ESC Xtra

ESC Xtra
01
April
2017

The Xtra Files: We Review Armenia’s ‘Fly With Me’ by Artsvik!

The Xtra Files: We Review Armenia’s ‘Fly With Me’ by Artsvik!

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at escXtra think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review Armenia.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start in May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an escXtra leaderboard of the entries! You can see our preview reviews here.

Today, it is the turn of the Armenian entry, ‘Fly With Me’ by Artsvik, to be reviewed by Dimitris, Katarina, Nathan, Nick, Sagheer, and Wivian. Let’s get started!

The Reviews

Dimitris

Armenia keeps doing this thing when they send a song I don’t really like at first listen and then it just grows on me a lot. This year is not different, just like the past two years. Fly With Me doesn’t get really powerful until the last part of the song but once I listened to it several times I started liking the song as a whole. It’s something different, just like LoveWave last year.

Katarina

I love the fact that the lyrics actually tell a story here, but sadly they aren’t accompanied by good music. There is no clear structure and at first listen the song was more confusing than the infamous Icebreaker from 2016. I do, however, believe that Armenia will stage this well and that Artsvik will achieve a decent result.

Nathan

Three minutes of fluff which goes absolutely nowhere over an ethnically Armenian instrumentation and some heavy bass drums.

Nick

I applaud this for being truly Armenian. It’s certainly a stand-out this year. We had to wait for a long time, but it turns out to be quite worth it. Artsvik isn’t that experienced, so I hope she can deliver this on stage. The song is clearly the result of a session of Armenian songwriters thinking ‘How can we Armenify last year’s winner?’. And voila, the result is a decent Armenian entry.

Sagheer

Armenia has always been the country that I most look forward to. From Iveta’s Amazing ‘LoveWave’ last year I really wanted something spectacular and innovative. Unfortunately although Artsvik is a great live vocalist I just can’t get into the song. It’s just not my cup of tea.

Wivian

I had high expectations when I heard the Not Alone/LoveWave team was back, as those were my faves in 14/16. Unfortunately, Fly With Me isn’t nearly as good, even though I like it. It lacks a hook, something that’ll grab your soul and refuse to let go. It is still a pretty strong entry; I love the beats and the very Armenian sound. And Artsvik is obviously a very good singer. Sure qualifier and left side of the scoreboard, methinks

Scores

Dimitris9.5Rodrigo9
Hlynur5.5Ryan7.5
Katarina5.5Sagheer7
Luke2Simon7
Matteo9Sophie1
Nathan6Wivian7
Nick8.5Yassia 7.5

When we remove the top score of 9.5 and the lowest score of 1, the average score for Armenia is 6.80.

(Removing the top score and the lowest score helps to make the average score more reliable and less affected by outliers.)

Leaderboard

Armenia reaches 6th place in our leaderboard with a score of 6.80.

  1. Belarus – 7.75
  2. Australia – 7.25
  3. Serbia – 7.08
  4. Switzerland – 6.96
  5. Denmark – 6.83
  6. Armenia – 6.80
  7. Hungary – 6.79
  8. Moldova – 6.58
  9. Norway – 6.33
  10. Latvia – 6.25
  11. United Kingdom – 6.00
  12. The Netherlands – 5.33
  13. Albania – 5.21
  14. San Marino – 3.92

Tomorrow, we will review Austria.

Do you agree with our reviews of Armenia? What are your thoughts on Artsvik’s ‘Fly With Me’? Let us know in the comments!

Categories: ESC Xtra

01
April
2017

The Xtra Files: We Review The Netherlands’ ‘Lights and Shadows’ by O’G3NE!

The Xtra Files: We Review The Netherlands’ ‘Lights and Shadows’ by O’G3NE!

Welcome to The Xtra Files, our new series which will give you an insight into what the team at escXtra think of your favourite entries into this year’s contest! Today, we review the Netherlands.

Now that all the songs have been released, we are able to review each and every one of them. Our honest and brutal reviews will keep you entertained until the rehearsals start in May! We will also each give a score out of 10 for every entry, and create an escXtra leaderboard of the entries! You can see our preview reviews here.

Today, it is the turn of the Dutch entry, ‘Lights and Shadows’ by O’G3NE, to be reviewed by Dimitris, Luke, Nick, Rodrigo, Sagheer, and Yassia. Let’s get started!

The Reviews

Dimitris

Although the lyrics might be a little cheesy, I love this song. Each one’s voice is great as an individual and they can harmonize almost perfectly.

