Eurovision 2019

ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
edited February 28 in Heaven
Too early?

I read of Ukraine's withdrawal, due to several acts refusing various demands, and thought of fellow ESC fans on the Ship.

Last year my city put on the show live (from 5am) in the library. That would make it 3am here in NZ -- and not sure what happens here.

Any acts you are already considering as a winner? Or contender for nul points? I do not mind Australia's entry -- the voice is good, very good in my uninformed and tone-deaf opinion...but the song so-so. Any song on post-natal depression and starting with:
Hey you
It's me again
Hey you
Stone in my shoe
does not, to me, scream 'winner'. But re the topic -- Jamala and 1944.
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Comments

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited March 3
    Apologies for responding to my own OP, but we have the official "quirky act"from Iceland.
    The band Hatari just won the national selection for Eurovision in Iceland, Söngvakeppnin, with a song called Hatrið Mun Sigra which translates as 'Hate will prevail'.

    ...

    Hatari are described as an 'industrial bdsm band' consisting of three art school friends.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    At the risk of the hosts demanding I start a blog, anyone interested in discussing?

    I plan to put my headphones on at work at 7am tomorrow and listen. And hope my Australian SIM card works for voting over here.

    Apparently Madonna's performance is in doubt. Good. I do not dislike her, but do we really need big names? Justin Timberlake, who despite his talent is not someone on my rotation list, was as boring as batshit I thought -- I'd rather be entertained or amused by some local act.

    Obviously the venue, Israel, is raising concerns too.
  • FirenzeFirenze Purgatory Host, Host Emeritus
    edited May 14
    I was channel surfing earlier and caught a brief snatch of Slovenia. Earnest young woman in white polo neck singing to earnest young man in white T shirt. I’m not seeing it set Lake Bled on fire.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    I am boycotting it this year - would normally watch. But not in Israel.

    I might have to catch the Iceland entry somewhere at some point. It sounds brilliant.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited May 15
    I always watch the final to mock. I generally find the act I hate the least comes absolutely nowhere where something that was three minutes of pain wins - case in point being the ridiculous chicken flapping bullshit which was last year's winner while it should have been buried in an unmarked grave at midnight with a stake through its heart and the composer shot. There hasn't been one I've actually liked since Lordi bucked the trend and won with a song I liked. It was like we stepped into an alternative reality for a year.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    I suspect the last time there was an act I actually liked, I was probably still sporting long hair, cheesecloth smocks and flared denims.

  • FirenzeFirenze Purgatory Host, Host Emeritus
    Miffy wrote: »
    I suspect the last time there was an act I actually liked, I was probably still sporting long hair, cheesecloth smocks and flared denims.

    So, probably were they - and that was just the men.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    Miffy wrote: »
    I suspect the last time there was an act I actually liked, I was probably still sporting long hair, cheesecloth smocks and flared denims.

    so 3-4 years ago?
  • Curiosity killedCuriosity killed Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    I have a neighbour who loves it all so much he inflicts it second-hand on everyone in the vicinity at volumes that cannot be missed. I hadn't realised how well I'd done on free BBC tickets this week until last night. I shall be out on Thursday and Saturday.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I only recently developed an interest in Eurovision because Australia is in it. This strikes me as very very funny and bizarre, as is the idea of holding the competition outside Europe. But the location of the competition is relatively normal. Often, these sorts of competitions are held in odd places. I just can't get around the idea that a country over 20 hours flying time away from Europe is in Eurovision, let alone Israel, a fair and square Asian country.

    To be clear, I would go to some considerable lengths to avoid watching Eurovision.

    At the risk of repeating myself I did say to a young German thrusting a political pamphlet at me that I was Australian, and could only vote in Eurovision.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Ha ha.

    Re the boycotting, I understand the calls to...but I am not. I would make an exception to watch Iceland, SC; they are unique.

