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Source: (consider it) Thread: Eurovision 2017
Clint Boggis
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# 633

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UK: Well-sung and presented but doesn't stand out.

I already prefer Cyprus' effort.
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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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"One of our strongest entries in recent years" (paraphrased).

But, is it a strong and stable entry?

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Clint Boggis
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# 633

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Romania: You don't find many rap/yodelling songs and this is the best I've heard.
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tessaB
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# 8533

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It's a very small pool however [Biased]

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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Well done Ukraine, best rock song since Lordi.

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balaam

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# 4543

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There is nothing like putting emotion into your music. And Belgium's entry is nothing like it: well wrong emotion, she looks terrified.

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tessaB
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# 8533

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Oh rather liking Sweden!

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tessaB
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tessaB
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# 8533

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I'm sorry but how can this boy possibly be this confident when he was born in this century ! Does his mother know he is out?

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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It's all been downhill since Croatia.
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tessaB
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# 8533

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There is a distinct absence of over the top camp lunacy this year. I rather miss it. No old grandmothers or buxom milkmaids. And France is even singing some of the words in English! This is not the Eurovision I know and love/despise.

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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Many things missing.

Key change songs - which never win, maybe word has got out.
Mid song costume changes.

But others were there:

Mad costumes - horses head and a dancing gorilla.
Verse in native language, chorus in English, check.
Impassioned serious ballad.
Token rock song, usually rubbish, this year not.
And the bonkers. Surf/reggae, bot band/opera and rap/yodel.

Nearly everything was there. And an interval act wearing underwear and chain mail. Odd or what?

I enjoyed this years show. My highlight was laughing out loud to Croatia's song. It would have been brilliant if it was meant to be funny.

My favourite song was Austria, so that has no chance?

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balaam

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# 4543

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I fogot the skimpy costume and even less talent award, which this year goes to Greece.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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I quite liked Spain, who so far have scored 0, which says everything about how in tune I am with the way the juries think.

Croatia was OK, but too poppy. You want to play rock, play rock. It worked for Lordi.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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No, not Croatia, it's late. Whoever did the rockyish one anyway.

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balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
It worked for Lordi.

Yes I agree, poppy rock is not liked by anybody, which explains why Brian Adams and Bon Jovi never had any success. [Biased]

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balaam

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Best backing music award goes to Denmark.

Laid back ambient electronica of the type played at the Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza. Really nice.

Unfortunately it was spoiled by a woman singing over the top of it.

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Banner Lady
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I predict Romania's rap-odelling fusion will be bouncing around the Nashville circuit very soon.

Well done to the sweet guy from Portugal.
Do they have a car sales show room big enough for Eurovision in Lisbon?

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orfeo

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# 13878

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In a fit of procrastination and obsessive-compulsiveness, I've decided to give my reviews in order of placing. After watching them again, as much as I can stomach it.

26. SPAIN - I'm delighted this did badly, because I hated it. So many things were tonally off. Not only were they trying to be Hawaiian and failing (with deeply tacky background graphics), but the backing acoustic guitarists were trying to pull off rock guitarist moves. And repeating "do it for your lover" over and over doesn't make a chorus.

25. GERMANY - The song had potential. The singer was nowhere near up to the task.

24. UKRAINE - A pop-rock verse combined with a heavier-rock chorus. And the tonal shift just did not work for me, or apparently for most people. I think they would've been better off picking one style or the other and really going for it.

23. ISRAEL - Sigh. If I turn the volume down, this is by far the hottest act in the show and I'm a very happy boy. Unfortunately, with the sound up things aren't quite as good. Grand final nerves might have made it worse, and performing in position 1 never helps.

22. POLAND - This time we have a quality singer. The song, though, is a bit average, with too much of it on the same level of energy. It lacks light and shade. Again, performing early probably didn't help with the voting.

21. CYPRUS - You're asking for trouble when a song called "Gravity" is this ponderous. He's supposed to be a good looking guy, but to me not as nice as Israel plus he can't sing any better.

