All of this year’s songs have been selected, which means it’s time to start the countdown (cue Final Countdown) for the 2014 edition of our beloved Contest. I’ve only heard a couple of songs before writing this (p)review as I wanted to simulate the sensation of the regular viewer. Curious to see how thàt will turn out? Me too…
The Song: I didn’t expect him/her to come up with a ballad – I thought the whole point of postponing the presentation of the song was to check out the competition and thus adapt the choice of song. But anyway, he/she went for a good oldfashioned Bondesque ballad. To me that is an entire genre on its own and one I particularly like because it’s got everything a dramaqueen needs. I love how they go full out on strings, build up to an explosive ending and beg for dramatic vocals with the entire production. This one ticks all the boxes and I love how it keeps the middle ground between Adele (‘new’ Bond) and Shirley Bassey (not so new Bond). Not too keen on the drums in the second verse but that’s a minor criticism. Perhaps this would have worked better back in the orchestra days BUT here it gets an extra dimension because of the lyrics, which make for a great compromise between your typical love ballad and the story of mister/miss Wurst.
The Voice: Miss/mister Wurst sure pulls out all the dramaqueen stops and delivers a dramatic rendition. Curious to see if she/he will be able to follow into miss Bassey’s footsteps once she/he gets to perform it live in Copenhagen.
The Performance: I expect it to be full on Drama, hello! The more, the better for him/her I’d say. Make it BIG enough so the beard becomes a feature, not a distraction. This Bond theme simply begs for it.
Daring? The song? Nah, unless Bond meets ESC sounds daring. The beard and the name still are, yes.
Intriguing? Not quite – but I do love me some drama
Modern? Not quite – but then again, Bond works in any decade (as Adele recently showed)
International? Sure thing – if people can get over his/her appearance…
In one line: I expect him/her to burst out in ‘he…loves…gooooooooooold’ at any point
PERSONAL TOTAL: 77%
PREDICTION: I do wonder how a Bond Theme will fare at ESC, especially sung by a rather controversial figure as miss Wurst. This might make Saturday though, but in the final it’s anyone’s guess.
The Song: Hmz. Not your usual Azerdrama, is it? (listens again) Except for that last minute perhaps. I don’t quite get what they’re going for with this one. The first minute sounds like a song that’s being performed at a blues club to close off the evening, then it turns into this old skool ballad that’s just a bit too grey to really stand out. It’s okay, I guess. But only okay.
The Voice: Girlfriend might be able to sing, but the way she walzes between high and low notes makes me a bit dizzy. The music is so understated that lyrics become quite crucial to grab the attention of the viewer – and I had to look up the lyrics to know what she’s going on about. A bit of a working point, me thinks.
The Performance: Azerbaijan knows how to sell an entry, sometimes overselling it (hello 2010 and 2012). If the video is anything to go by things might turn out stylish again, even if it’s all a bit middle of the road. As long as they don’t rely on Alim Qasimov again to chant over the traditional azeri instruments they should be fine.
Intriguing? Less than they’re trying to be.
Modern? Timeless, perhaps?
International? Could be. Could also be internationally ignored.
In one line: Wake me up before you go go
PERSONAL TOTAL: 61%
PREDICTION: A rather safe entry. This should make it out of semi 1, can’t see it doing much in the final. Unless the Azeri sponsors find the correct juries to bribe.
The Song: It’s got Dirty Dancing references, huzzah! Is that redeeming enough, you ask? Almost always, yes. Almost. I don’t know about this one. Considering Belarus’ track record one could say this sounds great but let’s face it: this is a poor man’s Justin Timberlake song. A very poor man. You could try and look at it from the ‘anti entry’ angle but it’s too groovy for that. So it’s kinda stuck in between. Which makes it like cheesecake basically: you kind of enjoy it when you eat it, but you almost never pick it when you look at the menu.
The Voice: Not the best singer in Belarus I presume, and too much of a singer to be called a rapper – in other words, this is a poor man’s Justin Timberlake. Which makes it like cheesecake basically: it doesn’t make you jump for joy, but it’s not the toughest to digest either.
The Performance: I suppose they’ll Belarussify the whole thing come Copenhagen so I’m *very* curious to see what they’ll come up with. A giant cheesecake, made out of cheesecake? Or will they have a cheesecake thrown at TEO at the end of the performance? The excitement!
Daring? For Belarus, perhaps.
Intriguing? Not unless you’re *really* into cheesecake
Modern? In Belarus, perhaps.
International? Ten years ago, perhaps.
In one line: I’ll have Tiramisu please
PERSONAL TOTAL: 42%
PREDICTION: Could go anywhere. I suppose they’ll make it out of the semi again but on Saturday this will be on the right hand side of the scoreboard.
- Armenia 83
- Austria 77
- Albania 72
- Azerbaijan 61
- Belarus 42