Eurovision 2019 Review: Greece – Katerine Duska – Better Love

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Greece sends Katerine Duska with ‘Better Love’ to Tel Aviv
For years, Greece was the one to beat in Eurovision. From 2004 until 2011, they reached the top 10 in the final for eight years in a year, even winning the contest in 2005. In recent years, however, they have been struggling. In the past three years, they missed out on a spot in the final twice and reached 19th position in the one year they did advance. They could sure use some positive change. For the 2019 contest, Katerine Duska was internally selected and she will perform her track ‘Better Love’ in May in Tel Aviv.

The Greek Canadian pop artist was born in Montréal, but currently lives in Greece. She wrote ‘Better Love’ together with David Sneddon and Leon of Athens. They created a modern piece of pop that seems to have taken some inspiration of some of the biggest British female stars. Her expressive vocal style and the bombastic nature of the chorus draw comparisons to Florence + the Machine, while the instrumentation and build up could have been taken of an Ellie Goulding soundtrack single. If anything, this proves that ‘Better Love’ is a radiofriendly, contemporary entry. Duska has a unique, soulful voice that makes the song more of a memorable listen. The build up is on point and just when you think that the chorus gets a bit too repetitive, an outro kicks in that delivers a worthy climax.

There is quite a few big and high notes happening, especially in the middle-eight and last chorus. This means that the success of the Greek entry this year will depend on Duska’s live vocals, which we have not heard yet. If she has the vocal power to make the chorus sound even bigger live, I am pretty sure she will at least turn into a juries’ darling in this year’s contest. If she delivers vocally and her team manages to create visuals as memorable as what we got to see in the colourful music video, Greece might return to the top 10 of the final!

Review on her semi-final performance:
Katerine Duska looked the part with a staging that has the same vibe as her music video had and it is all well executed. There is a lot going on, but it is never too distracting from either the song or the star of the performance. It did however seem at times like the nerves were getting the better of Katerine, as she missed some of the lower notes. At the same time, she absolutely slayed every single high note. Her performance and song were easily some of the strongest of the night. If she nails her vocals on Saturday, top 10 might be within reach.

Reviews on her final performance and result:
Greece had the unfortunate task to perform after the winner, but I seriously doubt if this performance would have stood out more anywhere else in the show. ‘Better Love’ is a strong and contemporary pop number, but the bombastic quality of the tune does not really shine through on stage. Katerine Duska hits all the high notes perfectly, but the lower parts in the verses lack confidence. Although the staging looks good on screen, there is nothing particularly memorable that actually elevated the song. Although I would have given this performance more than a 21st place, I am not surprised it did not get any further.


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