Israel: Nice performance, shame about the song

Michael Ben David from Israel, Second Rehearsal
Michael Ben David from Israel, Second Rehearsal

Eurovision is seen by some (in particular the UK popular press) as a bit of camp nonsense. It’s an image organisers embrace on one hand, whilst at the same time working to change perceptions and present it as a global platform for upcoming talent.

Oddly enough, despite being defiantly out and proud, Michael Ben David break no barriers with ‘I.M.’ It’s every type of TV catwalk cliche of being gay and fabulous and standing up for who you are not what the world might want you to be. And because there have been so many songs and shows taking such a stance, his performance offers nothing new.

Camp as all hell

But removing my over-thinking cap, and I was treated to a huge bundle of polished, posed fun. It’s camp as all hell with a steady, powerful vocal. There was excellent use of on-stage graphics and the camera shots were beautifully aligned. Michael Ben has the most stunningly great voice and looked to be enjoying himself up there – he was, to coin a phrase, owning it. There was even a nod to the time-honoured Israeli Eurovision formation side-step.

For all this, the problem here sits with the song. As a set piece in a Ru Paul show, it works. As a song competing to win votes from across the Eurovision network, it’s set to flounder. Given this is a song contest, it might have been wise to pack something more memorable (and song-like) than ‘I.M.’.

Great performance. Terrible song.