Eurovision Song Contest 2017

All right, it’s this time of the year again: it’s Eurovision! The biggest and longest running

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ESC 2017 logo

song competition in the world, that claims to be unpolitical, but everyone and their grandma knows it’s not.

Granted, a few stars rose from the ESC and managed to build a career, but for the most part it’s cheesy and sparkly and gay and fun and pop songs and Eurodance and ballads all in 3 big shows. I’m not a huge Eurovision-geek, but being into it once a year is perfectly fine.

I would like to talk about 2 things about this year’s ESC: Russia and Italy.

As we all know, Russia is boycotting the ESC this year, after Ukraine forbid russian entry Julia Samoylova to enter the country. Now, this may sound mean, even more so because she’s disabled and sitting in a wheelchair, but she broke ukrainian law by performing on crimera without going through Ukraine – in other words: she flew directly from Russia to crimera to perform and that resulted in a 3 year ban to enter Ukraine. There’s another 140 artists that share the same fate.

Is Ukraine being too hard? This is very hard to answer. Russia obviously is trying to be the victim here, I mean: there’s no way Russian authorities didn’t know about Samoylovas ban to enter Ukraine before choosing her and they chose a disabled artiest on top of that – someone you’re going to feel bad for easily. This was a calculated conflict from Russia, they knew this would happen and they knew Ukraine would not make an expection, because these two countries are in war and Ukraine is still damn pissed about crimera.

However, neither country was interested in resolving this conflict, the EBU said Samoyolova could perfom in Russia and her performance could be streamed live during the show, but both countries declined and neighter offered another solution. Every single person with a brain their head should’ve known either Russia or Ukraine was going to pull one out after Jamala won last year and quite honestly, nobody really seems surprised either. It’s a little sad, because Eurovision is supposed to bring countries together and it has been used to deepen an ungoing conflict this year. Personally I think both countries should’ve acted more peaceful.

Leaving Russia and Ukraine behind, I would like to talk a bit about Italy this year. Yes, Italy, the huge favorite. Some people think the song is overrated, I personally really like it. I think it’s a catchy popsong, that’s fun to listen to and you don’t feel bad listen to it more than once. I’m also a huge fan of Francescos rough voice and hope he can deliver a great perfomance in the finale.

However, I think having a great song is not the only reason so many people support Italy this year. I often read comments about Italy being robbed 2015 and they finally deserve

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Italy: Francesco Gabbani

the win they should’ve taken two years ago. Rewind backwards to 2015 when Italy was the huge fan favorite and took an undisputed clear first place in the audience voting. That night european people decided “Grande Amore” was their winner, but a hand full of profressionals decided to make a much more radio-friendly song the winner: Sweden. Since Italy was so widley supported by fans, many felt Italy was robbed by the juries and now that Italy has another outstanding top song, the support is there once again.

Additionally, I would like to add Jamala was second place last year: she was second place in jury voting and second place in audience voting. She won, because Australia did very well with the juries, but not that good with the audience and Russia did very well with the audience, but not that good with the juries. Once again, just like the year before, we have a huge difference between the fan favorite and the jury favorite and fans felt their winner was robbed once again. Add to the fact many people believe the votes for Ukraine were out of political interest and you kind of understand why the fans finally want to see “their winner” actually win.

Italy would be a very “safe” winner this year. After all the controversy around the ukraininan win last year and their trouble with Russia this year, Italy is very safe. They already deserved it two years ago, they don’t have any major problems with other countries, or at least not of the scale that Ukraine does, and they have a good song you can play on the radio in most parts of the world. It’s a “feel good” song at a time when many people don’t feel that good and problems are rising all around us and maybe we need a song to win, that makes us feel good for 3 minutes.

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Protugal: Salvador Sobral

The other favorites to win are currently Portugal and Sweden – also two very safe options – and Bulgaria, another controversial entry, because ever since Russias announced they won’t participate this year, Bulgaria is basically Russias secret entry, because their artist has russian roots, is very well known in Russia and is expected to get many russian votes. Quite honestly, I really REALLY don’t want Bulgaria to win and it has nothing to do with their song, unfortunately, it’s 100% politics: I don’t want this mess a second time in a row. It’s been a long time since ESC was as political as it is this year and I want to have a break from that next year. Every once in a while: okay, but not every year.

