Since we are more or less in the quiet season, I can soothe my Eurovision itch by watching some of the previous contests. Since I’m at my computer all day and my workstation has three monitors, I figure that I could devote one monitor to ESCs while working on the other two. Yes, I know there is a Junior Eurovision, but I’m not a huge fan of children-based competitions.
We’re back again, and this time were are coming from Vienna, Austria because of Conchita Wurst’s win with “Rise Like a Phoenix” in 2014.
Since I am a bit short on time, I’m gonna do a quick recap of my thoughts about the various performances.
What Europe Thought:
Image courtesy of Eurovision World (***)
What Kwame Thought:
In terms of countries that were on the left side of our scoreboards (our top 14 performances), I think this is the first time my top selections matched Europe’s with Italy, Australia, Latvia, Israel, Estonia, Russia, Serbia, Belgium, Sweden, Montenegro, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Slovenia landing in the top half.
Slovenia – Here For You by Maraaya: I’m loving the unique voice. I wonder why she’s wearing huge earphones. A great show opener.
France – Noubliez Pas by Lisa Angella: Perhaps, it’s her voice, but she seems really nervous. I think this is a case of me enjoying the staging more so than the actual singing.
Israel – Golden Boy by Nadav Guedj: I pretty much loved everything about his performance. To be perfectly honest, there probably isn’t anything that I would change about the performance. While his vocals were not as strong as I would have liked, I thought he did an amazing job, especially for a 16-year-old. Speaking of 16 years old, I always thought he was in his 20s.
Estonia – Goodbye to Yesterday by Elina Born & Stig Rasta: Loving the back-and-forth engagement between the two singers. Very mellow, yet meaningful song. Oh snap where did he go? He disappeared into thin air? 😉
United Kingdom – Still in Love with You by Electro Velvet: Gotta be honest, I don’t get it. But, I’m loving the lighting; however, it’s kind of cheezy for me. NEXT!
Armenia – Face the Shadow by Genealogy: Geez how many people are in this group? 😉 Individually their voices are pretty good, but it sounds kind of messy together. However, the staging is pretty nice. Since there’s a lot going on in the song, I think this performance would have been more effective if the group had 3-4 people singing.
Lithuania – This Time by Monika & Vaidas: The male singer has a very nice jawline. I’m kinda jealous of it. 😉 Their voices blend well, and the song is pretty upbeat and fun. Unfortunately, it’s just not my cup of tea.
Serbia – Beauty Never Lies by Bojana Stamenov: Ok. I was not expecting the dance breakdown with the tearaway clothing. Great vocal range. While the song has a great message of positivity, they sure shove it down our throats. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with making sure the audience gets the message. . . I guess
Norway – A Monster Like Me by Morland & Debrah Scarlett: Didn’t notice that they were performing.
Cyprus – One Thing I Should Have Done by John Karayiannis: Already, I’m not a fan of the black and white artificial light filter/effect. That said, I do like the simplistic nature of his voice. However, I don’t think the song really moves or goes anywhere. I think it needed an exciting vocal moment maybe to add some complexity to the song. Also, this is going to bug the hell out of me, but I feel this song is VERY similar to something that I have heard from the 80s or 90s.
Australia – Tonight Again by Guy Sebastian: Two seconds into the song, and I’m already loving it. Definitely, a song that must go into several of my playlists.
Belgium – Rhythm Inside by Loic Nottet: Ok a very experimental submission from Belgium. I wonder who came up with this concept because it’s pretty interesting. My only issue is the lead singer is scream-singing. Those complaints aside, this song definitely grew on me – primarily because of the unique concept.
Austria – I am Yours by The Makemakes: Didn’t notice this was on.
Greece – One Last Breath by Maria Elena Kyriakou: Shucks it’s not in Greek. Wow, she’s beautiful, and I’m loving the dress. I kinda like the sound, because it reminds me a bit of Celine Dion
Montenegro – Adio by Knez: It gives me ESC vibes from the 90s with a modern taste. I mean 5-6 people on the stage with ethnic flair, and a simple performance that doesn’t hide behind a whole lot of glitz and glamor.
Germany – Black Smoke by Ann Sophie: I kind the song, but the vocals are all over the place during the chorus. Is it bad that I like the backup singers more than the lead singer? I will say that it is getting better now that we are 2/3rds through the song. I don’t know, but a song like this requires someone who lives, breathes, and poops soul. In her case, I think she’s trying too hard to fit into a soul category. I wonder if this is her regular genre of music.
Poland – In the Name of Love by Monika Kuszynska: She has a nice voice, but the song is very plain. By plain, it reminds me of something from ESC in the 90s.
Latvia – Love Injected by Aminata: No words . . . I love it.
Romania – De La Capat / All Over Again by Votaj: Not really sure what to make of it. I like it, but I cannot put my finger on why I like it.
Spain – Amanecer by Edurne: A little Red Riding Hood action. I’m really feeling the tone in her voice, but her vocals are kinda shaky. Yum, her dancer is kinda hot. Oh no! Not a voice crack right at the end of the song.
Hungary – Wars for Nothing by Boggie: I must have skipped this one for a bathroom break. Oh well . . . gotta keep it moving.
Georgia – Warrior by Nina Sublatti: One thing that I’ll say about Georgia is they normally bring something a bit different to the contest, and this performance is no exception. I kind of wish that more countries would send more songs outside of general pop.
Azerbaijan – Hour of the Wolf by Elnur Huseynov: I sense a build-up coming. I love the power in his voice. While I was distracted several times by his amazing dancers, his voice kept me returning to him. I think it was a perfect mix of vocal and modern dance.
Russia – A Million Voices by Polina Gagarina: Pretty uplifting song.
Albania – I’m Alive by Elhaida Dani: Wow it took the song a while to build up, but once it hit the point of climax. Man, it was AMAZING.
Italy – Grande Amore by Il Volo: MY WINNER. These three were absolutely flawless. I think this is one of the few times that I thoroughly enjoyed vocals from male Italian singers. Simply fascinating. Actually, this probably is one of my favorite songs in the entire history of the contest.