Sunday, May 15, 2016

Eurovision 2016

It's the 61st Eurovision song contest and more importantly it's the 6th annual Eurovision Rant. Let's get this party started! (As I was unable to watch live last night, I am blogging whilst watching the whole show on the iplayer. I don't normally write as I watch, I normally take notes and then type it up, but that would take way too much time. So there will be a lot of short sentences, and random comments, and it's probably going to be a slight mess, but here goes nothing.)

So, the flag ceremony, minus flags and instead with weird toilet paper outfits, and models who look like they have no pants on underneath. The flags are projected on the screens and walls too, so the weird Gaga rejects seem a bit superfluous. She's carrying boulders and another one's carrying a teddy bear. One looked like an octopus. It's a fashion show for white and beige. The only colours allowed. Well that really was an opening ceremony. A fashion show for Silent Hill?

I can't believe it's finally being televised in the US. You crazy cats, what are you letting yourself in for?

So, here we go, the highlight of every May. Let the best song win.......well.......a song will win.
The theme is: Come together. *Tries to hold in laughter*

1. Belgium
Time warp. Sounds like a lot of other songs and she's flat, a lot. But she's having a lovely time and you can't deny the energy. Feels a bit Bruno Mars.

2.Czech Republic
Go Czech Republic. 1st time in the finals. Dramatic opening. Can't deal with her shit hand dancing though. She should have just invited some random dancers on stage to help. Decent voice. Her outfit's a bit wedding dress-ish though. Classic chorus lyrics, just repeating 'I stand'. And wind machine to finish. Oh and she took her bobble out too. Impressive.

3.Netherlands
Waiting for the pause.......
Ticking clock, that would drive Andrea mad. Yay, actual musicians, and harmonies. Cheesy as fuck though. The look at the camera. Feel like I'm back in the mid-west. Quiff that looks a bit grey - it might just be the lighting. So inoffensive. I sort of want to pat them all on the head.
Here it is. The silence. Mouths I love you in the pause. Want to smack him in the face. You'd think he was a Nashville regular or something.
Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy Doritos.

4.Azerbaijan
What are wearing? You're not J-lo. Oh dear. Pitchy as Ken.
It's gonna take a miracle for her to sing in key. Backing dancer wearing American Football pads. Funny, but not making her sing any better. She's a bit stationary too, but that could be the skin tight, beige bodysuit. She's got her spot and she's sticking to it. Oh, the ending. No. No. No.

5.Hungary
Gruff. Needs to clear his throat. You just don't hear enough whistling these days.
Monk bashing a drum. Now this is why we watch Eurovision.
I would like to see whoever was playing the Glockenspiel along with the whistles. I love a Glockenspiel. Not one bit of this fits together and his voice sounds on the verge of breaking, but it does weirdly work.

6.Italy
My second country. Let's see what they pull out the bag. I did get a bit carried away trying to translate some of it. I'm not going to City lit one evening a week for nothing. But then I became distracted by the whole, I'm a tree thing.
Oh and now she's singing in English and I really do understand it.
I pluck an onion?
Bizarre but cute.

7. Israel
Side quiff. Shiny glove. Great voice. Bit generic. Not just shiny gloves, shiny top too. Oh I get it, we're made of stars, and so is he. Yay, completely unnecessary spinning hoop with two people in it getting dizzy. No vomit please. To be fair though, it does get a little boring - I zoned out there - so maybe the spinny hoop thing was necessary. The hoop is now discarded on the floor, where did they go? Oh, now there's a lighty up hoop but only one person. Disappearing people?

8.Bulgaria
Some of these costumes I swear are from the Gaga reject hall of fame. And what is with the complete overuse of the colour beige/blush. I don't get it. Oh it also looks a bit star wars. Perhaps this is what Rey gets up to on a Friday night.
This is one of those shit songs that will do really well, not because she can sing or is good, but because it has a decent beat and something easy to sing along to: 'They will never bring us down.'
It's all about light up accessories this year. I like how they allow the backing vocalists on for the last ten seconds. That's all they're allowed.

Big love to Terry Wogan.

9.Sweden
Speak up a bit please. Er, if you could manage it, could you sing in tune too? It's getting better and I know he's only 17, but still. Well this is really boring isn't it? His attempts at dancing are rather hilarious. Youth. He doesn't even look bothered.
'If I were sorry'....but I'm clearly not and I would never say it, because I'm a teenager and I'll do what I want. See I told you, he's not sorry.

10. Germany
It's a bit Alice in Wonderland/Grimm fairy tale. Aww, she's pilfered all my bracelets I used to wear to rock out at Maximes, many moons ago. It feels like she fell into a late 90's/early 00's fashion revival. It's also a bit red riding hood, minus the red and hood, I guess. I agree with Graham, she is annoying, but she can sing. To be honest the costume in no way fits with the song, but maybe that's just her personality, and therefore...go for it!

