ESC2014: Song Reivews – Semi-Final 1, Second Half

Continuing right along with our song review!


Ukrainian Flag Map9. UkraineTick-Tock performed by Mariya Yaremchuk

This will definitely benefit from its running order position. A fun song that will have no problem wooing listeners with its uptempo beat and what is likely to be a lively performance.

Keys to Success: a tastefully done LED clock and choreography

Potential Stumbling Blocks: botched notes, an overwhelming LED clock

Personal Interest Score: 7

Likelihood of Success: 9



10. BelgiumMother performed by Axel HirsouxBelgian Flag Country

hmm…the jury is still out on this one, I think it can potentially sneak through to the Final, but, perhaps, more than any other song, this one depends on the vocal performance. Hirsoux won the Belgian ticket because of his vocals – he now has to build upon that performance just to make it out of the semi-final.

Keys to Success: Vocals, purely a strong performance from Hirsoux

Potential Stumbling Blocks: anything short of a stunning performance and this song will fall flat

Personal Interest Score: 6

Likelihood of Success: 6

Composite: 6


11. MoldovaWild Soul performed by Cristina ScarlatMoldovan Flag Map

This song is so dark, but it’s so stirring. It’s a bit creepy, but it’s haunting. It unsettles you, but it also establishes itself as being in control. It’s hard to explain, but I think I like it.

Keys to Success: instead of focusing on Scarlat, the performance instead needs a dancer that captures the song’s message

Potential Stumbling Blocks: going over the top with its staging; any kind of demon imagery

Personal Interest Score: 9

Likelihood of Success: 7

Composite: 8

Sammarinese Flag Map12. San MarinoMaybe performed by Valentina Monetta

Each Sammarinese entry outperforms the last, so this may finally be the year that Monetta and the microstate finally make it to Grand Final. This is her strongest attempt thus far and I think they made the right choice with English as Fose just isn’t as good (I just said Maybe is stronger than Crisalide and that English is a better choice than Italian in this instance – discuss!)

Keys to Success: well-placed wind machine, lots of love from the audience

Potential Stumbling Blocks: aside from a cruddy running order position, Monetta will have lost fan support from last year, as this song doesn’t seem to be making the same sort of waves

Personal Interest Score: 9

Likelihood of Success: 6

Composite: 7.5


13. PortugalQuero Ser Tua performed by SuzyPortuguese Flag Map

Portugal returns to the ESC without missing a beat. This is a “very Portuguese” entry. Unfortunately, I predict a “very Portuguese” placing with lower score than it probably deserves. It’s a generic, but decent, song

Keys to Success: Spain voting in its semi-final as well as the returning country bump, enthusiastic performance and audience participation

Potential Stumbling Blocks: a lackluster performance that assumes that the composition is strong enough to convey the party atmosphere (it’s not)

Personal Interest Score: 6

Likelihood of Success: 4

Composite: 5


Dutch Flag Country14. The NetherlandsCalm After the Storm performed by The Common Linnets

The Common Linnets are very similar to the Civil Wars – folksy, understated, and haunting. This song is a little too much so, I think, to be successful on a stage like ESC. I like the song; I like its tone – I just don’t think that Europe will respond well to it.

Keys to Success: choreography, have two dancers act out the lyrics, they need to capture the song’s message visually

Potential Stumbling Blocks: being seen as a boring entry on a night of many ballads

Personal Interest Score: 8

Likelihood of Success: 3

Composite: 5.5


15. MontenegroMoj Svijet performed by Sergej ĆetkovićMontenegrin Flag Map

If RTCG knew that they would be on the night of “too many ballads,” they may have invited <<last year’s performers>> back to make them standout. As it is, this beautiful, peaceful entry will be loss among a night with many, many slow songs

Keys to Success: well-designed LED backing could increase interest in the song

Potential Stumbling Blocks: it’s not a captivating song, so anything short of a budget busting staging will result in a poor placing

Personal Interest Score: 7

Likelihood of Success: 1

Composite: 4

Hungarian Flag Map16. HungaryRunning performed by András Kállay-Saunders

A pretty serious topic – a child running away from home and her abusive father – for a pop song competition. I think if this is done right, Hungary can have Europe crying, and voting, for this entry.

Keys to Success: the staging should be just Kállay-Saunders and the dancer from the music video on a black stage with beams of light creating shadows and an air of mystery, no one and nothing else

Potential Stumbling Blocks: over-complicating the staging with lots of dancers or over complex LED work

Personal Interest Score: 9

Likelihood of Success: 8

Composite: 8.5


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