Eurovision Grand Final 2018: The Big 5+Portugal Review and Final Rankings

grand final

 

For one last time, we’re back. On Thursday night, the second semi final of The Eurovision Song Contest took place in Lisbon. You can look at our reviews and our top contestants for the 1st Semi Final here and the 2nd Semi Final here and see how our opinions have changed through the rankings down below.

I cannot believe it’s The Grand Final already. Every year it comes and goes so quickly and usually, I don’t have time to appreciate it because I’m too busy grieving the year before and how no year will top it. This year, I let go of that and have enjoyed the Eurovision festivities from start to finish.

This is the strongest year yet, in my opinion, and choosing a winner is going to be very hard and will leave most of us sympathising with those who didn’t make it so far and sad that there can’t be more than one winner. I get so sad that we have to say goodbye to all of the contestants because I’m a sentimental bitch. If Auld Lang Syne was sung at The Grand Final of the contest I would have a breakdown.

 

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Me to next years contestants

 

Anyway, let’s get started! Tell us what you think down below and stay until the end to see what we believe should be the final rankings. Have a great Grand Final tonight and we’ll see you next year! Tonight, Eurovision 2018 ends and Eurovision 2019 begins.

– Your Someone To Watch Eurovision With

For the last time this year, let’s get started!



1. France – Madame Monsieur – “Mercy”

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Song: Madame Monsieur’s song is possibly is my favourite from the Big Five and Portugal. A song with not only vocal quality but also lyrical quality. It has a chill, easy beat that isn’t necessarily slow but you can vibe to it and it has an impactful message. It’s about refugees who died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea and a baby girl born on a rescue ship on its way to Europe which Emilie put well: “Mercy’s birth symbolises hope where there is no hope”.

Live performance: Maybe it’s just my personal taste but I think this could go far in a show like Eurovision. The response that they got whilst singing this in the second semi final I thought was so nice to see. People in the crowd raising their hands up in the air whilst they were chanting ‘Mercy’. She also sings it very well live. It’s the type of song I can imagine listening to and going back to, outside of Eurovision.

STDNW

Song: I love this entry so much. France was one of the first countries I listened to and the only country that I had some idea of their National Final. I also really loved Emmy – OK ou KO but this song I feel is more anthemic and also leaves a lasting impression. It’s rhythmic with a nice catchy beat that gets you moving but it is not in your face. I enjoy the structure of the song with the clicking at the beginning followed by the beat which builds up to the chorus and the chanting at the end is going to sound exciting to an audience. It’s minimalist in style and presentation and it’s simple but striking. It also contains many french phrases which are fairly recognisable so somewhat easy to follow and available for all without being too alien and the underlying message is cleverly presented in a simple, not so aggressive way which would turn people off. Overall, I would love Paris 2019.

Live performance: France never really seems to do that much staging wise at Eurovision so I was worried they would be let down and the song wouldn’t be elevated on stage. They seem to have kept the staging minimalistic but I wouldn’t say it feels bare. I also was worried about the vocal which I thought initially left a lot to be desired but it works and it seems to have held up. Overall a great performance and I love the chemistry between the two singers. I like the smoke and there is movement to the audience as well as interaction with the hand movement, a great way to build up the audience and leave them with some connection that allows a lasting impression when it comes to voting. I also like that Madam Monsieur seem to have an interconnected style going with the black turtle neck outfits.



2. Germany – Michael Schulte – “You Let Me Walk Alone”

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Song: I’m not a big fan of these types of songs, but his voice is nice. I think it’s the saddest song because of the message behind it and because it’s so much more personal than the other songs. It’s not going to win, and I can see people liking this but I also don’t think it will get that many points. 

Live performance: For me anyway, I think because of other songs in the competition, it could get lost in the competition and be forgotten a bit. Not because it’s not good – because it is and his voice is strong.  

STDNW

Song: It’s a very meaningful, thoughtful song with a very personal story. Just as other countries in the Big 5, Germany is back with quality. That being said, it’s not my favourite as it is with many others. Ireland does a similar thing with the ‘young men, acoustic songs sometimes with acoustic instruments’ but I feel Ireland has more to offer with the dancers and the effects as well as some harmonies. But it’s a very melodic song and I love the “Every now and then…” before the chorus and also that the song picks up towards the end with the beat in the last chorus.

Live performance: The one thing you can rely on with contestants who got far in talent contests is a decent vocal. While I’m not a huge fan of performances which remain glued to the spot, I think that is called for here but also because it is sung so well, the staging can be stripped back. But I like that there is still some movement through the lighting and the graphics on the screen. I like that they grow as the song grows especially from the outstretched arms into the final chorus when the beat comes in and that colour is introduced.



3. Italy – Ermal Meta & Fabrizio Moro – “Non mi avete fatto niente”

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Song: Ticks the vocal and lyrical quality boxes. They both show a lot of range in their voices and the song has an impactful message about terror attacks around the world.

Live performance: I like the melody and that it has a fun beat without taking away from the message itself. I also like the inclusiveness of the lyrics onscreen being in each language. The message after all is about the world. Yah.

