Cyprus, Slovenia & Italy

Cyprus

Replay by Tamta

Tamta tells me I need her love on replay and who am I to argue? With a wholesome penchant for welding and subjugation, Tamata clearly domineers Cyprus and frankly, anyone she wants to. The song is closely styled on Cyprus’ 2018 entry by Eleni…..remember…..she with the spray-on pants?): a pounding beat and only a hint of auto-tuning. If it worked last year, why not this year?

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Slovenia

Sebi by Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl

Zala and Gasper are a sweet duo. and may even outsweeten all other Eurovision contestants this year. They surely mean well, and wish no harm. Certainly, their minimalistic electropop song Sebi, does not hurt. Mind you, it does not really do anything and kind of leaves you a little bit peckish for Pringles. The aeronautical theme in the video is baffling, but instantly forgotten.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Italy

Soldi by Mahmood

Mahmood is pretty angry with his father – that’s for sure! He has tried everything – he got an earing, a tattoo, and ripped his trousers. His last option is to perform at Eurovision and express his anger with mumble rap and autotuning. Hope it works out for you, Mahmood, I really do!

Reviewed by Mariella Herberstein

Austria, Belarus & Cyprus

AustriaCesár Sampson: Nobody but you

According to his bio, Cesár is ‘not unknown’ in Austria.  Oh how I do struggle with double negatives! Setting aside his alleged fame, Cesár dishes up a catchy soul number that is probably good enough to get him through the semis, but imminently forgettable for any decent points in the finales.

Review: Mariella Herberstein

BelarusAlekseev: Forever

Alekseev is Belarus’ Petshop Boy, but he is having much less fun than the original duo. Is it the endless rain falling in this song or the beige knitwear? We will never know. However, Eurovision has had its share of sad young men with last year’s winner Salvador and so I fear Alekseev will go no further than the semis.

Review: Mariella Herberstein

CyprusEleni Foureira: Fuego

Eleni had a summer hit in 2010 and all it takes for a Eurovision winner:  catchy tune – check; legs (two) – check; marvellous hair flowing in wind created by wind machines – check. I think this will go far at Eurovision or at least Eleni will have another summer hit, on rotation in Club Med discotheques all along the Black Sea.

Review: Mariella Herberstein

 

Cyprus, Denmark & Finland

CyprusGravity by Hovig

Will this be the year when Cyprus breaks the drought and finally wins Eurovision? I am afraid not. Is it the auto tune? The mildly threatening lyrics (Right beside you – I’ll never leave you)? The heavy-footed dancing? The lack of voting neighbours, or all of the above? Unless Hovig pulls off a gravity defying performance, I am afraid this one will crash into last place.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

DenmarkWhere I am by Anja

Ready the wind machines for Denmark! Lulling you into a false sense of security for the first minute or so, Anja hits her strides and belts out a classic Eurovision anthem that could only be improved by a key change. Never mind the nonsensical lyrics and non-existing dancing. I think this will go far, the finals for sure!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

FinlandBlackbird by Norma John

This is a real song, sung by real musicians, conveying sincere emotions, beautifully. What on earth is Norma John doing at Eurovision? No wonder they are looking so sad. This is the highest quality entry for decades, hands down. Sadly, this is no guarantee and if anything quality is a detriment to Eurovision success. I am so sorry, Norma John!

Reviewed by Mariella Herberstein