Eurovision 2016 Entry: Sweden – Frans – “If I Were Sorry”

April 29, 2016 0

Sweden doesn’t seem to be “Sorry” about their choice of Frans as their auto-qualifier for the Eurovision Song Contest Country: Sweden Song Title: “If I Were Sorry” Artist: Frans Last year’s entry: “Heroes” – Mans Zelmerlow (Winner) I don’t pay too much attention to the bookies when it comes to Eurovision predictions (especially when it’s early in the season when all the contestants haven’t even been fully decided), but one thing that’s mystified me this season is their insistence that Sweden could potentially win the contest for another year in a row.  Besides that being a rare occurrence in the first place, a country’s entry the year after they’ve won is usually a nice victory lap – a way to say “Yes, we won last year, and here’s an entry that’s pretty good to show that we deserved to win, but we would prefer to not host again next year thank you.”  When I first visited this song, I thought Sweden had made an interesting choice with Frans’ “If I Were Sorry” by going for something that didn’t feel overly “Eurovision” as their victory lap.  How does it hold up now that we’re a few weeks away? This daytime TV appearance is hopefully a […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: France – Amir – J’ai Cherche

April 29, 2016 0

Could France’s Amir and his song “J’ai Cherche” bring an upset to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest? Country: France Song Title: “J’ai Cherche” Artist: Amir Last year’s entry: “N’oubliez Pas” – Lisa Angell (25th Place) The last time anyone thought France stood a chance of winning the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2011. I’m not sure why people overestimated “Sognu” to the degree that they did, particularly since it ended up as the midpoint in France’s current downward slide down the leaderboard. I expect that slide to end with this year’s entry, “J’ai Cherche” by Amir. I’m not sure how I feel about the editing down of “J’ai Cherche.” I understand the song needed to get down to three minutes, but some of the air in the song has been taken away as a result. In Amir’s favor, the absence of air raises the degree of difficulty1 which could garner jury support. What is most interesting about this entry: it is proving to be a real challenger to Russia. OGAE, the international fan community, currently has France at the top of its leaderboard, followed by Russia, Australia, Bulgaria, and Italy. OGAE isn’t a metric that we use in our predictions, but the fact that France […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: United Kingdom – Joe & Jake – “You’re Not Alone”

April 28, 2016 0

Their chances of winning may be slim, but Joe & Jake deserve better than last place at the Eurovision Grand Final. Country: United Kingdom Song Title: “You’re Not Alone” Artist: Joe & Jake Last year’s entry: “Still In Love With You” – Electro Velvet (24th Place) In the recent history of the Eurovision song competition (and really since the instigation of a semi-final system), the Big 5 (or 6) have been consistently shunted at the bottom of the final rankings, with a few exceptions.  I’m not always sure this is fair – all of these nations send good entries, and whether it’s the result of block voting or resentment, I’d argue they deserve to place higher on a more consistent basis.  Case in point: this year’s UK entry.  Okay, so the Downton Abbey meets Rave Culture aspect of last year’s “Still in Love With You” may have done more to sell frozen potato waffles than succeed in Vienna, but I thought it was enjoyable, and more importantly, fun.  After seeing internal selection fail, the UK opened it back up to the people, who selected Joe & Jake as their representative.  Does this deserve a better ranking than last year? I don’t think this […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Spain — Barei — Say Yay!

April 28, 2016 0

In which Barei tries to dance Spain to a respectable finish in Stockholm. Country: Spain Song Title: “Say Yay!” Artist: Barei Last year’s entry: “Amanecer” – Edurne (21st Place) Let me start by saying just how disappointed I was with Spain’s finish last year. Amanecer was a great song, full of drama, and the performance had a great visual design. Unfortunately, Edurne’s performance in the Grand Final was pitchy, and her voice just wasn’t up to the task. Apparently, though, she’s a big fan of this year’s performer after serving on the jury that helped select her. Can Barei dance Spain to a better finish this year in Stockholm? When I first listened to this song almost three months ago, I thought it had potential. Now, at the tail end of the Eurovision season, with so many other great songs in the contest and no changes having been made to “Say Yay,” this gets skipped more frequently than not. 1 It’s okay the first couple of times, but it’s too repetitive to be a long-lasting favorite, and will be previewed in the same semifinal as Finland, which has a similar sound. As a group, we’re pretty sure Finland won’t make it to the Grand Final, […]

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5 Awesome Things from Nashville: Rayna Terror 2

April 27, 2016 0

Rayna comes home from Dallas to find her first born has run away from home. Apparently Maddie was so freaked out by Deacon’s rage fit at the shady night club that she had to book. She texts Rayna to say she’s safe, but doesn’t divulge her specific location. Naturally, they assume she’s shacking up at Cash’s house, which becomes the scene of much family drama. Avery is ambivalent about accepting Layla’s invitation to be her bandleader on Luke’s tour, because he doesn’t want to deprive Juliette of any Cadence time. But when he and Jules share a moment of romantic [Read more…]

