Eurovision 2011: A Trail Guide

For those readers who are either completely new to Eurovision or just picking up the 2011 trail now, it can be a bit overwhelming to pick through 43 countries’ songs without a bit of guidance.  To help with the journey, I’m taking the liberty of breaking up the songs into loose categories and themes.  Some songs might fall into more than one category (and others seem to defy all logic and reason!), and some of these definitions are a bit loose and floppy, so take them with a grain of salt.  But if you’re just getting into the contest, and aren’t sure what to listen to first, here’s a quick primer on this year’s offerings (and if I’ve overlooked anything, please let me know!):
All of the songs can be heard through the Eurovision Song Contest – Düsseldorf 2011 Preview Player

Rock and Pop-Rock:
Bulgaria – Poli Genova “Na Inat”
Denmark – A Friend in London “New Tomorrow”
Georgia – Eldrine “One More Day”
Macedonia – Vlatko Ilievski “Rusinka”
Moldova – Zdob şi Zdub “So Lucky”
The Netherlands – 3Js “Never Alone”
Romania – Hotel FM “Change”
Turkey – Yüksek Sadakat “Live it Up”

Uptempo Pop/Dance:
Armenia – Emmy “Boom Boom”
Belarus – Anastasia Vinnikova “I Love Belarus”
Croatia – Daria Kinzer “Celebrate”
Estonia – Getter Jaani “Rockefeller Street”
Germany – Lena “Taken by a Stranger”
Hungary – Kati Wolf “What About My Dreams?”
Ireland – Jedward “Lipstick”
Israel – Dana International “Ding Dong”
Latvia – Musiqq “Angel in Disguise”
Malta – Glen Vella “One Life”
Norway – Stella Mwangi “Haba Haba”
Poland – Magdalena Tul “Jestem”
Russia – Alex Sparrow “Get You”
Serbia – Nina “Čaroban”
Spain – Lucía Pérez “Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao”
Sweden – Eric Saade “Popular”
United Kingdom – Blue “I Can”

Ballads/Slow Pop:
Austria – Nadine Beiler “The Secret is Love”
Azerbaijan – Ell and Nikki “Running Scared”
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Dino Merlin “Love in Rewind”
Cyprus – Christos Mylordou “San aggelos s’agapisa”
Finland – Paradise Oskar “Da Da Dam”
Iceland – Sigurjón’s Friends – “Coming Home”
Lithuania – Evelina Sašenko “C’est Ma Vie”
San Marino – Senit “Stand By”
Slovakia – TWiiNS “Still Alive”
Slovenia – Maja Keuc “Vanilija”
Switzerland – Anna Rossinelli “In Love for a While”
Ukraine – Mika Newton “Angels”

Other Genres:
Albania – Aurela Gaçe “Feel the Passion” (ethno-pop)
Belgium – Witloof Bay “With Love Baby” (acapella)
France – Amaury Vassili “Sognu” (operatic bolero)
Greece – Loukas Giourkas featuring Stereo Mike “Watch my Dance” (rap/folk fusion)
Italy – Raphael Gualazzi “Madness of Love” (jazz)
Portugal – Homens da Luta “A Luta É Alegria”(1970’s-style popular protest)

Solo Female Singers:
San Marino

Solo Male Singers:
(FYR) Macedonia

United Kingdom

Azerbaijan (male/female)
Greece (male/male)
Ireland (male/male)
Latvia (male/male)
Slovakia (female/female)

Eurovision Returnees:
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Dino Merlin (Composer, 1993, 16th place/Performer, 1999, 7th place)
Germany – Lena (2010 Winner)
Iceland – Gunnar Ólasson (2001, 22nd place)
Israel – Dana International (Performer, 1998, Winner/ Composer, 2008, 9th place)
Moldova – Zdob şi Zdub (2005, 6th place)
Slovakia – TWiiNS (backup singers for the 2008 Czech entry, 18th place in the Semifinal)

