19
May
2020

Eurovision 2020 entries: Georgia – we are discussing Tornike Kipiani and Take Me As I Am

Eurovision 2020 entries: Georgia – we are discussing Tornike Kipiani and Take Me As I Am

Tornike Kipiani (Georgia 2020)

This would have been the week when fans discussed the results of Rotterdam 2020 from Saturday. With the cancellation of the event due to COVID-19 however, we thought we would keep the discussion going by revisiting this year’s selected entries. Today, we are discussing Georgia’s Tornike Kipiani and his song Take Me As I Am.

For a second year in a row, the Georgian public broadcaster decided to select its representative for the Eurovision Song Contest through Georgian Idol. The talent show was won by 32 year-old Tornike Kipiani, thus winning the ticket to Rotterdam 2020. Kipiani had previously also won the first series of X-Factor Georgia back in 2014.

Take Me As I Am was internally selected and co-written by Kipiani himself and Aleko Berdzenishvili. The song was not doing badly in the betting odds prior to Eurovision’s cancellation due to the Coronavirus pandemic and featured at a reasonable 14th place.

But what do we here at EuroVisionary think about the Georgian entry? Here are some of our views:

Theo – ‘This is the first time I have heard this in full. It definitely has an impactful rock sound that would have added to the musical variety of Rotterdam 2020. It is not necessarily the sound I go for at Eurovision but it is well produced and I like the singer’s vocal style – really suits the genre. The lyric idea of being compared to an Englishman, Italian, German, etc. gets a bit predictable and tacky after a while to me. All in all, I could understand why it might appeal to some people but not really for me.’

Michael – ‘Well, Georgia can’t be accused of following any Eurovision stereotype songs. Tornike can certainly shout in tune but seriously who’s going to their playlist each day and listening to this a lot. Get a grip Georgia.’

See alsoEurope shines a light as alternative Eurovision show takes place – Rotterdam 2021 confirmed!

Charlotte – ‘Eurovision has too little rock! While I totally adore the likes of Highway (Montenegro 2016) and Minus One (Cyprus 2016) and let’s not forget Wigwam’s glam rock entry (Norway 2005), this one gets a little too shouty from time to time, which makes me unable to hit the absolute highest points. The song includes many elements that I love, and I like the deep, rusty voice of Tornike. It would be a good 8 points from me.’

Ashleigh – ‘Georgia get some points from me for going against the grain and doing something a little different. Though I can’t say I like it unfortunately. There is a little bit too much shouting and not enough singing for me.’

Álvaro – ‘Tornike has an amazing voice. The more I see his performances at Georgian X Factor, the more I am convinced he was the right choice. At the same time, I would like to have more rock songs in the Grand Final. In spite of this, the lyrics are weak. I mean “How do you want me to dance like an Englishman? Where do you want me to dress like an Italian? etc”. They are silly. But, overall, it is a good entry! The right choice for Georgia!’

Elvir – ‘A big plus for Georgia this year for swimming against the tide and not submitting a ballad to the contest like many other countries did. Another big plus goes to Tornike’s raw and powerful vocal. However, despite all pluses, the Georgian entry doesn’t really appeal to me because the lyrics are meaningless and disturbing.’

See alsoEurovision entries 2020: Spain – we are discussing Blas Cantó and Universo

Josef – ‘There is always some rock at Eurovision, this time it’s Georgia. The song suits Tornike really well, but, sometimes, it sounds more like shouting than singing. Definitely stands out from others, but after shooting up through my top 41 it went back down and settled somewhere in the second half of the songs. Not one of my favourites, but it is original and with a nice idea. Why not.’

Giannis – ‘The truth is that I’m not a fan of rock music, but I have to admit that the Georgian entry this year had a lot of potential. I believe it would be higher than most of the people believe and for sure it would be in the final.’

Stay tuned – tomorrow, we will be discussing yet another of the entries that had been selected for Eurovision 2020!

