Eurovisionary

Eurovisionary
22
May
2020

Eurovision 2020 entries: Latvia – we are discussing Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing

Eurovision 2020 entries: Latvia – we are discussing Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing

Samanta Tīna was to represent Latvia with Still Breathing after winning national selection Supernova 2020.

This would have been the week when we would still be discussing the results of Rotterdam 2020 if the event had not been postponed for a year due to COVID-19. Here at EuroVisionary, we thought we would keep the discussion going by revisiting the entries that had been selected for this year’s Eurovision. Today, it’s time for Latvia’s Samanta Tīna and her song Still Breathing.

When Eurovision 2020 got cancelled, one had to feel for artists like Samanta Tīna, who had tried many times in the past to compete in the contest having their dream taken away – or, at least, postponed – once more.

In her case, the artist had previously taken part in Latvian selections in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2019 but also in the Lithuanian selections in 2013 and 2017. It was only this year that the 31 year-old finally managed to win Supernova, Latvia’s selection format for Eurovision since 2015. Fortunately, it has been confirmed that she will be returning to represent Latvia in Rotterdam 2021.

Still Breathing was co-written by Samanta Tīna herself and Aminata Savadogo, who is a fan favourite in her own right. Having represented Latvia in 2015 with her iconic Love Injected (6th place), Aminata also wrote Justs’ Heartbeat the following year (Latvia 2016, 15th place).

The 2020 Latvian entry was only at 35th place in the betting odds prior to Eurovision’s cancellation. But what do we here at EuroVisionary think about Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing? These are some of our views:

Theo – ‘Whether intentional or not, this feels more like happening/performance art rather than a proper entry to me. The video, especially, provides some poignant images referring to stereotypical societal expectations of women, e.g. semi-clad dancers rocking toy pushchairs with their stilettos. When it comes to the song itself, I had dismissed it initially though I now catch myself increasingly liking elements of it.’

See alsoEurovision 2020 entries: Azerbaijan – we are discussing Efendi's Cleopatra

Michael – ‘A bit of fun from a crazy artist who is full of ideas and makes you wonder what she’ll do next. A very modern entry which I believe would have done so much better than the polls indicate. Can’t get enough of Samanta.’

Álvaro – ‘I feel bad for Samanta after finally getting a pass to go to Eurovision. But, besides that, I like this experimental sound of her song and the meaningful lyrics. I imagine that she was working on her live performance because I could barely understand what she was saying in her winning performance. But, overall, it was an interesting music proposal.’

Josef – ‘I loved Samanta Tina, especially when she started taking part in national selections in 2012 and also in 2013. Her song I Need a Hero is still her best attempt. Even though I was not a fan of her recent songs, I still like her as an artist. She is a good singer and a good performer. Still Breathing is just not my favourite style, Aminata’s handwriting is there very easily recognisable, which would normally be a positive. I think Latvia would have stayed in the semifinal.’

Charlotte – ‘This song brings out all the worst in me. I am sorry, but I have no other option than to skip this. If I didn’t, I would rip out my hair, smash a glass or throw around pieces of furniture… For me, this is one of the worst entries this year. It gets on my nerves and I simply can’t stand the sound of it. Sorry Samanta and sorry, Latvia. Better luck next year .’

Wouter – ‘What she (i.e. Charlotte) said… but at least they keep disinfecting the place all the time.’

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

Elvir – ‘Latvia’s entry is my least favourite entry in 2020. I really can’t say anything positive about Still Breathing. All I can hear is noise, noise, noise. A perfect song as the toilet-break. Actually, this is one of the most annoying songs in Eurovision’s history.’

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

EuroVisionary

In the meantime, you can revisit Latvia’s Samanta Tīna and Still Breathing 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

21
May
2020

Eurovision 2020 entries: Azerbaijan – we are discussing Efendi’s Cleopatra

Eurovision 2020 entries: Azerbaijan – we are discussing Efendi’s Cleopatra

Efendi (Azerbaijan 2020)

Samira Efendi, a.k.a. Efendi, was supposed to fly the flag of the land of fire this year if Eurovision had not been cancelled due to COVID-19. Today, we are discussing her entry Cleopatra for what would have been Rotterdam 2020.

