The Eurovision Song Contest 2005
The Grand Final (songs)
Songs in dark green were affected by reception errors and drop-outs.
Oh it's good to have Terry Wogan back - he opened the show with:
- The contest this year comes from Kiev - a name cursed by chickens the world over.
The Ukraine is a country lurking between Poland and Russia. Its southern border is on the Black Sea. If you are the sort that wants to know major rivers and exports, go ask Google...
The capital is Kiev, which is now "officially" spelt "Kyiv" - to be pronounced how, exactly? K'yivv?
They use Cyrillic in The Ukraine, don't they?
Kiev, the way we westerners say it ("key-evv") would be something like КИЭВ.
Kyiv, the way it looks, might be КЙЫВ, though it appears that Cyrillic does not have either a 'Y' or 'V'!
(there are У, Ц, and Ч which are sort-of Y-like but represent 'oo', 'ts', and 'ch' - it is phonetic)
The show opens with Ruslana and a very glitzy performance of something inspired by "Wild Dances" - though perhaps giving her a flame thrower was pushing the Xena angle a bit too hard! You can tell she works out!
The same two hosts, I'll carry on refering to them as Masha (Mariya) and Pasha (Pavlo) as it is quicker to type. Pasha looked much the same, like a penguin. Masha wore a rather fetching lilac number, and her interesting intonation of the English language was present and, as always, her habit of speaking loudly...
Digital viewers could press the 'red' button on their remote control for sing-along lyrics; which answers a question I raised in the semi-final re. hard of hearing viewers. The lyrics of English songs were provided, and for non-English songs a literal translation was provided.
1 Hungary "Forogj Világ" ("Spin The World")
Performed by Nox
We open with the riverdancing routine, and go into a song with lots of na-na-na bits. The song didn't impress me so much, but they deserve a reasonable ranking for the dance routine.
2 United Kingdom "Touch My Fire"
Performed by Javine
Well, an energetic performance, but - well - it hasn't impressed me so much. I'm sure you know about my thoughts regarding this being on TOTP, so I won't waste your time with it here...
3 Malta "Angel"
Performed by Chiara
A large lady with a powerful voice singing a powerful song. For some reason (<grin>) I was half expecting an improvised duet with Roma Downey. I quite liked this song actually.
4 Romania "Let Me Try"
Performed by Luminita Anghel & Sistem
Oh dear. It is the angle-grinder nonsense. The weird sort of technoweirdness that can only be inspired from a diet of Aussie kiddie soaps such as "The Tribe".
5 Norway "In My Dreams"
Performed by Wig Wam
Ageing glam rockers (called "Wig Wam", believe it or not), only this time they're on overload (or overdose?). Will they win? Possibly not, but they'll do well.
For those who missed the contest, imagine "The Darkness" as they'd have been had they been had they been around in the eighties. These guys all had their knobs turned up to 11 for that 'one extra', and yes - you can Bring Your Own Subtext if you like.
6 Turkey "Rimi Rimi Ley"
Performed by Gulseren & Shaman
You can definitely tell the eastern influence in this song from Turkey. Actually, about as far east as one of those Indian songs - with numerous percussion instruments. Okay...
7 Moldova "Boonika Bate Doba" ("Grandmother beats the drum")
Performed by Zoob Si Zoub
This is just so totally weird. A rock number that reminds me of "The Offspring" climaxing with the grannie of the title and a big-ass drum. I have a disturbing feeling this'll probably go and win...
And the lead singer finishes by shouting out "Let's make luuuuuve!" - not with granny, I hope!
8 Albania "Neser Shkoj" ("Tomorrow I Go")
Performed by Leoina Celo
Red and white dressed backing dancers with violins, and the lead singer in a red and white dress that seemed to be missing half. Lots of dancing around a drum. How unfortunate to be following the drum-granny, who did it with more style. Not that this song has so much to set it apart from the others.
