It’s Malmö with an A not Malmö with an O…

Hey Eurofans – happy Eurovision week! 

As Terry Wogan would have said, whoopee!

I can’t quite believe we’re here again, in what feels like less than twelve months since Liverpool hosted the Contest. 

I am happy to be watching from home this year. My days of travelling to the host city are over. I’ve been there and done that, nine times. Great memories of each trip, with the added excitement of having accreditation so I could be in rehearsals and the press centre. What a fab Eurovision bubble it was!

The way I engage with the ESC has changed over recent years. Long-time readers may remember there were a few years where I didn’t have much Euro-mojo, so I was listening to the songs less and less. And I didn’t blog because I didn’t have anything to say. Oh, and then there was the year when Portugal won, and to this day I still don’t get how popular it was. My ears weren’t hearing what everyone else was!

What is brilliant about the ESC each year, is that it really does have something for all music tastes. A smorgasbord of performances to delight the eye and ear. ESC2024 is a strong year for songs, I’d say. I can’t comment on the performances yet as I haven’t seen any of the rehearsals footage. 

You see, that’s how I’m doing the Contest this year; sitting down to watch it on the telly and seeing the performances for the first time then. So, on the blog this year, you will get my reaction after the semi-finals on Tuesday and Thursday, on Wednesday and Friday. And this time next week (Sunday) we will have a winner so I will deffo have something to say about that!

Who might win? If the bookies odds are anything to go by, potentially Croatia, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands. Ukraine is up there also, but that would raise a conundrum if they did win – but I can’t see that happening.

I’ve just read a great article from the BBC’s music correspondent, Mark Savage. His summary of the musical smorgasbord is broadly how I’d categorise it: chart ready pop vibes, ethnopop vibes, rock vibes, ballad vibes, and rather too many quirky song vibes that are leaning a little towards being novelty songs. 

I have said to you in the past on the blog that a winning Eurovision song is often a song you haven’t heard before, but you already know it. A handful of songs are leaning into last year’s runner-up for Finland – Käärijä’s Cha Cha Cha. You’ll notice that influence on both Switzerland and Croatia’s entries (and others). 

Once again this year we can all live out our formative pop years from the 80s and 90s, because a number of entries draw on music from those decades – which is fab and familiar. Or a cop out and cliché. Potato / vodka!

You can check out Mark’s article here, and you will get my thoughts on all of the songs in more detail as we go through the week.

For performance footage check out Eurovision on TikTok here, and news and photos via the official website here

Years ago I would have spent a lot of time embedding stuff on the blog – not anymore! 😀

Oh, and one final thing for today. For my blog post title today I am channelling Liza Minelli vibes (“It’s Liza with a “Z” not Lisa with an “S” cause Lisa with an “S” goes S not Zee’). Can we please be clear that the Swedes pronounce Malmö with an a/er sound at the end, rather than a hard O sound. At the launch event in Malmö back in January viewers were schooled by some Swedish linguists…

It’ll do my head in all week when people say it with the hard O! A bit like when Ukraine changed to Kyiv rather than Kiev, and peeps still said Kiev!  Not so much these days, obvs.

Right, enjoy Eurovision week, get streaming those songs! I’ll be back soon!

Tack! 😀