EuroVisionary

In the meantime, you can revisit Tornike Kipiani and Take Me As I Am in the following video:

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

19
May
2020

Nine Things We Expect From The Netherlands And Eurovision 2021

Nine Things We Expect From The Netherlands And Eurovision 2021

Well, this is a curious year to do our traditional ‘Nine Things…’ post. For a start I can’t draft it on the flight home! We’re not going to cut and paste last year’s ‘Nine Things…‘, (even though most of them are still valid) because Eurovision 2021 is not Eurovision 2020 – a phrase that is going to be needed a lot over the next twelve months.

Looking Forward

One of the benefits of ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light‘ was the closure it offered. The Eurovision Song Contest in 2020 is a landmark year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. How would the narrative end?

Shine A Light‘ brought that ending, drawing a metaphorical production line under the cancellation of the Song Contest. While there will rightly be an acknowledgment of the pandemic at Eurovision 2021, the hosts should then bridge into the Contest and the greatest light entertainment musical show the world has ever seen.

No ‘No Show’ Allowed

Don’t expect the Song Contest to be cancelled next year. While the loss of Eurovision 2020 can be acknowledged this year with the aforementioned ‘Shine A Light‘ and tribute shows from individual broadcasters, to not have a competitive show next year would mean three years between Tel Aviv and wherever a 2022 Contest would take place. That gap would make it harder for the Contest to come back, so there will be a competitive show… in some form.

The EBU’s press release on the 2021 Song Contest quietly confirms this:

In this ever-changing and challenging environment, the EBU will, therefore, work with its Dutch Members and the City of Rotterdam to ensure the continuity of the event in a number of different scenarios.

The format of next year’s Song Contest is going to be dependent on science as much as song.

New Branding

It might be spectacular, it might have won awards, but the data-drive ‘bullseye’ logo for Rotterdam 2020 is… the logo for Rotterdam 2020. The Eurovision Song Contest 2021 is a new show, and must stand on its own. That means, much as we love it, the 2020 branding would be a bigger marketing hindrance compared to the cost saving in recycling the logo. I’d expect it to change, and a new slogan to replace #OpenUp, arriving in due course.

Given the spreadsheet that generated the slices is still around, maybe next year will be lots of coloured squares representing the historical results?

Dates

We know a lot more about 2021 than we would normally know in the week before the Contest. We know it’s Rotterdam. We know it’s the Ahoy Theatre, after all the 2020 tickets are going to be valid in 2021. What we don’t know are the dates.

The obvious choice is same again, which means Saturday May 15th for the Grand Final, but there’s a strong argument to go as late as possible to push back the go-no go decision dates. That would mean Saturday May 22nd or even Saturday May 29th.

The Ahoy Theatre

Remember the CGI views of the staging elements for Eurovision 2020? We’re going to see them next year.

First of all, although the fans have seen the representations, they’ve not been seen on television by the public. The reveal of the stage next year will be a new television moment. Given every single publicly sold ticket can be carried forwards to next year’s shows, that means the capacity issues in each area, including the floor zones, has not changed. The design is staying.

Eurovision 2020 staging (NPO/AVROTROS/NOS)

Eurovision 2020 staging (NPO/AVROTROS/NOS)

A Smaller Circus

Outside the venue events, there’s likely to be a scaling back of the ambitions of the Eurovision Village and the use of public spaces. Coronavirus will still be part of the world, even if a vaccine is developed, deployed and proves to be highly effective. The key product of the Eurovision Song Contest is the television show. The external activities are a big bonus for the host city and country, but they are not a critical part of the televised show. While they will not disappear, they are likely to be scaled back for public health reasons.

A Chance For Change

This year saw Jon Ola Sand step down rom his role as Executive Producer for the Eurovision Song Contest, with Sweden’s Martin Österdahl now in the role.

Much like a new political leader can make wholesale changes in the first few months of their new role, Österdahl would have his own ideas to keep the Song Contest relevant in the second decade of the 21st century. With the break in continuity and multiple formats being actively considered to cover all circumstances, Österdahl has the biggest blank sheet of paper to reinvent the Eurovision Song Contest since Marcel Bezençon.

The empty stage after Junior Eurovision 2017 (image: Ewan Spence)

The empty stage after Junior Eurovision 2017 (image: Ewan Spence)

Junior Eurovision Goes Remote

We may see the first radical change at this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Announced during ‘Shine A Light‘, Poland will be doing back-to-back hosting duties.

