Friday, 4 May 2018

Eurovision: First Impressions #3

Hi everyone! Wow, so it's already been three weeks since I shared the long-awaited Part 2 of my Eurovision Song Contest 2018 first impressions posts!! I have been super busy when it comes to preparations for travelling to Lisbon for the ESC finals, and I have been so engrossed in the excitement, that these posts just got sort of pushed to the back of my mind, oops! However, with the grand finale taking place in only a week tomorrow (OH MY GOSH!!), I thought I'd better get my head in the game and finally post my last two editions: Part 3 today & Part 4 will be up on Sunday :) I hope that you've all enjoyed this mini series of music review posts, and that I've helped to bring the Eurovision Song Contest to your attention if you'd never really heard much about it before reading my posts! It is such a wonderfully fabulous show, not only for the music but also for the artists, the community and all of the people it brings together, and friendships it helps to form, not just amongst the singers but also the fans! It really doesn't get as much hype as it deserves here in the UK, and I am determined to do my little bit to fix that, by constantly talking about it and sharing my Eurofan life with you all, haha!

I've explained all about how the contest works in my previous First Impressions posts so definitely go and check them out, but to quickly sum things up... There are 43 participating countries who have entered songs into the ESC this year. Six of them automatically go through into the finals, Portugal (because it's hosting the 2018 contest), and the UK, France, Germany, Spain & Italy (because these countries contribute the most financially to the Eurovision). The other countries will have a chance to qualify for the final in one of two semi-final shows, but only ten from each show will make it through! There will be a total of 26 acts competing to be the winner on Saturday 12th May in Lisbon, and I am so nervous and excited! So anyhow, here are my initial thoughts and feelings towards the next ten songs that were confirmed to be representing their countries at Eurovision. Enjoy! 

Eurovision: First Impressions

21. Romania- 'Goodbye' by The Humans

This song surprised me! Don't get me wrong, it started off as a lovely song and the vocals of the leader singer Cristina Caramarcu are great, however because of all of the fabulous competition up until this point, I was a little unimpressed with the first 1 minute 20 seconds of this song. But then the guitars and drums kicked in and I was like yasssss! From then on, I really enjoyed Goodbye. I am such a fan of the instrumentals involving cellos! The rock vibes of the song make it right up my street too :) As much as I like the song though, I also feel that it doesn't stand out against the other songs in Eurovision line-up and I'm thinking that Romania are not going to qualify this year, which is a shame! Have a listen and let me know what you think of this song guys. 

22. The Netherlands- 'Outlaw In 'Em' by Waylon

Here again with another country song for us is The Netherlands! When I first heard Outlaw In 'Em, I was lovin' it; mostly because we'd not seen anything like it so far this year. It is still the only song of this genre in the competition, but my opinions of it have changed a lot since my first time hearing it. As much as it appeals to my geeky side, with all of it's Wild West and bandits references, making me think of shows like Netflix's Godless, it is somewhat repetitive and just doesn't have that something that makes you feel uplifted, emotional or in the mood to party/dance, which is what for me what makes a good Eurovision song! Something that I do like about the song is Waylon's singing voice, it's memorable and something different. I still enjoy listening to it though, as I am a fan of country music with a bit of rock mixed in, and I am interested to see how it will do in the semi finals :)

23. Cyprus- 'Fuego' by Eleni Foureira 

I fell in love with this amazing song as soon as I heard it! My friend Aaron sent me a link to the music video along with a very excited message, and I could immediately see why just a few seconds into the song, haha. We were yet to have a sassy, sexy entry for 2018, and so this one rocketed into my Top 10 right away! My first reaction to the video was WOW THAT'S HOT! Eleni Foureira looks stunning, and I'm lovin' her various gorgeous outfits and all of the dancing in the official video. The song also made me laugh (in a positive way of course!), like when Eleni is laying on the floor with random fruit scattered around her. Only she could look so flawless doing that! I also love the line 'You got me pelican fly-fly-flying!' XD This song has remained a firm favourite of mine ever since! It's just one of those songs that makes you feel like you can conquer anything after listening to it. Does anyone else feel that?

24. Finland- 'Monsters' by Saara Aalto 

Finland had already confirmed that they were sending Saara Aalto to represent them at Eurovision this year. Some of you guys might recognise her name if you enjoy watching X Factor, I don't personally watch it but I do remember being shown Saara's audition by a family member and hearing that she almost won the show! The way that the Finnish national final works is super interesting, Saara performed three songs and then the country voted on which they preferred. Luckily for us, these songs were released online prior to the performance (well two were released and we had to wait ages for the third!) and so we could have a good listen before any final decisions were made. The three songs were 'Queens', 'Monsters' & 'Domino', and due to the latter two being released first, there quickly developed a Team Monsters or Team Domino amongst Eurofans. I was in Team Monsters, so I was over the moon when I found out that it had won! Although the song itself was my preferred of the two (Domino was a very close second, because it's a fantastic song), I feel like the video definitely made me like it even more. I just love all of the colours and gothic-esque extravagance! I NEED to see those dancers on the stage at Lisbon! I really do hope that the staging reflects the vibes in the video! When I saw the videos from the Finnish NF's, I wasn't too keen on Saara's outfit but there's been plenty of time for her to change it to match more with the official music video (fingers crossed, haha!). Not only is the song great for a party, but the lyrics are relatable for me as they make me think about how far I've come from how I used to be with the way I feel about myself. I am very much looking forward to seeing this live next week!

