Abba-solutley fabulous…

What a brilliant show last night, as the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest reached its conclusion.

We’re off to Switzerland next year, after their well-deserved win. As with last year, the winning song was the favourite with the national juries but not the public televote. I don’t have a problem with that (as I said on the blog last year), the combination gave Switzerland a clear win.

As Graham Norton said in his commentary, how Nemo managed to deliver that vocal whilst doing all the balancing and acrobatics was amazing. Vocal and core strength was a winning combination.

SVT did another brilliant job curating the grand final. The presenters continued to shine (in the main), and there were brilliant interval acts once again. What has been noticeable is that SVT has celebrated Swedish music and in effect made a show for their domestic audience (much like at Melodifestivalen, obviously). Even the flag parade at the start was made bearable by a brilliant Swedish mixtape underscoring the arrival of the finalists on stage. 

I was delighted to see Alcazar on stage – one of my favourite pop acts. I went to their farewell tour in Göteborg (Gothenburg) in 2018 – hopefully a reunion is on the cards. The swedes do like to take the micky out of themselves, and the way Petra dispatched Alcazar was hilarious. They are pop royalty in Sweden, but they didn’t mind being the butt of the joke.

So we were teased with Abba, and then we got the Abbatars. A nice touch, but not what we were all hoping for. Then again, them not appearing in the arena just adds to their mystique in some ways.

Conchita, Carola and Charlotte did a nice cover of Waterloo, without out-diva-ing each other.

I mentioned booing on my last post, and there was some last night – most notably for Martin Österdahl. He certainly wasn’t comfortable with that, and his usual swagger when giving the ‘good to go’ green light was replaced by a rather hurried handover. Peeps not happy that The Netherlands were excluded. There will be ramifications for the EBU to deal with, and I am sure that will play out over the coming weeks and months.

The musical homage to Martin from Sarah Dawn Finer’s Lynda Woodruff was genius… ‘when he licks his lips and says you’re good to go’. 😀 

The televoting sequence was certainly surprising and dramatic. Poor Olly Alexander getting the dreaded nul points was devastating. I’ve seen pictures of him today smiling and seemingly positive. The UK finished 18th, which was a marked improvement on last year, with a staging that was a bit provocative. Clearly the jockstraps were not to everyone’s taste?! 

Delighted that Ireland had such a good result. It really is an OMG performance. Hefty scores went to some countries – perhaps unsurprisingly. A few raised eyebrows about some of the douze points from the juries. And didn’t Joanna Lumley do an ab fab job delivering the UK jury vote. Patsy Stone vibes all the way. 

I think the whole week has been absolutely fabulous. I like it when Sweden host as they know better than any country (I would say) what works and what to do. So much drama, but also lots of nostalgia to remind us why we love this Contest. Let’s hope Switzerland do as well as Sweden next year.

If I blog again next year, maybe you’ll join me?

Hejdå från mig! 😀

(goodbye from me)



Let’s douze this…

Happy Eurovision Grand Final Day!

Yesterday, we thought we had our running order for the grand final. Well, we did – until today. There were news stories circulating yesterday about something going on with The Netherlands, as they did not participate in the dress rehearsal on Friday afternoon. For the Jury Final last night, a recording of their previous performance was shown as part of the show, with Joost again not taking part.

Today it has been announced that the EBU have withdrawn The Netherlands from the Contest. So Joost it toast. This is (I think) an unprecedented move by the EBU. In the past they have withdrawn songs and countries before the Contest, but never during. I might be wrong, but this is certainly fanning the flames in Malmö. 

Who knows what will happen tonight, with talk of countries boycotting for various reasons, and hostile crowd reactions during the dress rehearsals. 

When Brian and I were in the arena for the grand final of ESC2015, in Vienna, the crowd were extremely hostile to the Russian singer following her performance and during the voting sequence. It was really quite unpleasant.

When I returned home to watch the Contest I expected to hear this disquiet in the crowd. And yet I didn’t. The audio feed had clearly been tweaked for broadcast, effectively disguising the boos. So tonight there will be no sign of the booing in the arena for us watching at home/elsewhere.  Manipulation of this kind feels a bit shady, but on the other hand it’s perhaps good that it can be tweaked so as to not give bias for or against any act.

A reminder of (minus The Netherlands) the running order tonight…

Looking at the running order, the producers have once again sequenced the songs in a way so as to not have a run of ballad after ballad, and pop followed by more pop. Also, don’t forget that songs are sequenced around the commercial breaks that will be happening in some countries.

