Carmen Sandiego England (managed by Ronald) top Group D at the moment – sparking tabloid frenzy back home – while Uruguay (Matthew), Costa Rica (Pete) and Italy (Andrew Hickey) will be looking to stop their momentum. It could be a closely fought group, with mind games aplenty as several managers have played down their chances of progress.

Four tracks, two votes – the poll is below the cut, along with the latest Group B standings.

ENGLAND: Natalia Kills – “Controversy”
Current Points: 3

“After winning the first match, England wants to show that it’s not all the same thing like some of its detractors think. England has a style but that style has many facets, some expected and some unexpected. Our next player up is Natalia Kills with her second album’s buzz single, Controversy. The West Yorkshire-born, London-raised Kills has dabbled in various genres over her career, including a run as a teen pop rapper named Verbalicious in the mid 00s. Controversy starts of with some instrumental that wouldn’t sound out of place on a 1950s tv show but then some bitchy voicemail comes and the song goes in a different direction. It gets harder, heavier. The song is more of a drone/chant than your typical pop song. But it still makes you want to bop.”

URUGUAY: Carmen Sandiego – “Generacion 2002”
Current Points: 2

“Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Oh, that’s right, making a stab at the goal while in the guise of a twee Uruguayan man. Los Uruguayos want to keep the UK on their toes, hence the surprise tactical switch after Dani Umpi’s flashy yet noble efforts in Round 1. Plus Carmen’s got a surprisingly strong kick, considering.”

COSTA RICA: Patterns – “Martian”
Current Points: 1

“After hours of digging through the no-good metal mines of Costa Rica, and skirting the “not sure if anyone even likes this anymore ” Reggaeton suburbs of San Jose, the task of being Costa Rica’s manager seemed almost impossible. And yet, there, in a roadside shack was an impressive funk dance fourpiece who, for whatever you might feel about the dated eighties smoothness of the track, were tight, bought the song in on time and scored where it matters. Lord knows why its called Martian though.

ITALY: Baustelle – “La Natura”
Current Points: 0

“La Natura by Baustelle is from their award-winning 2013 album Fantasma (no relation to the Cornelius album of the same name) and is a break from their normal Scott Walker-meets-Depeche Mode style for something altogether lighter and more melodic.”


D2: Which TWO Tracks Do You Pick? [ballot]

  • URUGUAY: Carmen Sandiego 32%
  • COSTA RICA: Patterns 26%
  • ENGLAND: Natalia Kills 25%
  • ITALY: Baustelle 17%

Total Voters: 95

Poll closes: 10 Mar 2014 @ 12:00

Loading ... Loading ...

RESULTS: Group B has suddenly got a lot tighter after Spain’s John Talabot track netted them 3 points. Australia make steady progress with another 2, Chile grab a solitary point, and Netherlands perhaps suffer from being made to play their game behind closed doors: 0 points to them. Which means the standings are: Australia – 4 points. Netherlands – 3 points. Spain – 3 points. Chile – 2 points. The winner of the third game will definitely qualify, but beyond that all sorts of permutations are possible, and this one may go to percentage totals, where Holland’s first game performance gives them a distinct advantage.