    Australia's entry, which I did like for once, grew on me greatly after seeing the live performance. I thought the staging (using a Melbourne artistic company I saw in Albury a few years back) was suitably zany-Eurovision: picture people up on poles swaying. This short video from the Albury performance (for the re-opening of our art museum) gives you an idea -- just remove the balls and add Eurovision glitz and glamour.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Well the Iceland entry is - erm - innovative. Be way better realised as death metal than techno, but that's just me.
  • I haven’t seen any yet but will be watching the final, with cocktails.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    My usual review is somewhat late this year. Due to a visit from my parents, I’m afraid I was unable to give Semi-Final 1 the attention it deserves (add your own jokes here…) until later in the week. So please cast your minds back to Tuesday, if you can bear to.

    Scott Mills and Rylan welcome us to Tel Aviv, and waste no time kicking off the proceedings. We start with a cute little film in which last year’s winner, Netta, is pictured as a child watching Israel’s previous winner – the unforgettable Dana International. This apparently inspires Netta to grow up and win Eurovision for herself. And then we cut to a huge illuminated statue of a Chinese waving ‘lucky cat’, before Netta herself appears in a futuristic black and white outfit seemingly made of crepe paper and gaffer tape. She’s ditched the signature hair buns and gone for a Cleopatra ponytail. It’s reminiscent of the scene in Hairspray where Tracey steps out of the rocket to win the dance-off – but with added chicken impressions and a chorus of oriental-inspired cheerleaders. And the crowd, of course, go wild.

    Our four hosts take the stage. This time they are: a solemn conservatively dressed guy in a suit, tie and glasses; a sixties-inspired blonde woman in a dress made of silver coins; a dark-haired woman in an unfeasibly long white dress and a silver choker; and finally an enthusiastic guy in a natty suit with a rather distracting moustache.

    After a quick introduction to the proceedings, the hosts explain that, as usual, each entry will be introduced by a short video showing that country’s performers enjoying the sights of Israel. However, this year they will not just be wandering around; instead they will take part in a dance routine. Because apparently that sort of thing happens around every corner here. In truth, these little video postcards will prove more entertaining than some of the songs. I wonder if the organisers are going to stitch them all together afterwards and create an Israeli answer to La La Land. The videos also feature what appears to be this year’s signature shape, the triangle. And since we’re guaranteed lots of cheese on stage, I wonder if Dairylea have been approached to sponsor the contest?
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    edited May 17
    I should explain that, as usual, I will only post my reviews of the countries that didn’t get through to the final. I’m saving the others for Saturday night! And so we kick things off with…

    Cyprus - qualified

    Montenegro
    A boy/girl sextet in white suits. They appear to have purchase one red scarf with gold tassels between them, and divided it up to accessorise three of their outfits. The song is a standard mid-tempo number with a few ethnic twiddles to wake you up for the key change. Weak vocals and a few badly-executed folky dance moves make it a rather half-hearted attempt.

    Finland
    More thigh-high boots, on a bloke this time. The song is called ‘Look Away’ continuing the grand Eurovision tradition of unfortunate titles. However, the addition of a woman in green performing a dance routine on an ice floe helps to focus the attention. Then she disappears and is seen on the screen behind, seemingly underwater. The amphibious young lady then reappears on the ice floe. What can it all mean?

    Poland
    OK, this is the kind of freaky stuff we’ve come to expect from Eurovision. Four young women in red-veiled outfits with stripey skirts and gold headdresses, shouting their way through a song. The audience clap along, and I’m sure their mothers are very proud.

    Slovenia - qualified
    Czech Republic - qualified

    During an ad break Scott introduces us to the French entry, a Beyonce-tastic young man called Bilal who apparently has 18 wigs, all with their own names. His song has a laudable message about being yourself, and he tells us that he ‘hasn’t come here just to win’. Well, that’s nice. I think this entry will definitely be worth a watch, though, for many reasons.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    Hungary
    The first man-bun of the night. A big barefoot guy sings a heartfelt ballad about his father, who appears on the screen behind him. It’s all a bit Lion King, except that we assured his father is still alive. So that’s all right then. The song also features that old Eurovision standby, a ‘na na na’ chorus – and it won’t be the only time that appears tonight.

