Home / Song Reviews / Eurovision 2019 / Greece: Katerine Duska – Better Love

Greece: Katerine Duska – Better Love

Greece has officially presented Katerine Duska and her song, Better Love, as their entry for Eurovision 2019. This is quite a decent return for Greece having failed to qualify twice in the last five years and finishing around 20th in the final for three of those years. Katerine has brought a cracking contemporary radio track to semi-final 1, which to me was beginning to look like a complete write-off. Let's be realistic though, Better Love is a Florence + the Machine influenced song that fails to get out of third gear. The refrain hits, but it loses its impact in…
Song Appeal
Vocal Strength
Staging Potential
Likely Televote Appeal
Likely Jury Appeal

Shat It Out

This isn't a demo-delighting song for the Balkan region or even the Greek diaspora.

User Rating: 3.71 ( 53 votes)

Greece has officially presented Katerine Duska and her song, Better Love, as their entry for Eurovision 2019.

This is quite a decent return for Greece having failed to qualify twice in the last five years and finishing around 20th in the final for three of those years. Katerine has brought a cracking contemporary radio track to semi-final 1, which to me was beginning to look like a complete write-off.

Let’s be realistic though, Better Love is a Florence + the Machine influenced song that fails to get out of third gear. The refrain hits, but it loses its impact in the transition to the verses and middle-eight. The outro relies too heavily on the strength of the refrain without developing and building into the sort of rousing Shake It Out climax. Shake It Out is over 4-minutes long and it entertains and grips for every second. Better Love feels underproduced in comparison; a derivative concept looped to sound credible.

In this year’s Eurovision lineup the Greek song will have an air of credibility, especially in semi-final 1. The problem for Greece, in my opinion, is that this isn’t a demo-delighting song for the Balkan region or even the Greek diaspora. Look at the nations where Shake It Out charted or the nations that Florence + the Machine are touring – it doesn’t make for great reading. Also add in that Katerine is literally unknown in Greece.

This song will appeal to the few western leaning nations in semi-final 1. The challenge for Greece is to convince the others to pick up the phone by creating a distinctive stage concept.

About Gavster

ESCtips Owner   I’m a qualified designer and dedicate a lot of my free time to keeping the ESCtips show on the road. My family routes allow me to support the UK, Ireland and Italy.

13 comments

  1. Wonderful entry. And a potential winner if you ask me. There’s no real comparison material from previous years. Not in such a way that could hurt Cyprus with the juries (2018 vs. 2019). If I have to make some comparisons, Australia 2016 comes to my mind. Perhaps also the more mid-tempo ballad-esque songs from Katy Perry (‘Firework’).

    But what works here for me is the actual singer. Katerine oozes charisma on stage, has a clear idea what she wants staging-wise. Add to that her unique, crisp&clear, slightly lower register vocals, and I think Katerine can bring lots of ‘X-Factor’ on stage.

    The song itself is pretty simple, but builds up marvellously to a climax that brings about Katerine’s unique vocals perfectly. The song is….written for Katerine’s vocals….or so it sounds. Yes, yesterday Cyprus (with some caveats) and today Greece. Perhaps the internally chosen entries to me sound more….daring? Add Greece to the column ‘potential winner’. 5 stars.

  2. Agree with much of what Gav has put.
    Not a bad song at all but incredibly forgettable, I don’t know how many people are going to remember it. It could stand out amongst the madness in semi 1 or it could be completely forgotten. On the other hand there’s not much sensible, safe jury bait either so this could get pushed through. My gut tells me this could be the classy entry that gets left out like Norma John, Laura Rizzoto, Franka etc. The draw will be interesting for this one.

  3. This is jury bait. Juries will adore this, no doubt. With lots of support from juries they wont even need televote to do well, but with a clever stage presentation this can appeal to the televote too.

  4. There is something wrong with the audio of the uploaded video. I opened the track in a audio editor and both the left and right channels are exactly the same. Is there any other source to hear the song in stereo?

  5. Gav, notwithstanding your comments about the weaknesses of Better Love, I’m struggling to think of a song in this year’s contest so far that is more jury friendly. Was Cesar Sampson’s song last year honestly any better? The juries have to vote for someone and that’s not going to be the likes of Tamta or KeiiNo, while an entry like Telemoveis, a far superior piece of music, is too divisive and will inevitably not appeal to one or two members of any jury.

    Greece can normally stage well. Katerine can sing live and she looks better and younger than she does in the video. My biggest worry is with her diction live.

    That quibble aside I see Better Love as a safe qualifier and a strong top ten contender.

  6. I listen it with headphones on while not watching the video and I am trying to imagine this live on stage…
    This could really be something in May.

  7. This is definitely a dark horse. It’s the first time that the new wave of Greek talented artists have the chance to present themselves on a broader audience and the team behind Katerine is strong.

    Regarding the greek diaspora, there is not only one type of it. She won’t get the votes from the typical greek voters that want to vote for something that reminds them of Greece but will attract other greek voters. There is a whole scene of greek artists singing in English, experimenting with different sounds and styles and this is the first time that they have a representative. And this is the music that many diaspora greeks, especially the younger ones that left the country to broaden their horizons by studying or working abroad, listen and will vote for.

    I live in UK for the last 4 years and have never voted for Greece. This is the first time that i will do it.

    About the song itself, i get Polina Gagarina, Dami Im, Blanche vibes. I can see a placing somewhere between 2-6 and wouldn’t rule out a win with some momentum building. Still 13 songs to have the whole picture

  8. Portugal 2 years ago participated with a not memorable, “easy” song but created a dreamy atmosphere and won.
    As for the comparison with Florence …Katerina has a more deep and theatrical voice.
    Finally, check the names of the production team. They invest on Katerina for a reason.
    Regardless of the result “Better Love”is a “plus” for Eurovision 2019.

  9. I’m surprised Gavin that you focus so much on the quality of the mixed studio version, when in essence the singer needs to sell it.

    I’ve been watching some of Katerine Duska’s live performances, and to me she’s vocally flawless, has a very distinct stage presence and vocally she’s very unique as well. Here are a few examples of her live unplugged sessions:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jex53H1YTc

    Perhaps her facial looks are a bit serious, like in Duncan Laurence’s case. Yet, I do think the Eurovision stage is entirely different, where obviously camera angles are more pivotal (Where shall I look in the camera dear director?). I think Greece to me could do very well with the juries as well.

    What do you think Gavin?

  10. Portugal’s 2017 Entry was memorable. I can’t say this song is very memorable. Choris is very weak, not catchy. Rhytm almost stops in chorus. When you listen once, you don’t want to listen over and over again. It’s boring. However, the performer is very charismatic and memorable. With a good staging, this song can easily take a place in Top 10, maybe somewhere between 5th-7th place. However, winning is very unlikely. Duncan Laurence’s song is much much better.

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