After several years of trying, Efendi was found eligible to represent Azerbaijan in the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, in Rotterdam. Her entry Cleopatra was presented on 6th of March by a very pretentious video.

29 year old Samira has been in the music industry since her childhood. She began singing at festivals at the age of 18 and this grew her popularity in her home country. She also gained a 3rd place in The Voice of Azerbaijan 2015-2016.

Efendi is one of the artists who will fly the flag for their country next year in Rotterdam.

Could it have been the second victory for Azerbaijan with Efendi this year? Let’s hear the opinion of our authors.

Michael – ‘This is one of my favourites this year. A really strong performance in the video, which I assume would have translated on the stage. Modern, fresh and good on the eye, Azerbaijan would surely have kept its great track record with this entry.’

Charlotte – ‘I quite like Efendi – she has something interesting in her voice, which I am drawn a little to. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t count for the song. I think I am 20 years too old for this, so, instead of commenting too much, I will await what the younger ones think.’

See alsoEurovision 2020: San Marino – we are discussing Senhit and Freaky!

Álvaro –  ‘Cleopatra is not my cup of tea but I can see where the hype comes from. If you enjoy Eleni’s Fuego you will certainly miss Efendi’s entry. However, even if it is not one of my favourites, once you hear it, it is difficult to get that chorus out of your head. Help!

Ashleigh –  ‘Azerbaijan were back with a bang this year. Effendi is the kind of Boss Girl Diva that we all love to see in Eurovision. I’m still not convinced about the strange chant before the chorus, I still find it a little off putting as it breaks up the rhythm of the song. I had Cleopatra in 3rd place in my pre-contest rankings. Without the chanting, it might have been 1st. I have no doubt that Azerbaijan would have again had a top 10 finish in the grand final.’

Josef – ‘Efendi is a beautiful woman and a good singer as well. Paired with such a great song as Cleopatra definitely is, it is top 10 material. This could have been staged so well, I hope for a similar type of song for next year. It is difficult for 2020 artists to come up with something better next year as there will always be the comparison with this year’s entry.’

Theo – ‘When I first heard the song, I thought that was the kind of spiciness Eurovision 2020 needed more of. I like the eastern elements in the music production though, melody-wise, I would have preferred something more interesting here and there. Cleopatra has been done many times before in music, but it is always interesting to see tributes to the Ptolemaic queen of Egypt as far as I am concerned. I really like Efendi (both in general and as Cleopatra in particular).She is full of attitude and looks like someone who would have had great stage presence in Rotterdam. Upper half of the leader board for me.’

See alsoEurovision 2020 entries: Poland – we are discussing Empires by Alicja Szemplińska

Güneç – ‘When I heard that Samira Efendi (Efendi) was going to represent Azerbaijan, I was like “at last” since I knew that she has been very anxious about it and had tried to participate at Eurovision many times before. And, when I first saw the video and heard Cleopatra, I was really happy. That’s because I loved the song and I want Azerbaijan to have a good place in the scoreboard. The song is catchy, unique, exotic, naughty, and everything. I was so curious about the stage performance for this entry but it’s a shame in my opinion we couldn’t see it. Hope she will treat us with even a better song next year.’

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

EuroVisionary

You can revisit Efendi and her entry Cleopatra in the video below.

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

21
May
2020

Iceland’s Daði Freyr releases new song called “Where We Wanna Be”

Iceland’s Daði Freyr releases new song called “Where We Wanna Be”

Daði og Gagnamagnið

Daði Freyr’s new song released today is a pop dance song. The song invites us to stay home and enjoy life while in quarantine with the people we love. Daði was one of the favourites to win the now cancelled contest.

Daði Freyr came second in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision, Söngvakeppnin in 2017. With a group of friends, he gave it another try this year – and won the right to represent his country at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest.  When the contest was cancelled, Daði og Gagnamagnið was one of the bookmaker favourites to win the competition with the song Think About Things.

After entertaining fans lately with home concerts, Daði Freyr has not stopped working on new music. Today, he released the new song Where We Wanna Be. In the music video, Daði dances in his room to the song. The lyrics talk about enjoying ourselves in spite of the special circumstances.

