Estonia is going full country on Eurovision! Surely bringing a spaghetti western to Italy is nothing short of genius! Stefan has the right voice and attitude to carry this off and he can even ride a hose (a white one, of course) – certainly the video is high class. Could be the dark horse of the competition?
Review by Mariella Herberstein
Ireland – Brooke: That’s Rich
Surrounded by solid 80s synth, and dressed in pyjamas, Brooke’s cheeky girl-pop is audacious and fresh. I, for one, highly appreciate the departure from the folk-inspired songs that Ireland likes to throw at Eurovision (as well as the occasionally turkey). Brooke won’t win Eurovision for Ireland, but she will definitely do better than recent years when Ireland came last in the semis. You go girl!
Review Mariella Herberstein
Montenegro – Vladana: Breathe
Following a period of hiatus, Montenegro has decided to come back to Eurovision with a classic Balkan ballad. Vladana, probably a vampire, laments the fragility of life with an impressive vocal range. Undoubtedly, Montenegro’s best performance to date, yet the song lacks a catchy chorus to hook into and to propel it into the finales.
Hola, mi bebébé… This track takes me back to my Oxford Street days.. The sleeveless white shirt, the tight faux leather pants, the underwhelming but sexy choreography… I was definitely low-key dancing in my seat, but would I get up and vote for Romania’s low-key entry to this year’s competition? No. Not without that much-needed key change, I wouldn’t. The beat was great, but I won’t be calling you, bebébé.
Review by Georgina Binns
Ukraine – Kalush Orchestra: Stefania
I was ready to already vote for Ukraine to win the entire Eurovision this year without even having heard their entry (Yes, political bias in Eurovision is real but unspoken), but WOW Kalush Orchestra has an absolute banger with Stefania!! The track leads with a harmonious Ukranian folk lilt and jumps right into some excellent hiphop rap that will have you out of your seat and looking for the nearest set of adidas sneakers – and just WAIT until the lead singer pulls out his traditional wood flute-thing…. honestly, I never thought I’d fall for wind-instrument player, but this nymph-voiced lad can GET IT. I think we all know by now how easy it is to win me over with some excellent harmonies, but coupled with some heartbreaking English translations such as “I’ll always find my way home, even if all roads are destroyed” and a lullaby-dedication to his mum, and I’m ready to go into battle for this entry.
5 out of 5 molotov cocktails!! SLAVA UKRAINI!
Review by Georgina Binns
The Netherlands – S10: De Diepte
Goodness me, Stien has THE most beautiful voice! This song, De Diepte is about being young and lost in love, something we can all relate to. The video clip is confusing, because there’s a lot of motorbike riding and she gets on the back of this young man’s bike without a helmet, and I must be getting further away from ‘young’ because I was very worried for her? No wonder she looks so sad, maybe she asked him for a helmet and he wouldn’t give her one? You’re right to dump him Stien, even if he did give you an excellent moth neck tattoo. Tattoos are forever, and so is brain damage from motorbike accidents. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Entirely pleasant to listen to, with a wonderful voice. The lyrics didn’t shout out to me, and I couldn’t detect much depth to them. He looks like a lovely chap, and I wish him all the best. This song however doesn’t have the necessary flamboyance and pizazz to rock Eurovision.
Review by Louis O’Neill
Georgia – Circus Mircus: Lock Me In
DJ Casper meets Run DMC, with cameos from other genres. A very welcome guest appearance from a sesame street puppet added to the experience. It’s a pity that this group didn’t make it in the circus realm, because unfortunately the music realm doesn’t seem to be a good match either. The costumes made up for the weak lyrics. Hoping for some extravagance in their performance on the night, with a nod to their circus past.
Review by Kiara L’Herpiniere
Moldova – Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers: Trenulețul
Hey Ho! Folklore and Rock’n’Roll!!! This performance is high energy, led by a masterful combination of accordion and violin. When the music is this good, and your feet are tapping this much, you don’t need to worry about the lyrics having a deeper meaning. This certainly makes me want to use the Maldovan train network, for an experience like this, I would pay top dollar. The song was great, the rhythm was catchy, the energy was contagious, and I love the sudden halt when the ticket inspector entered. Very much looking forward to seeing their stage presence, and hoping the carpet makes an appearance. Go Moldova!