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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Eurovision 2018 Song Ranking Part 1

All the entries are known and it’s finally time for another Eurovision ranking. This year the format will change a little and I will no longer include ratings. The on-season this year definitely felt weaker than some past years, yet overall it’s a relatively strong set. There are fewer songs that are amazing, for sure, but there are also fewer that are really horrible. Over the past few years the bottom limit of quality has been raised higher and higher, which means a 1 out of 5 gets better and better. There haven’t been as many irredeemable duds on the song level, and this year I can’t bear to give any songs a 1 out of 5, so I won’t, because the points don’t matter. Of any personal ranking, only an aggregate of each person’s top few give any indication of popularity. This isn’t Melodifestivalen yet, and nobody is going to vote for 10 songs per night. Nobody is voting for their least favorite song or their twentieth favorite, so it doesn’t matter if they rated it 1 out of 5 or 9 out of 10. Just read this as you’d read any other fan’s ranking and enjoy when it horribly contradicts the actual results in May. Since no composition is a trainwreck, the performance will be the decider between success and failure.

43. San Marino
Jessika feat. Jenifer Brening - “Who We Are” 
The Sammarinese selection for Eurovision this year was one of the most bizarre and suspicious. It was the biggest Sammarinese robbery since the one in Lupin the 3rd Part 4. The song has a nice sentiment and the chorus is mildly catchy, but it’s very derivative and doesn’t add anything to the contest. Many of their past entries are iconically or memetically cheesy, but this doesn’t add much to their history. The rap part is also really cheesy in a 90s pop throwback way, and not in a good way.

42. Romania
The Humans – “Goodbye”
This is bland soft pop-rock. The vocalist has a lot of passion but the song itself doesn’t have the energy. It’s almost like a long jam session, and the song commits the Eurovision sin of taking over half of the song to get to the chorus, which isn’t even that powerful. It’s far from their worst entry – this is a masterpiece compared to “Liubi liubi I love you” or “Change” - but it doesn’t stand out this year.

41. Latvia
Laura Rizzotto - “Funny Girl”
Let’s get this out of the way, this sounds like a ripoff of The Weeknd’s 50 Shades of Grey Song. That song is better, and it isn’t even that good. The chorus is an earworm and she smolders with unrequited love, but there’s something just irritating about it to me.

40. Albania
Eugent Bushpepa - “Mall”
Despite being the first song selected, this song has received a lot of hype which I do not share. This sounds like somethings lots of countries have entered and floundered in the semifinal (Netherlands 2011 maybe, or Switzerland 2009 or Hungary 2012). It’s different from the typical Albanian entry, but with its revamp it loses the power and edge it would need to stand out. In this case, being overproduced and over-orchestrated didn’t help,

39. Iceland
Ari Ólafsson - "Our Choice"
This sounds like it belongs in any Eurovision semifinal since 2004, and it wouldn't qualify in any of them. It is a bland peace-song ballad with cringy lyrics. Just because a cute young man sings it instead of a cute young woman or a not-young anyone doesn’t make it better. However, the music itself is pleasant to listen to.

38. Lithuania
Ieva Zasimauskaitė - "When We're Old"
This song has an infinite sweetness and the chorus is strong. However, it’s almost too delicate to listen to fully or be memorable. Also “from the very first smile I knew I’d walk a mile” is an illogical lyric. If I’m wrong about any of this set of songs, it might be this one.

Ryan O'Shaughnessy - “Together”
This is a bland, inoffensive singer-songwriter pop song. It sounds like it would play on the store radio for Kohl’s (to give non-Americans an idea of the type of inoffensive blandness, I heard a Dansk Melodi Grand Prix song play during the holiday season). There is one thing that stands out: the chorus has a jarring high note, and on a long held “die” of all lyrics. It might be nice and sweet to shop, have a coffee, or fall asleep to, but it’s not very interesting for the idea of a stage show.
36. Switzerland
Zibbz - “Stones” 
This song doesn’t lack for energy, that’s for sure. It has both a powerful instrumentation and message. It sounds like it would be at home in a commercial for a movie or TV show. It’s only this low because the “noooo I ain’t throwin’ stooooones” in the chorus just irritates me.


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