To celebrate this season finally ending, I’m going to take a little bit of a break. I’m popping in for the return of the Eurovision Hoddle, but taking the rest of the week off to recharge. Chat next week!
Ramble of the Day
Eurovision made its grand comeback this weekend, and enough people remembered the spirit of the competition to make it a worthwhile return. It also means my one sentence reviews for each of the 26 performances at Saturday’s grand finale.
Eurovision’s broadcast rights being what they are, I can’t link you to any of the performances. I imagine those in Europe or Australia can go straight to Eurovision’s YouTube channel; those of us in the United States can consult Peacock.
- Cyprus: They’ve submitted a similar pop song for three years running, and it gets more generic each and every time.
- Albania: This performance was not remotely memorable.
- Israel: It was a pop performance that was a little bit more about a fairly fun song than the moderately fun performance.
- Belgium: Vivica A. Fox will option the rights to this song for the next film in The Wrong series on Lifetime.
- Russia: The performer won best dressed because she started the show in a dress that moved for her.
- Malta: The song was catchy in the moment and the singer is pretty good, but I can’t tell you a word of it now.
- Portugal: I have very little patience for ballads at Eurovision, so I was actively mad at this song’s existence.
- Serbia: Another pop song that barely registered.
- United Kingdom: A switch to generic continental pop made this their best performance in years, and definitely not deserving of Eurovision’s first double zero.
- Greece: I do not remember the song but I remember the floating clothes, and that is fine by me.
- Switzerland: Another ballad that angered me by its existence, and my opinion of Eurovision juries has not improved considering how much they liked it.
- Iceland: I am sad to say it was not as good as last year’s entry from the same group, but it was still pretty great.
- Spain: This is when I told myself to stop getting angry at the ballads and just start ignoring them.
- Moldova: It was a generic pop song that is bad, but in the right way, and that is a very hard balance to strike.
- Germany: It wanted to be the memorable performance of the night, and the dancing middle finger felt like a great representation of Tottenham’s 2020-21 season.
- Finland: Starting your song with the rallying cry of “Put your middle fingers up!” created a singular experience that I will always be fond of.
- Bulgaria: I believe this is the one where the singer wore loungewear, a respectable choice but the only memorable one.
- Lithuania: It was a lovely representation of the weirdness one tunes into Eurovision for.
- Ukraine: There is absolutely nothing like an electro-folk performance, and it was quite a treat.
- France: This was a ballad that actually brought some drama, but I have to stand by my anti-ballad stance.
- Azerbaijan: Between this year’s song and last year’s, this singer has a mild obsession with Cleopatra that I find weird but also uninteresting.
- Norway: This was an example of a song that was made more interesting by the performance, but only to a certain degree.
- Netherlands: It would be hard to argue this song is bad, but I think anthem-like songs are hard to execute.
- Italy: It was not the weirdest entry this year, but it was undeniably weird and that should be a minimum requirement for a Eurovision champion.
- Sweden: Sweden’s contenders have slowly gotten less and less memorable over the years, and they finally hit unmemorable this year.
San Marino: I cannot get over the fact that Flo Rida competed at EUROVISION for SAN MARINO.
tl;dr: One sentence reviews of this year’s Eurovision finalists, which included two performances that referenced the middle finger!
Stay informed, watch this: basketball player Jeremy Lin on mental health, representing the AAPI community, and the opportunities sport provided him to learn about other culture on The Daily Show
Links of the Day
Football in Argentina was suspended as COVID-19 cases rise in the country.
A fan was arrested for racially abusing Rio Ferdinand at Wolves-Manchester United.
England’s Nick Pope will miss the Euros with a knee injury.
Georginio Wijnaldum will leave Liverpool on a free transfer.
Roy Hodgson joined the UK government’s panel reviewing football governance.
Nuno Espírito Santo left Wolves after four years at the club.
A longer read: Mari Uyehara profiles the USWNT’s Megan Rapinoe on how empathy guides her activism in the cover story of Harper’s Bazaar’s freedom issue