Nearly 24-hours since the BBC dropped their Måns Zelmerlöw tweet, the artists and songs have been published in full.
Asanda – Legends
Written by Christopher Wortley, Laurell Barker & Roel Rats
Asanda first appeared on the 2013 series of Britain’s Got Talent aged just 11. However, more recently, Asanda starred as Tallulah in the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith production of Bugsy Malone, as well as taking part in the German talent show, SuperKids.
Asanda describes Legends: “It is a unique song with a very energetic rhythm and has a tribal feel to it. I think the melody and the lyrics come together to form a very beautiful and inspirational message that is relatable to everyone.”
ESCtips Verdict: I was lucky enough to hear a demo of this song, which has sort of tainted my view of the new version. The original was far more aggressive with much more contrast between vocal the trombone riffs during the latter part of Legends. The middle-eight and closing vocal has become too soulful. Even so, this is a cracking song and wouldn’t sound out of place at Melodifestivalen. In fact, my first comment to the demo was that: “in the hands of Ace Wilder, Legends would win Melfest”. This is exactly the sort of music the BBC should be sending to Eurovision.
Goldstone – I Feel The Love
Written by Eric Lumiere, Joakim Buddee, Laura White & Roel Rats
Goldstone are a contemporary girl group comprising of Aimie, Helen and Rhiannon who are all singers and actresses with stage and TV experience.
I Feel The Love in their words: “We adore our song! It’s just so hopeful! And with everything that is happening in the world right now it really hits home.”
ESCtips Verdict: Hints of Girls Aloud and Jessie J here. It’s the sort of song people wanted O’G3NE to perform in Kyiv! Nevertheless, the good elements are let down by the plastic-y feel and clumsy middle-eight. *clap your hands* Shoot me now! If Goldstone can nail this live, I wouldn’t totally rule them out of contention.
Jaz Ellington – You
Written by Ashley Hicklin, Herman Gardarfve & Laura White
Jaz is an old-school soul singer and as a seasoned vocal arranger has been involved with music for most of his life. The public will remember Jaz from the first series of The Voice UK.
Jaz says about his song: “The song is a story of two people in a relationship. The person telling the story compares everything his partner does, to the one he truly loves. It’s beautiful and yet sad at the same time, I just love it. #audiblegold.”
ESCtips Verdict: I think Jaz wins the battle of the boys. You feels authentic and paired with Jaz’s crisp vocals, it could be in the mix for victory if the upbeat songs lose their clarity during the live show. Hozier and Sam Smith influences here, but as a contest song, it really should have gone full gospel to create a mesmerising finish.
Liam Tamne – Astronaut
Written by Ashley Hicklin, Jacob Pedersen, Jeanette Bonde & Rune Braager
Singer and actor Liam has appeared in world-famous musicals such as Wicked, Hairspray, Les Misérables, The Phantom Of The Opera and The Rocky Horror Show to name a few. He’s also another alumnus of The Voice UK and will be one Mans was filmed remarking “that’s quite high.”
Liam says about his song: “It’s a great song and I believe many people can relate to it. The message will resonate with a lot of people, as we all need that someone at some point in our lives to pick us up and whisk us away.”
ESCtips Verdict: Liam will struggle in this lineup. The tropical elements have burnished what is a rather insipid song.
RAYA – Crazy
Written by Emil Rosendal Lei, Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir & Samir Salah Elshafie
RAYA is a multi-talented star, having performed all over the world in some of the biggest venues, she also has experience acting on the stage and on TV, as well as being a trained dancer, vocal coach and DJ.
RAYA says about her song: “It’s extremely catchy and upbeat with a really fresh and commercial feel. It’s all about that new guy or girl who you can’t get out of your head no matter how hard you try.”
ESCtips Verdict: Song two at Melodifestivalen performed by Adrijana or something along those lines. It’s a perfectly good album track, that like some of the You Decide entries, would make the Radio 1 playlist and do quite well on the charts if performed by a mainstream artist. It’s current, but it’s not a competition song.
SuRie – Storm
Written by Nicole Blair, Gil Lewis & Sean Hargreaves
SuRie is an actress and singer having starred as Fontaine in the 20th Anniversary of Les Misérables. She is also no stranger to the Eurovision Song Contest, appearing as a backing singer for Loïc Nottet in 2015 and Blanche at Eurovision 2017.
SuRie says about her song: “Storm is a smash! It’s a dynamic combination of a more intimate, piano lead, singer-songwriter style start, building into this anthemic, soulful pop party!”
ESCtips Verdict: There are big Scandie influences in Storm. It starts off sounding like a Mariette song, but then the chorus kicks in and it suddenly channels vintage Timotej. Not that there’s anything wrong with Timotej – they knew their audience. The soulful middle-eight and close are the best bit. It’s just a shame they were so lazy with the chorus.
Legends is the best song in the selection, but it could easily be the worst live performance of the six. Jaz could mop up most of the authentic and best live performance votes, so this selection is far from being a done deal. I wouldn’t totally rule out Goldstone either, given I Feel The Love’s modern and uplifting sound. Again, the trio’s ability to deliver a live performance will be key. They sound fine in this showreel.
As we witnessed last year, an apparent favourite can fall well short of expectations when their styling, staging and suitability to the song is wrong.