Eurovision 2023 Previews Part 1: Norway, Malta & Serbia


Tick tock, can you hear me go tick tock? Not as in the infamous app, silly, but as in the countdown to The Best Week Of The Year! It’s early April after all, so it’s about time to start this year’s round of previews! As per usual we’ll go through them in sets of three and in the official order of the semis – with the odd exception due to an odd number of entries in Semi 2. So, let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start after all!

1. Norway – Alessandra – Queen of Kings

The Song: This was always the logical opener to semi 1. It starts the party with a bang and it’s got one of the cleverest build-ups in this year’s line-up. The thumping electronics in the chorus are catchy as Covid and make for a killer pair with the empowering lyrics. That combo does  tread dangerously close to pirate song/sea chanty territory. Take that any way you want to. Side note: it remains difficult not to burst into the chorus of Klara’s ‘Run To The Hills’ from last year’s MF while listening to this, but presumably only for us poor ESC fans.

Standout line:  “The wildest card, run the game, run the game”  Who run the world? Queens.

The Voice: Probably the weak point in this entry. The sound of Alessandra’s voice is somewhat peculiar to begin with and it doesn’t feel like the most steady set of vocals in this Contest. Could be just down to nerves, but in that cases she’s got some serious rehearsing to do before May because it is distracting as fox.

The Style: It feels like this strange crossover between an updated Viking-pirate aesthetic and whimsy Tomorrowland shennanigans shouldn’t work but then…it kinda does? I suppose lasers do make a difference and Dr. Evil was right all along.

In one line: Viking Spice.
Why it will qualify: Powerful opener, catchy as fox, done deal.
Why it won’t qualify:
Those vocals gain the most attention.
Qualifier? YES

2. Malta – The Busker – Dance (Our Own Party)

The Song: Waiter, there’s some conflicted feelings in my soup! Let’s get the obvious thought out of the way first: that sax melody is catchy as fox. Just too bad that the entire thing revolves around that one tune which makes it really tired really fast. Especially with the beat drop joining it every single time. Too much of a good thing means it quickly becomes not that much of a good thing anymore. The verses are neglected and consequently virtually non-existent, and apart from a few catchy lines the lyrics are playing third violin. This feels like a ratatouille of a couple of delicious ingredients that somehow make for a rather average tasting dish.

Standout line: “Do you want to dance?” Yes, preferably with somebody who loves me. Also, why isn’t that the title of the song instead of that bracketed confusion inducing mess?

The Voice: Spectacularly unspectacular, which doesn’t help the already quite invisible verses at all.

The Style: If the video is anything to go by, they’re following the same pattern for the visuals as for the song itself: a couple of nice ideas that somehow don’t feel like they live in the same universe.

In one line: Is it sweater weather in May, though?
Why it will qualify: Europe can’t get enough of sexy sax sounds.
Why it won’t qualify:
How do you dance to bits of soundbites and beat drops?
In semi 2 definitely, in this semi and from this starting position… probably not.

3. Serbia – Luke Black – Samo Mi Se Spava

The Song: Those opening bars promise a kind of Linkin Park vibe and then it goes in a completely different direction, with the exception of that vibe of an ominous  shadow hanging over the song. The rather eventless electronics in the run-up to the chorus have too much of a power draining effect on the overall song but THAT CHORUS! To die for. Loving the lyrics, the blend of English and Serbian works surprisingly well and the combo with the apocalyptic feel in production makes this a standout in this field.

Standout line: “The sanity is asleep while the world is burning” Probably the truest words we’ll hear this year. Alexa, play ‘Mad World’ again.

The Voice: Rather fragile in the parts where he actually needs to sing which kinda hurts his chances to get to the final, especially in that opening bit. It’s almost a relief when he gets the rest of the song semi right.

The Style: No clue what that Matrix-style cloth oyster needs to represent but I’m here for it, as well as the post-apocalyptic gear of the dancers. The rather run-of-the-mill outfit Luke is in feels too mundane for this setting and the way the camera work was done in the Serbian final doesn’t suit the vibe either. Curious to see how this will evolve come May.

In one line: Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur, happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr.
Why it will qualify: It’s in its own league.
Why it won’t qualify:
It’s too left-field.
Qualifier? YES





Tomorrow: Latvia, Portugal & Ireland


Published by Dimivision

Overly opinionated. Slightly off my rocker. There's no such thing as a guilty pleasure.

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