May 13

Albania

Next up is Albania! Although they’ve had a mixed history throughout Eurovision, they’ve done decently well. Since joining the competition in 2004 they have been in the finals 6 times and failed to qualify 5 times. But even with all this they have only one time gotten top 5.

This year they are sending Elhaida Dani singing I’m Alive in hopes to break top 5 again. Elhaida has a fairly strong following after winning Star Academy Albania and also winning The Voice of Italy in 2013 with over 70% of the public vote. With such a following as that, let’s see what her entry will sound like.

This song is a really nice song. It’s fun to listen to and has a really nice beat to it. Additionally, Elhaida is pleasent to look at which means she will get a lot of votes based on that as well. Her song is a good mix of fast and slow and thus I think it will go fairly far. I’m pretty sure it will reach top 5 again this year.

Click here to view Elhaida’s participant page on Eurovision.tv

May 12

Czech Republic

Up next is the Czech Republic! After joining the competition in 2007, the Czech republic has yet to make it through to the semi-finals. In fact due to doing so horribly, the public in the Czech republic had lost interest in the competition from 2010 through 2014. This year marks their return in hopes that this year is the first year they don’t do completely horribly.

They are sending Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta to sing Hope Never Dies in hopes of getting the country at least somewhat close to getting through to the finals. Marta has been singing since 1993 and is actually best known for being in a German alternative metal band. She has actually done fairly well in the German charts when she has performed in the Bundesvision Song contest. Václav on the other hand has generally stayed within the Czech republic. He was part of a nu-metal group and only recently became a solo artist. He additionally has 1 album under his belt. Let’s here what song they have prepared for this years competition.

 

As we see the song itself isn’t very good. Although it was selected through an expert panel and was not voted on by the general public, the song itself doesn’t really draw the attention of anyone. Unless the singers can bring amazing voices and draw the audience in, I don’t see them going very far. In fact, I wouldn’t put much money on them getting farther than the semi-finals again unfortunately.

Click here to view Marta and Václav’s participant profile at Eurovision.tv

May 12

Armenia

Next up is Armenia! Armenia has had a fairly consistent history with Eurovision, with only a slight budge from 2011 to 2013 when they didn’t perform so well. Their two best entries came last year and in 2008 when they placed fourth.

This year they decided to try things differently and had their representative be unique. The group, Genealogy, is composed of Armenians that were born and raised throughout the world. There’s Vahé Tilbian from Ethiopia, Tamar Kaprelian from the US, Stephanie Topalian from Japan, Essaï Altounian from France, Mary-Jean O’Doherty Basmadjian from Australia and finally Inga Arshakyan from Armenia. As you see there is one representative from (almost) every continent. This concept is itself is phenomenal. Ever since Romania did their song Liubi, Liubi, I love you in 2007 in 5 different languages, I wanted a country to have a song where all the singers were from throughout the world. It’ll be fun to see them all on stage together. Let’s see what the song itself sounds like.

 

Although it was originally called Don’t Deny, the name was changed to Face the Shadow in order to avoid controvery that the name was about Turkey denying the Armenian genocide. The song itself isn’t that great. With all the prep that Armenian did in chosing the singers you would think that their song would be equally well-prepared. Unfortunately, it just seems like a standard song that will get lost in the background. We’ll see where it ends up in the rankings, but I don’t think it will go very far this year.

Click here to view Genealogy’s participant profile on Eurovision.tv

May 10

Iceland

Next up is Iceland! Participating since 1986, Iceland is the only Norhtern European country to not have won Eurovision, although they have received second place twice. In the last few years though, they have been roughly around the 20th place mark which is better than not making it past the semi-finals.

This year they are sending Maria Olafs to sing Unbroken in the hopes that they can win the competition for the first time. Maria hasn’t been singing for to long and thus doesn’t have much history, so instead we will go straight into showing the music video for her song.

 

This song is a nice slow song from Iceland. Maria’s voice is well done and the lyrics are fairly recognizable. Although the lyrics are slightly repetitive, they are sung well and it was able to draw my attention the entire time. Although the song is likely not destined to win, it’s a fun song to listen to and will likely push Iceland through to the finals again, and hopefully inch it into the top 15 mark.

Click here to view Maria’s participant profile at Eurovision.tv

May 10

Belarus

Next up is Belarus! Last year they gave us Cheesecake which turned out to be a much bigger success than most had thought it would be getting 16th place. Since joining Eurovision in 2004 they have only qualified for the finals 4 times. They got the closest to winning the competition in 2007 when Dmitry Koldun got 6th place.

This year they are sending Uzari & Maimuna singing Time in hopes of hitting a new record for Belarus. Uzari is not new to the Eurovision song contest. He composed the Junior Eurovision entry for Belarus last year, and also attempted to represent Belarus in 2012 and 2013. Maimuna is a violinist how has been playing for a relatively long time. Originally born in Mali, she moved to Belarus when she was younger to escape the heat. Let’s see what these two combined sound like.

 

This song is really well done. Although Uzari has weird things in his ears, the song itself is fairly exciting and fun to listen to. Although the song didn’t do to well with the televote (3rd place), the jury selection in Belarus pushed them to win the competition to have this song represent Belarus. it seems the jurors know a lot about Eurovision as I think this song will do fairly well in the competition.

