The drama is high within this one – welcome to part thirteen, quelle lucky number!
1. FRANCE – Bilal Hassani – Roi
The Song: So, this is just a tad melodramatic. Fits last year’s vibe, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as it’s written by Madame/Monsieur. I do wonder if that is on purpose, cause the link to the subject and the performer and the discussion around it all is simply too organically funny slash ironic. Anyway, it’s all just a bit heavy-handed (again) but it actually really hits home (again). On a more personal level this time – the story that’s conveyed here, which is basically Bilal’s autobiography in a nutshell, sounds awfully familiar. Those of us who have been called names throughout their lives – be it at school, work or even on the street (#metoo) – for standing out from the crowd in one way or another will surely feel the lyrics cut right into their souls. I for one do so. Very much actually. Enough to overlook that slightly *coughs* too in your face atmosphere. On a lighter note: I like the fact that they used ‘Roi’ instead on ‘Reine’ – for the non FR-speakers: King versus Queen. But why would you dream about being a king anyway? Just be your own you, Boo.
Standout line: “Ce qu’on est on ne l’a pas choisi – who/what we are is not a choice” Can I get an amen up in here?
The Voice: Probably the biggest working point. Parts of the NF performance were good, parts of it were too fragile. The last 30 seconds are crucial, so he really needs to hit that nail bang on the head. Conchita’s often cited as an example for Bilal – well, take a page or two from her book and it’ll help you enormously.
The Performance: Out of all the past Eurovision performers to mirror yourself to, Thomas Forstner circa 1991 would not exactly be my first pick. Or second. Or 635th. Standing out is one thing, standing out in a good way is another. There’s too much going on and it distracts rather than adds to the message, so I’m crossing fingers for a different approach. Style wise, that is. The idea with the pictures is spot on, especially the one at the end which ties the entire performance together and melts my chilly little heart every single time I see it.
In one line: Yassssss Queen!
WILL IT GO TOP TEN? It needs to gain momentum one way or another. It was one of the first ones that got picked/announced and it’s been flying under the radar ever since, so it’s hard to guesstimate. I’d go for a NO at this point, but I hope I’m proven wrong.
2. GERMANY – S!sters – Sister
The Song: Anna and Elsa have gone over to the dark side and give us a song that could feature on the soundtrack of ‘Frozen 4: Descent into Hell’. I like me a bit of drama, but even I have to say that this one really pulls out all the stops. The way ‘sister’ is used in the lyrics is almost code for ‘bitch, please’. It’s not the lyrics’ intent even, so it makes it all the more confusing. I need a breather after listening to this…
Standout line: “I’m sorry, sorry for the drama” You’ll have to do more than apologize, young ladies!
The Voice: …and the vocal rendition doesn’t help too much in lightening the load. I’m all about harmonies, it’s just a pity when they’re being screamed rather than sung. It’s just SO MUCH to take in. Girl power and all that jazz, but learning how to harness said power is a talent too.
The Performance: Fits the vibe and the vocal rendition completely – it’s got more aggression than one of the Expendables movies. Shouting at each other from opposite sides of a rotating square, dressed in black, surrounded by dry ice… All we need is an explosion and incantation or two and we’ve got ourselves a full on Disney climax moment.
In one line: Sister – come and move your body, sister – so come on and make my day
WILL IT GO TOP TEN? I don’t think so. It’ll be lucky to scrape out of the bottom ten, rather. Or five. Or two.
3. ISRAEL – Kobi Marimi – Home
The Song: I smell a theme amongst the finalists, cause this too is going for the big D: (no, not that, you filthy mind) DRAMA. It’s quite cerebral in its approach and the way it goes full on towards the end of the song is heavy on the stomach if you’re not a fan of this kind of schmaltz. Which, as you might guess, I am not really, even if I don’t dislike this as much as I thought I would (or even remember from the first and only time I heard this before reviewing it). But I can already safely guess that my mum will text me on the night of the final to say that this is one of her favourites. On a lyrical note: I am all for the trend of self-affirmation but literally proclaiming that you’re someone is perhaps a bit too on the nose. Just a little bit.
Standout line: “I’ve been running barefoot to the mountain tops” How very biblical!
The Voice: As cerebral as the song requires – or is it the other way around? Anyway, it’s not the most accessible of sounds when you’re below a certain age. It’s very specific in its intent, and a bit too preachy for my liking. But there are certainly fans of this genre of vocals out there *waves at mommy*.
The Performance: Shouldn’t be too hard to guess – something (take a guess…here it comes…) cerebral and classic will do nicely here. Now watch them go in a novelty direction to spruce it up. Kinda would be a hoot!
In one line: Side thought: doesn’t Kobi Marimi sound like an ideal name for a Japanese submarine? No? OK, just me then.
WILL IT GO TOP TEN? It’s got too much stiff competition to be that one that surprisingly sneaks in there. It could even do a Portugal 2018 – host entry, red lantern.