Dear friends, we finally find ourselves on the eve of the national final season properly kicking off. Yes, I know Albania & the Czech Republic have already picked their chosen ones but it doesn’t feel right until you’re streaming at least two different country’s broadcasts at the same time. If the Coca-Cola truck is to Christmas then watching multiple streams, not understanding a word of multiple languages, is to the Eurovision national final season for me.

Sanremo is coming, Sanremo is coming…alloras the real thing

Last weekend saw the return of Lithuania’s Pabandom iš naujo! which, given increasingly strong showings up to 2020, was highly anticipated. However, given the quality of entries, it was less a party atmosphere and more a work event atmosphere. These are not the same thing. The opening heat was something of a damp squib with no standouts worthy of succeeding The Roop. There’s still some big names from previous iterations to come so there is hope the quality can improve. Given the literal translation of the show’s title is “Let’s Try Again!” I’m happy to go along with that on Saturday night.

Launching this weekend is Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix. MGP produced one of the national finals of last season with 4 or 5 songs worthy of a Eurovision appearance. Ultimately though, the 2021 competition ended as a two-horse race and now 2022 may well follow suit. Although there will be plenty of fun to come from Trollfest and their entry Dance Like a Pink Flamingo and atmosphere courtesy of Maria Mohn’s Fly I can’t quite see either making the cut. For many there’s Elsie Bay’s Death of Us, a mixture of the modern Eilish style and dark Nordic drama we know they do so well. We can only speculate as to whether or not Elsie did something terrible in her early youth. However, if you’re looking for something a little lighter then look no further than…

In Subwoolfer’s Give That Wolf a Banana we have that rare combination of a genuinely great electro track also being actually funny. We’ve seen plenty of novelty acts at Eurovision as well as many serious acts who were inadvertedley funny, but this is neither. It’s actually a humourous banger. Should it achieve the unthinkable and win the whole thing the final word sung at the 2022 Contest will be “Keith”. That’s a Eurovision world I want to live in.

There’s also a great deal of mystery surrounding the real identity of these terrifying child’s drawings come to life. A common theory is this being a reincarnation Ylvis, of “What Does the Fox Say?” fame. Styles, both sartorial and musically, would point to this being a sensible theory. Others claim 2017 entrant Jowst is behind the project which would again make some sense. Some have thrown out Fred & Tom from Keiino and others even suggesting Bobbysocks. OK, that last one is just me suggesting that but as rumours go, you’ve got to admit that’s a fun one!

Elsewhere, Finland confirmed their line-up for UMK with one very recognisable name for those of us with a soft spot for early 00s pop rock. Just the mention of The Rasmus takes one back to a time of sitting in my bedroom, sporting questionable fashion choices as I pondered as to why the world just didn’t understand me. Come to think of it, not much has changed. It’s going to take a lot to live up In The Shadows but they may just do it. It’s not like Finland have tried to send an internationally known name, famed for one absolute anthem, only for it to fail miser…oh right. 

The fact those jeans weren’t the worst choice made here says all you need to know.

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