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Estonia: Elina Nechayeva – La Forza

It was probably the most predictable result of the selection season as early favourite, Elina Nechayeva, won Eesti Laul with the song La Forza. Elina will perform La Forza in the first half of semi-final 1. The comments have quickly flowed in questioning the high rating for this song. This time last month, I may have been more conservative, but the Eurovision 2018 field is nearing completion and there is a distinct lack of songs that make you sit up a take notice. La Forza, along with its staging, does just that. When I first heard La Forza, I dismissed…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal

A Force

Estonia could nab a placed finish, but just top-10 is the range I'm working to right now.

User Rating: 3.86 ( 20 votes)

It was probably the most predictable result of the selection season as early favourite, Elina Nechayeva, won Eesti Laul with the song La Forza.

Elina will perform La Forza in the first half of semi-final 1.

The comments have quickly flowed in questioning the high rating for this song. This time last month, I may have been more conservative, but the Eurovision 2018 field is nearing completion and there is a distinct lack of songs that make you sit up a take notice. La Forza, along with its staging, does just that.

When I first heard La Forza, I dismissed it as generic popera destined to struggle in the same way as the then market leader, Amaury Vassili, did back in 2011. I also noted that if Il Volo only came 6th with the juries in 2015, how can Estonia hope to get anywhere near that?

Again I return to what I wrote above: there is a lack of standout songs so far this year, subject to a handful of big hitters yet to show their hand. Amaury lacked personality and staging in 2011 and Il Volo took part in the most competitive final of recent years. At the time of writing, I would struggle to place any of this year’s songs into the 2015 top-6. It really was a vintage lineup!

Given how Eurovision tends to reward stellar vocals, might it be prudent to view La Forza as this year’s Suus? Neither are particularly commercial songs, but both boast incredible vocals. That ability to create a moment is crucial at Eurovision, as is creating a visually effective staging concept.

That’s how I feel about Estonia relative to this year’s lineup as it stands.

As DurhamBorn points out in the comments, Elina did win in an incredibly easy Eesti Laul lineup. Yes she romped the jury and televote which is traditionally a sign of potential Eurovision success, but one can’t overlook how plasticky La Forza is. If the Eurovision juries are truly doing their jobs in May, there has to be at least four or five songs ahead of Estonia. Maybe more.  The easily led public may offer a little more support, but that doesn’t constitute joint favourite status on the Betfair outright in my book. It also doesn’t recognise how esoteric this song is when compared to three young Italian guys performing the real thing, as DurhamBorn describes it. Estonia could nab a placed finish, but top-10 is the range I’m working to right now.

If Portugal is searching for a ‘real music’ winner, it would do well to look elsewhere – provided such songs appear.

  • Flawless vocals
  • Visually effective staging concept
  • Memorable
  • Not a good example of the genre
  • Not as uplifting/melodic as Il Volo
  • Esoteric in parts

Is the force strong with Estonia this year?

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22 comments

  1. What am I missing in this song that everyone else see’s? Great singer but seriously top 3 in the betting? Not as shocking as Saara Aalto being there but still a head scratcher.

  2. What people need to see on this is that she had any easy route to the win.The worst EL in memory with producers keeping out all the “safe” names to stop the super final giving them middle of the road winners.My stats said Stig was proving popular and that alone should show alarms given his shocking song.Elina had a bye this year and EL was a forgone conclusion.For ESC i think the market was desperate for a favourite and this provides the bait.Moving forward i expect many others songs move forward and this will be shown for what it is.
    Il Volo couldnt win with the real deal.Happy to take the backers on below 8s on this.

  3. Gav, I’m surprised that you rate this one quite so highly. For sure Elina can sing but it’s Popera with a capital P. That immediately begs comparison with Sweden 2009, France 2011 and (most relevant) Italy 2015.

    Elina is a better singer than Il Volo. Her song is probably of a similar standard. I’m assuming she is a Russian/Estonian which should help her with the Russo-sphere vote but, crucially for an opera song, she isn’t Italian.

    Il Volo won the 2015 televote but, from memory, only came sixth with the juries. It wouldn’t surprise me if Elina topped the televote this year – but to win she probably also has at least to make jury top 5 and I’m not sure she will.

    It would be interesting to have the voting breakdown from Eesti Laul, but from what I could see, (even in the absence of credible competition to send to ESC) Elina was by no means sweeping all before her with the international jurors.

    I can imagine La Forza being a bookies’ favourite in the run up to ESC, but because of the question marks over jury support it might be one to oppose.

    • It might be the one to oppose, but who would you back in such a shocking year? Did not hear the Bulgarian song yet (well, maybe some of us here did 🙂 ), the Czechs do not boast voting power, Sweden had a dire Melfest, Finland is shocking live, Spain is a hit-or-miss type and they usually miss… Who would you favour now?

      • Walrus, these are fair points that you and Gav make about the lack of competition this year.

