Eurovision 2022 Reviewed – Pt2: Salad and Strippers

Eurovision 2022 contestants Norway
Give That Wolf A Banana – Norway’s Eurovision contestants, Subwoolfer © EBU / NATHAN REINDS

Turin will host the Eurovision 2022 Grand Final on the 14th May. WAT presents the rundown of which acts should be on your radar, from the good, the bad to the outright bonkers. Read Pt1 here. Who’s your favourite to win this year? Comment below!

Italy: Mahmood & Blanco – Brividi

Returning to the Eurovision stage, Mahmood is joined by Mi fai impazzire singer BLANCO. Mahmood previously competed in Eurovision 2019 and came second with the infectiously catchy Soldi. While their respective catalogues raise hopes, Brividi is disappointingly dull.

Latvia: Citi Zēni – Eat Your Salad

Although it’s true, as per the lyrics in funky chorus, being green is sexy and cool, this track however is neither. It’s more a so-bad-it’s-good type of deal (or just plain bad, take your pick). Although I rate a very solid effort to raise awareness of the climate crisis, it remains to be seen if the jury can stomach the cheese.

Lithuania: Monika Liu – Sentimentai

Monika Liu sings in Lithuanian but performs with an air of French je ne sais quoi that comes from her timeless sound and smoky jazz instrumentation.

Malta: Emma Muscat – I Am What I Am

An empowering number about self-acceptance straight from the pop ballad textbook, complete with a choir to drive home the ear worm hook. 

Moldova: Zdob şi Zdub & Frații Advahov – Trenulețul

Feverish accordion and violin lend themselves to bolster the joyful lead singer encouraging us to all hop aboard the folk punk train (AKA Trenulețul). It’s good fun and a welcome break from other countries taking themselves too seriously.

Montenegro: Vladana – Breathe

Vladana boldly declared in an interview that her song Breathe is “a cure for Europe, and for the world”. But it’s unclear from the vague lyrics what problems she’s supposed to be curing, covid? Air pollution?

Netherlands: S10 – De Diepte

Stien den Hollander (S10) describes this song as “a tribute to the sadness and memories that you carry with you.” De Diepte opts for minimal instrumentation and the soaring chorus swells with a rich ethereal quality that has an immediate powerful resonance, even without understanding the Dutch lyrics.

North Macedonia: Andrea – Circles

Andrea’s husky voice adds to her overall cool urban aesthetic, but the track lacks any discernible individuality outside of being a 90s RnB copycat.

Norway: Subwoolfer – Give That Wolf A Banana

I think the title speaks for itself when I say this song only belongs on the Eurovision stage.

Poland: Krystian Ochman – River

The opening lulls us in with Yann Tiersan-esque piano before abruptly switching tracks to RnB. This will likely do well in the live shows because Ochman pulls together a sub-standard song with his remarkable range and voice.

Portugal: MARO – Saudade Saudade

Indie folk singer MARO delivers an understated acoustic performance sat beside other four other female backing singers. Sung half in English, half in Portuguese the song is about the pain and melancholy of missing someone who is no longer there.

Romania: WRS – Llámame

WRS jumps on the Latin Pop bandwagon with a catchy chorus in Spanish, but the thumping Europop bass and ethnic hook keeps the song rooted in his home country.

San Marino: Achille Lauro – Stripper

The Måneskin effect continues to surprise and delight us. Next up, the heavily-tattooed Italian Achille Lauro brings electric charisma and sex appeal to the best of this years rock entries.

Serbia: Konstrakta – In Corpore Sano

One of the more avant-garde and surreal entries this year. Sung in Serbian, In Corpore Sano (In a Healthy Body) is a satirical take on unattainable beauty standards and unaffordable health insurance. The performance sees Konstrakta, Lady Macbeth-like, methodically washing her hands pausing only to clap robotically during the chorus.

Slovenia: LPS – Disko

You can see what LPS’ (Last Pizza Slice) were going for: an ice cool retro jazz-funk vibe. However, the whole performance falls flat; the song sounds outdated and although they’re talented, the band need a few more years to master the showmanship the genre needs.

Spain: Chanel – SloMo

A big sexy dance number in tune with the Latin pop boom. Made for the stage, the sizzling choreography and hypnotic hook are a guaranteed good time.

Sweden: Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer

Jakobs’ Hold Me Closer is one of the stronger ballads of this year’s crop. Her emotional delivery adds depth to lyrics about finding love at the wrong time. The song has already struck a chord with listeners at home and it went to number one in Sweden.

Switzerland: Marius Bear – Boys Do Cry

While I commend the subject choice, the song fails to stick (even after multiple listens). It sounds like a Louis Armstrong tribute and sadly fades into forgettability.

Ukraine: Kalush Orchestra – Stefania

It’s a credit to the band even being able to come to the contest (one member had to be replaced last minute because he’s fighting in Kyiv). The a cappella opening sung in Ukrainian is instantly reminiscent of Andriy Khlyvnyuk’s viral folk song. The rap folk crossover act also features a pink bucket hat and a big flute drop. Electrifying.

United Kingdom: Sam Ryder – SPACE MAN

It’s actually pretty decent. A feel good number with a soaring chorus. Sam Ryder was clearly selected with an eye on the TikTok generation as he was the platforms most viewed singer-songwriter in 2021. Only time will tell if the UK will beat last years’ entry of nul points.

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