On Saturday May 12th, the Grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 will take place. Read the article below for a sneak preview of how all the performances in that show are going to look!
ESCDaily is live in Lisbon. With a team of journalists we follow all the rehearsals to analyze how every country will stage their song. When even the slightest detail changes, we will update this article for you, so keep refreshing this throughout the upcoming weeks to get the latest information! Below you can see the full final line-up, in the running order as the producers of this year made it.
Ukraine – Melovin – Under The Ladder
Melovin uses his white piano as a coffin from which he raises from the grave like a zombie. He gets down his stairs, sings, takes of his coat just like in the national final, sings while climbing the stairs again to his piano, while the stairs are lit to fire step by step. Vocals are harmed by the laying position in the beginning, but also thoughout the performance they are not optimal. Melovin though comes across charismatic and the performance is powerful. Expect a lot of fire bursts.
Spain – Alfred and Amaia – Tu Cancion
The Spanish couple is dressed like they are going to prom. Starting apart walking towards each other never took this long. Circle around once and then stand like in a pose where he holds her as if she’s pregnant, they make a sweet ten second waltz. A very clingy performance, vocally decent (Alfred) to good (Amaia) delivery. Pyro waterfall for the climax of the song.
Slovenia – Lea Sirk – Hvala, ne
Accompanied by her first two later four backings/dancers Lea gives a good show comparable to what she did in the national final, but this time without the mirrors. Blue setting with flashing white lights. Strong choreography, quick moves, good camerawork. Near the second chorus, the music stops and Lea fakes a technical breakdown. ‘Where is the music?’ she says, and she asks the audience to sing the chorus. Then the music starts again and she continues towards the end of the song in Portuguese: “Obrigada nao”.
Lithuania – Ieva Zasimauskaitė – When We’re Old
Mermaid position for Ieva for a start, filmed from behind in her pastel knitted dress. The camera pans past her and then shows her face. Yellow gold lights in the background add to the scenery. During the first minute of the song, we only see Ieva sitting on the floor. Some faded black and white projections are projected on screen as after-effects during the second minute, almost as ghosts appearing (two baby’s kissing, a family, an old couple). A lot of echo-effects in the vocals for Ieva. Towards the end, the screen projections stop and Ieva walks up a bridge, where she meets her husband while she’s singing the last few sentences in Lithuanian. Many close-ups, good vocals both lift up the song.
Austria – Cesár Sampson – Nobody But You
Austria brings Lionel Richie feel-good vibes. Cesar performs on a platform in the dark, camera shots from above with subtle yellow lights at the edges of the square. At the start of the song the obligate close-up of the face, this time half in shadow. Cesar is in grey latex top and casual grey trousers. Some subtle filming with shadows and lights works out fine. The platform Cesar is standing with stadium lights underneath so it kinda looks like a spaceship going up and down. During the chorus, we see his backing vocals stand & sing below his platform. After that, the platform lowers, he jumps off. There is a projection of his head and chest projected over a zoomed out shot of the stage during the second chorus.
Estonia – Elina Nechayeva – La Forza
As expected a flawless vocal performance by Elina. ‘The dress’ has arrived in time, and there are multiple projections seen on it. Even more than in Eesti Laul, they now include rose petals at some point. The longer the song lasts the more busy the moving and swirling prints become. Starting in stylish blue and white lighting, via wild oceans waters, a volcano outburst, blushing flowers, ending in a psych. At the break between second verse and second chorus, we see a couple of fast flickering close-up shots of Elina. Other than that, this looks fairly similar to Eesti Laul.
Norway – Alexander Rybak – That’s How You Write A Song
Rybak took his in-camera effects with him to Lisbon, so the act is not really different compared to the national final in Norway. His outfit is a black shirt with a dark blue jacket, which he throws away after the first chorus. Alexander starts sitting and miming he’s playing instruments, some of his lyrics are pictured with icons. He catches the camera with his eye movements and he knows how to perform. After the first chorus he’s joined with four backings/dancers also in casual black/blue/purple clothing. A simple yet effective choreography with the catchy song. Lighting: mainly blue and purple. Near the end Rybak is playing his real violin, and the song ends with a wideshot and a lot of pyrotechnics.
Portugal – Claudia Pascoal – O Jardim
The song for the host nation starts with Claudia in the dark, lights only making her pink hair visible, while her face in the shade. Soon we see her full face in an intimate setting with a lot of yellow spots in the background. It suggests a starry night. Quick alternating close-up camera shots. Vocals are spot-on. When the backing vocalist suddenly comes on stage and joins singing, we get to see stroboscopic flashes as well. The song ends as it began, intimate with a rather introvert Claudia in close-up as she hardly connects with the camera. The backing vocalist (and composer) Isaura is not sitting but standing in the shade. That is not an improvement as it looks a bit weird, her showing up and disappearing.