With the best will in the world, heading into winter with the spectre of coronavirus still hanging over us, the duty of care to the performers will need to be considered. Should they be gathering together in Warsaw?

Or will this be a good time to test the idea of a ‘remote’ Eurovision with the Junior performers staying at home and travelling the much shorter distance to the broadcaster’s own studio for a satellite link-up?

The experience might come in useful for May 2021…

Measuring The Songs

And so to the songs of 2021. I suspect the stronger voices in the community may fracture into two camps. The first camp will be the ‘we must compare this artist’s song to the song they had last year and decide which is better‘. The second will be the camp that makes a specific point to ‘ignore the 2020 songs and try to judge the new entries in isolation.’

The returning artists are going to be under more pressure by virtue of having been carried forwards, the mental highs will be higher and the lows will be lower. To have three months of build up to a non-qualification is hard; now imagine that after more than a year.

Even countries that send a different artist, either through an internal selection or National Final, would have a tough time being compared to 2020’s entry. Imagine being the Icelandic act that has to follow ‘Think About Things‘?

What are you looking forward to for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2021? What needs changed, what should stay the same, and what would be your wildest expectation? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: ESC Insight

18
May
2020

Eurovision entries 2020: Spain – we are discussing Blas Cantó and Universo

Eurovision entries 2020: Spain – we are discussing Blas Cantó and Universo

Blas Cantó had been internally selected by Televisión Española for Eurovision 2020.

We would normally be discussing about the Rotterdam 2020 results if the event had not been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Here at EuroVisionary, we thought we would keep the conversation going despite the cancellation. Today, we are revisiting Spain’s Blas Cantó and his song, Universo.

Blas Cantó’s first encounter with Eurovision started as a child when he entered the Spanish national selection for the Junior version of the contest. Blas had come second to María Isabel, who eventually went on to win the 2004 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

As part of the boy band Auryn, the artist had found himself a national selection runner up to Lucía Pérez, who went on to represent Spain in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest with Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao (last place in the Grand Final).

This year, Blas Cantó was internally selected to represent Spain with Universo. In the meantime, he had achieved a number one album as a solo artist in his country. One would have thought that 2020 would have been a Eurovision third time lucky for the 28 year-old but, alas, Rotterdam 2020 was cancelled. Still, Blas Cantó has been confirmed as one of the artists that will be returning for Rotterdam 2021.

Universo was co-created by Cantó himself, Dan Hammond, Ashley Hicklin, Dangelo Ortega and Mikolaj Trybulec. Ashley Hicklin had also collaborated on past Eurovision entries Me and My Guitar by Tom Dice (Belgium 2010, 6th place), Run With The Lions by Jurij Veklenko (Lithuania 2019, 11th place in Semi-final 2) and Mother by Axel Hirsoux (Belgium 2014, 14th place in Semi-final 1). Mikolaj Trybulec previously collaborated on Friend of a Friend by Lake Malawi (Czech Republic 2019, 11th place).

Spain was ranked at an unfavourable 33rd place in the betting odds for what would have been Eurovision 2020. But what do we here at EuroVisionary think about the entry? These are some of our views:

Álvaro – ‘I am sorry for Blas, his voice is good but the song is just not the right one. The chorus is annoying and this “uni-universo” sounds repetitive and even silly to me. Blas said that his 2021 song will be completely different. I wish him good luck .’

Theo – ‘When I had first heard Universo, it had sounded distinctly middle-of-the-road and, as such, slightly indifferent to me. Having listened to the song just now, I appreciated elements in its musical production as well as phrases in its melody. Judging by the live performance video of the entry, though a little tense onstage, Blas Cantó can sing well live. The entry is now much higher in my estimation than it had been before even though I still think it is unlikely that it would have done really well…’

See alsoEurovision 2020 entries: Estonia – we are discussing What Love Is by Uku Suviste

Charlotte – ‘I am sorry Spain. I had high expectations. Having disliked your entries for the past five years, I figured you possibly couldn’t get it wrong for the sixth time. I was wrong. This is repetitive, uninspiring and boring. There’s a reason you have seen yourself placed last, or very close to, the past few years. I am afraid, it would have been 6th with this. For next year, please don’t disappoint me again. I quite like the voice of Blas Cantó, so that part at least isn’t working against you being able to deliver a song I can cheer for.’

