Contender or Pretender 2016: Ukraine and France
Hello Dear Readers!
We are on our fourth episode of Contender or Pretender and things are heating up. Only a few more left to examine, today: Ukraine’s history lesson with *no relevance to recent events* and France’s best shot at victory in years!
1944 performed by Jamala
Why it is a contender: This song has immediately made an impact. It has incredibly moving lyrics and composition and performance. There’s nothing like it in the Contest this year. With a strong stage show that displays the song’s narrative, this will make a huge impact in the Grand Final.
Why it is a pretender: This song is rather modern, like most modern songs, it will split the televoting audience as well as the juries (though, the juries will most likely rate it highly). Furthermore, because the refrain is in a rare, Turkic language (Crimean Tatar), it is integral that the commentators do their job and communicate the meaning of the song – which will probably fall short of happening effectively.
Final Verdict: Pretender This is one of my favorite songs this year. However, it is just too modern and too divisive to win. I completely think it will be in the Top Ten, but not hosting the crystal victor’s trophy. Great song, but it will not win.
J’ai Cherché (I’ve Searched) performed by Amir
Why it is a contender: It’s fun, contemporary, and catchy. France has finally found an effective way of incorporating English into their entries while maintaining a predominantly French flair. This is the kind of entry that will do well in the charts after the Contest.
Why it is a pretender: While the song is contemporary, it’s sound is a few years late. I also think that the composition, while fun, is simple, a little too simple.
Final Verdict: Contender This song entertains all! The fans love the idea of a strong French entry and the casual viewers will love the sound of the song. As mentioned above, J’ai Cherché is instantly sing-alongable and will stay with you long after it is off the stage. There is a definite possibility that we will be in Paris or Caen or Cannes or Marseilles or Nice….
What do you think? Will Ukraine’s ode to the 1944 forced migration of Crimeans to central Asia at the hands of the USSR captivate Europe? Is France being setup for another disappointment à la 2011?
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