Eurovision 2017: The Final

13 May

eurovision-2017-kyiv-logo

And here we are again. The final of Eurovision 2017.

After the semi-finals a few of my favourites got flushed away and luckily so did a lot of the really sappy ballads. There are still a few but they sound a bit better sandwiched between the other songs now. The below are an updated version of my previous reviews in the same order as the final. Hope you enjoy yourselves tonight and remember:

The first rule of Eurovision is that whoever mentions Brexit gets PUNCHED IN THE FUCKING FACE.

1. ISRAEL – Imri Ziv – I Feel Alive
What a song to open on. Shame it ruins its chances to win though. You need to hear some of the dross before you realise what a good one this is. An absolute crowd pleaser of a song that is thoroughly enjoyable. Filled with the right amount of cheese and party-going joy that is infectious. Can’t see this not being in the top 10. He’s also rather pleasant on the eye…

Verdict: I’m comfortable that if the performance is good this one will do well. It being first helps too. I’m saying Top 5.

2. POLAND – Kasia Moś – Flashlight
I know Eurovision is often formulaic but you’ll hear a lot that spend the first minute whimpering then the second minute beefing things up. This is the first of many that do that. Unfortunately the second minute of this just sounds like an army marching in jackboots all over her nice song. That said, the finale has a full string section bashing away with echoes of Puff Daddy’s Come With Me, so there’s that.

Verdict: It’s a bit early for a diva ballad. This one will be forgotten.

3. BELARUS – NAVI – Story Of My Life
Well, it still sounds like they stole the music from the Lion King and the end is absolutely the worst piece of music I have heard since 1972 and I wasn’t even born then.

Verdict: If Mumford & Sons and The Corrs ever decided to write the blandest song they possibly could it would be better than this.

4. AUSTRIA – Nathan Trent – Running On Air
It’s a bit different to the others but I can’t hear anything other than a poor boyband b-side from the 1990s. Just a jangly guitar and overly cheery vocals. I think after the hallucinogen performance from Belarus this one will be too saccharine.

Verdict: Just a grown up Billy Elliot without the success.

5. ARMENIA – Artsvik – Fly With Me
It’s just not very memorable and I am glad to see it slip down the betting odds.

Verdict: It sounds like someone sped up the music from a Tarantino film for most of it.

6. NETHERLANDS – O’G3NE – Lights And Shadows
A female three piece wearing surprisingly bad outfits that takes a while to get going. It leaves me a little underwhelmed but the second half is stronger.

Verdict: I don’t think it will win but it could float around the top 10.

7. MOLDOVA – SunStroke Project – Hey Mamma!
It’s the Ed Sheeran Shape Of You xylophone sound. When the camera comes in close he often looks like a balding James McAvoy which is a little distracting. Oh wait. Did I say his looks were distracting? I mean that ridiculous saxophone is! Haha, that is just incredible cheese. The BEST type of cheese. You’ll love this. Unless you’re a proper fan of Eurovision or something.

Verdict: Awful in every conceivable way and absolutely incredible.

8. HUNGARY – Joci Pápai – Origo
Apart from it sounding like he doesn’t know the words and is just making it up on the spot this one is lovely. Some great hooks that really grows on you. Not so keen on the rap. The irony being that if I want to sing along with the very nice chorus I can’t and I have to make them up as I don’t speak Hungarian.

Verdict: Surprising even me, this is one of my favourite ones. I think being between the zaniness of Moldova and the favourite of Italy will kill its chances.

9. ITALY – Francesco Gabbani – Occidentali’s Karma
An Italian Nickelback. Ah, that’s not fair. They are having fun and the song is feel-good with the correct dosage of silliness. Really lovely arrangement throughout and that “OMMM” ending makes me think of Red Dwarf’s Smeg and the Heads so full marks there.

Verdict: Along with Portugal one of the final’s favourites. The guy looks like he has a lot of charm but that gorilla suit stuff is questionable so it could all tank.

