Hello Dear Readers and Welcome to the live notes for the Grand Final of Eurovision 2017!!! Kyiv hosts the 62nd edition after previously hosting the 50th back in 2005. Tonight, 26 songs battle it out to be crowned the victor – but who will win?
Bulgaria, at least, that is my pre-show prediction. I think the rest of the Top Ten will be comprised of: The Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, United Kingdom, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Sweden, and Romania. That can (and probably will) change after we see the 26 performances tonight, but those are my thoughts heading into the show.
**Be sure to keep refreshing the page to see my notes as they appear.
Also, if you’re new or just want some info about this year’s Contest, you can find my ESC Notes and Country Profiles here!
On to the show!!!
Parade of Nations
I still think this is a pointless exercise. But the sparks and the effect of them appearing seemingly out of nowhere is pretty cool.
Boo!! No opening act. Another reason to get rid of the parade of nations.
On to the songs!
01 Israel I Feel Alive
IMRI sounds really off tonight. The dancing is on point, though. Oh, just when I thought he had righted the ship, he misses the big note.
02 Poland Flashlight
I’m guessing Poland didn’tfinish too high on Tuesday to be assigned the cursed #2 spot. This seems less emphatic and enthusiastic than on Tuesday. Still good, though. Especially that last note!
03 Belarus Historyja Majho Žyccia/Story of My Life
So much fun!! They are so into this — definitely taking hold of this moment. Ha – she almost fell! Very good performance; they definitely gave it their all.
04 Austria Running on Air
He sounds WAY better than Thursday night. Still not good enough to make a big impact, but he should definitely be proud with how he did tonight.
05 Armenia Fly with Me
Another fantastic performance from Artsvik – listen to the crowd reaction! Definitely going to the Top Ten.
06 The Netherlands Lights and Shadows
Uh oh, someone seems to be flat. It sounds, like, she is sick, maybe? But they still sound great — their harmonies are just a little less tight than usual.
07 Moldova Hey, Mamma!
Still fun, still exciting, still not going to get into the Top Ten. But I think they’ll finish better than they did in 2010 (22nd place).
08 Hungary Origo
He seems markedly less nervous and has better pacing than on Thursday. Wow! You can feel his passion burning in that rap verse. This could do better than I thought; I probably still not Top Ten, though.
09 Italy Occidentali’s Karma
Our first major contender of the night, let’s see how this goes. Still do not understand the hype. I just don’t. Maybe there’s something about seeing it in person? But my god, the crowd sounds like they’re about to go marching forth.
10 Denmark Where I Am
Stronger than Tuesday, for sure, but still not at the level of her DMGP performance. Definitely good enough for a Top Ten finish, I think, though.
11 Portugal Amar Pelos Dois
Amazing! I just got goosebumps! Even better with Tuesday. He even fixed the part where he backed too far away and wasn’t picked up by the mic. Loved it! Oh, it might actually win. It is number two in the betting odds.
Speaking of odds sitting at third is Bulgaria, which is second-last in the running order tonight.
That was an awesome joke “(from Twitter) ‘I can’t believe in a few hours it will all be over and we’ll be wondering what to do with the rest of our lives.’ (Host) ‘Us, too.'”
12 Azerbaijan Skeletons
Better than Tuesday, but still not good enough to seriously contend for victory. I think Azerbaijan will, however, easily be waltzing back into the Top Ten.
13 Croatia My Friend
I still think this staging comes off as silly. Well, less impressive with the stronger competition ahead of him. He sounded great – it’s just a terrible song.
14 Australia Don’t Come Easy
Definitely better than Tuesday — WAY better! But still a lot of missed notes. There are too many strong songs tonight for this to do well.
15 Greece This is Love
Yikes! That was a big note to miss. I didn’t notice that before, the dancer on the left is also a backing singer. Yikes – she missed another note at the end of a verse. Nope – not going to be Greece’s triumphant return to the Top Ten, but not last place either, so, good?
16 Spain Do It for Your Lover
And if you had any doubts about the vocals being live, that cracked note is your proof. I bet Germany is happy because now they may not get last.
17 Norway Grab the Moment
He sounds spot on tonight. Really good – only makes me like this song more. Perhaps it’ll finish in the 11-15 range. Good, but not great in a year of strong competitors.
Hahahaha! Måns! I love this host-training montage.
18 United Kingdom Never Give Up on You
A love ballad from the UK to Eurovision, haha. Very well done, I see why this song shot up the betting odds over the course of the week. Wow! The UK just might find itself back in the Top Ten.