Luke

The song begins by telling me to “cry no more”. If they really wanted this, then they would end the song right there. Their harmonies are absolutely perfect, although they seem like they’re relying far too much on them, probably in a feeble attempt to make up for the mediocre song. It’s far too cheesy, and the song doesn’t do anything for me.

Nick

You know how a pony only has one trick? Well then, I present you the O’P3NY. Yes, they can sing and they look good. But good grief, they really take too much advantage of those harmonies they have. A true one trick pony. The song is complicated and has no real hook, which also makes it interesting. This is decent enough in my eyes. But to hold a three day songwriting session to end up with a song by your dad is a bit of a farce…

Rodrigo

Lyrics that are a beautiful collection of clichés and common places and voices that, while beautiful, sometimes seem to be singing against each other rather than with each other. This is the poorest Dutch effort for a while now and I expected much more given the last few years when all their entries had been exceptionally good. This really does nothing for me, although I couldn’t quite say it’s a bad song.

Sagheer

I’ve been a fan of O’G3NE ever since they won the Dutch version of ‘The Voice’. They have the most beautiful vocals and their harmonies are second to none. I wanted a song that would showcase their amazing vocals and ‘Lights and Shadows’ certainly delivers. It’s the power ballad of the year and the key change at the end is to die for.

Yassia

I like how the girls sound. I like this harmony. At first, it seems there is nothing special about this song, but you end up liking it, because it’s so sweet and appealing.

Scores

Dimitris9Rodrigo6
Hlynur0Ryan8.5
Katarina6.5Sagheer10
Luke1.5Simon2
Matteo4Sophie2
Nathan5Wivian3.5
Nick8Yassia8

When we remove the top score of 10 and the lowest score of 0, the average score for the Netherlands is 5.33.

(Removing the top score and the lowest score helps to make the average score more reliable and less affected by outliers.)

Leaderboard

The Netherlands reaches 10th place in our leaderboard with a score of 5.33.

  1. Australia – 7.25
  2. Serbia – 7.08
  3. Switzerland – 6.96
  4. Denmark – 6.83
  5. Hungary – 6.79
  6. Moldova – 6.58
  7. Norway – 6.33
  8. Latvia – 6.25
  9. United Kingdom – 6.00
  10. The Netherlands – 5.33
  11. San Marino – 3.92

Tomorrow, we will review Albania.

Do you agree with our reviews of the Netherlands? What are your thoughts on O’G3NE’s ‘Lights and Shadows’? Let us know in the comments!

Categories: ESC Xtra

31
March
2017

Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov releases full official music video for ‘Beautiful Mess’

Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostov releases full official music video for ‘Beautiful Mess’

A couple of days ago, Bulgaria’s Kristian Kostovreleased an official teaser for his upcoming music video. The video is for his Eurovision entry Beautiful Mess. The Bulgarian entry is currently the second favourite to win the contest. Now, he has now released the full version of the music video!

The first part of a two chapter story

The story of Beautiful Mess is being split into two separate chapters. Kristian will give the first chapter via the official music video. He will give the second chapter using the stage performance in Kyiv. Regarding the concept behind the first chapter, BNT Eurovision explained the following:

“We based the videoclip on the dark reality described in the song. As it has been stated in earlier descriptions of our song’s themes, we find ourselves living in a world full of confusion, loneliness, tension, and insecurity…walking on the edge. Therefore, our official video clip will contain pictures, characters and associations connected to the reality of darkness. There will be a lot of intense imagery, and our aim is to provoke and motivate people to leave their comfort zone and start thinking about our message. However, the motifs at the end will serve as a transition to our idea for the stage performance, which will show the opposite side of the spectrum.”

For more details on the full concept behind Bulgaria’s entry, read this article from BNT Eurovision’s official website.

Watch the video now!

Milen Dankov, one of Bulgaria’s most experienced choreographers, created the concept for the song. He has worked with Kristian before on his previous single Ne si za men. Furthermore, Milen worked with Poli Genova on the staging for If Love Was A Crime in Stockholm last year.

You can watch the official music video for Beautiful Mess below, courtesy of the official Virginia Records YouTube channel.

Categories: ESC Xtra

24
March
2017

Latvia’s Triana Park are the latest confirmed act for the London Eurovision Party

Latvia’s Triana Park are the latest confirmed act for the London Eurovision Party

The 2017 London Eurovision Party is just a matter of days away. Nevertheless, we are thrilled to announce that Triana Park from Latvia are the latest act to be confirmed to perform at the Café de Paris on April 2nd!