The host nation Sweden will get things going tonight. It is rare for host countries to open the show, but M&M will get a home town roar (even though they are from Norway!) that will get our Eurovision party started.

Ukraine is killed off from second in the running order – no country has ever won from there. 

Spain, followed by Estonia, who are followed by Ireland, is a good run of songs. That’s a good position in the draw for Bambie Thug. It has been rising in the betting odds, and is currently in the top five.

Greece followed by the UK is a good setup for Ollie. I hope he does well tonight, as his genuine excitement that he is taking part is highly infectious And if you have watched the documentary about his rehearsals on iPlayer, I think he deserves to.

The much fancied Croatia and Switzerland are in the final six songs in the running order. This is also good for them.

And I think the final song from Austria will be boosted from France’s amazing climax and crowds reaction to it, which precedes it.

Tonight the smorgasbord is really tasty, and as I have said all week, there is something for everyone. Speaking of tasty, there are also quite a few songs when watching from home where I will be topping up our drinks and snacks. You can’t do that in the arena! 😀

So wherever you are enjoying the ESC tonight, I am with you and sending you lots of Eurovision positivity – I think we should all be doing that this year, as we have in the last couple of years.

Being united by our love of Eurovision is a lovely thing, and I have enjoyed reviewing and commenting again this year. I hope the songs you love make you proud tonight.

I will be back for one last review on Sunday, when we will have a new winning song, and a new host country to visit via the telly next year. And we might have enjoyed some surprises (ooooh!)…

Ha en fantastisk show! 😀

(have a fantastic show)



Ding-a-dong a singalong…

The fun times continued in Malmö arena last night, with Petra and Malin guiding us through the proceedings effortlessly. What did you think of the songs? I found it a bit of a slog!

I think that was because the first semi-final had a number of songs that had everyone talking (UK, Ireland, Croatia). Last night felt a bit flat – although it was still brilliant telly. By the time we got to the voting reveal I wasn’t particularly invested in many of the songs that got through – although the main ones that needed to did. Watching with Brian and Ellen in Liverpool, we were all surprised by Latvia getting through. Not my work wife Claire Parkinson, who was very happy that it did.

Petra and Malin opened proceedings with a genius comedic interpretation of Loreen’s Tattoo. As with Tuesday night, the script throughout was spot on and cringe moments were again once avoided. The script for both semi-finals has been imbued with togetherness and coming together. And we know why that is…

For one of the interval acts, another great line-up of Eurovision alum/turns included Helena Paparizou, Charlotte Perrelli and Sertab Erener. They served us Eurovision girl power with (finally!) some wind machine action!

The public vote winner from last year, Cha Cha Cha was reprised, with Käärijä showing that the songs leaning into it this year are poor imitations when it comes to that staging.

Petra’s musical interlude, We Just Love Eurovision Too Much, was perhaps a bit of a thin parody of their participation compared to the amazing Love, Love, Peace, Peace that she performed with Måns Zelmerlöw back in 2016.

The singalong was highly entertaining. We were singing along in Liverpool, I’m sure you were too!

So what did we learn in the second semi-final?

Who knew that this year is the 50th anniversary of Greece participating in ESC? Opa!

Both semi-finals have had an in-memoriam sequence…

Spain doing schlager is fun and unexpected…

Eurovision in the round is brilliant…

And a few observations about the performances…

Switzerland was as good, if not better than Croatia. And like the UK’s staging, core strength is needed…

France started off slowly, but the moment Slimane stepped back from the microphone and continued to belt out the song, it was amazing. As was the reaction of the audience in the arena…

The staging for Chechia was poor, and took away rather than adding to the song – it was always going to be difficult coming after Switzerland…

The staging for Italy was also poor and detracted from the song. The fact that it is drifting in the betting odds is no surprise…

The staging for San Remo lifted the song with Bambi Disney Thug vibes…

The jollity that is the Armenian entry woke things up (the semi was dragging!)…

The vocal for Estonia was very pitchy, but connected with enthusiastic staging…

That poignant moment at the end of The Netherlands had us dewy-eyed (no, you’re crying)…

After the reveal of the ten songs going through to the grand final, there were even more nostalgia vibes – which has been more noticeable this year. The show ended with Sweden’s winner from 1984 – Herreys performing their classic song Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley. All rather brilliant, with men of a certain age now in their golden shoes (not boots) in 2024.