Click here to view Uzari and Maimuna’s participant profile at Eurovision.tv

May 09

Ireland

Next up is the powerhouse Ireland! Not only have they won 7 times, but they also are the only country to win three times in a row and the only country in which a performer has one twice (Johnny Logan). But, all of that was before the year 2000. Since the turn of the century, Ireland has been not as well. Although they have done decently well,  qualifying for finals half the time since the introduction of semi-finals, their closest to a win was 8th place in 2011 by Jedward.

This year they are sending Molly Sterling to sing Playing with Numbers in hopes of winning the competition again. As seems to be a trend this year, Molly is the youngest representative in Ireland’s history, being only 17 years of age. But despite her young age, she has released an album last year so she is no newcomer to singing. Let’s hear what her song sounds like.

 

Although the song itself excited me the use of ‘numbers’ in the title, the song is actually a lost-love story. Although the song itself is not the usualy style of song you might hear in Eurovision, it’s a fairly nice song. It’s exciting to hear a nice twist in the songs this year and we’ll see how Molly performs. If her voice is as strong as it seems in the Music video then she’ll likely do fairly well.

Click here to view Molly’s participant profile at Eurovision.tv

May 09

Belgium

Next up in our line up is Belgium! Since winning in 1986 Belgium hasn’t been doing to well since the semi-finals were introduced only getting into the finals twice. In fact, they have received last place 8 times in this entire competition.

This year they are sending Loïc Nottet singing Rhythm Inside in hopes that it will break it’s 28-year no win streak. Loïc is the third representative of Belgium who participated in the Voice. Two years ago, Roberto won the voice and represented Belgium receiving 12th overall. Last year, Axel failed to make the top 48 in the voice and didn’t even get to the finals. Loïc himself got 2nd place in the 3rd season and he’s hoping that two is the lucky number to get him winning the song contest. Let’s here what the song sounds like.

 

Rhythm inside is quite a good song. It’ll be a little hard to translate onto the stage, but it’s fairly well perceived and has overall good quality. The music video to it is also really nice where it seems the ‘rhythm inside’ is less about dancing with your soulmate and more about who you are as a person. He takes the ‘ideal’ people we should be, puts them on a pedestal and has children next to them copy them, but while also being who they are themselves. (A boy being a nerd instead of a jock, and a girl reading a book instead of putting on make up). It’s a powerful message that will likely get lost on the stage itself, but only time will tell. Let’s see how Belgium does in the song contest. I think it might get into finals again this year.

Click here to view Loïc’s participant profile on Eurovision.tv

May 08

Israel

Next up is Israel! Israel has had a rocky history since it’s last win in 1998. In fact, it hasn’t qualified for the finals in the last 4 years of trying. They even tried sending Dana International again in 2011 and that ended up failing badly.

In hopes of finally getting out of the semi-finals they’re sending Nadav Guedj to sing Golden Boy. Nadav is one of the youngest singers this year, turning 16 just a few months back although he doesn’t look it. Even with that, his voice is very professional and I was surprised that he was actually that young Let’s here his voice.

This song is kinda perfect for Eurovision. It reminds me of Opa from Greece a couple years back. It has a fun feel to it and brings a new vibe to Israel’s music scene. Although the song seems slightly inappropriate for a 16 year old, it’s very exciting and makes you want to join in. I think Israel will definitely end it’s no semi-final streak and might even get higher up in the finals.

Click here to view Nadav’s participant profile at Eurovision.tv

May 08

Denmark

Next up is Denmark! Denmark won 2 years ago and is hoping for a repeat this year. Norway has recently been sending one good song after another usually performing fairly well in the competition. Altogether they have won 3 times.

This year they are sending Anti Social Media to sing The way you are in hopes of bringing back the competition to Denmark. Anti Social Media has been around since 2014 and a pop rock group that seems to have been constructed for the purpose of auditioning for Eurovision. Here is the song they will be singing in Vienna.

This song is really cool. It brings us back to easier times in the past. The lead vocals (Philip) has a really good voice and keeps you involved in the song the whole time. The song really makes me forget about all the other bad entries so far and makes me happy to be watching Eurovision again. I don’t know if the song has enough power to win the competition, but it will definitely give a running chance. Can’t wait to see their performance in Vienna!

Click here to view Anti Social Media’s participant profile at Eurovision.tv

May 07

Latvia

Next up is Latvia! Since winning in 2002, Latvia has been getting progressively worse and worse failing to qualify for the finals every year since 2009. If you recall last year they had a cake to bake…

This year, hoping to help fix their reputation, they’re sending Aminata who will be singing  Love injected. Aminata has been singing since 2008 and also plays the flute. She tried to represent Latvia last year, but she ended up placing fifth. And considering the cake entry won, that doesn’t say much about her ability. Let’s see what her song sounds like.

This song starts off very strong. Aminata’s voice pulls you in very quickly and keeps control over it. Her controlled stoccato of the lyrics and her voice coming from no where! I’m seriously surprised she wasn’t representing Latvia last year. The performance itself isn’t very good, but hopefully something better will be performed for the actual competition. The ending of the song is also not as strong as the beginning, but overall it’s a really good song. I think Latvia has a decent shot of getting into the finals this year!

Click here to view Aminata’s participant profile at Eurovision.tv