The Grand Final of the 65th edition of the beloved Eurovision Song Contest takes place on Saturday 22nd May 2021, at the Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Although this year it is without a doubt, more of a highlight on the music calendar than ever before. Also, because of being starved of travelling, visiting the Countries that we love and exploring new ones. At the moment tuning into Eurovision seems as close as we are going to get to experience the sense of adventure associated with that. Having digested what acts to look out for in Heat 1 of the semi-finals, It is time to move on to Heat 2 which takes place on 20th May. It is an interesting smorgasbord, see more below.
“The Lucky One” by Uku Suviste (Estonia)
Uku Suviste is our Eurovision eye candy this year, he is also the performer representing Estonia. But is he any good? That depends on how you look at it. “What Is Love” was the track he was lined up to perform in 2020, at its best part it was kinda unmemorable. Noticing if they were to stand a chance at winning, Estonia realised the need to up their game. They have put their faith in heartthrob Uku again but this time the song “The Lucky One” is miles better. A powerful song. When people have watched the music video they have been quick to leave comments about noticing similarities to 2019 winner Duncan Laurence, “Arcade” music video. Only because both artists are seen submerged in water. A similarity to Duncan Laurence wasn’t among the first thoughts that flashed across my mind. Upon checking out the video for “The Lucky One“, for the first time, there are more obvious comparisons that can be made with Azerbaijan 2019 entry “Truth” by Chingiz. I like this one and hope it does start to pick up some support. Either way, I feel inclined to keep an eye on what Uku does in the future. There is promise here way beyond Eurovision.
“Tout L’univers” by Gjon’s Tears (Switzerland)
So it appears the Swiss are a nation of mood changers. In 2019 they brought out model turned singer Luca Hänni who lit up Eurovision and came in a respectable fourth position with dance-pop offering “She Got Me.” Since, Switzerland’s fate at Eurovision has been handed over to Gjon’s Tears, who is a very affecting balladeer. Evidently, the Swiss have closely paid attention to the recent winners of the contest. Because of Netta’s 2018 win, the following year they went with infectious fun vibes of “She Got Me.” On the strength of The Netherlands recent victory with Duncan Laurence’s “Arcade,” seems to have got the Swiss thinking by sending in a poignant, powerful, ballad they will have a really good shot at retaining high rankings in the competition. Gjon’s Tears entry “Tout L’univers” is sung in French. Every live, I have listened to of this entry has equated to a show-stopping performance. The official music video is just as spectacular. Gjon’s competed in a lot of reality TV singing competitions. Most recently making the semi-final of France’s The Voice: la plus belle voix. He was snapped up by team Mika and mentored by the platinum-selling artist. I sense the Mika supporters will come out in force for this. Detect, Massive Attack meets London Grammar vibes.
“10 years” by Daði og Gagnamagnið (Daði Freyr) (Iceland)
I hardly feel it necessary to explain who Daði og Gagnamagnið are. The quirky Icelandic competitors created such a buzz for Eurovision 2020 with their funky earworm offering “Think About Things” replete with a de-groovy dance routine. They have earned Eurovision cult-like status without even appearing at Eurovision. The hard-core fans of Eurovision love them already. Although I wasn’t so sure they would garner the same effect a second time around when being required to enter a new song. Expectations were especially high for entry, “10 Years.” All is good, it is on par with “Think About Things.” Although I Daði og Gagnamagnið will definitely, be a highlight on Saturday’s final. Yes, I said, final. They are the most certain entry to be put through from semi-final heat 2, in fact, in the whole competition.
“Last Dance” by Stefania (Greece)
Photo by: Haris Farsarakis
In recent years, the Greek entries have had a notable contemporary pop slant. Like in 2019 “Better Love” performed by Katerine Duska had the definite markings of a Jess Glynne track. Representing Greece this year is the Greek/Dutch singer Stefania with the track “Last Dance.” And it seems she and the writers of the track have borrowed some inspiration from Dua Lipa. This is a big 80s flavoured widescreen pop song. A huge number with an element of theatrics and drama seeping through the brilliantly orchestrated melody. I can see this doing well. The Eurovision crowd do love a dramatic powerhouse entry “Last Dance” is just that. Well, now the little lady Stefania has certainly moved on from when I wrote about her debut track “Stupid Reasons” on the blog in 2018. Might she collect the winner’s medal this year? She stands a very good chance.
“Growing Up Is Getting Old” by VICTORIA (Bulgaria)
Bulgaria entrant VICTORIA has been doing very well for herself. She emerged as the favourite to win Eurovision 2020 with her track “Tears Getting Sober.” Her vocal style draws comparisons to Billie Eilish. So as far as trends in pop go, VICTORIA is, hot on-trend. To be fair, Bulgaria has a reasonable track record at Eurovision, when they’ve qualified they’ve totted up respectable placements in the final top 15. With “Growing Up Is Getting Old” Victoria tugs at the heartstrings, with enormous, yet captivatingly beautiful pulling power. VICTORIA’s singing capabilities are not in doubt, although the mood of the track worries me. Will the voters want a melodic but melancholy winner or opt for one of the upbeat entries? If the former applies, VICTORIA is the likeliest winner.
Worthy of a mention… well San Marino entrant Senhit. The track “Adrenalina” has a feature from American rapper Flo Rida. I am more curious to see whether he turns up than the fate of the song, to be honest.
Of course, it is going to be immensely interesting to see how both semi-final heats play out. The final however is likely to be something else like it always is, whoop! whoop!. Come back to EQ Music Blog soon, for more of my thoughts about it.