Eurovision 2022, Part 2: Guppy in a Shark Tank

It was a big night for LGBTQIA+S10 Community.

Beware, Here be ballads.

Germany (25th)
Malik Harris – Rockstars

Oh Germany… The Ed Sheeran adjacency aside, Malik wasn’t exactly endearing himself to the public by rocking up in a grey t-shirt the likes of which should be reserved for a gym workout

I don’t even need him to wear sequins and feathers but there must have been SOMETHING in his wardrobe that was mildly more interesting than this because the whole set up kind of just blurred into nothingness, and it’s a shame because I think there’s a good performance in here, Griff did a similar thing at The BRIT Awards where she harmonised with herself and it was really cool but she also didn’t have a slam poetry sidebar in the middle of her song and if there’s one thing we should not be condoning it’s slam poetry, but nobody told Estonia, Austria and Switzerland that. Although I appreciate that they gave Malik some points because I’m not sure I could have handled a complete nul points again this year.

Jury Score: 0
Public Score: 6
Total Score: 6 Points

Lithuania (14th)
Monika Liu – Sentimentai

To say I was overinvested in Monika Liu’s Unofficial French Entry this year is an understatement, I absolutely adore both her and this song, I suppose you could say I’m a Monika Liunatic… And she’s had a rough time getting ready for the show – they couldn’t afford the dress she wanted for Eurovision so she had to use the same one she used for national selection final, thankfully it’s a GREAT dress and she has the most beautiful shoulders since Jaida Essence Hall

And then they had some issues with their staging during rehearsals and they ended up having to scrap their entire plan – we never found out what it was meant to be but I like to assume that she wanted to turn the entire stage into a jazz bar but Greece melted all of the stackable chairs in Turin for their staging. And much like her dress they had to recycle the set up and camerawork from her national selection final, which does have some charming moments and I enjoyed the way she toyed with the camera, it’s the intimate side of the performance where it’s strengths really lay

and they tried their best to overcome the sense of it being a bit of a lonely number with the mirrored shots where it looks a bit like she’s having an argument with herself

but even with that it’s definitely a dynamic that played better on the smaller stage she was competing on then, and I do think there were ways they could have endeared this performance better to the voting public, mostly by not repeatedly cutting to wide shots that made her look like a guppy in a shark tank

I still liked the performance, it certainly felt like something new and different amongst everything else, so in summary

Monika Liu supremacy.

Jury Score: 35
Public Score: 93
Total Score: 128 Points

Azerbaijan By Totally Legitimate Circumstances (16th)
Nadir Rustamli – Fade To Black

I do love me some Azerbaijan discourse and nothing fascinates me more than the incredible disparity between how the audience vote for them and the juries which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact Kirkorov was seen in Turin…

That being said, it is a song that plays well to a jury, they love a ballad and some stairs

and while I didn’t care much for the song or the fact he was dressed like a pile of tea towels preparing for the biggest game of baseball of their life

I did quite like the climax of the song, Nadir has a very dynamic voice and is obviously a very talented singer, but I did mostly enjoy the whole thing because the bleachers he and his dancer were standing on started beetling about and they reminded me of the vehicles used in the finale of Takeshi’s Castle

there was about as much a chance of him winning as anyone has in Takeshi’s Castle too.

Jury Score: 103
Public Score: 3
Total Score: 106 Points

Belgium (19th)
Jérémie Makiese – Miss You

First of all, Graham Norton did Jérémie dirty by comparing him to Justin Timberlake – that’s just mean! But I was amongst the people who was a little surprised this got through given that it just sounds so… generic, it didn’t have a lot of pizzazz beyond Jérémie’s intergalactic biker jacket

I think they could have at least done a little more with the dancers instead of kind of just gently swaying with an occasional jerky movement like they were a boyband of lizards. NSKINK if you will.

