I cuid hiv spent Saturday nicht waashin ma hair, bit thoucht I’d be mair eese providing an irrelevant an ill-informed insight intae the Eurovision 2021 Sang Contest whilk naebody asked fur. Broadcast live intae ma sittin’ room faar I’m spending a Seturday evening in ma ain company, the follaein lays oot ma live reactions tae aa the acts at this year’s contest. Wi a cuppa o milky tea in haun an a wash oan, let’s git this wild pairtie stairted.
Its 8pm an Graham Norton’s dulcet vyce narrates scenes fae Rotterdam, the Dutch city whilk is hosting this year. I’m nae a huge admirer o Norton as a commentator, bit I’m willing tae gie him a chance tae chinge ma mind tonicht. Tae be fair, I think this is mair a reflection on Terry Wogan’s absence syne 2008 because he wis the vyce o Eurovision faan I foremaist stairted watching it wi ma parents.
Ilk act then scurries ontae the stage, stairting wi Cyprus. I’ve ay bin puzzled bi the inclusion o non-European countries in the competition, although the island nation is a member o the EU. Azerbaijan an Israel’s participation ur less easy tae explain, but the mair the merrier I suppose. Australia’s recent involvement in the contest disna mak ony geographical sense at aa, sae I should probably relax a wee bittie (Australia didna qualify fur the final this year).
There ur mair pressing questions tae speir onywiy. Fit why is Flo Rida walking on wi San Marino? Will the Netherlands dae an Ireland an enter a terrible act tae rule themsels oot fae hosting fur a second year running? Foo many cuppa’s o tea will I git through? The tension is palpable.
Cyprus: “El Diablo” bi Elena Tsagrinou
The Dutch are thankfully keeping tae a ticht schedule an we’re aff tae a solid stairt wi Cyprus. I’ve missed the wee promotion videos afore ilk performance an it’s braw tae see a different European city than Abeirdeen fer a chinge. I got slight Dua Lipa vibes on the chorus an micht jist doonload this on Spotify efter because it’s annoyingly catchy – 7/10.
Albania: “Karma” bi Anxhela Peristeri
There wis a unco mirk an ominous beginning tae this sang afore Peristeri suddenly appeared in a muckle plume o smoke. It’s aa very dramatic, bit it’s a powerful performance in her ain language fae the Albanian – 6.5/10.
Israel: “Set Me Free” bi Eden Alene
Onto sang three an there’s some interesting dance moves an outfits fae the Israelis. I ay git in trouble faan I eese ma arms tae complement ma jerky dance moves, but these professionals seem tae get awa wi it. Must be guid at dancing or something. Onywiy, the outfit chinge haulfwiy thro’ wis cool, but I thocht the sang wis a wee bit dreich. I sensed strong department store music vibes fae it – 5.5/10.
Belgium: “The Wrong Place” bi Hooverphonic
Efter three songs wi’oot them on stage, we’re finally seeing some musical instruments. Hooverphonic are the auldest competitors in this year’s event an the lead sangster strongly resembles Lulu. The style disna strike me as unco Eurovision like an it’s een o they sangs that stairts weel but trails aff slightly faan it gits tae the chorus – 6.5/10.
Russia: “Russian Woman” bi Manizha
There’s a strong message there an I loved the energy. Based purely on the music though an it’s gitting an average score fae me. It’s worth minding at this point that I hiv an awffa brassic taste in music an that my judgement definitely reflects badly on me an nae Manizha – 5.5/10.
Malta: “Je Me Casse” bi Destiny
This wis a definite fit tapper an I’m a strong advocate o the upper body’s importance in dancing. I enjoyed that, despite finding it slightly terrifying that Destiny Chukunyere wis born in 2002. I’ll be singing Je me Casse sassily tae awbody I come o’er next wik. Let’s gang an confuse some elderly fowk in Lidl on Monday. I’ll hae ma mask on, sae they winna see ma mooth moving – 7.5/10.
Portugal: “Love is on My Side” bi Black Mamba
Pedro Tatanka his a cracking voice, an I really enjoyed the black an fite section o the performance. Some great dress sense gaun on an Tatanka handles his guitar weel. Fit’s nae tae like? – 7.5/10.
Serbia: “LOCO LOCO” bi Hurricane
Unfortunately, the standard inevitably drops again. I wis willing this een tae be a slow burner, but it didna really improve. They deserve some marks fer their exhaustive dance moves though – 4/10.
United Kingdom: “Embers” bi James Newman
Wis that Jon Newman? No, but it wis his slightly less talented brither an ye can tell they’re related because there’s a definite similarity there. Its nae the worst UK performance I’ve seen in syne years, but that is a low benchmark tae judge this against. There was an awffa lot o hardcore finner pintin gaun on an it wis pretty repetitive. I’m nae saying I wid hiv fared ony better bi the wiy. I hope he managed tae at least acquire some free beverages afore his flight hame – 4/10.
Greece: “Last Dance” bi Stefania
Anither contestant foo’s younger than me. Shit I’m auld! The dancing wi the laundry an special effects wis unusual bit I liked the purple theme – 6/10.
Switzerland: “Tout l’Univers” bi Gjon’s Tears
This isna the performers’ fault but there were too mony camera angles! He has a cracking voice on him, but it’s nae quite for me. Returning to that recurring theme, and the dancing towards the end has major Finn in a nightclub on his ain at 2am vibes. Sae, respect tae Gjon Muharrema fer that if naething else – 6/10.
