Eurovision 2016

I decided not to get up and watch the Eurovision final live this year. I was at a semi-final party until late last night, so I slept in. We all know who won but I’m still going to do my review thing, because why not?

I’ll be adding some commentary on the on the acts that didn’t get through the second  semi-final when I have a minute, but here we go!

What has Julia done with her hair?

Right, a woman dressed in platonic solids, that makes sense.

And an octopus man.

And an elephant man.

And a semi-naked Finn the Human.

Apparently they’re all made of paper, that’s clever, but no excuse!

They must have a bunch of spare battery packs for Bulgaria. She’s lit up like a lighthouse in every single shot.

Belgium: Well they’re certainly enthusiastic. And very 90s. Not a great song, but the presentation is very Eurovision. Not hardcore Eurovision, I mean they don’t have any piano-centaurs or holographic wolves, but there’s plenty of cheese. 3/5, mostly for enthusiasm.

Czech Republic: All white costume! Drink! Competent, yet dull, so far. Hmmm, it’s growing on me a bit. Hair change! Drink! Not bad overall. 3/5

Netherlands: A protest song against modern life apparently. With ten seconds of silence for people to do whatever they want. Giant clock! Oo! He’s playing an instrument! And they’ve actually got a band on stage. Inoffensive, middle of the road pop-country. Looking dead into the camera and mouthing “I love you” – extremely creepy, you lose points for that! 2.5/5

Azerbaijan: Golden microphone and body stocking and lots of fire. I presume the song will kick it up a notch in a second. Ah, there we go! Extras from Buck Rogers dancing against a background of flying Zome. OK, but nothing amazing. 2.5/5

Hungary: There’s whistling apparently. Big drum! Drink! Those eyebrows are quite something aren’t they? Ah, backup whistlers. That’s an unusual choice. And now they’re doing aerobics. Musically it just sounds like a not particularly good Live cover band. Drum guy’s lost his mind. Seriously, what’s the deal with asymmetric shirts? 2/5

Ad break! Time for a semi-final review!

Switzerland: All I can remember is that she had a transparent skirt and was bobbing up and down in a fashion that may have been intended to look like she was skiing, but actually just made her look constipated. Not great, not great at all…

Belarus: This act was everything Eurovision should be! Weird face paint, nudity, holographic wolves, performing with multiple holographic versions of yourself. It’s a crime that this didn’t get through!

And we’re back!

Italy: From what I’ve seen this is just weird. Hey! It’s in Italian! The staging is strange, but the song’s not bad. Could do with a bit more tune. Are sparkly overalls the next fashion trend, or is it a tie in to the agricultural theme? Best so far I think! 3.5/5

Israel: Ah, the Robert Smith/Boy George hybrid. A giant sparkly Zome face! And here comes the hula hoop! The hula hoop is silly, but it’s a pretty good song – even if it is cribbing from… can’t quite place it, but there’s another song it’s grabbing a bit from. Something 80’s I think. 4/5!

Bulgaria: Ah yes! the girl with the light up suit and wobbly knees! I actually snorted with laughter when she started dancing the first time. It’s a passable dance song, but it needs a better chorus. Nonetheless she’s singing bits in Bulgarian, she’s wearing a cape and her costume lights up, so 3.5/5!

Another ad break…

Ireland: Was this guy in Boyzone, or does he just like look like he was in Boyzone? Anyway it was an adequate song sung by a guy in a weird jacket, but nothing much to write home about.

Macedonia: Dona Dona Dona. Dona. Dona Dona. A great voice, but the song was sub par. And that costume wasn’t doing her any favours.

Back to it!

Sweden: The local boy. Well this is a whole load o’ nuthin. Ah! here we go. His muttering is easier to put up with with some musical backing, but still not great. Relying a bit too heavily on the teen hearthrob factor I think. 2.5/5 and I’m not sorry.

