Lisbon: Eurovision 2018 – The Reviews

12 May

This is my eighth or ninth year of blogging about Eurovision. That makes both of us a) old and b) a waste of life. I have to say that I’m a fan of more than a fair share of songs this year and the way the running order has fallen may well mean a complete outsider wins. A lot of the favourites are all clumped together at the end meaning that the weirdness of Israel may get nullified in the surrounding chaos.

I’ve revisited my semi final reviews as now I have seen the performances and the songs have had a chance to grow on me.

Here’s a run down you absolute spunktrumpet:

1. UKRAINE: Mélovin – Under The Ladder
It is a shame this is on first because it’s one of the best in the competition and now it has no chance of winning. I’ve got a cheeky each way at 101-1 but doubt it’ll even make it to fourth. You need to realise just how bad some of the songs are in Eurovison this year for this one to have a true impact. Oh well, it has a great pre chorus and a chorus? The song is really spoiling us! Even the verse held my attention too. Vocals could be a bit ropey but a piano and a staircase on fire is the kind of gimmick I can celebrate.

latvia

Melovin also played Gob in Arrested Development. He is also a magician.

Rating: ***** Under The Iron Curtain

2. SPAIN: Amaia & Alfred – Tu canción
A duet by stroke victims. Sloppy ooze like the final spurts of a severed penis. This is the exact sort of snot that Portugal won with and I pray to my god Satan that this finishes with nul points. And their plane home crashes.
Rating: EXPLOSIONS

3. SLOVENIA: Lea Sirk – Hvala, ne!
Ah, pink hair means despair and the dancers have hot pants so that’s something. It’s quite a subtle chorus based on a single hook. The Portugal win seems to have opened the door to boring, laid-back choruses. It’s like someone gave Eurovision a terminal disease. I do find this more interesting the more I hear it but being third basically kills its chances. Like marrying your partner from high school – it’s fucking doomed.
Rating: ***

4. LITHUANIA: Ieva Zasimauskaitė – When We’re Old
When We’re Old? Older than this ballad you mean? Christ, this is as slow as chemotherapy and more poisonous. The only joy to be found here is hearing her sing the word “old” in a way that sounds like the language is being strangled. Ironically, this hasn’t got better with age and for me this is the worst song in the competition bar Norway. It will probably win.

Death pathway

They should be called Lith-euthanasia.

Rating: * When we’re Ouoooooooooouuuuuulld

5. AUSTRIA: Cesár Sampson – Nobody But You
A real surprise this one. I absolutely loved him in the semi final. He runs around the stage, the chorus is kicking, he commands the whole performance. Being on in the first half is a problem but after that scrotal polyp from Lithuania you never know.
Rating: ***

6. ESTONIA: Elina Nechayeva – La forza
Awesome. This is the first operatic one and I am enthralled. You know, I’m listening to this on the bus as the sun streams down on the only day of summer in Scotland. I am really feeling it. Takes a minute or so to get into gear – like that song in the Fifth Element. This is very lovely and finally not in English so who knows what she’s wailing about. This could be about bumming Scooby Doo for all I care.
Rating: *****

7. NORWAY: Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write A Song
This makes me want to hurt somebody. A crowd pleasing faux-disco disease. This is the kind of song that would ooze out of the infected anal tract of one of those [Insert Country Here]’s Got Talent shows. On the flip side, it’s very catchy and has a fun violin and melody. While my hateful black heart may be immediately triggered by the “boogie woogie woogie” section, many of the rest of you will eat it up with your Sugar Puffs. For me, too smug and condescending. For you, pure joy. Tomato tomayto.
Rating: * FUCK NORWAY

8. POOTUGAL: Cláudia Pascoal feat. Isaura – O jardim
I would rather eat a horse’s jizzing cock than hear anymore of this. The splurge of thick salty discharge would solidify into a jelly in my warm throat and clog up my nose and ears, dribbling out of all orifices. If this wins I will join ISIS.
Rating: DEATH TO THE WEST

9. UGAY: SuRie – Storm
Slow piano then shanty-pop synth chorus. Not particularly entertaining and even more tiresome after hearing it a few times. I wish the chorus really elevated near the end, maybe a solo or crazy synth to give it a boost. The arrangement otherwise is nice, delivering multiple choruses so it gets stuck in your head, and I like SuRie too.
Rating: *** Are you still reading this? Jeremy Corbyn is a cunt.

