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A Music Illiterate Reviews The Eurovision Finals Part 2

20 May 2024

Connor Banks

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I previously went and reviewed the songs that did not make it through to this years Eurovision final, there were a few hidden gems and songs that definitely deserved their flowers and a spot in the final. But now’s the time to go ahead and review every performance from this year's Eurovision final, as there are 26 songs this article will go over the first 13 songs from this year's final, starting off with hosts Sweden!

Sweden “Unforgettable” Marcus & Martinus

Sweden has been a powerhouse in Eurovision for quite some time now having the joint most wins along with Ireland. Eurovision is where many Swedish acts have managed to break into the mainstream world of music, such as ABBA, and so every Swedish act almost immediately has this incredibly high expectation of producing a good track and performance. So surely this year they’d be able to do the same right? I mean with a song called “Unforgettable” surely no one is going to forget that one! Except, I’ll be honest, this might be the most forgettable song out of all the songs performed at this years final. The song is an electronic pop song and featured one of the most generic beats for a song and yet it finished 9th, which I get the staging was kind of fun to watch but I don't think the song was special enough to warrant a 9th place finish. If Sweden were not hosting, I don’t think this would have qualified ahead of some of the songs from the semi final. Definitely should have been a bottom 5 finish.

Ukraine "Teresa & Maria" Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil

Next up is Ukraine. Ukraine have had a series of very strong performances in recent years, and a lot in general since they joined back in 2003, usually concocting a unique blend of performances, cultural elements, and contemporary music. And this year was no different with “Teresa & Maria” a song about hope inspired by Albanian Roman Catholic saint Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary, the song was written by Alyona, Heil, Anton Chilibi, and Ivan Klymenko. I personally really enjoyed this song, Ukraine always has strong entries into eurovision and this years was just another in a long list of bangers. Easily one of my favourites from the entire show but I probably would not have ranked it as the 3rd best from the night, for me it would sit around 5th/6th.

Germany “Always on The Run” Isaak

Germany has had a rough relationship with Eurovision in recent years, finishing near last place in the last 4 contests. But could this year break the streak of poor performances this year? Well it did! The song managed to finish 12th overall a much needed improvement for Germany over their last few entries, however I do think this is a bit unearned. Whilst its great that Germany have managed to finally produce an entry that can break above dead last or 2nd to last, positions normally reserved for the UK and Germany, I don’t think this song was unique enough to warrant that drastic rise. The song is a lot like if you somehow made Lewis Capaldi more boring and German. A 12th place finish is probably a little high for this type of entry especially when Eurovision is known for its eccentricity and I don’t know if this song truly is that much better than their previous entries in previous years. I feel a finish around 20th would have been an improvement and more accurate as to what the song was.

Luxembourg “Fighter” by Tali

Luxembourg haven’t been in a Eurovision for over 30 years, with this year being the first time they’ve performed since 1993. Despite its absence from recent contests, Luxembourg's legacy in Eurovision remains influential, and its winning entries are still celebrated. So expectations were high for this former powerhouse of the competition. And I think it was a strong re-entry into the competition with the song “Fighter”. The song has a catchy beat and honestly is very Eurovision, for those who regularly watch the competition you’ll know what i mean. Singing in both English and French, Tali’s performance involved her dancing with a group of male dancers whilst a CGI Leopard roared behind her, the whole thing was very camp and what we love about this yearly competition. The song finished 13th on the night, and I feel like that’s fair however this does mean it finished below Germany somehow.

Netherlands “Europapa” Joost Klien

Going into the competition, this was the favourite to win by almost everyone. Joost Klien had made the most Eurovision-Europop song that he possibly could have made and on top of that, it was fun to listen to. The song had gone viral on social media platform TikTok with many people using the sound all across Europe, peaking at number 1 in the Netherlands. This wasn’t just a song that was loved for the Eurovision moment but also by its home-country. Europapa also had a deeper meaning behind it as Joost had used his own personal experiences after the tragic passing of his parents when he was young. The song was massively loved by fans, during the live performance at the Semi Final the entire crowd was singing and clapping along. But hours before the competition took place, Joost was disqualified from the competition after an alleged incident occurred backstage. This backstage incident occurred moments after Joost had called out the Israeli entrant during a press conference leading many to speculate that the 2 events might be linked. Whatever your opinion on that matter, I think that this song is the true winner of the entire competition. Europapa is my number 1. The song is Eurovision.

Israel “Hurricane” Eden Golan

Another entry with controversy this year, with many fans protesting and boycotting the show simply because they were allowed to perform. And whilst there are a lot of questions in regards to that, for the purpose of this article I am only going to focus on the song, the singer, and the performance. Whilst Eurovision is often entwined with politics, whether intentionally or not, I will refrain from doing so.

Anyway the song itself, the song is a sort of generic power ballad, reminiscent of the series of former Disney stars doing power ballads in the early 10s to try and break from their Disney molde. The song when only looking at public voting finished 2nd, which honestly is wild that it got that many votes. Is it a bad song? No. Is it a good song? It’s alright. Is it a good Eurovision song? Also no. The song doesn't stand out for anything other than the politics behind the scenes. The song deserved to finish somewhere in the mid table, I’m going with 12th.

