Editorials & Opinion

The 2015 Xtra review – Should’ve gone to Vienna.

Yesterday we finally listened to the first official song for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. And with FiKmas we have all officially declared the Hot Eurovision Season on. In the meantime that we await for other countries to make official statements (like Spain. What are you doing people?), we decided to take a look back at this 2015 before jumping into the new adventures that will bring us to Stockholm.
Today, we will be reviewing the 2015 Eurovision choices and Nathan, Liam, Peter, Yassia and Matteo will propose the song that should have gone to Vienna, but didn’t.

Nathan: more contemporary and experienced artists

2015 had many outside the standard Eurovision box, contemporary pop hits that were eligible and could have been entries. For the UK, we could have sent a radio edit of “Real Love” by Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne, Sweden could have sent Zara Larsson’s “Lush Life” (albeit releasing it earlier). All competent live performers with musically relevant songs. German music fans will always call for Helene Fischer as someone to perform better than their entrant. It would have been nice to see an experienced performer like Eoghan Quigg for Ireland and, well, I’d never say no to a return from Yohanna for Iceland, despite her recently having a child. I think what I’m trying to say is that for me, entries could always be more contemporary on the whole, although I’ll admit that in recent years we’ve had a couple a year that are suitable for major radio rotation across the continent, Eurovision or not. You’ll also notice I’ve picked a group of experienced live artists who all have a track record of performing well on a stage, despite not being global household names. Perhaps this is the kind of artist that countries should send to further their music scene’s talent?

Liam: Laing – Zeig deine Muskeln

So let me start by saying I am a huge fan of Ann Sophie. I absolutely loved Black Smoke and I think it was one of the best songs this year. The thing is that Europe did not agree with me, at all.
Ann Sophie sadly just faded into the background of a year that decided to keep it subtle, slow and subdued.
So Germany should have instead had the balls to send Laing. Their entry would have provided us something to talk about and a very different style of music from anything else at the contest.
Honestly I adore this entry. Any song that sexually objectifies the act of going to the gym, while staging the whole thing on exercise bikes and looking like an old workout video from the 80s is right up my alley.
So this song would have given something to talk about and lets be honest, there’s no way it could have done worse.

Peter: Tina & René – Mi amore

This year I found Sweden’s Melodifestivalen to be of particularly high standard, with several good pop songs that could have been competitive at Eurovision. However we all know what happened there, so I won’t insult your intelligence by proposing something else as a wiser choice than Måns.
Instead I have chosen something that may not have set the scoreboard alight, but would probably have been more successful than what was chosen, and would definitely have been more enjoyable, for me at least.
I believe I have quite a varied taste in Eurovision songs, but I make no apologies for the fact that I love having songs in the mix that you can listen to and know EXACTLY what you’re going to get after the first few seconds. ‘Mi Amore’ is one of those songs not just because it’s utterly formulaic, but also because the same songwriter (G:Son obviously) sent exactly the same song for the same country in 2010.
It’s catchy, it’s dramatic (who doesn’t love a cymbal-crash-key-change?), and it’s familiar and comforting. Some people would love it for those very reasons, and others would hate it for reasons I can’t even begin to fathom. But that makes me enjoy it even more – I was already looking forward to belting this out in people’s faces at any opportunity for maximum irritation factor. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

Yassia: Milki – Accent

The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 Alexander Rybak, who is Belarusian by origin, seriously decided to help his homeland in 2015 by doing auditions in 4 cities of Belarus with the aim of forming a group, which would participate in the Belarusian ESC-selection (“Eurofest”), with a song composed by him. In the end he selected 5 girls, who became part of a girl band called Milki and composed a very nice song called “Accent” with lyrics in Belarusian and English.
In the end, “Time” performed by Uzari & Maimuna won the national final thanks to jury vote. “Accent” sadly ended up second. Alexander Rybak got very disappointed, as he strongly believed that Milky deserved to be first, as many other fans also did. As a result, Belarus was represented by Uzari & Maimuna, who even failed to qualify to the final. It’s not a secret that many Eurovision experts, fans and audience had expressed their opinion regarding the participants from Belarus in the same way: “If Belarus was represented by Milki, it would have avoided another fail”.

Matteo: Karin Park – Human beings

I know that Norway has actually achieved a good result, so it would be like saying Sweden should have sent someone else instead of Måns. But I wasn’t completely a fan of Mørland and Debrah. I can understand it was the right choice, I can understand it would have attracted the interest of the People – but I couldn’t appreciate the performance in Vienna due to the high usage of lighter colours (it’s a dark song, c’mon) and the fact that Debrah most of the times started with a deeper “Honey” then she was supposed to do.
That said. Karin Park was my choice. I saw her live in London and she was incredible: the song was a piece of contemporary music that would have gone down very well in radio. But I can see how she wasn’t the best one at performing at the Melodi Grand Prix final. Plus, everyone played with the orchestra, why didn’t she do it too?

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