Throwbacks

Every Thursday, we throwback to a Eurovision entry of the past!

Throwback Thursday: Slovenia’s neon dream

Whenever the clock hits midnight on a Wednesday, we enter the new (well not really) dimension of our weekly feature, the Throwback Thursday. This week we decided to go all out and say “Vrag Naj Vzame” to all the “Heavy Weather” we’ve been experiencing and just move to the most northern Balkan country, Slovenia. Despite having hard time picking a song to go through and share our thoughts on, the fairly catchy and neon colored performance Rebeka Dremelj put in Belgrade is the ultimate definition of how (not) to stage a song! The song, the stage show, the color scheme! A catchy tune sung in a native language. Many had high hopes of Slovenia achieving its best result and winning over the hearts of Europe with “Vrag Naj Vzame”. Looking back at things and how the contest has evolved, this is the textbook definition of how to ruin any chance of a qualification. The entire stage show felt bizarre and not in tune with the vibe of the song. The bright colors, the neon cage and the fact that Rebeka was dragging her backing dancers on stage truly made this one of the most memorable car crash moment of that …

Throwback Thursday: When Iceland…wasn’t All Out of Luck

On Sunday, Iceland will celebrate 74 years of independence, and on Saturday they will play their first ever World Cup match…undoubtedly, the whole country will be completely wasted for most of the weekend. What better way (other than booze) to celebrate than with a throwback to one of our favourite Icelandic Eurovision entries of all time, Selma Björnsdóttir’s All Out Of Luck! It also rather conveniently turns out that her birthday is this week, so she’ll be having an extra shot of brennivín. Selma is Iceland’s lucky charm! Iceland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986 with ICY’s Gleðibankinn. They finished 16th out of 20 songs – a pretty disappointing start. Following this, Iceland had a string of similarly low placings, only reaching the top 10 twice in their first 12 participations. These poor finishes resulted in Iceland not participating in the 1998 contest. The next year, Iceland came back with a bang – RÚV internally selected Selma Björnsdóttir to represent the island nation with the song All Out of Luck. An appropriately titled song for the country’s current situation in Eurovision! Selma proved to be a fan favourite and managed to break the curse for Iceland, storming ahead …

Throwaback Thursday: An everlasting piece of art?

It’s Thursday, so that can only mean one thing: another Throwback Thursday. This week, we’re going to look at Sweden, the only country that has won twice this decade. When Sweden suddenly became a powerhouse It’s fair to say that Sweden has had mixed fortunes this century. In the beginning, they were able to stay mostly on the left-hand-side of the scoreboard. However, things started to go downhill in the mid 00’s, up to the point when Sweden had a DNQ on their record in 2010. With Christer Björkman at the helm, Sweden has successfully turned their fortunes around quickly. They not only qualified the following year, in 2011, with “Popular” – it came third! – and the year after that, the nation sent Idol alumnus Loreen to Baku. “We’re going up, up, up, up, u-up!” Going back to 2012, I did not pay much attention to Eurovision until this point. I only watched the Grand Final. When I heard “Euphoria” on stage, I did not pay attention to it the slightest bit and thought it sounded like Madonna’s Frozen. However, after Sweden and Loreen won, I wanted to know more, this is when I got sucked into the Eurovision …

Throwback Thursday: When music is alive

  In this week’s “Throwback Thursday” our focus will be on Azerbaijan. Despite their yet short history at Eurovision, Azerbaijan has gifted us with some amazing songs. Today we will travel back to 2012 and revisit one of those amazing entries. It conquered many hearts around Europe, and certainly conquered mine. Now the question is: do our Escxtra members share my thoughts about this song? Let’s find out! Azerbaijan’s best effort at Eurovision When we ask someone about their favourite Azerbaijani song, the most common answers will be either “Always” or “Drip drop”. Even though I love both songs, I am always a bit surprised by the fact that most people seem to ignore “When the music dies”. If we look at the past three years, there was a common problem around the three acts that represented Azerbaijan: the live vocal performances were weak. And I’m not blaming it on the singers, because if we look at Aisel’s case, they gave to a great singer a song that wasn’t her style at all. However, if we go back to “When the music dies”, we can hear the best singer that Azerbaijan has given us. During those three minutes Sabina was …

Throwback Thursday; 100 years of Armenia

Armenia celebrates its 100th birthday on Tuesday, so what better time to revisit one of their most memorable entries!   This week’s  Throwback Thursday takes us back two years, to Stockholm! Like a lovewave! Armenia debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 and have since enjoyed a streak of success but remarkably, are yet to secure a victory. With an impressive list of songs for me to choose from, there were many memorable songs on offer but only really one that struck a chord from the moment I first heard it – that song is Iveta Mukuchyan’s ‘Lovewave’. When ‘Lovewave’ was first released, it raised a few eyebrows with its peculiar pattern but rapidly attracted an audience. In Stockholm, despite several hiccups during her first dress rehearsal, Iveta confidently presented the song in an infectious red-blooded performance which came across wonderfully on screen. Although she placed 2nd in her semi final, Iveta finished 7th at the grand final which I personally felt was too low, especially when compared with some of the entries which made the top 5 that year – a few of which, in my opinion, didn’t deserve to be there. What the others had to say… Dominik …

Throwback Thursday: An Xtra Happy Birthday to NORWAY!

During this past week and a half, Norway has enjoyed a period of unseasonally hot weather; between 25 and 29 degrees celcius. Tomorrow is Norway’s birthday, or rather the 204th birthday of the Nowegian constitution, which means that this week’s throwback will be Norwegian. These two facts brought me back to 1998 and Lars Fredriksen’s entry “Alltid sommer (Always Summer)”.  In 1998, something entirely unique happened in Melodi Grand Prix. The winning entry, “All I Ever Wanted Was You“, was performed in English. However, due to the language rule it had to be translated to Norwegian for Eurovision. This is a very happy and summery song, not only because part of the title is “sommer”. I don’t listen to this song very ofte, but every time I do, it makes me smile! It gives me a warm and happy summer feeling inside, and I think I need to add it to some of my summer playlists. Lars Fredriksen is still active on the Norwegian music scene, as part of Oslo Gospel Choir. He also performs quite a bit locally, especially at funerals and other private events. He’s also a popular food blogger.   What the others had to say… Dan …