Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ESC 2016: LATVIA, HUNGARY, FRANCE AND RUSSIA REVIEWS

Four strong male artists in this one, all of them favorites for the win.
LATVIA - JUSTS - HEARTBEAT
((Aminata Savadogo)
Last year's Aminata wrote Justs Sirmais a song that became one of the favorites to win it all in Stockholm, even before he won the national final in Latvia.

Blogilkar: I really liked this when I heard it for the first time, but it has lost a bit of its appeal since. However, it's the first hearing that counts and Latvia should do very well this year. It's quite similar to their entry last year, Aminata all over it it but sung by Justs it makes it very different though. He's easy on the eye, has a great voice and the song is quite original. More of a play with sounds and production than melody but it works. 8,5
Jack: Aminata is Latvia's savour! She achieves one of their best ever results in Vienna and is set to do very well with Heartbeat, sung by the beautiful Justs. Riga 2017? 9
Peter: Good opening, catches attention, a solid beat in the background keeps the song moving, it is a bit catchy and different yet holds attention to the end. It is likely to get a lot of votes, not sure it will win, but it could be a dark horse in the final. 6,5
Robert: Latvia is on the right track this year, too, after the success of last year. A strong singer, handsome guy with a modern pop song. The only reserve with the song is that it kicks off a bit late in the song really. That makes that it's not among my top favourites but just with the pleasant ones. 7,5
Michele: For the second consecutive year Latvia brings something extremely modern, stylized and paradoxically simple and straightforward. You can hear Aminata in this song but Justs makes it his own, naturally and easily. This year I have no doubt: my 12 points go to Latvia. 10
Markus: Riga need also to get ready for a possible host role! This is great! 3 minutes of professionalism. Great voice and one of the best production this year  9

HUNGARY - FREDDIE - PIONEER
(Szabó Zé, Borbála Csarnai)
Gábor Alfréd Fehérvári aka Freddie is a regular for talent shows and managed to beat the others in the Hungarian national final.

Blogilkar: A bit like Latvia, I loved this when I first heard it and just like Latvia for a moment thought this could be a winner even. Since then it hasn't been that convincing in that field. The live performance rocks, love those backing vocalists with their sticks moving to the beat in unison - sadly I read they are going to do something different in Stockholm. Great visual impact that was. Also, this works well live but when you just hear it it's not coming across that strong anymore. Freddie is great, love his voice. Once again, people vote what they see and hear maybe for the first time nd this one's going to go far based on that. 9
Jack: Many have been predicating a Hungarian win for sometime - is 2016 the year they're finally going to be victorious? I think no but this song is brilliant. And I think I'm in love with his voice. 8
Peter: Decent song though not very captivating, Freddie's voice isn't great either to be honest (for my liking) though like some other songs, I can see it appeal to a large audience and get a lot of votes. Almost sure to get to the final given it's uniqueness. 5
Robert: Is 2016 the Eurovision of Hunks? So many goodlooking men and Freddie is really the top of the crops and the guy can sing, too, with an unusual raw voice. Very masculine. Hungary really became an interesting Eurovision country with their A Dal preselection. Many interesting songs and Freddie's song is an interesting one. Very radio firendly and nice to listen to. Not among my top favorites but I still expect Hungary to be in the top-10. 7,5
Michele: Hungarian song is melodic rock, maybe a bit dated but at the same time catchy and Freddie's voice gives it more weight. It's one of those songs that make you remember Eurovision isn't only simple nonsense songs. This is another prove of that. 7+
Markus: There is not one year Hungary fails with quality. Also this year the deliver! Great production for another top 10 ranking for me. 8

FRANCE - AMIR - J'AI CHERCHÉ
((Nazim Khaled, Amir Haddad, Johan Errami)
Tunisian-Moroccan-Spanish but French born and Israel based Amir Haddad was internally chosen for France after doing The Voice in France and another talent show in Israel. France is tipped to do better since... well, forever!

