Aussievision's 29th to 20th ranking of Eurovision 2020
Week by week the Aussievision Podcast will be going through the rankings of the Eurovision 2020 entries.
On Sunday we counted down 29th to 20th of the collated team's rankings with some surprising and not so surprising results.
For those who don't listen to the podcast (you can listen and subscribe via Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts!) Here are the rankings with comments from the team:
29. Greece - Stefania - 'SUPERG!RL'
Average rank: 25.5
Highs: 6th Ally, 17th Liv, 18th Kyriakos
Lows: 34th Fleur, 33rd Mike
Ally: "Wow, this is nothing like Greece have sent recently. It’s a funky and fresh song that really suits Stefania. I hope the Greek team write something just as good for Stefania next year. "
Liv: "Personally not the type of music I usually choose to listen to but the traditional elements get it over the line for me. It probably also caused me to rank Armenia more harshly because I see them taking a similar pool of voters and out of the two I prefer this tenfold. It's a bit repetitive and the message is bleugh but they could have had a lot fun with the staging. A step towards the Greece of old we used to love at Eurovision."
Kyriakos: "Great to hear a more contemporary sounding track from the Kontopoulos/Vaughn team. I will defend this song! Even though it may sound slightly Junior Eurovision it the song and subject matter suits Stefania’s age. I’m glad it wasn’t bubble gum pop. Though if she sung this at JESC she would have easily won! Hope Stefania returns with a more Paparizou/ Kalomira sounding track. I have deeply been missing the Greek ethnic sound."
Fleur: "If this was JESC, I would have ranked this higher. However, it’s not so I’m ranking it for what it is and to me it is basic teen pop. Stefania is 17YO, but this sounds more suited to a 15YO. She will be 18YO at next year’s competition so I am hoping for a more suitable song from her for ESC 2021."
Mike: "Overall a decent production, with a good chorus and I like the Eastern elements, but overall it's just too Junior Eurovision for me. "
28. Ireland - Lesley Roy - 'Story of My Life'
Average rank: 25
Highs: 1st Ally, 9th Aaron
Lows: 38th Guy, 36th Fleur
Ally: "I loved this song from the very first time I listened to it. Yes, you could say it sounds like a Katy Perry song from a decade ago, but I don’t care. I never listened to Katy Perry back in the day, so this doesn’t feel dated to me like it might for some other people. This is just a great rock/pop song that I can’t help but sing and dance along to. This was probably the entry I was most highly anticipating the whole selection season and despite what others might think, I do reckon the hype was worth it. This was the first year I was actually excited about the Irish entry from the get go and I was really excited to see what Ireland were going to do, and you could tell even from a few live performances that Lesley is quite the performer and would have sold this song really well on stage. Alas, we’ll never know. All I can say now is please, please, please select Lesley again year RTE. You were onto a winner here."
Aaron: "This is the fusion of late '00s-early '10s Katy Perry, Vanessa Amorosi and Pink I didn't know I needed in my life. It's probably a little intense instrumentally but the song's defiant lyrics and Lesley's style carry it well. I did appreciate this lyrical barb too, "Rock it all you want, but make it pop enough." Ireland, you have rock musicians. I know this for a fact. Have a crack, sometime? We need rock in Eurovision again."
Fleur: "I wanted to like this when they promised that they were sending a “game changer” but they took the France 2020 route and sent us dated power pop. I am not a fan of this style of music. I’m more of a Killers fan than a Katy Perry one. Also, it’s a bit odd to go retro 2012 in 2020. Were they going for retro? Or are they just behind the times?"
Guy: "It feels like they set out to write a cliché on this one, then they backed it up by making a cliché video for it and it doesn’t land. I know you could say that other songs have cliché elements as well, but the difference is people warm to some of the classic styles coming back more than others – and this isn’t a sound I’m personally up for."
27. North Macedonia - Vasil - 'YOU'
Average rank: 24.5
Highs: 14th Steve, 18th Fleur
Lows: 41st Kyriakos, 38th Ruby
Steve: "The song sounds really contemporary to me: a good club track with a marked ethnic vibe. There’s also something very sultry and sexy about the video, which I hope would have been replicated on stage. I also suspect Vasil would nail the vocal gymnastics required in a live performance."
Fleur: "I’m surprised that I ranked this as high as I did. I think when it came to the more mid-tempo male pop songs, I liked this more than some of the others. If I was to re-do my rankings now I probably would not have put this in my Top 20. It would still be in my Top 25 though."
