With the best running mascara of the competition, Albina dishes out big emotions of loss and family. The video is in a dramatic black and white with colourful flashbacks to better times of happy family life. All this delivered in her native language inclusive of the typical wailing and bagpipe sounds we all so detest. The whole family (mum, dad, brother, sisters) will be on stage in Liverpool….possibly a first for Eurovision. Still no further than the semis for me!
Armenia: Future Lover by Brunette
Sporting impressive cornrows and plaits the length of the country, Brunette delivers a song in two parts. The fragile Brunette with her delicate and ethereal sounds wanting to be good, do good, look good, gives way to badass Brunette street rapping with her cold heart, cold hands and fire in her veins. Both Brunettes are an uneasy union, but it could work on stage. It is a shame the song limps to the finish, rather than set off the much-promised volcano.
Cyprus: Break A Broken Heart by Andrew Lambrou
Andrew, who could be a werewolf, howls his way through breaking a broken heart, with an impressive vocal range and a decent helping of autotuning. Most of us are probably struggling with the grammatical proposition – is the heart already broken and is it being broken into even smaller smithereens, or is it so broken that it can’t be broken again, or do two acts of breaking the heart actually heal it??? And at that point, we have reached the three minutes and the song is over and already forgotten.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!