For the first time in many years I sat through the whole Eurovision song contest and it just doesn’t get any better…. Whilst in some respects it’s refreshing to hear something other sanitised soulless American rap and r’n’b, it’s also depressing that this was the best 26 countries could come up with.
There were some interesting songs – Armenia came up with something that wouldn’t be out of place on a Dead Can Dance album and it was rather good.
Belgium tried their luck with something resembling Lorde. Unfortunately whilst she had an attention grabbing voice she was also only 17 and looked absolutely petrified all the way through the track.
Azerbaijan bought a chilly goth feel to their performance including long duster coats, heavy silver makeup and a man wearing a horse head standing on a ladder. It was the one song I wanted to hear again not just because of the staging but because it was a rather intriguing song.
There was also some out and out lunacy especially from some of the Eastern Europeans. Croatia went with a singer who went from high camp to opera and back again repeatedly throughout the song. Ukraine clearly didn’t want to win again so went for a sub Rammstein metal option. Romania stole the show in terms of out of the box thinking but going for a rap / yodelling crossover which was utterly bizarre.
At least these countries show some imagination even if the results aren’t always great. The best the UK could put forward was a dull ballad sung by a woman who couldn’t even win the X-Factor. We all know we are never going to win so why can’t we take a risk and try something slightly left field?
The winning song was a curious affair. While most countries went with big light shows, pyrotechnics and gimmicks (treadmills anyone?), Portugal just had their entry sing the song without any effects. He did a lot of hand wringing and along with his beard this made him look rather like Fagin from the Oliver Twist film but it appeared this lack of showbiz appealed to both judges and the public and he won by a big margin.
I sure this won’t be the last time I’ll promise never to watch Eurovision again and sadly I’m also sure it won’t be the last time I do watch it……