ESC 2023 Song Review: “What They Say” by Victor Vernicos (Greece)

1) The Result

Greece’s revival at the contest continued with Amanda Tenfjord’s “Die Together” placing 8th in the final — the first time they’ve gone back-to-back with a top 10 result since 2010-2011.

2) The Process

Not wanting to break with what is becoming a successful string of internal selections, Greece held a small behind-the-scenes national final from which 16 year-old Victor Vernicos emerged with the ticket to Liverpool.

3) The Artist

Unsurprisingly, Vernicos is the youngest contest at this year’s Eurovision, but he is far from the least experienced. Instead of going the talent show route, he writes and produces most of his songs, including “What They Say”, which is his 7th single.

4)The Song

This has an indie pop vibe, with some interesting rhythms once you focus on the backing track. It reaches its crescendo with the help of a few big drum beats, but there is a slow progression up until that point.

5) The Verdict

I can see the thought process behind this, and I applaud Vernicos’ maturity, but equally this song doesn’t feel entirely complete. The instruments feel thin at times, and there isn’t a lot to get the pulse racing until the percussion steps up a gear in the final 30 seconds. Lastly, I’d recommend Vernicos works on his diction a bit, lest more people think that he’s singing “assholes don’t like seeing people in pain” rather than “lost souls”. Just saying.

This one’s low in my ranking not because I actively dislike it, but because I don’t connect with the song at all, and it often passes me by when I have all this year’s entries on shuffle.

My ranking: 31st