Sunday, 22 March 2020

RUSSIA

The Russian song was released on March 12th via the premiere of the video on the C1R channel and and available to download the next day. On March 2nd the broadcaster had announced that punk-rave band Little Big had been internally selected and the song would be known in due course. Their entry is called "Uno" (One)

The setting of this song is very simple and although this might lack imagination it does mean lifting this hook line and sinker onto the Eurovision stage would have been very easy indeed. Sonya and Ilich are centre stage with thee backing singers on one side, a keyboardist behind them and a dancer to the other side. They are all dressed very individually, all have their own microphones and spend most of their time looking down the camera and there is not very much interacting at all. There are some dance moves for the instrumentals and the chorus which would have gone down a storm.

The song as synthy-latino feel stretching to the fact that the chorus is a list of numbers in Spanish. After a small piano intro Sonya and Ilich take it in turns to sing the lines in verse 1. A beat is introduced during the pre-chorus and then goes straight into the repetitive chorus. This is followed by a dance break filled with synth sounds. Verse 2 is just Ilich by himself and is almost more spoken than sung. We then hear the pre chorus and chorus twice through. The song then quitenes back down to just piano with Sonya singing the last line of the chorus on repeat before beefing up once more for 2 more choruses. The song then sounds like it is about to go for a third repetition but stops abruptly instead

A couple of years ago, Little Big had a viral hit with their dance along song "Skibidi" (and the video challenge this then inspired) and their Eurovision song fits in well with this legacy. This is certainly a 'Eurovision song' with the odd looks to camera, strange outfits, dance routine and repetitive lyrics. I think that people watching this would see this as the stereotypical fun and kitschy Eurovision song and would vote for it because of that. I think the juries may have been more split about it. Some will've seen this as a 'millennial' entry and know that this is the kind of thing that goes viral but some may have disliked the genre and their style of performance and looking more for something more 'grown up' and contemporary. Either way I think with the publicity of the contest under their belts this could have been a summer hit. Hopefully they will be asked back next year for some more fun !


Artist - Little Big
Song - Uno (one)
Composers - Ilia Prusikin, Viktor Sibrinin, Denis Tsukerman
Lyricists - Ilia Prusikin, Denis Tsukerman

Saturday, 21 March 2020

AZERBAIJAN

The Azeri song was unveiled on March 10th via the release of the music video online. A few weeks previous it had been revealed that Samira Efendi (stylised as Efendi) had been internally selected by İctimai Television. Her song is called "Cleopatra"

Most of the video takes place in a vast desert area. For the first part of the video Efendi and co are dressed in modern versions of Ancient Egyptian costumes with lots of black, gold and ornate make up and headwear. As the song moves on her style changes into much more modern garb - baseball caps, jackets and jeans but in a similar colour scheme. Her last outfit  a very elaborate, and tight, black dress which is very stiff looking and seems quite restrictive or maybe she is not a confident dancer. There are plenty of dancers around throughout the whole thing and certainly adds some energy to the showcase.

This song is a literal jigsaw puzzle of bits, some of which work some of which doesn't. The songs starts with Efendi vocalising in that mystical Eastern way whilst a number of ethnic instruments start up. We start with verse 1 and the pre chorus before the song suddenly stops in favour of some Buddhist chanting and the chorus then slams back out the other side. The chorus is very earwormy made mostly of la-la-las and the title o the song. Verse 2 continues the pattern but the beat here is doubled which gives it a much more modern feel. The pre chorus this time is much shorter before the chant starts again and the chorus resumes. There is then a instrumental/dance break which goes into a bridge but this time we go straight into the chorus but the beat here is much more prominent. As the song reaches its crescendo the beat keeps on doubling after each line before coming to a stop on the final line.

The thing about this song is that it has a very clear identity - you can imagine the kind of urbanesque take on Ancient Egyptian culture and the stylised dancing a bit like in the video. But for me the song deteriorates as it continues. When the instrumentation and melody take centre stage is feels really interesting but as the song goes on the beat increases and gets stronger it almost loses its power and actually sounds quite annoying in the very final chorus. The tune is not that taxing so she should have been able to nail this well. However I cannot be the only person who find the chanting at the start of the chorus superfluous and to the point it feel like its been shoehorned in to give it another gimmick. This would have easily qualified but may have come across as gimmicky or too in your face when next to some of the more contemporary entries in the final.


Artist - Efendi
Song - Cleopatra
Composers - Luuk van Beers, Sarah Lake, Alan Roy Scott
Lyricists - Luuk van Beers, Sarah Lake, Alan Roy Scott


MALTA

The Maltese song was revealed on March 9th vi the release of the music video.. The Maltese entrant had already been decide through X-Factor Malta would once again be going to Eurovision. The final of this selection was held on February 8th at the Malta Fairs & Convention Centre in Ta' Qali, hosted by Ben Camille. The winner was chosen in 3 rounds of televoting with 1 contestant being eliminated at the end of each round. The winner was 2015 Junior Eurovision winner Destiny Chukunyere and her song is called "All of my love"

The video has a number of different settings and 'looks' interspersed with shots of free runners running through different terrain and shots of swooping birds of prey. The video is also very much an advert of slow motion effects. For some of the video she is pictured alone but at some points she is flanked by a lot (and I mean A LOT) of dancers. The video takes place in differents outdoor settings, at different times of day and through different weathers. At one point she is wearing a gloriously huge black ball gown and sporting a black and gold headdress which makes her look very regal. Personally I prefer the parts with her hair down as it makes her look much more youthful and a little less severe, especially taking into account the style of the song.

The video starts will a spoken word intro reminding us to 'fulfil your Destiny' a play on the artist's name. We start off will another sparsely orchestrated soundscape with the first verse on top. Destiny's vocals are very prominent and made more atmospheric by the addition on extra reverb and echo on top. During the pre chorus the backing track stays pretty similar but has the addition of a steady but not prominent beat. The whole thing then jumps up a gear once in the chorus - the backing track is richer and the beat is now in double time. The end of the chorus has an interesting call and response part with the backing singers which could have been interesting with a live audience. The next verse sounds much more sassier with just a beat and very little else, this leads into the pre chorus and chorus like before. This sequence ends with a bridge with a driving gospel sounds which includes the ensemble singing as one, and claps and some epic big notes at the end from Destiny. We end with one last reprise of the chorus but with some repetition of the ending.