19=. DENMARK - Danish via Australia, but sadly I can't get wildly enthused about it. Kind of decent pop song, kind of decent voice which seems to be a bit pitchy for the final. Was always destined for a middling finish. Having said that... definitely better than anything else below it.

19=. GREECE - Come on. How many of these points came from Cyprus? Singing is off-key, staging is lame, the song's shift in gears makes no musical sense.

18. ARMENIA - I thought this one was quite interesting. A good voice, a magnetic stage presence. However, the song did have some weak spots. Still, I thought this might do a bit better.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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17. BELARUS - I liked this better in the final than in the semifinal. But stylistically it's not really my thing, so it's hard to judge how well they actually performed. Final position suggests audience was not bowled over.

16. AUSTRIA - Did fairly well with the juries, but totally bombed with the audience. I'm surprised. I thought it was a pretty nice song and nearly gave it a vote. But maybe that's the problem: maybe lots of people kind of liked it and not nearly enough liked it enough. In hindsight, yeah, not amazing.

15. UNITED KINGDOM - Another one that did better with the juries. I gave it some votes (the lowest ranked of those I picked). The staging was utterly gorgeous. I guess the song itself and the performance wasn't quite there, perhaps more of a stage musical performance than a pop one. Still, I definitely felt it deserved a better placing than this. I really don't think direct entry into the final does the "Big 5" any favours (though this was the only one of the "Big 5" I remotely liked this year anyway).

14. AZERBAIJAN - I'm intrigued by this one and gave it a vote. The dark, edgy music immediately grabs me. Unfortunately the singing isn't quite magnetic enough (though in some respects it was better in the final than the semifinal), and the staging didn't really work.

13. CROATIA - Ugh. Apparently a segment of the audience loves this kind of "novelty" and thinks it's terribly clever. Sure, it's clever if it actually gets used properly, instead of for a song that starts with a terrible spoken introduction and never improves from there. Tacky and cheesy. Awful staging too. I'm proud of myself for sitting through all 3 minutes.

12. FRANCE - Quite a strong audience score, but it didn't do anything for me. It felt like a fairly dull stream of words, and I don't think that's just because a lot of it was foreign. And I know it wasn't just because it was at the end, either, given how good the second-last song was.

11. NETHERLANDS - Inoffensive. And bland. Grabbed the Wilson Phillips tribute band vote but that's not a big enough demographic for victory.

10. NORWAY - Quite a groovy song (and in fact it turns out the main person here is the masked musician, not the vocalist), but I think it was held back by the vocal performance, which is serviceable but not up with the best. I might go looking for the studio version actually...

9. AUSTRALIA - Oh dear. We did great with the jury, but utterly bombed with the audience. Was this affected by the stage invasion, by a bloke in an Australian flag who turned out not to be Australian? Sigh. We'll never know. I don't think it would have won anyway, but it was a good performance (better, I think, than the semifinal). If I look away from the television, this ended up being a highlight. I question the staging though. Giant Isaiah pictures seemed a bit of a wankerish move.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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8. HUNGARY - On a second listen (first was the semifinal), I really rather liked this... right up until the moment he started rapping. A really good voice, and an effective 'ethnic' sound, so why the hell would you go and break the tone like that?

7. ROMANIA - I was never going to like this, but I could kind of appreciate it and I expected it to be quite popular. I felt they performed slightly better in the semifinal though. Also, "rapodel" is a word now.

6. ITALY - Apparently this was the favourite for a long time. I can only assume the YouTube video is amazing, because as a live performance it was a tacky melange of stupid phrases, weakly sung and accompanied for no reason by a gorilla. Even the introduction video struck a questionable tone.

5. SWEDEN - Okay, so he's attractive and there was a real strut to this. But the song itself was really lame.

4. BELGIUM - I knew this was a popular choice. I've no idea why. In this case the song was okay, but the singer had no stage presence whatsoever and not much voice either.

3. MOLDOVA - Finally we're at the good stuff. I fully agree with the top 3. If you're going to do a fun, ever-so-slightly cheesy Eurovision entry, this is how to do it. The staging, the performance and the song all worked together and had the same tone. And easily the best use of backing singers in the competition.

