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Eurovision 2021 – II

Since it got too late and I couldn’t manage to write the comments about the top ten entries in my classification in the previous post, I’m adding them now. I guess adding comments about each of the songs would more properly justify making a separate post, but that’s not going to happen, and the rather poor level of the entries would make it pretty pointless anyway, the only one I ranked below tenth place that I’d want to mention being Albania, since I quite liked the song, with the exception of that instrumental bit, and it was definitely performed well, the low position being caused by the low show value. And now that I did mention it, I can move on to the top ten.

With no entry standing out, Greece struck me as possibly having the better overall package, with a decent, catchy song performed well enough and notable show value, albeit obtained thanks to camera tricks. I must admit that, since it was tied with Norway according to my rating system and I found that I couldn’t really make up my mind between the two on the spot, I decided to put the one obtaining the better position in the actual classification first, but now that I listened to them again I can say that putting Greece ahead was quite clearly the right decision either way.
When it comes to Norway, my opinion kept improving, from thinking it was a poor choice, clearly worse than the other two I happened to see from that national final, to seeing it at the top of the list, albeit, again, merely as a result of a reasonably good overall package in a competition of a relatively poor level. Still, having it tie for first place might have also been a result of overcompensating while trying to not allow the marks to be affected by the fact that the guy’s mannerisms and even his face strike me as asking for punches, as the saying goes. Either way, I’ll say again that, regardless of how I reached it, the decision to put it below Greece in the end was the correct one.
Being the only one of my top ten that actually ended up in the top five, I already wrote about Ukraine in the previous post, but I’ll say again that such an entry is quite a risk but it worked out nicely for them. I’m bothered by the language and the singer probably shouldn’t have been so static, but the song is interesting, possibly also because there weren’t other similar ones this year, it was performed well and also had a good enough show value.
The only other entry from my top ten that actually ended up in the top ten is Finland and, while it’s rather too harsh for me, sounds like American mainstream metal, which I’d normally consider a bad thing, and could have been performed better as well, I’m quite pleased when I see such entries doing well. And it definitely seemed better than Italy…
Germany seems to have sent what’s pretty much the opposite of Finland’s entry, and it’s just a fun performance that also has something to say and is memorable for a few different reasons. It’s probably not something that should be rewarded with a particularly high position, and being fifth for me is another result of the rather poor level of the competition, but I do believe it should have ended up way higher than it did.
In case of the United Kingdom, I don’t agree with my own marks, and that negative modifier is a particularly strong one, indicating that it was clearly below the level such marks would normally indicate, but the song wasn’t actually bad or badly performed and they made some effort for the show value as well, so I just couldn’t place it any lower. At the same time, having it last, with zero points from both juries and voters, hardly seems fair either.
Spain had clearly the best song from this series of automatically qualified entries that I placed well but ended up at the bottom of the actual classification, and with zero points from voters. It actually struck me as one of the better songs of the competition, dragged down by the relatively low show value, that floating Moon only managing to save it from actually getting a bad show rating. Sure, it shouldn’t have been at the top, but I really can’t explain why it ended up at the bottom, I’d say not even if I’m to think of reasons that have nothing to do with the entry itself.
Bulgaria is one of those unpleasant surprises I mentioned at the start of the previous post, the same artist being selected but the song not rising to the level of the one entered in what should have been last year’s competition. It’s still a rather soothing piece with a message, and maybe the differences aren’t great, but it’s enough to be disappointing. Much more could have been done for the show value as well, but the overall package nevertheless remains better than most of this year’s other entries.
Back to that series of automatically qualified entries that I placed well but ended up at the bottom of the actual classification, and with zero points from voters, it ends with The Netherlands, and I again fail to see why it did so badly. No, it wasn’t one of the better songs, but it wasn’t bad either, it again had a message, it didn’t exactly lack show value, and again, it’s not like there were many good entries this year to say that it was poor by comparison.
As for Portugal, it struck me as the sort of entry that juries would like, but which could have some public appeal as well. I guess I overestimated that public appeal to some extent, but it did end up in the first half, which is fair enough for an entry of this kind… It’s those that ended up much higher that are surprising…


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