Eurovision 2018: The Reviews – The Big 5 and Host Performances

SPAIN
Tu Canción (Amaia y Alfred)

Spain is nowhere to be seen in the odds – they’re languishing at 20th – having drawn the 2nd slot for the finals won’t help matters. Sorry kids, but I still love you.

Random Thought: This is the most heterosexual thing I’ve ever seen.

PORTUGAL
O Jardim (Cláudia Pascoal)
If Spain are underrated then Portugal is more so – they go into the finals rated 21st. I hope this at least wins the Marcel Bezençon Composer Award. Because composing.
Random Thought: Just realised that “jardim” might be Portuguese for “garden”. It is!

UNITED KINGDOM
Storm (SuRie)
SuRie has seriously improved her vocals, but the entire thing is still lacking the uplifting swell that you’d expect from a song about inspiration. SuRie punching the air just isn’t going to cut it – there’s a huge stage there – use it, girl!
Random Thought: A song titled “Storm” literally demands a wind or snow machine.

GERMANY
You Let Me Walk Alone (Michael Schulte)

We’ve seen this exact same performance from Schulte dozens of times, and after a dozen times it’s lost much of its stark heartbreak. Switch it up, Mike! And bust out a gesture or two, you’re as stiff as a statue. 2017 proved that you don’t need flashy moves to win Eurovision. But while Salvador Sobral just stood in place, singing, but he was anything but static.

Random Thought: He doesn’t look like he’s changed clothes, or showered, since he won his national selection contest.

FRANCE
Mercy (Madame Monsieur)

France has gone back to basics this year – literally. Performers in black with splashes of red (lipstick, sneakers, guitar), no special effects – just the titular Ms and Mr. Lead singer Émilie Satt radiates compassion and warmth, improving on more clinical earlier outings. It’s working, the camera and the audience were riveted by her.

Random Thought: This is the most French thing I’ve ever seen.

ITALY
Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente (Ermal Meta e Fabrizio Moro)
Singing later in the finals has been proved to improve an entrant’s chances, but performing last can actually work against a country (by that point everyone just wants the damn thing to be over). I suspect tune-out effect will hurt them.
Random Thought: I’ve always loved that they translated portions of the song into the various Eurovision languages. Still do.

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