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Eurovision 2017 - grand final random commentary

Just in case you missed it, the Grand Final review has been marked up, given pictures and videos and such. I'll do the semis soon.
Just don't read it on iOS - the twenty six videos crashes Safari...

 

To those who asked, I'm feeling better now, thanks. I don't know which took longer, getting over what happened, or getting over the antibiotics.

 

The first thing we need to discuss is the staging. It was impressive, for sure. Designed to look like something out of a big budget sci-fi film. Would the curvy thing above the stage take off? Lay eggs? Hatch? Hard to tell.
It was, however, maybe a big made-of-fail when it came to the actual performances. With only six people permitted on the stage, some used the stage well, some struggled with the enormity, and one decided "to hell with it" and used the tiny mid-audience stage in preference. Annnd, guess who stood out enough to win.

 

Upon watching the contest again, the first song of the night to make an impact in Naviband, two who look like they're really having fun performing their song. And, JESC aside, it's the first time we've heard Belorussian in the contest, and doesn't it sound sort of like a Gaelic language? They didn't do so well in the scoring, 50 from the juries and only 33 from the public. Shame.

 

Sax guy. It's a weird, catchy, and somewhat annoying song. But, hey, sax guy.
It did okay in the votes. The juries gave it 110, midway on the left, and the public put it in third place.

 

Now the big disappointment of the night, for me, was the Hungarian song. It started off solid, I mean it was heartfelt and haunting. No idea what it meant until I looked up the lyrics and, yup, I could sort of sense some of that. The problem was the cheap rap interlude. It undid all of the good that the song was. The juries didn't like it (below Belarus) but the public took it up to eighth place. Without the rap, if he'd stayed true to his song, it could easily have done better.

 

I had wondered why the lyrics of Occidentali's Karma didn't seem to make that much sense. It turns out that the Sanremo version was three minutes and forty five seconds, and it got butchered in order to fit Eurovision's three minute limit. Here's the original on RAI. You'll notice the first verse is longer, and there's a second verse, and now the song makes a lot more sense.

 

The Denmark song begins with "Laying down my armour, laying down my guard". Sorry, I much prefer "Laying down my llama, laying down my god". Nothing else to say about this.

 

Azerbaijan's song - not looked for the lyrics. It sounds like she's singing I'm into daydreams, amazed by foreign genes, deep into high extremes.

 

Croatia's song is a big pile of WTF, but I still like it. Gotta respect one bloke who can fill the places of multiple band members... oh, maybe I ought to rephrase that...!
The juries didn't like it much, the public put in on the left of the scoreboard.

 

Australia's song. Was painful enough the first time. There must be a lot of love for Australia. This came fourth in the jury vote, and ninth overall.

 

Demi for Greece, channelling a bit of Nolwenn Leroy in appearance there, puts on a perky performance of a meh song.

 

Spain's song was so bad I'm just going to skip over it. How the public could give it five points, I don't know. Actually, those five points came from Portugal.

 

The UK's entry. Actually pretty effective staging, the clamshell mirrors. And a woman with a slightly waily but undeniably powerful voice. What could possibly go wrong? Maybe the weird expressions, the over the top gestures (yeah, we get that it's a mirror), and perhaps just give me your hand and hold on, together we'll dance through this storm could be taken by some as a stealth Brexit reference?

It got a good 99 from the juries, and a ridiculous 11 from the public. Well, at least some people liked it enough to offer a handful of votes. I'm guessing Ireland and Malta. But, one of the UK's better entries in a long time, but when held up against the countries that take Eurovision seriously instead of "it's camp rubbish". One of the reasons I beg for commentary free audio is that Norton informs less than he mocks. It's okay to make the crappy songs, but to try to follow in Wogan's footsteps and mock everything, it gets tiring. And, you know what? I don't think it's missed on the rest of Europe. But, hey, look at Brexit. The English never really "did" the Europe thing at all, did they? With that in mind, I think the UK's final 111 score is a perfectly solid result. It's about a hundred and eleven more than I was expecting. High scores from Albania and Slovenia, and a very high score from Australia (though, the public gave it a lot less than the jury).

