Armenia, Australia, Belgium

ArmeniaFly With Me by Artsvik

I recon these are the horse people from Game of Thrones – only more dressed, which is an odd thing to say for Eurovision! Anyway, the hair and the baseline are great! Yes, there is a bit of wailing, but it is a delicate kind of wailing. So, I think Armenia is onto something good here….finals or extras in the new GOT season?

Review by Mariella Herberstein

 

Australia

Don’t Come Easy By Isaiah

 

And so the romance between Eurovision and Australia continues! After two top 10 positions, will Isaiah clinch Eurovision victory for Australia??? He certainly has the best eyebrows of the competition. In an eyebrow-off with Ireland’s Brendan Murray,  Isaiah would win without batting an eyelid. But can the eyebrows make up for a fairly boring song, sung well admittedly, but still boring? I am tempted to say: Yes! Why not! Bring on the finals for Australia!!!!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

 

Belgium

City Lights by Blanche

So, I had fairly low expectations, here – Belgium is pretty mediocre at Eurovision (and possibly in general). But to my surprise, Blanche delivers a catchy, atmospheric, yet languid number. Following her accountancy degree, Blanche has had extensive training as a ventriloquist and you can barely see her lips move. Her onstage performance includes striding.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Australia, Slovenia and Macedonia

Australia
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Sound of Silence by Dami Im 

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Welcome back to Eurovision! I am your loyal American correspondent, Scott. First on the European agenda is the Australian entry by Korean-born Dami Im. After last year’s subliminal messaging by Guy Sebastian, Australia is in fact doing Eurovision night again and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be reverse-colonizing Europe’s borders …again. This year, Australia opts for a more ironic theme with Dami’s “Sound of Silence”.

This rousing powerful ballad is anything but silent, and Dami’s pipes are more than a match for Europe’s finest. In classic fashion she stands on her own, eschewing gimmicks and backup bands in favour of her own talent and fashion sense, although in modern Australian tradition she does bring along a piece of man-candy. Is he contact-juggling his own body? The song itself has a catchy if redundant lyrical hook, a deep beat, and a moving bridge. Needs more wind machine. I doubt it’ll win, but my hope is that it places high enough and draws enough advertising dollars that we can do tonight thrice. We may be here on this blog as neutral and objective scientists, but when it comes to Australia I will always have the journalistic objectivity of Fox News.

Review by Scott Fabricant

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Slovenia
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Blue and Red by ManuElla

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America has a proud tradition of country music, deep fried oreos, and casual racism. While 2016 has demonstrated that Europe is certainly not lacking in the latter, I do feel as though the Eurovision song contest, long dominated by bubblegum pop with a dark horse streak of Scandinavian metal and electrotrash, would really benefit from some country soul. Here to save our souls is Slovenia.

All good country music is about break ups, and this song is no exception. I think. It might actually be about finger painting in primary colours, as the singer’s faux-Tennessee accent is almost as impenetrable as Fort Knox, but her yodelling game is on point and that’s really what country music is about. Her slick-but-pointless costume change is a welcome flourish, and I appreciate how the white-to-red swap against a blue stage background pays homage to her source material (USA! USA! USA!). Ultimately she’s no Taylor Swift, but the novelty of her entry (and the high power of her wind machine) will propel her into the finals. While she’s unlikely to win, I do hope she spurs a mini Lordi Effect and we hear more banjos in Eurovision future.

Review by Scott Fabricant

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Macedonia
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Dona by Kaliopi

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What do you call a person who speaks two languages? Bilingual, of course. What do you call a person who speaks three languages? Trilingual. And a person who only speaks one language? An American! Naturally I have no idea what Kaliopi is singing about (donut donut donut…), but that in no way hampers my enjoyment of this song. After a beautiful opening sequence of Kaliopi walking through a fancy hotel blinged out in high end robes, the production budget suddenly runs dry (much like the broader Macedonian economy).

We are unexpectedly transported to the magical land of 1980’s green screen as Kalopi is projected with all the choppy finesse of a high schooler with Photoshop into a gorgeous theatre that she probably doesn’t have the talent to get into the old-fashioned way. She does keep singing after this point, a suitably 80’s ballad with suitably 80’s bangs, but frankly I’m too bored by her and distracted by the CGI to pay attention. Honestly I think she missed her true calling; if/when she fails at Eurovision, she should try her hand at being a surfer, as her wetsuit pleather pants and surfs-up dance routines would really make waves on the Australian market. Just don’t come by boat.

Review by Scott Fabricant

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