Technicolour by Montaigne
Montaigne is my Countdown’s first of many returning artists whose 2020 Eurovision dreams were brought to a juddering halt by Coronavirus. As a principle I’ve felt all year it was fair to let people have another go, although it’s made for a sparse national finals season. Now that we have their 2021 songs, I’m rather reconsidering my position. Whilst fair, expecting someone who believes they found the perfect song for them last year to go off and come up with something equally as good or better is one heck of a tall order.
It would be tedious to judge every artist against their previous efforts, but unfortunately for Montaigne she’s the first under my critical microscope, and the contrast is just so stark. I wasn’t much struck on her choice of outfit for Don’t Break Me, but as a composition I loved it musically and lyrically. Technicolour, to its credit, doesn’t just offer an extension of 2020’s cancelled entry (unlike some artists later in the list); it’s quite the change in style.
I hear Rina Sawayama right through this, a hyperpop style which I love, so I should like this more than I do. I certainly applaud Montaigne’s decision to not play it safe but based on this she doesn’t pull it off. By the time she gets this to Eurovision, this could have a great, fun stage show and I hope it does. It needs it. This preview performance from Sydney Mardi Gras feels strained and lifeless in the middle of a vast stadium with smoke being blown in all the wrong directions and (as sung live) some wobbly moments. Montaigne seems too interesting an artist to be remembered as Australia’s first non-qualifier, but without some serious work she might be.
My marks: 6 points
Will it qualify? Not at the moment
Image credits: Jess Gleeson