Thursday, 30 April 2015


Mélanie René won the Swiss national final back in January and therefore the right to represent Switzerland
in Vienna next month. Is it Switzerland's time to shine? Or have the lights gone out? Here's what we think!

Ana: This song is quite good and powerful and Melanie’s vocals are really strong. It won’t be easy for her to reach the final, since there are several women singing dark songs this year. It’s a more than decent but not outstanding entry. 7/10

Ilkar: Mélanie must have been hiding her true self and now she's found it: weird make up and weird dress in the woods. Ok. What is she? A wannabe Indian? And what's it with that panda eye make up? The song itself is useless with a very bad arrangement that still sounds like a homemade demo. Did she have a producer at all? Very amateurish in every way. 2/10

Jack: The Swiss national final was an interesting one for sure. Everyone predicted either Tiziana or Timebelle would win, yet Melanie shone on the night and deservedly won. She's gorgeous and with a the right staging, Switzerland could repeat the success they had last year. A great effort indeed! 6.5/10

Jess: Melaine was one of my favourite songs before she was chosen to represent Switzerland in Eurovision 2015, so you can imagine my excitement when she was announced as the winner of Switzerland's national final! The song has such a great message to it and this is defiantly one of my favourites! 9/10

John: Oh dear! It's been a while since Switzerland has managed to come up with a winning formula. Sadly, they haven't managed it this year either. Not that it's a BAD song - it just doesn't make a big enough impact. Come on Switzerland - you can do better. 5/10

OUR VERDICT - 29.5/50

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


Måns Zelmerlöw seems to be the #1 favourtie to win Eurovision - but isn't this always the case with Sweden? Will the Swedish entry win? Here's what we think about Heroes....

Ana: Whichever way you look at it, this is perfect. I love the song, and the staging with those little and cute snowmen is just amazing. I remember when I first watched the performance and I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. Definitely, he’d be a well-deserved winner, so I have to give him a 10/10

Ilkar: Sweden has been accused of double plagiation; not only the song but the staging, too. Indeed, there are similarities or as they say ”inspiration sought from”. Anyways, the stage act is great but as it seems they can't have it in Vienna so who knows how effective the song is without that, as it is not the greatest of songs. Måns is a very good singer and performer but something is missing in this act to make it a real winner. Also, they have to fix the backing vocals. But Swedes know their tricks, I'm sure they come up with something equally awesome looking and do very well again. 8.5/10

Jack: As always, Sweden are the favourties to win, It seems they're going to do it though this year - if the polls and bookies are to be believed. Him winning wouldn't be a disappointment either because the whole package is fantastic. Awesome song, unique staging (or at least in Melfest...), Mans is amazing and it's Sweden! Even though I love Sweden's representation, it's not my ultimate favourte but would be happy to see him win. 9.5/10

Jess: If the song Heroes wasn't already perfect enough, the staging Mans had during Melodifestivalen really added to it! This is certainly one of my favourites this years! 10/10

John: The love/hate relationship continues with Sweden! This is a very very ordinary song. No new ground being broken here with a tune (of sorts) and a voice that has been heard so many times before it just becomes one big yawnfest. 4/10


Let's not forget THIS...

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


María Ólafs will represent Iceland with Unbroken. Is Iceland set to make the final for the eighth year in a row?

Ana: I really love this song and it’s definitely one of my favourites this year. Some people may consider it a little cheesy but I also love that cheesy point. She has good vocals and it’s not a problem for her to reach the high notes at the end of the song. I think that this little fairy of the woods will place very well and she’ll be in the final for sure. 9/10

Ilkar: Another song that lost most of its charm when translated into English. She's kinda sweet, the song's kinda good, the performance is kinda annoying – one can only be content they dropped the dancers from the Vienna act whol ooked like tipsy teenagers anyways, but still.... it's kinda boring one. 4/10

Jack: Hmm, Iceland's entry is pleasant but that's about it I'm afraid. Nothing amazing or extraordinary.. just "nice". I hear the dancers have been scrapped - and that's not a bad thing. It is a song contest after all. However I must say that this is 100% better than the monstrosity they sent last year.. I'll give Maria 6/10

Jess: Well Maria has such a magical voice, and Unbroken is a song I could just listen to over and over. Amazing! 8/10

John: Far from being one of Iceland's most memorable entries  this song is mediocre at best. There is nothing that makes it stand out. A very ordinary song with an unremarkable vocal, whether it makes it to the final is,I think, highly questionable. 5/10


Monday, 27 April 2015


Elnur Hüseynov is returning to Eurovision, after achieving 8th place in Belgrade with Samir. He won The Voice of Turkey last year so we know he'll be able to cut it live. Azerbaijan are considered on of the favourties to win. Baku 2016?

Ana: This song is AMAZING. It always gives me goosebumps and since I first listened to it I knew that this will be fighting for victory. I love the way it slowly builds in intensity and the sound of the orchestra. This is the best produced song and if to this we add Elnur’s voice, we have a winning combination. 10/10

Ilkar: Elnur is a great singer. The video and the song fit perfectly. I can totally relate to that hour of the wolf. I've been there. Unable to sleep, afraid to fall in sleep with fears and doubts. Waiting for the dawn. The song has a great melody, very interesting arrangement lines with the symphonic part but underneath a very tender rhythm going along with it. If only they manage to create this atmosphere on stage we might have a top contender here.... 10/10

Jack: Oh, isn't this gorgeous?! Elnur's effort in 2008 was weird and not in a good way.. but he's back with a beautiful sophisticated ballad. Fabulous! Following Azerbaijan's disappointing result last year, they will no doubt return to the top ten. And if staged correctly, Baku 2016 is very possible. The lyrics are also superb. 9/10

Jess: Elnur has such a brilliant voice, and the song is just wow! I can see this placing really well 9/10

John: Not a bad song - but not a remarkable one either - the entry from Azerbaijan will, if previous form is any guide, no doubt be a finalist and more than likely a Top 10 finisher. Good voice, pleasant tune but overall, for me, nothing special.  6/10


Sunday, 26 April 2015


Aminata Savadogo is representing Latvia with Love Injected. After several years of not qualifying, Latvia's chances of making the final are stronger than ever. It's the marmite song of the year though - some love it, some hate it. This is what we think...

