Opinion Eurovision

Opinion: Derrick’s review of Eurovision 2019 songs – Top 41

Our friend Derrick from the United States has sent us his Top 41 of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with comments on the entries. Have a read below!

1. Greece – Katerine Duska
Simply divine. For me, this was the instant standout this year. It’s pop, but it’s got a sophistication to it that elevates it to another level. It makes me feel euphoric and soaring upon each listen. If we were following my Eurovision path, we’d be going to Greece again this year; and while she does have a shot at the trophy….remember when Jamala came out of nowhere last time Sergey was involved? Maybe that will happen again….but I imagine this will just coast comfortably to a high left-hand finish this year for Greece. My only worry is that her unique voice may not translate the song in its studio version to the viewers, my only caution on this as a whole.

2. Switzerland – Luca Hanni

It’s slick. It’s catchy. It’s a seductive. It’s got that hook. It’s SO “Fuego”. Whatever. I don’t really care if it’s similar to “Fuego” or not. I just like it. I like Luca. I’ve been listening to him since his DSDS days, so I was probably predisposed to go for this. It’s such a welcome return to form for Switzerland who has been middling for years now it seems. Good for them. Good for him. I would be very happy if this actually won the whole thing. Well done, Switzerland.

3. Sweden – John Lundvik

I’m passed the time when people anticipate what Sweden will bring. I’m passed the time being over the fact that Sweden ALWAYS brings something. I don’t need to pay attention to Melodifestivalen to know that year in and year out Sweden will send something that is just well put together. To my surprise this year, Mr Lundvik has gone full-on R&B/Soul with a Gospel twinge. Anyone that knows me, knows I adore some old-school soul. Sweden has been producing a lot of that lately and this fits in as a sublime cut of the best that this genre offers. Great voices and slick routines are just de rigueur for Sweden, so there really isn’t any need for me to comment on this. My only complaint here is that the ‘ON’ moments are so good I want more of them. Of course the ‘OFF’ moments give the ‘ON’ their contrast, but I just spend so much time anticipating the climax at the end that when the songs end, I only think to myself, “Can’t I just have more of that?” I’m wondering if that build-up will harm it’s chances of taking us to Gothenburg this year. (It’s their turn, right?), This could win and I would be perfectly content with that result, I’m just not seeing it going back to Sweden next year.

4. Azerbaijan – Chingiz

I just love the modern feel we got with this bad boy. Azerbaijan wants to do well, it’s one of the reasons they perform fairly well in the contest. They try. You could get on them for having a more clinical approach to what they send each year, but hey, good is good. Truth is a top-notch, modern pop song with an edge that maybe Aisel was lacking last year. It’s not the most instantaneous song in terms of retention or melody, so I don’t think this is going to challenge for a win, but I love this. An engaging listen each time I pull it up, I think this works better as a studio cut your put on every playlist, but I’m curious to see what they will do on stage and how well Azerbaijan does after their historic first DNQ.

5. UK – Michael Rice

Did I mention I listen to John Lundvik casually, without his Eurovision involvement? Well, I do. Considering this is the album track to his single offering in “Too Late for Love,” I think it’s unsurprising that the song he gave the UK would be high up in my list of favorites this year. Michael does a fine job with the whole production, giving a less polished result to the track, which rings somewhat more authentic, but I think still makes this not quite as good as the A-side. Obviously, Sweden isn’t going to be letting any of those go away, but you can see the strength of a Swedish B side when the UK sends it as their top track of the year. I would have picked a different song from You Decide, but that’s why I don’t like to listen to all the pre-selections. I want to like this for what it is, not handicap it for what could have been. I will say that I do think this was the right choice for the UK in the end. I don’t think they will place as high in the actual leaderboard as they did in my personal list, but I think they should be able to get their best placing in a while. After the Surie debacle, they deserve it. I loved that girl.

