09 April 2014

Eurovision 2014: Germany: Is It Right?

Elaiza: Germany
Something of a surprise in mid-March at Unser Song für Dänemark, the German Eurovision national final, when a group of three relatively unknown young women won the right to represent their country in Copenhagen.

Elaiza was previously the victor of a wildcard round that was introduced to find new talent interested in competing in Eurovision. Demolition of the opposing competitors came very easily, as the group gathered almost a quarter of the tele-vote and trounced the second placed contender by over 6%.

As the knock-out rounds continued, the competition was whittled down to a straight choice between two: Elaiza and the more recognisable rock of Unheilig. In the end, the German public chose Is It Right?, a bouncy little number that seems to have disappeared under many people's radars over recent weeks.

Is this because the song is not very good or because it's easily forgettable. Neither really. It tries to blend traditional instrumentation (accordion, double bass) with a modern arrangement and the mixture succeeds. And once the chorus kicks in, it's very hummable and soon gets your foot tapping.

My only disappointment with it is that Germany seems to be relying on the Lena factor at the moment. Lead singer Elżbieta "Ela" Steinmetz's stylized vocals are very reminiscent of those by the 2010 winner. Is It Right? could quite easily be a track included on a forthcoming album from Lena.

As a consequence, my feeling is that Eurovision viewers are likely to demonstrate voter malaise with this one. Although the song really doesn't deserve it, a "we've heard it all before" reaction may well greet it.

That would be a shame. With a glut of ballads this year, a mid to uptempo track merits a reasonable total on the scoreboard. But will it be this one?

Image by Krd (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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