International Video Challenge

Representing Norway: Donkeyboy – Ambitions
It may not be immediately obvious how great this song is, but by the end of your first listen I think most of you will agree with me that it is lovely. It’s not original, it’s not innovative, it’s just nice to listen to… and sometimes that’s all you need. Donkeyboy are a Norwegian band and this song’s earning them plenty of critical acclaim and a steadily growing fanbase at the moment. They’ve been compared to pop legends such as Michael Jackson, Madonna and fellow Norwegians A-Ha (who also have a song out at the moment), and while I don’t think they’ll be quite that successful, it would be nice to see a Norwegian act making waves outside of their home country as it’s a strangely rare occurence.

Representing Germany: Cherona – Ching Chang Chong
This song is obviously rubbish and outdated (except the bridge, which is great and sounds oddly like Little Boots’ Remedy), but I love them anyway for valiantly trying to bring back late 90s Europop. If I heard this on German radio I’d just presume it was an ATC song I hadn’t heard, as it sounds so much like them. Ching Chang Chong seems to be doing quite well, getting lots of plays on YouTube, so perhaps in Germany there is still a market for this kind of thing. If only there was in the UK! What with Aqua’s brilliant comeback and the trend for sampling Europop songs in rap music, we’re having a bit of a Europop revival at the moment, and I really hope it continues and leads to some new acts of a bit higher quality than Cherona. If Cherona are the ATC of 2009, where are the Vengaboys or Steps of today?

Representing Belgium: Ellektra – Real Love
Flemish actress-turned-singer Eline de Munck, best known for her quite ace 2008 single Footprints in the Sand, has rebranded herself as Ellektra and returned with a more fun, upbeat sound and a dirtied up new look obviously inspired by the popularity of acts such as Katy Perry and Lady GaGa. She actually manages to look like both of them during the video thanks to some carefully chosen wigs. I feel like I should love this song and as it stands I only like it, but perhaps it will grow on me. I’m sure those among you who love any sexed up girl-pop singer will be very impressed, anyway. I just hope it was her own choice to go in this direction because it’s quite different to the ‘girl next door’ image she used to have.

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