International Video Challenge

Representing the Netherlands and Sweden: Kim-Lian & Linda Bengtzing – Not That Kind of Girl
In what has to be one of the most unexpected duets of all time, two of my favourite popstars have teamed up, despite neither one being famous in each other’s home country. It’s a mystery how Kim and Linda even met! I’m not sure if the video is good, bad or just weird, but I definitely like the song. It’s great to have Kim back on the pop scene, and fun to hear how Linda sounds in English. With them as a duo, singing a song that’s equal parts cheese and attitude, and dressed like drag queens, what this reminds me most of is actually the brilliant and much-missed girlband, Shebang! It’s a very cute pop song, which will certainly appeal to fans of both the girls, and hopefully help each of them build a fanbase in the other’s country.

Representing the USA: Ashley Tisdale – Crank It Up
It’s proof of the brilliance of Ashley’s latest album, Guilty Pleasure, that this is one of my least favourite tracks and it’s still one of the best new singles of the moment. If you haven’t heard the album, I highly recommend it. Crank It Up is the work of the Swedish production team, TWIN, who’ve worked with everyone from Darin and Velvet to S Club 8 and Da Buzz. The only problem is the video, which seems to me like a desperate attempt to position Ashley as a wannabe Britney. Crank It Up is a song about having a party with your friends, so can’t that be the theme of the video too? No-one wants to see Sharpay slutting it up in her underwear in a man sandwich, thanks very much!

Representing Australia: Guy Sebastian – Like It Like That
Remember Guy Sebastian, the first winner of Australian Idol and their entrant to World Idol? Well, I remember his hair anyway, and that his music was quite boring. He’s still at it, though, and actually doing quite well down under. The new single, which is currently no.2 in the Aussie singles charts (it was at no.1 until recently and has gone platinum), has a very catchy chorus. The video is quite boring and his face is uglier than I remember, but I can’t help enjoying the song. The “hey-yo” bits are great! Considering that Guy’s last song didn’t chart and the one before got to no.32, it’s a massive turn-around for his career, and hopefully he’s got some other songs as ace as this up his sleeve to keep the momentum going.

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