9 Cyprus "Ela Ela" ("Come Baby")
Performed by Constantinos Christoforou
Girls with very short silver dresses and dancing with poles. You can just tell that Constantinos (the lead singer) has a 'stage presence'...
10 Spain "Brujeria" ("Witchcraft")
Performed by Son De Sol
Well, dress these girls in black slinky dresses and it'd be Las Ketchup all over again... Well, that was until the homeys from Spaz Alley turned up. There is just something Andalucían about this - can't you imagine a bunch of pissed, over-cooked Brits waving their arms up and down the Costas and mouthing gibberish in an attempt to pretend like they know what the words are, and that they could sing that fast anyway after a dozen Bacardis?
I wonder if this is a less-than-subtle reference to the Ketchup song; if you remember it begins Some call it brujeria...?
11 Israel "Hasheket Shenish'Ar" ("The Silence That Remains")
Performed by Shiri Maimon
Terry said this was the best song from Israel for ages, and I'm inclined to agree. It is a loss-of-love song, about being alive in the silence that remains. Nice rhythm, and the vocals are good too. The lead singer is possibly the best dressed so far.
12 Serbia and Montenegro "Zauvijek Moja"
Performed by No Name
At sunset seems to be when my Digibox loses signal. I'm not entirely certain why as it doesn't break up, it just vanishes completely for a minute(ish).
As for the song. Please. Another 'boy band' number. Possibly the highlight was the "air violin" - perhaps you're getting the idea that I'm not overly impressed. That'd be correct. :-)
As we're halfway through, time for a quick interval. Lots of behind the scenes footage, and then a bit of Masha and Pasha plugging the 50th anniversary book, and a brief mention of a DVD...
Apparently you could download a score card from bbc.co.uk/eurovision - what's wrong with a pencil, a big eraser, and a piece of A4? :-)
The unfortunate thing about being a TV presenter is that you are always going to get some dummy with way too much free time examining things in detail. And, well, a whole battery of cameras are recording your every move.
Take this for example. It might be a really very interesting book. Now look at Pasha's eyes. Is he looking at the book or at something a little more intimate?
13 Denmark "Talking to you"
Performed by Jacob Sveistrup
The teacher of autistic children (funny, I thought he was in "Third Rock From The Sun") singing the lucky thirteenth entry for Denmark. He's still wearing that gross patterned pink shirt and singing with the Wham-wannabes. The song isn't bad, I just don't like his voice so much, but to his credit he is a teacher and not a professional singer - I can name 'famous' singers with worse live voices. This should top ten, though according to Terry this is not a ranking song, at 33-1 odds. Our teacher, in the Danish internal vote, beat the song submitted by The Olsen Brothers ("Fly On The Wings Of Love", 2000) which is, like, totally unheard of!
14 Sweden "Las Vegas"
Performed by Martin Stenmarck
Morten Harket crossed with The Fonz singing about Las Vegas. As he says "dancing girls and cabarets", four girls appeared on stage. I very nearly choked on my beer, I found it really funny that they could only muster up FOUR girls...
The song? Well, I found watching the cute foursome in the background to be better than paying too much attention to the song - though the fluorescent mic stand was a welcome bit of razzmatazz.
15 F.Y.R. Macedonia "Make My Day"
Performed by Martin
More girls with extremely short dresses (and white panties) - maybe they did a 50th anniversary programme in some countries and everybody got their fashion tips from Gina G's entry back in... when was it, 1998? You'll notice I'm not talking about the song. Let's just say it doesn't improve with a second listening, though somebody enjoys it as this nonsense beat the likes of Ireland in the semis. Give the lead bloke credit for charisma, but knock off some for his lack of dress sense and more for a rubbish song.
16 The Ukraine "Razom Nas Bahato" ("All together we're one, all together we're strong")
Performed by Greenjolly
This is a 'sexed up' version of the song that liberated The Ukraine six months ago. I was thinking that the song reminded me of some of the sountracks to "The Young Ones", and I could have sworn I saw Rik Mayall in handcuffs in the background... I hope when they chanted this in the streets of Kiev, they did better than this!