This is an amazing song and would have been a firm firm favourite in the hall. It has a great structure and has the right amounts of peaks and troughs without compromising the flow of the song. The tempo is key here as it is easy to switch it from no beat to normal beat to double with no fuss. It would not have needed much in terms of staging because we all know so well that Destiny is an amazing vocal and physical performer and her character oozes out of her. We might have seen Malta's first ever win, our first solo winner of colour and our first Junior to Senior Eurovision victor... but now we will never know.

Artist - Destiny Chukunyere
Song - All of my love
Composers - Sebastian Arman, Bernarda Brunovic, Dag Lundberg, Borislav Milanov, Joacim Persson, Cesár Sampson
Lyricists - Sebastian Arman, Bernarda Brunovic, Dag Lundberg, Borislav Milanov, Joacim Persson


Thursday, 19 March 2020

SAN MARINO

The San Marinese entry was announced on March 9th after an online vote. A few days previously former contestant Senhit was revealed to be re-representing the principality. A vote on which of the two songs should be taken to Eurovision was held on Senhit's website between March 7th-8th. The winning song was "Freaky!"

The video is very fast moving, extremely colourful and sees Senhit in many different situations with the 5 backing singer/dancers. A close ensemble piece like this could look very different to some of the songs that we have had up to now, as well as feeling quite 'Eurovisiony' and slightly retro. Some of the sets might have come in useful for Eurovision as might some of the styling choices (keep teh big hair!!)

The song starts with a slowish intro before quick going into a retro bassy disco beat with a slightly sung/spoken refrain on top. It runs seamlessly into the chorus which I think is probably the part of the song that is lacking just because the tune is much lower and harder to listen to than the rest. This then revert to the intro again but this time used a bit like a bridge and slows the pace down before kicking back into gear. This time instead of a verse this goes into a kind of refrain/second chorus which is much more catchy than the chorus itself but also ends with the 'freaky freaky freaky' tag line and then runs into the chorus proper. Verse two starts up, which is rather short but repetitive before afinal extended version of the refrain. The ending is father bizarre as the backing track finishes before the singing does.

This certainly follows up Serhats 'success' with low-key disco success and certainly has some feel good factor about it. The presentation is really fun although questions might have to be asked about how Senhit can be at the same time as singing or can any of her great backing team sing and dance at the same time. I suspect that this would have done well on the televote but less so with the juries just down to favouring more contemporary entries. I think this would have made a positive respite in the final but I doubt it would have made it.


Artist - Senhit
Song - Freaky!
Composers - Nanna Bottos, Gianluigi Fazio, Henrik Steen Hansen
Lyricists - Nanna Bottos, Gianluigi Fazio, Henrik Steen Hansen


Monday, 16 March 2020

NORTH MACEDONIA

The North Macedonian entry was revealed on March 8th as the music video for his Eurovision entry was premiered online. Back in January MKRTV announced that singer Vasil has been internally selected by the Macedonian broadcaster and his song would be revealed at a later date. His song for Rotterdam is called "You"

Vasil's music video is very dance heavy, in fact Vasil barely moves his mouth throughout the whole thing. Vasil walks to the bar and gets a drink when a female walks behind him and they then start dancing. Vasil and female dancer are rather modestly dressed in black and burgundy, almost in workout gear rather than dancing outfits. The dancing is part tango inspired but also contains some street and commercial influences. You kind of forget that Vasil is actually the singer of the song which makes you wonder IF he can dance and sing at the same time...?

The song has a slightly latino feel but this one is much more of the Tango variety with the instrumentation of strings and accordion. After a small intro we start with verse one which is light in the backing track but this beefs up through the prechorus by adding a beat and more prominent accordion. The chorus is highly repetitive in terms of lyrics and tune but Vasil gets around this by singing parts of the second half in falsetto which livens things up a but when it could get a little samey. Verse two comes in but is only half the length of verse one and goes straight into the pre-chorus and chorus. The bridge part has a Latino-/Balkan feel with the voice modulations and feels more like the ending of the song - but it's not! This goes into the final chorus but the start of if is very different to before and feel more like the middle eight not the ending of the song, the ending is very definite, if not a little predictable.

I think that this song has a great personality and really does stand out against the other entries we have this year. That said it needs to make sure that the visual identity of the song is strong too. Applying the video set up of sorts onto the stage is a total must. otherwise this will just feel like another generic dance song.Obviously I am not expecting Vasil to be dancing full out on stage but there needs to be some kind of dancing on stage, maybe even some instrumentalists doubling up and backing singers and maybe even some chairography.
If Vasil can sing this decently and the staging is right this has a good chance of qualifying but something at the back of my mind thinks that something about this show is going to let it down. If the show is to introverted and too focused on the dancing it might not work and if his singing is impeded by too much fuss on stage it won't work either. Maybe this just doesn't quite have the pull for people at home to vote for it or the pull for juries either.

Artist - Vasil
Song - You
Composers - Lazar Cvetkovski, Darko Dimitrov, Nevena Neskoska
Lyricists - Kalina Neskoska, Nevena Neskoska, Alice Schroeder


Sunday, 15 March 2020

PORTUGAL

The Portuguese Final was held on March 7th at the Coliseu Comendador Rondão Almeida in Elvas, hosted by Filomena Cautela & Vasco Palmeirim. Before the final there were 2 semi-finals, with four songs qualifying from each. The winner was chosen by a mix of televoting and the aggregate score of 7 regional juries. Going to Rotterdam is Elisa Silva with "Medo de sentir" (Fear of feeling)

Elisa is wearing a rosey coloured top with puffy sleeves and a pair of maroon/burgundy sequinned trousers. She also is sporting some rather large gold earrings. The backdrop is quite ethereal and looks like golden flecks floating around in water. There is also many beams of blue light too. Elisa is accompanied on stage by 2 dimly lit backing singers behind her and Marta, the writer of the song, who does backing vocals and plays the piano. The two of them harmonise well together and also seem to have good chemistry. It is almost a bit of a shame this is not more of a duet type affair as that would give the song an extra dimension.

The start of the song has a kind of low key jazzy, cabaret feel which extends until the end when the instrumentation becomes much much more prominent. Verse one starts straight away and is quite wordy for such as quiet opening. This runs straight into the chorus which has more of a simple melody and more made of the rhyming syllables the end of the lines. This then runs quickly again into verse 2 and another chorus which gets us just over half way through the song. Here we have a bridge which is where the instrumentation becomes more apparent. The drum parts are almost marching band like and there are some nice string harmonies too. This stops at the end of the bridge and the start of the very last chorus is sung quietly with little backing but comes back in half way through. The ending kind of  just stops with a bit of 'oh-ohing' after the chorus which is a bit of a shame.

