I was at a party of nerds this weekend, and whenever I asked people about their favourite Eurovision act this year, there was one answer and one answer alone: Norway.
I mean, it makes sense. Alessandra has not only created a banger, but woven in elements of things that nerds love – namely, video games and fantasy novels. As a nerd myself, I’m pretty sure I’ve come across the character of She Queen of the Kings many times in ridiculously titled fantasy sagas. (She is usually the character who ends up marrying the Chosen One in the third book to unite their kingdoms and either dies valiantly in a battle in book 7 or gets caught trying to poison the entire court in book 5.)
In fact, Alessandra’s Queen of Kings is the latest example of what I’d like to call GoTcore – bangers from the ice-covered climes that reference paranormal elements. Think Iceland’s Hear Them Calling, Denmark’s Higher Ground, or Norway’s Spirit in the Sky. (Do not, however, count Stig Rasta’s Home, even though he explicitly references Games of Thrones in the song.)
What all of these songs also have in common is that they are enormous crowd pleasers. It makes sense that Alessandra will be opening Semifinal 1 with this song. It’s going to get everyone on their feet and screaming along.
And yet, I can’t fully commit to it. It’s not Alessandra’s fault – she is selling every second of this song, and reliably hitting that whistle note. Rather, it’s the fact that the melody sounds like it’s on the verge of shifting into a nightcore parody of itself. I mean, listen to this nightcore version of it – it’s not so different than the original, is it?
Queen of Kings is a fun song that is a marked improvement over the space wolves. But I wish it just had a little bit of space to breathe, instead of feeling like Alessandra’s jumped on a treadmill that keeps going faster and faster. It’s a banger, it’s fun, and I shouldn’t be complaining. But I just wish we felt the gravitas of the lyrics reflected in the music. Alessandra’s Queen is fast and furious, but would be utterly predictable and boring on the pages of my fantasy novel.