I had made the decision to not write on this years Eurovision competition and use this blog to focus more on craft and stop going off track. But well I can’t do that can I? It’s annoying me. It’s later than I would have liked to have published it, but you can blame a shirt and 3 days in London for that. I know ..uncommitted
This was a particularly good year and at a record 27 acts performing in the final this made it a particularly long year. It was also the first year Australia was allowed to perform as a 60th anniversary treat. The songs were of a better quality although very ballad top-heavy (blame Conchita for that) and gone sadly was the novelty and fun of yester year and it was all about taking care of business.
Where to start? I’ll start with my beloved Australia. I had predicted it for 3rd and 5th was a brilliant result. It was a great song and for our first (but will it be our last?) entry this was an impressive way to start off and perhaps a good example of how to enter and score high without being embroiled in block / neighbor voting. It is as simple as getting a great song with well-known relevant artist /talented song writer and really trying. Take note UK this is the way to enter.
Speaking of the UK. I think were now beyond blaming block voting or “because the rest of Europe hate them” and just sadly admit that the selection panel really don’t care about what they enter, and then complain about it later. This year’s entry was a cute little ditty, but it wasn’t Eurovisionary. It’s the kind of song that had all the eccentricities of the UK but very little of that would have appealed/translated to the general European/Australian (or even UK) audience. The feeling in the UK was a very shrug of the shoulders, already defeated before they began.
Other countries make the same mistake year in year out. Belgium comes to mind normally entering odd rap or jazz cafe style songs. What was with her dress? She looked so uncomfortable in it, probably petrified she was going to electrocute herself!
The UK have such strong musical heritage which continues today with lots of amazing new artists. It’s sad that this is irrelevant in the selection process. I can understand that it may be hard to find a willing artist, but for too long the UK has treated it as a joke ( aside from the Webber/ Jade Ewen year) it needs to pull their socks up and send someone with relevance and quality song writing, it’s as simple as that. It’s about changing attitudes If they ever want to win.
At least we had Nigella Lawson presenting the UK points, that was a treat, she looked a bit regal, a regal treat!
Belgium! Where did he come from?! I thought he would do ok but I didn’t think he would beat Australia, very impressive very Lorde and not too dissimilar to Sweden’s entry or even the Latvian entry (she scared me a little ,maybe it was the dress fake tattoo combo).
Italy were just amazing and probably in my top 2 for the contest. I do wonder if they had not been placed last would the result been better for them? I think it was a good song to end the evening with and it woke everyone up a bit after being exposed to an incredibly boring second half of ballad after boring dull as dishwater ballad. This is how it’s done magnificently.
I’m not sure why Austria scored nil points. I love their song the one thing that I did find puzzling was not the piano being set on fire (impressive, were all just neanderthals who love to cheer on pyrotechnics) but when he stopped playing piano but continued sing, the song sounded the same. So was he pretending to play the piano? The song sounded like it contained more than just drums and bass so where was the rest of the music coming from? I’m confused.
Also loved Armenia’s entry. I thought it would do a little better but maybe the complex vocals were just too much for some.
I still can’t believe that the Moldova cheese fest that was “I want your love” didn’t make it into the final. Yes it was stuck in the 90’s and yes Eduard Romanyuta is probably Kid Rock’s love child; but the song was your classic euro pop song. It was a shame it didn’t make it, alas the curse of going in first in a semi final.
Shall we discuss Russia? (sigh) Interestingly this year some of the traditional block voting countries appeared to break away from the traditional Russia 12 points and rebel only giving Russia half of that. It’s a good thing to see, block voting is a fact of life in Eurovision but if this trend continues we could see a more even and fair competition in the future..Imagine voting for a song you actually liked?
My main problem with Russia was the song. To me, and this is only my opinion and I’m not condoning the boo’s, but it seemed all a bit ironic. Russia was booed whenever they received 12 points. (So much for Austria installing anti booing devices. (not sure how that works, probably drowned the sound out)) . The audience was then scolded by the host’s reminding them that this was a singing contest and not a political one. But can the two ever be truly separated? Polina Gagarina was selected by Russia to represent them in the contest.
The entry was titled “A Million Voices”. Her performance was strong, she has a wonderful voice, during the voting she kept crying (irritating). But the song was about peace and included the lyrics “We are the worlds people, Different yet we’re the same,Praying for peace and healing, I hope we can start again, We believe, We believe in a dream”. Nice sentiment and one I wished to believe in, but Is this not ironic?
It is a singing contest, but one between representing countries, not individuals. If she had not sung about world peace I wouldn’t have minded so much and I’m sure she does represent a large portion of Russians who feel the same( your never going to unite all the people all the time) . But in the current political climate it just didn’t sit well with me. It must have turned a lot of voters off including the block voting countries. It still did well and came second.
Enough about that.
Sweden did deserve the gong this year it’s a well crafted song that wouldn’t sound out-of-place on the radio. Although the staging quite similar to Loreens “Euphoria” didn’t you think?
Finally I love Conchita but this presenting lark was just a bit odd.
So the final results looked like this
Anyway if you’re a bit of a static nerd then you may find the data on the Eurovision website giving all the individual jury votes and all the public votes for each country interesting . Fascinating stuff!http://www.eurovision.tv/page/results?event=2063&voter=GB
It’s a bit like Christmas, there’s all the build up and then afterwards you don’t want to have to think about it again until the next year.
That was very long..sorry about that…