Jury Score: 59
Public Score: 5
Total Score: 64 Points

Greece (8th)
Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord – Die Together

This was one of the songs I discussed on the Eurovision podcast I did a few months ago and I expressed some doubt that it would manage to qualify – my reasoning being mostly that I feared she would get Roxen’d and forced to do a cardio workout while performing a song that absolutely didn’t need it, so I was relieved for Amanda that she got to just vibe amongst an IKEA wasteland

and you would think the half melted chairs would be the oddest part of the whole thing, but for some reason they had dressed Amanda up as a holographic ghost bride

it’s very Great Expectations: In Spaaaaaaaaace!

I do think the song was a bit of a gamble, it is pretty explicitly about Love In The Time of Covid and I think a lot of people could’ve side-eyed her and thought it was a little gauche, but I think her sincerity and earnestness made the whole thing work very well. It helps that there’s a lot in the whole number to help, parts of it are very reminiscent of Adele’s Easy on Me without feeling like a direct crib, she looks like Lorde’s Greek cousin, we all love a good vocoder moment and I do genuinely think that in the scope of the competition, Amanda was probably the best singer – there’s a real effortlessness to her voice and her live performance is almost indistinguishable from her studio performance, which is quite something for a ballad.

Jury Score: 158
Public Score: 57
Total Score: 215 Points

Iceland (23rd)
Systur – Með Hækkandi Sól

Unfortunately, Systur couldn’t perform with their official 5th member, The Trans Flag who accompanied them to every single press event they went to and thus made them The Goodest Eggs of the Year

I do wish I could be as big a fan of their song as I am of them as people because this performance was a little bit…

but I did very much like their outfits because they looked like they were about to help Scooby and the gang solve a mystery at an Ohioan pumpkin farm during spooky season followed by a spoopy country song over the credits

and that’s about as exciting as their performance got and if I were a betting woman, I would have gambled on this coming 25th, but that was before I realised Germany was going to send a grumpy teenager dressed like me going for a mid-afternoon nap.

Jury Score: 10
Public Score: 10
Total Score: 20 Points

Moldova (7th)
Zdob și Zdub and Advahov Brothers – Trenulețul


If you had ever wondered what the Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune would sound like as performed by an Eastern European folk band and a temporarily displaced 90s rapper, I guess now we know and we’re better off for it.
Moldova were essentially the Anti-Azerbaijan, with the juries not giving them the light of day and only handing them a paltry 14 points, whereas everyone at home, clearly connoisseurs of taste and sophistication, awarded them the second highest amount of televotes and watching them leapfrog from 20th place to 7th was one of the most glorious things I’ve ever seen, if only for the reaction of the man on the right

sadly we didn’t get any reaction from their drum puppet

who could quite easily also be a member of Kalush Orchestra.

Jury Score: 14
Public Score: 239
Total Score: 253 Points

Sweden (4th)
Cornelia Jakobs – Hold Me Closer

I had thought that if anyone was going to give Kalush Orchestra a run for their money it would have been Cornelia, but then she decided to unforgivably sing in bare feet and we have no choice but to cancel her

But I did like that she and Sheldon Riley’s chin were wearing the same outfit

I was a little confused about the staging, mostly the decision to have her circular scrim coloured green like the ghost of her former lover Mike Wazowski was haunting her

I just think ANY other colour would have worked better, the green was a little jarring and looked a bit like they’d forgotten to add a digital effect to a green screen…

same vibe.

But the song was great and Cornelia sounded incredible, the rawness of her voice in the crescendo gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, and I do of course enjoy the novelty of the fact she looks a lot like Jodie Whittaker

something I’m sure she’s not at all bored of being told at every single fan interaction she’s had.

Jury Score: 258
Public Score: 180
Total Score: 438 Points

Australia (15th)
Sheldon Riley – Not The Same

Nothing amuses me more in a national selection when the person that ends up representing their country tops neither the Televote or the Jury Vote, which is what happened with Sheldon with Voyager toping the televote and Jaguar Jonze topping the jury vote – and while I love Voyager as much as the next person (and we could have done with some more prog rock) I’m a big fan of Sheldon and I think he thoroughly deserved this – he’s done Australian X-factor once and The Voice: Australia twice, which at that point is just community service. And he has some amazing performances on them so I think it’s about time he got to do Eurovision as a little treat. Also he brought us some delicious camp

he was born to swish about in that corridor, and his performance outfit was somehow even bigger than his swishy cape

my favourite fact about it is that in order to make sure he could walk up the stairs while wearing what is essentially 2 duvets and 7 bath mats belted around his waist, he would climb his hotel stairs while carrying weights – and just the thought of those men who run with weighted backpacks to train for Ironman Marathons and Sheldon doing the same thing to wear a massive feathered dress on Eurovision brings me so much joy.

