Monthly Archives: May 2020

The Verkas

In 2020, I developed a new system of awarding points: the Verkas. Maybe I should patent it…

The Verka system goes like this:

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One VERKA means there’s very little that grabs my attention but there’s something. Maybe it’s a terrible song but he’s wearing a nice hat. Or it’s a catchy chorus and that’s it.

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Two VERKAS means that I might listen to it more than once.

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Three VERKAS means a good song. If it’s a power ballad, it’s sincere and the lyrics are not complete rubbish. If it’s pop, it’s tight, original and instantly memorable.

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Four VERKAS? Now we’re talking. This is a quality performance. The singer can sing. The staging is creative. It might even show tell-tale signs of originality.

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Five VERKAS means an excellent performance. The moment it begins I am hooked. It’s something special. It might be mesmerising or dramatic. Or it might be hilarious. It’s an instant gut reaction: I will love this song forever. And five VERKAS means I will share the Youtube link because it deserves to be seen.

A simple system.  But as you know there are some dreadful Eurovision performances out there. Unfortunately on occasion I must award less than a VERKA but I try not to be cruel. There are bad years when I award NO VERKAS to multiple performers…hello, 2019. But then, there are years when there’s an abundance of VERKAS…like the fabulous 2007. Every so often I award a half VERKA:

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Sometimes a quarter VERKA:

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I do have an eighth of a VERKA up my sleeve but I’m not sure that I’ve had to use it yet:

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Verka is starting to look like a slice of pizza so I’ll end here.

Opa!

ώπα!

Great Mysteries of Eurovision

GREAT MYSTERIES OF EUROVISION
MOLDOVA 2011Do you know? Were you there? Can you explain? As Moldova sang in 2011: ‘There is a my-ster-y…’. Although they were singing about something else. But this is Eurovision. You can sing about anything. As long as it’s love, not enough love, too much love, world peace or werewolves. Here are some of the great mysteries of Eurovision:

EUROVISION 2019 INTERVAL ACT
Madonna. Enough said.

EUROVISION 2019 
An outrage that Italy didn’t win. Long live Priscilla the Gorilla.

EUROVISION 2015
If we ‘say goodbye to yesterday’ and don’t want tomorrow because ‘tonight’s so good’, what happens to today?

AZERBAIJAN 2011 ELL and NIKKI
‘I’m running upstairs tonight….’
Why exactly?

GERMANY 2012 ROMAN LOB
Speaking of which…try this at home, kids. Sing along with Ell and Nikki: ‘I’m running, I’m scared tonight/I’m running, I’m scared of life/I’m running, I’m scared of breathing…’ Now sing along with Roman: ‘I’m standing still/I’m standing still/as you leave me now…’ Notice anything?

GREECE 2010

8th? 8th? You’ve got to be kidding. Why didn’t they win?

MACEDONIA 2015
Man in trench coat, 3 funky bad dudes and ancient ruins. Throw in some autumn leaves and you have – ?

moldova 2014MOLDOVA
How can they be so consistently fabulous and creative? Of course being fabulous and creative (and occasionally wacky) doesn’t guarantee a thing.

switzerland 2014bSEBALTER SWITZERLAND 2014
All about whistling. How does one whistle with confidence in front of 200 million people?

 

 

FREDDIE HUNGARY 2017

Same question. How do 3 back up singers whistle  with confidence in front of 200 million people? AND they stamped their feet. Genius co-ordination.

THE OLSEN BROTHERS 2000
Anyone?

belarus 2009BELARUS 2009 PETR ELFIMOV
How could this demi-god not make it through to the final? Europe, what is wrong with you? What was wrong with you?  Think back to Moscow, 12 May 2009…what happened that night??

norway 2001

NORWAY 2002 HALDOR LÆGREID
A power ballad and what a voice. That high note. The length. The vocal control. Why did he score so unimpressively? Guess it’s not cheery enough. Let them laugh, Haldor. You were outstanding.

andorra 2007bANDORRA ANYTIME
Where did you go? I want you back. You absolutely nail classic pop.

ICELAND 2013
Who creates the backdrops for Iceland? From Yohanna through to Pollapönk? Eyþór Ingi’s Ég á líf was heartwrenchingly beautiful. Creative genius. Works of art. Thank you. Takk.

iceland backdrop 2013

Guess who?

Last year I went to Australia Decides on the Gold Coast.

This was a new event for Australia: it simply followed the European model where various acts perform and one is chosen to represent Australia at Eurovision 2019. When I got home I made some ‘art’ – representations of the acts I liked with coloured card but I didn’t do much with them.  This year, with a big gap where Eurovision won’t be happening and lock downs in place,  I’ve taken the opportunity to create more ‘art’. Some evenings I put on a classic Eurovision DVD from a random year and make little paper works of some of the most iconic performances. You don’t need to be a Eurovision tragic to pick many of these but it helps to know a little bit about Eurovision.

So who are these acts? Do you know? Do you like them?

NUMBER 1: Recognise her? One of my all time favs. Well deserved second place.

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NUMBER 2: Originality, moody, quality vocals: you often don’t get all three in Eurovision.

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NUMBER 3: You’ll have to think back for this one, but totally iconic, don’t you think?

dana international

NUMBER 4: Here’s a challenge. Might need a clue or two for this one.

sarkis

Hope you enjoy them! More to come.

All images ©WJL 2020