In the early hours of Friday moring, the ESC producers revealed the running order for the grand final…

(source: EBU)

I will review it on my Saturday blog post, so do check in with me again before the grand final at 8pm in the UK on BBC1 and iPlayer.

Who on earth will the producers drag out for the grand final? Something big is promised, and this year is the 50th anniversary of Abba’s victory with Waterloo. Surely it can’t be Ab…

Drömmar kan gå i uppfyllelse! 😀

(dreams can come true)



Voulez-Vous semi-final 2…

We start the second semi-final with a run of rather pedestrian (similar) sounding songs. Handy for first-time viewers!

01 Malta Loop – Sarah Bonnici

As befits these semi-finals, they always start with a bit of a bop. Up-tempo stomping vibes, very familiar even if it’s your first listen. Perhaps a bit generic, but a decent opener…

02 Albania TITAN – BESA

Familiar vibes also for this song. Another generic mid-tempo bop…

03 Greece ZARI – Marina Satti

There’s a whiff of Laurie Anderson’s O Superman with that slightly computerised/vocoder vocal. That’s what sets it apart from the opening two songs, and the indigenous Greek pop vibes. Interesting enough to get through if the staging is good.

04 Switzerland The Code – Nemo

Ok, yeah – familiar vibes here too, but there are enough transitions in the song with the vocal, rapping and operatic vocal stylings to make it stand out. I think this and Croatia overlap in some ways. It’s a bit of a bonkers song (the Cha Cha Cha influence is in there, right?), but with at least three hooks it’s quite clever. I’m really looking forward to the performance on stage tonight (Thursday). One of the overall faves is deffo going through.

05 Czechia Pedestal – Aiko

This song transports me back to The Bangles, Sleeper, Transvission Vamp and Voice of the Beehive from the 80s and 90s. I like the melodic female retro rock vibe. Interesting track interruption towards the end where there’s a bit of a spoken argument. I’d like to see this go through…

BIG 6: France Mon Amour – Slimane

This song has been a well-fancied song since it was selected as the French entry.  As is Slimane himself! 😉 

It’s an impassioned ballad – one of the best. When France gets it right, they get it right. And yes… top ten with a good wind behind it. Btw, where are the wind machines this year? 

06 Austria We Will Rave – Kaleen

Taking some of us back to the summer of 1993 – we certainly will rave… again!

I’m sure I‘m not the only one one singing along to the chorus with these familiar lyrics:

Call him Mr Raider

Call him Mr Wrong

Call him Mr Vain

More than a whiff of Culture Beat’s Mr Vain. We’ll file this under retro dance pop. Get your glow sticks out for this one…

07 Denmark SAND – SABA

We’re back to generic pop again, and it takes too long to get to the chorus (as we have to get through the pre-chorus first). The ‘hand’ ‘sand’ rhyming is a bit obvs, and towards the end it’s all a bit shouty. Staging will be key to lift it…

08 Armenia Jako – LADANIVA

Yay, proper full-on ethnopop vibes. By now a drink might have been taken, so it might make the song even more joyous. It certainly stands out – and a wee ethnopop bop often does * very * well at Eurovision. There aren’t many, so it will probably get through…

09 Latvia Hollow – Dons 

In the bigger picture of 37 songs this year, we’re not swamped by ballads. This might struggle as it feels a bit phoned-in. Again, to make it to Saturday the staging needs to make it stand out. Might not…

BIG 6: Spain ZORRA – Nebulossa

I know this song is a bit marmite for some people. Well, as you know I love marmite, and I really like this. Let’s file this under retro disco diva europop, ladies who lunch. And fair play for Nebulossa representing as a mature performer. Loved it when the UK did that with Engelbert and Bonnie Tyler…

10 San Marino 11:11 – MEGARA

More female rock vibes. I don’t mind it, although the struggle is often real for San Marino…

11 Georgia Firefighter – Nutsa Buzaladze

Ok, get ready for the pyrotechnics on stage for this one, surely?! A good vocal with familiar vibes – a theme for this year. May well get through?