United Kingdom – SuRie – Storm
SuRie starts singing in the back of what look like a long diagonal placed rectangle tube, in between a lot of dried ice. Made of neon lights and coloured as in the videoclip. So blue/white or purple/white. We get to see too many wide shots and many shots from behind. Bass sounds very heavy and the whole act is nothing more than just SuRie walking around in her white jumpsuit. Looks like they transformed the Australian prop of Jessica Mauboy by setting the neon beams things in perspective. Lacklustre reaction from the press.
Serbia – Sanja Ilić & Balkanika – Nova Deca
Serbia is on stage with three females in dark purple and white dresses, with a black accent swirl around on stage. The male singer is dressed in a extra long black shirt. The opening shot is the flute player from aside, followed by a close up from one of the female singers. There is also a drummer banging his oildrums. This mysterious opening lasts for almost 30 seconds. After that, the act looks a bit chaotic, also because the song has multiple themes in it. Near the end of the song the singers raise their arms in a questionable salute.
Germany – Michael Schulte – You Let Me Walk Alone
Germany brought their own LED wall and bring a goose bump entry. Michael starts in a total black environment with one spot light from above. This is first half minute, it’s captivating. In the next minute we get to see b/w pics and projected words from the chorus in red. Vocals are stunning, great emotional connection. One feels the emotion of Schulte while he’s singing. From the bridge suddenly the projections on the LED wall become psychedelic and the b/w and red/black should be downscaled a bit as the contrast is just too much. Somewhat overwhelming and distracting from the emotional connection that Michael has made the two minutes before.
Albania – Eugent Bushpepa – Mall
Red & yellow colours in the backdrop. Albania starts with camera shots of the guitarist. All band members dressed in glittering black/silver suits. Vocally, Eugent’s notes are on pitch. During the pre-chorus Eugent is clapping along to his own lyrics as he is filmed with a full-body-shot. Some purple light beams added to the colour scheme. Eugent is working the camera well enough with his tattooed drummer and two female backings in short glittering skirts. The Albanian song is decently staged and very well sung, but it still passes by you easily. More wideshots in the last two choruses.
France – Madame Monsieur – Mercy
Both are dressed in black and Madame’s blond hair tighten into a pony tail and showing a clear middle path, red nail polish and red/white sneakers. Monsieur wears red/white sneakers and a red guitar. Starting together on the blue main stage, both walk over the bridge (nice front shot Emelie walking it in rather fast pase) from and joining in the centre. Just a little faster as during the ‘mercy, mercy’ part both walk to one side of the catwalk and back while the camera’s follow their reaching hand moves. Vocally it is a flawless performance.
Czech Republic – Mikolas Josef – Lie To Me
The act is almost a copy of the video clip. Two screens with dancers in front of them (and the shadow of a trumpeter projected in the beginning). Mikolas in the middle on a white stage wears his glasses, a bowtie, a white shirt, black trousers, sports socks and sneakers. He starts with the mic in his pockets. Mikolas is not yet wearing his backpack from the start, just halfway he gets it. The backpack is part of the dance routine as the two dancers join Mikolas on his white stage. They take the backpack off and put it on Mikolas again after a pirouette. Some synchronized dancing with the three of them wiggling the asses. The viewer gets to see several split-screens. The colour scheme is like the last time Czech Republic reached the final, light blue and pink/purple – but faster light changes now obviously. during the bridge, Mikolas calls “What’s up, Eurovision?” to the audience. Overall Czech Republic wants to create a high school boys theme. Boyband end pose with crossed arms looks nice.
Denmark – Rasmussen – Higher Ground
Blurred camera shot for a start, turning into a close up of Rasmussen. Then zooming out to wide shot, showing two big white sails at the side and Rasmussen is joined by four backing singers. Overall many blue colours and black clothing and many wide shots. Actually the whole act is a copy of the national final performance. Rasmussen holds the mic constantly for his mouth and it feels as if the viewer will have difficulty to connect with the singer. At the end of his three minute show a snowstorm is simulated. One of the backings literally raises a banner.
Australia – Jessica Mauboy – We Got Love
Jessica performs in her purple glittering dress, which she also wears in the video clip. She is standing solely on stage for the entire three minutes. The whole scenery is light blue and there are purple neon stripes behind her. Jessica turns and turns around and dances the whole song. Her vocals are a point of concern. Some runthrough were okay, but sometimes it was simply not good. Fingers crossed.
Finland – Saara Aalto – Monsters
On stage a man high diamond-like object on top of a pyramid with stairs on the axis. In a scenery of loads of purple and blue lights, Saara starts singing attached to a wheel. So she sings belted and upside down while the wheel turns just like she did in the national final with the song ‘Domino’. When released from the wheel, Saara starts walking and two backing singers/dancers join in. They are dressed in wannabe kinky grey suits, no shirts underneath. Saara herself is dressed in a short black latex dress wearing fishbone-like jewellery from neck to belly button. All dance routines she makes show she’s not really a natural dancer. The vocals also sound like it costs her a lot of energy to produce. In the end, a waterfall of fireworks is added and during the song some firework fountains and smoke.
