My winner is Montenegro. Unfortunately, this is the kiss of death for the Montenegro contestant Slavko Katezic as my favourite songs always come last. I love this song though, it’s called ‘Space’, and I dance like I’m on another planet when I hear it. In the official video, he dances topless and has a plait Rapunzel would be jealous of. I find the plait distracting though as he swings it around with gay abandonment, health and safety officials will be having kittens on the night watching it doesn’t get caught up in any stage paraphernalia. I’m presuming there won’t be a wind machine in the mix for the live performance, far too many ‘Final Destination’ possibilities. The song is disco deluge of high energy, jiggly rhythms, and sweat. And the more I listen to the lyrics the more double entendre they seem. 10/10 from me.
Sweden is my very close second place. The song is catchy and bouncy. Robin Bengtsson ticks all my boxes but I’m not sure if a song called ‘I can’t go on (coz you’re so fricking beautiful)’ will go down well. Will the people of Europe be offended by the word fricking? I’m looking forward to the stage performance as in the video Robin and his merry men (four male backing dancers, all looking dashing in suits and sneakers) dance on treadmills. I’m presuming the stops and starts of the treadmill in line with the dance routine are automatically programmed in, otherwise it’s a lot of pressure on the treadmill operator. This song is fricking awesome and I give it 9.5/10.
Moldova get my third place. The Sunstroke Project (no it’s not an ad campaign from Boots the chemist) have been Moldova’s entry before, but this is their best. ‘Hey Mamma’ is again a catchy upbeat song with funky saxophone and violin bits. The dance moves are easy enough for me to follow along with; the main move being tapping your right leg up and down as if trying to free your shoe from unseen chewing gum or dabbing down a bit of lifting loose linoleum. And anyone that can dance ‘the running man’ while playing the saxophone gets my vote. 9/10 from me.
Francesco Gabbani for Italy gets fourth place from me for his song ‘Occidentali’s Karma’. This song has been a grower for me. He sings it in Italian so I find it difficult to sing along to (it doesn’t stop me), but it’s got a groovy melody I can dance to. Francesco does his best with dad dancing but his infectious smile makes up for his lack of smooth moves. His voice is heavenly, like granulated sugar swirled with honey and rubbed all over your body with soft warm hands. Oh, did I mention there was a dancing gorilla? Not a real one, a person dressed in a monkey suit dancing alongside Francesco. Maybe they’ll have a real gorilla for the live contest. I look forward to seeing what suit he wears on stage as I’ve seen him singing this song in a couple of different swish suits. 8.5/10 from me.
Fifth place is a tie. Both these songs scored 8/10 from me. F.Y.R Macedonia has a club-feel dance track by Jana Burceska called ‘Dance Alone’. And it does indeed make you want to dance alone. Or in company. The video is a clever concept, an older lady puts on a 3-D headset and is transformed into the younger version of herself as she dances. That’s how I feel when I dance, twenty years younger. A feel-good song, it will be interesting to see what the stage arrangement will be.
Joint fifth for me is Romania. Ilinca ft. Alex Florea sing ‘Yodel It!’ That kind of gives a clue. It’s a rap/yodel fusion. Yes, from Romania. (Apparently, the song was written for the Swiss but they didn’t want it, but Romania did and have certainly embraced it). On first hearing this song I was confused to whether I liked it or not, having listened to it many times now I can confirm it’s a yay from me. A yodelyay. And yes, I have tried yodeling but I sound like a llama on helium and crack cocaine.
Only fifty two days until the first semi-final! Do you have a favourite yet?