12 Days of Eurovision: Day 3

On the third day of Eurovision…

After Lordi’s monumental win in 2006, we head to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, who was hosting Eurovision for the first time. The newbie hosts didn’t show any signs of being new to the hosting game, as they presented a great semi-final and final. The contest featured a record high of 42 songs, including four new debut countries, Czech Republic, Georgia, the independent Serbia and the independent Montenegro. We also saw the return of Austria and Hungary. The show was hosted by Jaana Pelkonen and Mikko Leppilampi, with Krisse Salminen in the Green Room.

Best staging

There were plenty of options to choose from, but what stands out straight away for me is Belarus, who feature a bit of magic in their staging for the song Work Your Magic. Anyone who has a bit of an imagination can work out how the backing dancers jump onto a wall, essentially, but for someone like me, who watched this originally as a child, this was pretty magical. Everything about this performance was very suave, and what’s great is the simplicity of the backing screens behind the magical walls, which maintains focus on the magic. You better work that magic, Dmitry!

Best Costume

Best costume has to go to the class act of Germany, represented by the late Roger Cicero. There is nothing more suave than a bunch of men in suits, and they avoided the plainness of all wearing the same styles and colours, and they’ve diversified to be individual, but all members on stage look classy in what they’re wearing. White suits aren’t always the greatest but he pulls it off. This is an A++ from me!

Worst Costume

Admittedly, I think the fashion game is slightly improving at this point of Eurovision, after the dark ages of the earlier 2000’s. There were a few crazy costumes out of the 42 performances, but for me, the most unflattering costume goes to Moldova’s Natalia Barbu, who sported the weirdest vest, body suit, pant and veil combination I’ve ever seen. The mesh between the vest/shirt thing, and the pants, which are essentially halfway down her legs (literally, how are they staying on? Does gravity not exist in Moldova?) Like, it actually bothers me to even watch, and to continue with the pants rant, they’re like a three quarter cut, but then there’s something continuing down the leg, whether that’s shoes, socks, a continuation of the pants, I’m not sure but it’s just so weird and not ok.

Best Live Vocals

Overall there were many really great vocal performances but there’s a song that continues to stick in my head. This might be an out of nowhere kind of answer, but I really think Montenegro was really vocally impressive in the performance. This is a good category to transition to Most Underrated, as I think Montenegro sent a really catchy semi rock, semi pop number. I don’t really like the staging of the song, but what stood out to me was Stevan Faddy’s vocals throughout the entire song. Completely underrated performance with great live vocals.

Honourable mention to Latvia, who harmonise like a dream.

Most Underrated

This was honestly so difficult to choose, as for me, this year had a lot of really great songs stuck in the semi-final. It’s for this reason I’m glad this was the last year for only one semi-final, and no more previous year top 10 automatic qualifiers. So because I’m struggling so hard to choose, I’ll briefly talk about three acts which I think were incredibly underrated, amongst others. First is Iceland, who sent a really great rock style song which isn’t just a copycat of Lordi, but it’s genuinely a great song which I still listen to often even now. His vocals are great in the live performance too, and I really wish this qualified.

The other two songs come from Albania and Croatia. First, Albania, who sent Frederik Ndoci with the song Hear My Plea. This song took a really long time for me to realise the beauty in it, and I mean a REALLY long time. Watching the contest back for this very series really highlights to me how lovely this song really is, and I do think it deserved better than what it got. Lastly, Croatia, who like the other songs in this category are inspired by rock music, and similar to these songs, they all have this really great melody which sticks in your head after a while. They’re all songs that grow on you, and I think that’s what their Eurovision downfall was. Croatia’s live performance wasn’t as good as the studio version, but still worth mentioning.

Best All-Rounder

It seems sort of obvious to choose the winning song as the Best All-Rounder, but really, Serbia was the best of 2007. Everything about the song and performance was winning material. The song is a beautiful ballad, which grows over the 3 minutes, and is complemented by the staging which defines the song as a class act. There was absolutely not one foot put wrong in this performance and it totally deserved the winning title.

Best Gimmicks

2007 gave me a lot of material for best gimmicks, from Austria, to Belgium, to Belarus, to Poland, to the UK, amongst a whole bunch of others. Despite the long list, there’s only one song which can truly win this category, and that’s Ukraine. This is the mother of all gimmicks, the costumes, the character, the disco balls – this is everything Eurovision-y in one performance. The sly smack on the backside from Verka to the backing singer is a sneaky little move that I always have a little giggle at when I’m watching, but overall, this performance doesn’t need much introduction or description. You can see for yourself.

Most Cringe worthy Moment

This could be an incredibly unpopular opinion but there is one song which for me is like an assault to the senses, and just one giant cringe which is the opener of the semi-final, Bulgaria. I’m either not understanding this artistic masterpiece or really it just is so terrible I can’t handle it. It’s three minutes of really ear irritating noises, it’s almost like an entire song off key. Points for being unique but it’s just one giant No from me.

Best Hairstyle

Estonia committed a hairstyle crime, and like the song title suggests, Gerli and her hairdresser are Partners in Crime because something drastic needs to be done to fix this crime. We move away from the mullet offenders for our best hairstyle award (which if you are new to this, the category needs to be taken as wholly sarcastic), and to this strange bob hair flick out situation, which is negatively accentuated by the wind machine which pushes the flicks not only out, but up. Big voice, but terrible hair.

Bonus Category: Best Multilingual Song

There were a number of songs in 2007 which featured more than one language, including Ukraine and Israel, which featured no less than three languages, however this award clearly needs to go to Romania, who blew them all out of the water by performing in not 3, not 4 or 5 but 6 languages including English, Italian, Spanish, Russian, French and Romanian. Todomondo performed the song Liubi Liubi, I Love You, and threw a whole bunch of stereotypes on stage, but it made for great entertainment and some language education so we aren’t complaining.

Fun Facts about Eurovision 2007

  • In 2007, there was an increase of the televoting time from 10 to 15 minutes, and as such, the recap of the songs was showed twice

  • Eventual winner Serbia was also voted #1 in the Artists Awards of the Marcel Bezençon awards, and also for the official OGAE voting poll.

  • The Ukrainian entry, although reaching 2nd place, proved to be controversial as the phrase Lasha Tumbai (part of the title, Dancing Lasha Tumbai) sounded similar to ‘Russia Goodbye’, which would have been a breach of the Eurovision rules to include political content. It was claimed that Lasha Tumbai was a Mongolian phrase for ‘whipped cream’ however this was proved wrong by Mongols who pronounced the real phrase on Russian television.

Quick-fire Top 5:

Ok, well, I’m going to break my own rules here because genuinely I can’t pick 5. There are a whole bunch of songs which I’ve really enjoyed, even after all these years and they need a mention or two. So here’s my top 7 songs, in no particular order,

  • Israel

  • Iceland

  • Montenegro

  • Albania

  • Croatia

  • Serbia

  • Czech Republic

Top 3 Guilty Pleasure Songs

  • Norway

  • Austria

  • Spain