Sunday, 16 May 2021

Interview on BBC Radio Bristol

For the last few years, last year excepted, I have been lucky enough to find myself on the Steve Yabsley Show, on BBC Radio Bristol. Although I was  able to chat to Steve again this year, it was unfortunately on the phone. Hopefully you can hear through the dodgy signal and my hearing aids getting in the way!

As always, I get to talk about what I am up to at the moment outside of Eurovision, talk about the history of Eurovision as well as what this year's Eurovision has lined up for us!

You can download or listen to it here

You can also find the whole show on the BBC sounds website here or on the app by looking for the Afternoon show on 16th May on the BBC Radio Bristol schedule :) The interview begins about 26 mins in

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Rehearsal musings

For the last week, 37.5 of the 39 acts have been in Rotterdam rehearsing for the semi finals and final of this years much awaited contest (for those wondering Australia are not live in Rotterdam due to covid quarantine rules and we still don't know if Mr Flo Rida is actually coming for San Marino). The betting predictions were rather blinkered before rehearsals and over the last seven days the tables have somewhat turned for some of our acts. When short clips of the second rehearsals came out I tweeted a thread about what I saw. 

CAVEATS - the clips are just shy of 30 second long and don't always show off the acts' best features/surprises. Also, these are still *rehearsals* so acts may on purposely not sing full out, concentrate more on camera angles/choreography/lighting effects, try out alternative costume ideas or not putting on their full performance face for the camera. Although I didn't watch any of the first rehearsal bits, there are plenty of photo galleries to compare and contrast these with.


LITHUANIA - had to watch this twice because it looked too slick and polished to be absolutely live, which it is, or maybe it feels *too* good. Visually striking although the clip was mostly the chorus. I hope the verses show more personality of the whole ensemble. Epic opener for the whole week.

SLOVENIA - rather calm and classy after the last song but the whole thing sounded a bit odd. Couldn't really grasp any of the words she was saying, even if the tune was rather complex and shows of a good pair of lungs. Liking her outfit but would like a bit more lightness in the background.

RUSSIA - nice to see little has changed from the national final apart from the epic dress ! I hope the verses give her and her backing singers a chance to get across their personality. Liking the messages on the backdrop that happen during the instrumental. Hoping her message and energy translates.

SWEDEN - I was a fan of Tusse's Melodifestivalen styling but this version with the gloves is not so nice. His voice seems a little drowned out, but he might not be singing fully so I can let that lie. I'd like more smile and charisma into the camera. He also looked very static and awkward in a big space.

AUSTRALIA - we got a sneaky peek at the prerecorded videoclip! Was not expecting the 3-D refraction effect but the rest of  the staging felt a bit dark. Her outfit looks nice and contrasts nice with her hair. Hoping she connects down the lens throughout which she will need to do to get the votes in.

NORTH MACEDONIA - okay, was not expecting that performance and I got actual goose bumps. Love the framing and shows confidence and fragility. I think I know that this will change as the song progresses but Vasil looks and sounds so blooming confident ! He wasn't even singing full out either. 

IRELAND - from the reports I'd read I was fully expecting a car crash, but was more like a tiny dent. Love the staging (props to Silvàn Areg!) and think it suits the narrative of the lyrics well. You can tell she's thinking about her marks, which may affect her vocals on the night. Surprised in a hopeful way.

CYPRUS - liking the silver and red colour scheme in the outfits. Elena sounds and looks much better than I expected - especially as she looked quite aloof in the video clip. Some of her dance moves were a little awkward and not really on the classy side. A little drowned out in the vocal mix - surprise!

NORWAY - this felt really flat and almost sounded it too. There was little connection to the camera  - not just down to the sunglasses. The whole thing felt pedestrian and plodding even with all the madness going on around him. Considering this is basically his NF performance it has gone stale *very* quickly.

CROATIA - this made my face make lots disapproving shapes. The colour scheme makes the stage looks very washed out and one dimensional in the clip. I have no idea what she is wearing (especially the gusset area) or her dancers. More concerning, those backing vocals are *VERY* high in the mix.

BELGIUM - very clear and classy. I like how Geike is the star and her dress looks amazing. Having the band around her closes in the space. Her vocal sounds emotive too although I hope she gets more time to emote down the camera. Less sure about her eyes on the backdrop as it looks a bit too menacing.

ISRAEL - liking the overhead shot, which also proves how accurate and well rehearsed she and her dancers are. The hair is also pretty impressive. The dancers' arm flinging is a bit too much and the costume change is unsurprising. A lot of whistle tone in this recap which I personally don't like.

ROMANIA - another song where they've shrunk the arena to a more intimate space. The choreo and theme is like the video but overall it looks a bit underwhelming, especially as she looks like she's just come from the detention centre. Her vocal has an individual timbre but is evidently pitchy and breathy.

AZERBAIJAN - oh dear. The whole thing looks and sounds disconnected. Last year's staging - this year's song. Like the video, all of the movement, energy and excitement is coming from the backdrop, dancers and cutting of the camera angles. She looks tiny on that stage and feels very dark and seedy.

UKRAINE - had stand in lead singer for this session but this did not matter a jot. The backdrop with the running men is really effective and the use of the white plinth works amazingly with the lighting and the headbanging!  Watching the song build will feel really exciting on the night. Get the glow sticks in!

MALTA - Destiny sounds good and has a connection with the camera but I'm distracted by everything going on behind her. Much prefer the original pink dress to the silver one. At times it feels more like a music video than a live interactive performance and is too reminiscent of "Toy" for me to warm to it.

Here's the BBC's video of all the songs in semifinal 1!


SAN MARINO - not sure what the gold thing is, just glad it's not there for long. Senhit looks great, killing the Crystal Tipps hairstyle and loving the spinning motif from the video. Voice sounds pretty spot on. Hoping there is more movement to come as the song builds. But is Mr Rida coming or not....?

ESTONIA - well, as much as I have a soft spot from this song, in the long run this looks and feels very stayed and frankly boring and will be well forgotten by song 7 never mind 17. His facial expression barely changes and he looks like he really needs a poo. The stage engulfs him and is a total washout.

CZECHIA - a little underwhelmed by this clip. Although the vocals are fine and Benny is connecting with the people on set, it just looks tiny. I expected the facial expressions and chorography choices to be a lot bigger and crazier. Maybe that'll come at another point or he's leaving all of that for Thursday.

GREECE - whoever thought Stefania need to be joined on stage by invisible men styled as Timmy Mallet needs shooting. It looks tacky and not well produced. Her vocals sound ok but you barely notice what she's doing, or how well she's doing, because your eyes are constantly darting away from her.

