VIENNESE VERDICTS | The EBJ Jury Reviews (Part 5)

There are just three weeks until the final of Eurovision 2015, people. THREE WEEKS! We do, of course, have the equally important/exciting semi finals to look forward to prior to that, which doesn’t give me much time to devise a detailed schedule and allocation chart that dictates the destinations of my precious votes. I’d better get on that ASAP.

With this rapidly diminishing amount of pre-ESC days, I don’t have any time to waste when it comes to churning out the rest of the Viennese Verdicts. The past few days have been momentous ones, what with Loïc Nottet’s message for EBJ (check it out, if you haven’t yet – it’s short but sweet) and the royal baby birth and stuff, but none of that compares to the momentousness of this fifth installment of reviews. This time (Lithuanian pun 100% intended) it’s the turn of Malta, Georgia, Albania, Lithuania and Spain to be judged by a few familiar faces.

 

TODAY’S EBJ JURY

vv1Rory Gannon: You met Ireland’s own Rory (if you hadn’t already met him) waaaaay back in Part 1. He’s the beauty and brains behind a Eurovision blog that is just as fabulous as he is – and I say that of my own volition, not because he paid me to. You can find said blog ESC Views here, and/or like the ESC Views Facebook page here.

Matt Kelly: Aussie Matt, hailing from Adelaide (or Radelaide, as it’s often known) also laid his Eurovision-branded cards on the table in Part 1. He’s one of the stars of YouTube’s escTMI review show, so he’s well-schooled in doling out compliments and criticisms to Eurovision participants. You can subscribe to escTMI’s YouTube channel here and/or like their Facebook page here.

Jasmin Bear: As they say, I’m here all week…if by ‘week’, one means FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY, MWAHAHAHAHA!!! Even though my links are blatantly promoted over in the sidebar, I have no qualms about promoting them even more blatantly here. So, that being said, feel free to like the EBJ Facebook page here, follow me on Twitter here, and/or follow me on Instagram here.

 

The three of us are ready to marvel over and moan about what Amber, Nina, Elhaida, Vaidas & Monika and Edurne are taking to the Austrian capital. Are you?

 

 

MALTA

Warrior by Amber

Malta

Rory: Umm…Malta? We just don’t really get on, do we? I wanna break up. It’s not you, it’s me…actually no, it is you. I’m sorry, but I am not a fan of your song. Can anyone actually understand what Amber sings in the live version of Warrior? If you can’t be understood, what’s the point in even sending the song? At least they’ve worked on the pronunciation aspect of it – the fact that she kept calling the past ‘the pest’ really did p**s me off! 4 points.

Matt: The original Warrior, Amber’s has all the elements of a modern Eurovision song – violins, big drums, powerful vocals, and a positive message of hope. I personally feel that this song is old hat now, as it was one of the first songs chosen all the way back in November. But I’m sure Amber will bring it to life again in Vienna. 10 points.

Jaz: Amber was approximately two attempts at representing Malta away from becoming the Sanna Nielsen of the island (though that’s the situation for most Maltese artists, let’s face it) when she finally won MESC last year. When she steps onto the Stadthalle stage in a few weeks’ time, she’ll be in the unusual position of having performed on the Junior and adult Eurovision stages within six months – not because she’s in the same boat as San Marino’s Anita Simoncini, but because Malta understandably repurposed the JESC stage for their national final use. None of this has anything to do with Amber’s Warrior, of course – I just like going off on tangents. I’m constantly changing my mind when it comes to my personal winner of the Warrior face-off, as I like both. I have to say, though, Malta has impressed me with their choice of representative for the third year in row. Granted, MESC 2014 wasn’t an NF to end all NFs, but Amber stood out to me from my first listen of the line-up. There’s something about the style of Warrior that I get a kick out of, even though it isn’t the most finely-crafted, cohesive power ballad I’ve ever heard. And speaking of power – Amber has it in spades when she launches into that big chorus. She just needs to ensure she’s in key to make it explosive in a good way. I did actually prefer the song before it was reworked, and I’m still irritated by the ‘con-quer-er-errrr’ bit (it almost puts ‘uh-uh-uh-un-dooooooo’ to shame) but that’s the majority of what I’d pick on re: Malta 2015. There are plenty of songs that are superior, but I like this enough to give it 8 points.

