

WHAT'S HOT shows the strong points

of the entry.

WHAT'S NOT is about the weak points

of that particular entry.

 For the countries that held a selection

process (National Final, or NF), there is a

text box called ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN, in which you can read about a song that didn't win the selection, but was also good enough. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

29


â&#x2014;&#x160;1

30

TW E LVE

may'14

st

semifinal


01. ARMENIA 02. LATVIA 03. ESTONIA 04. SWEDEN 05. ICELAND 06. ALBANIA 07. RUSSIA 08. AZERBAIJAN

May 6 | 21:00 CET th

09. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

UKRAINE BELGIUM MOLDOVA SAN MARINO PORTUGAL THE NETHERLANDS MONTENEGRO HUNGARY also voting in this semifinal: SPAIN | FRANCE | DENMARK may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

31


â&#x2014;&#x160; 01.

ARMENIA

Aram mp3 | Not Alone Armenia's entry got us all surprised, with an artist that was not very trusted. But, as we finally listened to Not Alone, it was love at first "listen". It seems that Europe agrees: Armenia's song is the hot favorite according to betting odds and bookmarks. But it guarantees anything? No, but the chances are big. Not Alone is a song that starts slowly, with solid vocals by Aram. And then a dubstep beat comes towards the end, giving it an edge. But maybe this major change comes too late on the song. Will Europe endure the ballad from the beginning until its best part, or will they give up on it before?

ď &#x192; WHAT'S HOT: this song is some-

thing very fresh to eurofan's ears, and the betting odds are pointing it as the winner

ď &#x201E; WHAT'S NOT: it takes a lot of time to 'engage' the audience, and it is the first song of the first semifinal

32

TW E LVE

may'14


Aarzemnieki | Cake To Bake The year has changed, we are no longer in Sweden, but opinions

the country wasn’t privileged in

a clumsy and amateurish presen-

the running order.

tation, which can be improved but

about Latvia’s to please the eurovi-

The message that Cake To Bake

is unlikely to provide the highlight

sion fans and make a good choice

conveys is very positive: enjoy life

need for a classification to the fi-

remains… That makes us think

without fear of making mistakes.

nal, especially with so many other

that the cake recipe is wrong.

However, this friendly impression

interesting songs.

Aarzemnieki was a hit last year

isn’t developed enough to really

with their song Paldies Latinam

bring something new to the fes-

in Latvia, but their entry this year

tival and even something attrac-

surely won’t strike that hard, ex-

tive to the voting audience. The

pectations aren’t the best ones and

voice-and-guitar formula refers to

 WHAT'S HOT: joke entries, occasionally, are successful in Eurovision

 WHAT'S NOT: the quality of the song, the weak staging and the doomed running order

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: - - - Vestule, Pedeja a simple but touching pop ballad sung by Dons, would be a better option to Latvia.

◊ 02.

LATVIA

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

33


TANJA | Amazing From Broadway to Eurovision.

ten, among the best this year. The

voice gets pitchy sometimes and

This is Tanja's musical road. Studying

arrangements, though, give you an

she loses some notes, but for the

dance since she was four years old,

“I've heard that before” feeling, but

multitasking,

the Russian-born artist has been

this doen't take off the magic ofthis

Tanja deserves a spot in the final.

in Estonian productions of musical

song. It does work. Amazing...

classics such as Chicago, Fame and The Phanton Of The Opera.

nia's entry is the show-factor. Tanja

It has to be said: Tanja's song is

jumps, dances, falls down and gets

Amazing. Pun intended. The lyrics

up in a very hard choreography to

are very effective and well writ-

do, especially while singing. Her

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Our choice here couldn't have been any different. Sandra Nurmsalu, the singer of Urban Symphony (2009), came back with Kui Tuuled Pöörduvad – a happy-smiley song that deserved better.

◊ 03.

ESTONIA

34

But the best feature of Esto-

TWE LVE

may' 14

that's

forgiveable.

 WHAT'S HOT: Tanja is Eurovision's

version of Pink: singing and crazy dancing at the same time

 WHAT'S NOT: people have been calling it an Euphoria rip-off. Rumours can cause some damage


◊ 04.

SANNA NIELSEN | Undo Sanna is among the most respected singers in her country for a

SWEDEN

very long time – she had a chart-topping hit at the age of 11, and kept going strong on the business, entering the national selection Melodifestivalen for seven times. Now, she finally conquered the ticket to Eurovision, with a strong tune called Undo – a diva-ish epic ballad with a keychange near the end, sung with a killer voice, in a stage filled with hanging crystals and dramatic lighting. The song itself is penned by some well-known names, such as Fredrik Kempe (collector of five ESC entries now) and David Kreuger (who co-wrote worldwide hits for Britney Spears and Westlife in their heydays). But it's just her on the stage. Well, she's pretty and cameras work well, but the presentation is just too basic. Eurovision is now about matching what you see with what you listen to. Loreen can teach you that, Sanna.

 WHAT'S

HOT: the experienced

singer and the song, that can be a common denominator between jury and viewers, East and West

 WHAT'S NOT: the stage presentation lacks in visual appeal, and divas

singing ballads can't be called innovation in the Eurovision stages

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: In Melodifestivalen, pretty much all the songs are worth the listen – so, even masterpieces get lost in the semifinals. EKO's Red was the most valuable in 2014. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

35


PollapÖNK | No Prejudice After collecting 26 attempts in

verge of being repetitive), some child-

is not much appreciated in the ESC

the contest, it's time for Iceland to

ish solfeggios, and a strong beat led by

stages. It remains to be seen if more

take a chance with an innovative mu-

charismatic drums and horns. The co-

traditionalistic countries will stand for

sic genre: the kids' punk. Pöllaponk is

lourful outfits and some comedy ges-

these lyrics, too.

an ensemble of musicians and pre-

tures on the stage seem to aim on the

school teachers, with the purpose of

children audience – it's actually pretty

making joyful songs with lyrics of ac-

hard to see an entry as directed to a

ceptance and equality, that would ap-

certain kind of viewers as Pollapönk's.

peal to both adults and children.

The question here is if Europe as

 WHAT'S HOT: it's a catchy track, and the message of the song is aligned to

a big part of the ESC-fans community

 WHAT'S NOT: punk genre is not fa-

miliar to the average viewer of the

No Prejudice is a song meant for

a whole will be keen to vote for such

contest, and the running order (right

the kids: it has a catchy hook (on the

a pure punk song – something that

after Sweden) doesn't help

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN:

◊ 05.

ICELAND

36

TW E LVE

may' 14

Ásdis María sung Amor, a song that would be the ultimate exotic indie jem for this year.


