Eurovision 2016 Entry: Australia — Dami Im — “Sound of Silence”

April 25, 2016 0

Is Dami Im a lock for the Eurovision final, or will Australia hear more than one “Sound of Silence”? Country: Australia Song Title: “Sound of Silence” Artist: Dami Im Second Semi-Final: Position 10 Last year’s entry: “Tonight Again” – Guy Sebastian (5th Place) Last year, Australia got their debut as a real live Eurovision competitor instead of just an interval act.  They had the benefit of an automatic bye to the final round1.  Last year’s entry, “Tonight Again”, felt like it was pulling as much from current music trends (Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” in particular), and it got a warm reception and 5th place overall.  Now that there’s no automatic placement, how does this year’s entry fare now that all the other competitors have been revealed? Australia hasn’t made any changes to the song since it first debuted, but they were near the end of the deadline for countries to reveal their entries in the first place, so I didn’t expect any last minute updates.  I’m always surprised by how far down in the rankings this song comes in my own rankings of the entries in the second semi-final; it’s nice, but there are a lot of great entries alongside it that […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Lithuania – Donny Montell – I’ve Been Waiting for this Night

April 22, 2016 0

Will Donny Montell be able to give a solid enough performance to take “I’ve Been Waiting for This Night” to the Eurovision finals? Country: Lithuania Song Title: “I’ve Been Waiting for this Night” Artist: Donny Montell Second Semi-Final: Position #9 Last year’s entry: “This Time” – Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila (18th Place) I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to get enthusiastic about Lithuania’s entry this year, but it just isn’t happening. Here’s Donny Montell’s “I’ve Been Waiting for this Night”: Most of my concerns about the track being overproduced have not been addressed, as shown by there being zero changes to the song since I last wrote about it. There is video of a live performance from the Israel Calling event from a couple weeks ago: Hmmmm. I’m not sure which is more off-putting: the pitchiness throughout the performance or the moves borrowed from Magic Mike.1 The crowd is rather enthusiastic about this track, so that complicates the prediction as to whether this song will advance to the Eurovision final. As of this writing, “I’ve Been Waiting for this Night” is on the bubble with bookies, YouTube views, and the telESCope gang. Within its group of spiritual competitors — Denmark and Ireland — I […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Poland — Michał Szpak — Color Of Your Life

April 22, 2016 0

After last year’s theme song for a WB show, Poland has opted for a “bad 80s soundtrack” aesthetic. Will it carry them back to the Grand Final? Country: Poland Song Title: “Color Of Your Life” Artist: Michał Szpak Second Semi-Final: Position #2 Last year’s entry: “In The Name Of Love” – Monika Kuszyńska (23rd Place) Poland has an uneven history at the Eurovision Song Contest. After finishing second in their first appearance in 1994, they’ve finished in the top ten only one other time, have failed to qualify for the grand Final on six occasions, and have chosen not to compete at all several other times. After a strong showing in 2014 followed by a stinker in 2015, how will Poland do this year in Stockholm? Like many other countries, Poland has made no changes (that we know of) to their entry in the last few weeks. To be honest, I’m not sure there’s much they could do with this song to make it substantially better. If the Eurovision Song Contest was a bad ’80s movie, “Color Of Your Life” would be the soundtrack for a montage of a couple’s longing for each other, or something equally melodramatic, and it would be the A-side of a cassette […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Serbia — ZAA Sanja Vučić — “Goodbye (Shelter)”

April 21, 2016 0

Serbia seems poised to go all the way to the Eurovision finals with Sanja Vučić’s “Goodbye (Shelter)”. Country: Serbia Song Title: “Goodbye (Shelter)” Artist: ZAA Sanja Vučić Second Semi-Final: Position 6 Last year’s entry: “Beauty Never Lies”  – Bojana Stamenov (10th Place) The second Eurovision semi-final is packed with female solo singers (thanks to the luck of the draw when it came to choosing which pots ended up in with semi-final), so it’s all about making performances unique.  When it comes to the actual songs, however, Serbia’s got a winner with Sanja Vucic’s “Goodbye (Shelter)”.  Is that enough to give them an edge? I think it does.  Serbia hasn’t done anything to the song itself, which is good – I think it’s one of the strongest in its semi-final and possibly the entire field this year.  Serbia also has the benefit of performing between Belarus and Ireland, two countries whose entries are…not as good this year, to be polite.  Sanja seems likely to shine with these neighbors as opening and following acts.  I’m expecting a performance structured similarly to their national final performance, which seems advisable – there’s a power to their lyrics that’s worth taking advantage of with simple staging.  Sanja’s shown a wide variety of […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Greece — Argo — “Utopian Land”

April 21, 2016 0

Greece continues to plod their way to the Eurovision Semifinal 2 bubble with Argo’s “Utopian Land” Country: Greece Song Title: “Utopian Land” Artist: Argo First Semi-Final: Position 2 Last year’s entry: “One Last Breath” – Maria-Eleni Kyriakou (19th Place) Ugh, Greece, y’all.  They are a stronghold in the competition, even when their entries aren’t that great.  I thought last year’s ballad, “One Last Breath”, wasn’t that great and seemed pitchy in pre-Contest performances, but it still clung to the bubble and made the finals, where it finished in 19th.  This year’s song, “Utopian Land”, seems even more bubble-prone.  Now that we’re edging closer to the competition, is it looking any better? Not only has Greece left this song the same, I can’t find any live performances by Argo to compare this against and give a taste of what their live show might be like in Stockholm.  The only details I have for the performance is that they’ll be replacing one of their vocalists with a dancer, which seems…ill-advised. It really feels like Greece is banking on their general love from other countries in the contest to push them through this year – they’re in the dreaded spot 2, between Finland and Moldova.  Going uptempo disco to […]

