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Eurovision Contestants 2015: United Kingdom

United Kingdom 2015-05-22 13:47:34

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest The two members of Electro Velvet, this year's Eurovision contestant for the United Kingdom, seem like fun people. Alex Larke for instance always wears odd socks, while Bianca Nicholas can do a pretty decent impression of Christina Aguilera. None of which will help them win the contest, but hey, at least they have something else going on in their lives, be it only odd socks. A combination between 1920s jazz and modern beat, Electro Velvet's old-timey jam is called "Electro swing," a musical genre in the line of Dubstep-musette, Celtip hip hop, Lullabycore and Fusion waltz — all names we totally did not just make up. Their song "Still In Love With You" is an upbeat track reminiscent of Parov Stellar or Caravan Palace, and is full of life-saving advice like "Well, don’t get on the wrong train, Don’t fly in an old plane, Don’t go out in the pouring rain, You might get wet I’d be upset." Duh. Since its first participation in 1957, the UK has won the competition five times — most famously in 1967 with Sandie Shaw's song "Puppet on a String." So here's to hoping this year will see a "Puppet on a Swing"!   Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 7/10 Was there enough glitter? 7.25/10 Ok to quit your day job? 7/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 7.08/10

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Switzerland

Switzerland 2015-05-20 14:53:51

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest It’s her "Time to Shine," but it is her time to win? Who knows, maybe Mélanie René's last name will help her, as she shares it with the husband of Céline Dion — the last singer to win the contest for Switzerland, back in 1988. Unfortunately, since its first participation in 1956, the country has come in last position five times, and won only twice. Knowing that both winning songs were sung in French, it looks like René will have to be particularly convincing to justify her singing in English. But as she puts it in "Time to Shine," "No matter what they say I will follow my heart, I think it’s time for me to stand up and hold my ground." You go, girl. The inspiration behind the music video is definitely reminiscent of Disney's Pocahontas. René lives in the forest with her horse, and sings among the trees: her love for Mother Nature may come either from Switzerland, where she lives, or from Mauritius, where she was born. But the song doesn't have much to do with the environment: It’s a general message of hope for humanity — and, we're guessing, for the singer too, as she confessed that winning the Eurovision Song Contest was a childhood dream. Aww. Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 3/10 Was there enough glitter? 3/10 Ok to quit your day job? 2.75/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 2.91/10

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Sweden

Sweden 2015-05-20 13:56:38

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest Having won five times, Sweden is one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1974, a song about Napoleon's defeat meant victory for the first time for the Scandinavian nation. And three years ago, Loreen gave Sweden its fifth win with the song "Euphoria" — which did not exactly trigger the same euphoric career as ABBA for the singer. This year's song, "Heroes" by 28-year-old Mans Zelmerlöw, was described as a mix between Avicii and Coldplay, with hints of David Guetta. So, basically, elevator music played really loud? And lyrics like "Tell the others to go sing it like a hummingbird" and "I make worms turn into butterflies," make us wonder whether little Mans was paying any attention at all during biology class. Or maybe he's just trying to be funny: When asked if he had a lucky routine before going on stage, Zelmerlöw replied, "Actually no, except from checking that my zipper's closed." Is it all a joke to you, Mans? IS IT? You can listen to the song below, but don't bother watching the video. It's one big blur that probably cost nothing to film. Come on, Sweden, we're all in this together. It's like you're not even trying. Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 0.25/10 Was there enough glitter? 3.75/10 Ok to quit your day job? 2.5/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 2.17/10

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Spain

Spain 2015-05-19 14:49:27

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest Spain's contestant this year, 29-year-old Edurne, said that taking part in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest was the most important project of her career — and honestly, we don't know whether that makes us happy or sad for her. The lyrics (in Spanish, bonus points) to her song "Amanecer" are about that emotional instant before the dawn: They tell the painful story of a lost love, the quest to retrieve joy and see the sunrise again, and all that jazz. But mostly: "EEEieEEOOOOOOOO." Edurne's video is mesmerizing. It was clearly shot by someone was had seen way too many Zack Snyder movies (*cough cough* 300, anyone? *cough cough*). It features a leather-clad Tarzan, an eagle, lots of not-so-subtle Lord of the Rings nods, a volcano, at least four different outfits for the fierce singer — and there's so much wind all the way through that it's a wonder she manages to keep such a fabulous hairdo. Also, we dare you not to chuckle at 1:32. Go on, try. Spain has competed in the contest every year since it first participated in 1961, and has won the contest twice. And since Edurne was also the winner of Spain's version of the impersonating music show Your Face Sounds Familiar in 2013, we can only wish her to imitate one of her country's Eurovision laureates as best as she can. Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 3.25/10 Was there enough glitter? 7/10 Ok to quit your day job? 1.5/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 3.92/10

Eurovision 2015 Contestants: Slovenia

Slovenia 2015-05-15 15:19:41

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest 2015 “What’s with the headphones?” you might ask, as the video almost seems to be a Beats by Dre commercial. Apparently, Marjetka and Raay — known as Maraaya — chose this accessory as their trademark because, you know, they're cool with the younger generation. Though the headphones have nothing to do with the song , "Here For You," a lovely love ballad. Slovenia has unfortunately never done great in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country failed to get to the finals eight times since its first participation as an independent country, in 1993. But maybe 2015 is the year it all changes. This year, Slovenia will count on the duo Maraaya to win the competition, and especially on Raay, one of the country's most popular music producers. He often works with Marjetka, but better still: They're married and have two children! Maybe that’s why she had no problem filming half the video naked, wearing only the aforementioned pair of headphones. Also a good argument to make her boyfriend stay. Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 2.75/10 Was there enough glitter? 5.25/10 Ok to quit your day job? 2.5/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 3.5/10

Eurovision 2015 Contestants: Serbia

Suriname 2015-05-15 11:40:41

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest When it first participated in the Eurovision Song Contest as an independent country — and not part of Yugoslavia or with Montenegro as it used to — in 2007, Serbia actually won, for the first time. Fairly promising for the future. But since then, the country has unfortunately not managed to repeat the performance, finishing 6th, 13th, 14th, 3rd the following years, and not even bothering to participate in 2014 because, you know, austerity. The 28-year-old Serbian singer Bojana Stamenov will represent the country this year. According to her Wikipedia page, she’s been active in the music business since 1859, so we assume she’s had plenty of time to prepare for the contest and we expect her performance to be mind-blowing. The video for “Beauty Never Lies,” the song she will perform, however, was frankly quite painful to go through. First of all, the lyrics were initially in Serbian and later translated into English. Why? What’s the point? No one really pays attention to the lyrics, especially when we all know they’ll either be about peace, love or dancing, so why not keep the authenticity and exoticism of your own language? Then, the Eurobeat. It just hurts, everywhere, in every sense of the term. The dramatic singing and the clip, made up of various fans awkwardly lip-syncing to the music, don’t help either. Ok, it’s the kind of song you’d expect to hear in this contest, but why does Eurovision music seem to be so heavily influenced by late 90s' Spanish maquina? Also, if you rapidly click at different parts of the song, it sounds like random people screaming like these goats. And just what was that at 1:54? Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 0.5/10 Was there enough glitter? 3/10 Ok to quit your day job? 0.75/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 1.42/10

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Russia

Russia 2015-05-13 14:36:46

Photo : Eurovision Song Contest Despite having a Facebook page against its participation in Eurovision, and also having been copiously booed during last year’s event, Russia still went on and decided to participate in this year’s edition. Our guess is the audience really didn’t like the song, we don’t see any other reason. But still, how impolite and mean, even if you didn’t enjoy the performance. This must also make this year’s Russian contestant, Polina Gagarina, feel extremely nervous. Knowing that millions of people, in Vienna and through their television screens, are likely to jeer at you, must be terrible. Poor Russia. But maybe Gagarina's song “A Million Voices,” which is about “believing in a dream,” “praying for peace and healing,” and generally singing along all together, hand in hand in the sunshine, will make Europe’s spoilsports think twice before criticizing Russia’s performance. Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 1.5/10 Was there enough glitter? 7/10 Ok to quit your day job? 1.25/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 3.25/10

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Portugal

Portugal 2015-05-11 15:03:51

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest Portugal’s Eurovision history is a sad one. In 47 appearances since its debut in the contest in 1964 and only four absences (once for boycott, once for poor results, once for financial reasons and once because it just didn’t feel like it), the country has never won or even finished in the top 5. A dreadful record. May we suggest hanging one of those motivational posters in the dressing room of Portugal’s contestant this year, the 20-year-old singer Leonor Andrade? It could read “Perseverance is failing 47 times and succeeding the 48th,” or “I have not failed, I've just found 47 ways that won't work,” or “Even Cristiano Ronaldo only used to earn €12 million a year.” Leonor will perform “Há Um Mar Que Nos Separa” (“There’s a sea between us”), a song in Portuguese (extra points for that) about being separated from someone after a “crazy night.” Will this year be the one the Portuguese Eurovision nightmare ends? Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 2.50/10 Was there enough glitter? 6.50/10 Ok to quit your day job? 1.75/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 2.42/10

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Romania

Romania 2015-05-11 15:03:45

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest Romania chose none other than its biggest pop-rock band, Voltaj, to represent the country at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The group has been one of the most popular acts in Romania for the past 20 years and their fans all across Europe will undoubtedly vote for them on the big night. Well played, Romania. But through Eurovision, Voltaj has a much bigger objective than simply winning the contest — and that's probably a good thing. The group has started a campaign to support children whose parents left them behind in Romania to go abroad and earn money. The video shows a young boy living with his siblings, waiting for their parents’ return, unable to even write them letters as they don't know where they are. Unfortunately, these children also live in a very cold, grey and abandoned region of Romania, where big ships seem to be used as stages for bands. As nobody cares for the little boy, he decides to hop on a boat and find his parents by himself. Uplifting, really. Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 5.75/10 Was there enough glitter? 3/10 Ok to quit your day job? 1.5/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 3.42/10

Eurovision Contestants 2015: Norway

Norway 2015-05-07 13:51:36

Photo: Eurovision Song Contest 2015 This might be one of the weirdest entries of the Eurovision Song Contest this year. For the first minute or so, Morland and Debrah Scarlett’s "A Monster Like Me" sounds a lot like a murder confession. Actual lyrics: "Honey, I'm telling the truth / I did something terrible in my early youth." Right. In the video, Debrah and Morland (who look just like they're out of a S&M adaptation of Harry Potter) decide to poison the drinks of their guests, including two young girls who are just as creepy as them. But this is no regular poison — it's more like a drug that makes people really, really hungry. Grandma eats a whole chicken on her own, then the other guests, either bored or full, start throwing leftovers in the air. If you’ve never seen a roast chicken fly before, skip to the 3:00 mark. Norway is the country with the record of "nul points," having managed the impressive feat no less than four times since the creation of the contest. Will "A Monster Like Me" make it five? Our vote: Does it make you want to visit that country? 2/10 Was there enough glitter? 2.75/10 Ok to quit your day job? 2.5/10 OVERALL AVERAGE: 2.42/10