Ana: This song has slowly grown on me since Aminata won the Latvian national final. She probably has one of the best voices in this year ESC and she demonstrates it in the chorus. I only see a problem with this entry: you love it or you hate it. There’s no midpoint. 8/10

Ilkar: I don't quite see what people see or hear in this. I think it's screamy and a bit unpleasant. It has some originality in the arrangement for sure, but the song itself isn't that strong. 3/10

Jack: Latvia often picks the wrong song but thankfully that trend was been broken this year. All of the songs in Latvia's national final were pretty decent actually however they defiantly opted for the best one. Her performance was stunning. One of the best entries this year and Latvia's best song ever, in my opinion of course.. Can't wait to see her perform it in Vienna! I really hope Latvia's efforts with be rewarded with qualification and a good result in the final. 9/10

Jess: I wasn't a huge lover of the song at first, however now I really do like it, Aminata has a very powerful voice - she really adds something extra to a already great song! 7/10

John: Hard as I try to find some redeeming feature for this year's offering from Latvia I keep drawing a blank. Different is good - except it's completely off the wall! A nightmare of a song. Enough said. 3/10

OUR VERDICT - 30/50 

Saturday, 25 April 2015


16 year old Nadav Guedj won The Next Star and therefore also won the right to represent Israel back in February. His song was revealed a few weeks later - and everyone seems to think it's great. But what do we think of the Israeli effort? Are they going to qualify for the first time since 2010?

Ana: This is great, modern, fresh and fun. I love the way the song mixes so many styles of music without turning it into a mess. I also like the beginning, it seems that it’s going to be a ballad or a midtempo song and suddenly it explodes. I hope to see Israel in the final this year. 9/10

Ilkar: I can't get over the fact he's 16. This is a weird song. It's like three songs put together but somehow it works and more I hear it more I like it. The fact remains the televoters hear it only once. Anyways, he sings well and after the mama dedicated intro we get some more contemporary sounding stuff before it bursts into a typical Israeli Eurovision anthem with the already legendary line ”and before I leave let me show you Tel Aviv”. Pure poetry. Or maybe not. But it sure brings a smile on your face and if they make this work on stage we might be in for a surprise! ”Ok, three minutes, gotta go!” 9/10

Jack: Israel's entry is defiantly going to stand out in Vienna. It's fun, catchy and does have a wonderful Eastern vibe. Super! I hope Nadav will achieve the result he deserves. Israel are often so underrated. I'm still sad Mei didn't make the final last year. It's been four years since they qualified - will they make it this year? For some reason, I don't think they will. 8/10

Jess: This is a song I can not help but dance to! It's so amazing and Nadav has the perfect voice to fit this song! 8/10

John: Love it or loathe it no one can be indifferent to it. The song is really catchy and represents yet another new departure for Israel. With originality and flair and a middle-eastern flavour that makes its presence felt but doesn't dominate, this has got to be in with a serious shout. 7/10



Belgium's representative, Loïc Nottet, has kindly sent myself and my readers a special video message! WATCH HERE. He's also taken the time to answer some questions for me. Thank you, Loïc!! <3

1 – Dear Loïc, first of all our congratulations to you for being selected as the Belgian representative at Eurovision 2015! What do you feel now, becoming a Eurovision contestant?
I am feeling good. I do what I like so I am feeling good. I am just someone who sings and that’s all. Of course I am a Eurovision contestant but first I am a singer.

2 – Were you a big fan of Eurovision? Have you listened to the other contestants, any favourites so far? 
Honestly, not really. I just knew the name of the contest. So when I was selected for it I learned about it and now I think it’s a great concept to make a huge show like that where a lot of European countries can make a show together and have fun together so I think it’s a great idea, a great concept.

I didn’t listen to the others. I made that decision because I don’t want to stress and have pressure. I know “Rhythm Inside” is different, it is not a typical Eurovision song. I don’t want to listen to the other songs because I don’t want to compare my work with the other artists and suddenly have a huge stress.

3 – How do you go from winning The Voice to representing Belgium at Eurovision? How did you get the message that you have been chosen for the contest and what was your first reaction to it?
I finished second at “The Voice Belgique”. After that I signed my contract with Sony Music. And one day in August I think the RTBF (the national French speaking broadcaster) contact Sony Music to know if I was interested in participating at the ESC and after Sony called me. At first I didn’t say yes right away. I said “ok I have to think about it”. I thought a lot about that proposition. I was a completely new artist without songs, style, or pictures, without anything and I wanted to be sure we had time enough to realize everything we had to do. That’s why I didn’t said yes directly.

4 - Can you describe your entry “Rhythm Inside”, and what is the message behind it?
“Rhythm Inside” is different. It is something powerful, very clean in musical sounds. It is pure. The universe of the song is dark. I mean in my head I see “Rhythm Inside” as something dark. Not as something bad. It is just the colours I see when I hear “Rhythm Inside”.
The message behind it is “we are all the same”. For example in the same street we can have a beautiful skinny girl and next to her we can have a big woman but as beautiful as the skinny girl. “Rhythm Inside” tells that story: “We are different, we have different personality and we are different person but inside everyone has blood and a heart. Everyone is human. You can be rich, pour, we are all the same.” Being different is not a reason not to walk in the same direction hands to hands. We have to help each other because we are humans and yes of course there are rich man, pour man, skinny or big people but that is not important. Everything is going to be fine and easier if we walk on the same way. 

4b – Can you describe your entry “Rhythm Inside” in one sentence?
“Rhythm Inside” is about what we are, about who everyone is; it’s a message to people that says: “we are all the same”.