19 Cyprus Gravity
Why is he so flat? I still think that this staging is oh so very weak compared to what it could be. Even just one silks dancer would have been amazing. At least his vocals seemed to have leveled out.
20 Romania Yodel It!
Ugh, this song is so bad. At least their performance is still good. I can’t believe that this song will probably do well tonight. Hopefully, it will be no where close to the top spot.
21 Germany Perfect Life
This is an average song that is staged quite poorly. Maybe she has done enough to beat out Spain and avoid being the third straight last place finish for Germany.
22 Ukraine Time
This gets two bumps 1) for being from the host country and 2) for being this year’s only rock song. It is alright. I think we’ve heard better ones through the years. But, despite the supercreepy head on stage with them, they did a good job and will probably finish in the 11-15 range.
23 Belgium City Lights
She still looks kind of scared – so, I guess that’s just how she looks. Despite the fear in her eyes, I think she still has a commanding presence on stage. She forces you to pay attention. Well done! Belgium back to the Top Ten!
24 Sweden Can’t Go On
I keep forgetting that he is purposefully singing gravely and low – I think it’s supposed to be sexy. This song is just obnoxious, though. I know Sweden is trying to protect its Top Ten streak (three in a row, including a winner), but this song does not deserve to be in the Top Ten. There are so many more that have greater artistic value (for example: Hungary, Belgium, Portugal) or more genuine performances (for example: Croatia, Romania, the Netherlands) that deserve that spot more.
25 Bulgaria Beautiful Mess
He’s behind Italy and Portugal in the betting odds, but not by much. He needs to bring his top performance if he hopes to win — performing so close to the end does not guarantee a strong placing (just ask the UK). Wow! Started a bit shaky, but he definitely finished strong! Is it enough to win? I’m not sure. Portugal, UK, and Belgium all gave pretty amazing performances as well of their strong songs. Not to mention that Italy sounds like he raised an army with his. We’ll see, it should be close!
26 France Requiem
I am so confused by France’s staging. Why is she alone and without dancers? Is everything spinning? She is stunningly beautiful, though. Hmmm, maybe not enough for the Top Ten, but should finish with a respectable position.
And there you have it! One of these 26 songs will be our new champion. But who will it be?!
Well, I think that it will come down to Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy, and the UK. Which, I guess, isn’t too surprising. I think these had the best performances tonight and captured audience interest while also garnering jury support. I think Italy will be super popular among the televoters while Portugal and the UK will be favorites among the jury. Ultimately, I think one song will garner enough support from both to claim victory: Bulgaria. I know, boring that my prediction has not changed, but I still think that this song has what it takes to win. And I think it will be quite close, with Portugal coming second within a reasonable margin.
So, who do I think will be in the Top Ten?
And, who were my ten favorites from tonight?
Voting Entertainment/ Interval, I guess
While I think Ruslana, contemporary-traditional Ukrainian fusion music, and Jamala were all super awesome — I don’t understand why this is happening during voting. This is why shows keep running over, because they try to do a thousand things. I bet Jamala is going to be the Interval Act – adding yet more time. This should be a tight, three-hour show. Let last year’s winning artist (in this case, Jamala) open the show with a reprise and whatever new single they are hoping to promote (and get rid of the parade of nations), keep the voting to a tight 15 minutes, and move the entertainment back to the interval act, which can be shorter thanks to the fact that fan votes can continue to be verified while the jury votes are provided. It just doesn’t make sense.
LET THE VOTING BEGIN!! Here are the jury votes!
Sweden – Whoa! Sweden gave its twelve to Portugal. That’s highly unexpected (and no points for Norway) Portugal will either run away with these points or fall flat
Azerbaijan – No Russia, now to its twelve goes to…Belarus.
San Marino – more points to Portugal
Latvia – and the points continue for Portugal
OMG IBA from Israel is shutting down! Bombshell announcement live on air! Maybe Morocco and Lebanon will finally return?
Israel – Another 12 to Portugal
Montenegro – 12 to Greece
Albania – 12 points to Italy
Malta – surprise, instead of the UK their 12 goes to Italy
Macedonia – first 12 for Bulgaria
It’s going to be interesting to see where points from the former USSR will go without Russia. And from the former Yugoslav with Croatia being the group’s only representative.
