It’s Chico Time! Or Is It?

Posted: 31/1/2006 in:

With the UK delegation remaining tight-lipped on their plans for this year’s Making Your Mind Up, it’s no surprise that rumours have begun to circulate about this year’s possible participants.

According to a story in the News Of The World over the weekend, those performers lining up for the chance to represent the UK in Athens include chart-toppers Liberty X, former Atomic Kitten Natasha Hamilton and a pair of less-known artists, DJ Daz (one of the people behind the dance act Uniting Nations) and new boy band 4 Storey.

However, it’s the name of the possible fifth participant that’s had Eurovision fans in a flap – the paper also reported that X Factor reject Chico (the Moroccan born former goat-herder) would be competing for UK glory with his spirited signature tune, It’s Chico Time.

The BBC has been very quick to scotch this speculation of course, saying it’s completely untrue and that the real line-up for the show, which is due to be broadcast on Saturday March 4, will be revealed in the next couple of weeks. In other words, we’ll have to wait a little longer to see if there’s any truth in the Chico rumours – but even if there isn’t, we wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised to see an X Factor contestant lining up among the other hopefuls. Just as long as it’s not the one who sang an elaborately choreographed version of Touch My Fire at his audition.

Language barriers

Posted: 23/1/2006 in:

News has reached us that this year’s Albanian hopeful, Luiz Ejlli, will be performing his entry, Zjarr E Fhtote, in his native language in Athens, rather than translating it into English.

According to ESC Today, Luiz took the decision after performing the song at a Eurovision fan club convention in Germany. There, fans had the chance to vote on whether it should be performed in English or Albanian, and overwhelmingly voted for the latter. It’ll be the first time that the country have sung in Albanian on the Eurovision stage – their two previous efforts, Image Of You and Tomorrow I Go, were both performed in English.

And frankly, Team Eurovision is hoping that other countries follow Albania’s suit and revert to their native languages for this year’s contest. Is it just us, or are there others out there who are none too keen on the ‘free language’ rule? Having been listening to a lot of past entries recently, we’ve realised just how much fun it is to hear Eurovision songs performed in all manner of diverse dialects – as much as we like the modern, English-language entries we can’t be alone in thinking they could be performed by any country.

As far as we’re concerned, a song sung in its native language has more of its own cultural identity and stands out a lot more – and in most cases it makes precious little difference to the quality of the song. What’s more, perhaps it might give those countries whose native language is English more of a chance of being noticed with their English language songs rather than just being another one of the pack.

We’re not saying that the free language rule should be dropped altogether – but it would be nice to see a few more countries opting for local dialect. We did have one other idea – which was to introduce a new rule, in which countries have to sing in someone else’s native language. But then again, that would just be silly.

Armenia’s debut!

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Having announced their intention to join the line-up in Athens, Eurovision newcomers Armenia have also become one of the first countries to choose their song for the contest.

According to ESC Today, popular Armenian singer Andre will represent his home country on the big night – although the exact title of the song has yet to be confirmed. As debutants in the contest, they’ll be competing in the semi-final on May 18. And what of Andre himself? Well, we don’t know much about him, although apparently he won an award for Armenia’s best male singer last month. Let’s wait and see if he lives up to the promise.

Lisa Scott Lee for the UK??

Posted: 3/1/2006 in:

So a new year is upon us, one in which, it has been noted, Eurovision has yet to take place! Which means that it’s time to start speculating once again about what might happen this year – and what better way to kick off 2006 than with a rumour that’s currently doing the rounds about the UK representative?

According to several websites and various newspapers, former Steps stalwart Lisa Scott-Lee is keen to represent le Royaume-Uni in Athens, in an effort to re-ignite her solo career. “People may laugh but some acts have had a lot of success after being in the contest,” she’s been quoted as saying.

Although her participation hasn’t been confirmed yet, if she were to make a bid for Eurovision glory she’d be following in the footsteps of singing sibling Andy, who missed out on a trip to Kiev after failing to impress Making Your Mind Up viewers with his dreary ballad Guardian Angel. The question is though – is having Lisa represent the UK really such a good idea?

Granted, given the right song she might well be able to pull off a good performance on the night but what’s the betting she’d end up singing the kind of throwaway pop that has served us so badly in recent contests? We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – the UK needs to have a total rethink for its 2006 representative and come up with something a bit fresher, rather than relying on reality TV rejects or popstars looking to recapture former glories, and giving them half-baked songs to sing. We’ll reserve judgment for now, but if this does turn out to be true let’s hope it’s not a disaster waiting to happen.