Eurovision 2017: The Grand Final

Eurovision 2017 is here, and the twenty six countries of the grand final are here to compete for the title of the World’s Biggest Night in Music.

The Grand Final of Eurovision is here, and it’s airing in America after all! Logo did indeed get the rights to broadcast the final. We’re not the only ones either. Added to this year’s broadcast lineup: China! For the first time Eurovision is really and truly a world wide broadcast.

Now we’ve heard and seen most of these acts over the course of the week in the semi finals, and for those who watched, twenty of these are the same exact performances, just in a different order. But that just means we know how the performance is supposed to look, and can judge it better having seen it once.

1 Israel IMRI “I Feel Alive”

Israel closed Thursday’s performance. Tonight they and their exploding pixels and pyro are opening the show. They’re a solid midpack act that will deliver a high energy performance to kick off the night without actually threatening any of the frontrunenrs.

2 Poland Kasia Moś “Flashlight”

Poland performed with a whole lot more conviction this time than they did on Thursday. It’s as if because they got out of the semi finals, they now think their message of “Freedom” turning into digital doves is a real contender.

3 Belarus Naviband “Story of My Life”

Their “robbed a Michaels’ wedding applique section” aesthetic is still cute, but the kiss at the end was a little bit of a surprise. Not that I thought they were brother and sister or anything, but again, the hyped up energy made that a lot more passionate

4 Austria Nathan Trent “Running On Air”

The early slots like this is where they park the forgettable acts. I still don’t understand why this one got in to be honest

5 Armenia Artsvik “Fly With Me”

Armenia is another one that’s benefitting from the higher energy performance. I loved their backdrop before as well as the minimalist folk stringed sound, but this just shot up.

6 The Netherlands OG3NE “Lights and Shadows”

Logo called them “Wilson Phillips” but I still think Third Harmony is a better reference. I still think it’s unfair that one got a bodysuit and the other two did not.

7 Moldova Sunstroke Project “Hey Mamma”

And that’s what is looks like when the saxophone player steals the entire show. Now, to be fair, this song is really *all about* the good sax riff. But clearly the sax player got the memo he is the MVP of this song since Tuesday’s semis.

8 Hungary Joci Pápai “Origo”

Once again, any act that performances not in English is already a half step up above the rest of the competition, but this one then includes a full on rap breakdown over a folk string accompaniment.

9 Italy Francesco Gabbani “Occidentali’s Karma”

The first act that’s new today, I’m really impressed how catchy this act is, and I love the rainbow backdrop and the digital images on the background.

Then the gorilla came out. In a bowtie. And I was a lot less sure.

10 Denmark Anja “Where I Am”

The second of the “Why did this make the final?” songs. I mean, she couldn’t even bother to wear sequins to make it interesting.

11 Portugal Salvador Sobral “Amar Pelos Dois”

Why is this one HERE? Because Portugal couldnt afford to participate last year? Was it pity votes? Please OMG, make it Go Away. He’s AWFUL and TWEE and he’s sucking *all the energy out of the room*. Like a vampire.

12 Azerbaijan Dihaj “Skeletons”

The chalkboards not pixels act with the Horseman on the ladder. Yes, she’s rubbing chalk dust all over her costume right now because that’s what’s known as Prop Realness.

13 Croatia Jacques Houdek “My Friend”

Two Face the man with the split personality song stylings! Two singers for the price of one! What if one guy could be Two of the Three Tenors?

14 Australia Isaiah “Don’t Come Easy”

Australia is refusing to come cheap or easy, but that’s because they learned ‘ast year that wins around here don’t come that way either, especially when you’re “not technically part of Europe.”

15 Greece Demy “This is Love”

The water act where the singer won’t get in the pool. I still think this shows lack of commitment to win the show.

16 Spain Manel Navarro “Do It For Your Lover”

Our second act that’s new this evening. The clip made me actively nauseous on Tuesday, and the full on song isn’t much better. I suppose if you really like Jason Mraz, this will appeal to you. Not to me.

17 Norway JOWST “Grab The Moment”

I love this one. I know, it’s Daft Punk. I know, it’s very 80s camera tricks. I still love it. I’ve even decided I like the mask.

18 United Kingdom Lucie Jones “Never Give Up On You”

Our third new performance. The BBC hosts were pushing her hard during the semis. I just keep waiting for the song to go somewhere. It’s just sort of laying there unwilling to get up and work for it. (A bit like her dress, to be honest.) Flaccid on arrival.