12 Belgium Before the Party’s Over – Mustii 

For me, this overlaps with Latvia, and there are now a few anthemic songs this year with choral backing singers. A bit meh as a result…

13 Estonia (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi – 5MIINUST x Puuluup

I can’t wait to see this performed. There’s an ear worm in there for me on the chorus. With the bpm, it’s bit of a bop. Again, appealingly quirky. I hope it gets through…

BIG 6: La noia – Angelina Mango

Next up is Italy’s pop princess. It feels too soon for Italy to host again, but this is a great dance-pop song. Again, it thumps along quite nicely. One of my favourites this year, and well-fancied in the betting odds (it has drifted a bit this week). Looking forward to seeing it performed tonight…

14 Israel Hurricane – Eden Golan

In this year’s song contest this is one of the best ballads for sure…

15 Norway Ulveham – Gåte

This song leaves me wanting more of a chorus. I know it’s in there, but the transitions and the shouty vocal leaves me a bit cold. I know some people love it. Maybe my ears will get it more when I see it tonight (Thursday)… 

16 The Netherlands Europapa – Joost Klein

A great song to finish on. We’re back to the 80s and 90s again here (yawn by now?). This time we’ve got Falco and 2 Unlimited (and others) in the mix. Yes, towards then end we get to the part when we can intuitively sing…

No no, no no no no, no no no no, no no there’s no limit
No no, no no no no, no no no no, no no there’s no limit

Another bonkers song, and deliciously retro pop vibes to finish with.


That’s it. It feels like there are more songs in this semi-final that need to benefit from interesting staging to lift them. All three Big 6 songs tonight are good, so overall, for me, it’s five out of six – sorry Germany.

And for this semi-final, there are two things going on: a lot of retro and recycled vibes to the songs; and a few songs might cancel each other out. Whatever happens tonight, another ten songs will join the other sixteen in the grand final.

It’s an open contest this year, and it’s going to be interesting to see who makes it.

I will post again on Friday with my reactions… 

Ha det fantastiskt ikväll!

(have a brilliant time tonight)



Twists and shouts…

On my first blog post this year I said that Sweden know how to do Eurovision, and boy did they do Eurovision last night!

Staging – amazing. 

Presenters – amazing. 

Some performances – amazing. Some of which I know we weren’t expecting!

As tends to be done every year, the history book really was off the shelf as there was a nice nostalgic montage of clips from the vaults to remind us of the history and longevity of the ESC.

Watching the performances for the first time – as I know a few of you are doing similar to me this year – made for an unexpected evening and a highly enjoyable semi-final. I had a bit of a jealous twinge seeing the spectacle and the audience having such a fab time. That said, being in front of the telly was where I wanted to be, drinks and nibbles on hand.

Watching from home with my dear friend and Eurofan, Brian Singleton, is a joy as always. And a bit more exciting for him as Ireland have got it going on this year.

I mentioned to you yesterday that Eleni, Eric and Chanel were the three interval acts for the first semi-final. Rather bizarrely they opened the show, so they were the opening acts rather than the interval acts. A bit confusing! Mind you, it certainly got the Euro party started, raising the energy in the arena and it translated to us watching from home/elsewhere. Johnny Logan popped-up during the voting window to cover Loreen’s Euphoria. A nice orchestral version from Eurovision royalty.

A good Eurovision week becomes a great Eurovision week when the presenters are on top form. From the first words they said, Petra Mede and Malin Åkerman had the audience on their side, particularly on Petra’s side. Hosting for the third time she is a clear fan and crowd favourite – because she’s brilliant. She’s natural, funny, on message and a safe pair of hands. If she were an entrant, Petra would win by a country mile! 😀

Joined by a suitably assured Malin this year, there wasn’t one moment of cringe. The script was * genius *. All the gags landed, and we were all laughing along. Love how the set pieces of supposed spontaneous interaction were clearly scripted, but done very naturally.

So, what things did we learn from the first semi-final?

A lot of performances had an obelisk of some kind on stage for the singers to interact with/fall off. For some it was an obstacle too far… 

Backing dancers were out in full effect for most entries…

Speaking of which, is there an EBU male nipple allowance these days? …

A lot of backing dancers were channelling covid-time vibes with hoodies and face masks – all a bit random…

It looked a bit odd when the solo singers were on stage alone…

We did have a couple of sightings of the lesser spotted backing singers – yay!

The Billy brigade were out in force, as Serbia made it through to the grand final…

The backing track was clearly doing a lot of the heavy lifting for some singers, including Cyprus (watch it back!)…

Poland was a hot mess – channelling Gaga, Taylor, and Beyoncé wasn’t a great look…

Hera’s song is called Scared of Heights and ironically she had to descend a steep set of stairs from quite a height…

We were not bowled-over by Moldova.

