It has been a week since Germany has won “Europe’s favorite tv show” and I thought it would be a good idea to post some of my final opinions about this year’s Contest. The following are “awards” I give to the various acts as I see fit. Feel free to agree, disagree, or post some of your own “awards.”
Awards for This Year:
Winner: Iceland (I loved the whirling effects her dress added to the performance)
First Runner-Up: Belarus (very classy; neat butterfly wings)
Honorable Mention: Malta, Poland, Israel, Macedonia, Georgia, Spain
Most in Need of a Costume Change (Worst Dressed)
“Winner”: Lithuania (I could have done without the sparkly shorts)
First Runner-Up: Armenia (really, it looks like it was pulled out of Eva Rivas’ closet at the last second)
Cutest Boy: The hardest category this year, as about a third of the countries entered one
Winner: Harel Skaat (Israel)
First Runner-Up: Marcin Mronzinski (Poland)
Second Runner-Up: Josh Dubovie (UK)
Honorable Mention: Belgium, Belarus, Norway, Estonia, Russia, Turkey, Cyprus
Winner: Eva Rivas (Armenia)
First Runner-Up: Sofia Nizharde (Georgia)
Second Runner-Up: Safura (Azerbaijan) (as you can see, there seems to be a Caucasus theme)
Honorable Mention: Belarus, Ukraine (though, she scares me a bit), Portugal
“Spirit of ABBA” Award: Given to the most stereotypical ESC song
Winner: It’s for You (Ireland) – What’s more ESC than an Irish ballad?
First Runner-Up: That Sounds Good to Me (UK) – C’mon, is this a surprise?
Second Runner-Up: Ik ben Verferlied (Sha-la-lie) (NET) – See above
“This is D.C. Calling…” Award: Given to the most American sounding ESC song
Winner: Drip Drop (Azerbaijan) – it’s not hard to imagine Rihanna or Miley Cyrus singing this one
First Runner-Up: Sweet People (Ukraine) – edgy, modern style, implores environmental and social action, this entry has California written all over it
Second Runner-Up: We Could be the Same (Turkey) – If I didn’t know better, I would have thought it was Hoobastank representing the Turks
Honorable Mention: It’s All About You (Albania) – soulful number that actually has three American backing singers
“Pond Leaper” Award: While I think every song would be able to find a niche here in the USA, these are the songs I think would be the most popular.
Winner: Drip Drop (Azerbaijan) – powerful R&B~pop number
First Runner-Up: It’s for You (Ireland) – adult contemporary is one of the most popular genres for radio stations
Second Runner-Up (Tie): Me and My Guitar (Belgium)/Life Looks Better in Spring (Cyprus) – I can’t decide between these two, singer-songwriter types have always been big here
The Shiri Maimon Travesty of the Year Award: In 2005, a true work of art was entered into the ESC; Israel was being represented by Shiri Maimon with the song Hasheket Shinish’Ar. Not only did this song not win, but the winning song that year was not even worthy to be performed on the same stage as the Israeli entry. For me, that was the biggest travesty in Eurovision history. Each year, I hand out this award to the biggest disappointment of the Contest.
Winner: Fourteenth Place for Israel — It’s one thing to argue whether or not this song should have won, there are valid arguments on both sides of that debate, but there is no reason this song should not have been in the Top Ten. It is a downright shame and travesty that this song finished just outside the bottom ten.
First Runner-Up: Bosnia & Herzegovina making the Final — The first semi-final was weak! But still, Finland, Poland, and Macedonia all had superior songs and performances than BiH, yet they failed to make it through. BiH undeservedly slipped through to the Final this year.
Second Runner-Up: Croatia being left behind in the Semi-Finals — pegged to be a winner and one of the most moving ballads this year, Lako je Sve should have been a shoo-in for the Final. Instead, come Saturday, Feminnem was watching the show from the sidelines instead of the Green Room. Not to take anything away from any of the ten qualifying acts from the second semi-final, but there is no reason this song should not have made it through.
Honorable Mention: 23rd place for Ireland — not only is Niamh Kavanaugh a former winner, but It’s for You was the best ballad this year. It’s an egregious affront that the Emerald Isle finished so low on the scoreboard.
Now, the big award…My Top Ten Award: Given to my ten favorite songs from the Contest. Like last year, I liked every song enough to put it on my iPod, but only ten of them can make this list. The winners are ranked from tenth to first (most favorite). These songs were the ones good enough to grab my attention and affection from the first moment I heard it at the Contest and have gotten the most plays on my iPod.
10. Switzerland: Il Pleut de l’Or – Michael van der Heide – MvdH has won me over, what an enjoyable song!
10. Turkey: We Could be the Same – maNga – awesome pop-rock number, though, I don’t know if a second place finish was right
9. Estonia: Siren – Malcolm Lincoln and ManPower 4 – it’s so unique and captivating…and so much fun to sing along, too
8. Bulgaria: Angel Si Ti – Miro – one of the few dance songs I can listen to regardless of my mood
7. Norway: My Heart is Yours – Didrik Solli-Tangen – a passion filled song with a disappointing performance on the night, nonetheless, I love it anyway
6. The Netherlands: Ik ben Verliefd – Sienke – so it is a little old fashioned, so what? It is fun and cute, and Sienke does a great job with it
5. Ireland: It’s for You – Niamh Kavanaugh – I loved Niamh Kavanaugh’s first song, and I love this one even more
4. Croatia: Lako je Sve – Feminnem – another passionate ballad this year, it’s a shame they didn’t move through
3. Lithuania: East European Funk – InCulto – it’s so much fun, and high energy, and catchy!
2. Israel: Milim – Harel Skaat – probably the best song and performance artistically speaking (and the fact that Israel became the first country to take all three Marcel Bezençal Awards speaks to that fact)
1. Russia: Lost and Forgotten – Peter Nalitch & Friends – can someone please explain to me why everyone hates this song. Is it because they beat those six grandmothers? The song is so moving and so passionate!