The time is finally here – the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019!!! I cannot believe it and I am beyond excited – as I am sure all of you are. Thank you for joining me for these live notes, it is always nice knowing that there are others watching with me (or, at least, reading them afterwards).
As I mentioned earlier today, my prediction for tonight’s winner is The Netherlands. And my prediction for the full Top Ten is:
And my prediction for last place is: Germany. As with the semi-finals, this may change after seeing all twenty six songs tonight. And, before the show kicks off, I want to let everyone know that I will be featured on KUSH 1600AM at 8am US Central Time on Monday (20 May) (of Cushing, Oklahoma, USA) and joining the EuroWhat? Podcast this upcoming week to talk with Ben and Mike about this year’s results!
And, with that, we now have the beginning of the Grand Final. Let’s watch, shall we – here we go!
Oh, wow, I enjoy this little opening video with Jon Ola Sand and Netta. The parade of nations is a lot of fun. Diva!!!! Woohoo! Winner twenty years ago and the first to win with the televote. For those who do not know, this is Ilanit singing Ey Sham – the first ever Eurovision entry from Israel back in 1973. And now Golden Boy from 2015. Anyone who remembers this song had to expect it to be here tonight. I do enjoy how KAN (the brand name of the host broadcast IPBC) is interweaving history and old clips throughout the shows.
HERE WE GO!
Malta: Not as strong vocally as Thursday, but much better energy. I think enough to land it in the Top Ten.
Albania: Again, I love her dress. And WOW – her vocals are so much stronger than on Monday. Not sure if this is enough to get Top Ten, but she will probably do better than expected.
Czech Republic: So much fun! You can tell they are having a great time up there. Still going to finish mid-table, I think, but they’re going to be remembered for a while as one of the most fun entries to the Contest.
Germany: I missed most of it due to technical difficulties. But what I heard was great! I still don’t know if this song is all that popular, but they should be proud of what they accomplished.
Russia: He sounds miles better than he did on Thursday…for the most part. But this is song and staging are both much weaker than his previous entry and this year presents many more challenges.
Denmark: So much fun. And we know children’s songs do well. And she sounds better than Thursday; less lost on the big stage. Is it enough to finish higher than 14th? Probably not.
San Marino: We know that I am a shill for all things San Marino. Serhat sounds miles better than on Tuesday. Several friends are pointing out to me that they may be going for the “so bad it’s good” vote. You cannot deny that this song is pure energy
North Macedonia: She’s going for tears, but it just makes her voice sound wonky. But, the power of her voice is still unquestioned. This song, it’s so deep and she is conveying the passion she’s feeling behind it so thoroughly. Oh my goodness, I don’t think this could be any better.
Sweden: Another performance, another easy Top Ten for the Swedes. I still do not think this will win, but it’s going to do very well.
Slovenia: Sounding a bit off tonight. I originally had this finishing around eleventh. But I’m thinking it’s going to be lower than that with this performance.
Cyprus: Unpopular opinion: This song will not finish on left-hand side of the scoreboard. It is and average song, but there are much stronger faster entries this year that will knock this down.
The Netherlands: My pick to win. And my favorite entry this year. His passion and performace are about 1000x better than Thursday. Is it enough, though? This early in the running order….not sure. But I hope so! We’ll see how some of the other favorites do later tonight.
Greece: Much better than on Tuesday, by miles. Greece might just go and fill the hole left by Slovenia. It can finish around 11th, I think.
Israel: Meh. He sings this song just fine, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a smug, self-important song with a smug, self-important presentation. And we’re getting a better version of that later with France.
Norway: A fun song; though, I still do not quite understand this song’s popularity. I still think this a very underwhelming staging for such a dynamic song. Clearly the crowd is very much into this! Though, that is rarely an indicator of success.
United Kingdom: This song has one chance, Michael Rice gives a flawless, powerful vocal performance. …And we did not get that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s serviceable, but he’s performed better at the preview events. It had some bright moments, but overall, I do not think it will be enough. It benefits from being before a commercial break, but still.
Iceland: Well, they sound and look better than on Tuesday. Definitely going to do well with the televote but the juries will kill this.
Estonia: Well, he sounds a lot better than Tuesday, but still not very good. It does get better as it goes along. But this just is not good. And will be forgotten coming between Iceland and Belarus.
Belarus: That was good. Not great, but definitely not bad. On par with her performance on Tuesday. Maybe Belarus will finish mid-table, but I cannot see any higher than that.