5 – Would you like to introduce yourself? How is Loïc, what do you do beside singing, tell us something more about your life and career, how do you spend your free time,…?
I am Loïc Nottet, I am 18 years old. I am a perfectionist. Maybe too much. I am someone that is ambitious and who likes challenges and who doesn’t like to lose challenges and fights. I mean I am not going to be happy if I lose my own project, if I mess my song or my video or my performance. I don’t want to lose challenges against myself. I am not someone that likes competitions, I don’t care about that. I just want to sing as better as I can and do my work like I want and share something with the audience and just have fun.

On my free time I dance a lot, I write novels or poetry. Weirdly I really hate reading books but I like writing them. It must be about the creativity you have to have when you write. It is not the same with reading. I am someone that is really nervous so I have to do something every time. I can’t stay sit on my chair and look through the window. I have to do something with my hands and feet.

I really like music and I need it to be fine in my skin. I really need dance and drama too. I need art in general. I would like to make a career in music and if it’s possible I would like to share my music with France, maybe England too. It’s crazy to think like this but I need it. If I just stay in Belgium it would be a huge defeat for me.

6 – You made it to the second place at “The Voice Belgique”. Do you think that the selection for the ESC is a second chance for you?
I don’t think it is a second chance for me to win something. It is a second chance for me to share something more with the audience.

7 – What type of performance are you going to give at Eurovision? Are you going to use new technologies or keep it simple? Are you going to dance? Is a choreography planed?
Something very bright, minimalistic and pure, clean, very robotic movements. There will be surprises. I am going to keep it simple but modern with new technologies. I think it’s going to be something new for Eurovision.

8 — Can you introduce the people who will be backing you on stage in your Eurovision performance?
It won’t be dancers but backing vocals. “Rhythm Inside” is a really complicated song and I needed a lot of voices for it and the main rule on ESC is that everything that is sang in the song has to be sing in real for the show. So “Rhythm Inside” needs a lot of voices so I needed a lot of backing vocals. Another rule is that there’s a limited number of people allowed on stage (6) so I had to choose if I wanted dancers or backing vocals and I think it was better to have backing vocals rather than dancers so I took backing vocals and tried to include the idea of dancers with the backing vocals.
I don’t know the whole team yet. I know one of the backing vocals. He casted the others that are from London. I have to trust him. I am impatient to see how they sing and perform.

9 – You are only 18 and have just started your career, how does it feel to have the opportunity to sing in front of dozens of millions of people? Do you feel the pressure already?
It’s a great opportunity to sing in front of a lot of people like there will be at ESC and it’s a better opportunity when you can choose everything about your performance, when you can choose what you want inside the screens, what you want for the choreography, the clothes, the make-up and everything like that. It’s a huge opportunity to sing in front of a lot of people to start your career and that you can choose everything so it is really you.
I don’t feel the pressure yet but only because I don’t think about it for the moment.

10 – What do you do to prepare for the ESC? How does your schedule look like? What is the most difficult for you in Eurovision preparation, what do you feel you need to practice more? 
I do a lot of meetings with Sony Music and the national broadcaster, the RTBF. We gather and meet often to talk about the performance on stage. It is the way I prepare for Eurovision. A lot of meetings and a lot of creativity. I off course rehears my song few times a week.
I think the most difficult for me is to work with other people. I am someone that is used to work alone and I like it. I have my own ideas. So it’s difficult for me to work with a team. When I am sure about something I am sure about it and no one can change my mind. With the ESC, I learn something new. We are a team.

11 – Why singing in a foreign language and not in your mother tongue?
Because I have been in love with English since I was a child and every music I listen to is in English so it inspires me to do the same.

12 – Can you talk about your influences in music?
My influences in music are: Sia, Florence and the Machine, Lorde, London Grammar, Hurts and I also really love Queen. 

13 – And if you could sing any songs at the contest, which one would it be and why?
Elastic Heart (Sia) I think because it’s a powerful song and it means so much to me. The lyrics matches a lot with who I am and it’s like a fight that Sia has with herself and like I have also.

14 – If I may ask more personal questions, are you still studying?
Not right now. For the moment I got my High School diploma last June and now I just decided to stop studying to make music. Maybe in several years, I will start school again to study something related to art.

15 – A lot of contestants are coming from singing competitions like The Voice, is it the main or easiest option you have now in the music industry to be discovered or heard?
I think it’s easier because that kind of show pushes new artists on the stage and it’s easier for us to meet a good audience and have a lot of viewers in a short amount of time. I think the visibility for an artist is the thing that is the most difficult to have and that kind of show makes it possible. 

16 – What is your goal/aim for the ESC?
My goal is to have more experience and to meet a big audience. I would like to meet some new artists and new persons with whom I could collaborate.

17 – Do you have a message you would like to address to your fans?
Be who you are and try to enjoy life even if it’s not easy every day.

18 – Do you already have plans for after the ESC (singles, albums, tour, other…)? Are you already working on something?
Not really. I wish to do an album one day but I don’t know when. Maybe next year or in 2 years or… 

19 – Can you tell us the story behind the creation of “Rhythm Inside”?
I was alone in my room around midnight something like that and I just begun to play with my piano and suddenly I found cool chords. After I tried to sing on it and I found the melody of “Rhythm Inside” and the song was born like that.
I knew that I wanted to talk about what hurts me. I really take care about equalities so I just wanted to talk about that in my song because I think it is important for an artist to say what he thinks and to make people react on it.
So I contacted BJ Scott that I knew from The Voice to put words on my ideas and I think she did it great.

20 – It is quite an unusual track for the Eurovision, how was it decided to work in this particular style?
It is not a particular style, it is mine. I didn’t wanted to do the ESC with something that doesn’t matches with me. I wouldn’t like to go on stage with something that doesn’t speak to me. It’s like lying to your fans and your public and it’s not cool. You have to be honest and everything will be fine. I didn’t work “Rhythm Inside” with the goal to win the Eurovision Song Contest. I worked on it as a single and something you would hear on the radio.