AUSTRIA - I was concerned this might get overshadowed but this sounds really good and he's coping well with the long and high notes. I'd like to see less of the bopping up and more emoting down the lens. The wide shots are not a good idea though. Wondering if he goes up and down that plinth...?

POLAND - oh dear this actually made me chuckle. I am sure this backing track is slower than normal because the whole thing sounded and looked pedestrian... His vocals didn't sound too bad but the visual production values lack finesse and precision and felt more like a end of term 6th form talent show

MOLDOVA - being Kirkorov's puppet has finally squeezed the life out of Natalia. Why is she on that tiny plinth? What's with the outfit? Why is the backdrop so lazy/boring? The whole of the troupe needs space to go crazy and over the top - not this. The backing vocals are also far too high in the mix.  

ICELAND - this clip from the start of the song gives very little away which hopefully means there are surprises to come. The silhouette effect is nice and really stretches the tension to the kick of the beat. Vocals sound ok but hope that when the girls come in on backing that it'll sound much more *live*

SERBIA - sounds better than it looks. Sanja is doing most of the heavy lifting but the dancing suffers.. The costumes are too embellished, needing something smooth and sleek to make the lines stand out - especially when the background ends up dark too. The wide shots emphasise the space not used.

GEORGIA - like how the backdrop mirrors the shimmering opening. His voice sounds pretty close to the studio version. The whole thing looks a bit dark but I hope that as his vocals grow the arena grows bigger and lighter too.  I am afraid that his stoic look might not implore people to pick up the phone.

ALBANIA - out of the red/blue pink/turquoise set we've seen this year, this probably looks the best. The detailing on her leotard looks nice and sparkles nicely in the waft of the wind machine. Less keen on the shimmery tights though. Vocals sound clear but there is not really much of a memorable song.

PORTUGAL - I really enjoyed watching this and liked the mix of colours in the backdrop - as well as the use of the side projection as he walks away. Pedro's voice is so distinctive and suits the song. There are a lot of signposts to remember this song by and will help them no end when it comes to the voting.

BULGARIA - What is she siting on? What is she wearing? Where is all the sand going? Who is in the picture? When Victoria sings alone it sounds sincere but with the backing vocals it feels a bit drowned out. Feels a too dark and solitary and I feel that the story they are trying to portray is off the mark

FINLAND - injects a dose of much needed energy and verve. Visually stunning with pyro and the upside down shots. Maybe a bit too red, but thinking of the subject of the song it's kind of on brand. For its genre it does what it needs to. Televoters who like this style will go mad for it, juries less so.

LATVIA - a whole lot of un-needed busyness going on here and looks messy and rather random as a result. I get the feeling that too much has been forwarded from last year's potential staging that DOESN'T go with this song. That coloured dress with that background is a hot mess. Just like the song.

SWITZERLAND - OH MY ACTUAL WORD. I am absolutely gobsmacked by this staging. I was not expecting the costume, energy, poise, props and voice. I have to wonder how/if he can maintain this intensity and emotion for the whole song and if they have anything for the big note at the end...

DENMARK - this is just awful - and now looks doubly amateur after the stylistic choices of the song before it. I still don't know what this is trying to be. The backdrop during the clip is messy and the singer looks like a streaker who's forgotten to take his clothes off. I'd rather not ever see/hear this again.

Here's the BBC's video of all the second semifinalists.!


ITALY - very red and shadowy. Liking the interactions between the members of the group however I hope they project down the camera at other times. The singer's vocal sounds clear and full of oooomph. Their outfits are rather simple but also eye catching. Also noticed their silhouettes on the backdrop too.

GERMANY - my hands covered my face at the end of this. The random noises during the dance part sound awkward and the backing trio needs to be more manic in their instrument playing. Singing and dancing this hard without the quality suffering is impossible. This is why TikToks are not 3 mins.

NETHERLANDS - this sounds blooming amazing. Liking the toned down visuals which will make the more second part stand out. The dancer being the focus during the chorus is bold choice especially as the is is a less notable dance style Jeangu has a great charisma and really looks at home (obvs).

FRANCE - you honestly wouldn't think she was in such a big arena more like a small jazz club in downtown Paris. She looks and sounds amazing. The steadicam gives another layer of realism and grit to very honest and real performance that makes you feel you are there. It is idiotically simple.

UNITED KINGDOM - James looks like he's having a great time! I hope the dancers actually add to the show as it progresses. Verses sound ok, although the word 'embers' sounded a bit of a struggle. More red and blue lighting although it has a ridged/ribbed feel. Dare I even dream what the trumpets do...?

SPAIN - Blas is dressed in black, in front of a black background where the light source is obscured by a massive moon... I hope the pay off is worth it. Blas' voice sounds a little off but it is *only* a rehearsal. I hope he gets more close ups and gets to move and emote more as it feels rather too minimal.

Here is a short compilation of some of those finalists' rehearsal footage !

Sunday, 9 May 2021

2021 Eurovision Sorter Results

For those in the Eurovision bubble, one of the toughest things a fan can do is to put all of the songs in order of preference... For this, we have Mr Gerbear's AMAZING Eurovision sorter.

Having put all the songs up against each other here is my list of this year's 39!

Taking these ranking a bit further, these would be my 10 personal qualifiers from each semi - although looking at this list in context I am almost sure this is NOT going to be happening !!!

Looking at semi one, Australia and Ireland are looking the most likely to fall out of the list for very different staging and vocal reasons. Sweden's entry is all fine and dandy but could be seen as too plain and safe and the people at home just forget to dial them a vote. Croatia is most likely to have a chance of muscling themselves into a slot with the right sort of staging and the divisive Norway could go either way depending on whether the public at large 'get it'. Azerbaijan is also missing from this list. A tight and well performed show could get it extra votes but can they muster up enough wallpaper to cover up the fact that they don't have a decent song? In a semi of 16 very different songs, you could literally see ANY combination of 10 getting through.
Although semi two is a little less competitive, it almost makes it harder to compare. Without sounding too sexist, I feel like the men of this semi are in danger of being left behind in their droves. I could easily see Estonia, Austria, Portugal and Poland all NQ because their songs are less 'in your face'. Czechia could miss out just down to their lack of diaspora in the televote, as could San Marino. You have to give chances to Moldova but their earwormy song could be overshadowed by inappropriate staging. There is also Finland whose entry is niche (and lyrics slightly dodgy) but if the nu metal lovers get behind it, it could surprise. The non-English songs of Albania, Serbia and Denmark also have their supporters but a lot will depend on their visual and vocal performative qualities.

You can sort yourself out too by using the sorter too!

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Shite or Alright 2021

 A little bit late in the making but we are here nonetheless!

