Going back in History: Helsinki 2007 (Final)

Earlier this week, we have taken a look back at the semifinal of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. Today, it is time for 24 more songs: Time for the final! Once again, I looked at the full show, this time with Norwegian commentary though. Again, we start with Te Deum and the Finnish-oriental intro, and off we go to Helsinki!

This time, we get a troll-like creature waving us up North to Rovaniemi… to a rendez-vous with Mr. Lordi and his bunch of monsters performing Hard Rock Hallelujah (for some reason without sound in Norway, which is why I added a link to it here) and after that, the still very enthusiastic greeting of the hosts. Once again, they do this very efficiently compared to the Austrian record-breaking show, only eight minutes from the Te Deum until the first (still confusing) postcard starts. And it’s the one completely unrelated to…

01. BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: Marija Sestic – Rijeka Bez Imena

Rijeka Bez Imena is one of the songs you can’t really say anything about. It’s there, it’s very green, it’s a ballad, it’s not very effective interesting. Actually, there are two remarkable things: Marija’s ring and the opportunity to see how much that fishtail thing on stage can disturb a staging. And it serves to show an example of a song that would NEVER come first with fixed running orders.

02. SPAIN: D’Nash – I Love You Mi Vida

Spain did the impossible and found an act that looks outstandingly gay on a Eurovision stage. Imagine a boygroup consisting of four Enrique Iglesias wannabes, dress them up in all white and let them perform on a boyband stage straight from 1998, and you probably got a good image of D’Nash in your mind. But hey, I like them better than at least three of Spain’s more recent efforts – which does say more about Spain than about I Love You Mi Vida.

03. BELARUS: Dmitry Koldun – Work Your Magic

We already had G:Son, now it’s time for some Kirkorov! And it gets performed by, if I understood the commentary right, a Belarussian male Lady Di, which is a description that should definitely be included in every attempt to explain Eurovision. Like so many things in 2007, this song has completely no life outside Eurovision, but here it fits pretty well, with its overdone stage show, its repetition of choruses to the point where people will start to notice and its forced catchyness. It has its appeal, but I can’t believe anymore that this was one of my favourites back in 07.

04. IRELAND: Dervish – They Can’t Stop the Spring

Forget Greece, the Irish are the true ethno kings of Eurovision! But at least this is a more believable approach to being Irish than sticking Celtic ornaments to topless drummer’s bodies. The problem is that I am not really into it. And the lead singer’s voice annoys me. It’s a pity this song was prequalified and took a spot in the final when there were so much better songs missing out! But we’d have gotten Portugal anyway, and I doubt that’d have been an improvement.

05. FINLAND: Hanna Pakarinen – Leave Me Alone

In the days after Lordi, you could trust the Finns to provide us with a good hard rock anthem, and they did not disappoint in 2007. Hanna Pakarinen (again without sound) delivered it, and while it does not really live up to Hard Rock Hallelujah or Missä Miehet Ratsastaa, it’s a solid but slightly overdramatic rock song. Visually, it doesn’t live up to the expectations the pyromaniac intro raises, but the styling of Hanna Pakarinen makes up for that. Also, is this what Elina Born will sing to Stig Rästa in a few years?

After one of the contest’s highlights, we move on to its definitive lowlight, the act of Krisse Salminen. Thankfully, we only get threatened with her return and can move on, because now there comes a brilliant example of balkan Eurovision songs:

06. MACEDONIA: Karolina – Mojot Svet

This is SO brilliantly wrong that I love it. Not that Mojot Svet is a bad song, but it’s not surprising anymore once you heard it more than two times, and there’s nothing special about Karolina either. The only really remarkable thing about Mojot Svet is the rather random and unnecessary language change and the terribly hidden “balkans vote for us!” in the chorus. It’s a very guilty pleasure of mine, but oh what a pleasure!

07. SLOVENIA: Alenka Gotar – Cvet Z Juga

Again, the sound cuts out here. But this time, it’s actually positive, because I wished it’s gone the second it came back. I already don’t really like good popera, and here we have terribly cheap and bad one. I wouldn’t want to listen to the opera or the other part, and I would really like to know who had to be threatened, bribed or killed to save this terrible thing a place in the final!

