Time to face the facts: Eurovision season is over. We have again started wearing cotton and going to sleep before midnight, there is not a cheesy Georgian bread in sight and no journalist has contacted us for a comment all day. All that is left are tons of good memories and our gelnails, that apparently never go away. Should have googled this before entering that nail salon in Kyiv, but at least pink and turquoise is in fashion.
We might say so every year, but it feels like this was the best Eurovision final ever. What an amazing host city. What great people we have met. And not the least: What high level of artists this year! We weren’t bored for a second during the final. We even started liking Romania.
We had more than one favorite, but must admit the flag we brought to the arena was Italian. But we were really happy to see Portugal win all the same, both because it is a country dear to our heart that finally won after a long struggle to even reach the final and because Salvador Sobral and his sister Luisa truly had an amazing song. We are sure it will inspire even more variety in the competition, which is always welcomed.
A word of note to Salvador, though: We do not see the need to snub your competitors by claiming your music is more real than theirs. Having witnessed this show as insiders for the fifth time now, we know it is full of hard working musicians and they are no less professional even if the genre is more show than low key. If Salvador were to look for professional musicians who have been in the business for a long time among the top three, he could look to Moldova. Or, you know, he could just keep quiet and enjoy his well-deserved victory.
Also the speeches at the press conferences seemed like a bait for self-righteous journalists and their likes who don’t like Eurovision, and we’re a little sad it worked. There seem to be a notion of Eurovision fans as shallow and not caring about music, which we don’t find to be true at all. The fans love all of the competition. The glitter, the glamour, the dancing and the campiness as much as quality of music, serious messages and great voices. If you don’t, you are welcome to watch X-factor or go to La Scala instead. PR wise there’s nothing that indicates Salvador being less a “whole package” than other winners have been before him. His package was just different, him being this sensitive guy with a jazzy song that talks about refugees in the press centre. It stands to be noted that while refugees might not be immigrants, they are not destinies for you to wear to look good either. And who saves the most refugees these days? That’s right, the Italian coast guard. Keep working on getting a new publicist, hon, not just a new sweatshirt.
Oh, well. Enough with the bitching and back to Moldova. What accomplishment! We consider it just as much a victory that Sunstroke Project came third, which is certainly higher than we ever dared hope for. It was so well deserved, though. There was literally no one as solid as them in every single rehearsal and we can’t wait for them to participate again next year. Also, Hungary did great, which was very moving.
Now for the question quite a few are asking themselves after the final: Why didn’t Italy do better? And who are to blame? We see the Italians are discussing the jurysystem now, and there are interesting points made about whether the early leak about the jury votes and votes in the semi finals could have influenced the result. We also think the fact that juries seemed strongly influenced by so-called neighbour voting and Azerbaijan deliberately voting down Armenians calls for a discussion of the whole intention of the jury system, but we think the Italians need to do a little self-investigation as well. We suggest the following itinerary for that meeting:
- Why didn’t Francesco do his best in the jury final? Didn’t we learn anything from Marco Mengoni?
- Why did we cut a verse and leave a bunch of choruses? Didn’t we learn anything from Il Volo?
- Why did we put all those colours and figures and whatnot in the staging? Did we forget people had a glorious gorilla to look at?
- Why didn’t anyone tell Francesco to behave as the laid-back, cool guy he was in SanRemo instead of a manic street preacher who overdosed on vodka and Redbull?
We agree Francesco deserved better than this. We are still a little devastated over his result as there’s nothing we’d like more than for Italy to win. We’re sure they’ll come around eventually, though. Or as Seneca would say: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Let’s go for Torino 2019!
Also, we are really proud of Norway this year. The guys at JOWST had an original song, they took their participation seriously and did a great job at connecting with the fans. And whaddayaknow? They were rewarded with a great result. We think Norway is moving in the right direction now, and can’t wait to see what NRK and Jan Fredrik comes up with next year.
Guess all that is left is for us to thank EBU for a great show, NRK for making it possible for us to experience it all, Druzi cafe for saving our lives by curing our hangovers every morning and just about every restaurant in Kyiv for serving us so much great food we now have to workout continuously until the next final. We seem to be hunting down more good food than hunky artists in Eurovision these days. Considering a change of Facebook headline for our blog to “Good Evening Europe – Mixing politics and Eurovision AND food since 1977”. Good thing then that we already know quite a few fabulous chefs and restaurants in Lisbon. Stay tuned for our travel guide.
In the meantime, let’s just hope Portugal actually has the money to arrange this, as the lady at RTP seemed a little pale when Jon Ola handed over the starter package. Maybe Ronaldo should pay for this with some of his pocket money. Or perhaps Salvador should consider a new sweatshirt with the message “SOS, hosting Eurovision is really, really expensive”? Nonetheless, we really want to go to Lisbon. Europe, start crowd-funding now!