It’s Monday, so you’re probably already wanting to go home, well we shall liven up your day with another lot of reviews. Today we are looking at Ukraine, Ireland and the Netherlands and William will be joining me. In case your new, we will be scoring the songs the Eurovision way, so that’s 1-8, 10 or 12 points. So let’s begin with Ukraine.
- County: Ukraine
- Song: Gravity
- Artist: Zlata Ognevich
- Composer: Mikhail Nekrasov
- Lyricist: Karen Kavaleryan
- Performing: 7th in Semi Final 1
Anthony: Ukraine this year are looking like they really want to win, to start they have one of the most over the top music videos of the year, they have a ballad that sounds like something from Disney and then there is Zlata, it’s a perfect combination. Zlata has a brilliant live voice, we know that she can pull this off on stage and that there should be no issues with that. But what worries me about this song is what the Ukrainian’s said in their press release about a giant on stage. This could be a case of wow like in 2011 when the sand woman stole the show, or a massive what have you done. The ending of this really could do with an added oomph to make it a real blow away moment. It’s going to be 10 points from me.
William: “Gravity” is a brilliant song sung by Zlata Ognevich. Every year there is one song which would not normally conform to my taste which I absolutely love and this is it. The song has a very strong Disney feel, for some people this may be a big negative, however I love it. Some people also claim that the song is poorly organized and very unconventional. While I don’t disagree, I believe it adds quite a bit to the overall feeling and mood of the song. I am slightly disappointed about the revamped ending, I feel that it leaves a lot to desire. Nonetheless, Zlata has brilliant vocals and the song is there, this leaves staging as the key for success. Very little information has been said about the staging, but given Ukraine’s history this could be purely amazing. By far one of my favourites going into Malmo this year, 12 points from me no doubt.
- County: The Netherlands
- Song: Birds
- Artist: Anouk
- Composer: Tore Johannson, Martin Gjerstad
- Lyricist: Anouk Teeuwe
- Performing: 8th in Semi Final 1
Anthony: This is one of the best entries I have ever heard from the Netherlands if not the best. This song is pure brilliance, it is just so different it works. Anouk has an incredibly mysterious voice and this works perfectly with this song. “Birds” is a song that you really can’t put into one genre, it is perfect in the way that it just flows brilliantly, it’s not in your face, it’s just there drifting through you. However that is the issue this song will face, on the face of it this song really isn’t a song that you expect the televoters to go mad for, which means the juries have to love this for it to get out of the semi final. I just hugely worry that this will be forgotten, it’s just before the break and it’s one of 6 ballads that you have within the first 8 songs. I’m going to go with my opinion of this song without those issues and say well done the Netherlands it’s 12 points from me.
William: “Birds” is a lovely ballad sung by Anouk. It isn’t exactly my taste in music, but it is far from the worst song of the year. The build up is very effective, although a bit too limited for my liking. The instrumentation is probably among the best this year and the vocals will not be a concern. What is a concern to me is the staging, something The Netherlands have had a poor time with in the past, as well as the televote appeal. Although it will do good in the jury, I’m sure songs like Denmark and Ukraine will ultimately overshadow this, and without a strong televote this might get forgotten. Considering Denmark, Russia, Ukraine and The Netherlands are following each other in the running order, “Birds” would appear to have the worst chance at qualifying of all the songs. No friends, what will likely be a staging completely overshadowed by Ukraine and pretty poor televoting chances means this will have a hard time. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful song, I have to give it 8 points.
- County: Ireland
- Song: Only Love Survives
- Artist: Ryan Dolan
- Composer: Wez Devine, Ryan Dolan
- Lyricist: Wez Devine, Ryan Dolan
- Performing: 13th in Semi Final 1
Anthony: Ireland have a very good chance of making it out of this semi final, thanks the massive number of ballads in semi final 1. While this is never going to win the contest and take us all over to Ireland, it will make it to the middle of the board in the final. This is just a very decent pop number and it’s something that the voters will enjoy, it’s nothing that’s going to make you go “Wow I must vote for this”. Ireland will just be happy to continue their run of making it to the final. It’s gonna be 5 points from me.
William: After finishing reviewing two of the best songs this year, Ireland comes out underwhelming. “Only Love Survives” is a perfectly pleasant pop song sung by Ryan Dolan. By perfectly pleasant, I mean perfectly safe. Completely middle of the road, and I feel that this is the biggest point of disappointment for me. I always love songs that have something unique, and there just isn’t anything here that can fit. Coming near the end of the first semi and with a pretty good live performance in Amsterdam, this will probably qualify, I just can’t see it doing much afterwards. The song also lacks much of a strong hook or any form of build-up towards the end. I find this song too average, so I can only give it 5 points.
So let’s look at the scores:
- Ukraine – 22 points
- The Netherlands – 20 points
- Ireland – 10 points