Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024
Eurovision 2024_ Eastern EuropePhoto: EBU

For my second blog of reviews, I will be reviewing four entries from Eastern Europe. Last year, all four nations were in the Grand Final and all four had numbers that were catchy in their own ways. Do they all bring the catchiness back this year?

CZECHIA

Performer: Aiko
Song: “Pedestal”

Over the last few years, Czechia has gone from a low expectations nation to a high expectations nation. Their entries in the last few years have shown it. This year’s entry is Aiko: a singer born in Russia, raised in Czechia and now based in Brighton, England. The song is about holding your head high while in a complicated relationship. It’s unique to see a pop-punk rock song submitted for Eurovision. It’s attitude is both angry and triumphant. I find it likeable.

ESC Chances: Czechia has qualified for the Grand Final five out of eleven times in the past. Last year’s entry achieved their second Top 10 finish. Interesting of the four song I’m reviewing here, this is the only one in SemiFinal Two. Just because I like this song doesn’t mean most Eurofans will. I think most Eurofans won’t be too welcoming to the angry pop-punk sound. Even her style gets me questioning. This is one song that may have to rely on excellent staging choices if it wants to qualify.

MOLDOVA

Performer: Natalia Barbu

Song: “In The Middle”

For the fourth straight year, Moldova is sending a previous entry. At the 2007 Contest — the Contest most famous for introducing the world to Verka Serduchka and delivering an unforgettable winner with “Molitva” – Natalia Barbu closed the Grand Final with the power-pop song “Fight” which finished tenth. Now this song is very different from her 2007 song. The lyrics are very good, the song has an ethnic feel to it and the staging is unique. Nevertheless, I get the feeling there’s something missing. Maybe I’m comparing it too much to “Fight.”

ESC Chances: Is it fair or not to compare a returning entry’s song for this year to their past song or songs? I’m sure there will be other Eurofans comparing this to “Fight,” too. To add to my pessimism, the staging at the national final was not the best. Also knowing this song finished second in the national final’s televote will make many Moldovans unhappy with this entry. Unless Natalia and her team make improvements to this song, I think its qualifying chances are slim.

POLAND

Performer: LUNA

Song: “The Tower”

A year and a half after we see a Luna at Junior Eurovision, we get another Luna in the Eurovision spotlight! Her actual name is Aleksandra Wielgomas and she’s been singing for over five years and she’s also a yoga instructor. Her entry entitled “The Tower” In this song she co-wrote with three other writers, she sings a song about empowerment. The melody is something I’ve never heard before, and it’s slowly starting to appeal to me. It’s one of those songs you’ll either like or hate.

ESC Chances: Last year, Poland sent an “eye candy” number with Blanka and “Solo.” This year, they send LUNA and her brand of music which she labels ‘cosmic pop.’ I really give her credit for doing something different and out of the ordinary for Eurovision. Thing is different is a bit of a gamble at Eurovision. Some different styles excel while some different styles flop. I have a hard time seeing this song grow in popularity.

UKRAINE

Performers: Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil

Song: “Teresa and Maria”

Every Eurofan must have at least one Ukrainian song they love. Win or lose, they know how to stand out. This year, Ukraine brings one of their top rappers, alyona alyona, with one of their most active singers Jerry Heil. This song is an excellent complex song that knows how to be mesmerizing. It mixes rap with attitude with vocals deep from the soul. Alyona’s rapping could remind you of their 2022 winner while Jerry Heil’s singing could remind you of Jamala. Just the right combination for their song about Mother Teresa, the Virgin Mary and your late ancestors guiding you in hard times to be really catchy.

ESC Chances: There are just some nations that excel at Eurovision better than most others and make most of the other nations jealous in the process. One is Ukraine. They almost always know how to deliver something winning. It appears they do it again here. I never thought a song about Mother Teresa and/or the Virgin Mary could excel at Eurovision but they changed my mind. Already a lot of buzz for them to win. They have what it takes, but they have other rivals too.

And there you have it. That’s my look at four of this year’s Eurovision entries from Eastern Europe. More to come as we get closer to the start. Hard to believe OGAE France has already revealed their points. We are getting closer!

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