Monty’s Eurovision Countdown 2019 – Part 32 – Portugal

Conan Osiris

Portugal’s first hosting of Eurovision last year was a monumental moment. A moment many of us thought we’d never see. The prospect was tempting for so many fans that record numbers descended on the city, exposing the fact that it was woefully under-prepared for so many people. It’s a shame some of the basics like insufficient toilets and bar capacity gave many a less than favourable impression of the host.

Winning has clearly given the Portuguese some bravado. The Festival da Cançao this year had a couldn’t-give-a-shit confidence to it that eventually selected one of the most original and challenging Eurovision entries we’ve ever seen. Conan Osiris turns the everyday mobile phone into an existential tale of the role of communication within a relationship, illustrated with sparse and unusual ethnic rhythms and orchestration.

He performs it as a piece of contemporary dance, backed by a chum who throws himself about the stage with considerable abandon, and all the while with a couple of table spoons hanging off his cheekbones. As a piece of performance art, it’s up there with Hatari’s dystopian project but could equally be Conan just getting a rise out of us all.

For a Contest associated with cheap fluff, this presents quite a challenge for your casual audience, but for me it strikes just the right amount of originality and genius to grab my attention and make we want to live in a world where something like this could actually win.

Monty’s score: Douze Points!