One post down and we already have a couple of four star entries. That sounds like it’s too good to last, doesn’t it? It does. Brace yourself for part 2!
4. Sweden – Tusse – Voices
The Song: The dark electronic vibe that infiltrates the song from the get-go is really intriguing, especially during the verses and the build-up to the chorus. But that’s where the song stops being intriguing. I guess the chorus is very accessible, but it doesn’t feel as intricate as the rest of the song. Especially with those lyrics, that feel a bit too on the nose – more like something, random example, Russia would send. Even if the message is nice and contemporary, I’m not sure we need it delivered like this. And the key change is probably one of the worst ones we’ve ever had to endure in all of ESC history. I actively hate it, and it instantly puts me off the song.
Standout line: “Can you hear a million voices” With this thing allowed this year called ‘recorded backings’: yes, Tusse, I can. And I hate it.
The Voice: Tusse really makes the most of the verses, but sadly struggles with a couple of the high notes. It’s not actually off, but he really needs to reach. Like, a lot. Especially after that key change.
The Style: Probably the best thing about this entry. The play with the lighting, the difference in color, the polished look (down to the nail polish)… It might feel a bit Ikea, but it’s solid. Tips on where to get a red velvet suit are welcome, by the way.
In one line: And world peace.
Why it will qualify: It’s got a lot going for it, not in the least a vibe that matches the current climate. Plus, it’s Sweden.
Why it won’t qualify: People hate the key change as much as I do. And they’re starting to hate the power of the Swedes almost just as much.
Give your own rating for Sweden down at the bottom of the page
5. Australia – Montaigne – Technicolour
The Song: I’m having a bit of a hard time focusing on the song, tbh. What I manage to register are a cool electro beat and some nice variations in tempo. Even if they prove a bit too much of a challenge for a vocalist, apparently. The lyrics are a weird combo of wanting to be tough and some kind of call for unity, but will anyone notice?
Standout line: “Yes all you nasty dudes” I encourage a bit of annunciation here, as that live version didn’t exactly sound like ‘dudes’. And cloaks sounded like clothes. Takes the song some place it doesn’t need to be.
The Voice: The fickle vocals really take away attention from the song, pity. Everything is frustrating, indeed… The high notes, the frivolous bridge… It’s all a bit flimsy isn’t it? And those high ones she gets, it’s amazing. On the whole it only manages to get a ‘oh dear’ out of me.
The Style: Loving it all – the edge is tangible. Could prove a bit much for some. But then again, Hatari made it so maybe I’m underestimating Europe’s progressive stance.
In one line: Wannabe tough, mainly simply ROUGH.
Why it will qualify: People aren’t that bothered by the vocals and simply think it’s cool enough to vote for.
Why it won’t qualify: Seriously, how can you not be bothered by those vocals?
Give your own rating for Australia down at the bottom of the page
6. North Macedonia – Vasil – Here I Stand
The Song: In what has to be a secret gospel pact, North Macedonia tries the same trick as Slovenia – thus probably immediately cancelling each other out. But where Slovenia tries a more subtle approach, this goes full on bombastic from the off. It’s a bit much, tbh. Just a bit. I probably would have preferred something along the style of his entry last year, but hey.
Standout line: “Unchain my wings” It’s unchain my heart, Vasil. Heart.
The Voice: Dramatic ballad, dramatic vocals. Could also prove to be a bit too much. Secretly adoring the Lion King Circle-Of-Life-like backing vocals.
The Style: Will Vasil opt for a daring turquoise choice in reference to Tamara? One could only hope. Or maybe something red and yellow to prove his allegiance?
In one line: Mister bombastique, not so fantastique.
Why it will qualify: The showmanship is tangible, so undoubtedly it will catch some attention.
Why it won’t qualify: It’s out of touch, it’s out of time.
Give your own rating for North Macedonia down at the bottom of the page