Part three of the previews already and today we welcome to heavyweights to the ring, with the current (April 6th) top 2 with the bookies. Will they or won’t they? One of them or neither one? Who can say, but let’s try anyway! Happy reading, and don’t forget to vote!
PERFORMER: Netta Barzilai
The Song: In the words of the ever legendary Robert Muldoon: clever girl. There’s plenty of genius stuff to find in here, from the #metoo inspired lyrics to the chicken-sounds that refer to the American slang reference for girls that is ‘chick’ (seriously: why do they do that?). It takes a while to get going though: almost half a minute of intro is a long time for a three minute song, looper or no looper. And the ‘toy-boy’ fits well in the #metoo set-up but that part is a bit too (excusez le mot) easy as far as melodies go. Catchy, yes, but a bit too easy.
Standout lyrics: “I don’t care about your Stefa, baby” – What the hell is a Stefa? Also: you’re taking your Pickachu home? Jealous, I’ve been trying to catch it since like forever on Pokemon Go.
The Voice: Netta’s girl power translates well into her vocals. Curious to see how the looper will work in the entire setting, and how she’ll fare live in this particular song.
The Performance: If the video and her NF-performance are anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. She clearly knows her identity and her brand, and it all makes for quite the complete package. And yes, my inner Spice fan is shouting GIRL POWER all the way through.
In one line: Shut your plucking face, uncle plucker.
Why it will qualify: GIRL POWER.
Why it won’t: People are allergic to poultry.
Biggest competition in this semi: Iceland. Just kidding – if there IS competition, it’s probably FYROM.
Pre-Contest status: Qualifying with ease. Not too sure about her walking with it on Saturday though. Smells like Italy 2017 all over again.
The Song: Somehow this manages to sound very Belarussian. It’s nicely produced and it could’ve worked – but those lyrics are rather poorly written. Not only does the ‘story’ get lost a bit throughout, but that fit! The wrong stresses in lines like ‘windows wide open’ and ‘rain keeps on falling’ simply stresses me out.
Standout lyrics: “Both of us roaming through magnificent sky” – Sure it’s not Vanilla Sky?
The Voice: Bless his tone-deaf heart, but it was a real struggle to sit through that live version. It was fifty shades of wrong, so many wrongs it didn’t even know how to make a right anymore. If practice makes perfect, Alekseev’d better be rehearsing 24/7 as we speak.
The Performance: Even though it doesn’t really work, we should all be crossing fingers that the light-suit (and all that goes with it) will appear on stage in Lisbon. This is the stuff we need in at least one entry – luckily we can count on Belarus to deliver #helloIvan
In one line: Light me up, light me up now baby.
Why it will qualify: He’s been getting his shit together ever since the NF.
Why it won’t: You’ve seen/heard the live version, right?
Biggest competition in this semi: Czechia.
Pre-Contest status: Pretty surefire non-qualifier. Especially thanks to the contrast to the singer that follows.
PERFORMER: Elina Nechayeva
SONG: La Forza
The Song: Hmz. What to do with this one? It doesn’t fall into the Malena Ernman trap of going all ‘popera’, so it’s got that much going for it. Or against it, as it feels like it needed a bit more ‘umph’ to really grab the audience. Then again, it’s the slight modesty that makes it slightly intriguing. Slightly. And honestly, France 2011 was so traumatizing that it’s hard to judge this one anyway.
Standout lyrics: ” Vorrei che intorno a noi sia” (I would like it to be a fairy tale around us) & ” Sull’ali dell’amore rosee” (That rises us on the wings of love) – One could suspect them of deliberately incorporating a couple of former winning songs into the lyrics #nosuchthingascoincidence.
The Voice: Elina’s a superb vocalist, so the ‘umph’ it needs is provided in the vocal rendition – especially with THAT end note. *entering Craig Revel Horwood mode* A-MA-ZING, darling.
The Performance: We’ll undoubtedly get a repeat of the Aliona Moon tribute of the NF-performance, and why not? Because optical illusions should remain illusions, that’s why. In other words: do we really need to see the entire dress/sheet or does it take away the magic? The reveal mid-performance is a bit unraveling, but provides for a nice hypnotizing moment at the end with the enormous swirl. Overall, the performance ties together beautifully with the song and vocal performance, forming a strong package – so it’s nitpicking anyway.
In one line: A Forza to be reckoned with.
Why it will qualify: It’s certainly different enough.
Why it won’t: It probably will.
Biggest competition in this semi: Greece.
Pre-Contest status: Likely Qualifier. But what’ll it do on Saturday? Go big or join Malena, Amaury & Alenka for a game of cards on the right hand side of the board?