Reviews: ‘Big 5’ and Host Country

It is now time to turn my attention to the ‘Big 5’ and host country entries.  I will review each song along with how I think they will do on May 13th.

France

Alma- “Requiem”

France are continuing to make ground in Eurovision again after last year’s top 10 finish in Stockholm.  Alma brings with her a very Parisien styloe song, with elements of classic French pop.  This is also helped by the fact that the song was written by Amir’s songwriter last year, Nazim Khaled.  This for me isn’t as instant as J’ai Cherche and while many enjoyed the song from the beginning, it took me a while to truly appreciate it.  It isn’t my favourite but I can understand why many love it, not a winner but a decent effort and will help France continue to strengthen their reputation in Eurovision’s modern era.

My score: 6.5

Final Prediction: 10th-15th

Germany

Levina- “Perfect Life”

After two disappointing years Germany reverted to the selection processes that won them the title in 2010.  Levina won the national selection with the song “Perfect Life”, written by David Bassett who was also behind the international hit “Fight Song” sung by Rachel Platten.  The song is a good pop song and has a great hook, of course there are those obvious references to David Guetta’s “Titanium“ but I don’t see how the opening 20 seconds of the song can be classed as plagiarism, there is a similarity but the song as a whole builds differently and is very much its own composition.  I have grown to enjoy the song and I do feel this could surprise many finishing higher than in the 20’s.

My score: 6

Final Prediction: 15th-20th

Italy

Francesco Gabbani- “Occidentali’s Karma”

Francesco Gabbani was making waves on social media all of Sanremo week with his performance of “Occidentali’s Karma” and this culminated in his win in the Super final at the Teatro Ariston.  This has the potential to do very well at Eurovision, it is catchy, well sung and I can guarantee you that not one other act will have a dancing gorilla.  We will all be doing that dance.  This is the hot favourite for a reason and while it isn’t as much of a certain winner as Loreen or Rybak, it has the potential to go far beyond how they finished.

My score: 9.5

Final Prediction: 1st-5th

 

Spain

Manel Navarro- “Do It for Your Lover”

Pre-National Final Review:

This reminds me of Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song”.  It is a pleasant change in pace from all the other songs and has that tropical vibe that I haven’t heard in a Spanish song for a long time.  I usually wouldn’t look twice at songs like this, but up against the other songs in the final this stands out as being totally different.  That isn’t necessarily a good thing as in a larger field it may not fare as well.  Still this is a good song and could do well in the final.

                                                                                                               

Now, I must admit the studio version of this song I enjoyed, and I had it second in the National final.  Although as soon as I seen this live at Objetivo Eurovision, it fell flat for me.  Personally, I don’t think Manel has the charisma to sell this song and he is trying to act far more cool and laid back which doesn’t make him endearing.  Spain will be languishing at the bottom of the scoreboard again this year.

My score: 4

Final Prediction: 21st-26th

Ukraine

O.Torvald- “Time”

Pre-National Final Review:

This is a harrowing rock song, talking about the devastating truth of war and a way forward in peace.  It doesn’t shy away from the ugly truth of war and the lead singer simulates the act of getting shot, live on stage.  It is shocking and certainly gives the effect it wants to have on the viewer.  I think this is just too political to garner enough votes to win, yet it is a thought provoking song.

                                                                                                               

Nothing about the song or the performance has changed for me, and while I appreciate it for what it is, I can’t emote with the song on a personal level.  The National final staging was interesting, but not enough to elevate it for me.  This will rack up a decent score on the night as it is Ukraine, but it isn’t a second victory for them.

My score: 4.5

Final Prediction: 10th-15th

United Kingdom

Lucie Jones- “Never Give Up On You”

Pre-National Final Review:

Written by Emmilie De Forest, the 2013 Eurovision winner, this song above all others was the most anticipated entry of the year in the U.K.  We knew a few weeks before the release of the final six entries that she was in the U.K. and that she had submitted a song into the National final, so we all put two and two together.  I was equally excited to see what she would produce, and while I can’t be to disappointed in the entry as she isn’t a ‘one genre artist’, I was expecting something along the lines of “Only Teardrops” or “Never Alone”, what we received was a piano ballad.  While it is a nice ballad, that is all it is.  It offers no real lift or dynamism, that Holly’s song provides.  Lucie is a great vocalist having went from the 2009 X factor live Finals to the West End stage.  She deserves a stronger song.

                                                                                                               

As you can see I wasn’t a fan of the studio version, and many people weren’t at the time.  Then she sang live and that all changed, Lucie is a captivating performer with some of the strongest vocals on show this year.  It is great to see that the songwriters took advice of some fans and revamped the song, giving it a more ethereal and mystic quality.  This does have the potential to be the Best UK entrant in 15 years, yet even a top half finish would be fantastic for Lucie and not out of the realms of possibility.

My score: 7

Final Prediction:10th-15th

 

Where do you place the ‘Big 5’ and Host country in your top 42?  and do you think any of them have what it takes to win the contest, let us know below 😀

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