In February, Triana Park were chosen as landslide winners of Supernova 2017. They won with more than 51% of the final vote after convincingly taken victory in both their heat and the semi-final too. Prior to their appearance in Supernova 2017, Triana Park had previously competed in the Latvian selection for Eurovision five times. These appearances came in consecutive years between 2008 and 2012. They regularly reached the final but never quite secured the victory… until now!

“Bringing creativity and positive energy”

The band consists of vocalist Agnese Rakovska, guitarist Artūrs Strautiņš, drummer Edgars Viļums and bassist Kristaps Ērglis. On their official Eurovision.tv profile, the band explain why participating in the Eurovision Song Contest is important for them:

“Eurovision is a great platform where you can present yourself and your art in a totally different way – the stage is enormous, it is an experience that can help evolve artists. Also it is crazy cool to represent your county among other countries and cultures. We see this event as a celebration of diversity and we will do our best to bring in a lot of creativity and positive energy!”

We can’t wait to witness that positive energy in London in less than two weeks time. See you there Triana Park!

Categories: ESC Xtra

23
March
2017

Channel One Russia rejects the EBU’s offer to let Julia Samoylova perform via satellite

Channel One Russia rejects the EBU’s offer to let Julia Samoylova perform via satellite

Earlier today, the EBU released an official statement updating us on the issue regarding the travel ban issued by Ukraine to Russian participant Julia Samoylova. The statement revealed that the EBU would offer Julia the opportunity to perform her entry Flame Is Burning via a satellite link in order to celebrate “the spirit of Eurovision’s values of inclusivity, and this year’s theme of Celebrate Diversity”. In the last few minutes, Russian broadcaster Channel One Russia have responded to the offer.

Channel One has acted in full accordance with the rules”

In a statement released by Channel One Russia, and translated by ESCKAZ.com, they say the following:

“Channel One has acted in full accordance with the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest and chose the participant of the contest, who is duly registered by the EBU and remains the current contestant. According to the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest, the host broadcasting country should provide all participants ‘the ability to acquire an entrance visa for the entire duration of the event’.”

“Thus, Julia Samoylova’s ban to enter the territory of Ukraine violates the rules of the contest. We consider the proposal of remote participation strange and reject it, since it, of course, contradicts the very meaning of the event, the strict rule of which is the live performance on the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest.”

“We believe that the European Broadcasting Union should not invent new rules for the Russian participant in 2017 and is able to hold a competition in accordance with its own existing rules”.

Of course, this means that Russia have rejected the offer made by the EBU earlier this afternoon. Channel One maintains that Julia should be able to perform her song live in Kyiv as she has not broken any of the contest’s rules.

What do you make of the latest events regarding this situation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and via our social media pages @escXtra.

Categories: ESC Xtra

16
March
2017

Armenia: 30 second teaser of Artsvik’s ‘Fly With Me’ revealed!

Armenia: 30 second teaser of Artsvik’s ‘Fly With Me’ revealed!

We are all eagerly awaiting the final entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest to have its reveal. On March 18th, Armenia will reveal the official music video for their entry Fly With Me, performed by Artsvik. Indeed, Artsvik was selected as Armenia’s 2017 representative after winning Depi Evratesil in December. The brand new show masterminded by Armenia’s Eurovision head of delegation Gohar Gasparyan ran for three months. Thus it allowed any interested artists in Armenia to audition for their chance to represent their country in Kyiv.

The Armenian dream team

The composers of Fly With Me are Lilith and Levon Navasardyan who also composed Not Alone for Aram MP3 in 2014 and LoveWave for Iveta Mukuchyan in 2016. In addition, the lyrics have been written by Avet Barseghyan and David Tserunyan. You can now watch a 30 second teaser of the entry below!

“Championing the diverse and beautiful human nature”

In an official press release regarding the entry, Artsvik explained the meaning behind Fly With Me:

“My song tells a story of a girl, who is the metaphorical symbol of love. She embodies the colors, the stories and the voices that make us who we are. “Fly with me” encourages everyone to come with me on this girl’s journey of championing the diverse and beautiful human nature. I think nowadays it is especially important to embrace our heritage and our traditions. We, the people – our colors, our stories and our voices make up this world. We must never forget that this girl’s light and love is one for all of us.”

Make sure you check out the full video when it is released on March 18th!

What do you think of the teaser for Fly With Me? Furthermore, will Artsvik be a top 10 contender in Kyiv? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and via our social media pages @escXtra!

Categories: ESC Xtra

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