After doubts they’d be in the Eurovision Song Contest this year, Greece has submitted “One Last Breath”. Does it leave us gasping for more?
When you’ve been watching the Eurovision Song Contest as long as I have, patterns start to emerge. Not necessarily with the winners; Europe’s collective mind seems to change there from year to year. Within individual countries, however, patters for the type of entries they send definitely make themselves clear. There’s no country where this is more evident than Greece: if they’re not sending a female singer singing about love in a short skirt1, they’re sending some dudes singing about how tonight is our night and we should live it up2. They rarely break from this pattern because it delivers results – they’ve made the finals every year since semi-finals were introduced. This year’s entry, Maria Elena Kyriakou’s “One Last Breath”, feels like a break from either of those recognizable patterns. Let’s take a look:
I will give Greece this: Maria can sing. This is a technically proficient performance, and the fact that this video is of a live performance speaks well to her ability to deliver this song on a stage. I just wish the song was better. It’s easily recognized as a ballad, and there definitely seems to be something about “One Last Breath” in the lyrics there, but the song itself isn’t really connecting with me. I got excited by the key change that comes mid-way through the song, as it felt like the tempo was going to pick up, but it was just a standard key change. It’s perfectly pleasant, but it hasn’t grabbed me in the way the last few Eurovision winners clearly have. Greece doesn’t tend to play around much with its entries once they’ve been chosen, so this is what we’re getting.
As far as staging, I think Greece has the right idea here. Focusing on Maria’s vocals with some stage movement is good – this song is one that doesn’t call for more than singer and accompanist given its more technical nature. Overall, though, this performance is like the song itself to me – nice, but nothing that leaves me gasping for more.