It's time for the most farcical, talent show in Europe - you might want to check up on your European countries for this. A place were disco never dies. A place were weirdly enough diversity is loved and honoured, and literally anything goes. An event that makes you question every Geography lesson you've ever had. An event that still uses the political 'we hate Britain' slogan when voting for their favourite - though sometimes the British entry is just shite and politics doesn't have to come into it. An event where the most random concepts of staging and choreography can mean you have one singer and an ice skater, followed by an all granny choir, followed by masked vigilantes playing rock. An event that you can't not watch. An event that weirdly enough people outside Europe seem to like.* An event like no other, thank god, could you imagine if there were more of these things? Yes, that's right. You guessed it. It's Eurovision 2015.
*Mainly Australia who have some weird cult following of one of Europe's more bizarre traditions. And as huge fans they've been invited to partake in this year's contest. If they win we're in for an interesting one next year. It'll be on a beach somewhere at 6am Australian time in order for Europe to enjoy it at a reasonable 8pm. But if Australia are now part of Europe, does that mean we get low cost flights? Although. Scrap that. Can you imagine flying Ryanair to Australia? They'd probably charge you for each toilet use and drop you on some island relatively close to Australia - Timor Leste or Papua New Guinea. And heaven forbid if you wanted to take a suitcase with you.
But let's get down to business. Twenty seven acts - roughly twenty that are actually European - are about to compete for.........Some trophy? Pride? (Ha ha, not likely.) For their country to be bankrupt trying to beat this year's expenditure when they put on Eurovision themselves next time? For laughs? For kicks?
Alright, who knows why they do it, but lucky for us, they keep doing it, and all in the name of entertainment........?
Eurovision 2015: Let's go!
So it's an anniversary year, the 60th Eurovision, and I can't help but think of the 75th Hunger Games and the Quarter Quell. But it seems the only thing they did this year was invite Australia. So no teenagers having to kill each other, that's always nice.
A nice Orchestral opening - I feel this could be an Orchestra heavy show. And an all girl quartet of hosts, that aren't in the least bit awkward or wooden. (Obviously Conchita you are the exception to this, and you have the tiniest waist I've ever seen incidentally.)
Eurovision drinking game: Every time they say building bridges: drink!
Opening act. Always a tough spot, so they went for ignorant teenager status, refusing to remove their headphones. It's like we're not even bothered, and we're not even listening.
She has that same irritating vocal tick that so many people try to imitate. Bo-ring. And she's borderline out of tune the whole time because of the thing she's forcing her voice to do. Just stick to your natural voice love, I bet it's miles better.
She's secretly listening to death metal. Whilst he's listening to Weird Al.
Ah, the totally irrelevant dancer. A Eurovision tradition. After thought? The miming violin playing and the outfit just remind me of Kate Bush's staging of her song Violin in her 1979 tour. Totally ripped it off Slovenia. Honestly. https://youtu.be/wRGnGdVS3VA?t=2m16s
Chords on piano. Is that all he brings to the band? She's totally carrying him.
Lights go crazy along with the wind machine. She's gonna blow away.
Still, not a bad song, but it's unlikely to place well as everyone has already forgotten it. Sorry Slovenia.
Get the razor blades out straight away.
Lovin' the whoos from the crowd distracting from the mega serious/completely depressive/bleak ballad thing she's got going on.
There is no hope!
Enter a drum corps. Oh no, wait. There's only four of them, the rest are CGI.
The girl can sing, but you don't want to get on the wrong side of her.
Fairly good French song, but unlikely to place well.
Graham's bigging it up, maybe it'll be good?
Bit pitchy, but he does have a broken heart.
Bullshit he's 16!
'Pull me baby I'm your trigger.' Classic lyric.
This is about three songs randomly glued together. Bizarre but strangely crowd pleasing. And they've even got a count down: 3, 2, 1, Hey! Well it is Eurovision.
They gained two more at the end. Multiplying generic dancing boys. Maybe they have a cloning machine or something?
Shame it started so pitchy from the guy. The girl has a good voice, nice dress and the staging is all a bit sexy. It has a kind of Film noir feel to it. It feels like a crime film, like some one's gonna reveal a gun - a fake gun of course - and bang bang.
