Rumour has it… Ilse DeLange will represent the Netherlands?

This, the third installment of the ‘Rumour Has It’ series, is probably the greatest rumour going around at recent times. Ilse DeLange, one of the Netherlands’ most popular artists in recent times, is apparently going to be the follow-up to Anouk and will be the Dutch representative at Eurovision next year in Copenhagen. Though nothing is confirmed until the 25th of November, we’ll investigate the rumour and tell you what the fans would think about Ilse possibly becoming the fourth artist to be confirmed for Eurovision 2014!

Is it true that Ilse will be the Dutch singer in Copenhagen?
Is it true that Ilse will be the Dutch singer in Copenhagen?

So, on early Tuesday afternoon, it was disclosed that the Dutch artist would be “revealed” later that day; twenty days before the scheduled announcement, which was also disclosed the same day. Come half seven CET, it was spilled that Ilse DeLange had been lined up by TROS to represent the country in Denmark next year. Of course, this was received with mixed views, with some people refusing to even believe the announcement until TROS officially confirmed who would be the Dutch singer on November 25th, but even had stated that Ilse was one of the main artists being considered, but insisted that it was only under speculation. Since then, fans have been debating who should represent Holland and you’ll see some of them at the end of the article. Most of the opinions, inevitably, have been about Ilse, a multi-award winning singer.

This is Ilse’s newest music video; ‘Blue Bittersweet’ and it’s quite an introduction into the 36-year-old singer’s bio. She shot to fame in the early 90s when she released a country album in her native land that was recorded in Nashville, USA. Over the course of fourteen years, she went on to release six more multi-platinum albums and has now become of the Netherlands’ biggest stars and is now a coach on the Voice of Holland. When it comes to Eurovision, though… well, let’s just say Anouk isn’t her biggest fan, as she proved when she said in an interview:

Who else could do it? Ilse? Pfft. Fuck that. That’s not gonna happen. She has no personality.

Anouk has since retracted her statement, but it’s pretty clear that Ilse has both her supporters and opposition. With her new greatest hits album, ‘After the Hurricane’, there are definitely some songs that would be a definitely possibility for Denmark, but the main one that I’d personally see her do at Eurovision would be ‘I’ll Know’.

So what are the chances of Ilse representing Holland? Well, there’s no doubt that she is one of the country’s biggest stars and let it be said that following after an artist that helped a country qualify for the final after they were starved of the sweet taste of the final for nearly ten years is a pretty hard job to do. But from her career and the fact that she’s still a popular artist in the Netherlands that still releases album regularly (Engelbert, Bonnie, I’m looking at you here!), this could work to her advantage if she’s picked. Plus, her style of music is rarely heard in the Eurovision. To be honest, I think the closest thing to what Ilse does that’s has actually been in Eurovision is Joan Franka! Anyway, she’d be a pretty good artist for the Dutch, but if it was my own choice, I’d have picked one of our own choices for the Netherlands. But you don’t want to end up like the UK; sending ‘has-beens’ to the show! Anyway, nothing will be revealed until November 25th, when AVRO/TROS will officially announce who will represent the Netherlands in Denmark… but it does seem likely Ilse is at the top of the list.

Your views:

So what do you think of the rumour about Ilse DeLange representing the Netherlands?

What do you think about Ilse?
What do you think about Ilse?

Seth Wezendonk from the Netherlands: Ilse would be a great choice I think Also, some singers high on my wish list: Glennis Grace, Sharon Doorson, Sandra van Nieuwland, Marco Borsato, and many, many more!

Jack Cuffe from the United Kingdom: She would be a great choice indeed!

Nelly Takis from Greece: I would love Glennis Grace back!

Rafael Vivas from Venezuela: She’s [Ilse is] great!

