11 May 2016

Eurovision 2016: Spotlight on Lithuania; Serbia; Bulgaria

Donny Montell / Lithuania / 2016 Eurovision Song Contest

Lithuania: Donny Montell with I've Been Waiting For This Night

Making a welcome return to the Eurovision stage is Lithuanian singer Donny Montell who first appeared at the Contest in 2012, blindfolded and singing Love is Blind.

On that occasion, he finished in 14th place performing an updated disco-style dancefloor track and now, four years later, I've Been Waiting For This Night seems to be his natural musical progression. In fact, the song is probably more contemporary 'Eurovision' than most featured in the competition. \

It ticks many of the required boxes: it's a somewhat overwrought clubland-style anthem building to a big chorus, but proves to be more animated than his last effort. It's snappy and should have enough popular appeal to make it through to the Final.

It's possibly a little too  generic to make significant headway on the scoreboard, but equalling his 2012 ranking shouldn't prove too much of a problem.

Appearance: Semi-Final 2, performing 9th.

Serbia: Sanja Vučić ZAA with Goodbye (Shelter)

Sanja Vučić ZAA / Serbia / 2016 Eurovision Song Contest

Serbia is bidding to regain the Eurovision title using the talents of local singer Sanja Vučić - vocalist with the domestic band ZAA - performing the entry Goodbye (Shelter).

She brings something of an Amy Winehouse vibe to the competition, if her official video is anything to go by. She possesses a melodramatic performance style which gives this bluesy ballad a heightened sense of potency and intensity.

Hopefully, her team will take advantage of this and stage her presentation appropriately. Goodbye (Shelter) is blessed with a captivating melody and a classy hook, the abundance of which may take some by surprise.

If there's any justice, this should qualify and quickly climb the left-hand side of the Final's scoreboard.

Appearance: Semi-Final 2, performing 6th.

Bulgaria: Poli Genova with If Love Was A Crime

Poli Genova / Bulgaria / 2016 Eurovision Song Contest

It's not only Donny Montell who is making a reappearance this year as 2011 veteran Poli Genova returns to the fray (as does her country, Bulgaria).

The Bulgarians record at Eurovision has been rocky (to say the least) since their début in 2005. With only one appearance in the Final, courtesy of Elitsa and Stoyan in 2007, Poli looks set to change her country's fortunes with the very catchy If Love Was A Crime.

Not surprisingly, the song is already established as one of the favourites for the title - and rightly so. It's a catchy, lively pop number with a memorable chorus and some contemporary effects, making it one of the most radio-friendly entries in the competition.

Expect to eventually see this in the Top 3 of its semi-final - something it could quite easily repeat in the Final.

Appearance: Semi-Final 2, performing 12th.

What are your thoughts about these entries?

All images by Albin Olsson (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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