I watched all this year’s entries and picked out the five you need to know about before the big day (or week, since some of these probably won’t make it past the semi-finals!)…
France: Twin Twin – Moustache
Here is a French Eurovision entry which showcases the quirky electro-pop that France should be better known for. It follows on from Sébastien Tellier’s 2008 entry, Divine, but it’s more current in sound. Although Twin Twin have been accused of ripping off Belgian artist Stromae, I think it seems more inspired by sassy French pop girl Yelle… with a hint of Jedward.
Denmark: Basim – Cliche Love Song
There’s nothing cool about Denmark’s entry, but it’s the most uplifting tune I’ve heard in a while. I knew all the words to the chorus by the second time it played, and I’m sure we’ll all be “scooby-dooby”-ing our way through May. It’s been ages since a purely fun and cheesy pop song won Eurovision, and the days where that can happen may be over, but I’d be happy if this took the trophy.
Sweden: Sanna Nielsen – Undo
Many of you will be familiar with this as Sweden’s Eurovision competition, Melodifestivalen, is as big an event in the pop calendar as Eurovision itself, but Undo still deserves the recognition. It’s this year’s best ballad by far, from the twinkly piano intro to the big stomping emotion of the final chorus. I just wish the chorus lyrics (“undo my sad”??) were less weird and distracting.
Belarus: TEO – Cheesecake
A strong contender for both worst and weirdest 2014 entry is Cheesecake by TEO. The Belarussian entrant is a Robin Thicke wannabe with a sleazy video and a song which mentions Patrick Swayze and Google Maps (changed for Eurovision to “all the maps,” presumably due to advertising rules). If you’ve got any weddings to go to this summer, I advise you watch this to learn how not to dance.
Lithuania: Vilija Matačiūnaitė – Attention
Anyone who has seen Eurovision before would know it’s unwise to expect the entries to make sense, especially the contributions from Eastern Europe, but this one is particularly mind-boggling. Vilija combines a tutu with clompy boots, and spends part of the song perched on her dance partner’s shoulders. The best bit is when he dramatically swivels his head to appear from under her skirt.