Stockholm 2016

Xtra Jury: We review Moldova, Hungary and Israel

We had a bit of a bad day yesterday with no song managing to score an average higher than 5/10. We’re back today with three more countries. Let’s hope our team is in a better mood today as we take a look at Moldova, Hungary and Israel.

MoldovaLidia Isac – Falling Stars

Nick: Your ordinary Swedish schlager which requires very little creativity. After last year, TRM said they only wanted Moldovans to represent them. They ended up with a Russian-born Moldovan woman singing an IKEA entry. That said, there are many, many worse songs this year and it somehow works for me. A little.
Score: 6.5/10
Wivian: This is everything that I hate in a song.
Score: 0/10
Nathan: No, thank you. Next.
Score: 1/10
Katarina: Remember what I said about Greece being my biggest guilty pleasure? Well, Moldova is their biggest competition. ‘Falling Stars’ is definitely trashy, but as I would say, it’s quality trash. I listen to it quite a lot and I am totally in love with the chorus which makes me wanna dance every time I hear it. That being said, I still find it hard to believe that it was written by the same guy who did Polina’s ‘A Million Voices’.
Score: 8/10
Liam: I know that this is the kind of song that only exists in the Eurovision subculture, but I don’t care, I love this. It’s by the book and very generic but hey, I like what I like.
Score: 8/10
Peter: When I first heard this, I thought it would be a Euroclub anthem for the ages, a classic piece of fanwank for us basic Eurogays to hopelessly unite behind. What happened?! Why is everyone ignoring this? This is the kind of music we can only find in Eurovision – do the fans of this fluff want it to become extinct completely? Stop the madness and get behind Lidia!
Score: 8/10
Sophie: Pretty trashy and not exactly anything special. I want to hate it but yet somehow I end up singing along and actually enjoying listening to it.
Score: 6/10

HungaryFreddie – Pioneer

Nick: Freddie has a voice you will always recognise. His stage act needs work, but he’s a rock solid performer. This song works too, it has everything it needs. Is it a frontrunner? No. And I don’t know why no one – myself included – thinks this song, which ticks all boxes it needs to tick, is not a frontrunner. Funny how that works sometimes.
Score: 8/10
Wivian: I like his voice, but the song is distinctly average. Pleasant enought, but nothing special.
Score: 5/10
Nathan: Oh look, it’s Hungarian James Arthur without the bad bits. It’s kinda catchy but a short while afterwards, I couldn’t sing it back to you.
Score: 6/10
Katarina: I’ve been supporting Freddie since the first time I heard the A Dal songs, and I am glad Hungary finally made the right decision! ‘Pioneer’ is a really outstanding song, with strong verses and a chorus wich blows you away. The message in the lyrics is also important, I just wish Freddie worked more on his pronounciation, so that the people who hear him for the first time on the night could understand what he is singing about. On the other hand, his vocals are on point, and I am confident Hungary can get a top 10 result this year.
Score: 9/10
Liam: I honestly have no opinion on this song because I’ve never made it past the first chorus. I absolutely cannot stand Freddie’s voice, and that ruins any chance of this for me. He seems a capable performer and a nice enough person, but it’s not for me.
Score: 1/10
Peter: I don’t really have a lot to say about this one. It’s rather dull, as Hungary has tended to be recently. It’s meant to be empowering and uplifting, in a cool way, but it doesn’t quite meet its quota on any of those counts, and it hasn’t even got a hook to compensate. I also find Freddie’s voice rather unappealing.
Score: 3/10
Sophie: Here is one of my personal hot favorites! And not only because of Freddie’s looks which admittedly are quite convincing themselves. But more importantly I love his rough and recognizable voice, I love the whistling parts, I love everything about this song actually. I would be more than happy to see a rock song doing well at Eurovision, but it will probably end up somewhere in the middle unfortunately.
Score: 10/10

IsraelHovi Star – Made Of Stars

Nick: Albania, take notice. This is how you revamp your entries. Israel is showing us all that you can polish the proverbial turd. Sorry Hovi, that first version you did just didn’t work whatsoever. This however is much, much better. The song as it is now can make a solid impression in May and Hovi deserves it, he’s the fanboy living the dream.
Score: 8.5/10
Wivian: First listen of the revamped version, and I’m not a fan. This is a bland and boring ballad, full of all the clichés you can possibly come up with.
Score: 3/10
Nathan: This new version is so much better than the original and it shows off his voice amazingly well, plus it’s a little bit like an X Factor winner’s single.
Score: 7/10
Katarina: The revamp was needed here, and luckily they didn’t mess the song up (hi Albania!), but actually improved it. At first listen it was quite boring, but hearing Hovi’s live version made me rank it much higher in my top. I still don’t think it has a chance of qualifying, but at least it’s not a toilet break song anymore.
Score: 7/10
Liam: I really preferred the original version of this song. They took something that was interesting but needed work and turned it into a ballad that for me is quite boring. Conversely I find Hovi to be an interesting person with a very striking look so just because of Hovi alone, I’m giving this 6/10.
Score: 6/10
Peter: What was originally a pop/rock/schlager ballad has been completely overhauled and is now a sort of John Lewis ballad, which on paper I disapprove of but actually they might be onto something. It sounds a lot more competitive now, and the build towards the end is very effective. I’d imagine an on point vocal from Hovi (which he’s more than capable of as long as he doesn’t party too hard in Sweden!) will have this comfortably in the final.
Score: 7/10
Sophie: Over time this song really grew on me and eventually made it into my personal Top 4. With proper staging I can easily see this doing very very well in the final.
Score: 9/10


Well, we’re clearly in a better mood today! Two songs (Hungary and Israel) score solidly over 6/10 and Moldova also does better than any songs we saw last night. It’s however not the most exciting day, as no song comes close to Latvia’s Justs.

  1. Latvia – Justs – Heartbeat: 7.44
  2. Israel – Hovi Star – Made Of Stars: 6.79
  3. Sweden – Frans-  If I Were Sorry: 6.72
  4. Hungary – Freddie – Pioneer: 6.00
  5. Moldova – Lidia Isac – Falling Stars: 5.36
  6. Finland – Sandhja – Sing It Away: 4.89
  7. Poland – Michał Szpak – Color Of Your Life: 4.36
  8. Switzerland – Rykka – The Last Of Our Kind: 4.29
  9. Greece – Argo – Utopian Land: 3.43

We’ll obviously be continuing our series tomorrow as we move on with Croatia from semifinal one, Belarus from semifinal two and automatic finalist Germany. Can Jamie-Lee, Nina or Ivan impress us more than Justs could? We’ll find out tomorrow!


  1. lol, what a bad reviews! how is it possible that Israel is higher than Hungary or Moldova higher than Poland? Where do you have ears?

  2. Peter hits the nail right on its head with his review about Moldova. Thís song is Eurovision people! But Wivian deserves the title of best juror, because of her sharp analysis of Israels song. Israel you can do better! Are you maybe compensating (with dullness) for the shallowness of last year\’s Golden Boy? (Which was a good entry and an even better performance btw).
    Looking forward for the reviews of Amazing Azerbaijan! Because I think Eurovion 2017 should and will again be hosted in Baku Chrystal Hall!

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