Eurovision 2021 reviewed – Part 2: Viral dances and ukuleles

Lithuania's Eurovision entry: The Roop
Lithuania’s entry: The Roop © EBU/ PAULIUS ZABORSKIS

Eurovision is back after its cancellation last year and Rotterdam will host the final on 22nd May.

Here’s part two of your definitive guide of who to watch and who to miss.

Georgia: Tornike Kipiani – You

A calming but bland acoustic number composed entirely by Tornike Kipiani himself, who is also a professional architect by day.

Germany: Jendrik – I Don’t Feel Hate

With his cheerful whistling and upbeat ukulele strumming, Jendrik doesn’t feel hate, just vibes.

 Greece: Stefania – Last Dance

Greek-Dutch singer Stefania brings youthful energy in this uptempo dance number hoping for a better future. If Pegasus from the music video joins her on stage, then she has my vote. Otherwise no.

 Iceland: Daði og Gagnamagnið – 10 Years

Aside from my obvious disappointment that Iceland’s entry this year is not Fire Saga, 10 Years is a cheerful synth-driven tune dedicated to the lead singer’s wife and the performance is completed with Tik-Tok ready dance moves (the band were clearly hoping to kick-start a viral trend). Fun fact: the band name translates to ‘data plan’.

 Ireland: Lesley Roy – Maps

With lyrics like “My soul is a map, my heart is a compass / I am the road” repeatedly drummed into the collective audience’s heads, this song is aiming for the audience’s heartstrings. Hilariously, her only official website listed on Wikipedia is her Myspace page.

 Israel: Eden Alene – Set Me Free

Same, Eden, same. After a year of life in lockdown where a highlight of my day is the lunchtime and post-work blank stare out of the window, I too want to be free. A slick pop song entry from Israel, with an impressive whistle range addition at the end.

 Italy: Måneskin – Zitti e buoni

Zitti e buoni (meaning Shut up and Be Quiet) lured me in from the opening electric guitar riff and it kept me hooked for the frantic and breathy vocals. This is another of my favourites.

 Latvia: Samanta Tīna – The Moon Is Rising

Latvia’s entry plays heavily on a Run The World (Girls) female empowerment theme, but this song doesn’t quite pull it off like Beyoncé did. The opening vocals are too piercing and overdramatic and the backing vocal instrumental on loop throughout becomes rather grating after the first minute.

 Lithuania: THE ROOP – Discoteque

Dressed as bananas, pop-rock band The Roop have the moves and the charisma to be one of this year’s more memorable entries, as well as a weird yet catchy dance song.

 Malta: Destiny – Je Me Casse

This is another of the bookies favourites (as well as mine), a 1920s-esque electro swing song with about female self-empowerment and acceptance, it does well to stand out from the other Europop entries.

 Moldova: Natalia Gordienko – Sugar

Heavy on the reverbing brass and synth this song was made to fill the sweaty dance floor of an Ibiza club.

 The Netherlands: Jeangu Macrooy – Birth of a New Age

This motivational number is mainly sung in English except a line in the chorus which is in Sranan Tongo, the lingua franca of Suriname where Jeangu Macrooy is from. This line “Yu no man broko mi” comes from the Surinamese proverb, “Mi Na Afu Sensi, No Wan Man E Broko Mi”, meaning “I’m half a cent, you can’t break me”. That’s the only interesting point I have to make here, it’s a pretty tedious song otherwise.

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