Where the hell are all the Nordic countries, you wonder? Not to worry, today you get two for the price of one. And one bonus country, just because we cancan. No limits, we’ll reach for the sky! Fasten your shitbelts for part nine!
7. DENMARK – Leonora – Love Is Forever
The Song: Some might think this is too sugary syrupy and on a bad day I might have joined them. But, to my own surprise, I don’t want to strangle this with my bare hands. On the contrary, I’m quite in love with it. Is it its Amelie-esque atmosphere? Probably. How else could I overlook the obvious fishing for international love by throwing a couple of languages into the mix, or the zillionth ode to love? Anyway, it’s so cute I want to cuddle up with it and spoon the night away.
Standout line: “Don’t get too political” Hahahahahahahahaha, good one!
The Voice: Adequate enough, it’s got a Lolita quality that fits the mood of the song. Not always super secure in the NF performance but it’s the little imperfections that make it even more cute.
The Performance: The NF performance was quite lovely actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again in Tel Aviv. It’s got this ‘Le Petit Prince’ vibe and I’m here for it. I do wish Leonora would look less frightened – which isn’t that easy standing on the lift and focusing on camera, lyrics ànd vocals all at once, I’m well aware. But it kinda feels like she’s trying to hypnotize the people at home into voting for her, and it has the opposite effect. Just a bit more sunshine radiating from that face instead of slight fear might work wonders, I feel.
8. SWEDEN – John Lundvik – Too Late For Love
The Song: So, confession time: gospel is not my jam. Just in case you didn’t remember from last year. It’s all enjoyable in a Sister Act kinda way, but if I have to endure it for an extended period of time (as in: more than max. 15 minutes) I kindly zone out and I won’t ever play it at home or in the car. Despite my somewhat chilly attitude towards the genre, I surprise myself by actually actively liking this. It’s not the most exciting of entries and its build-up is a bit too fickle for my liking as it stops and starts one time too many. But I like the parts where it all explodes (eventually) and I wouldn’t have minded a fourth minute to this entry. But to end on a second confession: much as I like it when it’s on, I still don’t actively seek it out when I’m in the car, the shower or anywhere else for that matter.
Standout line: “I could be the sun that lights your dark” Lumos!
The Voice: Nothing short of amazing. Both John and the impressive backing vocals. I do wonder how many voices were added on tape in Melodifestivalen. I am quite convinced the quintet (and probably a hidden male backing) will stomp all over the Tel Aviv stage though.
The Performance: Simple yet effective. A couple of thoughts though. One: John starts moving his shoulders in the first part when hardly any beat is audible, so that’s distracting. Two: the switching of the lights combined with the tempo switch feels a bit forced, I’d go for another (more choreographed) and smoother transition. Three: the stage is *really* dark at times, and combined with the black outfits it’s all a bit gloomy. I know there needs to be a contrast with the ‘sun that lights your dark’ but it needs a bit more light throughout. But I’m being *very* nitpicky, and it’ll be the vocal performance that sells this anyway.
In one line: I sure as hell hope it isn’t, John – I’m coming up *whispers age inaudibly* and I still have hope.
WILL IT QUALIFY? Of course – and it could very well win, despite what everyone is thinking and betting right now.
9. AUSTRIA – Paenda – Limits
The Song: How unexciting can a song be? It’s a bit of a mystery how this got to be selected, to be honest. The only thing that is remotely interesting is the forest of ‘you’ in the chorus but that doesn’t nearly make up for the rest of it. I almost forget it while it’s on.
Standout line: “Expanded all my limits too carelessly” I hear ya, sister.
The Voice: Very curious how the forest of ‘you’ will sound live. Or the entire thing for that matter, cause she seems to go rather high in her range. She’ll need enough power to sell this snooze of an entry though.
The Performance: I’m going to take a risk and say it’s gonna bathe in blue. Just a hunch.
In one line: The…the limit does not exist!
WILL IT QUALIFY? It might come across as refreshingly simple, but I’m gonna say it’s simply not refreshing enough.