Going to set out the podcasts a little different this year because the podcasts will be coming thick and fast. So, all 6 podcasts will be on this page with a new episode being added every other day in order to get the 6 episodes out in time :)

We hope you enjoy !

EPISODE ONE: Londonbeat on Speed
Albania, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and United Kingdom

You can download or listen to it here

EPISODE TWO: The man behind Howard Jones
Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Russia and Switzerland

You can download or listen to it here

EPISODE THREE: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Bodyform!
Australia, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Serbia

You can download or listen to it here

EPISODE FOUR: Toxteth riots and Derek Hatton
Austria, Azerbaijan, Czechia, Denmark, France, Malta and Ukraine

You can download or listen to it here

EPISODE FIVE: Blas Cantó was only the start of it (backed by pictures of Super Gran)
Bulgaria, Finland, Lithuania, Moldova, San Marino and Spain

You can download or listen to it here

EPISODE SIX: ... but ALL Popes do that...
Croatia, Cyprus, Iceland, Netherlands North Macedonia, Poland and Romania

You can download or listen to it here

If you have enjoyed the podcasts, please get in touch and/or share my stuff  :)
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Sunday, 28 March 2021

MALTA 2021

The Maltese song was revealed on March 15th, with the video being uploaded to the Eurovision youtube account. Destiny, who was due to be their entrant in 2020 after winning X Factor Malta, was internally reselected to appear in 2021.Her song is titled "Je me casse" (I break)

The video is a mish mash of various scenes and situations with Destiny in a number of different outfits and hairstyles - all of which look fabulous! At some points she is singing to a topless man (as you do) as well as having a number of different backing dancers around her, also in different states of costuming. There doesn't seem to be a specific storyline to the video apart from near the end when Destiny is looking rather presidential and shouting  through a loudhailer.

The song starts with a very catchy, repetitive and funky bassline. Destiny's vocal style really suits this  style of song as her voice contains so much character you don't need many instruments. The parts of this song thought are short and sharp and soon enough we are in the pre-chorus which is more chanted/spoken before getting into the chorus proper which is rather plain compared to everything before it. The outro of chorus has a terrible brass earworm running through it which makes it sounds a bit silly. We then return tot the start of the cycle after just over a minute. After the second rendition of teh chorus we have a rather long bridge - I say long in comparison to all the other bits in the song - and then a final chorus which ends a little too abruptly.

As a child, Destiny participated in various singing competitions in Malta and the Mediterranean region including SanRemo Junior in Italy. In 2015 she came to worldwide prominence by winning Junior Eurovision with "Not My Soul" In 2017 she entered Britain's Got Talent, qualifying to the live shows but not reaching the final. In 2019, Destiny came to Eurovision as a backing singer for Michela Pace who won the chance to represent Malta by winning X Factor Malta. The next year Destiny took part on the competition herself winning the competition and was therefore was supposed to represent Malta in 2020.

This song has so much promise and potential but a couple of production decisions have killed this song for me. I love the start and the verses, but from there things start to unfurl. The chanting parts before the chorus are totally unnecessary, as well as including some super basic rhyming which makes it sound a little tacky. As for the chorus, it's not bad; I almost wish that the verses were actually the chorus and vice versa (I don't know if that is actually possible) Also, I don't actually understand why the words "Je me casse" are in the song at all. The meaning of the phrase doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the song plus - unless it's just to make the 'excuse my French' gag or curry favour with Francophiles - I don't get why it's in French at all. I end up listening to this song feeling a little crestfallen. Destiny is Premiership standard but this song is barely in the Vanarama National League. That all said and done, she will perform the hell out of this and the those who have been with her throughout her jESC/ESC journey will support her to the end.

ARTIST - Destiny
SONG - Je me casse (I break)
Pete Barringer, Malin Christin, Amanuel Dermont, Nicklas Eklund 

Saturday, 27 March 2021


The Azeri song was revealed on March 15th, with the song's premiere on youtube. After the cancellation of the 2020 contest, Efendi was invited back for 2021 with another internally selected song. She will be singing "Mata Hari"”.

The video is rather simplistic, focusing on Efendi,who is dressed in a little black dress and a very high ponytail. The feeling is very soft focus and there is a warm glow to the visuals. She is joined in the shots by some female dancers who are dressed in a similar way. There are motifs of backlit spotlights and differing sizes of glowing lights which give it a Bond-like spy quality. There is a bit of armography that goes along with this but does look quite pedestrian at times.

The song starts with a mass shout of "Mata Hari before the atmospheric Eastern sounds in backing creeps in. Efendi chants over it with the repetitive first verse. Half way through a beat come in to help the song build. Then comes in the pre-chorus with its shameless plug of last year's song "Cleopatra", the repetition on the mystic chanting before hitting the chorus. This art is possibly the most basic with the repetition - in different guises - of the title. The beat peters aout again to repeat the cycle once again. Just before the two minute mark we have a bridge which is basically a descotrucedt chorus with more 'Mata Hari's and drumming rhythms which then leads into a short instrumental that sounds suspiciously like the one from "My Number One" We then have a shortened pre-chorus before a final chorus but the backing track seems to be at double speed and has  rather random electric guitars on it. The song finishes with another chant of "Mata Hari".

Efendi, first name Samira,  is a popular Azeri singer. Like many Eurovision contestants, she is from a reality show/singing competition background having taken part in the Azeri version of Pop Idol in 2009 and The Voice of Azerbaijan in 2016 coming in third place. She also participated in the show Böyük Səhnə which selected their Eurovision competition in 2014, however she did not make it to the final.

This is pretty disappointing. It's like they have tried to stretch the themes and tropes from their 2020 song and tried to fit them into an identikit song without it seeming like a total ripoff. I am not sure if the delegation had this written especially to sound as much like "Cleopatra" as possible OR if this similarity was due to pure laziness or lack of inspiration. I find this massively misses the mark and the last minute is a mess of sound and structure. As much as the song is badly constructed, there is no doubt in anybody's mind as to what the title of the song is ! On a visual point of view the lighting and quick cuts of the camera create almost all the movement and tension on screen.  I am starting to suspect they are trying to cover up Efendi's lack of talent, or  lack of confidence, in dancing. If this is true it will be interesting to see what happens on stage. Most people coming back from last year have changed things up or changed tack completely but this has just stuck fast and it already feels old.

ARTIST - Efendi
SONG - Mata Hari
Luuk van Beers, Tony Cornelissen, Josh Earl, Amy van der Wel

Friday, 26 March 2021


The Georgian song was revealed on March 15th, with the song's premiere will taking place on the 1TV channel. Back in January it was confirmed that last year's act, Tornike Kipiani, had been reselected to represent Georgia. His internally selected song is titled "You".