EBJ Jury Score: 7.33

 

 

GEORGIA

Warrior by Nina Sublatti

Georgia

Rory: So I told you that I wasn’t a fan of Malta, but to be honest, Georgia wins the Warrior battle hands-down. I mean, the song beforehand was strong, but it’s really packing a punch now. Seeing as they’ll be closing the first semi, I see no reason why Nina won’t do incredibly well. It’s crazy, addictive, hypnotic…if only Georgia (plus Belgium….and the Netherlands) was in the second semi!! 10 points.

Matt: The other Warrior, Nina’s song is the ESL emo version. I wanted to like it – it’s dark and unusual. But the lyrics are so bad. Did she use Google Translate to write them? I can’t sing along to a chorus that has ‘still stucked in my mind’ as one of its lines. And I still don’t know what ‘oximated’ means, but it’s good to know that Nina’s ‘not a shabby’. It’s hard to believe this song was reworked by the Eurovision legend Thomas G:son. Surely he should’ve fixed the mistakes…but no, this song is going to Vienna with all of the original, bad lines. I feel like it’s a missed opportunity, and that’s just frustrating. 5 points.

Jaz: This was the standout song in the Georgian final, and it’s also the best song Georgia has sent to Eurovision in a long time. That doesn’t mean I’m about to lavish it with douze points (spoiler alert: I’m not) but it does mean I find a lot of positives in it. The lyrics, in terms of that little thing called ‘making sense’, are not one of those positives (like Matt, I am appalled by the use of ‘stucked’…subtract two letters, and it would be fine) but honestly, I’d rather listen to interesting lyrics like these than lame, cheesy ones that rhyme ‘love’ with ‘above’ or ‘dove’, or even worse, ‘love’. This song is edgy and hip (no matter how uncool my use of ‘hip’ might make it) and rather alternative by Eurovision standards. There are a few songs in that vein competing in Vienna – Belgium, Latvia, etc – and I’m digging them all. When it comes to originality, this Warrior has the battle in the bag, and the juries should reward it for that at the least. Nina’s an intense performer for a nineteen-year-old, which I blame on the heavy makeup that makes her look at least twenty-five. Her experience participating in and winning Georgian Idol will be beneficial as she rides the Eurovision merry-go-round – probably not all the way to the top, but hopefully to the upper mid-table of the final scoreboard. PS – For everyone still wondering, ‘oximated’ means ‘reaction with, or conversion into an oxime.’ So I guess we’ll continue to wonder, then. 8 points.

EBJ Jury Score: 7.67

 

 

ALBANIA

I’m Alive by Elhaida Dani

Albania

Rory: Ohhhhhh Albania, you always have the best sense. Well, most of the time (we still have to talk about Rona’s hair). I am incredibly happy that they actually ditched Diell in favour of I’m Alive. This song actually shows off Elhaida’s versatile vocal range – and my god, it is an UP-TEMPO SONG! This calls for a celebratory Verka Serduchka dance around the stage. Well done, Albania. You’ve learned from your mistakes! 8 points.

Matt: I’m Alive is a really contemporary ballad, and it’s a million light years away from the awful, outdated song Elhaida was originally going to sing. Talk about dodging a bullet. I could imagine Beyoncé or the like singing this, and it doing well on mainstream radio. A seasoned talent show veteran, Elhaida will deliver amazing vocals on stage, and has the stage presence that will sell the song to the audience. I think this will do well. 8 points.

