After last year’s break due to Covid, the biggest music event on Earth – Eurovision – is returning in May this year. Of course, I can’t miss the opportunity to comment on all the competing songs. So let’s do it! (BTW my edit is awesome – credit to EBU)
If you haven’t heard yet – I love Eurovision. Not only will one discover great new songs and artists, but those memes! However, in this article I would like to introduce you to this year’s competition songs and therefore also state my opinion. Some contestants were supposed to take part in the competition last year, so I will definitely compare their work from last year and this year.
Before we get started, here’s some info you should know:
- Eurovision consists of two semi-finals and a finale. This year’s Eurovision will take place on May 18, 20 and 22 at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena.
- The Czechia is represented by Ben Cristovao. Ireland represents Lesley Roy, but we get to both.
- Thanks to the Irish representative, you can watch Eurovision with Irish commentary on RTE (Non-performing countries do not broadcast Eurovision). Alternatively, you can watch the whole competition on the official YouTube Eurovision channel.
- I recommend hearing all the songs for the first time as audio and in headphones – so the vocals and music stand out. Plus, the visual can sometimes discourage you (I’ll get to that, too).
- More info about Eurovision – Wiki – ofic. web
- I don’t have a favorite. I never have a favorite. Therefore, I will present all 39 songs in alphabetical order by country.
Albania: Anxhela Peristeri – Karma
We’re starting with a ballad yay! Okay, I’m just saying this song isn’t one of my favorites. There are songs that will stick in your head, even if you are not interested during the first listening and this one was not. Last year, Arilena Ara simply attracted more interesting with Fall from the Sky (listen till the chorus). #sorrynotsorry
Australia: Montaigne – Technicolour
The first of many returnees. I don’t envy all the performers who got a chance again this year. Last year the bar was set pretty high and this year they had to come up with something just as good, if not better. For me, Montaigne managed to meet Don’t Break Me from last year, but it’s a matter of opinion. Some people think that last year’s song is better, but last year Montaigne had a moment of surprise for me, which logically had no returning performer this year.
Austria: Vincent Bueno – Amen
Vincent, Vincent… I’m a little sorry that after the funny Alive he came up with a ballad (which is not on my list of favorites again), but again I understand that he didn’t want to repeat himself. But it is interesting that he composed Alive almost alone, while he did not participate on Amen at all.
I also got from YouTube comments that the song Amen is about his deceased daughter and aunt. Oh no. This is also not the only competing song called Amen at this year’s Eurovision (this is not the first time and no, it is not against the rules of the competition).
Azerbaijan: Efendi – Mata Hari
Cleopatrrra! Ah, sorry, actually Mata Hari! Efendi is also coming back this year, and I’m personally very happy about that. Last year’s Cleopatra immediately caught my eye – both vocally and visually (despite the fact that it’s a great meme material) and I’m very happy that Mata Hari follows in the footsteps – elements of pop music with local music perfectly mixed together.
Belgium: Hooverphonic – The Wrong Place
Where are the times of Blanche, Eliot or Sennek? Last year and this year, Belgium chose the Hooverphonic formation and I must admit that originally I didn’t fancy them. Definitely not with last year’s Release Me. However, I woke up one day and my brain has decided to full on blast The Wrong Place.
But what’s Belgium is really good at is that for the last few years it has been sending these depressing dark pop songs, which will simply grow on you.
Bulgaria: Victoria – Growing Up is Getting Old
Last year, Victoria completely surprised with Tears Getting Sober, and a lot of people compared her style to Billie Eilish. This year she prepared a similar style in Growing Up Is Getting Old. But I was a little less interested in the song and it’s not on my list. (Okay, I know it looks like I’m against ballads so far but just wait for it).
Croatia: Albina – Tick-Tock
The Croats are sending a new face this year – Albina. And I think it’s great! Tick-Tock is a great bop that doesn’t offend and you can even fool around. Plus Croatian is also included in it. Eastern Europe knows what’s up.
Cyprus: Elena Tsagrinou – El Diablo
I have loved Cyprus a lot for the last few years. They usually send really great pop songs and this year is no exception. Pretty good for me. And it’s still not Eleni, but at least it’s Elena (ESC joke) 🙂
Czech Republic: Benny Cristo – omaga
Benny tried it with Kemama last year, this year he’s on with a funny omaga. Both are carried in the playful dance style that characterizes Ben’s English work. I’ve been listening to Ben for a long time, so it’s definitely thumbs up from me. However, I must admit that I played Kemama after a few months and I defo can’t hear omaga again before the contest.
Denmark: Fyr Og Flamme – Øve os på hinanden
A minute of silence for Ben and Tan, last year’s Danish contestants with the great YES, which will forever have a place in my Eurovision playlist. However, this year – it’s definitely a typical ESC song, exactly the type why people hate Eurovision. So I don’t like it either, but at least the band has fun and sings in their native language (And no, I’ve never even heard the song in whole, because for some unknown reason I always get a headache).
