Welcome to Dublin for the first of many times. We’re rejoined by the countries who sat out 1970 (sans Denmark) and the tiny Malta, who are still yet to win. The voting system was also redone to please everyone (or at least displease the smallest number of people).
Most of the countries that sat out 1970 are back (Denmark still thinks that Eurovision is bad, so we won’t see them until the tail end of the 70s). Otherwise, everyone else is back and ready to give us a musically diverse contest.
We’re greeted by Bernadette Ní Ghallchóir, who will be our host for today. She opens the contest by welcoming us in Irish, which isn’t a language you hear too often in Eurovision, so props to RTÉ. She announces that the voting will be different, but says that she’ll tell more about it later and we move on to the first song. It was nice to get a proper introduction after last year.
Also, fun fact, this was the first time Eurovision was broadcast in the United States.
This song feels weird and unfocused. First of all, you can tell that Marianne is very nervous on stage, which rarely leads to a good performance, and this time is no different. Plus I just kinda didn’t enjoy it in general. The arrangement is static and she’s a bit too shouty. And I don’t think it’s very interesting lyrically either. Still, it wasn’t too unpleasant.
This was actually very enjoyable. It was fun, upbeat and engaging. Joe has a lot of charisma and performs it really well. The instrumental was bouncy and lively. It was a great experience all around, but then, I don’t have a big language bias against unfamiliar languages (I used to, but then I realised that all languages are beautiful in their own way). So it’s understandable why this came last - being second is never easy, but being second and in an unfamiliar language is a recipe for a very poor score. I also think they may have been put off by the fake ending.
I can understand why this won and I’m happy for Monaco getting their first win, but it just doesn’t impress me much. It just doesn’t feel like it goes anywhere because it starts as it ends. The lyrics are nice though, quite anthemic and inspirational, trying to invoke the feeling of nostalgia. I’m not usually one for nostalgia (the present is so much better than the past), so this topic doesn’t appeal to me very much.
Hello, Peter, Sue and Marc, nice to see you for the first time out of 4. Sadly, this is your weakest entry, but it’s by no means bad. Also, they’re the first trio (because we finally got rid of the rule saying that there could be at most two leads) and they put that to great use. The harmonies are really beautiful. Otherwise, it’s a pretty average pop song, though the guitar makes it stand out among other entries.
Hello Katja, nice to see you so soon. It’s especially nice to see you with a song that’s great. It has very atmospheric and moody verses, but cheereful and upbeat chorus and a bridge that’s somewhere in-between. It also has a great message that while this world may be gloomy and dark, but “what will happen is up to you”.
And Spain is here to show everyone how it’s done. This song starts out slowly and builds up speed over time, just like several other Spanish entries have done. It also changes the key four times! Off the top of my head, this is the most key changes in a Eurovision entry. This makes it very rousing and engaging to listen to, and I can easily understand why the juries liked it that much.
I rarely remark on the fashion sense, but what is that dress? Why does it have a hole in the front? Why? Just why? It doesn’t change my opinion of the song, but I definitely burst out laughing when I first saw it.
He has a great voice, but the song makes me uncomfortable. It feels like it’s made out of two different songs that were spliced together - a minor key sentimental ballad and a major key power ballad. This doesn’t work at all. I hope this doesn’t start another weak streak for France, they were doing so well lately.
This is a very rousing and playful entry with a bouncy arrangement. Some singers hate being given silly songs, but you can see that Monique is very into it, so props to her. She definitely elevates the performance a lot. The lyrics are also pretty clever, which I do appreciate.
I promise I’m not biased against the UK, I just don’t like this sort of songs. Sure, it isn’t terrible, but it’s just so formulaic. The UK just didn’t want to try anything new (and clearly, they didn’t have to, since they got great results in these years). So I’m sorry BBC, but this is another one of those entries that are kinda fun, but just don’t do anything for me.
Right, so, I need to explain something. Since I speak Russian as my native language, it sounds like they’re singing about men’s genitals. Repeatedly. I’ve never been able to take this song seriously, but I promised to myself that I’d actually give it a real try this time. And what do you know, I really enjoyed it.
