Tuesday, April 19, 2016

ESC 2016: BELARUS, CYPRUS, GEORGIA AND MONTENEGRO REVIEWS

Four of the rockiest entries in this post.
BELARUS - IVAN - HELP YOU FLY
(Victor Drobysh/Alexander Ivanov, Timofei Leontiev, Mary Susane Applegate)
Alexander Ivanov aka Ivan won the Belarusian national final and has since launched the most succesful PR campaign with his promises of being naked and with live wolves on stage, something that has made it to all sort of medias all over the world.... Genious!

Blogilkar: Ivan has the best PR stunt of the season; news about his tendency for nudism has reached the world press in a way nothing else this year. The song is a light rock number, rather anonymous and unmemorable so any stunt, be it nakedness or wolves - or even a mention of either of them will help it as I would like to know how many commentators will remind viewers of his plans! Anyways, this isn't bad and I kinda enjoy it when I hear it. And then forget it exists. 6
Jack: When Ivan won Belarus's national final, I wasn't exactly thrilled. I thought the song was annoying and tedious... however recently, I've started to like it. The revamp has made it pretty decent. Will we see a nude Ivan in Stockholm? Maybe it would get him a few more points. Or maybe not. 5
Peter: Ok very Eurovision opening with a bit of ethnic, not particulary catching though. The song is a bit catchy in a strange kind of way - of course it remains to be seen how this will do agains the other songs in SF2, but I would expect it to qualify. 5
Robert: This is a grower. It's not really my style of music but it's certainly not unpleasant to listen to. I understand why he would like to perform naked; without getting some extra attention he will have no chance to reach the final. Let him. It will be interesting to see. 6
Michele: It's a pretty attractive song but with out of date production and useless features. You listen and it's nice but what you hear rumors on what  the live performance should be then the audience at home can find it way too much trash. Belarus can not count on  mass votes so it's at the risk between qualification and elimination. 6,5
Markus: Oh yes the wolf who wants to fly.. Now I know why he wanted to perform naked and I am not even sure if this will be an eye catcher.... The song will not catch me at all  2
CYPRUS - MINUS ONE - ALTER EGO
(Thomas G:son, Minus One)
Francois Michelotto and his band Minus One were internally selected for Cyprus and teamed up with Swedish Thomas G:son to write the song.

Blogilkar: Old school rockpop but with an excellent vocalist and being pretty alone in this genre this stands out, Nothing to do with Cyprus I'm afraid but this is an easy and memorable sing-a-long that gets me jamming along every time. Luckily Thomas G:son didn't turn this into a schlager but fishes from his hard rock past yet having all the schlager clichés in what comes to being immediate and easy on the first hearing. 9
Jack: This is a TUNE! Minus One pleasantly surprised me when I first heard their entry - I didn't expect too much but I am loving Alter Ego. We will party in the arena to this one, I'm sure. 8
Peter: Good beat on the entrance, decent melody and it will get votes throughout Europe, but not sure it will qualify for the final. 5,5
Robert: Sexy lead singer. Different style from the rest. Great song in its genre. Not usually my style but I buy it. If staging, show and singing will be great I predict a final. 7
Michele:  This is not so modern pop rock but catchy enough to take advantage of television stage to create a performance with impact. It convinces although it has nothing to make it Cypriot. Pretty mainstream (like most of the songs in the race in Stockholm) but it should reach the final without problems ... and there could easily exceed the mother Greece (if the Greeks arrive in the final ... but we'll talk about them later). 6,5
Markus: Did we every expect something like that coming from Cyprus... I did not and that is what a like . A real surprise. Just a great rock song. Authentic! 8
GEORGIA - NIKA KOCHAROV AND YOUNG GEORGIAN LOLITAZ - 
MIDNIGHT GOLD
(Kote Kalandadze, Thomas G:Son)
Nika & co. was internally selected for Georgia. Georgian public had a chance to vote their favorite out of five entries and Midnight gold emerged as the winner. Swedish Thomas G:son appeared as a co-writer in this one as well.

Blogilkar: Well, not really my cup of tea but who knows, this could be the surprise qualifier this year if the staging is right. It took me a few listenings to start enjoying this a bit, so I don't know anymore how the viewers who hear this for the first time react. Different and bold for sure. 3
Jack: Weird, wacky and wonderful? Almost all the fans hate this, and even though it's far from being my favourite - I kinda like the craziness. I don't think we'll be heading to Tbilisi next year though but it isn't the worst entry this year. I'll be rocking out to it in Globen. 3
Peter: I can think of only one word to describe this - "awful" - enough said. 2,5 
Robert: Great video clip. The song is nicely grunge and nice flashback to the 90's. It has non typical Eurovision music and that has to be rewarded, it's daring for this stage. It's surprising and certainly a grower. 7,5
Michele: It's the odd one out, definitely stands out from the crowd and emerges ... but the impression is that they are in the wrong context. They deserve a praise for the courage to show up with a rock song that has nothing commercial. The final result is unknown. 7
Markus: I am sure it will get through as there are a lot of people and jury members who like that kind of song style. Not my cup of tea but well sung and well produced . I give 4
MONTENEGRO - HIGHWAY - THE REAL THING
(Skansi, Luka Vojvodić, Maro Market)
Another internally selected act here. They were a trio known from X Factor Adria and later got a fourth member in Bojan Jovović, who already did Eurovision 2005 as a member of No Name.

Blogilkar: I have tried to like this but no way. Toilet break. It's a mess in the studio version so I have no idea how they think to stage this live, can it get any worse? What's that with those voices? Maybe they can't sing like that live and it improves? Three minutes of nonsense. 1
Jack: Eww. I'm sorry but this is defiantly not for me. I'm sure some people will love it but I can't see Montenegro finishing anywhere else other than the bottom of the leaderboard... in the semi final. 2
Peter:  This is a bit too rock style for me and for Eurovision I guess, so I wouldn't expect this to do well … but of course you never know but there just doesn't seem to be enough of a "song" there to consider. 3 minutes of noise.
Robert: Electronic/Industrial rock for Montenegro. Daring choice but this song does absolutely nothing to me. It does not have any beginning or end, and even in this genre there are many better songs than this one. If this is played in a club I will get out as soon as possible... 1
Michele: After two years of Balkan tradition and atmosphere of well-made (although not very original but very reassuring and convincing) Montenegrins  throw themselves on a fake chaotic rock, sung in a cacophonous English and basically come out  inconclusive. We are not right there. Heavy digestion. 3
Markus: The last 2 years Montenegro was secure in the final because of well produced and performed Balkan style. This year I fear they hit back to the non qualifying entries.... 4

Check out the other reviews: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 8, 9, 10, 11

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