Michael – ‘Unfortunately this is not a song to be judged in a competition as it has no stand out factor. Take it away though and, as a stand alone, it’s a yummy piece of perfect pop that will way outlast, some of the slightly novelty songs that probably would have won this year. A classy piece indeed.’

Ashleigh – ‘Michael is absolutely spot on. As a regular song, Universo is a very good song but when it’s competing against the likes of On Fire, Solovey, Répondez-moi, then Universo just doesn’t stand out. As with recent years, Spain gets extra points from me for singing in their native language.’

Güneç – ‘People had much expectations for Blas when he was first announced as the Spanish representative for Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam. His entry Universo was revealed at an early date but didn’t meet those expectations. Universo is considered to be a mediocre song. I personally expected some Spanish flavour in the song, perhaps some guitar sound.’

See alsoEurope shines a light as alternative Eurovision show takes place – Rotterdam 2021 confirmed!

Elvir – ‘Poor Spain! I love this country so much, but it really pains me to say that they manage to disappoint me very often. This year is no exception. Blas is a good singer and his vocal is on point, but the song is quite forgettable. Universo sounds like a song that is building up to a grand climax that never happens. Better luck next year.’

Josef – ‘Blas Cantó is a good looking Spanish singer. I loved the era of boyband Auryn and also his solo career after their split-up. But Universo somehow does not fulfil my expectations. It is not bad completely, but not great either. So actually this is one of the cases where I am glad the same songs will not be used next year. As Universo is not my favourite this year, maybe the next song by Blas will be better.’

Stay tuned – tomorrow, we will be discussing another entry for what would have been the Eurovision Song Contest 2020!

EuroVisionary

In the meantime, you can revisit Blas Cantó and Universo in the following video:

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

18
May
2020

Will Ferrell offers first look into Eurovision parody film for Netflix

Will Ferrell offers first look into Eurovision parody film for Netflix

Will Ferrel and Rachel McAdams star as Eurovision hopefuls Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir.

You thought there would be no more Eurovision entries to be released for some time? Think again! Will Ferrell has released his Eurovision entry Volcano Man. Admittedly, the song is a fictional entry from the the American comedian’s upcoming Netflix Eurovision parody. Still, an interesting release in a week that would have seen fans discussing the results of Eurovision 2020 if the event had not been cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. 

It was not only Rotterdam 2020 that got postponed due to COVID-19. Ferrell’s comedy Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, also starring Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens and Demi Lovato was initially scheduled for a May release but will now be coming on Netflix on 26th June.

The film is directed by David Dobkin and sees fictional characters Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) been given the chance to represent their native Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest. It was filmed on location at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv as well as in Iceland and the UK.

The video clip released for Volcano Man shows the two characters dressed in what looks like a take on Viking costumes and makeup as they pompously sing in stereotypical Nordic-looking scenery and is complete with sweeping, bird-view camera sequences. The videos of actual Eurovision entries such as Never Forget by Greta Salóme and Jónsi (Iceland 2012, 20th place) spring to mind as the cue for Will Ferrell’s parody take.

The ‘official’ Volcano Man lyrics go as follows:

Woke up at night I heard floating chords / They guided me / To the highland fjords / Above the clouds / On a mountain peak / There he sat / And he began to speak / Volcano Man / He’s got my melting heart / Volcanic Protector Man / A timeless hero must love, too / Volcano Man (Volcano Man) / Guarding the land (Such a man) / Volcanic Protector Man / A timeless hero must love, too / And I love you

In the video below, you can see the promotional clip of Volcano for the film:

Eurovision news worth supporting?
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Categories: Eurovisionary

17
May
2020

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Some Thoughts As The Season Ends

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Some Thoughts As The Season Ends

http://media.blubrry.com/eurovision/p/archive.org/download/escinsight_20200517_693/escinsight_20200517_693.mp3

With the ‘time to Eurovision’ clock now reset, the new season has begun and our eyes will soon turn towards Rotterdam 2021. Before that journey starts, let’s take a moment to think about the last year and how it will impact the future of the Song Contest.