Germany: This girl appears to be a big fan of Japan. And insane. Let’s see… Big moon! Apparently she’s the Queen of Mirkwood. A good dose of Eurovision weirdness, but the song isn’t doing much for me. Great voice though. 3/5

France: What’s the bet that this will be entirely in French? Apparently he’s a former dental surgeon. A former dental surgeon flying through space. Sacré bleu! There’s English bits! Somewhat catchy dance track. 3/5

Poland: Jon Snow in Michael Jackson’s jacket asking the same question that the Scatman asked much better 20 years ago (you know nothing Michał Szpak). That said, it’s a better song than some of the others we’ve seen tonight. 2.5/5

Australia: Hooray! Our first proper Eurovision contestant! And she’s sitting on a box, manipulating holograms. The songwriters really went for epic with this one didn’t they? She’s pulling it off though. You can call me biased, but I honestly think it’s one of the best songs of the night, and an excellent performance of it. 4/5

(Don’t worry, I have no doubt we’ll send something awful next year)

Cyprus: It’s a band! Holy crap, that’s an opening. Are they in cages for stealing their riff from Midnight Oil? Decent performance, but it’s not a great song. Ahh! Demon wolves! And now the lead singer’s possessed! Is that even legal? 2/5

Serbia: An issues song, which makes me feel kind of guilty for trying to mock it. Very gothy. Are the backup singers dressed in shredded garbage bags? And what’s with that hair? Key change! Drink! OK song, great voice! 3/5

Lithuania: Oh yeah, this guy. I wasn’t impressed in the semi-final. His singing seems out of synch with the music. And is he meant to be some kind of ice-bender? Or a snow golem? That spin was kind of cool mind you. Costume change! Drink! You know, this is actually a bit better than I remebered – his enthusiasm is carrying it. 3/5

Croatia: Woah. That is one crazy dress! Ow, she seems a bit flat. Costume change! Drink! She really does seem off key. 2.5/5 (would have been 3 if she was on tune).

Russia: The favourite! Shame they invaded Ukraine isn’t it? Wings! Woah! Big on effects. Tempo change? Magic stairs. Gravity defiance! Oh now this is just getting silly! Not a bad song, but I think everyone has been dazzled by the effects. 3/5

Ad break…

Slovenia: I can’t actually recall anything about Slovenia. To the YouTubes! Oh yeah! Her! If YouTube ever bloody loads I might be able to remember something about the song.

I guess not. Back again.

Spain: Silver sports dress? A bit sparse so far. OK, kicking in a bit now. More crazy knee dancing, guess that must be in at the moment. There’s a decent dance track in there, but it’s all a bit too busy for it to gel. There’s two of them now, like I said, too busy. 2.5/5

Latvia: Sounds a bit off key. OK, he seems to have recovered. A bit dull isn’t it? Strong voice, but not a lot going on. Singer falls to knees! Drink! 2.5/5

Ukraine: The song Russia didn’t want them to play! Another issues song really. Musically not my cup of tea, although the traditional bit in the middle is great. 3/5

Malta: Are we back in the club in 1994? Ah! Giant face! Psychotic gymnast! Drink! Not much to write home about here I have to say. 2/5

Another ad break, let’s try again…

Slovenia: Oh yeah, I really liked this! Uptempo banjos and prolonged la-las. The guy swinging around on the pole is a bit much, but it’s a real shame this didn’t get through to the final.

Back to the show!

Georgia: It’s good to see another actual band participating, but their song really isn’t very good is it? And someone should tell that guitarist that Oasis broke up years ago. Does dropping to your knees to fiddle with the effects peddles count for a drink? 2/5

Austria: In French. Sweet and inoffensive. Frank L. Baum may want to have a word with them about the effects. Wind machine! Drink! 3/5

United Kingdom: Oh, this is always a gamble. The UK tries so hard that they often kick an own goal, but let’s see. Is that guitar making the sound of a piano? Now, you see this is decent. No gimmicks, no trying to game the system, just some guys singing a halfway decent song. They’ll probably still get voted to oblivion, but at least the UK can hold their heads up this year. 3.5/5

Armenia: Oh dear, talking. Swimsuit and a cape, OK, there’s gonna be a wind machine in this isn’t there? Oh this is not good at all is it? Even the holograms can’t save it. Is she singing a completely different song to the music? 2/5

And that’s it! Time for the interval, featuring Justin Timberlake for some reason. But back to the semi-final…

Denmark: Actually pretty good for a boy band song. Quite catchy. Although what’s with the sleeves on the guy on the left?

Norway: Seemed a bit off key, and full of weird tempo changes. Interesting, but not smart.

Albania: Finally Albania, who looked like she’d fallen into a vat of molten copper. Seriously guys, cut back on the bronzer! But not a bad song overall.

You know, it’s already 10:00pm, we know who won and I have to go to work tomorrow. I think I’ll give the whole voting rigmarole a miss this year (I can always check it out on YouTube tomorrow).

Well done Ukraine! Next year in Kiev!

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