Kyriakos: "OMG where do I begin, I had huge expectations for Vasil. It is not ‘Patuvam’, which I love. ‘You’ is the most skip-able Eurovision 2020 song. The track does nothing for me, and when I watch the music video it it’s like I’m in the vacuum of outer space with my helmet off..."
Ruby: "Ah Vasil. This just ain’t my cup of tea. While it would be nice to dance with anyone right now in isolation, not sure this is the song I’d put on to allure someone to dance with me."
26. Czech Republic - Benny Cristo - 'Kemama'
Average rank: 23.8
Highs: 4th Mike and Guy, 11th Kyriakos, 12th Ruby
Lows: 39th Fleur, 38th Aaron
Guy: "I love the fresh vibes of this song - nice modern African beats done well and a style you don’t see a lot at Eurovision. I loved this from the first time I heard the original version, so I was invested enough to stick with it over the rocky road. How ‘that’ version passed all the checks and got released, we’ll never know, BUT… he handled it really well. He responded quickly, admitting it might not be right, was pretty humble and honest about how gutted he felt, and that he was going to try and fix it. I was the sucker drowning in empathy for him after that, but I actually thought he came through with the goods in the end. I like the revamp, I would have preferred the original, but all up I still love the song."
Mike: "A terrific modern song that appeals to the younger demographic of a Eurovision audience. A mixture of Euro and Afro beat that works with a performer like Benny. His Vidbir performance showed he could really bring the song to life and I'm disappointed not see how this would have looked on the Rotterdam stage."
Kyriakos: "Love Love Love it. And the song got better on every revamp. Don’t at me. I do wish Benny didn’t listen to the Eurovision bubble though. The African Revamp is my favourite though. It’s up beat. We know he does a great job of it live and it would have stood out from the other entries."
Ruby: "At first, I really thought ‘Kemama’ was going to stray into the later half of my rankings, however there truly is not a comparable song to it in this year’s selection. However, uniqueness does not equate to good – yet I really love Benny’s voice and was really pleased with the staging shown at Vidbir."
Fleur: "I based my rankings for this on the first revamp. I found it messy and confusing. It sounded amateurish and unnecessary. It reminded me of a free local council rave aimed at teenagers. The song was always mid-range for me but that revamp took it from a 5 to a 1."
Aaron: "he first revamp of this took all the wrong prizes home, and that was the version my ranking was based on (I tried to include revamps where I knew about them). The original song underneath it was a very deserving winner of ESCZ, but the added guitar track felt like antlers would feel on a goldfish. Unnatural. Sorry."
25. Spain - Blas Canto - 'Universo'
Average rank: 23
Highs: 8th Guy, 12th Emma
Lows: 33rd Aaron and Ally
Guy: "When I first heard this I didn’t get too excited about it – it was a bit repetitive and apart from the big high note towards the end, didn’t really go anywhere. But after a few listens I found the beauty of it was in Blas’ delivery of the vocals, which prompted me to check out the translation of the lyrics - and I liked them. I don’t know if the message of the song is something personal to Blas himself, but he makes you believe it is in the way he belts the song out. He also performs it great live, so it probably would have been a good performance at the contest (give or take Spain’s ability to lift their staging game)."
Emma: "I’ll admit I did find this track a bit boring on first listen. As it was one of the earlier songs to be released, I found myself listening to it more than perhaps I would have if it had come out later. And I discovered that I really like this song, particularly the chorus, hence why I ranked it 12th. It’s a great track for cranking up and singing along to whilst driving even though I have no idea what I am singing!"
Aaron: "For me, this got swallowed by the other 30-odd ahead of it. I like Blás and his style, and the song isn't bad, but it doesn't do enough to really get me dancing. The hook is really catchy, which is great, but like a few other songs this year the rest of the track didn't pop for me."
Ally: "I guess it’s just not my kind of song, and I preferred other songs more."
24. The Netherlands - Jeeangu Macrooy - 'Grow'
Average rank: 22.6
Highs: 3rd Steve, 5th Aaron
Lows: 40th Guy, 39th Liv, 38th Emma
Steve: "Jeangu’s beautiful voice, the identifiable lyrics and the generally tender and heartfelt vibe behind the whole package really moves me. For me, this is also unquestionably the best “host country” entry in many years."
