After watching the Eurovision I decided I would write about it and tell you my thoughts. What did you guys think of it???
Everyone knows the Eurovision is an annual event that never fails to generate a massive following. It appears that almost every country in Europe has a joint enraptured interest in the contest and every year ourselves and our European neighbours undergo the process of seeing the various acts vying for success and their hopes for glory smashed or rewarded.
The Eurovision has truly permeated into pop culture, most amusingly as it was parodied superbly in the Father Ted episode “A Song For Ireland.” In the episode, with Dougal on keyboard and Ted on guitar performed their hilariously monotonous and uninspired song “My Lovely Horse” on the “Song For Ireland” European song contest, which was obviously a thinly veiled swipe at the yearly event!
I think the greatest fact about the Eurovision is that despite it often being quite tacky and derivative, is that it brings together numerous European countries who less than 100 years ago, were at war and destroying each other, now peacefully together for a civilised and very genial series of events. Indeed, with the Eurovision Song Contest, music brings different peoples together. For me, the only downside to the Eurovision is that too many countries competing try to emulate other countries pop, dance and rock music and usually sing their lyrics in English. However, this year I’m delighted to remark that the majority of the acts taking part adhered to some of their countries native indigenous musical languages, which made for a very interesting evening. This year was much more diverse in style and had less singing in English.
A big highlight of this year’s contest was when the 2018 hosts Lisbon kicked off with two beautiful and evocative songs that drew on the traditional music of their country. Ana Moura sang a song in her native language, which was very refreshing as was the piece. Lisbon’s Mariza blasted out a powerful song while being accompanied by numerous drummers and the evening certainly did not disappoint visually as the auditorium was garnered and designed with incredible sets and lighting displays. It was great to also see more unusual orchestrations and accompaniment instruments and not just the seemingly endless drum machine dance songs, which often can seem quite bland, derivative and synthetic.
The Ukraine was a great song to open the contest as the Goth and Dracula like singer Melovin dramatically sung and played piano in his song “Under The Ladder” with a quartet of similarly vampirishly clothed backing singers accompanying him as he was surrounded by flames on the stage.
Spain’s entry was a particularly beautiful song, sung and written by Raul Gomez Garcia and Sylvia Ruth Santoro Lopez, which was a very enjoyable and gentle love song.
The singer SuRie performed “Storm”, a now familiar song heard often on the radio recently for the United Kingdom. It is a very catchy song and featured an impassioned performance and an impressive vocal range. Even though SuRie was interrupted by a man who jumped up on stage she bravely kept going and really got the attending crowd very much enraptured.
Other highlights of the contest included Denmark’s entrants “Rasmussen” an unsurprisingly Viking themed affair as Viking longboats were part of the Rasmussen quintet. It was a slow song but very powerful and a quartet of heroic sounding male voices supported and gilded the atmosphere provided by strong driving percussion.
Australia entered the contest this year and their performer sang an upbeat pop song and certainly got the crowd on their feet dancing.
Ireland’s entry this year was Ryan O’Shaughnessy who was 24 th to take to the stage in the competition who with a nice voice and song came in 16 th position.
The Lisbon Eurovision show organisers certainly outdid themselves with a jaw dropping selection of musical artists to entertain the masses attending while the votes were being calculated and totted up. Once again, Lisbon enchanted the viewers at home and at the event with amazing staging and lighting effects. It came down to Israel, Cyprus and Austria in the end and Israel triumphed with a tally of 529 points as opposed to Cyprus who garnered 436 points and Austria who earned 342 points. In conclusion, it was a very interesting evening with many great moments both beguiling and thrilling. I must note however that there were no singing turkey puppets representing Ireland this year!