Hersi | One Night's Anger Being a country of great musical quality, Albania never won the Eurovision Song Contest yet, but they always give us nice and different music. This time, the alternative Hersi and her One Night 's Anger are going to raise the Albanian flag at the contest. The song is folk with rock elements, an interesting, irregular and beautiful melody! The deal falls apart because Albania doesn’t know how to make a great visual performance, which is sad! Hersi began her music career at the age of eight, and since then took part in a lot of festivals. Besides Albanian, also speaks English, Spanish and Italian. The song is about anger – which in the words of Hersi, is the worst of human feelings.

 WHAT'S HOT: the hippie Albania has a good number of supporters!  WHAT'S NOT: the Albanian stagework is usually awful – except for Kejsi Tola’s

◊ 06.

Albania

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: The duo Lindi Islami & Venera Lumani had a song called Natë E Pare – a ballad that makes good use of their unique voices, and evolves through a crescendo. A beautiful and likeable effort. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

37


TOLMACHEVY SISTERS | Shine You may not recognize their fac-

…Or, at least, they should have

going on a million directions. The re-

es, but the name Tolmachevy Sisters

chosen a better song. We could call

vamped arrangement softened this

probably sound familiar. These Rus-

Shine outdated, which would not

issue with guitars and drums. If only

sian twins are Eurovision history.

be a lie at all. However, to be called

this song allowed the girls to show

Maria and Anastasia are the first

outdated, it should remind you of

the vocal talent we know they have...

JESC winners to make the transition

another time. Shine does not. In any

to the adult contest. They won back

era it would have sounded modern.

in 2006, with Vesenniy Jazz. And

One of TWELVE's editors refers to it

they probably should have kept their

as “timelessly bad”.

Eurovision history where it was...

◊ 07.

Russia

38

TWE LVE

may' 14

Shine's melody sounds like it's

 WHAT'S HOT: Rui Andrade. The Portuguese heartthrob will be a back vocalist for the twins

 WHAT'S NOT: the girls look stiff, robotic. Zero charisma


DILARA KAZIMOVA | Start A Fire We have a lot of ballads this year. Plenty of them. Anyway, Dilara's entry is another swedish composition, with armenian sounds in it, isn't it ironic? Start A Fire is not a bad song, it has its qualities but it lacks something. This thing might be the performance it will bring. And that is what the other competitors are afraid of: Azerbaijan's performances are always memorable and are song improvers, just like in the past couple of years (2012 for example). Now, Azerbaijan has to do something very memorable, since Sweden and Spain have a lot more to offer for the ballad lovers.

 WHAT'S

HOT: Azerbaijan is a

master of stage performances and they have plenty of block voters

 WHAT'S NOT: There are another

female ballads with more instant appeal than this

◊ 08.

Azerbaijan

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

39


◊ 09.

MARIYA YAREMCHUK | TICK-TOCK

UKRAINE

Considering the last 10 years, Ukraine is the country with the best results in the Eurovision. Let's take a look at what Ukraine has to offer in 2014! On December 21st, Mariya Yaremchuk won the National Final with the song Tick-Tock. The performance, too much sexy to be aired on a Saturday morning, was praised by local artists and audience, since scooped not only the jury, but also the televoting! To be fair, Tick-Tock was not the best option for Ukraine, that’s why the song went through several changes until arriving at its final version, now modern and danceable, less dated, made to rock the stage! Mariya was born on March 2nd, 1993, in the city of Chernivtsi, Ukraine. She speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English, German and Italian. Her father, Nazar Yaremchuk, was a famous actor, who sadly died when she was only two years old. We know that Ukraine has never missed an Eurovision final, however, it’s not fighting for the title this time.

 WHAT'S HOT: Mariya fulfills the re-

quirements of a true Eurovision star!

NOT: people still com WHAT'S plain about the Tick-Tock’s quality

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Stas Shurins was, maybe, the best option for Ukraine in 2014. His song Why is amazing!

40

TW E LVE

may'14


AXEL HIRSOUX | Mother With a team of famous Eurovision

gentle and refined voice, that married

its appeal and the singer brings lots of

composers, Rafael Artesero and Ash-

to a striking interpretation can reach to

emotion, but compared to other bal-

ley Hicklin, together with Axel, one of

hearts and gain a significant amount

lads of this year, more modern and rep-

the greatest revelations of the current

of votes, as happened in the Belgian’s

resentative, something is missing here.

Belgian music scene, the country in-

national final.

tends to appear for the second year in a row in the finals.

The song reminds us that motherly love, that supports us and gives us

Mother is a strong and emotive

strength to move forward in difficult

ballad that fits perfectly with Axel’s

moments of our lives. The track has

 WHAT'S HOT: the favourable betting odds and friendly votes!

 WHAT'S NOT: the presence of other male ballads, more interesting musically, in this year’s competition

◊ 10.

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN:

BELGIUM

Bandits, with One, the runner-up boyband in the Belgian national selection, would bring something more fresh.

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

41


CRISTINA SCARLAT | Wild Soul Moldova is represented by Cris-

moment. And you wait. And wait.

years old Eurovision history, was

tina Scarlet, a 33 years old mother

But nothing happens. It stays

also bad on the national final. The

of two, family oriented singer: her

flat for three minutes. There is

samurai thing is all over the place.

entry Wild Soul, for example, was

a slightly keychange at the end,

Can we already ask to Pasha to

written by her niece Cristina. This

but it is not enough to wow you.

was her third attempt to represent

Cristina, who is the lead singer of

her country in Eurovision.

Moldova's Presidential Orchestra,

Wild Soul is a huge promise. It starts really well, with sort of

needs to open up her voice and let it go.

a mystery-movie vibe, and you

The performance, one of Mol-

keep on waiting for the explosion

dova's strongest points on its 10

◊ 11.

MOLDOVA

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Placed 3rd, Lucia's Frozen was our traditonal pop-dance Eurovision much needed craving. The song would have been a better option for Moldova. 42

TW E LVE

may'14

come back next year?

 WHAT'S HOT: A slight last minute

revamp can make Wild Soul sound amazing

 WHAT'S NOT: It looks like the samurais from the national final will also be in Copenhagen


Valentina Monetta | Maybe (Forse) TWELVE is in its 4th edition, and

Her song is classy, but sounds outdat-

song, which lacks personality and

this is the 3rd time we talk about

ed and does not work for nowadays.

uniqueness. Maybe it will happen.

Valentina representing San Marino.

Maybe if we were on Copenhagen

Honestly, we hope for that.

Therefore, no need to introduce the

1964. But this is 2014, sweetie.

one who seems to be the only singer in San Marino.

Monetta's effort to finally get San Marino to the final is remarkable and

After Facebooking and becoming

maybe she will finally get recognized

a butterfly in front our eyes, Valentina

by that. If it happens, it will be be-

now wonders: Maybe...? Maybe not.

cause of her and not because of the

 WHAT'S HOT: it's freaking Valen-

tina Monetta, Europe. This should be more than enough

 WHAT'S NOT: if Crisalide, as a striking song, didn't get her through, this outdated effort won't do

◊ 12.