21 – Everyone is asking about the words “rapppabab” and “rompanpan”. What’s your understanding of it?
Rapapabab means the heart beating.

22 – Can you tell us more about the music video: its creation story and its meaning?
Creation: we went to London because we saw great pictures on a website of an artist from London called Joshua Brandon, so we contacted him to work with us on pictures first of all and after we talked about the video.
Meaning: I wrote a story with white people, black people and red people. The white people mean what the society would like us to be like be skinny, no revolution, etc, perfect persons. And the black people means the difference. It doesn’t mean something bad. For example, it is not because a girl is big that she is not as beautiful as the skinny girl or a fashion model. It is not because you are a boy that you cannot dance for example. Or because you are a girl that you cannot fight in the army. The red means that finally everyone is the same inside. Of course we are different, we have different personality and culture but inside we have the same things: a heart, blood and that’s all that matters.

23 – Did you ever been in Vienna before?
No, never. I saw Vienna with movies but I’ve never been there. I heard we drink tasty coffees there so I am impatient to taste them.

Friday, 24 April 2015


The Czechs are undoubtedly the least successful country in Eurovision. They've come last twice (got nil points in 2009) and therefore decided to throw in the towel. Until this year... The Czech Republic are back and better than ever - even though that's not a hard task.Will Marta and Václav be the first Czechs to qualify? Here's our thoughts....

Ana: I don’t like this song and I don’t like their voices either, specially the one of Vlad. Although I don’t use to like this kind of ballads, this one is absolutely boring and forgettable in my opinion. They’ll need an amazing staging if the want to fight for a place in the final. 3/10

Ilkar: Another duet but a great comeback for Czech Republic, their best effort to date and most likely qualifier for the final, their first. Both are experienced singers with good voices. His voice especially is very memorable. As are memorable their physical attributes; boobs and arms. Somehow I wish they would have dared go for rockier sound in the arrangement as this is clearly a hardrock ballad. Rougher sounds in the backing track would have been a good option to stand out even more. 8/10

Jack: It's true, Hope Never Dies for the Czech Republic. Good song, decent vocals and I'd love to see them in the final. Yet I somehow have a feeling they won't make the final and will withdraw next year... I really hope I'm wrong about this though! It's great to have 'em back! 6/10

Jess: I am not a big lover of this song itself, however I do think that both Marta & Vaclav's voices work really well together. 5/10

John: Undoubtedly the best that the Czechs have sent to Eurovision, this lovely ballad is contemporary and easy on the ears. For all of that it lacks a “special something” that will allow it to stand out from all of the other ballads. I reckon it will be a run of the mill event on the ESC stage but I hope I am wrong! 7/10


Thursday, 23 April 2015


Leonor Andrade will be hoping to give Portugal its first ever victory next month. Is a Portuguese win possible? Will Leonor even make the final? Here's our thoughts...

Ana: This is a very weak entry. The song is not memorable and Leonor's vocals are not amazing. Even at some points of the song her voice is really annoying. It would need another serious revamp, but it doesn't matter what they do, this is staying in the semi final anyway. 3/10

Ilkar: Like Switzerland this is in desperate need of proper production and remix. With the difference that I like Leonor and I like this song. This could well be on any Italian female pop star's album, only much better produced. This makes me think of Laura Pausini's songs, and I could even hear Emma or Amoroso do this for example. The result would though be completely different. But the corn is there somewhere..... 7/10

Jack: Portugal's entry is nice but I don't think nice is going to cut in Vienna.. Sad but true. Portugal will most probably not make the final but I'd be more than happy to be proved wrong as I do think it's a lovely song. Like Ilkar says, with a stronger production the song could have been a hit for Laura Pausini, Emma or even Annalisa. It sounds really good on the official album. Boa sorte! 8/10

Jess: Leonor has a lovely voice. I love just sitting down and listening to this song. 7/10

John: There's nothing I would like more than to see Portugal bagging its first Eurovision title. And although this song is a cut above some of the more recent entries from Portugal, I still don't see it bringing home the trophy. I like this song but wonder if it wouldn't sound better in English? Portuguese is not the easiest of languages and maybe this is a factor they ought to take into consideration??? 5/10


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Netherlands: Listen to an acoustic version of 'Walk Along'

Trijntje Oosterhuis has performed an acoustic version of Walk Along on a Dutch TV show. Watch it here. As expected, she does a fantastic job - and her performance in Amsterdam was awesome too. A dark horse? #TeamLittleTrain


Norway opted for Mørland & Debrah Scarlett to represent them in Vienna. They narrowly beat Erlend Bratland in the national final - did Norway make the right choice? Is Oslo 2016 a possibility? Here's our thoughts...

Ana: I liked this song since I first listened to it. They are sweet and dark at the same time and even though they are so different, I love how their voices sound when they sing together. It’s a strange combination but it really works. This deserves, at least, be in the top 10. 9/10

Ilkar: Another very atmospheric song this year. Beautiful melody and arrangement, interesting voices and lyrics. The question is if they can create the intensivity and the atmosphere of the video also on stage. In the Norwegian final they weren't quite there but if they do better in Vienna this will do very well indeed. 8.5/10

Jack: Norway are contenders this year, y'all! Mørland & Debrah Scarlett's song is absolutely beautiful and I would be more than happy seeing Norway victorious. Their performance during MGP could have been better - Debrah was clearly nervous so I hope that won't effect her in Vienna. Even though A Monster Like Me is an awesome entry, there's still a part of me that yearns for a well-done pizza ;-) 9/10

Jess: What a brilliant song this is, and I just love how well Mørland & Debrah voices work together! 8/10

John: Mixed feelings here. It's a good song, sung well and makes quite a dramatic impact - but is it Eurovision? Sounds like it would sit well in a "Phanton of the Opera - The Sequel" type of musical. Doesn't tick any of the boxes that a typical ESC winner ought to tick - The Monster Like Me doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily as "La,La,La" or "Boom-Bang-A-Bang" and the melody is not one you're likely to find yourself singing in the shower! But what do I know? 5/10

OUR VERDICT - 39.5/50

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Vienna 2015: The stage is almost ready!

