Mo’s 2021 Eurovision preview party: Part Two

If you survived the sausage rolls and sell-by date mini quiche I handed out at my last virtual shindig, congratulations … and celebrations.

It’s time to plough on and take in the rest of what even those who know nothing about Eurovision have named ‘a bloodbath’. Can’t help but feel the second half of the show isn’t a patch on the first.

With ten songs scoring seats in the socially distanced greenroom on Saturday night, let’s see what remains.

Semi final one – Part the second

SF1 – Part One SF2 – Part One SF2 – Part Two Big 5/Host

Norway

‘Fallen Angel’ is more than little bit too boy band for me, and just that smidge too sickly sweet. If there was even one hint of humour about the song and performance, I might just buy it. Unfortunately Tix is playing this straight. Mid table at best.

My vote: 3/10  Will it qualify: No

Croatia

Albina is one of the few non-2020 faces at the Contest this year, and she’s tipped up with what sounds like a Melodifestivalen cast-off. Despite a belter of a performance at The Dora, I don’t see this working, given the relative strength of what’s around in this semifinal. I’m left with the impression of being beaten around the head by Niemand heeft nog tijd in Claire’s Accessories. It’s not going through.

My vote: 4/10  Will it qualify: No

Belgium

I had a soft spot for ‘Release me‘ and absolutely adore this year’s entry … and yet I can’t see it setting any kind of scoreboard on fire. This makes me sad. For me, it’s a 12 points winner. In the past when I heard people claim something was ‘too good for Eurovision’, my scathing response was to point out how nothing is too good for the Contest I adore. What I will say is ‘The wrong place‘ really doesn’t sit comfortably with what’s around it, and is perhaps competing for attention in the wrong show. I’m ready to see it sink without trace. Sadly.

My vote: 10/10  Will it qualify: I hope so

Israel

Kan found themselves someone with a decent voice and saddled her with a knacker’s yard donkey of a song. One remix later and it’s like night and day. The Eurovision mix is tight and pacey with scope for spectacular vocal acrobatics (or tumbles). The issue (for me) is, this sounds like every other track on an American R&B playlist. I just don’t see it quite getting there. I will say though, when it came up on my Spotify 2021 playlist, it really stood out. Don’t count it out.

My vote: 7/10  Will it qualify: Maybe…

Romania

This dark, jazz-tinged number is a million miles better than last year’s dreary song. I have more than a small regard for it. That said, it becomes just a little too repetitive and runs out of ideas a good minute before the end. There’s something about Roxen that just doesn’t convince me, and I can’t put my finger on it. Ultimately, ‘Amnesia’ isn’t an especially memorable song (see what I did, there?) and I see it getting lost. But I predict I’ll still want to play this track in a year’s time.

My vote: 7/10  Will it qualify: No

Azerbaijan

I really don’t like this. It’s cheap, repetitive, but coming after a run of duffers, might just float through under friendly fire. I suspect the staging will carry Efendi through, but this lacks any real charm for me. Deserves to sink. And come Saturday, it will. There’s a rather wonderful pared back version of the song floating around. This version turns it from cheap generic Eurodisco to something hauntingly mournful … and had someone the nerve to enter it instead of this mess, they’d be very much in the running for the gong, but as it is …

My vote: 3/10  Will it qualify: Yes

Ukraine

This is just not my bag, and I’m sure I won’t be alone in thinking this. An interval act from the 90s passing itself off as a song. Not going anywhere but back to Kiev on Wednesday morning. That said, if political events continue in their current dangerous way, sympathy votes could push this far higher than it deserves. Ukraine managed to win with one of the worst songs going, they could easily do it again.

My vote: 1/10  Will it qualify: Not if there’s any right in the world

Malta

My worry here is that the Maltese delegation will stage all the personality out of the performance. Destiny is as important as the song and if she’s hidden behind OTT effects, ‘Je me casse‘ will struggle. Ever since Ira Losco nearly won the show all those years ago (with a handful of ocean-harming glitter), there’s been a belief among the Maltese delegation that staging is everything – and they’ve spent way too much time on ill-advised ideas ever since. Patron saint of blind squirrels and nuts Sacha Jean-Baptiste is behind things this time, so its chances of winning likely to nosedive in Rotterdam rehearsals. I loved this song on first hearing, and given Destiny oozes personality, it has to be worth a flutter.

My vote: 8/10  Will it qualify: Yes

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