Aaron: "I love this entry so much. The Netherlands sent Sha-la-lie a decade ago, and they've gone from mischief to magic since. Jeangu Macrooy's voice and the sparse instrumentals bring peace and warmth in the beginning, without any heat. The lyrics and storytelling of the song are stellar, and the slow build comes to a wonderful (if way too sudden) peak. Grow is so very well composed. Well done. See you next year, Jeangu."
Emma: "Jeangu has a beautiful soul sounding voice but I just find this way too melancholy for Eurovision hence my ranking of 38th. As a studio cut, it struggles. It would have really relied on the visuals to elevate it in Rotterdam. A song like this needs a big choir behind it and sadly Eurovision doesn’t have the capability for that to happen. I hope he returns next year with something more relatable."
Guy: "It’s pleasant enough (yup – just used the ‘p’ word), but it comes and goes and forgets to grab your attention. It finally builds a bit at the end, but it just starts to do something and suddenly it finishes really abruptly. It’s like they tease you with its potential, but don’t want you to get too excited about it."
Ruby: "This song came out of nowhere in the last couple of weeks to climb up my rankings. So soft and sincere, with really stunning imagery, it does lack a little punch despite the build, that said, this is one of songs that really was going to depend on the live performance."
Liv: "It takes a bit of me to get into this type of music - quiet, slow, moody, smooth male songs. One I can think of I actually like is Raw Stuff! Grow is just a bit rhymey-whimey, wishy-washy nothingness to me. It doesn't land and just feels contrived to me - perhaps it's the Duncan effect of feeling so much authenticity for Arcade and this just feels vacant in comparison. Whatever reason I can't get an emotional connection to Grow and don't find the backing music compelling at all. I can forgive below average lyrics if it at least has some interesting composition behind it. I'm sorry but where is the jury appeal? The instrumentation is dated and where is the televote? if Duncan himself couldn't win the televote this is going to stuggle."
23. Cyprus - Sandro Nicolas - 'Running'
Average rank: 21.1
Highs: 8th Liv, 10th Kyriakos
Lows: 35th Ruby, 30th Dale
Liv: "This is a VERY clubby kind of song - it honestly just reminds me of being a young teen again and bopping along in my room. A bit of angst and drama - especially in that last 30 seconds appeals to me...in saying that - it is a touch dated for this type of music and might be hard to put together a compelling stage show. It's nice to see Cyprus trying something new this year - I can't imagine Sandro in thigh high boots of a shimmering body suit."
Kyriakos: "I loved this track from the first listen and love it even more that it has Alfie written all over it. Though the production does sound more like one of Alfie’s songs being remixed, I love the mood and lyric content. My only issue with Cyprus’ entry though would have been how it would have translated live, though the songs vocals does suit Sandros vocal capability. And his good looks would have saved him."
Ruby: "Perhaps I’ve been too harsh on Cyprus, there really is nothing too glaringly wrong with this song. Yet, this just faded into the background and I really struggle to remember the song despite numerous listens."
Dale: "I really don't mind this song. It sounds like an Alfie Arcuri remix I'd expect to hear at a Mardi Gras afterparty. I just don't know where to place among these Eurovision style songs. Think this would have come alive live, but studio just falls below a few."
22. Moldova - x - 'Prison'
Average rank: 21.1
Highs: 5th Liv, 8th Ally, 11th Steve
Lows: 35th Dale, 33rd Fleur, 32nd Emma
Liv: "Hear me out. I think this under the right circumstances this could have gone Top 10. There is always one entry that harks back to the 2000s of Eurovision - those classic dated entries that are just over-the-top and couldn't be seen anywhere but on our stage. This is it. Not to mention in that last minute there are some traditional influences - honestly that always gives entries a leg up. There is a unique memorability about the layout of this song - the time change is so damn dramatic and that moment the music just dies and comes back gives so much opportunity for staging. You have to admit Moldova flys under the radar and collects some Top 10s out of nowhere - it has the classic team behind it and Krikrov knows how to make an appearance and doesn't have his fingers in any other pies this year (I don't think). She is a striking woman and knows how to command a stage. I would have had Tony on this to be in the Top 10."
Ally: "This is one of my biggest growers of the year. I’m not sure why exactly I like this song, but the more and more I listened to it, the more and more I liked it."
Emma: "This is a well produced ballad and Natalia has a great voice but I ranked this 32nd as I find it boring to listen to and the chorus in particular is very weak. This is not a track I would choose to listen to. She sings “I cannot escape from this prison” and I feel the same way listening to this song!"
