Eurovision (ESC) Thursday – ESC22 Then & Now – Part 2

Preface:

As I mentioned in a previous post (Random Thoughts Thursday: Eurovision), I’m going to start reviewing and making my predictions for ESC2022 as countries begin to name their artists and release their songs.

I figured that I would do a comparison of what I thought about the songs when they were first released and what I think about the songs now since we are about 1.5 weeks away from the big day. Keep in mind for my “now”, I’m factoring in several things – preparty performances, general personality, and of course the song.

Since there are 40 countries competing in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, I’m breaking this topic down into two parts. Here’s the second half of the list in alphabetical order by country.

Latvia – Citi Zeni – “Eat Your Salad” (link to my review: ***)

Then:

Now:

The guys from Citi Zeni pretty much have stayed the same for me throughout this crazy ESC2022 season.

Lithuania – Monika Liu – “Sentimentai” (Link to my review ***)

Then:

Now:

I gotta say that Monika is an entire vibe, and I’m such a huge fan of her song and her personality.

Malta – Emma Muscat – Out of Sight “I am what I am” (Link to my review ***)

Then:

Now:

Malta did a little switcheroo on us. They released one song but decided to change its entry later in the national selection season. While that’s not against the rules, it did rub some folks the wrong way. If it is part of the rules, I cannot fault Malta for taking advantage of this loophole. Although this song isn’t a huge improvement compared to the first one originally submitted, I do like this song a bit more than the first one.

moldova – ZDOB ȘI ZDUB & FRAȚII ADVAHOV – “TRENULEŢUL” (Link to My review ***)

Then:

Now:

Looking back, I may have given Moldova too low of a score – that’s why this entry is Then and Now. While I’m not a huge fan of the revamp, this song still puts a smile on my face. Oh, I’m not too huge of a fan of the revamp because I think they made it too “rocky” at the expense of the folk sound.

montenegro – Vladana – “Breathe” (Link to music video: ***)

Then: No review

Now:

Throughout this season, Vladana has been delivering the fashions. Seeing what she was going to wear to the preparties was one of the reasons why I followed the preparties. Unfortunately, the vocal did not really match all of the fashions that she was delivering.

Netherlands – S10 – “De Diepte” (Link to music video: ***)

Then: No review

Now:

I will be honest that I pretty much skipped this song early in the season, but it really grew on me. For instance, as I type this, I’m singing “OOOOOHHHH oOOOHHHH AAAAH AAAHH something, something, something in Dutch” in my head. The unexpected is one of the things that I like about Eurovision. A song in a language besides English or Spanish that I would normally ignore has become one of my top songs for the year. In addition to a strong song, I have to give S10 so many props (or as the kids say her flowers) for overcoming so many obstacles just to get this to this point.

North Macedonia – Andrea – “Circles” (Link to my review ***)

Then:

Now:

Andrea’s song started off really strong for me, but it lost that spark over the season. Compared to other artists this year, I feel that she lacks a certain stage presence when performing this particular song. However, I am a bit conflicted because I LOVE the personality that she has displayed during interviews.

Norway – Subwoolfer – “Give That Wolf a Banana” (Link to my review: ***)

Then:

Now:

The jump from three stars to five stars is primarily based on the group’s personality. For example, the group has made parodies (in a good, friendly way) of most of the other songs/videos for this year’s contest. Honestly, I look forward to seeing what randomness they are going to post on Instagram. They seem like the type of folks whom you want on your party’s or brunch’s guest list. While the group has not revealed their identities, I (as well as others in the fandom) think they are Ylvis. The duo that had that somewhat popular “Fox” song from a few years ago. A few reasons for this assumption:

  • They are both from Norway and on the same record label
  • The costumes imitating animals
  • Dancers wearing ties
  • Special choreography
  • Since Subwoolfer is from the Moon (for ESC2022 at least), they do not speak and have a “translator” do their interviews. I think this is clearly a decoy to throw off folks who might recognize their speaking voices.

Poland – Krystian Ochman – “River” (Link to mY Review: ***)

Then:

Now:

This song pretty much has stayed in my top 5 through this Eurovision season.