Photographs of the stage have emerged today. As expected, many Eurofans are disappointed saying it's too small. Is size really important? ;-) I'm sure it's going to look a treat on TV! Mu gusta!


When Amber won the Maltese national final back in November 2014, almost everyone was delighted. However since Warrior was revamped, the reaction has been mixed. Here's what we think about the Maltese effort...

Ana: I like this song because it’s dark but at the same time it has a positive message. Amber’s vocals are amazing and she makes me believe every single word she sings. I wonder if she’ll be able to stand out among so many women singing the same kind of songs and reach the final. 7/10

Ilkar: The revamp didn't do much to this one. It's shouty, I don't like the arrangement and in general its lost among all the other similar songs this year. And unfortunately I don't have much faith in her giving us a flawless vocal performance in Vienna. Screamy or shouty. One or the other it's going to be. 3/10

Jack: The revamped version has divided people for sure. Some really dislike it it, some love it... I am in the latter category for sure. Will Amber qualify? She deserves too! Probably the best song Malta has ever sent! I fear she might do unnoticed though, especially with an early draw and in such a tough semi. And another question - will Amber or Nina fare better in Vienna? 8/10

Jess: Wow, wow, wow, WOW! That is all I will say about Malta's entry. It has such a powerful message behind it, and Amber's voice is amazing! 9/10

John: The Maltese entry is a pleasant ballad with a strong melody. in a year which features so many ballads it would be easy for a mellow song to get "lost in the crowd" so to speak .Sadly I don't think there is anything so striking enough here to make it stand out from the others. I would also have concerns about the strength of Amber's live vocals. 6/10


Monday, 20 April 2015


San Marino wasn't the only country to qualify for the first time last year - Montenegro did too, and it seems Knez's entry is going to continue this trend. Maybe. Here's what we think about Adio..

Ana: I was missing Balkan sounds when suddenly Montenegro appeared. It’s obvious that Željko Joksimović is behind this and it sounds great. I also love the fact that he sings in his own language. If Knez can pull it off live, in m opinion, Montenegro deserves the top 10. 9/10

Ilkar: This has all Joksimović trademarks: great orchestration and instruments, slow start that grown into a boombastic climax in the end. Great singer. Wonderful backing voices arrangement. What's there not to like if you like some Balkan pathos and ethnic vibe? Very similar to his previous ones but that's his style, why should he write something that's not him just because it's Eurovision? .5/10

Jack: Excellent! Željko Joksimović clearly composed the song and all of his efforts have been very successful in Eurovision - will Montenegro's 2015 entry continue that trend? Hope so. I really love this one. It's also wonderful that Knez is singing in native tongue.. if only other countries followed the same philosophy. Yes, I'm looking at YOU Serbia!! I wish Montenegro the best of luck! 9.5/10

Jess: I have to say I really do like this song, Knez is such a great singer! 7/10

John: Montenegro has sent a typical euro “joke song” to Eurovision once too often. Last year they sent a classy ballad but have really excelled themselves this year with a marvellous song by artist Knez. Fast becoming one of my favourites of 2015, I sincerely hope this effort will be appreciated and rewarded. 8/10

OUR VERDICT - 42.5/50

Sunday, 19 April 2015


Valentina Monetta famously gave San Marino its first ever qualification last year. Are Michele and Anita going to have the same fate? Or will San Marino stay in the semis? Here's what we think..

Ana: Every time I listen to this song, I miss Valentina Monetta. I find it boring and dated. It’s like if they had only two days to prepare their entry and send it. Definitely, this deserves to stay in the semi final and ask Valentina to come back next year. 3/10

Ilkar: What to say? This starts well and sounds interesting. The feeling is a bit gone by the time the chorus kicks in and it turns to something very familiar and already heard. The kids will charm the TV audience anyways so let's all switch on the light on our cellphone and join the chain of lights, ok? 7,5/10

Jack: San Marino's 2014 entry became one of my favourites (along with Emma and Ruth) and I loved Maybe even more after Vale qualified - so whoever would represent San Marino this year would have big shoes to fill.  I feel it's a respectable effort from San Marino but not one of my favourites, if this makes sense. We're yet to see this performed live too.... I fear it may crumble live as they are both still very young. Will San Marino qualify for the 2nd year in a row? Maybeeeee. 4.5/10

Jess: I really do like this song! Michele & Anita voices work so well together! 8/10

John: "If we all light a candle" ? The most ill-advised lyric of the century crops up here but, being the forgiving type, I will concede to liking other aspects of this song (after hearing it several times). If it fails abysmally it will likely have more to do with it being the San Marino entry than anything else. Overall a pleasant sound.  6/10


Let's remind ourselves of Anita's and Michele's Junior Eurovision entries...

Saturday, 18 April 2015


Molly Sterling won Ireland's national final - beating off stiff competition from the likes of Erika Selin, Kat Mahon and Nikki Kavanagh. Will Ireland make the final this year? Could Molly even be a dark horse? Here's what we think about Ireland's effort...

Ana: I think that this is one of the most underrated songs this year. Molly is only 16, she’s really talented and her voice has something special. She could do well in Vienna and be this year surprise if her team prepare a good staging and create an intimate atmosphere. 9/10

llkar: Molly may be only 16 but she's got a wonderful dark voice. The song is beautiful and she reminds (in a good way) of many wonderful voices from Kate Bush to Bette Midler. I like the piano driven arrangement. A real song by a real artist 8/10

Jack: Even though Molly wasn't my #1 favourite in the Irish selection, I am happy she won. Her song is beautiful and she's amazing live, especially when considering her tender age. The studio version and the live version sound almost identical... unfortunately,  we couldn't say the same about Nikki Kavanagh. ;-) I hope Ireland qualifies and reaches a decent postion in Vienna. Hopefully the curse of performing #2 won't dampen Molly's chances.. 8/10

Jess: Molly has such a wonderful voice, and her song is very beautiful! 7/10

John: Thankfully Ireland has broken the habit of following trends. Although this doesn't set any new trend it goes back to what Ireland does best at ESC but is modern enough not to be considered "dated" . I really like the melody and the depth of the lyrics. Molly is just 16 and surely has a bright future ahead regardless of the outcome at Eurovision. 8/10


Friday, 17 April 2015


The Lithuanian selection seemed to go on for months and months.. although the winning combination isn't a bad one at all. Actually, it's one of Lithuania's best. Check out our reviews below...

