For the first time since Lordi, all eyes – apart from the believers painted with flags – are focused on the Eurovision Song Contest. The 2021 ceremony elevated this once corny Eurovision song contest to the status of true international star-maker – while previous champions had generally limited long-term success, and even Abba struggled for two years to escape the stigma of “Waterloo”, the glamorous of Italy. rockers Maneskin have enjoyed an immediate and unprecedented global breakthrough for ‘Vision winners. In 2022, the significance of the event will increase again, becoming a statement of Europe-wide unity. When they go in, only the most delusional Euro-Cyrus believes they have a chance of beating Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, no matter how many vocal cords they tear trying. Eurovision’s supposedly non-political stance, the bookmakers insist, is for the dogs; even the waterfall-decked stage in the Turin PalaOlympico itself, seemingly in a perpetual state of flooding, could be interpreted as a subliminal protest against climate change.
With the competitive aspect supposedly removed, Eurovision 2022 will be a great opportunity to objectively assess the continent’s ability to successfully merge their regional music with mainstream pop. Honestly, a lot of them seem to have cracked it. Many countries sense new opportunities and choose to bring their most celebrated and fearful Adeles to their feet. The Portuguese Maro, with a voice like a forest spring, sings her crush “Saudade, Saudade” in a support group of backing singers. The Dutch S10 goes for a Florence Welsh roar on “De Depth” and Rosa Linn from Armenia, sat in a bedroom made of Post-It bills, forgets for thirty seconds that she is playing her acoustic folk lament “Snap” and starts the wallpaper away tear like a grief-stricken Lawrence Lewellyn Bowen.
Lithuanian Masked Singer Judge Monika Liu has a touch of Liza Minelli razzle-dazzle, but her “Sentimentai” is too heavy on sentimental exaggeration and (‘Vision crime number one) forgettable. Of the couple, Greek Covid nurse Amanda Georgiadi Tenfjord seems to have the best long-term prospects; Half acapella, “Die Together” grows into an impressive piece of laptop bombast balladry, performed on a stage full of broken chairs like Lorde in a landslide.
The match now also acts as a de facto The voice Champion of champions. Belgium, Azerbaijan, Poland and (checks atlas, questioning) Australia all enroll their regional winners in the hope of international recognition, all proving that sounding like a slightly electronic Sam Smith is the way to turn those judges’ chairs. to get. Australian Sheldon Riley, in a fuzzy ball gown and bejeweled veil, outshines the rest with a poignant song called “Not The Same” – ostensibly about growing up with Aspergers, but a song for all outsiders. Kudos to Estonia Masked Singer alumni Stefan for bravely venturing down a George Ezra route into the Wild West instead, while the Germans have a special word for their rap-pop ballad Malik Harris, who breaks free with his walking pedal on piano, drum pad and acoustic guitar: Fakensheeran.
Variation arises in the midst of the emotion. Spanish Chanel waves fireworks and packs a punch at being the flamenco J-Lo, but lacks the subtlety and suggestion of the greatest inuendo pop: “SloMo” quite blatantly invites us to film her behind in slow motion as she offers to “to sweeten”. your face in mango juice”. Finland raises the stakes by sending one of their biggest musical exports ever to arena rockers The Rasmus, eerily stretched as the ballooning kid from It and singing of waking up bruised and shackled after a violent night of passion with a lecherous “Jezebel”. Serbian Konstrakta, meanwhile, presents perhaps the most bizarre performance in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. Sitting on a chair in surgical whites like Lady Gaga scrubbing herself for a very glamorous surgery, she sings an arthouse pop song called “In Corpore Sano” about Megan Markle’s hair, the downsides of health insurance and how to get early signs of liver and spleen can recognize disease. Delirium may have set in at this point.
Several countries are missing the memo and still honor the proud history of the Eurovision Song Contest. On their third attempt, Moldova’s Wonder Stuff Zdob şi Zdub go on “Trenulețul” like Devo covering the Ramones with violins. And Norway, the country wise enough to formulate one of the best pandemic responses in the world, presents us with a bunch of yellow Wolves In Black called Subwoolfer playing a Euro-EDM blast about feeding bananas to a wolf named Keith. International reputation destroyed with a single howl of “I want your grandma, yum!Bravo.
Ultimately, Eurovision 2022 proves a rich seam of talent. Homeland Mahmood and Blanco offer “Brividi,” a chilling duet full of drama and only slightly lost in translation. “I dreamed of flying a diamond bike with you,” complains Mahmood as the pair nearly get beat up over which of them hates the most about their Medusa of a Muse, which sounds fresh from a night with The Rasmus . “I’d pay to leave,” one wails, “opposite of an angel” with “viper eyes”; “For an ‘I love you’ I mixed drugs and tears,” raps the other charmer, standing on a sci-fi piano. Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs brings emotional drama to “Hold Me Closer” and our very own Sam Ryder charms the continent with a “Brexit? Which Brexit?” attitude and high-orbit vocals on “Space Man,” performed in a geometric launch pad of lights while dressed like a 1968 sci-fi guru’s idea. Fizz hopes forever.
As returning heroes Maneskin set all their hard-earned credibility on fire with a preview of a terrible new song cannibalizing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” the mood sets in. Tangible unity reigns in the room as Kalush Orchestra body-pop around in pink arm-length hats, an unpolished underdog wins, but the regional juries prefer our boy. In the end, it comes down to the public vote to win it for Ukraine against the strongest British show in decades, and a fair share of humble pie for this writer. “Everyone wants peace and music is peace,” declares presenter Laura Pausini, and for the first time in living memory, Eurovision speaks for all of us.