Lithuania “Luktelk” Silvester Belt

Lithuania has been a consistent and ambitious participant in the Eurovision Song Contest since its debut in 1994. Although it has yet to secure a win, the country has made a significant impact with several memorable performances and strong entries. And they had another memorable performance this year from Silvester Belt. This year's song is an interesting mix of 90s techno-pop and modern elements. On one hand, the song has a catchy rhythm and a memorable hook that some people find appealing. It brings a nostalgic feel with its retro influences, which might resonate with fans of that era. The lyrics delve into themes of time and reflection, adding a bit of depth to the otherwise danceable track​. However, "Luktelk" struggled to stand out in a competitive Eurovision lineup. This year features several other entries with similar 90s-inspired sounds, such as Finland's Windows95Man and Austria’s Kaleen with "We Will Rave." Overall it finished in 14th place, and I feel this is about right for the song. I like it but it wasn’t anything special or uniquely Eurovision.

Spain “Zorra” Nebulossa

Spain has had a significant and enduring presence in the Eurovision Song Contest, being one of the big 5 nations mean they don’t need to compete in the semi finals to qualify for the final. This years entry tries to reclaim the term "zorra," which translates to "slut" or "bitch," aiming to make a strong feminist statement. A commendable goal for sure, but outside of the meaning of the song it is an electro-pop track that feels somewhat generic. It doesn’t really stand out in the lineup, especially with other strong entries this year. The melody and production are decent but nothing groundbreaking. For a song that's supposed to be so bold and defiant, it doesn't bring anything particularly new or exciting to the table. And this song finished 22nd overall, which honestly I agree with. It definitely shouldn’t have finished any higher.

Estonia"(Nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi" 5miinust and Puuluup

Estonia has made a significant impact on the Eurovision Song Contest with its diverse and high-quality entries. The country achieved a historic victory in 2001 with "Everybody" but did this years entry live up to that former glory? This year's song blends hip-hop and modern folk, which gives it a unique sound. 5miinust brings their energetic hip-hop vibes, while Puuluup adds a touch of Estonian tradition with the talharpa, a traditional bowed harp. This mix has made the song stand out, especially since it's the first Estonian-language entry in Eurovision since 2013​. However, the song does have a very niche feel to it, which doesn't really make it very accessible to many of those across Europe. I do have to give Estonia credit for the bold entry but I think it ended up placing around where it should have at 20th, maybe a couple places higher if I’m feeling nice.

Ireland “Doomsday Blue” Bambie Thug

Ireland actually tied for the most amount of Eurovision wins along with Sweden, but despite that they had not qualified for a Eurovision final since 2018. Until they chose Doomsday Blue by Bambie Thug to represent them this year. The song, described as "Ouija-pop," features dark, haunting lyrics and a distinctive stage. Taking elements from alternative rock, pop and jazz, Doomsday Blue is a very unique entry from the former Eurovision Powerhouse and its clear to see why this is the song that has brought them back into the finals of the competition. Bambie Thug's performance was eerie and featured spellbinding qualities, creating a memorable Eurovision moment that people will be talking about for years to come. I personally really enjoyed this song and its performance, it definitely stood out from the crowd. The song finished at a respectable 6th place, but for me this is a top 5 song from Eurovision this year.

Latvia “Hollow” Dons

Latvia has made a significant mark on the Eurovision Song Contest with its early victory and continued diverse contributions but would “Hollow” by Don step up to that previous legacy? "Hollow" is a lyrical ballad with influences of soft rock, starting off with a simple piano arrangement and building up to a more orchestral feel. The chorus is particularly impactful, with Dons singing about the hollowness of superficial advice and the importance of staying true to oneself. His voice has a raw, gritty texture that adds a lot of emotion to the song, which is very reminiscent of Rag’n’Bone Man and Hozier. But much like other songs on this list, it's a decent song, just not a Eurovision song. Which is probably why it’s not going to get a huge ranking from me but also why it didn’t place higher than 16th which is exactly where it should sit, middle of the table.

Greece “Zari” Marina Satti

Greece’s entry this year is definitely one of the more unique ones. The song mixes traditional Greek music with modern and ethnographic elements, creating a really engaging and unpredictable experience​. It starts with these ethnic-sounding drums and Marina's powerful vocals, which immediately draw you in. Then, it unexpectedly shifts into more modern, hip-hop-inspired segments, which keeps the song feeling fresh and dynamic throughout​. Some people have said that the shift is too jarring, but personally I like the shift and it only helps promote more traditional music getting a much deserved spotlight, which is one of the best parts about Eurovision. This me is easily a top 10 song, it managed to finish 11th so it’s that far off my opinion.

United Kingdom “Dizzy” Olly Alexander

This year our entry was from the former lead singer of Years & Years, Olly Alexander, who previously had the number 1 hit King. The UK has had a mixed relationship with Eurovision, we’ve had a tendency to send acts that either don’t push the boundaries or aren’t fit for Eurovision. The one time we did take it seriously and sent Sam Ryder, we missed out on the number 1 finish to Ukraine who had just been invaded by Russia. This years entrant however I don't think it lives up to the highs of Sam Ryder’s entry. Whilst it is better than last years, it’s still not my favourite performance from this years Eurovision. First off, the song feels like it's trying too hard to capture that nostalgic 90s dance vibe but ends up sounding a bit dated. It lacks the big, memorable chorus that could make it a standout track. Olly Alexander is a great performer, no doubt about that. He’s got a lot of stage presence and experience from his Years & Years days. But even his performance was not enough to elevate a song that feels somewhat flat and repetitive. "Dizzy" has some fun elements, it doesn't seem to have the emotional punch or memorable hook that you need to really make a splash at Eurovision. Overall the song finished 18th which is an improvement from last year, and is around where I would have placed it anyway.

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