10. DENMARK – Anja Nissen – Where I Am
Ah, back to sewage sludge. Achieves nothing. Lots of loud operatic vocals if you like that sort of thing. I am not an imbecile so of course I don’t. Pretty forgettable song but she gives it her fucking all, throwing herself around and shrieking those notes at the end like a deranged koala. I hate every second it’s on.

Verdict: Not even remotely worth acknowledging.

11. PORTUGAL – Salvador Sobral – Amar pelos dois
Bit harsh of Portugal to enter some homeless dude who looks like he’s two steps away from turning into a zombie. Gave me a right laugh though with his stupid wispy beardy face. Hope he gets a new cardboard box for a home after this. It doesn’t sound very Eurovision – or maybe it does? I don’t know anymore.

Verdict: This is probably the most “different” song in the competition and I can see it doing incredibly well. As I type this is the market favourites. I just can’t believe anyone actually likes it and is just giving the poor guy sympathy points.

12. AZERBAIJAN – Dihaj – Skeletons
From the start this one shows a lot of promise. It’s a bit of a nothing verse with a great chorus. Not that catchy and (as with all things Eurovision) the music is a little low and the vocal a little high. A lot of nice layering of cool electronic sounds in the background too. Love the bit with the horse’s head.

Verdict: After Denmark and Portugal this is a big step up.

13. CROATIA – Jacques Houdek – My Friend
Spoken word klaxon! And then you see his face and he looks like if you buzzcut your scrotum then tasered your wilted member. Then he Gollum’s into Pavarotti and does some opera singing. Croatia treating the competition like it’s the goddamn UN and they’re fundraising for something. I guess Ukraine did that last year and it worked.

Verdict: Hilariously bad. There is absolutely no song here at all. Makes me want to self harm again.

14. AUSTRALIA – Isaiah – Don’t Come Easy
Obv jokes first: No, I “don’t come easy” when you have awful eyebrows and a shit haircut like that pal. Another ballad but this time it has a very nice arrangement that includes a rather lovely spin on the orchestral hit effect. Builds nicely and doesn’t do anything over the top or pretentious.

Verdict: It’s pleasant and after that hideous Croatian mess that stunk up the stage this could hit the right tone with the juries.

15. GREECE – Demy – This Is Love
This one is another ballad and sounds like it could have been a previous entry from the last 20 years. When it turns into a banger I’m not 100% convinced. It just sounds SO Eurovision – like filling in a paint-by-numbers and failing to feign surprise at the result. And yes, that is me saying this one is rubbish because it sounds too Eurovision and saying Portugal is rubbish because it’s not Eurovision enough. Go eat a bowl of chewy foreskins.

Verdict: Demy has had some bad rehearsals where she missed the notes by miles but was fine in the semi final. Not a fan of the song so hope she blows it in the final.

16. SPAIN – Manel Navarro – Do It For Your Lover
Just utter poison.

17. NORWAY – JOWST feat. Aleksander Walmann – Grab The Moment
They seem to have MF DOOM on the decks. Wait…three sets of decks? What madness is this? A lovely sidechain synth and fun sampling work. The middle is especially good and takes us into a very catchy finale. I just wish the singer had a bit more going on. He’s basically a chunk of wood wearing a pleasant hat.

Verdict: If I heard this on the radio I’d really like this so I think this one will do well. I love the light-up Friday The 13th masks too.

18. UNITED KINGDOM – Lucie Jones – Never Give Up On You
Gah, even though I live in hope that we can enter a Scottish entry in the future when all this EU/Brexit shit has sorted itself out. Argh. I mentioned Brexit someone punch me in the face. Seriously, I’m a huge fan of this song. I love her voice and am waging that a lot of Europe feel the same way about the EU and won’t penalise us with points. Maybe?! But I don’t care. It is one of the best songs we’ve ever entered.

Verdict: Anarchy in the UK.