        However, I do recall that at this time last year doubts about the favouritism of Occidentali’s Karma were often met with the response (from many, myself included) ‘if this is not going to win this year then what is?’ Sometimes songs that are not immediately apparent contenders for the win become so by the day of the final.

        • Yeah, true that, I also was a fan – big fan – of Gabbani, but hedged when I saw what he had to offer in Kyiv. It was almost impossible to beat the Sanremo performance, he had the orchestra and a 3:30 minute version, so changed a lot and it did not feel the same.

          These are not issues for Estonia. I was on the same page with Gav, I reckoned that this cannot win if Il Volo did not and Amaury flopped as bad as he did in 2011.

          But it has to be respected right now. It is one of the most cohesive packages, it will stand out – albeit it could for the wrong reasons – and has that Russian connection that could play beautifully into their hands. Yes, it is a short price, but midweek it was in its 16s-17s. I would not brand that as pure value, but it was something better than now.

  4. Catriona colville

    This is definitely the one I’m missing this year. I don’t get it. I love opera and I love epic-style music. But this is the problem. You have a great voice with a simple beat over it. The song barely exists. I actually think that will benefit the jury vote, but where is the explosive power of a “Grande Amore” to reel in the televotes?

    This is the ultimate fanwank of the year, where if anyone dare says anything other than “Winner” then you’ll be slaughtered. I can’t say for sure it won’t win, because I’m missing the appeal on this one, but surely there are several songs that can beat this?

    My only concern is her being of Russian heritage will help her do a Bulgaria from last year in the televote.

    • 1. Agree

      2. Nope that is Finland this year

      3. No because Russia are competing.

      • Also may I point out that there are two good looking Russian speaking boys on offer already (Melovin and Alekseev). So the competition on the Russophile market is already tense

        • And Alekseev might yet bring fantastic staging.Iv been backing Belarus at an average of 46s.I only have four greens at the moment.

          • And Alekseev is simply popular with Russian-speaking people. He is a famous singer in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

            But I think Nechayevа will cope without Russian votes.

  5. Was going to comment that I seem to be missing what everyone else sees in this as such a strong contender but it seems a lot of you here are also sceptical. Interesting.
    I agree with the concerns about this, it’s not warm or uplifting, there’s no comparison with Il Volo- three Italian guys singing about “Amore” is so much more televoter friendly.
    Now this year is looking very short of stand out entries, so that pushes Estonia higher by default, but how much higher? If I had to guess I’d put this 6th-10th.
    I don’t think a higher placing or the win is impossible given the field and the fact this has a usp but it wouldn’t be the most shocking thing either if this fails to qualify, especially from the first half in a tough semi with more powerful and contemporary non-English ballads from Greece and Armenia picked. Either way, I can’t see this mid table- if this fails it will fail badly.

  6. Haven’t been keeping tabs on Eesti Laul this year. Seems like they made the smart choice with Elina. She might just win Eurovision with this. Irrespective of genre, this is a captivating 3 minutes of viewing. The vocal is flawless and Elina carries enormous stage presence.

    Like all entries, its chances are subject to the competition so now isn’t the time to get carried away. The immediate past comparative for me would be Albania 2012, only La Forza is a little less sharp around the edges and performed by someone more televoter friendly.

  7. I really think we have a winner here. I can’t imagine any other country being as much impactful as this.

  8. It stands out, but it’s also somewhat glacial and almost an intellectual exercise. Like Songnu, it says ‘admire my precision, but whatever you feel is up to you’. What’s the story? The message?

    Grand Amore was all drama and burning looks. This is more like Songnu or the Slovenian? lady with the light up hand. Its just a vocal affair.

    I dont see a top 5. Once the mess are polished this year other more accessible tunes will float above this.

  9. I think the review is fair, I think this should be fighting it out for top 10 in May but would be very surprised if this got a placed finish. something similar to GTY in 2015 sounds like a good shout.

  10. So good for televoting, but the jury will stop it.

  11. It’s classy and very well done for what it is, but I played it last night to my typically useful ESC focus group…not nerdy enthusaists like us on here, but people who tune in every year, listen to a song once and ALWAYS vote…(several times if they like it…like for Conchita and Salvador)… Not one responded positively…lots of “whatever it is it is NOT Eurovision”….

    a dozen people, hardly scientific, but a reaction that makes me want to steer well clear of it……unless I see a huge change in reactions in the days before May 12th

  12. Really undecided on this one, so not gonna touch it betting-wise.

    I kinda understand why it’s up there in the odds – it’s special, quality (vocal), the one people will talk about -, but don’t see it challenging for the win somehow. It’s another ‘art’ song, but it’s not that special to smash the jury/public, the basics (and dress) has kinda been done before and hasn’t got any real magical touch to it you need for a win in my eyes.

  13. Popera does badly at ESC unless it brings something special like Il Volo. I find this too cold and generic, maybe getting a mid table result in this poor year. Nice enough when analysed clinically but lacking that more emotional vote motivator.

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