Vidbir – Semifinal 2 preview

My god this weekend is going to be ridiculous. If you’ve got to tune into some final, should you bother tuning into Vidbir on Saturday?

My resounding answer is — MAYBE.

The show will be four hours long without any clear showstopper so my gut is no, but take a look at the descriptions below. There might be a song that grabbed you in a way it didn’t grab me!

Ivan Navi – All for the Love

Let me just say that it takes a lot of nerve to be someone named Navi entering the Eurovision song contest without a song that makes me want to bounce around my apartment shouting “Hey! Hey!” with infectious joy. Ivan Navi’s song is an attempt to bring the funk, and it sort of works, but doesn’t really reach the heights of a Guy Sebastian or Laura Tesoro. Meh.

Anna Maria – My Road

Did your road lead you to the cloning clinic? I can’t tell which one is Anna and which one is Maria or if they are actually just one person who appears in twice in publicity shots.

This song should be a banger – there’s a real diva voice somewhere in here – but it’s slowed down to a point where it starts to drag. Maybe some live diva vocal pyrotechnics will help, but I sadly doubt it.

Kazka – Apart

Oooh, a bit of weird electronica from Vidbir! I really like the blissed-out spacey nature of this one that kicks in at the chorus, but I also don’t know if this is too background atmospheric to do well with staging. It’s the best out of the lot so far, however.

Kira Mazur – Дихати

THIS is what I am talking about. Some crazy half-sung, half-shouted music performed by a woman who has phenomenally tall hair? More of this please, Vidbir. The only worry is that rap songs traditionally have fallen apart at the performance stage, so I hope that it doesn’t happen here.

Laud – 2 дні

Handclaps! Yes! That voice! Maybe!

I want very much to like 2 дні, and I think I would were it performed by someone with a stronger (lower?) voice. The voice is really distinctive, and I’m not sure whether that’s a good or bad thing. Again, there’s opportunity for a standout live performance here, but I’m not holding my breath.

Khayat – Ever

Wow. This song grabs me from the get-go. It’s got a warm, inviting organ sound and a beautifully reverb bass line. AND it’s performed in English and another language. I am a little worried the vocals are weak, but boy, this has the potential to be my favourite song out of the entire night.

Braii – Maybe

Can a indie rock sound succeed at Vidbir? I hope so, because this song is wonderful. Breathy vocals, an immediate guitar hook, and…a marimba? It’s a different sound than everything else in the final, and that might work in its favour.

Freedom Jazz – Cupidon

What is it this year with all of the jazz we’re seeing from Eastern European countries? Vidbir closes out the show with Freedom Jazz, which is more like lightly jazz-tinged pop. I would probably like this a lot more if it didn’t sound like the opening number of a Valentine’s themed musical on the West End. A no from me.

I have no idea what’s going to win, or even place. After the grand wave of spectacle that was Maruv and Tse Sho last week, I’ve barely heard a peep about these contestants. And none of them knock me out in the same way that both of those acts did. So I’m going to throw my hands up in the air and ask the gods to let Ukrainians choose the wackiest ones.

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