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!
As we anxiously await the forthcoming Grand Final, some thoughts on last night’s Second Semi-Final. I think this semi-final suffered from a lot of nervous performers with shaky performances. Additionally, there seemed to be a plague of poor stagings (more on that below). But first, here are our qualifiers (in alphabetical order with their semi-final half in parentheses):
Austria (first half)
Belarus (first half)
Bulgaria (second half)
Croatia (first half)
Denmark (first half)
Hungary (first half)
Israel (first half)
The Netherlands (first half)
Norway (second half)
Romania (second half)
Some Historical Markers from last night
Romania maintains its 100% qualification record. Hungary extends its streak to seven straight qualifications, reaching back to 2011. Austria extends its streak to four. Croatia, the Netherlands, and Israel have now all qualified twice in a row.
Bulgaria also has qualified twice in a row for the first time ever (and only third time overall). Denmark and Norway both return to Grand Final after missing it last year (for Norway) and each of the past two years (Denmark). Belarus qualifies for the first time since 2014.
Serbia and Lithuania’s streaks of qualifications end after two straight and Malta fails to make a second straight qualification. Macedonia has not qualified since 2012, Ireland since 2013, Switzerland and San Marino since 2014, and Estonia since 2015.
Biggest Disappointment: Austria and Ireland, two of my favorite songs, were both terribly performed last night. I could barely make it through Austria’s performance. I hope that Nathan Trent’s singing is better tomorrow night.
Biggest Shock: I am still shocked by how well I thought Romania and Croatia (two songs I do not like) did. They performed their hearts out and deserved their qualification.
Macedonia and Switzerland, while I think there might have been some nullification effect on one another, I think both were just missed opportunities. They both had strong, popular songs this year and A) staged them poorly and B) did not sing at their best abilities. Just, disappointing.
I think the Netherlands had the best performance on the night, followed closely by Bulgaria. They could possibly make a huge splash tomorrow, especially with the help of the juries.
France, Germany, and Ukraine had very questionable stagings. Read more about it in my live notes.
Just sad that San Marino failed to qualify. I think SMRTV may blame it on their small size, but, actually, it’s because it continually chooses dated songs with lame stagings. More on this in a forthcoming summer series.
So, there you have it my reactions to the Second Semi-Final. My excitement for the Grand Final is through the roof! Hear more about mine (and my friend DIZZYDJC) below in our podcast from today!
Hello Dear Readers!
It is Thursday of Eurovision Week and we all know what that means: time for the Second Semi-Final! Tonight we will get the last ten qualifiers for Saturday’s Grand Final. As a reminder, the qualifiers for tonight will join the Big Five (Spain, Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom), our defending champs & host (Ukraine), and Tuesday’s ten qualifiers (Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, and Sweden).
Make sure to keep refreshing the page throught the show!
It’s starting! I love starting with a recap of Tuesday.
…what are the hosts wearing?! No. Not good. I do love a good ESC medley! Euphoria! Fairytale! My Number One (which was the winner the last time we were in Ukraine). Rise like a Phoenix! Definitely not a bad openning act. I always enjoy a reinterpretation of songs into a new folk style.
01 Serbia In Too Deep
They seemed to have scaled back the epicness of song; why? This is wholly underwhelming. This song is nice, but forgettable. The dancer didn’t add much other than some additional eye candy.
02 Austria Running on Air
Oh no, he sounds a bit underpitch and he’s singing with zero emotion. I also don’t understand this staging – why is there a moon? Oh no, he just botched the big note. I love this song but this is just a poor presentation of it.
03 Macedonia Dance Alone
Interesting to put the backing singers so dominatingly right at the beginning lime that. That was also a poor model walk she is doing. Her outfit is cute, though. I understand the use of the mic effect, but I can barely hear her. She is certainly selling this as hard as she can as a dance number. Ummm…..I’m just not sure how to react. Definitely a HUGE missed opportunity for Macedonia, but it might be enough to qualify.
04 Malta Breathlessly
I don’t understand this backing scene choice. It should be black amd white images of her and her lover. Not random gifs of her singing. Really pretty dress! No one can say that her voice is not good, but this song is just so drab and boring.
05 Romania Yodel It!
I like the toy soldiers. The cannons look cool – but I don’t know why they’re there. Oh! That’s why — pretty cool. As much as I dislike this song, it is, so far, the strongest performance tonight — by a mile.
06 The Netherlands Lights and Shadows
Oh! Love those outfits! Oh my goodness, they sound amazing hitting those harmonies! Honestly, I was expecting their outfits to turn white during the climax towards the end. Very good – definite qualifier, I think.
07 Hungary Origo
He seems to be going a bit fast amd is a bit ahead of the beat. But things seemed to habe caught up with the violin. Cool! Was not expecting the flames. I don’t what it is, but the camerawork just seems — not good – they should have goven the producers better camera choreography to work with. It doesn’t help that he looks so uncomfortable on stage.
