I’ve got some deadlines to attend to and other urgent work… but Eurovision just started so…. gotta do that instead.
Opening: Split into two sections, a kind of lame film with a craftsman in his workshop making a drone and then cuts to the live stage show which was very…. Italian. Lots of lights and dancing and a sense of excess that has been sorely missing from recent contests. A waterfall at the edge of the stage makes me fear/speculate/hope that someone might fall in…
Lots of electrical equipement and lots of water…. what could possibly go wrong?
Albania: A folkish performer which should be good (Albanian folk is totally my jam as young people no longer say…) but she’s badly dressed the number kind of goes nowhere.
Latvia: Begins with the immortal line “I don’t eat meat, I eat veggies and p-ssy!” (he didn’t sing that he let the audience do it). A cross between Iceland’s last two entries and the Moldova’s “Hey Mamnma“ from 2017. Lots of energy but there’s not much there there.
Lithuania: Kind of relaxed yé-yé energy with a Mireille Mathieu bowl cut. I’m in.
Switzerland: Kind of whingy, whiny ballad about boys crying. His voice isn’t terrible but I can’t wait for it to be over.
Slovenia: A glorified high school ‘jazz club’ group whose lead vocalist reminds me of Mike Flowers. He struggles to find his voice and it’s kind of painful. Ouch.
Ukraine: The heavy favorite, probably as much for political as musical reasons. A folk-hip hop mix they do put on a good show though it doesn’t quite have the unhinged energy of last year’s entry.
Bulgaria: Dinosaur rock that looks more 1970s and sounds a bit more 1980s (Bon Joviesque). Not. My. Kind. Of. Thing.
Netherlands: Atmospheric and minimalist with echoes of Belgium’s 2017 “City Lights”. Sung in Dutch, which is nice (I’m a big fan of Eurovision in national languages rather than International-Crap-English).
Moldova: A contemporary folkish song in Moldovan (aka Romanian) about a night train from Chisinau (formerly Kishinev) to Bucharest (one country or two)? They looked like they were dressed by their worst enemies… in the dark… while drunk. And the song was dead last in betting odds. But the absolute highlight of the night. Crazy amounts of energy and great audience reaction, especially to the accordions.
Whoever dressed these guys should be shot. Multiple times.
Portugal: Subdued female group (badly dressed…) but nice harmonies. Mixed English and Portuguese (would have been a lot better if it were entirely in Portuguese).
Croatia: Where are the Eurovision crazy ladies this year? Very anonymous song with anonymous staging. Entirely too sane.
Denmark: All female group with a 1970s visual vibe but anonymous Eurovision chorus that sounds like 20 different songs from the past.
Austria: Kind of manic 1990s high energy number… but I’m just not feeling it. Bring back the accordions!
Iceland: Three sisters singing and playing guitar in Icelandic an embodying different years in the 1970s.
This performance brought to you by the years 1974, 1978 and 1971.
Greece: A Norwegian singer (Greek ancestry) and at last we have a crazy lady. But not fun, happy, dancey crazy lady but rather the far more dangerous waifish, intense will-burn-your-house-down crazy. The song’s even called “Die Together” and she sounds like she means it.
Norway: A pure novelty number in yellow wolf masks and singing about bananas. Okay. I’m very accepting of this.
Armenia: Nice… kind of… folkish pop…. what does it have to do with Armenia?
Summary: The song ‘Living in the Past’ keeps coming to mind. Lots of 1970s style outfits and music (sometimes more the 1990s version of the 1970s than the real thing but….). Hardly anything felt really new musically. What did feel a bit new was the… messaging. From Latvia’s manic yet joyless didactic environmentalism to Norway’s dada-esque disengagement. Not sure what to think about that….Results: Albania, Latvia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Austria are all out. All the songs I wanted in made it. I’m pretty happy with the results.