Stockholm 2016

Xtra Jury: We review San Marino, Ireland and FYR Macedonia

We’ve already reviewed fifteen entries for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016. As we approach the halfway mark, Croatia are in a solid lead. Today, we’re taking a look at three entries who are not doing all too well with bookmakers this year. Can our team see any charm? Or is today another disastrous round from our team? We take a look at San Marino, Ireland and FYR Macedonia today.

San-MarinoSerhat – I Didn’t Know

Dimitris: This is a joke, isn’t it? I can’t even listen to this further than ten seconds, even if the disco version is slightly better than the original one. I still can’t take this seriously though, it makes me laugh but also facepalm at the same time.
Score: 1/10
Alekas: As if the first version wasn’t bad enough, we got ourselves a disco stomper. Is Italy paying for San Marino’s participation just to give them points? I always thought Eurovision was to promote the country, the culture or to do very well to be noticed. San Marino is not doing anything and is instead a country for some rich dude to release his middle-age crisis at. NO!
Score: 0/10
Sophie: I never thought I would ever be saying this… I want Ralph Siegel back! If I was forced to mention one slightly positive thing about this song, it would be the disco elements. But as those are being drowned out by Serhat’s creepy speech, I can’t give more than 1/10.
Score: 1/10
Nick: Knowing that San Marino criticised EBU for the new voting, you’d think they were having a laugh here. The first version was artsy fartsy, this is just hilarious. The live will be the trainwreck of the century and I can’t wait for it. Song is still rubbish though. He gets an extra point for making me laugh.
Score: 2.5/10
Liam: Wow. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. The original song was one of, if not the worst song to be ever entered into the Eurovison song contest, it was so bad that it wasn’t even funny, it was just gobsmackingly bad. The move to change the weird, almost spoken word song into a disco number was completely unexpected and changed a stone cold mess into a hot mess. Now the song is at least kinda funny and catchy. I also am a big fan of proper 70’s inspired disco, especially bad disco, so I have to say, this speaks to me. It’s still pretty bad though.
Score: 5/10
Wivian: I haven’t been able to force myself to listen to this song yet…I always give up after about a minute. I don’t have words. Sorry.
Score: 0/10
Katarina: Okay, the disco version is much better than the one they originally wanted to send, but it’s still the creepiest song in years. The lyrics are a huge no for me, although I sometimes catch myself singing along to it. Still… can we have Valentina back next year?
Score: 2/10

IrelandNicky Byrne – Sunlight

Dimitris: This is an okay song, nothing really amazing though. Also, the live performance is not making it any better. However, it’s definitely not the worst song.
Score: 5/10
Alekas: When your career goes down the hill and you are a washed-up boyband member nobody remembers, you do Eurovision. If even the reformed Blue couldn’t break the top 10 (who were kind of good singers. Individually), surely, this dude with no vocal capability will be nowhere near top 10. In the semi. My suggestion, reform Westlife, go on a bye bye tour and retire to hosting or raising kids or whatever it is you like to do on your free time (like gardening).
Score: 2/10
Sophie: This makes my boy-band-loving heart beat a little faster. I would love it even more if the other former members of Westlife were a part of this, too. But still I’m quite into it – no matter how cliché it is.
Score: 8/10
Nick: This is not bad. But it’s not brilliant either. It’s your typical middle of the road pop song with a good face behind it: Very Danish. The lyrics are a bit creepy though. I mean… Touch who you wanna, kiss who you gotta – People go to the police for that kind of thing. Still, song is very decent, all we need now is Nicky to sing this well.
Score: 7/10
Liam: This reeks of an attempt to manufacture a summer hit. It’s hitting all the right notes, but in a contrived way that feels like it’s trying to inspire the forced fun you endure on an awkward family holiday or a compulsory school camp to somewhere dull. It’s enjoyable enough, but after a few listens I found myself skipping it almost every time. But at the very least, I like his voice.
Score: 6/10
Wivian: This is an amazingly average boyband song, performed by an average boyband boy…eh…man (meaning; good looking, questionable vocals). I realized during the London Eurovision Party that I was able to sing along to it after having listened to it only once before, which is both a good thing (since i love singing along) and a bad thing (since it means it’s slightly too predictable), but all in all; not too bad.
Score: 4/10
Katarina: This one sounded like a sure qualifier… when there were only two songs announced. I got really bored of it since then, and Nicky’s live performances just made it worse. Sorry Ireland, but I’m afraid it’s another year in the semis for you.
Score: 5/10

