Live Review: 2016 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final

Live Review: 2016 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final

Eurovision is now over for the year and we have just witnessed the beginning of World War III. Ukraine triumphed over Russia and prevented Australia’s Dami Im from beating the Europeans at their own game with Jamala’s original song ‘1944’, a ballad about World War II which was accused of being too political by Russia. If you can remember the whole Crimea situation from last year (and it’s still happening right now), you’ll know that nobody should fuck around with Putin and Mother Russia. Fortunately for you guys, Ilija and I woke up at three in the morning to watch the action of the Eurovision Grand Final unfold and review all of the songs for you so you didn’t have to load up on sugar and caffeine.

26th Place: ‘Ghost’ by Jamie-Lee (Germany) – 11 points

Khaleesi: I thought this was going to rank higher because Eurovision was all about multiculturalism. I guess cultural appropriation doesn’t count. I liked the song – the eerie, Alice in Wonderland staging was cool, and Jamie’s vocals were solid throughout the performance, but I just couldn’t get over the fact she was dressed like every single young girl in China, Japan, and Korea. All I was thinking was ‘Papa Franku! Save us!’

Khaleesi’s Rating: 4.5/10

HOLY SHIT HAHA Germany following onto Sweden’s tradition and showcasing bullshit. It’s really annoying because I actually like this song a lot but what the fuck is up with the whole ‘Senpai call me Obama’ image? What a cock-up.

Ilija’s Rating: 4/10

25th Place: ‘I Stand’ by Gabriela Guncikova (Czech Republic) – 41 points

Ilija: … And we’re straight into the Euro-ballads by the second song. Amazing notes were hit, but I was more impressed by the melismas … The gradual progression of layers in the first part of the song get cut away in the bridge with a huge and epic outro.

Ilija’s Rating: 5.5/10

Khaleesi: I am just going to put it out there – Czech Republic got screwed over. While it was a typical Eurovision ballad, it was a good one at that. Gabriela’s voice really shone in the performance and was consistently great throughout, so much so that I got goosebumps. The projections on the stage were also pretty cool and they kept in line with the music video which is nice considering some performances completely abandon the theme of the music video when they get to the live performance.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 7/10

24th Place: ‘You’re Not Alone’ by Joe & Jake (United Kingdom) – 62 points

Khaleesi: This was definitely an improvement from last year’s 1920s, Great Gatsby bullshit. It seems the songwriters wanted to create a song that would get played on the radio because I do see this song being overplayed on British radio. The vocals were … alright I guess. They weren’t bad but they weren’t good, either. It just wasn’t that impressive. I don’t know, I guess I was distracted by Niall Horan and Ramsay Bolton’s love child pretending to play the guitar.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 4/10

Ilija: He’s not even using a guitar pick
He’s not even hitting the right frets
There’re two drummers
If you’re gonna do a lil’ Wayne at least make it look convincing. Yeah, yeah you could all say ‘but the A E $ T H E T I C, Ilija’ – I think it looked fucking dumb. Despite these performance antics, the song is significantly better compared to previous British acts. That ain’t saying much. Still utter horse-shit.

Ilija’s Rating: 1.5/10

23rd Place: ‘Lighthouse’ by Nina Kraljic (Croatia) – 73 points

Ilija: Cro-bros … please explain paulinehanson.jpg
Just fucking sing in Slav. She sounds like a mix of Björk and the singer from The Cranberries. Was slightly pitchy, and the pronunciation was shite. Another lacklustre outro key-change from another Slav nation. Coincidence? Learn new techniques noobs.

Ilija’s Rating: 4/10

Khaleesi: I guess this is what happens when a Tumblr feminist takes to the stage at the Eurovision Song Contest. Nina’s vocals reminded me of a mixture of Bjork and Sia – in that they were hard to understand. Just go ahead and sing in a different language if you’re going to be rude and make it hard for your fans to sing along in the shower. ‘Lighthouse’ wasn’t too shabby but in all honesty I was distracted by Nina’s fringe. Watch the video and you’ll understand.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 6/10

22nd Place: ‘Say Yay!’ by Barei (Spain) – 77 points

Khaleesi: I wasn’t that impressed by this. Sure, the song was catchy and Barei sounded good live, but I couldn’t get over the outdated choreography. Barei is trying to bring shuffling back when we all know it hit its peak in 2011. It’s like if Psy wanted to bring back ‘Gangnam Style’, he would be murdered in a dark alley. Stop trying to bring back shuffling Barei!

