ESCFAN Reviews: Committee Vs. Members Day 3

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!


Jordan: Iceland have consistently sent high quality songs to the contest and this year is no exception. A gorgeous, electronic synth-pop track with a nod to the 1980’s, Svala’s emotional delivery of this song is its biggest selling point. My only concern is that there was something a little wrong about Svala’s staging in the national selections. Hopefully this improves in the semi-finals, or else she may fail to qualify. 8/10

Sharleen: To me, Paper is more like ice (appropriate perhaps?).  Svala is an ice queen; and this song feels frozen, static, and sterile to the extreme.  The song is capturing a minimalistic modern electro vibe, but the problem is the marrying of artist to song and performance.  Rather than going down kooky Bjork-like persona, she’s completely devoid of personality, and I know she’s an artist with so much experience that the fact this song leaves me lacking any connection.  It’s not cutting through the rest of the pack for me – instead it leaves me as angry as she looks in her in the filmclip. 4/10

Troy: I love the performance and outfit of Svala in this song. Note to self: look out for the size of her platforms worn on stage; very, very high. ‘Paper’ cuts right through the songs and is a good mix of European pop. This song will have no issues in making it through to the Finals and is one of the top songs in the Nordic region. 9/10

Ali: 5/10

Bente: 1/10

Renee: 9/10

John: 6/10



Jordan: A nice enough ballad that does not really go anywhere and has a relatively weak chorus. Beautiful vocals, but it needs a key change or something more dramatic to stand out. Unfortunately, I cannot see this qualifying. 3/10

Sharleen:  Following one artist who doesn’t seem to have pulled off the marriage of talent, song and performance, we have another whom I expect more of.  Bartas’ jazz vocals are smooth and full of emotion, but this tune falls short of my expectations – so beige it matches the underwear. I wish she had a better tune to showcase her obvious talents.  Unfortunately, this is so stripped back that in this arena of massive live music-TV extravaganaza, it just becomes far too forgettable in a strong semi final to even dream of qualifying. 4/10

Troy: This song is about opportunity. Unfortunately, it does not measure up to the other songs produced by the Czech Republic. A slow ballad that doesn’t stand out and will be forgotten once the festival is over. Sorry, it is not ‘My Turn’ to shine. 2/10

Ali: 4/10

Bente: 5/10

Renee: 4/10

John: 4/10



Jordan: A song which does not go anywhere and has the listener constantly waiting for the take-off that never happens. Unfortunately, diaspora will carry this song to the final. 5/10

Sharleen:  Here’s our annual G-Son entry, and a law of diminishing returns for the songwriter.  When it was first released, it showed some promise.  Now it’s quickly overshadowed by better male vocalists, better dance-beat songs.  As usual, there’s nothing wrong at all with the overall offering – Hovig has charisma, vocal talent, a decent and accessible song, but I just don’t feel there is anything that also screams “vote for me over song X”.  Given its friends in the semi, it should just scrape through for qualification, but will fall short come the final. 6/10

Troy: Hovig is wanting to defy ‘Gravity’ and keep the push to get Cyprus back into the Final. Something that will help their cause, is the writing by one of Sweden’s big songwriter, Thomas G:son. This popular style of music and lyrics have been success through the years. Hovig has a good song to present and will be successful in making it through. 7/10

Ali: 3/10 

Bente: 1/10

Renee: 6/10

John: 7/10



Jordan: An innovative song which combines traditional Middle Eastern melodies with contemporary electronic beats. This entry has a lot going for it, however, the staging will play a major role in its success. If the staging follows the official video, this could challenge for the top 5. 8/10

Sharleen: The last few years, Armenia have been nothing if ecletic and experimental in its offerings.  Artviks’ ‘Fly With Me’ pushes some accessibility boundries (the mix of traditional folk with beats I struggled to ‘get’ on first listen), but it’s also so richly layered that it does draw me in to watch and listen again and again.  I think the key here for its success is that the country is on a roll of interesting staging, and it should stand out from the crowd and assure it a finals berth and a decent (but not top 5) result. 7/10