10. SERBIA: Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – Nova deca
The opening is hopeless with Dr Who’s reanimated corpse on flute. Then it gets better in the verse. The drums pick up and a hint of 90s synth threatens. Once again there is no chorus. I like the nananana moments but it’s not exactly a strong one. Incredibly this got into the final and is a walking dead entry that’s easy to piss on. There’s more chance of you being put in a death camp for your Facebook posts once far-right parties seize control of our countries than this doing well.
Rating: * Pretty sure if there were any children in the audience that flute guy would captivate them and lead them back to his hotel room.

11. SPERMANY: Michael Schulte – You Let Me Walk Alone
Basically that ginger-pubed rascal Ed Sheeran except dressed up like Chad Kroeger from Metallica or whatever gayrock band he’s in. After Serbia it may actually have some cut-through. Really though it’s just a pop song stuck in a time that music and style forgot. You know, like all German music.
Rating: * Terminal flatulence

12. ALBANIA: Eugent Bushpepa – Mall
Albania don’t care about winning Eurovision this year. Or at least the fans who voted for it in the televote didn’t care about winning Eurovision. I respect that. They chose a song that they liked. It’s pleasant enough with some lovely vocals but it’s more of an album track than a single, if I can use that analogy. It’s finished and I can’t remember it now.
Rating: *** Never put pepper in the bush

13. SMELLY FRANCE: Madame Monsieur – Mercy
Having failed French at school I’m not sure what she’s on about but it sounds like the chorus is “My name is thank you”. Maybe she means Mercy rather than the translation. Nope, no idea either. I love the spirit of this if that’s a thing. I like the coconut plinks throughout, the sad wah-wah after she says “mercy” is kinda hilarious, and I absolute adore the final third with the “mercy mercy” refrain. It’s France so it’s absolute cobblers and thoroughly French but goddamn them, I like it.
Rating: ***** The first time I’ve ever liked a French entry ever. Kill me.

14. CZECH REPUBLIC: Mikolas Josef – Lie To Me

czech

Mikolas at the alt-right rally in Charlottesville

I am fucking living for those horns, queen. While still a few years away from sounding truly modern, it manages to blend that cliché sound from Eurovision with a Justin Timberlake vocal. It’s a slightly whitewashed Talk Dirty by Jason Derulo but, importantly, I just like Lie To Me more.
Rating: ***** Yeah, yeah I want to punch him too but then maybe sleep with him

15. DENMARK: Rasmussen – Higher Ground
Dark synth with tribal drums? I am down for this. The performance I am watching is entirely in blue with a wind machine. It does not help the song. Away from that, just listening on its own, I kinda like it.
Rating: *** Mid table and impactless – which is also what St Peter will say to you after your death

16. AUSTRALIA: Jessica Mauboy – We Got Love

aus.jpg

Jessica Mauboy (pictured here in Australia)

I was wrong. This is not a void. Her semi final vocal really lit this up and the song hit me. Whether or not she can do it again is another matter, but I no longer think this is as worthless as a Donald Trump policy.
Rating: ****

17. FINLAND: Saara Aalto – Monsters
One note vocals with backing dancers dressed in high fashion Ghostbusters bondage gear. Folk are calling this a ‘banger’ but the only time I’d use that term is if I was referring to Saara as a used car. There just isn’t enough here. The shanty arpeggiator synth and simple beats need something else to pack a punch. It needs another instrument to bring it all together. Being wrong is awesome has never felt so right. Finland are going home with nothing.
Rating: * Dreadful

18. BULGARIA: Equinox – Bones
Noughties electric soul. A slow burn where the climax is just a more layered version of the chorus. This doesn’t make me feel anything but they have brightened it up on stage. She certainly looks like she has watched too many episodes of the Mighty Boosh.
Rating: ** Bland

