A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tobson's Big ESC 2017 Review, part 4

It is high time to wrap up the first semi final and see if it ends on a sick note or on a real high. The previous songs can be found here: part 1, part 2 and part 3.

Four songs remain and the electronic feel that has already been present in a number of entries will be heard also here. Strange and slightly unfortunate how almost all the moody electronica ended up in the same semi.

Hovig / Gravity

Maybe winning the ESC wrecked Thomas G:son's mojo as he since then has not really tried pushing new and groundbreaking things into Melodifestivalen but rather opted for the safe, paid day-job of providing songs for the likes of Cyprus and Georgia. This is a soft and radio-friendly rocker that is catchy but constantly runs the risk of turning too repetitive. Euphoria it is not.

Borderline. It all depends on Hovig himself and his ability to keep things going in three minutes. It's not a battle lost but a shaky bet.

My grade: 3/5

Hovig / Gravity (Cyprus 2017 preview)

Artsvik / Fly With Me

When Armenia revealed their song as the last country of all and it turned out to be another female with a vaguely electronic sound behind her I found the whole thing a bit boring. Then the song started growing on me and after some listenings it became almost hypnotic with its slightly slower tempo. If only Artsvik can match her vocals with a strong presence and a simple but effective stage show, this could carry quite a bit.

Yes. Perhaps too demanding to go anywhere near a victory, but qualification is usually a walk in the park for Armenia (insert comment about diaspora vote here if you feel so inclined).

My grade: 3/5

Artsvik / Fly With Me (Armenia 2017 preview)

Omar Naber / On My Way

After narrowly missing out on a spot in the final in 2005, the talented Omar Naber is back in Kyiv for a second try. I have waited for him to come back so it is with a heavy heart I note how he opted for a very traditional and terribly pointless ballad that feels more like filler material in a local musical than a contender at Eurovision. Vocally good but it doesn't help. "I'm on my way" Omar sings, but this song is not going anywhere.

No. Unless possibly Europe gets enough with all the electronica and opts for something square and old-fashioned.

My grade: 1/5

Omar Naber / On My Way (Slovenia 2017 preview)

Triana Park / Line

It is widely believed that performing last in a semifinal is something of a golden ticket to the final. Of course it could make it easier for you to stand out, but that only works as long as you are clearly better or different compared to what came before you. As the Latvians come on stage, the audience already sat through slightly similar entries from Iceland, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Armenia and Poland. How many viewers will at this point stand up and state that this one feels original and special and that they need to vote for it?

I very much doubt it will. It is a pleasant little number that unfolds a bit too slowly while given a slightly too introverted and anonymous performance. After two good years, Latvia will struggle now.

My grade: 2/5

Triana Park / Line (Latvia 2017 preview)

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