Khaleesi’s Rating: 5.5/10

Ilija: There is a common occurrence that these non-English speaking nations are trying to appease the majority by singing in English when you can clearly observe how uncomfortable they are. Thankfully this song worked because I think Spanish wouldn’t have been powerful phonetically. This song was strong and the performance was even stronger. Big 5 are bigger this year./div>

Ilija’s Rating: 8/10

21st Place: ‘Alter Ego’ by Minus One (Cyprus) – 96 points

Ilija: This Eurovision is awesome with the amount of diversity from the musicians performing. This song is definitely a grower, there is nothing better than experience a band live. Cypriot boys din dun good.

Ilija’s Rating: 7/10

Khaleesi: YAY! Something that isn’t a cheesy pop song! Shame it didn’t rank higher. I had been loving this song since the studio version came out and I find it be very catchy. While I didn’t think the vocals were as great as the studio version, Minus One’s performance was still really enjoyable and was something fresh and different to everyone else.

Khaleesi’s rating: 8/10

20th Place: ‘Midnight Gold’ by Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz (Georgia) – 104 points

Khaleesi: I got a 90’s BritPop vibe from this. The vocals reminded me a little bit of Oasis and Blur and the sound was, once again, something different. It did get a little repetitive in the last minute of the song but the transitions between rock and electronic were very smooth. The lighting was definitely inspired by an acid trip gone wrong. I swear Ilija and I were about to have a seizure.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 5/10

Ilija: When you have a Gallagher brother on bass, Manu from MKR on drums and an LSD trip for visuals – it’s either gonna make you or break you in Eurovision. When compared to a strong line-up for this year they just didn’t provide enough. Unlucky Georgia.

Ilija’s Rating: 5/10

19th Place: ‘Pioneer’ by Freddie (Hungary) – 108 points

Ilija: Really enlightening to hear a raspy male voice that can also contrast soothing falsettos. The whistling was a nice added touch for texture for something that helped the song bloom later on. Unlike Azerbaijan, the stage arrangement and antics significantly reflected the song. Definitely a solid contender.

Ilija’s Rating: 7.5/10

Khaleesi: Surely Freddie is a model because I am damn sure every single audience member or anyone watching it from home were lusting over him. It seemed Hungary was relying on his looks to pull off a win here. The staging was very boring and I wanted to pay more attention to the drummer but no, I had to keep looking at Freddie with those eyes and that jawline and his arms … oh shit their plan worked.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 7/10

18th Place: ‘Goodbye (Shelter)’ by Sanja Vucic ZAA (Serbia) – 115 points

Khaleesi: I don’t know about Ilija but I liked this entry. Sanja had a powerful voice which stayed powerful through the whole song, including that high note she managed to hit this time around. The ballad itself was very powerful and it is very topical considering the song is about women finding the strength to leave an abusive relationship because there are still men who have no idea how to treat women (cough-Germany New Year’s-cough) and there are still women who feel alone and weak when they are in an abusive relationship. Should have placed higher tbh.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 7.5/10

Ilija: It ain’t a Serbian song if there’re no flutes. Flute game strong. The song’s vibe was really ‘meh’, they need to stop living with the mentality that slow ballad’s is what will make them win another Eurovision. Second key-change of the night … very, very weird that this ain’t happening as much but it really didn’t help the song. So bland.

Ilija’s Rating: Not Stronk/10

17th Place: ‘Miracle’ by Samra (Azerbaijan) – 117 points

Ilija: When it comes to the music it was miraculous, when it came to the performance it’s going to take a miracle to make her get votes. Looked trapped on the stage and the backing performers didn’t help by surrounding her. Excellent use of alternating choruses though, great composition that just needed more edge.

