ESCFAN Reviews: Committee Vs. Members Day 5

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: A contemporary take on folk music. This is one of the more interesting tracks this year. The chorus could be better but the song holds together well overall and could challenge the top 10 in the final. 7/10

Sharleen:  My very favourite era of Eurovision (so far) has been the mid-2000s of ethno-pop; and Joci Papais’ entry ‘Origo’ plays to the very heart of that love.  I love a song and performance that speaks truly of its origins – in this case, gypsy and Islamic influence.  Where it falls over for me however is the rap which kicks in half way through, which I find a jarring contrast.  Whilst I believe this should clearly qualify, history tells us that rap isn’t the most successful of styles at Eurovision. 6/10       

Troy: 7/10

Ali: 8/10

Bente: 1/10

Renee: 5/10

John: 3/10



Jordan: This is not the best song in the competition, but the incredible staging from Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, Anja’s on point vocals, and catchy chorus could help this song win the whole contest. Hopefully Anja will not change anything from her previous performance. Denmark deserves to qualify to the final after the last two years of comatose-inducing entries. 9/10

Sharleen: The other Aussie entrant for Eurovision 2017, Voice winner Anja Nissen has one of the more impressive female vocals of the year.  However, the entry ‘Where I Am’, lacks the immediacy of her previous attempt in Denmark written by Emmelie de Forest.  Nonetheless, this very cookie-cutter Eurovision song ticks enough boxes to see her qualify to Saturday night, and is looking to a solid lower top 10 to mid-table placing, just for the nature of being credible and competent to win it decent jury results. 7/10

Troy: 8/10

Ali: 5/10 

Bente: 8/10

Renee: 7/10

John: 6/10



Jordan: The soppiest song in this year’s contest. Ireland’s entry has few redeeming qualities. The song is a massive cliché and consists of questionable vocals. I cannot see this changing Ireland’s recent run of bad luck at making the final. 2/10

Sharleen: This is a great demonstration of how much Ireland are stuck in a rut of selections for Eurovisions – something that they should have learned from previous attempts, but clearly not.  Taking a non-lead singer from a boyband and putting them on a stage alone with what is (at best) an album track, does not lead to a good result.  Brendan Murphys’ high-range vocal lacks power and performance-wise also lacks charm to capture the attention of a few thousand in attendance, let alone hundreds of millions on TV.  It might be ‘Dying to Try’, but result-wise this is more trying to die. 3/10

Troy: Even the Masters (including Linda Martin) have tried to get this over the line but unfortunately, it does not deliver. He’s ‘DyingTo Try’ to understand what success is for Ireland but the vocals and story don’t what me to vote for Ireland. SORRY!!! 3/10

Ali: 5/10

Bente: 1/10

Renee: 3/10

John: 4/10



Jordan: Say what you want about Valentina Monetta, but she is a legend of Eurovision and her passion for the contest is unparalleled. Teaming with Jimmie Wilson, their disco track has been polarising, however, strip away your prejudices and it is the most joyful melodic party anthem of this year’s contest in a sea of ballads. Whether you like it or not, this should make it stand from the pack and I predict a qualification. 10/10

Sharleen: Starting with the positive, Valentina and American ring-in Jimmie Wilson have potentially the most experience to carry them at such a contest.  And yes, they do a good job of complementing each other as a duo.  Do I believe them as a potential couple though? No.  Do I think this song feels genuine or contemporary? Certainly not. We won’t even go into the problematic history of San Marino or Ralph Siegel. Competent is the word here; perhaps being surrounded by (in my opinion) mediocre entries will help highlight their positives, but more likely I feel it will have people reaching for the remote to channel surf at this point or making that much needed cuppa. 2/10

Troy: Valentina Monetta, the veteran performer, has returned for another crack. You would think that she is the only person in who would put their hand from this landlock republic, surrounded by Italy. Teaming up with American, Jimmie Wilson, ‘Spirit Of the Night’ has brought a change of direction from San Marino. A song that I hated to start with but it has grown slowly as I have listened to the album on repeat but I feel this might be the unlucky loser of Semi Final 2. 6/10

Ali: 6/10

Bente: 7/10

Renee: 2/10

John: 5/10



Jordan: There’s a really decent melody in this song. However, it becomes an object of ridicule thanks to the alternating vocal styles of Jacques Houdek. When listening to this song, I have flashbacks to Cezar. This song will live or die on its staging and live vocals. There’s a huge margin for error. 4/10

