Azerbaijan: Efendi – Mata Hari
Martin: As so often with the Azeri internal selection factory, we still don’t know a great deal about what to expect from this entry on stage at ESC.
At least a title like last year’s “Cleopatra” lends itself to some obvious staging choices, even at the risk of veering into cliché. Something like “Mata Hari” is far less obvious in that respect (unless massive glasses count).
It’s not just about staging, though – it’s about whether the singer can deliver what you have in mind. There are some live performances by Efendi floating around, but as far as I’m aware, we haven’t seen her doing anything with the kind of visual impact this will require. Something with real attack, personality and, well, balls.
So at this point in proceedings, that’s my main concern with “Mata Hari”. It’s not a bad song objectively, albeit not to my taste; that said, the upside potential here is probably limited even in the best case. But until we know what they’ve got planned for it, it’s hard to know whether to anticipate a “Skeletons” scenario – getting the best out of something a bit difficult – or more of an underwhelming wet fart of a package like “X My Heart”. It’ll be exciting to find out, though!
Shi: The biggest surprise about this for me – especially BECAUSE it’s the standard foreign-made song that they do every year – is the inclusion of the ethnic bits which actually sound authentic, imagine that. Those bits and the ending will give the delegation a little something extra to work with visually.
Felix: And out of all those minor (look it up, it’s a musical term) uptempo pop songs, it’s this one that I actually enjoy a lot. It must be because I always like Mata Hari at Eurovision. But not only this, it’s actually characteristic and SOUNDS like Eurovision. I approve.
video and title image source: eurovision.tv