Ilija’s Rating: 6/10

Khaleesi: Is it bad that I was watching the backing performers? Samra was hardly doing anything on stage and was relying on her looks and her not-so-powerful voice to win votes. The song itself is good and the staging looked nice but I was just bored by Samra’s performance./div>

Khaleesi’s Rating: 6/10

16th Place: ‘No Degree of Separation’ by Francesca Michielin (Italy) – 124 points

Khaleesi: The Italian language is so nice to listen to. It was a shame we got a few forced lines in English. Francesca sounded and looked quite nervous and scared during the performance. This entry had a lot of potential to be great but the nerves got the best of her.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 5/10

Ilija: It’s always better hearing native tongue than forced English. It sounds more flowing … The few lines she sang in English were nothing compared to the Italian phrases. Unfortunately it really took her a while to get into it, could easily tell there was nerves. At least the composers complemented her range and didn’t make her sing out of her comfort zone.

Ilija’s Rating: 6/10

15th Place: ‘Heartbeat’ by Justs (Latvia) – 132 points

Ilija: This small Baltic nation should have won last year. It was going to be hard to keep the momentum up for another year to contend. Latvia, you did it again. The contrast of smooth and rough conventions in the music gets me rock hard. Please win to compensate for last year. #JusticeForLatvia

Ilija’s Rating: 8/10

Khaleesi: For once I am going to agree with Ilija and say Latvia should have won last year. When I found out last year’s Latvian representative wrote this year’s entry, I thought ‘maybe she’ll get justice through Justs’. Obviously that didn’t happen. Justs’ performance was simple but effective but once again, Latvia was overlooked. #JusticeForLatvia

Khaleesi’s Rating: 8/10

14th Place: ‘Made of Stars’ by Hovi Star (Israel) – 135 points

Khaleesi: While this song was cheesy as fuck, I enjoyed ‘Made of Stars’ over ‘Golden Boy’ last year. I felt as though the buildup could have happened a bit sooner as the contest was slowing down in energy and Ilija were falling asleep. I did pay more attention to the people in the hoops. That is some Cirque Du Soleil shit right there.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 6.5/10

Ilija: Ahh Israel. This song is ultimate cringe and it was still better than last year’s entry. So many songs are doing the whole ‘let’s repeat “we are” as many times as we can before singing the complete phrase’. The build-up was necessary because fuck me sideways with a rusty rake that was an insomnia-cure.

Ilija’s Rating: 3.5/10

13th Place: ‘Loin d’ici (Far from Here)’ by Zoe (Austria) – 151 points

Ilija: This is a pretty song, flowed like a river and was surprisingly in French. Expecting this to be in a movie soundtrack in the future. Excellent use of range with pleasant falsettos during soft parts and then with vigorous power during the choruses. Quite a corny song, but Europeans eat that shit up.

Ilija’s Rating: 7/10

Khaleesi: It’s about to get feminine in this bitch. This belongs in a Disney movie that has been translated to French. Everything about the performance was just pretty – the vocals, the costuming, the backdrop, the instrumentation … everything. It did sound a bit cheesy though. No wonder this song became a favourite during the contest.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 7/10

12th Place: ‘Walk on Water’ by Ira Losco (Malta) – 153 points

Khaleesi: First off, Ira has some balls to compete in Eurovision, Europe’s biggest event of the year, perform while pregnant. That will be a nice memory when the kid is born. The song was good, Ira’s vocals was good, the dancer’s choreography was cool. It was a solid performance.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 6.5/10

Ilija: This lady has another human being inside her, so she couldn’t move much to be fair. Amazing pipes and an epic dancer too to accompany. Shame about the order placement, felt very filler.

Ilija’s Rating: 6/10

11th Place: ‘Slow Down’ by Douwe Bob (The Netherlands) – 153 points

Ilija: Easy listening, but couldn’t get over the fact that the backing band were more like a backing track. Slide guitar was soooo fake. Chorus was annoying as it was the most intense part of the song but the lyrics were telling us to Slow Down. Back to the Amsterdam coffee shop and ‘slow down’ buddy.

