The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we turn to Estonia and soprano Elina Nechayeva with the popera song “La forza” (The force). Were we feeling her power? Read on to find out!
Elina Nechayeva – “La forza”
“La forza” reviews
Angus: Opera is not for everyone and projection dresses don’t work for everyone either. But Estonia has a polished package at its disposal. Elina has serious vocal firepower, the song is pure jury catnip and the performance makes Estonia’s song accessible even to people who aren’t opera fans. Elina has also nailed her vocal every time she’s performed. People are quick to throw the opera at Eurovision history book at this and it’s easy to go from opera to flopera at Eurovision. But for every Malena Ernman, there’s an Il Volo. And Estonia’s potential surely puts “La Forza” in the latter camp.
Bernardo: Elina’s performance is set to be THE moment of Eurovision 2018. The “popera” instrumental is beautifully crafted and Nechayeva’s voice is from another planet. She engages you from the first second until the last, even if you’re not a fan of the song. It’s classical yet contemporary. In true honesty, “La Forza” is made to give you the chills. And it does. Wouldn’t be surprised to book flights to Estonia next year.
Deban: “La Forza” wastes no time in gripping the listener. Elina is the perfect vehicle for executing this transcendental piece. Her classical training is evident, yet she remains accessible. She sparkles, oozes glamour and a reveals a rare authenticity whilst delivering her art. The key to her success is also the strength of her entry and the power behind her voice. You’ll notice her from the very first second, and probably won’t let go of her until the lights the fade out.
Kristin: I still have nightmares about Slovenia’s 2007 “popera”, so I was sceptical when I first listened to “La Forza”. But I didn’t hate it. It was, in fact, a rather pleasant experience. Elina is an amazing singer and delivers this beautifully. But “La forza” somehow feels a little bit forced. Shallow if one wants. The voice is there. The glamour is there. The production and staging are nearly perfect, but Elina doesn’t seem to be connecting to the song itself. It’s missing the spark.
Padraig: On paper, “La Forza” is nothing unique. In the hands of most performers, it would simply be a run-of-the-mill classical crossover. But Elina isn’t just any performer. Comparing vocals to crystal has become a cliché, but here it couldn’t be more apt. Beautiful, clear, strong, exquisite, the soprano ticks all the boxes. At times it’s hard to credit you’re listening to a live performance. Of course, the staging is an integral part of the entry’s appeal. And there will be words if Portugal’s insistence on stripping things back to basics negatively impacts on Elina’s use of projections. Very strong words!
Robyn: I have mixed feelings about “La forza”. Elina is a superb singer, but the song itself comes across more as a performance piece than a… song. And I’m so over the tired staging trope that requires the female performer to stand still while her body is used as a projection screen. But worst of all — the projection graphics make Elina’s parachute-sized gown look like it’s made from cheap tie-dyed fabric, something picked up from a weekend market stall. But still, the song will easily appeal to fans of popera and big vocals.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 20 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 5.5 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.67/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!