Reviews falling down the rooftops, here’s part 4 of the run through of this year’s contestants! Will they be beautiful butterflies, or rather moths that have to hide away in the dark?
First of all, a bit of framework for the judging – I’ll be looking at the song, the vocal performance and the stage presentation (or concept of the video if we haven’t seen a stage performance) and I’ll round up by putting them to the DIMI test (do I think it’s Dramatic, Intriguing and/or Modern enough to Include in my iTunes library?). I’ll score the entries from 1 to 5 on each of those points, resulting in a score out of a possible maximum of 20.
7. Ukraine – Zlata Ognevich – Gravity
The Song: Nathing cams fram lav bot lav! I really do not get what she’s singing about, even after forcing myself to listen to this for the fourth or fifth time. I needn’t bother, the lyrics are as all over the place as the composition. I’m not disliking the mid-tempo bits, reminds me a bit of the soundtrack to Avatar. From afar. But my main issue is the start-stop function they’ve built into this entry. It’s okay for an ecological car, but for entry of 3 minutes it’s possibly deadly. Unless you’re Ukraine.
The Voice: Even though I’m not too fond of the colour of Zlata’s voice I have to admit she’s a more than adequate singer. And I guess it fits the entry.
The Performance: Ukraine usually knows how to sell its entry, 2012 being the obvious exception to that rule. The video for this entry has some lovely moments, and they obviously know unicorns never fail. Ever. Unless they look like a donkey with a dildo on its head, which it didn’t. So I guess they’ll be clever enough to wrap this neatly. Unless they turn it into that one third of the video that looks like a shampoo advert, then it could all go horribly wrong.
The DIMI test: This isn’t really my cup of tea, but there are far worse entries this year so I won’t bite.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 10/20
PREDICTION: Of course this will qualify, she doesn’t even have to sing a note for us to be sure of that. But I wonder how this will do in the final. A lot depends on the staging. Don’t see it winning however, too fickle for that.
8. Netherlands – Anouk – Birds
The Song: Yes, everybody who already knew Anouk expected a rock song. And even though that would/could have been a valid option everyone seems to forget Anouk climbed to high heights with sad stuff like Sacrifice and Michel, so Birds doesn’t really come as a surprise to me. What does come as a surprise is the way it’s put together as it sounds rather dark, as if it ran away from the soundtrack of a random Tim Burton movie – and yes, that IS high praise. It’s so non-Eurovision and I love it for it. With Lana Del Rey and others singers with sad singalong songs topping the charts this might do better than anyone would suspect. And deservedly so.
The Voice: I think the preview video speaks for itself: girlfriend knows how to sing. Well, we always knew Anouk could find her way around the notes and this entry showcases her range brilliantly: so much emotion dripping through, spinetingling. I do wonder how they’ll solve the backings that provide the ghostly atmosphere.
The Performance: The biggest question mark of them all. I’d take the Tim Burton route (ie. dark yet beautiful) if I were her: this entry’s already so out of the box you can stretch it even more as to blow them all away.
The DIMI test: Oh hell yes. That melody’s a challenge I’m eager to accept. *clears throat*
PERSONAL TOTAL: 17/20
PREDICTION: This is the biggest gamble this year and if it pays off it pays off BIG time. Pretty big if though, but I suspect Europe might fall head over heels in love with this. The darkest horse for the trophy.
Tomorrow: Montenegro & Lithuania