Jaz: So I guess I’m alone in preferring Diell, then (I got the raw deal in Albania’s surprise song exchange). The composers of Elhaida’s Festivali I Këngës winner deciding to withdraw the song from Eurovision is almost as inexplicable a move as Andreas Kümmert saying danke, but nein danke, to representing Germany. But while in Germany’s case, the unexpected turn of events worked in my favour, in Albania’s…it really didn’t. There is nothing horrendously wrong with I’m Alive. In fact, it’s a darn good eleventh-hour song (something you could also say about Australia’s). It’s more contemporary and uplifting than Diell, not to mention more energetic. Plus, it allows Elhaida to be a bit more playful with her undoubtedly impressive vocals. All of that makes it a welcome addition to the contest. But I just don’t get the hype. I find the repetition in the chorus quite irritating, and despite the inclusion of that big belter of a note towards the end (which is very Jessie J-esque) the song doesn’t travel to as epic of a place as I’d like it to. I haven’t seen Elhaida perform this live, but I did watch her winning FiK performance – and based on the way she sung the pants off Diell, her Eurovision performance has the potential to change my mind. But until then, I’m not 100% sold. 6 points.

EBJ Jury Score: 7.33

 

 

LITHUANIA

This Time by Vaidas & Monika

Lithuania

Rory: Ehhhh…I’m not really sure what to say about Lithuania this year. I’m happy that they’re finally sending something that will appeal to the masses, but performing first on the night might be a little bit of a hindrance to them, to say the least! As a sidenote, how nice is their video, though!!? Vaidas…phwoar! 6 points.

Matt: When I was a kid I always assumed that Grease’s John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John were a couple, due to their fantastic on-screen chemistry. I feel the same about Monika and Vaidas. They are so cute together, and I believe that their song of love comes from the heart (to avoid another disappointment, I’m not going to research whether they are a couple or not). The song itself is simple and catchy, but nothing too amazing. My prediction is that the audience will feel some love for this, but not enough to get them to the top. I think they’ll probably end up in the middle of the pack. 7 points.

Jaz: If you’re hoping I’m going to say ‘Aww, isn’t this cute!’, well, I’m not. Nor am I going to say ‘Ugh, isn’t this revolting!’. I’m somewhere in the middle, as it happens. I’m not totally feeling Vaidas and Monika’s love, but I’m not totally averse to it either. This Time, for me, is a poor man’s version (or more accurately, a poor but very peppy man’s version) of Firelight’s Coming Home, which in turn wasn’t going to win any awards for Best Original Song. It’s formulaic and verging on being sickly sweet (that “impromptu” kiss has already worn thin with me) but I don’t feel like it’s a song you can hate with a passion. It’s extremely catchy, after all, and the chemistry between Vaidas and Monika is up there with the most genuine of the year. They always appear to be enjoying themselves on stage, and enjoying performing with each other – in spite of the fact that they aren’t a couple (sorry to burst that bubble, Matt, but who knows…they might be by the time Eurovision’s over!). I guess I’m more of a fan of Lithuania’s performers than Lithuania’s song. This Time is serviceable pop, but it doesn’t excite me enough to consider voting for it. 5 points.

EBJ Jury Score: 6.00

 

 

SPAIN

Amanecer by Edurne

Spain

Rory: I’m afraid I’m going to have to go against the grain here and say that I don’t like Amanecer. Sure, it’s really catchy in the chorus (that e-e-e-o-o is addictive), but for me that’s all it is – just a bit of repetition. I feel like RTVE really overhyped the promotion of the song, and it’s just a bit of a letdown (I have a feeling that Kit Kat won’t have to give a free bar to everyone who retweeted that Tweet back in January!). *opens arms and braces self for the onslaught of tomatoes*. 3 points.

Matt: I think I have ballad fatigue. Amanecer was written by the same team who wrote 2012’s winning song Euphoria, so I was expecting a lot. While it’s a nice song, it’s no Euphoria, or Quédate Conmigo. It drifts along pleasantly for three minutes and then finishes. That’s it. Edurne is an amazing performer, though, and I’m sure she’ll bring it to life when she takes to the stage in May. 7 points.