I’ll be rooting for Italy, I really like France and Belgium as well and hope they’ll be doing great this year. My own country? Germany? Set to lose again, no point talking about it.

Eurovision Song Contest 2016

Slowly but surely, we getting closer to the ESC 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. Most of the participating songs have been selected and you will find them on youtube. Time to take a look and be happy about Australia returning.

I said it last year and I will say it again: I’m all in for having Australia as a regular participant. The kangaroos are super awesome people and very hyped. And they send actually good acts. The second year in a row. I’m impressed.

And you know what I’m even more imnpressed by? There’s actuially a good amount of songs I really like. There’s real solid pop, songs you can listen to without feeling ashamed. Wow, what happend? Is it Australia’s influence? I don’t really care, but I think it’s actual competion this year with a good amount of legimately strong songs and that makes it worth it for the music every once in a while. Cool.

My personal favorits are Armenia, Ireland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Russia and Australia. But worry not, we do have our annual weird acts as well and funny enough, Germany is one of them. I try to see the bright side: it can’t get worse than last year. XD

 

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 1st Semifinal

It’s time once again, for the worlds biggest song contest and of course I’m watching. After the amazing win from Dragqueen Conchita Wurst for Austria, the 60th ECS is held in the beautiful city of Vienna this year.

What do I like about the contest? Well, it’s crazy and you do have the occasional artist who actually can sing, but this doesn’t mean this person also has to win. It’s not always about the song, it’s also about performance, about current political activities and who you’re friends with. Yes, “blockvoting” is a thing, it’s no secret Russia and Belarus or Cyprus and Greece always give each other 12 points and it’s no secret the scandinavians give each other high points on a regular basis. However, even though this is very much the realitiy of Eurovision, every once in a while a country wins that doesn’t benefit from, blockvoting or buddy-voting and every once in a while some winners are a true statement of progress – like Conchita’s victory.

So, what about the first Semifinal. It was… rather… unspectacular, for Eurovisionstandarts. Sure, there was Finland with their rock band, but what else really stood out? Where was the Verka Serduchka of this year? Or the Buranovskiye Babushki? Or the Zdob şi Zdub? This is the best part of Eurovision: the fun part! Come on guys, unlike Australia, we’ve been doing this for long enough to know you don’t send artists with a career.

Australia? Yes, because the Kiwis like it so much and have been proven our most passionate non-european-fans, they got a wild card for the 60th anniversary and are sending Guy Sebastian, who’s petty famous in Down Under… and is actually a pretty damn good musician. Let’s see how he’ll do. By the way, if Austalia wins, they will be invited next year again, but the contst will be held in a european country.

My favorites from the first semifinal:

First was Belgium, it was fresh and modern, I really liked that. Loïc Nottet seems to be a sympathic guy and it was well performed. Besides, it really stood out in the Eurovision Ballad Contest.

Estonia. Simply a good and well performed song. Easy to listen to and probably the best duet I’ve heared in Eurovision for a long time. Way to go!

Russia with an amazing ballad. I’m not going to comment on the fact that Russia sends a love-and-piece song (a very popular theme this year), I’m just going to say it was much better than I expected it to be. Polina Gagarina belted her song through and left me speechless. Great artist, well performed song. And no boos this year! This just shows how great of an artist Polina is. (last year, the russian duo was booed heavily due to Russias part in the Ukraine conflict)

Seriba! This was actually my favorite. It’s the full package: a truly awesome artist (I mean, seriously, this woman can sing), a nice message (“I’m different and that’s ok”) and the song suddenly changes from Power Ballad to Balkan-Party-Techno. Sounds weird, but is a lot of fun, I didn’t think I would like it as much as I do.It’s anything but boring.

By the way, Greece had a great Ballad as well, but Russia left a bigger impression on me. Who’s also in with a breathtaking Power Ballad is Spain. I wouldn’t be surprised if they win this year, their song is absolutely outstanding and performed by a professional musical singer. And it shows! Go Spain! 😀 Besides, I would love to see a song win that’s not in English.