I sincerely hope all involved with Eurovision have been enjoying their day off, courtesy of Israel’s Memorial Day. I’m not in the slightest bit jealous of them enjoying the beach as I sit here in a drab, dreich Edinburgh. Nope, not jealous at all. Whilst they enjoy (a richly deserved) day off I thought now would be a good time to offer some thoughts from an ‘outside looking in’ perspective.
FRONT RUNNERS A’RUNNING
By this point last year we’d already seen a few of the favourites fall by the wayside in terms of a run for victory. Most notably Australia’s lonely staging and Mikolas Josef’s broken back took them both out of contention to win. Although we’re yet to see the automatic qualifiers, of those we have seen so far not one of the leading pack have lost ground. Switzerland & Cyprus still nailing the Fuego-like vibe, Russia have unsurprisingly kitchen sink-ed it and the Netherlands haven’t over egged the pudding. And crucially, Hatari are still playing the PR game perfectly. We may yet see Sodadream being sprayed from the podium come May 18th.
BUBBLES CAN BE BURST
Every year a few surprisingly well staged entries end up teasing the press bubble into talking up their chances. This is usually followed by them falling flat on their face. I believe at one point I touted AWS to win in Lisbon when in fact they only just qualified to the final. Our friends from the caucuses are doing exactly that this year with Azerbaijan & Georgia grabbing the attention thus far. As I write this Chingiz sits 4th with bookies to win the whole bloody thing! The money has followed the laser and robot show it would seem. Georgia have also been generating positive press noise and subsequently leapt up in the odds from 41st to… 40th.
Like everyone else across the Continent I’m only judging from the scant clips we’ve seen thus far. However, I’m still convinced Azerbaijan is nowhere near winning and Georgia ain’t getting any higher than 14th in the semi.
LED DOWN THE GREEK GARDEN PATH
I’ll admit that pre-Contest I was concerned the return of the LED screens would prevent the wild and wacky stage designs from making an appearance. How wrong I was! Greece have seemingly stuck with the circus theme of the video, now paired with an ornate floral Easter egg. Australia have double downed on the idea of ‘Zero Gravity’ with Kate Miller-Heidke herself, now floating without constraint. And Croatia…well you can tell Jacques Houdek has had his hand in this entry. Oh, and thank God Montenegro have ditched the awful musical notes motif. Still, not a hope of qualifying mind.
MIKA NEWTON INVENTED SAND
You’d think by the way she’s carrying on in her Instagram stories, this was the case. The Ukraine 2011 representative has repeatedly assured us she has nothing against Moldova bringing Kseniya Simonova back to the Contest despite, every tonal inflection indicating quite the opposite. Whilst bringing the same sand artist doing basically the same thing hardly hides the fact it’s a direct copy why the hell shouldn’t they try? Moldova know they have a bang average song so why not do what works? After all, it helped elevate a bang average song to a much higher finish in 2011!