This year marks the second year of participation for Wales at Junior Eurovision, and despite their last place finish last year, the nation is back for more. Through a national selection, it was decided that Erin Mai would represent Wales with the song Calon yn Curo (Heart Beating). Much like last year’s selection, the song was pre-written for the national selection. Will the hearts of the voters be beating for Wales?
Song + Vocals
Ah Wales. Where do I start with Wales? After last year’s debut, I have to admit that my hopes weren’t all that high for this year’s entry. There are elements of Calon yn Curo that I enjoy more than Perta, and elements I don’t enjoy about the song, but overall I think this year’s entry misses the mark just as much as last year’s missed the mark.
Let’s start with the positivity. The highlight of this entry for me is the vocals. Erin has a wonderful voice, and the song performed live breathes much more life than the studio version. There are better vocalists among the class of 2019, but she has a real authenticity which is very likable. It is a shame that she was dealt with a song that doesn’t give her the opportunity to really shine.
I think that the ‘pre-written song’ formula is not working for Wales. It’s only the second year that they’ve organised a national selection, but I think the songwriters in both years have just missed the mark for what is a) a competitive entry, b) suitable for the actual performers in the national selection. Both entries have felt bland and dated, and I really do think the nation can do better.
What is even more unfortunate is the revamp. I could handle the national final version, but the revamped version has done the opposite of what a revamp is meant to achieve. The verses start well, the lead up to the choruses are fine, then it hits the chorus and I truly don’t know whose decision it was to change up the instrumentation. The choruses now have zero power, and Erin’s voice is completely overshadowed. The melody of the verses I can get on board with, but as soon as that chorus hits, I’m almost always tempted to switch to another song.
Act + Performance
Thankfully, Erin is a likable performer who seems fairly comfortable on stage. I can’t imagine too much choreography will be used in this song, which would hopefully mean Erin is able to really focus on the highlight of this entry, which is the vocals.
As for the stage performance, I like the aesthetic used in the official video, which features simple lighting and neon style hearts. I can’t imagine they will keep the stage performance that simple, however. What I am fairly sure about is that some sort of beating heart will be featured on stage somehow…
Sorry Wales, but this song just isn’t for me. I like it slightly more than last year’s entry, and although there are some redeeming features such as Erin’s vocals and the melody of the verses, the song as a whole just doesn’t reach the heights of its competitors. I unfortunately don’t see Wales getting far off the bottom of the results table this year.
If you support Wles at Junior Eurovision this year, vote in our Poll here.