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Belgium: Laura Tesoro – What’s The Pressure

‘What’s The Pressure’ is a frustrating example of a Eurovision entry that contains a lot of strong elements that just don’t mesh they way they’re supposed to. Laura Tesoro is a fresh-faced and appealing performer. The song is a catchy and well-produced funk-pop confection in the vein of Uptown Funk and Fleur East’s recent UK hit Sax. But something just isn’t clicking.

When you listen to the aforementioned Sax and Uptown Funk, the problem becomes obvious. A song like ‘What’s The Pressure’ demands a grittier, more soulful vocal than Tesoro is capable of delivering. She’s out of her depth – she can sing, but she doesn’t have a soul voice, she has a teen pop voice. The song doesn’t play to her strengths, and her attempts at riding the bass line leave her sounding thin and exposed.

Think I’m being too harsh? Imagine if Fleur East actually was singing this – not difficult, as it could easily have been a track from her current album. It also could have been a real contender. In Tesoro’s hands, it never quite comes to life.

Qualification chances

This is an entry that is going to rely heavily on a strong draw. If Belgium pull first half of their semi final on Monday, they’re going to need a miracle. However, it’s the kind of catchy, broadly likeable and generally competent package that I can imagine slipping through if it were to close out a show, or at least serve as the last uptempo of the evening. But unless we get another year of ballad overkill, it’s filler for the finals at best. A shame, because a lot of effort has gone into this, and both the performer and the song deserve better. They just don’t merit it together.