    Belarus - qualified
    Serbia - qualified

    Belgium
    The song is called ‘Wake Up’ and yet again, my response is ‘No thanks’. The lad is only 19 and looks like he needs an espresso himself, frankly. He is entirely charisma-free, and even the hard-working drummers either side of him can’t enliven the proceedings.

    Georgia
    Another big guy with a man-bun. Now we know why Belgium’s entry lacked drama. This guy has evidently stolen their intensity and added to his own. His steely glare is so unnerving I want to turn round and see what he’s looking at, but I can’t tear my eyes away. Unfortunately his rock-tinged voice wanders away from the tune at times. By the time the scary choir guys behind him join in, there are at least three keys happening in this song. It’s all very dramatic, though.

    Australia -qualified
    Iceland - qualified
    Estonia - qualified

    Portugal
    Remember when Portugal won Eurovision a couple of years back? With the guy who looked like a frightened hamster, and the understated late-night jazz ballad? He made an impassioned speech about this being a victory for proper songs instead of silly staging. Well, it looks like Portugal have decided to turn their backs on all that, because this number is a textbook example of bewildering staging which completely overshadows any attempt at a song. It’s apparently about mobile phones or something, but who cares when there’s a samurai guy in a sparkly plastic beard, and a breakdancing bloke in a green sarong dancing on pointe? Seriously, folks, go and find this on YouTube, it’s worth it. But don’t have nightmares.

    Greece - qualified
    San Marino - qualified
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    And now time for our hosts to kick off the vote (which we can’t join in tonight) and recap all the entries. My goodness, some of those seem a long time ago. And then – of course – we wheel out Dana International to perform. Let’s just say there must be a Botox shortage in Tel Aviv tonight, because she’s evidently nicked it all. After a cheeky wink at herself in the mirror, she comes out in a flowing red gown and a Carol Vorderman wig, to sing a rather muted version of Bruno Mars’ ‘Just The Way You Are’. The real reason for the number, though, is the heart-shaped kiss cam, which ranges over the audience encouraging them to lock lips with each other. I have no idea if some of them are even actual couples. It would make for a heck of a ‘how we met’ story in years to come. In contrast there’s a hilarious moment when the camera catches a solitary miserable guy who’s evidently bored to tears.

    Then Scott interviews the UK’s hopeful, ‘All Together Now’ winner Michael Rice, along with Scott’s podcast co-host Jayde Adams (nope, me neither). Rylan then features in his own version of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ where he acts as a limo driver encouraging the acts to try out their songs. Worth tuning in, if only for Sweden’s sweet harmonies.

    Rylan (again) interviews a few more acts to fill time. I don’t know what’s happening on the stage right now, but surely it’s more interesting than this? We cut to a film of Scott trying to find Madonna – who is apparently performing on Saturday, though goodness knows why. It’s a rather lame excuse for Scott to wander round Tel Aviv, and needless to say the person he eventually finds is not actually the material girl herself.

    Yawn, more interviews and a quick preview of France, Israel and Spain’s entries. And then the obligatory ‘wake up Jon Ola Sand’ moment so he can verify that all the votes have been verified (he’s been doing this for years, why does he always seem so surprised?)

    And the qualifiers are:
    Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, Czech Republic, Australia, Iceland, San Marino and Slovenia.

    Evidently even BBC4 has had enough by now as the programme is suddenly cut off, to be replaced by a ‘sorry for the fault’ message until the programme ends. So we will never hear the stunning intellectual repartee of the hosts, nor the deep and insightful closing remarks of Scott and Rylan. Ah well. Time to refill the wine glasses before we move on to Semi-Final 2. Shalom, folks.
  • DooneDoone Shipmate
    Thank you Gill H, very entertaining! I shall be watching the final, but missed the semis 😬😂.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    Semi-Final 2 review

    And we’re back! After a quick reminder of Tuesday’s events, our hosts return. The guys haven’t even bothered with a costume change, but the dark-haired woman has now changed to a white trouser suit with scarily pointed shoulders, and the blonde one now wears a skimpy black bress covered in red lips. And after some strained repartee we start with…

    Armenia
    Oh joy, more thigh-high boots. This lady is angry. Maybe the boots are chafing. The song is called ‘Walking Out’ and yes, she closes the song by doing exactly that. But not before some snazzy shattered glass effects on the floor, and tonight’s first example of ‘messing up the big note’ – right on a key change, no less. I’m serious, guys, let’s make this a criterion for instant elimination. It would save so much time.

