The Eurovision Song Contest 2005


This is actually quite a hard thing to write. I like to think that I am still 'young', but do I really know what sort of music a youngster would like? All I know of is the sort of manufactured trash that turns up on chart show programmes aimed at kids - so if an eight-year-old could write a song, what would she write about?


And so we go to Belgium in the Autumn of 2005 for the third junior Eurovision. As far as I can tell, the set-up is much the same as its big sister, except:


The venue was a vast auditorium in Belgium, housing a few thousand screaming children. I'd bet this event was the subject of many nightmares and Prozac prescriptions for parents and teachers alike!

The auditorium.
Spain won last year. I don't know if they decided not to host it, or if Belgium was chosen for its more central location in Europe. It was an odd mix of countries taking part. Former Russia and former Yugoslavia was well represented. Sweden came too. But there was nothing from France, Germany, or Ireland - which surprised me. Perhaps these countries had been eliminated in a non-televised semi-final?

Our presenters names are not known. The version shown on ITV1 was clipped for time so much of the unnecessary stuff (like the interval act!) was chopped out. Apparently the live broadcast was the previous night on ITV2, but... Anyway, these pictures come courtesy of a friend who recorded it to DVD. The pictures here are from said DVD...

The hosts of the show. Like the programme itself, they were loud and a little bit zany.

Check out that hair!



The Songs

If you see comments regarding the missing captions, this is because either the Belgian broadcaster or ITV failed to caption songs 1, 7, and 14. Who knows why! Anyway, titles and some translations have been added later on. While the 'thoughts' are 'as-live', the document has evolved slightly over time. Ideas? Stuff I've missed? Contribute! Just email me...

Songs marked with a smiley face () are still in the collection on my MP3-stick (recorded from broadcast) in March 2006, so it is probably safe to say I like the song!


1 Greece "Tora Ine I Seria Mas" (It's our turn now) ☺

Performed by Kali and Andross

With a whole orange and black theme, this pair and their dancers certainly got things off to a good start. A nice song!

For interests sake (re. the Russian entry), can anybody provide this title written in the Greek alphabet?



2 Denmark "Shake-shake-shake"

Performed by Nicolai

What a contrast from the first entry! With an annoying voice and a song that is leaning more to the 'rap' style, this should be destined to go nowhere special...
I'm not certain about the backing dancers - the small brunette on the right was good (her in the picture on the left) - but the tall one seemed to be out of sync, not to mention a lot bigger than everybody else which looked weird (picture on the right).
Did you notice the change of clothing in the middle? A Eurovision contest wouldn't be a Eurovision contest if somebody didn't do this!



3 Croatia "Rock baby"

Performed by Lorena

This ten-year-old has an individual style (you can see from the pictures!), a powerful voice, and - with a bit of practice - a much bigger stage presence. As it is, she performed her song alone with aplomb and endless enthusiasm. Didn't understand a word of it, but it deserves to do well.
And... why on earth does she remind me of Rikki Lake?!?!



4 Romania "Tzooray"

Performed by Alina Eremia (that's eh-reh-mee-ah)

I guess this is what happens if you consume too many E-numbers! :-) Interesting costumes, loads of hyperactivity, and a good performance from Alina... but - sorry - it didn't make a lasting impression on me.



5 United Kingdom "How does it feel" ☺

Performed by Joni Fuller

Although we are only five songs in, I feel that this is going to be the disappointment of the evening. The song was beautiful, meaningful, and set to simple yet effective music on piano and violin.
The problem? Joni's performance. She has a powerful voice, leaning to the lower notes - which meant she was unable to hit pretty much every high note in the song. I find this slightly bizarre as the contestants themselves are supposed to write the songs so why wasn't that brought down an octave? A definite missed opportunity.
I had previously written:
It is a shame that the big-eyed brunette wasn't introduced, her piano playing pretty much was the performance.
However I have been contacted by somebody 'behind the scenes' who informed me that the big-eyed brunette (who is called Talia!) was miming at playing the piano (apparently children miming their instruments is quite common...) and that it was actually a recording of Joni playing. So, there, we all can consider ourselves corrected. ☺