 

Now, Romania's male performer - to quote Wiwibloggs - is quoted as saying: They used marketing to win, as happens in our talent shows as well. His backstory worked and the public ate it up. But from my point of view, Salvador doesnít have heart problems, but head issues. Everybody thought that Italy would win, but there was a big fuss in Kyiv about [Salvador Sobral] because he was mysterious, he didnít give interviews, he didnít take photos and he wouldnít show up for rehearsals. The Bulgarian representative could also have used his story, as he doesnít see well, but he didnít. The Portuguese played a role, thatís what I felt. I saw him on many occasions and I didnít believe he had [health] problems. On the other hand, his song is excellent and itís been a while since something like this has been written. But I am annoyed by the cheap theatrics, thatís why Iím so cynical. A lot of people have problems. But donít use this to win. If you want to win, use what you do professionally, your voice, your show. Thatís winning! Iíve had problems myself in talent shows, but Iíve never resorted to cheap deceitful tactics in order to win.
Bloody hell.
I myself wondered if Salvador was autistic, but, you know, there's a kind way to wonder such things without malice. The above quote? Plenty of malice. I rather suspect that Ilinca will be distancing herself from this comment.

Romania, I remind you, offering a pseudo rap song featuring a small female with an even smaller red dress... who yodels, with a climax where Alex arrives riding a cannon... cheap theatrics? The irony, the irony.

Let's not forget the throw-it-in face mash that much have been the most embarrassing kiss since any teenager being expected to kiss a parent in front of friends. Belarus, this wasn't. Cheap tactics, this was, plentiful. Still, it earned them seventh place. Probably on kitsch value.

 

Germany's song was "okay". She's quite good looking, and the song wasn't too awful. Certainly it deserved more than the six it ended up with.

 

Now for the interesting voice of the Belgian entry. There's a fine line between stoic and scared sh!tless, and it's rather hard to tell which one she is.
I would like to like this, but I find on repeated listening, that it's a little too repetitive for my liking - all alone in the danger zone, are you ready to take my hand...

On a more serious note - does this sound at all familiar? It's Éclat by Alexe Gaudreault, and... yeah... listen and make up your own mind.
Here's another gratuitous picture, because scared girl is kind of cute. She scored 11th place. Not as good as predicted, but still on the left of the scoreboard.

 

Bulgaria. Excellent. He needn't be sad that he didn't win. As much as Portugal left him behind with 758 points to his 615, the distance between him and third place (374 points) is much greater.

 

And, finally, France. What can you say about a pretty girl wearing a dress that blends into the night cityscape of Paris with a very very prominent Eiffel Tower? Not a bad song, at all. Not so liked by the juries, better liked by the public, to arrive at the lower end of the left of the scoreboard. But... It's just so....French!

 

All in all, a pleasing contest. No major mishaps, well presented, and there are some songs for my playlist - Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium...and even though I have no idea what they're on about, there's just something really happy about the Belorussian song, so count that in too.
As for the scoring, no big surprises other than Germany getting savaged. Both Spain and Ukraine entered horrible songs, and this was justly reflected in the result. I hope Israel will return next year. And maybe one day Greece and Cyprus will stop awarding each other 12 points. From the jury as well. I know, I know, you can say "It's a shared language and culture" but that falls apart when you realise that both were singing in English! Hardly an impartial jury then.
I wonder if Russia will return next year?

Well, we'll know soon enough. Until then, OLÉ!

Yup. I'm going to load up this page in my browser, hit play, and dance along to Westerner's Karma. Badly, of course, but nobody's watching... La scimmia si rialzaaaaaaaaa!
(meh, that song was too [good|deep] for Eurovision)

 

 

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Rick, 30th May 2017, 23:53
You can also have a read of Vince Hudd's comments tweeted doing the broadcast, collected into a funny page at http://misc.vinceh.com/2017/05/eurovision-cider-specs/ 
Even better, being kind of new to the Eurovision thing, be had no idea who the hell the weirdo with the shiny star was. Hehehe..... ☺

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Last read at 22:20 on 2017/11/17.

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