Blogilkar: Love this song. Love Amir. An instant favorite the moment I heard it. I knew Amir before so I was thrilled to hear his the chosen one. The song has just gotten better, he has done amazing PR and comes across very nice. He so deserves to win this, we would have a great name in the Hall of Fame of Eurovision winners! 10
Jack: Who knew the French had it in 'em? Amir is slowly becoming one of the favourites to take the title next month and that surely wouldn't be a bad thing. It's catchy and Amir will sure get some votes on cuteness alone. Maybe Paris 2017 is possible? 9
Peter: Great opening, nice beat throughout, also very positive that France went for a mainly English text which should get a lot of votes. This is highly likely to do very well and like some other songs could get France a long awaited win - if it can fend off Russia.
Robert: Amir is one of the favorites this year. Indeed he has a very enjoyable positive summer song. Also, he knows how to play the media, is very charming and it looks like this is his moment. He has been studying Eurovision winners and this is his idea of the next winner and he could be right. He has a song that appeals almost to everyone including me. It's nice to see that France, after many years, is back among the favorites. 8+
Michele: France has tried everything, sometimes sent also very interesting and modern proposals ... but it's never been able to convince the audience at home. The odds this year promise well and we understand why. Amir sings a cool song, pleasant, modern and performs it well, too.  I can not see him winning because I think that his song is missing that extra something you need in a song to win ... but if it wins, I don't think anyone minds. 8-
Markus: To be honest I never thought this will ever happen again.... France is killing me this year. What a stunning tune and from what I see a very humble singer. I pray for a good staging and performance and we will travel to Paris next year... Finally after 39 years!!!! 10

RUSSIA - SERGEY LAZAREV - YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE
(Dimitris Kontopoulos, Philip Kirkorov, John Ballard, Ralph Charlie)
Russia finally chose Sergey Lazarev internally, and the song is written by succesful Eurovision veterans. Russia rocketed to the #1 favorite to win. What could possiby go wrong?

Blogilkar: The bells of judgement day are ringing... Oh no, it's the Russian entry's intro. Putting all the politics aside and the fact I have liked and followed Sergey's career for years, something just isn't right here. I mean, this is perfection in every way and Russia will surely put on a great show on stage. But is this song a worthy winner? No. It's enjoyable old school Eurovision, calculated and measured to fit the formula 110% with originality level at the bottom. If he had a better song he would deserve to win but with this one? No. But top-3 it is come May 14, I suppose. Hopefully 2nd or 3rd. 7,5
Jack: Russia want to win this. And me thinks they're going to. Sergey will put on an incredible performance and he's going to get the votes. And some people will no doubt vote for Russia because it's Russia... Let's face it though - it would cause some drama if Russia won the contest. Not my favourite song but I wouldn't be upset if he did win. 8
Peter: From the first time I heard this song I just love it, it has a great beat that brings you totally into the song from the first note. The rhythm is very enticing and keeps interest throughout the song - the words are a bit on the corny side, but this is highly likely to have appeal across the board and give Russia another win. 8
Robert: No, no, no. We have heard this so many times. Typical Swedish Eurovision production. I don't buy this anymore. Not interesting. I would be very disappointed if this wins it. Eurovision needs a more quality wnner. The song is very average to me. 6
Michele: The Russians demonstrate for the umpteenth time they want to take home the trophy and, once again, they do all focusing on bombastic production, special effects and attractiveness of the singer. All characteristics that in Eurovision have never hurt. If they only remembered that to bring home the victory and not disappear from the charts the following day they also need a song in step with the times ... that is missing here. Sergey Lazarev does his job, he does it well, by textbook ... and that's the problem. It seems a task performed perfectly, by heart. Lacking authenticity. Very convincing ... until the end of the event. 6,5
Markus: Again the most expensive production the most expensive video clip and again a Swedish team behind it. Yes, it will go into the final and yes, it will be in the top 3 if we like it or not. They will deliver and show what they can do …... But for me its just again too much

Check out the other reviews: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11

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