SAN MARINO

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

43


Suzy | Quero Ser Tua Let's be honest: this song is among the three worst songs this year. If it's not the worst. This is just bad. It's also pretty impossible to like a song that you know won its national final, Portugal's traditional Festival da Canção on is 50th anniversary, buying votes. Can you get any lower than this? In Portugal they call Quero Ser Tua 's genre “pimba”, a music style known for its poor harmonies, tacky lyrics and bad sex metaphors. Let's check: the lyrics are extremely poor. The melody has a party vibe, but it

◊ 13.

is very badly constructed. The (out

PORTUGAL

of rhythm) percussion sound leaking on the microphone is annoying and oozes unprofessionalism. Suzy's voice... is that even a singing voice? Do I need to say anything more? Quero Ser Tua sounds extremely outdated. And it actually would have sounded outdated 15 years ago. So I ask: Why, Portugal? Why?

 WHAT'S HOT: Does the Portuguese audience on FdC booing and leaving the auditorium count?

 WHAT'S

NOT:

LOL-ing

hard. Just re-read this review

and you will see. What's not? Everything

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Festival Da Canção was pretty poor this year. But we had a clear stand-out: Mea Culpa. Catarina Pereira was the one to take Portugal back to the finals. 44

TW E LVE

may'14


THE COMMON LINNETS | Calm After The Storm Ilse DeLange and Waylon, both

a a country/folk ballad, the guitar-

Waylon almost to close the first semi-

established soloists, joined forces

driven melody recalls The Police's

final., between Portugal 80's lambada

and created the duo The Common

Every Breath You Take.

and Montenegro's balkanic ballad.

Linnets. Unlike many acts through-

In a year full of folk, mellow songs,

out the years, the duo wasn't formed

the Dutch entry might get lost in the

HOT: the duo is very ex WHAT'S perienced, so huge responsibility

especially to the ESC. Eurovision was

middle of the crowd, even though

to qualify for the final two years in

just a plus in their start toghether.

they have a solid song. But they do

a row should't affect them

This song follow its title: it is

have an edge: the running order made

calm, maybe a bit too much. Being

them great favor, by making Ilse and

 WHAT'S NOT: the lot of folk songs competing might ruin their chances

◊ 14.

the netherlands

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

45


 | Moj Svijet  SERGEJ CETKOVIC Montenegro was among the first countries to select its artist this year. And the selection was very on tar  is one of the bigget: Sergej Cetkovic gest and most traditional names in Montenegrin music. Moj Svijet is that kind of charming, refined-in-the-proper-amount Balkan song which has its own audience in Eurovision. It starts calm, with great control of a beautiful voice over a timid Balkan background rhythm. Suddenly, the instruments go in a crescendo, becoming even more regional. The combination of the song, the very good vocal performance and Sergej’s ability to add emotions precisely results in an excellent bid. In a year without some of the biggest countries of the region (Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), Montenegro is the offer of traditional Balkan sounds. It is the biggest chance the country has ever had to make it to the final.

 WHAT'S HOT: The only Balkan ballad...

 WHAT'S NOT: … in a year with too

◊ 15.

Montenegro

46

TW E LVE

may'14

many ballads!


András KállaySaunders | Running

◊ 16.

HUNGARY

After the surprising tenth place last year, Hungary goes for an American-born to be their voice in Copenhagen. András Kalláy-Saunders was the winner of A Dal, the Hungarian National Final, being the first place of both the jury and the public voting. The song, Running, is everything most eurofans want. It has a wellsung, engaging and emotional intro, a beautiful rhythmic construction and a strong, marking chorus. This last point is the key one about this entry: in a year with not many convincing choruses, this song stands out as a great exception. It is a very respectable song, having its three minutes very well explored: “mood swings” in the lyrics and also in the melody (perfectly complemented with Saunders’ voice), and a very modern sound (which, this year, is something quite unique) make Hungary one of the candidates for a great result...

 WHAT'S

HOT: marking chorus,

modern song

 WHAT'S NOT: many Soviets in this

semifinal. Their block voting may put the Hungarian qualification in risk

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: The Hungarians chose well: Running was the best song in A Dal. But Viktor Király’s Running Out Of Time was also quite good (except for the random rap). may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

47


◊◊ 2nd semifinal

48

TW E LVE

may'14


01. MALTA 02. ISRAEL 03. NORWAY 04. GEORGIA 05. POLAND 06. AUSTRIA 07. LITHUANIA 08. FINLAND

May 8 | 21:00 CET th

09. IRELAND 10. BELARUS 11. F.Y.R. Macedonia 12. SWITZERLAND 13. GREECE 14. SLOVENIA 15. ROMANIA

also voting in this semifinal: GERMANY | ITALY | UNITED KINGDOM may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

49


Firelight | Coming Home Malta has important outcomes in

ers Richard Edward and Michelle

as the topic to be defended in Eu-

the curriculum vitae, the country hit

Mifsud. Going by the Texan vibe

rovision, the song is weak – not be-

the crossbar on two occasions, 2002

that has invaded the festival often,

cause it's bad, but incompatible with

and 2005, and scooped the bronze

the Maltese band realized that their

what the audience the festival has

in 1992 and 1998. In 2014, Firelight

work had the requirements of an

valued the most, lately.

was chosen to represent Malta in

Eurovision entry.

Copenhagen.

Coming Home is that old and tra-

The folk band was formed in

ditional American country song. The

2013 (doesn’t have many stories to

lyrics are beautiful, may reach the

tell yet) and is headed by the broth-

listener in different ways , however,

 WHAT'S HOT: Maltese good moment in the festival

NOT: country music open WHAT'S ing an Eurovision semifinal, that’s cruel!

◊◊ 01.

MALTA

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Daniel Testa – One Last Ride. The singer seems not ready for ESC, but his song is pretty good! Let’s keep our eyes on him! 50

TW E LVE

may' 14


MEI FINEGOLD | Same Heart That was quite a surprise. Israeli's delegation made the right

◊◊ 02.

ISRAEL

decision picking up Mei Finegold as its representative, since she's an amazing and very professional performer and Same Heart is a song that stands out in the sea of ballads of this year. It has a catchy chorus and a keychange, that mark the song as very Eurovision-ish. It's worthy to remind that, when IBA chose the artist internally and made a Kdam to pick only the song, Israel managed to go through the final - something that doesn't happen since 2010 (when Harel Skaat went to the finals with Milim). But there's a problem: Same Heart will be sung too early, at the doomed position number two, and this is something to get concerned with.

