09 April 2019

2019: Latvia | Carousel | That Night

Carousel | That Night | Latvia | 2019 Eurovision
One night in Tel Aviv: Carousel travel to Israel
As one of the Contest's most incessantly under performing countries, Latvia's Eurovision entries are prone to fluctuate between pleasantly dodgy and thoroughly awkward. In essence, the Latvian's have been accountable for some enjoyable entries but, over the last few years, the votes have not come their way. Their last final was in 2016 when Justs managed a lowly 15th place, hot on the heels of one one their best entries, Animata's 6th placed Love Injected.

It's natural when nations experience an unusually bad run of results that urgent deliberations about withdrawing from the competition surface, but no such discussions among the Latvians appear to have taken place this year. Even so, there has possibly been some added pressure on them to get their 2019 entry just right and it is evident from That Night - a laid-back, bluesy type of song - that the direction of travel is the right one.

Out of the forty one songs taking part this year, it’s very probably not the first of them to immediately come to mind, but I have to concede a canny soft spot for this song. Where many entries emit a calculated stratagem, Carousel's That Night possesses an undeniably straightforward relaxing appeal. It’s also quite annoyingly catchy, drawing in the listener with a strange intensity.

There's scant support for this one, but as a stylish composition it may well be given a lift by the juries. My heart feels that it should qualify but my head says that Latvia will probably be overlooked once again.

Artist: Carousel
Song: That Night
Semi-Final 2: First Half

Image: Courtesy Carousel Facebook page

17 March 2019

2019: Estonia | Victor Crone | Storm

Victor Crone | Estonia | 2019 Eurovision Song Contest
Victor Crone brings a different Storm to Israel
Estonia is a nation which really seems to understand Eurovision. You don't always find them on the left hand side of the scoreboard but their appreciation and undeniable passion for the competition usually promises a slick production.

Flag Estonia
This year they have gone all Swedish as the charismatic Victor Crone will be flying the flag for the country with his rather captivating entry, Storm. It has absolutely nothing to do with the UK's 2018 entry, only that it is pure pop with a strong build and chorus.

This is one of a few outright pop tunes in the first semi-final, and Victor is a more than capable vocalist who possesses bucket loads of charm. His performance at Eesti Laul was thoroughly captivating and juries are inclined to appreciate this type of catchy, well performed entry. Not only juries, but the voting public, too.

Estonia may benefit from performing in the second half of their semi-final - people tend to remember the later performing entries. What may spoil their prospects are the songs from countries such as Australia, Iceland and Portugal - all possessing a quirkiness which may pull votes away from Victor. Faced with that, could it be the type of song that a great deal of viewers will appreciate, but only a handful will be especially motivated to vote for?

This feels a strong enough entry to qualify - particularly as it possesses a Swedish connection. A really impressive performance should garner it plenty of support, even if there is some stiff competition in its semi. My inkling is that a place in the Grand Final beckons.

Artist: Victor Crone
Song: Storm
Semi-Final 1: Second Half

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