I think I can get away with this one, as on a technicality it is technically “after” noon on Week 1 Day 3, just really quite a long way after noon on Week 1 Day 3. So Afternoon it shall be. All went well with my inaugural video conference, though it was quite disconcerting to see my computer screen showing a parade of middle-aged nerds putting themselves through a series of thoroughly obtuse and bemusing challenges in the hope that something vaguely profitable might come of it.
*sidelong glance at camera*
Let’s meet the teams.
First up after lunch was Vincent Bueno from Austria, and I think we’re all now wanting to find the person who hurt him so we can give them a really stern talking-to. My third favourite thing in Eurovision is a singer just singing the words. My second favourite thing is a singer overacting entertainingly very much. My FAVOURITE thing is a singer making you totally, totally believe that they mean every word of it, and Vincent played the part of an utterly broken man to perfection. I too have had Monday afternoons like that. Any more and it’ll tip over into melodrama and it won’t be be as good, but this level will definitely get the viewers on his side and hoping he doesn’t suffer too many real misfortunes in his life, because at this rate if he stubs his toe he’s going to be a puddle.
At my virtual table in the virtual Press Centre, I concluded after seeing Poland’s Rafal that it was a good job I had a bit of time in hand to conjure up some Kind Words. I’m still trying to conjure them up now. See, I actually quite liked the mood that they’d produced on stage, very very appropriate for this kind of 1980s throwback, but I had just a few problems with it. About 74. And pretty much all of them were Rafal. Vocally it was a pretty poor showing, and most of his performance elements weren’t endearing. Having said all that, I can see a narrow path to Week 3 Day 1 Evening 1 for him – with a bit of self-awareness, he may yet be able to tap the Polish diaspora vote and shake it up with a dash of the “Yes, I know, we ALL know!” air that gave Say Na Na Na San Marino’s best ever result. And of course, if Rafal can pull off Poland’s best ever result… nah, he’s not going to pull off Poland’s best ever result.
Natalia Gordienko for Moldova disappointed me in all the right ways. I’d placed a small wager on “Moldova’s staging to be simple and effective” with Betfair at 50000/1, and I’m now wealthy to the tune of 50000 times my original small stake of zero. And I was so hoping to be talking about a hot mess here. It was far more like a basic singer with dancers making the usual set of standard steps and shapes, and in my search for something to gently tease, all I could really come up with was the very obviously visible power cable working the Peloton Dancemill 4000 gadget she’d brought along with her. Maybe some unknown rogue has been stealing all the props, Senhit. Reducing it to yet another iteration of “The pop song, the one with the girl. And the dancers” might not be to her advantage, either way.
I’ve been overlooking Iceland’s Dadi, not least because I haven’t the faintest idea how to get interesting Icelandic characters on this keyboard and I don’t especially want to call him Daffy. That might be a mistake, because he’s still there, all gawky charm and gentle silliness and a clearly distinctive presence. I just hope that Vincent wasn’t backstage listening to the story of the beautiful love that just goes on forever, maturing and mellowing and getting better and better through the years, because the poor fellow’s clearly been having a rough time of it and doesn’t need it rubbed in his face. I also suspect Rotterdam doesn’t need to be faced with an unexpected Kleenex shortage. A day ago I thought Iceland were pretty much out of contention for the win. They’re not.
It was at this point that I parted ways with the virtual arena for the day, so I didn’t get to see too much of Hurricane for Serbia – but the little I have seen looks an entirely rational proposition, three girls very much out on the town for some easy fun and perhaps a good Week 3 Day 1 Night 1 out to end their vacations. They just need to be careful in case there are any handsome single young men around who could end up in a messy rebound relationship following a break-up. It’s always a risk in Eurovisionia. Pretty much everything’s a risk in Eurovisionia, and that why we keep coming back.
Welterusten en tot week één dag vier!