This very post is one of the reasons I started this blog several weeks ago. Last year I did a long Facebook status for people to follow during the Contest because I knew I’d be kinda busy…y’know, actually being there. So I got my bitchy, snarky comments all done and out of the way early so I could enjoy the show. And here we go again. A year on I’m doing the same but now with added GIFs! Yay! If you’re watching at home tonight let me guide you through the 26 vying to win the glass microphone and bankrupt their home TV station.
We’ll have an opening act featuring Ruslana, Ukraine’s last winner from 2004. And let me tell you having seen her recently in London what she lacks in vocal ability she makes up for in volume. We’ll then be introduced to the three host-bots, banter, banter, banter, tells us how to vote, little bit of French and then…
LET THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST BEGIN!
Imri Ziv – ‘I Feel Alive’
Imri calling this song ‘I Feel Alive’ could really come under trades descriptions for me because after such a dull three minutes I struggle to feel anything at all. It’s an acceptable opening as it is a little more upbeat than most of the songs but really there’s so little substance to this, I forget about whilst it’s still on. The performance is reasonably lively but it’s unlikely to remain in the memory after 25 more songs.
Kasia Mos ‘Flashlight’
Do you like Bond themes? Do you like songs that sound a bit like Bond themes but aren’t quite as good? Then you’ll love Poland! No tits or metrosexual Jack Sparrows this year. They’ve gone down a more serious but slightly less memorable route. No song has ever won from 2nd in the running order, not going to see that change tonight!
Naviband – ‘Story of My Life’ (Historyja majho žyccia)
How can two people be so happy? How is it possible? Artem & Ksenia are the most upbeat relentlessly cheery people ever to have graced a Eurovision stage. If you said to me Belarus have sent an upbeat folk pop song and I’d like it I’d laugh you away. But I do! I have fallen wholeheartedly in love with these two and Belarus! It’s lovely to see a Walnut Whip being used as a hair piece too!
Nathan Trent – ‘Running on Air’
Do you love the great, refreshing taste of Justin Timberlake? Then why not try Diet Timberlake…Nathan Trent! Well, I say diet but that’s really rather misleading because this is the most saccharin sweet song you could possibly dare to imagine. Trent is an accomplished performer and he does a decent job. The song really is pretty uninspiring but Nathan uses every last ounce of charm he has to sell it. Likeable but forgettable.
Artsvik – ‘Fly With Me’
Thanks to Artsvik’s backing dancers we’re seeing a welcome return of everyone’s favourite dance move ‘big fish, little fish, cardboard box’. What starts off a dark, mysterious fairytale ends as a fiery, fantastic, full-on performance. Jerky camera movements, flashy pyro bursts, backing dancers magically appearing…it’s got everything! It’s distinctively Eastern but accessible to the Western ear. Should do very well, top ten for Armenia!
O’G3NE – ‘Lights And Shadows’
No bitchy, snarky comments here I’m afraid. I’ve fallen in love with all three sisters here and their song as well. In every single performance & rehearsal these girls have been pitch perfect and not put a foot wrong. They look surprisingly different given they’re sisters (2 of them twins) highlighted by the 3 different takes on their glittery theme. Oh, by the way their name is pronounced ‘o jean’. Just so you don’t make an arse of yourself saying it out loud. I don’t know who’d do that… Seriously though, why stick a random ‘3’ in the middle!
The Sunstroke Project – ‘Hey Mamma’
Remember Epic Sax Guy? Well he’s back! The original meme was born of Moldova’s 2010 Eurovision entry and now returning to the Contest meme moment in hand. He’s back and he’s brought his sax so prepare to relive retro memes. I think this song is a pile of cheap cack but everyone else seems to like so what do I know really? And their stage show’s good, I’ll give them that. Reluctantly.
Joci Papai – ‘Origo’
“It’s great to hear other languages at the Contest” and “we don’t want all the songs to sound the same” are things that are oft said at Eurovision and things I don’t disagree with. But I cannot bloody stand this awful song. This feels like Jamala all over again for me. A strong Eastern vocal that just feels like fingernails down a blackboard to my ear. I look forward to not hearing this ever again after tonight.
