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17) Malta – Firelight – singing ‘Coming Home’

On our voyage through the 37 Eurohopefuls it became swiftly apparent that Aaron is both observant and shrewd in the ways of Eurovision. As the YouTube video loaded up, he pointed at the screen. “Malta’s video is 3minutes 35. It’s an epic!” It is. Given that the Contest was launched in 1956 to embed peace across Europe, to date the continent has chosen not to mention the war. But this year, provoked by the centenary of the First World War, Malta went there.

You may not know that Malta had a role to play in the First World War. To be honest, Google is a bit surprised. However, after several minutes of diligent internet searching I can tell you that Malta was known as the Nurse of the Mediterranean and treated 125,000 men, particularly those injured during the Gallipoli landings. You can find out all about it here http://www.firstworldwarcentenary.co.uk/nurse-of-the-mediterranean/

None of this is clearly represented by the Maltese entry, whose video focuses on the trench warfare end of the business. The music has a pleasantly stompy quality, which moves things along nicely enough.   Hopefully should qualify for the Final. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxi5C-lGX2Y&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJ8KuAGTgdUNhwTBY8j_FAu

In a word: pleasant

18) Israel – Mei Finegold singing ‘Same Heart’

I am a virtual stranger to alcohol, but when I first graduated, I worked in the pubs of Sheffield. Many was the evening when an older lady drank too much hooch and became bad tempered, baity and apt to pick fights.

Step forward Mei Finegold from Israel, who in the attached video spends three minutes being extremely mardy to music, whilst wearing a thick studded belt which would have been very fashionable back in the 90s when I worked in pubs. Lovely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uB4JMw4ctc&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJ8KuAGTgdUNhwTBY8j_FAu

In a word: mardy

19) Norway – Carl Espen singing ‘Silent Storm’

In this video Carl Espen sits on a sofa singing a heartfelt ballad, which is on the Radiohead scale of misery. He sits alone, with no friends but lots of paper, on which he sometimes draws castles. You see, apparently there’s a silent storm inside him, and he wants someone to find him to say that he belongs.  A critic would observe that it is quite a noisy silent storm, but then a critic would also have to concede that Norway is currently third in the betting to win, because of all the (many) ballads it is closest to one you might actually choose to listen to.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LBOjxBty8U&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJ8KuAGTgdUNhwTBY8j_FAu

In a word: heartfelt

20) Georgia – The Shin & Mariko singing ‘Three Minutes To Earth’

There are essentially three Eurovision musical styles:

Now in the real world, there are more musical options than that, and this year Georgia has chosen to remind us that Prog Rock is a perfectly legitimate musical style. Perhaps it is. Thankfully, under Eurovision rules, Georgia has only three minutes to remind us.Eurovision songs often sound like other well-known tunes, but normally at least there is one. This sounds like Charlie Dimmock joined Yes, got chemically imbalanced and scatted across about five different melodies.The video was apparently filmed in an aircraft hangar with an iPhone 5s (“the 5s has a slow-mo filming mode” advised spouse). In a word, it is: extraordinary. It is the sonic equivalent of the Corkscrew at Alton Towers. You won’t quite be able to stop it once you start, and will be heartily pleased when it ends. Here you go:



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