Wot a logo. What a year.
THE YEAR OF THE KNEE HIGH BOOTS
THE YEAR OF THE SPARKLY SHORTS
THE YEAR OF THE LA LA LA & THE PA PA PA & THE POM POM POM
Could it be worse than last year? Methinks so.
1. AUSTRIA. Marianne Mendt. Musik.
Is the key too low? Trumpets working hard. Groovy white raincoat with black trim and black boots. She warms up by the second verse. Great ending. But not such a good beginning.
2. MALTA. Joe Grech. Marija l-Maltija
Lightweight romantic song. Mixture of Dean Martin, Danny Devito and (a bit of) Elvis. Las Vegas vibes with polka dot bowtie and shiny white shoes.
No Verkas for you, Joe.
3. MONACO. Severine. Un banc, un arbre, une rue.
Um. Lady in black gown with 4 funky back up singers in suits. Trying too hard? forced? Almost desperate with those last la, la, las. Quite anthemic but first impression not so gripping.
No Verkas. It’s a tough year.
4. SWITZERLAND. Peter, Sue and Marc. Les illusions de nos vingt ans.
Or is that Peter, Paul and Mary? Chuckle, chuckle. Pleasant with a message.
5. GERMANY. Katja Ebstein. Diese Welt.
A silver pantsuit for flame-haired Katja. Goes for the pastel look with 5 backups in baby yellow, baby pink and baby blue. A song that does all the right things…
6.SPAIN. Karina. En un mundo nuevo.
Another flame-haired beauty, this time in powder blue. 3 exuberant females in lime splice yellow clapping away. Big finale but then…there’s more: pa, pa da pa pa de…come on everyone!
7. FRANCE. Serge Lama. Un jardin sur la terre
French ballads get me every time…even with that 1970’s hair! Is he a pop star forced to dress up to look respectable?! Tempo change. Brilliant.
8. LUXEMBOURG. Monique Melsen. Pomme pomme pomme
At last exciting colour choices! Red long sleeve top and knee high boots co-ordinated with denim shorts with braces. Cutesy and she knows it.
No Verkas for Luxembourg.
9. UK. Clodagh Rodgers. Jack in the Box.
A gal in sparkling pink hot pants and 4 purple nuns as back-up singers
10. CROATIA. Jacques and Lily. Goiemorgen morgen
So Burt Bacharach in a good way. Our first duet for 1971 and at least they can sing.
All these European men are looking the same to me!
11. ITALY. Massimo Ramieri. L’amore è un attimo.
A man. A suit. A microphone. Some singers have passion. Massimo does. Hoorah!
12 SWEDEN. The Family Four. Vita Vidder.
With Benny Andersen on guitar and Shirley Jones from the Partridge Family on vocals how can you go wrong? Actually, this is like Peter, Paul, Mary & Mary. Wish I knew what it was about.
13. IRELAND. Angela Farrell. One Day Love.
Operatic young lady in pink gown adorned with flowers. Couldn’t be anyone but Ireland. Can’t work this one out. Nice voice but a weird uncategorisable song.
Sorry, no Verkas.
14. NETHERLANDS. Saskia and Serge. Tijd.
What is this? Pan pipes and harpsichord. Drab brown tunics. A bit monastic and medieval. But not too bad.
15. PORTUGAL. Tonicha. Menina do alto da serra.
Very, er, colourful dress. Bizarre backup with classical guitarist, dude in suit, 2 women in red. Starts off as a sea ballad then goes jazzy and then back to the inevitable la, la-la, la, la, la, la, la, la. Dramatic ending that came too late.
16. YUGOSLAVIA. Krunoslav Slabinac. Tvoj dječak je tužan.
James Bond theme song vibes. Psychedelic Austin Powers-inspired red suit, Doors-style funky keyboard and a voice getting towards Tom Jones. I like it!
17. Marrku Aro & Koivisto Sisters. Tie uuteen päivään.
A brown theme and hybrid of Hollywood showstopper/pop/ballad but there’s real ENERGY in this song! You go, Finns!
18. NORWAY. Hanna Krogh. Lyjkken Er.
Sounds like a 1970’s TV comedy theme song. Yikes. A very sweet girl with puffy-sleeved frock and a parasol. Is she over 16? Isn’t that a rule? *
No Verkas, Sorry.
THE OFFICIAL TOP THREE:
MY TOP THREE:
France ties with Italy
KRUNOSLAV SLABINAC. TVOJ DJEČAK JE TUŽAN
Get down ‘Kićo’! Is he doing this because someone made him? Incredible red and white flock wallpaper suit. Psychedelic/A hint of The Doors/Tom Jones vocals/The Turtles/Euro-Elvis. Only toned down. A little operatic. And in Croatian. How can you not love it to pieces?
CLODAGH RODGERS. JACK IN THE BOX
A girl in sparkly pink hotpants. Four back-up singers in purple pant suits. And a catchy tune. A winning combo.
3. (equal 3rd) ITALY
MASSIMO RANIERI. L’AMORE E UN ATTIMO
A man in a suit. He can sing. With some emotion. Bravo!
3. (equal 3rd) FRANCE
SERGE LAMA. UN JARDIN SUR LA TERRE.
See comment for Italy. Bravo!
Special mention to:
MARKKU ARO & KOIVISTOLAISET. TIE UUTEEN PÄIVÄÄN
A brown theme. 2 females (in brown) and a non-fiddle-playing Alexander Rybak clone (in brown) against a (golden) brown backdrop. Weird timing, weird musically, weird everything. Good. But weird.
JACQUES RAYMOND & LILY CASTEL. GOEIEMORGEN, MORGEN.
Last minute replacement act. So Burt Bacharach. They can sing.*
Award for Best Use of Right Arm
Award for Excessively Lengthy Painfully Drawn Out Finale Thingy
Award for Best Impersonation of Medieval Monks
Alexander Ribak minus violin lookalike award
Austin Powers Award
* I looked it up. The over 16 year old rule came in later…
** A notable achievement this year