08. HUNGARY: Magdi Rusza – Unsubstantial Blues

Well, I love my blues, and apparently I love it unsubstantial. One of the most fascinating things about 2007 is that there is trash like Slovenia next to such highlights. There has been a lot of trash in the 100% tele period, but every now and then a true jewel has been coming up, and this is one of those cases. Please also note the staging: Again, my theory is confirmed and it is shown that women do not need to wear dresses at ESC!

09. LITHUANIA: 4Fun – Love or Leave

Judging from the looks of this, I should love it. It has many acoustic guitars, nothing too fancy and pop-ish and looks a bit alternative and cool. Unfortunately, it is not really. It just tries to be. Also, it is very hard to write something about this song… maybe we should move on?

10. GREECE: Sarbel – Yassou Maria

Back in the 00’s there was a mysterious time where the Greeks just had to send some ethno song and collect the points. This time produced weird things like Sarbel, a slightly psycopathic looking double of Swiss radio and TV host Roman Kilchsperger, and his four dancers hired straight off the stage of a holiday resort in the Aegean Sea. Not only did Sarbel look like a scary idiot, he also proved to have a rather annoying voice and not be the best singer. Shortly, this is great fun to watch but how on earth did it end up 7th?

11. GEORGIA: Sopho – Visionary Dream

Once again, the fishtail ends up being in the way of an opening shot. I used to dislike Visionary Dream, but I finally see past the ridiculous folk dancers and all that and see, or better hear, the interesting song behind it. I still don’t really like it, but I started to appreciate its presence. For a debuting country wanting to present itself, this is surprisingly courageous! A well deserved 12th place.

12. SWEDEN: The Ark – The Worrying Kind

Sweden is probably the country that got the most undeservedly high placings in the history of Eurovision, but this time they got placed too low. I know I called D’Nash too gay for Eurovision, and now there’s this, and no complaints? Well, it’s allowed if you’re a glam rock band! Whenever I listen to this song, I imagine three guys in black skinny jeans and a v-neck shirt, but this is so much more fun to look at. And the sound is awesome.

As this was the first half, I took my time for a break and preparing a Mojito à la maison, and now I’m ready to go on with the next song, coming from…

13. FRANCE: Les Fatals Picards – L’Amour à la Française

Every few years the French decide to say “baise ça” to Europe and send a completely unserious entry, like some guys singing about their wish for a moustache, or a golfcart Jesus, or a very pink affair featuring the master of funny faces and a grownup bald ADHD kid. L’Amour à la Française is a very funny song sung, for some reason, in Franglais, but as it is the case with many less serious entries, Les Fatals Picards haven’t always been up to the singing job, and many people didn’t seem to find it as funny as I do, which is why France only finished 22nd.

14. LATVIA: Bonaparti.lv – Questa Notte

We already had bad popera with Cvet Z Juga, here comes part two. At least this is less cheap, more Grande Amore than La Voix. That said, it also is still cheap and cheesy, and being Latvia is not like being Italy, where you can get away with that. Also, Bonaparti.lv are so stereotypical that they look like a parody of a popera band. In 2007, I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that Latvia would become one of my favourite countries…

15. RUSSIA: Serebro – Song #1

Let’s get the uninteresting stuff out of the way first: This song is professionalized trash on a level I have only seen achieved by Russians, but actually there is exactly nothing surprising or outstanding in it, it’s standardized 00’s pop on the level of Moldova 2015. But as a straight male, let’s be honest: If I hadn’t closed the Youtube window during the song I wouldn’t even have noticed the song, and I guess that’s what the Russians were going for. PS: Did you notice the irony of it all, a song called “Song #1” performed by a band named “Silver” coming third? Oh, and PPS: PLEASE MARRY ME, JELENA!! ❤

16. GERMANY: Roger Cicero – Frauen regier’n die Welt

First of all, I have two CD’s of Roger and love him, so I’m not entirely neutral here. But come on, it IS great! The staging is rather unspectacular as Roger couldn’t bring his big band onstage, but they solved that well, just the fishtail is in the way again. The one thing I would have changed is the unnecessary language change – Roger’s English and the English text both aren’t really good enough to make it worth it, and it makes completely no sense. But still the best entry of Germany in the 00’s.

