Tuesday, 26 May 2015

[Review] Eurovision 2015


The only institution that matters in Europe convened for its annual meeting this weekend. That's right, it's Eurovision Song Contest time!

Ongoing for almost 60 years, this behemoth is more than just a song contest. Its flawed voting system has made it the most trustworthy barometer of European political relations that currently exists. You best believe if you've pissed someone off that year, that it's going to be reflected in the score you get at the end of the night. It's all so shady, and I love it!

Unfortunately, I was in Brighton giving my liver a kicking, so missed the live festivities this year. But once again, Eurovision has made all our lives easier by uploading- very swiftly I should add- all the performances to YouTube. Thus we can all watch them together, like one happy, dysfunctional family!

As per 2013, I will watch each performance ONCE and give my immediate reaction. The order of the videos is exactly how I watched them.

PERFORMANCES:

[Slovenia] Maraaya - Here For You: Strange voice. Sounded simultaneously like a child and Paloma Faith. The song also sounded very familiar to something else- can't remember what. But it should get points alone for introducing the world to air violins. AKA air guitar for the more discerning amongst us.

Rating: €€€€


[Israel] Nadav Guedj - Golden Boy
: An Rnb-influenced vocalist...interesting. Here comes the beat! It's all very Justin Timberlake (and generic). Oh wait, the middle eastern spice has been added. Oh my- he's grinding! I quite like it by three quarters in. Christina would be proud of the little run at the closing of the bridge. Definitely should have taken a leaf out of Mariah's book and let the choreography go on around him instead of trying to participate.

Rating: €€€€€


[France] Lisa Angell - N'oubliez Pas: This is going to be a serious song- just check out the backdrop! I sense a big vocal and a key change from this French belle. Still slow and steady, but a mild beat has kicked in at the second verse. I feel like the lyrics might be important, since everything else is very simple thus far. Oh the bridge is here: it's pleasant and hopefully building to something big.....here it comes....held note.....oh, kinda fell flat at the peak. Song still has a triumphant feel to it, but I feel like it was a swing and miss. Nice enough, but nothing amazing.

Rating: €€€


[Estonia]  Elina Born & Stig Rästa - Goodbye To Yesterday: This is not going to be my thing- I can sort of tell from just looking at him. Oh wait, maybe I'm wrong -a wild female singer has appeared! ( I probably should have seen that coming from the two names on the video.) She sounds like Heidi from the Sugababes. Enjoying it a a little bit more. Nope, this isn't going anywhere. All very much like my booty: flat.

Rating: €€€€


[United Kingdom] Electro Velvet - Still In Love With You: UK entry which I haven't heard. Oh jeez, this is sounding corny. Bless, at least they're trying something different. Is he miming?! That can't be right? The staging is very cool, though! Oh God, scatting. I'm done!

Rating: €€€€


[Armenia] Genealogy - Face The Shadow
: What a creepy man(!), he sounds good though. Ladies have joined the party- whoop! This is all very theatrical, vocally. I can feel it's going to soar! Come on- don't disappoint! I'm liking the screens on the floor- looks so perty. Here comes the faux-rock edge. Ohh, that soprano voice is flying! This is so nuts and over the top. I think I might be loving it. come on, sell it at the end.....YAAAAAS. This is what I watch Eurovision for!

Rating: €€€€


[Lithuania] Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila - This Time: Sounds like it is going to be Mumford and sons-ey. Another scary looking dude. Oh there it is, the quiet to loud thing Mumford do [Don't know what I'm talking about? Watch this]. THEY JUST KISSED! Seems to have got the audience going- the pervs!! At least the message is nice. Ultimately bland.

Rating: €€€€


[Serbia] Bojana Stamenov - Beauty Never Lies : YAASSS- This is going to be good! Look at her! Bejewelled, glittery and fabulous from the first instance! Like a beautiful and regal pigeon. This is me all over: Big voice, big personality, and empowering lyrics! SANNNNNNG! I'm totally here for ALL of this! ALL.OF.THIS!

Rating: €€€€


[Norway] Mørland And Debrah Scarlett - A Monster Like Me : Another male and female combo. Nice opening, gentle and sweet. Here comes the lady. She has a nice tone. Aww, this is all very sweet- even though it's a break-up song. Here's the big finish. Decent pop song, but doesn't fit my idea of Eurovision.

 Rating: €€


[Sweden] Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes: Folksy start. Good use of the screens. Uplifting, inclusive lyrics- that's more like it. Kind of like a Swedish Enrique Iglesias. Wait, didn't he also have a song with "hero" in the tile? Never mind, it's not important. These close-up shots of the performers' faces are not very flattering. It started well, but became repetitive by the end.

Rating: €€€€€



[Cyprus] John Karayiannis - One Thing I Should Have Done: Another love song. This could be a One Direction single. Let's see if there's a key change and a choir after the bridge. That'll really seal it. Nope. Good for him! Sweet but forgettable. C'mon guys! You have to be memorable! Maybe that's what the glasses were for...

Rating: €€€€€


[Australia] Guy Sebastian - Tonight Again: Welcome to the party Australia! Strong opening- guy can sing. Not sure I'm liking the song. The bridge is going to make or break this for me. Nope. That didn't do it. Better luck next time! (I think they'll be back).

