The Super Saturday left us with no less than eight new entries for Belgrade. And here they are, complete with Mr Becks' first impression.
Deep Zone & Balthazar - DJ, Take Me Away - Bulgaria 2008
At first I don't understand much - a hard beat turns into some pseudo reggae before turning back into a dance track. And there, somewhere, I begin to see the point. This will work wonders in the clubs (maybe not only in Bulgaria), but that does not necessarily translate into ESC success. But best of luck to the Bulgarians DJ's. Thanks for trying, anyway.
Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents - Romanca - Croatia 2008
Street musicians complete with a street bench and a loud old man and everything. Not without charm, but 100 % made for domestic consumption. Most people outside the Slavic sphere will get absolutely nothing out of this. Whatever happened to the pop music of Croatia? Will we never hear a pop chorus from them ever again?
Euroband - This is my life - Iceland 2008
Two fabulous singers make the most out of a rather weak song. Add some intense 90's beat, and there you have Euroband, trying to get Iceland into the final for the first time since 2004. Given the way the national selections are shaping, it would not be impossible for them to pass into the Saturday night show, but RUV will be spared the trouble of organising the international event also next year.
Dustin the Turkey - Irlande Douze Points - Ireland 2008
Ah, well. It won. That fact doesn't make me half as sad as the fact that many, seriously many, people seem to find it the funniest entry ever. Come back Scooch, all is forgiven. Not even Germany would have gone for this one in their saddest days of comedy back in the 90's.
Tamara Todevska, Adrian Gahxa & Vrcak - Vo ime na ljubovta - FYR Macedonia 2008
The only clip available on the net is this, somewhat out-of-tune, reprise rendering. Hard to say whether this will work or not, as it will probably be polished a bit before the ESC, but I really like FYR Macedonia's efforts of bringing less typical Eurovision sounds into the contest.
Ani Lorak - Shady Lady - Ukraine 2008
Baccara has really left their mark on large territories of this old continent, that is for sure. A more than OK disco song, competently belted out by Ani Lorak, who almost got to represent her country already back in 2005. Not bad at all, and probably a grower, but given the recent quirkyness and originality of the Ukraine, I had maybe hoped for a tiny bit more.
Nico & Vlad Mirita - Pe-o margine de lume - Romania 2008
I have no idea what song the backing singers think they are dancing to, but that slight criticism aside, I find myself liking this. Traditional, straight-forward pop ballad that could have made top three in Sanremo anytime during the late 80's. Very well sung, uncomplicated and appealing. Well done, Romania.
Isis Gee - For Life - Poland 2008
Big voice and big ballad from Poland who, for once, I think, got it right in their national final. Luckily, this is not just the stereotypical big ballad that just wants to show off some pretty vocal chords, but it is also quite engaging. The only thing I miss is a bigger bang by the end, but I would be surprised to see Poland miss the final this year.