Multilingual or Not in English:
Albania (mostly English, some Albanian)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (mostly English, some Bosnian)
Bulgaria (completely Bulgarian)
Cyprus (completely Greek)
France (completely Corsican)
Greece (English verses, Greek chorus)
Hungary (mostly English, some Hungarian)
Israel (Hebrew and English)
Italy (Italian and English)
Lithuania (mostly English, a tiny bit of French)
(FYR) Macedonia (completely Macedonian, with a corrupted Russian phrase in the chorus)
Norway (mostly English, some Swahili)
Poland (completely Polish)
Portugal (completely Portuguese)
Serbia (completely Serbian)
Spain (completely Spanish)

Originally in Another Language, but will be performed (at least mostly) in English:
Albania (“Kënga Ime” to “Feel the Passion”)
Croatia (“Lahor” to “Celebrate”)
Hungary (“Szerelem, miért múlsz?” to “What About My Dreams?”)
Iceland (“Aftur Heim” to “Coming Home”)
Netherlands (“Je vecht nooit alleen” to “Never Alone”)
Slovenia (“Vanilija” to “No One”)
Ukraine (“Angely” to “Angels”)

Participants in local “Idol”, “Operation: Triumph”, “X-Factor”, or other talent shows (not counting National Finals):
Austria – Nadine Beiler (winner of “Starmania” in 2007.)
Cyprus  – Christos Mylordos (winner of “Performance” in 2010.)
Estonia – Getter Jaani (4th place in “Eesti otsib superstaari”, the local version of the “Idol” franchise.)
Greece – Loukas Giorkas (winner of the first season of Greece’s “X-Factor” in 2009.)
Hungary – Kati Wolf (6th place in “X-Faktor” 2010.)
Ireland – Jedward (6th place in the UK’s “X-Factor”, much to Simon Cowell’s chagrin.)
Italy – Raphael Gualazzi (winner of the youth division of 2011’s Sanremo Festival.)
Lithuania – Evelina Sašenko (participant in “Triumfo arka”, a Lithuanian show focused on operatic talent.)
Slovenia – Maja Keuc (runner-up from 2010’s “Slovenija ima talent [Slovenia’s Got Talent]”.)
Spain – Lucía Pérez (winner of the Galician “Canteira de Cantareiros” in 2002.)
Sweden – Eric Saade (winner of local talent show “Joker”, now called “Popkorn”.)

Performers with Theatrical Experience:
Estonia – Getter Jaani played the role of Sharpay Evans in the Estonian stage version of “High School Musical”.
Malta – Glen Vella is an alum of local productions of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Godspell”, and others.
Poland – Magdalena Tul has appeared in local productions of “Grease” and “Cats”, among others.
San Marino – Senit was in international touring productions of “Hair”, “Fame”, and “The Lion King”.

Performers over the age of 35 (according to Wikipedia):
Albania – Aurela Gaçe (36)
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Dino Merlin (48)
Hungary – Kati Wolf (36)
Israel – Dana International (39)
Netherlands – Two of the 3Js (lead singer Jan Dulles is 36 and guitarist Jaap de Witte is 56.  The third “J”, Jaap Kwakman, is only 33.)

Performers under the age of 20 (again, according to Wikipedia):
Belarus – Anastasia Vinnikova (19…turns 20 the day after the Final)
Cyprus – Christos Mylordos (19)
Estonia – Getter Jaani (18)
Germany – Lena (19)
Ireland – Jedward (19)
Slovenia – Maja Keuc (19)

Posted on March 21, '11, in 2011, Special Comment. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. and now for the favorites! ________

  2. Hi, I have just discovered your excellent blog. Very interesting and refreshing point of view from you.I will visit your blog regularly for sure !Keep on the good work !

  3. Thank you so much! 😀

  4. Hey!Actually Lena has also taken part (and won) in a talent show on German television. "Unser Song für Oslo" (our song for oslo) was the name of the show, which was only created to find an artist, who could represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009.

  5. @ JanNOT counting national Finals! Otherwise, Germany and Croatia would be included in that list. Also, Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo which Lena won was not 2009; it was 2010.-Finland

  1. Pingback: Eurovision 2012: By the Numbers « The ESC Insider

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