2. BULGARIA - One of the best songs. And a pretty good singer, though I do think he was a little off-key in the final at times. Still it doesn't seem to have done him much harm. Another case of everything matching in mood and tone, and it's that presentation of a complete package that is so vital to success in this competition.

1. PORTUGAL - The inevitable winner. Seriously, from hearing it in the semifinal I was pretty sure, and as soon as it came up again in the final it was clear to me. I'm not even sure how much I like the song. For starters it's about 60 years out of its time zone. And yet... its charms are nigh on irresistible. Every other song in the competition seems like sound and fury in comparison. This is just a man, standing on a little stage instead of a big one, and quietly asking everyone to stop and enjoy a simpler life for a moment. It's like Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" transferred into Portuguese, and there's a childlike wonder to it. See you in Lisbon.

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
9. AUSTRALIA - Oh dear. We did great with the jury, but utterly bombed with the audience. Was this affected by the stage invasion, by a bloke in an Australian flag who turned out not to be Australian? Sigh. We'll never know.

I think we do know.

Here are the votes, broken up by televoting and jury. First Semi-Final, Australia - 2nd in Jury points; 15th out of 18 with only 21 [!] points in Televoting. We only made it through to the final because of the Jury.

Isaiah may have a fine voice but, to me, the song was instantly forgettable. I was playing with my phone while it was on and I had made sure this was the first time I heard it [agree the staging was odd - last year's simplicity was great]. And it seems the audience felt it was forgettable too.

I do agree with you on Israel's relative hotness though. I did enjoy act 1.

And I thought Austria would do better...but then my favourite, apart from this year, never gets near the podium.

[ 14. May 2017, 05:12: Message edited by: Ian Climacus ]

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
6. ITALY - Apparently this was the favourite for a long time. I can only assume the YouTube video is amazing, because as a live performance it was a tacky melange of stupid phrases, weakly sung and accompanied for no reason by a gorilla. Even the introduction video struck a questionable tone.

I rather enjoyed his introduction video. [Hot and Hormonal]

I liked the song...yes it had silly phrases and he may not have the strongest voice [but when has Eurovision been about that?] but it was a song that got me moving a bit and stuck in the mind -- good for remembering to vote. Agree entirely the staging ruined it.

Echo entirely with your comments on the top 3.

And I am so happy to have a non-English lyrics song win, and such a simple one compared to the staging of others. Hopefully there may be a bit less anglais in 2018; I do like a song in another language.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
Here are the votes, broken up by televoting and jury. First Semi-Final, Australia - 2nd in Jury points; 15th out of 18 with only 21 [!] points in Televoting. We only made it through to the final because of the Jury.

Ah. Hadn't yet thought to see how we did in the semifinal.

That honestly makes me feel better, knowing the final results were on trend with the semifinal.

EDIT: It certainly wasn't up to the standards of "Sound of Silence". But in my opinion nothing this year was at the same level as the very best of the last few years, including last year's top 2.

[ 14. May 2017, 05:22: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
he may not have the strongest voice [but when has Eurovision been about that?]

Honestly, I think it's a lot more about that than people consciously realise. It's not absolutely necessary to have the very strongest voice, but the voice has to be competent and work with the song, be part of the package. The results in the last few years do, in my view, tend to show this.

It's all about not pulling people out of the experience you're trying to create.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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It's really interesting to go back and see some bits of the music videos, from a couple of months ago when people were picking favourites. Some that I didn't think much of live are immediately better in that studio context, e.g. Belgium.

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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Ian Climacus:
he may not have the strongest voice [but when has Eurovision been about that?]

Honestly, I think it's a lot more about that than people consciously realise.
Good point. I am a musical ignoramus and don't think much upon what goes into a good song; but a good, or competent, voice is clearly part of the performance.
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Ian Climacus

Liturgical Slattern
# 944

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What do we think of Eurovision Choir of the Year? I guess we can expect excellent singing...and acrobatics from the preview!
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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by balaam:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
It worked for Lordi.

Yes I agree, poppy rock is not liked by anybody, which explains why Brian Adams and Bon Jovi never had any success. [Biased]
This was way poppiet than them.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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I think Karl is right. It was like Bon Jovi have Harry Styles as lead singer. Not good.

