In 2007 and 2008, we headed to Finland and Serbia respectively, to spend a week at the Eurovision Song Contest. Dress rehearsals, press parties, press conferences, as well as the three live shows themselves are now a must in our annual calender – such is the amazing time we had at both events. And this year, we’re heading to Russia! On Saturday morning we’ll be flying from London to Moscow ready to do it all over again. But this time, we’ll be reporting on the festivities from this very website!
Obviously we’ll be paying particular attention to the songs and performers from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, but there are 38 other countries participating, quite a lot of which have amazing songs this year. So we’ll probably end up chatting a bit about them too.
For now though, here’s what Scandinavia has dished up and presented to the world in an attempt to win the biggest and bestest music contest in the universe!
Norway: Alexander Rybak – ‘Fairytale’
This song has found itself the bookmakers and fan favourite to win the whole competition since it was first unveiled at Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix back in February. And its popularity hasn’t dipped since then. It’s the one that most people seem to be talking about, and it was the rehearsal this week that generated the most interest and excitement. We can see the charm – Alexander’s an upbeat, down-to-earth type, bouncing excitedly around the stage, miming fiddle play, and singing a song dripping in melody. It’s not one of our favourites, but we’d love to see it perform well, and it probably will do.
Sweden: Malena Ernman – ‘La Voix’
This on the other hand, IS our favourite song this year (a closely fought battle with Spain’s Soraya and her ‘La Noche Es Para Mi!). Regular readers of scandipop will already have seen us rave about it as it romped to victory in Melodifestivalen earlier this year. Pop, dance, and opera rolled into one, delivered by a captivating vocalist, injected with a glorious key change, and presented in an OTT dramatic performance – it’s quite simply, music at its best! We’re very excited about its performance too. An overpriced frock, imported fabrics and feathers, and a narnia theme. Style!
Iceland: Yohanna – ‘Is It True’
Probably the best ballad in the whole competition this year, ‘Is It True’ is another absolute fan favourite. Beautiful in every way, only helped by Yohanna’s 18 year old innocence. Up until last year, Iceland never managed to qualify from the semi final, despite having consitently good songs. Hopefully though, ‘Is It True’ will progress to the final and do very well indeed. Plus, Fridrik from Euroband, and Hera Bjork of ‘Someday’ notoriety are backing vocalists! We interviewed Yohanna a few weeks back and will be uploading it later this week as part of our Eurovision coverage.
Finland: Waldo’s People – ‘Lose Control’
LET’S RAVE! In our coverage of the Finnish national finals late last year and earlier this year, we mentioned how much we loved this. We did overplay it quite a bit though and it almost lost its sheen. But we still adore it. It’s an E-Type kind of track – all hyperactive dance beats, a male rapped verse, and a female vocalled chorus that’s sung like there’s no tomorrow! We really REALLY hope that this progresses to the final as we’d love to see such a great dance music song do well at Eurovision. And we also think that Finland should be commended for giving the guitars a break!
Denmark: Brinck – ‘Believe Again’
We’re still bitter that the Danes chose this over runner up Hera Bjork at the national finals. But we can’t but admit that ‘Believe Again’ is a great song. Soaring, melodious, and uplifting, it’s bound to do really well. It was written by Ronan Keating of Boyzone fame, and Brinck does his best attempt at a Ronan impersonation too. We think that this song is going to electrify the arena, and could well be a dark horse at the final. As with Norway though, it’s not one of our favourites at all.
And there we have them. We’re obviously big fans of Scandinavian music anyway, but this really is the first time in the history of us following the Eurovision Song Contest (back in the very early nineties) that we’ve genuinely liked all high Scandinavian songs and highly rated their chances of success. Kudos to the five countries for making an effort and showing the world exactly what they’re capable of – producing great pop music!