On Saturday night, a majority of the nearly 200 million viewers who watched the 25 performances of the Eurovision Song Contest decided to kick Putin’s ass from their home couch. It was as easy as picking up the phone and texting. A great opportunity was provided by the festival, which many perceive as a joke, but which served as a platform for the nomination of the country, tormented by bombs. The Kalush Orchestra performed in Turin with a song about Stephanie, the singer’s mother, who was finally turned into a metaphor for the metropolis. “The power of music,” exclaimed Laura Pausini. It is not clear what it was, glitter or choreography. But the festival, just in the year when Spain was able to win with the Latin bomb that Chanel brought, and took a fantastic third place (459 points), acquired a valuable political dimension with a song that has all the signs of becoming the anthem of the Ukrainian resistance.
On Saturday, Ukraine was able to take a breath and scored its first victory since entering this ordeal. “Please help Ukraine. Help Mariupol. Help Azovstal,” the singer pleaded, causing goosebumps throughout the hall. In his country, a significant part had to see him perform in bunkers and underground shelters. Like the announcer himself, who broadcast the gala concert. President of the country Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated the group. “Our courage impresses the world. I’m sure victory is near.”
The debate between fans and the press, a blurry dimension with no succession decision, has been very heated these days. Should the band be rewarded for the emotional content of the political context? Among the oracles of the competition – and there are real experts – the impression has spread that the Kalush Orchestra, a Ukrainian group, may not be the best in artistic terms. His song, a vibrant mixture of hip-hop, electronic music and national folklore, was not often sung on stage or among delegations. However, in front of a huge TV audience, it was impossible to resist the opportunity to proclaim the message of European unity from the stage. Or maybe the rest didn’t matter. Because Eurovision has almost always been to music what Las Vegas is to architecture. Although for several years this was denied by such legendary bands as Maneskin, the winners of the last competition. So after 70 years of shrillness and quirkiness and, above all, falling off, it may not have been the best year for deli. Too bad it happened in the same edition where Spain had more opportunity to regain their Eurovision prestige.
The Chanel show blew up the stage (already shabby from the first day that the most important part of it stopped working). The Spaniard, who had to perform in an uncomfortable tenth place – in the first part of the show, where memory is already failing when it comes to voting – nailed every detail of her hit and dusted off Brividi’s sleepy audience, sweetened with a ballad about the Italians Mahmoud and Blanco in a few minutes before. The artist overflows with talent and strength when the light is turned on. And on top of that, he added the right ingredients to his Latin and Spanish side to dazzle the world today melting with reggaeton and its surroundings. No labels. Just boom-boom, what would she say. Thus, he arranged a hall with 8,000 people who, just as they did not give them tickets (200 euros each), were not going to give their applause for free.
Chanel during a performance in Turin.Luca Bruno (AP)
Chanel fell in love from day one. “Mom has arrived,” he sings at the beginning of SloMo. But that’s it, he came very marked by the typical crowd of haters. She was even accused of tongo and had to deal with the legion of fans of the Tanxungueiras and Rigoberta Bandini, who had already shared the trophies from the Benidorm Fest – the Eurovision entry ticket – without getting off the bus. At first no one wanted her, but no one doubted her anymore when they saw her on stage in Turin.
The formula was perfect. Latin hit (even the Romanian standard-bearer dared to sing in Spanish), exotic beauty (for half of Europe), effort and work. No political battles on stage and only a pinch of controversy over language and more or less feminist views. To this must be added a share of folklore and stereotypes, embodied in designer Palomo Spain’s glowing suit and red fan (the day will come when you won’t have to order paella and sangria when traveling abroad). And now, always minding her own business, the Catalan-Cuban shut up half the country. It is clear that the career of a pop artist who has no ceiling begins.
Best position in 27 years
The Spaniard’s third place, the best since 1995 (together with Anabel Condé), once again places Spain among the countries that draw something at Eurovision and that do not take extravagant experiments or events at the end of the year for a walk. It is not clear what it could be used for, but TVE certainly knows how to make it profitable in the form of spectators and will be an incomparable springboard for it. The last victory was in 1969 when Salome sang Alive. Encore, because last year Massiel won with “La, la, la”. Since then, just after the second place of Anabel Conde (1992), the fourth place of Sergio Dalma (1991) or the seventh place of Rosa, the place of the Operación Triunfo.
Saturday’s first place was close to the end, with British singer and British Tiktoker Sam Ryder and his “Spaceman” theme squeezing through to the last second. The hype among the delegations in Turin indicated that the singer, the star of said social network, had won the game in advance, enjoying the huge digital fan base built up in recent years (15 million subscribers). In addition, for most conspiracy theorists, Tik Tok acted as one of the sponsors of the festival.
The gala at Pala Alpitour, the ice hockey palace built for the 2006 Winter Games, went off without a hitch. The scenery changed with each song, only the fountain remained unchanged – the main element of Italian artistic decoration. It was the turn of the Czech singer to open the ceremony, who had to do it very well so that someone would remember at least one note of her dance theme – a modular synthesizer through and through – because then the public had 24 more performances. vote. Everything was there. For the Finns of The Rasmus – their singer has become a sinister version of Captain Peskanova – the festival reminded them how brutal the flow of time out of sight can be. Frenchmen Alvan and Ahez, for their part, wrote a song in Breton with techno-Celtic rhythms, which didn’t do much. Good consolation, at least for those who wanted to see the Tanxuguerias.
The three hosts more than complied. Laura Pausini (it is impossible to keep track of the change of her costumes) multiplied and monopolized the holding of the gala concert. The Lebanese singer Mika performed very well (he was touched by the performance of the Ukrainians), as well as the star host and king of the Italian talent shows Alessandro Cattelan. But the initial idea was that it was to be presented by Raffaella Carra, the promoter of the festival’s revival in a country that until recently had its back to Eurovision. The rules state that next year the competition must be held in the winning country of this edition. And Zelensky himself said that it would be so. But it’s hard to think that a country is in a position to organize an event of this type. Not even wanting to. Perhaps, at the very least, the two hours of blackout from TV horror were worth it.
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