Thu. Apr 18th, 2024
Eurovision 2023 Mediterranean countriesEurovision 2023 Mediterranean countries
Eurovision 2023 Song Reviews: Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Portugal, San Marino

The funniest thing about writing reviews about Eurovision songs is that I write my set of impressions, but my impressions change over time. There have been many songs I first think are “lame” one month before the Contest begins, but I end up loving it later on. Even the stage show can bring out qualities in the song I overlooked.

Continuing with my reviews of Eurovision songs, I will be doing the Mediterranean nations. All six nations here are known for having a common style in their Eurovision entries. Some of them maintain that familiar style while some differ this year.

🇨🇾 CYPRUS
Performer: Andrew Lambrou
Song: “Break a Broken Heart”

Usually with Cyprus and Greece, some of my favorite Eurovision entries of theirs are those with ethnic flavor. No ethnic flavor from either nation this year. Cyprus here is sending a pop song with common pop melodies instead. This song has a lot to like. It has strong vocals, good vocal skill and good instrumentation. I like it, despite the song not having too much buzz about it.

ESC Chances: I’m 50/50 on it. The song has so-so betting odds. This song doesn’t stand out as well as most entries. Nevertheless I feel it can qualify for the Grand Final. Andrew has to preform well, which I’m confident he will. I think the stage show will be make or break for a song like this.

Listen to Andrew’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Cyprus: Andrew Lambrou – “Break a Broken Heart”

🇬🇷 GREECE
Performer: Victor Vernicos
Song: “What They Say”

Last year, Greece sent a song with a dark feel and it finished in the Top 10. This year, they send another song with a dark feel, but not as dark as “Die Together.” I don’t find the song as arresting as last year’s song. Also there are times I feel his diction of English is not the best in some parts.  

ESC Chances: Greece has only missed the Grand Final twice. This is another song I feel has 50/50 chances. Stage show will matter with a song like this. Also I hope he doesn’t move around on stage the way he did in the video. There were times when I thought it looks ridiculous.

Listen to Victor’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Greece: Victor Vernicos – “What They Say”

🇮🇱 ISRAEL
Performer: Noa Kirel
Song: “Unicorn”

Israel is often seen as a nation that can deliver a strong contender, if not a winner. Last year’s entry wasn’t so lucky. This year, they send a strong contender. Already the song grabs your attention right from the start. So many feels in this song: one part is intense, another part has a dancy feel. The songs lyrics are also empowering. After two listens I myself find this song quite infectious.

ESC Chances: I can easily see why this song already has Top 10 chances. As I mentioned, I find this song infectious. You can bet loads of other people find this song infectious too. Despite its Top 10 chances, it will be another song where the stage show will be sink or swim in terms of how far it goes. Also Noa will have to deliver an excellent standout dance right after she says “Watch me dance!”

Listen to Noa’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Israel: Noa Kirel – “Unicorn”

🇲🇹 MALTA
Performer: The Busker
Song: “Dance (Our Own Party)”

Malta is another nation that’s small in population but big in talent. They have two runner-up finishes and two more third-places. Destiny proved Malta could do it again. Nevertheless Malta can be hit-or-miss with their Eurovision entries. This song has a jazz/rock style to it. The song sounds more mature than last year’s entry, but I feel it’s missing its catchiness. On top of it, the song sounds like the singer is lacking a smooth style. I have a feeling it’s a song that’s capable of being more.

ESC Chances: The Busker has said in a recent interview “We’re used to being the underdog.” This Eurovision has them in their familiar underdog position. Thing is I don’t know what will increase their chances of qualifying. This is Eurovision and excitement is expected.

Listen to The Busker’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Malta: The Busker – “Dance (Our Own Party)”

🇵🇹 PORTUGAL
Performer: Mimicat
Song: “Ai Coração”

Portugal has done quite well this decade with their first two entries making the Grand Final and finishing in the top half. This is one entry that leaves me scratching my head. This is an entry more about the stages how than the song. Sure she’s singing in character, but I question how the crowd will take it. Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t exactly call this a “troll act.” I like the cultural flavor and I like the quirkiness of it, but something like that looks like it’s sink or swim.

ESC Chances: I won’t say it doesn’t have a chance of qualifying for the Grand Final. Last year, I thought Serbia was too quirky to qualify for the Grand Final and it ended up being a hit! Despite me saying this song is “sink or swim,” I’d say the song/show combination is a bit of a gamble that can go either way. Right now I’m feeling pessimistic of its chances.

Listen to Mimicat’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 Portugal: Mimicat – “Ai Coração”

🇸🇲 SAN MARINO
Performer: Piqued Jacks
Song: “Like An Animal”

San Marino prides itself in being the one microstate sending entries to Eurovision right now. For the past four years, San Marino has sent entries showing they want to be in the Grand Final, and they made it twice. This year’s entry sounds like it doesn’t mind not qualifying. The band is good and the singer is very skilled, but it’s the song that’s missing that kick. 

ESC Chances: If “bland” is not the right way to describe the song, then it’s fair to sense there’s something missing. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. It doesn’t surprise me that the song’s chances are minimal. I don’t think even a stellar stage show can save this.

Listen to Piqued Jacks’s Eurovision 2023 song:

Eurovision 2023 San Marino: Piqued Jacks – “Like An Animal”

And there you go! My review of the six Mediterranean entries. If you’re wondering why Italy and Spain aren’t here, it’s because I’m saving them for a blog about the Big Five. Stay tuned!

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