6. Cyprus – Tamta

Oh! “Fuego 2.0” It’s all coming up Fuego! Fuego! Yeah, yeah, Fire! From the same country and team as last year, even! HOW DARE THEY!! I for one am happy they did. Trolls gotta troll, so go right ahead, but I’m going to continue to hum this modern bop when I wake up in the middle of the night. This is fun, sexy, and catchy, everything that people really enjoyed from Cyprus last year, so I can see why they wouldn’t fix something already unbroken. I think there is a slim possibility this will win, and I think that’s about right. I’d be very happy for Cyprus. It’s been a long time coming.

7. Norway – KEiiNO

For me, this song was instant and a grower all at the same time. I liked it because it is unashamedly pop. I liked that there was some Sami on it. I came to really like the overall package as the melody and fun began to slowly raise this song from around my 12th position to where it currently sits. I think this should qualify, but I could see this being the “Verona” of 2019. It’s running order would easily be the thing to blame if KEiiNO had to sit out on Saturday, but I really hope people will just have as much fun with this as I have. With any justice, it would be left-hand side on the final leaderboard.

8. Finland – Darude

When announced, I thought Helsinki 2020 was only going to be in jeopardy for La Lazarev. However, I may have got a bit ahead of myself in both regards. Before people get bitchy, this still is my 8th place song of the whole year, so I do like it. I just think that the man, himself, Darude should have learned into his musical style, but he said in the launch listening that they had to make it work for Eurovision. If a few other songs in this year’s contest can work for Eurovision, if AWS can bring their brand of metal and succeed at Eurovision, I think a progressive trance song could easily have to do well at Eurovision. That’s really my only complaint. I think they could have leaned further into the genre. Plus, I think that would have helped distinguish this as a unique song in the field (winking at you, Iceland). I think this will do well, in any event. Mid-table in the final, maybe? I lament at what could have been, and how this team’s failure to walk in and walk out with the trophy may affect other established artists to again reconsider entering the contest, which has become more of a launching ground for new artist instead of a place where you go to really just show how good of work you already do.

9. Estonia – Victor Crone

This is a fun blend of country and modern pop/dance. Avicii, of course, did it best, but if I can handle two or three Fuegos, surely I won’t mind one Eurovision “Wake Me Up?” Yup. I sure can. It’s not the most intellectual of songs, lyrically, but I also don’t need Shakespeare levels of wordplay to give a song some credit. This sounds to me like Lawson from the UK, whom I do love immensely, so I’m hoping this will play in the final and place a respectable middle place. I am worried, however, as a lot of Europe seems to have already set their minds against this.

10. Armenia – Srbuk

It’s really all about that last bit and that note, right? This has been in and out of my top 10 because sometimes I just appreciate the whole more or less than the songs around it that seem more traditionally assembled. While this excels in modernity and coolness, it’s hard to remember a lot of “Walking Out” aside from ‘Walking Out, Walking Out’ bit and the crowning note. Armenia is nothing if not experimental with their pop offerings of late, and sometimes it works better than others. In terms of the actual competition, I think this is probably going to go through to the final and do well, but I don’t think it’s going to go top 10.

11. Belarus – ZENA

Guilty Pleasure Alert! Zina has been in my top 10, and I’m happy Belarus has been able to get back there since 2016. This is a complete throwback to the 90s. It is! But as a 90s kid, it’s SO GOOD! I instantly get the vibe of what she’s going for here and I’m going along for the 3:00 ride she’s taking us on. I feel like sometimes Eurofans seem to need something like a revolution every year to be happy, but not every song needs to be a reinvention of FIERCE! YAS QUEEN! I also keep in mind that Belarus, like some of its close neighbors maybe aren’t drawing on the resources of a place like Sweden to complete a package. You can deride that as you like, but what we have here is a fun song sung by a talented kid doing their best with what their industry will give them. I felt the same way with Eduard from Moldova in 2015. It wasn’t going to challenge for the win, but it was going to be fun, and for that, I think it should at least be given a spot in the final. Zina performs the heck out of this thing, as did Eduard. I think it would be nice if she could gather enough support to help her further her career, but we all know how that worked out for Eduard. Shame, shame.

