Ahead of his annual free Eurovision party at The Glory, East London’s scene queen Jonny Woo gives Attitude the rundown on his favourite entries for 2016 ahead of Saturday night's grand final in Stockholm...SERBIA: Sanja Vucic - 'Goodbye (Shelter)'
It’s a bit Amy Winehouse, it’s a bit Adele, a bit Paloma even. I think it’s cracking and would probably be a hit sung by any of those artists (anything by Amy of course, god bless). Its about domestic violence, which you probably wouldn’t guess, but Sanja our young Serb attacks it with gusto and puts the arbitrary key change to dramatic effect at the end. Smashing!
ARMENIA: Iveta Mukuchyan - 'Love Wave'
Oh God, sexy talk with a thick Armenia accent, weird droney noises, a swimsuit and a cape. No it’s not John Sizzle, it the bombshell that is Armenia’s entry! The sounds of Eurovision have moved on and no more ‘boom-bang-a-bangs’ dears. This is futuristic with evocative traditional Armenian wailing instruments (well at least, I think that’s what they are) and she is HOT! If the guy from the video is on stage too, I’m moving to Armenia. Fuck Margate!
FRANCE: Amir - 'J’ai Cherche'
The main challenger to Russia - and another hottie. Infectious radio-ready French pop. I’m gutted he lost the backing singers in tutus and denim jackets and tambourines (so French!) never mind I’ll wear it. Up-beat, sing-a-long, modern -half in French an half in English, like a one night stand with Francois Sagat. A more humble presentation than gawdy Russia, relying on Amir to sell his song. And guess what - it’s a song contest. Could be a definite fave with the Mums, and there are a lot of them in Europe - watching Eurovsion. Don’t underestimate the EuroMum vote.
RUSSIA: Sergey Lazarev - 'You Are The Only One'
OK not really my fave, but I think I am against it because of Russia’s shit treatment of poofs. But then again most of Eastern Europe is pretty shitty when it comes to queers and Malta still bans abortion. Come on then Putin, let’s look at your song. The cynic would say they got a cute muscle guy to appeal to the gay vote, sick and twisted when they won’t allow gay pride parades – but sigh, it will probably work. It’s definitely catchy and he is a big star in Russia apparently. Miss Russia is onstage too and there’s some iceberg spacey visual thing. If it were another country I’d probably love it, and he seems like a nice chap. He’d get it, but Russia doesn’t. Next.
UKRAINE: Jamala - '1944'
So if the queers boo when Russia scores 12, they’ll SCREAM for Jamala This is the song which could really upset the pack. Not only is this song all about the forced deportations of Ukranians by Russia in 1944 (there wasn’t room for it on Taylor Swift’s album) but Jamala sings much of it as a gutterall wail to this break-beat minimal base line. And it works! Impressive stuff. On first hearing you think “What!” Then it’s like, “Yeah!” It would be a weird winner, and might not get much radio play here but it’s actually quite cool and better than most commercial pop that gets chucked out today. Up there with the Ukrainian greats – Hey Svetlana.
LATVIA: Justs - 'Heartbeat'
The best male vocal in the competition BY FAR, even if he does seem a little awkward on stage at first. It’s got a deep house retro bass line and he hits the vocal like a rock singer. Trivia corner: It was written by Animata who was Latvia’s surprise standout entry last year. Most enjoyed with the sound turned right up and a booming bass bin. A regular on my playlist at The Glory already, Princess Julia loves swirling her Malbec to it.
UNITED KINGDOM: Joe and Jake - 'You’re Not Alone'
I actually loved it on first hearing and played it to my friend Le Gateau Chocolat who just rolled his eyes. Gateau’s the Litmus test of “down with the kids” – so bad news all round. Bless them! I think it’s good, I always enjoy hearing it, maybe I’ve accidentally transitioned to a EuroMum? But - and it’s a shame it comes with a but - it doesn’t have the commitment and attention to detail that the other big hitters have. It is naively optimistic, but could have done with a better bridge, more sophisticated lyrics and Joe needs to let go of that mic stand when Jake is singing. They have jumped up the board following rehearsals so hopefully will do well! Good luck boys, forget everything the BBC said and just GO FOR IT KIDS!
The Glory will be screening Eurovision on both floors this Saturday, followed by a night of drag Eurovision performances, including Ma Butcher as Loreen, and a Euro disco until 2am. Free before 10pm, £5 after. Visit theglory.co.uk for more.Follow Jonny Woo on Twitter @JonnyWooUKMore stories:
Nick Jonas explains why he decided to cancel his North Carolina shows.Gay cyclist passes a homophobic street preacher – what he did next left the crowd cheering