Queen Vic

May 11, 2021 by

Queen Vic

Today can be billed as Marvin Dietmann vs Sacha Jean-Baptiste, 2 staging heavyweights trying to land a visual knock-out on behalf of Bulgaria and Switzerland respectively.

Fun fact for all you ESC pop pickers out there. SJB is currently 0 for 16, and still seeking to stage a first ESC winner after 6 years of trying. Her best results, hitting the crossbar twice with runners-up Kristian Kostov in 2017 and Eleni Foureira in 2018.

On a personal level, Georgia is an enjoyable, dreamy 3 minutes with a lovely lilting quality. It actually sounds like a Spiritualized track, a UK band who’ve produced some real gems over the years.

Tornike treats us to an impromptu rendition with an assortment of sound effects in a delightful ‘don’t give a sh*t’ way. The fear is, this could pass people by, including jurors who perhaps have something more easy to rate among the solo males in the form of Austria.

Anxhela gives this plenty of oomph. Like Tornike she has gone down the solitary route and this big main stage is swallowing up the soloists a little bit. ‘Karma’ has the feel of the competent, well sung, native language ballad that tends to edge through.

Portugal have done a good job with this. It feels pedestrian at song start but the transition from black and white visuals to colour, and an animation of a woman moving from a dark, rainy backdrop before strolling past lamp posts set against brighter lighting, offers the exact right tone alongside the ‘love is on your side’ lyric. The overall feel is of something under-stated but charming.

Victoria delivers a real moment here. Her vocal comes across as emotional and heart-felt and this has authenticity rippling through it. Marooned atop a drifting rock, she wistfully brushes her hand through falling sand – the sands of time – and stares poignantly at a childhood photo of her dad.

Combined with the lighting this is perfectly pitched creating a beautiful sense of intimacy. The spoken word climax adds to the chills and ends things on a thoroughly moving note.

Blind Channel arrives as the starkest of contrasts. ‘Dark Side’ is an earworm of a rock song, anthemic in the chorus. Competently staged and performed, this could grab the attention of rock fans more than Hatari’s industrial punk rock effort for Iceland did a couple of years ago, with its strange and sinister S&M overtones, by being more accessible. It’s nowhere near the iconic status of Lordi. This is more MaNga meets Eldrine with genuine top 10 claims granted a fair wind.

Samanta Tina is having the time of her life up there; just not sure anyone watching will be that keen to join in. All in green, her 3 female backing vocalists wear visors like ESC’s answer to Daft Punk. Sam also finds herself in a tricky spot r.o. wise.

Next up, Switzerland. Gjon’s Tears isn’t a natural performer and that’s as clear as day. They’ve decided to get him to move away from his piano and place him on a podium creating some bizarre shapes.

They are trying to create an arty feel in keeping with the song but he looks out of place. It is like watching someone going through the choreography with no real clue of the stagecraft required to do it justice.

We finish with the Danish band. This is much as we saw at DMGP. This type of entry really needs the live audience to feed off. It’s completely naff and the sort of thing you would only ever see on the ESC stage.

Serhat surprised from the pimp slot in 2019 with a gloriously naff effort but it feels more uncertain these 2 guys can elicit enough televoting ardour to get them through to the grand final. But never under-estimate the power of the pimp.

In terms of the main business of the day, the view here is, Dietmann won the big staging showdown.



  1. QwaarJet

    So If you think Bulgaria won the day, what are your thoughts on Switzerland winning the press poll?

    • Rob

      If you make your ESC investments based on fan polls, I would advise caution. Gjon’s Tears, like Destiny, has carried the good will of the fan community here to Rotterdam. Victoria was persona non grata among the fan community ever since she chose ‘GUIGO’ rather than fan fave ‘MIF’ so I think you should factor that in as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *