I have a very broad range of taste in music. I literally listen to anything as long as it does not sound like Rebecca Black or a dying cockroach; which explains why Eurovision is one of those shows I spend every single year waiting for, including this year.
Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with this year’s 39 entries. At least there was no “Euro Neuro” in Malmö, though I get mad a lot more than last year. Well… let’s just say that I don’t find Farid Mammadov’s silly “Hold Me” or Cezar’s “It’s My Life”—which sounds like gibberish—are Eurovision materials. Surprisingly, the former song even managed to claim the second spot, which was a total disappointment for me. And let’s not forget how Despina Olympiou and Moran Mazor didn’t even make it to the final. I was totally outraged.
After all, it does not really matter anymore who I think was the rightful winner. Emmelie de Forest was not my favorite, but I did see her victory coming. “Only Teardrops” is just so Eurovision-esque. Anyway, congratulations, Danske Folk, for winning this year’s contest and have fun hosting the show next year.
So, here are my personal rankings of this year’s contest.
*My Ranking. (Actual Ranking) “Song Title” by Singer (Country) — Comment*
- (7) “L’essenziale” by Marco Mengoni (Italy) — This song is a perfect ballad to be the ultimate winner of Eurovision. I know this isn’t the typical song to win, but it definitely has some magic that makes me keep clicking the play button again and again and again. Just like Nina Zilli last year, Mengoni should’ve finished better. It really is the best song from the contest this year. Maybe Italy should try sending an English song next year. I am starting to wonder if all Italian singers sang flawlessly. Andrea Bocelli, Laura Pausini, Marco Borsato, Nina Zilli, Eros Ramazzotti… Damn!
- (23) “L’enfer et Moi” by Amandine Bourgeois (France) — After last year’s disappointing result for France with Anggun, I really wish that justice ruled this year. Turned out justice does not belong in Eurovision. The song is a masterpiece and it was a real pleasure to have blues rock had its chance on the show. I guess people would need more time to get used to Bourgeois’ striking talent.
- (38) “Aν με θυμάσαι” by Despina Olympiou (Cyprus) — I can’t even think of how to begin with this one. This is absolutely one of the best ballads Eurovision has ever had in years. Olympiou’s voice is so calming. How she controls her tone is impressive. That it didn’t even make the cut for the final was stupid, annoying, idiotic, shocking, and definitely the worst decision made this year.
- (19) “Believe in Me” by Bonnie Tyler (United Kingdom) — I am truly ashamed to admit that I have never heard of this International First Lady of Rock (Wikipedia told me so). I truly am; which is why I thank Eurovision a lot for exposing her strong vocal to me. If it is any consolation, you’ve gained one more enthusiastic fan despite not winning the contest, Milady.
- (10) “Kedvesem (Zoohacker Remix)” by ByeAlex (Hungary) — It took me quite some times to like the song; mainly because I don’t understand Hungarian. But once it got into me, I can’t even stop listening to it. Tenth place was a fair result though seeing some songs that ranked above it convinced me that it deserved better.
- (32) “רק בשבילו” by Moran Mazor (Israel) — I have tried to dislike the song for what the Israeli right-wing-dominated government are doing to the people of Palestine. The occupation, the violence, the injustice, the bloodbath, the cruelty, all the bad things they do. But it is a fact that some people in the Jewish nation are braver than most of the country to stand up to their government’s cruelty. But then again, I shouldn’t refrain from liking Mazor and her amazing talent for what she may or may not have anything to do with. Though I do find the music video a little bit weird and out of place, the song deserved to be in the final. I guess it was not clear for the voters and judges that Eurovision is a song contest, not some sort of camouflaged political stage.
- (14) “You” by Robin Stjernberg (Sweden) — The song is just great. I like it even better than “Euphoria”. I guess this is just not the year for a dance song to shine. Stjernberg’s rhythmic vocal on the “You” part totally makes the song even more infectious.