This song has a lot of promise but the execution of it has been poor. Elisa sings this really well and her voice really suits this style of song, but for me there are two main issues with the song. Firstly the melody of the chorus. The lines in the where Elisa sings the melody going down just doesn't sound right and I wonder if the rest of the backing singers could continue singing up whilst Elisa sings down. At least this way the tune won't feel quite so sparse and will also maintain that catchy refrain in the chorus. Secondly this song needs to decide if it is a subtle tender chanson or a a gutsy power ballad because the backing track is so over the place I'm not sure what it is trying to be. The start of the song works so well, I just wish they kept it intimate and quiet. When it does go 'big' the soundscape just doesn't appear as it feels empty and uninspiring.
As much as Elisa does a good job and the song has a nice melody this just doesn't cut the mustard as it stands. It feels very empty and directionless and this is not going to stand out at all in semi 2. The languages sounds lovely and I don't think any attempt to change the language would be a wise move. After a number of years where they have chosen more interesting songs the Portuguese seem to have reverted back to type and chosen something the rest of Europe is going to find uninteresting. Such a shame.

Artist - Elisa Silva
Song - Medo de sentir (Fear of feeling)
Composer - Marta Carvalho
Lyricist - Marta Carvalho


DENMARK

The Danish Final was held on March 7th at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, hosted by Hella Joof & Rasmus Bjerg. Before the final there were 3 radio based semi-finals wher 5 songs were added to the already chosen finalist. The winner was chosen in two rounds of voting - in the first round the top 3 were chosen by a mix of  jury and SMS/app whilst the second round was decided by SMS and app voting. The winners were Ben & Tan with "Yes"

The staging of this song was rather unprecedented. A few days before the show the Danish government banned gatherings of over 1000, meaning that the Danish national final went on as planned - but with no audience. This was quite the shame is the new arena in Copenhagen was done out beautifully and had some great lighting effects and also situated an orchestra in between the two runways. Ben is in dark top and trousers with a nice chequered jacket on top, plus his guitar. Tan is in a white half jacket-half camisole number with thigh high black boots. They do a fair amount of walking and moving (although Ben stood about a bit more so he can play guitar and sing at the same time) There are a lot of ABBA-esque angles with one singing facing front and one side on. There is not a lot of interacting between the two of them and if the song is about their feelings for eachother, this seems a little incongruous. The backdrop is mainly gold and black in different forms. During the chorus the word "YES" appears in gold behind them. Near the end this is also accompanied by lots of gold pyro effects, although they fall short of the 'winners' pyro curtain.

Being a duet, some parts are soung solo and some parts together so although the structure of the song is rather straightforward they are able to switch things up a little by changing the tone or melody depending on who is singing what. We start with the verse which is in 7/8 time but does not feel rushed or awkward and if you were listening causally you might not even notice. We then go straight into 2 renditions of the chorus chant which this then followed by an instrumental with the backing singers 'oooohing' on top. These parts are very drum heavy, almost military style . We then have another verse and double chorus followed by more ooooohing. Here the duo move right around the stange from the top right top to the tip of the runway. Here we have a brief bridge leading back into more of the chorus. The song then quietens down to the closing outro which ties the song back up together.

So the plus points of this song is that the hook in the chorus is a definite earworm and it is very easy to latch onto and sing along to after just one listen. I also think in the verses have interesting phrasing being 7/8 without sounding awkward, especially when running into the chorus. Their voices blend well together and Tan in particular has a very distinctive tone. But for me the lack of connection between the two of them and the non-existent connection to the song lyrics is very grating. I will give them some slack purely down to the lack of audience and that singing like your life depended on it without support and encouragement would have been weird and in some cases might have made it even more nerve wracking. That all said I think both of them need to work on making this work as a duo rather than two people that happen to be singing the same song. Either they are 'together' or they are two individuals. Maybe having a small line of backing singers to focus on doing punching in the air movements on the 'yes' might be enough distraction from the walking so we don't see so much of them apart?
This will probably qualify as this is the most anthemic song in the bottom half of semi 2 and I could even see this as a rousing semi closer, which would almost guarantee them a final spot. It's a nice positive anthem, which one might need at such times and winning may even mean we return to the arena next year - but this time full!

Artist - Ben & Tan
Song - Yes
Composers - Linnea Deb, Jimmy Jansson, Emil Rosendal Lei
Lyricists - Linnea Deb, Jimmy Jansson, Emil Rosendal Lei


Saturday, 14 March 2020

SWEDEN

The Swedish Final was held on March 7th at the Friends Arena in Solna, hosted by Lina Hedlund, Linnea Henriksson & David Sundin. Before the final there were 4 semi-finals and a second chance round. The winner was chosen by 8 international juries (50%) & a public vote (50%). The public vote consisted of a mobile phone app where users were split into age groupings and phone voting. The winning act was The Mamas with "Move"

The three members are dressed in black - but their outfits are very different in style although they all have a black mesh cape or fringing that ties the outfits together. For the first half of the song they are stood behind microphone stands then during the second half they move around a bit more including singing with their back towards the audience. The background is dark and sparse with flashing strips and lights but gets brighter and more lit up as the song progresses. The audience also has their part to play with their phone lights swaying in the air too.

Although the song seems rather simplistic and formulaic "Move" is actually made up of lots of rather smaller cogs which fit rather well together. We starts with verse one and this flows nicely into the pre-chorus. This then moves swiftly into the more wordy and melodic chorus, although the name of the song is a little hidden inside. There is then a post-chorus although this is more oh-oh-ohing by the backing singers and a chance for the girls do do some low key bopping. We then start again with another verse but this one is much shorter, followed by the pre-chorus, chorus and post-chorus. Here there is then a stompy clap-along, sing-a-long bridge which actually gets the song name across better to the audience. We go back to the chorus one last time before another short reprise of the bridge.

First of all, it's nice to see John Lundvik's backing singers get to shine by themselves, although some might feel that last year's song and this year's entry aren't exactly miles apart. Personally I found this years Melodifestivalen totally insufferable and there were so many songs in the final that were just 'Sweden by numbers'. At least this song has three amazing singers and their performance did not seem over-choreographed something which can annoy me terribly. The song has a nice soulful vibe although I kind of wish the last chorus had something a bit different such as a key change or something to really show off their vocal prowess.
Looking at this song's situation in the first half of semi 1 this is one of the better songs and acts and stands out as such, but when it comes to the second half there is so much going on part of me wonders if this song is going to be forgotten about. I especially worry about how this might fair when it comes to the televote - Sweden seems to be rather more favoured by the jury than the people at home (maybe we're all fed up of the Swedes being Swedes..?) I think there are 5 songs in semi one which probably won't qualify and this one could be right one the edge. This being a DNQ would be a real shame but might also fire up Sweden to widen its horizons in Melodifestvalen and do something that is *really* different.... JHF pleeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaassssssssseeeeeee.


