So I’ve been in kind of a slump this Eurovision season.
Ukraine’s National Final was (for obvious reasons) more somber than previous years. It had some fantastic songs, but no crazypants moments from either the audience or the judges. (Also, I hope that this guy is thriving):
FiK came and went while I was furiously wrapping up the end of the year, and then I got COVID. So Eurovision has not been on the top of my list!
But fortunately, Eurosong came and delivered THE PERFECT national final. Why?
- They had a contestant named Hunter Falls
Was his song Oooh La La good? Maybe! Were his graphics completely borrowed from Laura Tesoro’s 2016 Eurovision performance? Definitely! But I spent the entire 3 minutes wondering what Belgian soap operas are on his acting resume. Also, he covered Heroes at the beginning of the show which tells you everything you need to know about him.
2. We got a serial killer duet…
The Starlings – featuring former Eurovision entrant Tom Dice and Kato Callebaut – delivered an acoustic, slightly Yeehaw ballad about mental health called Rollercoaster. Belgians loved it! As a banger slut, I thought it was okay! But the thing I loved the most about it was the height difference between Tom and Kato, which meant that he loomed above her on the stage, adding a real sense of menace to what should be a heart-rending ballad. I mean, the lyrics make it pretty clear!
3….that turned into beef with Rybak!
When Rybak made his deal with the Devil to remain forever young, he traded away any ability to seem human. He’s actually making a good point here – the Starlings created a radio-friendly hit that will please fans of Ed Sheeran – but comes across as “THE STARLINGS STOLE FROM ED SHEERAN!” And Tom Dice and his Instagram are not pleased!
Cherine is a ball of sugar-coated serotonin and I don’t care if her staging looks like Junior Eurovision or her vocals weren’t up to par. I was transfixed by all three minutes of this song. The synths! The energy! The near collision with her giant eyeball! Just watch here:
5. Loredana’s Robot
Loredana entered Eurosong with a generic pop banger titled Lift Me Up. I like generic pop bangers, so I was appreciating the spandex and the dancing and then…Loredana brought out a ROBOT! And sang a love song to it! The only complaint I have is that the robot did not actually lift Loredana up. It’s got robot strength, Loredana! Surely that can’t be too hard!
Ameerah had a perfectly competent pop song called “Carnival” which would be perfect for a video game soundtrack. Fine. But ONCE AGAIN we have the issue of a group of really hot and fit people trying to cosplay as Freaks. No. These are not freaks. These are hot people with some wacky makeup. Let’s have some truth in advertising!
7. Gala Dragot brings the Conan Osiris…
One reason Belgium’s contest was so successful is that it had a variety of genres, and Gala Dragot brought the avant garde! Her voice is great, but then she added in Conan Osiris sound effects, and I was IN LOVE! You can see why here (I can’t find the final performance because Belgium is not interested in sharing any of these artists with the world)
8. Rybak caused beef AGAIN!
Once again, in a comment that can be explained away as a slightly awkward person communicating in his non-native language, Alexander Rybak started his critique by noting he had one piece of advice and it immediately sounded like he was mansplaining, even though his advice was pretty good! (Let your song convey your message for you.) But wow, for about two minutes, it was GALA DRAGOT DRAGS RYBAK and Twitter lit up. I love our overreactions, Eurofans. Never change!
9. Gustaph and his hat
I don’t think this screenshot can capture the size of Gustaph’s hat. It was BIG. Like the size of a compact fuel efficient Belgian car. And while I showed up for Gustaph’s hat, I stayed for Gustaph’s song, a 90’s influenced uplift. I’ve listened to this song multiple times today and I have thought about all the people in my life who would have loved this song and danced to this song and it’s made me tear up. Unexpected layers from a dance track! To cheer you (and me) up, here is an image of people walking that duck in the background of his performance:
10. Scoring drama!
Well, that was something! The two fan favourites were Cherine and Gala Dragot, while Belgian locals loved the Starlings. And the scores meant that Gustaph managed to eke out a win by being liked by both the juries and the public. Was it unexpected? Yes. Not only were Eurofans surprised, but Gustaph –
– yes, Gustaph was perhaps the most shocked of ALL….
11. A Good Daddy In A Hat
While some contestants were slightly steamy about the process (Tom Dice, I’m looking at your Instagram complaints here), all of them were genuinely pleased to see Gustaph, a background singer and teacher of many years, win the competition. Cherine summed it up best in this tweet:
A Good Daddy in a Hat? With that, the first 2023 Eurovision Meme was born. Bless you, Cherine.
Anyway, check out Gustaph’s song, and know that it’s ALWAYS worth tuning into the National Finals.