The song I did think could have been great. But it needed someone who is past puberty to sing it.

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Miffy

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# 1438

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quote:
Originally posted by Clint Boggis:
Romania: You don't find many rap/yodelling songs and this is the best I've heard.

Missed the lot this year; just been catching up. I'm thinking of playing the winning song to our Portuguese dog to see how she reacts. That dog has taste.

As for rapodelling- pah!! That's old hat. A certain Herr Alpenhorn and his Swiss Miss Belles were on to that donkey's years ago. Prob incarcerated in the bowels of Limbo or Oblivion by now, poor chap. Hmmm....wonder if I can claim royalties? [Biased]

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leo
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# 1458

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The Portugese guy made a good acceptance speech lamenting the dearth of decent music - it being overtaken by musack.

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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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Yes, but then he obviously thought the contest was about real music...

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Banner Lady:
Yes, but then he obviously thought the contest was about real music...

I'm actually rather sick of the notion that it isn't. Who made this rule up? Probably someone who just hated pop music.

I mean, we're talking about the WINNER of the contest here, so maybe he did in fact understand what the contest was about. As did the winner last year, who penned a powerful song about a World War II massacre.

[ 16. May 2017, 17:49: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Hugal
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The original idea for the contest was to bring the countries of Europe together in contemporary song contest after the war. The basic idea is that the song should be contemporary, I think that has changed somewhat. With the charts being less important and people being able to download the music they want at any time contemporary music has a very wide definition.

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Gill H

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# 68

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Welcome one and all to the night of sheer lunacy that is the Eurovision final. We start with a shot of traditional Ukranian beads which are bouncing around the country and coming to settle in Kyiv – and yet again I’m wondering if Pandora jewellery has a tie in with the contest.

Next there’s a flag procession, where the contestants are ‘beamed up’ on stage in a shower of glitter, and our three hosts introduce themselves. Once again, poor old Timur didn’t get the memo and is wearing the sensible suit. Presumably this is so he will stand out better in the green room, where no-one is wearing anything remotely sensible. The other two are in glittery jackets straight out of Hi-di-Hi. And without too much blethering, we’re straight into the contest with…

Israel: he’s a moody guy in black singing an instantly forgettable dancy pop number. Things perk up a little when he’s joined by two lads in thermal underwear dancing alongside him – but not much.

Poland: she’s lost half her top, but that’s not the most distracting thing on stage. That would be the parade of starry creatures on the screen behind her. It looks like she’s trying to find her patronus. Her brother bashes away valiantly on the violin, but her strident singing just sounds like she’s trying too hard.

Belarus: a jolly little folky tune with plenty of ‘hey, hey, hi yo yos’ sung by a cute couple in white. He has lace on his guitar, for some reason, although I suppose it may be mildew. For some unexplained reason they are standing on an airboat with big fans which – unlike in the semi-final – don’t move at all. I rather like this song, and at least they’re smiling.

Austria: it’s the Dreamworks boy! He’s sitting on a crescent moon, singing about ‘running on air’. I won’t even try to figure out the scientific basis for that. It’s sort of Jamiroquai lite, if you can imagine such a thing. Pleasant enough but not a winner.

Armenia: she sings ‘fly with me’ backed by the Armenian answer to Pepsi and Shirley, whose armography is impressive. It’s like she’s saying “Look at me, I’m so famous I have staff to do my vogueing for me”.

Netherlands: love this one. Three sisters singing a country ballad dedicated to their mother, in flawless three part harmony. Very reminiscent of Wilson Phillips’ ‘Hold On’.

Moldova: another slice of fun from previous entrants The Sunstroke Project. It’s sort of a take on ‘Shape of You’ featuring an epic sax player and a very silly dance move. The girls manage a tricky costume change, their dresses becoming bridal outfits as they twirl. Can’t quite shake the suspicion that the lead vocalist is actually Simon Pegg in disguise.