Ana: Vaidas and Monika are “feeling love round in their hearts” and they make me feel it too.  This song just makes me feel happy and I really love the way they perform. They will stand out in Vienna with a different style among so many ballads. It’s a very sweet song non-apt for diabetics. 9/10

Ilkar: They finally did it. Together. And this song is better than any of their effort before. They have a great chemistry, they look and sound great together, the song works and they do great job with it. This could surprise us all in Vienna if they keep the good thing going and not spoiling it with some weird staging. 7.5/10

Jack: The Baltic's are really bringing it this year. I love Lithuania's song! As John says below, it probably isn't going to be a contender for victory although I do hope Vaidas and Monika achieve a decent position in Vienna. Please let this qualify! It's a great opener to the 2nd semi final. Their performance during the national final was gorgeous - that kiss <3 !!! It makes me happy and that's good enough for me. 8/10

Jess: This song is very catchy, and it's a song that I listen to quite a bit. 8/10

John: Rather like a country song that has crossed over into mainstream pop, this is a pleasant song but stops short of being anything more. It is unlikely to be a threat to many of the other contenders. 5/10

OUR VERDICT - 37.5/50

Thursday, 16 April 2015


Nina Sublatti will close the first semi final with a dark and mysterious song. Warrior. Will Georgia qualify or will Nina's song stay in the semis? Here's what we think about the Georgian entry!

Ana: Nina’s voice is really powerful and she looks like a real warrior but this song is too dark and even scary. I try to enjoy it but I’m not able to do it. 3/10

Ilkar: The new version has improved the song, cutting off some useless elements. It still has the risk of becoming very shouty live on stage, and a bit too aggressive. She will surely have a visual image to match and to remember, at first sight and this beats most of the screamy midtempo female songs this year. 8/10

Jack: In a year of two Warriors, I think the Georgian one is superior however I do love both. Nina's style (her tattoos etc) is fantastic and I think they can create something rather remarkable on stage. So much better than last years effort from Georgia although I did kinda like that too! Nina's also drawn to close the 1st semi final, so she is an almost certain qualifier. Overall another strong entry from Georgia! 9.5/10

Jess: The first time I heard this song I was not a fan, however after the revamp it has grown on me slightly. I think it will work well live. 5/10

John: In a year when Warriors and Heroes abound, Georgia unfortunately fails to live up to the sentiment inferred by the title of its entry. A very ordinary song, I just get the feeling I've heard it too many times before. Nevertheless I wish only the best to Georgia in 2015. 3/10

OUR VERDICT - 28.5/50

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Greece: Listen to 'One Last Breath' in Greek!

Wow.. Maria-Eleni Kyriakou has released a Greek version of her Eurovision entry below. Fab! I wish she would sing this version in Vienna. Enjoy below :-)


Romania's national final will be remembered for Ruslana's interval act (which lasted almost 30 minutes!!) but let's not forget about Voltaj. They won the national final, beating Luminiţa Anghel, and here's what we think of their song! 

Ana: It doesn't matter the language in which they sing this song, it always touches me. It’s simple but effective at the same time and I love the message. I think they will make the whole Europe get emotional because their song has something special and they know how to transmit it. 9/10

Ilkar: Another great song with good arrangement and beautiful melody, topped with important lyrics and not artificially made to fit the Eurovision mode like most of the Romanian entries. I can even forgive them the English as most of the song is in Romanian anyways and you hardly notice they switch to English in the end until you realize you actually do understand what he is singing about. 7.5/10

Jack: I'm very impressed with Romania's effort this year. It's great they'll sing in Romanian too and not just English. Voltaj deserve to make the final and I think they will. It's an amazing song with a great message. I think it's a dark horse. Could Romania finally be victorious? 9/10

Jess: Great singers, great song, such a great choice by Romania! 7/10

John: A strong ballad such as this is a welcome move from Romania this year. If the very obvious sentimentality can be overlooked and the song judged purely on its musical merits - a pleasant melody and a really strong singer – there are possibly enough ingredients for a winner here. 7/10

OUR VERDICT - 39.5/50

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Elhaida Dani won Albania's version of Star Academy in 2009, then she won Top Fest and The Voice of Italy in 2012 - can she win Eurovision too and give Albania's its first ever title? Here's what we think....

Ana: I guess Elhaida is thankful to the composer who hasn’t allowed her to take “Diell” to Vienna, because this is way better. Her new song is modern and catchy and I love the beat of the chorus. We should be careful with Albania this year since she’s incredible singing live and the live performance can be even better than the studio version. 10/10

Ilkar: Elhaida didn't only change the song but also genre and look. All for the better it seems. The song builds and grows and gets a bit messy by the end overpowering her vocals. She needs to be spot on with her vocals live anyways or this can become a total mess. If she nails it, she can go very far. At this point before hearing it live a strong 7/10

Jack: Changing Elhaida 's song was the best choice ever. Diell just wouldn't have stood out in Vienna, despite Elhaida's amazing voice. The song was rather boring and typical. Although the song she's taking to Vienna, I'm Alive, is awesome. One of the best this year.. And it's Albania's best entry ever! I really hope she will achieve top five in Vienna - and I wouldn't mind seeing her win it all to be honest. She has the voice, she has a fabulous song - let's now hope it'll be great live too. Anyone fancy Tirana next May? 10/10

Jess: I was a massive fan of Diell so when the song changed, I wasn't sure what to expect and when I'm Alive was released I was not a big lover of it. However it is slowly growing on me. 6/10

John: I must admit I am lovin' this song. If the live version makes even half the impact the studio version makes then it could easily end up being my number one. What a lovely melody and sweet-like-honey vocal! Should most definitely qualify for the grand finale. From there who knows what will happen !!! 8/10


The original song..