25. Estonia- 'La Forza' by Elina Nechayeva

WOW so this song is just incredible! It might not be my favourite in the line-up, but it's still up there in my Top 10 because it's beautiful! La Forza is the first song of it's kind to enter the competition and it was certainly a big wonderful surprise to me when I first listened to it! I'm so happy to see an opera song in the Eurovision, and I cannot wait to see it in the finals (I mean, how could it not qualify!?), for it to bring the genre to the attention of millions of people watching the show at home. Everything about the performance is breathtaking: the vocals, the staging, THAT DRESS!! Seriously what an epic dress, I've never seen anything quite like it! I love how the lighting projected onto the dress reacts and changes in accordance to the music itself. I am really happy that the song is performed in Estonian too... we are seeing so many songs performed in their native language this year and it's fantastic! 

26. Poland- 'Light Me Up' by Gromee ft. Lukas Meijer 

I watched the Polish national finals, the Krajowe Eliminacje 2018, straight after Melfest on Saturday 3rd March and was absolutely thrilled when Gromee & Lukas Meijer won! It was by far the best song to have entered for Poland this year, although I did also enjoy another song in the NF's called Don't Let Go by Happy Prince. Light Me Up is a super catchy song, and I really like the beat and energy of it! I could see a song like this in the Top 40 charts, and I'm sure the audience watching at home are going to love it. The vocalist, Lukas Meijer, has an awesome voice and such great charisma, especially seen in the way he interacts with the audience during the live performance of this song. Another fabulous song that of course makes it into my Top 10!

27. San Marino- 'Who We Are' by Jessika ft. Jenifer Brening 

I don't really like this song much at all, oops. Jessika Muscat has a nice voice but I don't feel like this song gave me the opportunity to appreciate it, because I didn't enjoy the way the song was performed, if that even makes sense. Music reviews are not my forte, haha. I just don't feel like the song flows well, and even though the lyrics share an important message of self love and being true to yourself, I just can't get into the song. There's also what I feel is a very random addition of a rap artist into Who We Are, that feels so out of place in my opinion, plus I think the singer than tries to be cool and dance/sing along with the rap, which just comes across like a parent trying to act cool at their kid's birthday party XD I just don't start to enjoy the song until towards the end, so for me it's one of my least favourites of 2018. There was a song in the 1 in 360 show (San Marino's National Final) which I absolutely adored and I cannot understand why this wasn't the winner! It's called Out of the Twilight by Sara de Blue. If this would have gotten through, I know that it would now be in my Top 10 *cry cry*.

28. Iceland- 'Our Choice' by Ari Olafsson

Ari Olafsson, Iceland's artist competing in the ESC 2018 is so cute and funny on social media, and I've loved watching him form friendships with the other contestants. His reaction when it was announced that he'd won the Icelandic national final was adorable :) He has a lovely voice, and the song is relaxing with a sweet and important message. It's one that you cannot help but sway along to, but for me when compared with everyone else in the line-up this year, the song is forgettable, in that it gets lost amongst the stronger songs in the competition. Aww, I hate saying that because of how nice Ari is! I think his voice is a great one for musicals and I do still like the song, however I would like to see Ari come back to Eurovision again in the future with another song that helps him to stand out and shows off his talents more :)

29. Azerbaijan- 'X My Heart' by Aisel

Okay, I just love this song! I don't fully know why, but as soon as I listened to it, I was like omg I wanna sing along! The lyrics are simple and so easy to remember, making it a catchy song. I've found myself singing 'Luna moon me up, to the to-o-op!' quite a lot since first hearing it. Most of the lyrics, like the line I just mentioned, are a little random, but I don't care, I'm lovin' all of the spontaneous space imagery! :D The song just has those feel good vibes for me, and I can't help but enjoy it. I really want it to qualify, but it's in semi final 1 (and performing first, eeek!) and as my fellow Eurofans will already know, this stage of the competition is going to be hell! So many amazing songs but only ten places... I'm scared T_T

30. Portugal- 'O Jardim' by Claudia Pascoal 

This is a pretty song, but it's really not for me. It just isn't my cup of tea. You can tell you really don't like a song when you sit down to try and write about it and you realise that your favourite thing about it is that the singer has lovely pink hair, haha! :D The song does get a little better for me when the other singer (and also the writer of the song), Isaura Santos, joins in and it's a shame we only get to hear her subtly and for a very short amount of time. I feel like this song is following in the footsteps as far as sound goes of last year's winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Salvador Sobral. I did not like his song either... so yeah, that's all I can think of to say about this song. 

And there we have it, my thoughts on the next ten songs competing for a place in the Eurovision Song Contest. I'd love to hear what you guys think of my music reviews, and also which of these songs is your favourite and why? I cannot believe that it's all taking place next week. This last month has gone by so quickly and I'm flying to Lisbon with my two favourite people on Tuesday... yayyy! 

Thankyou for reading!

Are you a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest? 

Also, what's your favourite song preformed in a foreign language, Eurovision song or not?

Here are the links to my previous Eurovision First Impressions posts:
| Part 1 & Part 2 |


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