Sam’s Unranked Rankings, 2011!

Ok, I fold.  Some of my readers (I’m looking at you, Jack!) have been asking me for my personal ranking of this year’s Eurovision songs.  Out of all of the articles I’ve written, this might be the toughest!  I’ve been putting it off, hemming and hawing about how to organize my thoughts.  It’s really quite difficult to chew up and spit out 43 songs from 43 nations, stretching from Iceland to Azerbaijan to Malta and back again.  Complicating the venture even further is the knowledge that my opinions change as often as the weather (and in a Minnesota spring, that says quite a lot!); I can barely pick out an area rug for my apartment without second-guessing myself eleven thousand times.

So, in order to make my “ranking” somewhat easier (as well as to cover my ass when I invariably change my mind), I’ve decided to break the songs down into groups.  With the songs in my “favorite” group, my absolute favorite can morph and change with my mood: if I’m feeling wistful and philosophical, it’s Dino.  If I’m channeling my inner dramatic diva, I reach for Aurela.  When I’m craving a night out at my favorite wine bar, curling up with a taste of Pinot Noir, I’ll queue up a little Gualazzi.  And for those time when I want a full-on, hands-in-the-air, sing-into-my-hairbrush dance-fest, I turn on “What About My Dreams?” (and I hope nobody’s watching!).  As an officially accredited journalist for this year’s Eurovision, I know that I’m going to have to choose a favorite when I eventually give my nomination for a Marcel Bezençon Press Award.  I might just have to wait and see how the rehearsals hit me…

Anyway, after the jump, I’ll give you my own personal ranking/groupings, as of the night of Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011!  (Ask me again on April 22nd, and you might see a completely different list…)

And remember…all songs are available here: Eurovision Song Contest – Düsseldorf 2011 Preview Player
Love It!!!  (These songs are the ones that struck me immediately, and have continued to impress me the more I listen to them.  The fact that some of them have either survived a translation unscathed or were even enhanced by the change impresses me even further.  Hearing these songs played four times in a row wouldn’t phase me in the slightest.  Furthermore, these songs have inspired me to investigate these artists’ earlier work, as I’ve done with Tose Proeski, Mor ve Ötesi, Ani Lorak, and Malcolm Lincoln.):
Albania: Aurela Gaçe – “Feel the Passion”
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Dino Merlin – “Love In Rewind”
Hungary: Kati Wolf – “What About My Dreams?”
Italy: Raphael Gualazzi – “Madness of Love”
The Netherlands: 3Js – “Never Alone”
United Kingdom: Blue – “I Can”

Really Like It! (These songs hit my eardrum really well, but not quite as well as the tunes listed above.  I’ll listen to them happily, but maybe just once at a time…):
Bulgaria: Poli Genova – “Na Inat”
France: Amaury Vassili – “Sognu”
Georgia: Eldrine – “One More Day”
Germany: Lena – “Taken By a Stranger”
Iceland: Sigurjón’s Friends – “Coming Home” (This one happens to be my Mom’s favorite!)
Moldova: Zdob şi Zdub – “So Lucky”
Poland: Magdalena Tul – “Jestem”
Serbia: Nina – “Čaroban”
Slovenia: Maja Keuc – “Vaniljia” (The English version hasn’t been released yet, so I’m judging this by the original Slovenian.)

Not Bad! (These songs are either enjoyable, but not as memorable OR they’re the songs that I hate to admit that are growing on me.):
Azerbaijan: Ell and Nikki – “Running Scared”
Belgium: Witloof Bay – “With Love Baby”
Cyprus: Christos Mylordos – “San Aggelos S’Agapisa”
Denmark: A Friend in London – “New Tomorrow”
Estonia: Getter Jaani – “Rockefeller Street”
Ireland: Jedward – “Lipstick” (It’s a total guilty pleasure…like eating a big plate of cheese fries.  I really enjoy it when I’m in the moment, but I feel somewhat guilty about it afterwards!)
Portugal: Homens da Luta – “A Luta É Alegria”
Spain: Lucía Pérez – “Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao”
Switzerland: Anna Rossinelli – “In Love for a While”
Turkey: Yüksek Sadakat – “Live it Up”

So-So (I don’t actively dislike these songs, but they leave me feeling somewhat unenthusiastic.)
Austria: Nadine Beiler – “The Secret is Love”
Finland: Paradise Oskar – “Da Da Dam”
Greece: Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike – “Watch My Dance”
Israel: Dana International – “Ding Dong”
Latvia: Musiqq – “Angel in Disguise”
Malta: Glen Vella – “One Life”
Norway: Stella Mwangi – “Haba Haba”
Romania: Hotel FM – “Change”
San Marino: Senit – “Stand By”
Slovakia: TWiiNS – “I’m Still Alive”
Ukraine: Mika Newton – “Angels”

Not For Me (I dislike these songs, but I don’t find them ear-rippingly terrible.):
Croatia: Daria Kinzer – “Celebrate”
Russia: Alexey Vorobyov – “Get You”
Sweden: Eric Saade – “Popular”

Umm…No.  (Need I Say More?):
Armenia: Emmy – “Boom Boom”
Belarus: Anastasia Vinnikova – “I Love Belarus”
Lithuania: Evelina Sašenko – “C’est Ma Vie”
(FYR) Macedonia: Vlatko Ilievski – “Rusinka”