On the subject of Joni's performance, I was contacted by somebody who had this to say:
Dear Rick, I had the good fortune to see Joni Fuller perform at the LTU Stadium, Dusseldorf at the back end of last year. She opened a Phil Collins concert and was magnificant. What a voice. She performed in front of 50,000 people and had an amazing ovation. I'm adamant that all those folks who downed her at the Eurovision will one day eat their words. I saw her on TV on Christmas Day in Switzerland singing a couple of her songs, accompanying herself (Elton John style) on piano, and can't wait for her first CD to come out.
The songs are haunting and leave you wanting more.
I have also learnt that the poor girl had a bad throat infection during Euro week, and had to have steriods to get her voice back for the few minutes performance, no wonder she looked nervous!
I think that you write well, and obviously didn't know what happened to that child at Euro, but please look out for her in the future, she is performing regularly in Europe. You will not be disappointed.

In a later message the correspondent said that Joni had the option to pull out, but didn't want to let everybody down.
Joni was, as they say, stuck between a rock and a hard place...



6 Sweden "Gränslös kärlek" (Losing love's limit ?)

Performed by M+

Shades of Daphne & Celeste crossed with Salt'n'Peppa (oh, imagine!).
This was another one of those songs that came, did something, and went quietly into the dark night...

I translated this myself using a Swedish dictionary, and the closest I have come to 'knowing' Swedish is a print-out of Carola's lyrics from 1992... so take the translation with a pinch of salt! It is probably way too literal!
   gräns - (cg) border, boundary, frontier, limit; lös - (adj.) lose; kärlek - (cg) love
   ('cg' = common gender (find a Swedish person, 'cos I've no idea what that means!))



7 Russia "Дорога к солнцу" (Doroga K Solntsu)

Performed by Vlad Krutskih

One of the better vocal performers so far, this boy was singing a song that sounded like the sort of summer hit that you'd have expected mid-eighties.

As for a rough transliteration of the title, I made it something like "Doroga ye sopitsu" - which is part guesswork as my Russian alphabet document does not have lower case letters. Moray, on the other hand, made it "Korona Ee Lopisou" with about 60% guesswork. As you can see from the title, we were both about half-correct. :-)
As it happens, we don't know what 'Дорога к солнцу' means anyway - can you help?



8 F.Y.R. Macedonia "Rodendenski baknez"

Performed by Denis Dimoski

You look at it and think "Oh goodness, look at how they are dressed!". The first few lines don't impress, but this is a sneaky song - it builds up tactfully and before you know it, you realise you like it!



We're at the halfway mark, so I'll give my top five as:

  1. Greece (the orange and black ensemble)
  2. Croatia (the rocking baby)
  3. FYR Macedonia (the sneaky song)
  4. Russia (well sung)
  5. Romania (with legally permitted additives)



9 The Netherlands "Stupid" ☺

Performed by Tess


Uh-oh, Greece is in trouble! This song opened nicely and kept on going right to the end with a great perforance by Tess. Insert this at my #1 position...
Though, I'm not quite sure why Tess and her dancers look like they're wearing wellies! We've only had 33% of our expected winter rainful, maybe it has all fallen on the Netherlands?
I happen to have met a Dutch man and his daughter at my French group (hello Erik, hello Alisia!), and so I took the opportunity to ask for a translation as Dutch isn't a language I know.
Here it is:

I have something in my stomach (when you are in love)
What can I do? I ask him the question
I see him walking, I turn around
I know it is certain, he thinks I'm crazy
How do I know? Who can help me?
Who is my best friend?
I need to know I can do it alone
I become stupid when he sees me
When we go play sports I walk with the ball
When he walks beside me, I fake the fall
He saw nothing, he didn't even look back
I know it is certain, he thinks I'm crazy
  It happens to me every time, it always hurts
I never ask him "would you like to see me?"
I can't do that, so I am always alone.
How do I know? Who can help me?
Who is my best friend?
I need to know I can do it alone
I become stupid when he sees me
How do I know? Who can help me?
Who is my best friend?
I need to know I can do it alone
I become stupid when he sees me



10 Serbia & Montenegro "Ljubav pa fudbal"

Performed by Filip Vučić

Good stage presence, not a bad performance of a song containing far too many "naa"s, but deduct infinity points because it was a song about loving football.
The improvisation at the end was amusing.



