12 Days of Eurovision: Day 9

On the ninth day of Eurovision…

Sweden has won the contest, which means we’re travelling to the north of Europe to Stockholm Malmö for the 58th Eurovision Song Contest. This marked the 5th time that Sweden was hosting the contest, and in 2013, Sweden was hosting a total of 39 countries, including Armenia, who returned after a one year break. Unfortunately we didn’t see Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal, Slovakia or Turkey participate. The show was hosted by Petra Mede, and was held in Malmö Arena.

Best staging

It’s not the greatest song or performance, even though it did come second, but what Azerbaijan did right was the staging. They used a simple clear box to create something really visually exciting. The dancer in the box essentially mirrors Farid’s movements outside the box, some of which look pretty physically challenging. Matched with some really good camera angles, it makes for an entertaining show. It must have taken a lot of practice to be that synchronised, especially during that second verse, but I’m impressed.

Best Costume

There were a few contenders for this award but I had to give it to Norway’s Margaret Berger, who has the most figure hugging dress in the history of the universe. If you’ve got the booty, no harm in showing it off! The white dress is sexy without showing off too much, and the embellishments add a bit of interesting in what would otherwise be a very plain white dress. What tops the cake is the fishtail braid that she is rocking – this is outfit and hair goals right here.

Worst Costume

I’m probably going for the obvious here when I say Serbia was probably the worst dressed. The three girls are amazing vocalists, and I actually really enjoyed the song, but what the hell are those costumes? What they wore in the national final weren’t that great either, with the devil and angel costumes but at least it gave a bit of sense to the song for those who didn’t understand the lyrics. The costumes, which look like candy, don’t suit the song at all, and I could understand if this was Dolly Style from Sweden but it’s quite hard to take a song seriously when you’re wearing costumes like that. It really is a shame considering that the song could have been in the final, but their costumes really did hold them back.

Best Live Vocals

We didn’t see these guys in the final, but I’m here to give them a little love. I’m talking about Klapa s mora, who performed the song Mižerja. What is most impressive is that these guys weren’t a pre-existing band, but were formed for Eurovision, so to have 6 members on stage to harmonise that nicely is a pretty good achievements. We’ve seen in previous years mismatched voices on stage, and even with FYR Macedonia in 2013 that sometimes putting two good but different singers together doesn’t always work, so Croatia did well to create this song. There isn’t one note wrong in this song, and that for me warrants Best Live Vocals.

Most Underrated

Two completely different acts have made it to my underrated list for 2013, and despite them being so very different, I think both should have made it to the final. The first of those is Israel, who sent Moran Mazor with the song Rak Bishvilo. If we completely disregard what she is wearing and focus on the song and how it’s performed, we can see how nice of a ballad this is, and doesn’t fall into the pile of ballads that go completely nowhere. The song builds really nicely, and Moran’s voice is nothing but spectacular. This is the female equivalent of Milim by Harel Skaat only a few years earlier, and what they have even more in common is they both deserved a better place in the contest.

Now, the other song which was really underrated is very different to Israel’s entry, but equally as amazing. Before the contest, Montenegro had one of the most hyped songs, with a LOT of views on their official video before the contest, so I was hopeful that they would qualify to the final for the first time ever. The song was intense and energetic, and had a really catchy beat. Sure, the staging of the show was a bit out there, I mean, I liked it, but will admit it was a bit random, but the song itself was just so good. This was a lot more modern than a lot of the songs we’ve heard in Eurovision over the years previous to 2013, and not only that, it was well performed especially by Nina, who was absolutely ace on stage. Definitely deserved a place in the final, and probably what hurts the most is that this placed 4th in the televote alone, however didn’t fare so well with the juries.

Best All-Rounder

Again, two countries stand out to me for this category and again, both are quite different in style. First up is Greece, who was represented by Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovidis and the energetic song Alcohol is Free. Before the contest I didn’t rate this at all, but as the contest came along, I really began to fall in love with the catchiness of this song. The staging is perfect for what this song is, and their outfits aren’t too crazy, which is good. Really, everything about this song just hits the spot.

