Monday, May 14, 2018

Review: Eurovision 2018

It was that time of year again. Yup, taking things to Lisbon, 63rd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest was in full swing and not entirely devoid of some notable moments either.

And this year's winner turned out to be Israel with a whopping 529 points. Netta's song, Toy and bizarre chicken sounds/movements somehow managed to be the very thing to get the general audience voting in their droves. While it's a far better song than last year's winning misery fest (and boy, did I switch over when that guy started singing two rather dull songs during the intermission), it was still a pretty rubbish song. I'm not gonna lie - Austria's entry, Nobody But You by Cesár Sampson  (coming 3rd with 342 points) or even Sweden's entry, Dance You Off by Benjamin Ingrosso (coming 7th with 274 points) seems like better choices. Rounding off the Top 5, we also had Cyprus's entry - Fuego by Eleni Foureira claim the second spot with 436 points, Germany's entry You Let Me Walk Alone by Michael Schulte getting 340 points and claiming the fourth spot and in at fifth place with Non mi avete fatto niente by Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro for Italy with 308 points.

For the first time since 2013, Ireland also managed to make it into the final and I have to admit after having some dire past entries that didn't deserve to make it, it was nice that we had a great song for a change. Ryan O'Shaughnessy, best known for Fair City and Britain's Got Talent knocked it out of the park with the rather sweet ballad, Together. The song generated controversy (along with Albania's singer having tattoos) by featuring a gay couple dancing so China ended up not airing the contest at all. The entry itself did a little better than expected, clocking in 136 points and coming in 16th place. It would've been nice had it done a little better but I actually think this was a good enough result and the song itself definitely did the country proud. I also quite liked Norway's entry - That's How You Write A Song by Alexander Rybak, which got in 15th place with 144 points as well as Czech Republic's Lie To Me by Mikolas Josef which got 6th place with 281 points.

As for the UK, well, there's certainly some controversy with this entry. The song itself - Storm by SuRie was a pretty good effort, nicely sang but the whole thing was marred by some horrible git getting up on stage and sabotaging the performance. The guy was thankfully removed from stage, no one was injured and SuRie herself was given the chance to perform the song again (but chose not to). Position wise, the UK came 24th with 48 points, which was a shame as they did deserve better with this one. Rounding off the bottom two though was Finland's entry Monsters by Saara Aalto getting 46 points, coming in 25th while the 26th was given to Portugal with the song O jardim by Cláudia Pascoal with 39 points.

As for the presenters themselves. Last year we had three guys and this year, it was four women. The women in question were RTP hosts Sílvia Alberto, Filomena Cautela, and Catarina Furtado, together with actress Daniela Ruah, the latter who is a regular in NCIS: LA. I thought they were decent enough, somewhat on par with the guys from the previous year but lacking the spark that Mans and Petra had back in 2016. Some of the sketches were also a bit of a misfire and I do think that maybe four hosts is one too many for this event but other than that, they did a solid job keeping viewers entertained.

Netta - Toy (Winning song):
Ryan O'Shaughnessy - Together (Irish Entry):

So thoughts anyone on this year's contest? Here's to going to Israel for 2019.

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