- (3) “Gravity” by Злата Огневич (Ukraine) — I was going to put her way up for delivering a very strong vocal performance with a very glorious lyrics, but I can’t get over that unnatural sudden move from ballad to mid-tempo at 00:45. It really started as a very great song and then for five to ten seconds, I make these weird expressions. “What the hell just happened!??“
- (31) “Игранка” by Who See (Montenegro) — No matter what people are saying, for me the song is a very daring choice for a Eurovision entry. Dubstep? Seriously? But it works for me. I love the drum and bass and the female vocalist on the chorus. It might have not made the final, but it totally changed how I see the Montenegrin music scene after Rambo Amadeus almost ruined the show last year.
- (1) “Only Teardrops” by Emmelie de Forest (Denmark) — It was rather predictable that this song was going to win. I enjoy the song, but there’s something off with the lyrics that I can’t quite figure out. At least the silver lining is that had this song not win, Azerbaijan would’ve won again. I don’t know how they manage to be on the top 5 each year (Safura’s “Drip Drop” was great, though) but it’d better stop because it’s starting to ruin the show for me.
- (4) “I Feed You My Love” by Margaret Berger (Norway) — The song combines electropop and a little bit of alternative rock; which is a great thing. I would prefer the tempo to be a bit faster though. I hope Berger makes some appearance in the international music scene. She really seems like an interesting person.
- (11) “O Mie” by Aliona Moon (Moldova) — The song sounds a lot like some ’90s records from Nike Ardilla with the high-pitch but I love the intensity.
- (25) “Constigo Hasta El Final” by El Sueño de Morfeo (Spain) — Well, I do happen to have a thing for folk song. And this is a folk song. A good one, to be specific. It somehow sounds both fun and sad at the same time for me.
- (6) “Alcohol Is Free” by Koza Mostra featuring Agathon Iakovidis (Greece) — I have been really bored with the Greek entries for years now, but this song ended the streak. It didn’t really sound that good at first, but I have come to like its comical sense.
- (9) “Birds” by Anouk (Netherlands) — I love her personality on stage and her voice is somewhat quirky for me. Had she brought a song that showcases her talent more with a more climactic performance, she might have been able to do better.
- (30) “You and Me” by Takasa (Switzerland) — I love the sense of folk this song offers. Should I even bother to elaborate on how this song should’ve made it to the final?
- (15) “Waterfall” by Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani (Georgia) — Apparently, Georgia does have some great singers. The song is a strong ballad and I’m glad to see them performed in the final. Fifteenth place was not bad, but they could’ve finished better had they didn’t get to perform second to last.
- (21) “Glorious” by Cascada (Germany) — While it does sound too much “Euphoria”-esque, I beg to differ that the song is a cheap imitation. It might not be the best song I’ve heard from Cascada (nothing will ever take that distinction from “Everytime We Touch”), but it does make me want to sing-along and feel like dancing. What can I say? The song is infectious and, sure, glorious.
- (20) “Et Uus Saaks Alguse” by Birgit Õigemeel (Estonia) — Birgit is such a sweetheart and she sings like an angel. I’m quite surprised that it ended up on the 20th spot with a saddening 19 points, but it does happen in Eurovision. Sometimes you just wonder how this is a song contest with all the “Since we’re neighbor, let’s just vote for each other” and lack of transparency.
- (17) “Ég á Líf” by Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson (Iceland) — Iceland has always been the home to some of my most favorite acts in music. Sigur Rós, Of Monsters and Men, Björk, and Rökkurró are only a few to name. And this song kind of let me down.
- (5) “What If” by Дина Гарипова (Russia) — Russia has always appeared on my top 10 favorite each year (except last year’s “Party for Everybody” which I just can’t afford to like) but this song really sounds like Sarah Connor’s “Skin by Skin”. Let’s just say that I’m not impressed by the same thing twice a lot. Just a little bit more love. Just a little bit more passion. This is how it should begin. Skin on skin.
- (35) “Пред да се Pаздени” by Ezma Redzepova & Lorenzo (Macedonia) — The song might have not made the semifinal cuts, but it was an interesting song to listen to, especially Redzepova’s voice.
- (12) “Love Kills” by Roberto Bellarosa (Belgium) — All there is to say is that it’s a nice song with a little bit trace of pop punk and it did deserve the 71 points it received, but not more.