 WHAT'S HOT: Mei's voice is incred-

ible and the song has a lot of eurovisive elements

 WHAT'S NOT: Israel is singing too early in its semifinal

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Be Proud would be a very strong tune for Eurovision as well, with powerful lyrics, and an even catchier chorus.

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

51


CARL ESPEN | Silent Storm It is not easy to follow the steps

don-based singer-songwriter Jose-

doing good if they have to sing in

of the amazing Margaret Berger and

fin Winther, is a bit bipolar. It is hard

the 5th place? Nobody does, be-

this is what Carl Espen, a former mil-

to find someone who feels “meh”

cause nobody will remember it.

itary who served in Kosovo, have to

about it, you either love it or hate it.

Pump up that volume, Norway!

do. He started well: as a completely

Silent Storm has a well built,

unknown singer, he won Melodi

heart-warming melody and this is

Grand Prix, beating performers who

its strongest point, alongside with

had previous media exposure.

Carl Espen's voice. On the other

voice, raspy and sweet. This won't go unnoticed

Norway's entry to this year's

side, the performance is way too

NOT: They need a per WHAT'S formance revamp, but Norway

Eurovision is Silent Storm. The

simple, even dull. Can you imagine

doesn't usually change much from

song, written by Carl's cousin, Lon-

this song, with that performance,

their national final

◊◊ 03.

NORWAY

52

 WHAT'S HOT: Carl has an unique

TW E LVE

may'14

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: A few songs on MGP could be here, but Knut Kippersund Nesdal's Taste Of You is the one. This 80's revival song is a great non-guilty guilty pleasure.


◊◊ 04.

GEORGIA THE SHIN & MARIKO | Three Minutes To Earth The Shin is a Georgian band

honestly, the Earth deserved much

Every edition has its own “Let’s

which is currently based in Germa-

more! The track is an absurd mess

give our hands and save the world

ny. They’ve gathered with Mariko

of sounds, an orchestra of dyssyn-

by singing a lullaby for three min-

Ebralidze for recording Three Min-

chrony and non-harmonious noise.

utes”. But never before has a song

utes To Earth, an entry which

It sounds like an agglomeration of

with this proposal sounded so

could be much more than it is. You

several songs in only one, and you

much like Because I’ve Got High...

can notice both the group and the

cannot tell when any of them ends

singer had the quality to make

and the others begin. They seemed

something much better, but…

to try to embrace many ideas, and

If this song has the title it does,

ended up with nothing.

HOT: If there is any WHAT'S thing, it is the image of being a unique proposal

 WHAT'S NOT: All may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

53


◊◊ 05.

Poland

DONATAN & CLEO | My Słowianie – We Are Slavic The daily life of a Polish woman from the country doesn't seem very exciting. Home tasks, home clothing, a life focused on her husband. Does it get any sexier than that? Well, Cleo and Donatan look through another prism to this oldfashioned way of life. Donatan is a well-known music producer, and Cleo is a singer that took part in the local X-Factor, but is debuting on the showbiz with this song, which is already a big hit in Poland – mainly because of its music video, full of close-up shots of women wearing tradional Slavic costumes, mixed up with some appearances from Donatan and his gangsta looks. What the duo brings is a formula usually repelled of ESC stages: the female singer with the male rapper/DJ. The predominance of Polish in the lyrics may leave everyone the doubt: what are they singing about? Is it some kind of joke?

 WHAT'S HOT: the song portraits a bigger area than only Poland. It's a

fresh and cheerful song, that went viral in its country very fast

 WHAT'S NOT: it's a rap song – it'll do poorly in the voting. The English

part in the lyrics takes long to kick in 54

TW E LVE

may'14


Conchita Wurst | Rise Like A Phoenix Conchita Wurst is the artistic/drag queen name of Thomas Neuwirth. In case you haven't noticed that the beard is real. In 2007, Thomas took part in a sing competition as a guy. Then he stayed out of the media for a while and came back as his female alter ago. Conchita almost represented Austria in Eurovision 2012, but she lost the national final by a 2% margin. Rise Like a Phoenix fits Conchita's image: classy and strong. A total diva! The whole package, both her and the song, feel like a slap in the face, especially after some homophobic controversies. Miss Wurst shows up strong and above it all. Announcing

the

singer in September and keeping the song secret until last minute, generated huge expectation and it paid it off. Austria's song is very powerful, James Bond-like, completetly timeless. We can for sure expect lots of glamourous perfection on the stage.

 WHAT'S HOT: the song is pow-

◊◊ 06.

AUSTRIA

erful and glamourous, full of glitz, splendor and seduction

 WHAT'S NOT:

we know some

votes that Conchita surely won't get, and the simplicity of the song

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

55


ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Mia's version of Attention was way better than Vilija's. Although the music style remains the same, at least Mia is a better performer.

◊◊ 07.

Lithuania

Vilija MataCiUnaitE ˇ ¯ ˙ | Attention

56

There's no way to start this re-

composer of it. There are senseless

finals? It will not be a surprise if

view with this yell at the begin-

lines in the lyrics, no rhythm, and it

Europe gives attention to this song.

ning. OMG Lithuania, with such

lacks refinement in the production.

a long-lasting national final, you

The stage performance makes

pick this song with this woman

us miss Donny Montell. But why

that yells instead of sing? There's

bother with a good song, if there

more: the song sounds weird in

are good neighbours that keep vot-

Vilija's voice, even though she's the

ing for Lithuania to get into the

TW E LVE

may'14

 WHAT'S HOT: block voting and

momentum are working for Lithuania these last years

 WHAT'S NOT: such a time waste

of a national final to end up picking a trashy song


SOFTENGINE | Something Better Not even Krista Siegfrids' kiss on her female backing singer was

between hardrock and electro, with

about an old man's reminiscences of

some pop thrown into it.

better times he lived when his wife

able to take Finland out of the

That's what Something Better is

doom of 25 years since they last

all about: a fresh rock song, with lots

reached a top-10 result (except for

of energy coming from the lead sing-

Lordi's victory in 2006). The hard

er (pretty viscerally, at times) and

task of overcoming all this will lay

the rest of the band acting as back-

performance and has a good stage

over Softengine, a band used to do

ing vocalists. Some very anthemic

presence. Norwegian block voting

funky songs – but that is dedicated

parts are found there too, all mak-

can come for help, too

to a more hardrock sound now. It ac-

ing it an ideal song for a big arena.

tually sits somewhere in the middle

The lyrics are somewhat depressive,

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Finland had a great national selection, full of interesting songs – and Lauri Mikkola's Going Down was among the best of the bunch. It's an R&B ballad, a little gospel-like, focused on his outstanding vocal performance.

was alive. The high production level of the track is also remarkable.

