Greece really started to find their groove at Eurovision at the turn of the century, however over the last few years have struggled to qualify, and if they do qualify, they are far off the Top 10. The once successful nation has tried different strategies at Eurovision during this dry spell, from dance pop numbers that were once a hit for Greece at Eurovision, or alternatively strong ethno songs both of which haven’t really captured audiences. This year it will be up to Katerine Duska with the song Better Love, but will it be loved enough to bring Greece back to the final?
Song + Vocals
Greece loves a good pop number at Eurovision, and we’ve seen many successful pop entries for Greece over the years, from Shake It to My Number One, and Secret Combination, however all of these songs follow a very similar formula both in the song and how they are presented at Eurovision. For the first time, Greece (thanks to Katerine Duska) has managed to come up with something incredibly contemporary.
It’s hard to discuss the song without first mentioning Katerine’s unique vocal tone which is arguably what makes this song memorable. Her soulful vocals make what could have been a fairly generic song into something spectacular, and it’s what adds the contemporary feel to this song. Saying that, her vocals might actually be the thing that helps people decide whether they like this song or not. If you don’t like her voice, ultimately you won’t like this song.
The song itself is produced well to highlight Katerine’s voice with the verses a bit more simple to allow her voice to shine. During the chorus she can unleash the vocals a bit more, hence a growth in the instrumentals which creates a really good atmosphere, and I can only imagine that this will fill the arena well. This song has good melodies, although at times I do struggle to understand the lyrics, specifically in the chorus. It may not be as good of a sing-a-long tune as something like Secret Combination was, but I think it will energise people both at home and in the audience.
Act + Performance
Greece are not afraid to send the big stars to Eurovision, but Katerine Duska is definitely more of a niche artist but the upside to that is that we get to hear something really genuine from her. Time after time at Eurovision we see nations pick talented and unique artists only for them to be singing a generic song that features no characteristics of that actual artist, and I think this year the Greek broadcaster has selected an artist and has embraced her uniqueness.
I don’t believe we have heard this song performed live as of yet, but with Eurovision in Concert imminent, we won’t have to wait long to see whether the studio vocals will be matched live. Even if they don’t, what we will hopefully see at Eurovision is a stage show that matches the quality of the music video. Again, it’s contemporary and unexpected for Greece, and if they can capture that ‘expect the unexpected’ feeling into their stage performance, I know that it will be memorable enough to qualify through the final, and even challenge for a spot in the Top 10.
This could be the start of a new phase for Greece at Eurovision, or at least a step in the right direction. The overall package of this entry is great, but it is important to recognise that it does have the possibility to divide listeners based on her voice alone. Despite that, I think it will have enough widespread support to cruise through to the final, and I would not be surprised if this does reach the Top 10 in some capacity. A strong staging will also help create an unforgettable performance that will inevitably receive votes from both juries and televoters.