Kink’s guide to Eurovision 2019

Eurovision is so bizarre and ridiculous it is in fact alternative high art. Here’s a concise review of all of this year’s entries to the celebration of Eurotrash, campiest of all, just before it kicks off.

Text by Anna Wim

We focus on alternative European culture, and Eurovision’s content is so bizarre it can, in fact, be read as alternative, connoisseur art. It’s trash culture, showcase of tasteless extravagance, topped with strong accents and awkward live commentaries. Yet, Eurovision also presents a very powerful and important platform for pushing for social change and inclusion. Usually in-constant-fight countries voting for each other, trans and/or queer artists representing countries, Hungary sending a Roma artist despite having huge issues with the community, a feminist (albeit very white feminist, unfortunately) song winning last year? It all matters. Culture, even the lowest one, has big significance in shaping the structures of society, which is why I love Eurovision both from the guilty pleasure and leftist feminist student perspectives.

While it’s very popular to shit on this year’s Eurovision given it’s taking place in Israel, we will stay away from that completely, and purely focus on the artistic craft that is all the 40 international entries. Here’s a little rundown of all of this year’s participants, in alphabetical order. Judged in a completely biased way. Enjoy.

 


Albania
Fire! Darkness! Drama! Smoke! Both the video and song would fit really well to any of the Twilight movies. It sounds very 90s, and while we do like nostalgia at Eurovision, this might not be the right move.

 


Armenia
This sassy girl fires off the song by asking “Who are you?” and girl, you got me thinking. Who am I? Why am I spending my Friday night writing a pointless review of all Eurovision songs instead of being social? I don’t know. But back to the song now – it’s intense, just like the singer in her culturally appropriating braided hairstyle. But like, not in a good way.

 


Australia
I still don’t really get why Australia is part of Eurovision, but whatever. This lady looks like an alabaster Frozen-inspired cyborg dressed up for Met Gala. She’s encased in what looks like a 10 metres high cone-shaped dressed. There’s a weird flying black-dressed lady behind her. Someone else’s face is on the projection? The black lady is flying even more. The cyborg lady sings like an autotuned opera singer. This is TERRIFYING.

 


Austria
The video is awful. Is it a joke? Is it real? What the fuck are all these random shots behind the static singer. It is trying to be very emotional, ofc, that’s a Eurovision no. 1 thing to go to. She’s even fake crying, but I ain’t having it.

 


Azerbaijan
The video is really nice apart from all the scenes with the singer. Impressive head pieces. The song is awful. Did not last more than 15 seconds.

 


Belarus
Wow, this looks like a girl band from my childhood. Props for trying to revive that trope, including the strange outfits and bad graphics. Is it in any way interesting? No.

 


Belgium
I mean, this is not bad. I can see a lot of my alt friends being really into such kind of music like 10 years ago. Again, the lyrics are about a heartbreak, that’s a good way to go in Eurovision, the video is artful but not too much, feelings are dripping. Personally I say meh, but I can see its potential.

 


Croatia
Roko is a dreamer. Roko had a dream. Roko will never give up that dream. He dreams of love. We all dream of love, apparently. Roko’s fake angry crying legit made me snort out loud. It’s all so bad I love it.

 


Cyprus
Video looks good, strong visuals. The song is mediocre. Not much else to say.

 


Czech Republic
Lolololol. Czech Rep, Kink’s and my own motherland, has obviously enjoyed the success that last year’s “cute nerdy boy” Mikolas Josef brought to our country, and decided to stick to a similar strategy again. That’s why this year they sent off long-time-ago-popular semi-alt sweetheart Albert and his band Lake Malawi, which still somehow remains to be on the local music radar despite being irrelevant pretty much since it had started. What can I say, this Eurovision entry is bad. The first scene makes me pee my pants everytime I watch it, the singing is extremely annoying, the whole Instagram style of the video is fucking ridiculous, the I-guess-it’s-supposed-to-be-rapping part is just awful. Why, oh, why.

 


Denmark
Girl, you’re creepy! She legit doesn’t break her stare for the whole video – hey, there are other places to look at than the camera. Engage with the audience, please! It all has such #happyvibes feel I wanna puke. At one point, she says “don’t get too political”, and I’d really like to slap her for that. Also, the giant chair???

 


Estonia
Ah, the Estonian Noel Gallagher serenading with a guitar. How long do you think he practiced those sleazy looks into the camera?

 


Finland
Why do I feel like I was instantly teleported to early 00s? The white guy with gelled hair and white long-sleeve feeling himself by the keyboard is killing me. This is like a village pub revival of Justice, lol. Is this really the same country that once sent Lordi to Eurovision??

 


France
I used to have a really annoying and loud neighbor named Bilal so I might be a bit biased, but I will try to put that aside. All props to France for sending someone queer. Bilal’s cute, in their blingy outfits and Sia-like wig. The choreography is like me trying to be extra lipsyncing in the mirror. “I’m not rich but I’m shining bright” might as well be my 2k19 motto from now on. Otherwise the song’s nothing special tbh.

 


Georgia
Fuck, I feel like I’ve spent half of my life watching Eurovision videos, and I’m only at G-starting countries? I need to conserve my energy, which is why I will keep it short with Georgia: it’s bad. Old dad rockers are out.

 


Germany
First of all, I have a few questions: S!sters as in P!nk? Are they really sisters? Did they get dressed by New Yorker or C&A? (Gotta support the #localfashion, right?) Nice touch by playing on the tearful side of the fundamental family institution, nothing like maintaining the sacred heteronormative building unit. The fast part is pretty good though, it’s very dramatic, and I’m a drama queen, so I guess it’s a match. Honestly, the song has grown on me, I think?