Some observations on a few of the performances…

Lithuania really did add to the song with fantastic visuals and choreo – it amped up a song I already liked and was a no-brainer to get through…

Croatia was very well staged, and I hadn’t realised that there is a crowd-pleasing singalong hook for us to join in on…

Finland isn’t worth my time. I like marmite, but I didn’t like this performance; all kinds of odd – a joke that wasn’t funny for me …

And yes, Croatia is currently the favourite, but for me (with no bias) the two stand out performances of the night were Ireland and the UK…

I mean, Ireland, can we talk! I loved the Maleficent stylings and the cosplay from Bambi Thug and their backing dancer/devil. Brilliant staging and vocals. Love that Bambi has a screaming vocal coach with them in Malmö! It was an entertainingly W-T-Thug moment. I hope the kids had been put to bed! Mind you, you’d see similar ghoulish figures on Doctor Who.

Nobody (I’m generalising) had expected what Ireland delivered on stage last night. Just brilliant. Brian is giddy with tipsy today, as are other Irish friends of mine. It’s a game changer for concept and performance at ESC – I just hope it doesn’t get copied too much in future years. It will be, as it’s iconic after one ESC performance. Makes Lordi look like pantomime!

And then there was the UK’s Olly Alexander, standing in his popstar light and del-i-ver-ing. The whole package was as impactful as Ireland, but in a totally different way. Stunning choreo, staging and camera effects (with some of it clearly pre-recorded – I mean how did Olly get from his box to the stage with one camera shot?).

The performance from all on stage stood out because it was clearly inhabiting a queer space, and the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) are cool with that. Not kitsch, not camp, but a masculine queerness that didn’t feel like a trope of old. Go queer Eurovision! Scott and Rylan in commentary on BBC1 got a bit carried away, saying it was the best Eurovision staging * ever *. Well, answers on a postcard on that one. It’s definitely the UKs best ever staging. Well done to all the creatives involved.

If you’re interested in Olly Alexanders Road To Eurovision 2024, you can watch it now on BBC iPlayer. It was an illuminating (and poignant in places) 30 minutes. It reveals the pressure he has faced because he did not boycott the ESC due to what is playing out beyond the ESC bubble. Great to see the extensive rehearsals involved in what came together so brilliantly on stage last night.

So, the first semi-final was all about songs, staging and spectacle. This is what we’re here for, and we’ll do it all again for the second semi-final on Thursday night…

Kom an!

(Bring it on)



It’s time to get united by music…

Tonight, we have lift off for ESC2024!

I know I was gushing about the stage when I relaunched the blog recently. It will certainly give us a fabulous spectacle tonight…

(copyright: EBU/Peppe Andersson)

Here are the songs in the first semi-final…

01 Cyprus Liar – Silia Kapsis

This is a good start! Good pop vibes, with a catchy hook. It should get through to the final. It does make me chuckle that it starts with what sounds like the audio flare of the aliens approaching in War of the Worlds (2005).


You would think that coming off the back of Cyprus’s pop banger, this song would ruin the party before it’s got started, but no. An early ethereal moment with Billy Eilish vibes makes for a pleasing listen. I hope the Billy base and others send it through to the final…

03 Lithuania Luktelk – Silvester Belt

This reminds me of O Zone’s Dragonstea Din Tei

Both great pop songs. I hope it gets to the final. Silvester that is! 😀 

04 Ireland Doomsday Blue – Bambie Thug

Now then, one of my Eurovision besties, the lovely Brian Singleton, is visiting from Dublin to enjoy Eurovision week with me. He is very giddy about the fact that Ireland are going to qualify for the grand final for the first time in ages. And I agree. Ok, I am so not a goth (stop giggling), but kudos for giving those who are a bit of what they want. Taxi to the final, surely…

(realising I’m sending everything so far to the final!)

Now then, before we get to song five, this year all of the automatic qualifiers (the ‘Big 6’) will take to the stage to do a full performance of their song during the semi-finals. Finally! I’ve been suggesting this for years. No longer consigned to a montage, they get the full exposure to connect with the telly viewers. First up is our very own Olly Alexander…

BIG 6: United Kingdom Dizzy – Olly Alexander

I found this all a bit beige when it was first released. The obvious leaning into the melody and rhythm of I Will Survive and It’s A Sin put me off. Lazy? Yes, a little, but then how many songs this week have done similar – a lot! So, I’m a little less grumpy now, and actually, there is an ear worm in there. 

