Saturday Reject: Sara Lumholdt – Enemy

She is ripping off Cheryl Cole a bit, isn’t she?

Tom: Another one that didn’t make it through Melodifestivalen.

Tim: Annoyingly, the uploader stopped this video just short of my favourite part of this performance: a collection of signs some of her fans brought along to hold up.

Tom: SNEMY! Ah, I love Snemy. Wait, that’s not her name. Well, at least we know she’s singing live.

Tim: Ooh, harsh. But yes.

Tom: She is ripping off Cheryl Cole a bit, isn’t she? Red military jacket, marching choreography, holes cut into her clothing. All in all, I’m rather glad this one didn’t make it through, because that ‘enemy, enemy, enemy’ really starts to get old quickly. It sounds like it wants to be a big club singalong track, but the melody isn’t one you’d want to belt out: it’s just repetitive.

Tim: See, I actually really like this. You’re right about the ‘enemy’ being repetitive, and it’s not far off a generic Cheryl Cole track, but I’m not sure that either of those are necessarily bad things. I also think the rest of the chorus is great, especially the backing singers.

Tom: And despite all the hallmarks of leading into a key change, there isn’t one. We need a name for this kind of thing, Tim, something that’s better than my suggestion of “Key Change Blue Balls”.

Tim: Yes. Something much better, I think.

Saturday Reject: Father McKenzie – Good Enough

A bit like an 80s power ballad.

Tim: Another from Finland, this time reaching the final and eventually coming third.

Tom: And named after an obscure character from a Beatles song. This seems promising.

Tim: I really like this.

Tom: So do I. That chorus is somehow both lighters-in-the-air and fist-pumping at the same time, which is something that doesn’t happen much since 80s power ballads. Actually, this is a bit like an 80s power ballad, isn’t it?

Tim: It is, especially with that keyboard synth. We start off with a quiet one instrument and vocal intro, already with a decent energy level, and then all of a sudden everything else jumps in, and he jumps up and around a bit. Actually, put like that it’s like Love Shine A Light. Hmm. Anyway, this song peaks fairly early, but never really comes down, and it is, overall, very Eurovision worthy.

Tom: Top key change, as well – in the middle of the song. Shame this one got rejected, really; I think it’d have stood a good chance.

Tim: Two weird things, though: firstly, potentially awkward costume choice, and secondly why does he keep running back to the piano? There’s plenty of piano being played when he’s not there, so he’s clearly not necessary.

Tom: It’s like a security blanket. Only more difficult to cuddle up to.

Saturday Reject: Linda Sundblad – Lucky You

The whole song is a bit 80s Kylie

Tom: Sadly not a cover of the Lightning Seeds classic. Europlop reader Roger writes in to suggest this reject, which he reckons is better than Le Kid’s performance.

First of all, Tim, I will buy you a drink if you can tell me what that opening guitar riff is lifted from.

Tim: Do you know, that got me when I saw this on the night, and I still haven’t worked it out. I have a feeling it is Red Hot Chili Peppers; which song it is, though, I do not know.

Tom: Full marks for choreography, although the fact that none of them are actually playing annoys me more than it reasonably should.

I saw the ‘LUCKY’ spelled out in sequins on the back of her jacket, and thought “that’s a bit 80s Kylie, isn’t it?” Then I realised that really, the whole song is a bit 80s Kylie. Triumphant bridge exit and key change, with a proper breakdown before it – this could be a lost Minogue track.

Tim: I’m not so sure about the bridge exit – I’d have preferred a rerun of ‘lucky lucky you’ rather than an ‘o-oh o-oh’. Having said that, if we’re going for things I want we should also chuck in an extra key change at 2:33. And it’s not so much any more, but the first time I saw it I wanted one halfway through the second chorus (1:50), because I felt the song was dragging a bit. Would three key changes be too many?

Tom: On this song? No it wouldn’t.

Saturday Reject: Nikki Kavanagh – Falling

I know this isn’t perfect, but dammit, I like it

Tim: For the second time in recent years, Ireland’s public chose novelty over talent; their jury made a somewhat better call, but sadly were just overruled.

Tom: Bloody Jedward.

Tim: Now, I know this isn’t perfect – there’s not much movement from the singer, it’s not particularly adventurous, and the key change is as clichéd as they come. But dammit, I like this. I like the calm backing music and the fact that all the emotion needs to come from her, because it does, and it works. And yes, it’s a textbook key change, but here that’s no bad thing at all.

Tom: I don’t think it would have won – although with that key change, I think it could have got bloody close. It’d get them through the semis, definitely, and I think they’d have got close to the top.

