Greece and Sweden also chose their Eurovision Song Contest entries this weekend. Interestingly, both countries seem to be deviating from their usual ESC parameters.
Greece usually sends in an über-sexy glamour hunk, all white teeth and pecs, pumping away to a hi-energy beat. Surprisingly they have gone folksy-modern this year with George Alkeos & Friends (OPA)
This is a brave choice and it works for me. It’s kind-of an updated Zorba’s dance for the 2010s, and it just might have the crossover appeal of the original. Nicely played Greece.
Sweden has also been wedded to a high-energy disco beat in recent years (the delectable Malena Ernman’s opera-meets-trance La Voix probably represented the end of the road for this line of attack ). This year they’ve gone all geeky girl ballad with the lovely Anna Bergendahl singing This is my Life, complete with now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t geeky guitar.
Many commentators have noted the preponderance of ballads in ESC this year, and I wonder if this is the influence of the UK’s entry last year? Were we tragically one year too early with our ballad? Anna’s song is actually almost a paraphrase of Jade’s This is My Time.
But Anna has a beautiful and distinctive voice, and will appeal to both genders (that geek girl vibe cleverly taking the edge off the potentially intimidating Swedish physical perfection).
Anna gives the song her all - a performance incandescent with authentic emotion, taking the ballad into a whole new dimension. This is what Josh desperately needs to do with the UK entry.
Even at this early stage Sweden has captured my heart and I think Anna is the one to beat.