Monday, 13 April 2015


Anti Social Media won DMGP back in January, even though Anne Gadegaard won the televote. This did cause some controversy.. Anyway, here's what we think about the Danish effort....

Ana: Denmark was totally wrong choosing this song. I love the 60s style but the song is too simple and flat. Maybe, being an uptempo song will give it some extra points but I’m not sure if that will be enough to make them reach the final. 4/10

Ilkar: Back to 60's with this The Beatles inspired number that I find only irritating. Totally uninteresting and unoriginal in every way. Nice suits thought. 2.5/10

Jack: When Anti Social Media won DMGP, I was not impressed. They had several more interesting and stronger songs in my opinion - such as Suitcase and Hotel A. Anti Social Media's entry isn't terrible. The tune is rather catchy.. If they're going to do well, the lead singer needs to work on his vocals as they were pretty horrendous during the Danish national final. But it isn't for me. 4.5/10

Jess: I have to say at first I was not a big fan of the song, however it has grown on me quite a bit! I think it is one to watch! 6/10

John: Well, they look far too innocuous to be "anti" anything but the Danish representatives this year have a very memorable tune. I really like this song and its feel-good tempo. Not the strongest entry ever from Denmark but there's something very like able about it. 7/10


Sunday, 12 April 2015


Russia are sending a song about peace, again, which has ruffled many feathers. Anyway, Polina Gagarina will fly the Russian flag and she is one of the favourites to win it all. What do we think though?

Ana: It’s a very good song and I know that Polina will put it off, but it isn't one of my favourites. Although Russia is not a winner for me so far, I’ll wait to watch the live performance. I have the feeling that it’ll be amazing, and the song will grow on me even more. 8/10

Ilkar: A song heard a million times before. The video filled with clichés from kids to the elderly and pregnant women. She's good singer and certainly will shine on stage but the song is just so unoriginal and uninteresting and such a standard production and arrangement. 3/10

Jack: Russia's entry is naturally going to cause controversy, and will no doubt be booed in Vienna (sigh), yet I love it. It's a song contest and I think Russia's entry is one of the best (if not the best) this year. Polina's an amazing artist and I wouldn't mind seeing her win. Russia has arguably sent much worse recently and have always achieved respectable positions... so I'm sure they'll do well in Vienna. It's a finalist for sure and maybe a winner. Maybe... It needs good staging though and Polina must hit those high notes. удачи России! 10/10

Jess: I was not sure what to expect from Polina, however I really do like the song. Polina has such a lovely voice! 8/10

John: Ok, setting aside the inherently flawed sentiment, the song from Russia is a powerful ballad, and Polina Gagarina's voice is equally powerful - or at least so the studio recording would suggest. I don't think it will curry favour with the masses and it might have been a more mature consideration on the part of the Russians to have sent this song in their own language. 7/10


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Where Are You? Bosnia & Herzegovina!

Bosnia & Herzegovina remain absent for the third year in a row, blaming financial problems. They really wanted to participate this year, like Bulgaria, but had to withdraw last minute as they simply couldn't afford it. The Bosnians are yet to win although they have been very successful throughout the years. Their best placing was in 2006 with Hari Mata Hari.

Before their withdrawal in 2013, Bosnia had managed to qualify every year and are arguably the most successful Balkan nation in Eurovision. My favourite Bosnian entries include 1999, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012. It would indeed be lovely to have 'em back. Maya Sar was the last Bosnian act to grace the Eurovision stage with this beautiful ballad...

If they returned, who should sing for Bosnia? I'd love Hari Mata Hari to comeback - and he was even rumoured to be their entrant this year although that obviously didn't work out. Sigh. I'm sure we'll see them return soon it's just a case of when. Hopefully in 2016!

San Marino: Valentina Monetta to announce votes!

It's official. Valentina Monetta will reveal the San Marinese votes during the final of Eurovision 2015. Yihuu. Valentina managed to bring San Marino it's first ever qualification last year with Maybe.


Uzari & Maimuna won Belarus's national final back in December and I think it's fair to say that we were all rather surprised. Will Belarus qualify? Here's what we think about Time...

Ana: At the beginning I didn't like this song but after the revamp it has really grown on me. It’s quite catchy and modern and I love the mix of the pop sound with the violin. It may not be a winner entry but they definitely deserve to be in the final.  8/10

Ilkar: This was my favorite in Belarus and I think it's a pretty good one. The violin works magic for this, it's catchy. The arrangement for the rest isn't the most original one, nor he isn't the best singer in the world perhaps but all in all it's a fine effort. And I want to see that hourglass on stage and Uzari running three minute on treadmill to reach it in time.... 7/10

Jack: At first, I didn't like this entry whatsoever. I just found it annoying and also because they beat MILKI in the national final.. I'm still gutted they didn't win, I can't lie. Loved MILKI! Anyway, the new version of Belarus's entry is actually rather fantastic and they deserve to qualify. It's no winner but a song Belarus can be proud of. I hope it won't become a mess on stage. I like it. Will they take that giant egg-timer to Vienna? 7.5/10

Jess: All I can say is I just love this song! It is really catchy and Uzari & Maimuna work so well together! 10/10

John: Aside from Koldun's 6th place entry back in 2007, Belarus is another example of a country that has failed consistently to make any impression on the Eurovision audiences. Urazi & Maimura with Time is, I fear, going to continue that trend. Much as I would like to say otherwise, there is really nothing to redeem this from inevitable failure. 2/10

OUR VERDICT - 34.5/50

Friday, 10 April 2015

Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich's 'Pray For Ukraine' would've made a perfect entry!

