P.S. Here is a post-script to my acquaintances who are generally very nice and tolerate my enthusiasm kindly.
First of all, thank you. I really do appreciate it when you mention how much you like a Eurovision act, or that you heard someone’s song on the radio, or that you saw a video mentioned on television. Your attempts to connect are greatly appreciated!
But please, friends and family and coworkers, whatever you do, don’t ask me who’s going to win this year.
I know there should be some easy answer.
I know that the conventions of the small talk conversation require me to say “X country “ so you can say, “Really!” in an interested voice and we can both go about our business having engaged in this requisite amount of social lubrication
And yes, sometimes, I even know the answer to that question! Like, in 2018, I knew it was Netta from the moment she performed at Eurovision in Concert so I could happily spend the next month going “Netta from Israel!” “Really!” “Yes and how was your weekend!” (See how effortless that was?)
But this year? No one knows!
Forget what the oddsmakers are saying: Eurovision 2021 is literally anybody’s game (well, almost anybody’s game. Rafal is just there to have a good time! And Uku Suviste is just there to put Eurovision on his resume, right next to being Estonia’s Sexiest Man Alive!)
Here’s what anybody attempting to predict the contest is up against:
- Last year’s favourites, Iceland, have come back with an even stronger performance AND a visible pregnancy! Like, can you imagine the appeal of singing a love song to your pregnant wife, but with pyro?
- Last year’s also favourites, The Roop, have come back with a pandemic dance pop classic that is so strong it’s opening the entire contest week!
- Junior Eurovision 2015 winner Destiny has come with a female empowerment anthem that allows her powerful voice to shine. The “Excuse My French” kiss-off alone is such a solid moment.
- Ukraine are blowing people off the stage with their thrash folk, all performed in costumes that refer to the Chornobyl disaster, but in a not-creepy way.
- Apparently, there are powerful heartfelt moments from Bulgaria that have made people cry! And apparently, there are also powerful heartfelt moments from Austria that have caused people to yell “JURIES!” (I say apparently because we all know that I do not have a heart.)
- Oh, and San Marino has created an international mystery by refusing to definitively state whether rapper Flo Rida will actually show up in Rotterdam!
Now, while all of this is interesting information, it is also not something one can summarise in a 30-second conversation that is being held for the sake of politeness.
And yet, it is information that I feel obligated to try and blurt out in those 30 seconds because the alternative, “No one knows!” just makes it sound like I don’t know about the acts when the exact opposite is true.
I know too much about the acts! I am one of those people who watched the 46 minute documentary about TIX! And asking me to try and bottle six months’ worth of obsession (18 months if you count last year’s cancelled contest) into a thirty second discourse is nigh on impossible without me seeming a. Obsessive (true) b. Scary (also true) or c. Boring (not as true but I can’t always tell when I should stop talking about Eurovision from social cues!)
Look, this post-script started with a plea to stop asking me about who’s going to win Eurovision, but really, friends, family, and co-workers, it might just be better if we kept our small talk to the weather. Safer all around for everyone.