Tonight we got two countries that have not always got what they deserved. One of them qualified when it really shouldn’t have, the other didn’t when it should have multiple times. Of course, that’s only my opinion that will be heavily contested – I can guarantee you that if
Czech Republic Czechia is named as a multiply robbed country. But first we move to another rather unsuccessful country.
San Marino: Serhat – I Didn’t Know
San Marino’s biggest recent success has likely been liberation of the reign of Mr. Ralph Siegel’s iron fist rule over the country’s Eurovision effort, giving us the triple Valentina Monetta (who I am still convinced used to work as a camgirl based on her first song’s lyrics – “Now I’m gonna see my friends / goodbye network fans” in combination with “do you wanna play cybersex again?”) and the best description for most Sammarinese entries – “NO!”
So, everyone seems to have that down as the dire catastrophe we have come to expect from San Marino (rightfully so usually). But in this case, I’d say it is also a little bit of self-fulfilling prophecy. I am (unfortunately) aware of the older version of this, which was true Sammarinese terribleness, but they have done quite the revamp! This is basically Turkey, and given by the sound playing in my local Döner stands, the Turkish music scene lags about 10-20 years behind the Western European. Which makes this a perfectly well retro thing. And Serhat is probably old enough to have experienced disco first hand.
Unfortunately, he never really gave a convincing performance that I’d know of. Which is probably gonna be a handicap. Or rather definitely is gonna be a handicap… along with the fact that Serhat looks distinctively unlikeable. To me, this man oozes arrogance in a “I paid for this stage, this entry, this country” way which is probably part of the act, yet still not very inviting. Nor does he look good. And the lyrics still confuse me. “I didn’t know that you’re freezing the time”? Well, San Turkey kind of avoided a total failure like last year – which was still enough to beat Switzerland – here, but this is usually staying far far away from qualifying. A little reward for the disco effort included, I give 4/10.
Czechia: Gabriela Guncikova – I Stand
The next nation to come up has been so nice to conveniently shortening its name from Czech Republic to Czechia in time for this review. Thank you very much for that, you’re making my job a lot easier! As Czech Republic, this country provided two or three favourites for me. Mala Dama and Hope Never Dies (pretty well describing my love life together, incidentally) have definitely achieved this status, and then there’s the guilty pleasure Aven Romale, undeservedly getting zero back in 2009. So how does Czechia fare?
Gabriela Guncikova is providing us with another ballad, once again rather athmospheric but not as dark as the Vaclav/Marta combination of last year. This is, as expected, causing me to like it a bit less, but I am not entirely representative in terms of ballads sung by female solo singers. Actually this is very well produced I’d say. It got a nice sound that I like despite the thing being out of my genre preferences. Far out. The bassline, as Overthinking Eurovision nicely pointed out, is beyond uninteresting though. Seriously. That thing bores me to death if there wasn’t a voice over it.
For a vocal showoff, Gabriela is probably the right singer, even though I have no idea how she will hold up in a live setting. But she gives the impression she could pull off a song. Visually, I doubt the Czechs could fuck this up at all. For this kind of song, the singer tends to be the main element of the staging, and Gabriela’s definitely a looker. As are some of the graphics in the video. The main critic point here – apart from me just not being too fond of the genre – are the uninspired generic ballad lyrics. I will hold back from writing them down, cause she makes sure to sing everything often enough so that you understand it all. With a bonus point for the voice – 5/10.
Next time, we visit two Nordics. Should you need an icebreaker, you can always talk about what you’d do if you were sorry. Damn, that was a terrible word play. But I’m not sorry. Come back next time for Norway and Sweden!