France Picks a “Requiem,” But They’re Not Dead Yet

July 14, 2017 0

The last decade of Eurovision results have been pretty dismal for the French. Rumors of their demise may have been greatly exaggerated. I don’t know what it is about France’s recent Eurovision entries; when I enjoy them, they end up in last place, or very nearly last place. When I think they’re just meh, they do really well. After a decade of poor results, and hoping to build on their success in 2016, France opened up what had been a closed internal selection process for public submissions. Their ultimate choice, newcomer Alma, will sing a song written by Nazim Khaled. He also wrote “J’ai cherché,” which ended up in sixth place last year in Stockholm. How does “Requiem” stack up? This entry is closer to meh than wow for me, which I suppose bodes well for France’s chances. “Requiem” is danceable, with a Middle-Eastern sound that keeps it from trending sugary-sweet. The melody is easy enough to follow, and the break in the middle keeps the beat from becoming too repetitive. It’s generic enough to have come from any number of French-speaking countries, and while I prefer entries that show some cultural flair, a broader appeal is smart for gaining […] [Read more…]

Germany’s Less Than “Perfect Life”

July 14, 2017 0

So…Germany doesn’t want to win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, right?  Levina’s “Perfect Life” is DOA. Germany’s had a rough time at the last few Eurovision Song Competitions.  Since winning with Lena’s “Satellite” in 2010 (which, hot take: I never really got the hype of), they’ve mostly been scraping the bottom (and in the last two years, being the bottom, with Ann Sophie’s “Black Smoke” getting the dreaded nul points in 2015 and Jamie-Lee Kriewitz’s “Ghost” only getting 11 points in 2016).  Maybe it’s their selection method?  Unser Song is a marathon of a qualifier that takes place over the course of three hours with questionable cover song choices, multiple rounds of televoting, and (this year, at least) the possibility that a competitor may be facing themselves in the finale.  For all that effort, you’d think they’d have produced something more exciting than Levina’s “Perfect Life”: After some weird voting shenanigans, Germany was very clear they wanted Levina to represent them, with her singing either “Wildfire” or “Perfect Life”.  “Perfect Life” won the final vote, and while it’s definitely the more energetic of the two songs, it’s like saying a beige room is energetic.  Levina gives a performance that I’d […] [Read more…]

Estonia brings Koit Toome and Laura’s “Verona” to Kyiv

July 13, 2017 0

Koit Toome and Laura’s “Verona” is a real Eurovision throwback for Estonia, but is that a good thing? Estonia is always one of my favorite countries to watch in the Eurovision Song Contest – they do a great job of melding their country’s musical history with music trends to present entries that often have a little bit of a retro or classical flair.  Sometimes this works really well – “Goodbye to Yesterday” was one of my absolute favorites two years ago – and sometimes it doesn’t (see last year’s “Play”, which I also liked, but most of Europe didn’t, finishing in last place in its semifinal).  This year, they’ve given what feels like a Eurovision throwback – a pretty straightforward male-female duet from Koit Toome and Laura called “Verona” I find this song growing on me with each subsequent listen, but my main concern is if it’s too much of a throwback.  Other recent contenders with similar structure (Romania’s “Miracle” from Ovi and Paula immediately comes to mind, as does Denmark’s “A Moment Like This” from Chanee & N’Evergreen as long as we’re throwing it back) have qualified to the finals, but they’re not placing as high as they once […] [Read more…]

Will Nathan Trent Be “Running” to the ESC Finals for Austria?

July 13, 2017 0

Nathan Trent’s “Running on Air” has an easy, earnest quality, but will it get Austria to the Eurovision finals? Post-Conchita Austria has had a bit of a spotty record with their entries for the Eurovision Song Contest. Two years ago, their entry while they hosted managed to get the dreaded Nul Points. While they rebounded a bit last year and qualified for the final with Zoe’s “Loin D’Ici” last year, they still finished in 13th place, right in the middle of the pack.  Will Nathan Trent’s “Running on Air” propel them any closer to another win?   I like this song, and for the longest time I haven’t been able to put my finger on what it sounds like.  And then it sort of hit me – I used to watch a LOT of VH1’s morning countdown show about 10 years ago, and they LOVED stuff like this.  This has tinges of Jason Mraz and (if we’re going for a slightly more modern reference here) Ed Sheeran about it, but it definitely sounds like mid-2000s AOR-ish daytime drive stuff.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the ability of this to succeed is really going to be down to if […] [Read more…]

Hungary: Two A Dal Semi-Finals, Eight A Dal Finalists

July 13, 2017 0

A Dal 2017 held two semi-finals this weekend to determine the eight finalists who will compete for Hungary’s slot at the Eurovision Song Contest. From 30 acts at the beginning of this process, we are down to 18 competing in the semi-finals of Hungary’s A Dal 2017. Each semi-final has nine acts performing their entries for the panel of judges and viewer votes. This time around, the three acts with the most points automatically move on to the finals and the remaining six are subjected to another round of audience voting for a wildcard slot. In the end, four acts from each semi-final will advance to this Saturday’s final. Here are the eight acts that will compete for Hungary’s ticket to Kyiv. First Semi-Final 1st Place (Tie) – Gina Kanizsa “Fall Like Rain” – 45 points This song will be going into Saturday’s final as the judges’ favorite, earning a perfect score of 40 from the panel. The song will not be going into Saturday’s final as the audience favorite, as Friday’s performance earned only 5 points from the televote. I LOL’d at that reveal. 1st Place (Tie) – Joci Pápai “Origo” – 45 points Friday’s performance of this track landed better for me […] [Read more…]

