Saturday, 24 February 2018

Eurovision: First Impressions #1

Hey everyone! If you follow me over on Twitter, you have probably noticed that I am tweeting a lot about the Eurovision Song Contest lately, using so many different hashtags that it's difficult for even me to keep up with them all! If you hadn't already guessed by now, I am a pretty big fan of the ESC. I just absolutely adore the variety of music that is involved every year, and it's just such a fun and exciting experience! Ever since graduating from university and having more time to focus on my hobbies, I have spent April-May each year celebrating Eurovision. I even went to watch it live in Stockholm, Sweden back in 2016! You can read all about that here if you're interested :)

I usually wait until the week of the show to listen to all of the contending songs in the two semi-finals, but this year, I finally decided to join in with my fellow Eurofans from the very start and I am so glad that I did! I have been watching as many of each participating countries semi-finals and national finals shows as I can, as well as following the release of their songs. It has been super fun (albeit a challenge with so many shows on at conflicting times!) to follow it like this, because I feel much more involved and so much great music is being brought to my attention. Usually I just hear the song that each country has nominated to represent them in the contest, and not all of the other artists who entered for a chance to represent their countries too and so it's been wonderful to hear those hidden gems that I would most likely have missed. It's also been fabulous to join in with the live-tweeting and other Eurovision tweeter conversations with all the other fans! 

So far, fourteen countries have chosen who will represent them in the Eurovision Song Contest and considering how ESC has literally taken over my life right now (my best friends & I have managed to get tickets for semi-final two, and two days ago booked our flights to Lisbon!), I thought I would share my love for this magnificent show with you all! If you personally prefer to wait until the main show is broadcast on TV to hear the songs, then don't read on because there will most certainly be spoilers! I'm planning to share a new post for each ten songs confirmed, and tell you all what I think of them :) So, here's the first ten! Enjoy! 

Eurovision Song Contest

1. Albania- 'Mall' by Eugent Bushpepa 

What a fabulous song to kick start the Eurovision year! One of my best friends who is literally a Eurovision super fan brought this song to my attention when it was still one of several contenders to preform in the Albanian national final, and right away I knew it was going to be one of my favourites in the competition this year. So I was over the moon when Mr Bushpepa won the final! It is a lovely alternative ballad, and I really like that it is sung in Albanian (which Eugent has confirmed is going to be the case for Eurovision too!).  The staging is very simple, however for a song with such power like this, I don't think it needs much more. It will still be interesting to see how it is going to be staged for the main event, even though I like it how it was in Albania's national final, with musical notes starting off in monochrome and as the song intensifies bursting out in a vibrant red. Hearing Mall for the first time got me very much excited for the Eurovision season to begin! 

2) France- 'Mercy' by Madame Monsieur

My friends & I watched the French finals and were pretty invested in our favourites, one of which was Mercy. I'm not gonna lie, I was disappointed that my number one favourite song, Eva by Lisandro Cuxi didn't win! However, Mercy is still a nice song, with a super catchy chorus. For me personally though, I don't think it stands out and will likely be lost amongst some of the more powerful songs as the competition goes on. I also feel like the staging needs improvement. I'm not a fan of the plain black full-body suits with the trainers; it almost looks like the performers Emilie Satt & Jean-Karl Lucas are going to burgle a house after the show and need those trainers to make a quick getaway! Still all in all, it's not a bad song and I'm looking forward to seeing how they might improve the staging and their stage presence for the Eurovision Song Contest. Being one of the countries which are known amongst Eurofans as the 'Big Five', they have automatically got a place in the main show too. 

3) Czech Republic- 'Lie To Me' by Mikolas Josef 

I LOVE this song! It is currently at second place in my favourites so far this year, because it is just so upbeat and catchy. It makes me want to dance everytime I listen to it (and dance I do haha!) It has a very modern vibe to it and sounds like a song you would hear in any countries Top 40 music charts. It very much reminds me of Macklemore. Who agrees? The studio version of the song was maybe the fifth Eurovision song I listened to, and it has remain a firm favourite ever since! There's a saxophone in the song, which makes it go up in my books straight away. To be honest though, the random camel in the music video was fabulous and made me love the song even more, haha! I'm curious about if and how it's going to be changed to make the lyrics a little more family-friendly before the show, but I love it how it is now and can't wait to see it. Fingers crossed I can get some tickets for Semi Final 1. The staging that I've seen for the song is very colourful and funky too. Eurovision 2018 is lovin' it's shapes that's for sure! 