Jaz: I’d like to journey back in time to Copenhagen 2014, and remind you that my opinion of Ruth Lorenzo’s Dancing In The Rain was as follows: I knew it was good, but I felt very little attachment to it. I didn’t love it, and it definitely didn’t give me the energy required to wave a flag for it (although I was happy to see Spain back in the top 10). Leaping back through the space/time  continuum to 2015, and enter Edurne. Amanecer is not only my new favourite word of all the words, but also a song that I do feel a connection with. That may have something to do with the girl crush I have developed on Edurne, but I genuinely do like her song a lot. I agree that it was overhyped – after the pre-release fervour, it could have been a masterpiece and still failed to meet expectation. But for me, it has the drama and atmosphere and Spanish-ness that I didn’t find in Dancing In The Rain. If Edurne is anything like her fellow countrywoman Pastora Soler, she will help Amanecer hit new heights when she gets to Eurovision by delivering a blistering vocal performance. Hopefully she’ll also bring us a hint of the wildness from the music video. Unfortunately that can not entail a live tiger being onstage, so a faux tigerskin cape that Edurne can whirl around everywhere might be called for. Cape or no cape, I think Spain’s entry has as much potential to make the top 10 as it does to end up mid-table, strangely enough. So much will depend on how this goes down in the jury and televised finals. I would be satisfied with Amanecer outdoing Dancing In The Rain, but I won’t be betting on that happening. 10 points.

EBJ Jury Score: 6.67

 

 

And there you have it! Another five reviews are done and dusted, and not without disagreement. Ultimately, the two Warriors won the day. Well, one of them did, but there wasn’t much between Nina and Amber.

  1. Georgia (7.67)
  2. Malta (7.33)
  3. Albania (7.33)
  4. Spain (6.67)
  5. Lithuania (6.00)

Despite our differing opinions, on average, the EBJ Jury ranked these countries fairly closely together. I suspect that’s a trend that won’t continue in Part 6 of the Viennese Verdicts, when I ask an American and an Englishman to help me review Finland, San Marino, Denmark, Estonia and Greece. You won’t want to miss the fireworks that combination could cause.

In the meantime, let me know how you’d rank today’s songs. Do you believe Rory’s right, and that Georgia wins the Warrior-off without question? Or do you think Matt’s on the money and Amber will definitely resurrect her Warrior at Eurovision? Maybe you actually agreed with something I said *gasp*. Whatever you’re thinking, we want to hear it!*

 

*To a point…I mean, don’t hurl abuse at us or anything. Save your curse words up in case the EBJ Jury gives a unanimous douze points to Finland.

 

nsig

 

About Jaz

I'm Jaz, I'm 25, and I'm 110% Eurovision-OBSESSED. The contest is one big party, and I like to keep it going 365 days a year - that's why I write about anything and everything ESC on my blog. Come join the fun, and I promise you'll never have a nul-point experience! www.eurovisionbyjaz.com/

Posted on May 3, 2015, in Eurovision 2015, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Interesting – a set of five that I agree with some of your panel about! But it being Eurovision and everyone having a different opinion, here’s mine…

    Malta – I loved this in the NF and it was the best entry by a long way. The problem I have now is that it has been around for so long that it’s got a bit stale, unfortunately. Amber does put power and emotion into it and I thought that ‘The Matrix trenchcoat’ look was superb in Valetta (not sure if that was intentional but it worked, she just needs some cool sunglasses now) but it’s slow pace will mean it loses out to a lot of the competition. It’s also in SF2 (for me the stronger one) and 7 acts have to go so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Malta not qualify – it she does, it will be in 9th or 10th. Shame as she is personable and I do like the song…

    Georgia – I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVE. THIS! This has been one of my favourites all along, I loved Nina’s attack and delivery in the NF (as it was) and her attitude was amazing, everything a 19 year old ‘goth’ should be. As for the official video? The best of the season, along with Estonia’s. I know the lyrics are a bit of a mess but that’s what happens when people writing foreign language songs try to put pretend words into songs! I am really looking forward to seeing how SF1 ends with Georgia’s staging – Nina fighting her backing singers, taking them out one by one until it’s just her singing? Seriously though, this will be a definite qualifier and I could see this being Georgia’s best ever placing at the ESC. Oh, it is the best ‘Warrior’, in case you hadn’t guessed… 😉

