RogerBW's Blog

Eurovision 2021 24 May 2021

I've never really been much of a Eurovision fan, but these days you can get the music and shows without any commentary, so…

Here is the playlist for the final.

  • Cyprus: costume feels as though they're going too hard for the dirty old man appeal. Graphics are OK. Chorus much stronger than the verse.

  • Albania: lovely integration of graphics with the performance but the costume seems to me more like a slightly overblown party dress. Decent song.

  • Israel: the costume would be nothing without her hairstyle. Graphics are a bit generic neon aesthetic. Song says nothing to me.

  • Belgium: general setup looks like an actual singer plus band rather than a full-spectrum performance act, an interesting way of distinguishing this one from the pack but it's a shame to waste all that graphics capability. I'd rather listen to the dance mix of this song than this version.

  • Russia: singing style isn't to my taste. Graphics are nothing special for the most part and the animation looks cheap. So that leaves the boiler suit and the theme of the song, and I'm never going to complain about a boiler suit, but it's not much to hang the act on.

  • Malta: oh right you sent someone with a real voice. Why did you do that? Show's not much but this is the music I like best so far, and it's not even a style I usually listen to.

  • Portugal: personal quirk, I really don't get on with the tonality of most high male voices. Basically no show except for Lead Guy In A Disco, until we get to the lamp post bit, which is kind of neat but not enough to make up for the rest. To be fair, with a female singer I might have rated it higher.

  • Serbia: again these costumes seem more about showing off the flesh than about making any sort of aesthetic statement, and the show doesn't add much. The start of each line of the song drifts out of my head before the end has got in. Not annoying like Portugal but just says nothing to me.

  • United Kingdom: I'm sure high male voices are very saleable, and at least the guy's allowed to have a beard, but. The giant brass seems superfluous, and the music doesn't grab me at all.

  • Greece: the purple bodysuit does a good job of having something to say while also showing off the body. Light show doesn't do much, though clearly they've put a lot of work into those routines, and nor does the song. Matted-out dancers are a brave try but don't really work. Song's decent.

  • Switzerland: good outfit, and a high male voice that doesn't scrape at my perception. Looks as if he's working hard, which one doesn't really want; I think this one might actually work better without the closeups, and indeed with a different light show. When I looked away I enjoyed the song rather more.

  • Iceland: now this works. Actual stage show, nobody there just to show off their body but still interesting costumes, people who look like real people, good use of the graphics; this is the best-integrated show so far, and the ring keyboard bit makes me think that that was a design goal. Not a song I'd listen to, but as a show it's great.

  • Spain: meh. I was distracted by wondering how long he has to spend in hairstyle, perhaps because there was so little else to look at except the solar prominences. Another high male ballady thing.

  • Moldova: another party dress lightly upgraded into a costume. I like the 3D wireframe light show but the song is just sort of there.

  • Germany: appears to be an entry for an entirely different contest. Don't upstage Hand Lady, you prancing loon; she has it bad enough already.

  • Finland: oh, someone sent a sort of music I actually like – well, usually with less of the hip-hop influence in my case, but there's an energy here that's been missing from many of the other shows. Graphics are nothing, costumes nearly nothing, but this is something I might actually listen to later.

  • Bulgaria: nice boots, low-key but pleasing lights, but the song feels nearly as out of place here as Germany did.

  • Lithuania: if only he'd kept the initial low voice… eh, standard euro disco probably someone likes this. Bland costumes and light show that looks like an early 90s graphics demo.

  • Ukraine: weird tonality but I liked it once I got used to it. Can't parse the costumes at all. Lovely compact stage setup, decent graphics too, except they never quite fit together. Feels as though they're doing their thing and having fun, and don't really care whether I like it or not, which suits me better than the begging for my attention that everyone else seems to be doing.

  • France: an even more minimalist show than Belgium, though the activewear doesn't really suit this aesthetic – I think you want something more like an evening dress to pull it off. Song's OK, though I've never been a fan of this style. Would work much better in a small setting where you could actually get the audience to clap along with you.

  • Azerbaijan: really, stockings and suspenders as part of your costume? Song's nothing special, though it comes together a bit at the end; and I do like the aesthetic of the backdrop/floor.

  • Norway: now that looks like a Eurovision costume! Good use of the light show too. Song, eh, it's an OK pop ballad.

  • Netherlands: now that grew on me. Lovely light show with the moving cracks, dancers with individual things to do rather than just keeping in sync, refrain of the song is a bit samey but yeah, yeah, I like it.

  • Italy: terrible costume aesthetic (your chest doesn't look that good), a bit of rocky energy and a nice Brocken spectre effect in the light show, but the song doesn't go anywhere and neither does the show. Certainly not one I'd have picked as a likely winner.

  • Sweden: more bagpipe! But the voice and the costume and… yeah, just nothing memorable here. (You aren't actually required to have a key change in your song any more.)

  • San Marino: feels as though she's channelling Cher, but in spite of that I kind of enjoy it.

My top five: Iceland, Malta, Finland, Netherlands, Ukraine.

Tags: music

  1. Posted by Dr Bob at 02:39pm on 24 May 2021

    It was less entertainingly bonkers than the last time I watched Eurovision. There were no acts which had a WTF moment.

    I liked Ukraine and Finland best. I'd listen to those again.

  2. Posted by John P at 11:33pm on 24 May 2021

    Most of it was instantly forgettable, although that might have been to do with the beers (& big doner pizza) that went down with it. But the main reason the UK got zero was that James Newman was singing flat at several points. He might have a good writing pedigree but he shouldn't be singing based on that performance.

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 08:27am on 25 May 2021

    I thought they could do autotune in real time these days.

  4. Posted by Owen Smith at 10:13am on 25 May 2021

    They can do autotune in real time these days. Maybe it's not allowed for Eurovision being a contest, or maybe James Newman didn't want to use it. There are many singers that hate it since it removes some of their options for performance sliding one note into another.

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