As far as the big self-empowerment songs go, I think this was the best one, it has a really nice build to it and I like the staging

although whoever decided to put Sheldon Riley’s Mammoth Staircases right before Sam Ryder’s Scaffolded Rocket truly chose violence because watching Laura and Alessandro trying to buy the stage wranglers some time was somehow more awkward than the Swiss Nul Points.
Thankfully they fixed a lot of the issues I had with the staging in the Australia Decides performance, mostly with the mask removal which for some unknown reason they shot on a wide shot where you couldn’t see what the hell was happening

Like, this is the big crescendo moment, the whole song is basically about Sheldon’s experience of being diagnosed as neurodivergent at a very young age and masking in order to try and fit in (look, I didn’t say the imagery was subtle) and thankfully it got the closeup the moment deserved on Saturday night

it does however still annoy me that he doesn’t throw the mask down and instead proceeds to conduct the rest of the performance holding it aloft like he’s just scalped a B&Q lamp

but I believe it was made by the same guy who makes a lot of Lady Gaga’s headpieces so I can understand not wanting to damage it.

I wasn’t surprised that this did very well with the juries, it’s essentially emotional catnip to them (ballads and stairs), I did think it might have performed a little better with the televote but it wasn’t really a strong night for voting for ballads as I think we’re at a point in history where we’re craving fun more than feelings.

Jury Score: 123
Public Score: 2
Total Score: 125 Points

United Kingdom (2nd!!!!!!)
Sam Ryder – Space Man


Yeah, we too mate.

Given the absolute dud we had last year (sorry James Newman and your Giant Trumpets) I don’t think anyone wanted to get their hopes up for our chances this year and then Space Man was released and it was… really good, the worst thing about it is that it wasn’t released in 2012 because this would have been a gift to the Doctor Who fans who were making Eleven x Amy music videos on YouTube back then and had to settle for *checks notes* I Need a Doctor by Eminem…
But beyond the song being very good and radio friendly, Sam was a great choice because he’s made his name via TikTok so he understood what good social media content and engagement is which is essential in getting the more dedicated Eurovision fans on your side – and who could resist the man that is essentially a golden retrieve made human

but we still had to worry about the staging and the very real threat that they would put yet another one of our acts in an overwhelming coat and make him stand on a podium for the full three minutes with nothing to do – he did get firmly podium’d but it was a fair trade for getting to be dressed like we were jettisoning a Pearly King to Mars

and I enjoyed the general feeling that we were watching a man trapped in space going slowly insane because all he’s had to do for so long is talk to himself

it’s very Sandra Bullock in Gravity vibes.

Also, very importantly we got to claim the prize for Biggest Prop of the Year, which is kind of a shock given that Rosa Linn brought her entire bedroom and every shopping list she’d ever written, but Sam’s scaffolded rocket outdid her

I did think the staging might have done a little more than it did, it kind of sort of just flopped down to distract us from the fact that from the depths of the dry ice someone was poised to hand Sam his guitar

and there’s always a few bonus points from the jury for both magic tricks and playing your own instrument.