So many of the fans that had views were in favour of Ilse representing the Netherlands, but there is a subsequent rumour that Shirma Rouse (Anouk’s female backing vocalist in Malmö) could be a possibility for the Dutch too. Any of these artists would be great to go, and maybe some of our recommendations will be selected, but we won’t know anything for sure until the 25th of Novermber comes around. So what do you think of the rumour? Are you in favour or against Ilse representing Holland? Feel free to tell us what you think by commenting below!

Top 10: Best last-place songs in ESC history

Well, Eurovision fans, what better way to spend a Monday evening than to wind our way through another ESC Views Top 10? Tonight, I’m going to follow a similar theme to Rory’s recent “worst winners” article, but turn it on it’s head slightly. Put simply, I’ll be looking at what we at ESC Views consider to be Eurovision’s “best losers” – those criminally underrated songs which somehow finished in last place, when we believed they were deserving of so much more! Got ideas already? Well read on to discover if your favourites are in our list!

One of Finland's many last-place finishes, how high will Waldo's People reach on our countdown?
One of Finland’s many last-place finishes, how high will Waldo’s People reach on our countdown?

So, the pretence of this one is pretty straightforward, but just to run through it anyway: we have selected, from the sixty-odd songs which have suffered the ignominy of coming last at Eurovision, the ten songs which we think deserved it least – in other words, the ten “best losers” in Eurovision history. We have focused on the songs which finished last in the finals only, as we intend to do a top 10 best non-qualifiers in future, which would obviously encompass the eighteen entries which have ended up in last place in the semi-finals too. All clear? Awesome. Here we go then!

10 – Ryan Dolan – Only Love Survives (Ireland 2013)

We begin tonight’s top 10 with the most recent last-place entries at ESC: Ryan Dolan from Ireland. Now, I’m sure that back in May, as soon as the running order for the final was announced, not a single one of us would have predicted that this song – an admirably performed and bang-up-to-date club number which had the added bonus of running last and following a decidedly bland and overcalculated Georgian effort – to be the one which would end up right at the bottom. But it did. And I’m really not sure why. What was it about this song that didn’t quite connect with the pan-European audience? I have no idea – which is why Ryan makes an honorary appearance in today’s top ten, I guess. Because “Only Love Survives” was most certainly worthy of more than 26th!

9 – Waldo’s People – Lose Control (Finland 2009)

Ah, Finland. Hey guys. Without a doubt one of my favourite ESC countries, yet they have been notoriously hit and miss over the years. Which has resulted in them hitting rock bottom no less than NINE times, people. Ouch. This, their most recent wooden spoon, was another one which was tipped for a decent result, and, like Ireland 2013, managed to plummet from a supposedly strong running order position. And, again, similar to Ryan Dolan, I for one reckon it was entirely undeserved. I mean, yes, “Lose Control” was never gonna win, but the song was definitely strong enough to warrant a Top 15 placing, right? If it’s any consolation, however, Waldo’s People notched up a total of 22 points, which is the highest score amassed by a last-placed song in Eurovision history – if we exclude the results between 1971 and 1973 whereby the voting system wouldn’t allow for a song to score less than 32 points. So I guess *technically*, they are ESC’s most successful losers.. but not in our top 10…

8 – Knut Anders Sørum – High (Norway 2004)

Finland have 9 last-places. Norway, not to be outdone by their Nordic neighbours, however, have an *ahem* “impressive” ELEVEN last-place finishes to their name. And one of the most recent ones, “High” from 2004, has made it to #8 in our countdown. Now, the field was a pretty strong one in Istanbul, and this mid-tempo, radio-friendly pop-rock number from Knut Anders Sørum was by no means one of the strongest. But it was one of those songs that it’s hard to dislike, the ones that finally catch your attention in the first week of June, when you’re listening back to all the entries trying to fight back your PED, and there’s that one song that jumps out at you as “woah, why didn’t I realise how awesome this was before now!?” So, his choice of costume and the overall presentation may have been more than a slight faux pas, but the song remains a very credible and catchy effort… after a while, anyway.

