Yesterday morning the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — traveled to Mykonos where we indulged in taramasalata before admiring the bronzed bodies on Elias Beach. As we slathered on sun screen we reveiwed Greece’s Eurovision 2015 singer Maria Elena Kyriakou and her song “One Last Breath”. Did we pass her an oxygen tank and beg her to keep singing? Or were we happy for her to stop breathing? Read on to find out…
Greece’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Maria Elena Kyriakou with ‘One Last Breath’
Angus: Hellenic history lesson: Ancient Greece gave birth to the tragedy! Maria Elena Kyriakou has found the song to express her voice and the melodrama of her message is difficult to resist. It is refreshing to see Greece not hiding behind a gimmick this year.
William: Following up on Angus’ comments, Greece also gave birth to DRAMA! Part Lara Fabian, part Celine Dion, Maria Elena channels the best of both divas and makes the most of every single note. She oozes the pain of Antigone and the madness of Medea. But unlike those ficitonal figures Maria is very much alive. If I had one last breath, Maria Elena just took it away.
Bogdan: Christina Aguilera, is that you? Alas, it’s not you, just Maria Elena Kyriakou who’s trying to copy a version of you from years past. Oh well. The song is amazing, if you live in 2006. However, almost ten years later, it feels like we’ve heard it all before, same with this style of singing. There is nothing to grab you, no surprise, no actual hook. I am very disappointed and I think Greece made a very bad choice this year. (Also: if I want to hear American music, I’ll watch American Idol, not Eurovision!)
Padraig: Well this is false advertising… or does “one last breath” mean something different these days? For the first half of the song I could just about buy it, Maria’s *dying* we’re sleeping, boo hoo. And then suddenly she starts belting it out – that’s not a wise move if you don’t have long for this world. And then she comes to a complete stop. Are we to take it that she’s dropped dead? Do we care? Her vocals are great, but I can’t connect with the song at all. Some last minute wailing doesn’t save this from being a snore-fest.
Robyn: Last year, under the influence of Adele’s “Skyfall” theme song, a whole lot of Bond-style ballads went to Copenhagen – and one of them won. This year there’s only one song in this style and it feels about as on-trend as bumster bootleg jeans. I expect Greece will bumble their way into the final, but I’m disappointed by this selection. Greece are playing it so safe this year and it’s boring.
Kristin: Never in my life have I been this pissed at Greece! There is absolutely nothing going on there, apart from the singer’s desperate attempt to mimic Anna Vissi. I’m going to place an order now. Dear Greece. Please pull your s**t together! This is just flat out boring. I’m sorry, but I’ll pass on this disaster.
Our first reaction (6 March)
Judit: In a year full of ballads, I thought Greece would send something better — a good song with a Greek twist. Alas. For me this is the most forgettable song, and a big dissappointment. It’s as if Greece has lost the spirit of ESC. I don’t think they’ll be in the final.
Sopon: Greece, where are you? Where is the overrated dance-pop diva that you bring almost every year? Or at least some mustachioed men in kilts? C’mon, this is awful! This is a new low for Greece, it’s as if Portugal sent an entry completely in English. Dreadfully slow and boring, with a lackluster buildup, I’m more than seriously worried about Greece’s chances for qualifying this year.
Chris: So, let’s get this out of the way: this is just a reworked version of “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera, right? Okay, good. Now let’s move on to the fact that Maria-Elena powers through this song like a true champion. That voice is giving me everything and I fully expect her to own it on stage in Vienna. No marks for originality, but I think that this will get a whole heap of points from the jury – especially after Finland. Another one that’s good enough, but looks average compared with the best.
Deban: A traditional, technically proficient ballad that’s voiced beautifully by Maria, the sensational singing Greek goddess. Perhaps the best power ballad from Greece since Mando. “One Last Breath” takes flight on strained emotion and develops texture on repeat listens. Although a little lacking in individuality, the right staging could fix this. As Maria demonstrated through her victories in The Voice Of Greece and in the Eurovision National Selection, she can deliver power ballads live. She ranked first with the music experts and the voting public in both contests. In Vienna, I have total faith that she will maintain Greece’s unbroken qualifying record.
And in Greek:
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores.
William C: 2/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 1 and a high of 10.