THE OFFICIAL EUROVISION FAN NETWORK OF AUSTRALIA

ESCFAN Reviews: Committee Vs. Members Day 1

Your Jury of elected officials has spoken! Read the reviews of the ESCFAN Committee, and then give your thoughts on each of the songs in our ESCFAN Reviews leading up to the 2017 Contest.

Over the next week, your elected officials from the ESCFAN Committee will give you their take on each of the 2017 songs with short reviews and scores out of 10.  These will then be combined to give an average score out of 10.
We then turn to you – our members – to give your take on each song.  Be creative, and give us your thoughts and scores below in the comments before 9pm TONIGHT (based on Sydney AEST) to make them count towards an overall total – your ESCFAN Jury & Member vote!

SWEDEN

Jordan: Probably one of the weakest songs in Melodifestivalen. It is hard to believe that Wiktoria or Loreen, both of whom had far superior songs, didn’t run away with this. While the song is moderately catchy, the lyrics are cheap and slightly disturbing. In his recent live performances, Robin’s vocals have been shaky to say the least. Given this is Sweden though, it will probably be top 10 unfortunately. 3/10

Sharleen: Once again, the Swedes’ deliver us a slick package of accessible pop to a standard we have come to expect from Melodifestivalen.  The key here is that it looks good for the YouTube visually-hungry generation, and it sounds familiar – drawing on influences such as Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake. Bengtsson may come across over-confident to the point of smarm and sleaze; I don’t prescribe to this though – I think it’s full of appeal across several markets and should land another top 5 placing for the Nordic nation. 10/10

Troy: What more can I say – ‘I Can’t Go On’… Great stage presence and playful in the presentation of the song on the treadmills. Song is catchy and I love it! Robin has finally made for his time to shine on the big stage. The only thing is that do we really want to go back to Sweden for the 3rd time in the last 6 years… 10/10

Ali: 7/10

Bente: 8/10

Renee: 6/10

John: 7/10

AVERAGE SCORE: 7/10

GEORGIA

Jordan: Tako has a superb vocal. However, it is difficult to connect emotionally with her voice. The song is one of the better songs in this year’s competition and has a fantastically dramatic ending. However, I think that her performance position (2nd) in the semi-final will make it hard for her to qualify. 6/10

Sharleen: Singer Tako has quite the history, having played her part in the team that delivered ‘We Don’t Wanna Put In’ – the Georgian entry which was banned from the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.  The history however won’t matter to the general viewer, nor will they connect that one of the songwriters for this brought us the worst Georgian entry ever (see 2012 – I’m A Joker); not great pedigree! The entry ‘Keep The Faith’ is dripping with pointed statements, and in a year where politics has overshadowed all the fun of Eurovision, her overwrought Bond-like ballad simply makes me wish it was all over sooner rather than later. 2/10

Troy: Tamara wants to ‘Keep The Faith’ in winning Eurovision. The song is a power ballad but I found it lacked something… maybe some excitement… she has a good voice and it lacks the key points for me in a Eurovision song. But far from the worst of the songs in this year’s contest. 4/10

Ali: 3/10

Bente: 6/10

Renee: 4/10

John: 4/10

AVERAGE SCORE: 4/10

AUSTRALIA

Jordan: A very radio friendly song which ultimately leaves me cold. A very weak chorus, perhaps non-existent. In a year full of ballads, this is completely forgettable. Its running order in the semi-final could kill its chances of qualification. This is a borderline qualifier. 3/10

Sharleen: If you wanna play it by the numbers, our Isaiah is in with a shot of yet another top 5 for Australia.  Popstar borne of the reality tv show genre? Tick. Great voice that has both depth and emotion? Tick.  Young and good-looking lad which can play to a camera? Tick. Song written by world-class writers with Eurovision experience? A big tick. But yet, my heart says something magical is missing from this package that would mean it reaching the heights of Dami or indeed Guy.  I’m hinging all my hopes on it being great staging to get it over the line, otherwise I fear its lost and forgotten in 2017. 6/10

Troy: It ‘Don’t Come Easy’ for Isaiah to travel to the other side of the World and follow in the footsteps of Guy Sebastian and Dami Im (especially after their successes). I found this song has been lost in the other songs produced by the European market this year. Power ballad that has its appeal for the European market but does this distracted from the Australian style of song that has been produced in previous years. 7/10

Ali: 7/10

Bente: 6/10

Renee: 6/10

John: 5/10

AVERAGE SCORE: 6/10

ALBANIA

Jordan: One of the weakest ballads in this year’s contest. Lindita has a stunning voice. However, the song goes nowhere and is quite depressing to listen to. An unlikely qualifier. 3/10

Sharleen: Albania did just what you expect – take one seemingly serviceable song in native language, translate into English to aid its chances internationally, and then over-egg the pudding by having their selected female scream the lyrics at you.  Even now, I’m at a loss to actually grasp what the song is about, because I rarely last more than a minute into listening.  I suspect Albania here are leaning heavily on diaspora to get it through, owing to the fact that many of its neighbours are present in the semi final, but with the quality so high in this semi, I think its chances are it will fall short by just a few points to nab itself somewhere between 11-13th place. 2/10

Troy: Lindita has the ‘World’ in her hands and since the National decision, this song has been changed into English will be more appealing to the mass market as understood more. Again, the battle of the power ballads and where it is in the running order will mean that it will found it hard to make it out of the Semi-Final. 5/10