Sharleen: This song seems to be exciting more people than I can possible grasp or justify.  Cudos to Jacques Houdek for his vocal feats on the track, but I am bewildered how to stage this live.  My biggest issue though is that I inevitably compare it to Belgiums’ lex from 2014 with his entry ‘Mother’.  I found that creepy to listen to and witness as a performance; it left me feeling very ill at ease.  Having Jacques essentially duet with himself, I have a sense of sadness that he is essentially saying his only friend IS himself.  I really can’t see this winning any friends on the night. 3/10

Troy: NO ‘My Friend’!! NO NO!!! Vocally very good but the song and concept fails to deliver on what a Eurovision Song is. This song is a duet with a SOLO artist… Very confusing and the next question is how will this be staged as it will be near impossible as you are only looking for a 2nd person but looking at one. 1/10

Ali: 7/10

Bente: 3/10

Renee: 1/10

John: 3/10



Jordan: An inoffensive song, but the lead singer is the wrong person to be selling the song. He looks completely out of place for such a contemporary sounding song. Amina’s ‘Mestervek’ would, in my opinion, have been a far better choice for Norway. Unfortunately, because it is Norway, this song will most likely qualify. 4/10

Sharleen: JOWST and ‘Grab the Moment’ is a quality toe-tapping entry that has grown on me over the Eurovision season, but when I think back to original listen, my overwhelming feeling was “is that it?”.  Given that for 99% of viewers they will only experience the entry once, I have to trust that feeling to be more correct.  I think lead singer Aleksander does sell it well live and grows more confident on each performance, but I believe this song lacks a real moment to capture voters.  Given its placing amongst so many other plodding entries in the lineup, it’s a borderline qualifier for me right now. 5/10

Troy: 7/10

Ali: 6/10

Bente: 5/10

Renee: 6/10

John: 3/10


5 thoughts on “ESCFAN Reviews: Committee Vs. Members Day 5

  1. Hungary 4 it’s grown a little, otherwise too whiny
    Denmark 8 brilliant vocals
    Ireland 6
    San Marino 2 dull & repetitive
    Croatia 7 can’t wait to see live
    Norway 4 moments must have been few at MGP if this could grab the win

  2. Hungary: 5/10
    Certainly celebrating diversity and it’s captaving to watch on stage, but the song is too forgettable and will likely be gone from viewers’ minds by the time Denmark has finished.

    Denmark: 8/10
    The song is nothing special but her vocals and staging are fantastic – her strength on stage elevates this song immensly. This could well deliver Denmark their 6th top 5 finish in this decade.

    Ireland: 7/10
    The best Irish entry since Jedward. The song is strong for the first minute and then plateaus as the rest of it is just variations of the chorus. That said, if he finishes off vocally strong this should qualify.

    San Marino: 1/10
    They’re having fun but the staging is bland, Valentina isn’t given the appropriate room to shine and the song is far too repetitive. It’ll fare okay with the televoting but the juries won’t value it much and for that reason it won’t qualify.

    Croatia: 2/10
    He has a great voice but the staging reminds me of Zoe’s Loin D’Ici, which I found nightmarish to watch. He’ll struggle to replicate his quick changes between “opera and non-opera” on stage and the quote at the start is just a waste of time (almost as if they wrote a 2:45 song but then added that in because they wnated their full 3:00 on stage)

    Norway: 6/10
    It’s very radio-friendly and great to listen to but doesn’t really come alive on stage. It’ll likely finish 9th or 10th in both jury and televoting, and qualify to the final.

  3. Hungary – the blending of traditional and modern styles of music and it works so well. The vocals are captivating and haunting. Chorus is beautifully sung. This is something special. 8/10

    Denmark – The start promises something quite exciting, but it falls away a bit after that. Its rescued by Anja’s dynamic vocals on this song. She puts absolutely everything into it and is fantastic. I wasn’t a fan of this at all when I first heard it, but have gradually warmed to it quite a bit. 6/10

    Ireland – I would have preferred ‘My Lovely Horse’. Or Jedward. – 1/10

    San Marino – I haven’t been a fan of Valentina Monetta, as I think all of her Euro songs have been insipid and uninteresting. So, I wasn’t expecting much from this either. However, a revelation to me on this song is that she has a great voice!!! As a duet, this works pretty well as they sound good together. 5/10

    Croatia – If you didn’t know better, or were hearing this song for the first time, you would immediately think this has come straight from the soundtrack of an animated movie. I can just see little animated figures singing “do your best, take a chance”. It’s too over the top, and its trying too hard to deliver some inspiring message. I cannot take it seriously. 2/10

    Norway – Fabulous stuff. It’s a great, catchy song that you just want to sing along with. Love it – 9/10

  4. On my phone so just numbers today

    Hungary 0
    Denmark 6
    Ireland 8
    San Marino 6
    Croatia 3
    Norway 6

    An indifferent bunch here

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