The Showstoppers’ Second Annual Alternative Eurovision Song Contest
The Showstoppers’ Alternative Eurovision Song Contest is a circle of stars all in a simple quest to recreate Eurovision with all the lighthearted puns one could ever wish for. The second incarnation for 2021 is a fun, leisurely watch over the weekend, with hosts Andrew Pugsley and Pippa Evans, alongside commentators Marcus Brigstocke and Rachel Parris, keeping the façade of reality and parody, carefully toeing the line without undermining the show’s aim to raise money for The Care Worker’s Charity.
As for the performers, highlights include those from. the Czech Republic (Jordan Gray), Cyprus (Grace Mouat), Latvia (Justin Brett and Ali James), Greece (Joshua Jackson) and Sweden (Francesca Forristal), the first being a particular favourite of the night. The unfortunate inability to “fly them to the studio” works in their favour in terms of set-up and unique use of props, which serve to hyperbolise their message and gimmick. Cyprus is a sombre change of tone with green activism – still, it’s very much an under-the-breath satire, with its ironic use of the hairdryer. Latvia is equal parts Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and modern-day Romeo and Juliet. They’re a sharp, loud and shrill transition from Cyprus, with glimmering costumes – enough to make up for the painfully dull backdrop. Their song Fish and Chips is infectious – a shame that there is no live studio audience to give them the atmosphere they deserve.
Greece has the most colourful set, which comes as a pleasant surprise against all the dark and plain whites of many other performers. The country’s singer also has the strongest vocals of the night. Sweden is a fantastic closer: just about the right blend of everything, from an amazing vocal performance (not at all hindered by the comic facial expressions) to the contrast in the simplicity of the background with the flourish of the act’s charisma, all wrapped-up in a sparkling costume. This last performance is also the only act of the night to truly make use of everything the stage has to offer, including lighting, which adds another dimension to the delivery.
While the remaining performers are not all bad, they also are just not notable enough, and in some parts the night drags. The off-centre placement of Evans’s camera is distracting and counteracts the overall visual balance on-screen. The final tribute performance to the UK is definitely the best of the entire night, with the cast all coming together and providing glimpses into their real lives. Such a heartwarming and perfect end – well, almost – the last trip to the green room, with Greece and Montenegro’s (Adam Meggido) friendship finally being restored, is the icing on the cake.
The Showstoppers’ Second Annual Alternative Eurovision Song Contest livestreamed on 15th May 2021. For further information about Showstoppers and future events visit the company’s website here.