In his song, Daði thanks his partner for staying with him at home with a sweet “I couldn’t do this with anybody else and I don’t think I could take it by myself”.

See alsoOverview: The acts from this year's cancelled show who will return for Eurovision 2021

Eurostream 2020 victory and 10 countries favourite

Furthermore, after the cancellation of the contest they won the alternative contest Eurostream, a competition that combined the votes of a professional jury and the online fans. Daði og Gagnamagnið was also the favourite act of 10 countries which organised their own alternative Eurovision. Iceland was a serious contender to win the Eurovision Song Contest this year, and Iceland might just have missed out in their very first victory.

Unfortunately, it is not clear whether or not Daði Freyr will represent his country next year. He has expressed an interest to participate in 2021. However, he has said that he wants to be internally selected, since he won his national selection this year. The Iceland broadcaster does not seem to agree to that though as they still intend to organise a national final.

EuroVisionary

Below you can watch the video for Where We Wanna Be.

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20
May
2020

Eurovision 2020: San Marino – we are discussing Senhit and Freaky!

Eurovision 2020: San Marino – we are discussing Senhit and Freaky!

Senhit

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 should have seen the return of the third artist to represent San Marino multiple times, but due to the coronavirus crisis, for Senhit it was not to be.

Senhit last represented San Marino in 2011 when, known as Senit, she sadly missed the finals with the song Stand By.

Not one to Stand By though, Senit added herself an ‘h’ and forged a career in her native Italy.

This year Eurovision looked forward to welcoming Senhit back with the song Freaky!.

On March 6, the tiny nation announced that Senhit would preview two songs on-line and asked the public to choose their preference. Freaky! won over the opposition Obsessed. Another song that was considered was Cleopatra, which didn’t make the final two, but the song went on to have been the proposed entry for Azerbaijan.

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

Could Senhit have given San Marino their second visit to the Eurovision finals in a row.  As it turns out, we will find out, as Senhit will be back for San Marino in 2021. Here’s what our writers thought, though about Freaky!

Michael It was great to see Senhit back this year, as I thought her previous entry was the best song San Marino have ever sent. A lady with a very pleasant singing voice, Freaky was a fun uptempo song that looked as if it was going to be staged very well. This could have been enough to make Senhit qualify. Whatever would have been the outcome I am glad Senhit is back next year.

Charlotte While it’s lovely to see Senhit again, I unfortunately wish it was under different circumstances. This song just isn’t my taste. It’s distracting me from the fact that Senhit actually has a good voice and is a good performer. Unfortunately, I will probably skip this track when listening to the CD.

Alvaro Another year that San Marino brings a guilty pleasure. It is outdated, cheesy and I totally love it! What a huge change between Senhit’s 2011 song and Freaky. This is one of the occasions that the singer with her charisma helps an average song. I loved Senhit’s performance in the Eurovision Home Concerts series. I will be looking forward to seeing her again next year

Ashleigh It’s nice to see San Marino having fun again this year. I could see this qualifying as it was fortunate to have been lined up to compete in the less strong semi final 2. That being said, it won’t be making my Eurovision playlist on Spotify.

Theo I like Senhit and I like the song’s message not to live life by oppressive convention – so far so good. What I don’t like is that, to me, the song sounds dated musically. In fact, I’ve had this fleeting notion that, if you placed 2020’s Freaky! in 2011 and Senhit’s 2011 offering Stand By in the 2020 contest, the two songs might feel a bit more in keeping with Eurovision trends. In any case, I like the spirit of the song and would be glad to see Senhit coming back next year.

Josef Senhit comes back and returns the strike. I mean after balladic Stand By in 2011 she is now back with a disco pop which is happy, makes you dance and smile. Really refreshing. It would be interesting to see how this could end up in Rotterdam. I think that it could surprise as Serhat last year or it can be a total flop. Who knows which direction it would have taken.

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Categories: Eurovisionary

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.

Eurovision news worth supporting?
Support EuroVisionary on Patreon.com

Categories: Eurovisionary

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

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