The Magnificent Seven – direct finalist’s review

Okay, so we reviewed the 33 semifinalists, but there are still seven songs missing – and some of those are pretty good ones. For obvious reasons, the seven direct finalists can’t be reviewed in running order, so this time it will just be alphabetical. Too bad, because I do kinda like overanalyzing draws… so now, let the review begin!

To listen along with me, here’s the playlist again.

1. AUSTRALIA: Guy Sebastian – Tonight Again

We’ll start with the big kangaroo in the room – Australia has finally arrived in the Eurovision world! After threatening to send another ballad, Guy Sebastian apparently did some last-minute-replacing with a brassy killer uptempo that sounds to me like a better version of the already good and underrated UK 2008. He has everything it needs to set the board on fire: a powerful happy and catchy song, not the worst looks in the field as far as I can judge that and a certain novelty aspect just by being Australia. Lyrically, this has an awesome double-meaning that I hope was intended as he could be singing about his own song in the chorus: “Oh baby tonight’s so good, this is one tough act to follow, oh baby tonight’s so good, we can do tonight again” – now if that’s not asking about coming back in 2016?

2. AUSTRIA: The Makemakes – I Am Yours

Austria sends a rather unspectacular but high quality home entry with this bluesy, quite emotional ballad. I adored I Am Yours when I heard it first, but somehow got a bit tired of it, but when I listen to it and actually pay attention, like I do for reviewing, I find out that I still do like it. Someone in the Youtube comments mentioned him sounding like Hozier, which I never noticed before but seems like a good comparison to me vocally, and that’s certainly not a bad thing to say! The problem is that it is just there sounding very nice without doing much, so coming 14th in a long final the Austrians might have disappeared a little bit from the viewer’s minds by the end of the show. Still, it’s one of the best home entries lately for me, but please, can the bass player change those pants?

3. FRANCE: Lisa Angell – N’oubliez pas

After trying out opera, football songs, pop music, a joke entry and impressive athmosphere stuff, the French went back to what they usually do best: A classic French chanson. N’Oubliez Pas is probably the most French song since Patricia Kaas, but unfortunately never comes close to the level of S’il fallait le faire. I am trying hard to like France, but knowing that they could choose from a great artist pool with some of my favourite singers, this is too generic, too constructed and too predictable for me. I would love to see the French taking it, but that would require some serious effort. Is there any chance to convince Zaz or Indila to do it for la Grande Nation maybe?

4. GERMANY: Ann Sophie – Black Smoke

For once, Germany’s NF produced more drama and confusion than Belarus, which is quite an achievement in itself. The German entry never actually won it’s NF, and I can somehow see why. It basically is a cool, rather rhythm-driven song and Ann Sophie has an interesting, remarkable voice, but somehow I can’t keep the melody or anything more than the basic feel of it in my head. And this is not because Black Smoke is a forgettable song, but more because the song feels distanced to me, it somehow fails to capture me and pull me into it. It’s something I listen to but don’t feel connected in any way. I am simply indifferent about it – unless while listening to it, cause I actually do kinda like it then.

5. ITALY: Il Volo – Grande Amore

So we finally know who made the pottery for Moldova’s postcard last year! I doubt any girl would react like she does if some opera singer stepped behind her and destroys what she has been doing though. It doesn’t get more Italian than a bunch of well-dressed guys (not talking about red glasses) singing an opera song that contains the word Amore over and over again. I have never understood why Grande Amore is such a big contender, but I can somehow see it’s appeal now, even though it’s not there for me – as I already said with Armenia, going for the big emotions doesn’t work for me. Oh, and is there something in the video I don’t get or is it just a huge mess?

6. SPAIN: Edurne – Amanecer

Talking about confusing videos, welcome to Spain – probably the only country except San Marino where you get away with fake timelapse effects, the creepiest hug since Paula and Ovi, a woman turning into a tiger and, for some reason, a Baba Uslender double jumping down a cliff. The song mainly consists of random ieieieee and other weird sounds, and while trying to go for huge and orchestral they ended up with huge and hollow. Surely they announced it as “sounding nothing like anything Spain has ever entered before”, but actually it sounds very much like what Spain entered for a not-so-small part of the 10’s.

7. UNITED KINGDOM: Electro Velvet – Still In Love With You

If the entry of a country that sent at least three musical war crimes in ten years gets described as their worst ever, you have to be prepared for everything. Surprisingly, Still In Love With You turned out to be quite enjoyable. It will be a love-or-hate thing, it will probably not be able to avoid the bottom 5, it might not be a serious high quality song, but we do have enough of those and I’m kinda glad they are there. I like it especially lyrically – apparently the British decided to write lyrics completely based on sounds of words that turned out rather senseless but produce great lines like “Some younger guys with roving eyes may tantalise you with their lies, you must be wise and realise”. Oh, and while I am aware of the fact that the neon/blacklight effect isn’t exactly new I think it still looks very cool for this song!

The Wrapup

This has to be done a little bit differently as we have less songs, so I’m gonna rank them and tell in which range I see the songs.

MY RANKING:
1. Australia
2. Austria
3. UK
4. Germany
5. Italy
6. France
7. Spain

PREDICTIONS:
Australia: 1-5
Austria: 8-12
France: 15-20
Germany: 10-15
Italy: 4-7
Spain: 15-20
UK: 20-27

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