Denmark – 12 to Sweden. surprise, surprise
Austria – 12 points to the Netherlands. Interesting
Norway – 12 to Bulgaria (and not Denmark or Sweden, surprisingly)
Spain – 12 to…Portugal (no surprise)
Finland – 12 points to Sweden (no surprise)
France – 12 points to Portugal (much to Belgium’s chagrin – zero points from their French friends)
Greece – 12 points to Cyprus (no surprise)
Lithuania – 12 points to Portugal (yea, I’m sensing a runaway)
Estonia – 12 points to Bulgaria (keeping them in the realm of closeness)
Moldova – 12 points to (let me guess….) Romania — no surprise.
Armenia – 12 points to Portugal!
Time for a breather – wow so fast, these votes! I think Portugal will handily win the Jury. The question is, how will it do with the televote?
Bulgaria – 12 points to Austria? That was unexpected. Strategic?
Iceland – 12 points to Portugal. Oh yeah, two out of four Nordic countries, definitely going to win the jury vote.
Serbia – 12 points to Portugal
Australia – 12 points to (the UK?) Yep. First time they sent 12 points to the motherland, fyi
Italy – 12 points to Azerbaijan?! Huh. Strategic?
Germany – 12 points to Norway – interesting
Portugal – 12 points to Azerbaijan! Interesting…strategic?
Switzerland – another 12 points to Portugal
The Netherlands – 12 points to (wait! only 2 points to Belgium?!) Portugal
Ireland – 12 points to Belgium! (can’t think of the last time Ireland gave 12 points to the UK)
Georgia – 12 points to Portugal!
Cyprus – 12 points to Greece (I love how the spokesperson even knew that everyone already knew that their points were going to Greece)
Belarus – 12 to Bulgaria (benefiting from the lack of Russia, I bet)
Romania – 12 points to (Italy?) the Dutch! wow wow!
Hungary – 12 points to Portugal! Maintain the lead, but its definitely not as thick as it was. But, win or not, Portugal will definitely get its best ever placing tonight.
Slovenia – 12 points to Portugal
Belgium – 12 points to Sweden – that was highly unexpected
Poland – 12 points to Portugal!
United Kingdom – (yes, Katrina, we all know who you are) 12 points to Portugal!
Croatia – 12 points to Hungary – well deserved, I’d say
Czechia – 12 points to Portugal, 94 points ahead of Bulgaria
Ukraine – final 12 points from the juries – 12 points to Belarus! Whoa!
Portugal has won the jury votes by 104 points, leading Bulgaria who is 60 points ahead of Sweden. Australia led Ukraine by 109 at this point last year.
Spain is saved from null point land!
And there goes the UK’s shot at the Top Ten
A lot of interesting televote points…And a lot of low point values. All the ones outside the top ten of the televote have fewer than 90 points
France got 90 points
Croatia got 103 points
126 points to Sweden
152 to Hungary – and quite the jump!
Italy – 208 WOW!!! Way underperforming for the bookie and fan favorite going into the Contest
Romania – is next with a sizeable jump
Portugal, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Belgium left to receive points
255 points to Belgium (WOW – how many points did Moldova get?!)
264 points and third in the televote to Moldova
Bulgaria v. Portugal
337 points to Bulgaria
MEANING THAT PORTUGAL HAS WON (with an addition 376 points)
WOW Our first new winner since 2011 (Azerbaijan) and PORTUGAL’s first ever victory!!! It took 49 attempts and a lot of shame, but Portugal has finally won. It is no longer the country with the most participations without a victory (Cyprus now takes that helm with 30 participations without a win). Congratulations and next year in Lisbon! Also, great job Ukraine, after a lot of confusion and craziness, you put on a fantastic show!
Awww, he has his sister (who wrote and composed the song) up there with him to sing the winner’s reprise as a duet with him. A beautiful moment for a beautiful song. A well-deserved, well-earned victory for Portugal.
Check back tomorrow for our wrap-up podcast with DizzyDJC as well as my wrap-up article about the Grand Final.
Hello Dear Readers!
Yesterday was the First Semi-Final – which, despite all the issues in the organization, went very well! UA:PBC has, thus far, put on a great show with a beautiful stage (oh my goodness, it’s beautiful!) and fun hosts. Overall, I feel like the good from yesterday’s show outweighs the bad. First, a brief review.
Our qualifiers from last night: (in alphabetical order with their Grand Final half)
Armenia (first half)
The Big Five also had their drawing: Italy was drawn into the first half, while France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom join Ukraine in the second half of the show. This means there are only three spots left in the second half for qualifiers from tomorrow night’s semi-final. That plays to the benefit of Belgium and France whose primary competitors, Italy, Portugal, and Azerbaijan all take place in the first half and remaining favorites, Denmark, Bulgaria, and Romania have slim odds of getting into the later part of the show.
