The Eurovision Song Contest is one of my favourite events of the year. Since 2004, it has become an integral part of my TV watching every year and is something I look forward to watching. The first time I gave it any proper interest was 2004, when I saw Ruslana perform for the Ukraine, which I voted for and they won with.
I have voted every year since then, and in some cases even voted for other countries too, such as the 2007 competition when I voted for both Finland and Bulgaria. At one point I actually voted for Finland’s entry four years in a row; from their historic win in 2006 with the Monsters of Rock: Lordi, to Waldo’s People in 2009.
In the last few years though, I have found the contest something of a struggle, as there hasn’t, to me been much in anything standing out. I always vote for my favourite song; it is a Song Contest after all, but in some cases, it is sometimes just been the case that nothing major stood out for me. I will though find something that to vote for, even if its just least worst song. While I could do a list on my Top 5 songs from the contest (which I’ll probably do at some point), I thought I would give a little highlight on whom I have voted for in the last 5 years (among which is one of my Top 5 Favourite Songs). Enjoy!
5. 2014: Ukraine – I was actually quite disappointed by the 2014 show on the whole. I had high expectations given that Denmark was the first country this side of the millennium to win and then host Eurovision twice. Given their experience I thought it was going to be a good show, on the whole though I felt a little let down. Despite me voting for the Ukraine here, I think I have since heard Iceland‘s entry (Pollaponk) more times than Ukraine’s, a song which I have grown to quite like. I thought Spain‘s entry wasn’t bad either when I heard it, but I thought Ukraine’s (at the time) was the best, as such why I voted for it; barely listened to it since though, think I may have just been too disappointed by the overall show.
4. 2015: Israel (and Georgia) – Again, this one was sort of blur, I actually completely forgot who I voted for and had to look it up. The show was better than the previous year I thought, but again it sort of flew past me in terms of being memorable, although the winning song from Sweden was pretty good. In the end I went for Israel as my choice, and listening to it now still sounds pretty good; but when I tried to vote for it, I kept keying in the wrong number, and voted accidentally for Georgia’s: twice. In the end I did get it right and managed to vote for Israel, but I didn’t try voting again for it another two times. So yeah, my actual pick was Israel, but Georgia got one more vote off me (although it was a pretty cool song).
3. 2016: Russia – There’s a common belief that if a country wins Eurovision one year, then the following year there will be some acts copying something from the performance in the hope that they too will win. Example: Norway wins in 2009 with Alexander Rybak playing a violin – first performance of the first semi-final in 2010: Moldova begins with someone playing a violin (not knocking Moldova’s entry, I voted for them). Well, in 2015 Sweden won with someone using a background projector, then in 2016, so did Russia (whom I also voted for). Russia’s use of the background projector was pretty special given that it’s angle allowed Sergey Lazarev to walk on it which added a little extra level of entertainment to his performance; for me though, it’s the song which took my interest. It has a dark vibe to it which sort of grabs me, as I like heavy music, and this was pretty heavy. The lyrics (which I now know off by heart) are brilliant, especially the chorus, and the background images are well choreographed. The performance on the whole is pretty unique making it my fifth favourite Eurovision Song (the Ukrainian winning entry by Jamala was pretty good too).
2. 2017: Romania – Right; ok…This one feels a little awkward. Romania is a country which has provided me some good memories in the past, I still enjoy listening to their 2006 entry every now and then which was pretty fun and rather catchy. This one from 2017 I thought was a really good song, thus why I voted for it. The yodeling from Ilinca Bacila was tremendous and really stood out for me, plus the tune really worked with it. It was a song I voted for as I thought it was the best, however the song is a rather awkward one to watch afterwards and has been since. Why? That Kiss! Yes, she did a tremendous job of singing it and should be applauded well for it, but that kiss just looks awkward, and it looks like Alex Florea is trying to crush her head too. Listen to it for the song, just open another tab on your browser before it finishes…
1. 2018: Denmark – This was another one that I completely forgot that I voted for, again having to look it up, and altogether I am glad I did as I barely listened to anything else other than this all last weekend. It’s quite a vocal piece from Rasmussen; with some really nice and deep felt lyrics talking about who you are, pointing out what’s important about you, and the importance of leaving your mark on the world. The tune is very nice, and has some heavy moments, plus the simple act of walking with deep throats does leave a good mark on the song, one very on and then another just after the midway point. For what can feel like a very basic vocal piece, it’s rather a fun and catchy song, which if listened to a few times can leave a memorable mark.