While hardcore Eurovision fans are now snorting coke at the afterparty, here at dudepoints, we thought it was more important to rush back to a computer with a hard-hitting analysis of the first pre-party of the 2019 season. Always thinking of you, dear readers!
(Also, I left my Euros in my other pair of pants and didn’t have any cash to buy afterparty tickets. And our feet really really hurt anyway.)
Quite frankly, I don’t even know if we need to do an analysis, because it seems like all of Eurovision twitter was either in Amsterdam at the pre-party, or watching the stream. But there were still some points that were illuminating tonight – like the following!
Israel: Whoever made Kobi Marimi follow Dana “Oh my god look at her in that catsuit and she is how many years old?” International? That was just cruel.
Kobi’s performance also had some technical glitches, such as an earpiece not working. Most annoying was the fact that Marimi’s singing voice wasn’t synced up with the music video for his song behind him, giving one the unsettling feeling of being out of time. It would have ruined the song for me if I liked it in the first place.
Moldova: It’s a bad sign when I can’t remember anything about this performance at all. I mean, it was technically proficient, but nothing about it stood out.
Armenia: I would have enjoyed this performance more if people still weren’t buying into the narrative that Srbuk’s song is some powerhouse feminist anthem. I was almost too disgruntled to enjoy her vocals, which were quite good.
Georgia: Oto was wearing what looked like a very comfortable cardigan.
Germany: I was getting strong Alfred and Almaia vibes from these two:
In fact, by the end of Eurovision season, I won’t be surprised if they have to change their name to K!ssters! (Hahahahahaha)
Romania:Ester Peony was great, and had more of the crowd singing along than I expected. But why did you feel the need to bring a guitarist on stage to mime the guitar parts of the backing tracks? We’re all adults. We all know how Eurovision works, and that means no live instruments on stage. I guess he got a free trip to Amsterdam, though.
Also, there were these weird smoke-filled bubbles that were pumped into the crowd during her performance, because I guess people like bubble baths in the aftermath of a breakup?
United Kingdom: Michael Rice belted the fuck out of that song, and had the crowd eating out of his hand. Out of all the male ballads this year, his is certainly the strongest vocal performance. Buy me a waffle, Michael, because I’m now your stan.
Greece: Sure, Katherine Duska’s vocals were good but the real question is – where can I get that cape?
I mean,just look at that thing! The German woman next to me was comparing it to a tablecloth or grandma’s curtains and I was in total agreement but from the perspective of thinking an awesome tablecloth should be repurposed as an awesome cloak. Any leads on this, please let me know.
Poland: Oh yes Tulia brought it tonight:
I know that there’s been a lot of questions about how they might translate to a live performance, but wow – there was energy, there was harmony, and there was power. I’m not worried about how they’ll do in front of an audience now.
Finland: The mismatch between subject matter and song is painfully apparent, as both Sebastian Rejman and Darude tried to turn up the party at the same time as telling us that they were having trouble sleeping due to all the troubles in the world.
I mean, maybe their whole performance is a sly commentary on how we mask our anguish about the the social issues around which we feel powerless with frenetic activity and distraction, but I don’t think they’re smart enough to pull that off.
Australia: Zero Gravity came across as more pop than opera live, although Kate Miller-Heidtke’s vocals were on point. What made this performance soar was hearing an arena full of people all sing “Ze eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eh eero Gra vih vih vih vih vih vih vih tee” in unison. And it worked! You all sounded fantastic so if you were singing along, give yourself a pat on the back.
Belgium: Eliot proved he could sing live, but the sound mix was all off – his vocals were too soft in the beginning, and too loud in other places. Keep at it, kid! You’ll get it right by Tel Aviv.
Serbia: Look, I have nothing but respect for Nevena and her lovely voice, but this song was mostly a much-needed Twitter break.
Spain: Miki KILLED IT with his performance. But his outfit?
Not so much. I felt like I was watching karaoke night at Phi Sigma Kappa.