Artist - The Mamas
Song - Move
Composers - Herman Gardarfve, Patrik Jean, Melanie Wehbe
Lyricists - Herman Gardarfve, Patrik Jean, Melanie Wehbe


Friday, 13 March 2020

FINLAND

The Finnish Final was held on March 7th at Mediapolis in Tampere, hosted by Krista Siegfrids & Mikko Silvennoinen. The winner was chosen by mix of televoting international jury votes. The winner was Aksel Kankaanranta with the song " Looking back"

Aksel is alone on stage singing behind a microphone stand. He is wearing a black top and a slightly shiny blue suit. Most of the time the background is black with some blocks of white moving across the stage, sometimes red blocks of light too and sometimes shaded figures appear on the backdrop too. These features do slightly co-inside the the lyrics of the song. As an added feature some of the lights and flashes also appear in front of Aksel either as slever lighting or possibly as an overlay on the camera rather than just happening behind him. The camerawork starts off tight of Askel but as the song progresses it becomes wider as it tries to take in the backdrop.

The structure of the song is very simplistic going verse-prechorus-chorus, verse-prechorus-two choruses and outro. The backing music is ambient and synthy and quite interesting to listen to by itself. It's very low in the mix and not particularly expressive or changing apart from the addition of  more beats during the second verse and extra percussion after the second prechorus which all peters out during the outro.

Although this was not the song grabbing the headlines during UMK, for me this was always the best song of the bunch and I personally was very happy that this won. The instrumentation builds well and Aksels voice is really easy to listen to. If I had any critique about his performance it would be that the visuals over took him a little. Yes, I see he is quite the introverted singer but even then that style is interesting to look at especially when it certainly sounds like he is feeling it. Having an act doing very little will stand out in itself. Maybe interacting with some dancers might help? Having actual people on stage rather than on the backdrop might make the whole thing come alive a bit more. Or perhaps it might work on some sort of satellite stage with the main background further behind him.  He could definitely do with some better styling, some more noticable lighting and something a bit more memorable as the backdrop - maybe less red would be good as that seems to be Finland's unlucky colour!
This is one of the more 'normal' songs in semi-final two, whether this will be its positive or negative will have to be seen but it may well be an island of normality surrounded my  shoal of odd looking fish. I think the jury especially will appreciate the musicality and the melancholic lyrics but the audience voting at home may feel compelled to vote for something a little bit more different.

Artist - Aksel Kankaanranta
Song - Looking back
Composer - Joonas Angeria, Connor McDonough, Riley McDonough Toby McDonough, Whitney Phillips
Lyricists - Joonas Angeria, Connor McDonough, Riley McDonough Toby McDonough, Whitney Phillips



Wednesday, 11 March 2020

BULGARIA

The Bulgarian song was revealed on March 7th via the release of the song's music video. In November last year the Bulgarian broadcaster, BNT, announced that Victoria would be their singer in Rotterdam. Her song is called "Tears getting sober"

The video is set in what seems to be a dark and murky park bench where Victoria stays and sings the song. She is sat with her hair down, wearing a dark shirt and trousers. There are a number of tricks used to engage the watcher such as 360 rotations, odd camera angles,  smoke, light orbs and flashes. Although Victoria keeps quite static there is enough going on in small doses to keep your attention. I am not quite sure if this should be her overall staging but it very easily could be. It certainly isn't the kind of entry that wants to be too boombastic.

After a short intro which gives the impression of being played backwards only a piano is left playing. Victoria sings a very short verse 1 and goes straight into a shortened chorus which contains heavy backing singer presence in the place of more instrumentation. Verse 2 is followed by a pre chorus before leading into a longer version of the chorus. Here we have another pre chorus but with slightly altered lyrics. There is very little variation on the backing track at all from the start up to this point which is where the orchestration comes in - not hard but just enough to notice it is now there. This is followed by a rather timid outro and some ooohing by the backing singers.

The song itself is mostly quite tender and softly sung. Her voice is clear but I hope her microphone is turned up a little bit because I think she could get washed out when live. But for me, the awful into and outro needs to be binned right away - it sounds cheap and tacky and negates any message in the song. I get the feeling they were trying to soften the edges, Disneyfy it and keep the song positive but it really doesn't work. My other concern is that the harmonies with the backing singers are so tight and precise, not only in pitch but also in tone, and this could lead her to be far too deep in the mix and not be able to hear her at all OR it could make her sound badly out of tune.
This is another song that really isn't my style but this one at least has a definite structure and flow and has a lid on its vocal sentimentality. That said, I think it is almost too monotone and flat throughout and could have done with more peaks and troughs to keep the listener involved, but maybe this can be easily adjusted once live. You could listen to any part of this song and not really know where about in the song's journey it belongs. I also tend to think many of these similarly styled ballads are in danger of cancelling each other out. It's is my preferred choice of the younger female ballads this year, so I am not particularly fussed either way if this qualifies or not but I guess if the young female demographic votes for this it could go big.

Artist - Victoria
Song - Tears getting sober
Composers - Victoria Georgieva, Lukas Oscar Janisch, Borislav Milanov, Cornelia Wiebols
Lyricists - Victoria Georgieva, Lukas Oscar Janisch, Borislav Milanov, Cornelia Wiebols


Tuesday, 10 March 2020

CYPRUS

The Cypriot song was revealed on March 6th via the release of the song's music video. Way back in November last year Cyprus' broadcaster, CyBC, announced that the singer Sandro had been internally selected to represent them. His song is called "Running"

The video for the song is very Sandro-centric with no-one else in the video at all. Sandro is seen in a number of different poses from being knelt down on the floor to being in silhouette with projections on top or under coloured sheets. Although this gives him plenty of scope for emoting the overall effect is rather frenzied and lacking in narrative. The shot selections seem rather random and the changes and frequency of shot doesn't match the song's pace either. It all seems rather haphazard.

