Sunday, June 3, 2012

Eurovision is over - but let's hope Abba reunite!

The lights have dimmed on Eurovision for another year. But out of darkness rises hope. Hope that as the song contest heads to Sweden next year, Abba may reunite to mark the 39th anniversary of winning Eurovision.

The year was 1974, and Waterloo won the song contest in Brighton, England - launching Abba to worldwide fame. These days, you've a better chance of  launching a global singing career on a North Korean rocket than the Eurovision song contest.

But Sweden's Loreen was a deserving winner of Eurovision 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Euphoria is a great song, and her performance was compelling. With her flowing dark hair and jerky choreography, Loreen was Kate Bush reincarnated (Wuthering Heights Kate Bush, not sexed-up Babushka Kate Bush - sigh).

Of course, babushkas did make an appearance at Eurovision this year. The Russian entry featured six grannies in traditional babushka costumes, bopping along to a tricked-up folk tune. It was good enough to finish runner-up - and win special mention for best use of a pizza oven as a stage prop.

Best use of a Chesterfield armchair went to Denmark. In this rarely awarded category, Soluna Samay sang perhaps the catchiest tune of the night, Should've Known Better - and didn't she look a treat in her jaunty captain's hat. Finishing 22nd says more about the vagaries of the Eurovision voting system than the quality of Denmark's song.

Ireland's Jedward had another rarely awarded category all to themselves - best use of a water feature. Who cares if they barely sang a word. It was a damn catchy tune, and Australians voted them 3rd on the SBS TV poll even though they finished 19th officially.

Otherwise, there was a rare alignment of looks and talent at this year's Eurovision.

The cutest boys sang some decent songs - think Ott Lepland, Estonia's answer to Ronan Keating, the brooding good looks of Norway's Toopi, even the swarthy Serbian Zelijke Joksimovic who finished 3rd.

And the cutest girls definitely sang some of the best songs - apart from Sweden and Denmark, think Italy's Nina Zilli, who channeled the look and sound of a clean and sober Amy Winehouse, and Cypriot bombshell Ivi Adamou singing La La Love (OK, the song is not great, but gee...)

Voice of the night was definitely Spain's Pastora Soler, who will blow you away!

Quote of the night went to Bulgaria. "Let me escalate your spirits" said the Bulgarian presenter as she introduced the results of her country's vote. 

My spirits will be escalated if Abba reunite for Eurovision 2013 in Sweden. Until then, I have the CD of this year's songs to keep me going, and better still the recording of the two semis and the final. Eurovision is a treat for all the senses.