Nick’s Countdown – Austria and Azerbaijan

AUSTRIA

I feel like I’m getting to that time of life where every so often a question gets asked that punches me repeatedly in the face and demands a better answer than I have immediately to hand. What do you want for your birthday? How have you been coping with lockdown? Is this what you wanted? ARE YOU GETTING WHAT YOU WANTED? I believe the younger generation call it getting caught right in the feels, or something along those lines.

Vincent seems to have given up on the whole “shacklebolts” idea that carried us disappointingly through 2020 and instead presented a simple, unassuming little song that has potential for a lot of drama and storytelling on whatever stage he ends up on. I have a quiet hunch that a good number of people will answer that key question “Is this what you wanted?” with “It wasn’t what I was EXPECTING to want, but… yes?”. The juries are going to love him, and if he connects with the viewer at home then he’s got an outside shot at a very big result. It might well end up as my personal winner.

Nick's score: 10/10

AZERBAIJAN

Azerbaijan comes very early in the alphabet. And their entries tend to arrive very late in the season. Obviously this poses scheduling and writing issues for the humble reviewer, and I’ve asked my chief editor if we can ask their HoD if they’d be willing to change the name of the country to Zerbaijan for my added convenience.

He said no, no, we won’t be asking their HoD that. Shame.

Efendi, clearly is a seductress. Just like Cleopatra. But not THAT much like Cleopatra, hahaha, it’s definitely a different song! She likes it wild yeah, likes it likes it wild… but not in a recognisably Raylee way, clearly. There’s every chance that she’ll be a legend tonigh-ight, legend tonigh-ight… I think what I’m basically saying here is that as compositions go, there’s a pretty definite and well-worn path that Mata Hari is treading.

There might all the same be some rewards at the end of that path though, and I always approve of people who stand in front of the light source when they’re being filmed, and I certainly reckon she’s got the required levels of attack and confidence in the material.

I don’t think it’s quite dining at the top table when the votes start coming in, but it’s good, and if the living daylights get staged out of it then it’s got a puncher’s chance.

Nick's score: 8/10

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