Stockholm 2016

Xtra Jury: We review The Netherlands, Armenia and Serbia

We had a little break from reviewing yesterday as it was the day of the London Eurovision Party. Today we’re back with three more countries up for review: The Netherlands, Armenia and Serbia.
We’re twelve entries in now and Croatia is in the lead, surprisingly followed by Germany. In third, we have Latvia. Our current last place is Belarus… What can Douwe Bob, Iveta Mukuchyan and Sanja Vučić ZAA do in these rankings?

NetherlandsDouwe Bob – Slow Down

Katarina: An extremely cheerful and relaxing song with great lyrics. Douwe is a good performer so I don’t doubt the quality of his live vocals, but thinking of their 2015 performance, the staging is my biggest concern. If they manage to stage this one properly, I can see a Switzerland 2014 kind of surprise happening.
Score: 8/10
Nick: I question the choice of Douwe Bob for Eurovision. I question the choice of Slow Down for Eurovision. There is no point to this song. It has a hook, it should tick all the boxes for me (country, uptempo-ish, hook), but it leaves me cold. I can’t see us qualifying.
Score: 4/10
Alekas: This may stood out for being peaceful and calm. Not my cup of tea, but I can commend NL for being different.
Score: 5/10
Wivian: I’m normally not a huge fan of country music, and while I’m not a huge fan of this song either, I actually find it quite enjoyable. It’s very lightweight and singalong friendly, which I do like, and his voice works in the studio. I haven’t heard him sing it live, so I think a lot will depend on the performance.
Score: 6/10
Liam: Well it’s nice enough I suppose. Douwe Bob has a nice tone to his voice and is quite pleasant to look at, but the song just doesn’t do a heap with me. But still, it’s nice.
Score: 6/10
Sophie: A bit of country music will never do any harm. I guess a lot of people will say that the chorus is too repetitive, but for me this is what makes the song stick in my mind. I don’t think the Netherlands will make it to the final with this, but anyhow I’m a fan.
Score: 8/10
Dimitris: I wasn’t expecting much when I heard he was selected as the Dutch entrant. And I was right; I’m not really a fan of this song. I just find it dull and very plain. The verses are not really bad, but the chorus is just uninteresting.
Score: 3/10

ArmeniaIveta Mukuchyan – LoveWave

Katarina: When I first heard this I thought it was a huge mess. But since then, it has been growing on me constantly and it’s already in my top 15. It’s a hard song to sing live, so I hope Iveta can pull it off. If she does, this could take Armenia back to the left side of the scoreboard.
Score: 8/10
Nick: My main question was if she could do this live. And in Moscow, she showed that she could. This a real dark horse if they manage to stage it well. Iveta has charisma, so this is on the right track.
Score: 8.5/10
Alekas: Wants to be more than it is. The vocal seems forced, the music is overpowering her. One of my least favorite Armenian entries.
Score: 6/10
Wivian: This is my number 1. There is nothing about this song I don’t like; her voice, the melody, the lyrics…I love it!
Score: 10/10
Liam:  I’m hooked for the first minute of this, from the breathy, spoken word intro which leads into a breakdown. It’s a shame that the rest of the song doesn’t quite live up to the promise it delivers in that first minute, but I’m sure she’s going to slay it live.
Score: 7/10
Sophie: Is she really going to do the whispering thing on stage in Stockholm?! I have no idea what they were thinking with this. The rest of the song is not at all my cup of tea either.
Score: 1/10
Dimitris: When I first heard this, I thought it was just a good song. But the more I listened to it, the more I loved it. The song is just perfect in every way. I love the intro and the way it leads up to the chorus of the song. And Iveta is great live, so this could do very well.
Score: 10/10

SerbiaSanja Vučić ZAA – Goodbye (Shelter)

Katarina: I was awfully disappointed with my own country’s song last year, so I didn’t have high hopes for 2016, but what a surprise this is! I loved ‘Goodbye’ since the first listen and it keeps getting better. For me, the best thing about this song are the lyrics and the message Sanja is trying to send. Normally I would be mad we chose to send a song in English, but since the main point of this song is to get the message through, I agree Serbian isn’t quite the fitting language. I also think Sanja has one of the best voices this year, because the song sounds much better performed live than in the studio version.
Score: 10/10
Nick: Oh yes! Serbia singing in English is unusual, but Serbia bringing this voice makes me rather happy. Domestic violence is a social issue that needs to be spoken about and Sanja uses Eurovision to address it. I think this is brilliant and I hope Serbia does really well.
Score: 9/10
Alekas:  This may be a surprising dark horse. Sanja is very charming and just like Bojana, may lift otherwise an average song.
Score: 7/10
Wivian:  Here is an example of the artist being better than the song. I really want to like the song more than I actually do, just because she is so good. Unfortunately, the song is no more than average. But she lifts it enough that I will give it 6/10.
Score: 6/10
Liam: Another confident entry by Serbia, Shelter (Goodbye) is both musically and lyrically quite strong. On paper I should be incredibly into this since it has all the elements I love, but it doesn’t quite get there, still I’m a fan.
Score: 7/10
Sophie: This song and Sanja’s way of performing it are creating a special atmosphere that is kind of creeping me out – in a really good way. I love her voice and her energy.
Score: 8/10
Dimitris: What can I say about Serbia? It’s a great song and it has really grown on me since the first time I heard it. Sanja has proven to be a brilliant performer on stage, not only vocally. I hope this manages to bring Serbia another top 10!
Score: 8/10

The story so far…

We’re going all over the board today, especially in the case of Armenia. Iveta’s entry scores a 10/10 twice, but also puts a 1/10 on the board, which means that her score ends up somewhere in the middle of the top 10 with an average just above 7/10. A more steady score comes from Serbia’s Sanja. A low of 6/10 means everyone sort of liked it – no one can top Katarina though who scores her home girl with a 10/10. Douwe Bob is the Douwe Flop of the day as he scores an average below 6/10. Nick, Dimitris and Alekas are rather harsh on the Dutch entry, meaning that it comes in in a current ninth place.

  1. Croatia – Nina Kraljić – Lighthouse: 8.21
  2. Germany – Jamie-Lee – Ghost: 7.93
  3. Serbia – Sanja Vučić ZAA – Goodbye (Shelter): 7.86
  4. Latvia – Justs – Heartbeat: 7.44
  5. Armenia – Iveta Mukuchyan – LoveWave: 7.21
  6. Israel – Hovi Star – Made Of Stars: 6.79
  7. Sweden – Frans-  If I Were Sorry: 6.72
  8. Hungary – Freddie – Pioneer: 6.00
  9. The Netherlands – Douwe Bob – Slow Down: 5.71
  10. Moldova – Lidia Isac – Falling Stars: 5.36
  11. Finland – Sandhja – Sing It Away: 4.89
  12. Poland – Michał Szpak – Color Of Your Life: 4.36
  13. Switzerland – Rykka – The Last Of Our Kind: 4.29
  14. Greece – Argo – Utopian Land: 3.43
  15. Belarus – Ivan – Help You Fly: 2.71

Tomorrow, it’s time for more reviews as we talk about San Marino, Ireland and FYR Macedonia. Make sure to check that one out!

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