 WHAT'S HOT: The song is arenaoriented, the band delivers a solid

 WHAT'S NOT: Rock is a risky choice in Eurovision

◊◊ 08.

FINLAND

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

57


Can-Linn (feat. Kasey Smith) | Heartbeat Even though the act is called

on the singer. Kasey had some se-

Can-Linn feat. Kasey Smith, the of-

The Irish arrangements and mel-

rious pitch problems and a wrong

ficial video makes it clear: the singer

ody are dense, exotic and well pro-

wardrobe choice on the national fi-

is the star of this song. Kasey Smith

duced. The positive lyrics (about being

nal. If it does not change for Eurovi-

was part of the Irish band Won-

brave and fighting on crisis times) are

sion, Ireland might have problems.

derland, but in 2010 she moved to

cliché, yet effective. It is something

Nashville to pursue a solo career.

that Europe wants to hear right now.

Unlucky, she went back to Ireland

The live show is promising. The

and took part in the national selec-

traditional Irish dance is entertaining

tion last year. She lost it, but came

and the focus should be on that, not

◊◊ 09.

IRELAND

58

back this year to win it all.

TW E LVE

may'14

 WHAT'S HOT: it looks like Ireland

is going to have (again) half-naked dancers. We love it!

 WHAT'S NOT: it looks way too much like what they had last year

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Eoghan Quigg's The Movie Song, a sweet pop One Direction kind of ballad, would be a good contender to Denmark's Cliché Love Song to get teenager votes.


TEO | Cheesecake Does anybody here have a sweet tooth? Because Teo is bringing everybody some cheesecake.

◊◊ 10.

Belarus

And he really has something to celebrate. Teo was on the winning team of the Belarrussian national final three times: 2010, 2012 and 2013. All three songs ended up being replaced. And when they actually should've made the change... Belarus song is about guy breaking up with a girl who called him “sweet cheesecake”. Wait... what? The lyrics are silly, in a very childish way. Honestly, Cheesecake might have been suitable to Eurovision Junior, not for the “grown up” festival. The juries will probably cease any chance that this song could have of getting to the final. Not even performing in the second half of the second semifinal (between way better songs: Ireland and F.Y.R of Macedonia) should be able to save Teo, who will be watching the show from home. Eating a cheesecake.

 WHAT'S HOT: cheesecakes are re-

ally yummy! There are some great recipes on the internet

 WHAT'S NOT: childish lyrics and

lame staging. And the song isn't the dish the juries usually like

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Now You're Gone, by Max Lorens & DiDyuLya, won the public voting on the NF. The song, a ballad with folk elements, is better then Cheesecake, which is not hard. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

59


◊◊ 11.

Tijana | TO THE SKY

F.Y.R. of MACEDONIA

F.Y.R. of Macedonia is going strong in the group of countries that don't know how to behave at the contest. Never gave us a breathtaking performance – ok, maybe in 2006, with Elena Risteka. In 2014, the name to fight for them is Tijana. She was born on February 3rd, 1976, in Skopje. Owner of an androgynous look, Tijana became involved with music when she was only five years old. She also has presented programs on radio and TV. To The Sky will be the track defended by Tijana in Copenhagen. The song has nothing that stands out, but it’s full of modern elements and nice beats. The promotional video is very well produced and perhaps the sexiest of the season. Tijana is very confident about her participation in the Eurovision and her work is different from the styles that Macedonia has brought lately.

 WHAT'S HOT: dance music in a sea

of love (and sleepy) songs. It seems like an advantage!

 WHAT'S NOT:

the Macedonian

past of staging work in ESC

60

TWE LVE

may' 14


SEBALTER | Hunter Of Stars As a kid, Sebalter learned to play the violin, instrument that followed him through his whole life and that he will take to the stage in Copenhagen, to perform a song that took him one year to write: Hunter Of Stars. Now close your eyes and imagine if Alexander Rybak and Doctor Gianluca from Malta had a baby. That's Sebalter. From Alexander, he brings the energy and the violin, from Gianluca, the cuteness and “can't take my eyes off the singer” effect. Literally. You just keep on waiting for the next crazy face. But Sebalter has to be careful. He sometimes opens up his eyes so widely that he looks kinda creepy. Hunter Of Stars has beautiful lyrics, one of the best this year. However, the arrangement takes a bit of it, making it sound way too quirky. His success in Eurovision will depend on Europe's vision of his whistle: will they find it adorable, or freak-ish? Let's hope for the first one.

 WHAT'S HOT: Those lyrics are very beautiful

 WHAT'S NOT: His whistles might be seen as a mock, not quirkiness

◊◊ 12.

Switzerland

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: None of the other songs were as good as Sebalter's. But Christian Tschanz's raspy voice is worth listening. His song was called Au Paradis. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

61


Freaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd | Rise Up Eurovision fans seems to be pas-

a song without traditionally Greek

the perfect interaction of singers. So,

sionate by the greek rhythms pre-

elements, but directly related with

most probably Rise Up won’t please

sented over the past few years: from

dance music and modern rap, in an

everyone. Haters gonna hate.

rap to folk, pop to ska, ballad to rock…

exciting upbeat sound.

sometimes all of them mixed up. The country’s identity at the

needs to be improved, but the Greek

contest is associated with upbeat

delegation always make good im-

songs, positive lyrics, outstanding

provements in the production and

vocal abilities of the performers and

performances and a good blend of

performances that contributes to

the rejection of the musical genre

local rhythms. This year, Greece sent

the growth of the song on stage and

by the Eurovision audience

◊◊ 13.

GREECE

62

Certainly, the live performance

 WHAT'S HOT: Greece is almost always a fans' favourite  WHAT'S NOT: countries that usu-

TWE LVE

may' 14

ally vote for Greece are absent, the

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Kostas Martakis, with Kanenas De Me Stamata, would also be a good choice to Greece.


TINKARA KOVAC ˇ | Round And Round Slovenia’s trajectory in the ESC has been marked by bad results and a few

country is never remembered in the

tations – maybe a more appealing

voting, even by its neighbours.

stage presentation can lead this to

highlights: even when expectations

The Slovenian song this year is

the finals.

were high, the results disappointed.

a well-articulated pop, with an easy

Perhaps unwise choices, outdated

chorus and a very nice pace, that

and/or confusing presentations and

along with the regularity of Tin-

bad vocal performances have contrib-

kara’s vocals, her good rapport with

uted to all the negative results, but

the backing vocals and the instru-

and the difficulty of the country

the main barrier in Slovenian entries

mental elements, delivers a high

to be remembered by the viewers/

seems to be the lack of votes, as the

quality entry and raise the expec-

jury at the voting time

 WHAT'S HOT: the entry has a good potential to make it to the final  WHAT'S NOT: the absence of most neighbours in the contest this year,

◊◊ 14.

