Je ne te ferai pas l’enfer, here’s part 18 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.
1. France – Amandine Bourgeois – L’enfer et moi
The Song: We had a pure retro attempt from Serbia in 2011, something rocky retro from Italy last year and this year we get this bluesy retro ditty from France. Raw, to the point and in your face – we haven’t seen many songs like this one in Eurovision and I doubt we ever will again. This can measure itself with, yes yes, the best of Amy Winehouse and I simply adore the ballsy approach France took here. Great build-up, great lyrics, great vibe, great everything.
The Voice: She won a (or rather THE national) talent show – sounds vaguely familiar in a year like this – but one can see (or rather hear) why. The way this girl wraps herself around the notes and song is simply delicious and she translates the feeling of the lyrics extremely well. LOVE the last part where she just goes nuts.
The Performance: She seems to know what she’s doing and in this case I think she’s going to put everything on an emotionally involved performance that doesn’t require a lot of visual tricks. We saw her doing her thang in Amsterdam and she was bloody brilliant there, I have no reason to doubt she’s going to be even more mindblowing come Malmö.
The DIMI test: Ticks all of my boxes: voice, song and performance blend beautifully to one impressive and unforgettable whole. Hence the score.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 20/20
PREDICTION: I hope Europe will see its true value. I hope this will go on where Hungary 2007 had to stop. I hope this will go top 5. I hope. I don’t know though…
2. Germany – Cascada – Glorious
The Song: Well. It’s not exactly plagiarism is it. It IS a rather clever dedication to last year’s winner however. The soaring ‘Gloooooorious’ for example. Sorry, ‘Gah-looooooorious’ – ridiculous adding of a redundant syllable. And the demure verses versus the exploding chorus is quite comparable as well. But this is so much more ‘been there, done that’ than Euphoria. No? Yes.
The Voice: I think the live version at the German NF wasn’t all that but I suspect the mix had something to do with it. Blondie might not be the bést singer in this Contest, but we’ve sure had way worse.
The Performance: With all that international experience, Cascada sure knows how to sell this entry. But. She needs to fire that stylist that made her wear *that* outfit at the German final. Or hire one. Either way: you’re not 18 anymore, girlfriend, so stop trying to act and/or look that way. That said, I rather like the straight forward approach they took at the NF: who needs distractions à la Kate Ryan when your singer can really SELL it?
The DIMI test: I don’t dislike it. It’s perfect to include in my Spring Cleaning list on my iPhone. But it lacks something to make me lav it. I suspect it’s called backbone.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 13/20
PREDICTION: Perhaps it’s got too many obvious references to last year’s winner to really do extremely well. But it won’t fall flat on its face (or her behind) either.
Tomorrow: Italy & Spain