Review: Slovenia- ManuElla ‘Blue and Red’

manuella

‘Blue and Red’ is the song that Slovenia are hoping can get them to the Eurovision Final in 2016. It will be performed by singer ManuELLA. Join us as we take a look at the song and assess whether they can qualify from Semi Final 2 on Thursday night.

We all love a bit of country music at Eurovision right? Look back on the past few years and we can see that The Common Linnets proved very successful for Netherlands finishing in second place with ‘Calm After the Storm’, while last year the Estonian duo Stig Rasta and Elina Born finished top ten with ‘Goodbye to Yesterday’. Slovenia are trying to get in on this trend in 2016 with ManuELLA’s ‘Red and Blue’. However, instead of emulating the indie folk credible type of country music that worked really well for the two aforementioned Eurovision entries, she has instead attempted to recreate the cheesy pop type of country music that borders on grating at times.

If the brief of the contest was to be a tribute act for another celebrity, then ManuELLA would no doubt be the bookies favourite. Her musical style, her staging and even her looks are very much an attempt at cloning the early career of Taylor Swift. She even has Taylor Swift’s mannerisms down to a tee and Taylor’s album ‘Red’ makes up half of the name of the song.

The video continues this country vibe. ManuELLA performs the song in a barn with the back drop of a caravan. She is interchangeably dressed in denim, check shirt or fringed skirt and takes every opportunity available to flip her pony tail or spin around to show off her fringed frills.

The song itself is actually not that bad and one might even deem it a guilty pleasure. The inclusion of the banjo is particularly noteworthy. The lyrics however are not going to be winning any awards any time soon. This gem in the chorus is notably cringe ‘Blue is blue and red is red’. Yes, well done, you are correct, thanks for this grand revelation- not knowing this had been keeping me up at night. Other imagery in the song alludes to the composition of a song including the use of ‘composer’, ‘song’, and ‘chords’.

The staging of the song also has cringe potential. Remember the slickly executed costume reveal from Buck’s Fizz where the dresses of the female performers were ripped off to reveal a short skirt by the male performers? ManuELLA gives us an updated version of this for 2016, however the wait is so prolonged that we know something is about to happen and the whole performance almost comes to a standstill as we await the reveal. She out stretches her arms and as her backing singers approach we realise that the weird facial expressions are because they’re about to rip apart her band leader jacket to reveal a sparkly red number.

I would like to see ManuELLA squeeze into the final, just to ensure a variety of musical genre in the final. I would however preferred to see the Slovenian comedian Klemen Slakonja who parodied Vladimir Putin as their representative. What do you make of Slovenia’s chances? Give us a comment below.

 

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