Austria, Iceland and Italy

Austria – LUM!X feat. Pia Maria: Halo

Ready the autotuners and prepare for a high energy rush that will leave you out of breath. Austria manages to squeeze two standard Eurovision entries into one – the beat and delivery are rapid and there is barely time for Pia Maria to gasp for air! Might this be the dance anthem amongst a field of moody ballades, we have been waiting for? According to one reviewer, it took them 15 minutes of continuous listening to actually like it. I am not sure I am game enough…

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Iceland – Systur: Með Hækkandi Sól

Three ladies (sisters, no less), three guitars, one dude on percussion and an excellent hat!!! That’s all it takes to deliver a very lovely, toe tapping lullaby, beautifully delivered by Systur. So far, so good, what could go wrong? Well, there seems to be a preponderance of touching melodies delivered by women with guitars this year, and I am not sure if Iceland can stand out sufficiently. Now, if Systur had another 3-4 sisters joining them on stage, that could make the difference…

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Italy – Mahmood & BLANCO: Brividi

Hey – we all know Mahmood….he came second in 2019 Eurovision. Back then the has very angry with his father. Now he is in love and is ‘naked with chills’. But seriously, it is actually a great song, has elements of a very classic love song with some edgy crescendos, some wholesome LBGTIQ+ content and an oversized white suit (which I hope will make it on stage). No wonder Italy is one of the three top favorites. Douze points from me!!!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Armenia, Cyprus and Denmark

Armenia – Rosa Linn: Snap

Rosa Linn, the love-child of ‘First Aid Kit’ and ‘The Lumineers’, delivers a charming folk song, with an catchy chorus and tap-along beat. With surprisingly cogent lyrics (‘get out of my heart’) – this is definitely not your typical Armenian entry… I love it… and the adorable beanie she is wearing! Top 10 for me!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Cyprus – Andromache: Ela

Reminiscent of the Sirens who transfixed Ulysses with their song, Andromache’s Ela is seductive, alluring and dreamy, without losing Cyprus’ signature Eurovision pop (the trashy kind of pop). The bookies have Andromache wearing white on stage (a pretty safe bet, tbh), and in the top 15.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Denmark – REDDI: The Show

Girl band, REDDI, lure you into a a slow piano start with a sudden, yet not entirely unexpected, transition to a high-energy rock rendition reminiscent of the 80s. What’s not to love? Empowered women, guitar solos, high kicks, wild drumming and an excellent hat!!! Unfortunately, the song is not very lovable… still hoping REDDI will make it through to the finals.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Albania, Croatia and Germany

Albania – Ronela Hajati: Sekret

Combining traditional Albanian drum and pipes with reggae beats and a very melodious chorus, Ronela is throwing down the musical gauntlet – just not sure anyone will pick it up. As in every year, Albania is testing our patience with this cacophony of sounds: big, bold and relentless. And as in every year, it won’t go well… no further than the semi-finals, I am afraid!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Croatia – Mia Dimšić: Guilty Pleasure

This stripped back performance of Mia and her guitar is sweet, authentic and speaks of guilty desires. While the sound leans heavily on Taylor Swift, the real risk is that it could just be drowned out by the other big, ostentatious on-stage performances. Still, good enough for the finales!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Germany – Malik Harris: Rockstars

A strong, emotional and heartfelt start that gives way to an angry, frustrated and lengthy soliloquy (Eminem-esque), rather than the expected high energy crescendo and key-change. While Malik gets an automatic entry into the finales, he won’t be able to break Germany’s Eurovision drought over the last 7 years not ranking above 25 (the exception being a 4th place in 2018).

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Buonasera Torino

Friends of Eurovision and other such madness!

On would think an ongoing pandemic, a war in Europe, an associated energy crisis or the spiraling cost of living would put an end to Eurovision. But like an unkillable zombie, it limps along.

This year we find ourselves in Torino, at the heart of the Piedemonte, Italy, thanks to Måneskin’s headbanging performance in Rotterdam last year. Torino is famous for aperitivo, truffles and shrouds. But could it host back to back winners for Italy (an economic and cultural disaster in anyone’s book!)?

What to expect? Mostly, an outpouring of support for the Ukraine – Russia and Belarus have been uninvited because they don’t play well with others. Other than that, it will be the usual shenanigans – flimsy pop songs, questionable google translations, wailing pipes, wind machines and key-changes!

The top favorites include the Ukraine, Italy and, surprisingly the UK, after decades of flops.

So, join join us (Club Douze Points) for expert Eurovision insights and song reviews!

We see out the finales at the Salisbury Hotel in Sydney (May 15 from 6:30pm) hosted by the NSW Queers in Science. Register here for literally no money at all!

Norway and Spain

Norway – Fallen Angel by TIX

Love this song. The story is heart-touching. I love the way TIX has cinematized the reality of his life in this song. It makes me sad for him and happy at the same time. The lyrics, sounds, rhythms, and his voice are superb! I am not a critic but it encourages me to write up some words for Norway. The story represents his life. It is inspiring. The disorder is not a burden for him, it is his CROWN. This song is the appropriate answer to the people who bullied him. The song tells how diverse Eurovision is! It absolutely fits in this Eurovision and deserves to win. It is not only lovely but also powerful.