Some historical markers from last night:
Azerbaijan upholds its 100% qualification streak. Sweden extends its to seven (including its two automatic qualifications). Armenia extends its to 5. Belgium and Poland extend their qualification streaks to three.
Portugal’s qualification rate is now 50% since first qualification in 2008. Moldova gets its first qualification since 2013.
This is only the second time in history that there has not been at least one female host, the first being 1956 (the first Contest) in which Lohengrin Filipello hosted on his own. Conversely, 24 Contests have had solo women or exclusively women hosts.
Pleasantly Surprised: Poland – I thought she sounded great last night and that song was well-staged (despite the volume issues); Portugal was amazing! I thought it was a good song before, but was absolutely taken aback by its awesomeness live yesterday
Disappointments: Australia – Isaiah sounded pretty off-key throughout the entire performance yesterday. Actually, many of the artists seemed off-key last night sadly. Cyprus’ staging (and subsequent qualification) were greatly disappointing.
Biggest Shock: Finland – a perfect performance of a perfect song with a failure to pass through to the Final.
Happiest Non-Surprise: Belgium – a great song and Blanche’s vulnerable performance was a good fit for the lyrics, very happy that this qualified.
So, there you have it my reactions to the First Semi-Final. Heading into tomorrow, I think that the Second Semi-Final is going to be equally as, if not more so, awesome. Hear more about mine (and my friend DIZZYDJC) below in our podcast from today!
Hello Dear Readers!
There you have it – the ten songs that comprise the top of the betting odds at the time of starting Contender and Pretender 2017. As a recap:
This may seem quite skewed, however, I truly believe that the winner will be from among Belgium, Bulgaria, and Italy. Since the start of this series, Ireland has fallen out of the top ten of the betting odds, replaced by France (who I have previously deemed as a legitimate contender).
So, in adding France to the fray, of the four contenders, who do I think will win?
Well, my opinion has not changed. I still think Bulgaria will pull out the victory this year in Kyiv, taking the Contest to Sofia for 2018.
Beautiful Mess is compelling, intricate, and heartfelt. Much more so than any of its closest competition. Italy is fun, but it will be a bit much for a lot of first time viewers. Belgium has been losing ground over the past week and will be going into the Contest on a downward trajectory. France, while beautiful and unique, just isn’t as captivating Bulgaria’s ballad. I think Bulgaria has the perfect mix of jury appeal and fan attraction to win this year.
What are your thoughts? Leave them below and/or on Twitter.
Stay tuned!! Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday I will be teaming up with DizzyDJC to bring you podcasts all throughout Eurovision Week. Stay tuned here, YouTube, or Twitter for the link to broadcasts!
Hello Dear Readers!
It’s been nearly a week already! We have reached the last two entries that are a part of this series: Armenia and Ireland! Armenia probably does not surprise many, but most are probably shocked (if not pleasantly surprised) to see Ireland make a late surge for the top ten of the betting odds going into Eurovision Week. But, does either country have what it takes to raise the crystal microphone?
Fly with Me performed by Artsvik
Why it is a contender: This song is unique with it’s varying tempos and ethnic flair. More than that, the song tells a story of trusting in love – always a popular sentiment at ESC. Furthermore, the composition is utterly captivating; each moment builds upon the last.
Why it is a pretender: The same compositional elements that make this song stand out are the same ones that can turn off viewers. The ever-shifting tempos and melodies make the song sound a bit cluttered and confused. By the end, the viewer is left trying to catch their breath.
Final Verdict: Pretender As much as I love this song, I just don’t see it captivating viewers enough to pull off a victory. I do think the juries will like it, so expect a Top Ten finish.
Dying to Try performed by Brendan Murray
Why it is a contender: Murray’s voice is certainly unique and it helps that he is rather adorable. The song is also something that many can relate to; it’s a love song with a heavy dose of reality.
Why it is a pretender: Murray’s voice isn’t for everyone. The composition is also not inherently interesting; subtly is rarely appreciated at Eurovision.
Final Verdict: Pretender I think this song will qualify for the Final. But there will be the eventual comparison between this and the other two young, male ballads – Australia and Bulgaria – and I just don’t think that this will stand up to those two in the minds of viewers seeing these songs for the first time at the Grand Final.
So, will Armenia build upon its recent success? Or will it just be too much for viewers? Conversely, will Ireland spark a new era of domination? Or will it be not enough for viewers? Leave your thoughts below and/or on Twitter!
Missed the previous episodes of Contender or Pretender? Click here to find them!
Check back later for the wrap of the series and my updated prediction for next week’s winner!