Ali: 7/10

Bente: 3/10

Renee: 3/10

John: 4/10

AVERAGE SCORE: 4/10

BELGIUM

Jordan: Blanche’s voice is as unusual as it is superb. It is a stunningly contemporary song in the Lorde mould. One of the best songs to feature in Eurovision for several years. If Blanche gets the staging right, I can see this being top 3, if not, the winner. 9/10

Sharleen: What a great radio tune!  But, for me, that’s where the praise unfortunately ends.  I had a niggling feeling when first searching out Blanche on her initial announcement that perhaps this is not the artist that Belgium can hinge high hopes on for a 3rd consecutive top 10 finish.  Why?  Because footage of her Voice Belgium performances are sorely lacking from online, and that rings alarm bells. Sure enough, her preview performances back up my fears that she is no Loic, or even Laura – she simply lacks the charisma and stage presence to draw the focus of a viewer into wanting to vote. Shame really. 6/10

Troy: Blanche is hoping that the ‘City Lights’ of Kyiv will take her through, and from the audio and video, she has a very good chance of taking the Contest. Her sound is unique as so deep (in vocal range) but distinctive from the others this year. The stage performance will be something that either make or break her and Belgium is able to take its 2nd win. 9/10

Ali: 9/10

Bente: 5/10

Renee: 9/10

John: 7/10

AVERAGE SCORE: 8/10

MONTENEGRO

Jordan: This song is laughably bad. While the chorus is okay, the lyrics are terrible and the vocals are bland. Slavko is relying on his kooky look to get the song attention. An unlikely qualifier. 3/10

Sharleen: The very definition of a guilty pleasure.  The first verse lyrics are questionable at best, and I’m expecting staging of the very highest kitsch that was perhaps last seen from Hungary in 2009 (Adok Zoli, I’m led to believe now performs on cruise ships around New Zealand!).  The commitment of Slavko to the tune is utterly commendable, especially when it is pointedly marketed a certain section of the Eurovision viewing audience, yet hailing from a country whose laws tend to be anti that very market.  Despite my utter delight and desperation at wanting to dance to the track at the Euroclub in Kyiv, I just simply (and shamefully) can’t imagine this being on the stage come the Saturday night show. 6/10

Troy: Slavko wants to take your body on a rocket to the stars into ‘Space’. This song has its appeals on various levels – SEXY as Slavko is one attractive man and his obvious trademark ponytail will make his appearance different from the others. His sound remembers me of a George Michael song off his album ‘Ladies & Gentlemen’; gay, free and unrestricted. 8/10

Ali: 6/10

Bente: 3/10

Renee: 2/10

John: 8/10

AVERAGE SCORE: 5/10

3 thoughts on “ESCFAN Reviews: Committee Vs. Members Day 1

  1. Sweden – the lyrics are a bit lame, but the music more than makes up for this. It just makes you want to dance! Although it doesn’t quite come up to the pinnacle of Sweden in Eurovision for me (Mans Zelmerlow), its pretty damn good. I would be more than happy to return to Sweden in 2018 – 7/10

    Georgia – from soaring highs to plunging lows. Georgia gave us the best song of the 2016 competition and this year they give us the worst. Not really a fan of power ballads and this has nothing remarkable or interesting about it at all – 0/10

    Australia – the weakest song we have put forward. I really can’t listen to it all the way through. I do not see this as a qualifier – 3/10

    Albania – ok, I just said I don’t like power ballads, but hey, this is what happens when a power ballad is done properly!! What really makes this song is her incredible voice. I absolutely love it. If she can pull off the vocals live, this is going to be a showstopper – 9/10

    Belgium – Distinctive vocals, but its a little bit deadpan. I love the backing music though, and as a total package for me this one works – 6/10

    Montenegro – I don’t think I can better Jordan’s comments. Laughably bad and terrible lyrics. At least it makes me smile whenever I see or hear it – 3/10

  2. Sweden: Sleazy singer – mediocre at best song, if he does that hand thing everytime he sings ‘freaking’ it will annoy viewers. Wiktoria or Nano would have had a much wider appeal. 1/10

    Georgia: A grower – if you listen to it 50 times and see her live. But on first reaction lacks punch, and it does take a while to particulary appreciate it.
    4/10

    Australia: Instant appeal, haunting voice and a radio friendly song. I think he’s chances are very underrated by most Australian fans. Don’t see him as a winner, but I don’t think he’ll be far off. 8/10

    Albania: Wasn’t the best song in Festival i kenges, however I wish the performance would have remained more like the original (in Albanian). I don’t see this makng the final. 3/10

    Belgium: I consider this a very boring song. Her voice is dreary and depressing, and I don’t get the hype as the song doesn’t really go anywhere. That said, I do see this as one of two potential winners. 5/10

    Montenegro: This has life and is fun, Slavko has personality and I enjoy this entry. I think he has a shot at qualifying, but needs an electric performance, which I expect he will come up with. 6/10

  3. That guy Jordan, I really like his style. It’s “copy and paste” opinion for me. The only significant change I’d make is bump up Albania 3 points to 6. So…
    Swe 3, Geo 7, Aus 3, Alb 6, Bel 9, Mnt 3

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