The self-directed music video is shot in different places around Georgia. The video is very elemental with Tornike walking along a shoreline, climbing over man made boulders, looking out from a boat and walking through a lush green forest. There is a lot of focus on details with some sharp detailed views against others that are more dream-like with a lot of slow motion views. He is also seated on stage in an empty auditorium singing the song with views of a very wafty ballerina.

In essence, this is in a Viennese Waltz tempo (to put it in Strictly terms) but there is a lot of gliding over the bars which makes it a little unusual to the ear. The format of the song is more akin to three verses with repeated some lines within. The song starts with a short atmospheric intro which doesn't really give anything away as to how the song would progress. Tornike's voice is very low, slightly hushed over the top of the guitar. For the next verse he moves up an octave and uses a much stronger voice but not shouty. For the final stanza he moves back down to the hushed tone before belting out the 'my love' part. There is then a brief instrumental with some rhythmic 'oooooohing' on top before another repetition of the 'my love' part but this time much stronger but not quite a cry or shout. The end slightly peters out and is a little underwhelming.

Tornike Kipiani formed his first band when he was 19 not intending to become its vocalist but ended up filling that gap. In 2014, Tornike won X Factor Georgia, where his mentor was Tamta, who would later appear at Eurovision for Cyprus. In 2017, Tornike (with Giorgi Bolotashvili) tried to represent Georgia at Eurovision with an industrial dance song. In 2019, won Georgian Idol with one of the prizes being the chance to represent the country at Eurovision.

I feel like I have to offer this song a HUGE apology. When I first heard this song I was absolutely *aghast*. This was wholly due to my own perception and hopes as to what this song was going to be. I was hoping/expecting loud guitars, shouty vocals, manic lyrics;what I got was so far away from this that I just could not compute. Having left the song on the back burner of a week and listened to it again - this time with an emptier mind. This is a really beautiful song and has a very heartfelt sentiment and makes it very individual. It kind of reminds me of a hymn akin to "Annie's Song" by John Denver and has that cross-genre appeal which shows very clever songwriting. However as a eurovision entry I fear this is going to get left behind. Unless there is some kind of visual moment that pull on the heartstrings I don't really know who would vote for this or why. That said and done, I am actually really glad that it's here.

ARTIST - Tornike Kipiani
SONG - You
Tornike Kipiani

Thursday, 25 March 2021


The Icelandic song was revealed on March 12th, with a live performance of their song during the RUV show "Straumar" with the official audio released a few days later. Back in November, the Icelandic broadcaster announced that last year's act, Daði Freyr and Gagnamagnið, had been internally selected to represent Iceland  this time with the song also internally chosen. Their song is called "10 years"

During the live show Daði is not only backed by Gagnamagnið but has a string section, live band and a children's choir, the last two obviously won't be on stage at Eurovision. The groups are sporting their customary green outfits with pixelated faces. Daði is centre stage with his two backing singers to his left and his three 'instrumentalists' to the right. As ever there are also some over-stylised dance moves to go with the song.

After a short string lead intro the synth bass and beat come in under the first verse. As it progresses the instrumental becomes more full with a clearer beat and funky style. During the pre chorus there is a brief lull where Daði shows of his amazing low vocal range but also provides the push the chorus needs to get going. The chorus feels rather short and could do with a repetition or two first time round to get it firmly in your head. We then have another verse followed by a brief synth instrumental which gives the gang a good bit of time to goof around a bit! Afterwards there is a shortened chorus sung with a choir and almost no instrumentation at all, providing enough of a low point to push the power of one last chorus to the finish.

Daði learnt to play drums and studied piano and bass guitar in his youth and formed the band RetRoBot with his school friends and released their one and only album in 2013. In 2014 he left Iceland to study music production in Berlin where hi still lives today. Daði's next project was Gagnamagnið, his super cool backing band which contains his sister, wife and three friends. They took part in Söngvakeppnin 2017 coming second. They won the 2020 Söngvakeppnin competition and planned to represent Iceland last year.

To be fair there is really not very much to say about this entry, unless you have never heard of "Think About Things"! This new song is in Daði's signature style and includes all of the aural and visual memes and tropes we've come to expect from hi performances. Unfortunately Daði's main competition is with himself. - comparisons to "Think about things" are bound to be made and personally this doesn't quite have the immediacy that his 2020 effort had. In particular the backing track doesn't quite have the required punchiness or hook that I was hoping for.  Also I feel like the chorus isn't earwormy enough and doesn't get enough repetitions to get firmly into your head. Ultimately though, this style of song really stands out on the Eurovision menu this year. What Daði has on his side is his popularity in Eurovision and away from Eurovision. A lot of people - rightly or wrongly - will vote for him no matter what. I suspect with many of the returning artists that some televoters may be voting for last year's entry as much as this year's effort.

ARTIST - Daði Freyr and Gagnamagnið
SONG - 10 years
Daði Freyr Pétursson

Wednesday, 24 March 2021


The Swedish Final  (Melodifestivalen) was held on March 13th at Annexet in Stockholm, hosted by Christer Björkman, Måns Zelmerlöw & Shima Niavarani. Before the final there were 5 semi-finals to get the long list of 28 down to a final of 12. The winner was chosen by a combination of 8 international juries (50%) & a public vote (50%) where the public vote came from age-related phone app uses and televoters. consisted of a mobile phone app where users were split into one of 7 age groupings (7/8) & televoting (1/8). The winning act was Tusse with the song "Voices".

The stage has a dark feeling and some of the backdrop and floor resembles rain, waterfalls and puddles. You can see as Tusse walks along the catwalk that the water is moving as if he was actually wading through it which is a clever touch. Tusse is joined on stage by 4 dancers dressed in various black outfits. Tusse is wearing a red suit accessorised with some statement rings and an amazing jewelled necklace.

The song starts off rather mellow with an atmospheric intro. This continues under the first verse and ore-chorus although there is also a very minimalistic beat which gathers pace as the chorus comes. Here the beat is more pronounced and not just on the beat. This works well with the rather monotone delivery and longer held notes of the chorus. This then contrasts brilliantly with the chanting of the post chorus which is a really good earworm. This pattern repeats again which gets us to 2.15, here there is a short bridge at the song  shrinks back down to a more ethereal sound made more unusual by Tusse using his lower register. This is contrasted even more by the chorus coming in with a key change finishing with the post chorus on the live ' a million voices'

Tousin Michael Chiza, a.k.a Tusse, was born in Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to war in his homeland his family fled the settling in a Ugandan camp but Tusse was eventually brought to  Sweden, alone, at just 8 years old. In 2018 he participated in a Swedish talent show called "Talang" making it the semi finals. The next year he entered Swedish Idol 2019 this time becoming the overall winner. After this he released a number of songs sung in English and Swedish.

