Highlights from 2015

It’s once again time for us to ask the big questions: which diva reigned supreme? Where was the kitsch? How clueless were San Marino? And did anyone misfire as badly as The Netherlands?

Biggest Misfire

For our consideration

Netherlands: Trijntje Oosterhuis – “Walk Along
Macedonia: Daniel Kajmakoski – “Autumn Leaves
Belarus: Uzari & Maimuna – “Time
Malta: Amber – “Warrior

Our pick: “Walk Along.” How can a song written by a successful former Eurovision entrant, staged by a team that achieved top 10 finishes for two years running, and performed by a preeminent Dutch singer go so awry? Perhaps Anouk’s song wasn’t the best fit for Trijntje, but the trouble really started during rehearsals. The press room proclaimed after the very first rehearsal that Trijntje would win the Barbara Dex award for worst dressed performer (UPDATED: And indeed she did). Even though she had an array of outfits to try out, she and the rest of the Netherlands delegation seemed to be rattled by the bad press.

The staging made matters worse. The first image was an uncomfortably long close-up on Trijntje’s veiled eyes. Later there was a blacklight effect so subtle that if you blinked you would miss it. The package never came together for the Dutch in Vienna, and the team knew it. Trijntje gave a subdued, resigned performance of “Walk Along” and was eliminated at the end of the first Semi. The Dutch ultimately showed a sense of humor about their fate when Edsilia Rombley presented the Netherlands’ results wearing the much maligned costume.

Trijntje Oosterhuis photo by Andres Putting

Least Self-Aware

As usual, we only have one real candidate for this category, and this year that candidate is San Marino’s “Chain of Lights.” There were no signs of critical thought at any point in the proceedings. Did no one ask, for example, “Hey, should we stop having Anita Simoncini spit out that awkward spoken word bit?” Or, “Hey, should we tell the songwriters that these lyrics are really trite?” Or, “Hey, should we hitch our wagon to someone who has heard pop music from the past decade?” Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola gave a smiley, blank performance of what little staging there was, and the whole thing landed like a thud in the Stadthalle.

Legitimately Good Song

For our consideration

Sweden: Måns Zelmerlöw – “Heroes
Australia: Guy Sebastian – “Tonight Again
Belgium: Loïc Nottet – “Rhythm Inside
Latvia: Aminata – “Love Injected

Our pick: “Rhythm Inside.” If you told us early on that Loïc Nottet was going to co-write his Eurovision entry and have a hand in the choreography and costuming, we’d have worried we had another Sofi Marinova on our hands. Fortunately, Loïc has a strong sense of who he is an artist and “Rhythm Inside” is his mission statement. And it is catchy as hell.

Campiest Performance

For our consideration

Moldova: Eduard Romanyuta – “I Want Your Love
San Marino: Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini – “Chain of Lights
Azerbaijan: Elnur Hüseynov – “Hour of the Wolf
United Kingdom: Electro Velvet – “Still In Love with You
Spain: Edurne – “Amanecer

Our pick: None. We define a camp Eurovision entry as having misplaced ambition, a lack of self-awareness, a whiff of failure, and innate hilariousness. We struggled to come up with a list of entries this year that would truly fit that definition. We’ve not been shy about ragging on “Still In Love with You,” but to its credit it failed at being a failure, which is kind of like being successful. Besides, we’re planning strategic use of “Sounding good, sugar” when we live-tweet national finals on our Twitter account.

Biggest Diva Performance

For our consideration

Serbia: Bojana Stamenov – “Beauty Never Lies
Belgium: Loïc Nottet – “Rhythm Inside
Latvia: Aminata – “Love Injected
Georgia: Nina Sublatti – “Warrior
Russia: Polina Gagarina – “A Million Voices

Our pick: Nina Sublatti. This is always the hardest category to compile, because Eurovision attracts divas of all kinds. Whether you are a Latvian powerhouse, a Serbian soul queen, a Russian pop idol, or a Belgian rennaissance man, there is room for you all to shine, darlings. But in our minds, Nina Sublatti is the diva of the year. Look into her eyes and tell us we’re wrong.


3 thoughts on “Highlights from 2015”

  1. Is it a coincidence that all the candidates for biggest misfires were also some of the earliest ones to be revealed or selected? Makes you wonder if there’s any benefit in choosing your song so early.

    BTW, I really love your site! It gives me tickles and excitement to know there are other American Eurovision fans.

    1. Hey Storin, thanks for commenting! Glad you like our blog! A lot of the weaker countries tend to pick early. One would hope it would give them time, but sometimes that’s not always a good thing. Picking early was good for Belgium a couple of years ago with Roberto Bellarosa, for example, but it rarely seems to help Switzerland. 🙂

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