Review: Miki - La Venda - Spain

Event: Eurovision 2019  Category: Eurovision  Published: Sun 7th Apr 2019 17:04
TellyStats Rating:

1 Day YouTube Views: 84,588
1 Day YouTube Likes: 6,699

With an upbeat, anthemic track that wouldn't feel out of place at a football match, Spain present Miki singing La Venda as their Eurovision 2019 entry.

Despite early excitement, last year's entry "Tu Cancion" proved to be a major disappointment in the final, a poor vocal performance and running order position meant the hype never materialised to votes. Spain have once again received early hype this year, but this time the song requires much less finesse.

The comparison to a football chant has been made by many pundits and it's a great angle to take to Eurovision. Football chants are the antithesis of cerebral listening, they're designed to create an atmosphere and to be simple for even a first-time listener to immediately pick up and sing along to. In a continent with diverse languages, "La Venda" seems to tick all the boxes.

As a song, it's clear that everything is building up to the chorus sections where the real action happens, the lyrics of the verses are insightful but obviously meaningless to the majority of Europe. The excited, repeated chorus is the payoff for the anticipation, the trumpets making it all the better.

Spain, as one of the Big 5, don't need to worry about semi-finals. Miki has produced solid recreations of song and seems to know how to put on a decent performance. If the staging of the grand final is anything like the national final, Spain stand a good chance of a potential Top 10 placing.

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Review: Tamta - Replay - Cyprus

Event: Eurovision 2019  Category: Eurovision  Published: Mon 1st Apr 2019 16:27
TellyStats Rating:

1 Day YouTube Views: 71,649
1 Day YouTube Likes: 4,368

After being pipped to the post in 2018, Cyprus have another crack at Eurovision with Replay by Tamta. "Replay" being an apt title - the track is identical to 2018's "Fuego"!

We originally poo-pooed Fuego, it came across as cheap, disposable, heavily-autotuned pop - which it is. Of the 3 elements that make up a performance: song, staging and dancing, the song was always the weakest element of the three, however in "Fuego"'s case, the pyrotechnics and Beyonce-dancing made up for the weaknesses of the song itself. I feel that this will largely be the case for "Replay" which is just as cheap, disposable and heavily-autotuned - the entire tone of the song cries out for some insane staging.

The song really is similar though, if it'd had been any other country then perhaps it might be brushed off as coincidence or a nod to Cyprus' success. However the fact that it's Cyprus once again releasing it may actually give juries a reason to mark it down.

Cyprus perform in the first-half of the first semi-final, there's no question it'll qualify - and if last year is anything to go by, will probably perform well in the televote too. While I do like the song, I actually feel like Fuego packed more of a punch, particularly in the chorus section.

Tamta appears to be gathering a decent following, her social media follower stats are on the higher end of the scale and she's already hit a few countries in the Top 100 iTunes chart. Cyprus is currently the favourite to qualify from the first semi. If you fancy yourself an easy, stress-free 6% profit on your money, that'd be the one to go for.

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Review: Sarah McTernan - 22 - Ireland

Event: Eurovision 2019  Category: Eurovision  Published: Sun 31st Mar 2019 20:13
TellyStats Rating:

1 Day YouTube Views: 44,374
1 Day YouTube Likes: 1,789

As the country with the most Eurovision wins under their belt, you'd perhaps think that Ireland would take Eurovision seriously, but the past few years entries seem to suggest they've lost interest these days. 2019's entry is 22 by Sarah McTernan, a soulful, radio-friendly pop song with a hint of Joss Stone.

The rumour is that Ireland had to rush the entry this year which could explain the under-produced song, the abrupt ending and simple music video. To it's credit though, "22" is a solid enough song for radio - enjoyable and accessible from the first listen, there's no reason if it were released as a sing that it couldn't do well.

The problem, of course, is that "22" is being sung among dozens of other tracks, Ireland sing in the first-half of a competitive second semi-final. Not to mention that mid-tempo Eurovision songs already have an arguable disadvantage as it is. But with the competition it'll be facing in that semi, it's almost certainly a non-qualifier.

To top off the bad news, Ireland's YouTube stats are towards the bottom of the table, with even dirge like Montenegro getting twice the Likes in 24 hours. To be fair to Sarah McTernan, her social media follower increases aren't the worst, but unfortunately once again, still near the bottom of the pack. Ireland have now had a few years of very radio-friendly tracks, now it's time to start thinking about Eurovision-friendly tracks.

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Review: KEiiNO - Spirit In The Sky - Norway

Event: Eurovision 2019  Category: Eurovision  Published: Sat 30th Mar 2019 22:31
TellyStats Rating:

1 Day YouTube Views: 80,138
1 Day YouTube Likes: 3,820

After last year's hype-fest for Alexander Rybak's doomed "That's How You Write A Song", Norway are back with Spirit In The Sky by KEiiNO, a track that's more-or-less the very definition of Europop, with a splash of ethnic joik singing blended in.

The joik sections are actually what make this song stand out - particularly the solo section two-thirds the way in, "Spirit In The Sky" would just be another cheesy, dated dance track otherwise. I fear though that most of Europe won't know the origins of joik singing, so to many viewers it'll just look like two youthful singers have dragged their mate Dave onto the stage to do a bit of singing too.

As for it's chances at Eurovision, it's catchy enough so it may well progress past it's semi, particularly a semi filled with countries from Western Europe including Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. In terms of the final though, it'll probably end up somewhere around 15th place like last years entry. This is primarily because the song will probably do well with the televote but be torn apart by the juries who (usually) demand something of a little more substance.

KEiiNO's social media follower statistics aren't the worst but also not close to the upper echelons that other nations occupy. Similarly their YouTube stats are in the lower-middle range. However, as above, purely on the musical level, particularly the accessibility of the song, we expect Norway to progress.

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Review: Joci Papai - Az En Apam - Hungary

Event: Eurovision 2019  Category: Eurovision  Published: Fri 29th Mar 2019 14:25
TellyStats Rating:

1 Day YouTube Views: 35,311
1 Day YouTube Likes: 1,667

After a very respectable 8th place finish in 2017 with the haunting and authentically ethnic "Origo". Joci Papai returns to represent Hungary once again with Az En Apam. Once again sung in Hungarian but a track with an entirely different tone.

Unfortunately for "Az En Apam", it isn't really comparable to Origo which really held the best elements of a modern ethnic track that was accessible to everyone at some level. While this years track isn't bad per-se - it's just very OK. Pleasant and accessible, reminiscent perhaps, of a Hungarian Ed Sheeran, the track flows without too many bells and whistles.

One particular criticism - perhaps a little unusual in a year that features a song called "Say Na Na Na" - is that the last minute of the song is just "Na Na Na", it goes on for way too long. Despite the critique of the song itself, Joci himself is a seasoned performer, and his 2017 entry cemented his popularity. This track will need some inspired staging to elevate it to new heights if it wishes to reach the finals.

"Az En Apam" has the lowest YouTube Views and Likes of any entry we have listed so far which is rather surprising, however Joci's social media follower increase is strong. Hungary perform in the first-half of the first semi final, I suspect that with the weaker entrants in this semi, plus a few regional allies scattered around - Hungary may just be one to progress through, however I don't see it making too much of a mark on the final.

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