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.

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Eurovision Song Contest 2013 – Malmö, Sweden

montenegro199_v-contentgrossWhen you see pictures like this, there’s is only one solution: it’s time for the Eurovision Song Contest, this year from Malmö in Sweden. It’s the biggest and silliest musical competition in the world and for some weird reason, Europe loves it. Even though sometimes you can find people who can actually sing really good, the overall musical value is secondary to the entertainmant value, so seeing rapping astronauts or pop-Babries is what makes this show actually interesting.

Now, the semifinals are over and 20 showacts have been voted into the final on Saturday, let’s see what we have this year.

The first Semi-Final:

estland253_v-contentgrossMom wrapped in curtains: Birgit Õigemeel from Estonia sung her song “Et uus saaks alguse” (engl.: this could be a new beginning) and she’s not going to be alone in the final, because she’s pregnant and apparently felt the need to hide her baby belly unter a dress that looks like a curtain from her grandmother or something.

daenemark253_v-contentgrossHer Majesty Barefoot Forest-Fairy: Emmelie de Forest is somehow related to some blue blooded semi-important people and was barefoot. The sad truth is, she’s not the only one doing it as it seems to have become the new big hit for ESC-performers, after Loreen did it last year. She sang “Only Teardrops” for Denmark.

russland391_v-contentgrossThe IKEA lamp-section Salmon: This young lady is Dina Garipowa from Russia and wears what I think is the most boring color you can choose for a dress. Her song “What If” was nice, yet totally forgettable. Much better to remember are the IKEA-like lamps in the background, the IKEA-joke is borrowed from german ESC-commentator Peter Urban. He really helped me a lot getting through the semifinals, especially the first one with way too many ballads.

ukraine243_v-contentgrossQueen of the Vikings: Zlata Ognevich for Ukraine was being carried onto the stage by a 2,35m tall hulk of a man dressed as a Viking and would refuse to move an inch from her destinated position on her rock. How nice that her song was called “Gravity“.

niederlande249_v-contentgrossBirdkiller Cher: Anouk from the Netherlands managed to do what nobody has been able to do for 9 years before her: get the Dutch into the ESC-Finale. Besides the fact that she looks a lot like Cher, and I also mean the artificial facial expressions due to a bazillion of beauty-operations that Cher went through,  her song “Birds” was about, well, dying birds falling from rooftops.

litauen185_v-contentgrossMissed-his-performance: Andrius Pojavis from Lithuania performed one of the few non-ballads called “Something” that I sadly missed due to the fact that my mother decited to call me right when it was about to start. I watched it later, but there’s really not much to say about him, even though he jumped onto the other new trend this year: males must wear leather jackets.

weissrussland167_v-contentgrossSaturday Night Fever: Aljona Lanskaja from Belarus tries to revive the 70s with a gigantic Mirrorball in the background that she stepped out of at the beginning of her performance. Her song “Solayoh” had rythm, yes it was pretty nice, I liked it, it just would have been cool, if she actually tried to dance matching her song…

ersteshalbfinale499_v-contentgrossLa Magic Dress: Aliona Moon for Moldova was another one of those “Don’t move!”-girls. However, the size of her dress excused her for that. At some point she was raised up so that her entire dress was “unfolded” and it showed flames. Well, let’s just say her dress was more spectacular than her song “O mie” (engl.: one thousand).

ersteshalbfinale513_v-contentgrossThe guy every mother-in-law dreams of: Ryan Dolan, the Irish cutie sang about love, how furtuante. I’m sure the female audience loved the half naked, sexy background-drummers (those weren’t dances, they were drummers, lot’s of drums this year at the ESC) and absolutely didn’t voted Ryan to see them again or something, no. The song was called “Only Love Survives” and he decided to do as his male companion Andrius and wore leather. Smexy.

ersteshalbfinale509_v-contentgrossCuddle me please: The next cutie in line, Roberto Bellarosa, decited to go on stage with a suit… combo breaker. His song was called “Love Kills” and pretty decent, his eyebrows probably attracted more attention than his song, but the Mr. eyebrows – award is reserved for someone else.

So much about the first Semi-Finale, the one I actually thought of as the more boring one, because about 80% of the songs were ballads. Boring, give me the astonauts, sadly they didn’t advance.