SLOVENIA

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Muff, with Let Me Be, would also be a risky but good choice to Slovenia. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

63


◊◊ 15.

Romania

PAULA SELING & OVI | Miracle It's a miracle! Everybody's favourite powerhouse duo Paula Seling & Ovi is back to Eurovision. They represented Romania back in 2010, with the amazing Playing With Fire, fire spitting and dueling pianos included. They reached third place in that year. This year they bring us Miracle. The new song is not bad at all. It's just not in the same level of quality that we were expecting. It's impossible not to compare both songs, and Playing With Fire knocks the newcomer out. Miracle is a sticky melody electro-pop. It's impossible not to sing-along – and this is the best feature of this song. This, and Paula's incredible voice. She shines through the 3 minutes, while Ovi sounds more like a backing vocalist. Miracle is like an individual duo. But... welcome home guys. You were missed.

WHAT'S HOT: they are Eurofans' favorite duo, which creates buzz, free press and votes WHAT'S NOT: people will compare both of their entries, and the new one loses the battle

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Anca Florescu's Hearts Collide would be an interesting choice. A good revamp, to create a more intense arrangement, could turn this one into a contender. 64

TW E LVE

may'14


EUROVISION WANTS YOU.

ALL OF YOU. BACK. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

?

65


❡ final

66

TWE LVE

may' 14


xx. FRANCE xx. GERMANY xx. SPAIN

May 10 | 21:00 CET th

xx. ITALY xx. UNITED KINGDOM 23. DENMARK

+10 countries qualified from the 1st semifinal +10 countries qualified from the 2nd semifinal

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

67


❡xx.

FRANCE

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Joanna's Ma Liberté was a good, but safe bet. Even though it had nothing remarkable about it.

Twin Twin | Moustache Moustache is a song that inspires

68

Anyway,

their

performance

 WHAT'S HOT: the french Head of

different opinions. It's definately a

is lame, it looks like the mess that

daring and funny entry, that can be

LMFAO does on stage. And the aver-

called "out of the box", just like France

age Eurovision audience may even

knows how to do. It's not the first

call it a freak entry. Since it's a big 5

time that this country goes a little

entry, this one has real chances on

derstood and compared with some

hipster: remember Sébastien Tellier?

getting the last place.

freak performances of the past

TWE LVE

may' 14

Delegation knows how to bet on different, hipster entries

 WHAT'S NOT: their performance is

lame, and they can easily be misun-


ELAIZA | Is It Right The German delegation truly

❡ XX.

GERMANY

woke up for the Eurovision! After an era of pure darkness, Lena’s victory in 2010 brought back the good results. In 2014, after a very disputed selective, Elaiza was chosen to represent Germany in Copenhagen. Elaiza group entered the national final as a wildcard, to reach it, the band had to defeat 2.240 acts! In the NF, another victory, over super names of German showbiz, as Oceana, MarieMarie and Unheilig. Elaiza is composed by the Ukrainian Elzbieta Steinmetz (vocals), and the German girls Yvonne Grünwald (accordion) and Natalie Plöger (bass). The folk band was formed in early 2013. Is It Right is a pop folk, its good elements are remarkable, the melody is beautiful and the song in general, well produced. Unfortunately the chorus is a lil’ bit repetitive.

 WHAT'S HOT: Germany is rocking the contest!

 WHAT'S NOT: the staging shown in the National Final is very boring

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Oceana and her song Thank You would be, certainly, a huge Eurovision hit! may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

69


❡ xx. SPAIN

RUTH LORENZO | Dancing In The Rain Our friends in Ireland and UK will surely recognize Ruth Lorenzo. She was in the 2008 Season of the hit show X-Factor, where she placed 5th. Her Purple Rain rendition was epic. Six years later she was invited to represent the UK on Eurovision, but declined the offer; Ruth wanted to represent her homeland, Spain. Well, she will. Now, let's face it: Dancing In The Rain is the best song representing Spain in ages. They actually can win! It's modern, yet classic. Simple in the beginning, epic in the end. The final arrangement, with 80 string instruments, brings it up to a new level, where melody and voice are equally amazing. And talk about a voice! Ruth has the best one this year. Period. Spain's success, however, lays on the performance. We already know DR hasn't allowed Ruth to make it rain on the stage, so we will have to wait and see.

 WHAT'S HOT: Ruth Lorenzo. Her

voice and interpretation skills make this song what it is

 WHAT'S NOT: Spain will need a strong visual performance to win. Can they actually make it rain?

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: Mira Quien Va a Eurovision's runner-up Brequette had an amazing song, Más (Run). It was another Eurovision potential winner with its modern R&B sound. 70

TW E LVE

may'14


EMMA | La Mia Città Emma Marrone is, currently, the biggest name of the Italian music industry. Anything she sings goes directly to the top positions of the national charts. Emma was second place in the traditional Sanremo Festival in 2011, and then won it in 2012. She was chosen internally by RAI to go to this year’s Eurovision.

❡ XX. ITALY

Since its return to the festival in 2011, Italy has always sent great entries to Eurovision – and, as a result, never ended out of the ALSOhas WORTH THE LISTEN: topThe ten. The Italian song was for 2014 right choice to Spain follows the same rule:was Laalso Mia Città made. However, there

another songand worth is excellent, it’s listening: performed by a

Atrévete . The band mixes theircounvery important artist of the celtic-pop sound with a country vibe.

try, which is always something to be praised.

The song has everything to allow Italians to dream with another top ten (or, maybe, even more). The main question around it is whether its being more leaning towards rock than the previous songs can have a worse feedback from the audience.

 WHAT'S HOT: great instrumentals,

strong chorus and amazing vocal performance

 WHAT'S NOT: the risk of not having the more rock-styled melody well-accepted

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: RAI chose internally. If they chose through Sanremo, the winner Controvento would be a cool option, following better the style of recent years’ entries. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

71


â?Ą xx.

