We don’t have to travel far to our next destination, it’s just over the bridge! We’ve gone from Malmö to Copenhagen, after Emmelie de Forest’s win in 2013. This was the third time that Denmark have hosted the contest, with the more recent time back in 2001. The hosts of the show were Lise Rønne, Nikolaj Koppel and Pilou Asbæk, and the contest was held in B&W Hallerne. A total of 37 countries participated, with Poland and Portugal returning, and unfortunately Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Serbia withdrawing from the contest.
With such a fabulous stage, it was hard for a song to not have good staging, but for me this has to go to Iceland, who had the most colourful staging of the lot. The song is catchy and energetic, and that was captured in the way the song was staged. The backing featured a whole bunch of shapes, which differs from the tens of other nations using trees as the background. The costumes are colourful, and what really is the best part is the synchronised dance. This is ace.
Plenty of options to choose from here, from Conchita’s fabulous gold dress, to Tanja’s stunning white dress, or even Dilara’s red gown, but I’m choosing something a little more traditional… It’s Poland! The modern take on tradition matched with the colours and patterns on the backing screens looks really vibrant on camera. The mix of red, green and white is pretty festive, and since this is the 12 Days of Christmas Eurovision, it would be silly not to feature Poland! What’s also more festive than a bit of butter churning, or clothes washing?
Two countries top my list for this category, but more generally speaking most of the acts this year worse relatively normal or appropriate costumes, which made these two stand out even more for me. The first is of course Lithuania, which is just a bit of a mess, to be honest. The black and blue/green leather/rubber/whatever it is just doesn’t work, matched with the tutu which acts as a bit of a prop when the also inappropriately dressed dancer uses it to stick his hands up, and I’m kinda glad the camera doesn’t focus on him while he’s hiding under the tutu because that’s just a little weird. What’s also quite funny is the amount of static her hair has at the end, where you can see it floating in all different directions.
The second act which didn’t do that well in the costumes stakes is Slovenia, who impressed enough to reach the final but could have impressed me a lot more if Tinkara actually wore something nice. The blue and black dress could have been really spectacular but it looks cheap, a bit busy and doesn’t do any favours to her. I also feel like she could have put a bit more effort into the hair situation, as that also does her no favours. So much potential not fulfilled.
Best Live Vocals
Close your eyes and enjoy the smooth sounds of Bruno Mars. Oh. Wait. I mean, the smooth sounds of Basim from Denmark. The likeness is uncanny, but this isn’t a bad thing, because just like Bruno Mars, Basim knows how to belt out a catchy tune. Cliché Love Song is one of those songs you gotta get up and dance to, and his voice just hits the spot to create an all-round great performance. Hearing the audience sing along with the whoah’s is definitely another feel good moment of the performance.
And obviously, we don’t even need to say Conchita slays this game:
Two of the seemingly jokey songs have made it into my most underrated list for 2014, with the first being Belarus. Although it wasn’t criminally underrated as it did make it to the final, it was still too underrated for my liking. Sure, it was a song called Cheesecake and it might have been hard to take seriously, but for me, this was, and still is one of my favourite Eurovision songs. It’s catchy, the staging is actually really great, and that shuffle across stage by Teo is goals.
The other underrated song is France, who also made it slightly hard to take seriously with a song called Moustache. This, alongside Cheesecake were my two favourites of 2014, simply because of how catchy both of the songs are. Moustache, despite the title of the song actually talks about consumerism, and how one man can have everything in the world, but all he really wants is a moustache. Like the Icelandic entry, the staging is energetic and colourful which really appealed to me, but obviously not to the rest of Europe, with this coming last in the final.
Montenegro as an independent nation is a fairly new one, and since their independent debut in 2007, the country still hadn’t ever made it to the final. Until this year. Sergej Ćetković was chosen to represent Montenegro with the beautiful ballad Moj Svijet, which has always been one of my favourite entries of 2014. The staging for the song was really beautiful, with the backdrop looking lush. The song itself is a song that builds well, and sung by a good vocalist. Essentially everything about this song deserved to have a place in the final, and when it was called out as a qualifier it felt like my baby was finally growing up – Montenegro finally found their mojo.
This song had more revamps than songs entered into the Swiss National Final (not really, but probably comes close) but with a pretty decent final product, the song was pretty likely to make it to the final. What brought this stage performance up a notch was the human hamster wheel and an attractive human hamster. It could potentially signify time and its infinite nature, but I don’t know if I want to give them credit for thinking that deeply into the hamster wheel, but rather I’ll give them credit for making it actually look pretty good on stage.
Most Cringe worthy Moment
Two cringe inducing offenders for 2014, with the first being from Belgium. It’s not necessarily one specific moment, but more the fact that an older woman was dancing on stage alongside Axel. We are all for women of age dancing, ie, the woman in the interval act, Kit, I think her name was? She was funky but in this song, it just looks a bit creepy to be honest. I don’t think a song like this even needed a dance behind it.
The other cringe moment came to me when I was watching the second semi-final, and it reached Greece, who was represented by Freaky Fortune feat. RiskyKidd. Seems as if RiskyKidd was a bit nervous, and I can imagine all the Eurovision artists are nervous, but most of the time the artists push through those nerves to sing through their song with no glitches. RiskyKidd didn’t quite do that. He warmed into his role in the Greek performance but if we look/listen to right at the start of the song, we can hear the nerves take over. I couldn’t help but cringe and simultaneously feel sorry for the guy.
It would be crazy not to feature Moldova in this category after their gimmick reveal mid-song. Her hair to begin with doesn’t look all that great, but the quality is sort of explained when she rips the fake hair off to reveal her (maybe) real hair but like… what purpose does it serve? It doesn’t make her hair look any better after the reveal, and I literally don’t understand why. A costume reveal I can deal with but just not a hair reveal.
Bonus Category: Best Kids Toy on Stage
Hungary had a teddy bear on stage for the national final, but ruined their chances in this category when they didn’t feature it at Eurovision, and Greece had a trampoline, but we have to give credit where credit is due, and feature Russia for the Best Kids Toy on Stage. Russia played around on a giant see-saw which incredibly manages to stay pretty balanced and controlled. See-saws as I remember them usually tip with the slightest of movements, but the girls control it to tip right on cue. The see-saw even gets a renovation mid performance to become a rising sun – a nice transformation.
Fun Facts about Eurovision 2014
Valentina Monetta was competing in Eurovision for the 3rd consecutive year, making her the 4th main singer in Eurovision history to compete in 3 in a row, and the only one to never have won. The other three were Lys Assia, Corry Brokken and Udo Jürgens, who all won an edition of Eurovision
The Tolmachevy Sisters from Russia were the first winning Junior Eurovision entry to enter Eurovision, and the first former Junior Eurovision participant to reach the Eurovision final
New rules for the 2014 contest aimed to have more transparency in terms of the voting, and as such, the names of the jury members were released before the contest, and all jury results were provided after the contest. Additionally, jury members are only allowed to serve if they did not participate in one of the two previous editions.
Quick-fire Top 5:
In no particular order, (yes, you can count, this is not 5 but I just can’t pick, alright?)