Estonia: Uku Suviste – The Lucky One
Uku is one of the few who, in my opinion, has improved a lot since last year. What Love Is was, in my opinion, one of the most boring songs at last year’s Eurovision (but Uku killed it at the ESC Home Concerts). The Lucky One is still so meh for some. So the clip is a terrible cliché, but at least the song is much more memorable than last year.
Finland: Blind Channel – Dark Side
Finland was not afraid of this year and turned 180 degrees. Last year’s pop song Looking Back was replaced by a rock Dark Side. I was immediately interested and it reminded me of German band Nevada Tan.
France: Barbara Pravi – Voila
Okay, I’m not a fan of French and I’m rarely interested in a French song. The last time it was Bilal with Roi two years ago. Last year’s Tom Leeb was meh and this year’s Barbara Pravi… it’s a ballad, and even more so in the French, so you probably already know what I think about it. On the other hand, according to bookmakers, France has the second highest chance to take the Eurovision trophy home.
Georgia: Tornike Kipiani – You
Okay, so I don’t know anymore. Tornike surprised a lot last year and this year it is a total killer… not. You is exactly a demonstration of when you simply do not reach the bar that you set last year. Tornike is what Uku was last year.
Jendrik – I Don’t Feel Hate
The Germans take every Eurovision chance seriously, as Ben Dolic has not returned this year. Instead, we have Jendrik with the liberal and fun I Don’t Feel Hate. At first, the song didn’t suit me at all, I’m not a ukulele fan, but I have to admit that Jendrik spreads a lot of energy and the dance part around the chorus also helped a lot (but I don’t have it in the playlist).
Greece: Stefania – Last Dance
No one will ever be what Katerine Duska was with Better Love. Stefania was pretty boring with Supergirl last year, but this year she’s killing it with Last Dance (vocally and musically) and lowkey I hope to see Pegasus during the show!
Iceland: Dadi og Gagnamagnid – 10 Years
I don’t think I’m just speaking for myself when I say that no one expected that after Hatari in 2019, Iceland could immediately attract attention again. Well. Last year, Dadi dominated the Eurovision bubble with his successful song Think About Things. The bar was set high and this year he was lucky to call it even with 10 Years.
Ireland: Lesley Roy – Maps
Fucking finally!!! Please, what Ireland has sent to Eurovision over the last few years… and they’re surprised that they haven’t won in a long time. Lesley didn’t come to play last year and we were all surprised by the nostalgic Story of My Life. She has chosen more modern music this year, but Maps is simply divine and the Irish deserve the finals.
Btw in those official videos you can see pre-Covid (people and party) and on-going Covid (Lesley alone in the middle of nowhere) hehe
Israel: Eden Alene – Set Me Free
I love Israel! Eden killed me last year with her amazingly infectious energy in Feker Libi. In my opinion, Set Me Free is also very nice, especially this revamp, where Eden’s vocals stood out beautifully. This version played on repeat for several days. I’m really looking forward to the live version!
Italy: Maneskin – Zitti E Buoni
Yes yes yes! Last year, Italy sent a solid song from Diodato, this year the Eurovision relay was undertaken by the recent winners of Sanremo Maneskin with the divine, amazing, energetic, perfect Zitti E Buoni. *insert lady gaga showstopping .gif*
Latvia: Samanta Tina – The Moon is Rising
I love Samanta! Last year with Still Breathing and with this year’s empowering The Moon Is Rising! The song has it all – amazing vocals, a catchy beat and great message behind it! In my opinion, Latvians definitely deserve the finals and the left part of the scoreboard this year.
Lithuania: The Roop – Discoteque
Literally excuse me, but The Roop are a completely different league. Last year’s On Fire was absolutely divine, this year’s Discoteque matched it beautifully, if not more. Who doesn’t want to dance to Discoteque?
Malta: Destiny – Je Me Casse
And according to bookmakers, the winner will be… At first I wasn’t sure if Je Me Casse was a winning song. I also liked Destiny last year’s song All Of My Love. I ended up with Malta 2021 on repeat for a few days. Originally, I was discouraged by the clip (that’s why I want you to hear the songs first as audio), mainly because last year’s one from Destiny had a message in it, while this year Destiny is just having fun (there’s nothing wrong with that). However, there is no denying that Destiny definitely has great vocals. Otherwise, as for the victory – there are a lot of empowering songs at the ESC this year, so we’ll see which gets closest to the winning trophy!
Moldova: Natalia Gordienko – Sugar
The biggest glow-up this year! Natalia tried it last year with, in my opinion quite successful, ballad Prison (Yeah, finally a ballad I like). This year, like most of the returning contestants, she changed direction and decided to have fun with the song Sugar – a pretty nice dance thingy. The remaining question is, will human ice creams also make it to the stage in Rotterdam?
