Eurovision 2013 – Contender or Pretender? Episode Five
Hello! Welcome to the final installment of my “Contender or Pretender” series, where I am looking at the ten entries with best betting odds (according to oddschecker.com) and determining whether they are legitimate contenders for victory or overrated pretenders that won’t live up to the hype. I’m looking at the ten songs in random order, and have previously examined:
Today, we conclude the series with Germany and Georgia.
Song: Glorious Performing Artist: Cascada
Why it is a contender: We’ve had some big names at the Contest before, but most of those names tend not to have graced Top Forty charts for at least ten years prior to the artist’s participation. Cascada, however, is a huge name – with worldwide acclaim (in fact, my co-worker was blasting Evacuate the Dance Floor just the other day – that is still very relevant in the pop music world. Not to mention, the fact that it’s a club anthem that is bound to get fans dancing throughout Europe.
Why it is a pretender: Even though Cascada is a really recognizable name, the song itself is somewhat plain. It may be a club anthem, but it’s not special; why it has a similar sound to Euphoria, it lacks the mystique last year’s winner had. Additionally, I’m not sure if Natalie Horler, the lead singer, has the vocal chops to really compete with some of the other talent that they will surely be facing in the Final.
Final Verdict: Contender. Russia has sent superstars at the top of their game, both finished Top Three (T.a.T.u finished third (but in one of the closest Contests to date) and Dima Bilan won (not to mention his 2nd place in 2006). Only two other artists rival the name recognition of Cascada, Anouk (who has had success in a few countries outside of the Netherlands) and Bonnie Tyler (who has not really been all that relevant since the 80s). The song is also a well-done, albeit plain, dance tune that will simply benefit from getting people up and moving in front of their televisions.
Performing Artists: Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani
Why it is a contender: If 2010 has taught us anything, it’s that Georgia knows how to craft a song that is jury gold, and they’ve done it again! This ballad will, for sure, win the votes from the juries. It’s well performed by Tatishvili and Gelovani, the composition steady builds throughout; Waterfall is powerful and dramatic without being too much so.
Why it is a pretender: If there is an area in which this entry crosses the line from balanced to overdone, it’s in the lyrics. “There’s no me without you…I’m breathing because of you…There’s no world without us” it’s all a bit much. If viewers pick up on this, then it can turn off many viewers, particularly the ones who are one the fence about the entry. Additionally, the song does not seem to be getting a lot of attention from fans around the web, it’s just floating beneath the radar.
Final Verdict: Contender. I don’t think the lack of fan support now will hurt Georgia too much. There does not seem to be any negative attention around it and it’s captivating enough to hold the attention of first time listeners, whether it’s in the Second Semi-Final or the Grand Final. The song is dramatic and builds throughout to captivate the audience and pull you in. In addition, as I said before, the juries will heap points upon Georgia like they did in 2010. This song will definitely be Top Ten, if not Top Five.
And there you have it; “Contender or Pretender 2013” is now complete. Not by design, but by fortune, we have, in my opinion, five contenders and five pretenders. I think all seven of the non-automatic qualifiers will make it to the Grand Final. I think the five contenders have a legitimate shot of winning this year. The other five entries, while I do not think any of them will fail, I don’t think any of them will actually challenge for the win.
Ultimately, I think Denmark and Georgia will be battling it out for victory. I think Denmark will have the slight edge over Georgia because it will have larger support from the fans as the faster, younger song between the two. I predict that Denmark will ultimately prevail and bring the Contest over the Øresund. Whether DR decides to have it in Copenhagen, again, or hold it in Århus, Ålborg, Horsens, or Herning, is a matter to be decided later.
Special thanks to espn.com ACC Blog for providing the inspiration for this series!