Eurovision 2016 Entry: Italy — Francesca Michielin — No Degree of Separation

April 27, 2016 0

If Francesca Michielin is going to create separation between Italy and the other countries featuring female soloists, she’s got her work cut out for her. Country: Italy Song Title: “No Degree of Separation” Artist: Francesca Michielin Last year’s entry: “Grande Amore” – Il Volo (3rd Place) On the Viennese stage, the three young tenors of Il Volo brought Italy their fourth top-ten finish since returning to the competition five years ago. Many felt they should have won. In fact, Italy did win the televoting by quite a large margin, but ended up with the bronze medal thanks to a poor showing with the national juries. This year’s representative, Francesca Michielin, did not reign supreme at Sanremo. As the runner-up, she was offered the opportunity to represent her country when Stadio backed out due to a previously-scheduled tour. Can she gain the degree of support she needs to win over both the juries and the televoters in Stockholm? Thanks to their financial support of the contest, Italy automatically qualifies into the Grand Final each year, bypassing the preliminary rounds. So, this isn’t an issue of whether we’ll see them on the Grand Final stage, but how well they’ll do once they get there. Automatically […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Germany – Jamie-Lee – Ghost

April 27, 2016 0

Will Jamie-Lee’s Sailor Deutschland cosplay give Germany a “Ghost” of a chance at Eurovision? Country: Germany Song Title: “Ghost” Artist: Jamie-Lee Kriewitz Last year’s entry: “Black Smoke” – Ann Sophie (26th Place (Tied with Nil Points)) When I first wrote about Germany’s entry — “Ghost” by Jamie-Lee — it was based solely on audio and a lyrics video rather than the performance from Unser Lied fur Stockholm. Here’s that performance, which is reportedly going to be close to what we will see in Stockholm: Will Sailor Deutschland allow her country to improve from its disappointing1 finish in Vienna? I’ve warmed up to the song slightly since its selection, though it wouldn’t be my first choice for a Eurovision Greatest Hits collection. If this song had to compete in the semi-finals, I could see it succeeding in the first semi-final, though it would probably be riding the bubble. I have a tough time imagining a scenario where Jamie-Lee could advance out of the second semi-final, with her look being the only thing to distinguish “Ghost” from Switzerland’s “Last of Our Kind” or Slovenia’s “Blue and Red.” So, if a song couldn’t qualify out of both semi-finals, how does that translate to predicting success in […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Czech Republic — Gabriela Gunčíková — I Stand

April 26, 2016 0

Can the Czech Republic take advantage of their post-Russian performance slot and make it to the Grand Final for the first time? Country: Czech Republic Song Title: “I Stand” Artist: Gabriela Gunčíková First Semi-Final: Position #10 Last year’s entry: “Hope Never Dies” – Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta (DNQ – 13th Place, SF2) Still a relative newcomer to the Eurovision Song Contest, the Czech Republic has only appeared four times, beginning in 2007. After their hopes died last year in the second semifinal, Gabriela Gunčíková is hoping to make a stand. Will 2016 be Czechia’s year to push into the Grand Final for the first time? Not much has changed about this entry since our last check-in, except that I LOVE IT SO MUCH now. Forget what I said about it being forgettable; it took me a little while to warm up to it, but now that I have it’s been in constant rotation. Slowly gaining momentum with Eurovision voters could be a good thing — you don’t want your entry to peak too early and risk falling out of favor — but it could also be a liability. With 43 songs in this year’s contest, including nine female soloists in this […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Azerbaijan — Samra — “Miracle”

April 26, 2016 0

Does Azerbaijan need a “Miracle” from Samra to make it to the Grand Final this Eurovision? Country: Azerbaijan Song Title: “Miracle” Artist: Samra First Semi-Final: Position 14 Last year’s entry: “Hour of the Wolf” – Elnur Huseynov (12th Place) I tend to think of Azerbaijan as a Eurovision powerhouse, since they’ve never missed the finals since debuting in 2008, but lately that hasn’t been as assured.  The last few years their final position in the contest hasn’t been as high (placing 22nd in 2014) and they barely eked through to the final last year, coming 10th in their semifinal and 12th overall.  With Stockholm nearing in a few weeks, does “Miracle” have what it takes to get Azerbaijan out of their (comparative) slump? There’s been no changes to the song since we last heard it, which is fine – I didn’t think it needed tweaking in my first listen and I don’t think that now.  There’s something about the song that doesn’t feel totally original – I can’t place the exact songs/singers this reminds me of, but this feels like well-trod lyrical territory.  The production is modern enough, and as this live video shows, Samra definitely has the chops to pull off a good rendition of the song […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Bulgaria – Poli Genova – If Love Was a Crime

April 25, 2016 0

It would be a crime if Poli Genova’s “If Love Was a Crime” didn’t get Bulgaria to the Eurovision Song Contest final. Country: Bulgaria Song Title: “If Love Was a Crime” Artist: Poli Genova Second Semi-Final: Position 121 Last year’s entry: Did not compete Bulgaria! I’m pretty sure if you ask me six months from now what my favorite song from this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was, I would say “If Love Was a Crime” by Poli Genova with zero hesitation. My love for this track has grown so much since last we chatted about it, and I was fully on-board with the song then. I had to be careful not to go full Lip Sync for Your Life while listening to it at work the other day. On my way to the coffee shop where I am writing this post, the song came up on my ESC 2016 playlist and I may have switched over to repeat mode until the walk was over. This might also be the video I have watched most on Eurovision’s YouTube channel. The song is catchy, current, and fills me with the joys. So, how will Poli Genova fare in the second semi-final? In terms of the field, there […]

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