The sophomore season of Turkvizyon is upon us and we bring you the live Rolling Blog of the Grand Final. Some arithmetic errors in the semi final mean that we have a 15 song final as opposed to the original schedule.
You know the score. Refresh this page for a live update on the acts and tell us if you agree or disagree with our take on the performances.
The show starts at 17:00 CET and you can watch the show love on the following links
The semifinal will be broadcasted by the local TV broadcasters and online:Click here for the livestream of the TRT musik (Turkey) Click here fot the livesteam of TMB (Turkey) Click here for the livestream of the ATV (Azerbaijan) Click here for the livestream of HAYAT (Bosnia & Herzegovina) Click here for the livestream of Maidan TV (Kazan) Well here we are in Kazan, which for the purposes of the next few hours lies within Tatarstan and not Russia. There’s definitely an Asian feel about the Sharm Ballet which opens the show. The musical accompaniment has an eastern flavour, and some of the throaty singing we may hear more of later. Artem, Narmin and Ranil are our three hosts, presenting everything in Tatar, Turkish and Russian. Their appearance on stage was flanked very nicely by the performers and their flags. We get a quick résume of proceedings so far. National leaders arriving at airports to be greeted by girls in national dress offering them bread and salt. Tatarstan is taking this event very seriously. We get more shots reminding us of the semi-final that took place on Wednesday. The winner will be decided by the same jurors that chose the 12, sorry, 15 finalists. One of them is Eldar Qasimov. Another is former Russian entrant to Eurovision Dina Garipova. She’s the home – Tatar – juror. Russian-speaking host Artem doesn’t seem as important as Narmin and Ranil – he’s been banished backstage, presumably to chat to the performers just because they go on stage. And it’s on to the songs…
Our first finalist Funda Kılıç proceeds to draw a henna tattoo on Artem’s wrist. Maybe he’s her property now. She seems in high spirits. She sashays on stage in a slinky black number and says ‘Hi baby’. 🙂 She’s upbeat and easy on the eye. It’s also Turkish Eurovision by numbers, transplanted into a more eastern setting. It’s got all the right ingredients for this Western European’s eyes and the crowd seem to be enjoying it too. There’s lots of applause for song on so early.
Cheeky Artem takes a pre-performance selfie with Darina Siniçkina, who’s heroine (I think) is Scarlett O’Hara. Will the jurors give a d*mn? She’s clad in a long scarlet dress and a very prominent bejewelled diadem. And she’s dramatic, not just with a capital ‘D’. It’s one of those BIG ballads that builds. And just when you think it can’t build anymore, it does. The guitar riff maybe a little 1980s hairband, but it seems to fit in with the song. However, it maybe just peters out a little too much.
Zhanar Dugalova gives us a little song before she goes on stage, accompanied by her backing instrumentalist. His instrument could be a mandolin or lute of some description – there’s a gap in knowledge of Asiatic stringed instruments here. This is very eastern and she’s also been shopping at Diadems R Us. But she’s also opted for some dry ice. She has a distinctive style in which she leas forward to sing at us. Cut to shots of Kazakhs waving their pale blue flag in the audience. there seem a lot of them there. We also have a very interesting tornado effect created wth a big piece of cloth. Picture a dozen floor fans arranged in a circle and you’re there. A dancer then emerges from said cloth and I’m not sure where he came from. Our instrumentalist also appears from nowehere and does his thing with his mandolin/lute. Very dramatic, and one of the jurors gives her a standing ovation!
Aziza Nizamova also gives us a little song to demonstrate her vocal range, and a little pump of the air to show she’s ready for anything. Her song is a little more contemporary, a little more mellow, a little more finger-clicky, probably heard in all the posh restaurants of Tashkent. She’s diadem-less, but instead has a big necklace that at first glance looks like a blinged-up accreditation pass. Her two dancers are trying to look really cool whilst throwing their arms around. Very sultry. She definitely enjoyed herself.
We have a brief break, where Narmin and Ranil are sat amongst some girls in the limest lime-green you’ve ever seen. A taste of the Turkmen entry to come I think.
Barısh Grubu are our first group and give us some opera before they head on stage. For a band that looks ‘wellard’ it doesn’t quite fit. We’ve got another mandolin/lute type instrument played like a violin without the bow. And lots of ‘huh’ and ‘ha’ a la Teräsbetoni. The guys are definitely rockers but might not quite be everyone’s cup of chai. Our lead singer, whatever his name is, is going for an earnest performance, fiercely pronouncing every word for the benefit of us non-Turkish speakers. But he loves us. Nice.
Another region of Russia is represented by group Zaman and they have lots of nice instruments – and a picture of some random trumpeter backstage. The camera pan over the audience showing some very big Bashkort flags. The lead singer is in a long red dress and is very expressive with the arm not holding the microphone. It’s a chilled sound and I like the way her band members chant with her. And then we get our first throaty singing, from who I’m not sure. There are also two drummers, one with a lot of dreadlocks and big smile to match. The lead singer has a good voice and the hook is there, but it does seem to run out of words 30 seconds from the end.
Artem has borrowed a large white felt hat to introduce Non-Stop. they’ve gone for (presumably the maximum) six people on stage. Four of these people are dressed in black suits and bucket hats, with white gloves and masks. Other than that, it’s basically a duet between a girl with high hair and guy, both in black leather. It’s a very modern song with a catchy backbeat. Our aforementioned masked men tie them up at one point which would catch the attention of certain fans of this sort of contest. The crowd seem to like it, especially when girly is picked up and carried around. It’s called ‘Season beat’ in English and it will beat some of the opposition.
