You know what, Eurovision 2019 had all along promised to be a corker, and the Grand Final of the competition which took place on Saturday evening was more rad than any other year in recent memory. For weeks I poured over all of the forty-one entries and took particular interest in the semi-final heats process. There were certainly some big pop songs in the offing, it certainly felt very much like all four corners of Europe had collectively decided to step up their game. There were some very cool music video’s as well. So much promise on paper, studio recordings etc., but the decider of Eurovision glory is as we know, down to the live performance. Who came through when it mattered? What other highlights did the culmination of the contest bring? Let’s spill some tea.
“SCREAM” BY SERGEY LAZAREV
The music marathon got off to a slow start for me, my ears didn’t perk up until Sergey Lazarev took to the stage. I craved drama, Sergey brought it both vocally and visually. Although in respect of the latter, wasn’t on the same scale as the spectacle he gave us for “You Are The Only One” in 2016. No matter, Sergey stepped behind one digital screen and its watery vfx gave many viewers the impression that he was taking a shower on stage. Imaginations were went sent into overdrive, at this. Lots of people remembered this moment and cast votes his way. A respectable third place once again for Sergey.
“SEBI” BY ZALA KRAJL & GASPER SANTL
Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the song “Too Late For Love“, John Lundvik gave a powerful performance for Sweden. I loved the mama’s backing singers but was underwhelmed by the staging. Dressing the stage wasn’t high on the agenda for Slovenia either. Zala Kralj & Gašper Šantl kept the visual elements low-key, but it was never their intentions to bring a spectacle. Cute or creepy. The performance was one or the other. Mellow, soft and dreamy. The song “Sebi” added some diversity among the evening’s mostly raucous proceedings. It seemed most of my Twitter timeline went for a toilet break when these two came on. All the more for me. I appreciated the more gentle musicality of the song. Zala managed half a smile, and she was consistent with the vocal performance throughout the competition. Happy these lovers won some creditable recognition from European viewers finishing up on the left-hand side of the scoreboard.
“SPIRIT IN THE SKY” by KEiiNO
“Spirit In The Sky” was the great pop song Norway participants KEiiNO brought to Eurovision. As predicted it definitely lifted the mood. They crammed plenty of fun into three minutes. A new Eurovision classic… you bet it is. BOOM!
“STORM” BY VICTOR CRONE
Victor Crone for Estonia was vocally on point when it really mattered, phew! (his semi-final performances were less than perfect) Or was it that I didn’t notice any wobbly vocals because I was trying to figure out what was happening to his guitar. One minute it was strapped around his shoulders, in the blink of an eye, it had disappeared. “Storm” started out quite promising but lost its authenticity. He had a very nice smile though.
“TRUTH” BY CHINGIZ
Holy moly Chingiz. I mean, I so approve everything which happened during this performance. The robots, the lasers, the leaping Chingiz hologram which made it look as though he was jumping out of his own skin. He held one note for what seemed like 10 seconds. What a guy. What a song. What pipes he’s got and what a fine pair of guns, *cough arms.
“ROI” BY BILAL HASSANI
I haven’t mentioned Bilal Hassani entry “Roi” for France before as the song didn’t make much of an impression on me. The same can not be said about the staging of the French performance. What Bilal’s team came up with has to be commended. There were very touching scenes, which brought to light poignant social messages about inclusivity and being open-minded. The performance is one I will remember for some time to come.
“SOLDI” BY MAHMOOD
As much as I felt a strong connection to “Arcade” The Netherlands entry, and despite the song being the bookmakers favourite going into the final. I hoped that it would be faced with close competition from at least two or three other countries and not claim a landslide victory if predictions did come true. I felt biggest challenger for Duncan Laurence would be Mahmood with “Soldi” for Italy. Turned out the juries and televoters loved this song lots too. (For more of my thoughts about “Soldi” – jump to my review HERE)
“SHE GOT ME” BY LUCA HANNI
Luca Hänni really was in for the win for Switzerland with “She Got Me.” I was glad, that gradually throughout the competition, the Eurovision audience woke up to this song. So happy for Luca, “She Got Me” got such a good reception on Saturday night. I’m sure its success came down to a combination of things. Being a catchy pop song. Being cute. Energy. The dancing. No need to analyse it further, it was just the whole package of great pop, wasn’t it? On that note, thanks Eurovision 2019 you showed me diversity, you introduced me to lots of good pop acts, you are back in my good favour again. Roll on 2020.