11 Latvia "Es esmu maza, jauka meitene"

Performed by Kids 4 Rock

Two girls, two boys. It opened well as a soft-rock number; then I had a bit of trouble figuring out if there was a problem with the girl on lead vocals, or if the song paid more attention to the music than to the lyrics.
I think, though, in a few years that could easily rival the likes of Vanilla Ninja. They already have the back-to-back guitar playing routine sussed, as well as the obligatory cloth hanging from the mic stand.



12 Belgium "Mes rêves" (My dreams)

Performed by Lindsay

With an amazing performance by her backing dancers, Lindsay and her hair (I'm sure it wants to be Mylène Farmer when it grows up!) really needed a bit more amplification and also to sing more clearly - I don't know if Belgian French is that different to French French, but I had a heck of a time trying to follow the song.



13 Malta "Make It Right!"

Performed by Thea & Friends

The message is not a bad one, but is it ever really received by those who can make it right? Asides from that, there was nothing particularly outstanding about this song.



14 Norway "Sommer Og Skolegfri" (out of school for summer ?) ☺

Performed by Malin

The Brady bunch and an ankle-biter with loads of personality singing a song that sounds like something right out of "Sesame Street". Malin has a good voice (especially for someone so young) so I expect to hear about her in the future...

The translation of the title may not be correct - I looked up the words in a Swedish dictionary, relying on similarities in the languages (like Spanish vs Italian)...



15 Spain "Te traigo flores" (You bring flowers)

Performed by Antonio José

If I was to guess, I'd suggest José is from the south of the country as the Arabian influence is quite strong in this song, what with the vocal warbling and all. Not my thing...



16 Belarus "My vmeste"

Performed by Kseniya Sitnik

I didn't go much on Kseniya's voice, but give her a billion points for going out on a stage wearing....that. Ah, to be young and clueless. :-)



So that's it. Time to list my favourite five, so here they are...

  1. Netherlands ("Stupid" by wellie-wearing Tess)
  2. Greece (come on Carla-een)
  3. Norway (can you tell me how to get, how to get to.....)
  4. Croatia (come baby, come baby, rock my world)
  5. Belgium (total eye-candy, but why not?)


The three songs I liked the least, in no specific order, were:

and, sadly:


For reading out the United Kingdom's voting, we were saved from Lorraine Kelly, and instead had Vicky, who was one of the contestants in the national finals...

And note also the BBC logo is nowhere in evidence. They don't seem to be interested in this spin-off of the main competition; so ITV has been doing it.
For those reading overseas, that's the UK's two main broadcasters. The lot are: Well, that's your tiny crash-course on UK broadcasters!


If it was up to me, Tess from The Netherlands would win. But, it isn't up to me. Here's how the scoring went:

Belarus       149      (perhaps it was points-for-costume? :-) )
Spain         146      (go figure...)
Norway        123      (woo-hoo, a good score for Malin, well deserved)
Denmark       121      (better than I expected...)
Romania        89      (mmm, Alina Eremia in the top five, not bad)
Greece         88      (should have scored higher!)
Netherlands    82      (ditto the previous comment, twice for emphasis)
FYR Macedonia  68      (about what I expected...)

Russia         66
Belgium        63
Latvia         50
Croatia        36      (her performance deserved better)
Serbia & Mont. 29
United Kingdom 28      (sadly...but at least not last)
Sweden         22      (come on, they weren't THAT bad!)
Malta          18
Well... I got Norway in the right place. We'll have to agree to disagree about the rest!



Which means, not only did that poor sod have to go out dressed like who-knows-what, she had to sing her song again too! Still, she looked happy...





Some corrections, 2nd part scores, and song titles posted to me by Eurovision-regular Moray. He listed his top five as:
  1. The Netherlands
  2. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  3. Romania
  4. Belgium
  5. Latvia
At least we agree on something! :-)

It is interesting listening to the competition again and noting that it seems the elder ones who suffered from nerves - look at Joni's eyes and tell me she isn't high or scared. Moray said, of Latvia, "In the national final performance, she was really good, and had excellent charisma.". Another one to put down to nerves. Meanwhile the younger ones (Malin, Lindsay, Kseniya) didn't appear to have problems with that.



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Carry on to JESC 2006 ! !

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Copyright © 2005-2008 Rick Murray
Images copyright © 2005 EBU-UER
Recorded to DVD-R from ITV