The other song is from Italy, who went with the minimalist approach with hella popular singer Marco Mengoni. The song was a ballad called L’Essenziale, and for most of the song, Marco is on stage, standing still in front of the microphone in his perfect suit. I mean, that colour in a suit, on someone as good looking as him is just so aesthetically appealing… but visual aside, I think the minimalistic approach gives the song and his voice a chance to shine, and that it does. Watching this back really makes me want to go listen to the entire discography of Marco Mengoni (again) because his voice is really one of the best in Italy right now. Both he and Anouk from The Netherlands proved that simple songs can do well at Eurovision if performed well.

Best Gimmicks

I gotta give this one to Ukraine, even though their gimmick lasted no more than 20 seconds, if that. That 20 seconds I’m talking about is right at the start of the song, where the tallest living man of the United States, Igor Vovkovinskiy literally carries Zlata onto stage onto her little rock stage thing. Igor is dressed as some sort of fantasy giant, and essentially serves no purpose other than to carry her onto stage. What makes it even funnier is the fact that they use a camera effect so that when Igor takes a step, the camera shudders as if his foot hitting the ground is creating a tremendous impact. Igor is happy though, he got his 15 seconds of fame!

Most Cringe worthy Moment

Belgium came out of nowhere to snag a fairly respectable position on the results table, especially after Eurovision fans completely dismissed this before the contest. What also comes out of nowhere is the horrific sight behind Roberto on stage. Yes, I’m talking about that dancing. Please, someone help me out by telling me what the heck this is, because this can’t have been choreographed by a professional. It’s not one of those really strange contemporary pieces which sorta makes sense, but it’s literally a collection of awkward movements across stage that make no sense to the song at all. Literally the only purpose these dance moves serve is for memes.

Best Hairstyle

Moldova in 2013 had a great song in O Mie, and a great singer in Aliona Moon, who in the previous year was a backing singer for Pasha Parfeny – and now he’s backing her, how’s that for a role reversal! The stage performance was creative (although also done in Romania’s performance, a bit of neighbour idea sharing), but what gets me is the hair on the incredibly pretty Aliona. Her hair looks like it belongs on an anime character, as it’s all collected on top and sticks forward. It’s kinda like a Mohawk when you see it from the side, which isn’t as bad but from the front it just looks a bit strange. I’m a fan of the song, just not of the hair.

Bonus Category: Best Feel Good Song

Sometimes a good dance song will get you up and going, especially during Eurovision time when the energy is high, but today I’ve picked a song which just makes you feel so good inside, and that’s Malta, who was represented by Gianluca and the song Tomorrow. For starters, the song is probably the cutest song ever, and not only that, it’s performed by someone who has the most infectious smile I think I’ve ever seen. The song oozes good vibes, and everything about the performance is just so chilled out, and seeing the performers enjoy themselves on stage just gives you a nice feeling inside.

Fun Facts about Eurovision 2013

  • Azerbaijan was at the centre of a vote rigging scandal, where they were accused of bribing people from other nations to vote. Issues of voting also arose between Russia and Azerbaijan, where UK entrant Bonnie Tyler apparently overhearing the Russians complaining that Azerbaijan did not ‘give us the ten points we paid for’. Drama, Drama!

  • The host of the Green Room, Eric Saade referred to the host of the show Petra Mede as a ‘MILF’, and coincidentally, when the BBC aired this, the sound was lost, however it still remains unknown whether this was an accident or on purpose. Host broadcaster SVT were apparently aware of his plan to say this, although it caused a bit of outrage.

  • This was the first year where the running order of the show was decided by the producers of the show, rather than from a random draw. This was done to give each song the chance to stand out, rather than having songs similar to each other next to each other.

Quick-fire Top 5:

In no particular order,

  • Armenia

  • Moldova

  • Israel

  • Sweden

  • Italy

Top 3 Guilty Pleasure Songs

  • Montenegro

  • Serbia

  • Greece