The Best of the 2010 Preselection (Part Two)
Continuing on where I left off…
From Russia: “Senza Respiro (Without Rest)” by Antonello Carozza
Remember what I had said earlier about Eurovision fans practically begging Italy to come back into the fray? Well, every once in a while it seems that an Italian artist will take the initiative and apply for another nation’s Preselection (or, alternately, a country will sing in an entry in Italian, even if there’s no real reason to. I’m looking at you, Romania!). This happened in Russia this year, with singer Antonello Carozza (who I really can’t find much more information on, other than a 2006 San Remo Festival performance) coming in a respectable 8th place with his fun, bouncy, sexy, half-spoken, half-sung pop number about the fickle nature of fame and celebrity. Can you imagine if this song had made it to Oslo? Between the catchy song, cute singer, the former-Soviet Bloc voting that somehow propelled “Lost and Forgotten” into 10th place in this year’s Final (yeesh…), and the desire to see Italy return to Eurovision…we could have had a major ESC hit on our hands with this one.
From Finland: “Annankadun Kulmassa (On the Corner of Anna Street)” by Heli Kajo
Ok…if the French film character Amelie were a jilted lover in Helsinki, I imagine she’d be a lot like the impossibly cute Heli Kajo. The first line of the song translates to “Why do you pass out alone, on Sunday nights, pants down, on the corner of Anna Street?” Her pain and anger, blended with the innocent sweetness of the song as a whole, gives this fantastic contrast that I know I had to listen to a few times. By the time the tune builds to its understated climax, translated to “Why do you only say ‘I love you’ after a double whiskey?”, you just want to give Heli a hug and tell her to kick her boyfriend’s worthless ass to the curb. “Annankadun Kulmassa” came in 6th place in this year’s Finnish preselection.
From Israel…the entire Kdam!
We all know how much I raved about Harel Skaat’s “Milim (Words)” this year, and how I think he was basically robbed (although winning all three of the Marcel Bezençon Awards mitigates the blow a bit). In the Israeli preselection (or Kdam) this year, there were three other songs that could have easily gone to Oslo. The four tunes presented were all crafted for Harel, and there really wasn’t a bad one in the bunch. I think I’ve already mentioned the gorgeous “Le’an (Away)” and its incredible final high note, but the ballad “Le’hitkarev (Closer)” and the more uptempo “Elayich (Towards You)” were also fantastic songs that really highlighted Harel’s range and showmanship. Israel really has a tough act to follow for the 2011 event; they set the bar incredibly high with this past year’s Kdam.
From Sweden: “Kom (Come)” by Timoteij
As I’ve mentioned before, bits and pieces of a previous year’s winner often come through in the entries vying for the next year’s Eurovision crown. In the case of Alexander Rybak, we were given a string-heavy, yet upbeat number that balanced folk and pop. One of the best examples of that in this year’s Swedish Melodifestivalen was Timoteij’s “Kom”.
This fun, summery pop number only came in 5th place in this year’s Melodifestivalen, but it was selected as the Swedish representative for the OGAE Second Chance Contest, where ESC fans from all over the world select their favorite “also-rans”. “Kom” won by a pretty heavy margin. Considering that Sweden didn’t make it to the Eurovision Finals this year for the first time since 1976, should Timoteij have represented them, instead?
What were some of your other favorite preselection entries? Let me know what you think!