Hello Dear Readers!
Wow wow wow! What a show! My favorite song won, the voting was incredibly exciting, and each entry was performed amazingly. I wanted to put out a reaction post for you all and then my normal recap post with my Annual EO Awards towards the end of this week or next (depending on how quickly I can process my photos without my computer).
So, we have a top ten, of which, I predicted only 6. Sad, as I was batting with 80% accuracy with the semi-finals, but you can’t with them all.
Some historic markers of note from this year’s Grand Final:
-For only the second time, a country that was neither an automatic qualifier nor won its semi-final, was victorious. Just like in 2004, Ukraine was second in the semi-final but won the Contest.
-With 534 points and 17 sets of twelve, Ukraine has set the bar for this new voting system. We’ll see how long this record stands. FICongratulations to Norway 2009, that will eternally be enshrined as the highest point total under the previous system (1975-2015). And Sweden 2012, which will always hold the record for most sets of 12 points.
-This year, we also saw the best finish for a host nation since 2012.
-Russia extends its Top Ten streak to five, Ukraine and Sweden take theirs to three, and Australia and Belgium start streaks with their second consecutive Top Ten finishes. Norway’s streak ended (though, that happened with its elimination on Thursday night).
Individual Country Historical Markers:
-Bulgaria reached its highest place ever, besting their 2007 finish by one spot. Australia also reached its highest position, beating last year’s finish by three places.
-Poland and Lithuania get their second best finishes ever. Armenia tied its second best finish (after getting seventh in 2010).
-France was the top Big Five country for the first time since 2001.
-Croatia, Georgia, and Serbia all had their lowest finish ever in a Final.
Some of my reactions to the Grand Final:
-I was rather skeptical of the new voting system. While it needs greater transparency, it definitely made things quite exciting! This had to have gone better than they could’ve imagined.
-I’m shocked Ukraine won, but incredibly happy that it did! It was my favorite song this year and, I think, one of the most significant, meaningful, and artistic entries in the Contest ever.
-I’m equally shocked by the success of Lithuania and Israel, as I find both songs to be generic and underwhelming. On the flip side, I’m shock and disappointed by Spain, UK, and Czech Republic’s finish. They all had fantastic entries that deserved more points. In the case of Spain and UK, great running order positions and very memorable, catchy pop tunes. Spain had a legitimate chance of winning after amazing performances Friday and Saturday; I just don’t get it.
-Finally, while I loved each aspect of the voting entertainment and the interval acts, there was just too much! “Love Love Peace Peace” could’ve been the voting entertainment after the interview with Justin Timberlake. JT’s performance should’ve been moved to the Interval Act alongside Måns. The “Nerd Documentary” should have just been for the semi-finals. This year’s show could’ve easily stayed under three and half hours (if not three) if SVT didn’t go overboard with everything.
Congratulations to Ukraine!! 1944 earned its victory through telling a meaningful story through a captivating composition and an emotional performance. I look forward to its impact on next year’s Contest and the show that Ukraine will give us!
Check back soon for my end of Eurovision wrap-up!
Hello Dear Readers!
There you have it! Our last ten finalists!
Quite interesting that, unlike Tuesday, the qualifiers are well spread out; there are no more than two that performed consecutively last night.
Some historical markers from last night.
-Ukraine extends its 100% qualification streak. Georgia extends its to four. Belgium and Poland get their first back-to-back qualifications and Latvia gets its second (last time was 07-08).
-Bulgaria qualified for only the second time (last was 2007). While it will be Australia’s second final, it’s the country’s first qualifying from the semi.
-Georgia may very well be the qualifier with the lowest betting odds of all time. Conversely, Nicky Byrne – former pop star, professional goalkeeper, and presenter – and Ireland’s lack of qualification will make it harder to recruit stars in the future.
-Donny Montell got a measure of revenge after Kaliopi beat him in Baku (2012).
-For the first time since 1970 (when all five did not participate), this will be the first time with one or fewer Nordic countries to be in a Final since Sweden joined Denmark in the Contest back in 1958.
-Deeply saddened by Macedonia’s failed qualification, especially since Kaliopi is so awesome. I guess third time was not the charm, but I hope she returns in the future.
-Surprised by Georgia’s qualification and taken off-guard by Israel’s. Though, I am most disappointed in Lithuania’s qualification (especially since neither Macedonia nor Norway made it).
-While I originally contended that Semi-Final One was stronger, after last night and the results, Semi-Final Two definitely was more entertaining and proved itself to have the harder hitting entries. Probably because it was much more competitive as fewer spots were uncertain.
Now that we have our qualifiers, there’s nothing to it but to do it! Tonight we have our Jury Final and tomorrow, the Grand Final! Complete with an unnecessary performance from Justin Timberlake. I am so excited to see who will win! Check back tomorrow for my reaction to the Jury Final and final predictions!