Hungary: a big guy with a topknot and a very glitzy matador jacket (which is new since the semi-final – maybe it was at the cleaners). As well as singing and even rapping, he drums on a handy water jug. And while our hero is gettin’ juggy with it, a lively gipsy girl dances around him, finishing with her hands round his chest in a pose that reminds us of the 1970s Denim aftershave ads. For the Hungarian who doesn’t have to try … too hard …

We’re just about to go to song 9, and so Graham introduces the tradition he started last year. Terry Wogan apparently gave him the sterling advice “Never start drinking before song 9” and so it’s at this point that Graham, and the viewers, lift their glasses and toast Terry’s memory.

And indeed, song 9 is one Terry would have extracted a great deal of bewildered enjoyment from. Yes, it’s …

Italy: the bookies’ favourite but unfortunately it fails to translate to the stage. Having seen a translation of the lyrics, I can report with reasonable confidence that it’s a song making fun of western culture’s appropriation of eastern mysticism. Or to put it another way, a song peppered with words like ‘karma’, ‘nirvana’ and featuring a dancing gorilla. Maybe that bit got lost in translation somewhere. The audience are loving it though, joining in the shout of “Namaste – allez!” but I think most of the viewers are still awaiting enlightenment.

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Posts: 9115 | From: London | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gill H

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Denmark: OK so she’s Australian, but she still has to sing slightly mangled English. “Your love is repeating” is not the most enticing lyric ever.

Portugal: ah, bless. Sweet Salvador – who has inspired the hashtag ‘Salvadorable’ with his 1970s laid back jazz and his incomprehensible hand gestures. Strangely heart-warming, not least for being so completely un-Eurovision. He’s getting my vote.

Azerbaijan: completely bonkers. There’s a man with a horse head on, standing on top of a ladder. A woman writing random words on a chalk board. Oh, and a song about skeletons or something. Classic Eurovision lunacy.

Croatia: and tonight, Matthew, I’ll be Meatloaf … and Pavarotti! Truly an epic Eurovision entry. He sings half the song in a cheesy pop voice and half in an operatic voice. Not only that, but he’s dressed in half a leather jacket and half a tux. If they ever do “Twoface: The Musical” he’ll be first in line.

Australia: young Isaiah is only 17, and he does a decent job. He’s sorted out his nerves from the semi-final and doesn’t mess up the big note this time. I’m still transfixed by his scary eyebrows though.

Some green room chat from Timur. “Hey guys, give yourselves a cheer!” (No-one does. Oops.)

Greece: she’s called Demy. Any relation to the sadly missed Demis Roussos? Her song even contains the words “Forever and ever and ever…” However, she couldn’t look more different to the King of the Kaftan. And I bet he never performed alongside two men splashing around in a footbath. I think they’re meant to be swans. Matthew Bourne might want to phone his lawyer as they seem to have nicked his choreography for Swan Lake.

Spain: you know how almost every country goes for a Spanish feel to their music at least once in Eurovision? Well, make that every country except Spain. They’ve gone on a reggae-infused holiday, complete with virtual surfboards and a camper van which starts rocking to the rhythm. Let’s just say, if this van’s rockin’ don’t bother voting for Spain. The chorus consists of “Do it for your lover” – er, no thanks boys.

Norway: a cheerful chap who’s borrowed Pharrell Williams’ hat, and brought along some scary chaps in glittery full-face masks. Are they the next Doctor Who baddies? The song is an upbeat number about ‘grabbing the moment’. Did he say “Got a pocketful of prawns?”

Oh look, the Glitter Twins are back! There’s a comedy sketch in which last year’s host, the wonderful Mans from Sweden, tries to teach them how to host, featuring the obligatory training montage. It just reminds me how genuinely funny the hosts were last year.

Never mind, we’re back with:

UK: Lucie’s in a gold dress and does a fine job of our song. She’s a musical theatre bod so the stage holds no terrors and there are no wobbly notes – just a great performance of a decent song. Whether it will be different enough to stand out from the others, time alone will tell.

Cyprus: hey, Rag & Bone Man called, he wants his backing track. The song’s about gravity, and he’s determined to defy it, flinging himself into the arms of his backing dancers. It’ll get 12 points from Greece of course, but I don’t think many others will take it to their hearts.

