Ireland, Switzerland and the Netherlands

Ireland: We Are One by Wild Youth

Love the beats. Lyrics just blew my mind. Hijacks my heart. Incredible presentation. Love the way they cover their faces and remain covered until the song finishes. What more can I say? Have to create new words for ‘great’. “We are one in one and thousands of the world if exist. Music has the power that can hold everyone in the world and beyond the world together in one frame. Ireland, and this song are definitely the winner for me. Listening to it and trying to get all the energy the song carries.

Reviewed by Shatabdi Paul

Switzerland: Watergun by Remo Forrer

The beats and music are just the thing that caught my attention when I heard it for the first time. No gun, no war, just peace। The desire of this song lies in peace. I feel like this song is a song dedicated to all and has the potential to make connections with many people.

Reviewed by Shatabdi Paul

Netherlands: Burning Daylight by Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper

I can feel the grief in their soft, slow pitch and repetition of the words “goodbye old life”. When listening to this song, I feel like this is my life. Constantly losing here, stumbling, getting knocked back again and again. There is no joy anywhere in life, if there is no joy there is no peace. Life is a burning day, a terrible night. Maybe this song gives sad vibes to some other people, I am getting energy from this song, good for my type. Hope for the best, let’s see how far it can go.

Reviewed by Shatabdi Paul

Switzerland, Greece and Australia

Switzerland – Marius Bear: Boys Do Cry

Yes, boys do cry. In our society, most people think that boys should never cry. It does not suit their image and they should always be tough. I love this song because it carries a very important message to break the long-held, erroneous belief our society has. We should assimilate the essence of this song.

Review by Shatabdi Paul

Oh Switzerland. This beautiful entry is contributing to breaking down the stigma of men’s mental health. With a beautifully husky voice, Marius’ first lyric paints a picture of his younger self, tearing up at the unexplained phenomenon of heartbreak. The imagery of a blue young child invokes an ache in my heart, and by the end of the song, I feel deep empathy for grown men: for all those who grow to embody masculine ideals through societal pressure and bury the blue deep inside. Men cry, and that is not only perfectly okay but completely normal. Love it. Love Marius. Love Switzerland.

Review by Kiara L’Herpiniere 

Greece – Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord: Die Together

I can see myself and my life in every line of this song. It reminds us that you can make anything impossible possible for love. The lyrics, tune of this song and the way Amanda Tenfjord sings and acts are just mind blowing Amanda Tenfjord did an excellent job especially in the bridge section. This song has something magical that will win the music lover’s heart.

Review by Shatabdi Paul

Australia – Sheldon Riley – Not The Same

Australia’s entry is playing on the heartstring of ‘not being the same’. The journey from beginning to end of the song took me from a neutral zone to a semi-emotional state. The lyrics were great, a deeply moving story of early neurodivergence diagnosis, but it took a while to feel it through the voice. I really loved the outfit- adorned with a striking black frock and diamond-encrusted veil- they emit a sense of mourning for a sense of self that was never going to be attainable. By the end of the song, the repeated lyric ‘I’m not the same’ caught me, pulled me in, and tipped me into my emotional mind. Solid entry for Ozzie candidate.

Review by Kiara L’Herpiniere

Switzerland and North Macedonia

Switzerland – Tout l’Univers by Gjon’s Tears

Gjon isn’t the only one crying after this thoroughly mediocre and appropriately car-crash-themed ballad. I am too, but they’re tears of boredom. That’s a thing now, all thanks to this song. 2/10 for the pretty landscape I’d like to visit when he gets up off the road and stops crying.

Review by Willow Norton

North Macedonia – Here I Stand by Vasil

Between the intensely uncomfortable eye contact and the Bond Villain aesthetic, I’m wondering whether Vasil wants to eat me or have me join his cult. Possibly both. Either way, his vibe was so distracting I barely noticed the song, which was boring and thoroughly forgettable. 0/10 Please never look at me like that again.

Review by Willow Norton

Switzerland and San Marino


It is with great trepidation that I dip my toe into the murky – yet disturbingly placid – waters of the Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision is a major cultural phenomenon, and yet, like a dream forgotten after waking, or the scent of a viola, your reviewer seems unable to focus on it. It has caused restless hours tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep; interminable, rambling sentences; and even self references in the 3rd person, yet I’m still unable to listen to a song the whole way through without losing concentration and moving on to something else (perhaps they employ Eurovision contestants to write legal contracts?) My one moment of hope was dashed when I discovered that YouTube had inserted a link to Black and Blue by the Aussie blues band “Chain” into the list of Eurovision videos (now there’s a refreshing lack of over-production and wind machines).

But I digress. Despite watching the rehearsal video 3 times (!), I still can’t remember anything about the song, although I can confirm that there was a midriff and some hips involved. I suspect they are attempting to channel the spirit of ABBA, which was the first act (of only 3 ever) to become a commercial success after winning Eurovision. Take “ABBA”, change “A” to “Z”, throw in an arbitrary “i” to symbolise the iPhone generation, and you’ve got ZiBBZ. Will ZiBBZ make it to the finals? I don’t know.