We start with a synthesised intro before starting on the first verse which is sung very low and stays low into in the pre-chorus. There is short lull before the chorus proper starts. This part of the song grows melodically, instrumentally and vocally throughout so that he is almost shouting by the end of it. There is then a longer instrumental break with some ooh-oooh-oooh-ing before the sequence starts again. His delivery is similar but her sings the pre-chorus in his 'normal' voice rather than low and breathy. After another instrumental there is fast sung/rapping bridge before repeating the last lines of the chorus is his fierce voice. The song is very fragmented and the fact that the verses are very short, almost non-existent and there are so many different parts of the chorus it almost feel like some parts seem superfluous to the song and that it's more like repetitions of a chorus with instrumental in between.

All the signs for this song should be pointing towards the top but actually I feel rather confused, almost like I am missing something. The whole thing just doesn't work as a cohesive 3 minute song and I am starting to wonder if they've took too much away from a longer song or have tried to pad out the scraps they've got to make it long enough. Although there is a definite message in the lyrics it is lost amongst the mess.There is also a lot of vocal range in this song and it will be interesting to see if he can perform this well enough under pressure. I also have no idea what this is going to look like on stage, all I can hope if that it's not quite as detached as the video.
After a run of good entries, it doesn't look like Cyprus will be returning to the final this year on the basis of the song. To make things worse, neither Greece nor Germany (his actual nationality) can vote in this semi although that will not stop the Greek diaspora around the world shoving a vote this way. It's good but it's just not right.

Artist - Sandro
Song - Running
Composers -  Alfie Arcuri, Teo DK, Sebastian Metzner Rickards, Sandro Nicolas, Octavian Rasinariu
Lyricists - Alfie Arcuri, Sebastian Metzner Rickards, Sandro Nicolas, Octavian Rasinariu

 

Monday, 9 March 2020

IRELAND

The Irish song and act was unveiled on March 5th with the first radio play on 2fm, the release of the music video online and had the premiere live performance on the the next evening. Like the last few tears, the process was done internally by RTE. Going to Rotterdam is Lesley Roy with the song "Story of my life"

The majority of the video is full of bright colours and showcases lots of different personalities doing different things. Lesley is lip syncing for most of it and sometimes can be seen playing an electric guitar. Lesley is dressed in a trouser suit with a black lacy top underneath. She has short blonde hair which is styled back behind her ears. For most of the video the shots are of her shoulders and head but she has a good connection with the camera. Near the end the song shifts it to a darkened club where the clubbers are full of energy - in slow motion!

The song has a pop-rock edge and uses this to good effect when differentiating the chorus from other parts of the song. We start with a wordy and staccato verse which is followed by a very sparse and slow pre chorus. The chorus continues this pace and begins with the title of the song. In the middle of the chorus there is a very memorable 'na-na-na-na-na-na" part which I can imagine the hall all joining in with. This pattern is repeated again but this time with a double chorus which has slightly different words the second time round. Here we have a small bridge and short instrumental before another long chorus. There is then another bridge, which starts the song's wind down to the finish which is the repetition of the very first line of the song.

There is some good news - this is great fun pop song with a admirable message and a pretty memorable chorus. She also seems to be working with some great people for a different kind of stage show - different at least for Ireland ! Unfortunately I think that may be it. The song is slightly reminiscent of Katy Perry's "Hot n Cold" which although a fine hit song, is over ten years old. The delegation might say this is a fresh new direction - it's really not! Her performance on "The Late, Late show" was not at all convincing. In fairness to her she seemed to be having some issues with her earpiece and the setup of the stage was rather unexciting plus she may have felt some pressure and nerves. Lesley's voice faltered quite quickly almost like it was too fast or too high which really shouldn't be happening. There wasn't really much performing going on, although she may have some help with that at Eurovision.I think most fans felt slightly underwhelmed and empty after that rendition.
If everything is on point with this there could be an outside chance of sneaking through to the final but if any one of the piece is out of sync this could be a total car crash. Considering the rollercoaster has had at Eurovision of the last few years, I wonder if a non-qualification might be the catalyst for RTE to take a break from the contest. It is nice to see them trying different things, but nothing has quite worked enough. I think to make a mark they are going to have to search WAY outside their box and comfort zone. This just isn't quite far enough.

Artist - Lesley Roy
Song - Story of my life
Composers - Catt Gravitt, Robert Marvin, Lesley Roy, Tom Shapiro
Lyricists - Catt Gravitt, Robert Marvin, Lesley Roy, Tom Shapiro




Sunday, 8 March 2020

AUSTRIA

The Austrian song was revealed on March 5th via the release of the song's music video. Way back in December last year ORF, the Austrian broadcaster, announced that Vincent Bueno had been internally selected to represent them. His song is called "Alive"

The music video is set in what looks like an old disused warehouse or dock. Although the first few shots may make it seem like it is going to be another one in black and white you soon discover that this isn't quite the case and is more down to a muted colour palette. At the start he is by himself but soon there is quite the ensemble joining in his dance routine. There are also some shots of him doing slow motion jumps in the air and light projections on his face. It's very noticeable that the shot selections that it is forever moving and that it changes from setting to setting within a matter of seconds.

Vincent is dressed quite casually throughout in tight black jeans and tshirt with either a black leather jacket on a larger cream coat. His dancers are all wearing black and you don't really see their faces.  It would not surprise me if his Eurovision stage show was going to be like this as it seems to come very easy to him to perform like this, although he will have to mind singing and dancing at the same time. It is quite clear from the video that Vincent is quite the mover and if he can sing and dance like this at Eurovision it is certainly going to stand out.

This is quite a modern uptempo number which might be mistaken as being the Swedish entry or something that Justin Timberlake might have got his hands on first. The song starts straight into verse one but has a pared back soulful feel to it with just a piano on the track. As he moves into the short pre-chorus the beat starts to creep into the song just in time for the chorus to take off. This has a very bassy feel with almost a disco tinge to it. There are lots of syncopations and missing beats which keep you on your toes. We flow nicely into the second verse but the following pre-chorus is much more low key with the first art almost acapella. The beat does eventually come back again and we then got backingot a fully fledged chorus. We then have a short instrumental part which a whispered part, which seems a little odd with only 40 seconds left to go, which then rolls into a shortened chorus. This feels like it should be the end but there is a short piano outro which doesn't really finish the song off well and is going to be difficult to perform with the crowd noise on top of it.

