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JESC Review: Ukraine, Belarus & San Marino


The First Of Four Articles
The Second Of Four Articles

In the build up to the final on Saturday night we will be bringing you three song reviews each day. Today joining me is our resident Canadian Eurovision fan William. As normal we will be awarding the scores from 1-10.

So today we will be reviewing the entries from Ukraine, Belarus & San Marino. So lets begin…

  • Country: Ukraine
  • Song: We Are One
  • Artist: Sofia Tarasova
  • Language: Ukrainian & English
  • Best Result: 1st in 2012

Anthony: This song first time round I wasn’t exactly keen on it. However I feel that the reworked version is far better, it just has a stronger feel to it. I expect there to be a half tonne of pyrotechnics at the point around 2:15 in, when Sofia falls silent and bursts back in English. On the whole I don’t see this winning on the night, but Ukraine should get a decent position in the middle of the table. It is a song much like “Welcome To Armenia”, it gives off a brilliant welcome to my country enjoy the show, but it is in no way out to win the contest. What we know for certain is that Sofia will give a brilliant performance on Saturday night. It is 6/10 from me.

William: Sofia Tarasova’s admirable dance number “We Are One” inspires great confusion in me. It begins wonderfully, the opening verse and bridge are characteristic of my personal favourite dance songs. The underlying classic eurodance thumping beat is absolutely amazing in my opinion. The bridge keeps it up…but then… the chorus hits and everything falls apart. The underlying eurodance elements still exist but are covered up by the sloppy electronic melody. The singer sounds like she is in pain during the chorus and the song just falls apart into a synthesizer disaster. The second verse brings the song back into sanity, then the chorus rips the song apart. That said, the chorus doesn’t completely destroy the song and there’s still some hope left for a decent result, especially with the favourable draw. Still, “We Are One” has such a powerful introduction and the Sofia appears competent enough. I give it 6/10, bonus points for having a unique composition!

  • Country: Belarus
  • Song: Poy so mnoy!
  • Artist: Ilya Volkov
  • Language: Russian & English
  • Best Result: 1st in 2005 & 2007

Anthony: First off Ilya has some decent dance moves. Ilya has made a very quick progression from backing singer for Egor last year, to the main act this year. While this song personally does not really appeal to me, it does have a good tune to it and it is sure to get kids dancing around. I just haven’t clicked with this song during the past couple of weeks, I’ll listen to it but it doesn’t get me going “This will win”.  However this song is still far stronger than last years entry from Belarus, but again I don’t see it winning sadly. 5/10 from me.

William: Ilya Volkov’s synthpop “Poy so mnoy” has actually grown into one of my favourites. A very strong and classic Eurovision hook is very frequent during the song. “Poy so mnoy” also has a very strong introduction, though the chorus disappoints me a bit. I feel like it could be less repetitive. Overall, it maintains a nice level of dance in the following verses. Not sure what point there is in having the very awkward and fake sounding key change between the last bridge and last chorus (what’s schlager doing here!?). I assume they are simply copying the usual Eurovision success model. Coming after Ukraine in the running order could hurt it, though it seems more likely to hurt Ukraine. Vocals shouldn’t be a concern and the song is pretty good, Belarus has a shot at a decent placing. I’ll have to give it 7/10, great!

  • Country: San Marino
  • Song: O-o-O Sole intorno a me
  • Artist: Michele Perniola
  • Language: Italian
  • Best Result: N/A

Anthony: All I can say is I’m over the moon to see San Marino finally in JESC, they came so close in 2012 but backed out at the last minute. From the first listen of this song I loved it, it’s just so up beat and bouncy. You can’t help but start tapping your feet along. Michele proved on Monday that he can sing well live, as you can see here. Italian is a language that works incredibly well at Eurovision, it just has a great feel to it and depth unlike others. The only question I have is over the long period at the start where not much happens, however this doesn’t dampen the points I shall give San Marino. It is 9/10 from me.

William: Michele Perniola’s jazz influenced “O-o-O Sole intorno a me” really isn’t my kind of song. I fail to see much appeal in jazz music, but it typically performs well in Eurovision. Being this early in the running order though, it could be forgotten. Nonetheless, it’s a great debut entry and will do pretty good for San Marino. A song similar to this in the adult Eurovision would probably do pretty good for San Marino as well. As for the song itself, the introduction takes too long in my opinion. I find his voice annoying on the “O-o-O” parts, though I do appreciate the enthusiasm in the composition and his voice. Overall, it’s just not my kind of song – so I give it 3/10.

Okay so the final results are:

  1. San Marino – 12
  2. Belarus – 12
  3. Ukraine – 12

If you don’t agree with what we have said, then you can vote in our poll, just follow the link here.

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