Stockholm 2016

Xtra Jury: We review Azerbaijan, Australia and Denmark

We had a happy day yesterday as our team was rather positive about the entries up for review. All of them scored a relatively high mark, with Bulgaria taking the crown as our new leader with an impressive 8.58/10. Today, we’re moving on to Azerbaijan, Australia and Denmark. What will our team think of those?

AzerbaijanSamra – Miracle

Wivian: I was part of the listening panel for Azerbaijan this year, and they had a song there that would have made my to 3…so of course they send this. It ticks most of my “no thanks” boxes, and add to that her live abilities… It is kinda singalong friendly though, so I’ll give it 2/10.
Score: 2/10
Dimitris: I knew Samra as a singer before and I was happy to hear she would represent the country. And the song is really great, very catchy and addictive. Guess Azerbaijan is going straight back to the top 5. However, I want Azerbaijan to sing in their native language for once, which I guess will not happen anytime soon.
Score: 10/10
Sophie:  I find this rather trashy and the „mira-mira-miracle“ part really annoying. It’s still catchy and makes me sing along against my will.
Score: 4/10
Peter: Love this. We’re back in Drip Drop territory here with a wholesale Swedish buy-in with not a hint of national identity. However this is instant, catchy, well-produced and all being well, will have a suitably Azerbaijaned-up performance.
Score: 10/10
Liam: This is easily the most amateur thing that Azerbaijan has ever sent and it honestly sounds like it belongs in 2001. But for some reason I completely adore it. It’s got some great shout along moments and that mira-mira-mira-cle bit is inspired. There are going to be many points in my life where I drunkenly ride my bike home shouting along to this. People of North Melbourne, I preemptively apologise.
Score: 10/10
Nick: Bland, nothingy and uninspired. Azerbaijan have, like many other countries, decided to go for a Swedish made entry. It however never sounded less Azerbaijani, less inspired and less interesting than it does in 2016. There is no point to this song whatsoever. Next.
Score: 2.5/10
Katarina: After two weak efforts, the fabulous Azerbaijan we all know is back with a strong entry. ‘Miracle’ is catchy and memorable, and it works at first listen. I just hope Samra can pull it off live and then they are back in the top 10.
Score: 8/10
Alekas: This is nice, but somehow pedestrian. It is the same old formula that Azerbaijan has used in the past and it worked but as years go by, this is getting obsolete. Unless this has a fantastic staging, I do not see it doing much better than lower TOP 10 position.
Score: 7/10

AustraliaDami Im – Sound of Silence

Wivian: This is quite a pleasant song, for about a minute. After a minute and a half it feels like it’s been going on for five… It’s just sooooo boring. Her voice is good, though, and I guess it’s quite contemporary.
Score: 3/10
Dimitris: The song turned out to be a lot better than I expected it to be. It is surely one of the best entries this year and definitely the best Australian entry (although there is no much competition). The song is really charming and with a great stage performance, I can see this getting another top 5 place for the country and why not, a victory.
Score: 10/10
Sophie: Dami Im definitely has an amazing voice. The song is not bad either, maybe a little too repetitive and getting kind of boring after a while. I’m not sure if she will be able to live up to Guy’s 5th place last year, but it should be a secure top 10 anyway.
Score: 7/10
Peter: This is very disappointing. I want to give the lacklustre chorus a massive boot up the backside. Yes it’s modern and well-produced but it’s not the only Sia ballad in the line-up by a long shot and it goes nowhere. It’s just a slightly more polished version of Melanie Rene to these ears!
Score: 4/10
Liam: I followed Dami’s season of The X Factor really hard and right from the get go she was my favourite. When she won I was mega excited and once I even came 10th in a win a phone call with Dami Im contest! When she was picked for Eurovision I was a tiny bit disappointed but I also knew that she would work as hard as she possibly could to perform a great song and do us proud. You’re not disappointing us Dami.
Score: 9/10
Nick: Dami Im is not my favourite Australian singer, but Sound of Silence is a pretty decent track. In a year without clear favourites, like 2016, this sounds like one we might need to watch. It makes an impression on the first few listens, but then soon gets boring. That fact won’t harm it at Eurovision, though…
Score: 8/10
Katarina: This song being ranked so high in all polls and with the bookies is the biggest mystery of 2016. Sure, Dami is a great performer, but that doesn’t make ‘Sound of Silence’ any less boring. The production is amazing, but I would rather listen to silence than this entry.
Score: 4/10
Alekas: I know about Dami from way before and I am very biased towards her. OK, the lyrics could’ve been better, but this does have an opportunity to be outstanding vocally. That alone is sometimes enough to persuade the voters. For me, this is easily in my TOP5.
Score: 8.5/10

