Having been sat on just the one song confirmed since before Christmas, the final week of January came along and trebled that number. Here’s a look back at all the latest Eurovision goings on from the last week
As the title suggests my main focus for this weekend was France’s one shot national selection, “Eurovision France, c’est vous qui décidez” (as titles go, what was wrong with Destination Eurovision?). With one of the strongest line ups we’ve seen this year Saturday night was always going to be a treat. Whether it was Andriamad doing their level best to give Eamonn Holmes David Blaine flashbacks or various national shirtless men (Scotland and Tahiti represent!) the show really had something for everyone.
The winner was decided in a needlessly convoluted 12 song initial round and an 8 song superfinal based on televote, a judging panel (mainly made of French folks trying to shill their latest wears) and a completely pointless – overall run time boosting – jury wildcard. However muddled the process, the overall winner could not have been clearer. Winning with both the jury (please buy my new album!) and televote this year’s French song will be Voila by Barbara Pravi.
Based on the online comments before, during and after the show Voila seems to divide people eliciting strong responses either way. A real ‘unnamed yeasty spread’ of a song. What cannot be denied is just how perfectly staged the three minute performance was. The dark, brooding mood building over the course of the song was perfectly replicated by what we saw on the screen. To some, it’s old fashioned or it’s boring. To some it’s a breath-taking, showstopper different to anything we’ve seen recently. Last time I remember seeing such comments was a wee Portuguese lad in 2017. And he did pretty well, eh?
Whilst the French show may have been a tad overwrought at least the general process was reasonably straightforward. The same cannot be said of KAN’s approach to finding which song Eden Alene would sing in Rotterdam for Israel. In the end an odd broadcast with the three music videos, interviews with those who wrote the song and a blatant disregard of effective mask technique produced Set Me Free as the winner. Whilst it’s perhaps more accessible than 2019’s Feker Libi it, along with the other two songs, lack the same impact. No doubt Eden with elevate it with the performance but the song itself may not be strong enough to stand out come May.
Our old favourites over the past few weeks, Norway and Lithuania, also continued their respective searches. Emmy’s Witch Woods (or Which Woods according to the captions) won the day to join MGP’s final. She saw off Big Daddy Karsten’s delightful expression of joy, Smile, and the little cockney chimney sweep alike Ole Hartz’s Norwegian drinking/football style chant Vi er Norge. Meanwhile, in Lithuania all the acts left that aren’t The Roop were left to fight it out for the chance to lose to the The Roop in next weekend’s co-roop-nation. Have I mentioned the fact I think The Roop will win?