2015 Review: Russia

Russia seems to be continuing its trend of trying to avoid politics in ESC. Here are some grandmas baking cookies. Here’s a peace ballad asking for everyone to come together and bury their guns. Here’s a song that’s sung by two 17-year-olds that have absolutely nothing to do with the government. And here’s a love/peace ballad focusing on kids, expecting parents, and senior citizens. It’s Polina Gagarina and “A Million Voices,” written by the same team who wrote Russia’s 2013 entry.

Politics aside, I like the song once it’s clear that I’m listening to the right song, (a.k.a. after hearing her sing the words of the title in the refrain).  It’s not too obnoxious, and the refrain is somewhat catchy. However, I think the video directors took the lyrics from last year a little bit too seriously. When the Tolmachevy Sisters sang “Shine into my darkness,” they probably did not mean extreme computer screen glare from filming a platinum-blonde haired white person in a white dress singing in front of a white background. Also, if I had watched this on TV and had never known that this was a Eurovision entry or even a music video, I would have thought it was an advertisement for one or more of the following products:

Toothpaste: “4 out of 5 dentists approve of Brand X!”

Contact lenses “It’s like they’re not even there!”

Shampoo/conditioner: “Brand X helps my hair stay smooth, strong, and silky. And it should work with yours too!”

Detergent/Colour-safe bleach: “Safe for all types of clothing.Removes stains from my white dress BUT preserves the colours on everyone else’s clothes!”

Hair dye: “Want platinum blond locks like me? Try Brand X hair bleach!”

Children’s clothing: “Get this set of overpriced designer children’s clothing for only [insert ridiculous amount split into 4 monthly payments]
russian kid models 2

Anti-depression medication: “I used Brand X and it pulled me out of the darkness. But Brand X may not be for everyone. Side effects include nausea, increased appetite, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, loss of sexual desire, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and the sudden desire to to binge watch the South Park movie and blame Canada.

 

2015 Review: Poland

Unlike last year, Poland will not have a PG-13/R/X/ “not appropriate for the 5 year old” performance. Instead, TVP decided to send Monika Kuszyńska singing “In the Name of Love”, a relatively straightforward ballad that focuses more on the music and less on the visuals. Song-wise, it’s definitely less marmite and more widely acceptable.

Despite all attempts to ignore the wheelchair (which they did a good job of hiding until the last 20 seconds), it’s probably the first thing that non-Polish ESC fans see and hear: she is paralyzed from the waist down due to a car accident in 2006. And then the video suddenly makes sense: photos and videos of her past and then accepting the present, which IMO has a similar feeling to “Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Mis.

Since I have an anatomy exam soon, I couldn’t help but think how singing while sitting down differs from singing standing up: there’s a little less air involved and as a result there’s fewer low or long notes. But okay, it’s not like the contest involves people swimming sprints across the pool. Not to mention, if she sits up straight there shouldn’t be any major problems involved.

Back to the blogosphere

So ummm…hi. *waves awkwardly* Sorry for walking off and forgetting that the blog still existed.

I’m back (at least for now). To make things less awkward, here’s pretty much what’s going on in my life:

a) Finals and uni-related activities

But that wasn’t on the study guide! How am I supposed to study for that if I don’t know it’s gonna be on the exam?!

b) Starting a new job that started at 4 in the morning (a.k.a. Let’s wake up at 3 am!)

Dear person who came up with this meme on Tumblr, THANK YOU

 

c) Not being able to wake up for various reasons

I know it’s 10:30 am, but just give me 10 more minutes…

So let’s get back to work! I only have 19 more entries to review and then it’s the actual contest! (Now let’s see if my boss will let me have the day off that day…)