This certainly gets points for being upbeat, commercial and contemporary for modern music radio. The chorus is quite catchy and has plenty of oh-oh-oh earworms as well. It builds up nicely and each different section of the song has it's own definite feel and nothing feels superfluous - apart from one part...I do however have reservations about the end of the song. Unless there is some kind of visual clue, either through the dancing or the lighting or something  it's going to be have to be made clear that there is still a small amount of the song left to go. If I had my way I'd just get rid of it and make the ending much bigger and memorable.
Although this is a great pop song, I wonder that in a year like this does it stand out enough to make its own way? This song is in the first half of semi two and I think this might be at a disadvantage. Once you've been through all 18 songs, which span a wide range on genres, does this one stay in your head? Does this one compel you to vote? This one is right on the cusp and most of its fate will depend on the staging and how well this is performed on the night.


Artist - Vincent Bueno
Song - Alive
Composer - Artur Aigner, Vincent Bueno, Felix van Göns, David Yang
Lyricists - Vincent Bueno


THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch entry was released March 4th with the premiere video show AND live performance of the song. Back in January  it was announced that Jeangu Macrooy would be representing The Netherlands on home soil. The song he will sing is called "Grow"

During his live performance he mainly stood and sang his song with the band and his backing singers behind him. He was wearing a rather colourful paint splattered effect jumpsuit. The video was also on the back screen. In the video Jeangu is looking at old photos of himself on a projector screen. He then gets ready to go out and starts walking through town. Newt thing we see him in a room with a group of people looking quite dour and serious - it seem to be some sort of therapy/counselling session. As the song nears the end the people in the session get more animated and look much happier.

Because of the style of the song and how the song is sung I can't see there being much of a stage show. Most of the song depends on Jeangu's clear and precise vocals as well as him emoting to the audience. There are also some points in the track where there are some very close harmories and it seems like he already has a tight band of backing singers with him that pulls off some of the many soaring notes in the middle and to try and make a fuller sound at the end.

The song starts off with a single long note which Jeangu sings over with the tune of the verses. The tune then starts to change as he reaches the chorus but there is no other instrumentation at all until verse 2 starts. This verse is much shorter than the first and is also where the harmonies come in, this is followed by the chorus and then there is a short break in proceedings. Just before the two minute mark the song shifts slightly and moves to the final part of the song. Here Jeangu repeats the same refrain until the end. It starts off gently  at first but as the drum beat joins in, their voices get bigger, almost gospel style, and then on the last word the song finishes.

In many ways you can see this as an extension of the themes from last year's winning entry. Jeangu's voice is so perfect for this style of song and the mood of the piece feels really authentic. The build up of the two parts of the song work really well although on first listen it can be a bit weird to think you are going in one direction and end up in another. personally, I find the ending very odd and too jarring. I am sure they could come up with a way of making the end much more final and aurally different so it feels like the end rather than a 'we have to stop here'.
I can see this getting a fair number of jury votes because of the songwriting and performance aspects. From many of the comments I have seen about this song, a lot of people find this song speaks to them and depending on how many that is and how many of these people vote for this could be a televote winner too... I wouldn't be upset if this was to win,I'd prefer something more off kilter and different to "Arcade" to win this year's contest. Looking back in recent history, home entries have not done well at Eurovision - and this is not always through lack of trying! At least this is a competitive home entry with a definite style and genre and has a really good artist at the helm.


Artist - Jeangu Macrooy
Song - Grow
Composers - Jeangu Macrooy, Perquisite
Lyricist - Jeangu Macrooy




Saturday, 7 March 2020

SWITZERLAND

The Swiss song and act was unveiled on March 4th with the release of the music video. Before the release, there were no clues as to who or what the entry might be. Going to Rotterdam is Gjon Muharremaj - professionally known as Gjon's Tears - with the song "Répondez-moi" (Answer me)

The video is filmed in black and white and seems to fit in with the low key instrumentation and emotional lyrics and tune of the song. For quite a chunk of the song we have shots of Gjon's head and shoulders, although for some of this he is being rained or snowed on! I could imagine quite a honed down show where the focus is tight on him then slowly gets bigger. When he is being more active you can see him walking or sitting in different rooms, walking past people doing different things such as reading, sleeping or arguing. Near the end he enters a white room where lots of people are frozen in tableau all doing rather random poses and dressed very individually.

The first verse is quite long but sets up the pattern and phrasing of the song. There is lots of repetition, near rhyme and voice modulations that keeps it familiar yet interesting at the same time. The chorus carries on this aural feel but this time with some oh-oh-oh ing and ends with some pretty impressive high notes. We then have the second verse which follows the pattern from before with another chorus. This time there is almost a false ending with a short lull before he starts the final rendition of the chorus but this time the backing singers take the lead whilst Gjon does more of the high notes. The song is very lightly orchestrated with only a pulsing beat present in the second half of the song. It is certainly a slow build but once you get past that you find that it builds nicely to a suitable and memorable finish.

Even in an apparent year of ballads, this one sticks out a mile - even more so when put in the context of its place in the semi final. First of all it is in French and I write there are only two other non-english songs in its semi final, which also looks rather female heavy. I think they need to emphasise the individual qualities of this song and hope that Gjon can pull of an epic vocal show. I don't expect to see any dancing or dancers but he will need a batch of backing singers. His voice in particular is very haunting and at times it almost doesn't feel like he is speaking French, that said the chorus has now taught me some wonderful French idioms which I might have to use somehow!
As much as I have time for this song, I know that the world of Eurovision can be quite a fickle one. Maybe the song is a lit too stylised and the story/message might also be lost on viewers without hints. Part of me feels that a similar fate to "Limits" could be on the cards for this song, even more so because the song is not in English. I think I might end up slightly heartbroken if this happens!

Artist - Gjon's Tears
Song - Répondez-moi (Answer me)
Composers - Xavier Michel, Gjon Muharremaj, Alizé Oswald, Jeroen Swinnen
Lyricists - Xavier Michel, Gjon Muharremaj, Alizé Oswald, Jeroen Swinnen


ISRAEL

The Israeli singer and song were chosen via two selection processes, Firstly, the Final of "HaKokhav Haba L'Eurovizion" was held on February 4th at the Keshet Studio in Neve Ilan, hosted by Asi Azar & Rotem Sela. The first round consisted of duels - the winner determined by judging panel (15%) and app voting (85%) plus a losers 'wildcard'. In the second round, the winner was chosen equally by the judging panel and jury and app voting.  The winner was Eden Alene. The Israeli song selection was held on March 3rd, hosted by Lucy Ayoub. Eden Alene sang all 4 songs and the winner was chosen by televoting (30%)  jury (65%) and judging panel (5%). Eden Alene's winning song was "Feker Libi" (My love)

Eden is wearing a white ensemble including boots trousers and a loose fitting jacket. She has 2 backing singers dressed in white and yellow and there male backing dancers also in yellow. There colours work well with the summery feeling the song gives you. Her hair is also in her signature braids which cascars over the top of her white jacket. Her styling makes her look relatable snd approachable and just like a normal girl on a normal street. I could see lots of girls finding her and this song engaging and a slew of votes going her way.