North Macedonia: Vasil – Here I Stand
This song is the last on my imaginary list. Okay, I said I don’t have a list, but if I had one, Here I Stand is number 39. I understand why, how etc but it’s plain boring. Next!
Here’s Vasil’s song from last year for comparison.
Norway: TIX – Fallen Angel
The Norwegians also preferred fresh blood this year and this is the ultimate Eurovision song performed by TIX. So Fallen Angel doesn’t suit me at all (it irritates me as much as the Danes), but staging will definitely be fun.
Poland: Rafal – The Ride
Okay, Poles. Last year, they were to be represented by Alicja with one of the best ballads ever, Empires. I don’t know why she didn’t get a second chance this year, but Rafal is moving in a completely different direction. At first I was like wtf, but without visuals, The Ride is quite possible, if you don’t mind the 80s vibes. If he plans it well, his performance could be quite funny, but it will be a surprise if he makes to the finals.
Portugal: The Black Mamba – Love is On My Side
I have an internal fight with Portugal every year. I rarely like what they send. And I don’t like it again this year haha It’s the first time Portugal has sent a song in a language other than the national language, but after last year’s Medo De Sentir I just find it boring. That is, mainly because I don’t like this genre at all. We’ll see what the audience thinks, but for me it will definitely be a bathroom break.
Romania: Roxen – Amnesia
I’m so glad Roxen is coming back this year. Last year, her ballad Alcohol You was one of those successful songs. This year she is trying it with a similar Amnesia. I have to admit that I wasn’t immediately interested, but then one day she just started playing in my head and now she has her place in my playlist, yay! (Btw ballad and I like it!)
Russia: Manizha – Russian Woman
Omg all hail to Russia! In my opinion, Last year’s Little Big would definitely win it with Uno, or they would be really close. This year’s Manizha and Russian Woman I really enjoy – empowerement and total raw energy! Be sure to listen to it at least to the first chorus.
San Marino: Senhit – Adrenalina
San Marino didn’t come to play. Last year, I was fascinated by Freaky, just for Senhit to match it this year with Adrenalina, to which btw she invited Flo Rida. Nobody knows why, but the song is quite enjoyable!
Serbia: Hurricane – Loco Loco
Oh my. The girls were pretty funny with Hasta La Vista last year. Serbian Pussycat Dolls vibes? This year with Loco Loco the bar is set higher. I read in discussions people like Loco Loco a lot. Well, just a funny song that makes you feel good.
Slovenia: Ana Soklič – Amen
Amen number two is here! Ana has remained true to her genre, but like last year, it is quite boring. Like I try to find positives in songs that I personally don’t like, but here… idk a nice voice?
Spain: Blas Cantó – Voy A Quedarme
Hmm Blas. This year I don’t like it at all, but his poor grandmother died, so he sings about her. Last year it took me a while to get used to the Universo, because my brain decided it reminded him of another song (it didn’t tell me which one, of course). So I don’t know, not much for me, but maybe someone will like the Spanish ballad.
Sweden: Tusse – Voices
Sweden is the ultimate Eurovision country and I know that the Irish have won more than them, but the Swedes interest me almost every year (which cannot be said about the Irish), their bar is almost always high enough. So this year I’m mourning that The Mamas have not returned, but Tusse will do. But I hope that next year the girls will return or there will be a little better song.
Switzerland: Gjon’s Tears – Tout l’Univers
My no. 1 ESC 2021 ballad! Here it is! Gjon’s Tears sings only French and ballads, but damn they make me emotional. Give it a chance pls, this year’s and last year’s songs are worth it and you will feel even what you don’t know about! According to bookmakers, Gjon’s Tears has the third highest chance of winning.
The Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy – Birth Of A New Age
Okay, I don’t know if it’s me or that song, but it’s a meh from me. But again, thumbs up for a nice pop song featuring singer’s roots. Actually, it’s such a nice version of Feker Libi. Hmm, when I think about it like that, I’m quite looking forward to staging.
So Jeangu was supposed to represent with the song Grow last year, which is 180 degrees somewhere else than its successor.
Ukraine: Go_A – Shum
And we are nearing the end with strong songs imo! Go_A conquered the Eurovision fanbase last year with the excellent Solovey – a beautiful mix of electro and folklore with Ukrainian. This year they came with Shum, which is bassed on a folk song, but what a hell they got out of it! I recommend giving the first version listen too (it had to be modified, because songs on ESC should not be sampled).
United Kingdom: James Newman – Embers
Newman sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Well, James is John’s brother – for sure music flows in the veins of Newman family. Last year, James surprised with My Last Breath. It was surprising, because the UK surprisingly does not send good songs to Eurovision. Which is quite ironic we been knew. This year, he definitely raised the bar super high with the euphoric Embers, which I really enjoy!
If you don’t have time to listen to all the songs, then here is the official recap of all 39 songs in under 15 minutes!