Turn the music up it’s gonna get hot, here’s part 6 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.
11. Belarus – Alyona Lanskaya – Solayoh
The Song: I’m always a bit flabbergasted whenever Belarus trades a chosen entry, especially because the initial song (almost) always outshines the actual song we get to hear at ESC. Alyona’s initial entry for Malmö sounded a lot more contemporary than Solayoh, which sounds like it should have participated a decade ago. I think my fellow countryman Marc Paelinck had this in a drawer somewhere, written for the Xandee album that never got released. It’s pleasant enough, don’t get me wrong: the chorus is an earwurm and I catch myself humming it at the most unexpected of times, but the chorus IS the song and it all sounds too ‘been there, done that’ to actually pose any kind of threat.
The Voice: While miss Alyona is not the most talented of singers she manages to keep herself upright through most of that live performance.
The Performance: We’ll have to wait and see, won’t we? She won’t be able to bring all four of those dancers with her, as the backing track is filled with powerful backings and she’ll need those if she wants to get that summery vibe across. But please darling: change that dress, the days of Sertab have long gone.
The DIMI test: I’m still not sure if this could be my guilty pleasure of the year. Leaning towards a ‘not really’ at the moment.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 9/20
PREDICTION: Hard to tell if this kind of entry still has a place in the Eurovision bubble. If it scrapes through it’ll be only just. So I’ll keep this as a borderline qualifier for now.
12. Moldova – Aliona Moon – O mie
The Song: Now thàt’s what I call a contemporary ballad. Builds up nicely, great layering of instruments and a lovely piano solo to close it all. Great decision to keep it in Romanian by the way, the English version was distracting a bit – certainly with Aliona’s accent. Although I loved the sentence ‘The Maya were not so wrong, it’s the end of the world, it’s done, cause you are gone’. It just comes together a lot better in Romanian. Why did I post the English version then? See: The Performance.
The Voice: A bit of a high pitch there, but as soon as you’re used to it it all flows nicely. Not all backings are meant to take to spotlight but she can carry it well. Figures I guess: she was the only one I was looking at during Pasha‘s performance last year.
The Performance: She must have looked at what Azerbaijan did last year and thought: well, that can be done so much better! And it can – which is why I uploaded the NF performance (in English) as to showcase how well thought of the use of that dress with the special effects really is. Just one remark: ditch the dancers. And eat a bit more, that dress might fall off of you any second.
The DIMI test: This is probably one of those where I prefer watching the video rather than ‘just’ listen to it. It’s the pitch, I guess.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 14/20
PREDICTION: I know there’s a truckload of female ballads in this semi, but I can see this qualifying with ease.
Tomorrow: Ireland & Cyprus