All of this year’s songs have been selected, which means it’s time to (finally) start the countdown for the 2016 edition of our beloved Contest. I’ll be tackling the participating songs in alphabetical order, with on the menu today: The ‘B’ & ‘C’ countries!
The Song: That first verse promises much more than the chorus delivers – generic, anyone? Throw in a couple of unnecessary bridges that completely lead to nowhere and you’ve got yourself a shrugging Dimi. Next!
The Voice: Alexander needs some practicing, me thinks. Especially a couple of those high notes are cutting right to the bone – and not in a good way.
The Performance: If they’re putting as much effort into this as their last two entries (and that NF performance), this will be the ideal toilet break. Ow, they’re proposing to have live wolves and nudity on stage? Overselling something is just as bad as underselling, now!
In one line: I’d rather stay on the ground, thanks.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 14%
PREDICTION: Surely this is the most obvious non-qualifier in semi 2?
The Song: For the third consecutive year we get a song in the style of Bruno Mars in ESC. You’d think we’d be fed up with those retro funk songs by now, but it wàs the best one in our poor excuse for a national final. I don’t mind it that much actually, it’s happy bouncy go lucky – but it’s so by the book it almost even gets lost when it’s on. And that intro is really too ‘Another one bites the dust’ to be healthy. I get why Selah Sue, one of the contributing song writers and a rather big household name in Belgium, didn’t opt to include this in her own repertoire.
The Voice: That hoarse voice that Laura has is a sound that you either like or simply hate. It goes together well with the song I feel, but towards the end of the song it does sound like she’s running out of breath – or needs a bucket full of tea and lemon.
The Performance: The NF performance was fine, even if filled with every cliché in the funk book. Needs something fresher to tie it all together and bring it to the 21st century.
In one line: Under a bit of pressure.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 63%
PREDICTION: I’m tempted to label this as a borderliner in that weirdly composed semi 2, especially since it’s one of the few real up tempo songs and it gets to close its semi. Don’t see it flying high in the final anyway.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
The Song: Meih. Sounds like your average Balkan Ballad, spiced up with 15 seconds of rap – incidentally the best 15 seconds of the song, if you ask me. I’m not really bothered by this, but it doesn’t excite me either.
The Voice: Again, nothing really intriguing to report here – apart from the fact that Deen can actually pull off other styles besides the campy stuff from yesteryear. I do wonder why you’d opt for a duet if you’re not even going to wow us with some breathtaking harmonies.
The Performance: I’d greatly appreciate something that is anything but along the lines of that horrible preview video. Give me something well crafted, por favor, or I might be sleeping before the Bosnian party is over.
In one line: Why ssssso sssssserious?
PERSONAL TOTAL: 62%
PREDICTION: In a rather strong semi without any so called friends, this might struggle more than anyone gives it credit for right now. I’m gonna call this a non-qualifier for now.
The Song: I was a fan of Poli’s 2011 entry Na Inat, and had hoped for something along those lines. Picture my disappointment when we got this rather standard pop song. The verses are instantly forgettable, the chorus has only one memorable line, the production is rather 2002 – no, not my thing. Sorry, Poli. Also: “If love was a crime, we would be criminals”? *rolls eyes*
The Voice: I hope she’ll be more up to scratch than she was in 2011. Then again, this song is far less demanding, so she might keep herself upright this time.
The Performance: What WILL she go for? Unlike many Bulgarian entries (bar 2009 obvi), she kinda oversold it in 2011 – so I wonder what she’ll do to this song. (I’m not overly confident, can you tell?)
In one line: Where are Holi & Moli when you need them (obscure MF reference, 911!)?
PERSONAL TOTAL: 61 %
PREDICTION: I suppose this will survive semi 2. But is this really the contender everyone thinks it is? I don’t see it.
The Song: *goes back to check if he heard the right song* Gosh, this sounds like something Malta could’ve picked 5 years ago. This is really rather unimpressive, on the verge of annoying even.
The Voice: No idea how Nina (the national Croatian name, it seems) holds up live, but even in studio I’d say she’s a good match for the song. Way too shrill for me to like it.
The Performance: In order for me to enjoy this entry, I’m crossing fingers for some tacky lighthouse to be brought on stage and turn it all in to something hugely entertaining for all the wrong reasons.
In one line: With this lighthouse, ships will be sinking before you can utter ‘Titanic’.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 42%
PREDICTION: For some reason this seems rather popular within the fan community, but I can’t see this surviving semi 1.
The Song: A decent pop-rock song, it’s something we hardly get to greet in Eurovision. So I’m rather happy with the Cypriot entry this year. It’s nothing groundbreaking mind you – I get rather strong Switzerland 2009 vibes, and we all know how well that one did. But in a sea of mid-tempo female ballads and male soloists, this is a small breath of fresh air in this year’s line-up.
The Voice: Impatiently awaiting the first live version of the song though. His audition for The Voice in France didn’t exactly bode all that well to be honest…
The Performance: Please, just go for a straight to the point approach. Even if it’s with that full out slightly dated television vampire look from the video. Don’t fall into the Turkey 2011 trap, all I’m saying.
In one line: I remember what happened last time Cyprus was one of the faves to end on top… *1999 trauma resurfaces*
PERSONAL TOTAL: 74%
PREDICTION: It might be different enough to make the final, but I don’t think it’ll do as well as many seem to hope/think on Saturday…
The Song: What begins as a rather intriguing ballad, ends up being quite a repetitive pile of clichés. I *think* she stands, but perhaps she needs to repeat it a couple more times for me to get the message #eyeroll. Too by-the-book for me to get me excited. Also: “every part of me is a part of you” ? #yawn.
The Voice: Have yet to hear this live. But do I really want to?
The Performance: Will she have something on her face? Judging by the preview video, she’s kind of into that. But more importantly: will she be throwing around any shoes?
In one line: I stand…with my back turned to this.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 59%
PREDICTION: As it’s in semi 1, I have my doubts this will improve CZ’s qualification record…
- Armenia – 91
- Austria – 78
- Cyprus – 74
- Australia – 70
- Belgium – 63
- Bosnia & Herzegovina – 62
- Bulgaria – 61
- Albania – 60
- Czech Republic – 59
- Azerbaijan – 55
- Croatia – 42
- Belarus- 14