12. Netherlands – Duncan Laurence

One of the perceived winners based on the song the minute it came out. I can hear people getting irate over this, so I preface this with: I do like the song. I always have. The Netherlands does well with crafting really good Adult Contemporary songs, going back to 2013. It’s my 12th place. Eurovision winner, 2019? I think that’s a bit much. Since this has been the hyped song, I admit, I keep listening to it pondering what makes this the song that everything is judged by this year. I just get lost in that grind though. I can find similar songs in Eurovision past, but none have taken the trophy. I think this is going to do very well indeed, in the final. I don’t even need to speculate on its chances in the semis. Duh. I just hope this doesn’t do OVERLY well in the final….even if I could get behind the Hague hosting. Great city.

13. North Macedonia – Tamara Todevska

I have not disliked a FYROM, Macedonia, North Macedonia, gosh I’m happy the name thing seems to be solved now, song since 2011. They are the OG experimenters at Eurovision. They have sent just about everything and the kitchen sink to Eurovision, sometimes more than one thing AT the same time. (Eye Cue, I’m looking at you). The only reason this sits at 16 for me is a recent shakeup in the 10-16 region since the pre-parties started. She’s been largely absent, so there’s less to go on, but North Macedonia has to hold the cross of botched staging (Eye Cue, again, and Jana Burceska), and missed opportunities (Daniel). So I think everyone looks at this with a trepid dread. All that aside, I really do like this ballad. I liked Tamara’s last entry back in the 2000s, and her sister Tijana’s 2014 missed final by a hair FYROM attempt. I feel like this is a Czechia 2016 situation. Get this girl to the FINAL! After that, it’s gravy. They can build on it from there, but back to the final, DAMMIT! No boob socks and bad reveals, no lonely dancing, overworked Balkan ballad, US R&B group, nothing! Just GET TO THE FINAL.

14. Russia – Sergey Lazarev

Well then, what could have been? I won’t deride him for not going down the “You Are The Only One” path twice. It probably wouldn’t have turned out all Dima Bilan for him. Or would it? He was rumored literally from the second he took a back seat to Jamala in 2016. He even said in an interview people ask him when he would come to take ‘revenge’ on Eurovision. Given his wording, that he would come back and be even more competitive was a simply matter of when. Then we had the Yulia mess of the last two years, which I never want to revisit, but after losing their impenetrable streak, the one that seemed the most untouchable, you could totally see Kirkirov and crew devising a glorious return where La Lazarev enters the stadium in Tel Aviv much like Ceasar and takes the whole thing with little effort. As I mentioned earlier, I was instantly thinking we’re going to Russia next year. No doubt in my mind except for Darude. Then we got “Scream.” (Long pause for effect) I just don’t think that much of it. I have been listening to everything Sergey I can get my hands on for years. I know he can create masterpieces of pop excellence be they ballads or bangers. I don’t really feel like this is either. Is a functional song, if I’m honest. I don’t hate it, but I see problems throughout it. 2016s entry had not one moment where you could tell that Sergey wasn’t a fluid English speaker. There’s enough detectable accent here that I again can’t help but think back to “I Won’t Bake”…I mean Break. Thanks for that. The ‘scream’ notes are also a dicey situation for me. They are hard notes to carry, and while the consummate pro La Lazarev is, he will most likely be fine, but one-off moment in that and we’re doing Isaiah rewind clips for the next 10 years. The rest of the song is a cute little ballad that has little else going on. It’s Latvia. (More on them later) I was totally prepared to come to the defense of Russia hosting in 2020. I think this is still going to coast to a top ten finish. No one wants to let go of the fact that a Sergey Lazarev song should be challenging for number 1. That’s the only reason I think this is still there with the bookies. It’s going to be a show and it’s going to be something we will talk a lot about, but I think this is going to place worse than his 2016 entry, and if I wasn’t so cynical, I wouldn’t posit that this is all a part of the greater master plan to lower our expectations for his third run at Eurovision, where he inevitably takes the thing back to Russia for their second hosting. But, that’s if he would even come back after not making it on attempt 2? He’s largely skipped the promotion process on a whole and what little interviews have been done with the Eurovision world I get the feeling that Sergey is not really enjoying the kinds of interviews he was doing this. Not a knock against him. He’s a superstar. Dealing with anyone less than the Russian equivalent or Barbara Walters is a serious step-down. I just wonder if he would even entertain the idea again after what I’m sure they feel like is a meticulously scrutinized and assembled package doesn’t bring back the desired result? Well then, maybe they will win?

