Cascada will represent Germany in this year’s contest with ‘Glorious’. See its winning performance in yesterday’s national final here. The song is an uplifting eurodance track very much in the mould of last year’s winner ‘Euphoria’, as Ben Cook was the first to admit in our comments section.
The group are a very big fish by Eurovision standards with over 20 million album sales under frontwoman Natalie Horler’s corset. Their most successful hit ‘Evacuate the Dancefloor’ was a UK number one in 2009, charted highly across western Europe and went platinum in the US. Horler is a highly familiar face.
All this led Nick D to shrewdly ponder the ‘Producers’ Dilemma’: biggest likely name, big song – where do you choose to put it in the running order? First or last makes sense but then there’s a risk you “crown it or kill it”. I’ll add that it also represents one of the ‘Big 5’ who contribute the most financially to the contest.
It’s a bit of a conundrum for punters too.
Firstly, let’s deal with the fact that ‘Glorious’ is so obviously from the same template as ‘Euphoria’. In Cascada’s defence, the latter was hardly original and ‘Glorious’ fits in very comfortably with their established back catalogue of eurodance they themselves helped become mainstream.
Will juries and televoters be so forgiving? Modern Eurovisions have not witnessed two such similar efforts winning back-to-back. There must be a fear that too many people will judge that ‘Glorious’ is jumping on the coattails of ‘Euphoria’.
Another related problem for Cascada is that Loreen’s striking presentation of ‘Euphoria’ helped it transcend the genre, a particular achievement with ballad-favouring juries where it was the runaway winner. Dance tracks had a notoriously bad record in the contest previously. Admittedly most of them had been poor and/or badly performed, but even the effectively if traditionally delivered ‘This is My Life’ failed to reach the top ten for Iceland in 2008.
Loreen came up with the antithesis of this shiny, air-punching triumphalism for something far more dark and mysterious. In hindsight, it was a key element of the winning package. We are not to know how ‘Glorious’ will be staged in Malmo, but it seems highly likely to be a more conventional affair of the kind we saw in the German final, closer to the Euroband model than the ‘Euphoria’ one.
To be fair, Natalie did a tremendous job of selling ‘Glorious’ there. Her vocals were strong, she looked like she was having fun and she worked the stage as much as anyone could be expected to given the demands on her voice. The professionalism she displayed and the nature of the song helped lift the arena, which will be handy come Malmo. Arguably juries won’t ignore that, however much she may suffer with the ‘Euphoria’ comparisons among this constituency in particular.
It will be interesting to speculate how juries mark the German entry relative to the Norwegian club track, ‘I Feed You My Love’. Panos has already speculated that the more “artistic”, less “Eurovisiony” feel and presentation of the latter may be popular among these panels. I’m inclined to agree and that may help Margaret Berger have the edge over Cascada here.
With televoters that may be reversed though we’ll have to see if the Norwegian staging becomes more viewer-friendly. Cascada have a far more mainstream number and the benefit of a ready-made fanbase. It was surely rather favourable to their chances in the national final to have the presenter remind viewers when introducing ‘Glorious’ of their previous success in the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and France among others.
The flip side of being a big name is that bookmakers and other punters overrate its importance and the price reflects this. Actually, immediate reaction to Cascada’s success was slightly muted on Betfair, where ‘Glorious’ currently stands at close to its best price of 12-1 among the High Street firms. But the name and strong national final performance should see support largely hold firm. Does this make Germany a lay opportunity?
I don’t think it’s this year’s winner for reasons I have given above. But looking for a 40% return from my Eurovision week means that I’m not tempted to lay that outright price anytime soon, especially if as expected it remains among the market leaders.
What about in the Top Ten market? Here I have built up large liabilities before the contest laying fan favourites such as Hungary (2011) and Cyprus (2012). I can’t see myself doing the same for Germany at the moment. This is mainly because Natalie Horler is such a professional on stage compared to what we knew beforehand of X Factor also-rans Kati Wolf and Ivi Adamou, who – to be fair to both – didn’t disgrace themselves.
Cascada have their fans and detractors. I recognise that it’s not sophisticated stuff but I enjoy bopping to ‘Evacuate The Dancefloor’ as much as anybody and I look forward to doing the same for ‘Glorious’. Either way, this kind of big name is only good for the profile of the contest and punters looking to take positions on either side. Where do you stand? Let us know below.