Eurovision 2016 Entry: Denmark — Lighthouse X — “Soldiers of Love”

April 7, 2016 0

Do Lighthouse X have what it takes to fight for the Eurovision final with “Soldiers of Love”? Country: Denmark Song Title: “Soldiers of Love” Artist: Lighthouse X Second Semi-Final: Position TBD Last year’s entry: “The Way You Are” – Anti Social Media (DNQ – 13th Place, SF1) Denmark’s been pretty good about mixing Eurovision-cheese with pop songwriting acumen to regularly produce great Eurovision entries.  Which is why their last few entries feel like a disappointment: Nothing against Denmark or Lighthouse X, but this gets more dated every time I listen to it.  After last year’s “boy band with a cheesy pop song” entry failed to qualify, I’m surprised the Danes chose this as their representative.  I love a good cheesy pop song, but this is just sort of middle-of-the-road, Backstreet Boys reunion level stuff. If I had any suggestions on how to improve this, I’d want Denmark to lean all in with the “Soldiers of Love” thing.  Military-esque outfits for Lighthouse X, etc.  Give it the full “YVAN EHT NIAJ” treatment.  Given the lineup of the second semi-final, Lighthouse X stands out simply by not being a female solo singer, but I’m not sure that’s enough to carry them this time around.  This one […]

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5 Awesome Things From Nashville: Bizarre Love Triangle

April 6, 2016 0

After learning Vita may have stolen $500 from The Beverly, Deacon and Rayna wonder if she’ll show up for her next shift or her Highway 65 audition. When she appears at the latter, Rayna asks Vita point blank if she stole the money. She flatly denies it. Deacon thinks this is reason enough to let her come back to work, but business partner Frankie disagrees. Deacon further entrenches himself on Frankie’s shit list by spontaneously inviting Riff Bell to do his first public performance in 15 years at The Beverly… on an evening when Frankie was supposed to perform. Speaking [Read more…]

Eurovision 2016 Entry: Iceland — Greta Salome — “Hear Them Calling”

April 6, 2016 0

Can Greta Salome get Iceland back into the Eurovision Grand Final with “Hear Them Calling”? Country: Iceland Song Title: “Hear Them Calling” Artist: Greta Salome First Semi-Final: Position TBD Last year’s entry: “Unbroken” – Maria Olafs (DNQ – 15th Place, SF2) The first semi-final of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is packed with some early favorites (like Russia and Estonia), but there’s still plenty of room for other entries to make it through to the final.  Does Greta Salome’s “Hear Them Calling” have what it takes to make it through? Iceland hasn’t really done anything with this song since it won the national final, and I think that’s a good thing.  There’s a unique drama to the instrumentation of the song that stands out from the rest of the pack, which can only be a good thing.  Greta’s live vocals are a little weaker than the studio version, but in fairness, she’s doing a lot of choreography on stage at the same time.  If I had one thing I’d change about the song itself, I’d make it a hybrid English/Icelandic version (like Pollaponk did with their entry a few years ago) since the English lyrics are a little…dopey, to put it nicely. That said, […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Bosnia & Herzegovina – Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala – Ljubav Je

April 6, 2016 0

Could Bosnia & Herzegovina’s earworm “Ljubav Je” be a contender at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest? Country: Bosnia & Herzegovina Song Title: “Ljubav Je” (“Love Is”) Artist: Dalal & Deen feat. Ana Rucner and Jala First Semi-Final: Position TBD Last year’s entry: Did not compete Not much has changed since I last checked in with Bosnia & Herzegovina’s entry “Ljubav Je” other than the song has really grown on me. Although I stand by my previous comments that the rock and rap elements make this entry a tougher sell, I think the argument could be made that Bosnia & Herzegovina are attempting (and achieving) a higher degree of difficulty. Let’s take another listen: There are a number of factors working in Bosnia & Herzegovina’s favor with this entry. First, they are in a semi-final with lots of friends and neighbors. Add those points to the “welcome back” points that often accompany an entry from a country that has been on hiatus and “Ljubav Je” should rocket up the scoreboard. Second, this entry is one of only three this year that is entirely non-English. I don’t see this as a barrier, as a quality song should be able to communicate its thesis regardless of language. […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Switzerland — Rykka — The Last of Our Kind

April 5, 2016 0

Switzerland finished in absolute last place in 2015’s Eurovision Song Contest. Will “The Last of Our Kind” by Rykka bring about a better outcome? Country: Switzerland Song Title: “The Last of Our Kind” Artist: Rykka Second Semi-Final: Position TBD Last year’s entry: “Time to Shine” – Melanie Rene (DNQ – 17th Place, SF2, Absolute Last Place) The second semi-final has shaped up to be the tougher of the two for bubble entries to advance to the Eurovision Song Contest. Switzerland’s entry “The Last of Our Kind” by Rykka will be one of those entries slugging it out for a chance to advance: First off, it’s a disservice to everyone involved that the above video has the studio version of the song dubbed over Rykka’s actual performance.1 That performance was rocky and if Switzerland can’t be arsed to put together a real music video (or use the one from their submission process), that should be put on display. These preferences aside, Switzerland is going to have a very difficult time advancing. The second semi-final is chock full of solo female singers — ten to be exact, counting Rykka. Her voice is not the strongest of that group, which means the song will need to help […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Austria — ZOË — Loin d’ici