Jury Score: 283
Public Score: 183
Total Score: 466 Points

Poland (12th)
Ochman – River

Somehow amongst everything else, Poland had the most unhinged entry of the bunch owing entirely to the what-we-shall-generously-call-special effects that looked like they were being applied by a teenager in 2005 making a music video for Tourniquet by Evanescence using only footage from Supernatural and whatever they could load on Windows MovieMaker

and as soon as the Eurovision fans got wind of it during their rehearsal they began applying the same style of effects to their favs’ rehearsal footage – there’s a particularly good one for Ireland’s Brooke which is just completely deranged

but you know, at least the absolutely unnecessary water feature on the stage added something to at least one person’s performance

Ochman was however not going to be stooping to the literal waterlogged theme by borrowing Lauri’s yellow raincoat and was instead dressing like a bedazzled vicar

which did make the fact his backing dancers were dressed like Swamp Thing’s harem all the more baffling

but I really appreciated their commitment to the bit as they seemed to attend every single event looking like they were about to do the most chic heist since Ocean’s 8

I know them affectionately only as The Shrouds of Turin.

I think the most surprising thing about this entry though is the fact it scored significantly better with the televote than it did with the juries, such is the power of a hot guy in a suit, I guess?

Jury Score: 46
Public Score: 105
Total Score: 151 Points

Serbia (5th)
Konstrakta – In Corpore Sano

It’s difficult to even describe this performance, so I shall merely give a run down of my favourite things about it:

1. The fact it looked like an arthouse theatre production of Basic Instinct


honestly, if Konstrakta wanted to blot out the sun and doom us all, I would merely ask her what part she wanted me to play in her nefarious plan.

2. The rapid fire sequence of close ups of her backing singers which made it look like they were suspects in a murder mystery happening in a monastery

it was Mr. LEGO Hair that did it.


I appreciate choreography and staging that I can perform at home in my kitchen while I wait for my pasta to boil.

4. Konstrakta’s lipstick

it’s a shade I wish I could pull off and the fact it perfectly matched the carnation in her lapel was *chef’s kiss*.

The bit where the lights go red

What can I say? I love a bit of dramatic mood lighting and I really loved the rhythm of that particular verse.

And thus ends my stanning.

Jury Score: 87
Public Score: 225
Total Score: 312 Points

Estonia (13th)
Stefan – Hope

I have to say, I’m a little mad that we had a choice of two cowboys and we ended up with the more vanilla of the two in the final


look, I preemptively made that gif, I had to use it somewhere.

As Poland was the only act that managed to make the fountain look like a part of their performance and not an act of Ground Force sabotage, the failure that was the Kinetic Sun that ruined many another delegation’s plans, at least helped with the western atmosphere that Stefan was going for

Hope was a great song to end the night on, it’s fun, it has catchy whistling and Stefan is a great arena performer, he works a crowd really well without it halting the performance which I think is a rather underappreciated talent when it comes to live performances. I did think that given all that and him being incredibly handsome that he was a deadcert for the top 10 but people really vibed with the Portuguese clapping circle, it was a big night for clapping actually.

Jury Score: 43
Public Score: 98
Total Score: 141 Points

The Final Scoreboard

1stMy Wholesome Patchwork Kings631
2ndEmotional Support Space Labrador466
3rdThe Fun Bum Song459
4thHold Mike Wazowski Closer438
5th Handwashing as Performance Art312
8thThe IKEApocalypse215
9thThe Clapping Circle207
10thFurry Magnets182
11thOne Place Off From The Obvious S10th Joke181
12thThe Emotional Carwash Song151
13thVanilla Cowboy141
14thMonika Liu, Despite the Odds128
15thA Mask Off Moment125
16thShe’s Cheer Captain and I’m On The Bleachers106
17thMarius Care Bear78
18thThe Real Gay Banger Was The Llamames we Bebebe’d Along The Way65
20thChanging Rooms: The Great Escape61
21st13 Year Old Me Would’ve Loved It At Least38
22ndAll Of The Lights On/Off [delete as required]38
23rdThe Goodest Eggs of the Year20
25thSlam Poetry Relegation Zone6

I hope you’ve enjoyed these two recaps of Eurovision 2022, and if you’d like to support the blog you can drop a small tip over at my Ko-fi page HERE.

2 thoughts on “Eurovision 2022, Part 2: Guppy in a Shark Tank

  1. BeetlingAbout

    I adore your super specific but omg so accurate descriptions. Azerbaijan’s Takeshi’s castle vehicles. Poland’s emo teen throwback. Sweden’s Mike Wazowski xD

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