Friday, April 03, 2015

LONDON: EUROVISION'S GREATEST HITS - HOW WAS IT?

UPDATE: After seeing it on television it was awesome! BBC really edited it mastefully and it was fun and entertaining. Great stuff! Much better than I would have expexted after being in the recording. They polished every bit of it to perfection. Much better than the 50th anniversary show!

Back home and finally a moment to calm down and cherish the moments of the night. First of all it was great to see all those Eurovision winners (and non-winners) on stage and most of them gave a very good performance - at least judged live. I'm curiously waiting how the show will turn out on screen, Graham Norton and Petra Mede, the insert videos and other stuff. As the overall impression after the show was BBC had a minimal effort in the originality and planning, and just decided to walk the singers on stage one by one and that's it. Also the last number them singing together in duets and groups Eurovision hits wasn't really something new and unseen or original, was it? 
The only thing worth mentioning of that was of course Conchita Wurst & Dana Iinternational singing together Waterloo. But then again, it was quite obvious, wasn't it? Also some of the backdrops used for the artists were like screensavers from the early years of PCs. Somehow it left a feeling BBC went where the fence was at lowest and didn't very hard to make it something better, bigger and original. Starting with the guest list. Why was Rosa singing a medley of the Spanish entries? Why the other Big5 where not treated the same? The line up was all in all a very northern and British/Irish one, aimed clearly for the British audience. I would have preferred a bit more European approach. 
Ok, after all this nagging I'm not saying it wasn't great. It was! The atmosphere in the venue was fantastic, people seemed to love every minute of it and the only blemish was the booing for Russia as soon as Graham started the introduction for Dima Bilan
He had to actually stop it by yelling "Shut the fuck up, this is not a competition but a celebration" or something similar. With the second try some were still booing. Sigh. I bet they have tuned that down from the televised version. Like they did in the Eurovision 2014 DVD.... And rightly so.

Electro Velvet performed as a warm up and won't be seen in the actual show. They sung well but somehow I didn't warm up to them as much as I would have wanted to, even if I know many did. Lys Assia was interviewed, the only interview moment (besides Conchita) in the show it seems. If that will be aired at all as it was done, or tried to be done, three times. Maybe she won't make the television, we will see. A few Petra's and Graham's parts were redone twice to get them right, but all performances went smoothly and no one had to redo them. A lot of witty things were said, quite a few four letter words. But it was all fun fun fun.
Ok, the artists. Emmelie De Forest kicked of the show with a very good performance, followed by Anne Marie David who (sadly) sung most of her song in English. 
The Herreys followed and it was one of the highlights of the evening: they have have gotten a bit heavier, balder and older but they still have the moves and the joy of performing. Fantastic! They were adorable. Dana International shined on stage and the audience loved her, her vocals were all over the place but no one seemed to care, that's Dana after all! Natasha St.Pier looked and sounded stunning. (Why didn't she do a medley of the French entries?) The Olsen Brothers got everybody waving and singing along and The Brotherhood of Man blew the house down, after all we were in London. Rosa went by with her medley of the Spanish entries and her own Europe's living a celebration, that I must say sounded better than ever. It's a song to be performed live, as on record..... oh well, never mind! I'm again asking where was the medley of the Italian, French, German entries? Riverdance was the internal act again and pretty much stole the show AGAIN. Amazing stuff. 
                             
Lordi opened the second half and there were flames, pyros, and all the necessary. I'm a proud Finn! Booing for Dima Bilan followed but he did his both songs in a medley and gave a good show, vocally maybe not the best but then it must be hard to get on stage after all that booing. Bobbysocks let it swing after and their voices may be lower and rustier but their energy and joy is still there. Loved it. Nicole passed by, too. Nice if a little unengaging performance. And mostly in English, I would have preferred the multilingual proper version, even if she did throw in some (bad) Italian and German. The crowd went wild only when she switched to German. Huge applause though, they had to drag her off the stage and she was milking in every second of it. 
The last three acts were all amazing. Loreen sported a new look and a very interesting staging - I'm sure it will look awesome on screen while Johnny Fucking Logan (Petra Mede's words) belted out What's another year-Why me-Hold me now. Fantastic vocals from Johnny. 
Last but not least the queen of Europe, Conchita Wurst who really conquered once again. People were on their feet loving every second of it and there was no end to the applause. 
After that the anticlimax of the evening, a medley sung by all the artists (but Loreen) starting with Hallelujah....
BBC was kindly asking us not to take photos and videos, and I wanted to respect that, but I saw around me people happily filming and taking pics all the time. Oh well... Photos here are taken from eurovision.tv and their fabulous gallery
Of course there were other Eurovision related people on the spot besides these winners and fans: delegation people, journalists and former artists like three times San Marino represant Valentina Monetta enjoying the show (Conchita and Loreen the best, she said. Rosa not so much....) and the good news is she's going to be back! Fourth year in a row for her as she will give out the San Marino votes.
BBC will air the show tonight
SVT (and Ylefem in Finland) tomorrow Saturday April 4 at 21.25-23.25 including pre-show and after-show and of course Lynda Woodruff's Red Carpet! 
YLE2 will air it on Saturday April 11 at 19.10-20.45 

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