7 – Isis Gee – For Life (Poland 2008)

Now, for this one, I am going to struggle to sing its praises, as it was selected and endorsed by Rory in our compilation process for this list, and I have never really liked it, both as a song and a performance. But, when searching for the merits of “For Life” – to date, Poland’s last appearance in a Eurovision final – I guess we can definitively say that it didn’t deserve to end up in its eventual shared last place. It didn’t deserve much higher than that, but still.. there was a lot worse in that final. *cough* Azerbaijan *cough*. Isis certainly poured her heart and soul (and her tangoed tits) into this performance, composing the music and lyrics, and belting out an impressive rendition of her creation… pity it was an unremarkable piece of music at best, ey? But still… did not deserve last.

6 – Ketil Stokkan – Brandenburger Tor (Norway 1990)

Aaaaaand we’re back to Norway. With what is I think one of my personal highlights from their Eurovision back-catalogue; this blatantly political anthem of post-Soviet peace from 1990 “Brandenburger Tor” (no prizes for guessing what that title translates as…) As a piece of music, it could be classified as a kind of easy-listening form of rock, with a catchy and memorable chorus which made stellar use of the backing choir. It is leagues ahead of Ketil’s 1986 effort “Romeo”, and whilst the political theme could be seen as a little false and contrived, it was one of MANY that year which approached the same theme in the wake of the fall of the Berlin wall. Heck, even the winner, the mediocre stadium rock plea for unity “Insieme:1992” from Italy was less convincing than this one, and yet it managed to amass some 141 points more. How can the juries of 1990 justify that!?

5 – Dervish – They Can’t Stop The Spring (Ireland 2007)

The second country to make two appearances in today’s Top 10 is Ireland. Funny really, they’ve won the contest seven times, the majority of the time with very lacklustre and forgettable songs that (in my opinion) didn’t deserve to be anywhere near the top position… and yet the two times they have finished last, it has been with absolutely incredible songs which warranted a much better response from the European voters! Back in 2007, this was the fourth song I witnessed on the Eurovision stage, and the joy evident in all the performer’s faces was absolutely infectious. Always a fan of Celtic-influenced music, I loved the song itself too, and was able to overlook the nerves evident in her voice and just enjoy what was, let’s face it, just a really lovely performance. 24th place, in a year when THAT Ukrainian entry made the top 2? Injustice at its worst, folks.

4 – Elpida – Tora Zo (Cyprus 1986)

Obviously a bit before my time, I’ve heard this song labelled by many as one of the contest’s worst entries ever… am I listening to a completely different song to everyone else? I’m sorry right, but I love this! Pure fabricated eighties joy, camp as Christmas, and almost annoyingly catchy, this song – although sung entirely Greek – will never fail to get me attempting to sing and dance along. With styling that channelled the look later made famous by Whitney Houston, Elpida’s performance looks classy as anything – yes, it’s all a bit chaotic at the same time, but she was a first-rate diva, and despite reportedly hating it, she sung the hell out of this challenging song, and – to my eyes at least – pulled it off admirably. Energetic, catchy and utterly brilliant. Miles better than her Greek entry “Socrates” which took home 8th place in 1978.

3 – Remedios Amaya – Quien Maneja Mi Barca (Spain 1983)

Hello hello, who do we have here? Our perennial favourite Remedios Amaya has already reached the lofty heights of an ESC Views Top 10 – she featured prominently in our countdown of “WTF moments” – and again, she pops up tonight to remind us just how unfair her 0 points in 1983 really was! Now, we accept that this song is very much a love it or hate it affair. And, as I discussed in the WTF article, the sequence of odd goat noises which make up “Quien Maneja Mi Barca” definitely did not connect with Europe back in 1983, but to hell with that. The fact remains that Rory and I both love this song, in all its imperceptibly quirky and insane glory. I can see exactly why it came last, but I do not for one second condone that final result. She deserved so much more for this courageous effort… so we hope today’s bronze medal will be some small compensation for her, in lieu of an improved place back then!

