THE! BIG! FIVE!

So in the end, it all comes down to this. 26 songs. One amazing interval act. And Madonna.

I’ve already done in-depth profiles of most of the songs in the semis, but left out the big 5 plus the host country! So here’s some reviews of them.

FRANCE

SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
Yes! Bilal Hassani is an out teen Youtuber with a fabulous persona. He’s glamourous and playful and dispatches online trolls with flair and bangers about his haters. And this performance reflects all of that, as Bilal looks amazing and expands his performance to feature other people who have also been the target of haters. It’s beautiful and inspiring and makes Bilial more like a king than ever. Expect to cry.

BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD?
Yes-ish? I do

DARE TO MEME Have the handclap emoji at the ready, because you’ll be too busy clapping along to add it from your phone.

TIRED ALREADY The only thing that’s tired is Mahmood, who came to Eurovision fresh off a cold.

OVERALL VERDICT This song is in my top three, and if Italy hadn’t fucked up the staging, it would be a winner.

GERMANY

SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
Speaking of haters, there is one act that seems to inspire people to hate it, and that’s S!sters, the surprise winners of Germany’s Unser Lied fur Israel competition. Is it because it’s a song with two women (who aren’t sisters by the way) singing about how they’ve become feminists? HMMMMM?

Okay, the staging is a little lackluster, especially after the whole stock photos of lesbians scandal last week. Two giant faces on an LED screen is a bad choice, as are Carlotta Truman’s pants. GIRL YOU HAVE GOT TO BREATHE AT EUROVISION AND THOSE HAVE! NO! GIVE!

BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD?
Yes! Every year, we have a “shout in other people’s faces” song and it’s usually some duet about love but this year, it’s a song about how women shouldn’t need to compete with each other and I love it.

DARE TO MEME Remind people that the correct pronounciation of the act S!sters is actually Sexclamation Pointsters.

TIRED ALREADY CALLING ANY SONG WITH WOMEN SINGING SHRILL. Maybe you just need to get your ears checked, bub!

OVERALL VERDICT I love this song, even if only two other people do. As the kids say, it makes me feel seen.

ISRAEL

SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
I saw the first staging of this in Tel Aviv, in a crowd packed with the hometown fans after tickets failed to sell to many of the shows. People went absolutely nuts, and Kobi Marimi was great, and I felt emotional on his behalf.

But you’re not going to get any of that at home, so don’t worry about that.

BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD?
It’s not really, but it does fit Kobi Marimi’s singing style, so he has a chance to have some soaring moments. However, there’s no danger of a back to back repeat (like Israel in the 1970s)

DARE TO MEME All week, host Assi Azar has been making jokes about how everyone’s confusing him with Kobi Marimi, and has performed Home during some of the down moments in the show. You won’t do anything funnier than that.

TIRED ALREADY The song, which is from 1985 or so.

OVERALL VERDICT Meh! Pee break, because you shouldn’t miss Norway!

ITALY

SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
Yes! There are arguments that the contest is fusty and old-fashioned and behind the times and Mahmood absolutely blows them all away. His song melds hip-hop and Arabic sounds and a catchy pop hook to create something that is fresh and modern and multicultural. It also pisses off the fascists.

BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD?
The song is actually better than the staging, which adds unnecessary backup dancers and weird camera angles rather than just putting Mahmood out there to be Mahmood. They’ve Gabbiani’d it (a term for how Italy ruined the chances of its 2017 frontrunner by throwing everything and the kitchen sink at the staging.)

DARE TO MEME Have the handclap emoji at the ready, because you’ll be too busy clapping along to add it from your phone.

TIRED ALREADY The only thing that’s tired is Mahmood, who came to Eurovision fresh off a cold.

OVERALL VERDICT This song is in my top three, and if Italy hadn’t fucked up the staging, it would be a winner.

SPAIN

SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
Yes! For several reasons:
There’s a giant puppet
It closes the show
You will want to dance along
Miki Nunez has the best arms of the contest

BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD?
Si Si Si Si Si! This song has been my constant earworm for months and months. At the drop of a hat, I will start singing
LO QUE ERE
LO QUE ERE ERE E
And after tonight, you will too

DARE TO MEME After any particularly juicy shot of Miki, I’m going to be saying “LA VENDA YA CA SWOOOOOOOOLE”

TIRED ALREADY Nothing is tired about this song, except you after it plays.

OVERALL VERDICT Could be a surprise winner! (please?)

UNITED KINGDOM

SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
Did you enjoy the Swedish performance earlier this week? Good. Then watch this because it’s essentially the same thing, except….BIGGER!
BIGGER!
OOOOOOHHHHHH IT’S BIGGER!

BUT IS THE SONG ANY GOOD?
Who cares if the song is any good? It’s BIGGER

BIGGER

BIGGER THAN YOU AND ME

(Seriously, Michael Rice NAILS these vocals and will give you chills. He’s done us proud, our waffly delicious lad from Hartlepool)

DARE TO MEME BIGGER

TIRED ALREADY Shut up about Brexit.

OVERALL VERDICT Sit back and enjoy. It’s not going to win, but nobody’s disgracing themselves either.

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