Sunday, May 15, 2016

Thoughts from a metal mind: Eurovision Song Contest 2016

So another Eurovision Song Contest has ended, and let me say that this was a hell of a show this year. It had everything, taxi conversations, dancing robots, quirky rock, Justin Timberlake, and a naked guy from Belarus singing with wolves. and it all ended with one of the most exciting voting results that the competition has ever seen. just... WOW!

Sweden had a lot to live up to after delivering a great production in 2013 down in Malmö, but somehow, they delivered an even better show this year. First off, the stage is freaking awesome. It is huge, has depth, and is simply epic, so epic in fact that several entrants didn't use it to its true potential. Then we also have the hosts, Petra and Måns, who delivered a professional impression together with a lot of warm and bold comedy. and finally, we have the middle acts that usually are boring cultural shit, but this time, we had some awesome performances about the ongoing refugee crisis, and Terminator... I mean the ongoing evolution of machines. And for the final, we had god damn Justin Timberlake. N'sync original member FTW!

But ultimately, this contest would not be anything without the songs, and fortunately, we did not get a snoozefest like last year. It was a typical overall field, with a couple of face palms, and a bunch of interesting acts. I am sure that a lot of the songs this year will be remembered further into the future, especially the winner of course.

Because after being number two among both the jury groups and the voters, Ukraine ended up as the overall winner ahead of Australia and the biggest favourite Russia. While Ukraine was a top contender and was projected to end in the top 5, it was little to no one who believed that they would steal the win from their arch enemy Russia. Jamala's "1944" is an emotional song about the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in World War 2, a historical event that her grandmother was a part of, which of course made the song a lot more personal than it normally would be, and I think it is that personal connection that made her the winner.  The song itself is unique and epic, but her vocal style is weird and cool at the same time, which lifts it to another level.

I love that the song won, but personally, it was not one of my favourites, these following five were though.

My personal top 5

5. Russia: Sergey Lazarev - You Are The Only One

The stage show makes it so impressive, it did really get exciting.

4. Georgia: Nika Kocharov And Young Georgian Lolitaz - Midnight Gold

So glad that these quirky rockers made it to the final, so worthy.

3. Iceland: Greta Salóme - Hear Them Calling

Cool song, even if they stole the shadowy creatures from The Haunted

2. Australia: Dami Im - The Sound of Silence

The sound of silence has never been better, making my hair rise

1. Cyprus: Minus One - Alter Ego

Despite the "Somebody Told Me" rip off, it is a great rock song, best one in over 5 years

and bottom 3

3. San Marino: Serhat - I Didn't Know

I am sorry dude, but you are about 30 years too late with this song

2. Belarus: IVAN - Help You Fly

Song is cool, but the artist... seriously... what... the... actual... fuck

1. Montenegro: Highway - The Real Thing

If this is the real deal for them, I do not want to know what is fake

You may have noticed that I did not put my own country on my top 5, and the reason for that is simple. I find Sweden's entry this year to be boring. Frans is a charming fella, but "If I Were Sorry" is a sleeping pill, a bleak Jason Mraz copy (and Jason Mraz is bleak from the get go). In fact, I did not have this song in my top 5 of our qualifier. I was surprised that it even came in the top 5, but I am still glad he did, because he is a young cool dude that just takes life as it comes. Good job Frans, you did not disappoint us.

So next year we will see the competition in Kiev (or any other Ukraine city), and I will surely hold my thumbs that we steal back the crown next year.

Stay metal!
Robert "Sharkruisher" Andersson

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