So that’s it for another year, with Loreen living up to the hype and amassing a huge total to win Eurovision 2012. It was an amazing show, and a great line-up. I think there are many interesting stories spinning off from last night’s final for all the participants, I’ll cover the biggies now. I will also be counting down my favourites of the year pretty soon, so please follow or bookmark this blog for plenty more ESC2012 stuff, as well as some retrospectives of older contests.
So let’s start with Sweden. After hitting rock bottom (at least in context of Sweden) two years ago by not qualifying, Eric Saade energised them with last year’s 3rd place. After an incredible Melodifestivalen they sent a song that I think will be of a massive benefit to the concert. It’s not a cheesy pop song or an ethnic ballad as Eurovision so often gets associated with, it’s a totally contemporary dance pop song, no gimmicks or props (or indeed shoes), just the song, Loreen and her performance. I had worried that she’d mumble her way through the song as she had been in rehearsals but last night she totally nailed it and I am so happy. I will do my very best to get to what will be an incredible contest in Sweden next year, I can’t wait!
As for the competition, it was looking hairy for a while as those Russian grannies and then Serbia were close behind Loreen, but you can’t hide a landslide with dramatic direction of the voting. As expected (I’m pleased with myself for predicting that top 3 at work!), Russia and Serbia were the main competition, and they both performed well. Serbia had about the best slot they could have got, and worked it well.
I knew Azerbaijan were going to put in a great performance with a strong Swedish-penned ballad, but even last night they blew me away. Note-perfect and that dress was truly amazing. Azerbaijan are firmly established as big contenders now I think, and I expect Crystal Hall will be used again before too long.
Albania secured their best ever result with a 5th place finish for the Borg Queen with the snake hair. Amazing vocals, but I’m surprised it did so well just on that front, especially with that unfortunate 3rd place slot in the show, she took that envelope like it was poison when she drew her running order in the press conference! But I’m always happy to see countries scoring their best results.
After an iffy start in the votes, Estonia secured a great result. Love that guy, so handsome too… I see a lot of people getting to my blog searching for “ott lepland penis” so I guess he has a lot of other fans too!
The Big 5 had a mixed result, though three made it to the top 10, something that would have been near-enough unthinkable a few years ago. I had hoped Spain might do better, hers were the vocals of the night for me, and I am so pleased, though I can’t help but feel a little disappointed for her. Still, they hadn’t made the top 10 for 8 years, so that’s a good result. Germany managed their third top 10 in a row with a strong (and cute) performance from Roman. Speaking of Romans, Italy got another top 10 placing too, I think they did well to make that, even though I liked the song a lot.
However France and UK didn’t fare so well. Anggun was stunningly beautiful last night, and that floating dress was incredible. That’s before we talk about the hot French athletes too… her vocals seemed to be not 100%, but she hit the big finish. It just didn’t translate to votes, and 22nd place made her one of the more painful casualties of the night.
Old Engelbert though… I struggled to share the optimism of others that he would do well, particularly with the opening slot, and while he did well, the song just didn’t stand up against the other ballads. That European support for “the Hump” never materialised, and so the UK regresses back to its “oh it’s all politics” mindset which is incredibly frustrating. My only hope is that the massive crossover hit from Loreen (it’s just hit #2 on UK iTunes, and is doing similar business in dozens of countries in Europe – and Australia!) might tempt a current artist out of the woodwork for next year’s entry.
Elsewhere down the results list there were few big shocks. Cyprus finally outperformed Greece, though I felt both songs would have done better. Greece finally lost their big record of top 10 finishes, but I thought Cyprus would really do well. But still a solid result for both countries that neither should be ashamed of.
Jedward’s attempt to cross into more mainstream pop (albeit with an amazing water feature) felt flat, and I’m sure Ireland will be frustrated that they have been foiled again in their attempt to re-live their Eurovision glory days.
Sweden’s massive win seemed to drain the energy from the rest of the Nordic bloc, as Iceland, Norway and Denmark all fell by the wayside. At one point, all three were at the bottom. Iceland deserved better but their poor running-order draw and quite stiff performance (especially after the riotous grannies) explained their disappointing result. Denmark I just never saw the appeal in, so I at least feel vindicated there.
Poor Tooji must be having a shitty birthday today, ending up last. The song was strong but his vocals weren’t really on point, not surprisingly since he had such an ambitious dance routine. Eric Saade last year just had the magic that “Stay” didn’t have. Watching his performance last night, it smacked of a nul-points in waiting, and I am sad to see it nearly come true. But you only need one great song to win, and I’m sure just as this year, Norway will be looking very closely to see which lessons could be learned from Sweden.
Poor Malta too, but they are just happy to qualify, I love those guys. Lithuania really outperformed expectations, I thought they had just squeezed through the semi-finals but they finished third in theirs, and a very respectable finish for him (he needs a choreographer too, or were they blind?)
So those are my thoughts of last night. The show itself looked slick, but the presenters were stiff as boards. Particularly the lawyer lady, walking through the green room like an android, trading disinterested small talk with Loreen and Sabina. Crystal Hall looked incredible though, and they got through the night without any major incidents. I almost wish I had gone now! I expect a much more energetic show in Stockholm though, the Swedes have been after this for years!
Thanks for all the hits, I will put up a proper thankyou post soon! Otherwise please stick around, I will try my best to keep you all entertained, this year has been a real ride! Later this week I will have a look at the detailed semi-final results, as well as counting down my favourite entries this year. Take care! x
|2||Russia||Buranovskiye Babushki||Party for Everybody||259|
|3||Serbia||Željko Joksimović||Nije ljubav stvar||214|
|4||Azerbaijan||Sabina Babayeva||When the Music Dies||150|
|7||Turkey||Can Bonomo||Love Me Back||112|
|8||Germany||Roman Lob||Standing Still||110|
|9||Italy||Nina Zilli||L’amore è femmina (Out of Love)||101|
|10||Spain||Pastora Soler||Quédate conmigo||97|
|13||Macedonia||Kaliopi||Crno i belo (Црно и бело)||71|
|14||Lithuania||Donny Montell||Love Is Blind||70|
|15||Ukraine||Gaitana||Be My Guest||65|
|16||Cyprus||Ivi Adamou||La La Love||65|
|18||Bosnia & Herzegovina||MayaSar||Korake ti znam||55|
|20||Iceland||Gréta Salóme & Jónsi||Never Forget||46|
|21||Malta||Kurt Calleja||This Is the Night||41|
|22||France||Anggun||Echo (You and I)||21|
|23||Denmark||Soluna Samay||Should’ve Known Better||21|
|24||Hungary||Compact Disco||Sound of Our Hearts||19|
|25||United Kingdom||Engelbert Humperdinck||Love Will Set You Free||12|