Dale: "This is not great. It really lacks appeal on first listen. An decent elements of a decent build up is completely lost on a messy chaotic chorus. Very eastern pop and I don't see mass appeal with something as chaotic as this. It's just not very pleasing."
Fleur: "On the studio version, it was a stand out compared to Moldova’s other choices. Probably because it is straight from the Kontopoulos/Kirkorov/Vaughan factory. I based my ranking on the NF performance and Natalia seemed to be getting a lot of assistance from her back up singers. The lyrics are messy as well. When your song is most remembered for illuminating outdoor furniture, it’s probably not a good thing."
21. Finland - Aksel - 'Looking Back'
Average rank: 21
Highs: 10th Mike, 12th Dale and Liv
Lows: 35th Fleur, 32nd Ruby, 31st Steve
Mike: "Possibly the most radio-friendly song in the competition. This would have appealed to juries and his UMK performance showed that he could absolutely nail the vocal. The song just sticks with me, it's really tidy package and that's why it's in my 10."
Liv: "It's going to sound odd but the chord progressions in that chorus - especially when he sings "Until it's over and we're looking back" are just euphoria for me. It's hard to describe but it goes exactly where your ear is leading which is terms of music composition is very pleasing? This is jury bait all over - I couldn't tell you what the song is about, or the verses or some days even the name of the song but that chorus just sticks with me."
Dale: "I was all about Cicciolina but I really liked this as well. Really modern nostalgic pop that is performed so well vocally by Aksel. One of the most contemporary songs in the contest."
Fleur: "Okay, I’m one of those disappointed sods who was #TeamCicciolina but this song is the most vanilla of this year’s offerings. There’s not much here for me. Aksel has an excellent voice, though the song is pleasant at best and that’s it."
Steve: "Finland had the opportunity to send a playful, fun and high-energy banger sung in Finnish, but opted for a really rather generic, nostalgic man-ballad. I don’t dislike this by any means, but it falls away when compared with many of the other entries towards the middle of the pack of my ranking."
20. Latvia - Samanta Tina - 'Still Breathing'
Average rank: 20.7
Highs: 2nd Fleur, 8th Dale, 10th Emma, 11th Liv
Lows: 38th Steve, 37th Guy
Fleur: "I ranked this at number 2 because I love it. This was a stand out for me at Supernova. We know Samanta Tina can sing and her performance would have been nothing short of epic. I love songs that offer something different and to me this was fantastic. The message that this song conveys seems honest and genuine from her and it is more apt than ever in these times. "Still Breathing” could have given Latvia their best result since Aminata in 2015. Yes, I’m calling it. This was the most contemporary song for 2020. Finally, remember the motto- “Life is music. I am the composer”."
Dale: "This is a visual masterpiece. The studio alone isn't that appealing, it needs Samanta delivery of a stunning vocal build up and her owning the stage for the pop drop breakdown. It's different, she's incredible and it's the most unique song in the contest. Love it."
Emma: "Upon first listen, my first comment on this was crazy but in a good way! This one has really grown on me even though it wasn’t my favourite to win the Latvian national final. The chorus reminds me of Hvala ne, Slovenia’s 2018 Eurovision entry. With its strong drum beat and big booming vocals, this one really stands out from the pack. Whilst some find Samanta’s vocals a bit grating, I have this ranked 10th as I really enjoy listening to it and particularly enjoy the big pop drop."
Liv: "Needs to be seen to be understood - genuinely just found it to be a wall of mess and noise on first listen. I totally discounted it. BUT - then I watched the videoclip and it all clicked and as someone who just feels like she's constantly going trying to be better and better perhaps at the detriment of myself sometimes the lyrics and message really struck a chord with me. Kind of like when you're working really hard and in you head screaming "COME ON DO IT GO GO GO". But I needed visuals otherwise I couldn't get past the first 30 seconds to give the message a chance."
Guy: "I don’t hate this, but it doesn’t stand out for me at all in such a strong year. Kind of feels like a manufactured pop song with a “modern drop” – which all feels a bit noisy when it happens (sounds like a Dad thing to say I know). With the vocals, I get to the end and feel like I’ve been shouted at."
Steve: "The song builds well, almost chaotically (in a good way!) to... well, to YET ANOTHER pop-drop. Why couldn’t there have been a chorus? The song goes nowhere and I find it difficult to understand some of the lyrics. I really like Samanta, I really don’t like the song."
19th to 10th will be announced on the Aussievision Podcast this Sunday and on the Aussievision website on Thursday 23rd April.