Iceland – “10 Years” bi Daði og Gagnamagnið
I thocht I wis gaun tae enjoy this, an I certainly did. Ye get the feeling these guys wid be guid fun at a party. I loved the handheld keyboards an synchronized taps. The keyboardists’ enthusiasm reminds me o faan I thocht I wis a genius because I cuid play “I Just Can’t Get Enough” in music class. Tipped tae win last year’s cancelled competition an wi nae being able tae perform live this year because o Covid-19 cases in the band, Iceland hiv faced lots o adversity. There wis a braw pause fur effect at the end as weel – 7/10.
Spain – “Voy a Quedarme” bi Blas Cantó
There wis a muckle moon, bit dinna worry we didna see Blas’ bare behouchie at ony point whilk wis guid because he gave his Mither a shout oot at the end. It wis really atmospheric, bit I feel it was slightly ruined by the Usher style high pitch screaming towards the finale. Nae need Blas mon – 6.5/10.
Moldova – “Sugar” bi Natalia Gordienko
Seemingly Natalia an her backing dancers were trying tae get a passing lorry tae honk at them wi aa the arm pumping. It wis promising in pairts, but I found the chorus slightly disappointing, an the backing dancers were a bit frightening – 6/10.
Germany – “I don’t feel hate” bi Jendrik
Seemingly Germany hiv done an Ireland this year an ensured they dinna win. Some hardcore ukulele action an a lassie in a massive haun costume means this een scores high fur comedic affect an nae muckle else. It is fooiver, worryingly a bit o a grower efter a second lug in. Jendrik Sigwart’s positivity is contagious, sae I feel bad giein’ him sic a low score – 4.5/10.
Finland – “Dark Side” bi Blind Channel
Foo hurt ye Finland? That wis potentially the angriest Eurovision performance I’ve ever seen. Lots o flames an shouting mean it’s an effective musical pick me up as ma bed stairts to ca’, bit I’m struggling tae judge this een tae be honest. Despite its distinctive heavy metal vibes, I dinna feel like it had that much substance – 6/10.
Bulgaria – “Growing Up is Getting Old” bi Victoria
There is a major shift again as we gang fae silly tae intense tae an emotional an relaxed ballad fae the Balkans. I doot this een will win, bit I rate its simplicity an the backstory highly. Maybe I’m jist a bit o a softie? – 7.5/10.
Lithuania – “Discoteque” bi The Roop
Again, this had a major Finn’s moves in a nichtclub vibe, bit on the next level. Bi this point in the nicht ma girlfriend wid hiv accidentally lost me in the club or is in hiding. Fooiver, Lithuania’s offering is quite catchy an the dancing is weel… interesting. 6.5/10.
Ukraine – “SHUM” bi Go_A
Since Verka Serduchka burst ontae the Eurovision stage in 2007, I’ve ay waited in anticipation fur Ukraine’s entry every year. Unfortunately, nae one his quite reached Serduchka’s heights an fur me, this wis a step in the wrang direction. It wis very repetitive, bit I enjoyed the intense flute action an sudden dramatic chinges in pace – 5/10.
France – “Voilà” bi Barbara Pravi
It’s hard tae believe that France hivna won the competition syne 1977 faan I feel that singing jist sounds better faan it’s in French. The simple stage effects were quite relaxing an in ma opinion, that wis een o the better performances sae far – 7/10.
Azerbaijan – “Mati Hari” bi Efendi
“Ma ma ma marti Hari!” – That is undootedly gaun tae be stuck in my heid fur ages noo. The dramatic fire at the end wis guid, bit despite its catchiness it wis a bit average really – 5.5/10.
Norway – “Fallen Angel” bi TIX
Four demons chained tae an angel wi sunglasses an a hairband on. Again, Fit’s nae tae like? The tune wis mair than bearable as weel, an I got major Westlife vibes fae it. I’m gaun tae gie it an unprecedented high score because awbody deserves a guid pop ballad in their lives. TIX’s story is also admirable because he wis bullied for hivin Tourette’s Syndrome faan he wis younger an cried “Tics”, whilk he then turned intae his stage name. – 8/10.
Netherlands – “Birth of a New Age” bi Jeangu Macrooy
This wis a catchy een an received an expected positive reaction fae the hame crowd. I thoucht it wis quite middle of the road though – 6/10.
Italy – “Zitti e buoni” bi Måneskin
I wanted this tae be guid efter Graham Norton wis a bit mean aboot it in his intro. The leather costumes were cool, an it wis a bit less angry than Finland’s earlier offering. Maybe that’s because the weather is a bit better doon on the Mediterranean coast– 5/10.
Sweden – “Voices” bi Tusse
Anither artist younger than masel an ma age is showing as my endurance stairts tae waver during the penultimate performance o the nicht. Top marks fer stage effects though an that wis actually quite enjoyable – 6.5/10.
San Marino – “Adrenalina” bi Senhit
Flo Rida featured on this track fur a reason I’ve yet to find ony rationale behind. Apparently, he wis jist invited alang fer the ride whilk provided me wi an unwelcome throwback tae first year at secondary schuil. In ay fairness, the Sammarinese dinna hiv an abundance o choice wi a population similar in size tae that o Dumfries. Mind ye, if the Doonhamers did enter, they wid potentially hiv Calvin Harris at their disposal – 6/10.
On a predictably brutal nicht fer Britain, ma preferences deviated dramatically fae the opinions o the wider European public. Italy were eventually crowned winners, while France an Switzerland remained in the running ’til the closing stages o the voting.
Meanwhile, Amanda Holden did wonders fer the UK’s already deteriorating reputation bi failing tae read the room spectacularly as she presented oor votes. Her jest aboot nae unnerstaunding the difference atween spikken French and Dutch wis nae a great look ata. If Flat F became an independent state fooiver, an in the absence o ma mair sensible flatmate, oor points wid be haunded oot as follows:
12 pts – Norway
10pts – Malta
8pts – Portugal
(Excerpt picture fae BBC News)