Reviewing '16: Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, Israel, Belarus, and Serbia
Welcome to the fourth part of our 2016 Eurovision Song Contest review series, where we rate the songs of this year’s contest!
Today our jury will be reviewing the first six songs of the second semi-final and give points from one to five.
Justs – “Heartbeat”
Alvaro: Justs’ vocals are harsh. Sometimes it sounds as if he is screaming to the public. In my opinion, Latvia tried to repeat their success formula that gave Aminata the second highest score among the juries last year, but failed.
Emma: It’s only right that Aminata should return to the contest after her amazing efforts last year. Her song for Justs is even better. The modern sound should be popular amongst Europeans. Justs oozes charm and I can’t explain why. He’s perfect for this song.
George: You can feel Animata everywhere. This is awesome. Another year to the final for Latvia!
Eric: This is one of the strongest songs of the year. It is kind of a dark song, but it adds to the mystery,
Michał Szpak – “Color of Your Life”
Alvaro: The Polish entry is too simple. The lyrics are cheesy and pretentious. The vocals are warm at some point in the chorus, but apart from that, it does not sound different from other ballads.
Emma: I hate to say that Poland made a mistake but Poland made a mistake. If they had chosen Cool Me Down, they would be a bookies favourite this year. Although I know many fans love Color of Your Life, it just hasn’t grown on me and I don’t like to listen to it.
George: This is so flat, boring, and bad. Sorry Poland.
Eric: Poland could have sent better. This is mostly boring, but this has elements that are really great.
Rykka – “The Last of Our Kind”
Alvaro: Rykka’s vocal technique is weak and she needs to sing with more conviction. This ballad is not remarkably good on its composition either. It is just too simple.
Emma: When Rykka was chosen I thought Switzerland would be staying in the semi finals this year. After a few listens, The Last of Our Kind will not leave my brain! I now think it’s one of this year’s better ballads. It’s great to see a Canadian competing at Eurovision again.
George: Boring voice but interesting lyrics. It has something nice.
Eric: Pleasant song but it is not gonna qualify.
Hovi Star – “Made of Stars”
Alvaro: Although the melody of this song improved with time, the song from Israel sounds forgettable. The lyrics sound cliché and the melody is still too simple. Hovi needs to show more feeling during his performance. Not impressed.
Emma: Hovi Star is one of this year’s biggest personalities and that, along with his amazing song, should see him do well. Unfortunately though, Made of Stars takes a few listens to fall in love with. What happened to him in Moscow recently should help Hovi to gain Europe’s support.
George: An average ballad with an average voice, but still better than the original song.
Eric: This will make a good performance in the arena. Hovi sings it well and it has a peaceful melody.
Ivan – “Help You Fly”
Alvaro: Ivan’s vocals are not the best and he lacks conviction in his performance. I can understand why he wanted to perform naked to attract the attention of his audience. Otherwise, it will be just “another song in the contest.”
Emma: I don’t understand why people don’t like this song! It’s definitely my type of music. Although there are some better songs this year, I think Ivan’s fun personality and what I expect to be a great live show, will get Belarus a place in the final.
George: This so boring. Even if he brings the wolves, he stands no chance of qualifying.
Eric: Very late 90s. Not bad, but not very good. Hopefully the performance will be a distraction.
Sanja Vučić ZAA – “Goodbye (Shelter)”
Alvaro: The stage presence is very impressive Apart from that, her voice is powerful and she looks natural when performing. Her facial expressions and gestures during her performance show that she is feeling the song.
Emma: Serbia has always been one of my absolute favourite Eurovision countries. They did not disappoint me this year. The song, along with Sanjas vocals, reminds me of early Christina Aguilera – one of my favourite artists. The song is catchy and has a great meaning behind it. I really hope Serbia does well in Stockholm.
George: This is perfect. It brings me some Winehouse nostalgia. Love her power so much.
Eric: Quality song and vocals. I really don’t have anything bad to say about it. Doesn’t seem like a winner though.
Combined scoring after part 4
None of the first six entries from the second semi-final managed to squeeze into the top three of our rankings, leaving it intact with Russia firmly on top. Unfortunately, both Belarus and Poland ended up sharing a second-to-last place with Montenegro.
1: Russia: 4,75
2: Czech Republic: 4,5
3: Estonia: 4,25
4: Cyprus: 4
4: Hungary: 4
4: Latvia: 4
4: Malta: 4
4: Serbia: 4
9: Croatia: 3,75
9: Iceland: 3,75
10: Armenia: 3,5
10: Azerbaijan: 3,5
13: Austria: 3,25
14: Moldova: 3
15: Bosnia & Herzegovina: 2,75
15: Finland: 2,75
17: Israel: 2,5
17: The Netherlands: 2,5
19: Switzerland: 2
20: Greece: 1,75
21: Belarus: 1,5
21: Montenegro: 1,5
21: Poland: 1,5
24: San Marino: 1
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s deliberations, where we will review the next six songs of the second semi-final: Ireland, Macedonia, Lithuania, Australia, Slovenia, and Bulgaria!