Hello and welcome to my first Eurovision article of the 2019 season. I hope to make my regular Eurovision coverage quite varied and I don’t yet entirely know everything it will entail, but one thing I definitely intend to do is give my ‘first impressions’ of the forty-odd songs. These can be vitally important to anyone predicting or betting on the contest. Personally speaking, I often know roughly how well an entry is going to do the very first time I see or hear it. And I’m usually right more often than I’m not.
Following my own instincts more often is one of my New Year’s resolutions. Going along with a crowd isn’t always wise, and my motto in life is, quite suitably; ‘Only the dead fish follow the stream’. These first impressions are not intended to be full-blown reviews, as we all know the final versions of songs can be vastly different, and we don’t usually know what the staging concept or final performance are going to be like at such an early stage. I’ll try to make it about the betting as much as possible as the season goes on – this is not yet another fan website.
Skipping Albania for now for obvious reasons, song numero uno this year comes from Spain. Miki won the Spanish national song with the infectious and uptempo ‘La Venda’.
Let’s start with the positives. It gets going without any kind of delay, which I like, and starts off quite promisingly. The first impression at the beginning is very good. If the audience are anything like me, they are going to look forward to what this one is going to bring. Miki is an extremely good looking and charismatic performer likely to be admired by a wide range of female televoters. It has been stated pretty much everywhere else already, but he really does look like he could be a younger relative of Amir from France 2016. He gives great camera and helps to lift the overall vibe of this entry with his natural charm.
That’s where the positivity ends for me. Listening to the first verse, it’s extremely repetitive. Just the same melody over and over again. A song could probably get away with such repetition had the chorus been a smasher – but it isn’t. The chorus is fine first time around, but when you listen to it from a critical standpoint, you also notice that it simply repeats itself. The second verse sounds just like the first one, and even the middle 8 is repetitive as well! Arrrgggggh!
This kind of thing isn’t going to go unnoticed by the professional juries, many of which will recognise this as a relatively poor composition. I don’t see it making many jury top 10s on merit or song quality alone. Televoters should be a bit kinder to this entry, and there is definitely some potential there. But when all twenty-six finalists are known, Spain could well get lost in the mix.
I think Barei - Say Yay! from 2016 is a fair comparison – 22nd place with 77 points. 23rd with televoters with 10 points, 16th with juries with 67 points. But Barei had much stronger verses even if the chorus was cheap and tacky. To my ears, it was a slightly better entry. Perhaps swap the televoters and juries around for Miki here, and that’s roughly how I think Spain will do in 2019. Some kind of revamp would be recommended.
Do you agree? Disagree? Feel free to have your say in the comments below.