MIKI. You are a good looking guy with guns the size of coconuts. Don’t get lazy. Just because you’ve got the number one party song of the season doesn’t mean you need to dress like you go to the number one party school in the United States. Make an effort. You look like you smell of three day old socks.
Czech Republic: I will always, always be a friend for Lake Malawi. They can call me to pick them up from the airport. I’ll hold back Albert’s hair when he’s drunk and puking. I’ll even make them a cake for their birthdays.
All of that is to say that I love this band, and they just get better and better live. I would not underestimate their ability to place high with televoters.
Austria: Paenda’s voice is ethereal, which means it’s best listened to in a blissed-out trance state, not after the boppity bop that is Friend of a Friend. I hope she has a strong showing with juries.
Hungary: I didn’t realise before tonight that Joci Papai’s song is about his dead dad, which makes it the second year in a row Hungary has sent a song about a dead dad. Are you okay, Hungary? Is there something about your relationship with Viktor Orban that you want us to know?
Denmark: Man, I hate Leonora. I know that might seem like a strong reaction, but you’re performing for a crowd of people who know your song already. Don’t take two minutes to teach us the chorus. (Also, we’re not idiots and could have figured it out even if we were hearing the song for the first time.)
Leonora hits the grating part of Manic Pixie Dream Girl perfectly, tonight wearing a red beanie that made the person next to me ask if she was on Steve Zissou’s crew. The cutesy artifice is grating, and if it’s not artifice, then I’ll eat that goshdarned beanie.
Iceland: Tonight it was just Klemens and Matthias and…
…that’s right, a metric fuckton of sexual energy. I can’t be objective about this performance because I was too busy screaming about hatred while admiring tonight’s new topless harness looks.
A small point – there was no confetti or pyrotechnics, and STILL these two were absolutely riveting and in command of the crowd. Let’s just hope they manage to sneak some butts into the final performance.
Montenegro: Honestly, Montenegro could have been hit by a bus on stage and I wouldn’t have noticed because I was still so gobsmacked by Hatari. D-Mol was okay? They may have used hands? There was an unnecessary wallet chain? I don’t really know what to tell you.
Belarus: Damn it. I am starting to like this song. The lyrics are still as messy as ever,but Zena has a lot of energy. I think this one was the biggest grower for me tonight.
Norway: Only confirmed grumps don’t like this song. It was performed sans wigs, but I couldn’t tell you much about Tom and Alexandra because I was too busy looking at Fred:
Those thighs are so powerful that they could crack walnuts. What’s the secret, Fred? Is every day leg day at your gym?
Lithuania: Justs 2.0 – The Falsetto Diaries
San Marino: Was there a single person in the arena who wasn’t thrilled to see Serhat? No. He got the loudest response from the crowd, which left me wondering how on earth we’re going to explain the appeal of this sexy deep-voiced dentist who dresses like an airline pilot and tells us to call him when we need cheering up.
Serhat is the nonjudgemental party daddy that everyone needs, and he delivers the life-affirming fun but lord, I hope enough people outside the Eurovision bubble get his whole vibe.
Ireland: After some slightly awkward stage banter, Sarah McTernan smashed it with her vocals. I think this song will do better than it’s currently doing with the fandom, because it’s such a tuneful and well-performed accessible ditty.
Albania: We are all sleeping on Ktheju Tokes, people. Biggest surprise of the night!
Switzerland: I just don’t get it. Him?
The Netherlands: I’m still not that pleased with a song that uses the death of a young girl to spur Duncan’s emotional development, but this played very strongly in front of the hometown crowd. I can understand the appeal a little bit more, but I really hope this isn’t the winner.
Finally, a note that this is my second year at Amsterdam and they continue to impress. The venue is spacious, the pacing is swift, the bathrooms are clean and lines move quickly. When you can’t go to Eurovision itself, this pre-party is the next best thing (indeed, sometimes even better.)
Were you there? What are your thoughts? Let me know on twitter at @dudepoints.
And now, despite the post-show coffees, this lightweight is ready to crash. Seriously, how do you afterparty people do it?