Rating: €€€€€


[Belgium] Loïc Nottet - Rhythm Inside: Strong beat...sounding good. Lorde, this is your doing. Yikes, just noticed it was a man singing! The backing singer is hot... I'm feeling you Belgium. The "Raa pa pa" I could have done without, but I'm sure it'll make the song for some. Kid was getting his life.

Rating: €€€€


[Austria] The Makemakes - I Am Yours: Another song that sounds like a Frankenstein creation of lots of others. Still, me likey. Oh no, his piano is on fire!! He ain't bothered- he's too cool. Wonder if he remained unbothered when the song was awarded "nil points" at the end of the night....

Rating: €€€€€ (Read that as 2.5/5- I can't do halves, damn it!)


[Greece] Maria Elena Kyriakou - One Last Breath: Piano-led ballad time! She best give me vocals. Building nicely, sounding like this might actually pay off, 2 minutes in. COME ON! BRING IT! Held notes a plenty, but I want to hear that high fifth octave belt. Why is everyone mid-ranging it!! Darn! She did hit some nice low notes in that closing climax, though.

Rating: €€ (Read that as 3.5/5)


[Montenegro] Knez - Adio: This sounds pretty. Oh, it's going to be a male singer. Something about his face is distracting me. It's both youthful and aged. Doesn't say much for the song if I can't even stay focused. I like when they have some regional influences/culture mixed in- that'll be a point right there.

Rating: €€€€


[Germany] Ann Sophie - Black Smoke: Keeping it classy, Germany! Another song which sounds out of place in the contest. Oh she's started side grinding. Hmmm.... I think this is a B-side cut. Definitely not "A" material. Another song which received 0 points. ( I have an urge to go back and listen to the Justin Timberlake entry...)

Rating: €€€


[Poland] Monika Kuszyńska - In The Name Of Love: Another generic song, but nice so far (50 sec in). It's making me feel all warm inside. Let's all stop and hug. Another song which I feel missed a trick with the vocal. Needed something just to push it a bit more. Oh wait, she's in a wheelchair! Was wondering why she was sat down.

Rating: €€€€


[Latvia] Aminata - Love Injected: The thumbnail leads me to believe this is going to slay. Liking the electro start. Soft head notes to YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS!!!!! Great use of dynamics. This is what I needed! Audience better cheer! I can't wait to see where this goes. Staging is beautiful too. Loving this. Might actually look up more from this Diva. Come on, big finish.....still 40 seconds left. Hmm. Not quite, but I liked very much!

Rating: €€€€€


[Romania] Voltaj - De La Capat / All Over Again: An indie-pop ballad from Ming the Merciless' brother. Not my thing. I think a few listens might convince me otherwise, as it does have some nice flourishes. However, this is one a listen deal! He ended the performance with "don't leave the children behind", so I imagine there was a message to this song that flew over my head.

Rating: €€€€€


[Spain] Edurne - Amanecer: Another inspiring looking thumbnail. Will it be accurate again? Building intro, and a Diva in red. This gone be good. I may not be able to understand you, lady, but you're currently making me feel some kind of way. Wait, what?! I take my eyes away for a second and she's now in white- SORCERY! Here it comes, the big note...MY BODY IS READY.....nope. Same note that she's hit throughout the whole performance. Kudos for the physical choreography.

Rating: €€€€€


[Hungary] Boggie - Wars For Nothing: A song with meaning, thank God! This is making me quite emotional. (Alternatively, it could be my brain reacting negatively to watching all these videos in one sitting.) Beautiful, simple harmonies. I wonder if the company that did Beyonce's graphics for Run The World at the Billboard Awards did these too. They've been consistently impressive. I'm not sure what Queen Mab is doing there right at the end, but I wanna see more of her!

Rating: €€€€€


[Georgia] Nina Sublatti - Warrior:  Didn't' have to wait long. Looks like Queen Mab was the next performer. She best destroy me with her witchery. This is going great so far. Here's the bridge. What's she going to serve?? Ergh, just another chorus. So close...

Rating: €€€€€


[Azerbaijan] Elnur Huseynov - Hour Of The Wolf: I'm liking his voice. The production is also good. Yes,serve me that drama! Key change! The first of the evening, if I'm not mistaken. Dude is dropping those high notes! Most impressive and varied vocal of the night (so far).

Rating: €€€€


[Russia] Polina Gagarina - A Million Voices: Wow, a song of peace and acceptance from Russia. #Irony. Diva's voice is soaring, giving me Faith Hill realness. Once again, the stage looks glorious. I was feeling this, all round.

Rating: €€€€


[Albania] Elhaida Dani - I'm Alive : Liking. Simple guitar backing that appears to be growing into something (potentially) good. That's it Elhadia, push that voice! I'm convinced she's going to save something special for the closing half of the song. Head notes at 2.03, good transition to chest. YEEEEEES! High, Jessie J style BELTS !! THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT! FINALLLY!

Rating: €€€€€ (extra point was rewarded for being the only Diva to save something, vocally, for the end of the song.)


[Italy] Il Volo - Grande Amore : A very Italian performance, and I like that. That crescendo was epic. Maybe the biggest of the show. Yet, I can't help seeing a baby version of Il Divo- are these their kids? Still a vocal powerhouse of a performance.

Rating: €€€€€


So who won? Highlight below to find out:

[SWEDEN]


That was an intense couple of hours. Excuse me if I never blog again....

Thoughts?

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