    Albania – I agree with you, Jaz, I liked Diell better too! To be honest, Elhaida is an superb singer but neither track shows her vocals off particularly well – I’ve seen her sing “I’m Alive” live several times now and I’m still to be convinced that Albania will get out of the SF. The song seems to put things out of her vocal range – it’s too low at the start and then she goes all screechy in the chorus. It does nothing for me and I think the only reason this might be in the Final is that it’s been drawn in SF1 and it’s between upbeat Denmark and Romania with its supposed ‘diaspora battlecry’. It is only two slots after THE best vocal ballad this year (Russia) and comparisons may lose Elhaida votes. An opportunity missed this year for Albania…

    Lithuania – the most upbeat, fun and frivolous song at Vienna this year! Whoever decided to make ‘This Time’ a duet at the last minute was a genius – it bounces along, it makes you smile, people will do a little dance, couples will sway to it and remember the time when they had just started going out, when love and lust were at their height. This song brings all that to Vienna and Monika and Vaidas are very easy on the eye for both sexes of any persuasion (I’m a Monika fan personally)! They have great chemistry and as long as they have worked out what to do on stage (the NF still looked a bit awkward), I think this has a great chance of being in the top 5. Oh and the kiss? Keep it and do it like the Lithuanian NF, where Monika initiates it – that was a superb twist. The pause there will guarantee a massive crowd whoop and cheer on both nights too! Can you tell I like this one?

    Spain – first, I have to say that Edurne is the hottest contestant in Vienna (I’m a straight guy so I don’t grade the men!) and whatever she does on stage, she will be watched. I’m not sure about the immediate impact of Amanecer – it shows off Edurne’s unbelievable vocal skills and this will garner lots of votes from the juries but I don’t know what staging you can do with this, other than have Pastora Soler 2. Hopefully she will surprise me with what happens but this will be a solid placing for Spain, possibly the best Big 5, but I suspect it will be another ‘edge of top 10’ again.

    My summary for this five – Malta and Albania to possibly miss out on qualification, Spain top 10, hopeful success for Lithuania and Georgia. In my Eurovision scoring, Georgia would get my 8, Lithuania 6 and Spain 2.

    I’m enjoying this!

    Like

    • I have to agree with you on Malta – my jaw wouldn’t drop to the floor if they didn’t qualify. Or if they did, for that matter. But yeah, they will be close to borderline either way. I do WANT this Warrior to go through though. And the other one. Is there enough room in the final for two?

      Nina fighting her backing singers? Now there’s an interesting staging proposal! Perhaps she could borrow Sopho’s (2007 edition Sopho, that is) backing dancer’s swords and they could fight to the death? Although if she wants to win Eurovision, the swords would be out to better use taking out her competition. I feel like this Warrior could easily end up just outside of the top 10 – assuming it makes the final – in that 12th-14th range usually reserved for Moldova and Romania. But it would be nice for Georgia to make the left side of the scoreboard, at least, after a year out of the final (and 2014’s JESC misstep, by Georgian standards).

      Yes! Another member of Team Diell! We still seem to be in the minority though. I want to love I’m Alive – mostly because of Elhaida herself – but at this point, I can’t. And based on what you said about her live performances so far, watching her in the semi won’t change that much. I’m not 100% convinced that Albania will get through either. I’m on the fence. Although…I think I’d actually rate their chances even less if Diell was their entry. So they may have benefited from the composers’ change of heart/mind/whatever the heck it was after all.

      Nope, sorry. I can’t detect your appreciation for Lithuania AT ALL.

      Just kidding (bet you didn’t see that one coming). I agree that Monika & Vaidas make a very good-looking pair (second only to Stig and Elina, because Elina is gorgeous and I find Stig strangely attractive even though he reminds me of Professor Lupin from the Harry Potter movies). And I agree that the duet thing was a smart move. I cannot picture this working very well as a solo song, having not seen any individual renditions of it. But I find it too cliché myself. Nonetheless, if I was going to be in the Stadthalle when Lithuania opens up semi 2, I would get into the spirit and be dancing to This Time. But I’m not, so we’ll see if I end up doing a 3am dance!

      I may be a straight woman, but sometimes I look at a photo of Edurne and think ‘DAYUM!’. And when I say ‘sometimes’, I mean ‘every single time’. She is stunning. She’ll look great on stage even if they dress her in a trash bag (presumably borrowed from Nina Badrić), so my uncertain areas are a) the staging, and b) her ability to belt this out live, as YET AGAIN, I have not heard a live version. I’m on my abstinence trip right now (six weeks and counting…) but I might have to track down a previous live of hers just to see how she handles it.