DenmarkLighthouse X – Soldiers of Love

Wivian: People actually compare this to last year’s Danish entry…and I don’t see why? Last year they sent a happy 60s Beatles’y song that it was impossible not to sing and dance along to. And this year they send…this. I just want to cry when the canned drums kick in. But it’s not San Marino, so I’ll give it 1/10.
Score: 1/10
Dimitris:  I’m really disappointed, once again, with Denmark. They had really amazing songs in their selection and the less good one won. It’s not much of a bad song, but it’s not really the best. This is a typical boy band song and boy bands were never really my style (well there are exceptions). I can’t see this qualifying although anything could happen.
Score: 5/10
Sophie: It can hardly get any more Danish than this. Personally, I love this stuff – no matter how predictable and kitschy it is. But as Denmark didn’t qualify last year with a song and a band I also absolutely adored, I’m worried about Lighthouse X.
Score: 8/10
Peter: Perfectly pleasant but the absolute definition of middle-of-the-road.
Score: 5/10
Liam: Wow. Another mid tempo, male vocal, pop song. This is very Danish and very inoffensive and there’s not much to say here. That is, other than screw you Denmark for not picking Anja Nissen or Simone. You had two great songs to pick for and what did you do? Picked a bland boyband ballad. But whatever, it’s fine I guess.
Score: 3/10
Nick: Safe, bland, boring = Danish. The Danes keep trying this trick of songs that lack any sort of excitement (Simon Matthew, Brinck, A Friend In London, Soluna Samay, Anti Social Media, even Emmelie) and will only do well if there’s nothing in that year to point out how bland the Danes have made it. Lighthouse X follows the recipe. It’s safe, it’s rather impossible hate it, it lacks excitement. That’s what makes me rate it higher than I did with Azerbaijan. One big pile of indifference, still.
Score: 4/10
Katarina: What an underrated entry! Yes, it’s a typical, cliché boyband song, but I just can’t help but sing along to it whenever I hear it. It’s catchy and happy, I love listening to it when I need music to cheer me up. Lighthouse X also have amazing live vocals, and they just look like they are enjoying themselves on stage. I really hope Europe won’t let me down and these guys will get to perform in the final too.
Score: 10/10
Alekas: This could not get more Danish. I don’t like it, but there is a listener for it surely. Maybe the Irish bloke could join these 3 and save another spot in semi 2?
Score: 4/10

The story so far…

Well, this day shows us one thing. After yesterday’s high points, today is much more spread out. Australia received a 10, but also a 3. Azerbaijan even receives tree 10s, but also a score of 2.5, as well as one of 2. For both entries, that makes a simple rule: If no one agrees, you’ll end up somewhere around a 6/10. Australia and Azerbaijan are our ‘favourites’ today with the exact same score of 6.69, placing fifteenth and sixteenth. Seems we’re not too fond of this bookie favourite! Azerbaijan beats Australia because of the three 10s given to them.
Denmark, to finish off, finishes just below Ireland with a score of 5.00 exactly. The score, like, according to many of our team, is right in the middle of our possible scale.

  1. Bulgaria – Poli Genova – If Love Was A Crime: 8.58
  2. Croatia – Nina Kraljić – Lighthouse: 8.21
  3. Germany – Jamie-Lee – Ghost: 7.93
  4. Estonia – Jüri Pootsmann – Play: 7.92
  5. Serbia – Sanja Vučić ZAA – Goodbye (Shelter): 7.86
  6. Russia – Sergey Lazarev – You Are The Only One: 7.64
  7. Latvia – Justs – Heartbeat: 7.44
  8. Armenia – Iveta Mukuchyan – LoveWave: 7.21
  9. Czech Republic – Gabriela Gunčíková – I Stand: 7.21
  10. Cyprus – Minus One – Alter Ego: 7.07
  11. Israel – Hovi Star – Made Of Stars: 6.79
  12. Lithuania – Donny Montell – I’ve Been Waiting For This Night: 6.79
  13. Austria – Zoë – Loin D’Ici: 6.75
  14. Sweden – Frans –  If I Were Sorry: 6.72
  15. Azerbaijan – Samra – Miracle: 6.69
  16. Australia – Dami Im – Sound of Silence: 6.69
  17. Spain – Barei – Say Yay!: 6.43
  18. FYR Macedonia – Kaliopi – Dona: 6.29
  19. Hungary – Freddie – Pioneer: 6.00
  20. The Netherlands – Douwe Bob – Slow Down: 5.71
  21. Moldova – Lidia Isac – Falling Stars: 5.36
  22. Ireland – Nicky Byrne – Sunlight: 5.29
  23. Denmark – Lighthouse X – Soldiers of Love: 5.00
  24. Finland – Sandhja – Sing It Away: 4.89
  25. Poland – Michał Szpak – Color Of Your Life: 4.36
  26. Switzerland – Rykka – The Last Of Our Kind: 4.29
  27. Slovenia – ManuElla – Blue & Red: 4.14
  28. Greece – Argo – Utopian Land: 3.43
  29. Belarus – Ivan – Help You Fly: 2.71
  30. San Marino – Serhat – I Didn’t Know: 1.64

With thirty entries already done, there’s just twelve more to go. Tomorrow will, if we can somewhat predict it, be a day of extremes. We’ll be taking a look at Montenegro, Ukraine and Norway.


  1. This is very funny, the bookies favorite is not even in the top 5. Sorry people you have no idea how to score. These below will not even get in the top 10.
    1.Bulgaria – Poli Genova – If Love Was A Crime: 8.58
    2.Croatia – Nina Kraljić – Lighthouse: 8.21
    3.Germany – Jamie-Lee – Ghost: 7.93
    4.Estonia – Jüri Pootsmann – Play: 7.92

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