Eurovision finales 2017

Welcome to the final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, from Kiev, Ukraine! The show kicked off with an excellent laser/LED display, and all contestants running the gauntlet through the ecstatic crowd. Already this was taking unbearably long.

Finally, the evening’s hosts, three well-groomed chaps (Huey, Dewey and Louie) officiate the evening. The humour was painful and enduring.

Israel kicked the evening off, with, yes, another well-groomed chap, IMRI, singing off key in a black sleeveless t-shirt. He was ably assisted on stage by two dental nurses – 23rd place.

Kasia from Poland was next, her dress was in danger of an imminent wardrobe malfunction, which we were spared. She had one excellent leg, the other one was rubbish. A big song, but not big enough – 22nd place!

The happiest Belarussians ever were next, all dressed in white crochet (even the guitar)! Their folky tune clearly connected with the crowd, but not the voters – 17th place!

Austria’s Nathan (in white again) was evoking the Little Prince by dancing on a half moon. A solid 16th place.

Back to black outfits (a pant suit, no less) with Armenia and the best braided hair of the evening. The dance moves were reminiscent of Voguing (remember that old chestnut?), enough for 18th place!

The three sisters from the Netherlands were next with furry, glittery, black outfits, some had legs. They were marvellously coordinated, but the lack of wind-machines cost them a spot in the top 10…11th place!

Moldova was raising the fashion stakes with blackties and a (highly annoying) saxophone. The backing singers turned into brides half way through the song, much to the delight of the voters – 3rd place!

Hungary’s Papaj was joined on stage by a fiddler and a dancer. His outfit defies description, other than being very, very handsome! Best use of a milk can as a drum! An excellent 8th place!

Italy! Francesco did a great job and was ably assisted by the Wiggles on stage and a gorilla (also in black). The crowd loved this one, but not enough for a win….6th place.

Denmark’s Anja was in no need of gorillas or gimmicks – she filled the stage with her power ballad and a red flowing dress. Best tooth gap of the evening! 20th place!

Portugal’s Salvador calmed the audience with an oversized black suit and a thoughtful Fado. The audience, and Europe is stunned….first place – Portugal here we come!!!

Dihaj from Azerbaijan had the most extraordinary onstage props, including a horse on a ladder and writing on a blackboard. The significance of the trench coats remains unclear – 14th place.

Croatia’s Jacques brought a split personality and sang his own duet. Technically impressive it did confuse the audience – only 13th place. Creepiest violinist of the evening!Australia’s Isaiah picked up one of the trench coats abandoned by Azerbaijan. The excellent singing matched even more excellent eyebrows and Australia finds herself again in the top 10 with 9th place!

Greece’s Demy also had only one good leg, but a terrible song. For some reason, her barely dressed dancers had to perform in a footbath. A deserved 19th place.

Spain tragically mis-stepped with a boy-band wearing Hawaiian shirts. A deserved last place for silly reggae beats!

Norway’s Jowst brought his own gimp on stage (just in case, I suppose). Dressed as a dentist and quite inexplicably, Norway just makes it into the top 10.

The inane intermission by our three Ukrainian hosts provided the perfect toilet break.

Lucy from the UK appears in gold and belts out the UK’s best performance in years – 15th place. Best use of an on-stage kaleidoscope projecting 3 Lucies!!!

Wearing a studded black cardigan, Hovig was off key and laboured the audience for the full 3 minutes. Douze points from Greece and Armenia (but why?) propelled this into 21st spot.

Rumania yodelled – nuff said! 22nd place (and I am not even going to mention the canons on stage!).

Germany’s Levina was a bit tired and had to lie down on stage. Despite an excellent set of hair and a backless (grey) dress, this went no further than 25th.

Ukraine’s rock band wore excellent sleeveless smocks, but could not carry off the Lordi effect – 24th place.

Belgium was next, and without moving her lips, Blanche performs brilliantly, dressed as the corpses bride. A deserved 4th spot!!!

Stylish Sweden is next, Robin was wearing a shiny mauve suit. His dancing colleagues however, had to wear black turtlenecks. There were some odd hand signals throughout the song, still, 5th place, probably due to the brilliant use of treadmills on stage!

The second toothgap of the evening came courtesy of Bulgaria’s Kristian. The man-child, dressed as a young Viktor Krum, had nerves of steel  and ran away to second place!!!

