Eurovision Song Contest 2018 – Song Reviews

The Eurovision gets underway on Tuesday 8 May. It’s coming from Lisbon this year because Portugal won last year’s contest in Ukraine.

I’m staying at home, largely keeping my nose out of proceedings. It’s saving me a stack of money, and it means I get to enjoy the show the way I used to years ago.

A previous blog post on the subject Eurovision (and me disentangling myself from it this year) may make this post seem a little odd. If you’re so ‘over it’ why are you writing a blog post about this year’s songs?

Disentangling for me means not throwing myself into it with the same vigour I have done before. The returns are small and don’t especially benefit me in the long run. But, that’s no reason not to actually enjoy the competition or deny myself the things I used to do before the relationship between me and it started getting a little lopsided.

So, in this post you’ll find all the songs, what I make of them, and what score I’ve given them out of ten. If in subsequent weeks, my thoughts change, I’ll give an updated score in an additional column and signpost where thoughts have changed.

I’ve also included an embedded playlist for each other three groups of songs below.

Topline assessment

Be warned though, as of 28 April 2018 (ten days before the contest), there’s not a fat lot here that sweeps me off my feet. Slim pickings.

Thank God Belgium have remained good on their growing reputation and submitted something with a bit of class. Georgia has gone all retro with a jazz/folk a-capella number which ticks all of my boxes.  The Other Half is pleased with Australia‘s number. I’ve got a sneaking regard for Spain‘s charming duet, and I do rather like Italy‘s number too.

Those countries with distinctly underwhelming or fundamentally annoying songs are Norway, Estonia, Slovenia, and the UK.

Semi-Final One

Watch all the Semi-Final One songs in this YouTube playlist

Azerbaijan Functional; nothing special 6/10
Iceland Nauseating; thin; poorly sung; boring 0/10
Albania Rousing up-tempo anthem; risks appearing dull 4/10
Belgium Classy; Bond-esque theme; 10/10
Czech Republic Irritating; grows on me 1/10
Lithuania Sedate; sweet; doesn’t really build 5/10
Israel Catchy; distinctive; dull; annoying 8/10
Belarus Earnest 3/10
Estonia Criminal 0/10
Bulgaria Slow build; delivers 7/10
FYR Macedonia Annoying 0/10
Croatia Fails to deliver what it promises 0/10
Austria Disappointing chorus 0/10
Greece Unremarkable 0/10
Finland Catchy; rewarding; satisfying 9/10
Armenia Impassioned; ponderous 0/10
Switzerland Nothing special but might scrape through 0/10
Ireland Sweet; dull 0/10
Cyprus Reasonably OK 2/10

Semi-final Two

Watch all the Semi-Final Two songs in this YouTube playlist

Norway Irritating; self-satisfied; nauseating; bollocks 0/10
Romania Safe power ballad; surprisingly satisfying 3/10
Serbia Earnest 1/10
San Marino Dull 0/10
Denmark Tired 0/10
Russia Upbeat; nothing special; 4/10
Moldova Annoying verse; pleasing chorus; fun 6/10
Netherlands Defies expectations; actually works 7/10
Australia Really like this 8/10
Georgia I adore this; old school Eurovision; 10/10
Poland Dull 0/10
Malta Dull 0/10
Hungary Surprisingly satisfying 1/10
Latvia Good intent; fails to deliver 0/10
Sweden Production elevates an otherwise unoriginal song 5/10
Montenegro Theatrical; ponderous 0/10
Slovenia Tries hard; fundamentally irritating 0/10
Ukraine Fairly safe; vocals weak; holds my attention 2/10

Big Five & Portugal

Watch all the songs from the Big Five and Portugal in this YouTube playlist

France Pleasing; solid; reliable 5/10
Germany Nauseating 0/10
Italy Like the song; message is in visuals however 7/10
Portugal Slight; heartfelt 4/10
Spain Sweet 8/10
UK Weak 0/10

Jon Jacob usually writes about classical music on this blog, but because its Eurovision in a couple of weeks time, he’s also writing about the Contest.

He also works as ICF accredited leadership and personal coach, mentor and team facilitator. Find out more about his professional background on LinkedIn. He writes about his coaching business at

He works as a freelance content producer and strategist, specialising in podcast production and videography.

Email him at or call him on 07768 864655.

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