15. Lithuania – Jurijus

It’s not a secret I like Lithuania. Like, a lot. So, much to my dismay, they didn’t pick the song I wanted them to, but I wasn’t down on Jurijus. I like his song too. I think there are some really special parts of his mid-tempo song, and I think he’s got a great voice. Lithuania’s problem is finding the song builders to put forth the product that will stand toe-to-toe with Sweden. Not everyone comes in Donny Montell, and not everyone can capture that lightning that was Ieva. For me, I’m starting to run to the end of what I enjoy from a year that I found myself very ambivalent to. So what happens to a mid-level song? It either stays in the semifinals or occupies the right-hand side of the scoreboard on the big night. While I’d like this to be the latter, I think most people are voting for the former.

16. Czechia – Lake Malawi

I don’t think this song has ever been an instant listener in my mind. I think most people felt that way, too, and then we saw them perform this life. The great debacle that was Vidbir this year had at least one lasting effect – people were looking at Lake Malawi in a whole new light. It’s been said since that this song is at it’s best when it’s played live, and I concur. The lead singer is fun and engaging as he bounces around the stage, masking most slights against the song. They have a passable shot at making it through to Saturday, but I won’t be surprised if they didn’t. It would be nice for the Czechs to get another W under their belts to continue the momentum, as I truly hope we don’t have another national final like we did this year again. My main complaint with this is the spoken word bit, which goes way deep into a natural-for-him, but stereotypical English accent. She was my neighbor….cringe.

17. Belgium – Eliot

Belgium is not in an altogether different situation from North Macedonia. What seemed like a surefire plan to make it to the final letting young talent be themselves worked aces from 2015 until last year. Maybe it’s a case of an artist getting in their own way? I think we’ve seen a bit of that this year. (cough, Russia, cough) This has all the makings of a Dunc Laurence. The same formula is there. They do end up very close in my listing, so I feel the two are quite similar, but I think most of Europe doesn’t see this on the same level, which is why I feel like I do about the Netherlands’ higher profile with a similar song than their neighbor. Eliot’s song was one that I really liked straight away. I got Sennek vibes. Blanche vibes. Then it became my stoners award of the year. It’s fallen the most in my rankings since it started. Probably a good 10 spots, and I really can’t explain why. I still find myself singing it. I find myself replacing words to it. I came to pie, I cam to pie, for prune. Too much July, too much July, need June. The earworm quality is to the song’s credit, actually. Then I see the odd outfit of Tjrintje proportions and I just think, oh, this is going the way of Sennek. It’s a fairly open year, so maybe it will be fine, but I think Belgium needs to add some Swe-polish to their acts to get back to Loic-levels of success.

18. Montenegro – D-Moll

Guilty Pleasure, Pt. II. The 90s are back, baby! Pretty much anything I said about Zina applies here. It’s not of this time, but I like it. I like the voices and harmonies. I feel like it’s refreshing to Montenegro and I wish this would get a bit more support than it deserves, but the Eurofan vitriol turned on this the second it arrived, preferring another hash of Balkan ballad or another Slavko. Personally, this probably sits Top 3 from Montenegro for me, and I think I will just have to be satisfied with that.