Alma from France was the last performance for the evening. With two excellent legs, Alma finished the evening for the, by now, delirious audience. Good enough for 12th place. Best use of SimCity graphics.

The intermission brought back Russlana (Eurovision winner 2004) and some clown mooning the audience! The voting landscape was less predictable than previous years (other than Greece and Cyprus awarding each other douze points) – the yodelling Romanian’s received 12 points from Ireland of all places!

There we have it! A glorious win for Portugal! As for fashion trends…I am getting myself some more legs…good ones!

Until next year!

Club Douze Points


BulgariaBeautiful Mess by Kristian Kostov

Bulgarian man-child Kristian is the third teenager in this year’s line-up. Together with Brendan (Ireland) and Isaiah (Australia), we have the making of a boy band. Kristian would obviously be the edgy one without convincing eyebrows, who would eventually fall out with the others, develop a drug habit and see out his career playing Las Vegas. And the song? Forgettable!

Review by Mariella Herberstein


Switzerland, Poland and Lithuania

SwitzerlandApollo by Timebelle

The neutral country. The Euro-dodger. The land of chocolate and cheese, of secret banks and “What Nazi stolen gold?”. One does not expect such a country to make a splash at Eurovision. And you’d be right, as they only won it one time since the invention of colour television, and in Europe’s defense they were preoccupied with the Berlin Wall falling. So, in these politically tumultuous times, will Switzerland step off the sidelines with a powerful commanding performance to finally claim victory?

Well, no.

I mean they try. The fact that none of the members of Timebelle were actually born in Switzerland probably explains their decidedly non-neutral earnestness in their quest for the crown. The lead singer has a pretty decent voice and an eye-catching dress. The song flirts with being catchy. Unlike most of my Eurovision reviews I didn’t compulsively fast forward to make it to the end. But it just can’t get past its Swiss heritage of being neutral and inoffensive. It’ll do well, but not well enough. The Swiss may have once horded the plunders of WWII, but in this year’s geopolitical conflict my money is on them not taking home the gold.

Review by Scott Fabricant

PolandFlashlight by Kasia Moś

I mean if we’re going to be making distasteful WWII references, might as well keep up the trend with Poland, who famously brought a bunch of horses to a tank fight. Same here.

It’s not a bad song by any means, it’s just very old-fashioned (by Eurovision standards). A one-woman power ballad that uses incoherent metaphors to make some vague point about love, or hate, whatever. She’s certainly got an impressive set of pipes, with a hoarse sultry timbre to her voice that’s better suited to blues or jazz. But Eurovision is a new theater of war now, one that considers Australia part of Europe. Recent conquerors of Europe include the amazing interactive graphics of Sweden 2015, the thoroughly modern Austrian drag queen of 2014, and of course Ukraine’s giant war metaphor of 2016, not to mention some spectacular runners-up like Russia’s unstoppable cookie-baking grannies.

And here stands Kasia Mos, holding the line with her old-fashioned pipes, no props, and distinct lack of techno gimmicks. I wish her well.

Review by Scott Fabricant

LithuaniaRain Of Revolution by Fusedmarc

Finally, there’s Lithuania, who wasn’t even a country during WWII so I guess I can finally let this cheap crutch of a trope go and evaluate their entry on its own merits. And I like it! It’s weird and funky, and the lead singer reminds me of a thoroughly modern Bjork minus the theatrical pseudo-insanity. Fusemarc manages to break new musical ground and be truly unique without resorting to cheap gimmicks. I’m predicting we are seeing a taste of Eurovision to come, a time when this old stalwart contest breeds true acoustic innovation.

Just kidding, I already know they never make it out of the semi-finals. A shame really, since they really are funky, and I really did like them. Usually the truly unique sounds never make it to the finals. Eurovision may love its flashy visual gimmicks, but the music remains stuck in the glory days of a pre-Brexit European glory. Maybe Poland has a fighting chance, horses and all.

