Today in Parliament – The Eurovision edition – Day 6 – Big 5 Edition

Greetings! I’ve left the show in capable hands for second rehearsals, but today it was the usual mix of firsts and seconds.

Excitingly, Mr. Phil hasn’t prefilled this article with the tic-tacs (other breath refreshers are available), and I haven’t a clue how it works so there could be a slight competency gap here.

UNITED KINGDOM OF, YOU KNOW, PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING

There are many paths to success in this contest and you never really know from one year to the next which one’s going to work.

The path my own team seems to have picked for 2024 is wafer thin song used as a vehicle for a big show. This is often, though not always, productive – wafer-thin songs have podiumed in this manner, though strangely less often these days than when Azerbaijan and Russia were trying to win. Odd, that.

There are echoes of other performances. Creating a miniature room on stage might hint at Rosa Linn a couple of years ago (though she was neither the first nor the last), outfitting the guys in honour of a combat sport might hint at Kaarija. I’m not absolutely sure how lyrics about “beautiful gardens and eternal flowers” lead to a boxing gym locker room! In space! In 1985! This would never have happened in Legs and Co’s day.

I’m talking it down. So full disclosure – on the strength of the snippet and the reactions to it, I’ve put £2.50 each way on it to win the contest. It’s by no means impossible that this is the one that nobody saw coming.

@eurovision

@Olly Alexander has us feeling a certain type of way with all that hanging around… let’s call it Dizzy 🇬🇧 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

GERMANY

Something seemed unsettlingly familiar about a couple of the stills of this rehearsal, until I twigged.

It’s a very impressive effect, to be fair. I give Germany their due, whatever they send these days they go all in for it.  I don’t care too much for the song, but as I always say everybody doesn’t have to like everything.

@eurovision

@ISAAK sets the stage alight at his very first rehearsal for Germany 🇩🇪 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

SWEDEN

It kind of doesn’t matter who the host nation is these days, they face an uphill struggle for putting points on the scoreboard before they even start; getting the extra handicap of the Poe slot (as I have never called it before and probably never will again) doesn’t make life any easier.

I’m getting Dance You Off vibes really. It’s all very very clean. I have long-standing issues with Swedish entries being a little bit too clean, almost antiseptically so at times. The juries might be pleased with the cleanliness of it all, but I just worry that the folks at home will just see it as a solid opener, but certainly one where there’s going to be better options to come.

@eurovision

@Marcus & Martinus had their first rehearsal at Malmö Arena and it’s one we won’t be forgetting in a hurry 🇸🇪 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

FRANCE

France is the new Albania.

I need to expand on that. It’s usually Albania that declares their hand WAY too early, and I put them in a pile marked “assess later” and then never really do.

That’s Slimane. Mon Amour was declared so long ago that there was still only one ESC250. It’s that old. I also gave it the Albanian brush-off, with nothing to compare it against, that it was a solid opener but certainly one where there were going to be better options to come.

I don’t love it. Or rather, I love it in the same way I loved N’Oubliez Pas a few years ago. It’s strong, it’s technically impressive, The Thing With The Microphone is eye and ear catching, and yet I’m not absolutely sure that it’s going to catch.

If I’m wrong and it does catch though, it can go anywhere up to and including Sobral territory.

@eurovision

Je rejoue la scène… That’s how good @Slimane first rehearsal was 🇫🇷 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

SPAIN

I’m always looking for comparisons, me. I’m turning into Terry Wogan in his “I’m getting to the age where everything starts to sound like everything else” era.

This is just Spain’s answer to Øve Os På Hinanden, isn’t it? Well, on closer inspection (ie actually listening to Øve Os På Hinanden for the first time in two years) maybe not quite. It’s got more gutsiness to it, the package is dressed up in more modern clothes rather than being a clear pastiche of an era. Europe might be ready for it now. It’s certainly got a dirtiness to it that might even have hints of Maneskin.

Dunno. Don’t think it’s the winner, hope it’s not the wooden spoon, can’t really locate it to an area of the scoreboard beyond that.

@eurovision

@NEBULOSSA have arrived to Malmö exactly as we’d hoped – más ZORRA todavía 🇪🇸 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

ITALY

I have a routine at this time of year. I watch an Italian sing lots and lots and lots of words at me, far too many words, SO MANY WORDS IT’S TOO MANY WORDS, the whole thing washes over me and I don’t really get it at all, a section of fandom tells me it’s obviously the winner and it eventually finishes fourth.

It’s good to have a certain amount of structure in your life.

@eurovision

Will the queen please take the throne… @angelinamango__ makes her entrance onto the rehearsal stage 🇮🇹 #Eurovision2024

♬ original sound – Eurovision

I believe that the next time I post something up here I’m likely to be in Actual Sweden (I don’t join up with the gang until the weekend), but the other chap will be keeping you up to date with views on the second rehearsals in the meantime. See you there!

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