What we noticed in the jury final for the grand final 2018

We hate to be stating the obvious, but you are finished. Don’t you know vampires should stay away from the sun? (pic by Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Yay, we are at the press center watching the jury final before tomorrow’s Grand Final. This is, as many of you know, the dress rehearsal with a live audience upon which all the juries votes for tomorrow are based, so it matters a lot how the artists are doing at this very moment. Fuckups have been known to happen before and we have been known to report them. This is what we noticed:

Intro: We open with different versions of fado, and we’re happy the Portuguese understood their flair is for sadness, not humor. Mariza is great. But then the artists march in to a mix of fado and electronica, which we figure is the worst of two worlds. And we cannot for the sake of us understand how they are able to move on after this. But luckily they do.

Ukraine: We couldn’t have asked for a better show opener than this one from Ukraine’s Alexander Skarsgård. In fact this number is a three minutes condensed version of everything Eurovision is all about. There’s no need for the other acts to perform, really, we’ve seen it all and can skip straight to the voting.

Spain: Did some great singing and actually looked at the audience at least a couple of times. Spain won’t end up last this year. Guess that’s a victory in itself.

Slovenia: Started off on the wrong foot, but quickly found the right one and moved on. Lost her music again. This lady seems to be very unlucky. Or mister Jon Ola Sand might have a personal beef with her and is acting a little childish.

Lithuania: Best use of stage prop this year, bringing her husband. Thank goodness we don’t have to do same. We find it a bit odd that the audience use precious battery time on their cell phones to light up the stage for this one. We can think of a number of better ways to make use of it. Like posting bitchy comments in social media. Did flawless singing, unfortunately.

Austria: Cesar forgot his belt today also, and we seriously fear/hope he might lose his pants in the final. Were so busy focusing on this, we weren’t completely sure if it was him or our ovaries that missed a couple of beats in the beginning there. Pretty sure someone made him take his hard out, though.

Estonia: Guess we know by now how a digitalized toilet paper doll would look like. Interesting. We always knew those Estonians are tech savvy. We are of course completely incompetent in assessing Elina’s singing, but we’ll do it anyway. It was stellar.

Norway: Enter serious self-critical mode now that we are official Rybak commentators in Namdalsavisa and most other Norwegian media: This was unfortunately not Rybak’s best performance. His voice lacked energy, which we fear might hurt him a little with the jury. But he’s a great performer all the same and will for sure put on a great show tomorrow. We can’t wait to ask another question in the press conference.

Portugal: She has such a soft, beautiful voice we almost want to cuddle up to a Wiwibloggs boy and fall asleep. Not sure that’s a good thing for Portugal. Or us, come to think of it #metoo. Stellar performance. And she cannot be punished for being from the same country as Salvador the mean machine.

– Seriously, babe. Is that really how you plan to hold the guitar? (pic by Andres Putting/EBU)

United Kingdom: Wow, there’s Mariza again. And oh my, she is so nervous she is shaking. Or maybe she is just scared because she met a vampire backstage. Sorry to say that it ruined most of her performance all the same. Poor thing.

Serbia: There’s lots of wailing, drop dead gorgeous women, purposeful strutting about on stage, a man banging on huge kettledrums, a clueless old bloke with a flute. This is the gift that keeps on giving!

Germany: The jury is supposed to look for hit quality, we’ve heard. Guess they discovered this one from Ed Sheeran in 2010, where it belongs. But Michael does a great performance.

Albania: After spending the past week on a binge drinking spree around Lisbon, Eugent’s voice is exactly what we need to sooth our nerves. He’s our safe harbor amidst the Eurovision madness.

France: Being serious about an important topic, but will it translate across language barriers or will they just come across as really, really thankful about something? This is as far as our most advanced tourist French gets us. Best hand grabbing of the evening.