Eurovision 2017 YouTube Week #5: Pre-Party

July 13, 2017 0

There has been some shuffling in the standings for YouTube views for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest entries. Is it too early to declare a favorite? Trends The last couple weeks featured a few Eurovision pre-party events in London, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, and Riga, with Madrid hosting one this weekend. Despite these events, there wasn’t a major spike in viewership on the Eurovision YouTube channel. First Semi-Final Top Spots Sweden’s Robin Bengtsson is starting to run away from the rest of the field, with “I Can’t Go On” approaching 3 million views. If he hasn’t crossed that mark by next week, he’ll be very close. Belgium’s Blanche is still on track to hit 3 million, but it will be a couple weeks before “City Lights” reaches that milestone. Australia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia round out the top five for this semi, both in total viewers and views for this week. Big Moves Georgia finally dropped its new video for “Keep the Faith” and managed to pull itself out of the bottom of the rankings this week. Slovenia, which dropped its video for “On My Way” last week, has almost matched the number of views its previous video achieved in half the […] [Read more…]

Getting Ready for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final

July 12, 2017 0

A new favorite has emerged, according to the bookkeepers. Two semi-finals and 36 performances later, we now know the 20 acts that will join the Big Five and host country Ukraine in Saturday’s Grand Final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Here is the full running order of Saturday’s show: Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Grand Final Running Order Country Artist Song 1 Israel IMRI I Feel Alive 2 Poland Kasia Moś Flashlight 3 Belarus NAVIBAND Historyja majho žyccia 4 Austria Nathan Trent Running on Air 5 Armenia Artsvik Fly With Me 6 Netherlands O’G3NE Lights and Shadows 7 Moldova SunStroke Project Hey Mamma 8 Hungary Joci Pápai Origo 9 Italy Francesco Gabbani Occidentali’s Karma 10 Denmark Anja Nissen Where I Am 11 Portugal Salvador Sobral Amar Pelos Dois 12 Azerbaijan Dihaj Skeletons 13 Croatia Jacques Houdek My Friend 14 Australia Isaiah Firebrace Don’t Come Easy 15 Greece Demy This is Love 16 Spain Manel Navarro Do It for Your Lover 17 Norway JOWST Grab the Moment 18 United Kingdom Lucie Jones I’ll Never Give Up on You 19 Cyprus Hovig Gravity 20 Romania Ilinca feat. Alex Florea Yodel It! 21 Germany Levina Perfect Life 22 Ukraine O.Torvald Time 23 Belgium […] [Read more…]

Getting Ready for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final

July 12, 2017 0

A new favorite has emerged, according to the bookkeepers. Two semi-finals and 36 performances later, we now know the 20 acts that will join the Big Five and host country Ukraine in Saturday’s Grand Final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Here is the full running order of Saturday’s show: Eurovision Song Contest 2017 Grand Final Order Country Artist Song Jury Televote Total Rank 1 Israel IMRI I Feel Alive 34 5 39 23 2 Poland Kasia Moś Flashlight 23 41 64 22 3 Belarus NAVIBAND Historyja majho žyccia 50 33 83 17 4 Austria Nathan Trent Running on Air 93 0 93 16 5 Armenia Artsvik Fly With Me 58 21 79 18 6 Netherlands O’G3NE Lights and Shadows 135 15 150 11 7 Moldova SunStroke Project Hey Mamma 110 264 374 3 8 Hungary Joci Pápai Origo 48 152 200 8 9 Italy Francesco Gabbani Occidentali’s Karma 126 208 334 6 10 Denmark Anja Nissen Where I Am 69 8 77 20 11 Portugal Salvador Sobral Amar Pelos Dois 382 376 758 1 12 Azerbaijan Dihaj Skeletons 78 42 120 14 13 Croatia Jacques Houdek My Friend 25 103 128 13 14 Australia Isaiah Firebrace Don’t Come Easy […] [Read more…]

Eurovision 2017 Entry: Czech Republic — Martina Bárta — My Turn

July 12, 2017 0

We want Martina Bárta’s “My Turn” to do well at Eurovision, but could a bad draw mean game over? Country: Czech Republic Song Title: “My Turn” Artist: Martina Bárta First Semi-Final: Position #14 Last year’s entry: “I Stand” – Gabriela Gunčíková (25th Place) The Czech Republic finally broke through the semi-finals last year, qualifying for the Eurovision Grand Final for the first time in five attempts. They even got jury love from a handful of countries, including 10 points from Croatia, in last year’s competition. Unfortunately, their entry did not connect with the home audience, resulting in nil points from televotes.1 Will Martina Bárta be able to keep the momentum going now that it is “My Turn”? I share Ryan’s optimism that this song could be a contender in Kyiv. Initially, I found myself troubled by the impatience of the song. The first verse has only two lines before moving on to the bridge, which creates the illusion that this song is a collection of hooks with nothing to hang on them. But upon further listens, I realized that’s part of the story — Martina Bárta is so eager to be the one to support the subject of her song that she’s rushing to take her […] [Read more…]

Broadway in Boston is “Waiting for This Night”

July 12, 2017 0

Donny Montell will represent Lithuania at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (Photo: Gediminas Žilinskas)Something sounds familiar in a recent Broadway in Boston ad… Hat tip to Ben for spotting this one during Sunday’s broadcast of the The Tony Awards: That’s a pretty impressive lineup hitting Beantown next year. Oh, and did you catch the song in the background? That would be a cover of Lithuania’s 2016 entry “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” by Donny Montell. Kinda random, kinda awesome. [Read more…]

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