19. Moldova – Anna Odobescu

Guilty Pleasure, Pt. III. This is probably more of a 2000s Eurovision song, but there’s a reason people were singing them then. They worked. Now, you could get into the issue of past tense there, and I will spot you that it is in my 19th position. This is also normally the last song I know that I will probably continue to listen to this year. I think this is better than Moldova’s 2016 run at this same type of song, as I think Anna has a much more powerful voice than Lidia, and there were enough people that raved about that one, too, so I don’t get the hate on this. It goes back to the same thing I said about the music industries and song makers. Some countries have a leg up on that. Others do what they can. The singing talent is no less, and probably more in a lot of cases, but it’s just hard to do Sunstroke Project or DoReDos every year, and both of those songs were a bit retro in their own ways. So this is really about the fans and their conglomerated attachment or lack thereof to songs each year. If you can live with a “Fuego” 2.0, surely a “Je n’ai que mon âme” or “Il faut du temps” 2.0 is ok?

20. Israel – Kobi Marimi

The only that comes and goes for me. I was very interested in Kobi winning Rising Star. I was very interested in what he was going to do for Eurovision. I’m still very interested in what he does next. What he’s done here? Well…..I know he really believes in it. (See Eliot, See Sergey) That’s half the battle, I imagine. His voice is the thing that captivates through the bulk of the song. The actual penned lyrics do nothing with little simple melodies. It’s very music theatre, and I think it was supposed to be that way. However, I loathe most music theatre, so this was always going to be a hard sell for me. Kobi is such a personality though. He’s probably the most likeable candidate this year, and would probably win Mr Congeniality by a landslide, so I keep coming back to this to give it more time. What usually stops me is that note. That note that should be the epic climax of the thing that you anticipate hearing, fills me with a kind of dread. It’s so jagged. So unpleasant on my ears. Maybe I will be able to overlook it at some point. More than anything I think this is a simple misstep in editing. I feel like what makes his voice unique can be used in many ways going forward, that this really is just a stepping stone for his talent.

Most people reading this will have been wondering where the next section of songs has been as contained within are some of the year’s favorites by the masses. I speak English. I’m not Republican enough to expect that all of Europe does too, but I am spoiled for choice when it comes to songs to listen to and new music in a native tongue to encounter for the first time. As such, foreign language songs are not ones that I will go back to often, barring some exceptions. A lot of acts come to Eurovision feeling like they must sing in English, but they can’t hold a conversation in the language. The rule for me is, sing in whatever language you feel will bring you the best result. If that’s English, joy for me. If that’s Montenegrin, go for it. Back in the day, Eurovision artists recorded multiple versions of their songs in a variety of languages. English, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish. English Italian, French, German, Spanish. Whatever. I am continually mystified as to why that isn’t a commonplace activity now. If you can give thousands of people an opportunity to hear your message at a native level, I can’t see that harming your chances at the contest. If nothing else, sing in Serbian and record an English version that an English speaker can essentially sing to in their head as you perform the Serbian. Hvala YAY!

21. Spain – Miki Nunez

I loved how most people moaned at this when it was first released and now that the year kind of tanked, they’re like, yeah, it’s alright. So fickle. So eager to follow. I liked “La Venda” from first listen. Miki is fun, the song’s vibe is infectious. The OT performance was engaging. I could do without the Lo query bits towards the end, they just always sound off to me, but I’m gladly hitting replay for another listen. I keep thinking that this is probably one of the easiest of the year’s non-English songs to translate, and I so wish we would get a recording of an English version, but alas, knowing some Spanish, I can still put this top of this section. If I were to put this mixture into the rest of the songs, it would probably be in the top 7 for me.

22. Italy – Mahmood

So moody! Another example of a song I want an English recording of STAT! Italy never comes through in that regard since they have returned. So what is, a masterful slice of music that is artistically unique to it’s maker that conveys the emotion behind the lyrics to some extent. It’s all very cool. Mahmoud is cool. Mahmoud has another song in English, so I really wish we’d get one here. It would probably be a contender for my top place, as it is, it’s probably the top contender of the Non-English songs this year, and if we go to Rome next, so be it.

23. Iceland – Hatari

There’s no way we’re getting an English version. I know this. I still can’t completely work out their concept and the meanings behind it. Is it ironic? Sardonic? I suppose it’s really up to each listener to decide. That said, I really completely enjoy this. Very unique for all of Eurovision. Striking. It invokes a very specific emotion and twirls your eyeballs with visual delights. I can’t imagine this not at least being the most reacted to a performance by casual fans. I don’t think it has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, but I do think it will bring Iceland back to the final and do well enough for them to go down in the history books for any number of reasons. This too would also feature in my top 5-7 given some native linguistics.

