Gjon isn’t the only one crying after this thoroughly mediocre and appropriately car-crash-themed ballad. I am too, but they’re tears of boredom. That’s a thing now, all thanks to this song. 2/10 for the pretty landscape I’d like to visit when he gets up off the road and stops crying.
Review by Willow Norton
North Macedonia – Here I Stand by Vasil
Between the intensely uncomfortable eye contact and the Bond Villain aesthetic, I’m wondering whether Vasil wants to eat me or have me join his cult. Possibly both. Either way, his vibe was so distracting I barely noticed the song, which was boring and thoroughly forgettable. 0/10 Please never look at me like that again.
In case you were wondering, TIX bases his professional persona on the fact that he has Tourette’s Syndrome (TS), as chronicled in a mildly heartbreaking music video based on his childhood bullying incidents. He uses his C-list celebrity fame to spread awareness on Tourette’s, so I’d like to honor him by doing the same. TS is a movement disorder characterized by the combination of involuntary erratic rapid muscle contractions (movement tics), and verbal tics consisting of grunts and coughs, or more complex behavior such as repeating words (echolalia) or famously but rarely, the yelling of profanities (coprolalia). TS is considered a form of neurodivergence, an axis of diversity long ignored in the celebration of diversity that is classically Eurovision. So thank you TIX for your honesty and emotional bravery.
That said, I owe his honesty an honest review… except I can’t, since you might mistake it for coprolalia. What I will say is that I thought the song was boring, derivative, and repetitive (but not echolalia). One can only assume the Eurovision voters will diverge from TIX, and this fallen angel will fall to the bottom half of the finals.
Review by Scott Fabricant
Ukraine – SHUM by Go_A
I will admit I’m a bit rusty, but I remember a little behavioral ecology. An energetically costly signal is more likely to be an honest indicator of quality, right? In that case, Ukraine has A+ genes since honestly even watching this performance is a little exhausting. Like a whirling dervish, this folktronica forest rave keeps getting faster and faster. Like… like… supraventricular tachycardia? No, bad Scott, this is an ecology blog! Anyway, Go_A lives up to her name with an energetic quality beat that keeps going. Do I think she’ll win? Probably not the Eurovision finals, but possibly a fist fight against Putin. A+ genes!
Review by Scott Fabricant
Russia – Russian Woman by Manizha
I have no idea what Manizha is saying to me in Russian, but I am certain she is spilling some very hot tea, reading me good, and I’ve earned whatever acid she’s spraying. Her powerful verse crosses all language barriers for a full-throated assault on toxic masculinity and I am loving it. Coming out strong in an aposematically-red Rosie the Riveter jumper, her command of intersexual conflict would put ducks to shame. Douze points from me, but what I really want to see is her trash-talk Putin after Ukraine’s Go_A are finished with him.