The lime-clad girls are on next and Artem seems very taken with the backstage singing of performer Züleyha Kakayeva. She’s shown in her postcard reading a book by president Gurbanguly Burhimuhammedov. This is the most ethnic thing we’ve seen so far. There are lots of arm movements and artistic yet elegant dancing. Everyone in the Green Room – everyone that we see anyway – seem to love this one. It too is making me smile – there’s an innocence about this that you can’t not like. It’s perhaps got the biggest cheer so far.
Vladlena Ivanova Sakhaya presents Artem with some sort of egg-cup shaped drinking vessel after singing something over it, maybe to wish us all good luck. I don’t think it contains pro-biotic yoghurt. She’s travelled a long way to be here and intends to make an impression. Shaman is an apt word for this, and you don’t get just one dressed in wolfskins, but several. Vladlena has gone for a premium headdress and lots of throaty singing. It’s all very incongruous in that the song has a 1980s rock vibe yet from an Asiatic point of view. She has a voice, there’s no question there. And some very animated supporters in the crowd.
İsmail Matev brings us firmly back to Europe and beats a rhythm on some big ornate red book with Artem. This is his life? It goes well with the plum-coloured velvet jacket he’s wearing. We get a very long orchestral introduction His warblings give that interesting-restaurant-music vibe with just a bit of foot-tapping thrown in. It takes guts to sing on stage by yourself and he’s a definite contrast to the ensembles that we’ve just seen. It again ends a tad abruptly for me.
Elvin Ordubadli got through because of the voting irregularities, and appears to be a little on the short side. But what he doesn’t have in stature he makes up for dressed as a matador. Long black cloak (yep, I know matadors wear red) and big black ruff. His dancers appear to be trying to steal the show with their frolicking about all round him. He does seem a little lost or maybe the backing track is a little too loud. There’s a bit of acting going off where the male dancer falls into a heap and the tall girl flirts with him. I’m not sure whether it’s me, but he seemed to be counting the beats between his choruses, just to make sure.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Mensur Salkić has his ‘homies’ with him whilst he raps backstage, in Russian. Artem seems to like it. This upbeat song appears to wake some of the jurors up and is another very contemporary rock song. It moves easily from verse to chorus and could fit into a certain more western contest with no issues. There was the potential when the percussionist jumps over Mr Salkić, but there was no harm down. There are more audible screams from the audience, more than most other songs.
For the purposes of this, Kaan Mazhar represents a country that usually has a longer name. He wants to talk to the camera – not Artem – and sing a little. He’s on stage by himself and the beat is just a little like an upbeat ‘bump n grind’. He goes a little breathy when he sings the song’s title. He also tries to look cool by doing a bit of air guitar before he gets to the brief spoken part of the song. It’s basically got almost everything that you can expect from a performer with three minutes on stage to kill. he likes what he’s done anyway.
Our Moscovites Kaxan World come bearing a stew made mainly from rice and carrots. I think it’s a stew anyway. And there’s plenty of it. The stage now has some sort of large screen on it, showing landscapes and buildings. The lead singer is wearing one of those turbans made famous by Jennifer Saunders. Her voice is slightly better though. And we have one of those electronic violins playing an upbeat Celtic lilt. It’s a very serious song with an equally violin solo that still reminds me of the fast bit of Riverdance. It’s a song where you have to take a deep breath after it’s finished.
TatarstanFinally, Aydar Suleymanov has the hopes of his region but lightens the mood by presenting a box (of chocolates) to Artem. Home entry and Wednesday’s winner on last? Hmmm. To be fair, it’s an excellent song, even without the massive beach ball and harness. The choreography is very slick and the song grabs you and says ‘listen to me’. I’m not whether the harness suspending him above the beach ball is necessary, and the key change (we love a key change) catches you a tad unawares too. But this will definitely be the one to beat. And with that, it’s back to hosts Narmin and Ranil. Ranil’s borrowed Bulgarian İsmail’s jacket. We then get a little travelogue of Kazan in the sun showing it’s Orthodox Christian and Muslim buildings side-by-side. We then get told that one of the Russian Federal ministers will present the prizes. But first, Sinan Akcil sings ‘Tabi tabi’ at us (after saying ‘good night’). He’s aiming to bring a ‘yoof’ element to proceedings, but is dressed in a suit. And to demonstrate he’s not above these sort of things, he goes down among the ‘Green Room’ area where all the acts are awaiting the results. It’s a riotous festival of Turkic culture.
We saw a quick reprise of each song, and then the results were announced. Each juror awarded a score between 1 and 10, so the maximum was 240. And who won? Well here are the results:
Kazakhstan – 225
Tatarstan – 201
Bashkortostan – 199
Kyrgyzstan – 196
Turkmenistan – 192
Crimea – 186
Uzbekistan – 183
Yakutia – 183
Azerbaijan – 177
Bosnia-H – 176
Bulgaria – 172
Moscow – 170
Iran – 167
Macedonia – 166
Turkey – 128
So after winning the semi-final, hosts Tatarstan could only manage runners-up. And runners-up in the semi-final Turkey could only manage 15th. Congratulations to Kazakhstan for their first Türkvizyon win.
Thanks for tuning in. And goodnight.
Author : John Stanton
Source : Eurovision Ireland