Tim: With a little bit more instrumentation this might just have made it; as it is, Ireland will be represented by what most of the world refer to as ‘those two dickheads with the stupid hair’. Well, their loss, I suppose.

Tom: In more ways than one.

Saturday Reject: Anniela – Elektrisk

She’s got a small hedge on her neck

Tim: Her first entry into the competition, this came sixth in the second heat of Melodifestivalen.

Tim: Staging: brilliant. I think it is, anyway.

Tom: You’re absolutely right: compared to Jimi’s trade show booth last Saturday, this is… well, it’s electric, isn’t it?

Tim: Aptly put, sir. I do have a couple of reservations about the costume: I’m not entirely sure why she’s got a small hedge on her neck for one thing, and those bow ties are obscenely large. Musically, the choruses are quite good, and there’s a decent beat to it, although the verses just sort of drift along a bit, so the song as a whole seems to be left wanting.

Tom: There is a bit too much ‘Elektrisk’ in there, simple as that. It’s repeated about a hundred times during the song, so by the time it gets to the bridge it’s already starting to grate. Even the key change can’t rescue it.

Tim: Having said that, if it’s any consolation for her, one minor music TV station did at least enjoy it, and with a disturbing number of exclamation marks as well.

Saturday Reject: Jimi Constantine – Party to Party

Is he drunk?

Tim: Finland’s favourite topless Weird Al soundalike failed to get past the semi-final, which is a shame.

Tim: I say shame, but it isn’t really. Well, sort of. The thing is, the song is actually quite good, as evidenced by the studio version (even if the spoken ‘not gonna live forever’ does bear more than a passing resemblance to a spoken ‘dirty Cinderella‘), but the performance on the night seemed more like he just wanted to have a laugh than actually perform properly.

Tom: Is he drunk? He’s off-key frequently, shouting a lot, and seems to attempt the key change a verse early (at 1:46) before realising that no-one else is doing it.

Tim: It does seem like that, doesn’t it? The thing is, that sort of this is all well and good if he’s touring, say, and playing to a load of fans who know what they’re getting, but it isn’t really going to win over a nation of people who want someone who can be counted on to present a good image of their country.

Tom: Interesting how low-budget the set is, too: they’ve got him a couple of banners, as if it was some kind of trade show.

Tim: You think that’s low budget? You’ve been watching too much Melodifestivalen, mate. Finland pushed the boat out big time compared to other countries – Ireland, for example, just used the normal Late Late Show set, and as for Belgium, I think they just looked for the nearest cupboard (and yes, that really is their entry).

Back to Jimi’s performance, though, despite all the drunken antics I still enjoyed it. Sure, it would have been nice if it was a bit more musical, and he could have got together with the backing singers beforehand and decided who was taking charge after the bridge, but there was an energy there that really wasn’t present in many of Finland’s other competitors.

Tom: An energy best summed up by the young girl averting her eyes and possibly crying in the last few frames of the clip. She speaks for Finland.

Saturday Reject: Le Kid – Oh My God

Dancing and singing liquorice allsorts, ejaculating cupcakes

Tim: You may be expecting a Saturday Flashback round about now, but no! Since there are now less than three months to go until Eurovision 2011, changes are afoot: most countries have begun their selection process, and some have already chosen. There is of course only room for one song per country (which is kind of the point, I suppose) and so some otherwise excellent tracks will fall by the wayside, destined for album track obscurity (and some terrible tracks will go forward, but that’s a whinge for another time). Anyway, we feel that many of those deserve more attention, and we start with a song that got kicked out of the first heat of Melodifestivalen in fifth place* a couple of weeks back.

* Melodifestivalen workings, for any who don’t know: four heats of eight; the top two go straight to the final, third and fourth go through to the second chance round (‘Andra Chansen’), from which another two go through to the final.

Tim: OMG indeed. A disappointing exit, as right from the get go it was by far and away the most enthusiastic performance there was that night.

Tom: Enthusiastic, to be sure, but I can’t help but start singing ‘Spaceman’ by the Killers every time they start on the ‘oh, oh, oh’ bit of the chorus. Or the ‘don’t stop, push it now’ from The Sounds’ ‘Tony The Beat’ over… well, all of it.

Tim: Hmm, maybe, but what with the colours, the outfits, the dancing and singing liquorice allsorts and the ejaculating cupcakes, it’s basically everything we know and like about Le Kid.

Tom: It is that. I can’t help but like it – although that is, as I’ve mentioned before, partly due to the attractive women in low-cut outfits. But despite all that, I think Sweden made the right decision here. It’s happy, it’s bouncy, but it ain’t a Eurovision winner.

Tim: Maybe it was just too much – who knows.

Tom: Where was the key change, Tim? There should have been a key change.