Review by Scott Fabricant

France, Moldova, Spain and Latvia

FranceRequiem by Alma

This years’ French entry is surely scandalous in France – its clear there has been far too much focus on this year’s election and they have sorely neglected their responsibilities as ambassadors of Europe. The song frankly suffers from confused cultural identity. Of all the nations, this is somewhat shocking as the French nation are so proud of their culture and yet this song has not a sliver of romance nor the welcomed gypsy chaos of a raging accordion in fact this song is a mile-long baguette from any beret. To be honest if I had not known this a French number before listening to it, I would have mistaken it as poor verson of a Gloria Estefan pop number. And to make things even more confusing Alma throws in three English words in the chorus! When asked about that Alma replied: “We decided to add English to the original version in order to reach a larger audience, I hope that if people can understand a part of the song they are more likely to like it!” Since when does France care about the rest of the world!! Don’t get me wrong Alma is very kind on the eye but I found my thoughts continually drifting off as the song is pretty dull and seemingly very long for Eurovision song. I do hope though Alma brings her shimmering jeans and they manage to have tango dancers dancing along the walls that would certainly increase the interest.

 Verdict = I’ve already forgotten the song…

Review by Matt Bulbert


MoldovaHey Mamma by Sunstroke Project

What do you get when you put youtube sensations ‘Epic sax guy’ and ‘Epic violin guy’ in the same room as a deadringer for Justin Timberlake? You end up with the band Sunstroke project with a pretty catchy little ditty about erotic baking. Well that’s what I gleamed from the film clip – the egg breaking sequence is priceless. It’s a real toe tapper and it has some classic elements such as Alexander Rybak inspired violin but with neon edges and a night wearing sunglasses sax player that Corey hart would have died for. My only real disappointment is that there is not an epic sax/violin solo off in the middle – it is surely a missed opportunity given the epicness of the band members. When asked what is one of the most interesting aspects of their entry they replied ‘Our performance looks like a small wedding on stage’. Small weddings are genuinely associated with Vegas and apparently, what happens in Vegas is meant to stay in Vegas so not sure who let them out nonetheless their offspring are bound to be epic.

 Verdict = Epic upon layers of Epicness

Review by Matt Bulbert

SpainDo it for your lover by Manuel Navarro

I will put it out there right now. This is just not Eurovision. This Jack Johnson inspired number is too mainstream for this competition. I just spent a field trip in North Queensland where every second song on the radio was Ed Sheeran and between those songs were announcers mentioning Ed Sheeran. I feel this song is commercial radios attempt to further promote Ed Sheeran. Oh by the way this song is not sung by Ed Sheeran but Manuel Navarro whose key inspiration is apparently – yes you guessed it – Ed Sheeran. His other apparent inspiration is Bob Dylan this is not is not so evident. The chorus is far too repetitive and frankly is pretty frustrating. He just states Do it for your lover over and over without actually tell us what IT is? Unless it turns out Manuel Navarro is actually Ed Sheeran I cannot see this one getting too far up the charts.

 Verdict = Ed Sheeran will sell another million records on his way to total world domination…oh and this song will tank badly at the Eurovision song contest

Review by Matt Bulbert


LativaLine by Triana Park

Well Triana Park have truly brought it to Eurovision this year for Lativa. This Kate Bush-Bjork-esque inspired pop number is sophisticated and musically intriguing for an electronica-drum-guitar combination. It’s not a toe-tapper that will bring the house down but it is surprisingly intellectually engaging. And as a result, they have not a hope in hell of winning Eurovision. Although according to their profile they love banana pancakes with Nutella and we all know I loathe bananas and consider them to be the devil’s fruit which means their direct connection to the devil potentially gives them some hope even in hell.

 Verdict = Quirky, intriguing and cool so not a chance of winning

Review by Matt Bulbert

Armenia, Australia, Belgium

ArmeniaFly With Me by Artsvik

I recon these are the horse people from Game of Thrones – only more dressed, which is an odd thing to say for Eurovision! Anyway, the hair and the baseline are great! Yes, there is a bit of wailing, but it is a delicate kind of wailing. So, I think Armenia is onto something good here….finals or extras in the new GOT season?

Review by Mariella Herberstein



Don’t Come Easy By Isaiah


And so the romance between Eurovision and Australia continues! After two top 10 positions, will Isaiah clinch Eurovision victory for Australia??? He certainly has the best eyebrows of the competition. In an eyebrow-off with Ireland’s Brendan Murray,  Isaiah would win without batting an eyelid. But can the eyebrows make up for a fairly boring song, sung well admittedly, but still boring? I am tempted to say: Yes! Why not! Bring on the finals for Australia!!!!

