I absolutely love Eurovision. It is top-notch cheesy entertainment, brings together all different types of cultures and Graham Norton makes it even better with his sass and sarcasm.
So I’ve set myself a challenge to blog along to each performance. I’ll also add something cultural I’d like to visit in each country. Man I hope I’m good at multitasking. Here I go.
1. Israel – I feel Alive
The fancy fireworks couldn’t cover his wobbly vocals. Forgettable.
Culture spot: The Western Wall Tunnels in Jerusalem. The Old Town looks beautiful.
2. Poland – ‘Flashlight’
Gritty vocals and lovely butterfly projections. An impressive, powerful performance.
Culture spot: Slowinski National Park. Sand Dunes in Northern Poland?!
3. Belarus – Navaband
Sounds like it should be in Moana. Upbeat and uplifting. I like the ‘organic’ sound. Wait they kissed at the end?
Culture spot: National Library of Belarus. A gigantic glowing orb in Minsk.
4. Austria – Running on Air
He’s a cool guy with a dreamy ‘literally’ stage. The moon and ‘clouds’ make me sleepy. Bit weak.
Culture spot: The Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel. An aerial view of the beautiful city.
5. Armenia – Fly with me
An eerie performance and a bit ‘Shakira’ sounding. Nice voice but poor song.
Culture spot: Geghard Monastery. A castle carved in the cliffs.
6. Netherlands – Light and shadows
The tight harmony opening from the girl group had me hooked. We had fun spotting the twins.
Culture spot: Amsterdam Tulip Museum. It looks beaut.
7. Moldova – Hey Mama
They look like three wedding singers and the guy is fake playing the sax. This song is quite irritating.
Culture spot: Chisinau State Circus. An abandoned Soviet circus.
8. Hungary – Origo
He’s drumming an Urn… but their authentic sound and dancing is something a bit different. Oh wait the rap isn’t so great.
Culture spot: The Thermal Baths. Like swimming in a cathedral.
9. Italy – Occidentali’s Karm
Apparently the bookies favourite? It has colourful staging with questionable choreography. The dancing Gorilla is the only interesting bit.
Culture spot: Amalfi Coast. I’d love to drive this stunning cliff side and shoreline.
10. Denmark – Where I am
She is alone doing a lot of hand grabs with a wind fan for drama. Great vocals and catchy lyrics.
Culture spot: The Little Mermaid. A bronze statue by the waterside.
11. Portugal – Amar pelos dois
It’s been compared to La La Land. A very classy song and stripped back performance. I like this calming vibe and his quirky nature.
Culture spot: Drowned village of Vilarinho da Furna. A sunken village.
12. Azerbaijan – Skeletons
Alternative and gothic. There’s a man wearing a horse head dancing on a ladder. This is not doing much for me.
Culture spot: Martyrs Alley. A memorial to the victims of Black January.
13. Croatia – My friend
This sounds like it should be in a Musical. Oh wait it’s now an opera. He’s singing both parts. It’s pretty dramatic. Kinda like it.
Culture spot: Plitvicka Jezera National Park. Lakes, waterfalls and limestone canyon.
14. Australia – Don’t come easy
I just don’t think they should be in Eurovision. The reason is so tenuous. This kid is good but I’m bitter.
Culture spot: Sydney Opera House. Iconic performing arts venue.
15. Greece – This is Love
It’s a dancey number with two half-naked men dancing in water. I loved the heart pose at the end. It felt very Eurovision.
Culture spot: Acropolis of Athens. A hilltop temple monument.
16. Spain – Do it for your lover
Opened like Bruno Mars. A mellow beach side boy band theme. The song is too repetitive and vocals patchy.
Culture spot: Seville Cathedral. A gothic building with bell tower.
17. Norway – Grab the moment
There’s a weird masked keyboard player and annoying graphics. It’s techno, morbid and confusing.
Culture spot: Bryggen. Old Wharf with traditional wooden buildings.
18. United Kingdom – Never give up on you
That is a total power song. Stunning staging and unbelievable vocals. It’s the best of the night and deserves to win.
Culture spot: Stonehenge. Iconic prehistoric stone circle.
19. Cyprus – Gravity
Hard to follow such a great performance. It gets lost. I’m still buzzing over our entry right now.
Culture spot: Tombs of the Kings. Large, ancient necropolis with tombs.
20. Romania – Yodel it
Yodeling just had to make an appearance. It’s a wacky combo with rap. It’s pretty laugh out loud cheesy. Why is he on a canon?
Culture spot: Corvin Castle. Transylvania’s most spellbinding fortress.
21. Germany – Perfect life
This sounds suspiciously like ‘Bullet Proof’. I don’t think it is anything special and there is one note she just can’t reach.
Culture spot: Museum island. Five world-renowned Museums on an island in River Spree.
22. Ukraine – Time
They’re adding a bit of rock to tonight’s pop orientated proceedings. There’s a proper head banger bit and it’s refreshing to hear something new.
Culture spot: Chernobyl. Nuclear disaster zone.
23. Belgium – City Lights
She looks terrified on stage and it is falling completely flat. No energy and lack of experience shows. It has the same sound as ‘Lorde’.
Culture spot: Caves of Han-sur-Lesse. Caves with magical light and sound tours.
24. Sweden – I can’t go on
He’s the stark opposite to Belgium with lots of confidence and swag. It’s pop-tastic and they’re doing choreography on treadmills.
Culture spot: R1 Nuclear Reactor. A reactor 25 metres underground.
25. Bulgaria – Beautiful mess
The song has a lot of umph and the boys performance is strong. It’s big, bold and a potential winner.
Culture spot: Ivan Vazov National Theatre. Oldest Theatre in the country.
26. France – Requiem
It’s quite an understated end with no big voice or staging. An average song with no real impact.
Culture spot: Eiffel Tower. Obviously.
So there you have it, that’s my immediate response to each performance and a culture spot I’d like to visit IN EACH.
Even though it wasn’t my favourite Eurovison, as 2016 takes that title, it was definitely the UK’s strongest entry in a long time. It’s a shame Europe disagreed. We were robbed.
My top four performances were UK, Netherlands, Bulgaria and Portugal. Who were yours?