 


Greece
First of all, the video is beautiful. It’s pink, and I love pink, so that’s a win for me. It is cute, and the song’s pretty good too. But like, it looks too much like Solange’s visuals and sounds like Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love (both in lyrics and the composition). Ripping off Black culture? We ain’t here for that.

 


Hungary
Joci Papai is my Eurovision 2017 crush. To be honest, I still listen to that song from time to time. So like, what is this?? The video is horrid (what the fuck is it even trying to say?), and the song is very meh. We were all rooting for you!!

 


Iceland
I know a lot of folks are super excited about this, given it’s something going completely against the Eurovision sugar-coated pop norm, bringing a lot of radical punk queerness in. But, I’m sorry, I’m just not that into it? The synthy darkwave parts are cool, though.

 


Ireland
The song is called 22, but she’s 25. I don’t get it. This is too much discrepancy for me to focus on the actual song.

 


Israel
Dramatic! Seems like someone discovered the option of adding multiple layers in video editors, and went to town with it. Thanks to that, you can enjoy up to about 11 Kobi’s singing at once, which is an experience with capital E. As for the song, he’s singing about coming home, but I don’t think Eurovision will come to his home again next year.

 


Italy
I am in love. Finally a video that you can actually look at without cringing, and a song I can imagine myself dancing to in the club. The singer looks like a mix between a Herrensauna organizer/any given visitor and Sega Bodega a few years ago. Honestly, I think Mahmood is too good for Eurovision. Apparently, there was a huge backlash after he was chosen because of his Egyptian father (about whose departure the song is about) and the TWO lines of the song being in Arabic, which made right wing politicians freak out about someone “like that” representing the country. We do love a rebel!

 


Latvia
This is an aunty song, sung by an aunty. It’s boring. No, thanks.

 


Lithuania
The singer’s soft, high voice scares me. Honestly, there’s been way too many times I’ve felt scared during this Eurovision rundown. What the fuck?

 


Malta
Wow, a song called Chameleon, which features a lot of chameleons in the video. The video is putting together a lot of things that have been proven to be successful for other femme artists, including cultural appropriation, without which it wouldn’t be true Eurovision. In fact, there’s nothing original about the video (neither the song), it’s all stolen from other artists. Good job!

 


Moldova
Marital fighting; the dreamy fairytale life of a loving couple living in a beautiful bougie house crumbles. Please, stay! Is he gonna, though? Will Anna find happiness again? I don’t know, because I could not get myself to finish the whole entry, and I don’t really care.

 


Montenegro
Wow, we’re having a happy love story for once! Yet it’s as boring as all the sad ones, thus, bye bye.

 


North Macedonia
Please, give me a good song already, or I will lose it. Unfortunately, this one isn’t that. I guess it’s supposed to be a feminist nod to being a proud woman, but all we got is a very dreary song and lots of close-ups of cakey make-up.

 


Norway
What. The. Fuck? I cannot really wrap my head around this one. It has bits like Cascada, cosplaying, a weird bald man doing very strange primal sounds, snow, violent storyline. I don’t get it. I might be scared again?

 


Poland
The Polish love to bank on the Slavic girls narrative. Luckily, there’s no one scantily clad churning butter this year, which is good. The song isn’t that bad, actually, and the video neither. I feel like it might be my Czechness that makes this song resonate with me this much, but here’s finally a song I don’t hate.

 


Portugal
He’s literally crying his phone is broken. But like, I feel ya, Conan. I actually love it – Eastern vibes, extravagant clothes, gay vibes, modern choreography. I was #blessed enough to witness his live show a few months ago, and since it was at the club where I work, I got to creep on him in the backstage, shake his hand, and even put a bandaid on his dancer’s bleeding knee. Time of my life!!

 


Romania
This is honestly never-ending. I just wanna sleep now, and the video intro is way too long. The singer looks like a 2010 fashion blogger. The song has no real melody? Yawn, let’s continue.

 


Russia
Apparently, this is this year’s hot shot, and I can see why – both the song and the video have everything it takes to be successful in Eurovision. Again, there’s emotions, there’s drama, storyline involving nature and children, charismatic male singer, easy yet fake-deep lyrics.

 


San Marino
Ok, now I’m awake again! Na na na. Is this a resurrection of Vitalic? Na na na. So many colors! Dancing people! This song is, well, very na na na.

 


Serbia
Please, make this song faster. It’s too whiny, I can’t stand it.

 


Slovenia
Wow, this is actually really nice! Also something I wouldn’t mind seeing live. Always a fan of people singing in their national language on Eurovision. The song and the video is kind of cute and cold, heteronormative, of course, but what can you do.

 


Spain
I can see myself hearing this while sitting at a beach and drinking sangria. Boy, I could use such vacay now. The song is very energetic, Miki’s stare intense, “la vida loca” is mentioned. I can feel the sand between my fingers.

 


Sweden
Ah, here comes the loverboy. Smile made of sugar, heart made of gold. Is it too late for love, John asks, and I bet, in terms of Eurovision, he’s to receive a lot of love. Honestly, this seems to me like the perfect Eurovision songTM, yet he’s not that high in the polls?? What’s wrong with the world?

 


Switzerland
He manages to objectify a woman in like the first 15 seconds of the song. Next!

 


The Netherlands
I cannot believe this is almost over. The Dutch usually come up with quite ok yet very basic songs, and this year’s no exception. It’s ok, but nothing special either. Again, we’re getting some deep heartbroken truths, as if you could expect anything else from this contest.

 


United Kingdom
Ultimately, the UK has come up with the true Eurovision song – it has words like love and you and me, it has a choir, light show, a handsome performer, kids, sunsets,… But as all UK’s entries, it is mediocre as fuck. Sorry, Brits!

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