The Saturday Night Massacre is, as students of American history know, refers to the event when Elliot Richardson, US Attorney General, and William Ruckelshaus, Deputy Attorney General, resigned their positions rather than to fire Archibald Cox, the Watergate Special Prosecutor who was investigating President Nixon and his Administration. Nixon then got the next in line at the Justice Department – a fellow named Robert Bork – to do the firing of Cox. And in just a few short hours, the United States was plunged into a constitutional crisis.
While not on the same scale as an action which caused the downfall of a Presidency, this Saturday night’s Eurovision competition plunged millions of Eurofans into a deep, deep depression, as multiple favourites were brutally eliminated from this year’s 2019 competition. What looked like the best Eurovision in years suddenly became one of the least promising.
The bloodbath started in the morning in Moldova, when LUME was thrown out of O Melodie Pentaru, a fabulous paean to the joys of Moldovan living:
Not only did their song Ca Adriano Celentano fail to qualify, Moldova ended up cancelling their entire semifinal because so few acts ended up qualifying.
The executioner’s blade soon moved on to Tartu, a town in Estonia that I will from now on just associate with pain and heartbreak, as well as embed links that simply do not work.
The sweet li’l kids in Around the Sun not only can’t get anyone to follow them back on Instagram, they couldn’t make it through to the final with one of the best songs in the contest (admittedly, better in the studio version):
After the removal of Oed from the first semi-final, I was hopeful that the Keep Estonia Weird contingent would be redeemed in the second semi-final.
Alas, fan favorite Kaia Tamm went out in a flurry of claws and swipes:
And then, to make things worse, the wonderfully arty Parmumäng, an ode to the jaw harp, was brutally eliminated:
Over in Hungary, fan favourite Leander Kills didn’t qualify out of their semifinal in A Dal, even though they entered with the gentlest of metal songs. IT WAS THEIR THIRD TIME, HUNGARY! THIRD TIME IN THIS COMPETITION! IT’s TIME!
What made this elimination rather galling was that Leander Kills scored fewer points with the jury than this acoustic lazy white boy jam:
And then we went to Sweden, where I was rooting hard for the baby Ace Wilders in High 15 to make it through to at least Andra Chansen:
It was their first time performing in Melfest and I get it and there will be plenty of opportunities for them to wow the crowds in future years, but it still hurt.
And that hurt was compounded by the astounding last-place finish of Nature Grandma and all around Swedish/Finnish icon Arja Saijonmaa, who wrote a touching schlager ditty about forest fires (which was then pretty much destroyed by Anna Bergendahl, who performed just a few songs later with a song called Ashes to Ashes in a forest set. Cold, Anna. Cold.)
At least the Dziļi Violets feat. Kozmens (yes, the Riga Beaver) got through to save the night in Latvia:
Oh well. Onward we go, crying until the next Saturday night, when more of our favourites will face the hard truth of cuts.