Sun. Jul 14th, 2024
Photo: EBU

Hi. I’m back to review this year’s Eurovision entries. Already six and a half weeks to go until the first semifinal! Anyways my first set of reviews are on the Big Five nations. They’re the lucky ones who don’t have to go the semifinal route to qualify. However I often feel year after year, they’re under the most pressure to perform spectacular or get a low finish. What does this year’s crop of Big Five entries have? Let’s see:

🇫🇷 FRANCE

Performer: Slimane
Song: “Mon Amour”

France was one of the first nations to reveal who their entry would be. Slimane is a French singer who’s had modest success since he pursued a music career in 2016. One thing I like about the song is its passion. French songs are often known for their passion. The lyrics of the song and Slimane’s vocals really know how to capture the feel of the song. Your appreciation for this song grows as you listen on.

ESC Chances: Ballads can do very well at Eurovision, but like any Eurovision song in any genre, it needs to have something to stand out if it wants to chase the win. The heartfelt emotional vocals make this song stand out from most ballads. If Slimane can duplicate the feeling of the vocals on the live stage, I feel it can make the Top 10 easily. 

🇩🇪 GERMANY

Performer: Isaak

Song: “Always On The Run”

After last year’s entry finished last, I wondered what’s it going to take for Germany to get a respectable finish? ESC-Vorentscheid decided to make “Always On The Run” by Isaak its entry for this year. The song has a lot to like with Isaak’s great singing and powerful vocals. It also has a lot to dislike or even shun, like an instrumentation that risks being dismissed as ‘boring’ or even a singer that could easily be dismissed as the “Pillsbury Dough Boy.” Even a lackluster stage show could cause some to reject it.

ESC Chances: When I first heard this song, I felt like asking “Germany, are you happy with finishing last?” Now don’t get me wrong. Like I said in my review, I mentioned the things worth liking about this song. Thing is this is Eurovision where the crowds reward songs with three minutes of excitement, style and entertainment. Isaak and his team will really need to work on the style of the song and the staging if it wants to prevent another low finish for Germany.

🇮🇹 ITALY

Performer: Angelina Mango

Song: “La noia”

If there’s one Big Five nation that won’t let you down, it’s Italy. This year Italy’s sending San Remo winner Angelina Mango whose had an active music career in Italy since 2020. Her song is about the frustration of being a woman in the music business, but that won’t stop her from living life to the fullest. She also references the Colombian Cumbia style of music and dancing. Judging by her performance, she knows how to deliver like a pro and with style. The song itself has a lot of style and I find it very likeable.

ESC Chances: A lot of people claim Italy’s female entries get the short end of the stick at Eurovision. That may be true of their most recent female entries but it’s not 100% true. In fact Italy’s first ever win was by a 16 year-old female. Angelina herself is the first solo female to represent Italy since 2016. Her song gives a lot to like and people should really like it. One thing is that she should work to get the right staging since her San Remo win. That will be make or break for this song.

🇪🇸 SPAIN

Performer: Nebulossa

Song: “Zorra”

This year’s entry from Spain is from the duo Nebulossa: a Europop duo of who are a married couple. As for the song, the lyrics are about how a strong-willed woman is often looked down upon or despised, but she regrets nothing. If fact “Zorro” is a term for “b!tch.” I found the opening instrumentation very infectious. I admit I have liked Eurodance for decades. She delivers her lyrics with attitude, but her vocals are a bit lacking in terms of range and clarity.

ESC Chances: I can see this song scoring very well with the Spanish-speaking viewers from around the world. The song is very stylish and something worth listening to. Also the message is very relatable. Despite that, I feel there are some things missing like standout vocal range. Also I fear that with both Nebulossa members being in their 50’s, this song could be a victim of ageism. The dancing during Benidorm was entertaining, but the whole team will have to give some slight improvements on the show.

🇬🇧 UNITED KINGDOM

Performer: Olly Alexander

Song: “Dizzy”

I think of all countries, the UK has the biggest all-or-nothing expectations placed on them by Eurofans. If they have something awesome or if they have something substandard, Eurofans will really let them know it. This year’s entry is 33 year-old Olly Alexander who’s had more of a career of acting than singing. As for the song, the dance beat of the song is definitely infectious. I can see this scoring well on the dance floors. On the Eurovision stage, I feel it lack the dynamics the crowd will be anticipating with each number.

ESC Chances: Last year, it was evident of the UK’s All-or-nothing expectations. The entry “I Wrote A Song” was one of the catchiest, but the vocal problems of Mae Muller cost her and she finished second-last. Song alone, I can see Top 10 potential for this but not much in terms of winner potential. This song already has good expectations in the betting odds but this will definitely need great staging for the Grand Final to excel. 

And there you go. Those are my reviews of the Big 5 nations at this year’s Eurovision. Many of those songs make for great hits for the radio or for the dance floor. As for Eurovision, we’ll have to wait and see.

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