Editorials & Opinion

XTRA Opinion: Our winners and losers from Eurovision in Concert 2019

Last night, Eurovision in Concert took place in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. 28 acts took to the stage to show a crowd of Eurovision fans what they were made of, a month before heading to Tel Aviv. A fair share of the ESCXTRA.com team attended the event and as you’re used to from us, we formed our opinions.

In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through our winners and losers from last night’s show! Click through the pages below to find out what we thought!

Costa:

I guess The Netherlands is a winner for me by virtue of living up to the immense hype behind it; as far as I know, this was Duncan’s first time performing the ESC-version of “Arcade” and it was utterly captivating. The added atmosphere of being in the audience, in the Netherlands, for his biggest performance to date was quite the moment. My other two winners were Georgia and Czech Republic. I wasn’t too much of a hater beforehand, but I enjoyed “Keep On Going” far more than I thought I would; the bass rearranged my vital organs and Oto was a force on stage in his own right, especially with the striking light show and new LEDs accompanying him. Meanwhile, Lake Malawi probably gave the performance I enjoyed the most out of all 28 acts…Jamala’s impact? Albert is one of the most charismatic live performers I’ve ever experienced and “Friend of a Friend” provided the most fun singalong moments of all 28 songs.

Not to sound too diplomatic but I was impressed by almost all of the acts live and so listing any ‘losers’ is difficult. This is especially coming from someone who wasn’t too crazy about the line up prior to the event. There were very few acts that disappointed me, and most elevated their songs with their live renditions. However, I will say that Lithuania got completely lost in the shuffle for me. I’ve never liked “Run With the Lions” all that much, and despite a very competent vocal performance from Jurij, I was left cold. I can confirmed that the song is as middle-of-the-road and generic in a live setting as it is in the studio cut.

Nick:

My winner of yesterday’s Eurovision in Concert show has to be The Netherlands. Duncan Laurence is, of course, the big favourite to win the thing next month, but this was a big moment for him. We’ve seen him shine in intimate settings: radio shows, small TV studios. But what would happen with a crowd of nearly 5,000? A captivating moment at the end of the night where Duncan showed he can move an audience no matter how big it is. It was a magical moment. I however cannot ignore Georgia and Switzerland in my list here. Oto Nemsadze shot up many places in my ranking. You can see he feels what he’s singing and he can translate that into his performance. Without the Georgian flags in the background, it was a great heartfelt attempt. Despite many critical notes on social media last night, Switzerland were also impressive. Luca Hänni controlled his moves better than his vocals, but none of it bothered me to any extent. We just went wild for it.

On the other side, my loser of last night was Denmark. Leonora entered the stage, trying to get the audience to sing her chorus before she started. It didn’t really work and was a little awkward to see. The same thing also happened to Ireland, by the way. When the bubble canon was launched for Denmark, around me I saw more annoyance at the bubbles leaving stains on t-shirts than enjoyment for the song. Add to that the fact that the “taste of love” line in the chorus wasn’t hit vocally once and it just didn’t click at all. Being on right after Iceland, who also really were not impressive and caused me to use ear plugs, “Love is Forever” was just a bit naive and didn’t leave much of an impression. Other countries that just didn’t cut it for me were Serbia and Iceland

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