I’m hoping that by rocking up here (hello, by the way, you’re most welcome), you’re a fan of the fabulousness of Eurovision and also the OTT marvellousness that was the US miniseries Feud.
If you need to be up to speed, it was a brilliant told recreation of the career-long rivalry between Hollywood royalty Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. The only film they ever made together was Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? – the story of a brattish child star whose classier elder sister eventually eclipses her success and the ensuing sibling envy leads to horrific consequences of Grand Guignol fashion.
I mention this because the result of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest could see Cesar Sampson end up locked in the attic at either Pole Genova or Kristian Kostov’s house with only rodents to nibble at. After his role as a backing singer for Bulgaria’s two previous representatives (both of whom finished in the top five), he’s now pulled his socks up and wandered out centre stage to represent his homeland of Austria all on his ownsome.
Nobody But You, ironically, sound more like the quality stuff that Bulgaria has been sending to the Contest these past few years than Austria has in the wake of its 2014 ringer. This is surprisingly grown-up stuff which plays right into the non-hands of Cesar’s very impressive pair of lungs.
His soulful uplift could make a sex scene from an Alan Titchmarsh novel sound like Lady Chatterley’s Lover, there’s so much honey in that timbre. It’s another of those entries we’re thankfully getting more of at the Contest which focuses on being a fantastic walloper of a tune which just happens to be entering Eurovision rather than following the tropes of glitter and showbiz.
There’s some lovely gospel styling in here which – if replicated at the same level in Lisbon – could get your spirits banging their metaphorical heads on your light fittings once Cesar is in full flow.
Soul has never quite looked a Eurovision audience in the eye and got a friendly wink in return. It’s perhaps competing against deeper entrenched folk sensibilities of some of the voting nations or the instant shininess of an outright pop song with a slick routine. But if any tune has ever deserved to get the points pay-off it deserves for being an infectious anthem that gets those hairs on your neck twitching, it’s this one.
Please be top five, Cesar. We’ll protect you from any green-eyed former colleagues. Promise.