Another year comes around, and thus another Eurovision Song Contest, but this time in 2011! A great line-up of diverse songs this year, as we plunge back into Scandinavia, and more specifically into Oslo. The reviews may have been completed months after, but that’s because I couldn’t find a decent version to view and take screenshots of! Anyways, on with the show, and my brutal critiques!

Moldova – SunStroke Project and Olia Tira
=> Qualified
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.01.Moldova - SunStroke Project and Olia Tira

What isn’t to love about florescent blue fiddles, blue eyeshadow, Eastern European Pop/Dance music, a guy with a weirdly sounding deep voice when it seems he should be a male soprano, and thrusting hips of a saxophone player? I can’t find much bad to say about this song. Moldova and Romania, in general have really put good catchy songs in the mix, and luckily manages to qualify for the final. Each time there is a *bam* I just want to jump.

Russia – Peter Nalitch and Friends
=> Qualified
SF1.02.Russia - Peter Nalitch and Friends

Oh Russia… At first listen this song irritated me to no end, but it really grew on me but not enough to be a favourite. I think that it’s got a good tune, simple theme, and horrible English (but not the worst of the evening) but nothing boo-worthy. I actually found myself getting a little bit excited and goose-bumpy at the end when Mr. Peter sings out into his girly head voice! What is with the paper… did he forget the words?

Estonia – Malcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4
SF1.03.Estonia - Malcolm Lincoln and Manpower 4

I really wanted to like Estonia, I really truly did. I just didn’t get this song at all. The English was absolutely horrendous and there was nothing going on the stage. The marching around on stages bores me, and then the awkward dancing just makes it worse. This is so close to being a go-home song, but I will refrain from further defamation.

Slovakia – Kristina
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.04.Slovakia - Kristina

The green setup, the Sarek-album cover type theme of this song actually works for me. I adore the fact that it is sung in Slovak, as it increases the diversity of the competition, but also for the fact that if it was sung in English it could have provent to be catastrophic. I find myself listening to this song on my iPod constantly whilst walking down the street and wondering who Horehronie was, but still with mystery, it’s exciting and exotic. Too bad that Europe didn’t agree… Did I mention that Kristina is gorgeous? Oh well!

Finland – Kuunkuiskaajat
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.05.Finland - Kuunkuiskaajat

Did I say that I loved Finland in the past? Well if not, then it’s in stone now. This song is “100% absolut finsk-folkmusik” forsure, and it’s so strange that it works. It’s catchy, cultural, simple to boot, and so different from anything else in the competition that it would stand out regardless of what other skanky acts other countries threw in. I absolutely adore the fact that Finland sends entries that are cultural and dripping with awesome Finnish Language. It has reaffirmed my desire to marry a Finnish person and become even more frosty! Tvärr inte i final!

Latvia – Aisha
SF1.06.Latvia - Aisha

This was tipped as being a possible winner way way back, if I remember correctly. But as soon as it gets on stage it’s a complete disaster on stilts. Aisha poses a good question: What for? Why did she have to dress like she was just getting out of bed and still in a night-gown, and then wail at us asking what for. It was catchy in the previews, and it completely disapointed me on stage beyond words. Some devilish part of me wanted to rip her clothes off, but not in that sexual way that you might be thinking. It hurt my eyes.

Serbia – Milan Stanković
=> Qualified
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.07.Serbia - Milan Stanković

There is a lot to say about this song, but I’ll start with the obvious. I wasn’t entirely convinced that this guy was in fact a guy… to a point that I even thought that I was looking at one of those old porcelain dolls. Was it make-up that made him look that way, or are his features just naturally that blandly feminine? Regardless from the moment that the voice starts, I’m hooked. I love this song beyond words. The only aversion to it, is that he keeps saying “puta” that makes me think he’s talking Spanish and calling us all sluts. Ovo je Balkan!

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Vukašin Brajić
=> Qualified
SF1.08.Bosnia & Herzegovina - Vukašin Brajić

I find it difficult to judge this, because I’m not a big of an of rock. My first reaction to be not a fan of it, but then when I listen to it, I find that it’s actually really a decent song. It’s not a favourite, because it’s simply too rockish for me, but it seems to be popular and he seems to sing well. I’m not surprised at all that Europe saw something in it.

