Prepare yourself for a massive summer hit potential from Romania, a symphonic inspired rock song from Switzerland and a rather charming pop ballad from Belgium in our 3rd chapter of this years Eurovision Song Contest participants.
Romania: Mandinga – Zaleilah
With a bandname as Mandinga and a song title ‘Zaleilah’, our hopes were very high for the Romanian entry to be very sunny and happy. And guess what it is! The band Mandinga is a Romanian latin-influenced Balkan folklore band from Bucharest who make intercultural, world music and influences from a multitude of styles, sung in Romanian, Spanish and English . And that’s pretty much how you can sum up ‘Zaleilah’, the song has summer hit written all over it. Not only does it have this summer hit feeling it’s also very similar to the type of Romanian music artists like Alexandra Stan and Inna have achieved success with globally. If one song will survive the Eurovision afterlife, this is the one with the biggest potential. A sure qualifier for the final. Romania has yet to win the contest, since it’s first participation 14 years ago, but has come close on two occasions in 2005 and 2010.
Switzerland: Sinplus – Unbreakable
Early December, as the very first country, Switzerland decided upon their candidate for this years Eurovision Song Contest and went without any doubt for brothers Ivan and Gabriel Broggini, better known as Sinplus. They’ll be singing their rocky popsong ‘Unbreakable’ from number seven in this semi final. This one really caught our attention as, the chorus gets some violin support, which gives it a an extra touch. The lyrics are actually quite cliche and fall under typical Eurovision material, but we forgive the guys. The one thing we really find disturbing is the horrible accent. ”Swiem against the Strim? Following your wildest drim?” really needs to improve because it’s not doing the song any favours. As with Romania it’s a fresh breath of air, after a series of heavy, dark ballads. Switzerland has tried rock before, which caused car-crash tv back in 2009, thus not qualifying, so let’s hope they learnt from their mistakes. Switzerland has won the contest on two occasions; the very first edition in 1956 and in 1988 with Celine Dion. The country qualified for the final first time in 2011 since introduction of the semi finals in 2004.
Belgium: Iris – Would You
Belgium has been participating in the contest’s history 52 times and shares its EBU membership amongst the Flemish and Wallonian broadcasters, who take turns in selecting their participants. After the splendid result in 2010, the Flemish Broadcaster VRT internally selected 17 year old singer Iris to represent them in this years Eurovision. A few days before the EBU deadline, a quick national selection of 15 minutes was broadcasted in which the viewers decided which song Iris would sing during the first semi final. And they opted for the rather charming popballad ‘Would You’, written by a girl close to the age of the singer. ‘Would You’ suits the singer very well actually, as it does what it says on the tin. It’s a pop song, and it’s radio friendly. It’s lucky in a way to be performing after two more uptempo songs, which should put it sincerity in the spotlight. Will it qualify? Well we can hope, especially with a lack on sincere ballads in this semi. Will it win? No, not at all. Belgium has won the contest once in 1986, with Sandra Kim. In 2003 they came second after Turkey with folk group Urban Trad.
Our Verdict so far
Next up are Finland and Israel.