April 5, 2016 0

Does ZOË’s sugar-coated poptimism have enough energy to get Austria into the Grand Final? Country: Austria Song Title: “Loin d’ici” Artist: ZOË First Semi-Final: Position TBD Last year’s entry: “I Am Yours” – The Makemakes (26th Place) After unexpectedly winning the 2014 contest with “Rise Like a Phoenix,” Austria did what any good host does and left all of the points for its guests in 2015 — all of its guests except for Germany, that is. The two neighboring (and auto-qualifying) nations ended up at the bottom of the pile with the dreaded nul points, a result that may have in part led to this year’s voting rule change. Now that jury and televoting results will award points separately, can ZOË help Austria rise from the ashes once more? Austria is one of several countries who have made basically no changes to their entry since the original selection, but even in that context, I find the parity in ZOË’s voice between the official video embedded above and the live national final performance to be truly amazing. Otherwise good entries are frequently sunk by pitchiness or other vocal issues where the singer simply can’t replicate live the same kind of performance they recorded in the studio.1 ZOË’s live performance has only a […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Ireland — Nicky Byrne — Sunlight

April 4, 2016 0

Ireland’s Nicky Byrne hasn’t tweaked “Sunlight” since it debuted — could that be a strategic misstep in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest? Country: Ireland Song Title: “Sunlight” Artist: Nicky Byrne Second Semi-Final: Position TBD Last year’s entry: “Playing with Numbers” – Molly Sterling (DNQ – 12th Place, SF2) Not much has changed with Ireland’s entry since I last wrote about it. Seriously: we have the same video of “Sunlight” by Nicky Byrne with what appears to be zero revamping: The only thing that has changed for Ireland’s entry is knowing that it landed in the first half of the second semi-final and the other entries it will compete with on May 12. Unfortunately, the luck of the Irish did not extend to this semi-final allocation. In terms of song genre, Nicky Byrne will be battling against Denmark’s boyband (whose entry I find similarly bland) and Lithuania’s own heartfelt heartthrob anthem. Slovenia’s entry also shares some similarities in terms of style and tempo, which means there could be a lot of vote splitting within what I suspect may be a smaller audience within the Eurovision populace. Ireland’s other problem: there are a lot of heavy hitters in this semi-final. Serbia and Ukraine are practically guaranteed to […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Belarus — IVAN — Help You Fly

April 4, 2016 0

Belarus wants to run with the pack into the Grand Final. Can IVAN get them there? Country: Belarus Song Title: “Help You Fly” Artist: IVAN Second Semi-Final: Position TBD Last year’s entry: “Time” – Uzari and Maimuna (DNQ – 12th Place, SF1) In 2014, Belarus finished fifth in its semifinal and advanced to the Grand Final with a song we lovingly1 refer to as #TwerpyHamsterDate, thanks to some poorly-chosen (and poorly enunciated) lyrics. The next year, the violin-and-voice duo behind “Time” missed the Grand Final by two spots. In retrospect, both of these results were pretty inexplicable. Will this year produce results for the Belarusians that make sense? I noted earlier this year that “Help You Fly” is not a bad song — just a mediocre one, with a mediocre performance. Belarus apparently decided that they could only work on one of those two issues; instead of fixing (or doing anything, actually) to the song, they’re ramping up the weirdness of their staging in an attempt to distract viewers. As reported last week by SBS, the Belarusian contingent is moving forward with a plan (possibly NSFW) that includes 1) IVAN being completely naked onstage 2) with wolves.2 The Eurovision Song Contest rules clearly state that live […]

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Eurovision 2016 Entry: Albania — Eneda Tarifa — Fairytale

April 1, 2016 0

Albania was the first to select for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. Will the revamped “Fairytale” by Eneda Tarifa lead the country to its second final in a row? Country: Albania Song Title: “Fairytale” Artist: Eneda Tarifa Second Semi-Final: Position TBD Last year’s entry: “I’m Alive” – Elhaida Dani (16th Place (Tie)) Albania bounced back last year by appearing in its first Eurovision Song Contest final since 2012. The country puts itself at a slight disadvantage every year by selecting the winner of the Festivali e Kenegs competition (which is held in December), but they do take advantage of the long lead time to make adjustments to their entries. How did this year’s entry — “Fairytale” by Eneda Tarifa — fare? One of the reasons I enjoy Albania’s presence in the Contest: they make things delightfully tricky to prognosticate. As I mentioned way back when this song was initially selected, I got a whiff of Norway’s 2013 entry “I Feed You My Love” and that aroma has not gone away. I don’t think “Fairytale” is nearly as aggressive as Norway’s song, which is part of the reason I find this entry much more pleasant to listen to. I think it’s poor strategy to give the […]

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