19. MOLDOVA: DoReDos – My Lucky Day
Their new stage show makes this one work so much better. It looks like a 70s gameshow with each of them dressed in bold colours. The song is a nice slice of honkstep. Moldova are carving themselves out as a fun little country through Eurovision. Last year’s 3rd place with Hey Mamma and that awesome guy on sax was a true standout and should have won over the cancerous Portugal entry.  This year it’s not quite as good but just as good-natured and fun. The bastards.
Rating: *** Thanks for the horns but it’s no Hey Mamma

20. SWEDEN: Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
Oh finally. A goddamn song. Lovely performance. Funk bass, thoughtful arrangement. Just needs a stronger chorus. It’s lovely but meaningless. Luckily the stageshow and lighting elevates it to more than it should be – in the same way plastic surgery keeps Cher’s face together.
Rating: **** 

21. HUNGARY: AWS – Viszlát nyár
Dial-in rock cliches. Reminds me of the Backstreet Boys doing metal. Or PJ and Duncan (RIP). The vocals sound strained when he’s singing the first bit but it’s kinda funny when he just fucks it out the window and just screeches for the rest of the song. If you take a step back from the amusement of this being in Eurovision and compare it with some metal songs you actually like, I think you’ll find that this is an absolute embarrassment. That said, I hope the guitars are so loud everyone bleeds.
Rating: ****

22. ISRAEL: Netta – Toy
Ah. Okay then. It’s Beanie Man, Björk, La Roux and Jessie J wrapped into one. Oh, and a fucking chicken. Words can’t really do this justice. It’s kinda hilarious but after Hungary, and some of the other favourites, I wonder if this will have less impact. Still would risk an each-way bet on it. As you know, if you don’t like Israel you are as Anti-Semitic as the Labour party.

Netta

Netta outside of the competition

Rating: * or *****

23. NETHERLANDS: Waylon – Outlaw In ‘Em
So the staging of this is problematic. Aside from seemingly being an entry by a pro-gun far-right party, the sight of a white man standing head and shoulders above his black colleagues was not a good idea. This is what I see:

Waylon-Eurovision

Waylon – as seen by non-racist people

Rating: ** [Whispers:] It’s about being bummed by Geert Wilders

24. IRELAND: Ryan O’Shaughnessy – Together
A rather delicate love song which if there is enough goodwill left in the room by song 24 should see it sail gently into everyone’s hearts. I think it’s really touching and as homophobic China cut this one out of their broadcast I like it even more. It’s weird China have a problem with gays when they manufacture all our butt plugs, eh?
Rating: **** FUCK CHINA & CAPITALISM

25. CYPRUS: Eleni Foureira – Fuego
Dripping with sex this one. Her eyebrows are on point too. It’s impressive that it sounds like it could have come off a mainstream radio station and if it slipped into my Spotify playlist I’d not think anything was wrong. I wouldn’t be like “who the fuck put this shit Eurovision song on my goddamn playlist” like I would with a chunk of the others here. This is one of the best songs and a glorious mix of Beyonce and Shakira. Obviously it’s overly sexualised and in some ways exploiting the male gaze in order to win but, hey, you do you girl.
Rating: ***** Saved me three minutes on Pornhub.

26. ITALY: Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro – Non mi avete fatto niente

Italy.jpg

Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro perform for Italy

TERRORIST KLAXON! Lyrically it’s as earnest as the Manic Street Preachers but probably a little better. I’m slightly uneasy about referencing all the terrorist attacks but including Cairo makes it less Western-centric. Iceland got a good kicking for entering a “heal the world” song so I’m in two minds about how this will play out. Because it’s last it will either be ignored or absolutely storm the competition.
Rating: ***

SUMMARY

If you’ve now finished Eurovision you are probably bleeding from several unintended places and in a pit of despair. To soothe you through it, now you have to sit through the voting. I recommend you do a shot of cyanide for every point Lithuania score.

7 what I fink should win
Cyprus
Ukraine
Czech Republic
Estonia
Austria
Ireland
France (!)

7 what I fink will win because fuck me
Lithuania
Norway
Italy
Finland
Germany
Portugal
Spain

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