Stockholm 2016

Xtra Jury: We review Greece, Poland and Switzerland

Latvia is currently leading our reviews, but we’re only on the second day. Today, our team will take a look at Greece, Poland and Switzerland and share their thoughts about these three with you!

GreeceArgo – Utopian Land

Sophie: This is just such a big mess, which leaves me completely disturbed. If their “Utopian Land” is a place where Greek folklore music is mashed up with rap, I don’t want to go there. Ever.
Score: 1/10
Nick:  I just don’t know what ERT were thinking with this. Yes, I’m all for national elements and bringing the feelings in your country across in Eurovision, but if this song is an attempt by Greece to do that, they must be feeling dated, awful, messy and clueless about their identity. It sounds angry, shouty and not anywhere near hopeful.
Score: 2/10
Peter: On one hand this is a very welcome inclusion in this year’s contest, as so many countries are lacking a national flavour in their entries, not to mention their national language. So it’s good that they’ve sent something very Greek but put that pop hook in there to widen its appeal. However, it’s not my cup of tea, I find the rap quite difficult to listen to and usually end up skipping.
Score: 4/10
Nathan: Fom the moment this begins, it just sounds and feels Greek – something which lacks with so many other entries this year, national identity. People will be voting for this because it’s not too far from the kind of music that’s popular (though, of course, exchange the greek instruments for synth and bass beats) and I could make a strong case for this being on the left side of the scoreboard on a Saturday night show.
Score: 7/10
Liam: Legitimately one of the worst songs we’ve seen in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years. If this qualifies just because it’s Greece and robs a deserving semi one country of a spot in the final, I am going to be livid.
Score: 0/10
Alekas: Time for Greece to fail at semis at last.
Score: 2/10
Katarina: Definitely my guilty pleasure this year. I usually don’t like rap music, but this song is an obvious exception. I also love the Greek elements in it, and they get bonus points for singing a part in their own language. ‘Utopian Land’ isn’t a typical Eurovision song, and if it wasn’t Greece I’d say it’s a sure non-qualifier with their starting position, but I have some hope they will make it to the final.
Score: 8/10

PolandMichał Szpak – Color Of Your Life

Sophie: It’s kind of funny that a song called „Color Of Your Life“ is so extremely colorless itself. I have to force myself to stay awake during this.
Score: 3/10
Nick: Let’s just admit that, looking at the NF and the comments Margaret made afterwards, Michał Szpak was probably the right choice. His song is dated and rather bland, but he sells it. A crowd of Margaret lovers in Amsterdam were happily singing along to the chorus and even got an encore from Michał . This should qualify and it might do rather well. I quite like it too. However, Poland need to realise they’re taking part in Europe, where we use British spelling. So Colour of your life from now on, please.
Score: 8/10
Peter: So, putting to one side what we all know COULD have been, this is a perfectly solid pop rock entry even though it could easily have been in Eurovision 1993. That’s not a bad thing, but it does stick out of the pack for sounding so incredibly dated. If he sings it well, he could probably qualify from the easier semi.
Score: 5/10
Nathan: Ooh look here, musical theatre! We know this tends to go down well with Eurovision viewers so don’t write this one off in terms of qualifying. That being said, it’s not my cup of tea and I think it really very dull. I said that last year and yet it still qualified.
Score: 3/10
Liam: Look, it’s fine. It’s your standard well performed but boring ballad. But really, this doesn’t do anything for me at all whatsoever.
Score: 2/10
Alekas: Ugh, why? There were at least 2 better songs to pick in their National Final. This is so boring.
Score: 3/10
Katarina: I know everyone wanted Margaret (myself included), but when you compare her live vocals to Michal’s, not even the awesome ‘Cool Me Down’ can make up for the difference. I do think his song is quite boring, and I’d probably change stations if I heard it on the radio (which I am pretty sure won’t ever happen), but based on the live performance, he deserved to win the national final. ‘Color Of Your Life’ also reminds me of a certain 80s Serbian song, which just goes to show how dated it is. But it doesn’t matter how dull it is to me, it’s still among my personal qualifiers in the semi.
Score: 6.5/10

SwitzerlandRykka – The Last Of Our Kind

Sophie:  I like this song quite a bit, but unfortunately Rykka seems to have a hard time hitting the high notes, which might make her live performance a painful experience.
Score: 6/10
Nick: What is it with the Swiss and their fear to stand out? It’s all oh so neutral and bland – basically since DJ Bobo and Paolo Meneguzzi failed to qualify. The goody two shoes of Eurovision is sending another bland song to Eurovision which will not be in anyone’s minds after all nineteen songs in that semi have been performed. Add to that that her live vocals aren’t always on point and you’ve got a car crash in your hands. Another year down the list for Switzerland. Let’s just not bother with this entry. The Swiss don’t either.
Score: 1/10
Peter: This was a song I had a regard for early in the season, but it’s crept way back as better examples of the genre have come along. I do like that it’s a Sia ballad but in a proper “Sia does Eurovision” sort of way, but I feel that it’s missing something. It has very little impact on the whole, and I find it would need a slightly left field staging that Switzerland clearly won’t deliver in order to help its qualification chances.
Score: 6/10
Nathan: Céline Dion 2.0. Random Canadian representing Switzerland. Except this time, the Canadian doesn’t have anything like a good song. Needs improvement throughout – on the instrumental, the live vocal, the visual presentation.
Score: 2/10
Liam: I was kind of excited when Rykka won the national final because I saw a lot of potential in ‘The Last of Our Kind’ and I was excited for the revamp. But it never came. As it is, it just feels unfinished, like a demo. Maybe I’ll get that revamp when we get to Stockholm, but I’m not holding my breath.
Score: 4/10
Alekas: Good song, bad vocals. Sia inspired ballad can only attempt at making it to the finals if she improves the vocals or the stage act is superb. I like it, but I don’t believe in it.
Score: 7/10
Katarina: Sia, is it you? Oh no wait, Sia can actually hit notes when singing. I don’t have any problems with this song, except that it does absolutely nothing for me. And Rykka’s live vocals don’t help at all. I am pretty sure this won’t make it out of the semi, unless they bring some breathtaking staging and fix her vocals.
Score: 4/10


Today is a tough day for our reviews. None of the three songs mentioned above scores anywhere near a 5/10. Poland scores ‘best’ today with a 4.36/10. Greece is the lowlight so far with 3.43/10. Justs has not been threatened by any of the three we reviewed today.

  1. Latvia – Justs – Heartbeat: 7.44
  2. Sweden – Frans – If I Were Sorry: 6.72
  3. Finland – Sandhja – Sing It Away: 4.89
  4. Poland – Michał Szpak – Color Of Your Life: 4.36
  5. Switzerland – Rykka – The Last Of Our Kind: 4.29
  6. Greece – Argo – Utopian Land: 3.43

Tomorrow, it’s time for the third part of our reviews. We’ll be continuing with the semi-finals, as we review Moldova, Hungary and Israel. Make sure to check it out!

One Comment

  1. Did Nathan seriously say that Greece will get left-hand side of the scoreboard on Saturday? It\’s not even qualifying.

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