Review by Mariella Herberstein



City Lights by Blanche

So, I had fairly low expectations, here – Belgium is pretty mediocre at Eurovision (and possibly in general). But to my surprise, Blanche delivers a catchy, atmospheric, yet languid number. Following her accountancy degree, Blanche has had extensive training as a ventriloquist and you can barely see her lips move. Her onstage performance includes striding.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

Germany and Norway

GERMANYPerfect Life by Levina

Germany’s offering this year starts with some promise, but it’s unfortunate that promise doesn’t really belong to them… I’m calling plagiarism. Here is Levina. Here is Sia and David Guetta (who themselves borrowed fairly heavily from the stalky number from The Police…) Apparently it’s the year for it – check out Tom White’s review of Georgia.  

Alas, Levina doesn’t quite follow through with her suggestion that ‘Perfect Life’ might be another perfect banger of a pop anthem, as it rather fizzles at the chorus and never quite recovers. Indeed, in the official video, we see her start to dance a few times before realising her tune doesn’t really lend itself to that sort of thing. Whoops.

Review by Ingrid Errington

NORWAYGrab The Moment by JOWST

A catchy, cheerful number with lyrics that, for reasons you can’t put your finger on, don’t quite pass as native English (“So when it’s all or nothing, I put my nerves in the coffin”), as well as a pithy refrain about Grabbing the Moment. Tick, and tick. Also, this is the first use of (ostensibly) live sampling/looping that I recall from the ESC stage. Honestly, I’m surprised it wasn’t someone building layers with a cello, but this will do. A troop of back-flipping Scandinavian dancers wouldn’t go astray on the night, though I fear he might prefer his Kylo Ren-ish masked DJ buddies instead – what a lost opportunity.

Review by Ingrid Errington

Czech Republic and Georgia

Czech RepublicMy Turn, by Martina Bárta

Following a five year apathy-driven absence from the competition, the Czech Republic made their first ever finals appearance in 2016. This landed them a respectable (loosely speaking) 25th place, and the hopes of surpassing this effort now rest with the jazz sensibilities of Martina Bárta. Unfortunately this quasi-naked, touchy-feely, hair-centric piano ballad offers few surprises. The chorus does build to a reasonable hook, and it might be enough to squeeze through to a second final, though I don’t foresee a strong finish for the Czech Republic this year.  

Review by Tom White

GeorgiaKeep the Faith, by Tamara Gachechiladze

It’s difficult to get excited about an artist whose brief opens with the striking claim that she “…has taken part in a number of national and international festivals and creative events”. This lack of enthusiasm is not misplaced, and carries right through this year’s copyright-infringeriffic offering from Georgia. The central hook of ‘Keep the Faith’, along with much of the instrumentation, is lifted directly from Adele’s theme for ‘Skyfall’. That song did win an academy award, and it overlaid one of the best Bond films in years, so full points to Tamara for fine taste and sheer audacity if nothing else.

Review by Tom White

UK, Montenegro, Sweden

UKNever Give Up On You by Lucy Jones

The UK are perennial underachievers at Eurovision and that was before Brexit, I’m not sure that the British voters realised what the Eurovision implications would be. This year’s entry Lucie Jones is, wait for it …… Welsh, she is from Cardiff, a bit of Wales that voted to stay so perhaps she should play on this a bit. The song is a rather breathless effort, it you are watching the broadcast I recommend it would to be a good 3 minutes and 14 seconds to make another drink or load the dishwasher.

Review by Matt Bruce


MontenegroSpace by Slavko Kalezić

Slavko Kalezić seems to split his time more or less evenly between the hairdresser, the gym and wherever you get manscaping done in Montenegro. He wants to take you to space so you can be as one, where he will, presumably, unleash some more of his thinly veiled innuendo.

Review by Matt Bruce

SwedenI can’t go on by Robin Bengtsson

The backup dancers in this number wear skivvies, dance with their hands in their pockets and drive Volvos. One of those things isn’t true. National stereotypes aside, Robin Bengtsson should do pretty well, I Can’t Go On is the kind of generic urban offering that seems to be quite popular these days and stands out against a procession of Euro-ballads. Finals for me.