This song has a great anthemic quality and it's clever use of rhyme and rhythm means it stays in your brain for the longest time. This song really reminds me of "Only Teardrops" in its make up and tone. For me, the parts that shine are when Tusse is doing the chanting or where he has that little jump in his voice which makes the song sound so unique. Part of me just wishes they had pushed the song a little further toward being a bit more African sounding. I fear that the clinical clean production of the song and its predictable nature puts me off. As much as this is a good steady dependable Eurovision song, there is nothing about it that I particularly want to vote for. As we have seen of late, the jury vote has been much more pro-Sweden than the televote but the song is less 'pop-polished' than some of their previous efforts and the wholesome message may also curry come favour in the current climate.

ARTIST - Tusse
SONG - Voices
Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Jimmy "Joker" Thörnfeldt, Anderz Wrethov

Tuesday, 23 March 2021


The Latvian song was revealed on March 12th, with the premier of its video showed during a documentary called "Kā uzvarēt Eirovīzijā?" (How to win Eurovision?) with the video available via online platforms soon after.  After the cancellation of the 2020 concert, Samanta Tina was once again selected to represent Latvia, this time with an internally selected song. She will be singing "The moon is rising"

Most of the video takes place in what looks like a disused and derelict hall. She is flanked by numerous dancers all wearing different clothes. At the start Samanta is wearing a rather unusual combination of knee high white boots with a long white shirt over which is a brown jacket although she is seen wearing a couple of other outfits. There are also some darker shadowy edits where you can see Samanta surrounded by lasers and can just see her outline. Throughout the song there is a lot of synchronised dancing - in particular the crown handography - all performed with a lot of attitude.

The song starts with the main line from the chorus and also goes to a very jarring high note. The verses have a very staccato, syncopated rapping feel to them and the tune for each part is very repetitive. When we finally get back to the refrain at the start of the song this is then followed up by an over-long 'pa-ra-ra parade' section. We then have a second verse and ere the Spanish style guitar is more prevalent which gives is a slightly softer feel to it. There is then a bridge which again is repetitive and chanted. We then have a part instrumental-part altered chorus followed by the 'pa-ra-ra' chant to the end"

Samanta is a serial national final competitor - having attempted to sing for Latvia five times, Lithuania once and eventually winning the Latvian national final in 2020. At the start of her career she took part in other singing competitions including Golden Voices and Slavianski Bazaar. She also participated in the Voice Lithuania, finishing in the final 8.

You can see the links between this song and her 2020 song and I suppose this shows how she is comfortable with this style of music. However there is a good chance that if you *didn't* like her first one, you won't be liking this either! For me this is just noise. The parts kind of work together but at times it feels that they are fighting against each other rather than complimenting. Also the balance of the lengths of the parts doesn't work either. The big notes in the 'chorus' makes me feel really uneasy and I sense that when I see her on stage I will be so on tenterhooks about her reaching the notes, enjoying her actual show might not be an option. I am also extrapolating that her stage show will be something like the video - which will be interesting with just 5 other dancers - so unless they use parts of the video to beef up the numbers this might feel a bit empty in spirit. 

ARTIST - Samanta Tina
SONG - The moon is rising
WRITING CREDITS - Aminata Savadogo, Samanta Tīna, Oskars Uhaņs

Monday, 22 March 2021


The Polish song was revealed on March 12th, via the TVP youtube channel. A few days earlier it has been revealed that TVP were internally selecting a new artist - not rolling over their 2020 selection - and internally selecting the song. Going to Eurovision is Rafał Brzozowski with "The ride"

The video is very stylised, something which would be something easily replicable with video screens. Rafał starts in a car pulling up outside a dimly lit nightclub he is then joined by some smartly dressed male dancers who follow him inside. The interior is dark and full of brightly coloured neon signs, mostly with names of cities and places on them. Part way through he is then joined by female dancers with long ponytails and wearing pink trouser suits. There is a lot of gestural choreography from Rafał and lots of very sharp cuts in the video which creates the movement rather than if coming from him himself.

The song is an 80s style up-tempo song with a steady beat and synthesised backing track. This is a very straightforward song which goes verse/chorus/verse/chorus which takes us  to just over the 2 minute mark. Here there is a short bridge with basically works as a mini verse before ending with a final chorus. The bridge is rather non-descript and could do with more aural clues to make it stand out, ideally letting the backing track fizzle out to make the pow back to the end chorus more noticeable.

Rafał did not start out to be a singer as he initially studied as a PE teacher. He was also an active wrestler until a spinal injury put a stop on this. His musical break came with participation in the long running talent show "Szansa na sukces" which led to him to perform with the groups Emigranci and Mono. In 2011 he entered "The Voice Poland" being eliminated just before the final but this led him to release a slew of singles and albums all in Polish. Away from singing, he has participated in Dance with the Stars Poland, presented the Polish versions of Wheel of Fortune, Name that Tune and The Voice Seniors.  In terms of Eurovision, he came second in the preselection show of 2017 and presented Junior Eurovision in 2020 in its altered format.

I actually don't think this is a bad song but did need plenty of listens before bedding in. The tempo of the song works well afor the radio and the tune is rather easy to remember. My main reservations centre around Rafał's performance. First the vocals are quite embedded in the mix and I fear it is going to be hard to replicate this live even with pre-recorded vocals. Also the fact that Rafał does so little dancing and moving to a song that is rather danceable suggests he can't. Unless he styles himself as some sort of mannequin or robot I am not sure how this is going to work. Also the glasses look might not go down well with the televoters as we generally like to see all of peoples faces. Like many Polish entries, this might squeak through with a bit of diaspora support.

ARTIST - Rafał Brzozowski 
SONG - The ride
WRITING CREDITS - Thomas Karlsson, Johan Mauritzson, Joakim Övrenius, Clara Rubensson

Sunday, 21 March 2021


The North Macedonian song was released on March 11th, with the video being premiered on youtube. Vasil was reselected by the Macedonian broadcaster, MRT to represent the Balkan nation with another internally selected song. His song is called "Here I stand"

The music video is filmed in the National Gallery of Macedonia in Skopje, surrounded by artwork by past and present Macedonian artists. This is intercut with footage of Vasil and the orchestra recording the song. The setting is absolutely glorious and dramatic however this has got him into a little bit of hot water as one exhibit in the museum (now edited out) looked like the flag of Bulgaria - even though the artist herself said the artwork is a triptych inspired by Jesus and is actually cream, green and orange - many people didn't like it :/

After a couple of piano notes the first verse starts and as we will discover this is the one and only verse in the song and takes us to just over half a minute As the song progresses the backing track becomes more and more full with instruments added throughout. We then have 2 renditions of the chorus; the first being straight forward, the second with Vasil doing some extended runs while the choir continues on. This then leaves about 40 seconds to the end. The song regroups and becomes small again before Vasil hits the big note and the choir chants the chorus underneath to the finish.

