Yesterday I listed my favourite Eurovision songs from the past 10 years and my choice was mostly based on my favourite genres (i.e. lots of rock and ethnic sounds). However, there are many other songs from this contest which, although part of a genre that I am not a fan of, make me sing them and dance to them, without really wanting to! These are what I call guilty pleasure songs.
These earworms are listed here as guilty pleasures for different reasons. Some are what you can call gimmick songs, which prevailed in the contest up till a few years ago: songs that are submitted almost as a joke and that no one takes seriously, even though they are still enjoyed by many. Then there are those pop songs that are so clichéd and banal yet so damn catchy (especially because they repeat the same words or syllables over and over).
Finally, somewhere between these two categories, are songs that are actually considered good, and they even place well. However, again, they can be of such an ordinary subject or genre that it can naturally make you feel guilty for liking it.
So check them out and see if they also make you feel guilty for humming them or swaying to them.
Read the previous posts:
- Part 1 – My Top 5 Malta Eurovision Songs
- Part 2 – My Top 5 Sweden Eurovision Songs
- Part 3 – My Top 10 Eurovision Songs from the Last Decade (2006 – 2015)
Part 4 – My Top 10 Eurovision Guilty Pleasure Songs
10. Zdob și Zdub – So Lucky (Moldova, 2011)
This weird-looking band’s first appearance in the Eurovision was back in 2005 with “Boonika bate doba” and became famous for having a granny on stage. For “So Lucky” instead they had a cute girl riding a monocycle while the singer wore a strange pointy hat. Apart from seeming funny at the time, the trumpet part of the song remained in my memory till this day.
9. Jedward – Lipstick (Ireland, 2011)
Jedward look like Justin Bieber who just electrocuted himself and doubled up. That imagery is enough to make anyone feel guilty for liking a song coming from them. Yet they’re so full of energy that it’s easy to become absorbed into their song. They were quite a hit that year, placing 8th. They returned the year after with “Waterline” but failed to have the same success.
8. Jessy Matador – Allez Ola Olé (France, 2010)
What’s this?! France, proud creators of romantic Frenchy ballads, have sent a summery football anthem? Yes, they did, and the association with football is correct since they used it as a promo tune for the FIFA World Cup later that year. I challenge you to listen to it and not to jump up and down, shouting “Allez Ola Olé”.
7. Malena Ernman – La Voix (Sweden, 2009)
This is so Swedish, meaning that it’s so danceable, a typical disco anthem. With the difference that the vocals are operatic. Pop opera is one of those genres which I hate to love and which can be quite popular in Malta. In fact, I started noticing this song more and more after seeing it being covered by almost every Maltese singer on tv. In the contest, it only placed 21st.
6. Rodolfo Chikilicuatre – Baila el Chiki-chiki (Spain, 2008)
This is the first purely gimmicky song on the list. In 2008, Spain was like “to hell with this” and sent this guy with an Elvis-like hairstyle and awkward-sexy female dancers. His voice irks me, and I am not a fan of reggaeton, but it’s still hilarious to listen to, especially when you understand the silly lyrics. “Perreia perreia!”
5. Sébastien Tellier – Divine (France, 2008)
Okay, so 2008 was the year in which the Big countries decided to go crazy. Well, Tellier seems to be a regular artist but among the typical Eurovision acts, he appeared bizarre, to say the least. At first, it might sound like a monotonous song, but that repetitive sound can be addicting. Later, the song was used for a Renault commercial, just to make sure that I won’t forget it.
4. Verka Serduchka – Dancing Lasha Tumbai (Ukraine, 2007)
Eurovision, as we all know, is sometimes more about the glitter than the music. Ukraine’s 2007 entry was perhaps one of the shiniest ever, thanks to the fictional character created by Andriy Danylko, with her metallic costume and the equally metallic-looking dancers. The dance tune and the mocking vocals will make you wiggle your butt. However, the song was also controversial for the apparently hidden message against Russia.
3. Buranovskiye Babushki – Party for Everybody (Russia, 2012)
And speaking of Russia, we can never forget this act, made up of 6 elderly women donning traditional costumes and singing who knows what. All we know is that they wanted everyone to party and dance. In fact, the show was complete with awkward dance moves and cute toothless smiles. In the end, everybody just wanted to party with these cool and brave grannies.
2. D’NASH – I Love You Mi Vida (Spain, 2007)
To a regular pop fan, this might seem like a good song. I am not saying that it’s not – for me, it is, in a way, since I still listen to it to this day. But of course, there are always those guilt feelings. Just look at them. The average boy band, all dressed in white and trying to sing while dancing at the same time. So clichéd. So addictive.
1. Eric Saade – Popular (Sweden, 2011)
I hope I am not angering anyone for putting this at the top of the guilty pleasure list. Saade placed 3rd (just a year before Loreen won the contest) and that makes it a good song by Eurovision standards. But what I said about Jedward applies here too. To me, he looks like Justin Bieber and that already raises the guilt factor. To make it worse, he is sounding arrogant when singing about his aims for becoming popular. But whatever: he’s cute and charming, and the song is catchy. I frequently sing it, and so far, no other Eurovision song had the same earworm effect.
Practically all the booty-shaking songs
What do I mean by booty-shakers? Those danceable pop songs, performed mostly by sexy ladies (but sometimes even by guys, whether sexy or not) wearing short dresses and accompanied by dancers. Apart from the dance music and repetitive catchphrases, many of them also include ethnic sounds which make it even more danceable. Like the above song “Qele qele” (Armenia, 2008) or Hadise’s “Dum Tek Tek” (Turkey, 2009). Most of these songs tend to come from particular countries too, like Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Ukraine and Armenia. There are too many to list, but if you check some entries from the countries mentioned above, you’ll definitely find one. Forever booty-shaking, forever feeling guilty!
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