THE YEAR OF ME, ME, ME
THE YEAR OF ‘LETS HAVE SOME GIANT-SIZED IMAGES OF ME’
THE YEAR OF ‘HEY, WHAT ABOUT A BACKDROP OF ME?’
Special mention to:
Let the Eurovision Song Contest begin!
1. MALTA. Michela. Chameleon.
Like her plastic sleeves. A Verka for effort.
2. ALBANIA. Jonida Maliqi. Ktheju tokës
Typical dramatic quality performance from Albania.
3. CZECH REPUBLIC. Lake Malawi. Friend of a Friend.
It’s the Czech Wiggles! He’s a human pogo stick! Cheery and colourful.
4. GERMANY. S!sters. Sister.
Power ballad duo
Big images of THEM! A hint of Meaghan Markle. Live performance better than studio version.
5. RUSSIA. Sergey Lazarev. Scream.
Sergey’s second attempt at the elusive Euro trophy. Moody midnight blue and mirrors. He’s in a box…rain is falling…now’s there’s lots of agonised Sergeys…in a whitewash nightmare of lightning and howling winds…a touch of Frankenstein’s monster about this. Classy.
Award for best lyrics: “I see rain on your fingerprints”. Ooooh, I misheard it. It’s actually “Acid rain from your fingerprints”. Shouldn’t it be finger tips? Fingerprints are kinda smudges on counters. Anyway, enough text analysis.
6. DENMARK. Leonora. Love is forever.
What can I say? She could be straight out of a psych hospital. So be nice to her. She’s joined by 4 other happy Danes of all hair colours sitting, swinging their legs on a gigantic chair in fairy land. Is the ladder inspired by Dihaj’s Skeletons a couple of years ago?
Get a grip, Denmark. No Verkas.
7.SAN MARINO. Serhat. Say Na Na Na.
Hey! Serhat the Turkish good-time dentist is back! And with his very own composition. Notable lyrics: “Be a hero, be the rainbow, and say na na na.” But Serhat, which rainbow am I supposed to be? Particularly like the way he rhymes ‘crazy’ with ‘crazy’ and then with ‘crazy’. 2 dudes in white tennis gear dancing around are just about perfect. This gets a big na na na from me.
8. NORTH MACEDONIA. Tamara Todevska. Proud.
Fine polo performance apart from the backdrop of Tamaras with their backs to us. Too earnest and heartwarming for me.
No Verkas, sorry. Oh, what the hell, give her half a Verka:
9. SWEDEN. John Lundvik. Too late for love.
I’ll be upfront. Not my kind of song. Solo dude in black t-shirt with 4 glam African women to boost the funk factor.
No Verkas. Well, give them half a Verka. I’m feeling overly generous:
10. SLOVENIA. Zala Kralj and Gašper Šantl. Sebi.
Love this. A doleful avatar in a white skivvy singing her heart out to a drum machine. Simple. Compelling. Original. I don’t know how she could stare into his eyes for almost the entire 3 mins. But she did. Another Eurovision success story cyber hook-up: he was looking for a singer and he found her. Go for it, Zala and Gašper!
11. CYPRUS. Tamta. Replay.
Again, not my kind of song. Her black leather look is very out there. An amusing nod to ‘Fuego’ from last year except it’s a beautiful blonde with short hair as opposed to a beautiful brunette with long hair. Well, it is called replay. Ironic, no?
Better give her half a Verka for consistency:
12. NETHERLANDS. Duncan Laurence. Arcade.
Man + piano framed by cloudy skies. Catchy chorus but wouldn’t rave about it. How wrong I can be.
A Verka for the song arc – really nice build:
13. GREECE. Katerine Duska. Better Love.
Not entirely sure. Middle of the road? Pop?
Just doesn’t mesh. Pink and yellow set with flowers galore. Weird sword fighting pink people. And a yellow fairy with a pink globe…how can it all be so ugly? Must surely win Barbara Dex award this year. Let me see… Oh. It was Portugal’s Conan Osiris, who didn’t make it to the final. I award it to the Greek team – particularly their set design – wholeheartedly.
No Verka. And I am quite sure about this decision.
14. ISRAEL. Kobi Marimi. Home.
Nice restrained genuine performance. But lose the backdrop of me me me.
15. NORWAY. KEiiNO. Spirit in the Sky.
Love love love this. Beautiful, rich song. Jubilant. Yearning. All things. And a Sami singer. And some Sami lyrics. Unforgettable.
16. UNITED KINGDOM. Michael Rice. Bigger than us.
Dance? Pop? Dance pop?
Dude in black leather with smoke machine and pink backdrop. Just him holding the song is nice to see. But then back up dancers arrive and complicate things.
No VERKAS for you, UK. But you’re used to it.
17. ICELAND. Hatari. Hatrið mun sigra
S & M bondage red black mohawks metallic electro- black platform boots, red chains, spherical cage and spikes. That about sums it up. A joke.
No Verka for you, Iceland.
18. ESTONIA. Victor Krone. Storm.
Good old pop song. A man sings. Good song. Good performance. Kind of a relief.
19. BELARUS. ZENA. Like it.
Again, not my kind of song. But very enthusiastic dancers. And it does start to grow on me.
20. AZERBAIJAN. Chingiz. Truth.
Very tech-savvy performance. Beating hearts. A hologram robot. Love this song. Azerbaijan does it again…тәбрик етмәк!
Makes me wonder – is this the year technology takes over? This isn’t a song contest any more. It’s a let’s-outdo-each-other-with-meaningless-special-effects contest. How do you judge a song when visual ingenuity is everything and the quality of the vocalist doesn’t seem to matter any more? Hmmmm. Discuss with examples. And leave your answers on my desk first thing Monday morning. Thank you.
21. FRANCE. Bilal Hassani. Roi.
Oh dear. No comment.
And no Verkas.
22. ITALY. Mahmood. Soldi.
Love this. Really catchy. Electric hand claps. And real hand claps. And the man in the tropical shirt can sing. Well, not so much tropical as brocade? Vaguely original in rhythm and orchestration. Good to see.
23. SERBIA. Nevena Ivanović. Kruna.
Traditional love song ballad
Beautiful singer. Beautiful voice. Production odd. Flecks of black and white and grey…now there’s a cosmic spiral. Yes?
24. SWITZERLAND. Luca Hänni. She Got Me.
Fun song. He can sing. He can dance. Done as a video clip with bright red background. Catchy.
25. AUSTRALIA. Kate Miller-Heidke. Zero Gravity.
Well… Consumate professional. Fabulous operatic voice. Not sure about the kebab sticks in space.
And remember…you cannot vote for your own country
26. SPAIN. Miki. La venda.
Love this. 2-storey 6 room house with a singer/dancer in each room. Really fun, colourful and vibrant! Go Spain. But lose the robot, please.