Slovenia and Moldova

SloveniaLea Sirk: Hvala, ne!

Hi, my name is Scott. I’m a former member of the behavioural ecology lab before my career took a left turn and I went to medical school. Now, as a first-year medical student, I’m going to try and apply my brand new medical knowledge to diagnosing Eurovision contestants! Ok, let’s start with Slovenia.

Upon first observation of the patient, I notice she has a very unusual style of staccato movements with rigidity and tremor. Parkinson’s perhaps, but she lacks the hallmark slow-movement bradykinesia. Or maybe she’s just trying to dance with a bad case of ataxia.

Actually her movements seem very frenetic… hmm, perhaps a psych consult may be needed? The ever-shifting patterns of the floor beneath her mirror the typical hallucination patterns of an LSD trip. Later, she starts rap-battling with what appear to be homunculi representing facets of her personality. Either she’s tripping balls or I need to read more Freud and Jung!

That said, it’s always protocol to rule out organic brain disease before diagnosing psych conditions. The flashing lights are a classic epilepsy trigger, but maybe her flapping arms are really a case of asterixis, a common sign of hepatic encephalopathy wherein liver damage harms the brain. I can’t be sure about her, but this song is driving at least one of us to drink.

One thing that stands out is the pseudobulbar vaguely-lyrical noises emanating from her vocal cords. Laryngeal edema perhaps, or polyps? Hmm, I may need to draw some blood tests.

But wait! Something I overlooked! Her hair has a strange miscoloured streak going through it. That’s called poliosis. Usually it’s just a benign quirk of hair, but maybe, just maybe… I’ve got it! She has Vogt–Koyanagi–Harada Disease. It all makes sense! The disease also causes nerve palsies, which explains her dancing, hearing loss and tinnitus, which explains her singing, and eye damage, which explains her fashion choices. Sadly, the prognosis isn’t very good. Luckily, she’s already wearing a body bag.

Review by Scott Fabricant

 

MoldovaDoReDoS: My Lucky Day

Hello again, Scott here. So I’ve been told that I’m not allowed to diagnose people at a distance, some ethics thing called the Goldwater Rule (which is actually why no one has yet given an ICD-10 code to President Trump), so I guess I’m going to have to brush off my behavioural ecology skills and return to my roots. Ok let’s go!

Here we see the rare and endangered Moldovan Cool Ranch Doritos… sorry, that’s DoReDos, in their natural habitat of the coastal cliffs. How these delicate diurnal creatures will adapt to being in the artificial environment of the Eurovision stage, with a photoperiod of 12 hours of dark and 12 hours of strobe lights and disco balls remains to be seen.

Given that it is in fact the female who is large and colorful, I deduce that DoReDos are likely some type of arthropod. It is of note that the female is red and yellow, so I assume she is poisonous. Her large frilled hat she deploys seems very effective at startling predators. She also has slices of citrus fruit in her hair; are these food rewards to potential mates, or is she using the citric acid to defend her eggs?

Multiple male suitors sing and chirp to get her attention. This is what we refer to as lekking behaviour. The males compete with each other, trying to best woo the female with rhythmic droning vocalizations. While its known that talk is cheap, we assume this singing behaviour is costly and therefore an honest signal because… reasons?

However, further natural history observations reveal that the males appear to be cooperative breeders. They’re helping each other into the finals! The only other known species that engages in cooperative lekking is the Long-Tailed Manakin. Are Manakins and Doritos sister taxa? Or is this a case of convergent evolution? As always, more research is needed (but not by me, I have to get back to studying).

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

Moldova, Montenegro and Sweden

Moldova
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Falling Stars by Lidia Isac

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So, I love anything astronomical, and Lidia serves up swirling galaxies on a bed of Balkan disco beat. I predict this will be on rotation at Club Med all around the Black Sea this summer (sadly Moldova has geographically been denied access to the Black Sea). Just a word of warning: listening to this more than three times will open a black hole in your heart!

Review by Mariella Herberstein

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Montenegro
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The Real Thing by Highway

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Is this the real thing? Oh….that is quite disappointing then. The best thing about this performance is the dancer: a resolute, if not slightly angry young woman who, like I, seems to be quite disappointed with this entry from Montenegro.

Review by Mariella Herberstein

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Sweden
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If I were sorry by Frans

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Where was the Swedish Tourist Board when this video was made? Sweden has never looked so derelict.  Frans will attempt to win Eurovision glory back to back for Sweden, but I don’t know if teenage emo with a bit of ‘meh’ will win over the voting grandmothers of Eurovisionland.  Even if Frans is not sorry,  I surely am!

Review by Mariella Herberstein