2 – Seyyal Tanner & Lokomotif – Sarkim Sevgi Üstüne (Turkey 1987)

Okay, so if this top ten was based solely on my own opinions, this entry would be the #1. But, as you all probably know, the two of us decide on these lists together, and I do see the equal merit of our number one at the same time as hankering for some much-denied recognition for this Turkish entry. “Sarkim Sevgi Üstüne”, performed by local superstar Seyyal Tanner, actually finished with the same total as Remedios Amaya – an unbelievable 0! Having first listened to this song last year, it captivated me so fiercely, in a way that few songs from so long ago still have the power to do. The rip-roaring energy, the epileptically frantic melody, the enthusiasm of the performers, this one is a little pocket rocket which grabs you from the very beginning, and doesn’t let you go until it has exploded through three and a half “is-this-a-verse-or-is-it-a-chorus” “I-have-no-idea-but-it-is-catchy-as-hell” rotations of “LA LA LA LA”-punctuated brilliance, before shoehorning in a fantabulous key change and depositing you into the dark silence of a Lokomotif-less world. You just gotta press repeat. Plus, it leaves you with the impression that she’s been singing about sharks for the last three minutes, which – even though she wasn’t – still presents an amusing mental image, right?

1 – Anna Rossinelli – In Love For A While (Switzerland 2011)

*sigh* So mah babe Seyyal didn’t quite make it to tonight’s top spot, but that’s only because she was faced with this; the epitome of cute that is Anna Rossinelli’s “In Love For A While”. Back in 2011, she managed to bring Switzerland back into the final after an agonising five consecutive years of semi-final disappointment. As a result, her eventual twenty-fifth place wasn’t exactly met with great disappointment from the Swiss audience – who cares where she finished, the point is, SHE WAS IN THE FINAL!! But hold on a minute.. here at ESC Views, we don’t see it quite like that. Sure, the qualification is to be celebrated, but let’s not sell this song short. It is a very cleverly-built, radio-friendly, simplistic guitar pop song, which – as well as bringing a fresh and contemporary sound to the Düsseldorf stage – was presented in such an inherently likeable way that it really does genuinely confuse me as to why this didn’t sneak a little higher up in the eventual rankings. I mean, 2011 was overall a very strong field, but with very few standout songs. For me, depending on my mood, this one could be THAT stand out song. And for that reason, it has stood out once again, in comparison with leagues of other criminally underrated contributions to the ESC, and emerged victorious in tonight’s countdown. Anna Rossinelli, congratulations – you’re officially our best last-placed song in Eurovision history!

Would your opinion be similar to ours?

Your Views:

Which songs would you pick out as the best losers?
Which songs would you pick out as the best losers?

Jack Cuffe from the United Kingdom: I think Slovenia 2013 🙂 fantastic song, great performance however the vocals weren’t great… still should NOT have came last!!!

Morten Boldt Hansen from Norway: Denmark 2002!!

Svana Lístí Agnarsdóttir from Iceland: Anna is probably the least deserving last place of anything.. But the best. If I had to go for another one, it would probably be Tooji

Neil Dickinson from the United Kingdom: love Anna’s song…there is something very similar on a UK tv commercial just now

A pretty mixed bag here – Denmark 2002 and Norway 2012 being just two of the other suggestions which weren’t included in our own list. However, the selection of Anna Rossinelli seems to be a largely popular one, which would indicate that – for one rare occasion – our opinion seems pretty much in line with that of many other fans! Is this the same for you? Feel free to leave us a comment below and tell us what you think!



Possible Artists: Moldova

Hey guys and welcome back to another ‘Possible Artists’ article and in this installment of the series, we shall journey to one of the least musically known countries in Europe – Moldova! Who do you think would be the best choice for Moldova to send to Copenhagen? Well keep reading to find out!