Review: Jim McClean

San MarinoJessika featuring Jenifer Brening


Micronation San Marino’s offering this year is notable for two reasons:

– Jessika and Jenifer bring the total number of San Mariners known to be able to at least coarsely bang out a tune to a grand total of approximately four people. I can only assume Valentina Monetta has recently undergone major surgery to miss her annual engagement, and wish her all the best in her recovery.
– This certainly isn’t the first time a singer will be upstaged by their backup dancers, but those dancers being tiny robots is new. Congrats to Jess, Jen and their plastic entourage.
On paper, the performance has a lot of the requisite components: a strong gimmick, a white jumpsuit (drink!), a riff that’s already proven to be a winner (Måns Zelmerlöw, at bit?), a surprise hip hop interlude performed by someone dressed like they were originally intended to be a 90s grunge interlude, an adorable nose scrunch, and a key change that’s only outdone in subtlety by her lipstick.
Will the sum be greater than the parts, and deliver more tourists to San Marino than it has citizens? Unlikely. But together it approaches the Platonic ideal of a Eurovision entry.
Review by Ingrid Errington

Switzerland, Poland and Lithuania

SwitzerlandApollo by Timebelle

The neutral country. The Euro-dodger. The land of chocolate and cheese, of secret banks and “What Nazi stolen gold?”. One does not expect such a country to make a splash at Eurovision. And you’d be right, as they only won it one time since the invention of colour television, and in Europe’s defense they were preoccupied with the Berlin Wall falling. So, in these politically tumultuous times, will Switzerland step off the sidelines with a powerful commanding performance to finally claim victory?

Well, no.

I mean they try. The fact that none of the members of Timebelle were actually born in Switzerland probably explains their decidedly non-neutral earnestness in their quest for the crown. The lead singer has a pretty decent voice and an eye-catching dress. The song flirts with being catchy. Unlike most of my Eurovision reviews I didn’t compulsively fast forward to make it to the end. But it just can’t get past its Swiss heritage of being neutral and inoffensive. It’ll do well, but not well enough. The Swiss may have once horded the plunders of WWII, but in this year’s geopolitical conflict my money is on them not taking home the gold.

Review by Scott Fabricant

PolandFlashlight by Kasia Moś

I mean if we’re going to be making distasteful WWII references, might as well keep up the trend with Poland, who famously brought a bunch of horses to a tank fight. Same here.

It’s not a bad song by any means, it’s just very old-fashioned (by Eurovision standards). A one-woman power ballad that uses incoherent metaphors to make some vague point about love, or hate, whatever. She’s certainly got an impressive set of pipes, with a hoarse sultry timbre to her voice that’s better suited to blues or jazz. But Eurovision is a new theater of war now, one that considers Australia part of Europe. Recent conquerors of Europe include the amazing interactive graphics of Sweden 2015, the thoroughly modern Austrian drag queen of 2014, and of course Ukraine’s giant war metaphor of 2016, not to mention some spectacular runners-up like Russia’s unstoppable cookie-baking grannies.

And here stands Kasia Mos, holding the line with her old-fashioned pipes, no props, and distinct lack of techno gimmicks. I wish her well.

Review by Scott Fabricant

LithuaniaRain Of Revolution by Fusedmarc

Finally, there’s Lithuania, who wasn’t even a country during WWII so I guess I can finally let this cheap crutch of a trope go and evaluate their entry on its own merits. And I like it! It’s weird and funky, and the lead singer reminds me of a thoroughly modern Bjork minus the theatrical pseudo-insanity. Fusemarc manages to break new musical ground and be truly unique without resorting to cheap gimmicks. I’m predicting we are seeing a taste of Eurovision to come, a time when this old stalwart contest breeds true acoustic innovation.

Just kidding, I already know they never make it out of the semi-finals. A shame really, since they really are funky, and I really did like them. Usually the truly unique sounds never make it to the finals. Eurovision may love its flashy visual gimmicks, but the music remains stuck in the glory days of a pre-Brexit European glory. Maybe Poland has a fighting chance, horses and all.

Review by Scott Fabricant

Switzerland and Estonia


The Last Of Our Kind by Rykka


Switzerland, after a recent string of poor Eurovision performances, has gone back to their last (1988) winning formula: a Swiss-Canadian female pop singer, belting out a ballad in a white dress. Unfortunately, finding another Céline Dion has proved evasive. This year’s entry, Rykka, singing The Last of our Kind, falls flat, both literally and figuratively.

The song is generic, and once finished is quickly forgotten. Although meeting the required key changes that define Eurovision ballads, the lack of energy or anything to ‘push the boundaries’ leaves the audience quickly forgetting the song. Overall, it left me revisiting old videos of Céline Dion in a drop-waist skirt and white power jacket and reminiscing of the glory days of Switzerland Eurovision past.

Neutrality, both in the song and Switzerland’s political position will cost The Last of our Kind a spot in the grand final.

Review by Fran van den Berg



Play by Jüri Pootsmann


Starting pensively with a heavy baseline, Estonia’s Play sung by Jüri Pootsmann promises something special. Unfortunately, sometimes even the best promises don’t deliver. A deep voice, and well cut suit are not enough to transform this song above the mundane.

The set design, with red and black silhouettes, and billowing graphics evokes a James Bond theme. However, the overall effect of three aggressive-looking spliced images of Jüri only serves to leave one feeling slightly uneasy. Despite the Bond-like graphics, musically the song does not have any of the power or intrigue that befits a Bond theme song. Throughout, the song never develops, and one is disappointingly left wondering when the Eurovision magic will emerge.

This will not be the year for Estonia, with nothing more than mid-way performance in the semi’s feeling eminent.

Review by Fran van den Berg