Left hand side of the leader board this year? Hopefully! Last year Mae Muller went to Eurovision as a pop star in the making. This year, Olly goes there as a legit pop star who is there being himself, doing his thing, being authentic, and connecting with kids who will see themselves in him. Brava! 

Ok, back to the songs competing tonight…

05 Ukraine Teresa & Maria – alyona alyona & Jerry Heil

We’re back with the ethnopop vibes that have done very well for Ukraine over recent years. A nice melody on the chorus with the rap vibes. Will go through to the final, fo sho!

06 Poland The Tower – LUNA

A bit of a bop, familiar pop vibes. I like it. It’s a great set-up for the current favourite…

07 Croatia  Rim Tim Tagi Dim – Baby Lasagna

You can’t unsee this, but it’s a great pop song – don’t let this put you off…

As you know, I will see the performance on stage for the first time tonight. Let’s see how my ear is guided by my eye! Listening to it, it’s hook filled and (ahem) familiar. Deffo shades of Käärijä from last year. But it feels less aggressive and more melodic, which makes it a brilliant entry. And boy, I’d be * delighted * if Croatia won…

08 Iceland Scared of Heights – Hera Björk

Now then, Hera is a Eurovision * legend *. In 2010 she first represented Iceland with the * iconic * Je Ne Sais Quoi. At the end of a very mediocre semi-final, Hera landed with this piece of schlager pop perfection, and it lifted the roof off the arena – I was there! (you can see peeps jumping up in joy at the end)…

What I wouldn’t give to be on b-vox with her, swaying in choreographic harmony. Loved that!

Bless her, Hera ain’t gonna eclipse her former entry. Although last year Belgium’s Gustaph had similar retro vibes with his song Because Of You, and that landed in the top ten. If only for Hera…

Oh, and by the way…

BIG 6 Germany Always On The Run – SAAK

Feels like a few songs in one, with familiar ‘na na hey’ chanting. Also, there’s a whiff of Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger in there. Probably my least favourite song from the ‘big six’ this year…

09 Slovenia Veronika – Raiven

The first of the more earnestly anthemic ethnopop vibes of this semi-final. By looks of this there will be moody and emotive staging…

10 Finland No Rules! – Windows95man 

Yep, Finland are tipping over into novelty song and performance territory this year. Mind you, people were saying similar about Cha Cha Cha last year. Will it be a joke lost on viewers? Probably – although kids might like it. Having said that, an old dude singing in his pants isn’t exactly going to earn many points! I love how the Microsoft logo has been blurred – clearly they have objected to their logo being used. And with this song, who wouldn’t! 😀

11 Moldova In The Middle – Natalia Barbu

Natalia competed in ESC2007, and she’s back again. She’s giving us futher adventures in moody ethnopop vibes, and is it just me – a rather alarming take on Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love music video. All a bit creepy! Get ready for the gag I do every year… will people be bowled over by Moldova this year? 😀 Hmm…

BIG 6: Sweden Unforgettable – Marcus & Martinus

I was in the Friends arena in Stockholm to see this performance back in March. Well, when I say see it we actuallty didn’t see very much of the boys as our seats were side on to the stage, and M&M spent a lot of time in their box! It was the runaway winner of Melodifestivalen. I like it, it’s a bop, but they have sent this song before and done it better. Not even in the top ten with the bookies (yet), which is strange for Sweden…

12 Azerbaijan Özünlə Apar – FAHREE feat. Ilkin Dovlatov

EP vibes again, with a bit of two step and Madonna’s Frozen strings in the mix. For that reason alone, I quite like it. And a great pair of vocalists. I’d like it to get through to the final…

13 Australia One Milkali (One Blood) – Electric Fields

So, this music video really doesn’t add anything to the song, so I am interested to see how it is interpreted on stage tonight. A bit of a pedestrian song even with the retro vibes, and certainly not Australia’s best entry, I’d say…

14 Portugal Grito – iolanda

Portugal very much staying in their lane – and fair play to them. The choreo is a bit distracting, and the dancers remind me of that episode of RuPaul’s Drag where Valentina wanted to lip-sync with a mask on…


15 Luxembourg Fighter – TALI

Luxembourg are back, back, back for the first time since 1993. Good to have them back, with a song that reminds me a bit of Ain’t It Funny by Jennifer Lopez. I like the language mix and the melody on the chorus. A nice way to wrap the first semi-final.

