OK folks – it’s crunch time! I apologize for not being able to give my usual attention to Eurovision coverage this year on the site – things have been hectic, and I have so many things going. But I want to make sure we get them all in!
So….with the first semi-final just hours away from starting, I need to kick into high gear. Rather than trying to do a separate write up as I usually do, I am going to do a simple piece covering each song left. I’ve done full writeups for my personal choice countdown from 40-28 already. Yesterday I covered my countdown from 27-13, and so, we’ve reached the top twelve today, my “douze points” songs for the contest. Remember, these are MY choices, and why I have put each song where it is – opinions vary greatly in the ESC fan community, so your mileage may vary!
And so…ONWARD WE GO!
12. Greece – Die Together – Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord
What an incredible video. What a marvelous voice. What an absolutely MORBID theme for the song! OMG, yes, so…um…wow. This is not to say I don’t love this song – I do, and it has a shot at taking the whole package if the fan support is any indication. But OMG, what an eerily morbid song this is. So, you’re growing apart, and to preserve the memory of what you had, you want to COMMIT DOUBLE SUICIDE? Or worse yet, MURDER/SUICIDE? YIKES! This song is the antithesis of the classic 1960’s hit “We’ll Sing In The Sunshine“, where the couple agrees to have a marvelous year together and then go their separate ways to find their true love. This…the song is HORRIFYING. But it’s also irresistible…Tenfjord’s vocals are perfect throughout the song, and the hauntingly beautiful video is also a plus…but I can’t get past the lyrics and the sentiment behind them…RUN DUDE RUN! NOW! While you still can! The lyrics here are just as bad – thematically, I mean – as the video was for Belarus’ “Forever” in 2018, which turned a beautiful declaration love into serial killer territory..::shudder:: If the lyrics weren’t so morbid, I think this would have placed in the top five..but I can’t…I just can’t…..
11. Sweden – Hold Me Closer – Cornelia Jacobs
This is one of two songs that has continually grown on me throughout the contest this year. When I first started putting together my countdown, it was in the bottom ten. But as time went on, I found myself listening to it more and more, and I started to realize not only was it a good song, it was a GREAT song. It has the exact same sentiment as Greece’s entry, and it takes the completely opposite approach – I don’t want to split, and it’s going to hurt like hell losing you, but I’ll remember what we had forever. No “Die Together” sentiment here. Jacobs’ vocals soar around the song, and envelope you in her passion, her anguish, her feeling of loss, and it completely works. Jacobs has a very Celine Dion-like vibe about her, and I’d love to see this song launch her to international stardom. We’ll see…this is one of the songs that could take the whole thing on Saturday, and I think it’s an absolute LOCK for the top ten for sure…
10. Poland – River – Ochman
Once again, Poland has brought me to my knees. OMG I Love this song! Poland has a hit or miss with me, every other year I love them, and the rest of the time I’m ambivalent about them. But this one pulls together the best parts of several past songs I’ve really liked and made them into a superior song – there are flashes of Duncan Laurence here, also quite a bit of Cesar Sampson, and the song quality of a number of other acts. I love Ochman’s voice as well. I really really REALLY want this song to do better than I think it might, but we’ll have to wait and see if it clears the semis first – it should but you never know…
9. Montenegro – Breathe – Vladana
What’s NOT to love about this song? It’s incredibly stylish, the vocals are exquisite, the video vibrant and slightly disturbing…no, make that HELLA disturbing. Vladana’s vocals are top notch, and she delivers an incredible performance here. I’m not sure what kind of trauma Vladana went through that inspired the song, but she’s written a true anthem here, and the song delivers some good advice – when faced with troubles in life, don’t forget to keep stock of things, take time to breathe and you will get through it. It’s good advice for sure, and something everyone should do. The song could be this year’s “Proud” as far as unexpected jury support, and I sure hope it makes it through to the finals…because if she makes it through, I expect her to breathe…and do quite well…
8. Estonia – Hope – Stefan
Part of my love for this song stems from the song itself, and part from it’s inspired, quirky video, which pays tribute to Clint Eastwood’s “Man With No Name” films. I didn’t know Estonia was into westerns, honestly, and they have produced an inspired song that once again says “don’t give up, keep positive, and things will work out”. At least that’s what it says to me. I love Stefan’s delivery here, and mixing western sounds with a modern dance beat, it completely works, and I wish it was getting more support than it is. It’s probably got enough to make it through the semis…we’ll have to wait and see…but we can always HOPE….heh heh
7. Slovenia – Disko – LPS
Ok, say what you will about this one (and many of you have…) but…this is AWESOME! It’s the second of the two songs that have been sliding up my picks all through the contest (the other is “Hold Me Closer“) and it started in the bottom ten, and eventually worked it’s way into my top ten. This old fashioned, 1976-sounding disco romp is made even more fun by the fact that it’s FOUR TEENAGERS doing it – THERE’S HOPE FOR THE WORLD! – their GRANDPARENTS were probably kids during the 1970s, for pete’s sake. At just 16-18 years old (except the keyboard player, who may or may not be their professor, not sure), these four schoolmates have managed to capture the look, feel, and sound of an era two generations past…and have done so with PERFECTION. And the animated video they had done is lots of fun, too! Are they going to get through? Probably not, unfortunately…they have very little fan support. And that’s too bad. Over so much of their competition, I’ll take their Last Pizza Slice anytime they want to offer it to me…they are FANTASTIC! I for one think they have a huge future ahead of them if they keep it up…and I’d love to see an English language version sometime soon…and also please please PLEASE check out the acoustic version on their YouTube channel – it’s a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SONG, and it’s WONDERFUL!