United Kingdom Molly | Children Of The Universe Under all the eurofans' spotlights, there she is. The former indepent singer-songwriter has been secretly nominated the representative of the UK for 2014 (not even her friends and parents knew about that until the official announcement), and now that's it's all clear, everyone seems to be delighted. Why? Decade's first for them, they are having the chance to be represented by a newcomer artist that brings a song that sounds current and is highly appealing. Molly's voice, resembling a bit the Alphabeat's vocalist Stine Bramsen (this is a compliment), is unique and delivers the song (composed along Anders Hansson, a Swede responsible for producing ESC gems like It Hurts, from Sweden 2004, and a few other songs from the Swedish national selection) flawlessly. She needs only to evolve her eyecontact with the cameras, to explore the arena-filler potential of her entry. HOT: a windmachine of ď &#x192; WHAT'S fresh air for the UK, this entry is anthemic and ideal for big arenas NOT: the singer needs to ď &#x201E; WHAT'S connect more with the cameras to reach for voters better

72

TW E LVE

may' 14


Photos: ARTISTS BY EUROVISION.TV, BACKGROUNDS BY fLICKR

Basim | Cliché Love Song Basim will have the responsibility to fly the flag for Denmark... in Denmark. His rising to fame happened on the first season of the Danish X-Factor, where he finished 4th. Since then, he released two albuns and took part on the national selection for Eurovision 2014, which he won. About Cliché Love Song: it really doesn't get any more cliché than that. How many times have we heard the story about the guy who falls in love with a random girl who is different of him? Basim brings a silly little pop track with a pseudo-retro flair. We won't even go cliché and compare him to Bruno Mars. Oh, wait! This is not a bad song at all. It is as catchy as an Eurovision hit has to be; even if Basim had to open an Eurovision show, we would remember him in the end. But this is just way too "teenager" to the contest standards. We expected more from the current winner.

WHAT'S HOT: teenagers will love it, which will get him lots of votes and relevant social media exposure

WHAT'S

NOT: there are way too

many clichés in only one song. It's overwhelming!

ALSO WORTH THE LISTEN: With so many folk songs this year, why not one more? Rebekka Thornbech's Your Lies is a pop-country that Kellie Pickler or Carrie Underwood could easily record. 

❡ 23.

DENMARK

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

73


THOUGHT FOR SONG

Is Eurovision flirting with the mainstream? Written by Fernanda Cabrera*

Over the top. Unreal. Cheesy. Old fashioned. These are only a few of the many critics that Eurovision gets from people who doesn't like the show. But yes, I (maybe) can agree with the “over the top” one.

new song. Except that it's not his... On their own particular styles, other songs that I could easily hear on radios are Armenia, Hungary, Es-

Anyway.... People might call Eurovision unreal, but

tonia, Israel, Poland (forget the Slavic sound, focus on

it seems to me that 2014 might end up being known as

the sexy – bad – singer and rapper duet), Austria (and

the most “down to earth” ESC in a long time. Because

its Skyfall vibe), Finland, Lithuania, Macedonia, Belarus

of the songs. A good amount of them could be a hit in

(hello, Robin Thicke), Greece (c'mon, it sounds like any

radios anywhere in the world. Not discussing quality

other ordinary club song) and Italy.

here, only how relatable they are to “real world” charts.

If this “mainstream takeover” is good? Or is it bad?

Let's take a look to some of the tracks. First, we have

None, in my opinion. Is just a natural flow of the contest,

the fact that Eurovision 2014 was invaded by folk mu-

that distanced itself from the “real world” in the past few

sic. Because it was. Latvia, Netherlands, Malta, Germany

years. When Euphoria made both worlds collide in 2012,

and Switzerland, all in different levels, bring this to the

it was legen – wait for it – dary. (A shout out to my fellow

table. From this group, I think only Sebalter (curiously,

HIMYM fans!). Anyway... I still want my insane perfor-

my personal favorite in the bunch) and Germany might

mances, my fake duet chemistry, my big Disney-esque

sound weird to people. Latvia would be the quirky coun-

ballads, my schlager and my windmachine fix. But I also

try, Malta sounds like something Lady Antebellum could

like the feeling that I might hear a few Eurovision songs

record and Netherlands, a Carrie Underwood and Blake

on my local radio station.

Shelton duo. Maybe not a hit in Brazil, but definitely in

Due a terrible weather, the plane I would take to Rio

the USA. (Yes, I know Georgia also brings folk this year,

never left the ground. So I ended up going to my fellow

but that one is so bad that no one would play it).

TWELVE editor Filipe's house to watch it with among

If “hipster” music is a worldwide thing, we have to pay

friends. Pre show karaoke session included. About my

attention here. Children Of The Universe might not be as

final college essway, that I also wrote about... It's due on

hipster as Kedvesem was last year, but still has that in-

May 6th. First semifinal day. Could it be any different?.

die festival flair. Lollapalooza or Coachella, anyone? Also,

*Fernanda Cabrera, 25, wishes people would

I can really see the UK song being sung many times by

stop calling Quero Ser Tua more Brazilian

those Lorde-like girls on X-Factor and The Voice versions

then Portuguese. She just doesn't want any

around the world. Like Royals was. (Oh, and BTW... Molly

kind of relation with that “song”.

is way, way better then ByeBoringAlex). We also have Bruno Mars... I mean, Basim's Cliche Love Song. If any radio or TV show plays that one, people 74

would run to Twitter to say how much they love Bruno's

TWE LVE

may' 14


Photo: MORBERG/FLICKR

Eurovision: in a radio near you! (If you are lucky enough.)

may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

75


Friday Talks

The Eurovision hipsters Written by Filipe Lima* Being a huge fan of Eurovision, you end up spending

it over. The hipsters are better than everyone, and only

a lot of time discussing it with friends you share this love

when the Almighty Hipster God comes and kills all

with. And sometimes, not even this seems enough to

regular eurofans, things will be OK. Eurovision will only

fulfill our need to talk about the festival. That’s when we

be good when, in few words, it’s not itself any longer.

end up going to sites and forums, and we start reading

It’s hard to avoid a very obvious question: if everything

not only the articles, but also the comments from other

which is good from Eurovision is not Eurovision-like,

fans. And, let’s admit, the space for comments about ESC

what is wrong in the equation? Is it Eurovision, or the

on the Internet is a prolific place for people saying a lot

hipsters? In this math, isn’t it easier for the hipsters to

of stupidities.

give up of Eurovision, and find another festival which

There is a very specific group of people who lives in the underworld of comments: the Eurovision hipsters.

changing the entire contest just to please them?

They are that kind of people who believe they have a

If they say Eurovision can only “be saved” if almost

much more refined taste than regular Eurovision fans.

everything is changed, isn’t it better to remove them out

They must truly believe entertainment is worth zero

of this equation, and keep things as they are? We won’t

in music – that’s the only explanation I can imagine for

miss them, they won’t waste their so-precious time

someone to have the guts to affirm “this year’s Belgian

whining about the pop tracks we enjoy, and everyone

entry is much better than what Paparizou and all the

can be happy on their own habitat!

unfairly worshipped names of ESC can usually offer”.