I quite like this one.
'Naked and staring at the phone'. Just a snippet of lyrics. I'm not sure why she had to be naked to stare at the phone, but each to their own.
Was that a real tear? Oh he's disappeared. Wait, it was a real tear, she just wiped it away. Wow, it all just got a bit emotional over here.
5. United Kingdom
Oh god, I'm embarrassed. I think this is the first time in a few years that I've genuinely cringed the entire way through the British entry.
Trying to make it all 20s and flappers and Gatsby, but then there's all this weird robotic, electro stuff going on. And lighty up costumes. Tacky!
Hen night in Blackpool?
She can't move at all. Is she pregnant? The lyrics are all, 'everybody dance', but they aren't. No wonder they had to hire some dancers.
The attempt at jazz vocally bit coupled with the glowing costumes made me want to vomit.
And the ending made it feel like a badly staged musical performed by a high school.
Oh dear Britain. Not even close.
It's definitely got that Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones thing going on.
Six singers in order of when they sang solo:
- I'm too nice for my own good.
- I'm an opera singer, I'm not sure how they persuaded me to do this.
- I interrupt.
- I enunciate. My use of staccato is incredible.
- I'm the pretty one. (No, wait, we're all incredibly beautiful.)
- I'm the other guy.
That wind machine is working over time tonight.
Winter is coming. Right now!
Perhaps a little too political to make it, but some good voices that blend well on the harmonies.
Bright sunshine. Everything is so lovely and bright and sunny. (Bit of a difference from what came before it. )
It's just all so happy. *vomit*
'Round and round' whilst we spin each other round and round. Wow, they really get symbolism.
He didn't want to let go of that kiss.
Both good voices. Nice harmonies.
Get a freakin' room!
Oh no, speaky bits. 'If you feel the love put your hands in the air.' No! On principal.
And now they're going off for a shag.
Big is beautiful! Equality. Diversity. This year's Conchita. And a skeleton cast of Les Miserables turned up with flags. Yay. 'Do you hear the people sing....'
'I'm different and it's okay.' Very blatant lyrics, but still a good message, even if it is rammed home.
This is sooooooo Eurovision and she's got a set of pipes on her. And with that dance beat to it, it'll be in all the clubs this summer. 'Here I am!'
I expect this to do well.
A Ballad. The opening could have done with some contemporary dancers expressing the song through many arm gestures. They missed out there.
The guy was okay. Quite a good voice, nothing spectacular. Then the flame haired woman enters and you think, wow, this could be really good. But then it just wasn't. With a title like, 'Monster like me', I felt I didn't get what was advertised. I wanted drama and shouting and power and rage.
The choreography consisted of pacing back and forth. Again they should have sprung for a couple of dancers.
And just to clarify, who was the monster? Him? Her? Both of them?
Bit boring Norway. Sorry.
The bookies favourite, which means I already resent it.
Interesting staging, but it's when his hand returns to the dark between his legs that makes me wonder: what's he up to?
He's so cool, he fist bumps animated men.
Not sure the animation has anything to do with the actual song.
It was fine. He's a bit sprightly for my liking, but it's a catchy pop song and I'm sure a few men and women out there are drooling over him.
Just a nice song. A nice voice. A bit 90s pop ballad, not that there's anything wrong with that.
No gimmicks. Just stars and lights. They just need some backing vocalists to come on and click their fingers whilst swaying.
End of a Disney film? You know what I mean. It's when they have a version of a song from the film sung by fairly well known people, that make it really cheesy. Think Celine at the end of Beauty and the Beast and you'll know what I mean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgYEJHJXFB4
Wow! What a voice! Well done Australia. You actually made an effort. You sent someone really good. Australia to win!
I'm not sure what the feck the token woman thinks she's wearing, but this is a damn good song.
This will be a killer for the wedding season. Come on function bands, you need this in your repertoire.
His voice is insanely good. I was singing along by the end of it. Love it!
The boy can sing!
I like this. The simple staging. The amazing vocals. The fact that the song is actually interesting.
Good melody. A bit epic. And a Britney dance routine. Yes, yes, yes.
Now he's lying on the floor and singing. Why not?
