Eurovision 2021

Eurovision kicks off tomorrow. Here are my preliminary thoughts but, as we know from previous years, the live performance can change everything (my picks are at the very end).

Albania | Anxhela Peristeri | Karma – the problem is that since The Fire Saga movie was released, it throws what we know and love in doubt. Anyway, Anxhela has nailed The Fire Saga.

Australia | Montaigne | Technicolour – I like it more than her 2020 effort, but I really, really didn’t like the 2020 effort. Won’t be holding out any hope for AUS this year.

Austria | Vincent Bueno | Amen – musically, a marginally more interesting take on the religious theme than Slovenia’s ‘Amen’.

Azerbaijan | Efendi | Mata Hari – I don’t know… I just get tired of hair extensions and popping bodies (see also: Croatia, Israel, Greece, Latvia).

Belgium | Hooverphonic | The Wrong Place – it’s very late-nineties-early-2000s, isn’t it?

Bulgaria | Victoria | Growing Up Is Getting Old – the biggest nod to COVID (apart from Romania’s trackies). I like it.

Croatia | Albina | Tick-Tock – I reckon there’s a version of this song every year.

Cyprus | Elena | Tsagrinou | El Diablo – this song sounds sooooo familiar (did I dance to this in the nineties at Silvers?). Will be a contender.

Czech Republic | Benny Cristo | Omaga – boy version of Azerbaijan/ Croatia / Israel

Denmark | Fyr & Flamme | Øve os på hinanden – Minister for Arts, Denmark, “I’m sorry, we have no budget for Eurovision this year.”

Estonia | Uku Suviste | The Lucky One – good grief. Read the Eurovision room Uku – we don’t do ‘sexy’ like that.

Finland Blind Channel | Dark Side – if there’s one thing we can count on in Eurovision, it’s the heavy-metal(ish) Scandinavian offering. Personally, I’m still recovering from Iceland’s 2019 entry.

France | Barbara Pravi | Voilà – it’s fine but I always get this feeling that France doesn’t try very hard because they think Eurovision is a bit dumb.

Georgia | Tornike Kipiani | You – I didn’t expect that! Won’t win but will be a refreshing change of pace on the night.

Germany | Jendrik| I Don’t Feel Hate – be prepared to be annoyed, and then accept that you’ll be singing along by the end of the song. Anyone rocking a trombone as hard as this outfit deserves to win, and if you’re still not convinced, the ‘tap break’ should clinch it.

Greece | Stefania | Last Dance – the Eurovision version of ‘…and I woke up, and it was all a dream….’. Ugh. If there’s a flying horse and a flood on stage, it will be in the running. otherwise file it with Azerbaijan et al.

Iceland | Daði og Gagnamagnið | 10 Yearslast year’s song is a very, very hard act to follow. Let’s be frank, COVID robbed Iceland of a Eurovision win. 10 Years is a terrific, catchy song with a lovely message. Has to be a strong contender.

Ireland | Lesley Roy | Maps – hope this song doesn’t get overlooked. Cross fingers for some brilliant staging to give it a lift (and pray that it’s not sand art).

Israel | Eden Alene | Set Me Free – brilliant styling but a forgettable song.

Italy | Måneskin | Zitti e buoni – Hmmm… eclectic or plain confused?

Latvia | Samanta Tīna | The Moon Is Rising – hot mess.

Lithuania | The Roop | Discoteque – well I love that shade of yellow… and the clever lighting… but not much else about this performance.

Malta | Destiny | Je me casse – channeling Israel’s Netta, with a dash of Beyoncé, I hope she really lets the vocals rip when it counts.

Moldova | Natalia Gordienko | Sugar – I think we count on Moldova for some cray-cray on the night (on second thoughts, is it a budget version of Katy Perry’s California Gurls?)

Netherlands | Jeangu Macrooy | Birth of a New Age – home ground advantage will see lots of support for this song (which sounds more soccer anthem than Eurovision power ballad).

North Macedonia | Vasil | Here I Stand – way too Disney-movie for me.

Norway | Tix | Fallen Angel – the gangster-cupid thing is so terrible. Everyone will love it.

Poland | Rafał | The Ride – they know their way around neon but otherwise, forgettable.

Portugal | The Black Mamba | Love Is on My Side – I totally LOVE this song, although probably is more Smooth FM than Eurovision-kooky.

Romania | Roxen | Amnesia – I like the COVID costuming (trackies for everyone!) but not sure there’s enough light and shade to really lift it into the winner’s circle.

Russia | Manizha | Russian Woman – sassy but lacking polish.

San Marino Senhit[g] | Adrenalina – every year, San Marino for the random.

Serbia | Hurricane | Loco Loco – the Serbian Macarena??

Slovenia | Ana Soklič | Amen – Ana must have been spewing when she discovered that there were two songs called ‘Amen’ in this year’s line-up. Both are full of cliches.

Spain | Blas Cantó | Voy a quedarme – is it a lovely story or is it creepy? I don’t know, but there’s opportunity for show-off vocals.

Sweden | Tusse | Voices – there’s nothing particularly fresh here but Sweden know what the judges want (key changes, power chords). Not enough to win but will be up there.

Switzerland Gjon’s Tears | Tout l’Univers – all sorts of existential shit going on here. Question is, can he bring it to the Eurovision stage? (Also, I’m getting an Arcade vibe from this one, which is fine because Arcade was obviously an exceptionally good song).

Ukraine | Go_A | Shum (Шум) – steampunk meets Helen Macdonald? Sure! And let’s add a tin whistle. And put something across our face. Bananas.

United Kingdom | James Newman | Embers – reliably ordinary.

In summary:

My favourites (in no order) are Iceland, Germany, Portugal, Cyprus, Switzerland, and Ireland.

The current odds are suggesting Italy, France, Malta, Iceland and Cyprus are the front-runners.

The fact that my 2021 Eurovision merch hasn’t arrived (yet) will not dampen my enthusiasm. Yes, I will be up at 5am three mornings this week.

10 responses

  1. Great post. I have been an ESC fan all my life, back in the days when they were still called Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson. I have notes back from 1972.

    My favourite was France, followed by Belgium, Bulgaria, and Portugal. Even though I am German, I didn’t care much for the song and neither did the voters, from what I gather. LOL.

    Our kids (26 and 31) loved Italy, we didn’t, I think that shows the generation gap. LOL

    Anyway, thanks for this.

    • The votes didn’t favour Germany at all but I thought it was such fun.
      I love that you have notes! Wish I had kept mine (I started watching in the late-80s).

      • My brothers say I used to make lists when I was just barely starting to write. It’s a life-long obsession of mine.

        Well, Germany never gets many points. I mean, they won twice but those songs were extraordinary. We don’t have any neighbours who vote for us just because we are neighbours. When Turkey was still participating, we’d always be sure to get some points from them. LOL.

        Other than that, there is a standing joke: Austria: “Germany, zero points” (the French pronunciation).

        I still watch it because I love the idea of so many nations getting together even if I miss all the languages that used to be used.

        I’m definitely looking forward to exchanging ideas next year.

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