The Birth of Venus (Sandro Botticelli, 1485–1486)
I know I said somewhere I wasn’t going to recap Eurovision but guess what? I lied.
In order to make this Eurovision recap slightly more manageable, I’m splitting it into 2 halves – this first half will go from Czech Republic to Ukraine and I will only be recapping the acts, I don’t think I would get these finished if I did the opening number, intervals and the Italian brand banter
but rest assured my favourite moment of the night was Mika introducing Poland as Holland and then as they cut to the act screaming “NO IT’S POLAND!” over the beginning of their postcard when he realised he’d made a mistake.
Czech Republic (22nd)
We Are Domi – Lights Off
This was a great way to kick the show off, both because it’s a bit of a bop and because it meant the lighting team got to check their systems as We Are Domi were quite literally using every single lighting fixture in the arena
so it’s something of a miracle that everyone could see the rest of the show and it wasn’t having to be lit by 10 stagehands holding flashlights because the blew every bulb.
They didn’t perform as well in the scoring as I perhaps thought they would have done, they’ve been a firm fan favourite online because of their incredibly dorky Instagram Lives, as well as being generally chaotic at pre-show events such as playing frisbee on the Eurovision Turquoise Carpet which surprisingly didn’t end up with another act taking a frisbee to the head.
But I can see how going first meant they got a little lost in the mix, although how anyone could forget the incredibly kitschy Clarre’s jewellery and the general feeling that we had interrupted Dominika in the middle of a shower, I don’t know
I really like the song and I’m still convinced that We Are Domi would do an absolutely slapping cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”, there’s something of a country twang to Dominika’s voice, especially in the slower pre-chorus – and it makes the way she pronounces “bed covers” something of an earworm.
Jury Score: 33
Public Score: 5 (At least North Macedonia has an ounce of taste)
Total Score: 38 Points
Wrs – Llamame
There’s always a big discussion around Eurovision about singing in your native language or english – and then Romania rocked up this year and sang in Spanish with what might be the catchiest of this year’s choruses
there’s a lot to enjoy about this song, the quite frankly hilariously sexual choreography
and then the rest of the choreography that Wrs didn’t seem to know 60% of but my God was he going to waft those napkins around with all the charisma in the world AND we got a quick change
more flagrantly bisexual magic shows in the future! And I think Llamame naturally captured the vibe and reaction that Israel was desperately trying to with their song that sounded like it had been generated by an algorithm that studied every verse a queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race wrote, right down to rhyming “down” and “crown”. I suppose it also helped that Wrs wasn’t a menace at every single press event.
Jury Score: 12
Public Score: 53
Total Score: 65 Points
Maro – Saudade, saudade
I really didn’t get this, the whole thing to me felt a little bit like I was watching a group of people performing yoga on the beach at sunrise – it had a strong GOOP energy about it and I wouldn’t have been too surprised if the whole thing didn’t end in an advert for a Yonic candle
it was very relaxing but ultimately didn’t build up to anything particularly satisfying and there were a few acts from the first semi-final that I think would’ve brought more to the final – most notably Albania who had the exact opposite energy
it wasn’t really a big night for campy pop girls, Chanel was having to carry that heavy responsibility all on her own.
Jury Score: 171
Public Score: 36 (Thanks North Macedonia ONLY)
Total Score: 207 Points
The Rasmus – Jezebel
When I first heard The Rasmus were representing Finland, I was excited – I used to get home from school every afternoon and could guarantee that the In The Shadows music video was going to be on Kerrang! sometime within the next half an hour, I was obsessed with them, here enjoy this 480p screenshot
I even dressed up as Lauri for Halloween one year (it’s a very easy costume, you just need to butcher a feather duster). And then I listened to Jezebel and… it felt like it was from 2004 and not in a good way – it’s lyrics are dated and quite frankly it’s offensive that the band has spent so much time trying to justify them as feminist in any way shape or form, the “A girl who looks just like a boy” line *really* grates on me. And it’s frustrating because with ANY OTHER lyrics, I would have been all in on this entry, it was the only real grungy rock number to survive the semi-finals – not that there were many this year, the only other offering being by the fedora’d galaxy brain named Intelligent Musical Project and then some good prog-rock from Circus Mircus WHOMST WERE ROBBED DAMMIT (which is a surprise given the… Georgian voting irregularities)
Then of course there’s the staging which for some reason was an homage to Stephen King’s IT with Lauri dressed in a yellow raincoat and running through a sea of balloons like he was a contestant on a Nickelodeon game show
I suppose given the biblical references throughout the lyrics we should be happy that Lauri didn’t opt for dressing up as Jesus and they instead opted for recreating the bee looks from that bee themed Drag Race mini challenge in season 12
they weren’t *quite* so subtle in the music video
although first and foremost Lauri does look exactly like where they got the inspiration for Moira Rose’s look in The Crows Have Eyes III: The Crowening
hey, it was a look that 11 year old me was WAY into… He was a perfect circle of my interests in angry melancholic rock and birdwatching.
