Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eurovision 2012. And the winner is...

Sweden swept to an easy victory this year. I have gone on enough already about how good that song is so no need to say much more here. It had been my clear favourite from the first day the tracks were released but so had France's entry last year and that did terribly. You can never tell with Eurovision and that's part of its appeal, I suppose.

I have refused to write about Russia's ridiculous entry and am so relieved that it didn't make it. They were 113 points behind, where they battled with Serbia who took the top ballad spot that we Brits had hoped might go to Engelbert for the UK.

The host, Azerbaijan, and Albania exchanged 4th and 5th places most of the night. I had not expected Azerbaijan to make the Top 10 but they pulled reasonable votes in from almost everyone, presumably to ensure their journalists get out safely tomorrow. Albania was one of my long shots. Most people thought I was mad so that was quite satisfying.

6th place could have been any of Estonia, Turkey, Germany, Italy or Spain with just 23 points separating Estonia in 6th and Spain in 10th. Estonia's guy performed his ballad really well - my other long shot - and this clearly has been a night of the big songs. Italy I had down as a Top 10 but the other three surprised me.

At one point, Cyprus were in 3rd place but my other three predictions failed miserably. In the case of Denmark, inexplicably too. Their performance was good and almost exactly like the promotional video version - not a winner but no way did it deserve to come 23rd! That's fourth from the bottom. Apart from Sweden, tracks you might expect to hear in the charts across Europe were clearly not flavour of the night in Baku, with Iceland and Norway also suffering, Norway coming a most unexpected bottom of the pile.

I think everyone had expected UK's Engelbert to put on a marvellous performance and wow all his fans across Europe and, even if he didn't win, no-one predicted that he'd be only saved by Norway from coming last. The thing was, though, he wasn't very good. There was none of the style or the confidence he'd exhibited before and several key notes were just off. He did seem, I'm sorry to say, an old chap who had known better days. He was joined in the lower section by Jedward who surely won't be getting any more invitations to represent Ireland. They did score a few more points to manage 19th place but just couldn't perform live an otherwise excellent track. At one point the backing singers were more in evidence than they were, and more in tune. I even thought that might have been a good move by someone as the backing singers were good. Having a load of water gush down on them at the end didn't make any sense at all and that, together with silly outfits and stupid dancing, totally spoilt the well-written song.

So that's that, and my excuses and apologies for only getting 6/10 this year. The right song did win, though, as I'd said, thank goodness.

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