If you’ve been following me on Twitter for more than a year or so, you already know that the European Song Contest, Eurovision, makes me happier than anything else on earth. Wall-to-wall Europop punctuated by backflips and fountains of fire and clowns–it’s upbeat and theatrical, both awesome and ridiculous. This year, my sister Megan Engelhardt watched the promo videos for the competitors ahead of the finals this Saturday. Here’s her take on this year’s batch. With, of course, links so you can judge for yourself.

Eurovision: First Thoughts

Megan Engelhardt

Sweden – Stand and sing. Pleasant enough, catchy, but still. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdXXnX5BvGY&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Moldova – This sounds like it should be in the musical Jekyll and Hyde. The video is overly dramatic. Are those dancers airbending? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_E12QokqAs&index=2&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Estonia – The song is just OK but I dig the dancing. Surprisingly low voice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VRSXRXBWCs&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Latvia — <3! The guy needs a haircut. His band is totes adorbs. I bet that’s his hometown singing with him. These guys won’t win but I love them anyway. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7CL8anA1hQ&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Poland – I think the video having old people is making me not hate this, but removing the old people would tip it over. Hubband thought it was about “Slutty girls”, not “Slavic girls”, lol. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syMhJMmGEIc&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

France – This is very un-France, haha. The chorus is “I wanna have a moustache.” Wut France? This looks like an 80s music video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWJFfnHNOWI&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Portugal – Woo, salsa! Hubband: “I like the song better than the performance of it.” I dig the drum/flag guys and the painted bongo guy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcTiPW-X8q4&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Belgium – Mine ex nihilo! I like this song! Not sure what the dancer is doing. Appropriate for Mother’s Day, n’est-ce pas? D’awww, was that his mom in the audience? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APWpOkRQoiY&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Norway – Pretty song! Plaintive, pleasant. Will probably go on my “melancholy” playlist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LBOjxBty8U&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Switzerland – Peppy! I love songs that go Acapulco except claps. Cute. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjWG0oNpWog&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Austria – The big flap is that the singer is a drag performer. The sad thing is he’s a prettier woman than I am. Not terribly impressed with the song. Sounds like it’s trying to be a Bond theme. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToqNa0rqUtY&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Finland – Had me tapping my toes right off the bat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-NSVFBKU-4&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Ukraine – Also kind of 80s music video ish. Catchy but not overly so. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdAf2EjhRiE&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Netherlands – Folksy with a nice driving beat. A low-key sound. Not a winner but I’ll keep it on my playlist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkrF8uC92O4&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Albania – Torn on this one. It’ll take a few listens to decide if I like it or if it grates on me. At the end she’s rocking out far harder than the song requires. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4ABpIspdic&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Malta – Well, I like this one. Also soldier music videos get me. Sweet dulcimer. They may have a chance on sentimentality and musicality. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxi5C-lGX2Y&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Azerbaijan Just singing. Meh. Bored. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipQswujA5gw&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Armenia – Bookies’ choice to win. We can’t see why. It’s OK but I wouldn’t say the best of the lot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChkJpnOgIwQ&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

San Marino – host piano! Also, Valentina love, 3 years at Eurovision? Really? San Marino is small, though. Maybe they only have the one singer. TO be fair, this isn’t terrible. Also kind of Bond-film-esque. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt_3yms1PcM&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Iceland – Picking up the ska sound from Moldova, but not successfully. To be honest, though, this will probably get a fair bit of play from me. And they look like they’re having fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwfGKEIn5xw&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Denmark – Hosts this year. This is pretty dang fun. I think he’s channeling Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn8DzOcpQas&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Spain – Fun dancing. Pleasant song but not outstanding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9R96ZoWJBU&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Italy – Lady Gaga? Not interesting, anyway. This song seems SO long. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si9K0ChHzDI&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Belarus – This guy needs slapped. I appreciate that he knows it, though. I kinda like his pouty chick, at least until the end. I will probably skip this on the playlist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qe7YmYgowM&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Greece – I feel betrayed. The horns provided a good sound and then there was rapping. L Sad, because if it wasn’t for the rap this would be a funky song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8QIbL9i2MU&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Georgia – This is strange. I could have used less weird chanting in the beginning but I liked it once actual singing happened. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9ixkdkbieU&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Montenegro – I always dislike Montenegro’s entry but this is not terrible! Pleasant, even! You redeemed yourself form last year, Montenego. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xym7CQFFTOU&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Hungary – This video made me feel sick to my stomach, which was probably the point. I will probably skip this one because of that, which is not to say it’s bad. I just can’t handle it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzfRDZmuFUI&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Romania – Magic girl! That is awesome! The song is not terrible and kinda catchy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYfyMkwTLPg&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Ireland – Boring video, nice song. It will probably be a stand and sin, alas. I do like the song, though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc14AzCXUgQ&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Israel – Sassy! Driving beat. Fun song. I hope the sword is part of the stage show. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uB4JMw4ctc&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Lithuania – They need to spice up the stage show, but the song is fun. I dig the chorus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWi0zF6bFto&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

UK – I actually think they have a chance this year! Catching song, pretty fun singable chorus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFqYbibLh8k&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

FYR Macedonia – Weirdly, I feel like I’ve heard this before. Maybe like Rihanna’s Diamonds, or the Steam Powered Giraffe version, at least. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak73KTgy9nE&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Russia – Twins! Hubband says “I prefer Jedward.” They should do some wacky twin hijinks to spice up a perfectly pleasant but not outstanding song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPI7AnD_QS8&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Germany – What a cute weird band! I dig this song a fair bit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTC-4YO_5eE&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq

Slovenia – Always love a flute player. Lots of dancing this year. Song is OK, not great but not terrible. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMpNkCOMaGU&list=PLmWYEDTNOGUJpNOiYf0F-yA4wCVV59Iqq