Now, let’s take a look at the second Semi-Final:

aserbaidschan343_v-contentgrossPuppy-Dog-Eyes: Farid Mammadov from Azerbaijan, after last year’s ESC we all know how to write this country, now the 4rth cutie the ESC has thrown into the final, was dancing… performing with a glass-cube. Inside was a guy whi mirrored his movements. What, glass cube? Did anyone say Eric Saade? To be fair: Farid did a much better job singing his song “Hold Me” than Eric had back in 2011. Much, much better.

finnland233_v-contentgrossLas Vegas bride: Krista Siegfrids from Finland came up with a weird show dressed as a bride singing a song called “Marry Me” in bright pink shoes. All this, however, was overshadowed by the lesbian kiss at the end of the song with one of her background singers. This stunt has absolutely lost it’s shocking element after t.A.T.u and Madonna did it, actually even so much that our german commentator Peter Urban didn’t even feel the need to talk about it. Even though, maybe it worked, at least she made it to the final.

malta155_v-contentgrossFeel-good pediatrician: Gianluca Bezzina, representing the beautiful island Malta (I’ve been there, it’s gorgeous), presented a feel-good song called “Tomorrow” that was heavily influenced by songs like “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, but the version this one guy recently covered, not the original. You now, the one that sounds very Hawaiian. This song also sounded very Hawaiian, but it was nice and even though the picture might not suggest it, but he was smiling the enitre time. Nonstop. This picture was probably taken in this one second that he wasn’t smiling.

island345_v-contentgrossThor: Iceland decited to go with godly help and sent Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson, who looks like a rocker, but sang a beautiful ballad. Even more surprising when you know that he sang in his native language and it actually sounded very good, because I always thought Icelandic wasn’t that good for a ballad. The song is named “Ég á líf” (engl.: I have a life) and I loved it. Yes, he was my favorite in the second Semi-Final and I’m all in for ESC 2014 being held in Reykjavík.

griechenland529_v-contentgrossOuzo for everybody: Koza Mostra feat. Agathonas Iakovidis for Greece performed a song called “Alcohol Is Free“, I wish this were a joke. It’s a party-song easy to sing along and performed by guys in skirts. I chose to not show you the sight of that. By the way, noticed the turkish flag in the picture? Turkey didn’t even participate, because they don’t like the 50/50 judge/televoting system and the “Big Five” treatment, even though the ESC wouldn’t be able to be held without the financial support of the “Big Five” to begin with, but it’s still unfair and all, yeah.

armenien239_v-contentgrossMr. Eyebrows: Dorians performed “Lonely Planet” for Armenia. It’s actually an entire band, but let’s be honest, with a frontman like this with eyebrows like his, nobody is even going to notice the rest of the band. Ever.

ungarn263_v-contentgrossRoman Lob: Weird, our Roman Lob from Last year didn’t even do exceptionally good, so why did Hungary sent a Roman Lob – clone in leather this year? ByeAlex performed “Kedvesem” (engl.: my love), together with his super goodlooking guitarrist, who absolutely didn’t help him getting into the final, you know even though in our chat he was the only one everyone was talking about and all.

norwegen535_v-contentgrossIce Princess: Norwegian pop-singer Margaret Brerger may sound german, but she’s born in Norway and is as blonde as you can get. All natural? I don’t know, but it helps to underline her icey apperance. Her song is called “I Feed You My Love“. I didn’t know love is so tasty, but if she says so…

georgien243_v-contentgrossAzerbaijan won 2 years ago, right? : Georgia tried the typical love-duet and apparently it worked! Sopho Gelowani & Nodiko Tatischwili were send to the final after performing their, from my point of view, boring song “Waterfall“. To each their own, but stuff like this has been seen a million times before.

rumaenien255_v-contentgrossCount Dracula: Cezar looked a lot like Count Dracula, how fortunate he’s from Romania and if this is not enough yet, he’s a tenor singing to what sounded a bit like… dubstep? At least very modern and very fast and it was weird to say the least. “It’s My Life” always reminds me of Bon Jovie, sorry.

And these are the lucky(?) winners from the Semi-Finals. In the Final they will be joined by the Big Five and the Host Sweden, including yet another cutie-boy and our Euphoria rip-off by Cascada. Yeah, great, I’m still amazed this was actually proved to be an original song inspired by Euphoria and not a flat out rip-off, no scratch that, I still think it’s a rip-off. Many Germans would have preferred to send a bavarian group playing music for brass instruments singing in the deepest bavarian accent you can imagine, over sending such an obvious rip-off. And people say Germans don’t have humor. Well, they’re right, because if we had, we would have actually send them.