So I know it was over a week ago now but better late than never for my last Eurovision post of the year, right?
As it turned out I wasn’t home for the actual final, I was staying with the lovely Bavarians for the weekend. Since they are wonderful people and
understand accept my Eurovision tendencies there was even themed food. In what turned out to be an good omen we sat down to Swedish meatballs (and a heated discussion about the origins of said meatballs) and Bucks Fizz sorbet! And this was a couple of Radlers down after a few hours at a beer festival, much respect!
A dodgy internet connection meant watching in German, no Graham 🙁 and like much German commentary it was direct and to the point (not very Eurovision). At least I was on hand to provide my own commentary and like the good friends they are the Bavarians
tolerated enjoyed my endless trivia and constant tweeting. At this point the favourite to win was Russia, my favourites to win were Georgia, Italy and Israel, but a Bavarian pointed out that Sweden were all over Instagram as favourites, maybe mother Russia had competition?
The whole building bridges theme of the night was a little lost in the presentation but shout out to the undulating ceiling of balls in the arena, it was mesmerising, as was Conchita (obv) she rose like a pheonix and then flew like one too! Having three hosts was more awkward (if that’s at all possible) than a simple pair, whilst their language skills were great there wasn’t a great deal of chemistry between them and the banter was baaad. Austria as a host came off really well, playing on it’s long musical history, good marketing, and the force that is Conchita, well they couldn’t lose could they?
The competitors in running order –
Slovinia – It’s always tough to go first but I’m not sure an even optimum position in the running order could save this Amy Winehouse wannabe with her permanent headphones. Super power – Air violinist
France – Definitely the serious side of Eurovision, dystopian, depressing, not a winner. Super power – Wait, are those drummers naked?
Israel – A fun and upbeat pure Eurovision number, placed 9th. Super power – Those golden shoes
Estonia – Simple staging and song, the first black and white number of the night. The acting was a little confusing she glared at him like she hated him but sang about wanting him, surprisingly placed 7th. Super power – Real tears
UK – A fun electro pop number but the performance just seemed too small for the stage and the song sounded like the Birdseye potato waffles advert. It didn’t come last. Super power – Light up clothing
Armenia – Simplistic staging, matching outfits, maybe a little too deep for where it was placed in the running order, it never really got going, a bit boring. Super power – Capes, lots of capes
Lithuania – Fun, poppy, robotic dancing, audience participation, well thats just pure Eurovision, but only made 18th. Super power – All those kisses
Serbia – I’m putting this down to the Conchita effect, celebrating individuality is what Eurovision has become known for. Super power – Clothes ripped off to reveal more clothes a la Bucks Fizz
Norway – Duet with creepy undertones, simple staging, poor girl didn’t get lucky with her outfit and looked a bit futuristic dentist, placed 8th. Super power – Her amazing hair
Sweden – So it was peanuts meets the Matrix meets 1984? Not your usual Eurovision lighting effects but it was actually stunning in it’s simplicity against all the glitzy numbers that came after. The winner. Super power – Great staging
Cyprus – Genuine and sweet, not a glitzy number by any means but the staging was good. Even Greece only gave it 10 points! Super power – Sincerity
Australia – They definitely get Eurovision and this was a true pop number, but was it too polished? Even if they had won they wouldn’t get to host next year, placed 5th. Super power – Giant desk lamps
Belgium – The robotic futuristic dentists Rap app app away the night. Almost an anti Eurovision song in my book, way too cool, but placed 4th. Super power – A nice lie down mid song
Austria – The pressure was on, where do you go after Conchita? Apparenty you hire Andre Agassi’s love children for a simple retro number. Nul points. Super power – Erm is that piano meant to be on fire? don’t just walk away from it man!
Greece – Traditional Eurovision blast it out ballad, a little slow to get going. Super power – Those wind machines
Montenegro – At last a song in a native language! Unfortunately it wasn’t very interesting. Super power – Those scary miserable looking backing singers
Germany – If the competition were about body confidence this woman would win, she rocked that jumpsuit, overtly sexy but not very Eurovision. Joint last with Austria on nul points. Super power – Rocking a feathered earring after 1998
Poland – After last years butter churners this was very buttoned up. The song and the staging just didn’t match and was very distracting, a ballad that couldn’t stand up to the others. Super power – Should be snapped up for a fabric softener ad
Latvia – The song wasn’t very Eurovision and the title ‘Love injected’ left something to be desired. What do I know? they placed 6th. Super power – That toilet brush doll dress
Romania – Native language! and English, a song with an actual message from the band who have a charity. Winning at Eurovision wasn’t even a slight chance but the exposure was invaluable. Super power – Unattended luggage
Spain – Native language! Very Eurovision, half naked backing dancer, sparkles and a dance interlude. Super power – Little red riding hood
Hungary – I really enjoyed this, very simple, a lovely pro peace number, not flashy at all. Super power – Sweetness and Eurovision peace
Georgia – I love this song, someone got over excited with a smoke machine on the night though, the chorus is dangerously catchy. Can’t believe it didn’t even make the top 10, it came 11th. Super power – Those raven shoulder pads
Azerbaijan – I’m not even sure I’ve caught the song yet and I’ve watched the performance at least four times, the dance didn’t match the song at all. Super power – Lizard people dance
Russia – Classic Eurovision power ballad, very white and innocent looking and you got a really good view of her tonsils! Placed 2nd thankfully. Super power – A super sweet looking singer who can belt out a tune
Albania – The dark opposite of the Russian number which was a nice contrast but there were tuning issues. Super power – Sparkly cape
Italy – Absolutely adorable and a wonderful finish to the show, the only downfall was the backdrops which were quite 80s. Placed 3rd. Super power – Suited boys who can really sing
The interval act was really good fun, I’m a sucker for percussive works and this really hit the spot for me
I did watch the BBC footage when I got home and as always Graham Norton had some wonderful quips, my favourites –
‘The rarest of things, an Austrian rapper’
‘Staging with echoes of eyes wide shut and just a hint of Bucks Fizz’
‘It’s three minutes you’ll never get back but look on the bright side, you never have to hear that again’
Wow if your’e still reading after all that well done. Personally this year I found the lack of native languages kind of disappointing, I understand that English is generally the common language but sometimes songs sound so much better sung by native speakers (Italy).
Russia didn’t get booed this year, apparently there was an announcement to the effect that booing was not in the spirit of Eurovision, hmm. I still didn’t want them to win and was really surprised to see their early lead, purely because of political voting if nothing else, it sounded like audience weren’t particularly happy with the scores on the night but the hosts held it together.
And if you hadn’t noticed?!? the ballads are back big time, is this ‘The Conchita effect’? 15/27 were ballads, most sung by women in huge dresses, so last year!
Germany and Austria didn’t even vote for each other, so they both ended up with nul points!
The biggest ‘Only at Eurovision’ moment, well it has to be that piano on fire and the confusion on twitter because #AUS was actually for Australia whilst #AUT was Austria.
The voting was totally anticlimactic since they announced Sweden’s win quite early on, but we stuck it out until the end, some of us more awake than others to see Sweden’s reprise and go to bed happy that Russia missed out.
Minimalism Vs Brash chuck everything at it is always a competition at Eurovision, and this year minimalism won!
Now I promise not to mention the E word until at least April 🙂