Eurovision 2015 Finale: We Rank the Performances

It’s hard to imagine that the current Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is the very same competition which was once dominated by such magnificent artists as ABBA and Celine Dion. Over the years, as the musical quality of the show declined, the limelight drifted away from the singers and the songs to the countries, therefore creating a completely political song contest where all the attention is directed towards the waving flags of the European nations, while the musical grandeur slowly fades in contrast. Despite our disappointment over ESC’s fall, we decided to “build a bridge”, get over it and objectively rank every single performance of the finale (Grades A - F, the best being A+).

· Maraaya - Here for You (Slovenia) – Lots of things about this performance seemed out of place: the headphones, the lighting, the bizarre dancer and the piano guy. The song itself was very monotonic. D

· Lisa Angell - N’oubliez Pas (France) – A very run-of-the-mill ballad, standing still the whole time. Sadly, her high notes were not impressive enough to save this humdrum performance. D

· Nadav Guedj - Golden Boy (Israel) – Folk vibes couldn’t save this awfully generic pop song and the choreography was as unoriginal as it gets. D

· Elina Born & Stig Rästa - Goodbye to Yesterday (Estonia) – Couldn’t even determine what the singers were trying to accomplish with this performance. Was it supposed to be sad? Sexy? Mysterious? It surely was awkward. F

· Electro Velvet - Still in Love with You (UK) – Electro Velvet tried to bring in a few Jazz vibes, but very unsuccessfully. The choreography was laughable and this seemingly old school performance was simply disappointing. A plus for trying something different, though. C-

· Genealogy - Face the Shadow (Armenia) – Their voices were nice, but each very different, therefore they didn’t quite fit together. Some parts were surprisingly enjoyable, some were severely low. C

· Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila - This Time (Lithuania) – The song was forgettable and the performance lacked a sense of verisimilitude in general. Unfortunately, didn’t feel the love. D

· Bojana Stamenov - Beauty Never Lies (Serbia) – Bojana obviously has the voice and her confidence shined through the whole act. She definitely delivered one of the most energetic performances of the night. They should have got rid of those awful background dancers, though. B+

· Mørland & Debrah Scarlett - A Monster Like Me (Norway) – Both of the performers had very nice tones and smoothly moved between registers. However, the song and, generally, the entire performance were unmemorable due to the lack of variety. C

· Måns Zelmerlöw - Heroes (Sweden) – The number was effortless and lively, with an interestingly different visual concept. Måns’ vocal consistency is something to be applauded and he delivered the whole performance with an admirable ease. A

· John Karayiannis - One Thing I Should Have Done (Cyprus) – The song was melodic and therefore quite soothing. John’s tone was warm and pleasing as well. However, zero stage presence and monotony pushed this potential remarkably low. C

· Guy Sebastian - Tonight Again (Australia) – Guy probably had the best vocal technique this year. However, the song sounded like every other R&B song on the planet. A little originality would have helped. B+

· Loïc Nottet - Rhythm Inside (Belgium) – Both the song and the performance were pushed too hard to be edgy, therefore ending up a bit cringe-worthy instead. Strong vocal cords though. C

· The Makemakes - I Am Yours (Austria) – The beginning sounded good, but it continued in the very same spirit till the end, getting a bit boring. Two of the band members looked painfully unneeded and there was hardly any connection with the crowd. C-

· Maria Elena Kyriakou - One Last Breath (Greece) – Another great voice wasted on an ordinary, dull ballad. D

· Knez - Adio (Montenegro) – The intro was great. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the number, which looked like a strange Deja Vu of a number of the night’s other performances. D

· Ann Sophie - Black Smoke (Germany) – Although this song didn’t deserve the 0 points it got during the final vote, it wasn’t much of an accomplishment either. The performance was overly calculated, therefore the connection and the emotion was lost. D

· Monika Kuszyńska - In the Name of Love (Poland) – The song was quite bland and the back singers were louder than Monika in some parts. Quite disappointing. D

· Aminata Love - Injected (Latvia) – The whole performance was definitely different and stood out amongst the crowd. Aminata’s vocal delivery was also good. However, in some parts the song sounded a bit unpleasant, after all it was just a long beat sequence with a couple of high notes here and there. B-

· Voltaj - De La Capat / All Over Again (Romania) – Decent song, decent performance, decent grade. C

· Edurne - Amanecer (Spain) – The singer looked absolutely stunning. The song, however, was very disappointing. D

· Boggie - Wars for Nothing (Hungary) – Boggie was also a very beautiful lady. Unfortunately, with the stage presence of a table and the most tiresome song, Wars for Nothing was the nadir of the night. F

· Nina Sublatti - Warrior (Georgia) – What a great stage presence! The performance was bold, energetic and fiery. Nina’s vocals were on point. Yet the show makers covered her with too much smoke and the director of photography had no idea what he/she was shooting, but Nina is not the one to blame for that. A

· Elnur Huseynov - Hour Of The Wolf (Azerbaijan) – Great song and nice, rich vocals. Elnur was too static though. And the super active background dancers emphasized that even more. A-

· Polina Gagarina - A Million Voices (Russia) – Fantastic voice and an enjoyable song. However, the visual concept was a rip-off of Jennifer Lopez’s American Idol performance and Polina cannot act; her forced facial expressions gave the whole number an artificial overlay. B-

· Elhaida Dani - I’m Alive (Albania) – Flawed vocal performance. Her falsetto was very weak and some of the high notes transitioned into screams. She did have a nice stage presence, however. D

· Il Volo - Grande Amore (Italy) – Many may say Il Volo were boring, but we think they were actually splendid! A great example that classic singing never goes out of style. Their vocals were simply phenomenal and they put on a performance which didn’t need a load of pyrotechnics to be staggering. A

Note from the Author: As I keep a close eye on nearly all of the above-mentioned countries’ local competition shows, which are jam-packed with talent, it still remains a mystery why 90% of Europe fails to send their level-best performances to Eurovision. I guess few desire to waste art on politics, which is understandable.

28 May 2015 22:37