Friday, April 20, 2018

EUROVISION 2018 REVIEW: UKRAINE, CZECH REPUBLIC, AUSTRIA, SWEDEN

 
Ukraine - Mélovin - Under the ladder
Mélovin (21), X Factor Ukraine winner (after three unsuccesful auditions!) and last year's televoting winner in the national final for Eurovision (but placing only 3rd) took revenge this year with self composed Under the ladder. The song is catchy and keeps building towards the burning end, he's got a gimmick in his look that makes him memorable, as is the staging. I don't remember seeing an artist start the perform mid stage ending up by the piano in the end - isn't it always the other way around? He seems also very secure on stage and the end of the performance is on fire. He will be a certain qualifier but how far he will go in the final? Hmmm ... 7/10

Czech Republic - Mikolas Josef - Lie to me
Mikolas (22) is the first Czech with a real possibility. He was asked by the local tv already last year but turned down the song not feeling it suitable for him. Smart choice as now he's back with a jackpot. A sure finalist with a catchy song, fun performance, convincing live, likable personality, easy on the eye  - what else can I say? Maybe a bit too different just like Israel to win but a Top-3 is a possibility.... 10/10
(And I can't but think about this lost opportunity: Vittoria Hyde with Play the trumpet from the Swiss selection 2011 (here). Had it won and been properly recorded and remixed, who knows? )

Austria - César Sampson - Nobody but you
César (34) is no stranger to Eurovision having been the backing singer two last years placing 4th and 2nd and being part of the production team that provides us the Bulgarian entry this year, too. Bulgaria is the big favorite but I certainly prefer this one. Better song, amazing vocals, fantastic gospel choir. Sadly they are both in the same semifinal and even almost back to back but in my books Nobody but you beats Bones by far. I hope this will qualify for the final but must admit I'm not feeling very confident it will.... unfortunately. 8/10

Sweden - Benjamin Ingrosso - Dance you off
The Swedish entry lies once again heavily on staging and indeed it looks great. Let's see how they bring that to Lisbon stage and fill in the pre-recorded vocals as Benjamin (20), as sweet son of Pernilla he is, isn't exactly the strongest vocally.  He tried to get to Eurovision already last year placing 5th but managed to win this year. He's no stranger to Eurovision traditions as his mother Pernilla Wahlgren tried five times already (being runner up in 2003) and Eurovision winner Charlotte Nilsson/Perrelli was married to his uncle. As much as I kinda like him and his effort I find this song a bit dull, as said great staging but songwise... yawn. I'd like to like it a lot more than I actually do really. But this is Sweden and sure finalist. The question is how strong it will be in the final voting and how well they manage this live vocally? 6/10

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