As Joan Didion would say: Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends. On the 18th of March in the year of horror 2020 Eurovision was cancelled. Life since then has been a struggle. Gone were our daily doses of madness, extravaganza, goosebumps, glitter and dramaqueens, here were the inescapable demands of social distancing, travel bans and prohibition. Snuggling up to Eurovision artists was but a distant dream. The only vodka shots we were having, were the ones that sanitized our hands. Facial masks were not for Eurovisioning our skin, but to cover our no-makeup faces. It’s been 415 days since The Great Depression hit Europe, and we’re still struggling with the consequences.
But, alas. We see a new dawn upon the horizon. Last night we dreamt we went to Eurovision again. And great things were about to happen. Then we woke up and realized it’s May again. And Eurovision is actually happening! It’s time to review this year’s entries. Let’s take a look at the first half of the first semi final!
Lithuania: The Roop: “Discoteque”
The Roop added 100 per cent to our depression last year. We were so happy to see Lithuania pull off something else than botoxed faces murdering ballads and so ready for the Baltics to take the victory home. But let’s not hold the disappointment of 2020 against them and welcome them back again. A bunch of yellow clad eccentrics with a groovy beat are always welcome in our book. Also loving a man who can pull off high heels. It almost makes us forgive the slight resemblance to the large discos with empty dance floors and over exited DJs we sometimes frequented during the 90s.
Slovenia: Ana Soklič: “Amen”
This is were we get political. We must admit we find it quite disturbing when a country led by Victor Orban’s best friend since kindergarten shows up in Eurovision with a white clad woman screaming her lungs out with Hallelujah and Amens and “we’re glorious”. It’s almost as if they invited Benjamin Nethanyahu to the party and they were all having a field day planning their next attack on journalists/artists/democracy in general when they don’t win. There ain’t a great voice in the world that could save this distasteful mess, but Ana Soklič is putting in great effort, we’ll give here that.
Russia: Manizha: “Russian Woman”
And this is were we let politics go. And clearly, so did Russia. We’re still struggling to understand how Putin signed off on this, but maybe he’s been too occupied with Alexei Navalny lately and totally missed the fact that his country is about to be represented by a strong feminist in a coverall from Tajikistan who sings about the difficult conditions for immigrants in Russia in front of 200 million TV viewers. Well, please don’t tell him, because this is pure gold. Manizha is the best thing that’s happened to Eurovision in years, and we already a)booked our apartment in Moscow in May 2022 and b)filed a petition for Tajikistan to become a member of the EBU and c)applied for a witness protection program just in case.
Sweden: Tusse: “Voices”
Sweden’s song is calculated, overly produced crap and we suffer from severe migraines half way through. Luckily, some things remained the same in spite of the pandemic.
Australia: Montaigne: “Technicolour”
We might be old fashioned, but when we were in school back in the 1930s, we learned the meaning of show, don’t tell. Screaming “I’ve got power” and telling us about colors while you’re up there showcasing orange hair and all kinds of fluorescent light really doesn’t do it for us. Pretty sure we would grow to love this in Euroclub. If we were in Euroclub, that is.
North Macedonia: Vasil: “Here I Stand”
Here’s what annoys us: a)musical videos where we have to fast forward the first 30 seconds because the artists thinks he’s so charming we’d want him to deliver a sensitive little speech before he starts to sing. And b)songs that sound like they are made to go with Disney’s new version of Lady and the tramp. And c)totally incomprehensible metaphors like “unchain my wings”. Not a big fan of North Macedonia this year, then.
Ireland: Lesley Roy: “MAPS”
We want Ireland to win Eurovision. We really do. But they have to get out of this Ronan Keating inspired early 2000 beat box they seem to be stuck in. It hurts all over. Also: One things that never ceases to amaze us, is that countries who, as far as we know, learn English in school are so very bad at making use of it. Lyrics might not be what sends you to the top of the Eurovision charts, but it certainly could help.
Cyprus: Elena Tsagrinou: “El Diablo”
Speaking of countries stuck in a formula: at least Cyprus found a good one. There’s only one reason to dislike this and that is the fact that we won’t be there when the roof lifts in Rotterdam Ahoy as Elena Tsagrinou imposes the devil. Only a little annoyed by that children’s singing, but we’re in a forgivable mood with this one.