Vasil Garvanliev has been in the singing business since he was a child - he released his first album aged just eight!  In his early teens his family to the United States and he joined the Chicago Children's Choir becoming their main soloist and has performed with numerous musical theatre and pop acts. After some time in Italy and the UK he gained a scholarship at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in 2004. From here on he performed extensively in Canada as a baritone. Vasil settled back to Macedonia where he juggled a opera and pop/jazz career including being credited as a backing vocalist for Chance the Rapper and releasing his own songs in Macedonian. Vasil is no stranger to Eurovision having taken part in Skopje Fest and singing backing vocals for Tamara in 2019.

The song is VERY musical theatre and overly dramatic but I think the build up, flow and level of emotions has blocked the flow of the song writing. There are too many places where I think the song is going to go in one direction and doesn't. In particular the chorus has too many odd phrasings and frankly goes on for too long. The long note at the end would be a perfect quiet ending for such a bombastic song but the addition of the choir is too much. All in all, the song ends up being an intro, two long choruses and an outro which just isn't the right formula for a Eurovision song. I feel like any people in the jury, especially of a musical theatre persuasion, will enjoy this but that doesn't make it memorable or give it impetuous to vote for it. Ultimately I think a lot of people are going to see this as rather old-fashioned - even cheesy - and not something that the modern televoter will vote for. It's a nice song, just not quite right for this.

ARTIST - Vasil
SONG - Here I stand
WRITING CREDITS - Vasil Garvanliev

Saturday, 20 March 2021


The UK song was released on March 11th, with its UK first play on BBC Radio 2 and the video reveal soon after. James Newman, who had been internally selected to represent the UK last year, was reselected after the cancellation of Eurovision 2020. The song, like last year, was also internally selected and is called "Embers"

The music video follows James driving a retro red car through the twisty countryside. Then it cuts to an night-time scenario which is where more of the action takes place. James is dressed in a dark top and trousers and a rather large coat, however he still moves about a fair bit and seems to be enjoying himself. He is singing the song (along with brass section and dancers) in an industrial setting almost like a lockdown drive-in disco situation. The end minute is filed with lots of smoke, fireworks, reddish lights and lots of overhead drone shots.

The song starts with a very, very brief trumpet intro - which I think they could get rid of and start straight in with the first verse. The end of the pre chorus ends with another trumpet flourish which provides a high point so the chorus can grow again. The main part of the chorus is great, especially with the choir repeating the lines afterwards. However the middle section of the chorus feels a it too subdued and needs beefing up or totally dropping out in the backing track to make it a feature rather than an odd bit. The brass bits between the verses and choruses are really uplifting and provide a great earworm! After another verse and chorus round we have a short bridge which is actually just an abridged chorus in James' lower tone with little music in the background which is then followed by a final burst of the trumpet earworm to finish.

James, and younger brother John, have well celebrated music careers as singers, producers and songwriters. James co-wrote Rudimental and Ella Eyre's UK number 1 "Waiting All Night" and won a Brit Award for co-writing "Waiting All Night". He has also written tracks for Calvin Harris and Toni Braxton and provided vocals for tracks by Armin van Buuren and DJ Matoma .After the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, he released his debut EP which included "My Last Breath".

This is a really good contrast to his 2020 song and you can see that he has learn from his experience and tried something a little different this time round. It certainly stands out as a modern contemporary song rather than the more retro bangers we already have in place. The song also has a happy dance feel to it which is also great on balance. The song itself is not that complicated so I would hope James could belt this out. I would also hope he has some sort of dancing brass section as I think this would give it another visual quality to it. If anything, I would say my main concern about this song is if it is actually going to get votes. This is the type of song that is not going to be right at the top of people's rankings but low enough down that they just don't quite vote for it and I fear that it' lack of a 'call to arms' might let it down. Whatever the result this has a good chance of being a radio hit in the summer.

ARTIST - James Newman
SONG - Embers
WRITING CREDITS - Conor Blake, Samuel Brennan, Tom Hollings, James Newman, Danny Shah

Friday, 19 March 2021


The Bulgarian song was revealed on March 10th, via an online show called "A little dramatic concert" . After the cancellation of the 2020 concert, Victoria was once again selected to represent Bulgaria the next tear. 6 songs were in the running, all from her 'a little dramatic EP and after feedback from fans and critics her song was then internally selected. Her song is called "Growing up is getting old".

The video starts with a lengthy intro via a newsreader, inspired by the cancellation of last year's Eurovision. It has a retro feel with the television set, clothes and the slightly brown sepia tone the setting has. The plot seems to revolve around Victoria looking at some of the  objects around the house which inspire feelings of nostalgia and childhood. Part way through she song she sees a vision of her younger self follows her to the garden where they embrace. Once the song has ended Victoria picks up her suitcase and leaves.

The song is a very gentle ballad with orchestral qualities which accentuates Victoria's very softly spoken singing style. The short stringed introduction sets the tone as the first verse is accompanied only by violins which is very unusual for this year. This is followed by a shortened version of the chorus which has much more orchestration. This goes straight into another verse with enhanced backing vocals. We then finally have a full chorus followed a short bridge. There is then some repetition of the song title ending with a final chorus - almost acapella but with slightly different lyrics to finish.

Victoria is best known in Bulgaria for her appearance on X Factor Bulgaria in 2015 where she placed sixth. A year later she started releasing music in both Bulgarian and English. In 2018 she spent some time in America where she wrote her first self-penned English language song. In 2019 she began her Eurovision journey as she was unveiled as their 2020 participant which would then roll over to 2021.

First of all I feel like I have to address the elephant in the room which was that I found Victoria's 2020 entry a bit of an enigma - one I didn't have the passcode too. This entry, however, is less schmaltzy, less Disney and (most importantly) has a much better ending - one that this time doesn't make me want to burst out laughing inappropriately. Although I quite like her 2021 song, it has taken me well over a week of listens for it to bed in and finally make itself understood. I feel like this genre of song is a little divisive and not for everybody's ears. I also wonder if the sophisticated lightness of touch in the lyrics may be too clever to be noticed in a cold reading situation like this. The chorus hinges on the listener understanding the play on words therein and this is not always clear on a first listen, especially if you don't really know what you listening out for. I think that simplifying the structure of the song would enhance its character much more and make it a much straightforward listen. I almost feel like this is a much longer song that has been ripped up in the wrong way to make it fit the time limit. This will do well but I almost feel like this is just missing the mark.