17. SERBIA: Marija Serifovic – Molitva

Technically a debutant, Serbia took the crown at its first attempt without Montenegro, and it did so with a non-English song, an achievement that still hasn’t been repeated. Honestly, I don’t really get why it ended up winning either. If you ask me, Molitva is a pretty standard balkanesque ballad, which can be said about the staging as well, except the fact that they replaced the man or the pretty young girl with a not very special-looking short haired woman. But apparently that’s what Europe was looking for.

18. UKRAINE: Verka Serduchka – Dancing Lasha Tumbai

Number one got followed by Number two, and the two couldn’t have been further apart. A ballad got followed by a crazy, trashy dance song by a Ukrainian drag queen, which sounds like something that only happens after three shots of cheap vodka too much in a weird looking bar somewhere in Kyiv, but is the actual description of Dancing Russia Goodbye Lasha Tumbai. Unlike Molitva, this still caused outbreaks of cheering and fun among fans in Vienna – not bad for a basically non-existing song.

19. UNITED KINGDOM: Scooch – Flying The Flag (For You)

This is still used as a synonym for bad British Eurovision songs, and I can’t decide what’s the worst about it. The group of aging prostitutes supposed to be flight attendants? The horrible acting that makes the actors of a Czech ultralow-budget-porn movie look like Oscar nominees? The thought that somebody thinks THIS is a good song? The two pilots, either blind or too poor for a mirror? The terribly cheap innuendos? Surprisingly, I prefer this to what they produced three years later, because unlike That Sounds Good To Me, this is at least outstanding and has some personality, even though it’s a terrible one.

20. ROMANIA: Todomondo – Liubi, Liubi, I love You

The Romanians picked a concept that sounds rather suitable for a chidren’s song, singing the same verse in six languages and dressed as six nationalities. Surprisingly it works, even though I would have failed at guessing the nationalities correct. The whole thing gets very hectic towards the end, and I love how some of the members struggle with their assigned language, but it’s kinda fun. Everything more than the 13th place where it ended up would have been too much though.

21. BULGARIA: Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov – Water

Combine a rhythm-driven song with some trance elements, add Elitsa Todorova when she was still hot, throw in a hypnotic chorus and you got Bulgaria’s only final qualification. I needed quite a lot of time to understand its appeal, but now I really like it, including Elitsa’s weird trademark movements. I doubt it really deserves that 5th place, but it is a kinda cool song, and a pretty risky approach by Bulgaria! Too bad they made the duo embarrass itself in 2013, but for now… MITRELE!

22. TURKEY: Kenan Dogulu – Shake It Up Sekerim

See Greece, except that Kenan looks even more stupid (and less like Roman Kilchsperger), is an even worse singer and ended up even higher. Oh, and of course Turkey’s usual pseudo oriental decor on the backings.

23. ARMENIA: Hayko – Anytime You Need

Armenia, what is wrong with you? A singer doing a nazi salute to a tree covered in toilet paper? That weird pseudo-emo meets (probably) Armenian tradition (?) kid sitting next to said tree? Or the song which is almost as cheesy as Face The Shadow? I still don’t get how this came 8th or how Armenia could come up with things like Not Alone not even a decade later.

24. MOLDOVA: Natalia Barbu – Fight

I talk a lot about Latvia being one of my favourite countries, but Moldova actually joins them up there, to some part due to this song. This is probably what Avril Lavigne would sound like if she was from the Balkan, and just like Avril, Natalia is pretty hot as well. Unfortunately, the performance is kinda messy which is probably the reason why it came only 10th. I needed some time to get into this song, but now I fucking love it!

That was the last song of 2007, and while the show goes on with the voting and FUCKING APOCALYPTICA, we go on by looking back. The musical level might not have been as high as later on, even though it was pretty good for the 00’s. While the East dominated the scoreboard (which eventually led to the biggest rule changes of the ending 00’s) one has to see that the West didn’t really bring good songs on stage, with a few exceptions and underrated entries, like Sweden, Iceland or Germany. For me, this contest will always have a special place in my heart, of course due to it being my first fan contest but also because it was heaven for a rock fan like me, and because there is a fascinating mix between trashy televote stuff like Ukraine and awesome serious songs like Hungary.

THE RATING:

12 Finland
10 Hungary
08 Germany
07 Sweden
06 Moldova
05 France
04 Russia
03 Bulgaria
02 Macedonia
01 Belarus
00 United Kingdom

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