6. Netherlands – Di Diepte – s10
One of the most haunting songs of the contest this year, and the first song for the country to be performed entirely in native Dutch since 2010, this song dives deep into the soul, and explores “the depth” (English title) of emotions within you. S10 (real name Stien den Hollander) has crafted one of the most popular songs this year, and the beauty of the song goes deep inside her soul and what comes out is brilliant. One of the true fan favorites this year, she has the potential to go all the way. The mesmerizing video that goes with the song only helps add to the atmosphere and makes it work 100%. One of this year’s surefire top ten hits.
5. Cypress – Ela – Andromache
With verses in English and the chorus in Greek, this is one of the best entries Cypress has EVER put forward. I love the native Balkan sound and beat, and Andromache’s vocals are lilting and perfect – if she has a whole album of this kind of music, I could listen to it over and over again. The song itself speaks of the deep chemistry when two people have true love and how deep that love runs. It’s an utterly gorgeous song, and I wouldn’t be unhappy if it won the whole thing…
4. Switzerland – Boys Do Cry – Marius Bear
Ok, we’ve reached that point in the countdown where I get to do my annual “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?” tirade. This song has so little support among the ESC fandom out there and I simply cannot understand why. I ADORE THIS SONG!!! Marius Bear is an incredible vocalist – he’s like a pop singer with Louis Armstrong style, and it shows in every nook and cranny of this beautiful tune that speaks of heartbreak from the man’s point of view. I have downloaded all of his albums, his voice is INCREDIBLE, and anyone who doesn’t see that, or what a beautiful, incredible song this is, well, there’s simply NO HOPE for you, is there? LOL!
3. Australia – Not The Same – Sheldon Riley
Another of several “I don’t fit in but I’m going to make it” songs in this year’s contest, I have to be totally honest – I have followed Sheldon’s career for several years now, since he appeared on “America’s Got Talent” in 2019. For the most part, he’s become a professional talent show contestant, appearing on numerous various AGT and Voice interations around the world, and he never fails to knock it out of the ball park. And after two years of Montaigne, who I just didn’t care for (sorry), it’s nice to see the Aussies have sent another worthy competitor back to ESC with a song that invades your soul. It’s also the ONLY time I’ve ever seen Sheldon remove his mask of jewels, and it’s incredibly powerful. He has always reminded me of a modern day version of 1984 Starsearch grand champion Sam Harris, and trust me, that’s a GOOD THING…
2. Georgia – Lock Me In – Circus Merkus
This seemed to be a lock at the beginning, but a lot of ESC fans have turned on the song in recent weeks, but I see nothing wrong with this off the wall little ditty. It caught me from the moment the weird and wonderful video came out. Lyrically, it’s a bit lightweight, but there’s nothing wrong with an entry that is just out there to celebrate having fun – not everything needs to be a message song, or a broken heart song, or a crazed love song – sometimes it’s just good to have fun, and that’s what this song says to me – fun.
1. Malta – I Am What I Am – Emma Muscat
From the very moment I saw it, it was on the top of my countdown, and it’s not wavered once. Another song that demands universal acceptance, it’s so well done, and this time is done in a positive, upbeat, and uptempo way, whereas most other songs with the same basic theme are slow and dark (Israel being one of the few exceptions to that rule). Muscat is a powerful vocalist, I love the inclusive video, and I absolutely love the way she’s taken the theme and run with it – exploring the themes of acceptance and tolerance from all the songs over the past several years that have taken a look at it, this is THE BEST ONE. Bar NONE. So what if it’s NOT the song she actually won Malta’s national final with? That was the decision of the broadcaster, not Muscat, so don’t blame her for that. And I hope it gets through – it doesn’t seem to have the support it should have. For the third year in a row, Malta has made my top five, and this year, they have pushed all the way to the TOP of my countdown, and they could not have picked a more perfect song to do it with! TC’s “Douze points” for 2022 go to MALTA – and you deserve it!!!
And…THAT’S A WRAP on my abbreviated countdown! Join me LIVE on TKR VideoCentral IMMEDIATELY following both semi-finals and finals as I run down the show and how things went, my impression of things, and such, and of course, keep informed right here at TKR!