Azerbaijan: I love that wail at the start. I think this will do so much better than I thought, perhaps even finish Top Ten. Chigiz’ vocal performance was beyond perfect.
France: See, Israel, this is how you do a smug and self-important song. It’s fun, powerful, and completely lacks self-awareness. France will not finish Top Ten, but it might get another 11th under its belt.
Italy: WHAT IS HE WEARING?! That shirt is awful. The song is a powerful one and his performance of it conveyed a lot of that energy. I’m just not sure if it has the mass appeal or connection required to succeed.
Serbia: Another powerful, passionate performance. I truly think she can reach the Top Ten. It’s going to be hard with the Swiss entry coming right behind, but still, this is a Balkan ballad at its best.
Switzerland: By far, the best staging at the Contest this year. We may have just witnessed a winning performance, everyone. That was fun, well-delivered, and very contemporary. I think it will easily take the televote; but not sure how the juries will rate it.
Australia: If Switzerland has the best staging, this is right behind it. But with a higher quality song and a stronger singer. This may have been a winning performance and may have knocked the Netherlands out of the top of the juries list; but not sure how the televote (which traditionally does not like Australia) will rate it.
Spain: He sounds a bit out of breath. But this song is still super fun. I don’t understand the use of the light up puppet man. Not sure if this is enough to get into the Top Ten, but should give Spain a more than respectable finish.
Phew! This may not be one of the top Contests ever, but it surely is one of the hardest to predict. After hearing all the songs and hearing the recap, how I would rate my personal top ten from tonight:
Now, who do I think will finish in the Top Ten? Not sure…
1. The Netherlands
I’m sticking to my guns!! I think The Netherlands will win but, more like how Ukraine did in 2017, by placing second/third on both, the televote and the juries. I think Switzerland will win the televote and Australia will win the juries. Let’s see what happens.
Interval Act One (during the voting – past winners and runner-ups): I LOVE THIS INTERVAL ACT. I want the recordings of these folks doing these covers. EBU – I will give you money for this. Please make it available. One of the best interval acts to date.
Interval Act Two (also during the voting – The Idan Raichel Project): I really like this! Very traditional music and sound and look; also showing off the diversity of Israel. This should have opened the second semi-final so that we could speed things up tonight.
Interval Act Three (also during the voting – The Mentalist): Yeah, yeah, it’s entertaining. The fun part was seeing Tamta from Cyprus freak out. Hahaha
Interval Act Four (also during the voting – Netta): This is a silly song. It’s fine, but not necessary. It should have been a part of her performance on Tuesday (that’s why the winner reprise should be at the Final so the artist can premier another song).
Interval Act Five (also during the voting – Madonna): Madonna turns 61 this year. I think we are at about three too many interval acts at this point. And this is, by far, the weakest. And we just get to the voting sequences please!
In other news, a friendly reminder, I will be featured on KUSH 1600AM at 8am US Central Time on Monday (20 May) (of Cushing, Oklahoma, USA) and joining the EuroWhat? Podcast this upcoming week to talk with Ben and Mike about this year’s results!
Interval Act Six (post voting – Gal Godot): This was nice but could have been earlier, like, during an advert break or something.
FINALLY we get to the votes!
In case you’ve forgotten, because I nearly have, I predicted the Netherlands to win, but not come in first in either — Australia to win the juries and Switzerland to win the televote.
Portugal: Whoa! no points for Spain? And YAY! points for the Netherlands
Azerbaijan: 12 to Russia, no shock there
Malta: 12 to Italy. Not too surprising
North Macedonia: 12 to Italy! Oh, that is unexpected
San Marino: 12 to Italy. NO surprise there
The Netherlands: love the shade thrown at Madonna. 12 for Sweden
Montenegro: 12 to (let me guess, Serbia?) yup
Estonia: 12 points to Sweden
Don’t forget, the jury votes are ordered to be the most entertaining, so right now does not bare too much on the later votes.
Poland: 12 points to Australia – interesting
Norway: 12 to Czech Republic! Interesting.
Spain: 12 points to Sweden! Interesting.
Austria: 12 to North Macedonia! Well deserved, but unexpected
United Kingdom: 12 to North Macedonia! OH! Yay!
Italy: Some technical issues: 12 to Denmark. Man, the juries are all over the place tonight!
