EUROPE – The annual oikopanel review and votes for the Eurovision Song Contest participants begins. Today we present you the positions 42 to 33 as voted by the editors and affiliates of oikotimes.com: Fotis Konstantopoulos, Morten Kaiser, Luka Popovic, Jaime Solloso, Victor Cruz Lafuente, Olivier Rocher, Anastasia Bachas, David Hache, Geoff Lozano, Fred Medeiros, Darren Tompsett, Kyirakos Gold and Elias. Let’s see though how our editors feel about the overall participants in the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. Today we present you the overall review by Luka Popovic from Serbia and Fred Medeiros from the United Kingdom.
Luka Popovic from Serbia
This year’s line up of songs does not have any standouts for me. Unlike last year, where I could clearly choose my favourite to win, this year I don’t really have any. I find most of this year’s entries average. They are not bad, but they don’t stand out either and most have adopted quite a generic US pop beat. This is why I gave so many songs six points as I didn’t mind them but didn’t find them amazing either. I listened to most of the songs only for the very first time as I did this review, so perhaps some will take more time to grow on me.
Among my favourites this year is FYR Macedonia, however, I have grave doubts as to how this will sound on stage, taking into consideration that the recorded version is quite heavily produced. While I did find Italy’s entry quirky and uplifting, unlike many Eurofans I don’t find it amazing, but having in mind this year’s line-up it probably will do quite well. I also scored Belgium high as I like this genre of music and it certainly brings something different to Eurovision but I think it is just missing a climax to make it an amazing entry. I found Bulgaria’s entry as one of the better ones sung a male soloist.
My least favourite entry this year is Spain. The addition of English lyrics just makes this bad song sound even worse. While I appreciate San Marino’s efforts this year, I feel it is time to let Valentina go and move on. Finally, the clash of Romania’s yodelling and rapping for me is a complete miss.
Fred Medeiros from United Kingdom
Eurovision 2017 is a lackluster year for me overall. Derivative is a much better slogan for this year’s contest rather than Diversity. There hasn’t been much originality this year in terms of sound and style with many songs being a paint-by-number creation for Eurovision to varying degrees of quality. This has created a great deal of middle of the road entries this year so hopefully their stage presentation can bring them to the next level.
There were a great deal of ballads for 2017 but thankfully there were some different genres sneaking in to create more variety. With there being many national final upsets, I feel there are a good number of songs that should of been competing rather than the large amount of vanilla we have received. Of course, I’m generally speaking and there have been a few songs that have got me humming along but I still missing the feeling that I had in years past when I knew a song was destined to take the trophy.
The Netherlands have really created a quality song, although not entirely original, with a beautiful harmonic sound that any country would be proud to be represented by. O’G3NE show that it isn’t all about technology and lasers to make people feel something.
Another strong showing from the Scandinavian countries this year but I’m not sure the winner lies in the North. Sweden continues to deliver solid pop with impressive visuals. Iceland has a moody retro ballad that should make an impact. Finland has the atmospheric Norma John even though this seems to be the Marmite entry of the year. Norway has the clubby Grab the moment and Denmark has also gone mainstream pop with Anja. Although more Nordic, even Estonia and Latvia have pleasing numbers with a retro Verona and dance floor filler which will have you Drawing The Line. Are the Nordic countries becoming the epicenter of Pop and Eurovision? Only time will tell.
Of course, the runaway favourite even before the San Remo Final had chosen is Italy. Francesco and his naked ape have been dancing their very typical Italian pop into YouTube and all over Europe. The bookies favourite and increasing the most watched entry on YouTube although overall it’s still Sweden just out in front. I would like to see Italy win again especially with a song that makes so many people happy in a current world of sheer chaos. I think Italy will take the trophy but if they don’t they will be the country to beat.
I am also pleased to finally see Claudia Faniello representing Malta after so many years of national finals. Breathlessly is a lovely song even if I don’t think it is her best entry over the years but fingers crossed that her performance of pure emotion will go down well.
Israel has chosen a cheery pop song with their good looking dancer from two previous Eurovision appearances. His live vocal has left me a Brit underwhelmed but hopefully IMRI can pull it together on the night and us Feel Alive. FYR Macedonia also is an above average dance track but with some ropey live vocals will she be end up Dancing Alone?
The shocking and disappointing entries from Spain, Lithuania, Russia, Armenia, Croatia, Hungary and Moldova have left me scratching my head about the year and all the music that came before them. Does anyone actually listen to this drivel and say that could win Eurovision?
Lastly I’m Portuguese by descent but I’m very disappointed with the entry. Without his story, the song is dull and boring. The eccentric singer, even with his beautiful voice, will be misunderstood and may not even qualify. Although I have seen that Portugal is a lot of people’s favourite. I’m at a loss for words how a song like this can even get this far never mind be the country’s chosen representation. Best of luck for them but their fortune looks bleak to me.
I will enjoy the contest as I do every year but I will miss rooting for my song as sadly I don’t have this year. Don’t get me wrong though I’ll still be on the dance floor every chance I get.
OIKOPANEL 2017 RANKS 42-33
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