I attended the ‘Jury Final’ (one of the dress rehearsals assigned for each Eurovision) last night. It was an opportunity to see what the international juries saw and voted on ahead of tonight’s first semi-final on TV.
It was an opportunity to see how the songs I reviewed on Sunday fared now they were on stage. Some did, others didn’t.
There are no spoilers in this post, just some personal views after watching the show on the screens in the arena. Be sure to keep an eye out for the opening sequence at the beginning of the first semi-final. The visuals in the arena are breathtaking and there’s a rather touching reference at the back of the stage guaranteed to satisfy every Eurovision nerd.
Armenia Visually compelling, but musically overblown.
Belgium Far and away the best song. Stylish presentation although seeing Loic laying flat on the stage is a bit odd. The camera adores him and the camera is right.
Netherlands Looks very good, but I lose interest in it and the running order mid-way.
Finland Finnish punk sung by people with learning difficulties. Both the ‘postcard’ before the song and the song itself prompts us to think about how we engage with people with learning difficulties. The song’s message is implicit. Musically, it’s not my cup of tea. But there is a lot of warmth in the arena for it.
Greece Looks OK but it remains deathly dull.
Estonia Good song and good visually too, but there’s something rather flat about it.
Macedonia Intonation trouble – he’s a little sharp. Literal visual presentation of a rather boring song.
Serbia This is the first real high point after Belgium. The message is a little hamfisted compared to Conchita’s song last year. But the song has real energy and builds to an unequivocally joyous celebratory climax. Camp.
Hungary Great song. Great visuals. Loved it.
Belarus Still really like this song. Looks OK on screen but musically it does lose energy on stage part way through.
Russia Brilliant. Looks very good too. Good rousing number.
Denmark Anti Social Media are cute. Very cute. But the whole package is just a bit too shiny. A bit dull. Wallpaper.
Albania Boring. The visuals don’t harm it, but they don’t improve it either.
Romania Actually brings a tear to my eye. A bit Coldplay-ish.
Georgia She looks a bit silly to be honest.