Europe: Start voting now! The Eurovision Song Contest 2018
Editors notes: Videos may contain flashing images/strobes.
In this musical spectacular…
- Who wants to go to Eurovision?
- Where did my wallet go? Off to Birmingham Airport
- SN2038 Birmingham Airport to Brussels National Airport
- Some time at Brussels Airport
- SN3819 Brussels National Airport to Lisbon Airport with the AeroSmurf
- Into Lisbon and The Tuk Tuk Hostel
- Exploring Lisbon with a Canon 100D
- The Eurovision Song Contest
- Off to Porto with Comboios de Portugal
- Time at Porto Airport
- FR8513 Porto Airport to Birmingham Airport
- To the trains!
- Eurovision… Douze points!
For a lot of people, Eurovision is something you switch on the television at 8pm BST/9pm CET, and sit back, to watch the show. But there’s a lot more than that.
Let’s go back in time to 4pm on the 13th May – a good four hours before the intro credits roll. After a Uber ride with the driver having an argument with the navigation, I ended up at Oriente station (useful knowledge for the next day). I caught up with Adam and Jon as we worked out the queuing strategy.
Yes. A strategy.
We could see that people were lining up already to get in (the queue for the queue)- with the initial queues opening at 6ish to the stadium. We cleared the first ticket check 5pm… and then the great Eurovision queuing contest begun.
Whilst queuing for concerts can be a pain up the whatsits, it helped that the French were doing a major publicity boost, as were the Czech delegation – who had come amongst the Eurofans.
It killed time whilst we were waiting in the warm Portuguese sun. As well as spotting peoples outfits.
And watching the press do their thing…
Eventually, the great Eurovsion queuing contest line started moving. As to be expected, there was another ticket check and a security check.
With those done (and the cap off my bottle of water thrown away), I was free to enter the stadium… but not before checking out the merchandising.
And at nearly €30 a t-shirt – it was a hard pass from me.
The race continued indoors, and eventually, I found Jon and Adam… and we were surrounded by supporters of the Spanish delegation.
Lets just say they could push for Europe, as well as sing their entry.
With an hour to go, music of previous acts played in the hall, as well as the warm up act.
And at 8pm, the Prelude to Te Deum played – or in other words – The start of the song contest.
With an award opening act and parade of flags as well as the presenters doing a reasonable intro job, it was time for the songs. Now, remember – we don’t get to see a lot of the video overlays on stage so we’re going by the stage performance.
Although the security staff seemed asleep on the job with both a stage invasion and someone fainting on the floor – and security taking 10 minutes to get to them .
Here’s my thoughts on some of the acts (with the images that came out) .
Ukraine – Under the Ladder – Mélovin – Interesting staging. Scary contact lens.
Spain – Tu canción – Amaia & Alfred – Well the locals loved it. Me? Meh.
Estonia – La Fortza – Elina Nechayeva – What a dress. And what a set of vocal chords.
Alexander Rybak – He may have won with Fairytail, but “That’s how you write a song” didn’t work for me
Germany: You Let Me Walk Alone with Michael Schulte An interesting song, but nothing to set the world alight.
Denmark: Higher Ground – Rasmussen – A song that grows on your. But veryyyyy Game of Thrones: Danish Edition. This song works a lot better without some of the instruments though. And I mean a LOT Better.
Australia: We Got Love – Jessica Mauboy – A song that worked so well in the stadium, but it seemed to lack something in the TV show.
Finland: Monsters – Saara Aalto – A great song that works, with some stage tricks which meant the audience didn’t see her for the first minute of the song.
Bulgaria: Equinox with Bones – Sia Lite.
Ever wonder how they do the set changes? Laser targeting.. and sheer heft.
Moldova: My Lucky Day – DoReDoS – If there’s a song that I liked from this show that was sheer entertainment, this is it. I urge you to look for the behind the scenes of how they did they set up the staging for this song.
Hungary: AWS with Viszlát nyár – My eyes where half shut due to the strobing used in that performance…
Israel: Netta with Toy. Chicken Clucking, Female empowerment and neko cats. Odd, but interesting… and a firm crowd favourite.
Netherlands: Waylon with Outlaw in ’em. Passable, but Country and Western doesn’t really work for Eurovision…
Cyprus: Feugo – Elini Foureria – A bouncy song that seemed to pull the votes in… but something was missing on the stage that night for me.
With the half-way point of the show, the crowd thinned a little (but not a lot) to get beers and refreshments… whilst we watched the interval act.
Let’s just say “Doing a Portugal” won’t be a compliment for some time to come for a half-time show.
Or to put it bluntly: It wasn’t any Riverdance. Oh yes. That debuted at Eurovision.
With the halftime show over, it was time for the meat of the night.. The results. The current format which splits the vote between professional juries and the televote can be… interesting. It can also change results.
And if you need to understand Eurovision… well. Good luck. Here’s the Wiki page. Let’s’ say the introduction of the Televote has changed things. A LOT.
The crowd were in full voice during the professional juries votes (with boos for the block voting .. especially when Seriba got 12 points, and Russia came on-screen… the crowd was not happy about that…).
With the voting at the halfway point, it looked like we would be heading off to Cyprus next year. But of course, that changed. And changed rapidly as the public vote came in.
And of course – Israel won with 529 points
And here’s some footage of the winning entry.
Editors note: Yes – I was bopping along with this along with the crowd.
With the last song over and the Prelude to Te Deum played one more time – signalling the end of the show – it was time to leave the Altice arena.
With a slow walk to the exit – it was a matter of finding a Uber that would accept a ride – or catching a train closer to downtown Lisbon, and then finding a way onwards. Uber looked good to start with – and then suddenly the prices started spiking.
I wrote off the Uber, and headed to the train station and joined the queue. And it was an amazing queue – but well-managed as police restricted the quantity of people getting onto the platform so it was safe at all times.
I switched lines and exited at the station closest to the hostel – Intendente.
With buses near enough stopped running, and faced with either a long walk up a hill or a cheat and use a Uber… I cheated and went for a Uber.
€6 later, I was at my hostel – working out how to get in and following people upstairs. Eventually – I made my room, locked the door and promptly collapsed.
My feet were happy at that point.
Next: Off to Porto!
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