      So yourself and the EBJ Jury are in agreement – Georgia wins this round!

      Like

  2. wschmidt1206

    … and here are the results for the songs of part 5 of that German EBJ jury member:

    1. Spain – 12 points: I’d love to see this winning in Vienna, although I doubt it will happen. I think Edurne has this “whole package” to go very far. Hopefully we will see an epic stage performance in the likes of Zlata Ognevich. I’d say: Top 10 guaranteed again and best of ‘Big 5’!

    2. Malta – 10 points: I’m with the EBJ jury here; I also liked the first version of the song from the Maltese national final much more than the current one. But still it’s a great song that reminds me much on Margaret Berger from 2013 who I liked, too.

    3. Albania – 8 points: I’m with you, Jaz! I also would have preferred “Diell”. But now after some more listens to “I’m alive” I’m totally in with that song, too. Plus, it’s my favorite video from all of the 40 entries. I hope she will qualify; I know I will be annoyed if Armenia qualifies while Albania does not, at least Elhaida has the better starting position in semi 1!

    4. Lithuania – 7 points: I thought that Olivia and John were a couple, too, when I was a child ;). But I never thought that about Monika and Vaidas, although they would give a good couple. I like their song, but their performance looks a bit artificial to me and not very authentic. In the meantime, I am no longer sure if they will make it to the final, although I’d like to see them there. But there are just so many better songs in the race of semi 2.

    5. Georgia – 2 points: I don’t get warm with this song! It says nothing to me, I don’t like the bad lyrics, and the chorus sounds just weird in my ears. I don’t see this even qualifying!
    Absolutely not my cup of tea! But good luck to Georgia, they could use another qualification to the final.

    Enjoying this a lot and looking forward to part 6,

    Wolfgang

    Like

    • Woohoo! Spain on top! We’re so in sync. Well, sometimes. Edurne is so beautiful, I want to cry, so if she can belt her song out like there’s no tomorrow (and if Spain don’t stuff up the staging) ‘Amanecer’ will be a package for sure. But I’m not convinced it’ll be a package that outdoes Pastora/Ruth.

      I will be annoyed if Armenia qualifies, period! I would prefer Albania to go through, muchly muchly. Oh, and welcome to Team Diell! I guess I’m not the only one who preferred that, then. There’s a whopping three of us so far.

      So Georgia’s not ‘stucked’ in your mind. Not for the right reasons, anyway. Fair enough.

      See you for Part 6 😀

      Like

  3. Ali Nella Houd

    Excellent analysis, EBJurists!

    I believe Split Enz used to have a song called “Wail”. Just thought I’d mention that for no particular reason. (Ahem.)

    Anyhoo … Here are the votes of the AliNellaHoudistani jury:

    Georgia – 2 points: Apparently the lyric is supposed to be ‘Still stocked in my mind’, not ‘Still stucked in my mind’. So, it may be someone other than the grammar police who oximated Nina after all. The rhythm and tempo are not far off those in La Mia Città (Italy 2014), but give me Emma’s gutsy, gusset-flashing attitude over Nina’s faux fury any day.

    Malta – 3 points: Hold on a tick, just checking – Yep. All 37 of my buttons remain unpushed.

    Spain – 4 points: Ironically, Edurne may benefit if a large proportion of the other ‘lame lady ballads’ fall at the semi-final hurdle, which I think is definitely on the cards.

    Albania – 5 points: I had had this in my bottom half, but I would now quite like it to get through and do well, just for the lilt and subtlety in the vocal dynamics, especially the lovely, gentle non-lexical vocables of the beginning and ending. So my original, official 5 points are probably more like a 7 or 8, seasonally adjusted.

    Lithuania – 10 points. Vaidas has a momentary, nervous stutter in the second verse, but, as Pollapönk taught us last year, we don’t need to call him a freak. In my rankings, this is sitting at number 5 out of 40. Yep, I’m a sucker for a bit of puppy love – and this one “gets the puppy outside”, in my book. Will going first in SF2 help or hinder their chances, will they go for the fast or the super-fast version, and which kiss variant will they use? “How excitement!” (to coin a neo-Effi-ism).

    Till next time.

    Ali

    Like

    • Currently, eurovision.tv has the ‘Warrior’ lyric down as ‘still stuck in my mind’. Whether it was stocked or stucked before, at least it makes sense now! There’s one less thing for me to be picky about re: Georgia.

      Regardless of which kind of kiss Monika and Vaidas opt for, I hope that they both remember to pop a Tic-Tac before taking to the stage. One or both of them passing out mid-performance due to dragon breath would most likely hinder their chances of a qual!

      With both Warriors at the bottom, you didn’t quite agree with this instalment’s jury…meaning I’m definitely going to need you to join us next year, if you’re willing! I try and cultivate as much disagreement as possible among my jury members 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ali Nella Houd

        OMFG.
        So sorry for the tardy reply, Jaz — I fainted and was unconscious for three days after reading your response.
        An invitation to join the 2016 EBJury!?!
        To put it more politely:
        Wa-wa-wow-ee zowee!!!
        That’s the equivalent of hearing the words “Rise, Sir Ali”.
        Or opening the chocolate wrapper to find the last Willy Wonka gold ticket!
        To mix both metaphors, I would be deeply honoured to be a loyal servant in the Court of Queen Jasmin, and I promise never to drink from the factory’s river of chocolate without your permission.
        In other words:
        I accept!
        Yours in gratitude,
        (Sir) Ali

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry for rendering you unconscious. I didn’t realise it was that much of an honour! But you have such a way with words, I think you will be of great benefit to the 2016 jury lineup. I shall put your name down as a first port of call, sir.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Whew, this is it from me for now. I’m ready to curl up in an ESC Eve haze and unwrap SF1 (on slight delay) tomorrow!

    Malta/Georgia
    I go back and forth regarding which Warrior I prefer. Amber had it in the hat first, quite easily, until Nina’s darker, drum thumping ode was released. Overall neither one particularly appeals to me and remain nestled in the bottom half of my rankings. As far as the ladies empowerment songs go, I’d rather listen to the Swiss “Time to Shine” then anything Warrior-like. 5 points each

    Albania
    I’m 100% on the Elhaida bandwagon (same with Molly Sterling) as far as artists I want to hear more from post-ESC. I’m Alive has been consistent in my listening rotation as the most-radio-friendly-without-being-annoying. Or I, at least, don’t mind the “aye yi yi’s”. After a few listens of Diell, I’m not sold that it would do better than the contemporary sounding I’m Alive, but it is impressive nonetheless.
    8 points

    Lithuania
    I disagree that it is not a song one can hate with passion: This Time is the most annoying earworm since Pharrell’s Happy was let loose on the world. I thought “Wth is this? Do they even know what kind of sound they are going for? Are they going for an actual melody?” as I writhed and desperately covered my ears to keep out the wailing “woooo oohhhoo’s”. I don’t get the country/pop craze, if that is what one must call this. (Side note: as much as I’m against country music, I did favor the dulcet tones of the Common Linnets last year. As the final unfolded and I realized they would probably win I was completely at peace if that result came to be. They were the most deserving second place finishers.) As for Lithuania, I will call it an absolute mess this time. Why are you shouting at me, Vaidas and Monika? And the kiss? Puh-lease. Granted you’ll probably win a lot of the audience over with this energetic cutesy on-stage act. Not me. I’ll be trying to control the profuse bleeding from my ears. nul points

    Spain
    Edurne is one the top three contenders in my battle ring of the Wailstroms. Can she out duel Polina and Monika? That video, geez, did they use a computer program from the early 1990s? The staging can only be better. Dancing in the Rain was drab and garnered a higher finish than I ever would have predicted. Amanecer at least has Edurne’s powerful voice and a soaring movement to my liking. 6 points

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  1. Pingback: VIENNESE VERDICTS | The EBJ Jury Reviews (Part 8) + Our 2015 Top 40! | Eurovision by Jaz

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