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Hello Dear Readers!
My march through the 23 competing songs continues with the first half of the Second Semi-Final. Just because I noted that the First Semi-Final is stronger yesterday, does not mean that I think the Second Semi-Final is full of slouches. In fact, I think there are some real gems here.
Second Semi-Final, First Half
*There are three basic ways for a song to be chosen. Internal Selection which is when the broadcaster within a country chooses both the performing artist and the song completely on their own without help from a professional jury or the public. Televised Selection which is the exact opposite, both the performing artist and the song are selected through a competition (or set of competitions) in which some combination of professional jurists and the public vote on the winners. There are also Mixed Selections, in which either the performing artist or the song is selected internally and the other is selected through a televised process.
Don’t forget to checkout the reviews for the First Semi-Final first half and second half!
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Hello Dear Readers!
I thought this week, I would try something different. Instead of the usual twenty song playlist, I decided to craft two ten-song playlists – one for the heartbroken and one for heartbreakers. It’s no secret that Eurovision is full of love songs, but there are also quite a few anti-love songs. Here are twenty on both sides of the equation that I think are worth a listen. As a reminder, these songs come from the Televoting Era (1998 – onwards) with focus on recent years.
Songs for the Heartbroken
It’s never fun to be dumped — unless you can turn that pain into a successful song at Eurovision! These songs capture the anguish, remorse, loss, and pain that the end of a relationship can bring.
Find the playlist here: Eurovision for the Heartbroken
- Denmark 2012 – Should’ve Known Better performed by Soluna Somay
- Serbia 2008 – Oro performed by Jelena Tomašević
- Cyprus 2010 – Life Looks Better in Spring performed by Jon Lilygreen and the Islanders
- Iceland 2009 – Is it True? performed by Yohanna
- Bosnia & Herzegovina 2007 – Rijeka Bez Imena performed by Maria
- Greece 2015 – One Last Breath performed by Maria Elena Kyriakou
- Sweden 2004 – It Hurts performed by Lena Philipsson
- Russia 2010 – Lost & Forgotten performed by Peter Nalitch and Friends
- France 2009 – S’Il Fallait le Faire performed by Patricia Kaas
- Serbia & Montenegro 2004 – Lane Moje performed by Željko Joksimović
Honorable Mention: United Kingdom 2002, Portugal 2003, Slovenia 2006, Serbia 2012, Cyprus 2015, Montenegro 2015
Eurovision for Heartbreakers
Not every relationship ends in despair, in fact, oftentimes, one person is happy that the relationship is over. Sometimes their emotions can be joy, relief, excitement — just happy to be free of a bad relationship. These songs are for those who are feeling great to be single.
Find the playlist here: Eurovision for Heartbreakers
- Germany 2015 – Black Smoke performed by Ann Sophie
- Slovenia 2005 – Stop performed by Omar Naber
- Cyprus 2007 – Comme Çi, Comme Ça performed by Evridiki
- Italy 2012 – L’Amore È Femmina (Out of Love) performed by Nina Zilli
- Macedonia 2005 – Make My Day performed by Martin Vučić
- Slovenia 2011 – No One performed by Maja Keuc
- Belarus 2014 – Cheesecake performed by Teo
- Lithuania 2007 – Love or Leave performed by 4Fun
- Belgium 2013 – Love Kills performed by Roberto Bellarosa
- Denmark 2014 – Only Teardrops performed by Emmelie de Forest
Honorable Mention: Andorra 2006, Ukraine 2008, Denmark 2009, Poland 2011, Israel 2014, Estonia 2015
- Ballads of heartbreak and sadness are most known for coming from the former Yugoslav countries, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. Furthermore, one man, Željko Joksimović is behind some of the most famous and successful entries for these countries as composer and occasional performer:
- 2004 – he performed Lane Moje, he won the semi-final but ultimately finished second
- 2006 – he composed Lejla, which Hari Mata Hari performed for Bosnia & Herzegovina. This is not only my favorite ESC song ever, but its third place is the best BiH finish to date.
- 2008 – in addition to hosting, he composed Serbia’s title defense effort Oro, finishing sixth.
- 2012 – his triumphant return as a performed, he performed his self-composed entry Nije Ljubav Stvar, finishing in third place.
- 2015 – he composed the Montengrin entry Adio, which only finished 13th, but is only the second Grand Final qualifier for Montenegro, and its highest ever finish.
- As female-led songs become more popular, we’ll see more and more heartbreaker songs.
- Interestingly enough, songs on both sides of the break-up spectrum range in tempo and tone.
The most recent previous list: Eurovision for Rockers
Next week: Eurovision for Baladeers