Ever since day one, Latvia has been in the lead. Three more hopefuls will be fighting to push him off that first spot. Up for review today: A Croatian return from Nina Kraljić, Belarussian Ivan wanting to perform naked in Stockholm and Germany’s Jamie-Lee who’s all for her Japanese style. Let’s see what our team thought…

CroatiaNina Kraljić – Lighthouse

Katarina: 2016 is the year of returning countries, with three of them bringing outstanding songs. When Nina was announced as the Croatian artist, I knew we would get winner material from her and she didn’t disappoint. I love ‘Lighthouse’ mainly for its emotion and the beautiful lyrics, even though I have a small problem with the fact that it doesn’t sound Croatian at all. My only concern is what it will sound like on stage. If she can hit those high notes, I can see this song in the top 10.
Score: 10/10

Liam: I absolutely adore this. There’s something very Cranberries meets The Corrs sounding in this song, which gives it a familiar sound while maintaining a modern edge. For me this is miles ahead of most of the other songs, but I think I’m likely to be disappointed by the final finishing position. I love it anyway.
Score: 10/10

Wivian: One of my favorites this year, I *love* her voice and this is a song that very easily could have a life outside the contest.
Score: 9/10

Sophie: The song itself is not bad at all, but unfortunately I just can’t stand listening to Nina’s voice.
Score: 4/10

Danny: Love it, one of the best songs this year – great production and a really stunning melody. Sadly though, her English pronounciation holds it back and I think this would have been even better if performed in its native tongue.
Score: 8/10

Dimitris: I’m glad Croatia returned to the contest and it makes me even more happy the fact that the song is really amazing and definitely one of the best songs this year. I really wasn’t expecting such song from Croatia, considering most of their entries weren’t the best. I just hope the stage performance won’t screw her up. Nina is a great performer but the song needs to have a staging equal to it.
Score: 10/10

Nick:  I just don’t know with this anymore. It sounds like a solid qualifier, a solid top 10 and a dark horse for victory. But something tells me it’s another ‘Horehronie’, where it just doesn’t click anymore. In Amsterdam, Nina looked like a tree. She needs to get her stage act right, but something tells me that she won’t. I still somehow hope she shows me I’m wrong though.
Score: 6.5/10

BelarusIvan – Help You Fly

Katarina: This really isn’t THAT bad, it’s simply boring. Not even a naked performer and wolves can help make this more memorable
Score: 3/10

Liam:  I wasn’t even remotely interested in this song until the news broke that he wanted to perform naked with wolves. While I know both of these things are impossible, I am still happy that Belarus is back to their old show stopping, over the topping selves. That still doesn’t make this a good song though.
Score: 2/10

Wivian: This song couldn’t have happened anywhere else; a Belarussian Eurovision entry. I find it offending, and it’s safely tucked away in my bottom 5.
Score: 1/10

Sophie: This IVAN person is really creeping me out and making me want to run away. Utterly disturbing.
Score: 1/10

Danny: Suprisingly, I do like this! It has a catchy chorus which is easy enough to stick in your head. It also doesn’t sound as manufactured as other rock songs this year, like Cyprus for example.
Score: 5/10

Dimitris:  I kind of like this song but I just simply cannot find anything special in it. Also, the fact that he wants to perform naked with wolves makes me feel weird about it. Nice attempt though, Belarus. Maybe next time better.
Score: 5/10

Nick: Oh dear. Not the best song, not the best performer, not the best voice and not the best ideas either. Naked? Wolves? Let’s just not do that in May. This song is off putting and so is the idea of using his ideas on stage…
Score: 2/10

GermanyJamie-Lee – Ghost

Katarina: Jamie-Lee’s style gets more comments than her song, which I don’t understand since ‘Ghost’ is one of the better songs this year, After the mess in their national final in 2015, Germany upped their game with a proper selection which was won by the best song. When I heard this one for the first time, it was hard for me to believe that Jamie is only 18, her vocals were so on point every time she performed it. That being said, I can easily see this one flopping, but anything is better than nul points.
Score: 8/10

Liam:  I don’t know what it says about me that lyrically my favourite genre of music is complicated breakup songs but it is, and so Ghost really does it for me. Throw in the kookiness of a K-Pop aesthetic on a girl who looks like she spends too much time on tumblr and I’m a pretty happy guy. It’s a strange mix, but I’m living for it regardless.
Score: 8/10

Wivian: Another of my faves. She’s a great performer, I really like the quirkiness of her voice, and I can totally relate to the lyrics.
Score: 8/10

Sophie: I like the mystical and haunting atmosphere of ”Ghost”. It’s not exactly mind-blowing though and getting kind of boring after a while. No doubt about Jamie-Lee being a talented singer, still I’m not confident in her making it to the left side of the score board.
Score: 6/10

Danny: Now this is another gem from this year, one that I liked pretty much instantly after a first listen. The production is fantastic accompanied by a haunting melody and the charisma of Jamie-Lee who suits this song perfectly. This is one of only few this year that I think could chart on mainstream radio.
Score: 8.5/10

Dimitris: Both the singer and the song are cute. Although I really loved it when I first heard it and I was rooting for her to win the selection, it kind of got boring by now. I still love it though and I think it can get a decent result for the country after last year’s disappointing result.
Score: 8/10

Nick: When an 18 year old has the guts to do this, I’m sold. A nice, middle of the road pop song, which in itself is already something I enjoy a lot. And then there’s Jamie-Lee, who just does what she loves to do and how she loves to do it. Keep the style going if that’s what you like, that’s the way forward. People will remember you for it.
Score: 9/10

 

Standings:

In fashionable style, Nina overtakes Justs for the lead. She is the first song to score over 8/10 on average this year, despite Sophie (4/10) not being too fond of the Croatian entry. In a more surprising turn of events, Germany’s Jamie-Lee also beats Justs with a score of 7.93/10. Germany scores just one mark below 8: Sophie, our German editor, scores her home entry with a 6/10. All others scored it 8/10 or higher (Danny and Nick). Ivan’s story turns out to be a horror one, with only Dimitris and Danny going for 5/10. Two 1/10s and two 2/10s make Ivan our lowest scoring entry to date: 2,71. Can anyone do worse?

  1. Croatia – Nina Kraljić – Lighthouse: 8.21
  2. Germany – Jamie-Lee – Ghost: 7.93
  3. Latvia – Justs – Heartbeat: 7.44
  4. Israel – Hovi Star – Made Of Stars: 6.79
  5. Sweden – Frans-  If I Were Sorry: 6.72
  6. Hungary – Freddie – Pioneer: 6.00
  7. Moldova – Lidia Isac – Falling Stars: 5.36
  8. Finland – Sandhja – Sing It Away: 4.89
  9. Poland – Michał Szpak – Color Of Your Life: 4.36
  10. Switzerland – Rykka – The Last Of Our Kind: 4.29
  11. Greece – Argo – Utopian Land: 3.43
  12. Belarus – Ivan – Help You Fly: 2.71

Can anyone score higher than Croatia, Germany and Latvia? Only time will tell. Tomorrow’s entries come from The Netherlands, Armenia and Serbia. Maybe one of them can impress the team?

Media Liaison: One of the founding members at escXtra. I'm the Dutchman who loves every little idiotic Eurovision fact there is. I usually listen to a lot of Eurovision music, but when I'm not, I listen to country music, schlager and pop, but mostly artists like Tina Turner, Emma, Ilse DeLange and Helene Fischer. On escXtra, you can find me doing pretty much anything that needs doing: Interviews, liveblogs or just your daily portion of news!

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