Jury Score: 12
Public Score: 26
Total Score: 38 Points
Marius Bear – Boys Do Cry
After experiencing great success with Sad Boy Extraordinaire, Gjon’s Tears in 2021, Switzerland was trying a similar approach with Marius Bear who, with his very mild mannered and polite stage presence, distinctly reminds me of the Michael Jackson character from The Simpsons
and he might have been better off singing “Happy Birthday Lisa”… I appreciate what he was trying to do, and I’m sure a song about the complexities of toxic masculinity resonates for a lot of people that watch the show, however the song never really amounted to anything, I think it needed a little touch of frustration behind it, there’s a very similar song by an artist called BENNY called “Boys Will Be Boys” that feels a lot like what this song should have been, because with this arrangement it basically sounds like the song that plays during a character’s lowest moment in a Hallmark Christmas movie (it’s kind of Moon River, but not enough to get anyone sued) and it wasn’t helping that Marius’s only movements on stage had the energy of a sad mime and watching him trying to act out “When the night falls and the moon is all we can see” is a delight
also, I’m not mad about how he so casually mentioned planes falling out of the sky? (while pretending to be an aeroplane, of course)
Men will literally crash aeroplanes rather than go to therapy.
He’s a lovely guy and has sadly endured a lot of horrendous abuse online for qualifying and having gone through that I can’t imagine what he must have felt like getting the dreaded Nil Points from the public vote, but at least he had an emotional support space labrador on hand
the voting audience really wanted to test the conviction of his words, YOU MEANIES!
Jury Score: 78
Public Score: 0 (oof)
Total Score: 78 Points
Alvan and Ahez – Fulenn
It’s always interesting to see which parts of the successful acts from the previous year get brought over to the next, and it’s pretty plain to see the Shum influence in France’s song this year, but there’s also more than a little touch of Be Prepared about the whole thing
I do apologise but it does make the three women the three dimwitted hyenas
they can fight over who gets to be the one Whoopie voiced.
I really enjoyed their whole act, I’ll always gravitate to something a little witchy and weird and I like that France took a risk and let them sing in Breton which is q severely endangered language, I wish it had payed off a little better for them.
They did have one of my favourite Eurovision tropes, The Single Suit Pauldron
but ultimately I do think the similarities to GO_A didn’t do them any favours, nor did the fact their camerawork made it look like a coven of witches was trying to hex you while you were riding Nemesis at Alton Towers, I’m still a little seasick from it. But I thought the fun vocalisations and ululations would’ve got them a lot more than a mere 17 points, which I do think means they’re perfectly justified if they want to lay a curse down on all of Europe.
Jury Score: 9
Public Score: 8
Total Score: 17 Points
Subwoolfer – Give That Wolf a Banana
I think for a lot of people who follow Eurovision right from the build up of other countries’ selection processes, Subwoolfer had grown a little bit grating since they were announced as the Norwegian representative in February, which is understandable because their fans did have a tendency to flood any Twitter post about them with explicit furry art and their whole act is like a dank meme made by an Elon Musk fan given the curse of sentience
and even the best of memes have very short shelf lives, but despite their general annoyingness, the performance is quite fun and I am rather fond of this particular lyric and I have sung it to my neighbour’s cat quite a few times
The routine also definitely falls into that category of being a fun routine that you could recreate with your mates in the living room because it’s relatively simple and compact, while also feeling like someone recreated the Bad Romance music video with some weird Sims mods
You could even recreate the costumes quite easily, all you need are some paper plates, a pair of scissors and a magic marker! Ball’s in your court Blue Peter.
Jury Score: 36
Public Score: 146
Total Score: 182 Points
Rosa Linn – Snap
Ah, the heart wrenching tale of a woman desperately trying to escape from a disaster of a Changing Rooms bedroom makeover inflicted upon her by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen because her neighbour happened to offhandedly mention that Rosa Linn liked paper crafts
and her captor was going to taunt her at every opportunity he could
but our heroine did eventually manage to make her dramatic escape
although I do wish she she had jettisoned herself through that paper wall like, well Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
I appreciated Rosa Linn’s performance purely because nobody really went big and conceptual with their staging this year so there was a certain excitement and novelty to her origami insane asylum, I think my biggest issue with the whole thing was that for a song called “Snap” there was a distinct lack of snapping, and when she did, they were all a little bit polite
I just feel like they should have been getting louder and louder as the song progressed with the last one being a real echoing click, because this was just like someone trying to get the attention of a waiter in the most mortifying way possible.