Francesco Gabbani – ‘Occidentali’s Karma’
HARAMBE! Pre-Contest favourite with the bookies for many weeks until yesterday but still a strong shout for the win. Sometimes Francesco sways from cool, charismatic singer to nutty professor on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It’s a very delicate balance. Bit like the very best & worst excesses of David Tennant’s doctor. But it won’t be Francesco himself you’ll remember, that’ll be his pal.
Anja Nissen – ‘Where I Am’
Here we have Denmark. Denmark. Anja herself was born in Australia and won the The Voice Australia. The song has been written by Australian writers. They drink Fosters, not Carlsberg. They eat prawns, not bacon. They play with…Australian toys…not Lego. I ran out of Danish/Australian stereotypes there. They should be proud though, it’s a far superior entry to the actual Australian song. Sadly being slammed between two favourites means it’s likely to be forgotten.
Salvador Sobral – ‘Amar Pelos Dios’
This song is something else. Salvador is a truly unique performer and has brought a song so classy & timeless it stands out from any Eurovision entry for decades. This is three minutes of pure beauty. The movements are at times a little too left field but please do not be put off. Just let the music wash over you and hopefully you’ll agree that THIS. SHOULD. WIN.
DiHaj – ‘Skeletons’
Looks like Azerbaijan fancy galloping to victory this year! You remember when you were at school right? You were writing on the blackboard and there was the teacher standing on a ladder with a…well, you’ll see. This is an intense little three minute journey you’re taken on here. Vocally stunning, hard to take your eyes off it too. But again, something else on stage more memorable than the singer.
Jacques Houdek – ‘My Friend’
Now let me tell you my friend, if you think Azerbaijan might’ve been a little bit on the odd side you ain’t seen nothing yet. Here we have pop, opera, spoken word, a string instrument fight to the death, a glittery glove (just one), a castle on a hill and even a double rainbow. Nothing has been left at home with Jacques, it’s full on kitchen sink and then some with this boy. If you aren’t left with a smile on your face at the end of this you’re dead inside.
Isaiah Firebrace – ‘Don’t Come Easy’
“Ooh lovely…hummus, carrot sticks, 17 year old winner of The X Factor Australia: Isaiah Firebrace, what a lovely spread you’ve put on here”. We see the boy Isaiah rotate throughout the song like a heavily eye-browed donner kebab. This is a remarkably bland song that’ll get buried in the middle of the running order. Look out for the high note at the end too, in the semi it was less a high note more an existential squeal of panic.
Demy – ‘This Is Love’
This song should have had so much going for it, we should be thinking of Athens 2018 with a strong team behind it. The song itself is average but to be entirely honestly it’s sung bloody awfully. It’s all very well and good having topless men arseing about in a paddling pool in front of you but it doesn’t solve the problem of a very poor vocal. Just wait for the first note of the chorus, it’s utterly dreadful. It shouldn’t be in the final, it doesn’t deserve it.
Manel Navarro – ‘Do It For Your Lover’
I’m going to be honest with you, I’m going to plaigarise myself here. When looking at this song I wrote in my preview – “This young man wants me to do it for my lover. I do not have a lover but after three minutes of this tripe I want to acquire a lover and not ‘do it’ for them just to spite him”. This feeling hasn’t changed. It’s very flimsy, repetitive summery pop nonsense. Contender for last place.
JOWST – ‘Grab The Moment’
If by this stage in the evening you think you may need to go nip to the toilet or top up a drink then now would be the time. Oh, it’s great Norway have sent a wonderfu modern song with sampling and blah blah blah. It’s dull! I’m sorry but it is a frightfully boring song. I cannot possibly see why anyone would pick up the phone for it. But they will. Just to spite me. Bland pish.
UNITED KINGDOM 🇬🇧
Lucie Jones – ‘Never Give Up On You’
We’re the UK. We don’t do well. We come near the bottom. We can’t succeed, we can’t even get on the left hand side of the leaderboard. I am telling myself this over and over again, I can’t get my hopes up. We actually we have a decent song sang by an amazing singer that’s staged incredibly well. It’s sixth favourite with the bookies, it should do well. But y’know…it’s the UK. So who knows? Probably still going to end up nearer 24th than 4th!