11. France
He must have some pretty strong super glue on those shoes. There are planets rushing past him and he's still standing. Impressive. He is so pleased with himself. But I can see how this would do well. Oh look he's on the moon. I feel like my friend David Armstrong would like this song. Ha ha. Don't know why, I can just see him dancing and singing along to this.

12.Poland
Sergeant Pepper? I do appreciate the long hair. But I would prefer him to rock out with hair like that. Seems a waste otherwise. I told you it was the year of light up accessories - look at the string section. Karaoke sing along with the words on the screen behind you. The guy can sing and I do appreciate the nail varnish, but it's not great as a whole.

13. Australia
Ah, those well known Europeans. Australia are now officially in Eurovision. Don't get it, but I'll probably like it. I did last year.
Wow! Amazing voice! 'Face time' shout out. Best vocals so far. Don't really get the outfit, box or staging - or lack there of - but when you have a singer like that I guess you don't need any gimmicks. Ooo, I like her arm thing, like a whole arm of bracelets.
Oh, she's off the box. How did she get down? They conveniently zoomed out on the camera, when that happened. I would have liked to see that. You could possibly be seeing the winner, but I still don't get how that would work if they do win or if that's even fair.

14. Cyprus
This could be a rocky one. Oh, and it is. Until they start singing and then you think, bad Bon Jovi song. Oh no, it's dance rock. I don't really know what it is, but I appreciate the long hair, cages and instruments. The song's a bit shit though. Nice blue guitar. I don't know why Eurovision find it so hard to pull off actual rock. Don't be afraid, you can do an actual rock song and people will like it. Everything doesn't have to become a summer dance anthem. Ah well. Lead singer is pitchy as fuck but now he seems to have turned into a werewolf. So that's an improvement. Aww, they had a lovely time.

15. Serbia
Dramatic. Faces in the background a bit creepy. Floating holographic heads. Serious topic, but it is hard to be completely serious during Eurovision. Creepy, lurking dancer just can't break through the girl power group of backing vocalists.
Oh dear, don't scream unless you can scream in tune. There's a lot of black leather on that stage.
Weirdly catchy.

16. Lithuania
He's back again for a second stab. Dubious hand choreography. Not particularly exciting at first.
Oooo. The coat's gone, he's leapt through the smoke. It's all hotting up now. The lighting really helped make this more exciting. But why are all these songs ending with solo voice and they are all out of key? That's what I want to know.

17. Croatia
Oh no. That's a shame isn't it? She has a really interesting look and then they put her in a costume of seventy five plastic bags joined together with gaffa tape. It's a bit kabuki style, but still no less bizarre. Somebody pinched her bags for life. Theft.
She has a really interesting accent which sounds just a little bit Cranberries (Do you have to let in linger?) Pitchy though, and what's with the faceless dudes? Trying to avoid police detection after thieving her dress?

18. Russia
So this is the bookie's favourite. Oh okay, the visuals are pretty good. He's freakin' flying and there's a storm and everything. And I don't think I'm even listening to the song. Four extra men turned up. Nice choreography with the screens. Again though, I'm not listening to the song, I'm watching the effects which are awesome. He's committed and has quite a good voice. But I don't really want to admit I might like the bookies' favourite. So I won't. Oh, yes! Key change. We haven't had many of them yet. I love a good Eurovision key change. Damn it, I like it!

19. Spain
I liked the verse better than the chorus, but her voice is quite good. Intentional fall - you don't have many of them in Eurovision. She'll have a bruise. She could have done with borrowing those knee pads from Bulgaria. Young and fun and you could see this doing well in the charts. She did well considering she had to follow Russia, which shows that you don't have to have the most complicated staging and effects to bring the house down.

20. Latvia
This is a bit weird. He's a bit too still. All he can do is walk. He could have done with some friends on stage. The guy can wail, but it's hard to fill a stage that big, when you can't comfortably walk let alone make an attempt at dance moves. Bless him. I wish him luck with his alternative music school but I don't think he'll be taking away the trophy tonight.

21. Ukraine
Another serious one. Prepare for a ballad. Intense. Feels like she could have been a Kate Bush fan at some point in her life. I do feel like she's going to start crying at some point. Wind machine on gentle. I think it's a little too personal and real life for Eurovision, but well done to her.

22. Malta
Back for a second try. I think the guy flipping around in the fake water is necessary for this act. She can't do it in her pregnant state. But she can wear a slit in her dress right up to her ribs. Bloody hell. Quite a generic song. Catchy, well sung but nothing particularly special. She's a bit Mariah Carey? No?

23. Georgia
Now this is promising. And it actually sounds like rock. Yay! And they have hats. I don't think the split screen/mirror image thing does anything for it. Noel Gallagher look-a-like on bass. I like it. A bit synthy and lots of flashing and pounding and lights. I think it could make my top five. Okay, now it's gone super dancey and ever so less rocky, but I still like it. Whoop!

