Eurovision 2021 was a welcome return from the song contest across the continent. The votes are coming in right now and we await the result.
Held in Rotterdam after a year of postponement, the small but typically crazed audience was delighted to witness a veritable smorgasbord of talent.
Obviously it was a mixed bag. But there is no doubt that it was good to have him back.
Rotterdam hosted the event after Duncan Laurence, who was unable to perform live this year due to testing positive for COVID, won the 2019 gala.
For viewers who watched the UK broadcast, the fearsome Graham Norton was on hand to bring an ever-needed slice of realism.
“This is kettle … if you hate kettle,” he said of the German entry, which was less of a yeast feast and more of a children’s cartoon.
From the Lithuanian entry, Norton suggested that he looked like “IT people who had dressed up as (UK pop act) Steps. And not without good cause. However, I can see the dance moves that are imposed throughout. the continent Raise your arms to your face, children!
Ukraine came to the party under the guise of the METZ ‘judderman’ advertisement from the 90s. A nightmarish folk dance threat. “If you’ve ever wondered what happened to Orville … the lead singer seems to be wearing it,” Norton joked, referring to the lead singer’s green plumage.
Serbia made its case for EU membership with the female power trio Hurricane and Finland once again laid out its Heavy Metal credentials, following in the footsteps of 2006 winner Lordi.
‘Like Cleopatra,’ sang the Azeri entry, revising Mata Hari’s story for some reason.
Norway’s TIX brought a pop-rock sensibility to the proceedings, and Tourettes’s victim sported a huge pair of angel wings. His song mentioned angels, so that’s okay. And the key change carried over from 1988, which was refreshing.
Tickets from the UK, once much flaunted in the early days of Eurovision, have been pitiful in recent decades, save for a 1997 Katrina and the Waves win. This year’s impoverished entry did nothing to calm my stomach.
France had one of the most engaging vocal performances in recent years, and it will bring comparisons to Celine Dion’s win for Switzerland in 1988. That’s 33 years ago for those of us who enjoy the masochism of feeling old.
The Swiss entry was interesting. Great voice, careful manners changes in composition, and excellent performance. But too cerebral for a win? Maybe. Brave young vocalist, with a passing resemblance to Glenn Medeiros. It is up to you how you feel about it.
Italy came in at night with a rock act that took turns Freddie Mercury and Rage Against the Machine. “Rotterdam: make some noise,” they yelled. And the limited crowd made that noise. I hope the pants become fashionable, they were magnificent. Rock is a big problem in Italy, so it’s good to see them bring that to Eurovision.
A million record-selling rap artists, Flo-Rida, were inexplicably present to accompany the entrance of San Marino. Digging into a spinning diamond, the Cleo-Lane-esque performer was dizzying. And while her famous co-star did little to contribute to the show, there was an undoubted twist to this, the final song before the vote.
“Music unites us,” say the hosts. And it is difficult to argue. The songs were largely decent this year, and while there wasn’t great love for the UK entry, it was due more to its uninspiring than any kind of political agenda.
The votes are coming in, so stay tuned for the result!
As Dr. Eurovision told Euronews, this year is an award for anyone.
Rotterdam invited all of us to a previous winners concert while the voting was taking place. It was a pleasure to see the 1975 winners, Teach-In, perform. Their winning song, Ding-a-Dong, was a clear influence on the Eurovision-inspired film ‘The Story of Fire Saga’ starring Will Ferrell.
And thankfully Lordi was there to show the world why Hard Rock Hallelujah was hands down the best entry 15 years ago.
More to follow …
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism