IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN! Welcome to my ESCountdown 2019, presented by eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica! Between April 7 and May 12, I will countdown my picks of the entries in the Eurovision Song Contest 2019! There are 41 countries participating this year, and we’ll bring you each and every entry from them all!
At this point in time we are now less than ONE WEEK away from the Grand Final for 2018, and only three days from the first semi final. Today, I will wrap up this year’s ESCountdown, bringing you my top five picks. As always, I know the ESC fandom community is a rabid one, and fans are all over the road with their own personal tastes and choices, so as always with my personal picks, your mileage may vary…:-)
In at #3 on my countdown this year is the official entry from Russia, “Scream” by Sergey Lazarev, written by Philip Kirkorov and Dimitris Kontopoulos. The song is performed in Englis , and will be performed 13th on the second semi-final on May 16th.
Can someone please explain to me why Sergey Lazarev isn’t a worldwide superstar by this point in his career? He rose to fame as a member of the group Smash! in the early 2000’s and since it’s breakup in 2006, he has been performing solo, becoming one of the most popular performers in Russia, and throughout Europe as well; he’s also been acting off and on since he was a child. Hie is fluent in more than one language, including English, and there’s no logical reason that Lazarev hasn’t broken out worldwide as yet. This is his second trip to Eurovision; his 2016 fan favorite song “You Are The Only One“, which featured a dynamic and mind-blowing on-stage performance, finished fifth.
This song is hauntingly beautiful, but it’s a bit difficult to describe adequately. The lyrics reflect that of someone giving up the person they truly love for some reason or another – it’s never made clear why, but it may have had something to do with a betrayal of some sort if I’m interpreting the bridge of the song correctly – and the pain of intense loss such an action causes. The video, however, turns it a bit askew and changes direction a bit, with it’s beautifully dark and brooding story of two children, a young boy, a wanna-be pirate or knight, protecting the little girl he loves from the dragons that threaten them; you can feel the inspiration from “Game Of Thrones” throughout the onscreen action. Beautifully executed with a mix of live action and pristine paper-cut animation and shadow art, and lushly dark, with the pounding orchestral score of the song, punctuated by Lazarev’s observations of the goings-on with his stark, outstanding vocals, and he later taking the place of the boy as an older man…WOW. This is my wife’s favorite video this year, and it’s right up there on my list as well. The song’s brooding instrumentation underscores the pain of the lyrics amazingly well, and Lazarev, who is just one of the best vocalists in the WORLD right now, rips through your heart with his wrenching performance. Just unbelievably exquisite. I’m completely gastiflabbered, and utterly astonished that much of the fan community seems to have inexplicably turned its nose up at this one-of-a-kind gem…
Russia debuted in EuroVision in 1994 and has competed twenty-one times thus far. They missed the 2017 contest, held in Kiev, Ukraine, when the country barred chosen performer Julia Samoylova after she allegedly traveled illegally to Crimea. As a result, Russian withdrew and didn’t even televise the contest. They won the Grand Final in 2008 with “Believe” by Dima BIlan, and had made it to the finals every year since the semi-finals were introduced in 2004 until last year; their entry came in 16th in their semi-final and didn’t make the cut.
This is quite possibly the most underrated song and music video of this year’s contest…check it out and see if you find the amazingly stark magic I see in it…
Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through this year’s finals on May 18 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! My daily song countdown will appear on all three sites, with some additional material coming to both Planet BM and TKR in the days and weeks’ ahead. I missed a few days due to personal issues, so I’m playing catch-up now, and will have two or three entries per day with my #1 pick being revealed on Sunday May 12.
I will be LIVE BLOGGING during both semi-finals and the finals this week – coverage will start at 3 PM Eastern/12 PM Pacific in the US – I suck at time zones so you’ll have to figure that out if you’re not in the US – where I will comment on each performance, the ongoing spectacle, the hosts, the crowd, the performers, and everything else. Please check it out at http://ecinemaone.com !
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