- (29) “Само шампиони” by Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov (Bulgaria) — Now this is what I call a fun song. The Indian elements of the music totally makes the song sounds better than it could’ve been without it. Too bad it didn’t even make it to the final.
- (28) “Љубав Jе cвуда” by Moje 3 (Serbia) — Serbia has always been one of the strongest contenders since they first competed as a lone nation back in 2007 with Marija Serifovic’s Molitva. I guess they didn’t see this coming. Maybe they should keep sending ballads over ballads each year. Seems like up-tempo rhythm doesn’t fall under their specialties.
- (22) “Something” by Andrius Pojavis (Lithuania) — He sounds a lot like Brandon Flowers. The song lacks a climax, but still enjoyable.
- (18) “Lonely Planet” by Dorians (Armenia) — I like the song because it reminds me of old rock songs from Genesis or Foreigners. I even like it more for the message it delivers. Lonely planet, we have done it, we can save it, we can stop it. I guess it deserved better than 41 points.
- (37) “Here We Go” by PeR (Latvia) — The song does not sound like something the Eurovision voters would favor, but I applaud the duo for bringing beat-box to the contest. It does sound too generic, though.
- (8) “Tomorrow” by Gianluca Bezzina (Malta) — Hey soul sister, ain’t that mister mister on the radio, stereo; the way you move ain’t fair you know. Hey soul sister, I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do tonight. Well…
- (33) “Mižerja” by Klapa s Mora (Croatia) — The song is weirdly anticlimactic, but it does have some potentials to be more than just decent.
- (36) “Shine” by Natália Kelly (Austria) — Though the lyrics are kind of too generic, Kelly sings it nicely. I’m not sure whether I would have it in the final or not (mostly because it competed on semifinal 1 which was tougher), but I do enjoy the song.
- (16) “Solayoh” by Alyona Lanskaya (Belarus) — It is an interesting song but I feel like I’ve heard this kind of song like a thousand times or so.
- (39) “Straight into Love” by Hannah (Slovenia) — I’m glad how dubstep has made its way into Eurovision, but Hannah just didn’t try hard enough. The song is boring mainly because she keeps screaming straight into looove~ way too much.
- (24) “Marry Me” by Krista Siegfrids (Finland) — I don’t really get how this song is a Eurovision material. The genre, the music, the singer, and obviously the lyrics don’t work out for me. But it did make this year’s show even more intriguing since bubblegum pop doesn’t make it to the contest a lot, let alone the final.
- (34) “Identitet” by Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejko (Albania) — It is quite an interesting song, but it does not strike me as special as I would love a Eurovision entry to be. And it’s hard to enjoy the song with its rock elements that I find a little bit disparate from the lyrics. Unlike Rona Nishliu’s “Suus” last year, I don’t get how this song represents Albania musically.
- (27) “Crisalide (Vola)” by Valentina Monetta (San Marino) — I was expecting a great song from Monetta. The buzz was making me anxious in addition to her being the top 5 on the official fan-voting prior to the show. But she let me down.
- (26) “Only Love Survives” by Ryan Dolan (Ireland) — This song ends before I even get to enjoy a second of it. Ireland sent the wrong song this year.
- (2) “Hold Me” by Farid Mammadov (Azerbaijan) — Safura, Ell & Nikki, and Sabina Babayeva all make me growing some interest on Azerbaijan music scene, but this Mammadov guy totally killed it. The lyrics sound sooooo generic and he definitely sings like an amateur. Didn’t deserve the 2nd place, didn’t deserve the final, didn’t even deserve to represent the fire nation.
- (13) “It’s My Life” by Cezar (Romania) — This is it. Needless to say, the 2013 version of another Rambo Amadeus. Even the dubstep fusion can’t help his over-the-head-high-pitch. Listening to him singing for 3 minutes and 2 seconds is an absolute torment. And what’s even worse? That the song amazingly advanced to the final and ranked higher than Amandine Bourgeois, Bonnie Tyler, Robin Stjernberg, and pretty much all the 26 better singers and songs. Total madness.
Now please don’t start getting mad at me if you feel like you can’t agree with my list. Let’s just agree to disagree.■