Reporting for OGAE UK and Vision magazine we have Hass Yusuf (words), David Ransted (photos), and along with Robin Scott who’s helping us out, especially with any videoing. This blog will be updated throughout the day.
The view from the Jury final.
The show has just started with a performance by famous Portuguese singer Ana Moura singing what appears to be a classic composition. And very nice it is! As is the fab performance by Mariza. I’ve never heard of these singers, but you learn something new every day!
It’s time for the entrance of the 26 countries with their flags and such. Such triumphalism is really uncalled for in my opinion. Think about the countries that didn’t make it through. It’s not the Olympics – it just delays the contest.
And here are our four lovely presenters again. They haven’t done a bad job actually.
First off we have Ukraine. Melovin is doing his best to look like a vampire. And why not? The look suits him. It’s a good theatrical opening to the show! Still not sure why the steps are set on fire. But I shouldn’t question these things. It’s Eurovision. If we didn’t have this weirdness we would feel deprived!
Time for Spain, in the dreaded number two slot. Amaia & Alfred look so sweet together it’s almost sickening. But it’s a fab love song, with their different vocals really working well together. I keep hoping Alfred will propose halfway through the song. Hopefully she would say yes. That would be a Eurovision first – a proposal in mid song (and not during a interval).
Slovenia is next. Lea Sirk did really well getting into the Grand Final – as she wasn’t expected to get through. It’s good to have surprises. But the contest only benefits from this quirky song. It’s a great crowd pleaser!
In contrast to that up-tempo number we now have the gentle ballad from. Lithuania. Ieva wasn’t expected to go through either – but its inclusion in the Grand Final is much deserved. It’s just a lovely love song. And featuring the love of her life, her husband, at the end of the song is a lovely touch. Yes, very lovely.
Let’s all hail Cesar from Austria. His deep gravely voice really adds to this mid-tempo and powerful anthemic performance. It’s good that he’s making full use of the raised platform. Well someone should use it. These stages don’t come cheap y’know!
Get your tonsils ready and sing-along with Estonian’s Elina. How fab to have a bit of opera (with a touch of pop) in the Grand Final. Of course that grand shirt with the special effects is magnificent. It’s nearly as good as Elina’s voice. Magnificento!
Now, can the singer, Alexander from Norway, win the contest again? He’s trying very hard to so with this energetic performance. There are some nice on-screen animated graphics that help things along. I always wonder if previous winners should actually try again? What if they don’t succeed? It can’t do their psyche any good – but who can blame them? When the Eurovision bug has bitten you, you have no choice but to give in!
Time for the host nation now. And Portugal has a fabulous representation with Claudia and Isaura. It’s a gentle love song with lovely harmonies. Any other year it could’ve won for the country! It’s a great performance from both ladies. Lots of passion and angst!
Next we have SuRie for the United Kingdom! C’mon girl – smash it! And she does! The ‘diamond’ tunnel she emerges out from is a simple but effective. This anthemic song is popular with the press crowd, but not so with the bookies. But the juries will love her performance. She’s been given some great camera shots and good editing. We couldn’t ask for more.
Time for Serbia now with Sanja Ilic & Balkanika. And adding to the diversity of this year’s contest we have this lovely ethnic offering with a nice mix of pop. It’s all white gowns, drums and a bearded bald man! What more could you ask for? A good performance? Yep, you got it!
Germany is next. If any song really deserves to win the contest this year, it has to be this superb ballad. Michael really delivers his touching tribute to his late father. A magnificent animated backdrop just adds to the emotion of this performance. Brilliant.
The next performance also deserves to win as it just edges out Germany as my favourite – it’s Eugent from Albania. This is the perfect rock song. And when Albania becomes my favourite song then something is going right in Eurovisionland. Not too sure about the screaming, but nothing in life is perfect.
France is next with the married couple, Madame Monsieur. This is a powerful performance delivering a serious message. Its main advantage is that it’s sung in French – probably the best language in the world for song, next to Italian. Of course English is up there as well. But there seems to be more emotion from French – and dramatic emotion is what we get here. Bravo!
On next is the country is the country I expected to win before arriving in Portugal – the Czech Republic represented by the energetic and talented Mikolas. It’s a unique jazzy up-tempo dance number with an original and fun act. It could still win for the country if enough youngsters get out their mobiles.
If anyone likes the bearded gent, then your wish has come true with Denmark’s Rasmussen. Here come the Vikings – but in peace. As anthemic numbers go, this is fab. It’s got a great beat with lots of foot stomping. Don’t get in their way, but they deserve your support!
It’s time for Australia now – and the country offers another great song with the talented Jessica. She’s able to fill the stage with her great voice and presence. It’s a one woman show that will be remembered – she just knows how to bring the best from this up-tempo dance number. And you can’t go wrong with a great drumbeat.
Before the next performance there was a pathetic ten-second ‘tribute’ to Lys Assia. The first winner of Eurovision deserved a bit more than that.
Finland is next with Saara giving a monster performance. She’s obviously very popular in the UK and her X Factor experience has no doubt helped her develop her act. There’s lot of strutting, storm trooping and mascara. How very fab.
Bulgaria has really discovered their Eurovision mojo in recent years and the trend continues with EQUINOX with their mystic and pagan-like sounds. The five singers really have good chemistry between them. And the fog helps. But the song is perfect for the show. Brilliant.
Moldova could finally do it! Yes, they could very well win with this quirky pop song with a great fun and clever act. DoReDos are good actors as they are singers. This dance number may surprise everyone. Outstanding!
Heavy hitters Sweden is next. Benjamin’s performance is perfect for the act. They seem to have added a bit more time between songs to allow the light tube platform to be constructed properly in time. The nice effects really enhance the performance.
Head-banging time with Hungary! AWS know their rock genre! It’s very loud and brash. What more needs to be said? The lead singer runs around barefoot – which has proved successful with five previous winners!
It’s Eurovision time now. Yes, It’s Netta from Israel with her weird K-Pop clucking number. This up-tempo bouncy number will fill the dance-floors in the summer resorts for many a year. Netta is also a great character. Fun fun, fun all the way.
Time for some country rock music from the Netherland’s Waylon. As the genre goes, Waylon knows his stuff. But the weirdo krumping dancing is a bit off-putting at times. It’s not really my cup of tea, but can appreciate the genre and performance.
Hurrah for Ireland! Ryan is on next with his gentle love ballad. Chinese TV banned this song as it features a male gay couple, so the EBU has banned the Chinese broadcaster. (They also edited out the Albanian performance because of the singer’s tattoos – another reason why they were banned!) Anyway, Ryan’s performance is top class and really tells the story of his song well.
The next song has been a bit of a surprise – Cyprus! Eleni is pure sex on legs! Talk about hot, hot, hot! She is the perfect performer for this up-tempo dance number. Could the country finally win the contest? This could possibly its year – and what a great position to perform – second from last!
And that leads us to Italy in a fab showstopper. Ermal and Fabrizio perform a song with a strong message! As an anti-war protest goes, this is perfect. It’s fast-paced with the duo showing great chemistry between them. This is yet another song that deserves to win the contest. Listen and read carefully the multi-lingual subtitles. If only Eurovision could solves the problems of the world.
And the show ends with Salvador Sobral, last year’s winner, and friend performing a few songs!
It’s another fabulous year! So where will we be headed for next year? At this stage, it’s anyone’s guess…