24. Albania – Jonida Maliqi

Albania already got a pass with an Albanian song last year. Eugent Bushpepa was my tie for first. This is quite a cinematic song, and I do enjoy it. I just have usually gone back to the English ones by this point. I will say I was hoping Albania wouldn’t revert to type so quickly after switching things up last year. I know a lot of people are happy to hear Albanian back in the mix and that’s cool, I just wish they would have spent the time to record an English version when they were doing the revamp. That would have me totally on board.

25. Croatia – Roko Blažević

Repetitious, yes. Sung well, yes. This has been one I keep going back to in terms of trying to suss out if I like it or if I don’t. Hard to comment beyond what has been said about countries, artists, and songs that maybe don’t have all the resources to get built, but this will at least be on point vocally the night it’s sung. I wouldn’t imagine this is going to have a second pass, but I won’t hate it if it did.

26. Australia – Kate Miller-Heidke

Another one I can’t figure out if I like it or if it just annoys me. Everyone was talking about the national selection for Australia and how it was so gone, so I went and listened to the songs and lo and behold, the one I liked best didn’t get picked. This was a strange duck too, but the operetta did nothing for me in 2018, and while this is in English, I just find myself hunting down the next button. I commend Australia for doing a national selection and for the high bar they did set with it. I think Kate will make it to the final, keeping Australia’s streak, while small, intact for another year. It’s just not really my thing. My lowest Australian entry ever, and really, I’ve liked everything else.

27. Malta – Michela Pace

The song itself is far and away from the best, most modern, most competitive thing, Malta has done since at least Ira Losco 2.0, and probably for some time before that. Maybe ever. It sounds like it could be a worldwide summer anthem. I just don’t like Michaela’s voice on most of it. The staccato vocal histrionics are too much for me, and despite giving this my all to see if I could keep it in rotation, from here on out, nothing will make it. I do think Malta will be back in the final, it will be justified. All will rejoice, and we’ll see what happens next year. Looking forward to see what this girl does next.

28. Serbia – Nevena Božović

I was actually expecting an English version. Normally Serbia comes through with this. Beauty Never Lies had like 4 different versions. Nevena’s offering is to “Ktheju Tokes” as “Wake Up” is slightly inferior to “Arcade.” Both kind of occupy the same headspace and favorite Eurovision pastime, ladies in dresses, screaming. It’s a nice offering from Serbia, but safe. I didn’t like their 2018 entry at all, but what they reduced in terms of WTF, they lost in terms of uniqueness. She sings it very well. This is a borderline qualifier if it can qualify at all.

29. Slovenia – Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl

I admit to missing the boat on this. I can get on board sonically with the minimalist electro sound, but that’s probably all I can say for this. I know a lot of people adore this tune, so I’m not sure what its chances are. I didn’t think “Hvala Ne” was going to make it last year, but it was fun on stage. This on stage was a miss for me. I don’t hate it, so I’m just kind of left scratching my head over the whole affair.

30. Portugal – Conan Osíris

What I like: It’s so weird. What I don’t like: the rest. It’s visually something to behold, and I’ll definitely be watching the artistry on display the night it rolls, but while other people think this is a sure thing for the final, I think this is probably doing Portugal pre-2017.

31. France – Bilal Hassani

France and I don’t get along. They always want French. I always want English. Most years we don’t meet at Amir. While Bilal is a fascinating artist, and I want to see more from him, the song does little for me, despite its duo-linguistic properties. I don’t see this as an inferior Rise Like A Phoenix, and I don’t even think that was Conchita’s best song. He has the potential to be a huge star, you can just see it dripping off him. It was chosen so early, that I think this really got lost along the way, as most of the Big 5 are want to do most years, aside from Italy. I hope he can really put on a great performance to propel himself in his career, but this song was kind of DOA for me upon arrival.

