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 ‘D’, ‘E’, ‘F’ & ‘G’ countries!
The Song: I want to waste as little time as possible on this one, as it’s your typical middle of the road standard bullshit that we get every single fracking year from Denmark. It’s simply annoying. And that chorus is too Atemlos (Helene Fischer) for its own good #plagijatkaos Also, there can only be one ‘Soldiers of love’, okay? #lilianeforever NEXT!
The Voice: They do what they have to do, typical boyband shizzle. NEXT!
The Performance: Probably along the lines of what we saw in DMGP. NEXT!
In one line: Copy-paste-nextyear-yawn.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 10%
PREDICTION: Stuck in the semi, and rightly so. (Now watch this drizzle qualify *eeeeeeeek*)
The Song: Thank you, Estonia, for waking us up with a song that surprises with its structure. It’s pop, but with a fresh twist – without stretching it too far. The piano flowing into haunting strings is an excellent move, and the funky chorus immediately grabs attention. I dig this, but perhaps it’s a bit too much of a grower to impress on first listen?
The Voice: Quite a surprising deep sound, needs a bit more control in some parts but overall rather convincing. It certainly stands out from the crowd.
The Performance: Keep it nice and simple, counting on clever camerawork rather than overselling this – just like in the NF, in other words…
In one line: I might press play again!
PERSONAL TOTAL: 79%
PREDICTION: This should make the final easily. No clue how it’ll do there – borderline top ten?
The Song: When they announced it would be Kaliopi for FYROM (or whatever) I was rather excited. I am excited no more, with this anonymous little number that sounds like it’s been hiding in a drawer since the mid ’90s. I’d think you’d go for something more powerful when you try again, but hey… Also, she sounds like she’s craving for donuts. Not exacly the effect she was going for, I presume.
The Voice: Of course she’ll sing the hell out of this song. It’s Kaliopi.
The Performance: Please, don’t go overboard like in that video. Pretty please.
In one line: MMMM, donuts! *Homer-like drewling sound*
PERSONAL TOTAL: 46%
PREDICTION: Borderline qualifier from semi 2 – I expect no big things if she makes it to the final…
The Song: Such an atypical choice from Finland. Then again, they sent something along these lines way back in 2002, so why am I that surprised? It does sound like it doesn’t belong in the current timeframe, which could cause a downfall. It could also be caused by the fact that the verses and the chorus aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. Still, I think the chorus is catchy as hell, this is the one chorus that sticks in my head all day long after I’ve heard the song. Plus, it makes me cheerful. Always a plus.
The Voice: Part of what made this the winner of UMK is definitely the vocal rendition it got – Sandhja sure knows how to sell this. Sing it away, sister!
The Performance: Seriously, what is with that awful and totally random video? I’m sure as hell hoping they’ll stay away from this ‘Miley Cyrus meets Lord Of The Rings’ vibe they’ve tried to create there. Who the hell would’ve ever thought I’d have to use those two references together anyway? Odd, to say the least. Give me something Beyoncé would kill for, thanks.
In one line: Sing it away, sister!
PERSONAL TOTAL: 71%
PREDICTION: Despite me going crazy over the chorus, I’m thinking this doesn’t stand a chance to make it to the final at this point in time.
The Song: This sounds like something Bob Sinclair could’ve conjured up, and I do mean that as a compliment. It’s a lovely radio track, full of summery vibes, with a clever production (those Hevia bagpipes are sneaky!). Must also be one of the first songs in ESC where the mix of English & French actually works – the verses & chorus blend together extremely well. And I like how the declaration of love doesn’t sound all that cheesy. Fave bit: “ J’ai jeté – tellement de bouteilles à la mer – j’ai bu tant de liqueurs amères – que j’en ai les lèvres de pierre”.
The Voice: VERY curious to hear how he’ll pull this off live, especially in the high pitched notes which are crucial for the overall impression of the song. Don’t leave too much to the backings, cause that’s just cheating, mkay?
The Performance: Please, France, I beg of you: get it right. For once. Pretty please. No gymnasts, giant drummers, pink moustaches or what not.
In one line: Going on my ‘summer of 2016’ soundtrack already.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 80%
PREDICTION: I hardly dare declare this a contender for the win, cause that always manages to be a jinx. So I won’t. Literally anyway, I might just hint at it.
The Song: Gotta love Georgia for thinking out of the ESC-box. Sometimes that ends up being a true disaster, sometimes they surprise us. Their 2016 entry ends up in the latter category for me, this is right up my alley as this kind of progrock-meets-electro qualifies as stuff I listen to outside of the Eurovision bubble. So I love it. I do think it’s an odd choice for Eurovision, this is so far from your usual ESC stuff that people will simply not get it. It’s like playing gospel at a metal concert, basically. Or should that rather be the other way around? You get the gist.
The Voice: Sometimes it’s about the vibe of the song, and not the vocal abilities of the singer. This is one of those cases.
The Performance: I’d go for a more visual appealing presentation than that ‘Star trekking across the universe’ tribute that is the video – but then again, they’re already so stubborn in their entry that they might as well just go full out.
In one line: You are gold, always believe in your soul.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 75%
PREDICTION: I fear this doesn’t stand a chance in hell of being widely appreciated.
The Song: Well color me amazed – Germany sends something contemporary again! Sounds like this could’ve escaped from any Rihanna album, or perhaps Lorde! Unlike the direct competition from Australia, the verses are quite lovely and contribute to the overall subdued yet rather hypnotizing effect of the song. Quite an effective declaration of love – speaks to my own little broken heart, especially in those fab opening lines “The story of us – Is it already told? – Let’s tear the book apart – Start to rewrite it all”.
The Voice: As Jamie-Lee has quite a lot of time to practice, I suspect she will nail this come May. Not that the NF performance was thàt bad, just could use some sprucing up here and there.
The Performance: Something straight to the point like in the NF will do nicely, thank you. I don’t mind Jamie-Lee’s quirky style, it showcases that she has her own point of view rather than bowing down to any random stylist – always a plus in my book.
In one line: Totally haunting me – I see manga people, walking around like regular people…
PERSONAL TOTAL: 80%
PREDICTION: I want to see this going top ten, but I fear she’ll be blocked by Australia. Should do much better than their 2015 result though.
The Song: Seriously, did they even bother to polish this at all? It sounds more like an idea, than a finished product. And ends up just going nowhere. Hello ffwd-button, my friend.
The Voice: As impressive as the song. HATE the accent.
The Performance: I might even be entertained by a performance that resembles the video – takes away from that poor excuse of a song.
In one line: This is only utopia by name.
PERSONAL TOTAL: 13%
PREDICTION: I would love for this to be the first year that Greece doesn’t qualify for the final, and I think that might actually happen.
- Armenia – 91
- France – 80
- Germany – 80
- Estonia – 79
- Austria – 78
- Georgia – 75
- Cyprus – 74
- Finland – 71
- Australia – 70
- Belgium – 63
- Bosnia & Herzegovina – 62
- Bulgaria – 61
- Albania – 60
- Czech Republic – 59
- Azerbaijan – 55
- F.Y.R. Macedonia – 46
- Croatia – 42
- Belarus- 14
- Greece – 13
- Denmark – 10