So, out of these songs Croatia is clearly going to win this semi-final, and I am intrigued to see who joins them in the grand final on Saturday. 

During the voting window the interval acts tonight are returning singers Eleni Foureira, Eric Saade and Chanel. You may remember that Eleni brought the Fuego in 2018, Eric was Popular in 2011 and Chanel was in SloMo in 2022. They all have bragging rights that they should have won, but for me Eric Saade’s Popular is a brilliant pop song. If he had done a stronger live vocal it would have won. And now that the backing vocals are on the backing track, he deffo would! I was in the arena, the year of the throbbing tonsil…

We might have heard our winner in this semi-final, but there are a few other potential winners to come later in the week…

Ha det fantastiskt ikväll!

(have a brilliant time tonight) 😀



You got the look…

It’s Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK today. Last night in Malmö, it was time for the ESC artists to walk the turquoise carpet at Malmö Live, now that rehearsals are done and dusted. 

I walked the carpet in Olso, back in 2010. I know, right. Not in any musical capacity, obvs, but because I had accreditation. The carpet that year was pink…

Blimey, I look young and thin! The juice fast starts next Monday! 😀

I mentioned on the blog yesterday that there is all kinds of everything (see what I did there!) musically this year, and based on the looks on the turquoise carpet, also stylistically. You can see that Eurovision is as cooky and crazy as it has always been, by checking out the fads and fashions of ESC2024 here.

I watched (well, fast-forwarded through) what was actually quite entertaining coverage of Malmö Live. In previous years this launch event for the artists has been a bit of a stretch for the viewer, with clunky presenters and awkward interviews with the artists. This year a slightly different approach was taken, with the artists, having walked the carpet outside, being interviewed indoors. With everything going on outside of the Eurovision bubble, one suspects this might have been for security purposes?

The artists were interviewed by drag sensations Elecktra (Drag Race SverigeMelodifestivalen) and Tia Kofi (Drag Race UK, Drag Race UK vs The World). They were entertaining hosts, although quite amusingly at times they clearly weren’t listening to the responses to their questions! I like Tia – a Drag Race alum who is becoming a national treasure.

You can watch coverage of the backstage interviews at Malmö Live below…

(you will find yourselves doing as a I did – skipping to the interviews as there is a gap between each interview)

It was nice to meet each of the artists in this way. One of my takes from Malmö Live is that the turquoise carpet has given us early indications of the battle of the bare-chested male backing dancers! It also showcases the modern Eurovision – diverse and delightful, and showcasing (to borrow from RuPaul) charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent…

I will be back on Tuesday with my take on the songs competing in the first semi-final, which will be broadcast in the UK on BBC1/iPlayer at 8pm. 

Spännande! 😀




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! 😀  


ESC2024: the history book is back off the shelf…

Hello Eurofans!

I’m back with my blog, which was published for the first time way back in 2008. I’m glad to be back, re-energised after a fabulous ESC in Liverpool last year. The memories will linger. It was a special time, and it was the most watched ESC in the UK, ever. The BBC did a fab job, and set the bar for how the Swedish broadcaster, SVT, will build on that.

And oh how SVT seem to be doing that…

Well, my friends, the first footage of the stage for ESC2024 has just been released – and the reason for me realising I need to get started with the blog!

How amazing does this look… (click the link)

Amazing. The first time ESC will be been done ‘in the round’. Wow, just wow.

Musically, it’s a really strong year, as I’ll discuss with you on the blog.

I think it’s going to be a close call who will win. UK? No, not a chance. Early contenders: Switzerland, Croatia and Netherlands, although as we’ll see they kinda cancel each other out (although Switzerland is the best for me). Italy providing the diva vibes, Greece flavoured with Laurie Anderson’s O Superman is cool. Sweden are opening the final with a good pop song, but they have sent better versions of this song in previous years, so they won’t win a record eight win to pull ahead of Ireland this year.

So, welcome back regular readers, and hello newbies! Get involved and comment if you fancy. I won’t have the backstage scoop as I’m watching from home. And once again this year, as last, the European Broadcasting Union are keeping rehearsals under wraps, so I will see what you see. But I’ll still have an opinion. 😉

As always, if I can add a little something to your ESC experience this year – brilliant.

Underbart, hopefully!