Best of Lisbon – a travel guide

Man, we love Lisbon. So much in fact that we go there once a year and stay for at least a week. Lucky for you too, because that means we have loads of great tips for you. Besides the obvious, of course. Which is getting as much Eurovision as possible and hunting down as many of those amazingly hunky Portuguese people as possible. We skipped the hotels, that are bound to be fully booked, but here’s a sample of the rest:

Nice areas to hang in besides the arena:

Warning: When in Barrio Alto, you might be exposed to this. And never quite recover

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The breakable Russian

She’s back again. And there’s not a Portuguese official in sight to stop her:

Here’s the thing: We get that it is hard to be Russian sometimes. You have your very impressive cultural legacy and you have all these amazing artists willing to give stellar performances in Eurovision and the only thing people care about is that you also have a president. Who decides wicked things you don’t necessarily agree on and certainly do not promote in your entry. Never mind that you almost won a dozen of times and the fact that you didn’t probably is due to other people also being great. In Putin town winning is the only option. If winning doesn’t happen, there must be something rotten in the state of Eurovision.

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Wrinkle Free Lithuania

Last year Lithuania failed miserably with sending a concept instead of an actual song to compete in Eurovision. Thus we can totally understand the urgency of sending a good old-fashioned proper ballad to Lisbon. While Fusedmarc was a screaming hot mess, Ieva Zasimauskaitė barely whispers her way through her designated three minutes. If we could have pasted a big FRAGILE sticker over the whole performance we would.

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When the skinny lady sings

Last year we went to Estonia for their national final. Clearly, we chose the wrong year and missed this:

Not that any year is a bad over there. Somehow, in a country smaller than Amsterdam’s metropolitan area, they manage to pile up quite a few artists every year and it’s not even a couple of families stuck on resirc like in certain other small countries a little further south. In a country where national finals are best kept secret, we’re highly impressed, of course, and would apply for a citizenship immediately if they could also cook up a little bit more global warming in winter.

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Croatia not being crazy enough

Absolutely no one talked about the Croatian entry before allegations of plagiarism surfaced on the Internet about a week ago. All PR is good PR we guess, at the very least it made us notice that Croatia is indeed participating this year. Anyhow, what appeared to be a major crisis in the making within the fan world, turned out to be an unfortunate mishap by one of the producers behind Crazy. Apparently you can make a living out of selling beats online for 80 bucks apiece. Sometimes we contemplate quitting our day jobs.

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Bulgaria being bad to the bone

Can five rights turn out to be one big wrong? We’re looking at you, EQUINOX.

We are usually cautious towards so called supergroups formed especially for the purpose of performing in the Eurovision Song Contest. There are probably examples of successful collaborations and feel free to remind us in the comment section, but all we can remember are the car crashes and train wrecks, like Just4Fun for Norway in 91 and more recently Genealogy for Armenia. And don’t you need at least a couple of superstars in order to be entitled to coin the group as super? An X-factor winner, a former backing singer and a couple of American producers doesn’t exactly knock our socks off.

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Forever is a long time, Belarus

Belarus makes three minutes feel like an eternity.

From what we understand ALEKSEEV is something of a superstar in quite a few Eastern European countries, and it stirred quite a controversy when he decided to compete in the Belarusian national final instead of his native Ukraine. Apparently the 11 other finalists threatened to withdraw from the final when they found out that ALEKSEEV had entered the competition, but we imagine President Lukashenko had words because they all showed up in the end.

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Slovenia is not passé

Experienced readers of GEE might have noticed the occasional sarcasm directed towards techno. Luckily, there’s also Lea Sirk:

The last couple of years there’s been quite a few attempts at making the classy Eurovision stage sound like the inside of an unmentionable Ayia Napa beach disco. While that might work for a late night crowd at EuroClub and while we might change our minds ouselves after quite a few tequila shots, we usually do not approve in the contest itself. There are opportunities at schlager to be missed and too many sing-along choruses needed at karaoke nights. Also, might just be that we are a couple of days over 20, but we don’t really see the need for modernizing anything that works.

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