What do you think of our Moldovan selections?
What do you think of our Moldovan selections?

Many of the countries we have covered in this series have had several noticeable artists to their name; Giorgia from Italy, Björk from Iceland and even Ylvis from Norway, but Moldova is one of the few countries with the most obscure music scene, but there are some artists that are making a name for themselves and the first of these, as well as our first recommendation, is El Radu. The 26-year-old is an upcoming star in the country and he speaks five languages, although he only sings in two of those languages. As well as singing, he’s also the presenter of a morning TV show in Moldova. In 2012, he tried to represent Moldova when he took part in the online voting of the National Final with his song ‘I’m With You Now‘. This year, he released this gem; ‘Despre Ea’, which means ‘About It’ in English.

This music video was released in early May of this year, so it wouldn’t have been eligible for either Malmö or Copenhagen, but this is a great introduction into the sort of music he puts out. The song is like a rhythmic, symphonic ballad and even though I can’t tell what the lyrics are talking about (because it’s in Romanian), I can feel the emotion he puts into what he’s singing. This would have been a song that would had people with their hands in the air and if this was to go to Eurovision, I think it would do very well; maybe it would have been an underdog if it was Moldova’s song, like ‘Kedvesem’? More recently, he released this song in early August and this is the second language he sings in; English!

This track was almost eligible to be sent to Eurovision and be Moldova’s next song, but it was released a mere eleven days before September 1st and therefore, that dream will remain a distant hope, but this would also be a strong contender for a very high placing. The music video is pretty emotion-filled and also a little controversial, but the song is very good, no matter what the video contains. Were this song to go to Copenhagen, it might not have the same effect as ‘Despre Ea’, but it might be one to look out for if it gained a large fan following. El would be a really good artist for Moldova to send, but I would say that he would be better off singing in Romanian, as it suits him better.

For our second recommendation, we’ve completely turned the choices on their head and picked someone who’s the complete opposite of El; our second recommendation is Alina Șleahtițkaia, also known as Kaiia. She is one of Moldova’s most contemporary artists and continues to churn out really modern pop music.. she’s the Andra of Moldova! In May of this year, she released ‘Uhodi’, a really clubby song sung in Ukrainian.

This song, being released four days after Eurovision 2013, is illegible for Moldova to send next year to Denmark, but it would be a very good choice to send, because ‘Uhodi’ is a really catchy, modern dance track and this can help, or hinder, the performance. The music video is rather odd (in fact, it does remind me of the game Minecraft!), but I can’t see how this would affect people’s liking of the song.  If either El or Kaiia represented Moldova, I’d be really happy and if they send the right song, a good placing is definitely within their sights. But what are your views on the artists?

Your views:

What would you think if El Radu or Kaiia represented Moldova at Eurovision next year?

Would El or Kaiia bring a win home, in your opinion?
Would El or Kaiia bring a win home, in your opinion?

Svana Lístí Agnarsdóttir from Iceland: El Radu would be a great choice for Moldova! He has the voice; he has the looks, what can go wrong?

Patrick Herrington from the United Kingdom: El would be an interesting choice for Moldova.. I’d prefer a previous artist like Aliona Moon or Nelly Ciobanu to re-represent them.

Ilias Kozantinos from Cyprus: Let Kaiia go for Moldova! I absolutely love her and she’d be amazing if she went to Copenhagen. Can we just send her now?

So the fans have positive reactions to our choices for Moldova, although Patrick would be more suited towards previous singers like Aliona or Nelly. As much as we’d love them to return, the chances for a returning artist to do well again go down considerably.. at least in modern times (although Valentina Monetta may be the one to change this, as she’s been getting San Marino’s best placings ever since she’s started to take part). But what we’d like to know is what do you think about the choices? Would El or Kaiia be the best possible choice for Moldova? Or who would you suggest? Feel free to let us know what you think by commenting below!