Monday, April 23, 2018


Iceland - Ari Ólafsson - Our choice
Ari (19) is one of the youngest artists this year and his song is one of the oldest. Pure old school Eurovision and therefor a pearl to cherish. Even more so as he has proven to be a great vocalist live despite his age sounding good and looking so fresh and innocent. He has also proven himself in the social medias and pre-contest promotional events - is there anyone who doesn't like him as a person?
This is anthemic, almost religious hymn with lyrics... well, let's forget the lyrics and just enjoy the melody and his convincing performance! The video makes me want to visit Reykjavik, even if it seems to be the size of one block .-) Sadly they didn't bring this Icelandic version though. This blogger would love to see this as shocker qualifier but the odds are heavily against it: starting number, semi one, betting odds... but hey, miracles do happen! And televoters decide. 7/10

Belarus - Alekseev - Forever
Ukrainian Nikita Vladimirovitš Alekseev or simply Alekseev (24) was the cause of this year's annual Belarus controversy and scandal when the other artists were against his participation as he is Ukrainian, and then that his song wasn't maybe exactly following the September 1 rule. He has won the Newcomer of the year awards in both Russia and Ukraine and apparently has an active fan base. All that doesn't hide the fact he isn't quite the best singer. This is a song that has been revamped for Eurovision, and quite honestly it's gotten even worse. It's a question of taste but I don't like his voice, and the song either. The Russian version sounds a lot better though. The national final performance has a staging gimmick that will propably repeated in Lisbon but hey, Estonia is coming right after with their projection dress. Hmmm...  not looking very good for poor Alekseev, is it? 3/10

Ireland - Ryan O'Shaughnessy - Together
Ryan (25) did Britain's Got talent and The Voice of Ireland - at the same time causing quite a scheduling mess. He didn't win neither but signed recording contracts here and there before getting into The Hit, an Irish songwriting talent show. Before that he acted in an Irish soap opera for nine years and now finally he's here. Ryan has co-written Together, and one might think he'd have trouble singing it live but no worries, the high notes are on spot. I was a bit surprised when I saw the video as it was totally unexpected but when I read his reasons for it, it all fits in. This a real gem, classy, well sung, old school Irish Eurovision and I hope this will qualify and do well in the final, as we need songs like this to balance certain manufactured "creations". This is real, honest and heartfelt. 9/10

Germany - Michael Schulte - You let me walk alone
Michael (27) started his career placing 3rd in The Voice of Germany 2012 and releasing his debut album. Since then he has made it big in Youtube before taking part and winning the German national final. This is a tribute from a soon to be father to his late father, it has a lovely melody and airy arrrangement, especially the piano. he handles it quite nicely live, He manages to capture the attention on stage  - I like to see it live but would I listen to this on repeat on stereo? No - and it will be interesting to see how far this one goes in the end, or will it have the usual German entry's fate? This deserves better. A lot better. 8/10

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