Dare to Dream: The Race to Eurovision 2019 (Part II: Belarus, Cyprus, Finland)

Here it is: Part II of the Eurovision 2019 series. This time, we will focus on the songs and contestants from three countries: Belarus, Cyprus, Finland.

If you haven’t check it out already, please check out Part I of the series to check out the songs from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Montenegro.

Belarus: ZENA – Like It

Probably one the youngest contestant in this year Eurovision is ZENA. Just at the age of 16, this Belorussian singer is a powerhouse. I didn’t know she was just 16 because she sounds like she is much older and like a pro with her talented vocals. Her vocals are mighty, and she has a great range. Did you know that she competed in the Junior Eurovision Contest for her country with the song “Mir” in 2015? She was also Moana in the Russian dub of the same-name Disney movie! Not only she is talented, but she also has a lot of experience.

I really like “Like It.” Sure, it does sound generic as it sounds like any popular EDM-based pop song out there. But, I feel like ZENA brings a fresh twist as her vocals are really smooth and bright. She is powerful, but she doesn’t overpower the song. And the chorus has an interesting rhythm, especially at the end of the final phrase. “Like It” is a tune that I could listen during work as it is delightful tune.

I like “Like It” as it is my type of pop song. But, I feel like this could be too generic for each country’s voting representatives. If I were on the voting
representative for Eurovision, I would vote this song through as it is an enjoyable tune that showcases ZENA’s delightful and talented vocals. But, I don’t think it will go through the finals because the song does sound generic and it doesn’t have that dazzling star power you find in songs by artists like Celine Dion, Ariana Grande, or Netta.

Cyprus: Tamta – Replay

Tamta brings a dance-pop tune to this year’s Eurovision with “Replay.” This singer isn’t a newcomer to the Eurovision stage as she participated in the competition in 2007 for Greece with the song “With Love.” She finished the competition in third place that year, but first place in the hearts of the Greeks as “With Love” was popular among the people in Greece at the time. She has also been releasing albums and singles under the label EMI since 2006.

This year she is representing Cyprus with the song above. This song has a great beat and is very catchy, especially the chorus. This is a type of tune you will find in a nightclub as it has an unforgettable beat that will make you want to dance. Heck, I also think that songwriters Alex Papaconstantinou, Geraldo Sandell, Viktor Svensson, Albin Nedler, and Kristoffer Fogelmark took a page or two from the composer notes of Billboard top EDM songs from last year because it sounds so similar to those songs as well as so professional.

Like ZENA’s “Like It,” “Replay” wouldn’t pass through the finals because it could be critiqued as sounding too generic and lacks that star power and uniqueness you see with past Eurovision winners. Yes, Tamta is a star of her own right, but “Replay” sounds like every other EDM dance-pop song and doesn’t have a sense of uniqueness.

Finland: Darude feat Sebastian Rejman – Look Away

Finland wins the award of bringing nostalgia to this year’s Eurovision as they are represented by Darude. Darude was popular in the early 2000s with the song “Sandstorm.” That was THE TUNE during my 7th-grade year. I remember when my classmate first introduced this song via her CD player, I was instantly hooked and would listen to the song over and over for the rest of the 7th grade. It was super addicted, and I fell in love with the deep synthesized main melody. “Sandstorm” was the first song that helped me to fall in love with trance and happy hardcore.

Even though Darude doesn’t bring a lot of his hardcore trance musical themes in “Look Away”, you can still hear trances of deep synthesized melodic bits throughout the song, especially at the beginning. Also, though this is a duet with Sebastian Rejman, who I never really heard before, I feel like Darude is still a star of this song with his instrumentation. I really wish that Darude could get rid of the mediocre vocalist and just have Darude do a solo of this song with his trance melodies replacing the vocals.

Because Darude is beloved for a lot of musical lovers since the 2000s, “Look Away” will get a spot in the finals for its nostalgia factor. and Darude’s talent at being an badass with synthesizers.

So what do you think, which song is your favorite? Comment below!

And, since I have a lot of travel bloggers and readers from the world who visit this blog, what are your favorite memories or sites in the Czech Republic, Hungary, or Montenegro? Let me know in the comments below.

Since this is an ongoing series, I am going to share my prediction scorecard at the end of each post. It is a way for me to keep track of my predictions and see if they came true in May.

Standings at the Finals

Czech RepublicEliminated
HungaryFinals – MAY WIN

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44 thoughts on “Dare to Dream: The Race to Eurovision 2019 (Part II: Belarus, Cyprus, Finland)

  1. LoLoMarieS says:

    Wow, so much amazing talent. I love discovering new artists and this post highlight some great ones. I’ll be listening to some of them again.

  2. tonykimsharioutdooradventures says:

    We had an Australian national selection for Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv called – Australia Decides. Australia picked Kate Miller-Heidke, 37 year old singer and actress from Brisbane with several albums on her CV. She was clasically trained but has been singing alternative pop for a while now. She will sing Zero Gravity. Australia qualified for the Grand Final 3 out of 3 times. Even if we shouldn’t be in it. Will be a great Eurovision this year.

  3. Amy,

    Between the two female artists, I think I like Tamta better. I wouldn’t say I’m crazy about either their vocals. There’s nothing really special about their voices and sound like many other female singers today. I have to ask is Darude an all-instrumental band with no singers or do they have a lead singer but with this song, they are using a feature? I’m not a huge fan of electronic mewsic only. I can take it a little in a song but not when it rules like in ‘Sandstorm’. I do remember this one believe it or not. 🙂 Between Tamta and Darude feat Sebastian Rejman, I prefer the male vocalist. Not knowing any more than I do and if I’m to vote according to these videos you offered, then my vote goes to Darude feat Sebastian Rejman !

    Thanks for joining the 4M gang on the dance floor, my friend. Have a boogietastic week! 😉

  4. Wow these artists are all wonderful but I love the one by Tamta! It really makes me want to get up and dance! Thank you for Introducing all three to everyone, I would have never heard them otherwise.

  5. helenevlacho says:

    Beautiful songs! Although I am Greek and I love to support Tamta, I have to say that Zena’s voice sounds amazing.

  6. My girls are obsessed with Moana and know all the words to “Where I’ll Go”. Love that song and I just HAVE to sing along when it’s on. Great list here of some other songs I’m not familiar with.

  7. Tonya Morris says:

    This is so fun. I would have to vote for Moana – I loved that movie so much. It’s still one of my favorites.

  8. Helen Neale says:

    Oh wow, another sets of group for Eurovision. The last time, Hungary is one of my favourite. Now it’s Finland made it better to this set.

  9. I think it was your blog that introduced me (last year?) to Eurovision. As you know, it’s not that well known inside the United States, where I’ve spent all my life. I think I would agree with you – none of these are winners. All have talent, but not star power, at least in my humble opinion. My favorite of the four was “Look Away”.

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