    Ireland
    This is so 50s. A blonde girl in red leather singing in a diner about a guy whose house number was 22 – which by a staggering coincidence is the name of the song. Maybe the two girls singing with her are supposed to be the two little ducks. Sadly her vocals are underpowered and the number lacks the essential chirpiness you need for this sort of thing.

    Moldova
    Two women, one in white who has evidently listened to Celine Dion many, many times. The other in black, who doesn’t even get to sing, but instead produces rather beautiful sand art which is way more interesting than the song.

    Switzerland - qualified

    Latvia
    A wistful folk-tinged ditty from a woman in a long white dress and green hat. Her guitarist’s long curly blonde locks suggest he probably works as a musketeer at weekends. I’m not averse to the folky stuff, but this is just dull, sorry.

    Romania
    Evidently the Rentaghost reboot is going for a much darker feel. An intense woman in a black skirt suit sits in an armchair in a haunted house, until she is interrupted by two Elizabethan clowns. They prowl around her and for a moment it seems they’re gearing up for the regulation ‘surprise costume change’ but instead they do some handstands for no reason.

    More tortured links from the hosts, and more interviews with our entry, the still overwhelmed Michael Rice, who recounts the ‘posh tea’ he had with Geri Halliwell. Ah, bless. Then we’re promised another look at the ‘Big Five’ but instead we go to…

    Denmark - qualified

    Sweden - qualified

    Austria
    A girl in a painfully tight boob tube, who looks as if she’s auditioning for Cabaret. Her wispy voice is no doubt caused by her attire – in fact she even sings at one point about ‘the pressure on my chest’. Somebody get her a nice comfy t-shirt, please! The song’s chorus of ‘you-oo-oo’ unfortunately comes out sounding as if she’s talking about someone called Hugh. Or maybe choux. She could do with a few pastries, poor love.
  • Gill HGill H Shipmate
    Croatia
    This could be a little glimpse into Scott and Rylan’s favourite club. It opens with a guy lying on the floor in what seems like the pits of hell, until he’s rescued by guys in golden angel wings, and fitted with wings of his own. He can at least sing, and is one of the few to not mess up the high note, but the wings are the stars here.

    Malta - qualified

    Lithuania
    There’s a touch of Leonardo di Caprio about this guy. He sings something about running with the lions, which sounds much more exciting than the song actually is. Nice falsetto, though.

    Another ad break, which means more interviews for us. Oh joy. At least we have Mans Zelmerlow from Sweden, who understands the British attitude to Eurovision perfectly. Can we hope for another mickey-take in the final, along the lines of the wonderful spoof number ‘Love Love Peace Peace’ he took part in a few years back?

    Russia - qualified

    Albania - qualified

    Norway - qualified

    The Netherlands - qualified

    North Macedonia - qualified

    Azerbaijan - qualified

    And that’s it, tonight’s last entry. Which means more chat from the hosts, who kick off the voting and then give us a quick recap. And then we get tonight’s interval act.

    Now this is really something special. Not because all the participants have a disability, but because we finally have some genuine talent on the stage. They perform a heartfelt and beautiful rendition of ‘A Million Dreams’ from the ubiquitous ‘Greatest Showman’ and command the attention of the entire hall without recourse to flashy staging or musical theatrics. Is it too late for the organisers to send Madonna home and book these guys for Saturday instead?