Poland – Marcin Mroziński
SF1.09.Poland - Marcin Mroziński

Oh Poland how you disapoint me. This is officially the first “go home” song of the competition. I really don’t see where this song is going. It’s just a hot Polish guy, who doesn’t look so hot singing, struggling through English phrases and trying to make a melody sound like a melody when it just sounds… mashed up with something else. I really don’t understand what’s going on on the stage… please, and thank goodness you went home!

Belgium – Tom Dice
=> Qualified
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.10.Belgium - Tom Dice

Can we say “Feel Good Favourite” a few more times please? This song is so adorable, pure and simple. Tom holds his guitar, and rocks it out for us with this acoustic pleasure. He’s cute, but not as cute as he could be, but I have to take the time to really tip my hat off to him. He wrote his song, he performs it, and despite quite possibly being a nobody in Flanders and Belgium, he”s won the hearts of millions of Europeans. I have to say that the Flemish are infinitely better at sending competitive songs to Eurovision, and perahps only one day the Walloons can give us something to gush over. I love love love love this piece. I want to just jump on stage and hug Him and His Guitar!

Malta – Thea Garrett
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.11.Malta - Thea Garrett

What the fuck was that? I like this song, I truly do. It’s classic Malta and Eurovision, but what the fuck is going on during this performance? I understand that the song talks about birds and such, but why is there a freaky looking human trying to be a bird on stage. It’s like the awkward platypus in the room that takes away from Thea’s lovely voice. I’m not surprised that Europe didn’t buy into it though…

Albania – Juliana Pasha
=> Qualified
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.12.Albania - Juliana Pasha

Oh yes, Albania you’ve done it again. You’ve taken a simple song and made it wonderful. There really isn’t anything amazing going on about this song. It’s simply catchy and relate-able. Juliana’s English is questionable, but it doesn’t matter because she can sing and convince us that it doesn’t matter what she’s singing apart from the chorus. I’m dancing in my room, and thinking back at all the Albanian gems in the past, and clicking my heels as she takes all the things that she does on to the final!

Greece – Giorgos Alkaios and Friends
=> Qualified
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.13.Greece Giorgos Alkaios and Friends

You know, there is something about this piece that really urks something in me. Perhaps that it’s a manly song in the Eurovision Song Contest (go figure, right!) but I think it’s more accurate to say that the song turns me on, not because of it’s tune and subject matter about getting up or whatever, but it rests in the fact that the dancers are hot as fuck, and they keep grunting at me… I”ve never been one to fall for the tricks of the Mediterranean, but damn…

Portugal – Filipa Azevedo
=> Qualified
SF1.14.Portugal - Filipa Azevedo

The Portuguese language irritates me. That about sums it up about this song for me. I’m sure Filipa is a good singer, but this song really bothers me. The way that vowels are pronounced and held, and then her ‘lazy sleepy’ look on stage just makes it horror to my eyes. I know that I’d be stoned for this as most people seemed to like it, but my linguistic abilities and thoughts overpower any prospect that this song had for me to like it.

F.Y.R. Macedonia – Gjoko Taneski, Billy Zver and Pejcin
SF1.15.F.Y.R. Macedonia - Gjoka Taneski, Billy Zver and Pejcin

What the fuck is going on, here Macedonia? Go home, seriously. Strippers on stage with old people, and no discernible concept apart from “If I’m slutty maybe I’ll qualify” makes me want to gouge my eyes out with my fingernails. Go home!

Belarus – 3+2 feat. Robert Wells
=> Qualified
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.16.Belarus - 3+2 feat. Robert Wells

This song makes me laugh as much as it makes me cringe. First up, why do Belarussians speak such horrible English? Nearly every entry that I can think of has resulted in horrible English pronunciation, but this is just ridiculous. I can barely understand it, and the way “imagine” is sung makes me want to shake them and give them English lessons myself. In their defense, the concept was cute and they are all decent singers. But wings? What the heck.. Swedish pianist Robert Wells? I don”t really understand the concept… but ok anyways!

Iceland – Hera Björk
=> Qualified
❗ Personal Favourite
SF1.17.Iceland - Hera Björk

I love it, I just love it. I love the fact that it’s an overweight woman dressed in a lovely gown, singing techno-pop to me. It’s a gay anthem, among other things, but it’s got surprisingly good lyrics and it’s performed top notch. Go Iceland go. It won’t be a winner, but it’s a winner in my heart, because “Je ne sais pas pourquoi!”

A great start to the competition, and a wonderfully professional show… Now just wait for the excitement of Thursday!