The backdrop of this is really unique and quite stunning. For the most part there is a kaleidoscope of different patterns, flowers, symbols and other afrocentric ideograms that rotate and flash on the screen. They are also drawn very carefully like they are slightly translucent and you can see light behind them.These are then also found on the video floor which makes above shots really interesting. During one part of the song the words are put up in words behind her in the different language that makes up the song.  Eden does some dancing herself but her male dancers partake in some commercial moves intertwined with some hip hop and African moves. The last part of the song is particularly eye catching as Edena and her dancers do an ensemble dance routine with great energy and enthusiasm.

The song begins with an mbira which can be found in the hands of one of her backing singers. Eden then starts singing a short intro which will be repeated later as the song outro. We then have verse 1 which then followed but eh chrus sequence. There is a short pre-chorus, before the chorus proper and then there is a multilingual ost chorus which transitions us from the modern chorus to the more afrobeat verse. We then had another, if not truncated, second verse where we have the chorus sequence again. Then we have some instrumental with Eden and her backing singers taking it in turns to replicate the introduction but this time to the end.

This is such a sunny fun and interesting track to bring to Eurovision. Although we are not averse to the odd African influence at Eurovision this is the debut of the Amharic language from Ethiopia - which is where her parents were born. During the verses and bridge part sthis does a great job of balancing all the different rhythms and languages. For me the downfall, however slight, is the chorus. I wish it kept a little more African-ness or had a more driving beat. Listening to the chorus out of context you might be misled into thinking what style of song this comes from. Hopefully this will be revamped in some way or at least we can hope that the delegation don't use the chorus on their voting recap. Eden is an amazing singer and performer and elevated every single song in the national final which bodes well for the shows in May.  I cannot wait to see what she can bring to the contest and I hope that her stage show changes little too.
Eden herself will appeal to lots of voters for many reasons  and I think they may we corner some support from the youth vote. This should qualify easily and I think with the right amount of luck this is going to go big at Eurovision and possibly be a hit in may places around the world..  As we know sometimes the biggest success stories of singing contest shows are not the winners!

Artist - Eden Alene
Song - Feker Libi (My love)
Composer - Doron Medalie, Idan Raichel
Lyricists - Doron Medalie, Idan Raichel

Friday, 6 March 2020

GEORGIA

The Georgian entry was released March 3rd  via the premier showing of the video clip for the during the morning show “New Day” of Georgian First Channel. The artist, however had already been chosen via the mechanism of Georgian Idol and the final of that was way back on December 31st. Their singer Tornike Kipiani will sing the song "Take me as I am"

Being a video reveal there not much to give me sense of their stage show but having gone through the Georgian Idol process we know that this style of song is what they do and that slightly unhinged rock style is why he won the show. The video is in back and white which gives the video quite a raw feel and it would not feel out of place to have this replicated. He's dressed very casually throughout and I don't expect him to change this at all. I think that his pure demeanour will stand out before a not has even been hit.

There are a couple of different settings during the video. Mainly the song is set in a recording studio where Tornike and his backing singers and musicians are recording their bits of song. You also see them chilling out between takes as well as seeing the people producing the track offering encouragement and twiddling the all important knobs. There are also extended section shot inside of a car where he is also singing the song. During the video there are lots of repeated shots such as Tornike singing with his mouth wide open and lots of close up guitar shots. Shots like the ultra slowed down plucking of a string would fit this perfectly as a backdrop perhaps.

The song has a very repetitive structure which might sound boring to some but be intriguing to others. After a jangly, warbling guitar not Tornike starts on verse 1. His voice is quite tempered and fragile and very deliberate in his pronunciation. Each line is very similar at the start but has a different ending which makes it rather easy to remember and get involved with. He goes straight into verse two which has a very similar format but this time her is really aggressively singing, some may say shouting, the words which is his signature style. Then follows the 'chorus' which brings in the backing singers. Even though their singing tones are different the blend of voices just works. What is also interesting is that the nationalities talked about in the verses then marry up with the languages in the chorus. We then have the second verse which again adds different nationalities to the first verse but is much shorter. Then follows another chorus with more languages! After the final "I love you" the music gets sucked away to a finish.

This is such an individual entry and it is so nice to see Georgia coming back to the weird side that we know so well. This is out and out the alternative/rock track of the year and it is pretty unlikely to be out done, so from that perspective this song has cornered that particular market. Of course there is a precedent for rock tracks at eurovision, in particular from Finland, Czech Republic and Hungary, and although not all of them have been successful, they certainly linger in the memory.
I think the fact that a contestant like Tornike went through this competition AND that the Georgian public took to him the way they did has to be applauded. I could have been quite easy to rein him back in a little and fit him into something a bit more commercial. However if I had one criticism it would be that I almost which they had pushed it even harder with more jarring changes in direction or maybe some switches of backing track. As much as I think this needs to qualify (and deserve to) I regrettably think it won't, probably more due to lack of support from juries than televoters. If you can vote for this in semi 2 (which we can in the UK) send this a teletove it's way and make Eurovision weird again!


Artist - Tornike Kipiani
Song - Take me as I am
Composers - Aleko Berdzenishvili, Tornike Kipiani
Lyricists - Aleko Berdzenishvili, Tornike Kipiani

Thursday, 5 March 2020

SERBIA

The Serbian Final was held on March 1st at the RTS TV Studios in Belgrade, hosted by Dragana Kosjerina, Jovan Radomir, Kristina Radenkovic & Stefan Popovic. Before the final there were 2 semi-finals where 6 songs qualified from each. Voting was split between jury and SMS voting. The winning act was Hurricane with "Hasta la vista"

The three members of Hurricane (Sanja, Ivana and Ksenija) are dressed in similar white outfits with shards of mirror coming of their top half and part way down their legs. These outfits cold come across as quite tacky or even sleazy but possibly because they stay close together it works for as an ensemble piece rather than something provocative. They are also joined part way be 2 backing dancers who wear asymmetric back leotards which doesn't really have with the rest of what's going on.

The three girls embark on quite the full on show here however the girls have their time to shine, not only when singing but also dancing solo and as a group in the instrumental bits. Their backdrop is rather frantic switching between lots of different colours and motifs however, cleverly, during the chorus the emblem and name of the band appears behind them. In the latter half of the show the outline of other 'Hurricaners' can be seen on the screen joining in with the dance. Nearer the end multiple versions of the girls themselves can be seen on the backdrop organised like an infinite army joining in with the dancing.