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5 Awesome Things from Nashville: Cash Cracks

April 20, 2016 0

The Exes join Autumn Chase on tour. Fangirl Scarlett’s still in awe of her idol, until Autumn abruptly fires a guitar tech in front of everyone at the their first tour meeting. Then, Autumn invites Gunnar and Scarlett to dine with her before the show, and interpersonal dynamics get really weird, really fast. Juliette’s dying to get back to work but doesn’t know how to negotiate deals without her former manager Glenn. In her “new Jules” style, she politely and professionally asks him to work for her again1 and he refuses. When ex-husband Avery hears about this, he encourages her [Read more…]

Eurovision 2016 Entry: Netherlands — Douwe Bob — Slow Down

April 20, 2016 0

Will a return to Americana slow down the competition and get the Netherlands back to the Grand Final once more? Country: Netherlands Song Title: “Slow Down” Artist: Douwe Bob First Semi-Final: Position #6 Last year’s entry: “Walk Along” – Trijntje Oosterhuis (DNQ – 14th Place, SF1) After coming in second place in 2014 with the great “Calm After the Storm,” the Netherlands are going back to that Americana well in an attempt to erase the memory of last year’s dress debacle. (They’re even building their own pop-up bar in downtown Stockholm.) Can Douwe Bob slow down the competition, either with his voice or with his drinks, and get the Netherlands back to the Grand Final once more? I wasn’t a fan of this song when it was first released, and I’m still not a fan today. This song just seems thin. The chorus is catchy, but gets tiresome pretty quickly, and seems to go on forever. Also, I still don’t have any idea what it’s about. On the upside, this is the better of two country-influenced songs in the competition. (Slovenia’s in the other semifinal, so no one will confuse them during voting.) Douwe Bob will perform in between Croatia and Armenia, two female-fronted entries, and several slots ahead […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Netherlands — Douwe Bob — Slow Down

April 20, 2016 0

Will a return to Americana slow down the competition and get the Netherlands back to the Grand Final once more? Country: Netherlands Song Title: “Slow Down” Artist: Douwe Bob First Semi-Final: Position #6 Last year’s entry: “Walk Along” – Trijntje Oosterhuis (DNQ – 14th Place, SF1) After coming in second place in 2014 with the great “Calm After the Storm,” the Netherlands are going back to that Americana well in an attempt to erase the memory of last year’s dress debacle. (They’re even building their own pop-up bar in downtown Stockholm.) Can Douwe Bob slow down the competition, either with his voice or with his drinks, and get the Netherlands back to the Grand Final once more? I wasn’t a fan of this song when it was first released, and I’m still not a fan today. This song just seems thin. The chorus is catchy, but gets tiresome pretty quickly, and seems to go on forever. Also, I still don’t have any idea what it’s about. On the upside, this is the better of two country-influenced songs in the competition. (Slovenia’s in the other semifinal, so no one will confuse them during voting.) Douwe Bob will perform in between Croatia and Armenia, two female-fronted entries, and several slots ahead […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Croatia – Nina Kraljić – Lighthouse

April 20, 2016 0

Will Nina Kraljić’s “Lighthouse” shine the way to Croatia’s first Eurovision final visit in ten years? Country: Croatia Song Title: “Lighthouse” Artist: Nina Kraljić First Semi-Final: Position #5 Last year’s entry: Did not compete Croatia last competed at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2013, deciding to take a break for budgetary reasons and because they have only advanced to the Final twice since 2007. The time off seems to have served Croatia well, as they have adopted the strategy of using an alum from their version of The Voice — season 1 winner Nina Kraljić — to represent the former Yugoslav state. Here is the updated version of the video for “Lighthouse”: I’m not sure why they abandoned the literal use of lighthouses for the video, but whatevs. This song has grown on me since my last review, and the slightly tweaked audio track has cleared up my concern about “Lighthouse” being overproduced. In fact, listening to Nina Kraljić’s performance from the Eurovision in Concert event earlier this month has me excited about what we will see in Stockholm. She sounds incredible live, with a purity to her voice that the produced track has tempered for some reason. I think Croatia is sitting pretty for finally getting to […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: San Marino — Serhat — “I Didn’t Know”

April 19, 2016 0

San Marino (and Serhat) are pulling a Eurovision joke on us, but it won’t get them a win. Country: San Marino Song Title: “I Didn’t Know” Artist: Serhat First Semi-Final: Position 8 Last year’s entry: “Chain of Lights”  – Michele Perniola and Anita Simoncini  (DNQ – 16th Place, SF2) Okay, after sitting through 5 years of WTF entries from San Marino, I have a theory.  San Marino is a small island country1.  They do not have the resources to host/provide a venue for a theoretical Eurovision that would be held there.  They do not want to host the ESC.  Therefore, they are seeing how ridiculous an entry they can send without getting called out on it.  They are trying to pull a Producers here.  As further evidence, the updated version of this year’s entry, Serhat’s “I Didn’t Know”: Let’s ignore for a moment that even though this is a “live” performance, this is clearly being lip-synced.  After releasing the initial version of the song2, San Marino got a bunch of attention.  It was the wrong kind of attention, but attention is attention, so there you go.  San Marino interpreted this as “hey, everyone’s looking at the disco remix of our terrible Eurovision song!  WE SHOULD […]

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