ARTIST - Victoria
SONG - Growing up is getting old
WRITING CREDITS - Oliver Björkvall, Victoria Georgieva, Helena Larsson, Maya Nalani

Thursday, 18 March 2021


The Greek song was released on March 10th with its video premiering on the official Eurovision youtube account. Last year's Greek representative, Stefania, was selected again, and her song was once again selected internally. The song she will sing is called "Last dance"

At the start Stefamia is on a street wearing a plain top, light coloured trousers and trainers. She runs to the top of a building and jumps off only to be saved by landing on the back of a Pegasus. She is then taken to a strange land where she meets and embodiment of Atlas who is holding up the heavens. As she touches his face the column he is holding lights up, starts spouting water and the statues around her turn to life. Stefania herself is now wearing a black sequined top and a silver skirt. This then turns into aTron-esque silver as the song she too is made of light. However we then realise that she's still on the street looking at a traffic control and it has all been a dream...

The song starts off slow with a long verse and long prechorus however the pace picks up in the chorus proper. From here is has a very 80s/Flashdance feel and very much in the ilk of some of the retro sounds in the charts. The chorus has very few lyrics which are repeated a lot but also feels rather short especially as there is so much oh-oh-oh-ing after it too. the second verse this time is up-tempo but is followed by a shortened pre-chorus which brings in a short break before getting back up to speed. Then comes a short bridge before an even shorter chorus. The song ends on a rather shouty "Let's Dance" which might come across a bit too much when live.

Although representing Greece, Stefania is actually from The Netherlands, however her parents are originally from the Evros region of Greece. Despite being one of the youngest contestants, she is very experienced on the stage. in 2013 she took part in The Voice Kids in Holland and then joined a famous children's' choir. In 2016 she performed at Junior Eurovision for The Netherlands as part of the girl band Kisses and came 8th. She then started a solo career which included some publicity in Greece and recently she has broadened her horizons having acted in a couple of Dutch TV shows and movies.

The problem that this song has is that there are a) some many female up-tempo numbers and b) so many 80s tunes that it just feels like one of many. I'd say this possibly feels a bit more 'retro' than some of the other female led bangers that with the right styling this might come across more authentic than others. The other issue is that the song structure focuses too much on the build up at the start that the end of the song feels like a bit of a mad rush. Without sounding too stereotypical, the song itself doesn't seem very Greek, which many of their entries have done. Why the pre-chorus at the start had to be 4 lines long, I don't get. Shortening it would allow for a proper full chorus at the end AND would get away with the over used fire/wire rhyme. I much prefer this to "Supergirl" which was a little underwhelming. However its chances of standing out don't look good considering the similar competition already on the menu. I think it's chance really will depend on how well she can actually belt this out.

ARTIST - Stefania
SONG - Last dance
WRITING CREDITS - Diverno, Dimitris Kontopoulos, Pavlos Manolis, Anastasios Rammos, Gabriel Russell, Sharon Vaughn

Wednesday, 17 March 2021


The Swiss song was released on March 10th with its video being premiered on the official Eurovision youtube account. Last year's representative Gjon's Tears had been reselected internally, and like last year, he co-composed the song. The song he is singing is called "Tout l'univers" (The whole universe)

At the start of he music video, Gjon is lying in a road at the site of a road accident. The camera blurs into another shot of Gjon on the road but in a different position. We then see Gjon behind the wheel of the car driving through space but then the camera starts to shoot through a sunny mountainous twisty roadway. The views get more daring: darting speedily in lots of different directions until the camera is inside the car having the accident from the start of the song. Gjon gets up, runs towards the car and gets someone out - however he is getting himself out of the car - plot twist!

The song starts with sparse piano packing while Gjon sings the verse softly and seems quite melancholy. The chorus starts in a similar vein with the chorus in his trademark falsetto but the piano is accompanied by an ethereal echo/hum in the background which gives it a haunting yet slightly optimistic feel. However the chorus seems to slowly unwinds and falls back into a  amore minor key  but this time with the slight haunt of a beat in the background The second verse again ends with one of his signature high notes but the chorus this time has a tribal syncopated drum beat AND choir.

Although Gjon does not have an extensive chart career he has participated in many singing shows. Aged just 12, Gjon appeared on "Albanian's Got Talent" placing third in the final. It was here his habit of crying after his performances which got him his stage name. In 2012 he then reached the semi-final stage of  "Die grössten Schweizer Talente". Then in 2019 he took part in "The Voice: la plus belle voix" in France where he was mentored by Mika and again got to the semi finals.

This is an immense piece of music. In some ways you can see some of the song writing links to his 2020 entry but you can also see how he has added some extra facets to make the the production really captivating. The joining up of the different parts of the song shouldn't work but they do. The chorus in particular is very catchy and even in French you start learning the words very quickly. Its sparse lyrics and anthemic chanting makes it really stand out. I hope that some of the visual aspects of the video such as the drone shots make it onto the backdrop. I was kind of scared that Gjon would not be able to top last year's masterpiece... how wrong was I...

ARTIST - Gjon's Tears
SONG - Tout l'univers (The whole universe)
WRITING CREDITS - Wouter Hardy, Xavier Michel, Gjon Muharremaj, Nina Sampermans

Monday, 15 March 2021


The Austrian song was released on March 10th with its premiere play on Hitradio Ö3 followed by the video release online. Last year's representative Vincent Bueno had been reselected internally, as had his song., which is called "Amen"

The video mainly takes place in a number of different 'rooms'. There is some opening of doors which coincides with changes in the song. There is also a strange analogy going on with a crow which then morphs from a plain black crow to a multi-coloured one when Vincent finally escapes from his rooms and into the open air.

As you can probably tell from the pared down video the song is pretty straight forward too. The song starts off softly with piano and guitar backing. As the chorus starts the beat starts up and helps the chorus build from the rather sombre verse. This beat stays on during the second verse although his vocals are softer and breathy. I feel like this shouldn't quite work but actually helps the song keep its momentum. After this there is a short bridge which takes the beat away before the last rendition of the chorus. For this one though, Vincent sings the first bit slow and hushed before the beat comes in about this time with a choir helping with the chorus which feels like it is going for the big finish but finishes with Vincent singing the title of the song as the backing fades away,

Bueno started dancing at the age of 4 and later graduated in music and performing arts at the Vienna Conservatory of Music. His big break came in 2008 when he won the Austrian reality show “Musical! Die Show” showing that he could act sing dance and entertain. Over the weeks he performed a range of song from different musicals such as Hair, Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Grease and Miss Saigon and in the end won over  two thirds of the phone in votes in the final. In 2009 he took part in Austria’s version of ‘Strictly’ coming 7th and had his first taste of Eurovision taking part in the Austrian national final in 2016.

