Is Elaiza’s “Is It Right” the right strategy for a German Eurovision win?
Song Title: “Is It Right”
Last year’s entry: “Glorious” – Cascada (21st Place)
Germany’s been taking it a little easy since their win in 2010 – the entries they’ve sent have been competent and placed reasonably well, but just comfortably enough outside contention that they don’t need to worry about converting a soccer arena into a concert hall. That’s fine, but they may have gotten a little too comfortable – last year’s entry, Cascada’s “Glorious”, was a little too much of a “Euphoria” retread and landed near the bottom of the chart in 21st place1. Instead of a well-known act, Germany’s sent the upstart Elaiza as their representative, after the band won a wildcard competition and surprised everyone by winning the entire national final. Could the girls surprise all of Europe by winning all of Eurovision?
It’s been really exciting to see the Big 5 step up their game this year. All 5 entries are some of the best I’ve seen come from them in years, and Elaiza’s “Is It Right” is no exception. My favorite entries are the ones that manage to merge national music traditions with what’s going on in pop, and this succeeds in that regard – there’s a little of the oom-pah from polka mixed with pop balladry. The lyrics have a similar feel to Azerbaijan‘s entry – there’s a story being told, although I think Elaiza manages to get across what’s going on a little more clearly than Dilara does.
Like Mike, I’m kind of sad Germany doesn’t have the opportunity for multiple performances for the audience – I think they’d be likely to score it even higher since it rewards multiple listens. As a member of the Big 5, if Elaiza wants to keep up their winning streak, they’ve got to nail it on the first try. Lead singer Ela Steinmetz definitely has the charisma to give a strong vocal performance, but I hope the group also takes advantage of the 6-person rule and adds in a few backing singers to beef things up and match the stacked vocals in the studio version of the track.
After a bum year, I think Germany has the chance to get right back into their top 10 happy place and, if they want it, the win.