MacedoniaKaliopi – Dona

Dimitris: I was excited to hear that Kaliopi was coming back and I had high expectations on a great song. And luckily I wasn’t let down; the song is great! Although I prefer Crno i belo, I really like Dona.
Score: 9/10
Alekas: Dear Kaliopi, we, the fans, love you so much very much. Why the frock did you have to come back with this lame song? It doesn’t do anything for you at all. If you are coming back just to spend time with your fans, you can come back as a back singer or a “producer” like Kirkorov. This makes me sad. An extra two points because it’s Kaliopi.
Score: 4/10
Sophie: The ”dona” overload is annoying me quite a bit and the whole song is too melodramatic for my taste. But I’m sure there are enough Kaliopi fans out there to take this to the final.
Score: 4/10
Nick: The return of the queen that is Kaliopi was applauded by many. However, reactions to Dona have been lukewarm. For me, it’s in my top five (solidly) and her live vocals should be able to lift this to a whole new level. It takes you back to the music of the days that have gone by and I quite like this.
Score: 9.5/10
Liam: Oh Kaliopi, I had such high hopes for your return. Crno i Belo was epic and was full of power moments that gave me life. This, well this sounds like a rather pleasant track number 7 on her album. A nice, nostalgic tune that her fans would listen to and smile relaxingly. It’s fine enough, but there’s no power moments. There’s nothing fierce like we had in 2012, it’s just… nice…. And that’s all it can be. But still, it’s nice.
Score: 6/10
Wivian:  I love Kaliopi’s voice, I adore Kaliopi, I love the chorus of “Dona”, and the rest of the song is also fairly ok. She is perfect live, always.
Score: 5.5/10
Katarina: I was so excited to hear this entry since Kaliopi was one of my favourites in 2012, but I am really disappointed. It’s supposed to be an emotional ballad, but it makes me feel literally nothing, except the urge to skip to the next song in the playlist. Kaliopi is an outstanding performer, but can her vocals make such a boring song achieve something? I doubt it.
Score: 6/10

The story so far…

Needless to say, there’s no universal love today. Dimitris and Nick join forces to make Kaliopi the highest scoring entry of the day, but it still doesn’t bring her any higher than a current eighth place. Ireland, pretty much as expected, is sitting somwhere right in the middle. As for San Marino, we didn’t know a score like this would ever be possible. The highlight for Serhat is Liam’s 5/10, but there’s also two 0/10s being handed out to him, bringing him to an all-time low of 1.64/10 on average. Our top stay safe where they are.

  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. FYR Macedonia – Kaliopi – Dona: 6.29
  9. Hungary – Freddie – Pioneer: 6.00
  10. The Netherlands – Douwe Bob – Slow Down: 5.71
  11. Moldova – Lidia Isac – Falling Stars: 5.36
  12. Ireland – Nicky Byrne – Sunlight: 5.29
  13. Finland – Sandhja – Sing It Away: 4.89
  14. Poland – Michał Szpak – Color Of Your Life: 4.36
  15. Switzerland – Rykka – The Last Of Our Kind: 4.29
  16. Greece – Argo – Utopian Land: 3.43
  17. Belarus – Ivan – Help You Fly: 2.71
  18. San Marino – Serhat – I Didn’t Know: 1.64

Hopefully we’ll get a few great scores tomorrow as we review the bookies’ favourite, Russia, as well as Lithuania and Australia. Make sure to check that one out!

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