4) Spain- 'Tu Cancion' by Amaia & Alfred

Don't get me wrong, Spain's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest this year is lovely, very cute, however it doesn't do much for me and is not very memorable. Alfred has an unique voice that reminds me somewhat of Salvador who won the contest for Portugal last year. I think it's certainly an adorable song, it's very sweet when they are singing into one another's faces, and the piano intro is nice but yeah I don't think it's got much of a chance of winning in May, but we'll see! Eurovision likes to surprise me XD

5) Malta- 'Taboo' by Christabelle 

Okay so I don't really like this song much at all! I was very much rooting for Brooke to win with Heart of Gold, or for Song for Dad by Richard & Joe, and I was super gutted that neither of them won. Brooke's performance was fantastic, and she was so close! Instead, Christabelle won *cry cry*. I sat through Malta's entire national final, in which I got to see more advertisements for random foods and kitchen appliances than I did songs, and endured a ridiculous amount of song recaps, to be rewarded with a song I didn't like winning! It was tragic :D The song isn't too bad, but I think that's mostly because of the beat. It is a song that I could happily dance along to. However the lyrics are pretty crappy in my opinion, they don't make sense in some parts of the song. The staging was kinda cool, but very unrelated to the song itself. I wouldn't choose to listen to it again. Sorry to anyone who's a fan of Taboo

6) Switzerland- 'Stones' by Zibbz

Zibbz was my favourite song from the Swiss line up from the start, so I was super happy that that this brother & sister duo did so well in the national finals. It is another entry this year with a very modern sound, so I think that viewers at home are going to enjoy it. Corinne has a great singing voice, and fashion sense too... I liked her outfit in that final's performance a lot. I'm lovin' the blue and red triangles on stage, and I really hope that they bring them to Eurovision! It is also nice to have a song in the mix that isn't all about love or war/peace. 

7) United Kingdom- 'Storms' by SuRie

I am very happy with my country again this year, for choosing the best of the entries that participated in the Eurovision: You Decide show this year. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole show, mostly because of the legend that is Mans Zelmerlow hosting alongside the hilarious Mel Giedroyc. They were fantastic, and I especially loved Mans cough*Brexit*cough line XD There were some great songs in the line up, but for me SuRie really stood out as the best from the start, and I was so happy that my fellow Brits voted for her!  I was a fan of SuRie as soon as I heard her say on one of the BBC's introductory videos that 'Eurovision is rainbows, dancing and unicorns' XD I really like the message of the song, it's lovely. The staging was pretty, and eye-catching with the colour changing background throughout the performance. I think that we might do very well this year with SuRie even though it needs a bit of a revamp (I just felt like there was a little something missing), and I am excited to see how she gets on in the final! 

8) Denmark- 'Higher Ground' by Rasmussen

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song! It is by far my absolute favourite song to be confirmed so far and I don't think any other is going to top it for me if I'm honest. It just has everything that I could ask for! I am a history geek through and through, and this song just screams Vikings from the get-go. Jonas Rasmussen reminds me of Tormund Giantsbane from HBO's Game of Thrones right away, and all my readers know I adore GoT (he is not as gorgeous as Mr Hivju himself though!). The song is very much my cup of tea and makes me think of some of the songs by the metal band DragonForce with all of the history/battle imagery. Higher Ground is more of a ballad, but it definitely does have alternative vibes. I am in love with the staging, with all of the dark colours, the watery background on the screens, the smoky effects and those epic Viking-esque ship sails! I really like the Nordic sounds created by the backing singers too. I just love this song, and I am sooo happy that I have tickets for Semi-final 2 in May so I can see it performed live in Lisbon!

9) Italy- 'Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente' by Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro

I am seriously not a fan of this song, especially after Italy sent the fabulous Francesco Gabbani with Occidentali's Karma to Eurovision in 2017. Gosh, I adore that song and according to my Spotify, it was one of my most listened to songs of the year, haha!  In comparison to Francesco's song which was cheerful and one that I couldn't help but sing along to, Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente is boring to me. I don't like the way it is sang. One guy is no more singing than he is talking very fast into the microphone, and the other is shouting the chorus. The message of the song is an important one associated with war, so at least that's a positive to the song. It is likely going to be in the bottom of ranking for Eurovision this time around. 

10) Greece- 'Oneiro Mou' by Yianna Terzi 

The tenth song confirmed and the final one I'm going to talk about on today's post is a great note to end on, because this song is actually stunning! It is a unique and beautiful love-themed song. I was so happy when I discovered that it is sang in Greek, and it has lovely traditional sounds and instrumentals. I hope that it is going to be kept in Greek for Eurovision, and I am hoping that I get a chance to hear it in person. I don't know what else to say other than it is awesome :) 

Well, I hope that you have all enjoyed reading all about my  first impressions of the first 10 confirmed entries from the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. I have never really reviewed music like this before, so I hope that it was fun to read and that I didn't ramble, haha! Tonight is basically Euro Hell  for my fellow fans & I because there are five nationals on all around the same time!! Plus two semi-finals as well, one of them is Sweden's Melodifestivalen show, which is a must for me! It's going to be so hard to keep up with everything happening tonight, especially because I only have one laptop to work with! Eeeek :D Anyhow, have a lovely weekend everyone! 

Thankyou for reading! 

Are you a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest?

What was your favourite song in 2017's ESC?

If you're following the national finals this year, who's your favourite thus far?

If you enjoyed this post, then why not check out these too? 


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