Hold me – or rather hold yourself, it’s part 10 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.
3. FYR Macedonia – Vlatko Lozanoski & Esma Redžepova – Pred da se razdeni
The Song: Oh dear, another one that can’t choose between ballad or uptempo? Funny that they’re positioned right next to each other. Difference to San Marino is that I actually like both style excercises. What I don’t like is how they’re combined: it kind of comes together towards the end…and it kind of doesn’t. A bit clumsy. A bit sad.
The Voice: Vlatko has got that typical (lovely) melancholic Balkan sound that suits the ballad bit to a T. Esma is perfectly cast for the wailing part. It’s when they mix one feels slightly itchy. Luckily that only lasts about 15 seconds.
The Performance: I suspect we can expect a spotlight on Esma and I suspect that will be the right way to go. What else will they do to make this entry visually interesting? Nothing too much, I should hope – it’s more than enough on its own.
The DIMI test: As two seperate entries: yes please. As one song: only if I’m in the right mood. Which probably means: drunk.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 10/20
PREDICTION: I haven’t got a freaking clue. It’s so all over the place it could end up anywhere. Well, anywhere but top 5. Unless Esma puts her spell on all of Europe.
4. Azerbaijan – Farid Mammadov – Hold me
The Song: A nice little pop song with a strong and memorable chorus …and forgettable verses. The structure might be a bit ‘by the book’ but it sure sounds effective, and the rich production sells this entry extremely well.
The Voice: Farid is well in control of his vocals and delivers a flawless, if somewhat unimpressive and demure rendition. A bit like, here it comes, Dima Bilan: nice but sterile. Pity he inherited his accent as well.
The Performance: I suppose Ictimai will spruce this up a little from what we’ve seen in their NF. I know Farid tries to hide the fact he’s rather short by taking center stage and standing still, but a tad more passion and involvement would take this to the next level (and make it a contender, as much as Ictimai would like to avoid victory). And I’m not saying those eyebrows need to go, they just need a really good trim. Preferably by an experienced gardener.
The DIMI test: If only those verses were a bit more memorable… But it might stick. It just might.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 12/20
PREDICTION: Qualifying with ease. I shall be VERY curious to see what this will do on Saturday. Do NOT rule this out.
Tomorrow: Finland & Malta