Today in Parliament – The Eurovision edition – Day 6 – Non Big Five

TODAY IN PARLIAMENT Eurovision 2024

 

So here i am again, decamped to the satellite press centre in Lund’s fair city where I have been taking in all the rehearsal clippage that one can see and giving some thoughts.   I hear that Mr Nick will be along presently with some thoughts on the ticky-Toks that the big five and Sweden tease us with today so… that’ll be nice?!

Onward Mcduff?! (Well we were in Helsingborg yesterday,)

Malta
So the 30 seconds that PBS have decided to share with the European public and fans has no singing in it at all and is, literally, just the dance break of the song? – What are they trying to hide? Could it be Sarah’s awful vocal or is there something amiss that they would not like us to see? – Back in the old days we would tell you because we could see them but we now have to guess from what we are not seeing or, in this case hearing. I fear that diet-Chanel is going to come a cropper here.

Albania
Albania, on the other hand, has shot up in my estimation from the 30 second clip that we have been treated to. I have to caveate that with it only shows us a verse and a very small snippet of the chorus but unlike Malta three contest minutes ago, you know exactly what this looks and sounds like. It’s competent, ballsy, showeey and just that little bit homoerotic with the male dancers on the background screens -= something for every constituency.

BESA also, crucially, knows where the camera is but doesn’t play up to it in the style of Ronela, rather just lets you know she knows you are watching her and that is far more effective than tits and arse. If BESA nails it, which from this 30 seconds seems very likely, she’s not only casting Malta in the shade but also enough of the competition to get through to the next bit of the contest.

Greece
So by the time we get to Greece it could be argued that we have had the same song three times in a row because thats how it feels when you review 30 second clips back to back. ERT have chosen the bridge and the start of the chorus here and, give them their due, it looks less like a travelogue of Athens and more like something we are used to… a dancebreak with a song worked around it.

It’s tiring not only cos I acan only say the same thing so many times in three reviews, but this one feels the most “going through the motions” of the three so far. It keeps its cards close to its chest but the whole performance is going to have to do a lot of the lifting here,

Switzerland
SSR have, rather cleverly, chosen the last 30 seconds of their song which stands head and shoulders above the other three. Nemo is still cavorting on the turntable of their nightmares but does have the grace and poise of an ice-skater. He’s going to have to have because this could seriously come off the rails with one wrong foot placement.

I would assume there is some sort of contraotion to prevent Europe guffawing in unison next Thursday evening. I’m still getting “smug as fuck” energy from this 30 seconds though – almost as though the whole delegation think that they have already won the damn thing and it’s a coronation. If Europe get past seeing someone in a camp Ostritch costume with a skirt on twizzling on their screen for long enough, this will fulfill the potential because the song is strong enough on its own. I don’t think it needs all of “this” but, what do I know?

Czechia
What I *do* know, however, is that Europe might not want this brand of music either. First thing I notice is that she is screaming “What’s up Eurovision?” at the start of the clip. If you’re singer has to do that, your song isn’t getting the crowd revved up in the first place – so a low base to start from.

To the 30 seconds then, and CT have spaffed what little money they had on the pyro it seems because thats very in your face to start with but we’re also given the thirty seconds of the song that makes me think the needle is stuck on the record and is just repeating itself over and over with the addition of some literaly heavy lifting from the dancers. Again, like Switzerland, a move fraught with Danger! What can we glean from this nugget? – The Chorus gets into your head but nothing else to judge.

Austria
Bit of a strange one this. They rehearsed at about 1400CET and there was no rehearsal footage for the longest time. That usually meeans that the delegation are either struggling to sign something off or that there was a bad rehearsal or, more likely, both. And as a fan of this song, that worries me. It worried me when I heard Kaleen sing this live for the first time that it might well fall off into the abyss and I think I might well have been proved correct. When it finally came out I was as underwhelmed as I expected it to be.  Kaleen’s voice is somewhat better than it was on her first day of rehearsals which isn’t saying that much as the backing track is doing most of the lifting.  If i was a betting man I  would say that there is a lead dub somewhere off stage doing some of the singing.  Visual distraction again here comes to the fore!

Denmark
DR have chosen to give us the last 30 seconds of this song and from what I can see it is going to surprise a lot of people next Thursday round Europe that may well have written this off at their peril.

Unlike Doms who comes later, SABAs song is set up to be just them on stage with nothing else going on because they are ripping their heart out – almost literally with the flashbulb heart shaped thingy beating in time with the music at the start. It’s all the right kind of dramatic and “Undo”-esque with the shaft of light bathing SABA and couple that dramatics with the voice, which is a corker by the way, and this one has the chances in the palm of her hand.

Armenia
I like this performance and song a lot now, and I have to admit that I did not get it before. The clip shows that the stage can be intimate (and that she knows how to look down the camera at me and connect right through my brain and into my subconscious) and yet, in the next breath when the cameras pull back it looks all wide and massive and…well..cross shaped. This has seemingly been staged beautifully and vocally the mix sounds right as well.  I’m firmly saying that this is qualifying now whereas I was wavering before.  Top job!

Latvia
I get the symbolism, really I do. Dons is standing in front of a Ring.. yeah… that’s hollow… yeah… and the song is called Hollow… and the graphics which look like blood going through the heart and round the body is clear to me. I don’t get the costume. It’s a blue X-Men monstrosity which wither enhances Dons body or gives him muscles that he hasn’t earned. The clip tells us nothing that we don’t already know insofar as the song has got a Stomp-a-bility factor but there is a distinct lack of movement from Dons and he is on stage alone and  that makes me wonder either if this is everything, OR there is something else to see. I really hope it’s the latter.

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