Tim: Yes, I know it’s not a proper release or anything, but in a normal year we’d have a chat today about what happened on Saturday, and this got played out at the end of the replacement show, Shine A Light. In any case, does anyone ever need a reason to listen to this song?
Tom: Here’s a ha-ha-no-but-seriously idea for you: if Britain ever becomes a republic, Love Shine A Light should be the national anthem. Not the original recording, obviously, it’d have to be reorchestrated a bit. Okay, sure, it’d never happen, but it couldn’t be any worse than Land Of Hope And Glory.
Tim: That is true, and now you’ve mentioned it I can’t really think of a reason it shouldn’t be. And actually, Saturday already gave us a start with some orchestration – the Zagreb moment is just lovely.
The show itself, for anyone who didn’t watch it, was an odd affair – playing 30 second clips of each of this year’s songs followed by a quick message from the relevant performer, with the occasional dip into Eurovision history. The idea of it was to show how great Eurovision can be, and how it can be used as an escape from, well, everything, but however hard it tried it never quite managed to overcome the fact that nobody actually wanted this to happen.
Until, that is, the end, when a lovely message came from Björn from ABBA, followed by this.
Tom: Quick note: you know that “sponsored by Moroccanoil” tag that’s been in every damn Eurovision YouTube video this year? These day-of videos are the first time I’ve seen it gain a slogan, and it’s also the first time I’ve realised that Moroccanoil is not, in fact, some multinational oil company.
Tim: Same for me, actually, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that was the reason it got given a slogan.
Tom: Well, look, it’s never going to beat the tent-revival version from 2016, is it?
Tim: Well, no, it hasn’t got me in there dancing my nuts off (1:28, light blue t-shirt, a little below the fire exit sign).
Tom: But given everything, they did a decent job.
Tim: They did. There are bits you can criticise, sure – some of the men were given bits way out of their comfort zone, and whoever gave Croatia’s Damir the idea that he was free to play with the melody however he wanted should be given a severe talking to.
Tom: There are some very, uh, interesting choices by the production team: I recognise they’ll have had to deal with a lot of amateur filming and sound equipment, so the heavy processing is often excusable. But if you’re going to stretch it a whole minute, why rush into the choruses? Why cut-and-chop the verses around so much? (I assume it’s because of short deadlines, but still.)
Tim: But there are brilliant bits as well. The fabulous lockdown hair of Blas from Spain and Uku from Estonia, for example, and Ukraine’s Go_A in a onesie with her cat. There was Daði from Iceland doing his thing (whose video message was quite something as well).
Tom: And giving the first line of each chorus to a duet or trio, which means you get some brilliant harmonies in there.
Tim: Huh, do you know I’d not noticed that, but you’re right, that is good – The Mamas in particular sound wonderful. There’s also then the genuine joy coming out of Vasil from North Macedonia, and of course Katrina coming along at the end to close it off perfectly.
All in all, it might not have been the best night, but they had a decent go at it anyway. Oh, and there was a nice announcement at the end.
Tom: Here’s hoping. And what a lovely motto to choose.