Israel, Italy and San Marino

IsraelI Feel Alive by IMRI

IMRI (I really do not know if this is a name to be shouted or an abbreviation) is already a veteran at Eurovision – Kiev will be his 3rd appearance. Admittedly, the previous times, he was part of the backing singers. I can tell IMRI is determined to make this a success. This young man has oodles of energy and, according the video, oodles of well-groomed friends. Expect some excellent dancing on the night, but perhaps not so many points.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

 

ItalyOccidentali’s Karma By Francesco Gabbani

This catchy and smart number from Italy is the favourite to win, and rightly so. The song is a stylish homogenate of Italian one-hit wonders (I am getting some Adriano Celentano) and light-heartedly homogenises Eastern and Western philosophies.
Surely, any Eurovision entry that exclaims ‘Panta rhei’ deserves a spot in the top 10.

Shave off that ridiculous moustache and it’s ‘douze points’ from me!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

 

San Marino

Spirit of the Night by Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson

San Marino is a more recent addition to Eurovision (competing since 2008) and her strength is clearly driving around in circles. So it comes as no surprise that San Marino has recruited help in the guise of Jimmie Wilson. Regretfully, the outcome is an uneasy fusion of R&B with trashy Euro-disco. Even the key change seems insincere, and at Eurovision, that is saying a lot. Back to the racing track for San Marino this year!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Spain and Italy

Spain
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Say Yay! by 
Barei

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Hip, trendy, upbeat, and in English. It is a shame Barei chose an entry in a language other than Spanish. Very disappointing. It has already caused quite a stir in Spain, and I must say, I agree. While the tune is catchy, and Barei’s image is edgy and cool, I feel the idea behind all the glitz is to distract the audience from the lyrics.

Not unlike many other young pop stars, she comes off as trendy but with little substance, the “fairy floss” of the music scene as it were. I’m not sure if it is because English is not her native language but the song does little to convey any deeper meaning other than to “sing with her lalalala”. I suppose some songs don’t have to be about much more, and it’s enough that they make you feel happy and are easy to sing. Perhaps that will be enough to get her over the threshold? The idea behind performing a song in English was for it to be appealing to a wider audience. Maybe the gamble will pay off.

Review by Giselle Muchette

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Italy
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No Degree Of Separation by Francesca Michielin

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Francesca Michielin presents “Nessun grado di separazione”, “No degree of separation”. It is a lovely melody, reminiscent of Laura Paucini. The song is about a girl who lives in a drawer or a small box, isolated, protecting her heart and holding herself distant from life and one day finds the courage to leave her small, confined and safe space to experience the outside world, real life. With no degree of separation between her and the reality that surrounds her.

The video is somewhat too literal in its interpretation, with Francesca singing from within a neon “box”, but her vocals overcome the slight lack of originality of the visual concept. The music starts off soft and slightly romantic and builds up to a chorus conveying strength and courage. The message conveyed can be familiar to many people in different situations. Anyone can identify with the concept of feeling constrained and finding the courage to explore, to love, to take a risk. I feel Italy is a strong contender for the top prize this year.

Review by Giselle Muchette

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