24. Austria
She looks like she's come straight from the set of the latest Miss Dior perfume ad. I'm expecting her to run off with someone on a motorbike or something. Either that or start dancing around with overly large flowers. It's all just a little bit too nice. And there goes the wind machine, to cool her down. She has a good voice though. it was just a bit too sugary pink for my tastes.

25. United Kingdom
No idea what to expect. haven't heard the song or anything. Let's go boys. Wow, they can sing in tune and sing harmonies and play an instrument. This is an improvement on the last few years. Quite a cute song, but as usual we are in the hands of Europe and their general hatred of us, so it's unlikely to win. I like the simple staging and the jumping! Well done UK, probably the best one in a long time. You might actually make my top 5.

26. Armenia
Whispery words to start. Not much on. Does she have a cape? Did no one learn from Madonna?
Graham was right about the slow build, but then I quite liked it until her pitch went all over the place. Sharp. Sharp. Sharp. To be fair that could be to do with her tight costume nipping her crotch. Not a great one to finish on. The UK's was better. She was just hoping to win by her thighs really. Come on, you're not Beyonce.

What the hell? Random appearance of Sir Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi.........

So we've heard all 26. There have been a distinct lack of cheesy couples this year. There has been a definite increase in solo men and women, and only a few groups. Nothing crazy over the top or too out there compared to other years, but a good mixed bag. Now I just have to compile my top five. Hmmmmm. (Time ticks by.....)
I think I'm there.
In no particular order:

UK - this is unusual, I never like our entry.
Georgia - rock and fun.
Australia - for voice alone. Wow!
Russia - incredible visuals.
Spain - that funky feet dancing.

And very close behind....Italy, Lithuania and Israel.

I don't really understand why we're having a US act on the half time show. It makes no sense to me, but I am absolutely loving the montage of Swedish musical acts. Roxette. Ace of Base. So many songs from my youth. Yes, yes, more of this! Half of these I didn't even realise were Swedish. An excellent montage film. Excellent.

Timberlake. And now he comes out to shit all over everything that's just been on. Polished and precise and bloody smug. Bugger off. Eurovision is shite and we love it that way. Don't come here trying to class it up. We get it, you're good, now do one.

(Okay, I realise that probably came across as quite angry. I love the US. But this is our wonderfully eccentric European tradition and I don't like change. They'll have China taking part next year at this rate. It's crazy.)

The formula for a Eurovision win......He he. Rip your clothes off. DJ. Peace. Love. Semi naked drummers. Well done Sweden, you have actual funny hosts. This is excellent. 'Old women baking bread.' This is genius! I need this song in my life. 'And a burning fake piano.' Yay! Lordi! Hamster wheel. Okay, you just shit all over Justin Timberlake. And I didn't think I'd be saying that. A-ma-zing!

Crowd surfing comedian. Piss take videos. Well done Sweden, what a good show - if somewhat lengthy. Petra had a fair few outfit changes, but she was an excellent host. And Mons doing his new song on a mini segway thing. Is it wrong I wanted him to fall off? Not in a bad way, just because he's a bit too good and slightly smug and it would probably do him some good. But even I can't deny he's a handsome young man with good balance. A clever choreography technique, I just feel like youtube is now going to be full of videos of people doing the same thing. Still, he deserved his own little solo moment and as hosts they were both brilliant.

Come on, let's get to grips with this new voting system. One thing you can guarantee is that it won't be going any quicker than usual. Just get on with it!

Thank you San Marino.
Thank you Czech Republic. Wow, the UK have friends.
How are Malta doing so well? It was so generic.
Thank you Ireland.
Woo Malta!!!!!!! We got 12 points.
Thanks Denmark, you could have given us more than three, but thanks anyway.
Wow, Russia gave us six points.
Four from Australia. Thanks.
How the hell has Belgium got so many points?
Yay! UK judges, I liked Georgia too!
Thank you Serbia.
Five from Albania.
Yay! More points for the UK. Thanks Estonia.

Petra's sarcasm is getting darker as the night goes on.

And then it all went to shit......Poor UK. Why were we in the bottom 16 from the public vote? Gutted. This is harsh. But quick. How the feck did Poland get loads of public votes? And poor UK down in 24th position. Harsh and not at all deserved.

Well the I-player programme just stopped with 10 countries left to announce. Oh dear. BBC fail on an epic scale. Still I know who won and well done to them. It wouldn't have made sense for an Australasian country to win the Eurovision song contest, so despite her being so vocally talented and having a very decent song, I'm glad they didn't win. I think there were even more surprises this year than usual, in terms of who did well and political affiliations and stuff. And the new voting system did make it more exciting - until the iplayer cut out - but it is also a cruel, cruel system. I wonder if they'll continue with that.

Anyhoo, I think I've taken up enough of your time, almost as long as Eurovision itself. So, enjoy the sun - if it is in fact sunny where you are - nurse the hangovers, and I'll see you all again next year, when I'll be back to a live viewing. It really is one of my favourite blogs to write.

Who were your top five? Feel free to leave me a comment.

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