Contender or Pretender 2016: Malta and Australia
Hello Dear Readers!
So, here we are, the last episode of Contender or Pretender for 2016 (aside from tomorrow’s recap post!). Today, we are taking a closer look at the last two songs to be within the top ten of the bookies’ odds: Malta and Australia! Two powerful, diva-driven entries – one is a love ballad the other is about a fractured relationship. Let’s dive into them!
Walk on Water performed by Ira Losco
Why it is a contender: Losco returns to the Contest with a powerful pop song that is bound to captivate audiences. The composition is moving and slowly builds throughout its duration. Losco’s voice is great and she is a seasoned performer. The lyrics are simple without being needlessly repetitive.
Why it is a pretender: While it is an uptempo song, it’s not particularly catchy or easy to sing-along to. I also think, in a year with so many uptempo pop tunes, it would very easy for this song to be lost in the mix, particularly with a poor spot in the running order.
Final Verdict: Pretender This song is not getting much traction among the fan community and is mostly being looked over for more provocative entries (such as Ukraine or Latvia) or more contemporary songs (such as Russia or France). Malta, while a strong entry, will most likely be lost among the entries and will have the lowest Final result of any of the ten songs that we are looking at this week.
Sound of Silence performed by Dami Im
Why it is a contender: The song is powerful and, arguably, is the strongest of the female-led power pop ballads this year. It is performed by a beautiful woman with an incredibly powerful voice with experience in competing (Im won X-Factor Australia). The song stands out amongst the crowd of uptempo entries.
Why it is a pretender: Diva entries tend to perform well, but don’t usually win. In the last twenty years, only three diva-driven entries have won (Austria 2013, Serbia 2007, and Israel 1998; not to be confused with the female-led pop songs that have dominated the past two decades). This song also falls prey to not being overly catchy, not necessarily a bad thing in such a melancholy song, but it means Sound of Silence will not be very memorable – which is a drawback when performed in an array of 26 songs on Saturday night.
Final Verdict: Contender This song leaves a big impression and Australia is a rather popular country already. Not to mention that Im’s voice is possibly the best one in the Contest this year. This song will most likely receive a strong position in the running order and a decent stage show. Even without either, the song is powerful enough to leave an impression and the lyrics are readily relatable for the average person.
What do you think? Does Malta’s song make you want to perform miracles? Does Australia’s offering make you wish for silence? Leave your comments below!
There you have it! The ten songs with the best betting odds heading into the Contest: Sweden, Russia, Serbia, Armenia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, France, Malta, and Australia. Tomorrow, we’ll recap these entries as well as look at my thoughts for possible dark horses that will surprise us in Stockholm.
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