Jury Score: 40
Public Score: 21
Total Score: 61 Points
Mahmood and Blanco – Brividi
This was easily one of my favourites of this year’s Eurovision and it felt like a big moment – we’ve had a lot of queerness on Eurovision in the past but this emotional, heartfelt duet feels like the most unabashed and exposed queer love song we’ve had, at least to my knowledge and memory. The lyrics are also absolutely stunning – big fan of the lines “I’d like to steal you a sky of pearls” and “You, who bite my skin with your viper eyes“.
But as beautiful as the whole thing was, nothing in the show made me cackle as much as Blanco stomping into frame like a bedazzled Godzilla
I’m assuming he was mad that they wouldn’t let him do his zoomies on the tinsel bicycle
and then he got really mad and stood atop the grand piano table while his piano player watched on in horror and fretted about the scuff marks
It’s just not polite Blanco.
I was a little surprised that they landed outside of the top 5 with this, especially given the hype around the song, but such was the power of a Serbian woman and a bowl of water.
Jury Score: 158
Public Score: 110
Total Score: 268 Points
Chanel – SloMo
FUN BUM SONG TIME!
You will never hear someone sing so passionately about shaking ass ever again.
I said before, Chanel was pretty much a one of kind act in this year’s Grand Final given that the other campy pop girls had fallen to the hands of the overwrought balladiers but I think Chanel more than rose to the occasion – her choreography was off the charts and her costume was a crystalised drag queen delight
And I am eagerly awaiting her as an inevitable guest judge on Drag Race Espana season 3 because the SloMo lipsync will be insane.
I did love that it was teased “she would be more naked by the end of the act” and it was literally just that she took her bolero off?
I was fully expecting a complete ripping off of the chaps, so I imagine every father that was having the show inflicted upon them was left *slightly* disappointed. I do also think that given the lack of high octane pop girls, there must have been hair extensions to spare, especially given that she tried to do the taking down of her hair and swishing it about sexily but it didn’t quite work because if you want to do that properly, you’ve got to go the full Hurricane
but the real negative to Chanel was that she proved to have the most annoying stans, which is saying a lot considering the Subwoolfer’s magnetism to every DeviantArt furry going. It was only because a lot of them post-Ukraine Win decided to make alternative-timeline scoreboards where Ukraine didn’t compete which would have meant Chanel would have won. They’re also spreading horribly malicious rumours about them that are basically Russian propaganda so… Don’t be doing that… Take a day off guys.
Jury Score: 231
Public Score: 228
Total Score: 459 Points
S10 – De diepte
There’s not really much to write about S10 other than the fact this was a stunning performance and I really liked her outfit, it’s what I imagine The Penguin looks like in the Robert Pattinson Batman Universe (and yes, that is a challenge to Matt Reeves)
and she also has the most enviable navel since Karen Hauer.
I think it’s a real testament to S10 that despite being sandwiched between Chanel’s hypnotic arse and the eventual winners that she still managed to grab herself 171 points and come in 11th place – there’s a subtle elegance to her voice and as soon as she starts singing the world just comes to a complete stand still – not a lot of people could pull of this performance and make it memorable and yet she did.
Jury Score: 129
Public Score: 42
Total Score: 171 Points
Kalush Orchestra – Stefania
I don’t think any country does a better job of blending traditional folk music and more modern genres than Ukraine and this very much felt the pinnacle of their achievements because as much as this is a song about their mothers, it’s a rather gut wrenching love letter to Ukraine and I think the lyric “I want hear your native word” speaks to that more powerfully than anything else.
I won’t give it too much time because they deserve better, but obviously people have done a lot of concern trolling and delegitimizing of their win as “sympathy voting” – and yes, obviously the war in Ukraine had some influence, but they would have been contenders for the trophy regardless because the song is a complete bop and they are the loveliest bunch of guys, and with all of them clad in an abundance of cosy, textural fabrics and singing about loving your mother, they’re basically a humanoid patchwork quilt
and they had two of my favourite Eurovision tropes – a woodwind instrument solo and breakdancing
his stage name is MC KylymMen, which literally translates to CarpetMan, and it’s very accurate because he could have quite literally disappeared into the bare minimum rugs that Germany dragged onto the stage
Oh you just wait, I have *many* thoughts on Germany in the next half.
Over all, Ukraine were thoroughly deserving winners and I’m glad that they got such a landslide televote win, getting 28 of the 40 possible 12 points and nearly getting enough points just from the televote to win the whole show, it’s kind of iconic and an unignorable show of support for Ukraine in the middle of an unimaginably horrific crisis.
Jury Score: 192
Public Score: 439
Total Score: 631 Points
Part Two will be up in the next couple of days!
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