Lucky number 13 of the previews brings us the first batch of finalists, including the home entry. Will it be another Big Year for (some of) the Big Five? James, bring forth the Brividi! #eurovision #esc22 #esc2022
1. Italy – Mahmood & Blanco – Brividi
The Song: One of the very few
traditional timeless sounding ballads this year and I somehow don’t mind that. Sometimes simple is effective. I was gonna say it sounds quintessential Italian, but that might be more due to its natural classy and almost effortless effect. Even in the shorter version for Eurovision. The high pitched ‘brividi’ could cause some actual brividi (shivers). On one condition though…
Standout line: “Naked with chills” Pinky promise?
The Voice: Both voices are very recognizable and work wonders in the harmonies. Throughout San Remo we heard a couple of different versions – not in annunciation or vocal frivolities, simply through how unsteady and even pitchy either one or both of them sounded at times. Especially those high pitched Brividi’s need to be bang on for this to effectively become the front-runner it’s made out to be.
The Style: I love it when they give this cheeky grin and exchange knowing looks – makes me feel like I am in on the joke. The joke being that people might think they’re dating, when they’re not. You could call it ‘queerbaiting’ (yes, this is TikTok trauma talking) but there is such a thing as a bromance (apparently). Anyway, add some daring style choices and this couldn’t get more Italian if you’d put them in a Ferrari while sipping on an espresso.
In one line: Cause I shiver, I just break up, when I’m near you, it all gets out of hand. (That’s a Natalie Imbruglia reference, for all you youngsters out there.)
Why it will win: Cause we need another back-to-back win. It’s been over 25 years.
Why it won’t win: Leave something for the rest of us, okay?
Give your own rating for Italy down at the bottom of the page
2. France – Alvan & Ahez – Fulenn
The Song: It might be surfing the wave of success that Ukraine’s Shum created last year and it might get some slack for that, but it’s great to hear one of France’s local languages make it to the ESC stage again. Unlike its 1996 sibling, this one draws the card of folk-techno and that somewhat weird combo works wonders. Loving the electronic production, with a couple of perfect beat drops. The mystical vibe they’re going for is almost tangible.
Standout line: “She dances with the devil, so what?” Hashtag TeamBosco, anyone?
The Voice: The ladies do a fine job, especially in the harmonies, and Alvan’s one-liners provide the necessary oomph. I just wish he’d leave the actual singing to the ladies. I hope they put him low in the live sound mix, cause in the studio version you can hear him loud and clear and his lack of technique throws me off every time.
The Style: That NF performance already gave a good view on what we can expect, but it needs a whole lotta finetuning for it to work and draw the people at home into the vibe and the story. The ladies need to more invested, or at least look somewhat interested in their own song. It all needs more focus and coherence. Dance around that campfire, witches. Dance!
In one line: Forza Fulenn.
Why it will win: People are still hung up on the vibe of Shum, Alvan decides not to sing and it all comes together on stage.
Why it won’t win: The sentence above is filled with too many ‘what if’s’.
Give your own rating for France down at the bottom of the page
3. Germany – Malik Harris – Rockstars
The Song: While I usually have the ‘I know this melody from somewhere’ only now and again in an ESC entry, it happens several times during this one. It’s almost a BUILD-A-SONG song, with familiar sounding bits glued together to end up with a completely new one. I hear BIG City Life, I hear a young Eminem in the rap part and I hear at least two or three previous ESC entries during the more ballad/pop pieces. It almost makes for a nice entry, but something doesn’t quite gel. Also: a 24 year old that is reminiscing being a rock star? Feels odd. (This comment is sponsored by me feeling old, yes.)
Standout line: “I sit and miss and reminisce about innocent old days, when I was afraid of nobody, now I‘m afraid of being a nobody” Wait until you hit your midlife crisis, then we’ll talk again. (This comment is sponsored by my own currently raging midlife crisis, yes.)
The Voice: Somehow I don’t feel Malik when he’s singing (or trying to) – is it the breathing, the pronunciation or the technique? No idea – I do know that that rap bit is quite impressive, and practically overshadows the rest of the song.
The Style: I quite like the switching of the instruments, it shows that he actually knows his stuff. They’re gonna need more than nostalgic pictures of Malik in the backdrop to sell this though – as if those pictures felt melancholic to begin with. They could have been taken the day before the NF, for all we know…
In one line: I can’t wait to go back to an actual rock festival again this summer.
Why it will win: Erm… Ich weiss es nicht…
Why it won’t win: Would you actually play this out of free will?
Give your own rating for Germany down at the bottom of the page
CURRENT DIMIVISION STANDINGS
Tomorrow: Spain & UK + final standings!