Bit of a robotic feel to the staging too, but I love this! Go Belgium!
Sounds like a million other songs. I question the copyright. Surely it's completely plagiarising someone?
Some nice real instruments though. Wait. What? He just set fire to his piano. What a wanker. That's fookin' dangerous. Fire safety is no laughing matter Austria.
He vacated the raging piano fire pretty sharpish. Arsonist! Arsonist!
Well we've passed the half way line. Whoop! And all I can say at this point is: Conchita's waist is tiny. (By the way I do realise I'm using more than my fair share of exclamation marks, but I feel that Eurovision needs them more than others.)
'They look like washed up TV presenters.' Direct quote from the Flat 19 couch, courtesy of A.
There's just so much emotion in this song!
Political? Is that not a Euro in the background, in lights? One last breath in the EU?
Cue the wind machine. Turn it on higher. Come on.
It wreaks of Celine. Oh, and a key change. Yes.
Aww, she really tried though, didn't she.
The violinist is cross. She's pissed. Oh I get it, he's their pimp.
Seedy red light part way through, they're in the brothel. No, they're escorts that's all. Honest.
Beautiful choreography: knee lift, skip, twirl around. My music classes do better and they're all under five.
A lot of angry looking women on the stage, though it does make sense, I mean, who likes their pimp?
She sings the word 'me', exactly like Britney. I'm not sure this is a good thing. 'Maay'
The opening is all about the ass. Black cat suit. Pretty lady. But I'm not sure what this song is. Kinda, Whinehouse wannabe?
Simple staging, lots of ladies and good backing vocals, but I'm not sure it's Eurovision worthy or particularly any good. Sorry Germany. I love your country though.
The lady's in a wheelchair, so of course twitter went silent at this point.
How many pianos must they have backstage #eurovisionmusings
With the graphics and some of the lyrics you could have thought you'd walked onto a Febreeze advert.
Another big ballad, and well done to her. Bit of a change from last year's milk maids.
Interesting voice straight away. Big dress. The first of the really big dresses this year. There haven't been much in the way of outrageous outfits this year. But anyway, go Latvia.
This girl can sing! And has a very interesting look, and the staging is simple and effective and all my favourite colours: red, black, white.
I like this a lot. It's big and epic and she has an incredible voice.
I feel like a need a glow stick or three.
Well done Latvia.
Nice voice. Nice song. Maybe a little too nice.
You ain't gonna win with that.
It was at this point that I realised there hadn't been too much in the way of gimmicky stuff this year. The completely weird and wonderful seemed to have been replaced with huge ballads and political statements. I can't decide if this is merely an observation, or a slight disappointment?
Little Red Sparkly Riding Hood. Make sure you get yourself untangled from the semi naked man before you pull a Madonna.
Oh no, he's gonna do it, he's gonna yank off your cape and possibly yank you off your feet.
He's the big bad wolf. And now she's Xena the Warrior Princess at prom.
I'm holding her up by her thighs.
We can see your knickers.
Is this really one of the bookies favourites? Is it actually any good? Another ballad.....I feel like Eurovision's gone Grammys on me. https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=340054032580358189#editor/target=post;postID=5768044576086944457;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=11;src=postname
First line, 'Do you know our world is in a mess?'
Oh it's one of those. Preachy and pitchy, especially the lower notes.
Nice harmonies though. The main singer is tiny.
Now this is more like it. Finally a gimmick. Goth girl. Or maybe Skellig. Or Crow girl.
Too much lighting and little overdone with the smoke machine too. She actually disappeared in a couple of shots. The lights were overwhelming, it was hard to look at the screen.
And that wind machine worked it's ass off tonight. Well done.
She's a member of the Night's Watch. She's Jon Snow's new lover. He digs the hot pants and boots, but if winter really is coming, she might need a coat.
All due respect to her though, she owns that outfit and she owns that stage. And she has a damn powerful voice. I quite like this.
It's Johnny Bravo dancing. No wait, he's a slave from Meereen - what is it with the Game of Thrones references tonight?. No, I've got it, he's an Unsullied. Johnny Bravo is an Unsullied.
Yay! Distracting dancers. There haven't been enough of those this year. The girl dancer almost fell over. Intentional?
