ESC 2019: This performance ruined Madonna's career

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AAs always, Kirre Show, unspeakably strange music performances, the favorite wins, Germany in the back, right? Not quite. The ESC 2019 will really be remembered. And not because of 24th place out of 26 for the German Sisters. If there was anything notable, even earth-shattering at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, then Madonna was embarrassing. Yes, Madonna, unshakable Queen of Pop, decades of perfectionist and Wonder Woman of show business. One may call the disaster.

Madonna had traveled to Israel with Giant Aplomb and more than 120 companions to perform as a pause act in front of an estimated 200 million viewers around the world. And to do PR on their own, a new album will be released. It began with a version of the 30-year-old “Like A Prayer” in the Gregorian style with monastic singing. But her singing!

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Madonna with eye patch and slanted voice

Mockery for “Queen of Pop”

Madonna was unmistakably live to hear. The voice half braked, the notes wrong and wrong, always a bit off and rather inappropriate. It sounded like the kaoke night of the bowling club, after exhausting many little cowards were consumed. Leik A. Präjer. Sounds weird. No matter, nobody hears.

Since Madonna is no longer super-present, questions arise: Has she forgotten how to sing? Did they sound that way live? Always? Could she maybe never sing right? No this can not be. Voice stress fracture? Singing jet lag?

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MUSIC-EUROVISION / FINAL

And Madonna stood there rooted in her silly costume that looked halfway to Marvel film and half to Valkyrie in a provincial opera. She did not dance, only now and then a feeble step, as if every movement was difficult. In short, a 60-year-old acted as if she was over 70, not the timeless eyelid-headed creature she claims to be. In the end, Madonna was standing by a staircase and tipped stiffly backwards into the abyss. Out. Disappeared. The ESC has already ruined many a career, especially Germany can sing a few songs, but never an ex-superstar. Prayers For Madonna.

A little “Merci, Chérie” by Udo Jürgens

For music lovers this Titanic event was so shocking that the actual event event was somewhat pushed into the background. The Dutchman Duncan Lawrence won after four show hours with the song “Arcade”. This came as no surprise, since weeks the 24-year-old had been traded as a winner. Similar to 2010 Germany, 2013 Denmark or 2015 Sweden, Lawrence had everyone on his side, bookmakers, Google users, juries, spectators, a foregone conclusion.

Due to the complicated evaluation – juries and spectator ratings were announced separately – it was still exciting to the last second, as a duel between the Netherlands and Sweden was simulated. But John Lundvik with his snappy pop song got only 93 public points, Lawrence 261. So the Dutchman was ahead of Italy (465) and Russia (369) with 492 points.

No frills: ESC winner Duncan Laurence at the piano

No frills: ESC winner Duncan Laurence at the piano

Source: AP / Sebastian Scheiner

The singer sat for three minutes completely on the piano, he started quietly, what – Older than Madonna remember blissfully – a bit like “Merci, Chérie” by Udo Jürgens 1966 acted. The Song Contest is almost always appropriation, qualitative secondary exploitation, clever travesty: Duncan Lawrence had copied the Portuguese winner in 2017 that concentrating on the essentials is sufficient to stand out from the excessive nonsense of the competition. While the others were flying on poles (Australia), filing in the rain (Russia) and scoring with monstrous robots and lasers (Azerbaijan), Lawrence simply sang his power ballad with the necessary amount of pathos. Good song for the ESC. Handed.

It is interesting once again how much the taste of the juries differs from that of the audience. The audience voted by far for the Norwegian trio with the seed (the Scandinavian minority from the Arctic Circle), who coughed his part more than sang. Called Joik-style, a guttural yodeling that was once run by shamans to ritual excess. Madonna will not beforehand …? Or did she want to sing joiken instead of “Like a Prayer”? One day there will surely be written doctoral theses about this incident.

In terms of color, Europe is strictly divided

This year again everyone is talking about camp, the over-pointed Tineff, for camp-lovers the Norwegian piece was wonderful. Especially since the three were dressed entirely in the style of the vintage, so strongly oriented to “Game of Thrones”. Several costumes of the evening worked like discarded designs for unwashed rulers, who are ratzfatz blown away by dragons. It is therefore quite good that even this fashion has an end.

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In terms of color, Europe is strictly divided: Either you wear black (14 participants) or white (nine participants), only three wear coloreds. Only a few countries still rely on pillars of fire in Eastern Europe. A regrettable absence is still to be indicated. The wind machine seems totally out, as far as we have seen, could not blow a single diva in the face. (It's never disappeared forever at ESC.)

And Germany?

The song “Sister” of the duo S! Sters is, one may say, not a good song. It drags on like a sloth on the way to dinner over the three minutes. The screams of the singers are more hysterical than strong. Since they won the preliminary round in February, they had gone underground.

The story is strange: The NDR bought the song because it seemed to be a good deal, then the 19-year-old Carlotta Truman and the 26-year-old Laurita Spinelli were cast as a lecturer. Out of 41 countries only six juries gave points to Germany – we thank Australia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Belarus for a total of 32 points. In the audience polls, all participating countries received points. Except for S! Sters. Zero audience points for Germany. A song that completely fails the audience across Europe, must have been exceptionally failed.

Germany's remarkable series

Add to that the German weakness of the production. The black-clad women stood alone in the dark, they moved slowly towards each other, met only in the third third of the song. After all, they sang right. The show was neither original nor focused, nothing was remembered. ARD presenter Peter Urban, who rarely gets tangled, even called Laurita Spinelli “Lauretta” and then corrected himself. If he can not remember the name – or was it a diabolical form of distancing?

Noteworthy: The S! Sters did not land in last place

Noteworthy: The S! Sters did not land in last place

Source: AP / Sebastian Scheiner

Last year, when Michael Schulte finished in fourth place, both the song was better and the lecture and concept coherent. A great deal of relief spread, even with the lead NDR. Quite possibly that Schultes performance was an outlier and not a fresh start. 2015: Last. 2016. Last. 2017: Penultimate. 2019: third last. There is no need for a curve discussion. One thing is for sure: with every bad performance it becomes harder to find reasonably charismatic singers who want to approach this acid bath.

Losing is not a shame, said one of the S! Sters a few days ago, apparently as forward defense. There is also some comfort in that. It did not come as foreseeable. The two young women can be proud of 18 May 2019 forever. It was the evening when Germany sang better than Madonna.

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