#JESC Armenia

#JESC 2016 Day 2 rehearsals from the mother ship!

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Well whilst Andrew and Richard are reporting from a rather damp Malta ( my heart bleeds) – here on planet work, I get to write about what you lot have seen – If you looked at Youtube 😉

 

Russia.

When I hear the first 30 seconds of this song, i get the impression that the song is going to be a “round” with other parts coming in but once the stomping beat comes in it moves away from that.

As we know with the adult version, the Russians know how to write and perform a song and so it goes with this one. It can be summed up by saying ” Girls sing a nice song with a bit of movement” and that is all that is needed with the strength of the song.  The heart motif that the girls produce with their hands is endearing but the vocal quality of the group is what stands out for me.  They all have very strong voices despite one of the voices being clearly dominant i’m sure the TV Mix on Sunday can sort that out to make them all level.

This has huge potential.  It’s slick, professional, well performed with a hint of edge in the performers.  They are in it to win it and don’t be surprised if they are right up there.

Ukraine

Having read EI’s reports immediately before watching this I was expecting the umberella and the mime artist but when after 16 seconds of business it looks…. superfluous.  The planet craves for love, not mime artistry.

However, the song itself is using the old distraction technique of getting you to focus on the business in the background to divert you from the weakness of the song and IMHO it’s very weak.   It feels like 3 minutes of nothing that is there because it’s making up the numbers rather than a genuine contender.  The boys at EI are feeling this but it just leaves me cold.  Sofia again can sing, but it’s what she is singing that’s the problem. It’s just dull and has no redeeming features at all…

Albania

It doesn’t matter what the contest is, there is no change in the way Albania presents the song to the contest.  Klesta ends up singing a standard ballad to the audience but, in a complete shock, it’s sung in English and in Albanian.  This is a good move on behalf of RTSH though as it gets people engaged with the song from the beginning.

Sadly, though, that’s about where the engagement stops.  The song just seems to meander pleasantly to the end of the 3 minutes without doing anything great. Klesta’s vocal on the video that I have seen are not exactly “on point” ( Which is a polite way of saying…..?) and if you can’t sing your own song, no matter how old you are, you’re gonna do nothing.

There is a “whoosh” towards to end to breath life into the last 30 seconds but overall, whilst not being bad, its barely competent, and that is the worst possible type of praise.  It’ll tick some of the the professional juries boxes but its duller than Dull D McDull.

Belarus

This is a toe tapper and no mistake.  Here in the office when I am listening to this it has a familiar feel to it which is not a bad thing of course.  It’s uptempo, poppy but looks a mess from the singular camera angle.  They are going for the Cypriot approach to choreography, throw a kitchen sink at it but there seems to be younguns all over the stage whilst Alexander makes a fist of singing something that reminds me of “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer in parts.

I also don’t get the hoverboard spinning at the end of it – presumably Alexander doesn’t *do* real breakdancing in Minsk but again it just adds to the mess and takes away from what is a really good song. If anyone sees the Belarussian Delegation in the Excelsior tonight – tell them to stop trying so hard!!!

Bulgaria
I read that Lidia has had a plethora of problems that would phase the most experienced contenders but, to her credit, she seems to have finally got on stage but looks very lonely on her own ( OI, BNT, Give her some backing singers!!)

The song, thankfully, is sung beautifully and confidently and has a really “nice” air about it.  “Nice” thankfully still has a place in tis contest when you balance it out with a good tune and a performer that knows all of the marks to hit and all of the notes and doesn’t try to hard ( Netherlands and others i’m looking at you here).  Will it pick up votes? – Well the jurors and televoters will be seeing a confident young lady that knows where the cameras are and sings excellently.  Why the hell not?!

Armenia
As night follows day, Armenia get this contest from the getgo.  As a direct contrast to Albania, this starts off punchy from the start and has a modern and dare I say it Adult sound which is what *I* would expect from Armenia or anyone serious about winning this contest.
Mainly in the Armenian language it doesn’t grate on the ears and whilst certainly it’s in the easy listening category of Eurovision songs it has that typical feeling of being written for the contest especially with the English bit shoe-horned into the end of the song as an afterthought i don’t particularly think it needed but if performed well by the girls should give Armenia it’s usual high position.

Georgia

If Andrew Lloyd Webber actually saw this song he’d swear it was one of his cast offs.  It starts with rousing strings for the first 20 seconds, cutting the length of disnification I guess.  Its totally wrong for this kind of competition and Mariam really is doing her best to sell something she should be nowhere near.   I’m not saying that she can’t sing this song, cos she bloody well can, but it’s not suited to a Sunday afternoon contest audience.  There is, however, nothing like it in the contest, thankfully!!
Serbia

Whoever’s bright idea it was to get Dunja on a hoverboard for 3 minutes needs telling about Health and Safety.  Its less of a Unique selling point rather than a potential health and safety nightmare! It completely distracts from the song which, let’s be fair, Dunja is singing really rather well but would be better served if she did some light choreography and not mincing about the stage on a hoverboard.  It will only take one wrong move to get this song wrong vocally and injure a singer!

The song itself, though, is quite mature which suits Dunja’s voice and its quite disco and uptempo but I’m genuinely worried.
Australia

I’m 30 seconds into this song and I think the writers have put every single cliché into this song that they could find.   Given these legs to stand, Arms to fight, Dream to feel alive etc..etc… I think I don’t need to go though the rest of the 3 minutes to know where this song is going.

And I am right, A song in the “ Lets all have world peace and harmony” mode that is being earnestly sung but that,  and the song having overtones of A Million Voices in the way that the song sounds and it’s clearly trying to recreate that feeling but the trite lyric of this song is a real annoyance to me.  It’s been written to tick the boxes that the writer thinks will do well, sadly this song is not sung by Bella Paige and it can only be described as mediocre at best..

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