Get ready to mark your eurovision bingo cards! Of course, if you want to have a shot of drink each time you spot one of these things, you are welcome, but drinking is not compulsory. You can just shout “Hello, my baby. Call me, call me!” instead, or whatever you fancy. You do you. Here is what I have got on my list:
- A costume change!
- Ludicrous musical instruments!
- A cynical key and/or tempo change!
- Someone says the evening/songs have been “wonderful”!
- Unnecessary use of the French language!
- Vigorous hand-washing!
- Costumes with cut-outs!
- Someone jumps off the stage!
- solo guitar!
- Spooky ghost wraiths!
- Someone in the crowd is waving a Ukrainian flag!
- Someone is back performing at Eurovision again!
I’ll try and call them out. And also try not to get into complicated arguments about musicology as to whether something is technically a key change or not. We all know that cynical rising key change for the final set of choruses when you hear it.
This has grown on me. I thought she had a distractingly over-expressive face when delivering her performance in the semi-final, but it seemed to go down well in the room. “Saudade” is one of those untranslatable words, in Portuguese it means a feeling of sadness at missing something but also the joy of having something to miss. Presumably a bit like how Chelsea fans feel about cup finals right about now.
The chorus goes:
Hello, my baby,
call me, call me
I’m no Spanish expert but, they’ve surely put too many syllables in most of those words, haven’t they?
WRS is a play on the main man’s surname, which is Ursa or something, meaning bear. Those cut-outs in those women’s dresses are certainly nearly revealing their ursas, aren’t they?
If you played this to me without giving me any details, I would have assumed this was a Spanish entry, the chorus is in Spanish, the beat is Spanish, the look and feel is Spanish. But they are from Romania.
This lot all met while studying at Leeds apparently, although I don’t think there is much chance of them knocking the Wedding Present or Sisters of Mercy off their perch as the city’s greatest musical exports in my book, but this has really grown on me .
And we are off. Now the studio version of this comes with lashings of autotune on her vocals from Ella. The live one, does not, and is IMHO all the better for it. Casper Hatlestad built that customized bowed guitar himself. Give yourself a ludicrous instrument on the bingo card.
Mike giving us our first Eurovision Bingo of the night – unnecessary use of the French language! No song is sung in French tonight, which is possibly, I believe, the very first time. The French entry is in Breton. I think they should have made all the French bits be Breton all evening as well.
Three Ukrainian friends – Senia lives in Mexico, Natalia and Katarina in Malta – came to Turin to show support for their country’s “brilliant” song. “It will be no 1, without a doubt,” said Senia.
The puns are already rolling in…
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if they skipped the flag parade in the future nobody would be jamming switchboards demanding one, would they? A whole new level of additional faff.
We are about 1,057 songs into a medley of Laura’s songs now, but it all looks great.
So your presenters tonight are your current Mika. Current Mike. The other two are Laura Pausino and Alessandro Cattelan. Alessandro has presented the X-Factor in Italy, so insert your own “he is used to tunnelless caterwauling” punchline there. Laura has previously been a judge/coach on The Voice.
All three of them, I should imagine, are rather more charismatic in real life than tonight’s script is going to allow them to be, but isn’t that always the way? The awkwardness is part of the Eurovision charm. Trying to write jokes to appeal to everybody in Europe can’t be easy. As this live blog will also demonstrate.
As someone who has covered opening and closing ceremonies for the Summer and Winter Olympics and Paralympics in the last 12 months, it is refreshing to see they’ve gone for Give Peace a Chance here rather than Imagine from the “John Lennon Songs for Opening Ceremonies Greatest Hits” CD, but I still yearn for someone to make the bolder choice of Instant Karma. Or that one about heroin where he just screams a lot.
Are you ready? And I should warn you, if you were looking for beautiful aerial drone shots of wonderful Italian landmarks with massive gurning Eurovision stars CGI’d onto them, then boy do I have some good news for you about tonight’s show.
Although this year they’ve turned the idea of doing some aerial filming of landmarks in the host nation into a kind of mascot character – Leo the Drone. I see what they’ve done, but I am slightly concerned that this is going down an avenue to each host wanting some kind of “mascot” character in the future.
We are about 12 minutes away from the start of the 66th Eurovision song contest. Angela Giuffrida has just met Igor, who traveled from Paris to Turin without a ticket – the fool! With just minutes to go to the start, he is still apparently confident of finding one.
“It’s not the first time I’ve tried, and at two other Eurovision’s it worked,” he said. “Apart from football, there is really no other event that unites people, it’s extraordinary, it’s an opportunity for us to connect and come together.”
He likes the French entrant, a song written in the dialect of Brittany, because “it’s so dynamic”, but wants Ukraine to win. “Not only because of world events, it’s a really nice song.”
Our Angela Giuffrida is in Turin tonight and dedicated Eurovision fans have of course traveled from far and wide to be there. Michael Duncan and his partner, Daniel Fey, came from London and have been enjoying the northern Italian city for a week in the build-up to the grand finale. “This is our 20th Eurovision,” said Michael. “We’re hoping for a UK win and they might actually do it.”
If you would like to get your face in our Eurovision live blog, then you either need to bump into Angela in Turin, or tweet me with your pictures of Eurovision fun: @MartinBelam.
If you are looking for songs that might push Ukraine close, then on streaming service Spotify Mahmood & Blanco’s Brividi has been a streaming monster, with over 82 million plays. Could Italy win two successive finals? Last year’s winners, Måneskin, told our Angela Giuffrida in Turin that winning it changed their lives:
It wasn’t so long ago that Måneskin were busking on the streets of Rome, performing for four hours straight even if only one person was watching. So the 2021 Eurovision song contest winners couldn’t believe their luck when the Rolling Stones invited them to open a concert in the US in November, giving them their first opportunity to perform in front of an audience of thousands.
“We thought, fuck yeah, we’re not going to decline that,” bassist Victoria De Angelis said in an interview with the Guardian alongside her three bandmates in Turin before the Eurovision 2022 final.
“Our lives have completely changed. [since Eurovision]. We haven’t stopped. We’ve been having a lot of crazy experiences … all the things we dreamed of that we never thought would come true.”
For the most part, Eurovision winners tend to be swiftly forgotten about. But since their show-stopping performance of Zitti e Buoni in Rotterdam last May, Måneskin have not only achieved an unrivaled level of global success for an Italian rock band, they are inspiring a generation of young people with their upbeat rock and profound lyrics.
“We are super privileged, but when we started out in music we experienced some tough times. We were being super judged – for our makeup, nail polish and how we dressed – that it was hard to keep going,” said frontman Damiano David.
You can read more below:
This maybe doesn’t make as much sense if you haven’t seen all the songs yet, but this exquisite Tumblr post sets out the ideal conditions to listen to each of this year’s 40 entries.
Sample content: “In a dirty basement with hot people”, “In 2003, with low slung jeans and a thick coating of Bad Gal eyeliner”, “Halfway down a pint of ice cream, under a duvet”.
The ideal conditions for listening to the songs of Eurovision 2022 desde Ellie Made It