Greece seems guaranteed to “Rise Up” in the second semifinal – how high will Freaky Fortune fly in the Eurovision finals?
Song Title: “Rise Up”
Artist: Freaky Fortune ft. Riskykidd
Semi-Final: Second, Position 13
Last year’s entry: “Alcohol is Free” – Koza Mostra (6th Place)
Let’s get this out of the way: Greece is going to be in the final. From one year to the next, whether you like their song or not, Greece has enough of a voter base throughout Europe to ensure a placement in the grand final. Since the introduction of the semi-final system in 2004, they’ve never been out of the grand final, and with one exception (Eleftheria Eleftheriou’s “Aphrodisiac” in 2012), they’ve consistently placed somewhere in the top 101. Taking a break from their usual formula of sending an attractive-but-middlingly-voiced singer, Greece has chosen to send Freaky Fortune and Riskykidd’s EDM-inflected “Rise Up”.
In a way, I’m a little surprised it’s taken Calvin Harris-style EDM this long to make its way into the ESC. I don’t think Freaky Fortune have created the best example of the genre (and it seems like backing music you’d hear in a “club” scene on an episode of Law and Order), but there’s enough use of traditional greek 2 instrumentation to remind you what country sent the entry. If there’s one weak point in the song, I’d say it’s the lyrics. Riskykidd’s raps are generic money/party/fun material, and without them the song’s just a series of beats with an occasional “Rise Up” thrown over the top. I think juries are likely to ding this one, affecting its final position where televotes may not.
Someone in the group of producers must really like the song, though – they’ve been given a prime spot near the end of the second semifinal. A big performance from Greece may not wipe the memory of other high-energy performances like Romania from viewers’ minds, but could completely destroy any chance a more folksy performer may have (sorry, Switzerland3).
Greece seems like a lock to rise up and make the Eurovision Grand Final this year. It’s up to the voters to decide how high they fly.