Czech Republic: Was able to do a couple of real fine jumps onstage this time, which awarded him with an instant cheer in the press center. We are a couple of worried mums here, but also very proud ones, as he did great. Will get him a lifetime permit to play in the streets of Arendal and Bergen. As long as he brings his camel.

– A vampire backstage, you say? Better make a run for it! (pic by Thomas Hanses/EBU)

Denmark: Must have also met that vampire backstage, and we all know that’s no pacifist. Unfortunately his singing wasn’t so great this time, and it looks like he’s in distress. We didn’t spot the Danish delegation at EuroClub last night and fear that might have something to do with it.

Australia: And here’s the third victim of the Ukrainian vamp. Shockingly bad singing. What was she and Rybak up to last night after the press conference and was the kangaroo involved?

Finland: Saara Barrio Aalto sings impressively well considering all the commotion she has to handle on stage. Bringing the Gestapo and the David Star with her on stage is an interesting choice. But she doesn’t seem scared, not even of the vampire.

Bulgaria: If it hadn’t been for Zhana Bergendorff’s infrared boyfriend stealer lipstick we would have thought this performance was kept in black and white. We wouldn’t mind taking a trip to Sofia in May next year.

Moldova: Best performance done in an IKEA closet. That we know of. Red guy can come hide in our closet any time. Did a fantastic performance with lots of energy. It’s almost as if we can hear Philipp Kirkorov in the background singing Disco partisani.

Sweden: We seriously fear Sweden has cloned their Eurovision artist this year, only all three clones have minor differences. There’s Lousy Benjamin who trash talks all the artists. Lovely Benjamin that sweet talks us in EuroClub. And Benjamin the robot that shows up onstage and does his thing.

Hungary: Hungary promised to demand no make-up next year if they win. This would be a disaster for us, so we cannot let that happen. Like every single rehearsal for these guys, the performance is flawless. It’s almost boring. But then again it surely isn’t.

– Yo, Gabbani can you explain to me one more time the meaning behind the lyrics in Occidentali’s karma? (Pic by Andres Putting/EBU)

Israel: Is Netta this year’s Gabbani? Don’t ask us, we are as usual completely clueless, but regardless she is already a star. It’s shaping up to be a two horse race between Israel and Cyprus now and we suppose we can live with both alternatives. After all we enjoy going on holiday somewhere with a pleasantly warm climate.

Netherlands: In the press conference last night, Waylon kept defending his dancers from all the bad comments he’d seen about them online. That certainly can’t be from us, as we put one of the guys on our hotlist. We remember The Netherlands had an indian on stage a few years back. About time they brought a cowboy.

Ireland: Icebergs, straight ahead! Or no, sorry. There’s nothing even remotely straight about this, and that’s the best thing we can say about it. How to make a snoozefest into an audience pleaser: add gay love. And a direction worthy of James Cameron.

Cyprus: Wow, here’s someone channeling her inner Beyoncé onstage. We do the exactly same on the dance floor at EuroClub every night. Unfortunately the ceiling in our AirBnB flat is so low we had to cut our hair to be able to practice those hair flicks. We are desperately checking Wikipedia to find out if there are arenas big enough in Cyprus to host Eurovision, and calling around to all the clubs in Ayia Napa asking if they could host EuroClub next year.

– Oh no, Ermal. The GEE girls moved to the right side of the stage now. We need to change our choreography! (pic by Andres Putting/EBU)

Italy: Totally relieved that these guys are back on track with a stellar performance as their last rehearsal was less than great. Guess Ermal remembered he had Fabrizio to protect him from vampires. Italy has fucked up their jury final before, but of course these guys are too professional to do that. And man, do we love them for it.

Interval act: Salvador plays in the break with very very VERY SLOW food music and the Portuguese table in the press center applauds. Then this old Brazilian guy joins him onstage. According to Serbia, that’s a very trendy move this year. But BREAKING news: The Brazillian already published a video of the full rehearsal online, and we all know that’s against EBU regulations. Hope he remembered to credit Andres Putting.

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