Sunday, May 14, 2017

Thoughts from a Metal Mind: The great snoozefest (Eurovision 2017)

There are several reasons to why I love the Eurovision Song Contest, and why I watch it every year, but the biggest reason is that we get to see artists and songs that we normally would never hear, cultures that clash in one of the biggest competitions in the world. The wacky shit that goes on is bad in one way, but extremely fascinating in another way. But then, there are some Eurovision years that are just one long road of boredom.

This year will be remembered as a year where the ballads took over, mostly thanks to the so called "winner effect", whatever wins the previous year, a lot of countries will try to replicate it. Last year Ukraine won with Jamala and her strong ballad. The end result? A competition the following year with TONS of ballads, each more boring and generic than the next.

Now the final was spared from a lot of these because they got eliminated in the semi finals, but somehow the most boring one of them all was not only a heavy favourite, IT ACTUALLY WON. Now, do not get me wrong, I love Salvador Sobral's personality, he is a nice dude, and I am happy for Portugal, the punching bag of the ESC, never even gotten a top 5 placement in almost 50 tries, but the song is sooooooooo boring. The message of it is good and all, but why does a song like this exist today? This is 2017, not 1917.

The thing that really baffles me though is that this is not the first time Portugal has entered with a song like this. The country has always sung in their native language, and the song has always been antique in one way or another, being at the very least 10 years too late, so what is it that makes "" so special, making it a favourite? It must be the artist, I literally got no other explanation.

Then again, this is a competition that some times makes no sense what so ever, so trying to over analyze why Portugal won is like figuring out why some people like pineapple on pizza and some don't, it all comes down to taste, and obviously, I was among the minority, because Portugal was number 1 among both the jury votes and viewer votes. I am sure of this though, we are not gonna remember this winner in the next five years, it is not gonna go down as one of the all time great winners. So once again, congratulations Portugal and Salvador Sobral, even though I did not root for you.

But there are other things we will remember from this year's show, like Romanian yodeling, a horse on top of a ladder, a Croatian dude doing a duet with himself, some dude from Montenegro in a very long pony tail dancing like a maniac alone on stage, and of course, the biggest star of them all, Verka Serduchka doing her thing.

Another thing we will surely remember are two spherical objects that surprised us with a visit. Some random dude just went up on stage during one of the middle acts, pulled down his pants, and showed his ass in front of 200 million viewers. Of course, it is a thing that should not happen, but it was so unexpected that it actually gave me a good laugh, especially after a mediocre show. Just glad that it did not happen during the actual contest, like one year when Jimmy Jump jumped in while Spain was performing. Remember that guy? Where did he go? My guess is jail.

What a (cl)ass act

Okay, enough ranting and talking about an ass, here comes my top 5 songs of this year's contest

1. Ukraine: O. Torvald - Time

It was the only rock song this year, what did you guys expect? Okay, so it is far from the best rock song Eurovision has presented us, and the big head in the middle is both awkward and scary, staring straight into your soul, but I really like this song, it got a nice chorus that sways really nicely, and I like the lyrics and the breakdown. So naturally, I rooted for it, even if I knew it would not stand a chance.

2. Hungary: Joci Pápai - Origo

I really do not exactly know why I liked "Origo" so much. Probably because it mixed a lot of different elements together seamlessly into one good song. We got oriental, some rapping, and the Hungarian language to add to it. All in all, a really nice tune that deserved a higher spot in the final.

3. Moldova: Sunstroke Project - Hey Mamma

The return of Epic Sax Guy! That is enough for me to love this entry, and thank god for that, because the song is a little corny, but the party feeling this band gives is just too intoxicating, especially around all of these god damn ballads. Do not think it is better than "Run Away", but "Hey Mamma" definitely makes me smile.

4. Italy:  Francesco Gabbani - Occidentali's Karma

This was the huge favourite, so it was a disappointment to see it end in 6th place. To be honest though, I saw it coming, because I did not get a winning feel from the song (although, I did not get that from ANY song this year). It is still a charming entry, and I love the gorilla and all that it stands for. Definitely something you would only see in ESC.

5. Norway: JOWST - Grab The Moment

I am not the biggest Norway lover out there, but I almost felt some kind of sympathy for them since they got bashed a lot for their entry this year. Yes, JOWST is kind of a discount Avicci Daft Punk mash up, but the song is pretty cool, got an own style, and was probably the most modern entry this year. Most certainly a song you can dig with a lot.

I should probably mention my thoughts on Sweden since I live there, so here goes... I hate it. I mean, I do not hate Robin Bengtsson and his song, but I hated the fact that he won our qualifiers, because there was at least 3 songs that were better. He is a nice singer and all, but he is no dancer, and all the little "tricks", like the nod, the buttoning of the suit, and that stupid oki doki sign, are just dumb. Oh well, a fifth place is actually pretty good though, so I won't complain too much.

So another Eurovision is over, and I hope that you liked my observation of it (even if I know at least 90% of you do not give a flying fuck about the show #Kappa), already looking forward to next year (even if I know we will get a lot of ballads... AGAIN #KappaAgain).

Stay Metal/Eurovision
Robert "Sharkruisher" Andersson

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