Another intense ballad though. He's really intense. In fact I think a few girls probably have restraining orders against him. Look at the eyes.
She really does believe. She's shaking.
There's been quite a few plunging neck lines tonight.
The intensity. Her face is on the verge of breaking. Oh my god she's blubbing her eyes out.
Whilst I appreciate the girl can sing. I don't really appreciate being power blasted with sound. There was no cadence to this, no dynamic differences, nothing special, but as one of the bookies favourites, I'm sure it'll do well.
She looks a bit like a friend of mine. Her boobs are barely in. Keep an eye on that.
Pitchy, pitchy, pitchy as fuck.
I don't know what this is. If in doubt, key change.
They look cute. Nice glasses.
It's sooooo Italian. That coiffed hair and designer facial hair. All they need are some vespers and an espresso each, and the stereotypes are fulfilled.
The Three (Younger) Tenors?
Oh no, he didn't. The wink into the camera. No. Please no!
It was fine, but a little bit obvious really. Nothing special. Sorry Italy, you are the joint home country of Flat 19, but I wasn't particularly impressed. Still it was miles better than that sorry attempt at a UK entry. Oh my.
Well there you have it Rants has spoken. I felt there weren't enough gimmicks this year. Not that many fashion gaffs either. I mean, where are the token rock bands, or the milk maids and, hold the phone, there was no disco this year. Eurovision. What happened?
Okay, so the Rants top three - in no particular order - are:
Two other notables for me were Georgia and Estonia.
The half time entertainment was absolutely shit hot! I love watching percussionists, they are so talented. The Xylophone playing was amazing. (To the people on Twitter referring to it as a Glockenspiel, please learn your instruments. Glockenspiel's are made of metal, Xylophones made of wood. Come on, the kids I teach know that.) Well done Austria for putting on a great half time show.
With the usual awkward fills and uncomfortableness of trying to make what's written on the autocue interesting, we were finally up to The Voting.
Montenegro: Massive earrings.
Malta: Gave UK one point. Thank you, it may be the only one. But why the heck are they giving Azerbaijan points? It was crap.
Finland: What is it with the plunging necklines?
It is all so awkward.
Portugal: Technical fault.
Blah, blah, blah. Skip a few.
Estonia: 'We lost Estonia.' It's 2015, can't they figure out how to work Skype?
Belgium: Sleaze. 'Hello Ladies.' Ew.
Armenia: It's just so cringe worthy.
Ireland: Thanks for the point (UK).
Germany: The dodgiest comment so far: 'Three and half ladies.' Whoa, you can't be saying that Germany.
Australia: Come on. I thought you might have taken pity on us, but not even a point. Fuck you, Australia.
Austria: She's there with 25 fans. Hmmm, are you sure love? 'Vienna is partying hard', what with all it's 25 fans?
Hungary: I love how the presenter has to keep hurrying people along. 'We'd love to hear your votes.' Subtext. Get a bloody move on.
UK: Yay! Nigella. We love you. She got a big cheer, and she looked very Queenly didn't she? No plunging neck line today. All business. And a nice display of her language skills.
Georgia: Oh, we've lost them. Another one bites the dust.
The Netherlands: So many boobs out tonight. What is that dress?
Blah, blah, blah.
San Marino: Yay, they gave us three points. We have gone ahead of France.
Norway: She has liquorice allsorts on her shoulders. She's a lunatic.
Well there you have it, A Sweden win, with Russia second and Italy third. My top three came fourth, fifth and sixth, so I'm chuffed with that. And well, UK 5 points. Not good, but it could have been worse.....France, Germany and Austria. Oops. Thank you San Marino for those three points, meaning we at least finished above France. Who knew we had allies in San Marino?
Well that's it for another year. From fembot hosts, to intense ballads and some interesting staging, this year has been a bit of an up and down one. Nothing overtly outrageous. But let's hope that will be rectified next year.
Thank you for reading, this longer than long blog. It's a Rants tradition and one I love doing. I hope you enjoyed Eurovision. Feel free to message or comment in whatever form you can about your favourites etc. And quite frankly Australia you can come every year if you bring that! Good job. Perhaps you could write us a song or lend us an act for next year? Please.