The interval act, genial hosts struggling to speak French, Jon Ola Sand being awkward live on TV. There are some things about the Contest that are there year in, year out. Another would be the postcards. You’re always going to need that thirty second window to get those glitter cannons off and that massive school blackboard on. This year we had quite a neat concept from Ukraine. It started with the act & their delegations frozen backstage before flashbacking to them in their own country. We were then treated to a little bit of fun before returning backstage, the act unfreezing and proceeding to the stage for their performance. Much like the songs themselves these postcards can vary wildly in quality and like the songs they’re worthy of ranking.

 

Well, if we’re speaking truthfully not all the postcards are really worth ranking. There are a number of countries that need to put in a bit more effort. Yes, we know you rehearse & record the song. Yes, we know you probably have friends and you all go out for drinks. And, yes we know you’ve been told to wander through the nice bits of your capital city to make it look appealing to potential visitors. It’s your chance to impress the viewers before you sing a note so why not try something a little different. Greece, Poland, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Slovenia, Serbia, Lithuania, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany & France…buck up your ideas!

So going from worst to best here’s the first half of my postcard reviews

31st – HUNGARY 🇭🇺

This is one that only narrowly avoids the criminally dull section purely on the fact that at the end he says bye to his kids before he leaves for Kyiv. Schumltzy, but it worked.

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30th – ALBANIA 🇦🇱

Lindita as it turns out is a sporty little thing. Running, running, more running, and then throwing big ropes around the place. We also see her helping out her costume designers too, one wonders if an intervention could’ve been staged at this stage to stop the eventual mess from happening. She keeps doing that love heart thing with her hands too. Not that it worked, Europe did not heart her back.

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Feeling. Not. Mutual.

29th – ISRAEL 🇮🇱

Imri is contractually obliged to spend all his time in a vest. Clearly the Israelis knew what what their main asset was. If your muscular artist isn’t the greatest singer, just show off the physique and hope no one notices. Much like his pal from two years ago he’s also very keen on showing us his Tel Aviv. Lovely.

 28th – AUSTRALIA 🇦🇺

Isaiah looked every bit the gawky teen waiting backstage in his postcard. We see him performing a concert in a lovely black sequined jacket, the sort of thing you wouldn’t be surprised to see Mel or Sue wearing. And we then see him on his plane to Kyiv because just in case you’d forgotten Australia is far, far away.

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Awkward Expert Level: Standing Still

27th – BULGARIA 🇧🇬

Kristian celebrates his 17th birthday in his postcard. Reminding us all just how old we are. *shudders*.

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Nope.

26th – ARMENIA 🇦🇲

I don’t know of there’s some kind of quota the EBU have to meet or something but every year we have one postcard featuring an artist in a hot air balloon. Artsvik was this year’s floater. One feels that perhaps should’ve been reserved for the song that actually has a hot air balloon on stage. Have a word.

25th – MALTA 🇲🇹

This one has the hallmarks of a dull one but escapes for two reasons. Firstly Malta just looks so stunningly beautiful it captures my attention. Most importantly though Claudia does an amazing “I’m scared of a gym ball” face. Worth placing for that.

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24th – NORWAY 🇳🇴

Easily one of the stranger ones. It’s all normal at first: going out for drinks, rehearsing…attending a business conference? They find a creepy old farmer and his equally creepy scarecrow. They then go on to play an old folklore instrument. Someone saw Love Love Peace Peace didn’t they?

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So busy doing all this stuff they didn’t read the rule book, huh?

23rd – SWEDEN 🇸🇪

An un characteristic balls up from Swedish broadcasting. In the original shot we see Robin go to button up his jacket and then after the flashback he completes this before making for the stage. His song then starts ‘backstage’ and we have the moment of the backing dancer holding the mic whilst Robin buttons up his jacket again! When did he unbutton it? I know I’m being pedantic but normally the Swedes have thought of this kind of thing!

22nd – ICELAND 🇮🇸

Doesn’t matter which Icelandic location you get Svala in she just looks other worldly. Could be a volcano, a wardrobe, recording studio the woman just does what she wants. Damn straight!

21st – GEORGIA 🇬🇪

Like a number of artists we see Tamara shooting her video, designing her costume, in the studio. Basically it’s the “we have no fun ideas” postcard. There is, however, an incredible fake “Oh Tamara, you’re too much!” laugh from her producer. Points for that.

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20th – AUSTRIA 🇦🇹

As if there weren’t enough people cooing over just how cute Nathan was The Austrians opened their postcard with footage of toddler Nathan! Cute overload! He then immediately shakes off this image by going down to the local skate park and doing some graffiti. He’s such a bad boy!

19th – UKRAINE 🇺🇦

Yeh, we’re cool! We play basketball and we wear leather jackets and we ride in a car from the 1980s. Redeemed by the lead singer on scooters with his daughter and them both giving the rock horns together! Badass father and daughter pairing!

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18th – LATVIA 🇱🇻

Skipping, skateboarding, tandem bike riding! Triana Park are a lively old bunch. They all meet on a balcony and the drummer attempts to eat donuts with his drum sticks as if they were chopsticks. As one does.

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17th – BELGIUM 🇧🇪

Multi talented girl is our Blanche. She can sing, play piano, paint and even…sign her own name! Outside the London Preview Party of all places. Also a handy little shot of her at school just to remind the public she’s still just 17. Very clever!

16th – ESTONIA 🇪🇪

As if we were in any doubt that Koit and Laura could barely stand each other, in the postcard they do separate acitivies. Koit like tennis & motorobiking with Laura favouring jumping out of planes and looking into the middle distance. They eventually come together for a lovely meal but it’s still a fairly frosty looking affair. Even Val & Jim have more chemistry!

Check back later in the week for the best of this year’s postcards.

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