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: Italy & Azerbaijan!
3. ITALY – L’Amore È Femmina
The first thing I thought when I saw Nina Zilli’s performance in San Remo was how much her style resembles that of the late Amy Winehouse so if a lot of people make the same connection I wonder: Too soon? The fact that she switched her San Remo ballad for a vintage pop song might only emphasize the comparison, so I do wonder. But if Per Sempre has taught us anything it’s that Nina is a great singer with a stage filling personality and a powerful voice all of her own so perhaps it will not make any difference at all. I am in fact very happy she went for L’Amore È Femmina as it has more personality and balls than her initial ballad and is in a league of its own to me. I think it’s what Serbia 2011 should and could have been with a more mature performer and I think it’s FAB. The switching in languages makes it playful and softens the hard message underneath and I am very curious to see this live, but with what I’ve seen and heard of miss Zilli until now this might be the only one alongside Norway to threaten Sweden.
Daft? On the nose.
Intriguing? The playing with the backings and the musical layers, yes.
Modern? Vintage with a capital V.
International? Yes, sir.
Personal score: 18/20 – Prediction: Top 5 & possible winner
4. AZERBAIJAN – When the music dies
Can you say Safura? Or handpuppet, whatever you prefer. Much like her 2010 predecessor Sabina Babayeva doesn’t seem to have a lot of input in this production which is like ‘90s Toni Braxton transported into the new century. I actually love this ballad, even though it’s overly dramatic (or perhaps that’s exactly the reason), and it might very well have something to do with that very clever and very well styled video but the only thing I can think while watching it is: how will this come across live? Is miss Babayeva up to the challenge? Is her English going to be good enough? Will they go over-the-top Safura style or nail it like they did in 2011? A lot of questions – but if they get it right I can see this shooting straight into the top 5 actually. Though I àm disappointed by that demure ending.
Daft? That will depend on the live execution.
Intriguing? The video is.
Modern? A state of the art contemporary ballad. And video.
International? With a bit of polished English.
Personal score: 15/20 – Prediction: Top 10, maybe even top 5.
Tomorrow: Spain & Germany + a final 2012 recap.