There is a saying in Brazil which states something

This year, I’ve been reading many of these hipsters

like “If you are so bothered, why don’t you leave?”. That

praising some of the dullest songs of the year. Their

would be my suggestion for the Eurovision hipsters. No

argument is that these entries (Malta, for example) are

one forced you to watch the festival. No one asks you to

good because they don’t sound like what you usually

keep watching it. So, if you don’t like what it has to offer

see in Eurovision, and that they may attract a new

you, find your own place. And leave us alone.

audience for the festival – in their opinion, the contest is

*Filipe Lima, 28 years old, thinks the

indeed needing new audiences.

hipsters should get the songs they love and

Let’s “translate” this speech? The Eurovision songs which are good are the ones which don’t sound to be from it. Eurovision will only be considered a good festival when the songs are not Eurovision-like anymore, and when the current audience gives it up, and a new audience, of people who like other styles of music, takes

76

can fulfill their so high standards for music, than

TW E LVE

may' 14

put in a very special place of their body.


Photo: internet Photo: resources EBU

To the regular people: ByeAlex. To the hipsters: God. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

77


Chronicles of a brazilian eurofan

Putting the Big into the Big 5 Written by Fernanda Barreto*

Hello, dear readers of TWELVE!

By the way, the German victory was so remarkable

My life has been as messy as Scooch’s performance.

that it has convinced another country to return, some-

That’s the reason why I have not written anything…

how: Italy. And they got a great result: Madness of Love,

But TWELVE is always so special to me and for all of us,

by Raphael Gualazzi, was the runner-up of Eurovision

editors, that I needed to find some space in between the

2011, won by Azerbaijan – not mentioning Germany’s

mess to write something here.

10th place.

So, I wanted to bring a really special subject: The Big

In Baku 2012, we had three Big 5 countries in the top

5. They are big. So, when I started to follow ESC back in

10: Germany, Italy and Spain. And if it was only for the

2004, Big 4 (there was no Italy yet!) was quite a mess. No

juries, Spain and Italy would have reached top 5 instead.

interesting songs, lack of good performances and shame-

The 2013 edition was another good year for Italy, that

ful positions. And, of course, always a lot of complains,

reached 7th place and never left the top 10 of Eurovision

about block voting, no one votes for us because we are at

since its return.

the finals, and blah blah blah.

In 2014 we have great Big 5 countries with real

It was 2007; that ESC in Helsinki, Finland was the start

chances of winning. Italy, Spain and United Kingdom are

of a new era of Eurovision voting. The big amount of block

among the hot favourites alongside Sweden and Arme-

voting and no western country into the finals made the

nia, all according to the eurofans. In my humble opinion,

producers try something new for the next year – so we

they couldn’t reach greater results before, because they

had lot of changes in the rules. In 2008, even though we

always treated Eurovision as something that was not

had good changes, there wasn’t good songs for the Big 4

really important. All of their music scenarios are incred-

as well, none of them has ended above top 15 positions

ible and they can do better. But, luckily for us, things

and the best one was Spain with the Chiki-Chiki dude.

have changed. And the audiences are giving their ap-

The tableturn started for the Big 4 in 2009, when finally they have awakened. Jury has returned with 50%

So, who’s your favorite Big 5 of 2014?

of the votes, and it has changed the image of the ESC for

I am #TeamMolly. Power to the People!

these countries, that only got in the finals because of their

*Fernanda Barreto, 25 years old, her favorite

financial support. Their efforts were rewarded this time:

band is from United Kingdom, Muse, and sup-

with the amazing results of United Kingdom, a 5 place

ports Liverpool FC as well. She wants UK win-

with Jade’s It’s My Time, and France’s 8th place, everything

ning so she can visit Anfield Road at her vaca-

turned. The efforts of sending well produced songs in-

tions and realize both of her dreams: going to

stead of mocks or frikis, were rewarded with a victory of

Eurovision and watching a LFC game.

th

Germany in 2010, with Lena’s Satellite. Since 2009, at least one Big 5 country scored a top 10 in the contest. 78

preciation with their votes.

TWE LVE

may' 14


Photo: EBU

It's time for the UK to turn its table in 2014. Better late than never, isn't it. may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

79


BIG FIVE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; THE ULTIMATE FIVE-PIECE EUROVISION RANKINGS

(this list was obviously written before the Tolmachevy Sisters were chosen to represent Russia in Eurovision 2014. They did not make our cut. They didn't even make the top 10 version of this list. Ouch.)

80

TWE LVE

may' 14


Erik RAPP | Sweden 2011 In Euro Junior, Erik sang Faller, one of the few JESC songs that could easily be sung on the regular Eurovision. He actually deserverd so much better than his 9th place. Recently Erik was on the spotlight again, after he came out, but also, and most important, because he was in Swedish Idol 2013. His performance of When I Was Your Man is better then the original. He also performed Euphoria, in a very unique way and he actually didn't mess it up like some people (yes, we are talking about you Nevena Bozovic).

Lerika | Moldova 2011 and Russia 2012 Yep. She actually was sassy enough to sing for two countries. Lerika, born in Czech Republic, was living in Moldova in 2011, that's why she sang for the Parfenyland. Shortly after, the family moved to Russia and... well, she represented Russia. If in 2011 Lerika looked overgrown and had a bad song, in 2012 she looked like an overgrown child. From 2015, she can go to the adults' Eurovision. Hopefully with a better song then her fellow Russian JESC stars, the Tolmachevy Sisters. Sara markoska | F.Y.R of Macedonia 2009 Blame it on our editor Filipe that Sara is in this list. He showed us her current work, and it's kinda great: it's a kind of R&B-pop that could easily translate into worldwide charts. She is now into some sexy dancing that wouldn't fit JESC. Believe us. When she hit Eurovision Junior stages, she already looked too mature to be there. Her electropop tune was good, but her performance wasn't up to it. She was nervous and pitchy. We're glad she got better. Otherwise, she wouldn't have made this list.

PhotoS: INTERNET RESOURCES

Dino Jesulic | Croatia 2003 The biggest Eurovision curse is to sing in the slot number two. In the first ever JESC Dino overcame that, winning with a performance that included a piano and an impressive voice for a 11 y.o. kid. Now, another 11 years later, he's all grown up. And he did that VERY well, if you know what we mean (if you don't, just look for videos of him nowadays). He passed his teenage voice change greatly, turning to a more rocker voice. Plus, he stated that he would like to go to Eurovision. Let's make this double comeback happen in 2015, Croatia?

Maria isabel | Spain 2004 For those who do not watch JESC, let's put it like this: Antes Muerta Que Sencilla, Maria Isabel's amazing song, smashed in Junior as Euphoria or Fairytale did in Eurovision. She got there with the victory in her hands and took the trophy home. She got half of all the 12 points sets. After Junior Eurovision, she recorded a few albums and hosted a TV show, before she quitted public life to finish school. Now she says she is ready to be back to music and was rumoured to be a contender in Spain's Nation Final this year. She was not there. Hopefully next year. Please...? may ' 1 4

TW E LV E

81


T W ELV E thank you for reading! www.issuu.com/twelvemagazine www.esc12points.com facebook.com/ESC12points twitter.com/ESC12points


TWELVE #4