Czech Republic and Georgia

Czech RepublicMy Turn, by Martina Bárta

Following a five year apathy-driven absence from the competition, the Czech Republic made their first ever finals appearance in 2016. This landed them a respectable (loosely speaking) 25th place, and the hopes of surpassing this effort now rest with the jazz sensibilities of Martina Bárta. Unfortunately this quasi-naked, touchy-feely, hair-centric piano ballad offers few surprises. The chorus does build to a reasonable hook, and it might be enough to squeeze through to a second final, though I don’t foresee a strong finish for the Czech Republic this year.  

Review by Tom White

GeorgiaKeep the Faith, by Tamara Gachechiladze

It’s difficult to get excited about an artist whose brief opens with the striking claim that she “…has taken part in a number of national and international festivals and creative events”. This lack of enthusiasm is not misplaced, and carries right through this year’s copyright-infringeriffic offering from Georgia. The central hook of ‘Keep the Faith’, along with much of the instrumentation, is lifted directly from Adele’s theme for ‘Skyfall’. That song did win an academy award, and it overlaid one of the best Bond films in years, so full points to Tamara for fine taste and sheer audacity if nothing else.

Review by Tom White

Czech Republic, Croatia, Belgium and Cyrpus

Czech Republic
CzechRepublic.png

I stand by Gabriela Gunčíková

eurovision_song_contest_2016_renelt_03072016_q9b1116_copy.jpg

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

—————————-

Croatia
Croatia.png

Lighthouse by Nina Kraljić

nina_kraljic_0010.jpg

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

—————————-

Belgium
Belgium.png

What’s The Pressure by Laura Tesoro

laura_tesoro_eurosong_372.jpg

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

—————————-

Cyprus
Cyprus.png

Alter Ego by Minus One

m1_official_photograph.jpg

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