We’re running up to the 2012 Contest, all entries for Baku have been chosen and it’s time to take a closer look at what we can expect to see and hear at the end of May. I’m reviewing everything in order of draw: I’ll first give my general thoughts on the countries’ choices, then I’ll subject them to the DIMI test and finally I’ll score them, accompagnied by a predicition of how I think they’ll do in Baku. I’ll be tackling them in pairs & on the menu today: United Kingdom & France. On to the final it is!
1. UNITED KINGDOM – Love will set you free
There’s a lot to be said about the choices the BBC is making but one thing makes me happy: at least they’re trying to stay away from reality shows and their rejects. Engelbert Humperdinck may not be the freshest of faces but at least he’s professional and experienced. Perhaps too experienced you say? Could be, but he might just prove to be the welcome change from all those overly choreographed numbers we see aplenty – which might not be a relevant argument as he’s opening the show of course. I don’t think that will harm his chances however, it might very well only emphasize the beauty of his song. Because beautiful this is: nice and demure, no excesses at all – just him, a guitar, some strings and emotional lyrics that suit his crooner style without sounding outdated. The bare essential and that’s what the entire approach for the performance – much like the video – should be. It could have been laughable but they seem to know exactly what they’re doing. I didn’t expect to say this but: go team Hump!
Daft? Thankfully not, we’re all still recovering from Scooch.
Intriguing? Not entirely but it is beautiful.
International? Oh yes.
Personal score: 16/20 – Prediction: Top 10 (where anything is possible)
2. FRANCE – Echo (You and I)
After a quick Wiki it seems The Hump isn’t the only one with (a lot of) international experience as miss Anggun has been quite the busy bee and is able to list a rather impressive résumé. I didn’t know she got the title of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres for example, which isn’t a small feat in France. Judging by her professional biography this little lady should be able to WOW us big time but I have to say the song is a nice try but only gets me halfway there. It’s a bit ambivalent in what it’s trying to do: is it searching for the meaning of life (verses) or just romance (chorus), is it happy pop (chorus) or leaning towards electro pop (verses), do you want to sound international (chorus) or not insult the French (verses)? On top of that we still haven’t heard this live and little birds have told me her live reputation is shaky at best. She can playback with confidence though, judging by the video above. In other words: I simply don’t know what to make of this. I am very curious to hear and see this live – will she pull it off or will she pull an Amaury?
Daft? Meih, I hate the silly whistling in the chorus.
Intriguing? Meih, it tries to be on all levels but it’s not quite getting there.
Modern? Meih, it’s not exactly on top of things.
International? Meih, her reputation is but how far will that get her?
Personal score: 10/20 – Prediction: Haven’t got a clue
Tomorrow: Italy & Azerbaijan