Hello Dear Readers!
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!
Thank you and goodnight!
Hello Dear Readers!
Finally, it is here: The Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv! One of the greatest days of the year. So, what are we looking at? Well, an array of uptempo crowd-stoppers, a once-in-an-era ballad that has been a runaway odds-favorite since it was selected, and a piece of crossover-operatic-musical-whimsy.
For your ESC Parties:
Help your uninitiated friends with my Eurovision for Beginners
Check-out my ESC 2019 – Write-ups that provide a brief history of ESC, explains the rules, and gives an explanation of the songs.
Also check-out my 2019 Country Profiles – Grand Final Only which covers the 26 entries of the Grand Final – giving a brief history of each country, details of each entry, and a brief bio for each performing artist.
After two semi-finals (live notes for the first and second semis) short on surprises (hmm, Portugal failing and Belarus qualifying might be the two biggest ones), We turn to a Grand Final with a running order that may turn things over completely. Let’s look at the top ten in the betting odds (post-jury final):
The Netherlands (performing 12th)
Australia (performing 25th)
Switzerland (performing 24th)
Sweden (performing 9th)
Italy (performing 22nd)
Iceland (performing 17th)
Russia (performing 5th)
Azerbaijan (performing 20th)
France (performing 21st)
Norway (performing 15th)
First reactions: Cyprus, Greece, and Malta are completely out of the top ten (guess they truly were pretenders). Australia and France have moved into the top ten, while France peaked around third place and started dropping again, Australia has firmly placed itself into the second position behind the Netherlands after qualifying on Tuesday night.
If the Netherlands was in the second half, I would say it was an easy win for the Dutch. While 12th is a good spot, it is surely not the sure thing that, say, 22nd is. So, now the door is open for the likes of Switzerland (which has the strongest staging and performance across the 41 entries), Italy (whose edge and novelty helps it standout), and Australia (a powerful and captivating song that has shot up the odds á la Cyprus 2018).
In my opinion, the winner will be one of these four
The Netherlands Australia Italy Switzerland
The Netherlands, my personal favorite, is perhaps one of the highest quality entries to date. It is earnest, honest, and heart-breaking. It also suffers from a singer without much stage presence leading to a boring, trite staging.
Australia is perhaps the most fun “believe in yourself” song we’ve seen since, perhaps, Austria 2014. It has the magic of a Disney song and a whimsical staging that is absolutely stunning. It also is a song from a country that historically fares quite terribly with the televoters surrounded by two equally as mesmerizing stagings and songs (Switzerland and Spain).
Italy is a powerful, dark song that stirs deep emotions in the listener performed passionately from a country that is quite popular with juries and televoters. However, it is staged in such a way to diminish this impact – much brighter than it should be; not to mention, juxtaposed to France (which is preceding it), it may come off as over dark.
Switzerland, much forlorn and forgotten on the Eurovision stage, has come with the tightest, most interesting, most dynamic performance this year and beyond. Unfortunately, this is a rather generic song that is like so much else we hear on the radio; plus, the juries historically drag down the Swiss.
Taking all of this into consideration, right now, if I had to predict the winner (and I do, since I am a decade-long ESC blogger), I believe that The Netherlands will win!
I have believed this from the first time I heard the song and am choosing to stick to my instincts on this. Its quality as a composition, as a lyrical work, and in Duncan Laurence’s sheer vocal talent will all shine through. I think the Netherlands will handedly win the jury vote and, furthermore, will finish top five among the televote, though, not number one, but still high enough to win the Contest.
I think the top ten will comprise of:
And who will be in the Bottom Ten? I hate thinking of the negative, but again, I must make a prediction:
As y’all know, I love North Macedonia, Albania, and Denmark – but I cannot see them succeeding (this is doubly so as Albania was put in the 2nd slot, which is generally reserved for the weakest ballad).
Quite frankly, while my prediction average needs to go back up (it’s back down below 80%, currently) as long as the Netherlands wins, I will be happy. I cannot wait to see how this turns out!
Happy Eurovision Everyone!
Be sure to come back tonight so you can follow my live notes as the Contest unfolds.
Hello Dear Viewers!
Well, there you have it – the 62nd edition of Europe’s Favorite TV Show is in history books. Wow, wow, wow – and quite a bit of history was made! First, a brief recap of our Top Ten:
In case you were wondering, I was 7 for 10 for predicting the Top Ten finishers. I predicted that the UK, Armenia, and Azerbaijan would all make the Top Ten, and they did not. Hungary, Norway, and Australia all got in there instead.
Some Historic Markers:
- This is Portugal’s first ever victory. Until this year, Portugal had the record with most entries without a victory (this was their 49th attempt across 53 years); a mantle that now passes to Cyprus who has now competed 34 times without a win.
- This is the first completely non-English song to win Eurovision since 2007 and only the third since the start of the televoting era (1998 – Israel, 2007 – Serbia).
- This is also Bulgaria and Moldova’s highest ever placings. Previously, Bulgaria’s best finish was last year with 4th place with If Love Was a Crime performed by Poli Genova (her second time representing the country). Moldova’s best finish was back in 2005 when it debuted and finished 6th with Boonika Bate Doba performed by Zdub şi Zdub (their first time representing the country).
- Speaking of Bulgaria, this is the third time Kristian Kostov has come runner-up in a major competition, having done so previously on The Voice: Kids in Russia and on X-Factor Bulgaria.
- Sweden extends its Top Ten streak to four. Australia and Belgium extend theirs to three. Bulgaria starts a streak with its second consecutive Top Ten finish.
- This is Spain’s fifth last place finish. It also stops Germany’s last place streak at two.
- Pleasant Surprises: I’m happy to see so many songs of high quality in the Top Ten, particularly Portugal, Bulgaria, Belgium, Italy, and Hungary. Even moreso, I’m so happy that three of the four non-English songs finished in the Top Ten and that France, which had a 50/50 song, finished in a respectable twelfth.
- Disappointments: Moldova is a lot of fun, but I really did not want it to finish so high. It is also disappointing that the UK finished so low (though, its best in quite a few years); Denmark’s low placing is also quite disappointing given how strong its song was.
- Biggest Shock: The huge discrepancy between jury and televote for Australia – 171 from the juries, but only 2 from the televote. Yet, it still finished in the Top Ten. Hmmm…this is a bit crazy, another argument to have the juries score the same performances as the televoters to avoid this kind of situation in the future.
- Happiest Non-Surprises: Belgium’s success was brilliant! Fourth place, some argue is too low, but I think is a great finish for a fantastic song. Spain came last – the song was poor and poorly performed AND it helped Germany break its last place streak.
What a fantastic show! Below is my podcast with DizzyDJC. Check back this time next week for my final wrap-up post, including my Annual Awards! As well as some exciting news about the future of the site! See you all soon!
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.