The song starts with a brassy intro which reappears at points during the song. Verse one is lead by Ivana with the following pre-chorus sung by Sanja then they all join in the chorus. They all have bits in verse 2 while Sanja again has the pre chorus and all join together for the chorus. Just after the two minute point there is a small refrain before one last burst of the chorus which repeats its end lines for a bit longer. There are some extra voices in the background and I think backing singers (on stage or not) might be a worthwhile investment here.

This song definitely takes "fuego" as its bloodline and after a few wannabe tracks last year, this kind of thing is definitely lacking this year. As a result this stands out as being different but also something familiar to the Eurovision stage. The Serbian language does not sound out of kilter with the sound, plus the addition of the "Hasta la vista" phrase is a great hook no matter where you come from! Some might then say this is a no brainer for the final. I would suggest the girls look into getting more singers on board just to make that vocal really stand out, be fuller and keep the tune on point. I don't really get the 2 additional dancers, especially in their current form, and are probably not needed especially if they keep a similar backdrop.
Also, as it stands, this is the only non-english song in the top half of semi 2. They would be foolish to change the language as this currently makes them stand out so much.This is a great ensemble piece and if all of the parts come together this could be a stand out number. I really hope this can qualify, although I suspect this will be a mid table placing in the end.

Artist - Hurricane
Song - Hasta la vista
Composer - Nemanja Antonić
Lyricists - Kosana Stojić, Sanja Vučić


Wednesday, 4 March 2020

ROMANIA

The Romanian Final was held at Sala Sporturilor 'Romeo Iamandi' in Buzau on March 1st, hosted by Elena Gheorghe & Connect-R. At the start of February it was revealed that Roxen had been internally selected as singer but her song would be chosen in a national final. Roxen will sang all 5 songs and the winner was chosen via televoting and jury. In Rotterdam she will be singing "Alcohol You"

Roxen stands centre stage in front of a vast sweeping video screen. She is wearing a rather unusually cut dress which makes her look a bit like a mermaid. The bodice of the dress come underneath he chest and the op part is just darker than flesh coloured. The skirt is long and white and has a slit up on slid. From this you can also see she is wearing white boots. On the top part of the dress you can see beads and jewels on the fabric and these can also be seen on her forehead and under her eyes.

For the first part of the song Roxen is stood still and for a lot of the song she sings with her eyes closed.  The backdrop is mainly blue with slight lines and the formation of a kind of circle/globe is made After the first chorus she turns around and there is another Roxen on the screen. The two Roxens hold their hands out to try and reach each other at the end of the second verse but the backdrop implodes and starts of resemble a Northern Lights type sky and a big white glow in the middle sky. From here on in, the setting goes back to the blue that it was before and as the song ends the spotlights that were on her slowly dim out

The structure of this rather fragmented sounding ballad is in fact very formulaic with a long verse, pre chorus and chorus and then the sequence repeated again. The music is very atmospheric with lots of macrobeats and almost silence at different parts of the song. Her vocal style is rather curious and have quite a distinctive style but without coming across as unintelligible or rambling. In an odd way her performance style ties in with the rather melancholic nature of the lyrics.

This is a very stylised entry and I think this is an entry where you either hate it or love it. The song itself sounds like it could be a song by Lorde or Billie Eilish and could be seen as one of the more contemporary entries and could get quite the following. Personally this is not my style and the lack of flow and drive, and that sense of going on a journey just isn't there.
What annoys about this track is the use of such a bad pun, which is also badly delivered in the song, as the title (apparently the phrase alcohol you is a pun on 'I'll call you'). Unless this is explained before hind I think a lot of people are not going to get the hype. What I will say is that I think she has got a good singing voice and seem to have an understanding of self and the direction she wants to go in but I am unsure if this is the song to prove this at Eurovision. I expect this to reach the final but not a winner.

Artist - Roxen
Song - Alcohol you
Composers - Armaș Ionuț, Viky Red
Lyricists - Armaș Ionuț,  Breyan Isaac

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

GREECE

The Greek song was unveiled on March 1st with a special reveal show on ERT hosted by Michael Marinos. Back in January it was revealed that Greek-Dutch performer, and former Junior Eurovision participant, Stefania Liberakakis had been internally selected. and the song would be revealed at a later date. Her song is called "Superg!rl".

The music video charts Stefania as a secret 'superhuman' doing the normal things a girl of her age would -  going to school, having a dance class and going on a date. However she accidentally uses her superpowers at school and the whole place starts recording the event on their phones. The video ends with Stefania using her superpowers to rescue a cat from a tree. When written like that it doesn't sound very impressive although she does levitate at the end! Although there is little to suggest ideas for the stage show, there are few shots of her dancing.

There is little I can garner from the video regarding how well she can actually sing this song but overall the track is very produced and the blending she has with the backing singers is very noticable. I can't quite figure out how this is going to sound live  or how this might look on the stage. I guess there will be some kind of superpower theme as well as quite a bit of dancing.

The structure of this song is rather straightforward with two lots of verse/pre-chorus/chorus and finishing with a bridge and longer chorus. However what is noticeable about this song is that the pre-chorus is really the parts with the hooks. The verses are done in a lower register and part of me genuinely wonders if she can do this live, especially of there is any dance routine to go along with it. There is also a lot of 'space in the song with eh ethnic bassline in the background which actually sounds quite clunky at times and feels like it is there to give is some 'Greekness'.

Although this is trying to be a modern radio friendly ethno bop it ends up being absolutely none of those things. It's bitty, clunky lacking in ebb and flow. It just feels really flat and it doesn't go anywhere. The title also sounds overly young, almost like it would be more suited to the Junior contest. This is just not my style of music and, let's face it, this song is not geared towards televoters like me. Also I have too many questions about this song going forward to have confidence in its chances.
For me this is a non-qualifier mainly on the basis that this is a very basic pop song with little personality and pizzazz about it. Yes, the Greek diaspora might be able to pull a result out of this but the pull of other songs will be much greater. Looking in its semi final this song ends up looking rather derivative and plain. Maybe the producers will do me a favour and put this in a slot that might be conducive to a toilet/tea break *miaow*

Artist - Stefania Liberakakis
Song - Superg!rl
Composers - Arcade, Dimitris Kontopoulos, Sharon Vaughn
Lyricists - Arcade, Dimitris Kontopoulos, Sharon Vaughn