This is rather awkward as there is already another song called "Amen" on the showlist, but for me is is by far the better. Even on a technical point of view, the title of the song is prominent in the chorus, repeated often as is also the first and last words that comes out of Vincent's mouth. The beat really builds and you get a real feeling that every word means something. The video is a little confusing but I could imagine the kind of black turning into technicolour vibe being quite clever or even something about opening and shutting doors on the backdrop. It's also nice to see something totally different from Vincent considering his 2020 song was a Justin Timberlake style up-tempo song and shows that he is really versatile. Last years one probably had its hopes pinned on televotes while this might be hankering after the jury vote and if I'm honest Imuch prefer this once.

ARTIST - Vincent Bueno
SONG - Amen
WRITING CREDITS - Tobias Carshey, Ashley Hicklin, Jonas Thander

Sunday, 14 March 2021


The Russian Final was held on March 8th at the Channel One TV Studios in Moscow, hosted by Yana Churikova. The winner was chosen by SMS voting. The winner was Manizha with "Russian Woman".

At the start of the song Maneza is wearing a large coat which is grey and has what looks like ethnic patterns on it. Part way through which she takes this off  revealing a red jumpsuit with the words 'Russian Woman' in Cyrillic on the back. She is also sporting a very lovely head scarf which gives her an air of Rosie The Riveter. She is joined on stage by  backing singers who surround her like a box. There are occasional fire blasts from the side while the backdrop changes between patterns, signs of nature and words from the text.

The track starts with an unusual chirping beat which definately already has that Eastern European quality. Manizha  starts the singing over this in a slightly low talky tone. The backing track then oomphs up a bit with brass tones and the choral singing. From here the verse goes a bit free form and you start to wonder what is going on. The backing track then changes into a different breakbeat with a Slavic tone which ushers in the English based chorus. This then goes straight into another verse which again is a bit freeform - although he body language is very entertaining! We then have a rather grand orchestral/anthemic bridge which has a choral Russian feel to it. After this comes a slightly elongated English chorus before another rendition of the choral part. The song ends with an energetic dance break over the instrumental

Manizha was born in Dushanbe, Tajakstan but the family fled to live in Moscow in due to the Tajikistani Civil War, subsequently settling in Moscow. As a teenager, Manizha took part in singing competitions such as Rainbow Stars, the Ray of Hope festival and the Five Stars music competition. She has joined a number of musical groups over the years such as Ru.Kola, Assai and Krip De Shin. When she finally decided to do solo projects, Manizha began studying gospel music in both London and New York City. She has two albums to her name, released in 2017 and 2018.

From what we know, this national final was produced in a very short amount of time and for her and the team to create such a good show is impressive - with an extra 2 months what else could she come up with? Manizha has great stage presence and moves well on the stage. We already know that she is planning to rewrite parts with a bit more English to get over the meaning of the song a bit more. At times I feel like there are too many 'bits' and that a little more flow and connection between them is needed, especially as the chorus is so different. Maybe by keeping those bits in a tidier order might help. That said the overall beat and the instrumentation is absolutely gorgeous and is a bop in itself. I wonder if the title of ‘Russian Woman” is going to put people off voting, just like finding a song called a song called “I love Belarus” a bit of a push to vote for. I am not sure this this is going to be troubling the top of the leader board but is certainly a different genre to make this years mix a lot more interesting.

ARTIST - Manizha
SONG - Russian Woman
WRITING CREDITS - Ori Avni, Ori Kaplan, Manizha

Saturday, 13 March 2021


The San Marinese song was released on March 7th, via the Eurovision youtube channel. Senhit, who had been internally selected for last year's cancelled contest, was reselected again for this edition. Last year a sudden poll was launched to choose between two possible entries but this year the song was also internally selected. The song she is singing is "Adrenalina" (Adrenaline)

The version released is officially Senhit featuring Flo-Rida and he appears in the official video. The chances of Flo-Rida actually appearing at Eurovision is honestly negligible ! Whether she appears with someone else doing the rap or omits it completely we will have to see! There are plenty of drone shots of different views which are at changeable speeds. Some of the video takes place outdoors with dancers on or around a massive pink compass needed Senhit is also seen wearing a plethora of different outfits and sporting a number of hair colours - and she suits them all! The parts with Flo-Rida are very obviously super imposed in.

The song is in the vein of female up tempo songs like "Fuego" but this has a very definite south Mediterranean feel; slightly Middle Eastern leaning, especially in the intro. During the first verse the beat stays in but the rest of the instrumentation goes out. Unusually we go straight into the chorus - the beat peters out and a more atmospheric feeling and then the instrumental comes in again. Verse 2 offers more of the same but this time the instrumentation is a little bit more full and this continues into the chorus. 90 seconds into the song and we've had two verses and choruses! Here the rap part comes in and the beat mirrors some of the breaks and rhymes in the rap which really works to keep your interest and makes the 30 seconds go pretty quickly. It also helps the last chorus really pop.

Although born and raised on Bologna, Senhit began her career starring in musicals such as Hair and The Lion King throughout Europe. She returned to her homeland in the mid 2000's to begin her recording career and released three albums within 4 years. Ten years ago, Senhit had her first brush with Eurovision, representing San Marino in 2011 with the song "Stand By" and was to rerun to Eurovision last year with "Freaky!". During the last 12 months she has also been tantalising us with her 'Freaky Road Trip to Rotterdam" with her Eurovision cover versions

This is a really catchy and engaging song with plenty to latch onto. This female banger has a slightly unique sound, having not gone down the heavily trod 80s path but also not fooling the the 'Fuego' bath with something heavily Spanish feeling too. I really enjoy the simplicity of the song stricture and proves that huge build-ups to a chorus is just a waste of time! This song feels  'real' and authentic and Senhit's visuals look great and could quite easily be transferred to the Eurovision stage. Whether or not Flo-Rida is part of these plans we will have to see. We do know, however, that the rap part IS staying in so possibly a alternate, closer-to-home replacement might need to be found... This song is radio friendly, catchy, fun and Senhit is here to win!

ARTIST - Senhit
SONG - Adrenalina (Adrenaline)
WRITING CREDITS -   Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Malou Linn, Suzi Pancenkov, Eloise Ruotsalainen, Kenny Silverdique, Thomas Stengaard, Jimmy Thörnfeldt, Dillard Tramar, Chanel Tukia,  Senhit Zadik Zadik