If there’s an award for most improved at Eurovision, it should go to Alekseev with ‘Forever.’ Alekseev, who is Russian, entered the Belarussian competition and promptly ran into a lot of controversy because his English-language song sounded a lot like the Russian language song he released prior to the Eurovision eligibility date. (You be the judge!) Much drama ensued, with one contestant dropping out of the contest in protest.
And despite delivering a lackluster performance, where his suit did most of the talking for him, Alekseev walked away with the contest.
(Not my favorite act by the way – I loved the performance of 1980s throwback Gunesh. That coat! That hair!)
But in the ensuing weeks, Alekseev has been working hard on his performance. By the time he performed it on Estonia television in early April, he was hitting more of the notes, and his enunciation was much better. It’s not his fault that the only thing anyone could talk about following the performance was his veneers. A parody Twitter account called ‘Alekseev’s Mouth’ was promptly established to photoshop his mouth on other iconic Eurovision performances.
I think I would like Alekseev more if he could simply find a gimmick and stick to it. In his qualifier, he was doing a ‘Jowst’-light performance. In his video, he’s playing heavily into the emo young man. In his current performances, he’s just all about the singing. He looks different each time I see him, and his song has been released about three times during Eurovision season. I don’t think he knows what he wants, but his boyish charm is enough to get him through the competition.
UPDATE:Holy crap. So I was waiting for Alekseev to figure out what his gimmick was going to be and BOY DID HE. I’ve seen his performance for semifinal 1, and it has everything plus more. There’s a rose. And more roses. And an interpretive dancer in a red dress. And an archery set. And a whole gothic vibe. And an ending shot that’s like something out of a Guillermo del Toro horror film. Never mind the fact that Alekseev spends the final third of the performance with the stem of a flower piercing his hand, like some sort of Eurovision stigmata. I salute you, Alekseev. You may have procrastinated at the start of the season, but you certainly pulled out all the stops for the final exam. A++++ performance, will watch over and over again on Youtube.
TWITTER JOKES YOU SHOULDN’T BOTHER MAKING BECAUSE THEY’VE ALREADY BEEN DONE BETTER BY THE EUROFANDOM: That mouth!
SHOULD YOU TAKE A PEE BREAK DURING HIS PERFORMANCE: No. It’s Semifinal 1’s batshit classic!