Song Title: “City Lights”
First Semi-Final: Position 5
Last year’s entry: “What’s the Pressure” – Laura Tesoro (10th Place)
Belgium’s on a good run with their last few entries in the Eurovision Song Contest – Loic Notet placed 4th a few years ago, and they managed to cling to the top 10 last year with Laura Tesoro’s “What’s the Pressure”. Belgium seems to have a good finger on the pulse of what’s going on in pop music and filtering that into their entry. They’re going to need it this year, as they’re in a very stacked semifinal. With performance neighbors like Albania and Montenegro, does Blanche’s “City Lights” have the oomph it needs to guarantee a final slot?
On a purely personal level, I really like this song. It has a trance/trip-hop vibe that works, and Blanche’s flat vocal affect reminds me of Jem/Dido in a way that I haven’t seen at the ESC before. The song’s structure feels unusual, too – it’s less verse-chorus-verse than chorus – bridge – chorus – bridge – chorus. I wonder if the backing here is doing a little too much of the work here – I want to see how this gets interpreted in a live setting before I really boost it to the top of my list of semifinal 1 favorites. Unfortunately, Blanche is the one artist that had to cancel for Eurovision in Concert, so I don’t know how this plays live, or more importantly, how it’s received.
My big fear with this one is that it’s not as popular as Ryan and I think it is with Europe, and a dull live performance manages to keep this just out of the finals. This is a song where playing with the camera equipment available could really sell this – match the “floating orb” vibe of the video with some dynamic camerawork and it’ll let Blanche do her straightforward singing thing without somehow making this boring. I really want to hedge my bets on this one – my musical taste doesn’t fully overlap with what does well at Eurovision, and I have a sneaking suspicion this may be more to my preference level than the rest of Europe