ALGERIA V RUSSIA
Guest referee: Richard Dawson — Music writer
“Bear with me one this one, it does have some redeeming features. Just look at the lyrics when translated from their native Algerian; "We are soldiers fighting for the truth, And we have been fighting for independence". This is pretty much the Jordin Sparks ‘Battlefield’ of its time. Then there’s that military beat. As demonstrated by Destiny’s Child ‘Lose My Breath’, it's a proven fact that every song that makes use of marching band is a corker. That’s two good bits… That cymbal clash at 1.02 is nice isn’t it? It also made me realise that there are not nearly enough of those in pop music full stop (#cymbalgate). All in all, it’s the national anthem equivalent of a Cheryl Cole album — a few nice elements but a bit of a mess when it’s all put together."
Aleksey Goman & Ruslan Alehno — 'State Anthem of the Russian Federation'
“Here we have a pair of Narodniy Artist champs (and some other bloke) with a rendition of the snappily-titled Russian national anthem, ‘The State Anthem of the Russian Federation’. Sporting a lovely blonde mullet, the first guy seems quite into it; lots of popstar eyebrow action and endearing looks at his fellow performers (hopefully not too endearing, they are in Russia after all). Side fringe then takes over, complete with full ‘Céline-hand’. Not too sure about that, at least do the fistclench if you’re going to attempt it. Then baldie hops in for the last bit, looking like he’s just wandered out of an afternoon meeting at an estate agents. All in all, you have to admit it’s a bold move to cover the national anthem. Imagine Joe McElderry and Olly Murs doing a camper than Christmas, balls to the wall version of ‘God Save The Queen’. Actually don’t, it would be too amazing."
Richard's full time score:
Algeria 2 — Russia 3
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Next up: Brazil vs Chile