Last night the Wiwi Jury—our in-house panel of music un-professionals—packed up our butterfly nets and caught a bus to San Marino to review Valentina Monetta’s Eurovision 2013 song. Did a beautiful butterfly emerge from the “Crisalide”? Or were we left looking at some nasty larva? Read on to find out…
Wiwi: When Valentina Monetta walked on stage at Eurovision in Concert, she was like a tigress stalking her prey. Given the beauty of “Crisalide”, she deserves to pounce the competition. Valentina is no longer the amateur dancing around a computer while entreating us to click on her Facebook profile. She’s now a lean mean singing machine with the confidence of a Mariah and the vocals of a Whitney. By singing about a butterfly chrysalis she touches on birth and death, and the importance of filling the space between the two with love and self-belief. “You’ll be flying/ On the wings of confidence,” she says. “Just stop crying/ And the future will make sense/ Start emerging from your chrysalis/ Find the kind of freedom that you miss.” By the time the song morphs from emotional ballad to disco floor-stomper, Valentina’s transformation is complete, and Wiwi is wetting himself with excitement. Beep Bop Girl is dead. Valentina has arrived.
Vebooboo: Last year Wiwi and I were pretty much the only people in the press room chasing Valentina around. We were obsessed with her, obsessed with her English skills and above all else obsessed with her song. But she was the laughing stock of the press centre, and of the greater Eurovision community. She was the only act on SVT’s Eurovision preview show to receive a 0, and she huffed and puffed her way to the Baku airport after flopping out in her semi-final. But what a difference a year can make. From tight, trashy track suit to elegant gown. From fake Mac to IKEA lamp. From overly sexual pop song to moving ballad. Yes, people, Valentina is back, but she ain’t a girl no more. She a woman! This song is so moving, and along with France and the Netherlands is my favourite ballad this year. I particularly love the tempo change, showing us all that Valentina may be a woman, but she remembers her youthful roots. I don’t think she can win, but I’d be shocked if she didn’t make the Final, and that alone will be such a pleasure to see. By the way, rumour has it that IKEA is sponsoring her stage performance, so bring along sunglasses!
HK Dick: Wow, what a difference a year makes. Cometh the hour, cometh the woman to surely take San Marino to its first final. In a total transformation, Valentina has moved on from last year’s trite song and now brings a great piece of adult pop to the table. She also defies Eurovision convention by delivering a song that’s two minutes ballad and one minute disco. The ballad segment is strong enough on its own but to then end with 60 seconds of dance magic…genius! I can’t wait for the full dance remixes.
Bogdan: As the first notes of the song poured into my speakers, I was, like, “No, not another ballad, Valentina!” Then she started singing in Italian and I was, like, “OK. Good thinking”. Then came the dance part, which is supposed to be the butterfly of the chrysalis that is the rest of the song… It’s a nice surprise, an interesting twist, and the end result is pleasant to the ears. However, it sounds old-fashioned (I don’t find the “I Will Survive” comparisons flattering in 2013 – plus, they are vastly exaggerated) and, just because it’s an improvement over last year’s entry, “Crisalide” is not the masterpiece that many make it out to be.
Mr Häggkvist: I was so upset back in February when it was announced that Valentina Monetta would again be the Sammarinese artist at Eurovision. But she shut my mouth when I heard her song. I don’t think many people thought she could sing after her “Social Network Song“, but “Crisalide” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard in the history of this contest, and if this doesn’t make it to the final, I don’t really care. This is the type of music that will stay in my mind for years. This is beyond Eurovision. It isn’t the typical cliché or the happy, entertaining song that we are bored of seeing at Eurovision every year. This will be a classic.
Alexander: Alongside Montenegro, San Marino definitely has one of the most unexpected and surprisingly good entries! It’s hard to believe that this is from both the same singer and composer as last year’s “Social Network Song”. I really hope this qualifies to the final, as “Crisalide” is an excellent ballad. I adore how the song builds up and expresses great emotion and meaning throughout. San Marino is probably going to outshine Italy in Malmö this year…which is funny, because San Marino’s population is only a little more than the Malmö Arena’s seating capacity. 😉
Deban: If you didn’t get it right the first time, then try again. This is exactly what Ralph Siegel and Valentina Monetta are trying to achieve here. I love the first half of this entry, but things descend rapidly with the key change. This unfortunate plummet impacts negatively on Monetta’s choreography. She starts off being a sophisticated swan, and 02.40 minutes into the song she morphs into a head-bopping urban Princess. It’s hard to draw any comparisons with “The Social Network”, as this is a clear departure. Nonetheless, I must admit that San Marino’s two-year hype eludes me. Still, Valentina Monetta deserves praise for her continued determination, transformation and artistry.
Wiwi Jury Verdict: 8.29/10
Wiwi Jury Final Ranking: #2 out of 39 contestants