Ilija’s Rating: 5/10

Khaleesi: I was surprised this actually qualified for the final. Who even likes country music? Also, why did the producers think it was a good idea to place this third in the running order? The contest entered Snoozeville prematurely. I guess Douwe Bob made a great connection with the camera and audience and his vocals weren’t too bad.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 3/10

10th Place: ‘What’s the Pressure’ by Laura Tesoro (Belgium) – 181 points

Khaleesi: I thought this was supposed to be a contest for ORIGINAL songs. The instrumentation sounds way too similar to ‘Sax’ by Fleur East. YOU CAN’T JUST TAKE THE INSTRUMENTAL VERSION OF ONE SONG, PUT DIFFERENT LYRICS OVER IT AND THINK EVERYTHING IS A-OKAY. This is straight-up plagiarism. Aside from this, it was a good opener for the night.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 1/10

Ilija: Perfect funky opener to the night. Energetic vibes reminds me of Jamiroquai with more intense orchestration. Chorus sounds oddly familiar. Backing vocals sounded a little flat but she carried it enough to make it a solid intro to the night.

Ilija’s Rating: 6/10

9th Place: ‘I’ve Been Waiting for this Night’ by Donny Montell (Lithuania) – 200 points

Ilija: First puke of the night. Cheesy chord progressions, slow build-ups and beta lyrics. A perfect candidate to win Eurovision. Cringe always wins.

Ilija’s Rating: 3/10

Khaleesi: Lithuania has gone the cheesy love song route … again. I just threw up in my mouth. I was not impressed, I was bored. It was all just average, basic and run-of-the-mill. I would say I liked the flip Donny did during the instrumental break … IF I COULD SEE IT!

Khaleesi’s Rating: 2/10

8th Place: ‘Color of Your Life’ by Michal Szpak (Poland) – 229 points

Khaleesi: I DIDN’T KNOW THE TEN SECOND SONGS GUY WAS POLISH?! His vocals were nice and the song was alright. I think the lyrics would have made more sense if the song was performed in Polish, just saying. His jacket was pretty fabulous despite having a button missing, too.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 6.5/10

Ilija: Stick to singing Polish, alternative Jesus. This song would have flowed better in a Slavic tongue to be completely honest. First key-change of the night and it is 12 songs in – How unlike Eurovision. Very powerful voice but it would have been awesome to hear some brutal Polish.

Ilija’s Rating: 5/10

7th Place: ‘LoveWave’ by Iveta Mukuchyan (Armenia) – 249 points

Ilija: Luck of the draw. Could win simply cos its a huge song at a huge position on the night. All Armenian girls are babes *cough- Khaleesi -cough* but this babe didnt sound as good as the semi final performance. I dont think it did enough to win.

Ilija’s Rating: 6.5/10

Khaleesi: When I saw Iveta’s semi-final performance I thought ‘YAAAAAASSSSSS ARMENIA IS GOING TO WIN’. Watching the grand final performance however, I was worried. Iveta was probably having a badly-timed off-day which was a shame because the song and the overall performance was sooooo good. Beyonce vibes for days!

Khaleesi’s Rating: 7.5/10

6th Place: ‘J’ai cherche (I have Searched)’ by Amir (France) – 257 points

Khaleesi: This was a nice, feel-good song which helped to bring back some of the energy that was lacking in the contest. The lyrics (that were in English) were very catchy to say the least and the staging was pretty cool. It did seem like a filler performance, though.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 6/10

Ilija: This song has a consistent upbeat that gives it a vibe to feature on FIFA17. The performance was a bit lacking with back-ups but he did an excellent job switching between French and English. I don’t think it has winning potential but it was perfectly placed in the night.

Ilija’s Rating: 5.5/10

5th Place: ‘If I Were Sorry’ by Frans (Sweden) – 261 points

Ilija: Oh Cuckistan, thanks for hosting a culturally enriched Eurovision. Shame your performer was an absolute bore. There’s no way you’re reclaiming the title when comparing to last year’s song. If he says the chorus one more time I’m going to fall asleep. Knowing how Eurovision works … wouldn’t be surprised if it gets top 5.