19. CYPRUS – Hovig – Gravity
Great hook on this one. Hammers home the chorus a lot which is always a winner in my book. You’ve got three minutes – milk it my boy. The only thing that alarmed me was thinking that if Peter Andre ever spunked his mess up Olly Murs’ fallopian tubes then the resulting offspring would look like Hovig.

Verdict: Again, there is no way this will win but I am a huge fan of it.

20. ROMANIA – Ilinca feat. Alex Florea – Yodel It!
OH YES. THIS IS THE EUROVISION YOU WANTED. It’s a shame the singer has got rid of his cornrows and now looks like a hipster barista. He looks like he could be working as a barista in a artisan coffee shop. I guess after Saturday he will be. Still, watching him rapping while a short-skirted dirty blonde does ridiculous/fantastic yodelling as the chorus is just perfect. Turn it up loud and cheer for Romania to win. Then put your head in your hands and wonder why this is your Saturday night. You fucking loser.

Verdict: You know when I said Cyprus may do well? They are boned because this comes after it.

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21. GERMANY – Levina – Perfect Life
She’s really taken that asymmetrical haircut to the limit. Looks like Kristen Stewart dressed as Worzel Gummidge (RIP). Again, going for that synth ballad and it’s nice enough.

Verdict: Mid – bottom table.

22. UKRAINE – O.Torvald – Time
Post-apocalyptic fun times. Cool for Ukraine to just throw in a solid rock song cos they knew they were in the final regardless. Not sure what the giant head is about.
That last minute though! It goes completely rifftastic. Haha, it’s great to see a country honestly not give a toss. Great song, poor ending.

Verdict: The only rock song in the entire competition? Some countries will unload their full 12 points onto this bitch and everyone else will avoid it completely.

23. BELGIUM – Blanche – City Lights
Every year I listen to Belgium’s entries and every year I like them and they never win. This year however I dislike their song. It’s a low beat slice of electronic but with ever-so-slightly annoying drumming and a wondrously pathetic vocal. It’s like watching someone try to blow up a balloon when they don’t have any lungs – utterly hopeless.

Watch her face – she looks so terrified and is all over the place on performance. I can’t believe she got through to the final. Maybe voters will mistake her fear for being solid and stable? It’s worked for Theresa May.

Verdict: The sort of laidback emotionless slop you’d play over the video footage of Martin Shkreli gassing himself with exhaust fumes in his garage.

24. SWEDEN – Robin Bengtsson – I Can’t Go On
At first I was a little disappointed by this entry but I have found myself singing it a lot. Perhaps it’s because the words “I Just Love Dongs” fit so perfectly over the chorus. It’s not as memorable as their usual offerings and it suffers from a robotic facial performance by a beige mannequin in a crap suit. I love how they are on treadmills though and there is some innovative choreography but the chorus just never pops – probably needs another melody over the final chorus to give it a kick. That said, 3rd last and after the car crash of Belgium. An each way bet on this one is likely to reap rewards – but I could say that for 2018 and 2019 for Sweden.

Verdict: Poppy banger sung by a Robin Thicke cyborg sex doll clone.

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25. BULGARIA – Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess
The absolute favourite from Semi-Final 2 and a great placing of second last in the final won’t harm its chances. Compared to all the silliness we’ve seen today this one is more laid back and, while a little pretentious, it is still heartfelt and serious. I imagine it will do very well.

Verdict: Top 5

26. FRANCE – Alma – Requiem
First of all, thank you for not voting in Le Pen. Here, have some sympathy points because this song you’ve entered sounds like sitting on the kerb watching a broken Renault Clio crawl past.

Verdict: Not a chance. A damp squib to end on.

SUMMARY

I’m pretty sure the betting markets have it right I just seriously hope Portugal don’t win. I’m an Anyone But Portugal kinda guy. Therefore I’ve done what I want to happen – that clearly won’t – and what is likely to happen below:

What I Want To Happen

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What Is Likely To Happen

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