National Final Season in Review 2021: WTF?

I thought that living through 2020 would numb me from any inexplicably odd moments in light entertainment programs. But 2020 didn’t prepare me for an Emmy-winning filmmaker to descend from the ceiling of a Zagreb studio to warble a song about world peace. Here are all the head-scratching, jaw-dropping, eyebrow-raising moments of this year’s national final season.

Belarus: Galasy ZMesta – “Ya Nauchu Tebya (I’ll Teach You)”

I’ve talked about what happened with Belarus’s 2021 Eurovision entry already, so I only will ask: Did BTRC deliberately submit this as a Eurovision entry, knowing it would be rejected, so that they could pretend they were victims of Western suppression? Or were they really that oblivious to the level of attention focused on Belarus as the protests broke out?

Norway: Daniel Owen – “Psycho”

“Psycho” isn’t a bad song, but those lyrics… “Psycho, never thought you would make me a psycho?” They’re so uncomfortable that I could have sworn they were written by a certain recently disgraced Hollywood actor. Eww.

Albania: Evi Reçi – “Tjerr”

If you can ignore Evi Reçi’s weird “will the nipples slip or won’t they” outfit, you can enjoy the spectacle of two inept escape artists struggling to free themselves from a rope loosely draped around them.

France: Poney X – “Amour Fou”

I hate myself for enjoying “Amour Fou” as much as I do. The DJ pony gimmick is dumb, but the “Rednex covers ‘Mambo No.5’” one-hit wonder of it all is ridiculously entertaining.

Estonia: Redel – “Tartu”

Kristjan Oden and Indrek Vaheoja from Winny Puhh have written the definitive song about Tartu’s massive amount of wood. I don’t think that’s a euphemism.

Sweden: WAHL fet Sami – “90-talet”

This ode to the 1990s was staged as if it were an ode to the 1980s and no amount of ecstasy will make me feel like I did that much coke.

Italy: Colapesce & Dimartino – “Musica leggerissima”

Colapesce & Dimartin staged their smooth 1970s yacht rock ballad with a Miami Vice look and just the right amount of sly self-awareness. Also, even when you know the roller skater is coming, you are never prepared for the roller skater to show up.

Lithuania: Thomukas 1 – “Wish”

Imagine if Harry Potter dropped out of Hogwarts, got into muscle cars, and embarked on a career as the Jimmy Somerville of Lithuania. The spoken word bit at the end just made “Wish” all the more surreal.

Croatia: Ashley Colburn i Bojan Jambrošić – “Share the Love”

As a documentary filmmaker you really want to get to know your subject, understand it, immerse yourself in it. And sometimes that means performing a cheesy call and response duet during Dora 2021. If you had told me this was a song from an off-Broadway musical based on Glitter, I totally would have believed you.