Ilija’s Rating: 2.5/10

Khaleesi: I honestly don’t know how this placed so highly. Maybe people liked having various words light up during the song. This song was a total bore, especially after we had Bulgaria bring the atmosphere back up. Everything about the song and the performance was just putting me to sleep. Next time I need to be knocked out for surgery or something, just play this boring ass, Justin Bieber/Ed Sheeran ripoff.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 2/10

4th Place: ‘If Love Was A Crime’ by Poli Genova (Bulgaria) – 307 points

Khaleesi: While I did like the song and Poli’s vocals were consistently great, I wasn’t too sure about the staging and the costuming for the live performance. They just had nothing to do with the theme of the song so it felt a bit disjointed. The choreography was also very repetitive, you can only do the same moves so many times. I want to congratulate Poli for bringing the energy back up to where it was at the start following the amount of ballads in between the first act and the eighth act.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 7/10

Ilija: Thank you Bulgaria for bringing the energy back. Awesome chorus that I can imagine those filthy village nightclubs in the outskirts of Sofia will be having destroyed floors. Awesome performance and choreography, could be a sneaky ring-in.

Ilija’s Rating: 7/10

3rd Place: ‘You Are the Only One’ by Sergey Lazarev (Russia) – 491 points

Ilija: Ding ding we got a winrar. If this doesn’t win it is a robbery.
Visuals OP. Vocals OP. Judges or public votes are gonna nerf them.

Ilija’s Rating: 9/10

Khaleesi: This was the favourite to win and the bookies got pretty close to being right. I have been obsessing over this song since the studio version came out and the live performance of ‘You Are The Only One’ was the winner for me. In terms of staging elements, this performance had it in the bag. They basically did one better than Sweden’s entry from last year.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 9/10

2nd Place: ‘Sound of Silence’ by Dami Im (Australia) – 511 points

Khaleesi: Hello darkness my old friend … oh wait, wrong song. Dami absolutely slayed. She blew everyone out of the water in both the second semi-final and the grand final. If she didn’t have the silly projections on the screen during the second verse she would have won. We got very close to finding out what would happen if Australia cuckholded the competition but ultimately Dami fell just short.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 9/10

Ilija: You know, if there is any year we can win Eurovision, it’s this year. Dami absolutely killed it (except for the shitty animations). This is also the year we can not win Eurovision cos corrupt EBU won’t allow it. #DAMIARMY #STRAYACUNT

Ilija’s Rating: BIAS/10

1st Place: ‘1944’ by Jamala (Ukraine) – 534 points

Ilija: If there is one nation that has always been the most abstract, absurd, and fucked up but manage to pull it off – it’s definitely Ukraine. This song is like a weird trip to musical purgatory, her voice is amazing don’t get me wrong but her stage movements made me sea-sick. If this was rated just on music we’d have a winner but the live performance had its doozy moments. Ukraine always find a way to lurk in the top votes.

Ilija’s Rating: 8/10

Khaleesi: I am still finding it hilarious that Ukraine won. ‘1944’ was accused by Russia of being too political as it was about World War II and what happened to the Crimean Tatars in that time, particularly Jamala’s great-grandmother. The song was so personal and powerful, and Jamala’s performance was just full of power and emotion. Also, she is a spinto soprano (i.e. Ukraine’s answer to Christina Aguilera). You just can’t compete with a talent like that.

Khaleesi’s Rating: 8.5/10

And that is Eurovision for 2016. Four hours of ‘strategic’ jury voting, key changes, flags, and general weirdness is all over for the year. Be sure to check out the Illyria Facebook page to keep up to date with what Ilija is up to with his music and kebab removals. If we don’t get World War III, maybe we’ll be back next year to do it all again. Until next time, dracarys.

Live Review: 2016 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final
Rate This Post (100%) 7 votes
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on StumbleUponShare on RedditEmail to someonePin on PinterestShare on LinkedInDigg thisshare on Tumblr
Share This Post
Carly Laden

Carly Laden

I'm keeping you in the loop with the mainstream world of music and your guilty Spotify private-browsing pleasures.
Carly Laden

Related Posts