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Posted on March 23, '11, in 2011, Personal, Special Comment. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Thanks for mentioning my favorite. Mom

  2. Hi SamI have become sort of a regular here because I love reading your opinion on the songs. :)Toggie

  3. Thanks, Toggie!! So happy to see you here! 😀

  4. Yay! lol Thank you for posting this! ^_^ I'm surprised how well you rated the songs and it definitely gives your readers insight into what type of music you like. Since you posted your favorites, I'll post my tops (in no particular order) Although, my #1 song is Estonia, no doubt.Love it:- Estonia: Getter Jaani – "Rockefeller Street"- Denmark: A Friend in London – "New Tomorrow" – Germany: Lena – "Taken By a Stranger" (I don't know why I like this one. I HATED her song last year and I couldn't believe it won and I despised her from then on, but, when I heard this song, at first I disliked it because it was lena but then I gave her a chance and now I just love it. lol)- Azerbaijan: Ell and Nikki – "Running Scared"- Albania: Aurela Gaçe – "Feel the Passion" – Finland: Paradise Oskar – "Da Da Dam"It's funny because when they were first revealed, I loved Belarus and I really liked Armenia (just because it was so catchy). I still like Belarus but I don't like it as much as I did. Armenia is just fun.

  5. I know that with time, even the songs that I really dislike will lose their edge for me. This time last year, if you had asked me my opinion on "Sha-La-Lie (Ik Ben Verlieft)", I might have clawed my eyes out. But when I hear it now, I invariably find myself smiling and bobbing my head! I can only guess that by May 2012, I'll be dancing around to "Boom Boom" and "I Love Belarus"…but for now, not so much.

  6. About Ireland: I know what you mean. It's kind of like masturbation.

  7. You said it, not me! 😉

  8. Do you plan on voting while in Düsseldorf, Sam?AI love: Our semi-final openers!BThese entries look and sound wonderful or at least like valiant efforts: Slovenia, France, Lithuania, Norway, Hungary, IcelandCQuite decent entries are: Spain, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Ukraine, Estonia, FinlandDThere is no use in working up too much excitement over: Latvia, Armenia, Switzerland, Malta, San Marino, Croatia, Denmark, the Netherlands.EI can hardly even abide: Austria, Ireland, Russia.FThese entries must be out to offend me: Fyrom, Belarus.GEntries that do not fit neatly into the above groups and are therefore hybrids: Serbia (A+B), Israel (B+C), Moldova (C+D), Portugal (B+D), Italy (B+C), United Kingdom (B+D), Bulgaria (C+D), Cyprus (B+C), Slovakia (B+D)Whatevs; I can finish this later, since this was quite hard to start. I will just post what I have, then when I continue, I can copy and paste all this into my new draft, and you can delete the old one!-Finland

  9. Stefanos, it all depends on my phone situation in Germany. It looks like I might not be able to use my American phone abroad (I can't just switch a Sim Card), so if I go out there and get a prepaid cell phone for my two weeks in Germany, I might be able to send my first official ESC votes (of course, I wouldn't be able to vote for Lena if I wanted to, though…). We'll see what happens when I get to Düsseldorf next month. 😀

  10. Lol Samantha, if you do vote, you'll be represented as being German. Lol Since you will be in the German vote. 😛 How does that make you feel? (lol just kidding). After this, when I watch Eurovision this May and the german votes come up, I'm going to be thinking of your votes. lol Have you already got all the tickets and everything? What about to the actual event?

  11. My favorites: 1. Moldova (HA!) 2. With Love (SO TERRIBLY BAD SO TERRIBLY TERRIBLY BAD)3. Boom Boom (JUST AS BAD BUT INSTEAD OF HOMELY LOOKING PEOPLE THERE IS A CRAZY CHICK)4. The Portuguese one (WE HATE GERMANY! WE HATE GERMANY! SUCK IT EU! YES!)5. Greece (AWFUL! LIMP BIZKIT AND LINKIN PARK NEED TO DIE. DIE FOREVER!)6. Malta (GAYS <3<3<3)7. Jedward (HA! AGAIN)8. Macedonia (WHAT AN ANGELIC VOICE. SOUNDS LIKE HE'S ON THE TOILET. MORE MUSICA LIKE THIS PLEASE!)9. I Love Belarus (Dictatorship forever! ❤ <3)10. Austria (Bad Whitney Houston clone <3)Italy and Serbia (and Moldova) are actually not bad songs. The rest are pretty horrific.

  12. So, I finally listened to more of the music fro Eurovision…I totally agree with you Sam on Dino, wow wow wow that song is amazing!! I listened to it about four times in a row. New favorite song (though Albania is still a close second). Also totally agree with you on the Netherlands, great song! Hungary, its a really good example of the style, but I just can't ever get into those type of straight dance pop without a bit of electronic or darker edge…Also listened to Turkey, it was just not very good… it was supposed to be rock, but there was a severe lack of any rocking. After their two other rock entries, really disappointing.

  13. I'm with you re: Turkey, Kate…you know my love affair with Turkish rock music, but this song was a bit of a letdown for me. They've got other great songs (I like "Ben Seni Arayamam", for example), but this was just…"womp womp".

  1. Pingback: Sam’s Unranked Rankings, 2012! « The ESC Insider

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