We're all aware of the difficulties facing Ukraine at the moment, and due to these they had to withdraw from Eurovision. I think it's a great shame we won't be seeing Ukraine in Vienna. Anyway, Zlata Ognevich's new track is entitled Pray For Ukraine and I think this would've a perfect entry for them! Why? The song is incredible, has a fantastic message and Zlata is of course simply fabulous! I really am upset that we won't be seeing Ukraine in Eurovision this year but I naturally see why they won't be there.. they can't give it their all. They have more important issues BUT I believe Zlata's new track would've rocked and brought Ukraine a more than respectable position. Plus another uptempo wouldn't have gone a miss :-P Zlata performed this song, and a few others, at a pre-Eurovision bash in Riga last night (she was a special guest). Enjoy her awesome performance below (courtesy of WiwiBloggs):

....and here's the official video!

It remains to be seen if Ukraine will be back, this blogger hopes they will! It's always sad seeing countries withdraw from the contest. Please come back!!!! #PrayForUkraine.

Italy: Il Volo release 3 minute version of 'Grande Amore'

The final version of Italy's entry was revealed today. Some fans have been worried that the 3 minute version won't have the same impact as the original although it's still amazing. The introduction, Gianluca's part and the ending have been trimmed to comply with the EBU's rules - but it doesn't really make much difference if I'm honest. I can still see Italy winning - unless they really muck up the staging *cough France 2011* but hopefully that isn't going to be the case. The original version has clocked 20 million views.. Impressive indeed! Listen to the final version below:


Boggie (Boglárka Csemer) will fly the Hungarian flag with a song about peace. A respectable effort for sure, but is Wars For Nothing worthy of qualifying? See what we think below!

Ana: Boggie is really sweet and I can say nothing bad about her and her voice but I can’t listen to the full song. I always have to stop it before it ends. I think that it’s extremely boring and it’ll be difficult for her to get the attention of the European audience. 3/10

Ilkar: This song gives me the most trouble this year. I feel like I'm missing something. It can be great but then why can't I see or hear it? I feel like I should love it but I don't. Somehow it feels wrong. I don't know. I also have no idea how this will do in Vienna, the same way I have no idea how PKN will do. Winner? Null pointer? I don't know so I give 4.5/10.

Jack: Hungary's song is sweet and has a lovely message... but it is a tad on the dull side, don't ya think? If she's going to qualify, they will need to create something memorable on stage - otherwise I fear Boggie will go unnoticed. Hungary should have sent Kati! 4/10

Jess: From the moment I heard this song it really touched my heart, and Boggie is such a great singer. 7/10 

John: I just managed to stay awake long enough to form an impression of this song. A good cure for sleeplessness but other than that it has precious little to offer. It moves as slow as a snail with a limp and and goes about the same distance. Sorry Hungary! 4/10

OUR VERDICT - 22.5/50

Thursday, 9 April 2015


Following one years absence, Serbia are returning with Bojana Stamenov - a fantastic singer - and a song composed by Vladimir Graić. The guy behind Serbia's 2007 winning entry. Is history about to repeat itself? Find out what we think below...

Ana: I have a problem with this song - I really like the beginning but when it turns into a dance song I don’t like it at all. What could have been a very good entry is a real mess due to that mix of styles. I don’t like the staging either. In short: good raw material and not very good final result. 6/10

Ilkar: Like Macedonia this song's points drop because the original version was much better. I like her a lot, and I do like the song. But in English it just doesn't feel right. ”Finally I can say, Yes, I'm different and it's ok”. Ok, it tries to give a statement and be for a cause. I think it fails big time. Being too underlining may work in advertising but not in a real song. Shame. 4.5/10

Jack: For some reason, this entry reminds me of San Marino 2013. I fear the Serbs may end up with a similar result... Bojana does have an wonderful voice but I do wish she was singing in Serbian. I'm not convinced with the final version either as the lyrics are a tough embarrassing. I did expect more. 4/10

Jess: Bojana has such a lovely voice, and her song is brilliant! 7/10

John: In a word - dreadful! Apparently attempting to be two songs in one, it just doesn't work - not an any level. I am trying to find a redeeming feature here but have drawn a blank. No joy for Serbia this year. 3/10

OUR VERDICT - 24.5/50

Spain: Giuseppe Di Bella to join Edurne on stage!

Last year Giuseppe Di Bella danced with Ruth Lorennzo on her video-clip, and now it's been announced that he will join Edurne on stage in Vienna. It's unknown whether the Italian dancer will dance with Edurne or alone... Watch him in action below!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


The Macedonians were first to select their song for Vienna - back in early November - and following a major revamp and translation, we have Autumn Leaves. Is Daniel Kajmakoski's entry good enough to qualify? Should they have stuck to the original version? So many questions!! Here's our thoughts.....

Ana: I know that this is quite an unpopular opinion but I like this song. It hasn't anything very special but the truth is that I don’t get tired of it. Maybe it's because it's a very normal, natural and non-prefabricated song. Anyway, I don't know if we’ll see Daniel in the final. 7/10

Ilkar: Oh what have you done. I liked this with the original arrangement and in Macedonian so much better! This feels like a washed down, slowed down, standardized version of it. Maybe they tried to ”modernize” it. For me it is making it boring. He has got a great voice and the melody is nice though. Original would have gotten 8.5 this one gets only 6.5/10

Jack: Totally loving this one. The original version was just okay for me, nothing to write home about so to speak, but the new version has something. It's really good but not amazing... Hopefully Daniel will qualify however semi final one will be incredibly tough.. It can go either way but I see another non qualification for Macedonia. 8.5/10

Jess: Daniel's voice is incredible, and the song is quite nice. 6/10

John: Now here's one I am really loving at the minute. Macedonia has never had a high profile at ESC but this year could change all of that with this excellent entry by Daniel Kajmakoski . Great song, with a sort of quality, I can see how it would make a big impression on a big stage. 8/10


The original version:

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