Bulgaria – EQUINOX – Bones
Bulgaria delivers a very dark setting with all five singers in black clothing. Just some turqoise green lights and some flashlights and a windmachine, some dried ice on the floor. The singers step up and off some scaffolds in a unclear choreography, supposingly the one who has the alternating lead vocal has to step on one specific block. There is absolutely no chemistry between the five singers. That’s in strong contrast with the harmonies that are spotless. The zero chemistry is only emphasized by the split screens and aftereffects used. There’s definitely a story going on with the singers coming together and leaving each other again, but I doubt anyone is going to understand it.
Moldova – DoReDos – My Lucky Day
DoReDos bring a sexual comedy act with bad vocals. On stage there is a three door wall/IKEA cupboard through which the singers, each in one of the national colours (red, blue, yellow) appear after eachother. Clearly suggesting a girl cheating on both lovers. Sometimes we get glimpses while parts of the wall opening. All three singers have a body double. In the end of the song those join the main singers on stage, so it looks like three twin sets dancing a synchronic dancing. This is televote friendly, expert jury unfriendly, we suspect. Act distracts from the weak vocals.
Sweden – Benjamin Ingrosso – Dance You Off
Benjamin works through his dance routine just like he did in Melodifestivalen, without room for spontaneity. Vocals are OK, so are the moves and most camera angles with his John Travolta moves. Benjamin moves in front and up the LED-wall and floor the Swedes brought with them on which a lot of lines are drawn. The act looks like a contemporary video clip, so it’s less easy to connect with Ingrosso.
Hungary – AWS – Viszlát Nyár
Energetic and dynamic performance by AWS, in the same outfits as in the national final. The whole stage is used, including the two bridges. Singer wears his army green shirt, very casual and therefore genuine looking. During the song Örs walks the catwalk and the guitarist does some stagediving. Expect a lot of flame bursts each chorus and fountains of fireworks along the catwalk.
Israel – Netta Barzilai – Toy
Israel makes use of two actual cupboards of those eternal waving ‘fortune cat’. Netta stands behind her white looper table wearing an almost Korean looking purple, red, white & black outfit. The scenery is red and gold lit. Vocals are on spot. She’s accompanied on stage by three female dancers who stand on the right side bridge. Later she starts dancing as well. The dancers stand on the bridge at the right side of the stage. Near the end Netta walks towards the audience. The real energy comes from the pyrotechnical steam explosions which for some golden clouds in the arena. Bubble machines are being used for climax.
The Netherlands – Waylon – Outlaw In ‘Em
Blue staging and yellow lights for The Netherlands. It opens with a wide shot of the stage, with lots of dried ice on it. Waylon is wearing a panther print jacket and a black hat. Four colored band members with guitars are around him, kinda headbanging towards him. Waylon is standing on a small platform with yellow footlights for the full three minutes. The band members throw away their instruments and do some (aggressive) dance routine with flipflop included. The vocals are on pitch.
Ireland – Ryan O’Shaughnessy – Together
Standing in front of a mic with his guitar Ryan sings his falsetto song on a seemingly dark winter night. Camera is circling around as the first minute is in one take. Next to him a girl (backing vocal) playing a piano joining him the chorus. In the background, we get to see a lamppost and the bench from the video. An evening setting is suggested as the lights are dark blue with yellow accents ‘stars’. Over the bridge, the two dancers from the video come walking hand in hand and join on stage. Start their dance routine in the background while Ryan keeps singing his song as if nothing happens. He’s wearing black. The dancers wear winter coats as towards the end while they dance near the bridge the end of the song it starts snowing.
Cyprus – Eleni Foureira – Fuego
Imagine a nightclub setting. A silhouette of a woman walking in, light flashes and turns from black/white to into flaming red. Eleni dressed in a multicoloured glittering jumpsuit revealing her belly gives away a sleazy performance, twerking her way around, with hip movements and shaking her long, very long hairs. The act vibes Charlie’s Angels all over. Joined by four dancers dressed in silver/black she performs a slick choreography. In the camera there are flames and red smoke projected. Vocals are pretty weak.
Italy – Ermal Meta and Fabrizio Moro – Non Mi Avete Fatto Niente
Red lights and in camera after effects projected words, while two men very casually dressed on stage sing a song. That is all the Italian act looks like. Ermal and Fabrizio start singing next to each other behind microphone stands. Walk to the bridges on both sides and then join again in the middle of the catwalk. Finalizing the song with one arm raised.