So what actually happened there with all them result thingies?
First impression is that the running order had a major impact on the televoting – and possibly jury – results. The first three on in both semis produced two of the bottom three on the scoreboard, and the first five on in the final produced four of the bottom five. In more detail though…
26: IRELAND 5 points. Well, many bloggers reckoned that it was one of few really poor performances in the jury final. Performing last can be a poisoned chalice with televoting – you have to do something special to prove your superiority over the four or five that precede you, and the four or five that preceded Ireland were spectacular. Ultimately I fear that all that drumming and bare flesh was really trying to win the 2005 contest of this type, and it’s not 2005 any more.
25: SPAIN 8 points. We all knew it was doomeded, really. Poor draw, no real impact, no Portugal or Andorra for a few friendly points, and an unconvincing performance – Dervish the second. Most of its points from Albania which probably used a jury only… might well be a televoting zero.
24: FINLAND 13 points. Bad draw for televoting, not an ideal jury magnet, and I’ve got to highlight that kiss as a problem. Not because it was controversial, but because it was boring! Not only was it boring, but it undermined the song – “I don’t think that I know ladies who would give you cuter babies” is surely being pointed at a male paramour.
23: FRANCE 14 points. What an angry woman. Didn’t she seem cross? Probably because she was singing first – both the result and the seeming cross. Tune in slightly late and you never even saw her so you won’t be voting for her.
22: LITHUANIA 17 points. The fates were against Andrius really, but just being there for the Saturday show was probably his success.
21: GERMANY 18 points. Memo to the BBC. We’re going to shout at them and say “Send something contemporary by an act who has actually had a hit this century!” And they will say “What, like Glorious, you mean?”. It was too much like Euphoria. Not a copy, not a plagiat, but too obviously ‘inspired by’.
20: ESTONIA 19 points. A lovely song, but lacking in impact and not really offering anything new. Only a team effort by its three friendliest neighbours saved it from oblivion.
19: UK of STUFF 23 points. Right singer. Wrong song. Classic Bonnie material would have been better received and not consigned by the producers to being the boring bit after Cezar. Memo to the BBC – start negotiating with the Scissor Sisters today, and give us an 8 song national final. Oh, and make all 8 of the songs *good* and not ‘THAT! WAS! EUROVISION!’, yeah?
…and then we hit a bit of a scoring gap, so I think the bottom 8 were realistically interchangable also-rans, and any could have finished in any position. Moving onwards:
18: ARMENIA 41 points. Possibly a few more points than it deserved, but obviously there were a few helpful countries where the juries were aging dull rockers and the diaspora still turns out. Zeros from, for example, Belgium and Netherlands, The, will have stung.
17: ICELAND 47 points. Looking at the points distribution, I’d guess that a smattering of juries absolutely adored Eythi, but only absolute adoration was going to rescue it from televoting meh.
16: BELARUS 48 points. By my weak grasp of geography, Malta was the westernmost country to give Alyona a point. Didn’t really get traction in the east, and the west apparently just took one look at her and said Yeahno.
15: GEORGIA 50 points. Surprised but not shocked by this – it’s very very Recent Eurovision By Numbers, and it wasn’t a spot-on performance. Written and performed by androids, or might as well have been.
14: SWEDEN 62 points. Well, is that success or failure for the hosts? I’d give it a tentative FAIL, but I could easily have imagined it in the 40 point zone. I give Robin some credit that the vocals weren’t a live car-crash, it’s not an easy song to sing (and an even harder one to listen to…)
13: ROMANIA 65 points. We hit the left-hand side of the scoreboard, and a very non-standard Romanian entry gets a very standard recent Romanian result. It’s an exciting vocal style but strip away all the bells and whistles and there’s really not much of a song left in there. I note in passing that it scored 0 from Spain.
12: BELGIUM 71 points. Right song, wrong singer. In the hands of a budget-busting stage show and a more charismatic performer, this could have been top 5. But still, the plucky ones will be more than happy with that.
11: MOLDOVA 71 points. The Mayas were not so wrong. A second-half draw and a good English lyric (that didn’t mention Mayas, ideally) and this would have been very big indeed.
10: HUNGARY 84 points. I’d have liked more. He’ll be chuffed, though, and it’s nice to see that a simple strong melody and an uncomplicated performance can get traction with juries at least. As a good friend of mine has said, kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem kedvesem.
Again, there seems to be a bit of a points gap at this point, so let’s call the rest the real winners of the night.
9: NETHERLANDS 114 points. Can’t help thinking that Anouk has been given respect rather than love for The Dead Birds Song (Uh-oh-oh-oh). Yes she’s a big star, and she didn’t come to be Mrs Happy Happy Party Person, but I never felt a connection with her. The Dutch again will be delighted to be back in the final and top 10, but it could have been so much more.
8: MALTA 120 points. Gianluca on the other hand came to be Mr Happy Happy Party Person. A jolly song, with what I’ve always acknowledged to be absurd lyrics (in a good way!), but this is all about the charisma. If it weren’t for the fact that I want Deborah C next year, I’d quite happily have Dr Smiley back for TVM with an absolute killer of a song. And I suspect much of Europe agrees.
7: ITALY 126 points. Marco was just *so* Italian about this. I honestly think he could have won this contest if he wanted to, but he never looked straight down the camera at me and said “I’m singing this to YOU. Yeah, you watching at home. This is just me – and you. It’s personal”. So I didn’t care too much about giving him a vote.
6: GREECE 152 points. ERT possibly owe a lot of jurors a lot of money for being lukewarm about this one. Athens 2014 might have been a danger otherwise. Televoting gold.
5: RUSSIA 174 points. Dina will be cursing her luck at finding a “FIRST HALF” slip of paper in the goldfish bowl (and incidentally, didn’t those ones turn out to be incredibly easy to find in the piles – so many of the early pickers got them). Might have been right in the mix otherwise. An easy winner of the first half of the contest.
4: NORWAY 191 points. About the right result, I think. Ice Queen Margaret pitched it just right, but it’s not a totally instant song (it took me months to learn to love it).
3: UKRAINE 214 points. Bits of the song are really strong. I’ve adored the “Nothing comes from stuff but stuff” hook from the outset. And bits of it aren’t. More coherence in the composition and we’ve got a real threat for the crown – as it is, a decent composition and a striking performance are enough for podium.
2: AZERBAIJAN 234 points. There’s a general lack of vocal talent in Azerbaijan (some of the early stages of their selection process are the best car-crash TV you’ll ever see), but they really do squeeze every last drop out of their chosen one. Absolutely the best staging this year bar none, but perhaps it needed a better song and singer underneath it?
1: DENMARK 281 points. Well, we knew didn’t we? Just like with Bilan, and Rybak, and Lena, and Loreen, we were really just casting around for the reason why it’s not “that much of a favourite”. It’s always worth looking, because sometimes you get an Amaury Vassily and the reason exists. But usually, the obvious favourite is the obvious favourite. And, you know, I still don’t *really* get it… but that’s OK!
People who should know better by now are trying to convince me to raid my piggy bank and make tracks for Copers or Herning or Aarhus next May and get back into the fray… and I have to admit I’m sorely tempted.
I just wish I had a piggy bank. 😀