Romania: another classic gem. Probably the only yodelling/rap crossover we’ve all heard in many a year. They’ve brought on two cannons, which rather suspiciously do nothing at all. I wonder whether they were a threat to ensure they got to the final. The song is splendidly bonkers, and is destined to stick in our heads for a good while.

Germany: a chirpy blonde sings a happy little stomper about her ‘Perfect Life’. Completely forgettable. They really don’t want to host again for a while.

Oh, Timur is back in the green room, with a plug for the Eurovision Choir of the Year. Who knew this was a thing? And do Australia want to muscle in on that as well?

Ukraine: a very rocky number, in contrast to most of the evening. They perform with a freaky giant head. I suspect they won’t be hosting twice in a row.

Belgium: a glum-looking girl singing a doomy ballad. She’s called Blanche, although her voice is so low she’s more of a Dorothy if you ask me. She looks as if she can’t wait to get off the stage, so at least we have something in common.

Ooh, the boys are back and this time one has a black suit and the other a white one.

Sweden: calling your song ‘I Can’t Go On’ is a brave move. As is using the word ‘freaking’ repeatedly, a mere ten years after it was cool. That’s cutting edge in Eurovision terms. The song is chart-friendly Bruno Mars style pop, and features men in suits walking through the studio and performing on treadmills. A bit like a version of Peter Kay’s ‘Amarillo’ but without Ronnie Corbett falling over.

Bulgaria: yet another 17 year old lad. Was there a Eurovision inspired baby boom 17 years ago? His song is ‘A Beautiful Mess’. And so is its title (sorry, couldn’t resist). His high notes are better tonight, and lots of people in the hall seem to like this, but it doesn’t do it for us.

France: she’s singing in front of a projection of the Eiffel Tower, just in case you forget which country this is. Then for no reason a twister appears on the screen and half of Paris flies off. Sadly this is far more interesting than the song she’s singing.

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Posts: 9115 | From: London | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gill H

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# 68

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And that’s the end of the songs. Verka and her mum are back to open the voting, and then it’s time to make a cuppa.

The interval song is by Ruslana, the only previous winner for Ukraine. Back then she was dressed in a skimpy leather costume, brandishing a whip in true warrior princess style. This time she’s gone for chain mail. Maybe she’s into historical recreations. She’s backed by some scary long haired guys in leather jackets, and appears to be singing ‘love is oregano’ at one point.

Then we have a ‘history of Ukranian music’ by a woman who’s tried to make her own storm trooper costume. Timur then interviews some random Aussie bloke, and then the Junior Eurovision winner appears, but as usual doesn’t actually get to sing. Instead we get Jamala again with a rather dull ballad, interrupted by a streaker wrapped in an Australian flag (though he later turns out to be Ukranian) who is bundled off the stage pronto.

And with that the lines close and it’s time to reveal the jury votes. We get quite a few votes from a surprisingly large number of juries. True, most of them aren’t in double figures, but we do get 12 points from the Australian jury which is nice. At the end of the jury vote, we’re on the left-hand side of the scoreboard, even if it’s not as near the top as we’d have wished.

Then it’s time for the results of the phone vote, and they confirm what the jury votes had indicated – everyone has fallen in love with Portugal’s wistful little jazzy number. It’s pretty much the antithesis of a formulaic Eurovision winner. No fancy staging, no glitzy outfit, no catchy hook. Just a sincere performance of a simple song.

And indeed it seems even more of a surprise to Salvador himself. His sister (who wrote the song) has to explain to him that yes, he’s actually won. With a bewildered grin he mounts the stage and delivers a joyful though garbled speech about this being a victory for real music, which is apparently about feelings rather than fireworks. Um, might want to be a little more gracious to your fellow contestants, Salvador, but we get the picture.

The evening ends with Salvador being joined by his sister for another performance of the winning song. And no, I still can’t hum it. But I’m glad for Portugal, who have their first win after 53 years of competing. And we came 15th, which is pretty credible given our performance in recent years.

And so it’s time to pack away the vodka, and start saving for a nice bottle of port for next year’s contest. See you then!

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