Welcome back to this year’s previews! After a little Easter break and a minor chocolate hangover, let’s continue with the next batch of three from semi 2!
4. Estonia – Alika – Bridges
The Song: Oh, what to do with this one? I wanna buy it and believe it, I really do. It starts off great, with just that piano and a couple of heartfelt lines. But it quickly grows into something melodramatic that is a tad too telenovela for my liking. The lyrics and the production don’t evolve in a parallel direction either – the lyrics are looking forward, while the production feels like it’s about to burn bridges instead of building them. Something feels off and it’s a pity.
Standout line: “I forgive myself for all the lies I said before.” Me too, honey, me too.
The Voice: It feels like Alika could be this year’s Sanna or Tamara. At least she’s got the a-sound at the end of her name right.
The Style: Ah yes, the piano that keeps playing will play a role here as well, with extra attention to the fact that it is indeed playing itself. I would pay for them to leave rose petals and ballet dancers at home. To little avail, presumably.
In one line: How troubled is the water?
Why it will qualify: The drama gets to people.
Why it won’t qualify: In the words of Telex – “drama drama drama, we don’t want no drama”.
5. Belgium – Gustaph – Because Of You
The Song: This wasn’t necessarily my favorite in our NF but I’m ever so happy it won because this love letter to (LGBTQIA+) allies is such a powerful message. The thumping nineties beat in this gospel house track is so frikkin’ effective as well, I can totally see the hall in Liverpool explode to it as much as the audience did in the NF. Gospel house isn’t totally my thing to be honest, but this is all so upbeat that I simply can’t help shaking my groove thang whenever it comes on.
Standout line: “Now I love myself much more than I did yesterday” Same, and wishing that for everyone.
The Voice: Gustaph is an excellent vocalist and the fact that he’s using three live backings and fully integrating them in the act is such a big plus.
The Style: The graphics on the video wall managed to lift the impact of the song even more in our NF and apparently they’re turning up the volume for Liverpool, yay! They’re ditching the stairs for something more dynamic, yay! Gustaph will still be dressed by Walter Van Beirendonck! Oh.
In one line: Hat off to you, my dear.
Why it will qualify: It’s vibrant.
Why it won’t qualify: It’s too particular in some departments.
Qualifier? Underestimate this at your own peril. Yes.
Disclaimer: I met Gustaph a couple of times when we were younger and though we lost touch (pre internet and smartphone days) I kept track of his career. Now we’re mutuals on TikTok, so yes my view might be ever so slightly biased and no I shall not apologize because he’s totes adorbz. Keep calm and carry on.
6. Cyprus – Andrew Lambrou – Break A Broken Heart
The Song: This is probably the most artificial song in this year’s field. Just because it’s incorporating so many elements that scream “oh, this’ll work well in Eurovision” that it gets really tiresome really quickly. The drums, the Duncan-esque ‘ooh’ in the chorus… It feels like it’s trying too hard and I doubt it would thrive (or even survive) outside the Eurovision bubble. Though I’ll admit the chorus is semi catchy.
Standout line: “Science fiction turning into an addiction” Is it because every Marvel movie has at least one scene with a shirtless muscled hero in it? No? Just me? Okay then.
The Voice: Curious to hear if he’ll go for the high notes or leave them up to the recorded backings. Keeping last year’s Australian NF in mind though… I *hate* the way he pronounces the title line by the way. Luckily he doesn’t repeat it about fifty times.
The Style: Bring on the drums, the fire and the rain. Oh, and a sleeveless shirt for some distraction. Thanks.
In one line: Break a broken record.
Why it will qualify: Clichés still work. And Greece and Australia are in this semi.
Why it won’t qualify: It’s so Generic even Generic is like ‘really?’.
Qualifier?It can kiss its lucky stars it’s in this semi. A reluctant and careful yes.
CURRENT DIMIVISION STANDINGS
NORWAY – AZERBAIJAN – NETHERLANDS – FINLAND – DENMARK
MALTA – LATVIA – PORTUGAL – CROATIA – SWITZERLAND – ISRAEL – MOLDOVA – ARMENIA -ESTONIA – CYPRUS
Tomorrow: Iceland, Greece & Poland