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VIDEO VIDEO: Secret Garden - Nocturne

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Norway may still hold the record for biggest win with the pretty boy violinist Alexander Rybak, but years before in a different millenium, another violinist act graced us with an entry like no other.

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I decided this week to mix things up a bit. Instead of delving into the modern vaults of the weird and wonderful, I thought about an act that really mixed things up a bit, and like my review of Siren by Malcolm Lincoln, I give credit to the acts that stare the status quo in the face and give it an almighty headbutt. This act may be well-known, and I usually stay well away from winning entries, but I could not resist spilling my thoughts on one of the most intruiging and haunting performances that I have ever seen. It took a stroke of genius for Norway to delve into the recess of their experimental music scene, and pluck out neo-classical "Secret Garden", whose mystical "Nocturne" sounded like it was picked straight from Norweigan Folklore. Not to discredit anything they did, because this was a game changer, but to chose a Norweigan/Irish new instrumental band to win in Dublin was pure gold, I am sure it tugged on the heart strings of the Irish, as well as the rest of Europe. They romped to victory with 148 points, and despite the lack of chart success, they can hold their head up high as one of the most memorable acts in recent history.

Nevertheless, what did the 12points jury think of this frollic through the midnight garden?

Song/Lyrics: 11/12

This song has the most memorable lyrics in any act I can remember (and that includes Leto Svet in 2008) because of the sheer lack of lyrics. In all, they used a mere 24 words, the lowest amount of words any winner has had. Call me pretentious, but this is a prime example of how more is spoken with few words rather than many; the music did the talking. Be it what you may, the interpretations of this song are fast coming and endless. From looking after the environment, to living in a world that is not our own reality, even that of an experimental Norweigan duo trying to hard in a european song competition, the world is your oyster. Nevertheless, the lyrics are unmistakably gorgeous. Simply put, "Even the darkness must disappear sometime, so the night can give birth to a day". If that doesn't deserve a place on a self help poster, then I don't know what does.

Performance: 9/12

Once again, and call me crazy, but it is rated so highly because of the lack of it, rather like complimenting an invisible person on their impeccable dress sense. But this was a game changer, and with a mere 5 musicians they created magic. The only thing they had at their finger tips was an irish violinist (who would run circles around Alexander Rybak), a fair voiced vocalist, a manner of strange but beautiful instruments and some enchanting lighting. This is a great example of eurovision on a budget, and with Irelands huge winning streak matched only by their financial difficulties, could learn a thing or two about creating something amazing with a lack of funds. Its like a big musical pot roast. They didn't need tech-fancy pyrotechnics or complicated staging, the song did the talking and despite just 24 words in its vocabulary, it spoke in droves. I mean don't get me wrong, it got a little monotonous after a while but what do you expect with neo-classical, backflips and fireworks?

Choreography (Including Hair-ography and Arm-ography): 5/12

The early 90's was a year for the understatement, as the winners put forth their music and their souls, not their best foot forward. Only when we got Dana International banging on our door did we start to see some beat, but if she is one thing its not understated. Nevertheless, they could have mixed it up a little and added some high kicks, show a bit of leg maybe? It just would not suit. This seems like scoring low wouldn't neccesarily be a bad thing.

Then again, a couple of slut drops might not have gone amiss. 

Key Change Effectiveness: 9/12

I am beginning to think I will have to mourn the loss of the key change. But where are you going to get a key change in a song has more words than San Marino has qualification odds? The song just ran smoothly, and it may not have gone up in terms of key but it did reach a very splendid crescendo, it picked up naturally. It didn't have an explosive finish, but it could have done with a little more ending instead of just ending. But it won, what do I know?

Camp Factor: 6/12

The only camp thing i can think of this song having is the violinist's hair style, the 80's must have left something in that secret garden. But this song oozes mystical class, they were against any eurovision machine and pushed boundaries. Camp is not the style, and they wanted to get as far away from Bobbysocks as possible, which is a job in itself considering one half of the duo wrote the damn thing. Everything is connected with Norweigan Eurovision winners, how strange. 

Total: 40/60: This score really doesn't do the song justice. Part norweigan mystery and part irish folk music, this neo-classical hit could only have been complimented by the northern lights or a misty staged ballet solo, Norway wasn't going down without a fight. Not many songs have been able to match the success and style of this charismatic beauty, God forbid anyone really tries. This will go down in the annuls of Eurovision Victors who skipped through the Irish night and came out with something unlike anything Eurovision had ever seen.

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