Albania: 12 points to North Macedonia. This is not surprising, the two countries swap lots of points
Hungary: 12 points to Czechia, to too surprising
Moldova: 12 points to North Macedonia! Fun
Belarus: 12 points to (N Mak?) Israel! and finally the last country with zero points gets some
Armenia: 12 points to Sweden. Interesting, only 5 points to Russia
Romania: 12 points to Australia
Cyprus: 12 points to Greece, of course
Whoa!! Halfway, North Macedonia has a commanding lead. Let’s see if it can hold on to it.
Australia: 12 points to Sweden
Russia: 12 points to Azerbaijan! Not too surprising
Germany: 12 points to Italy! Fun
Belgium: 12 points to Italy – back up to third place
Sweden: It’s about time the Netherlands gets another 12.
Croatia: 12 to Italy — interesting point distribution for their points
Lithuania: 12 points to the Netherlands! And the charge begins in earnest
Serbia: 12 points to (N Mak, for sure) yes, of course
Iceland: 12 points going to (Sweden?) Yup. None to Denmark or Norway, though, haha
Georgia: 12 points to the Czechs. I am pleasantly surprised by how well they are doing.
Greece: 12 to Cyprus, of course
Latvia: 12 to (the Netherlands?) Yup!
Czech Republic: 12 points to (Sweden?) Yup
Denmark: 12 points to (Sweden, of course) – Yep
France: 12 points to (the Dutch, I hope!) – Woohoo
Finland: 12 points to big brother Sweden
Switzerland: 12 points to North Macedonia – quite unexpected
Slovenia: 12 points to Czech Republic! Fun times
Israel: 12 points to The Netherlands!
And Sweden wins the jury!
Now the Televote! Remember, this year, the points will be revealed in ascending order of the juries’ ranking
(50 points) Aww, poor Spain. They deserved so much more than what they got.
(30) That’s about as expected
(3) Awwww poor UK it deserved way more
(65) to San Marino – I think the most ever for SM
(13) to Belarus
(0) OH NO! That’s just uncalled for!
(48) for Estonia
(54) for Serbia
(??) for Albania enough to get to 90
(59) for Slovenia not as much as expected
(24) for Greece, not too surprising
(291) for very popular song from Norway
(186) for the punk rockers from Iceland – enough to finish in the Top Ten? maybe
(38) WHOA! Not too surprising
(32) Told you it would not perform as well as expected
(51) for Denmark, not too bad
(20) for Malta, awwwww it deserved more
(244) as expected, a big haul for Russia, but not going to be close to victory
(212) Wow, not as much as expected for Switzerland, but definitely going to be its best finish in quite some time
(7) Only seven for the Czech Republic! Wow.
(131) for Australia, not too shabby, definintely better than the Aussies have been getting lately
(100) for Azerbaijan – not bad, they’ll be happy to finish in the Top Ten for the first time in years (since 2013)
(253) for Italy, good to get it back to the lead!
So, winners usually get about 500, so between one of the final three, the winner is remaining still
(261) That is a hefty haul and enough for first place!
(58) Very little for N Mak but not too surprising – Its first ever Top Ten finish!
Sweden needs 253 televote points to win.
And the winner is: The Netherlands!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Sweden only got 93)
Wowza! First win for the Netherlands since 1975 (Ding Dang Dong performed by Teach In). And I predicted this since March. I truly think the best song won – despite not having a great staging. Other quick historic markers: Switzerland’s first Top Ten finish since 2005. The first ever Top Ten finish for North Macedonia! The Netherlands now moves into a tie with France, Luxembourg, and the UK for the third most wins (at 5) – having won in 1957, 1959, 1969, 1975 and now 2019. San Marino got its best ever placing (20th) and Azerbaijan is back in the Top Ten for the first time since 2013. Sweden now has six consecutive Top Ten placings. Italy is next with three. Sergey Lazarev, who represents Russia, finished third in 2016 with “You Are the Only One” has finished third again this year with “Scream.”
For my personal statistics, I correctly predicted the winner – The Netherlands – and did so at every point. I was also 80% on my Top Ten estimate, I thought Spain and Serbia would make it, but instead, North Macedonia and Azerbaijan did, both of which I am happy about.
Wow! Just, wow. Expect a more comprehensive summary tomorrow as well as be sure to listen out for me next week. I will be featured on KUSH 1600AM at 8am US Central Time on Monday (20 May) (of Cushing, Oklahoma, USA) and joining the EuroWhat? Podcast this upcoming week to talk with Ben and Mike about this year’s results!