Germany and Norway

GERMANYPerfect Life by Levina

Germany’s offering this year starts with some promise, but it’s unfortunate that promise doesn’t really belong to them… I’m calling plagiarism. Here is Levina. Here is Sia and David Guetta (who themselves borrowed fairly heavily from the stalky number from The Police…) Apparently it’s the year for it – check out Tom White’s review of Georgia.  

Alas, Levina doesn’t quite follow through with her suggestion that ‘Perfect Life’ might be another perfect banger of a pop anthem, as it rather fizzles at the chorus and never quite recovers. Indeed, in the official video, we see her start to dance a few times before realising her tune doesn’t really lend itself to that sort of thing. Whoops.

Review by Ingrid Errington

NORWAYGrab The Moment by JOWST

A catchy, cheerful number with lyrics that, for reasons you can’t put your finger on, don’t quite pass as native English (“So when it’s all or nothing, I put my nerves in the coffin”), as well as a pithy refrain about Grabbing the Moment. Tick, and tick. Also, this is the first use of (ostensibly) live sampling/looping that I recall from the ESC stage. Honestly, I’m surprised it wasn’t someone building layers with a cello, but this will do. A troop of back-flipping Scandinavian dancers wouldn’t go astray on the night, though I fear he might prefer his Kylo Ren-ish masked DJ buddies instead – what a lost opportunity.

Review by Ingrid Errington

Azerbaijan, Germany and Russia

Azerbaijan
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Miracle by Samra 

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The chorus line of this song ‘Gonna take a miracle’ seems to betray a lack of confidence in Azerbaijan’s ability to take home the Eurovision crown. Why so skittish Azerbaijan? Alongside a growling synth track underlying some sick beats Samra brings the goods with her powerful voice, finely sculpted eyebrows and a delightful slathering of sass. In other words, don’t fuck with Samra.

Azerbaijan’s Eurovision dreams could not be in more capable hands. She seems like the kind of woman who can run in heels and manage a fledging online start-up company to fiscal stability. And if there isn’t a place for her in the Eurovision hall of fame, perhaps there’s one in local government or middle management.

Review by James O’Hanlon

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Germany
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Ghost by Jamie-Lee

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After the young, black-haired, pixie-faced 2014 Eurovision champion Lena failed to bring home the goods again in 2015, Germany has decided to shake things up by sending another young, black-haired, pixie-faced songstress, this time wearing a fascinator. The Eurovision powerhouse that is Germany is likely to do well this year, but will the fascinator and eclectic accoutrements carry Jamie-Lee to victory? Probably not.

In my opinion Jamie-Lee simply doesn’t take quirky fashion far enough. It’s as if she was heading to a cosplay convention but didn’t have time put together a decent costume.

Which brings me to my prediction for Eurovision 2017- ‘Furries’ are about to hit the scene in a big way. Whole bands of them! Imagine the Spice Girls, but instead of band members dressing as brit-culture-stereotypes we get purple wolves and fluorescent yellow fennec foxes. Mark my words, 2017 will be the year the Furries hit Eurovision.

Review by James O’Hanlon

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Russia
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You are the Only One by Servey Lazarev

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If you have a LAN party coming up then Sergey Lazarev’s ‘You are the Only One’ could be the soundtrack to which you frag your nearest and dearest. Russia seem to have taken a retro angle by bringing us a song that sounds eerily like the soundtrack to a 1990’s video game.

 Filling you with equal parts enthusiasm and the soulless shame that comes with enjoying any pop-song, ‘You are the Only One’ is a solid effort with one major drawback – Sergey simply doesn’t take his shirt off enough. With all the money and time that has apparently been invested into chest waxing and sit-ups this seems like a lost opportunity. Does Russia want to win Eurovision or not??? As my grandfather always used to say, the sun got nowhere to shine till you get them guns out son!

Review by James O’Hanlon