32. San Marino – Serhat

I sure wish I had Serhat’s bank account. Sigh. I didn’t like “I Didn’t Know.” What I will say about “Say Na Na Na” is that it’s better than “I Didn’t Know.” Serhat just brings a sense of joy to the Eurovision stage. It’s fun. I admit it. I can sing along with it after 1 listen, despite not wanting it to get stuck in my head. Could we use this in the final this year? Yes. Would I be happy for San Marino? Yes. So that’s that.

33. Austria – PAENDA

With striking electric blue hair, you bring us “Limits.” I was not prepared for “Limits” from seeing the visual. Nope. It’s a breathy vocal with a lot of emotion, but I don’t find it moving in any way that one should rank it higher for me.

34. Ireland – Sarah McTernan

This girl has a truckload of personality. Even her voice is engaging without even trying. It’s a matter of liking that voice though. It’s a husky, husky voice. In 2016 we had a ton of males with low, low, gravelly registers and I liked one. The song is simple, but kind of an album mid-tempo track. I was kind of hoping Ireland was returning to form after such a nice package from last year’s Ryan O’Shaunessey, but I don’t see this making much of an impact this year.

35. Hungary – Joci Pápai

So soon. Just one year away and he’s back. Joci had a catchy hook in his 2017 song that went a long way for him. This has a bit of that, too. People like this. They like this from Hungary. I don’t. I’m just curious if the people like it enough to vote for Origo 2.0, as we can see many people don’t like a similar sounding entry, even if they think the original is good.

36. Latvia – Carousel

It wouldn’t seem possible to take “Limits” and strip even more out of it, but that’s kind of what Latvia did with this doozy. I’m sure the band is fine in their local outdoor festivals, playing the local Latvian fare with flair, but this is not something that should have ever been sent to Eurovision. Return to sender.

37. Germany – S!sters

Germany takes the tempo up a bit from Latvia’s stillbirth, but the tempo is not enough to awaken this ho-hum entry from the Big 5 giant. I’m very confused as to how you can go from Michael Shulte to this. From earnest emotion that cut to the core of a viewer to overwrought forced banalities about sisterhood. There’s like a million sister songs out there you could have aped for a 2.0 that anyone would have been on board with. The voices are there, but the song isn’t. It’ll probably be the last place for the Deutschters again this year.

38. Georgia – Oto Nemsadze

Georgia is so weird for me. When they are good, I just love them. Then they are bad and it’s like. Whoa. You really went there, didn’t you? I mentioned the 2016 male vocal thing prior, and this is that in overdrive. I’m curious if they were trying to out sexify Serhat with his low and gravelly? I stand in bewilderment of this song. I only don’t place it lower as I don’t know if I should be excited scared by it or excited? At least I’m feeling something other than hatred. Speaking of which…

39. Denmark – Leonora

It’s like Austria 2016 all over again. So sweet! So French! Ugh. It’s like if you took all that was Baby Spice and turned it up to 100. The caricature of sweet innocence. Maybe the world is too jaded, but we have nice, fun songs in the competition this year, but they aren’t as cheese spread like this. The high notes are what kills this for me. Like grating metal on glass, I lost this mostly inoffensive song and never want to return.

40. Poland – Tulia

It’s just so shrill. If this didn’t have its roots in folklore, it would most definitely be my last place. The girls can harmonize, at least. It’s not in a way that I want to listen to. I always wonder how some people prefer this harmonization to that of D-Moll? That just doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t really know what happened in Poland this year. I can’t even imagine what this will or won’t do this year. I guess we’ll find out, but my money is on staying in the semifinals.

41. Romania – Ester Peony

It’s too high pitched in places for me. Too much-running scales. Up and down, like randomly plodding away on a piano. I was stunned this made it out of Romania. There were songs that deserved to be on the Eurovision stage, from my perspective, but this is probably the first song that I really dislike listening to this year. I can’t make it through without wincing at the noises contained within. While Poland had a reason to put their screeches together, I don’t think Romania has the same pass and so to me, this is the worst song of the year.

What do you think? Do you agree with Derrick?

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