Review by Matt Bruce

Azerbaijan, Croatia, Serbia

AzerbaijanSkeleton by Dihaj

Azerbaijan has a short but successful history at Eurovision, winning in 2011 and controversially coming 2nd in 2013, perhaps due to an inability to seduce the pivotal Scandinavian bloc. Since then they have been on a bit of a slide and I’m not sure that Diana Hajiyeva, aka Dihaj, can rectify that. That is unless the Datsun 120Y from the video appears on stage, then who knows? Perhaps the nostalgia vote? Or even the sympathy vote? Buy a decent car Dihaj, you can pick up a 180B on Gumtree for $895 (negotiable), last driven in 1995.

Review by Matt Bruce


CroatiaMy friend by Jacques Houdek

This one is great value, two songs in one, part light opera (even sung in Italian) and part soppy pop song, with bonus inspirational talking at the start. Jacques Houdek isn’t called “Mr Voice” (perhaps the subject of the Johnny Farnham hit or did Johnny just predict his existence?) for nothing, he has impressive vocal range. It will be interesting to see if he can pull it off on stage, worth watching for the prospect of a car crash. Otherwise, nothing to see here move on.

Review by Matt Bruce


SerbiaIn too deep by Tijana Bogićević

If inane lyrics are your thing, look no further than Tijana Bogićević’s In Too Deep. Actually, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you cared too much about such things. Anyway, Tijana spends much of the song attempting to rhyme “deep” with “deep”, I dunno about this – I reckon using the same word doesn’t count and it isn’t as if there aren’t heaps of options; peep, creep, Meryl Streep. Apparently, this is Tijana’s second crack at Eurovision, she was a backing vocalist in 2011, that song finished a respectable 14th, In Too Deep will be lucky to do so well.

Review by Matt Bruce

Ireland, Iceland, Portugal, Romania


Dying to Try by Brendan Murray

Rumour has it that, as a young child, Brendan Murray’s cheeks were pinched so vigorously by passing octogenarians that he required reconstructive surgery. They say he is paid entirely in crocheted doilies and lemon tea-cakes, and is banned from releasing a Christmas album amidst fears that it would induce a mass attack of the vapours across the British Isles.

With good looks and titanium-reinforced cheekbones Brendan Murray brings dollops of gorgeousness to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. His melancholy tune about struggling to maintain relationships has one of the most impressive key changes of this year’s line up, and has left women across Europe wondering why their daughters can’t find themselves a nice young man like Brendan. His eyebrows alone are guaranteed to get him as far as the semi-finals.

Review by James O’Hanlon


IcelandPaper by Svala

Svala has been granted sabbatical leave from the Borg to represent Iceland this year. The song ‘Paper’, precisely crafted to suit the musical requirements of the assimilated masses, is unsurprisingly mediocre. Nevertheless you will vote for Iceland, resistance is futile. It’s robotic rhythms and synth melodies are perfect listening for the next time you are cruising through the grid on your light cycle. Keep an eye out for the key change goose-step late in the song – a well-timed and subtle build to… nothing at all. Clearly key-changes do not compute.

Review by James O’Hanlon


PortugalAmar Pelos Dois by Salvador Sobral

Salvador Sobral was orphaned on the streets of Lisbon as a child. Thankfully a flock of canaries took him in and raised him as one of their own. Years later he was discovered working in a mineshaft – cramped inside a small cage and entertaining the workers with his gentle melodies. Now a full grown man and successful performer, Salvador collaborates with his sister Luisa – who wrote this song and most definitely isn’t pissed about Salvador getting all the credit.

Surprisingly this song, ‘Amor Pelos Dios’ is one of the most coherent Eurovision efforts we have heard from Portugal since, well, ever! The orchestration is tasteful, the soft piano melody is whimsical, and the singing is, believe it or not, in key. Portugal, you have surprised us all and have done well! Maybe you should get Salvador and Luisa to look into your national debt problems, it’s not like they could do any harm.

Review by James O’Hanlon



Yodel It! By Ilinca feat. Alex Flora

It’s Eurovision! Of course there is yodelling! I’m proud to say that Romania have inspired my latest tattoo. The phrase ‘Yodel It!” has been carved into my chest and sits nicely in between my “#YOLO” and “Frankie Says Relax” tatts.

Equal parts East 17, Aqua, and von Trapp family, Romania pairs a seductive yodeller in a leprechaun suit with a tone-deaf rapper to create this year’s abomination. Seriously it’s terrible. Me thinks the novelty value won’t float this boat very far and Romania are likely to sink early on in the quarter finals.

Review by James O’Hanlon