Monday, 28 April 2014

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Part VII - Lithuania, Georgia and Iceland

Today you lucky readers are treated to another edition of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I found it very hard to limit "the good" this year and went for a good mix of 6 entrants which can offer something different. But I found a similar problem in selecting "the bad"! In all fairness, there aren't many "bad" entries in the modern day contest, but some countries still offer us 'a load of tripe'. I've picked 3 candidates for that "bad" award which have split fans alike.

The Bad Part 7a - Lithuania

"Attention" - Vilija Matačiūnaitė

What on earth is this all about? Lithuania have an extremely clever knack of qualifying for the final of Eurovision - last year with singing shoes guy, the year before with Donny's quirky dance routine, and so on, and so on. So no matter what we all think of 'Attention', it will probably easily qualify, right? Well with friends like Belarus, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom all able to vote for Lithuania in the second semi final, I can see them qualifying despite this atrocity which is 'Attention'. I hate to sound so opaquely critical without providing sufficient reason as to why, but c'mon...!?!? I've got all of this year's songs on my iTunes; the country with the most plays is on 51, whereas Lithuania is second bottom with just 1 play. How I have sat and listened through this baffles me. From the horrific composition to the painful vocals, Lithuania for me have really tested how bad a Eurovision entry can truly be whilst still qualifying. And that's why for me, it is the worst song in this year's competition.

The Bad Part 7b - Georgia

"3 Minutes to Earth" - The Shin & Mariko

The winner of many fans least favourite song has been Georgia's '3 Minutes To Earth'. I can understand why; ethnic wailing with a poor lead female vocal isn't that appealing. I see it slightly differently in that there is that catchy lyric about skydivers and the opening couple of seconds sounds like it could be the start of a winning song (even though the start is lyrical, perhaps I'm still hungover from raving about Montenegro yesterday: all a direct result of that tin whistle from last year). But let's all be real for a minute here; what is with this Georgian entry? I am very appreciative of art, but the song needs to appeal to a certain market at Eurovision. Can somebody please tell me who the Shin and Mariko are aimed at? Middle-aged voters, teenagers, Southern Europe, the Balkans, who? Who on earth internally selected this? I'm listening to this again now, for the 5th time. Reiterating that it's not as bad as Lithuania because of that catchy skydivers lyric, but the composition of this is all over the place too. Were Georgia trying their hardest not to win?

The Bad Part 7c - Iceland

"No Prejudice" - Pollaponk

Now Iceland have got something really interesting here. When I first heard 'Enga Fordoma', I was like 'dear God, Iceland have finally let us all down'. After the successes of Yohanna, Sjonni's Friend, Jonsi, and especially the extremely underrated Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson from last year, I was really keeping my fingers crosse Iceland would give us a winner this time around. Isn't it their turn as well? Finland '06, Norway '09, Sweden '12, Denmark '13... Perhaps we have to wait a couple of years. I do hope Iceland win soon though, I'd love to go there. But back to their song for this year, and I'd actually give the award to the country trying it's best not to win to Iceland (over Georgia). The overage band, the concoction of sounds, it's just one for turning off. But at heart they do have a good message, and nothing is better than a band with flair - Pollaponk's colours definitely offer something Bucks Fizz-esque. I would not say this is the worst song in the contest this year, but I've never liked this no matter how much I appreciate it, and I think deep down, most will agree.

So there we have it, Lithuania, Georgia and Iceland are my chosen 3 for "the bad". But there's still one category left unexplored: "the Ugly". I think people can take easy predictions from what I have already chosen. But please do comment and tell me if you agree!

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