The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — has consumed copious amounts of tzatziki and souvlaki, and are now sufficiently full to continue reviewing the five acts in this year’s Eurosong final in Greece. Next up it’s Maria-Elena Kyriakou, who was born in Cyprus and won The Voice of Greece last year. Did her ballad “One Last Breath” leave us breathless with its beauty? Or were we hoping she’d take one last breath and exit stage left? Read on to find out…
William A: I’m in two minds about this. On the one hand we’ve heared pretty ladies shrieking in front of white pianos every year since the beginning of time. On the other hand, Maria has a strong voice and knows how to work her emotions. I just wish she had sung in Greek so I wouldn’t understand her clichés. In any event, a strong singer deserves a decent score.
Deban: A traditional ballad that is technically proficient, but at the same time, somewhat lacking in personality. This is probably due to the uniform staging that Greece has adopted for the national selection in light of budget cuts. If Maria is able to deliver this live, then, it deserves to move forward. Perhaps the best powerballad from Greece since Mando.
Sami: This ballad starts off so typically — and it’s just so boring. She has a great voice, but the song is way too ordinary to have any lasting impact. After these three minutes, you don’t remember anything. The last minute is the best part of it and it’s what makes me give the song a couple of more points. Always bad when the best bit is the ending…
Robyn: Last year Conchita won with a James-Bond-inspired dramatic ballad. To hear that sound again in 2015 is just lazy. Maria Elena has a great voice and technically performs the song well, but I want something new. It’s too soon to be nostalgic for 2014!
Patrick: Maria Elena has the best voice in the competition. Anna Vissi vibes, y’all! She is a superstar and the song itself is stunning. It’s like a big song from a musical and the lyrics are touching and everything works perfectly. It’s the sort of song which could do amazingly well or really badly in Eurovision. She’s awesome!
Billy: She comes from Cyprus, but has won The Voice Of Greece and competes at the Greek national final. Not sure if Greeks will appreciate this. Her song is a lovely but boring-to-death ballad, at least till the rock beat drops. They have also taken some features from Conchita’s “Rise Like A Phoenix”. It’s the only entry that does not include a distinctive Greek sound, and that may make the difference.
Max: After the hype of having a singer of her caliber in the national final I expected something emotive and powerful but it sounds like a B-Side ballad of Christina Aguilera’s from the 90’s. I’m not a big fan of ballads like this because more often than not they get lost amongst the crowd of more unique, memorable songs. Yes Maria has a strong voice, and yes she would qualify if chosen, but I just find it so boring. Where’s the bouzouki when we need it?
William C: A nice, seamless start, but a bit boring for me. The chorus, however, has some nice power-ballad moments that smack of Azerbaijan 2010. This song grows in strength as it progresses, reaching its highest highs at the very end. It could do well at Eurovision with the right staging, even if it it remains a strange mix from start to finish.