Week 1 Day 1 Morning 1 – Nick’s View

Backstage at Eurovision 2021 — EBU / Andres Putting
Backstage at Eurovision 2021

So I’m back in Virtual Eurovisionia for the first time since I bade farewell to Actual Wien in 2015, and it appears that I’m welcome to it. Very impressed with the virtual press centre, en het beetje Nederlands dat ik geleerd heb – ik heb niet het nodig, seemingly, and that’s probably for the best.

Today I want to be in at LEAST three places at once and am just about keeping the plates spinning before the THRILLING SEASON FINALE of EFL League 2 in a couple of hours’ time. Yeah, I know.

Back to the morning’s entertainments though.

The Roop for Lithuania haven’t shocked me in the slightest. They’re one of the few acts this year that are already battle-tested, and nothing in the performance comes as a surprise following the Lithuanian final. It’s a strong opener to proceedings, and will still be around on Week 2 Day 1 Evening 1.

Ana Soklic for Slovenia seemed to be getting a lot of unexpected love in the virtual press centre, but for me she’s made a significant staging blunder. An assortment of backing singers, all berobed and raising their hands to the heavens as if to say “Dear God, you’re damned good at being God if you hadn’t realised!”, would give a real visual lift to the gospel choir parts even if they didn’t technically do any of the actual singing. A lot of people will subconsciously think the invisible choir looks wrong and not quite work out why.

I didn’t really know how Russia’s Manizha was going to provide any kind of a visual feast, and I’ve made the mistake of underestimating Russian stagecraft again. From the very opening in the Paradigm Dalek costume a lot of it is really rather silly, and Manizha smartly gives off a vibe of “I can’t believe I agreed to this” in a very engaging manner. She’s filled in the gap in “The one with…” extremely solidly.

Sweden’s Tusse has me a bit concerned in the opposite direction. It feels like SVT have said “Tusse is so engaging, and the song so good, that we can be visually quite generic with it.” It’s a mistake that us Brits are all too familiar with – nobody ever gets away with just delivering a song without something strong in the visuals to hook to in Europe’s collective memory. It’s a perfectly safe qualifier – I think – but at this stage I don’t quite see it pulling up any trees in the final.

Right, let’s watch a couple of more of these, then I’ll head off to Virtual Cambridge and its Virtual Sense Of Impending Disappointment, and then I’ll rejoin you later in the day for the rest of the round-up.