Entry #38 – Eurovision 2023 (a.k.a 2 hours of my life I am never getting back)

The following entry was all typed up in the immediate aftermath of the 2023 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, prior to the results being fully announced. A quick TL;DR on those results though:

  • France and Switzerland were shafted.
  • Germany did not deserve to be rock bottom.
  • Sweden as winners? I can live with it.
  • I’m amazed the UK didn’t get nul puis again. Mae’s a class act but the song was not.

And now, the review.

It is half past ten on a Saturday night. I thought it might be a good idea to watch Eurovision with the parents. Bit of an error on my part because Christ alive what a dull showing it was this year. When I watched it back in 2021 (See thoughts and feelings here: https://asideglance.com/2021/05/24/entry-28-eurovision-2021-a-k-a-from-bad-to-worse-to-amanda-holden/) there were at least some acts that stood out in terms of musicality, catchiness and occasional cringiness. This year, for better or worse, the most cringy thing we got out of the night came after France performed when Alesha Dixon decided it was a good idea to hype the crowd up with an off-the-cuff rap. I nearly folded inside out.

Everything just felt so samey this year, mostly run of the mill generic pop. It felt like a diluted stereotype of a Eurovision show. When the 2021 contest wrapped up I added a fair few songs to my ‘Open Mind’ playlist (Songs I wouldn’t normally listen to but still to some degree like). This year…there’s probably only one or two songs tops that I might add. Barely anything stood out.

I spent the evening making a couple of notes as we went along and I don’t want to let them go to waste so here is my summary of all 26 acts to perform in Liverpool for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Austria:

Starting with the guilty pleasure of the night, it was catchy enough (saying “Poe, Poe, Poe, Poe” will do that) but got a bit boring after a while. I don’t know if the singer in white couldn’t remember the choreography or if she was deliberately half-arsing it.

Portugal:

Like in ’21, the music was beautifully catchy and I loved the use of the castanets. Subtle and sultry are the two words I’d use to describe it. At this point I was optimistic about how the night might go.

Switzerland:

I was even more optimistic when this song was performed. The lyrics and the story told together with the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine meant this was song of the night for me. The only thing that didn’t quite land for me were the autotuned ‘oh’s from the backing vocalists.

Poland:

Filter overload could not disguise the fact that this was shit.

Serbia:

Graham Norton slaughtered this one on commentary before it even started. As soon as he used the words ‘soap dish’ to describe whatever it was the singer started in, it was dead on arrival.

France:

I thought the singer was phenomenal, she had brilliant stage presence. I’ll always give kudos to anyone who can stand on a podium that high in the air, I’d be shitting myself silly up there.

Cyprus:

Another spectacular voice but it was wasted on such a cookie cutter pop song. One of those ones you’d swear blind you’d heard on the radio as of late. It also could’ve benefitted from having some backup dancers to liven things up a bit.

Spain:

Presentation was alluring but the song got worse the longer it ran on for. Dear God, those high notes were dreadful. In fact Hannah Waddingham managed to hold a better note when she was announcing Albania!

Sweden:

Brought to you in widescreen! In terms of raw singing power this was the best of the night.

Albania:

“The von Shut Your Trap family” – My Dad.

Italy:

This guy was a decent singer too. Unfortunately you wouldn’t realise it because he got completely and utterly upstaged by the dancers in the background bouncing on and off those steps.

Estonia:

The first of many acts that earned a mere shrug of the shoulders. Nothing memorable about it whatsoever. If a self-playing piano is your main talking point then you haven’t succeeded this day.

Finland:

A human centipede? Constipated walking? Nearly decapitating yourself on a wire? F*cking hilarious.

Czechia:

It was kind of them to project the lyrics on the floor for us to read, very considerate. I also thought it was an interesting choice to use footage from the title sequence from The Tomorrow People.

Australia:

I had high hopes when Graham said they did pop metal. I thought ‘Finally, we get some guitars rather than the generic pop beats’. Bit naïve of me. Apart from momentarily flipping their biscuits whilst doing the middle eight, this was a massive disappointment.

Belgium, Armenia, Moldova, Ukraine:

Four straight acts of nowt. I thought Ukraine might bring something decent to the table but no, it was just one long streak of tedium.

Norway:

The first act I can say I enjoyed after Finland.  Great singing, great music, great choreography, great costumes. It’s in the playlist too.

Germany:

While I felt the singer was posturing a wee bit too much for this particular genre of music, this was a much needed wake up call. Energetic and red raw vocals when the title was sang. We’re back on winning form.

Lithuania:

Never mind, false alarm, back to being dull.

Israel:

The opening four seconds was the peak of the song. Comparing yourself to a unicorn is a little bit strange. The dance solo was admittedly rather neat.

Slovenia:

My kind of music. Seemed like a group of sweet guys.

Croatia:

Absolutely f*cking mental. I loved every second of this.

United Kingdom:

We waited two and a quarter hours for that. I knew whatever we brought out this year was going to pale in comparison to Sam Ryder’s effort from last year but…we might as well have just asked James Newman to do Embers again.

Highlights – The ones you should definitely listen to again:

Switzerland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Croatia.

Published by midgbrit

Short bloke writing about music on A-Side Glance

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