Hovig – ‘Gravity’
I don’t know if you’ve been absent mindedly singing a song then you realise it’s the wrong tune? It would seem young Hovig was meant to sing Human by Rag’n’Bone Man but instead has just sang his own song over it instead. Great performance though, I’ve had a soft spot for this song for a long time. It’s also clear he’s bean on a corporate away day and learned a new trust exercise with his pals. You’ll know when you see it.
Ilinca ft. Alex Florea – ‘Yodel It!’
It’s half yodeling. Half rap. With soupcon of pop and ballad thrown in there too. For many it would seem it’s a marriage made in heaven, for me it’s more of a muddle. I’ll be honest with you, this is a song I need to be drunk to enjoy. Thankfully for Romania running in 20th this shouldn’t be problem. Look out for a certain glittery weapon that never get’s used too! If the UK televote doesn’t give this at least 10 points I’d be amazed.
Levina – ‘Perfect Life’
Do you enjoy the music of David Guetta? Well you are in for a treat as Germany give us a song that for legal reasons is definitely not Titanium. They don’t get Titanium in Germany. They’ve never heard of it, honest guv. To be fair only a little bit of the song sounds like Titanium, the problem is the rest of it that doesn’t…is dull. It’s got a nice silvery staging and a decent singer but sadly this seems wasted on a poor song.
O.Torvald – ‘Time’
It’s good to see someone’s giving us head this evening. It’s quite a big one as well! I’ve turned this post into a Carry On film all of a sudden. But out of 26 songs tonight (and 42 counting the two semis) this is the only rock song. So much for celebrating diversity! In their national selection they simulated the lead singer being shot on stage, they’ve abandoned that for Kyiv though. Probably a sensible move. Not going to trouble for the win but a welcome relief for those who enjoy something with a bit more edge.
Blanche – “City Lights”
I cannot remember the last time I saw someone look so frightened of a microphone. To be fair Blanche is only 17 but this song has been something of a struggle these last few weeks. The problem we have here is an amazing song sung by a singer who seems to lack faith in her own ability. I implore you after tonight to go and look up the studio version because it is fabulous. Just hope Blanche can get through one more night. She should be incredibly proud.
Robin Bengtssson – ‘I Can’t Go On’
Many say the Swedes are good at producing conveyor belt pop, well it would seem someone took that a little too literally this year. Robin Bengtsson’s ‘I Can’t Go On’ is a slick and well produced entry if not a cold and soulless. It’s catchy though and running so late could help it. Also uses the word ‘freaking’ in the chorus…it wasn’t that in the original. Potty mouth.
Kristian Kostov – ‘Beautiful Mess’
I do not get this song, I really don’t get the appeal. (It’s currently 3rd favourite to win) Saying that, I really don’t think I’m meant to. I’m not young Kris’ target audience. I think it’s a little too slow and maudling to be winner. Saying that I said a certain song last year was far too maudling to win and y’know…now it’s in Ukraine. Also in massively depressing news Kris is the first Eurovision artist to be born this decade. The year 2000. He was born in the year 2000. The MIllenium Dome. The London Eye. Him. Truly terrifying.
Alma – ‘Requiem’
And that’s it! We’ve made it to the end. Well I say the end, we’ve still got a protracted interval sequence then several hours of voting but in terms of songs we have reached our completion. And I don’t know what gives it away but there may well be a little clue that this is song is from France. You should be able to notice something in the background…it’s a bit of an eyeful! Nice enough but conveniently won’t detract from Bulgaria before it.
We’ll then be ‘treated’ to sparkling banter from the hosts. Jamala will be performing her new single. Which I am utterly thrilled about. Yay. We’ll also get ONUKA, a Ukrainian electro-folk band. And a man in a hamster wheel.
Just as the scores are to be announced we’ll go to this firing ball of charisma…
Then…it will be the moment of truth. The spokespersons of the 42 participating nations will deliver their jury score. Then host-bot 1 and host-bot 2 will deliver the televoter scores as host-bot 3 remains in the dinosaur eggs talking to the competitors. Slowly but surely the chances of 25 nations will be dashed leaving only one winner to perform again!
And finally, after weeks and months of speculation we’ll definitely know we’re gong to Milan! Or Lisbon or Sofia. Or Yerevan, Brussels, Bucharest or Amsterdam?