Review by Shatabdi Paul



Spain – Voy A Quedarmeby Blas Canto

The appeal or prayer that Blas showed in this song is brilliant. His voice and gesture dazzled me though I did not understand his native language. It reminds me of my grandma and makes me emotional for her. I think diversity is definitely something that reaches everyone’s heart in their very own way. The song is really very touching. I love the line “I am going to stay and I promise to love you more than yesterday” which is heart-stopping.

Review by Shatabdi Paul

Portugal and Serbia

Portugal – Love Is On My Side by The Black Mamba

Abandoning the usual Portuguese, lead singer Tatanka, delivers a this soulful love ballad in English and in earnest. The overall style is a bit of a hodgepodge…. the band name evokes heavy metal (cum Kill Bill), while the band appears in tuxedos…and then there is that hat. The whole thing is just too confusing for me…not in my top 10.

Review by Mariella Herberstein



Serbia – Loco Loco by Hurricane

With possibly the best hairpower of the competition, Hurricane does deliver a classic Eurovision feast – trashy beats, saccharine lyrics and an ill conceived key change with only a hint of the macarena. I sure hope the windmachines will be on full blast!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Malta, Moldova, Poland

Malta – Je Me Casse by Destiny

Destiny has no patience for stereotypes, being pushed around and similar shenanigans – she is out of here! Teaming up a huge voice with some attitude and a roaring 20s beat works a treat, top 10 for me! I do fear for that half naked man trapped with Destiny on stage., though.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Moldova – SUGAR by Natalia Gordienko

Oh sure, I’d dance to this at 3am after plenty of G&Ts….but probably regret it the next morning.

Review by Mariella Herberstein



Poland – The Ride by RAFAŁ

This song is mostly about the sunglasses…. borrowing heavily from 80 pop synths the song is benign and perhaps a bit catchy…apparently everyone in Poland hates it. Maybe Eurovision will love it…maybe not.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Georgia, Ireland and Latvia

Georgia – You by Tornike Kipiani

This is the perfect sleep music including low frequency delta waves. People on the tubes like it, not sure Eurovision will, though! ‘Nice’ might just not be enough when the stakes are high and glitter.

Review by Mariella Herberstein



Ireland – MAPS by Lesley Roy

Evoking an orienteering theme, Lesley’s soul is a map and her heart is a compass and boy can she run! She is literally running the length of Ireland (dressed in green – very en pointe). The violine to electropop transition is very well done, and even when the dense soundcloud swallows up Lesley’s voice she keeps going. Hope she gets there.

Review by Mariella Herberstein



Latvia – The Moon Is Rising by Samanta Tīna

Get ready for high drama – Samanta and her army of blond and brunette ponytails are reclaiming power! While the melody is rather annoying, the song is indeed empowering encouraging everyone to crown themselves. No longer content with being a song writer, Samanta wants to be a Queen! Not sure Eurovision is ready for that, though.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Czech Republic

Azerbaijan – Mata Hari by Efendi

Reminiscent of a dentist’s drill, Efendi’s Mata Hari is testing my patience and love for Eurovision. And when the singing finaly stops the heavy drums and wailing pipes start. Apparently, Efendi competed five times to represent Azerbaijan and missed out ….if only she’d made it a sixth time unsuccessfully.

Review by Mariella Herberstein



Bulgaria – Growing Up Is Getting Old by VICTORIA

Wait…. this is actually a sensitive, beautifully arranged and heartfelt song with lucid yet confronting lyrics. I love it a lot….not sure Eurovision is a safe place for Victoria.

Review by Mariella Herberstein



Czech Republic – omaga by Benny Cristo

I can’t quite put my finger on it…is it the autotuning, the lazy lyrics (‘oh my god’ is repeated 10 times) or the casual sexist disrespect? Probably all of the above – nil points from me .

Review by Mariella Herberstein

United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands

United Kingdom – Embers by James Newman

Oh dear, the UK is heading for the bottom of the pile again. The whole thing just does not make any sense…clearly, this is meant to be a slow love ballad that some music exec turned into a thumping dance mix. Poor James can’t conjure up a decent dance step and is out of breath just keeping up the tempo. Let’s hope the brass section can carry this through…

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Denmark – Øve Os På Hinanden by Fyr Og Flamme

Oh, hello…the 80s are back!!! Fyr & Flamme  are Denmark’s answer to Wham, just not as good. The two lads have found the left-over wardrobe from Miami Vice and deliver a bit of 3-minute fun with an astonishing lack of irony. I like it!

Review by Mariella Herberstein



The Netherlands – Birth Of A New Age by Jeangu Macrooy

Elegant, powerful, joyful and relevant – Jeangu sings in English and Sranan Tongo about the colonial history of the Netherlands with resilience and could easily carry away a back-to-back win for the Netherlands. Not really a fate I wish upon the country – Ireland won back to back in the 90s after which it fell into a deep misery from which it is only now slowly emerging.

Review by Mariella Herberstein