STDNW

Song: I really love Italy this year, although I don’t know that Eurovision voters will be into it. Yes it comes with a message and I don’t feel assaulted or hit over the head with it but it will certainly go over the heads of some audience members because the message is so deep and may have limited appeal. I love the melody of the song and the chorus especially, I love the harmonies and the raw emotion of the song.

Live performance:  Both singers are great vocalists and I love the way they were able to overcome the wordy Italian by making it accessible to the audience with the language translations of screen. I like the passion of the performance which I know put some people off and I like that they’re moving throughout the stage rather than stuck in one place. I don’t think that would have suited the song.



4. Spain – Amaia & Alfred – “Tu canción”

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Song:  It’s a sweet song, and their melodies are on point. It’s a bit boring though and I think it won’t go far. 

Live performance: There isn’t really anything vocally. It seems to just stay at one level. It’s cute, especially on stage when they’re singing the lyrics together and they look good. It’s not bad. It just feels a bit anti-climatic. 

STDNW

Song: This song has grown on me a lot. I don’t necessarily think that is a good thing for a Eurovision song which is voted for on the night especially with a Big 5, whose performances we don’t get to see in full anyway. It is in danger of being overly sweet, I feel I can remember criticism when the song was first announced following a similar argument. I’m really not a fan of cheesy kissing at Eurovision. I love the harmonies and the climax with the build up to the last chorus. Again, the melody has grown on me and both artists have good voices but Amaia is the star for me. 

Live performance: Amaia clearly has the has stronger voice live and I like the chemistry between the two of them. It isn’t as cringeworthy as I had imagined it being because it feels authentic. The past few years we’ve had people throwing themselves at each other and then kiss for votes. This is actually very sweet in the sense of two people in love coming together to sing and limited staging to emphasise that.



5. United Kingdom – SuRie – “Storm”

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Song: We’re not known for sending great artists to Eurovision and every year I roll my eyes at the act we do send because not only are they too safe… they’re shit. So before I listened to SuRie I was expecting the same. Turns out that I actually like this song and her voice. It’s a solid song and I think it’s the best one we’ve sent to Eurovision in years. And it’s not a gimmicky song, it has a positive message through a nice, fun beat. I have seen a couple of interviews with SuRie and she seems like a nice person, so even though I don’t think she will win, I will be rooting for her. 

Live performance: It’s a good quality song which I’m sure the crowd will enjoy but again even though I think it’s the best we’ve sent in a while it is too safe and we forget sometimes that this is a competition and we should be here to win. Maybe it’s because we get an automatic entry to the final that we play it safe but if we had to qualify to make it to the final, I’m not sure if this song would have done just that. 

STDNW

Song: I think the issue with us is that, myself included, everyone expects a high standard because of the artists we have been known to produce. I feel that what is produced is what we THINK is Eurovision rather than anything we actually like or is of quality. It has certainly grown on me, it has something unique to it, perhaps the electro feel and SuRie’s unique look but then something unique does not equate to the IT factor that can be a winning entry. SuRie is such a lovely person and given that it is her first single I think we should go easy. Plus it’s inspiring to see how SuRie who has experience in the Eurovision bubble can go from being a backing vocalist for countries to being the main act. This song, while motivational and performed with enthusiasm isn’t something other than middle of the pack for me. There is zero competitiveness and the lyrics are a bit cringey. It has an anthemic sound to it and I like the break down towards the end which I wish was extended, it would have garnered some excitement especially if it was more interactive with the audience.

Live performance: SuRie can offer a very good vocal live. I’m worried it’s just another mid tempo let down performed by capable singer. I also would have liked to have seen some more movement throughout the stage in the middle closer to the audience at the “give all you’ve got!” with some interaction with the audience and some more impact on the build up into the last chorus. I like the set and the smoke and I like the styling. They compliment each other well and would have been too much if she had worn the fringe jacket e.g.



6. Portugal – Cláudia Pascoal- “”O jardim”

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Song: Voice is strong even though the song is slow and simple. I also like the message behind it, and the relationship she had with her Grandmother and what the song stands for. I really like the up-beat, fast songs but when a slow song is done right like Portugal (and France) has done then it’s something I can get behind. I don’t think Salvador paved the way for more songs like his, and this, but I think he opened up the door to entries that have meaning behind them and that are more impactful. 

Live performance: Do I think it will win? No. I like the styling and her pink hair and the simplicity of the colours, the staging along with the song which I feel helps to shift your attention fully to the song and the meaning behind it. It’s a bit of a slow burner of a song. I like when the beat comes in. 

STDNW

Song: It’s a very meditative song. It’s very light and delicate but contemporary enough to keep the audience engaged. And Claudia really carries the emotion of the lyrics without the audience needing to know Portugese. I love that we started slow with the piano, followed by the strings and then the beat followed by Isaura who brings a great harmony and depth to the performance.

Live performance: She is so gorgeous, like a Portuguese Gal Gadot. I prefer the styling here than from the National Final. I don’t think we were in much doubt with the performance given that the music video was from the National Final but it’s such a beautiful performance and the staging is nice in this one too with the surrounding lights. It almost creates a calm blurring effect which I think suits the song and the stripped back performance.


 

Battle for Top 5

battle for top 5

 Rest of Songs

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