Initial Review: “SloMo” by Chanel (Spain)

If you’ve been following the Spanish national selection, you’ll know there was a lot of drama around this outcome. The televote and demoscopic jury favourite “Terra” by Tanxugueiras was buried by the expert jury, placing fifth. Chanel took out the top spot from the expert jury, while finishing second with the demoscopic jury and third in the televote. However, I see the emotion around this as a good thing: I suspect that the formula will be modified for next year so that the televote ends up with 50% of the overall votes, with the two juries splitting the remaining 50% rather than the expert jury getting 50%. The fact that so many Spanish people were passionate about the result bodes well for future Benidorm Fests.

On to “SloMo” by Chanel. In my short review last month, I commented that I thought was going to rely a lot upon Chanel’s voice, because musically there wasn’t much on offer. I guess I can amend this to say that it’s going to rely a lot upon the staging and Chanel’s voice, because together these are enough to distract the audience from the fact that it’s a pretty one-dimensional song, even with the instrumental breakdown, which just serves as another opportunity to show off the choreography. In my Benidorm Fest rankings, I placed this second-last overall, and I wouldn’t change much about that. I can see where the appeal is: there is a decent vote in diva dance performances (see Cyprus the last few contests), but it doesn’t come from my phone. My ideal Eurovision song needs to be good both in the studio and on stage, and “SloMo” doesn’t pass muster in the studio. I find the “mo-mo-mo-mo-mo” and “lo-lo-lo-lo-lo” of the chorus irritating, like a CD skipping. The rest of the song is acceptable in comparison, but when the key part of the track has me reaching for the fast forward button, I’m not sure there’s much room for my interest to grow beyond “it’s okay”. I hope they keep the Art Nouveau decor though, that was a highlight.

If the end result of sending in a fairly safe entry like this one is that Spain feels confident enough to send riskier, but ultimately more interesting entries like Rigoberta Bandini’s “Ay Mamá” to future contests, I’m happy to take this on the chin and wish Chanel well. I hope she makes the most of her opportunity. In the meantime, I’ll be adding “Ay Mamá”, along with Javiera Mena’s “Culpa” and Xeinn’s “Eco” to my music collection and marking them as musicians for me to keep an eye on. Regardless of the result, Benidorm Fest was by far the best national selection so far, and I really hope Spain commits to continuing it for the foreseeable future.