17 Germany "Run & Hide"
Performed by Gracia
Called 'Run and Hieieieieieieieieieieieieide!' apparently. :-)
Yup - more reception hiccups. I guess I should go out and realign my dish to German telly on analogue, but... It's a shame they don't repeat the songs and the final vote (at least) late-late-night on BBC THREE.
I hope this wasn't a good song as I missed it. For some reason, as reception returned my box decided to go "Searching for listings" and took its merry time about it (perhaps this is part of the bug fix for the older receivers that tended to 'lose' channels - you can read more about the Sky Digibox here).
From the recap at the end, I can tell you this is Gracia. Wasn't she one of the people from "Deutschland Sucht Den Superstar"?
Added later: Terry commented at the end "Wasn't that awful, everybody?" and I'm inclined to agree with him. A loud rock number from Germany with a girl dressed in a leather jacket (and not much else) who sang loudly but - sadly for us listeners - without an awful lot of control of her voice, so the run and hieieieide bits were strange and offputting. The performance was okay, the song was okay, the vocals were, as Terry said, 'awful'. Sorry Gracia, but...
18 Croatia "Vukovi Umiru Sami" ("Wolves Die Alone")
Performed by Boris Novković feat. Lado Members
A man wearing a black suit, three girls in white, a bagpipe player, and a crazed bald drummer. They gave it a good effort, but - well - I don't think there was anything special about it.
19 Greece "My Number One"
Performed by Helena Paparizou
This song, sung by a "J-Lo"-alike (from a distance, at least), is apparently the bookie's favourite. An energetic dance routine, and lyrics that are a bit bizarre in a SAGAPO kind of way...
They did a bit of riverdance in the middle of the song, and Terry obviously had to pass comment. Terry, could you NOT speak over the song? Some of us viewers have brains and not only noticed, but were waiting for you to cut in with a comment. Just wait Terry, we do have memories - all the dumb bastards in the country will be watching ITV or Sky instead (depending on their lack of intelligence).
20 Russia "Nobody Hurt No One"
Performed by Nataliya Podolskaya
Well, Nataliya is kinda cute in a waify rock chick kind of way. I won't say who she reminds me of as 99.9% of you will say "Who?" - a little-known French nénette that sings weird songs.
Talking of weird songs - this song is better if you get swept away by the rhythm and Nataliya giving it her all - don't stop to figure out the words (or even what Nataliya thinks the words are!).
The bookies rate this 50-1.
21 Bosnia & Herzegovina "Zovi" ("Call Me")
Performed by Feminnem
Three bouncy blondes that look like a cross between "Abba" and "Sex And The City" extras do an uplifting poppy number as an homage to the spirit of the 50th Eurovision. It scores high on the kitsch meter but it's great fun. Let's see this one win!
Added later: Terry Wogan said, at the end "You pink pussycats"! Bring your own subtext, guys!
Upon watching later I noticed the following right as the song ended. Now tell me her expression isn't a lovely example of "Oh my God, that really just happened!"?
22 Switzerland "Cool Vibes"
Performed by Vanilla Ninja
Okay, it is night time. I know you get funny around sunset, little Digibox, but can we NOT have this? The sun HAS set.
Sadly, this song was missed. Even sadder, it was "Vanilla Ninja"... :-(
23 Latvia "The War Is Not Over"
Performed by Walters and Kazha
The twosome-next-door and their song with the signed chorus and an easy-listening pace. This is not a bad song, so I'd place it up in the top ten. Actually, possibly top five.
24 France "Chacun Pense À Soi" ("Everybody Thinks About Themselves")
Performed by Ortal
If Javine's entry had an Arabic vibe, this one increases it tenfold. While not to 'diss' the country in which I'm living, this song wasn't exactly memorable - Terry said the bookies gave it 80:1. Bring back Sandrine Françoise, please...
Continue onto the intermission and final vote...
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Copyright © 2005 Rick Murray
Images copyright © 2005 EBU-UER
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