Troy: An enchanting beat from Armenia wanting you to ‘Fly With Me’. With the modern outfits, allowing the audience to be taken on a journey with the lyrics wanting you to never stop believing in love. This has grown on me but feel that more than only former Soviet votes will be needed to advance through to the Final. 5/10

Ali: 6/10

Bente: 4/10

Renee: 4/10

John: 3/10



Jordan: An unbelievably dull song which has very little going for it and will be instantly forgotten two seconds after it ends. In a year with many forgettable ballads, this stands no chance. Definite non-qualifier. 2/10

Sharleen:  Poor Omar – I feel like he’s rolled out simply for Ukrainian hostings (2 out of 2).  Yes, he has a decent voice, but coupled with a non-descript style and a song utterly lacking substance.  And the very worst thing is that what was a reasonably serviceable male ballad was made worse when it was revamped for the filmclip.  I can’t find anything redeemable here, and if it wasn’t for its running order placing, would be in high contention for a last place in the semi final. 2/10

Troy: ‘On My Way’ is a song that would be great to have move through to the final but with its lyrics and emotion in the song may hold it back. It is a positive but as I have mentioned previously, the battle for the middle and last spots in Semi Final may find it outside of the popular songs. 6/10

Ali: 2/10 

Bente: 1/10

Renee: 2/10

John: 4/10



Jordan: I’m at a loss with this song. One of the most unusual songs this year. It is completely uncategorisable. It doesn’t go anywhere and it fails to leave an impression and form an emotional connection with the listener. I cannot see this making the final. 4/10

Sharleen: Triana Park is actually one of my favourite Latvian artists/bands, with a slew of great rock-electro tracks.  So, I can’t indicate enough how much this tune frustrates me, because of all the times that they have tried to represent at Eurovision, this is my least favourite entry – making it hard for me to judge beyond the song beyond that. In their favour, they will bring energy and colour to the end of the semi line-up, and should be memorable. Hopefully Latvia finds itself just above the line to make the final. 5/10

Troy: Triana Park is the entry for Latvia. This is an exciting and explosive live show, something that the band is known for. The costumes are very much similar to Australian 90’s band, Def FX. I feel that it is a good song but is going to be unlucky as the line will be drawn just above them. 6/10

Ali: 6/10 

Bente: 1/10

Renee: 2/10

John: 2/10


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

  1. Iceland – I just can’t get into this song – there is something missing and I find her voice really irritating to listen to. Instantly forgettable. 1/10

    Czech Republic – I have a bit of ballad fatigue with this year’s line-up. Not a huge fan of ballads and this one doesn’t really rate at all. 2/10

    Cyprus – This is a great track. I liked this from the time I first heard it, and it gets better with each listen. 8/10

    Armenia – Love the traditional music in this song, and her vocals complement it nicely. Great song. 8/10

    Slovenia – This song sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of an animated film. Like most soundtracks of animated films, it offers nothing interesting. 3/10

    Latvia – A different sound and a different style is always welcome, and thankfully this is what we get with this song. Distinctive song and vocals, and a great beat. 7/10

  2. Iceland 3/10
    Czechia 8/10
    Cyprus 2/10
    Armenia 4/10
    Slovenia 6/10
    Latvia 7/10

  3. This time out of sync with Jordan!
    Iceland 7
    Czechia 8 best ballad this year & nice voice
    Cyprus 7 the invisible song – will need to present well
    Armenia 3
    Slovenia 7 despite the Disney revamp
    Latvia 6 solid

  4. Iceland: Pleasant enough song, not particularly great though 5/10
    Czech Republic: A gorgeous jazz ballad, her vocals are very good and this is an appealing genre to a lot of people who like good music. 8/10
    Cyprus: The hardest song to read this year. Both a winner or dead last are entirely possible. For me 7/10
    Armenia: Better than most Armenian entries. Considering they’re almost all rubbish, that doesn’t help. 2/10
    Slovenia: This has classic written all over it. Omar has great vocals and it is easy to sing along with 8/10
    Latvia: I don’t like Trianas Parkas, and haven’t liked any of their Eirodziesma/Supernova entries…this is no exception. 3/10

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