Busy week but today I finally found some time to catch up with this year's Eurovision performances.
Given that Eurovision can be really random, I watched all the performances without spoilers about the grand final etc. And I watched them in random order. Here are some random thoughts.
At one point I thought I was stuck amongst the debris of an exploding, mainstream gay party. You know, where they pull out anything with Loletta Halloway's vocals and a disco ball and all that's missing are shirtless, sweaty chem users. I gave Finland a 5. But four of those points were for the acqua blue catsuit and the other one for the raunchy nose ring.
If you wanted real jumpsuit action though, you just needed to go to Azerbaijan. Golden, catchy and a bit can't you get out of my head choreography wise. I think it has a chance of polling well for the final. 8
Bosnia and Herzegovia
It's true, Bosnia was so dramatically GoT for a moment that I was waiting for Khaleesi to prise open the Sarajevo city gates and demand the freedom of any remaining slaves. Dramatic! 7.5
Oh Jüri was totally vamping it up alla David Bowie in his Berlin years but that was just the suit and the hair talking. Didn't mind the song but the lyrics were a bit clumsy in that adorable Eurovision kind of way. As they were for Georgia and Norway and a few other places. 7.5
Oh Dani Im. The Czech Republic tried to bring the year's power ballad to the party but let's be honest. It was your Bonnie Tyler meets Celine Dion power ballad and those vocals that gave everyone the chills! Loved it. In the context of Eurovision, that is. Which you should obviously win and ruin any chances that Australia will ever be invited back. You get a 9 because at one stage your outfit made me think of Björks swan dress and, had you have gotten your hands on it, your performance would have been impeccable.
Ok Latvia, let's chat. It started out promising. I liked your mala beads but I'm pretty sure your country is not known for its Buddhism. I also liked your strategically ripped skinny jeans. But I did not care for your pitchy singing. The music was kind of like a Justin Bieber take on electronica. The kind of thing you might put up with at 2 am if you're dancing away at some euroclub but, then at that point you're just dancing to burn off the alcohol. You get a 5 because I liked your floppy hair
Speaking of the biebs, if you threw him into a blender along with Skillrex, Robyn and Gwen Stefani, you'd come out with Bulgaria's Poli Genova. Her song was very Major Lazor-y at times but catchy and up, and has a bit of potential to cross over into the market I think. I think it could do well. 8 In any case it kept my spirits up after seeing a few shockers. Like Italy. I tried. But I just can't find it in me to be patriotic about them.
Listen Italy. Don't even bother. Go and play your San Remo game and leave Eurovision to the experts. Please take Macedonia and Ukraine with you this year. And Serbia, Greece, Spain and Lithuania. They were just... Subpar or confused this year.
I don't know how you think you're going to help me fly when you seem like you think you're a member of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I gave you six points for the wolves but I took them off you because I had to see you naked. It's a shame because at least you brought a real concept with you. Fine. That does deserve something. 3.5
Girlie, floral, princessy, romantic. Upbeat, dancey. You know it was nice not to bother with any English lyrics here. It was like taking an LSD trip because nothing was like I expected it to be. In the real Europe, Austria is a nasty neighbour to have. The kind of neighbour that slams its doors and gates to remind you that you can't come in and that they are pissed off. But I forgot about all that because I couldn't understand a single word of the song and because of that I finished watching it believing in love and peace and lip gloss.
There's flattering inspirations. And then there's the ones where you just know that after watching the German performance, artists like Kate Miller Hiedke don't want ANY of their stuff back. "Just keep all my ideas Germany as long as you never call me again!"
4 because she seems sweet.
I think the Jackson 5 and Bruno Mars both want their stuff back. And Beyonce's influence knows no limits. Ouuuccch 3
Robert Miles just called and said he too wants his stuff back. Maybe you can drop it off on your way in the time machine back to the backstreet boys. 3 : one point each for being Danish.
They don't need to win. It was like a golden statue almost came alive and found a voice. Almost. 4
I didn't hate it. Plus Amir reminds me of a friend of mine. But I didn't love it either. Voters will like it though. 7
Frans from Sweden obviously had the hometown advantage and pop runs through Swedish veins. Maybe if I was a 15 year old I might've gotten excited but, sorry, I felt like Sweden was a bit smug this year. I no like!! 7
The vibe. 5.
The hat. 5
Those lyrics. -100
Montenegro tried to bring the rock too. At one moment it felt a bit like Depeche mode had entered the building. +15 But the blonde chick kept distracting me from that. -5 Whatever vibe they were working on got lost somewhere a minute and a half in when I stopped watching haha. -5 so, total= 5
Actually it was Cyprus that brought the real rock vibe. That fantastic 90s rock behind prison bars with a bit of eyeliner and some goth vibes. Loved it. 8
But the crowds are going to love Freddie from Hungary: good looking, raspy six packs a day voice: whistling backing vocalists and a taiko drummer. Hello, that's how you potentially win Eurovision, people. 7.5 plus an extra half for the way he had his tshirt tucked in.
The pitch problems I could almost deal with. But the key change and that awful chorus. No, no, no. And all those references to natural phenomenon. No. No. No. 4
Oh Rykka I loved your dancing! That I'm bending down to get my glass move is hotness! 6
Ira Losco gave me the Mariah Careys visually but then she did what few other Eurovision acts this year. She pulled out the big weapon. The WIND MACHINE! She got 5 extra points for that but then I had to take them off for the Miminess of her appearance. 7.5
Iceland brought out the wind machine and the shadow theatre. It was almost a bit you're frozen when your heart's not open but then it got a bit too river dance meets kanto pop for me. 6
I wanted to like it. The blue and red thing annoyed me but then out came the pole and, well, the fireworks and I got distracted. Which country were we talking about again...?
Speaking of colour then we get Michal Szpak. Do you think he's a Chris Cornell fan off stage? Anyhow, this is the kind of performance you watch Eurovision for. It's a purist moment. The jacket. The hair. The vocals. The lyrics. More eurovisionary than Slovenia managed to pull of. 7
Hovi Star, like Szpak gave us pure Eurovision. The jacket. The hair! The vocals! But, he also brought the glitter and the eyeliner. I waited and waited for that song to take off into the stars and eventually it mostly did! 7.5
But then there was the white elephant of Europe. Russia. No country used the staging better than they did. The song didn't seem like much at the beginning but it took off and the performance got more and more interesting (well, it didn't exactly start out that interesting: the wings... Again?!) but in the end it was the most entertaining and memorable performance even in the song is a bit crap. 9 for the second part of the performance and the stepping on blocks etc.
Europe has a decision to make.
Russia. Or Australia.
(im also going to say that possible chances: Hungary, France, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria).
Dave Di Vito
Subscribe to the mailing list for information about upcoming releases and a free excerpt!
Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
For information about upcoming writing projects subscribe to the mailing list.
Dave hates SPAM so he won't trouble you with any of his own. He promises.