19 Cyprus Hovig “Gravity”

Part of the issue is that even good songs like this have is that no one is really interacting with the digital backgrounds, or in general doing anything majorly different and eye catching. This performance could have used that like whoa.

20 Romania Ilinca ft. Alex Florea “Yodel It!”

Still the song that’s the most fun of the evening. The Yodeling chorus is striking and different, and the happy rainbow background is happy and cheerful. The only way this could be better is if those cannons fired glitter.

21 Germany Levina “Perfect Life”

Fourth new act of the week, and it’s more lying on the floor of the stage as “visually interesting.” Once she stood up it was silver on grey on grey on grey on white. Food Network would call this Very Visually Blah. They would be right.

22 Ukraine O.Torvald “Time”

Welp, our fifth new act, which is only a shoo in because the country won last year. And you can tell they have no interest in winning this year, since they used their “direct to the Grand Final” slot to push a rock act into a pop competition.

23 Belgium Blanche “City Lights”

Belgium’s vocals incongruence threw me really hard the first time I saw this. The second time through I feel liek this is an indie act from 2009 that accidentally found their way to Eurovision and couldn’t find their way out again and are desperately trapped, wishing to escape.

24 Sweden Robin Bengtsson “I Can’t Go On”

The thing about this song is that it sounds like something that should be playing on US radio with a vocalist who needed to be autotuned through it. Think of it as how to groove while being bespoke.

25 Bulgaria Kristian Kostov “Beautiful Mess”

I had blessedly forgotten about Emo Kylo Ren, even though he was just on on Thursday. I am sorry I had to remember him, especially this late in the show. Let’s all go back to forgetting him as soon as we can/

26 France Alma “Requiem”

France gets the final slot, and considering how dull their clip was during the semis, I suppose it’s because they need the help? The song certainly needs help of some sort. It’s boring, her voice is thin, and there’s nothing to it.

Both the interacts were unfortunately forgettable, though the Ukrainian folk-electronica act had elements of interest. They also broke out Jamala, last year’s winner, with her new single, which wasn’t that great.

And then, three hours in, we reached the point that is just as important to Eurovision as the acts–the calling around to countries to get their distribution of points! This part always flabbergasts newbies to Eurovision, because they assume this is a show like American Idol. When the truth is, the reaching out and connecting countries to reporting on their votes is part and parcel of the whole “Eurovision” experience, in bringing all these far flung countries across the continent together.

The Juries voted to give the win to Portugal with 382 points. Bulgaria was in second with 278, Sweden in third with 218 and Australia and The Netherlands in fourth and fifth respectively.

But then there was the popular vote! (Which, by the way, gave Spain 5 points after getting zero from the juries, meaning we had no 0 score this year.) Could the popular vote take down the front runner like it did last year giving the win to Ukraine over Australia?

NO! Portugal, the terrible twee and dull and sappy act wins! EUROVISION!

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2 thoughts

  1. I believe the two members of Belarus’s Naviband are married, hence the kiss.

    Moldova’s sax guy is a meme, established the last time they represented Moldova, in 2010 (search for “Epic Sax Guy”, who was something of the European Rick-Roll for a few years). They definitely knew he was their Big Deal, and built the act around his “asides”.

    Portugal’s song does a callback to the origins of Eurovision. His song is 100% pure, distilled nostalgia. If you don’t like it, a very large fraction of Eurovision history might not be for you. Personally, I’d rather Bulgaria have won, given the greater skill and emotion of Kristian’s singing, but I have no qualms with the Portuguese victory. Salvador’s a highly-deserving winner.

    Like

  2. (got a different logo-icon than normal, and an indication of Moderation, so trying to post again)

    I believe the two members of Belarus’s Naviband are married, hence the kiss.

    Moldova’s sax guy is a meme, established the last time they represented Moldova, in 2010 (search for “Epic Sax Guy”, who was something of the European Rick-Roll for a few years). They definitely knew he was their Big Deal, and built the act around his “asides”.

    Portugal’s song does a callback to the origins of Eurovision. His song is 100% pure, distilled nostalgia (which is why the crowd loved him so much). If you don’t like it, a very large fraction of Eurovision history might not be for you. Personally, I’d rather Bulgaria have won, given the greater skill and emotion of Kristian’s singing, but I have no qualms with the Portuguese victory. Salvador’s a highly-deserving winner.

    Like

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