    It’s followed by a ‘mentalist’ (aka a ‘mind-reader’) who corrals some of the artists and performs an impressive trick with numbers. And after yet another recap we get a sequel to last year’s spoof documentary where Rylan plays a Eurovision intern. I remember last year’s being a snoozefest, but perhaps the booze has kicked in tonight as there are a few laughs to be had this time. At least it’s better than the interminable interviews which follow it. And now more chat with some of the Big Five, plus a preview of their songs – including ours. And after yet more interviews, at last Jon Ola Sand reprises his ‘who, me?’ face and the hosts announce the qualifiers, who are:

    North Macedonia, The Netherlands, Albania, Sweden, Russia, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Malta.

    So, time to put the empty bottles in the recycling and stock up on Israeli snacks for Saturday night. Shalom y’all.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    About the Icland entry:
    A new feature from Iceland, managing to have no recognisable tune, but still have a key change. Magic.

    The male dancer's costume could only be Eurovision, I wish I could unsee it.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    balaam wrote: »
    About the Icland entry:
    A new feature from Iceland, managing to have no recognisable tune, but still have a key change. Magic.

    The male dancer's costume could only be Eurovision, I wish I could unsee it.

    I’ll need some brain bleach to hand if I have to watch that again on Saturday. :neutral:



  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Just looked at the running order. The UK is followed by Iceland. That’s it, we’re doomed!
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Ha ha. Poor Icelanders...must be those long winter nights.

    Thank you Gill. I wish I could park myself on your couch come Saturday night and enjoy the spectacle with your commentary.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate, 8th Day Host
    Icland not Iceland, because it is ick!
  • I like the Icelandic entry!
    Looking forward to tonight.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    I like the Icelandic entry!
    Looking forward to tonight.

    Each to their own! :)

    Whilst on the subject, what’s with the prevalence of performers who look as if they’ve raided the catalogue of a certain thermal undies catalogue?

    (Not including Ickland in this one; no way would you find their costumes in that catalogue! :blush:

  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Missed ) :smiley:
  • It’s on!
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Ah- longjohns!
  • I really like the Denmark one.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    I’ve lost track. That wasn’t the dentist and the solar panels was it?
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Hm... I find myself watching too, ... for now! Nearly everyone sings in English, it's embarrassing. Songs don't get any better if they're all in the same language.

    Although, North Macedonia on now - at last someone who can sing.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited May 18
    I've missed the start of the show, by the way, but I guess I'll live. :)
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    You’ve not missed much.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited May 18
    Thought so. :D

    The Swedish guy had something like: 'You left a space / where everything reminds me of your face'. - Riiiight.

    I'm watching on the computer, in a tiny browser window (which, let it be known, I shall keep tiny for sanity reasons!) :) I mostly just hear the music, and can do other stuff in the meantime.
  • Miffy wrote: »
    I’ve lost track. That wasn’t the dentist and the solar panels was it?

    The sweet ditty at the top of the ladder.
    I like Sweden too, the one with the gospel style backing singers.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    The other half has kindly switched on the TV; don’t think I can face it all in widescreen.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Miffy wrote: »
    I’ve lost track. That wasn’t the dentist and the solar panels was it?

    The sweet ditty at the top of the ladder.
    I like Sweden too, the one with the gospel style backing singers.

    They livened things up!

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited May 18
    It did.

    I know we can't like our friends the Ruskies, but I rather like Sergey. No sign of an umbrella for all that rain, but a bit of visual trickery warms my heart.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    Yep, he was ok I thought.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I wonder how much that floral arrangement from Greece cost?
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited May 18
    Greece’s song/singer is unusually good for Greece (I also thought it was like Florence and the Machine) but the stage set was rather odd.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited May 18
    Agreed. All the while the Israeli chap 'feels the sun on his skin'.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    One of those men from Norway has taken his testosterone tablets: what a deep voice!
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    edited May 18
    Hehe - they're quite good. At least a cheerful song. Could become an earworm.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Definitely moved out of the lonjohn’s section!
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Long
  • FirenzeFirenze Purgatory Host, Host Emeritus
    I am watching in Catch Up, so an Albanian lady dressed as a minor Renaissance portrait has just been succeeded by a Czech beat combo in Early Beatnik.
  • Wesley JWesley J Shipmate
    UK now!
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