So, this series of four is now a series of five. Why?
Because the American charged into the challenge without researching, looking the fine cultural details, and kinda not caring.
WHO’DA THUNK IT????
You see, Eurovision has politics. Oh does it have politics. People vote in blocks to favor their region, to kiss ass to other nations, mostly to piss of the United Kingdom. Every one from the UK- I mean everyone, be they from Wales, Scotland, England or Northern Irish backing the UK in the competition – believes deep in their hearts. Everyone else in Europe agrees.
Another big political sticking point is the BIG FOUR.. no, BIG FIVE pre-qualified nations. In 2000, France,Germany,Spain and the UK demanded to be pre-qualified since they spent the most money on the bloody thing. In 2010, Italy got added to the final list. One of the several reasons Turkey bolted after 2013. Oh, and Russia is trying to organize their own. because they know they aren’t likely to win. And like the old days of the Warsaw Pact and Russia somehow ALWAYS WINNING AT WARSAW PACT FOOTIE, they want that old guaranteed win feeling back.
A side note- please do not assume the slightly (ridiculously obvious) anti-Putin tone is because I’m American born, bred, and based. I could be mad at Putin, because as an Irish dual-citizen, Russian bombers buzzed over Ireland to get to the UK over the channel. I could be mad because of the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine and the turning of Russia from a broken democracy to a theofascist kleptocracy that’s making gay bashing the new pogrom.
I know America is an evil sprawling capitalist consumerist culture destroying nightmare who invaded Iraq for no good reason. We also happen to be a place and culture everyone wants to be part of, where we are ever moving toward better diversity and inclusion, and oh yeah… are doing a good job of fighting our internal war hawks from going on further pointless invasions.
We have so many issues, we have volumes. Putin’s Russia has so many volumes they have libraries.
Got it? Good.
Anyhoo… besides the big 5 we have the Austria and Australia. Austria because they won last with their bearded beauty, Conchita Wurst.
WHO IS FIERCE!
Can’t deal with bearded beauties? Piss off. Again, Eurovision’s best songs are also great Bond movie songs. HEAR THAT, UK? MAKE IT HAPPEN!!! CONCHITA SINGS THE THEM TO SPECTRE!!!
Here is Austria’s pick for this year
Austria The Makemakes I Am Yours
Not bad. Actually, I’m really liking it. Good, laid-back 70’s vibe, I could totally see this song in a Cameron Crow movie. Nice change from Conchita- her beard is far prettier than the pianist’s, though. Like Denmark, Austria probably doesn’t want to win again, because, well, IT’S FUCKING EXPENSIVE, but this is a genuinely good song.
Australia is in as a guest country. Since so many Aussie’s have sung at the thing, and are part of the bloody Euro-culture, why not? More political maneuverings to follow as this is only a ‘one-time thing.’
So, this is their big toe in the water.
Australia Guy Sebastian – Tonight Again
Cool. Nice Bruno Mars/Jamiroquai retro vibe. Not the most memorable song ever, but a lot of fun and funk.
Now, for the BIG FOUR, NO… FIVE!!!
Spain Edurne Amanecer
Now, Spain puts money in their Eurovision videos. They certainly put some pesetas in this homage to the Lord of The Rings and Ladyhawke- complete with the implicaiton that the real Eurovision trophy IS THE FRICKING ONE RING! And, oh yeah… lots of implied sex. I mean, Mount Doom is all but Mons Pubis. It’s not just me, right? Look, the singer, the model, the tiger and the oh-so noble falcon are FABULOUS, but the song is bland. Dramatic, sweeping bland.
France Lisa Angelk N’oubliez Pas
Blah. The video is a lovely tour of the French coast.. hey look, A GERMAN PILL BOX!, And yes… the sentiment is important, rebuild in peace, always remember. But… sorry. Blah. Bland. Also, I get grudges- eh. Just feels off.
Germany Ann Sophie Black Smoke
There are lot of jokes I won’t be making about the title. Fun song, but honestly, meh. I get English isn’t her first language, but I’m not getting any real impact from her singing. I mean, wo ist der Schwung? Der Oomph? Blah.
Italy Il Volo Grande Amore
The only grand love I see is for American culture. I mean, come on, guys. Loud noises. OPERATIC SWEEPS. We play the clay scene form “Ghost?” Forget about it.
United Kingdom Electro Velvet- Still In Love With You
Honestly, the UK, as stated, doesn’t have a chance in hell. Politics and what not. That being said, fun song. Feels English- poppy swinging fun with a delightful touch of cultural appropriation- and both the song and video would have ruled ‘Top Of The Pops’ for two minutes in 1986. This is one of my picks.
Yes, I’m rooting for the Rugby rivals. Sure, I want Ireland to win ( and have someone else fecking pay for it), but the UK deserves more than being in the lower 20 for… for… REASONS!
So, picks so far, both Semi-Finals 1 and the guaranteed finalists:
Maybe I’m biased for bands singing in English. So sue me. But I try.
Next up, the last 17 nations in two parts.