Roll out the big drums, here’s part 12 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. Bulgaria – Elitsa & Stoyan – Samo Shampioni
The Song: It’s like Busindre Reel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye6caUf2vZM) with lyrics, isn’t it? As with their first attempt in 2007 this is rather all over the place as far as structure goes, only this one doesn’t quite have the build-up Water had. It starts and stops a couple of times to make room for some drumming which doesn’t really help the continuity of this entry and at the same time it doesn’t really go anywhere. I suspect the rather lacklustre chorus might have something to do with that. I do like the ethnic sound however, and there’s nothing really even remotely close to it in this year’s field so it’ll certainly stand out.
The Voice: We know Elitsa’s sound is a very particular one, which you either love or hate. The studio version includes a lower harmony and I hope they bring in a backing on stage to cover it as it really softens Elitsa’s sharp voice. It does however fit this ethnic entry, so I guess it’s just a matter of whether or not this sounds like scraping nails on a blackboard in your ears. It’s dangerously close!
The Performance: Yes, we as fans know what to expect from the duo: drums, and lots of them. The other 99% of the television audience on May 16 won’t, and just like in 2007 they’ll probably love this entry for it. It’s their own style and it works for them, and the fact they’ve got this giant construction instead of your average drums set won’t do them any harm.
The DIMI test: It’s different, and while that’s not always a recipe for success this is different enough for me to like it. Not dynamic enough for me to love it though.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 12/20
PREDICTION: Perhaps it lacks the catchiness of their first attempt, it is however the odd one out that might just scrape through.
8. Iceland – Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson – Ég á líf
The Song: Another ballad, and a standard one at that. It’s got one catchy line which carries most of the song, the rest of it is rather underwhelming as we’ve seen and heard this in many forms and shapes before. It sounds like something Robbie Williams would have included as a filler on an album at the start of his solo carreer. You might perceive this as a compliment, but I really do not mean it that way.
The Voice: No discussion here, this man can sing. His timing is perfect and he turns this standard piece of banality into something worth listening to.
The Performance: It doesn’t need more than him standing there, conveying emotions. It also doesn’t need that white vest he wore in the NF as that’s like soooo 1994.
The DIMI test: Come to think of it, this does belong in 1994. I don’t mind it thàt much, it just doesn’t give me goosebumps and that’s what a ballad needs to do.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 11/20
PREDICTION: As it’s a male ballad it will stand out and might pull a Kuula. It might be invisible as well between all the uptempo violence in this semi. Borderline for now.
Tomorrow: Greece & Israel