A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
There is always some matter to discuss or just a song I want to share
Very welcome - I hope you'll like it here!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Semi 2: 02 San Marino

For two minutes I was fully convinced that Ralph Siegel had found a trace of his old self and that he wrote the confident entry that would shut his critics up once and for all. And then came the tempo change.

Valentina Monetta - Crisalide (Vola) (San Marino 2013)

I was not too thrilled as San Marino opted to go for the duo of Ralph Siegel and Valentina Monetta for a second consecutive year, as I still think their social-networking-ditty of last year stands out as one of the most cynical entries in many years.

But then I decided to give them the benefit of a doubt. Valentina seemed determined to be more true to herself this time and Siegel has written many good songs during his career, let's not forget that.

And for two minutes, Crisalide is magical. A big, dramatic ballad where Valentina really gets to show off her qualities as a singer. A sure qualifier and the best song Siegel wrote in years.

Then, unfortunately, our composer lost his confidence again as he changes the song from classy ballad into a disco stomper instead. The disco part is not all bad, but the pieces don't fit together and what could have been an excellent entry is reduced to something considerably smaller.

Siegel the effect seeker gets the better of Siegel the composer. Again. Still - a lot better than most of us expected.

Difficult to say. The fans like this one, but the tempo change is sure to disencourage quite a few people to vote. In secret, I'm crossing my fingers this one will make the final but I'm far from sure.

My grade: 3/5


  1. Not sure if I can agree on the tempo change. I don't think that the motives introduced during the first two minutes would carry so far, and the change for me is uplifting, even a bit "ABBAish" and recycling some very classical ESC elements.

    As for the conclusions, I'm with you. Definitely better than expected, but doesn't reach e.g. the competing top-notch ballads.

  2. Valentina is marvellous singer and the ballad begins very convincing.
    But what happens in the end: the tempo is suddenly changed
    and it turns to be a usual europop.
    I'd like it to be a ballad.
    Secondly Valentina sings much better in italian than english.

    Anyway, good luck San Marino:)

  3. San Marino is in second place in the OGAE poll although it is tilted to a sampling of south east Europe voters. Personally, I wrote it off entirely until the uptempo change. I think I will almost certainly qualify for the final and could have done better if the English version was used.

  4. I'd say the biggest problem isn't whether the song is better or worse before or after the tempo change, the problem is the change itself.

    Entries that dramatically changes tempo or atmosphere during the song - especially if the change comes suddenly and not necessarily naturally - has tended to confuse the audience through the years.

    In my mind, Cyprus 1999 and Switzerland 2008 stand out as clear examples. Both were considered pre-contest favourites by fans and then failed big time.

    Maybe San Marino will pull it off, I'd love to see them in the final. I'm just not so sure that it will work.

  5. I, however, think the opposite: at first, the ballad is very conventional (the first chords are even old fashioned), but the change of time turns the song into something new, modern, pop (if you want) but nothing convecional (especially when compared with other glorious participants ...). It is definitely my favorite song of this year, although I have doubts that even qualifies for the final ...
    An eurofan from Barcelona.

  6. The Swiss entry 2008 was not betrayed by the tempo change (it was very much part of the charm) but the unstable performance of the singer. How could you vote for a song to the final when you don't think he can manage the performance in the semi.

    1. I liked the Swiss entry of 2008 (tempo change and all) but I distinctly remember many people not liking it as it confused them what type of song this really was.

      It will be interesting to see whether San Marino can convince the audience despite the poor track record of character-changing songs in the past.