Eurovision Insight Podcast: Some Thoughts As The Season Ends

As the Eurovision Song Contest season comes to close, Ewan Spence and the ESC Insight take a moment to look back and reflect on Rotterdam 2020.

Stay in touch with the Eurovision Song Contest over the summer months by listening to the ESC Insight podcast. You’ll find the show in iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify. A direct RSS feed is  available. We also have our email newsletter which you can sign up to here.

Categories: ESC Insight

17
May
2020

Eurovision 2020 entries: Estonia – we are discussing What Love Is by Uku Suviste

Eurovision 2020 entries: Estonia – we are discussing What Love Is by Uku Suviste

Uku Suviste

Two semi finals of Eesti Laul were held on 13 and 15 February 2020. On February 29, Uku Suviste won the final, and was supposed to represent Estonia at this years Eurovision Song Contest.

Alas it was not to be as this years contest was cancelled. However it won’t stop us from taking a look at the Estonian entry and giving you our opinions.

The Eesti Laul 2020 was not Uku’s first attempt to represent Estonia. In 2019 he participated in the competition with the song Pretty Little Liar, and ended up placing second, behind the eventual winner, Victor Crone and Storm.

This year he was one of twelve acts who took part in the Estonian Final. After all twelve acts had performed, a jury and televote chose the three songs that would head to a super final. At this point, Uku was in second place, behind Jaagup Tuisk and the song Beautiful Lie. The jury preferred the third super finalist, Anett X Fredi and the song, Write About Me.

The public then got to vote for one of the three finalists. In the end Uku placed first with the song What Love Is, receiving 33582 votes, an astonishing lead over second placer Jaagup, who scored 7944 votes. Some fans complained about the results, prompting ETV to investigate the numbers, but they confirmed that the votes were correct.

Estonian Television plan to hold Eesti Laul 2021 next year, and have offered Uku, a place in one of the semi finals, an offer that he has accepted.

See alsoEurovision 2020 entries: Sweden – we are discussing Move by The Mamas

Here is what our writers think of Estonia’s What Love Is by Uku Suviste

Giannis I had the pleasure to listen to the song last summer and i know the story of it and how it ended in Estonia. Im a ballad boy so it was obvious for me to like What love is. I think that Uku is a very good artist. The only thing that bothered me was his stage presentation in Eesti Laul final. Im not sure if it could qualify though im sure Fokas Evangelinos would create something strong. I hope for a good song for Uku also in 2021, he deserves to perform on Eurovision stage.

Michael I don’t dislike this entry by any means, in fact the chorus is quite memorable, but I have to say I was quite shocked when Uku won the Eesti Laul this year. The song is pleasant while its playing, but to this day, while I can remember the chorus, I still couldn’t tell you how the verses go.

Gunec I was so sorry when Uku lost to Victor last year. That was because I loved the song “Pretty Little Liar” This year when I heard “What Love Is” I thought it was mediocre and I didn’t predict that it would win Eesti Laul 2020. But when it was announced that Uku won the Estonian final I was happy and the song grew on me in time. I’d love to see Uku on ESC stage one day.

Josef   Uku Suviste is one of my favourite Estonian artists for some years already. He had  abetter song last year, but What Love Is is ok. A good power ballad. Unfortunately this year it was not as good as Jaagup Tuisk. But Uku would probably be a hot favourite for the hottest guy of Eurovision 2020. After all, Estonia would probably qualify, but is not one of the best.

Elvir Estonian entry is one of those songs you need to listen multiple times in order to appreciate it. The verses in What Love Is are pretty anonymous. On the other hand, the chorus is very powerful and that is what lifts this song supplied with Uku Suviste’s vocal performance which is full of passionate intensity.

Theo Like France, Estonia 2020’s main asset was the fact the country chose a charismatic performer. I would personally like to see Uku Suviste coming back in 2021. Again, like France, I am more ambivalent about the song. Though I quite like the chorus and bridge of What Love Is, I would have liked the song to sound more contemporary. When it comes to the verses, the main thing that comes to my mind is that they do not seem to suit Uku’s lower vocal register

This reflection article is based on the author's ownpersonal experience. Views expressed belongs to him or her, and are to be seen as unrelated to EuroVisionary.com.

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

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