Portugal – Maro – “Saudade Saudade” (Link to my review: ***)

Then:

Now:

I really tried, but I just could not get into this song even after multiple listens. My one-star does not mean the song is bad; it just means (for whatever reason) the song just doesn’t resonate with me.

Romania – wrs – “Llámame” (link to my review ***)

Then:

Now:

Boy oh boy. This song is such an earworm. Like I’m actually singing Hola, mi be-bé-bé. {HEY} Hola, mi be-bé-bé. {HEY} Llámame, llámame. I dunno why, but this song always seems to put a smile or a smirk on my face. For me, the huge jump in stars is less about the song and more about the artist, Wrs. While he seems quite eccentric, he also seems to be quite down to earth with a super chill vibe. If Eurovision gave out a Mr. Congeniality award, Wrs would be my top candidate for ESC2022. Although Wrs is going to be in a tough semifinal round, I really hope that he qualifies to the grand final.

San Marino – Achille Lauro – “Stripper” (Link to my review: ***)

Then:

Now:

I might have unfairly judged this one. No, I take that back. I think that I judged it fairly based on Achille’s performance during San Marino’s national selection. However, over time the artist and the song really grew on me. Also, I kind of like the mystery behind Achille. With his too cool for school demeanor, I’m like does he even want to be in Eurovision. I guess that’s the mystery behind him. You know, do not give them too much so they will always want more. Oh, I do think he wants to participate in Eurovision because he would not have competed in two separate national selections for the contest. After placing in the bottom half of Italy’s Sanremo festival, he decided to compete in San Marino’s national selection.

Serbia – Konstrakta – “In Corpore Sano” (Link to my review ***)

Then:

Now:

This has been one of my favorite songs and performers throughout ESC2022 season. No one had better say anything bad about Konstrakta. 😉

Slovenia – LPS – “Disko” (Link to my review ***)

Then:

Now:

Last Pizza Slice (or LPS) gained a little power with me. While I am a fan of disco music, the song never resonated with me. However, there is one part of the song when the lead singer (I think his name is Philip) and the band really slows down the groove. I don’t know why but I absolutely love that part of the song. In fact, I mainly listen to the song because of that transition. Random LOL. Doesn’t the group look like a bunch of high schoolers set up a band with their music teacher?

Photo courtesy of RTV SLOVENIA

Spain – Chanel – “SloMo” (Link to video: ***)

Then:

Now:

What an amazing talent. While Chanel does not have the strongest vocals of the female performers in this year’s contest, her dancing and stage presence are undeniable. If she plays her cards right and has a good team, I’m sure that we will hear a lot from her in the future.

Sweden – Cornelia Jakobs – “Hold Me Closer” (Link to my review: ***)

Then:

Now:

Switzerland – Marius Bear – “Boys Do Cry” (Link to music video: ***)

Then: No review

Now:

Sorry Switzerland, but I just could not get into the singer or the song.

Ukraine – Kalush Orchestra – “Stefania” (Link to music video: ***)

Then: It’s complicated

Now:

This is complicated because Ukraine originally was sending Alina Pash (here’s my review, ***). However, she had to withdraw after it was discovered that she illegally traveled to Crimea, which is a no no for Ukrainian citizens. Since Kalush Orchestra came in second place for the national selection, they became the Ukrainian candidates for ESC2022. I’m sorry but the song does not really work for me. Actually, I take that back. The rapper does not really work for me. Since anything related to Ukraine is clearly a touchy subject, I’ll just leave my comments there.

the UK – Sam Ryder – “Space Man”(Link to video: ***)

Then:

Now:

While Poland is my favorite to win, I think Sam is going to bring the Eurovision microphone trophy back to the UK after many, Many, MANY years. My only concern with his song during my original review was with hitting those high notes live. At the time of the review, I only commented on the music video. I gotta say that he delivered those high notes at every single preparty. Also, I have seen some clips of his rehearsals for Eurovision and the staging is probably one of the best stagings that I have seen in the few years of watching Eurovision. The BBC definitely invested quite a bit of pounds in this artist, and I think the UK will be extremely pleased with his results. I’m going to say this right now, but you know there is some geopolitical crap going on if Sam does not finish in the top 10 overall and in the top five for the national juries vote.

My complete rankings:

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