I may be home, dear reader, but my work is not done. I’m very pushed busy-wise this week with the real world of work, so I’m not able to blog very much at all, but there’s a couple of bits to round up and a few words to say on the first semi-final.
It was a strange experience not being in the host city for a semi-final for the first time since 2009, and as I didn’t expect to make it home on time to watch it live I forewent the invitations to watch with friends so I could watch on delay. In the end I did make it and realised it was the first Eurovision broadcast I’ve ever watched on my own! I did have the company of social media, and if you don’t already do so you can follow me on Twitter at @montymoncrieff with some comments from last night.
No real surprises for me other than Iceland: I really thought Greta had qualification in the bag with a better use of graphics than Sergei. In was three out in my predictions, having Iceland, Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina in over Hungary, Netherlands and Azerbaijan, but I can see why each of those made it. Thrilled for the Cypriot boys. I imagine EuroClub ran out of beer later.
Once more it’s not been a Eurovision without former Soviet countries courting controversy: the Periscope broadcast of the Russian jury’s deliberations (with two songs on the jury feed a day ahead of the TV show) surfaced on Monday evening and Armenia’s brandishing of the Nagorno-Karabakh flag as Iveta qualified have caused condemnation from the EBU, and we wait to see if further sanctions are taken. It remains to be seen whether this will impact the jury and public voting of each country’s songs in the final – might it be the difference between a win and a runner-up placing for Sergei, in particular? The juries have the option to vote him down with the current scoring system should they opt to do so, and many will be savvy enough to do it without making it obvious, if they choose to.
Meanwhile back at home a couple or three things to update: my real-world job has collided with the moonlighting I do here as we’ve joined other HIV organisations and activists to use Eurovision’s infamous nul points mark of failure to criticise the NHS England delay on commissioning the HIV prevention drug treatment PrEP – you can find about more about the campaign here.
I’m also doing some proper print journalism in the latest gay scene magazine BOYZ, talking about my passion for the Contest as well as the GSK Impact Award we’ve won which is keeping me from being still in Stockholm this year. Read the article below or on page 10 of the magazine online (some other content of the magazine may be NSFW).
Finally, my final ESC Insight podcast of the season is available here with my closing views on Sunday’s Big 5 and host rehearsals.
I’ll try to check in before it’s done, but won’t manage to watch the second semi-final until after it has happened as I’ll be all dolled up and collecting that lovely Award. Enjoy the show, folks!