The Guardian has chosen to read a lot into this year’s entries for Eurovision, although it feels as though they’re making a story out of nothing in many ways. The event, which has been happening this week in Austria, has been every bit as entertaining and confusing as ever – that is, either extremely or not very, depending on your outlook.
This year also sees the first time that, due to a slight misspelling, Australia is taking part, because it’s the sixtieth anniversary of the contest. Hopefully, this might mean the UK finally has a friend other than Malta when the voting comes around. Or maybe not. SBS’s veteran presenter Lee Lin Chin will commentate on the Australian broadcast, which isn’t too far from the standard of Terry Wogan. Who doesn’t do it any more anyway. Australia deserve to win on that basis.
The first semi-final saw the loss of Moldova, the Netherlands, Finland, Macedonia, Belarus, and Denmark. That’s a big disappointment for Denmark, who have only failed to qualify a handful of times in the contest’s history. Russia has never failed to reach the finals, and despite still being a little low on friends across Europe, they sailed through comfortably. The Serbian entry Beauty Never Lies, performed by Bojana Stamenov was written by the person who wrote Conchita Wurst‘s winning entry last year, and is through to the final and looking very promising.
In the second semi-final on Thursday, the dropouts included the Irish entry (someone called Molly), San Marino, Malta, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Iceland, and Switzerland. Spared the axe were a whole load of others including Israel, who despite earlier successes haven’t actually qualified since 2010, and Azerbaijan, who as you may remember (I didn’t) won in 2011, and have never appeared lower than halfway down the voting.
Which might ask seem a pretty lousy summary to you, but that seems entirely fair to me. Like it or not, the final is tonight! Tune in, if you can. And if you care.