Azerbaijan, Croatia, Serbia

AzerbaijanSkeleton by Dihaj

Azerbaijan has a short but successful history at Eurovision, winning in 2011 and controversially coming 2nd in 2013, perhaps due to an inability to seduce the pivotal Scandinavian bloc. Since then they have been on a bit of a slide and I’m not sure that Diana Hajiyeva, aka Dihaj, can rectify that. That is unless the Datsun 120Y from the video appears on stage, then who knows? Perhaps the nostalgia vote? Or even the sympathy vote? Buy a decent car Dihaj, you can pick up a 180B on Gumtree for $895 (negotiable), last driven in 1995.

Review by Matt Bruce

 

CroatiaMy friend by Jacques Houdek

This one is great value, two songs in one, part light opera (even sung in Italian) and part soppy pop song, with bonus inspirational talking at the start. Jacques Houdek isn’t called “Mr Voice” (perhaps the subject of the Johnny Farnham hit or did Johnny just predict his existence?) for nothing, he has impressive vocal range. It will be interesting to see if he can pull it off on stage, worth watching for the prospect of a car crash. Otherwise, nothing to see here move on.

Review by Matt Bruce

 

SerbiaIn too deep by Tijana Bogićević

If inane lyrics are your thing, look no further than Tijana Bogićević’s In Too Deep. Actually, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you cared too much about such things. Anyway, Tijana spends much of the song attempting to rhyme “deep” with “deep”, I dunno about this – I reckon using the same word doesn’t count and it isn’t as if there aren’t heaps of options; peep, creep, Meryl Streep. Apparently, this is Tijana’s second crack at Eurovision, she was a backing vocalist in 2011, that song finished a respectable 14th, In Too Deep will be lucky to do so well.

Review by Matt Bruce

Czech Republic, Croatia, Belgium and Cyrpus

Czech Republic
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I stand by Gabriela Gunčíková

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The Czech Republic easily has one of the best videos in this year’s Eurovision round. Some cool stop-go motion, LED shenanigans and in the end, Gabrielle’s head pokes out of a sea of flowers. Not just any flowers, but flowers you’d give your mum for mother’s day – pink and purple daisies!

The song is less impressive, admittedly, it is well sung, but it has the ‘out of the can’ feel to it. The lyrics don’t help either…here is a taste: I’ve worn the path – I’ve hit the wall – I’m the one who rose and fall.

Would a key change have helped – no doubt!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

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Croatia
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Lighthouse by Nina Kraljić

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Nina is the Croatian equivalent of Bjork and I like it! She is clearly an extraterrestrial, marvelling at humanity, getting rained on and looking up time on a pocket watch. And I think the relationship with her hairdresser is not the best. So what if the song sounds a bit very much like the Cranberry’s ‘Linger’? It has a key change and all is forgiven! Definitely the finales for me!

 

Review by Mariella Herberstein

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Belgium
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What’s The Pressure by Laura Tesoro

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Disco is back – booyah!!! Laura’s  ‘What’s the pressure’ splices samplers from every great danceable song into a 3 minute sequence, starting with the baseline from ‘Another one bites the dust’. But never mind the plagiarism – I think this could actually work and stand out from a rather vanilla Eurovision field this year.

There are sequin sweatshirts, torn blue jeans and excellent curls! I am predicting the finals for Laura and her gang of disco larcenists!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

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Cyprus
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Alter Ego by Minus One

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Look, I am trying to love Cyprus, but every year they are making it more and more difficult for me! Bearded men in black-hooded coats, howling with coyotes under high voltage electricity towers. I’d be surprised if anyone could fit more cliches into a single song:

  • Ill advised chin hair – check
  • Mysterious lady in a black dress – check
  • Cool car (Mustang) – check
  • Overly enthusiastic drummer – check
  • Non-sensical lyrics – check

Despite my misgivings, I have a sinking feeling that this one might slip through to the finales, mostly because the rest of the entries are so utterly boring….

Review by Mariella Herberstein