A Swede who lives in Finland and who is lost in Euroland - the wonderful world of Eurovision
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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tobson's Big ESC 2017 Review, part 6

The second semi is really too close to call this year and the rehearsals and final live performances will be crucial when it comes to who will qualify or not. I think that's something we say every year, but it is more true than ever now as so many of the songs are really similar in style and even in quality.

Something like six qualifiers feel solid while the final four places would be up for grabs and then the final details will be decisive. Anything that would make anyone stand out will be most important. Even standing out in a bad way could be good.

Ilinca feat Alex Florea / Yodel It!

Talent show yodeller Ilinca teamed up with aspiring rock star Alex in this schlager meets rap meets Heidi on a mountain top meets tons of cheese meets pure madness. It could be Alex is throwing away his chances to ever be perceived as credible again but the gamble could be worth it. This breathtakingly wacky entry is precisely what the ESC needs this year: someone who is distinctive and utterly bonkers at the same time. Nobody will forget Romania this time around, that is more than sure.

Yes. Not only because Romania is yet to fail in a semi final but also because this manages to be awful and adorable at the same time in a pretty irresistible way.

My grade: 4/5

Ilinca feat Alex Florea / Yodel It! (Romania 2017 preview)

OG3ENE / Lights and Shadows

It's not what I would have expected, but maybe the world will wake up one morning to find they miss Wilson Philips so much they need a revival and will celebrate anything that resembles the original group at all. If that happens, these sisters will go far and knock the rest of the competition out. If not, they will struggle. This entry showcases a lot of lovely harmonies but fails big time in the songwriting department. In short, there is no song going on here and that is a problem in a song contest.

No. Too weak and too meek. And isn't it time for the Dutch to ditch country music and come up with something new?

My grade: 1/5

OG3ENE / Lights and Shadows (Netherlands 2017 preview)

Joci Pápai / Origo

Deep down, this is another one of the many entries this year that is tailor-made to suit the airwaves. It is slick and it is contemporary, but it lacks a bit of build-up and has very little of a climax anywhere. Luckily for Joci, he has his very ethnic sound that sets him apart from the others. He is also the Nano-type of this lineup - someone whose back story helps him to stand out and be remembered - but it is not an easy song to keep interesting for three minutes on a stage.

Yes. It should be distinctive enough to beat some of the more generic contenders, but how far will it carry in the final?

My grade: 3/5

Joci Pápai / Origo (Hungary 2017 preview)

Anja / Where I Am

I wasn't that impressed at first, but Anja is doing a good job vocally and this chorus has been growing. This is easily the best Danish entry for me in many, many years but then again it doesn't mean it lot. Denmark has developed a passion for songs that are easy and polished, void of personality and that leave no trace. We are still moving in this territory and as always I am left wondering if there is any kind of more demanding music being made in Denmark? Some noisy rock? Experimental hardcore trance? Punk? And could we please have a bit of it at the ESC?

Borderline. Another one of those that are totally impossible to call before you know how all countries perform on stage. This could as easily land in 7th place as in 13th.

My grade: 3/5

Anja / Where I Am (Denmark 2017 preview)


  1. I share your feelings about Ireland and other countries taking help from Sweden - I'm really tired of that, although of course I admit that not all "Swedish entries" are necessarily bad: Macedonia is a good example this year.
    Actually I wrote a post on this subject (or rather a debate article ...) a week ago on my own blog. Maybe you will find it interesting. :) (In Swedish though.)

    1. Thanks for the link, it was an interesting read. I put a link to your blog on my allaeurovisionsbidrag.blogspot.com blog so more people can see it. :)

  2. I so wanted to like the Dutch entry, which relies on old fashioned harmony singing instead of other "more modern" gimmicks. They sing well and don't need to use Autotune as most of other songs sound to do. But as you said the girls would have needed a decent song to harmonize along. Unfortunately this isn't it and their talent and charm goes to waste.

    1. After seeing their rehearsal footage I must take back a few steps. They sound amazing live and the song wasn't as bad as I imagined. It is a masterpiece, but this year very few of the other entries are either.