08 Denmark Where I Am
Why does her voice sound weird? Did they leave a mic effect on? She seems out of breath as well, like she can’t quite fully support her singing. She hit that big note, though! Too much backing singer on this performance; I hope they turn them down for Saturday.
09 Ireland Dying to Try
Why the hot air balloon? Oh, missed a note there. He’s so adorable, though. Uh oh. He missed that big note. And just barely made the biggest one. Disappointing. This is one of my favorite songs this year and this performance is just flat.
10 San Marino Spirit of the Night
What are they wearing?! Why are they so sparkly?! They have really good chemistry together. Despite the fact tat this is a fairly dated sounding disco-track, given the quality of performances tonight, it has a legit chance to qualify. I think my friend called this the “song of a thousand key changes” — most definitely. They at least nailed them all.
Man, San Marino had a black American guy and now Croatia has a big guy, it’s like Eurovision producers wanted me to feel particularly represented on stage.
11 Croatia My Friend
Oh my goodness, this turning back and forth is silly. As is that glove he is wearing. He sounds good, though. Bad song, but well performed.
–sorry for the interruption, my town is under tornado warning and I had to take shleter–
**All clear! Picking up where we left off.
12 Norway Grab the Moment
I like the camera effects and how digitized he looks during the refrain and his face is featured on the screen. I know the desire to keep it simple is tempting, but I wish they had added a bit more dynamic elements to the staging, particularly to the climax at the end.
13 Switzerland Apollo
LOVE the dress, hate the hair. Her voice seems to be dancing in the edge of in tune and out of it. I feel the same as I did after Macedonia, just a huge missed opportunity. Maybe enough to qualify, maybe not.
14 Belarus Historyja Majho Žyccia
Love the wite and blue aesthetic! They started off a bit shaky, but their voices leveled out. Some much energy and fun – fireworks!! That screen is fun and that’s a huge crowd reaction!
Time for this year’s youngest competitor and my predicted winner:
14 Bulgaria Beautiful Mess
Love this overhead shot during the first verse! He gets a bit off pitch during the refrain. Love the interplay between the camera, the special effects, the background, and the lyrics – beautifully staged! As good as that was, not sure I’d rate that higher than Portugal’s performance Tuesday. I’ll be interested to see what happens Saturday night when thy can go head-to-head.
16 Lithuania Rain of Revolution
I see they are reproducing their national final performance… includingn that terrible hairstyle. They should have invested in actual spark showers. The animated ones just don’t have the same effect. And, honestly, coming after a song like Bulgaria only makes this, with its super-synthesized instrumentation, sound a bit fake and dated.
17 Estonia Verona
Mic issues! I wonder if they will deemed bad enough to call for a second performance. Vocal issues! I wonder if they will be bad enough to stop this from qualifying. I do love the camera effect making it look like they were on two completely different stages throughout the first verse and bridge. They don’t seem to have much chemistry; maybe that’s why they barely interact with each other throughout the performance. I know this is a big fan favorite, but I remain unimpressed.
18 Israel I Feel Alive
He knows how to work a camera! Which, I guess takes away from his weak vocals. The staging was a lot of fun — quite dazzling.
My Top Ten from tonight
- The Netherlands
- San Marino
Who I think will qualify (in no particular order)
- The Netherlands
Voting Sequence EntertainmentMore Verka (Ukraine 2007 and probably one of the modt popular entries to date)! And yay for talking to fans 🙂
The dancing is really cool. I never know quite what to make of it, but it’s certainly interesting and much appreciated.
A marriage proposal for Jana from Macedonia!!! Awwwww
Our Automatic Qualifiers
- France – whoa! All the spinning is dizzying, which I guess is the point.
- Germany – why is she in a dress that matches the background. She’s just going to get lost in the production. Maybe Germany is aimig to break Norway’s most last places record?
- Ukraine – that head is CREEPY!!! It looks like a possessed baby doll.
Now, on the results! Our ten qualifiers are:
- Bulgaria! Woot, woot – we could legitimately be heading to Sofia next year (1 for 1 in my predictions)
- Belarus – well deserved! (2 for 2)
- Croatia – not surprised, just didn’t think this and Belarus would both make it (2 for 3)
- Hungary – one of my favorites, but he’s going to need a much stronger performance Saturday (and Friday) night (2 for 4)
- Denmark – Gå Danmark!! (3 for 5)
- Israel – no surprise here (4 for 6)
- Romania – ugh (5 for 7)
- Norway – good stuff (6 for 8)
- The Netherlands – well earned, best performance of the night (7 for 9)
- Austria – complete shocker!! (7 for 10)
Well, there you have it. Ten qualifiers. Macedonia completes its fall from grace going from big favorite to non-qualifier in six short weeks. Come back tomorrow for my full thoughts and my next podcast ahead of Saturday’s Grand Final!
Support Eurovision Obsession on Patreon.
Follow @escobsession on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Sporcle