They harmonise really well, they definitely have a good amount of chemistry, especially considering they were brought in as replacements for intended performers (Nicole and Hugo, whom we’ll see in two years). And while I do prefer the original version by Nicole and Hugo, I still liked this interpretation by Jacques and Lilly.
I also like the jazzy laidback instrumental, it does sound like something that would play in a film during a relaxing early morning scene. Or maybe I’m just making this connection because of the title, who knows.
So yeah, this has gone from a total meme song to a legit entry to me.
Italy, why are you not interesting anymore? Oh wait, that’s because you stopped using Sanremo to select your representative. Anyway, this doesn’t particularly interest me, it’s very averagely and straightforwardly Italian, which means that it’s still pretty good, but it still falls short for me.
I remember complaining last year that I missed the Nordics because they bring in something different? Well, Sweden didn’t do it this year. Instead, they brought in a fairly messy song that has very ballad-y verses and a poppy chorus. I would’ve liked it to go one way or the other, because mixing the styles really didn’t work.
Why, Ireland, why? Why do you give me an epic intro that makes me expect something a lot more upbeat, but is actually a 6/8 ballad? Still, once I got over it, I actually started enjoying it a lot. The epic arrangement contrasts with the very sad lyrics. Unfortunately, her vocal performance isn’t great. She’s very breathy (because she’s so close to the mic) and she has a couple voice cracks. Even then, I enjoyed it a decent amount.
So yeah, there was a little technical mishap with the microphone squeak. Do I care about it? Nah, not really, technical issues are unavoidable sometimes. Plus I’m willing to ignore it because the song is really nice. It uses two instruments that are very rarely used in Eurovision - a harpsichord and a recorder. This gives it an old-timey feeling, but also makes it stand out among other entries. Plus they have great harmonic vocals.
Yeah, I’m into this. It’s pretty dramatic (but Portuguese songs usually are), but it works really well in its favour. Tonicha has a great captivating voice and the song itself is fun and a bit quirky. It briefly changes the style from something very Portuguese to something more “worldwide 70s pop”, which I found jarring at first, but really enjoyed on the second listen.
Also, I hate to be fashion police again, but that dress is ugly. Again, doesn’t change my opinion of the song, but I felt like pointing it out.
Did you steal your grandma’s curtains for that jacket? Because wow it’s ugly. Unlike the two previous entries, his outfit is the best thing about the song as it’s extremely over-the-top and unfocused at the same time. It feels like they wanted to dial up the drama to the maximum, so they went with a grandiose instrumental and an overly passionate operatic style of singing.
This was weird. As is the case with a lot of thses songs, it was just way too messy and unfocused - it was a little bit of musical theatre, a little bit of pop, an unnecessary slowdown section that killed the song for me, backing dancer dancing off to the side. I would’ve liked this song way more if it had a little more direction.
I expected to dislike this way more than I actually did. Hanne’s performance is very charming and fun, though the parts at the end where she stops singing and spins around kill the mood a bit. But hey, at least it’s focused and knows what it wants to be, even if what it wants to be is not a song I like.
Three cheers for Spain because they’ve finally joined my list of winners.
Yeah, this year wasn’t much better than 1970. Most songs were still unfocused and lacked direction. At least we had more linguistic and musical diversity because the missing countries have returned and Malta joined (though just for a bit).
The voting was great though, I’ve always been a fan of the 1-5 system. It gives a lot of transparency and makes the voting very exciting. It’s also funny how the Luxembourg jury mostly gave out 1s to everything, they clearly had a miserable evening (or were voting strategically, which is a big issue with this voting system). Because of how close the scores usually were, there were many rises and falls and Monaco didn’t even start leading until halfway through the voting.
Also, the postcards were nice this year. While they only showed some landscapes of the participating country, having them gave me a chance to clear my head between each song.
But I’ll see you all in Edinburg, as tiny Monaco couldn’t host the contest and the UK very helpfully stepped in.