It’s a little bit tricky to know what to say about this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, as I haven’t actually seen it yet. To tell the truth, the chances are I’m unlikely to, as it’s not really the kind of thing you want to watch except on the night.
Anyway – here are a couple of highlights and observations. What were yours?
More than just fjords and rollmops
The Norwegian entry was performed by former Pop Idolstars Factor – The Rivals contestant Margaret Berger, who has been responsible for some great songs in the past, so inevitably it was going to be pretty good. It fought its way to fourth place:
Despite their best efforts bringing back Bonnie Tyler, Engelbert Humperdinck and Blue from the dead, Britain still hasn’t been anywhere near the top for over a decade. They’ve even managed to finish in the bottom three an alarming number of times. This year Britain snuck a few points out of friends Malta and Ireland, as well as Spain, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia and Switzerland.
Trouble in the Caucasus
So what exactly happened in Azerbaijan? Did they really bribe people in Lithuania for their votes? Did a load of people really vote for Russia and then have their votes annulled? The suggestion seems to be that a number of very fishy things happened in the Caucasus this year, but you do have to wonder slightly how likely that is. Why would anybody go to that much effort to sabotage a song contest?
Well, they did manage second place in the end, so maybe.
Through Hell and high water
There are always suggestions of block voting. Russia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine all have plenty of neighbours, so by that argument it’s not surprising that they did so well again.
But it didn’t work so well for Armenia, Georgia, Estonia, or any of the other large countries languishing near the bottom of the table. They voted for one another, sure. But perhaps it’s got more to do with their cultures having a little more in common than some of the others.
And save a thought for France, who haven’t been anywhere near the top for a couple of decades now. None of their neighbours could be bothered voting for them. Although if they will insist on putting forward a song called Hell and Me, that may not be too surprising.
Returning to the top
Proof, perhaps, that your success isn’t solely dependent on your past performance. They haven’t been too close to a win for over a decade, and they even have to fight their way up through the semi-finals these days. This year’s winner came from Amelia of the Forest; the third ever win for Denmark: