Phil’s Eurovision Countdown 2019 – Parts 33, 34 and 35. Romania, Russia and San Marino

Eurovision Countdown


There is a strong argument that this got through on the back of the fact that 2/7 of the jury had a complete change of mind between reviewing it and the national final, but the less said about that the better.

Esther is trying hard to sell the song in the preview video by borrowing Alexis Carrington’s shoulder pads and giving it some hard shoulder.

It does everything you would expect it to do, but Esther isn’t actually any good at selling the package, and it leaves me cold, wanting to go “next”.

It’s well-written, if formulaic, and without some brown envelopes full of Lei, I suspect Romania will be missing out…. Or perhaps they’ll claim the Televote didn’t work, like they did last year.

Phil’s Score – 3 Points


Oh look, Sergey is back, and this time he seems to have toned down the ‘I need to win for the fatherland’ vibe, and put in a proper song.

‘Scream’ definitely has all of the Eurovision-winning credentials you might expect from a team that are desperate to win the contest.

To me, though, instead of a refreshing change, it smacks of box-ticking so they can get a good result.

I know the Swedes do that as well, but this sounds even more cynical, and maybe that’s just me and my inbuilt bias.

Having said that, I like how the middle eight syncopates to break up the blandness of the rest of the song, although it peters out towards the end.

Yes, it will be given a good performance, but I am a bit weary of the same old, same old.

Phil’s Score – 6 points

San Marino

A quick musical history lesson for you: the person who co-wrote this with Serhat – Mary Susan Applegate – also wrote the lyric for the Jennifer Rush/Celine Dion hit, ‘The Power Of Love’. Isn’t it amazing what you can do for a shedload of Euros round the back of bins these days?

They’ve clearly raided one of said bins, because the only decent thing about this is Serhat … and even that is relative.

‘Say na na na’ is hardly the height of lyrical genius and has a tune that is as simple as simple can be. (I’ve got GCSE in music and my arrangements were more complex.)

Fans and opinion formers will love it, and I too love it for all the reasons it’s wrong, but, sorry Serhat…

Phil’s Score – 2 Points (12 in my heart, of course!)

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5 years ago

Rehearsals g=have started and this preview is no longer needed, but as I always comment on your countdown, I feel obliged to do it also here:

Romania –
It seems they have enjoyed the first ever non-qualification in 2018 and have decided to have another go at non qualifying. Because this song just lack anything that makes you want you to hear it once more.
It’s not a bad song and there is something nice about the way it is built It will work well as a radio filler.
Unfortunately it lacks any wow factor that will help it cross the line to Saturday

To say I wasn’t a fan of Russia’s 2016 song is an understatement but in comparison to this entry, “You Are The Only One”, was a masterpiece.
This a song that goes from crescendo to crescendo and never stops. You are supposed to be impressed, but does it has any emotional connection, no, with a capital N.
It is rather all very calculated and there is no doubt it will be have a jaw dropping stage performance, but as a song it’s dreadful.
If this was coming from a different country this would have been butchered by everyone and would have never been even considered as a candidate for the win

San Marino-
Serhat keeps venturing in the 70’s Disco sound and this time it’s a better effort than his one from 2016.
Is it good?-kind of. Is it naff?-absolutely. Can he sing well? not always But it is infectious to the level that he just might sneak in on a better performance on the televotes.
I suspect that the pimp slot is given because Björkman wants this in the final as a variation in the line up. If the song qualify, it will give San Marino a reason to come back next year